Author Topic: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)  (Read 7333 times)

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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2017, 20:05:14 »
If I am hearing the Minister's words correctly, at the 14 minute mark he said he is quoting "the CDS" who said "the Minister, was the architect of OP MEDUSA".  It will be interesting to see if the CDS makes any statement to clarify or back up this or not.

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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2017, 21:27:57 »
I found this video on David Akin's Twitter feed. The video was posted in July of 2015. The "architect" statement is made around the 14 minute mark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1fWSq0mnXM
Thanks loads for that - much appreciated.

I listened more than once, and here's what the Minister said (14:09-14:51)...
Quote
... We took the fight to the Taliban, we took it hard.  In 2006, as General Vance, who's going to be the Chief of Defence Staff, if I could quote him, he said that I was the architect of Operation Medusa, one of the biggest operations since the Korean War Canada has led ... What people forgot was that, they only remember the fight and the tactical win that we had, but they forgot, how did we get there?  I actually was able to take the population that was supporting the Taliban, bring them onto our side.  That's how I was able to get the intelligence.  That's how I was able to devise the counter-tactics against them and develop the operation that we were finally able to win on ...
... It will be interesting to see if the CDS makes any statement to clarify or back up this or not.
Indeed ...
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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2017, 21:48:04 »
I suspect, that no matter if his words were correct and so to speak this all is taken out of context due to unfortunately framed phraseology, this will be a stink that will never leave the man.  The damage is done, as is with Adm Norman, whichever way the knife cuts.

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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2017, 21:52:50 »
Just listened to the CBC Power Panel on this issue. All the reporters are shaking their heads on why he would do this. He already had the street cred, he didn't have to embellish it all.

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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2017, 22:02:07 »
... It will be interesting to see if the CDS makes any statement to clarify or back up this or not.
And here's what the CDS told Global (again, via David Akin -- 3:06-3:14) at today's news conference on sexual misconduct when asked about the Sajjan statement ...
Quote
... I'm not really aware of this case and quite frankly I'd like us to keep our eye on the ball about sexual misconduct in the Armed Forces today.  Thanks for your question ...
And the CDS refused to take a follow-up question on Sajjan's statement.
I suspect, that no matter if his words were correct and so to speak this all is taken out of context due to unfortunately framed phraseology ...
I hear you, and I'm one to give one the benefit of the doubt, but it's in the written remarks, he said it out loud in India, and he's said it in an interview in 2015.  He had a chance to pick his words in 2015, and the info-machine had a chance to pick the words earlier this month, and those are the words that got used. 

And I'm not hearing anybody is saying "maybe we should focus more on what he meant" in this case  ;)  #WordsMatter
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Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2017, 22:19:30 »
Architect?  It will become a meme . . .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGiylPOXSV8

By choosing that specific word he really ****ed up and will continue to wear it.  Whether a former commander used that specific word on some occasion in reference to his performance re OP MEDUSA will never matter, however what was said about his performance was:

http://www.nationalobserver.com/2015/11/04/opinion/you-have-no-idea-how-badass-trudeaus-defence-minister-really
Quote
Addressed to then-Vancouver police chief Jamie Graham, the letter from Brigadier General David Fraser thanked the chief for the loan of Detective Constable Sajjan, then a reserve officer with the Canadian Armed Forces.

It includes the following excerpts:

"Not only did [Sajjan] display a rare high level of intellect and experience in his analysis, he also demonstrated remarkable personal courage… often working in the face of the enemy to collect data and confirm his suspicions, and placing himself almost daily in situations of grave personal risk."

"[He] demonstrated a profound understanding of the Taliban and tribal networks…"

"He was the best single Canadian intelligence asset in theater, and his hard work, personal bravery and dogged determination undoubtedly saved a multitude of Coalition lives."

"Through his courage and dedication, Major Sajjan has single-handedly changed the face of intelligence gathering and analysis in Afghanistan."

"[H]is analysis was so compelling that it drove a number of large scale theatre-resourced efforts, including OPERATION MEDUSA... that resulted in the defeat of the largest TB cell yet identified in Afghanistan, with over 1500 Taliban killed or captured."

"I rate him as one of the best intelligence officers I have ever worked with."

"I have advised my chain of command that the Canadian Forces must capture his skill-set, and seek his advice on how to change our entire tactical intelligence training and architecture to best meet the needs of future deployed units fighting in extremely complex human battlespace."

Well, he may not have been the architect, but he was probably a senior draftsman.

(Edited to add)

While I can understand why the initial report was placed in the "walt" thread, this is more than a story about some sad, insecure individual who inflated his military service history.  This is a political story and though it may not be worthy of its own thread, surely there must be a thread that deals with the political screw-ups of the government or at least a thread about this particular individual.  He made a small splash on these means when given his current post, so including this latest event may be appropriate to tell the wider tale of his ministry.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 22:32:04 by Blackadder1916 »
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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #31 on: April 29, 2017, 02:08:10 »
Just listened to the CBC Power Panel on this issue. All the reporters are shaking their heads on why he would do this. He already had the street cred, he didn't have to embellish it all.

Maybe with all the scandal, and the RAdm Norman debacle, he felt he was losing ground and needed to try and gain brownie points?

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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #32 on: April 29, 2017, 06:57:32 »
... While I can understand why the initial report was placed in the "walt" thread, this is more than a story about some sad, insecure individual who inflated his military service history.  This is a political story and though it may not be worthy of its own thread ...
You're right about the political angle -- I was 50-50 about posting it here or on the political threads, and fell this way. 
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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #33 on: April 29, 2017, 07:44:43 »
And the latest from macleans.ca ...
Quote
A day before he backtracked from his false claim that he was the “architect” of Operation Medusa, one of the biggest and most dangerous missions of the war in Afghanistan, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan inexplicably and stubbornly stood by them in a correspondence with me. What happened over the last five days might be called the anatomy of an apology.

The controversy stems from an April 18 speech the Minister delivered at “Conflict Prevention and Peacekeeping in a Changing World,” a conference in New Delhi, India. “On my first deployment to Kandahar in 2006,” the Minister said, “I was the architect of Operation Medusa where we removed 1,500 Taliban fighters off the battlefield … and I was proudly on the main assault.” It was an odd comment. Though Sajjan was a veteran of the 2006 operation, he was in no way the key planner. That role is typically credited to retired Major General David Fraser, then the commander of the Multinational Brigade for Regional Command South, and the man who organized and led Operation Medusa.

On Monday, April 24, I began hearing from a number of senior military veterans who called Sajjan’s claim about his role in Medusa an “exaggeration” and demanded that he correct the record. None of the sources would go on the record because none wanted to question the legitimate bravery Sajjan showed during the 2006 battle and his three tours of duty in Afghanistan. Still, they regarded his comments in India as an inappropriate embellishment of his role. “Sajjan had as much to do with designing Medusa as I did with designing NAFTA,” one source told me.

What did Sajjan really do in Medusa? Back in 2006, then-Brigadier General Fraser wrote a letter commending Sajjan’s “personal bravery” in battle. Fraser wrote that Sajjan’s “analysis was so compelling that it drove a number of large scale theatre-resourced efforts, including Operation Medusa … that resulted in the defeat of the largest Taliban cell yet identified in Afghanistan, with over 1,500 Taliban killed or captured.” So Sajjan’s bravery as an intelligence officer was never in question. But that’s a long way from being the architect of the operation. I contacted Fraser to ask about Sajjan’s recent claim, but he flat out refused to comment.

On Wednesday, April 26, I wrote to the Department of National Defence and asked why the Minister had called himself the “architect” of Medusa. “I do not want to diminish the extraordinary role the Minister played,” I wrote. “However, I have had feedback from several sources who suggest the use of the term ‘architect’ is an exaggeration. I can find no citation where the Minister is credited as the ‘architect’ of Operation Medusa. He was an important member of the team, but no one I spoke to saw him as the ‘architect.’ That role has been credited to the General, in this case, Fraser. As this was a major military operation with many senior military planners, can you please tell me if it is accurate for the Minister to say he was the ‘architect’ of the operation? Did he plan it? Did he originate the plan? Was he the leader of the operation plan? Was he involved in the planning or did he provide Intel that was then verified and used? Why did the Minister call himself the ‘architect” of Medusa?”

I fully expected the Minister to clarify his role, thinking he would repeat what Fraser had written back in 2006—that his intelligence had played a key role in the operation. Instead, he avoided the question and tried to skate. “Operation Medusa was successful because of the leadership, service and sacrifice of many dedicated women and men in the Canadian Armed Forces,” Minister Sajjan wrote. “I was proud to have served with extraordinary Canadians, US and Afghan soldiers who made Operation Medusa successful.”

I immediately wrote back to say that this did not address the fundamental question: Why did the Minister call himself the “architect” of Medusa? I asked his department to further clarify, but they refused to say anything else. “I don’t have anything to add beyond what I just sent,” the Minister’s communications person wrote ...
:pop:
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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #34 on: April 29, 2017, 07:52:24 »
While I can understand why the initial report was placed in the "walt" thread, this is more than a story about some sad, insecure individual who inflated his military service history.

I'll bet he's feeling sad, now.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2017, 10:31:12 by jollyjacktar »

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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #35 on: April 29, 2017, 10:10:00 »
I'll bet he's feeling sad, now.

And has learned a lot about the transition from military to civilian life, and politics :)
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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #36 on: April 29, 2017, 13:25:53 »
Aaaaand, the apology (via FB):
Quote
The response to my remarks about Operation Medusa has been a good reminder of something important for me as a leader - always set a standard that honours those you serve. Another reminder is to own your mistakes.

I made a mistake ‎in describing my role. I wish to retract that description and apologize for it. I am truly sorry.

While I am proud of the role I played during my deployments to Afghanistan, my comments were in no way intended to diminish the roles of my former superiors and fellow soldiers. To them I offer my sincere apologies.

What I should have said is that our military successes are the result of the leadership, service and sacrifice of the many dedicated women and men in the Canadian Forces. Operation Medusa was successful because of leadership of MGen (Ret'd) Fraser and the extraordinary team with whom I had the honour of serving.

I was proud to have served with Canadian, American, and Afghan soldiers who made Operation Medusa successful. I am honoured to serve the women and men of the Canadian Forces today as their Minister.
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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #37 on: April 29, 2017, 13:39:46 »
Too little, too late, methinks.

Members of the CAF are forgiving, dedicated and self effacing. If they have a fault, it's turning their backs on someone that emphasises their own career on the backs of the doers. They may not say anything, but I think they've lost a lot of respect for him. I don't think members of the CAF, being what they are, will do any less than 100% no matter who the boss is. The man they hoped would bring a military perspective to the job, no matter past glories, has just shown himself to be nothing more than a liebral politician. Makes it hard to work for a man like that. :2c:


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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #38 on: April 29, 2017, 13:45:14 »
Agreed.  Respect has been lost.  Even as late as yesterday, he had not changed his story to Evan Solomon.  Now he backpedals.  He has not been the first military personality who entered politics who has lost his 'street cred' with serving and former serving members; and he will not be the last.
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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #39 on: April 29, 2017, 14:28:03 »
It's also telling that both the CDS or MGen(ret) Fraser are refusing to comment on this story.

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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #40 on: April 29, 2017, 14:40:54 »
It's also telling that both the CDS or MGen(ret) Fraser are refusing to comment on this story.

Its not telling that the CDS won't comment. Its telling that he'd rather answer questions about sexual misconduct than answer questions about his boss lying to the Canadian public.

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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2017, 06:34:50 »
Remember the online version of the now-notorious Def Min's speech in India?
Not exactly claiming a medal, but ...

What.  The.  F#$%^&*k???Here's the speech text (also archived) - also attached if links don't work for you.
 :facepalm:
Even though it's (for now, anyway) clearly marked as "Notes" for the Minister, and it says, "Check Against Delivery" (a warning to reporters or anyone following the speech from the text to let them know the speaker may not be saying exactly what the text says), now, we hear something different from the Info-machine:
Quote
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan‘s controversial claim that he was the architect of Operation Medusa, a major offensive in Afghanistan led by Canadian forces in 2006, was not in the speech’s prepared text, according to a senior government source close to the minister.

Sajjan delivered the speech earlier this month in New Delhi.

Though the remarks are posted online and use the normal template for a prepared speech, the source told Global News it was actually a transcript of the speech that was uploaded.

The minister “deviated from the prepared text,” the person said.

Because of the online copy, it was widely reported that the remarks were prepared, which would have meant they were approved by someone who worked for public affairs before Sajjan delivered them. This information reveals that the minister’s decision to inflate his role was entirely his ...
Really?

Funny  - here's what appears to be the YouTube video of the speech posted by the host organization the day after the date of the speech.  Lots of words there that aren't on the "transcript" posted online -- 17:05 in is where he says the architect thing ...

Really?!?

Countdown to media ATIP for original notes, in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 06:49:24 by milnews.ca »
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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #42 on: May 01, 2017, 06:41:47 »
Wasn't "The True ArchitectTM" of Medusa actually an American S5 plans officer who slaved away for the US CG in RC(S), even before LCol Hope handed control of the Canadian Battle group over to (then) LCol Lavoie with (then) BGen Fraser watching from the TOC? ???

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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #43 on: May 01, 2017, 06:51:25 »
Wasn't "The True ArchitectTM" of Medusa actually an American S5 plans officer who slaved away for the US CG in RC(S), even before LCol Hope handed control of the Canadian Battle group over to (then) LCol Lavoie with (then) BGen Fraser watching from the TOC? ???

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 :rofl:


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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #44 on: May 01, 2017, 06:57:31 »
I don't know, HB, he could be a Green Tab, but with his collar popped so awesomely, he could be hiding his staff-trained credentials? ;D

This guy probably always selected the "Most Preposterous" COA. :nod:

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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #45 on: May 01, 2017, 09:53:14 »
More grist for the mill:  one political scientist's commentary, shared under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42) ...
Quote
I spent much of November and December arguing that naming a very recently retired former general as Secretary of Defense is problematic--that there is much confusion to be had, by the former officer, the person who picked him, and the public.  Well, we see in recent days that this argument may have applied to the country to the north as well.

Harjit Sajjan has gotten into hot water for stating that he was the architect for a major effort, Operation Medusa,* in Afghanistan in 2006.  Whether he was or was not (probably not), this is problematic to those soldiers who serves because he is seen as taking credit for what was a multi-person effort.  So, either bragging or lying violates the sense of honor that Canadian soldiers have.  Today, Sajjan will be answering questions about it in Parliament.

So, what is my take?  Is this just a tempest in a teapot? No.  Is this a fireable offense? Probably not. Is this mostly distraction sauce?  Probably.  Let me explain my still confused take.

Sajjan is now a politician and not a military officer.  We tend to view politicians having more liberties with the truth than military officers, including defense ministers/secretaries. So, the sin of lying by Sajjan is not as grievous now as it would have been if he had lied to his commanders or subordinates.  Still, this is now a political problem that the opposition will have much fun playing with.  Will Sajjan lose effectiveness because of this crisis?  That depends on whether you think Sajjan has been effective thus far.  And that is where the problem really lies.

How effective has Sajjan been thus far?  The answer to that partly depends on the eventual release of the Defence Policy Review, but his decisions thus far have been slow and problematic.  The most visible one has been the effort to buy Super Hornets as an interim solution, rather than commit to the F-35 buy or a competition now for that next fighter plane purchase.  Other procurement decisions have been delayed as well, and delays increase costs.  In terms of what the CAF is actually doing in the field, Sajjan has been mostly fine.  Sure, he got stuck with the combat but not combat thing that seems to hit all leaders who are involved in reassuring publics that the democracies are not in Iraq to do conventional war.  The big challenge ahead for the CAF in Iraq is what to do after the Mosul operation, and delays on those decisions have probably limited Canadian options.

All this is to suggest that Sajjan is vulnerable because he has not been that effective.  I doubt he will get fired soon, but he may get shuffled to a new position this summer.

Is this a crisis in Canadian civil-military relations?  Sure, because any time it seems like the military is criticizing the Minister of Defence, we can call it a crisis.  But it is not a stark one and probably a temporary one.  It is certainly not the place for soldiers to call for the firing/resignation of their defense ministers, and all we have is retired officers on the record and maybe some active soldiers off the record.

The big problem here as I hinted above is that putting a recently retired officer in charge of the military creates the perception that the Minister of Defence is going to be an ally of the armed forces.  This is a problem since the job of the Minister is to do most of the oversight over the CAF.  The Prime Minister is too busy with other stuff.  The parliamentarians don't see oversight as their job--they see their job as holding the Minister to account.  There is no other elected official in Canada (and in many other democracies) who has the information necessary to oversee the armed forces.  So, the Minister should not be buddies with the armed forces nor should he be seen as such.  Yet the government made a big deal of picking a "badass" who might just be friends with his former crewmates.  Which creates expectations that not only cannot be met but should not be met.

The other big problem is that this episode will give the opposition an easy but empty issue to play with.  Lying or not about something that happened eleven years ago is really not that important compared to whether Canada is buying the most appropriate military equipment, whether enough money is being spent on operations/training/maintenance (there is no lobby pushing for that rather than spending on equipment (contractors as lobbyists) or personnel (retired soldiers as lobbyists).  But the built-in dysfunction in this political system is that it is far easier to focus on style and flash and not substance.

Is it a problem that the Defence Minister exaggerated or lied about his role long ago?  Sure.  Is it the most important thing going on today in Canadian defence?  Far from it. Not a sexy line for the radio apparently, but true nonetheless.

*  I have heard mixed reviews about the planning of Op Medusa.  Yes, it did clear out the Taliban from posing a threat to Kandahar City, but some people I have talked to over the years did not have a high opinion of General Fraser's tactics during the operation.  The criticism is that the effort was needlessly costly to Canadians because Fraser (and other architects?) did not adapt their plan once the Taliban sprung their own ambushes.  However, I do not really know enough to adjudicate the competing claims.  I am just reporting that there are competing claims.  And not "the earth is not warming" kind of competing claims.
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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #46 on: May 01, 2017, 11:00:09 »
More grist for the mill:  one political scientist's commentary, shared under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42) ...

I am of the opinion that military officers, as a matter of them possessing a Queen's Commission, should refrain from participating in politics.  In my mind, it's a huge conflict of interest having a former serving member as Defence Minister and undermines the entire idea of "Civilian Control" of the Armed Forces.  Has Minister Sajjan renounced his Commission?  I'm sure it proudly hangs on one of his walls.

Offline GAP

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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #47 on: May 01, 2017, 11:15:01 »
I disagree.....having served he has a better perspective of the needs and wants.....the trick is to find a politician with some ethics that don't involve his/her reelection.....
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #48 on: May 01, 2017, 11:26:13 »
I disagree.....having served he has a better perspective of the needs and wants.....the trick is to find a politician with some ethics that don't involve his/her reelection.....

But it's actually contradictory, Harjit Sajjan is legally still a commissioned officer because he hasn't been decommissioned.  How can we have "Civilian Control" when the Minister of National Defence isn't a civilian?

I don't think Commissioned Officers should participate in politics at all but likewise I believe Officers should be entitled to speak publically about matters pertaining to Defence, regardless of whether the government likes it or not.   

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Re: Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)
« Reply #49 on: May 01, 2017, 11:33:19 »
For reference to the discussion,

(7) No member of the Regular Force shall:
a.take an active part in the affairs of a political organization or party;
b.make a political speech to electors, or announce himself or allow himself to be announced as a candidate, or prospective candidate, for election to the Parliament of Canada or a provincial legislature; or
c.except with the permission of the Chief of the Defence Staff, accept an office in a municipal corporation or other local government body or allow himself to be nominated for election to such office.
http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/about-policies-standards-queens-regulations-orders-vol-01/ch-19.page

I believe he was ( is? ) in the PRes.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 11:41:10 by mariomike »
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