Ignoring bin Laden's advice
April 27th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

Ignoring bin Laden's advice

By Adam Levine

No sooner did Osama bin Laden get killed than his advice was being ignored by his adherents.

That revelation is included in Peter Bergen's blockbuster article in Time magazine describing the al Qaeda leader's life in Abbottabad. Bergen, who is also CNN's terrorism analyst, has seen some of the documents seized by the U.S. Special Operations Forces during the bin Laden raid a year ago.

Bergen reports that the al Qaeda leader warned smaller splinter groups about attaching themselves to the al Qaeda franchise.

"On Aug. 7, 2010, he wrote to the leader of the brutal al-Shabaab militia in Somalia to warn that declaring itself part of al-Qaeda would only attract enemies and make it harder to raise money from rich Arabs," Bergen noted in the Time magazine article.

But just seven months later, al-Shabaab did just that, announcing a merger with the organization now headed by Ayman al-Zawahiri.

A U.S. intelligence bulletin obtained by CNN after the two terror groups announced the merger suggested that relationship could "undermine" efforts by al-Shabaab supporters in the U.S., stating some have "previously claimed ignorance of al-Shabaab's designation as a foreign terrorist organization in court proceedings or otherwise indicated that they supported al-Shabaab primarily for nationalistic reasons.

Other insights Bergen gleaned from the bin Laden writings:

- In October 2010, al Qaeda leaders worried the Waziristan sanctuary was no longer safe because of U.S. drone strikes: "I am leaning toward getting most of our brothers out of the area," bin Laden wrote. According to statistics kept by Bergen and his colleagues at New America Foundation, 2010 and 2011 were the heaviest years for drone strikes.

- It would take two to three months for bin Laden to get responses to his communications because he relied on letters, rather than phone or the Internet, to get his messages out and receive letters. Ultimately, his reliance on couriers who helped carry these messages is what doomed bin Laden.

- The al Qaeda leader was trolling for ideas to mark the 10th anniversary of September 11th attacks and pondered trying to get attention from a U.S. network "that can be close to being unbiased such as CBS."

- He complained that Times Square attempted bomber Faisal Shahzad was breaking the oath of allegiance to the U.S. that he would have taken when becoming an American citizen. According to Bergen, bin Laden wrote: "It is not permissible in Islam to betray trust and break a covenant."

soundoff (113 Responses)
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    June 18, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Reply
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  3. Victor

    More like their bleating htraes.The noisy and easily agitated burghers of Northam are no better than the sheep they base their vocalisations on. But at least the sheep are useful…

    May 21, 2012 at 6:21 am | Reply
  4. mexoplex

    – The al Qaeda leader was trolling for ideas to mark the 10th anniversary of September 11th attacks and pondered trying to get attention from a U.S. network "that can be close to being unbiased such as CBS."

    If he had said " Fox" i think Republicans would have committed mass suicide.

    May 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  5. Hugh Jass

    What's that verse about straining at gnats while you swallow a camel? Bin Laden worried about breaking vows while overlooking the fact that his men attacked civilians.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  6. mmi16

    Faith is devine.

    Religion is a means to enslave mankind and panders to faith.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:32 am | Reply
  7. Jackw

    Too bad the Oceans get polluted when these ilk are disposed of.fish shouldn't have to have their health threatened in such a demeaning way !

    May 1, 2012 at 4:13 am | Reply
  8. DAVID

    this is getting old hes gone and became fish food at the end Lets get USA back in shape!!

    April 30, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Reply
  9. indigo

    – He complained that Times Square attempted bomber Faisal Shahzad was breaking the oath of allegiance to the U.S. that he would have taken when becoming an American citizen. According to Bergen, bin Laden wrote: "It is not permissible in Islam to betray trust and break a covenant."

    I'm kind of surprised OBL would think that way about breaking a trust, and at the same time think killing 3,000 innocent people is ok.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    • Hugh Jass

      Exactly – after a huge sin like that, what do vows matter?

      May 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  10. palintwit

    In 1969 we had Woodstock. Coming soon... "Baggerstock". Stay tuned.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply
    • Hugh Jass

      They will all just stay home and gripe.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  11. sanjosemike

    This so-called "great" Arab leader didn't make any effort to keep his data out of the hands of his enemies in case he was over-run. EVERY low level commander knows you must have plans in place to destroy your intelligence data in case of being over-run or killed. Bin Laden just left it lying all around and we got all of it.

    My question: "Is this the BEST that Arabs have to offer?"

    If so, they wouldn't even make the first semester at a US Military academy.


    April 30, 2012 at 9:21 am | Reply
    • Alan S

      Mike: You criticize Bin Laden's competence, but he was good enough to blow a hole in the Pentagon, which was more than Hitler or the Imperial Japanese could accomplish. As to your contempt for him, allow me to suggest that failing to respect one's enemies can lead to nasty surprises, as Bin Laden taught the U.S. in 2001 and, ultimately, as the U.S. taught Bin Laden.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
      • porichkid

        keep your friends close,and keep your enemies closer.

        April 30, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Hugh Jass

      "My question: "Is this the BEST that Arabs have to offer?" " Of course not, dummy. You are a hugher jass than I am. He was a criminal, working outside the law and against custom, not an agent of a government with deep pockets.

      May 2, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
  12. oh! some of osama

    nuke the complete nest of them...

    April 29, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Reply
    • Hugh Jass

      And become what they are? No thanks! We'll stick to declaring war and fighting against soldiers.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Reply
    • Ali

      I would judge you a mere youngster, Bill! To stay young rrueiqes the unceasing cultivation of the ability to unlearn old falsehoods .Lazurus Lng in Robert Heinlein's Time Enough For Love

      June 30, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Reply
  13. oh! some of osama

    the brave leader that sent others to die while he bs'ed and made videos with an ak47 leaning against a wall behind him...no guts...just a rag head coward.

    April 29, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Reply
    • Alan S

      To oh!: Your judgment is unfairly harsh. Of course Osama sent his subordinates to die. Every high-level military leader does. That does not make him a coward. I am delighted that the U.S. killed the man, and I am delighted that U.S. forces continue to hunt and kill other Al Quaeda personnel, but let's give our enemies their due.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:55 am | Reply
      • jacque

        still wonder if he is dead!

        April 30, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Benito

      Figures it would take something like this to get me to litsen to The Suburbs again they were a part of my college rock phase (along with stuff like the Waterboys and XTC) before I started litsening to strictly hardcore.And I still don't mind Live Skull, I litsened to Dusted a couple of times last week and it still sounded pretty good they were a lot better live then they were on record; James Lo is an incredible drummer.

      May 22, 2012 at 5:32 am | Reply
  14. darby

    That dot on the forehead of Ayman al-Zawahiri makes a nifty target.

    April 29, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Reply
    • Hugh Jass

      They bang their foreheads on the rug as they pray. Having one of those things makes you look either devout or phony.

      May 2, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
  15. cleareye1

    Osama was no different than thousands of other lunatic religious zealots willing to die for their fantasy. They are everywhere. Eventually, human progress will weed them out as they die off from their hopeless crusades. Unfortunately, ignorance is a persistent trait among our species. Something else will replace religion.

    April 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
    • DaveE

      Interesting that you used the word "crusades" talking about religious fanatics going out to die for their cause.

      April 30, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  16. Alive and well in Texas

    1/20/2013. The end of an error !!!

    April 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Reply
    • ,,,,,,,,,,,

      Why don't you just shoot him – like the last guy you didn't like.

      April 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Reply
      • Joe

        Pipe down, hippie. If you have a problem with killing Osama, there's something wrong with you.

        April 29, 2012 at 10:07 am |
      • ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

        Joe – I see comprehension isn't your thing.

        April 29, 2012 at 10:35 am |
      • Hugh Jass

        What are you even talking about?

        May 2, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • she79

      Unoriginal commentary; that slogan was used in the 2008 election. Please, at least try to be original.

      April 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Reply
      • Alive and well in Texas

        and your original ??????

        April 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
      • daveogilvy

        she79 is making no claims about being original. she's merely stating that you're not original. and guess what? you're not. deal with it.

        April 29, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  17. AlCourts


    April 28, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Reply
    • ready

      Nice racist site you have there, inferior.

      April 28, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Reply
    • Grand Dragon

      Maybe you could post a picture of yourself or maybe your home address on your site.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:58 am | Reply
    • Hugh Jass

      Yeah, like we're gonna go to your site. LOL

      May 2, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  18. moose4u2

    Is Osama really dead ??? Why was he buried in the high sea where no one can get at his body for proof ???

    April 28, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Reply
    • someguy1

      Because they didn't want there to be a place for Osama sympathizers to "praise" his body or whatever. Any grave site, anywhere, would attract supporters of terrorism to "give homage" to him- the US basically wants to wipe his influence from the Earth.

      April 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Reply
    • ED4

      It also serves the purpose of denying his supporters of closure. A smart move by the Obama administration.

      April 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • Dennis

      Have you seen him make any videos or make statements lately?..Why were his wives deported to Saudi Arabia?..Open your eyes,will you!

      April 28, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Reply
    • tom

      "Is Osama really dead ???"

      Is Elvis really dead? Perhaps John F. Kennedy is still around somewhere? If they put Osama's corpse at your doorstep moose, COULD YOU REALLY KNOW if it was him, or a look-alike? The circumstantial evidence is good – Osama no longer produces videos, the second in command does it, nobody in the arab world denies he is dead. At some point you just have to believe. The burying at sea made sense because they didn't want a shrine for his followers to rally around. Also supposedly no country wanted his body. So yes, believe it.

      April 29, 2012 at 10:08 am | Reply
    • RGDubz

      Bin Laden was murdered & had been dead for over 5 years before "they Killed him".

      April 29, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply
      • WieWied

        I had reason to stay a cploue of nights at one of the pubs in Northam when working there a few years back. Having a drink, I got chatting to a chap who, it turned out, was my teenaged niece's xxxxxxxxxx. He proceeded to get smashed by walking around every 15 minutes and finishing off drinks people had left behind. My niece xxxxx xx xxxxxx xxxx shortly after.It truly is a shithole of a town.

        May 21, 2012 at 3:05 am |
    • Hugh Jass

      Ever seen Jim Morrison's grave, or Duane Allman's? We don't want a shrine, although it could be fun if it had land mines around it. Dump it and forget it, same as garbage. Is he alive? Is Tupac? I don't think either one of them could be quiet this long.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  19. cavepainter

    "The al Qaeda leader was trolling"

    I see what you did there, Adam Levine.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Reply
  20. Cheezus

    Science flies us to the moon.

    Religion flies us into buildings.

    April 27, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Reply
    • cavepainter

      ...and opens hospitals, orphanages, schools, community services centers, soup kitchens, etc. 🙂

      April 27, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Reply
      • ready

        Secular versions of all of those exist. Face it, religion does far more evil than good.

        and enslaves women, and kills children, and starts wars, and commits genocide........

        See I could do the same. Please get some intelligence and post again.

        April 28, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
      • cavepainter

        "enslaves women, and kills children, and starts wars, and commits genocide"

        Secular versions of all of those exist. 🙂

        April 28, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
      • Angela Birch

        Well name secular organizations that start wars and kill for non religion. No that was not Stalin or Mao. They killed to be in power they didn't kill to eliminate religion and the Nazis were religious. What secular organization enslaves women and kills children?
        Religious organizations have a long history of wars in the name of the faith, murder and torture for their view of God and Women have never been equal in almost any religion.

        April 28, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
      • cavepainter

        I didn't say a secular "organization" did such things in the name of non religion. My point is only that such things have been done with absolutely no connection to religion and even by people who were not necessarily religious. To think otherwise is to ignore historic facts. Wars are the result of pride, greed for resources and territory, hatred for rivals and differing ethnic groups, and so on. Yes some are done in the name of religion. Some are done simply with religion as an excuse. Many have nothing to do with religion.

        Although, since you mentioned them, the communists in Russia and China, and the Nazis in Germany, did actively suppress various religions and churches at various times. The Russian Orthodox Church was nearly destroyed in the 20s and 30s with many people killed for their beliefs by atheists. Religious people were killed in the name of non-religion. Sure some Nazis were religious, but they certainly weren't a religious organization nor did they do what they did for religion. It was nationalism and a dissatisfaction with their previous government, the Weimar Republic. In fact the Nazis didn't even kill Jews for their religion. It was all about ethnicity. Even atheist Jews and converted Christian Jews were killed. Non-Jews were killed as well.

        What caused the Vietnam and Korean wars? Differing political ideologies. What caused world war 1? An Austrian archduke was assassinated for political reasons. What caused the American civil war? Politics, economics, and other reasons- none of which were about religion. I could go on and on almost endlessly about wars that happened for reasons other than religion.

        How about the other things I quoted above- slavery of women, killing children, and genocide? Any one of these have and are being done by people, both religious and not, all the time. Is religion the cause? No, because even non-religious people have done such things as commit murder, or abuse others, and in no small numbers.

        For some reason on CNN I see a lot of comments from people that I assume are atheists who seem to think that religion as a whole is the source of literally every problem in the world and that if only people would shed their beliefs then we would enter a glorious era of peace and civilization. The truth is that all manners of evil are in the hearts of men and, with or without religion, humans have and will acted upon every one of these evils. Religion, or at least some such as Christianity, actively teaches -against- such evils. Whether people who call themselves Christian choose to actually accept such teachings is another matter, unfortunately.

        April 28, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
      • Micah

        Science built those planes that flew into buildings, and nukes and chemical poisons, and what ever else is destroying the earth.

        God created that moon that we went to, and the spirit of compasssion to open those hospitals.

        But let's forget the tit for tat.

        Bin laden knew we had become an Enron economy full of deceit, the rest of America is just catching on. The T Party and the Occupy movement is striving for peaceful change.

        We all know what will happen if peace fails.

        April 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
      • melvinslizard

        Micah and Cavepainter-
        Two thumbs up. Like!

        April 30, 2012 at 10:05 am |
      • CC

        Really cavepainter and micah? God really? God didn't make the moon. Science can explain that. Stop bringing your imaginary sky fairy in to this. The idea of him is the reason we are in this mess.I'll let you decide which of the thousands of religion is the true one for your response. I'll give extra credit if your answer isn't Islam, Christianity or Judaism.

        April 30, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
      • Hugh Jass

        "Religion, or at least some such as Christianity, actively teaches -against- such evils. " Oh come on, the Spanish Inquisition gives you the lie. As far as I'm concerned it's all atheists; not one of you actually believes.

        May 2, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • The War Criminal General Sherman

      Now THAT'S a analogy!

      April 28, 2012 at 12:14 am | Reply
      • melvinslizard

        Hey, Ann, ever hear of the Khmer Rouge? "God is Dead." And so were 20 million Cambodians.

        April 30, 2012 at 10:04 am |
      • Hugh Jass

        Ever heard of a Cathar? They didn't worship Jesus correctly, so they all died suddenly, even the women and children.

        May 2, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  21. csmythe

    These silly, ancient superstitious religions could actually orchestrate the fall of modern man. Be afraid, be VERY afraid. It HAS happened before. About the time a contemporary civilization peaks selfish superstitious hordes resenting advancements move in to the utter destruction of said civilization. We are so close to a society with unlimited food and energy. Don't let the hordes and greed destroy modern humanity's potential once more.

    April 27, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Reply
    • cavepainter

      What are you even talking about? No, seriously, when and where is it you think this happened?

      April 28, 2012 at 12:01 am | Reply
      • Hugh Jass

        Probably read about Rome in a comic book.

        May 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
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    Bacon sanwiches 2 for $5.99
    Camel hoofs with toe juice 5 for $1.00
    Hajib head and butt cloths buy one get one free.

    April 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Reply
    • The War Criminal General Sherman

      What? No camel toe?

      April 27, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Reply
    • Thor the Badass Thunder God

      You're funny ass hell lmao

      April 27, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Reply
    • Abdulla Bulbul Amir

      Infidel, you have trod upon my toe.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  23. 111ggg

    In Israel torturing Palestinians
    Human rights organizations have reported that at least 4700 Palestinians in prisons in Israel. They do not recognize the status of prisoners of war and they were tortured. On that occasion, at a rally in Gaza were carried green flags of Hamas and Islamic Jihad black. Whether this could be interpreted as a sign of growing ties between the two organizations that have the same ideology and advocate for the destruction of Israel? Israel last year released 1000 Palestinians in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad shalt. I am against not only verbal (?) Threats to Israel, but "important" one Jew for 1,000 Palestinians!

    April 27, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  24. 11B2V1P

    Wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle yeah

    April 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  25. studdmuffins

    President Obama does get full credit for giving the go-ahead on the Obama termination. Well done.

    Being responsible for everything on his watch, just like any other past president, means he gets the credit for rights and well as the blame for wrongs. Goes with the territory.

    April 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Reply
    • studdmuffins

      Oops...typo - "...Osama termination" and it was truly unintentional. Should have proofread better.

      April 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply
      • 11B2V1P


        April 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
      • Bondprint

        Freudian slip.

        April 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  26. jon

    Isreal is a thorn in everyone's backside.

    April 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  27. shivadass




    April 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  28. OsamaBinWithLama

    Here's Osama's advice: Put the hind feet of the sheep or goat in your boots so you don't get kicked.

    April 27, 2012 at 10:16 am | Reply
    • ///////////////


      April 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Reply
    • kj2252

      i see what you did there. its also good advice to take the sheep to the top of a steep cliff so when you push into it it pushs back

      April 29, 2012 at 12:33 am | Reply
      • ////////////

        Thanks for clarifying that for me. Obviously, it went over my head.

        April 29, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • Abdulla Bulbul Amir

      I say "Baaa" to this suggestion.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  29. Hahahahahahaha

    I'll take Retarded Towel Heads for a $1000 Alex. Hahahahahahaha

    April 27, 2012 at 10:10 am | Reply
  30. person

    The Obama Administration may have not saved America a misconception in any presidency. But of all the presidency in history next to JFK & others who stopped the unthinkable, Germany-Hitler,Old-Japan,Cuba. The Obama National Security Team saved your ass. The fact of the matter is this. Although reports say AQ/OBL did not have any specific plans to attack the U.S post info received after the may 1st 2011 raids. OBL did. He focused on intelligence proxy support in his own secured fall out shelter Military compound in Abbot bad Pakistan. OBL was brain storming for a major attack on the U.S post 2014 and before- U.S/NATO withdrawal. The attacks where not gonna be as big as September 11Th..but BIGGER. In laments term Osama Bin Laden was inside close proximity of Pakistan's Nuclear Arsenal in a compound with a shovel and bucket. In addition he was determined to kill hundreds and thousands of people in the U.S and the West. When other (not all) presidents and their administrations sat hand & fork with their side line income with Security Analyst contracts on $ 900 Billion defense budgets. The Obama Administration did not.. it went after those people using a different approach. An approach that stopped fueling the security firms and contracts that where feeding the republicans and its retired analyst with Billions of Tax dollars for almost 10years. Today because of the Obama National Security we are safer. Just remember Analyst Contracts that bilked the U.S tax payer of Billions of dollars for almost 10 years keeping Osama Bin Laden Alive!!

    April 27, 2012 at 5:05 am | Reply
    • another person

      Even someone that has no experience leading anything can get credit for something that his predecessors started and built. Obama should thank the past presidents for laying the ground work that he is claiming now.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Reply
      • buchab01

        @ another person - yeah, well I bet you are one of those people that claims Obama deserves all the credit for the bad economy. He was the commander in chief when the raid happened he damn well can take credit for it.

        April 27, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
      • person

        Your last president and his vice where the Security Analyst Contracts!!

        April 27, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
      • person

        Your last president and his vice where the Analyst Contracts!!

        April 27, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
      • Dennis

        Do you mean the same one who after repeated warnings and security briefings allowed 9/11 to proceed on schedule?

        April 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
      • Angela Birch

        I wonder what past presidents. Bushie had demolished the Bin Ladin group at the CIA within 6 months of 9/11. Said he didn't care about him any more. Once Bushie let him escape from Thora Bora by ordering the Rangers to stand down and not pursue him.
        Obama had to rebuild the CIA group from scratch so they could analyse information that Bush had ignored after April 2002. Obama met with the CIA group weekly helped formulate the plans chose the one that was carried out. Remember the Head of the CIA, appointed by George Bush, Robert Gates said that it was the bravest act he had ever seen a president take. Bush would have had more credit if he hadn't quit looking for him.

        April 28, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
      • Hugh Jass

        Even someone that has no experience leading anything can get credit for something that his predecessors started and built, and that was our thinking when we put Herman Cain, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, and Mitt Romney up as possible presidents. Hey, voters are dumb, right?

        May 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • gideon

      The USA trained osama. This is known. He helped fight soviets.

      You are traitors for helping him, Israel will take revenge.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Reply
      • Peace Keeper

        You know nothing but negativeness. Isreal is the holy land. It will not take revenge on anything oh my god you are an idiot and should be tortured by your own country for saying things like this.

        April 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
      • gideon

        You claim to be a godly person, but wish torture on a Jew??

        You will be punished in the third temple.

        April 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
      • Thor the Badass Thunder God

        It must burn your Arab veins to say remarks like that.

        April 27, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
      • Scholar on 80s Afghanistan

        Actually, gideon, that statement is wrong. The United States trained and equipped jihadist groups, but Osama bin Laden had his own wealth and his own networks. He was not a jihadi, but he was a facilitator. He funded jihadist groups that the United States did not support. The United States did not work with bin Laden, and he wouldn't have wanted to work with the U.S. even if given the opportunity.

        Sorry to burst your bubble, but the United States did not train Osama. He didn't even "fight" the Soviets. He provided money for other people to do that.

        April 28, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
      • Hugh Jass

        "This is known." Are you one of the handmaidens from GAME OF THRONES?

        May 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • HWB

      What a load of crap. You not only said a lot, but in doing so you really said nothing. Try again and put it on the college level or move it to the 2nd grade and say it again slower.

      April 29, 2012 at 9:04 am | Reply

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