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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
01HARARE1247
2001-04-05 17:45:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZIMBABWE PARLIAMENT BECOMES RULING PARTY'S

Tags:   PGOV  PHUM  ECPS  KDEM  PINR  ZI 
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                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4440

PAGE 01        HARARE  01247  01 OF 03  051740Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   AMAD-00  ACQ-00   CIAE-00  CIP-00   
      DINT-00  DODE-00  DOTE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00    EUR-00   
      FAAE-00  FBIE-00  FCC-01   VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   
      IO-00    LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00  OIC-02   
      OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     
      SP-00    SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  PMB-00   DSCC-00  
      PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00   SWCI-00    /011W
                  ------------------DBFE7A  051741Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8588
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 001247 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER
LONDON FOR CGURNEY
PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS
NAIROBI FOR TPFLAUMER
USAID FOR AA/AFR VDICKSON-HORTON, AFR/SA CPALMA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/05/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ECPS KDEM PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE PARLIAMENT BECOMES RULING PARTY'S
LATEST TOOL IN CORNERING THE OPPOSITION
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01247 01 OF 03 051740Z

REFS: A) HARARE 1222, B) HARARE 1209, C) HARARE 932

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGEQ'AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR
REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND (D).



1. (C) SUMMARY: THE RULING ZANU-PF IS TAKING A
DIFFERENT TACK IN ITS CAMPAIGN TO CLAMP DOWN ON THE
OPPOSITION BY FORCING THROUGH PARLIAMENT LEGISLATION
THAT AIMS TO RESTRICT OPPOSITION ACTIVITIES. IN AN
EXTRAORDINARY SESSION ON APRIL 3-4, ZANU-PF
PARLIAMENTARIANS SUSPENDED THE LEGISLATURE'S OWN
STANDING ORDERS TO PASS THE BROADCASTING SERVICES BILL
AND THE POLITICAL PARTIES FINANCE BILL INTO LAW OVER THE
STRENUOUS OBJECTIONS OF THE OPPOSITION AND AT LEAST ONE
ZANU-PF MP. THE BROADCASTING SERVICES ACT LIMITS
BROADCASTING LICENSES TO ONE PRIVATELY-OWNED RADIO AND
ONE TELEVISION STATION. THE POLITICAL PARTIES FINANCE
ACT PROHIBITS FOREIGN SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR POLITICAL
PARTIES. OTHER BILLS BEFORE PARLIAMENT, INCLUDING THE
CITIZENSHIP OF ZIMBABWE AMENDMENT AND THE LABOR
RELATIONS AMENDMENT, WILL TRY TO FENCE IN OTHER
TRADITIONAL OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS, NAMELY WHITES AND
UNIONISTS. ALTHOUGH THIS NEW ELEMENT OF ZANU-PF'S
CAMPAIGN STRATEGY IS CERTAINLY MORE LAWFUL THAN ITS
PREVIOUS TACTICS, IT COULD POTENTIALLY BE MORE
DEVASTATING TO THE OPPOSITION THAN ANY INTIMIDATION
CAMPAIGN. END SUMMARY.



2. (C) IN AN EXTRAORDINARY SESSION WHICH BEGAN ON APRIL
3 AND LASTED UNTIL 3AM ON APRIL 4, ZANU-PF
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01247 01 OF 03 051740Z
PARLIAMENTARIANS VOTED TO SUSPEND THE LEGISLATURE'S OWN
STANDING RULES AND ORDERS TO PASS THE RESTRICTIVE
BROADCASTING SERVICES BILL AND THE POLITICAL PARTIES
FINANCE BILL INTO LAW. THE VOTE TO SUSPEND THE RULES
WAS UNUSUALLY RAUCOUS AND LOUD (POLOFF WAS INTERVIEWING
THE DEPUTY CLERK, HELEN DINGANI, IN HER OFFICE NEXT TO
THE CHAMBER AT THE TIME), AS DEPUTY SPEAKER MADZONGWE
ASKED THE MPS TO VOTE BY DIVISION, I.E. STAND ON ONE
SIDE OF THE CHAMBER OR THE OTHER. THE PROCEEDINGS TOOK
NEARLY AN HOUR. BASED ON THE MOTIONS TO SUSPEND PUT
FORTH BY LEADER OF THE HOUSE (AND JUSTICE MINISTER)
PATRICK CHINAMASA, THE DEPUTY CLERK TOLD POLOFF THAT IT
WAS CLEAR ZANU-PF WAS TRYING TO "BULLDOZE" THE TWO BILLS
THROUGH PARLIAMENT. THE SUSPENSION OF THE RULES ALLOWED
NO DEBATE ON THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE'S (PLC)
ADVERSE REPORTS THAT DECLARED BOTH BILLS
UNCONSTITUTIONAL. ALL THREE READINGS, THE DEBATE, AND
VOTING TOOK PLACE IN THE SAME SESSION, WHICH IS NORMALLY
NOT PERMITTED. ZANU-PF MP AND PLC CHAIR EDDISON ZVOBGO
WAS SO DISGUSTED WITH THE PROCEEDINGS THAT HE LEFT THE
CHAMBER, APPARENTLY SO THAT HE WOULD NOT BE FORCED TO
VOTE AGAINST HIS PARTY OR HIS OWN ADVERSE REPORT.



3. (C) DURING THE SESSION, THE HOUSE VOTED TO REJECT A
SECOND ADVERSE REPORT ON THE BROADCASTING BILL SUBMITTED
BY THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE (PLC). THE
COMMITTEE, WHICH COMPRISES TWO ZANU-PF MPS AND ONE MDC
MP (ONLY TWO MEMBERS OF THE PLC CAN VOTE BECAUSE THE
THIRD MEMBER IS NOT A LAWYER), HAD EARLIER SUBMITTED AN
ADVERSE REPORT CALLING THE LICENSING REGULATIONS UPON
WHICH THE BILL WAS BASED UNCONSTITUTIONAL (SEE REF B).
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 01247 01 OF 03 051740Z
ACCORDING TO THE APRIL 4 EDITION OF THE GOVERNMENT-
CONTROLLED "THE HERALD," IT IS THE FIRST TIME SINCE
INDEPENDENCE THAT THE RULING PARTY HAS REJECTED ADVERSE
REPORTS SUBMITTED BY A PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE. LAST
WEEK, PARLIAMENT VOTED TO SUSPEND THE STANDING ORDERS TO
CUT DOWN THE TIME ALLOTTED FOR THE PLC TO SUBMIT ITS
REPORT ON THE POLITICAL PARTIES FINANCE BILL FROM 26
DAYS TO FOUR DAYS, ACCORDING TO PRISCILLA MISIHAIRABWI-
MUSHONGA, THE MDC MP FOR GLEN NORAH. THE BLATANT
SUSPENSION OF THE RULES THIS WEEK AND LAST PERMITTED
ZANU-PF TO RAM THROUGH THE BILLS BEFORE PARLIAMENT
ADJOURNED FOR A FOUR-WEEK BREAK ON APRIL 5, AND BEFORE
THE BROADCASTING REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTED BY PRESIDENT
MUGABE LAST YEAR EXPIRE ON APRIL 12 (REF A).



4. (C) THE MAJOR PROVISIONS OF THE BROADCASTING
SERVICES ACT ALLOW THE LICENSING OF ONE NATIONAL RADIO
SERVICE AND ONE NATIONAL TELEVISION SERVICE INDEPENDENT
OF ANY PUBLIC BROADCASTER (I.E., THE ZIMBABWE
BROADCASTING CORPORATION). HOWEVER, THE ACT STIPULATES
THAT A SEPARATE SIGNAL CARRIER LICENSE IS REQUIRED (THE
BROADCASTERS CANNOT BROADCAST WITHOUT THE SIGNAL
CARRIER) AND CANNOT BE ISSUED TO THOSE WHO HOLD THE
BROADCASTING SERVICE LICENSES. THE EFFECT IS, ACCORDING
TO A COPY OF THE LEGAL COMMITTEE'S ADVERSE REPORT ON THE

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ4441

PAGE 01 HARARE 01247 02 OF 03 051741Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 CIP-00
DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00
FAAE-00 FBIE-00 FCC-01 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00
IO-00 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 OIC-02
OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00
SP-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00
PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 SWCI-00 /011W


--------------------------

DBFE83 051741Z /38
O 051745Z APR 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8589
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 001247

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER
LONDON FOR CGURNEY
PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS
NAIROBI FOR TPFLAUMER
USAID FOR AA/AFR VDICKSON-HORTON, AFR/SA CPALMA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/05/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ECPS KDEM PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE PARLIAMENT BECOMES RULING PARTY'S
LATEST TOOL IN CORNERING THE OPPOSITION
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01247 02 OF 03 051741Z

BILL, TO REQUIRE THE BROADCASTERS TO ENTER INTO A
TRANSMISSION AGREEMENT WITH THE SIGNAL CARRIER LICENSEE,
WHO, IN ALL PROBABILITY, WILL BE A PERSON OR
ORGANIZATION WITH CLOSE TIES TO ZANU-PF OR THE
GOVERNMENT. (COMMENT: TECHNICALLY, IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE
FOR ONE OF ZIMBABWE'S CELLULAR TELEPHONE COMPANIES TO BE
THE SIGNAL CARRIER FOR THE RADIO BROADCASTER. HOWEVER,
BECAUSE OF THE CELLULAR COMPANIES' CONNECTIONS TO THE
OPPOSITION, THIS IS NOT LIKELY TO OCCUR. END COMMENT.)
IN ADDITION, THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION WILL HAVE THE
FINAL STAMP OF APPROVAL ON ISSUING ALL LICENSES, AND
WILL BE ABLE TO REVOKE THE LICENSES UNDER BROADLY-
DEFINED CIRCUMSTANCES. THE GOZ WILL BE ABLE TO SAY THAT
ZIMBABWE ALLOWS INDEPENDENT BROADCASTERS, AND FREE
SPEECH, BUT IN PRACTICE IT WILL MAINTAIN CONTROL OF ALL
THE BROADCASTING OPERATIONS IN THE COUNTRY, UNDERMINING
THE NOTION THAT ANY NEW BROADCASTERS WILL BE TRULY
INDEPENDENT.



5. (SBU) THE POLITICAL PARTIES FINANCE ACT IS
POTENTIALLY MORE SERIOUS IN HOW IT WOULD LIMIT
OPPOSITION FUNDING AS WELL AS INDIRECT ASSISTANCE, SUCH
AS TECHNICAL TRAINING. THE ACT OUTLAWS THE RECEIPT OF
FOREIGN DONATIONS BY POLITICAL PARTIES, INCLUDING FROM
ZIMBABWEAN CITIZENS LIVING ABROAD. FOR ANYONE FOUND
VIOLATING THE ACT, IT PROVIDES A FINE EQUIVALENT TO THE
AMOUNT OF THE DONATION OR 100,000 ZIMBABWE DOLLARS
(ABOUT US$1,000), WHICHEVER IS GREATER. THE ACT ALSO
ALLOWS THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE TO ISSUE REGULATIONS
GOVERNING THE TRACKING AND ACCOUNTING OF POLITICAL PARTY
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01247 02 OF 03 051741Z
DONATIONS. THE ACT, WHICH REPLACES THE POLITICAL
PARTIES FINANCE ACT OF 1992, STILL STIPULATES THAT THE
MINISTER OF JUSTICE CAN REJECT A PARTY'S APPLICATION FOR
GOVERNMENT FUNDING, EVEN IF IT IS ENTITLED TO FUNDING
BASED ON THE NUMBER OF VOTES IT RECEIVED IN THE LAST
GENERAL ELECTION. SINCE THE OPPOSITION MDC HAS TO DATE
RECEIVED MUCH OF ITS FUNDING FROM FOREIGN SOURCES, THE
ACT WILL UNDOUBTEDLY MAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT FOR THE MDC
TO RAISE MONEY.



6. (C) DAVID COLTART, MDC MP FOR BULAWAYO SOUTH, TOLD
POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF APRIL 5 THAT THE MDC WILL
CHALLENGE THE LEGALITY OF THE POLITICAL PARTIES FINANCE
ACT IN THE COURTS. OF PARTICULAR CONCERN IS THE ACT'S
STIPULATION THAT FOREIGN DONATIONS THROUGH THIRD PARTIES
(INCLUDING NGOS) ARE NO LONGER PERMITTED, HE STATED.
THE STIPULATION IS SUFFICIENTLY BROAD TO PUT A
STRANGLEHOLD ON CIVIL SOCIETY, MUCH OF WHICH IS INVOLVED
IN DEMOCRACY AND GOVERNANCE ISSUES. COLTART POINTED OUT
THAT THE NEW LAW DOES NOT PROHIBIT LOANS TO POLITICAL
PARTIES, AND HE IS INVESTIGATING HOW THE MDC AND NGOS
COULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS LOOPHOLE. THE MDC MP
PROFESSED THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS LIKELY TO APPLY THE LAW
SELECTIVELY, AND WILL IGNORE ZANU-PF VIOLATIONS. ALSO
OF CONCERN IS A REPORT THAT ZANU-PF IS DRAFTING A BILL
THAT WOULD BAN ALL FOREIGN FUNDING OF NGOS--A MOVE THAT
WOULD QUICKLY SHUT DOWN MOST OF ZIMBABWE'S INCREASINGLY
VIBRANT AND DIVERSE CIVIL SOCIETY. IF ZANU-PF PERSISTS
IN ITS PURSUIT TO INDIRECTLY OUTLAW SOURCES OF
OPPOSITION SUPPORT, THE EFFECT WILL BE TO DRIVE THE
OPPOSITION UNDERGROUND, COLTART OPINED.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 01247 02 OF 03 051741Z



7. (SBU) OTHER BILLS BEFORE PARLIAMENT COULD ALSO
HINDER THE OPPOSITION. A PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE
CITIZENSHIP OF ZIMBABWE ACT SEEKS TO CLOSE A LOOPHOLE IN
THE LAW THAT ALREADY PROHIBITS ZIMBABWEAN CITIZENS FROM
HOLDING DUAL CITIZENSHIP. THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT WOULD
REQUIRE HOLDERS OF TWO PASSPORTS TO RENOUNCE THEIR
CITIZENSHIP OF THE FOREIGN COUNTRY ACCORDING TO THE LAWS
OF THAT COUNTRY IF THEY ARE TO REMAIN ZIMBABWEAN
CITIZENS. (NOTE: THE CURRENT LAW STIPULATES THAT DUAL
CITIZENS MUST RENOUNCE THEIR CITIZENSHIP ONLY ACCORDING
TO THE LAWS OF ZIMBABWE. IN A TEST CASE LAST DECEMBER,
THE SUPREME COURT RULED IN FAVOR OF A ZIMBABWEAN WHO
ALSO HELD A BRITISH PASSPORT. THE REGISTRAR-GENERAL HAD
REFUSED TO RENEW HER ZIMBABWEAN PASSPORT EVEN THOUGH SHE
HAD RENOUNCED HER BRITISH CITIZENSHIP ACCORDING TO THE
LAWS OF ZIMBABWE. ALTHOUGH WE ARE NOT LAWYERS, THE NEW
BILL'S EXTRATERRITORIAL PROVISIONS MAY BE DIFFICULT TO
ENFORCE AND MAY NOT STAND UP TO A COURT CHALLENGE. END
NOTE.) THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT WOULD REDUCE THE PERIOD
THAT A DUAL CITIZEN CAN LEGALLY COMPLY FROM ONE YEAR TO
SIX MONTHS. THE PRIMARY TARGET OF THE AMENDMENT IS THE
APPROXIMATELY 30,000 WHITES WHO HOLD BOTH ZIMBABWEAN AND
BRITISH PASSPORTS. THE GOVERNMENT IS CLEARLY BANKING
THAT MOST OF THESE DUAL CITIZENS WILL CHOOSE TO RETAIN

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ4443

PAGE 01 HARARE 01247 03 OF 03 051741Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 CIP-00
DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00
FAAE-00 FBIE-00 FCC-01 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00
IO-00 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 OIC-02
OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00
SP-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00
PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 SWCI-00 /011W


--------------------------

DBFE91 051741Z /38
O 051745Z APR 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8590
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 001247

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER
LONDON FOR CGURNEY
PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS
NAIROBI FOR TPFLAUMER
USAID FOR AA/AFR VDICKSON-HORTON, AFR/SA CPALMA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/05/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ECPS KDEM PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE PARLIAMENT BECOMES RULING PARTY'S
LATEST TOOL IN CORNERING THE OPPOSITION
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01247 03 OF 03 051741Z

THEIR BRITISH CITIZENSHIP, THUS RENDERING THEM
INELIGIBLE TO VOTE IN THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION. ZIMBABWE'S WHITE POPULATION OVERWHELMINGLY
FAVORS THE MDC. THE AMENDMENT HAS BEEN TABLED, AND WAS
GAZETTEQON MARCH 23, WHICH MEANS IT WILL NEXT GO TO THE
LEGAL COMMITTEE FOR CONSIDERATION.



8. (SBU) THE LABOR RELATIONS BILL, ONCE PASSED INTO
LAW, WOULD HAVE THE EFFECT OF LIMITING THE ABILITY OF
ZIMBABWE'S UNIONS TO ENGAGE IN STAYAWAYS OR OTHER LABOR
ACTIONS, THEREBY WEAKENING ANOTHER KEY SOURCE OF
OPPOSITION SUPPORT. (SEE REF A FOR DETAILS OF THE
BILL'S PROVISIONS.) THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE
ALSO ISSUED AN ADVERSE REPORT ON THE LABOR RELATIONS
BILL, CALLING MANY PROVISIONS UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
ACCORDING TO THE DEPUTY CLERK OF PARLIAMENT, THE BILL IS
LESS OF A PRIORITY FOR THE GOVERNMENT, AND MAY BE HELD
OVER UNTIL THE FINAL TWO-WEEK MEETING OF PARLIAMENT IN
MAY OR THE SECOND SESSION, WHICH DOES NOT BEGIN UNTIL
LATE JUNE OR JULY.



9. (C) COMMENT: ZANU-PF HAS RIDDEN ROUGHSHOD OVER
OPPOSITION MPS IN THE LAST FEW WEEKS TO PUSH THROUGH A
LEGISLATIVE AGENDA THAT IS CLEARLY AIMED AT SHRINKING
THE OPPOSITION'S POLITICAL SPACE IN ZIMBABWE. ALTHOUGH
ZANU-PF MPS FOLLOWED THE LETTER OF PARLIAMENTARY
PROCEDURE, THEY BLATANTLY DISPENSED WITH ALL SENSE OF
FAIR PLAY OR PRETENSION OF PURSUING NATIONAL INTERESTS
IN FAST-TRACKING IMPORTANT LEGISLATION THAT DESERVED
MORE CAREFUL SCRUTINY AND DEBATE. THE ZANU-PF
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01247 03 OF 03 051741Z
DELEGATION'S UNPRECEDENTED REJECTION OF SEVERAL ADVERSE
REPORTS WITHOUT ALLOWING ANY ATTEMPT TO AMEND THE BILLS
IN QUESTION DEMONSTRATES ITS ARROGANT BELIEF THAT IT
KNOWS WHAT IS BEST FOR THE COUNTRY AND THAT THE
OPPOSITION HAS NO MEANINGFUL ROLE. THE RESULT IS THAT
THE OPPOSITION AND OTHER VOICES OF DISSENT WILL FIND
THEMSELVES MORE FENCED IN THAN EVER. EVEN THOUGH ALL
THE BILLS COULD BE CHALLENGED ON CONSTITUTIONAL GROUNDS,
THE RESOURCES FOR THE OPPOSITION TO DO SO ARE QUICKLY
DRYING UP, WHICH IS PROBABLY PART OF THE GOVERNMENT'S
INTENT IN PURSUING A MORE LEGAL STRATEGY THAT WILL
RESTRICT FUNDING FOR MDC COURT CHALLENGES. AS TENDAI
BITI STATED IN PARLIAMENT ON APRIL 4, "IT IS MORALLY
WRONG FOR ZANU-PF TO USE ITS UNLAWFUL MAJORITY TO PUSH
THESE BILLS THROUGH. THE REPRESSIVE LEGISLATION SHOWS A
MARKED DIFFERENCE OF APPROACH TOWARD MORE FASCISM." END
COMMENT.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

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