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Piracy Somalia

This is a discussion on Piracy Somalia within the Navy & Maritime forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by John Sansom Perhaps the best Mooning might work, too, as a non-violent initiator of physical aggression. On ...


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Old February 1st, 2011   #76
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Perhaps the best Mooning might work, too, as a non-violent initiator of physical aggression.
On the other hand, they may just scoot in nervous bewilderment.

Either way, things'll work out.
Ahhh, a version of the Braveheart ploy.

I tried that one night, when dressed in full regalia, upon tilting the kilt all I got were giggles and one howling with laughter. I'll think I'll try it on men next time, in summer, may get a better result.

Seriously though,
GF & GD, I hear what you're saying. It can be a very fine line.
You must not only be right but you must be seen to right.

The timing though, must keep the odds in the defenders favor, once that starts to tip...that's the judgement call, isn't it?

"Trust me, I'm a nice pirate, really I am"
Uninvited, heavily armed persons, covered by military grade weapons [RPGs etc], boarding your ship in known pirate waters, may seem to exhibit clear cut hostile intent [akin to an armed home invasion].

Initiating righteous armed self defence procedures would be an equally clear cut right, one would think.

In legalese it rates a"Maybe. Actually too many qualifiers to list here.

To expand on GFs [timing of self defence] point, there's a risk that lawyers will try to make the obviously righteous legal defender into the guilty party, usually to push their own agenda, using terms like "excessive force occasioning death" Thus turning the whole notion of right and wrong on its head. Pirates it seems have rights too, even when heavily armed with assault weapons and trespassing on your private property, with obvious intent.

Even when the case is successfully defended, it's a time and treasure loss that is best avoided from the start, which brings us back to the importance of "timing", "self defence" and the "rub" in it all.

School time,
Must pick the urchins up.
Cheers,
Mac
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Old February 1st, 2011   #77
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To expand on GFs [timing of self defence] point, there's a risk that lawyers will try to make the obviously righteous legal defender into the guilty party, usually to push their own agenda, using terms like "excessive force occasioning death" Thus turning the whole notion of right and wrong on its head. Pirates it seems have rights too, even when heavily armed with assault weapons and trespassing on your private property, with obvious intent.
Mac, can we please not over-simplify the discussions on legal concepts (such as, 'reasonableness' and 'proportionality')? I would loath to malign the legal profession in advising the various maritime forces deployed in support of the counter-piracy mission (via generic lawyer bashing, as is the norm in many forums), given that we have members on this forum who are legally trained and also have a military service record. BTW, some of the more astute bloggers informing the public on the issue of Somali pirates are, in fact, lawyers. To give one example, Eagle1, is an attorney and a retired Navy Reserve Captain (Surface Warfare) officer (see link to his blog provided).

The issues that arise in counter-piracy are complex and at times may be a lacuna involved due to fact that many of the issues involved are complex and multi-faceted. I also choose not to deal with the conflict of laws issue (as this is a matter for legal experts) for piracy matters within territorial waters as that is fairly complex.

To start, let us deal with the applicability of the 1988 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA Convention) and it's conflicting provisions relative to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS). If you are interested, please read paragraphs 42 to 49 of the link for some basic information. I'll try my best to state the issues accurately without going too much into the complex legal details that is frankly dry and boring.

At the risk of repeating myself (as I have previously posted some of the information below), please note that the 1982 UNCLOS provides the legal framework setting out which States have jurisdiction over illegal activities at sea. Dr Bev Mackenzie has written a guide explaining 'What is UNCLOS' and he provides an explanation of the key provisions.
(1) As of 5 Feb 2009, 156 States and EU are parties to the 1982 UNCLOS. Other than the US, all other States with warships in the area are parties to the 1982 UNCLOS. BTW, the piracy provisions in 1982 UNCLOS are identical to those in the 1958 Convention on the High Seas.

(2) Article 58(2), provides that the piracy provisions are applicable in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and under Article 107, the navy ships on patrol are entitled to seize the pirate ships. If a vessel is hijacked by pirates and remains under their control, it is a pirate ship.

(3) The right of all States to seize pirate ships on the high seas and arrest persons on board is also an exception to the principle of exclusive jurisdiction of the flag State and these rules regarding piracy also apply to ships in the EEZ of any State.
Under the United Nations Charter, the Security Council (SC) has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. If the SC acts under Chapter VII of the Charter, its decisions are legally binding on all UN members and they prevail over obligations in other conventions. And under SC Resolution 1816 of 2 June 2008 (whose authority has been renewed in other resolutions), States cooperating with the Transitional Somali Federal Government (TSFG) in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, for which advance notification has been provided by the TSFG to the Secretary‐General, may:
(1) Enter the territorial waters of Somalia for the purpose of repressing acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea, in a manner consistent with such action permitted on the high seas with respect to piracy under relevant international law; and

(2) Use, within the territorial waters* of Somalia, in a manner consistent with action permitted on the high seas with respect to piracy under relevant international law, all necessary means to repress acts of piracy and armed robbery.
Just having a warship presence in the area is insufficient, there must be facilities for intelligence collection, a law enforcement detachment to preserve evidence and holding facilities issues must also be addressed as part of the counter-piracy naval logistics.

Let me give another example. When a Singapore naval officer, RADM Miranda, took command of CTF-151 last year, he deployed with a Singaporean military lawyer as part of his command team. That Singapore military lawyer (CPT Kim Jixian), as part of his pre-deployment preparations was even attached to Singapore's MINDEF Legal Services for two-weeks on top of pre-deployment meetings with legal advisers in Combined Maritime Force (CMF). CMF is commanded by USN's VADM William Gortney and the USN has law enforcement type of resources in place to enable the US Government to prosecute pirates where appropriate. In the case the the sole surviving pirate in the Maersk Alabama hijacking incident, he is being tried in New York. To quote Singapore Navy's CPT Kim, who was interviewed in Issue No. 1 2010 of "Navy News" (page 11):
"Balancing our legal obligations under international law with operational realities is a key challenge that I have to overcome on a daily basis. This requires us to be creative in discussing the various options available to ensure compliance with our legal obligations, in a way that minimises operational impact.”
The above quote is indicative of the mindset of the military lawyers at work. And I know that Australian generals when deployed for coalition operations do seek legal advice. The older closed thread on 'Pirates' discusses some of the legal issues and you might want to take a look at some the links provided. In particular, there is an ISEAS viewpoint published in Nov 2008 on how the nations in maritime South East Asia acted together to reduce the pirate scourge in the Malacca Straits.

As gf0012-aust has mentioned before, "a couple of the people in here have direct experience in either track managing pirates, engaging them, protecting unarmed vessels and or have done VBSS - so they certainly have direct experience in the things that matter - to them."

*Note: Territorial waters is waters within the 12 nautical miles limit (22 km) of the Somalia coast.
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Last edited by OPSSG; February 2nd, 2011 at 02:16 AM.
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Old February 1st, 2011   #78
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Not sure about the legalities involved but can states which share jurisdiction over an international waterway actually 'deny' other states the right to provide security in the area?
I'd say yes, - but to military vessels engaged in any activity which could involve the use of armed force.

The Indons and Malaysia are good examples of this as they stated in the open that they would not allow the USN to use the Straits as a pirate patrol. There was some resistance to RAAF providing ISR via the Orions etc....

It is a sensitive issue because no one wants to take away anyones rights and they all want to deal with the problem.

getting a common legal accord has to be the basis of any solution.

armed intervention is the last refuge in a plan, its a reactive solution. It can't be the primary solution.
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Old February 2nd, 2011   #79
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Why the reference to an alcoholic []?
Because I was contemplate of the foolishness of those who wrote the laws that now render them impotent to act. You have to be [very] drunk for their logic to begin to make any kind of sense, much less that of the public that keeps them in power.
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Old February 2nd, 2011   #80
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Perhaps the best approach is to make very rude gestures at a suspected pirate vessel. Mooning might work, too, as a non-violent initiator of physical aggression. If they start winging rpg's one's way, then one can react with things that go "BANG!!" in the night.
Why not use the old dummy-on-a-stick routine?

At least that way you will not have to explain to people how you managed to get shot in the ass.
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Old February 2nd, 2011   #81
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Mac, can we please not over simplify the discussions on legal concepts and malign the legal profession (via generic lawyer bashing), given that we have a few members on this forum who are legally trained and also have a military service record. Some of the more astute bloggers informing the public on the issue of Somali pirates are in fact lawyers. To give one example, Eagle1, is an attorney and a retired Navy Reserve Captain (Surface Warfare) officer (link to his blog provided).
OPSSG,

I too am legally trained, in four years of commercial not criminal law, though I have assisted a number of criminal lawyers on commercial aspects of their brief.

A couple of my best friends are Barristers and there was no attempt on my part to generically bash lawyers, I have no reason to do this.

I wholeheartedly apologise if my choice of words contributed to such an impression but I deny it emphatically.

I did deliberately simplify what could happen if a seemingly straight forward case of self defence was contested by a prosecution team [lawyers] and tried to highlight, simplistically I agree, why and how that team [lawyers] may choose to do so. This to show that objectivity in all cases cannot be guaranteed. It depends where it's heard and if there is any political pressure etc.

I stated it simplistically so non-legal minds would see my point, which is to give an example of a possible legal consequence of "bad timing", as introduced by GF and Greendeath with regards to GD's occupational hazards.
"Lawyers" played a very minor role in my post.

It is a real life problem [Prosecutors choice], for all people who act in self defence, so I mentioned it. In jurisdiction "A" a particular case of self defence may declared justified, yet across the border in jurisdiction "B" our hero may well face years behind bars for excessive force.

I would be more than happy for members who are well versed in this area to give a better example, I wasn't trying to give a law lecture, chapter and verse, just a simple example to highlight the pitfalls in GD's profession and of course how lawyers can detrimentally influence that.

Not all lawyers in the world are equal in ethics or nobly motivated ie. non-political, that's a fact of life. I can't change that and I most certainly wouldn't lump all lawyers in one "generic" basket. It can't be a world first that a prosecutor may take a case to advance his career, again I would ask those more learned amongst us to search their memories. I suspect the answer could be "how many examples do you want?"

As there are well qualified legal minds on the forum I would ask them how many examples can they give where the original victim in an assault or home invasion case has also had to face charges? Again, I suspect the answer would be the same.

I would also ask them how often the question has been asked in these cases "can you prove [the deceased/injured intruder] had the intent to use his weapon on you? This to justify the his/her actions in defence in face of an armed assault on his own property? Whether owner or guard.

Lawyers ask and lawyers advise on refuting these question. Lawyers sit as judges. Does this mean there all immoral and must be "maligned", of course not and that was never my intention nor my words.

Many lawyers, to their credit, take " Pro Bono" cases because they think it's the right thing to do. In other words they act on personal choice, they may choose to help a crippled child, they may equally choose to prosecute [if in a position to do so] say, a foreign anti-pirate security guard for their own reasons.

As the defendant, the original victim, is defended by lawyers, so equally is he/she prosecuted by lawyers, who all in my experience, can do so for personal reasons.
That is not denigrating lawyers, just relating the facts.

I most certainly had an acid bite in my comment on "pirates rights", I was being sarcastic, I admit, about a situation that more often than deserves it IMO.

I have been over and over my post and still can't see where I slandered "all" lawyers. I certainly don't hold in high regard any who would abuse the law for their gain.

I don't see it in my words but as already stated if I somehow gave that impression I apologise for any unintended offense, though no lawyer of my acquaintance would have given my words a second thought.

This is a long post because wanted you to understand exactly what my opinions are and why I hold them on this issue. I do not and have no reason to vilify or in any way denigrate or slander ALL lawyers.

Thanks for the link, I'll certainly visit there.

Best Regards,
Mac
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Old February 2nd, 2011   #82
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Because I was contemplate of the foolishness of those who wrote the laws that now render them impotent to act. You have to be [very] drunk for their logic to begin to make any kind of sense, much less that of the public that keeps them in power.
Cheers,
John almost got it, I wasn't even close. LOL
Cheers,
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Old February 2nd, 2011   #83
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Mac, can we please not over-simplify the discussions on legal concepts (such as, 'reasonableness' and 'proportionality')? I would loath to malign the legal profession in advising the various maritime forces deployed in support of the counter-piracy mission (via generic lawyer bashing, as is the norm in many forums), given that we have members on this forum who are legally trained and also have a military service record. BTW, some of the more astute bloggers informing the public on the issue of Somali pirates are, in fact, lawyers. To give one example, Eagle1, is an attorney and a retired Navy Reserve Captain (Surface Warfare) officer (see link to his blog provided).

The issues that arise in counter-piracy are complex and at times may be a lacuna involved due to fact that many of the issues involved are complex and multi-faceted. I also choose not to deal with the conflict of laws issue (as this is a matter for legal experts) for piracy matters within territorial waters as that is fairly complex.

To start, let us deal with the applicability of the 1988 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA Convention) and it's conflicting provisions relative to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS). If you are interested, please read paragraphs 42 to 49 of the link for some basic information. I'll try my best to state the issues accurately without going too much into the complex legal details that is frankly dry and boring.

At the risk of repeating myself (as I have previously posted some of the information below), please note that the 1982 UNCLOS provides the legal framework setting out which States have jurisdiction over illegal activities at sea. Dr Bev Mackenzie has written a guide explaining 'What is UNCLOS' and he provides an explanation of the key provisions.
(1) As of 5 Feb 2009, 156 States and EU are parties to the 1982 UNCLOS. Other than the US, all other States with warships in the area are parties to the 1982 UNCLOS. BTW, the piracy provisions in 1982 UNCLOS are identical to those in the 1958 Convention on the High Seas.

(2) Article 58(2), provides that the piracy provisions are applicable in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and under Article 107, the navy ships on patrol are entitled to seize the pirate ships. If a vessel is hijacked by pirates and remains under their control, it is a pirate ship.

(3) The right of all States to seize pirate ships on the high seas and arrest persons on board is also an exception to the principle of exclusive jurisdiction of the flag State and these rules regarding piracy also apply to ships in the EEZ of any State.
Under the United Nations Charter, the Security Council (SC) has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. If the SC acts under Chapter VII of the Charter, its decisions are legally binding on all UN members and they prevail over obligations in other conventions. And under SC Resolution 1816 of 2 June 2008 (whose authority has been renewed in other resolutions), States cooperating with the Transitional Somali Federal Government (TSFG) in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, for which advance notification has been provided by the TSFG to the Secretary‐General, may:
(1) Enter the territorial waters of Somalia for the purpose of repressing acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea, in a manner consistent with such action permitted on the high seas with respect to piracy under relevant international law; and

(2) Use, within the territorial waters* of Somalia, in a manner consistent with action permitted on the high seas with respect to piracy under relevant international law, all necessary means to repress acts of piracy and armed robbery.
Just having a warship presence in the area is insufficient, there must be facilities for intelligence collection, a law enforcement detachment to preserve evidence and holding facilities issues must also be addressed as part of the counter-piracy naval logistics.

Let me give another example. When a Singapore naval officer, RADM Miranda, took command of CTF-151 last year, he deployed with a Singaporean military lawyer as part of his command team. That Singapore military lawyer (CPT Kim Jixian), as part of his pre-deployment preparations was even attached to Singapore's MINDEF Legal Services for two-weeks on top of pre-deployment meetings with legal advisers in Combined Maritime Force (CMF). CMF is commanded by USN's VADM William Gortney and the USN has law enforcement type of resources in place to enable the US Government to prosecute pirates where appropriate. In the case the the sole surviving pirate in the Maersk Alabama hijacking incident, he is being tried in New York. To quote Singapore Navy's CPT Kim, who was interviewed in Issue No. 1 2010 of "Navy News" (page 11):
"Balancing our legal obligations under international law with operational realities is a key challenge that I have to overcome on a daily basis. This requires us to be creative in discussing the various options available to ensure compliance with our legal obligations, in a way that minimises operational impact.”
The above quote is indicative of the mindset of the military lawyers at work. And I know that Australian generals when deployed for coalition operations do seek legal advice. The older closed thread on 'Pirates' discusses some of the legal issues and you might want to take a look at some the links provided. In particular, there is an ISEAS viewpoint published in Nov 2008 on how the nations in maritime South East Asia acted together to reduce the pirate scourge in the Malacca Straits.

As gf0012-aust has mentioned before, "a couple of the people in here have direct experience in either track managing pirates, engaging them, protecting unarmed vessels and or have done VBSS - so they certainly have direct experience in the things that matter - to them."

*Note: Territorial waters is waters within the 12 nautical miles limit (22 km) of the Somalia coast.
Now I really am confused,

I just got home from a trip to the airport and read your edited post.

Much of what you appear to be correcting me on agrees with what I argued in posts #42 and #44 re. the EEZ and Territorial waters etc.

It was not me who was arguing that piracy was no longer a crime and that foreign nations couldn't operate within an EEZ in opposition to pirates.

I did agree it was a legal minefield and I did not make any claims that I knew the answers definitively but that I knew enough to quote relevant passages and post links to UN sites etc.

From reading my posts and yours one can see we are largely in agreement, ["Largely" not because we disagree but you have addressed issues I didn't touch upon] though you provide much more detail.

Please reread my posts again esp.#42/44 as the detail you've posted proves ie supports, the points I was trying to make against another posters diametrically opposing view.

I thank you for the additional information but I remain confused as to how you allocated me a point of view I do not hold and am, in print, in opposition to ie. to #40.

Cheers,
Mac

Last edited by JoeMcFriday; February 2nd, 2011 at 06:15 AM. Reason: Corrected post numbers
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Old February 2nd, 2011   #84
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hi mac

hello again, a lot of what i am reading is informative but hardly applicable in real life scenarios, i feel very confident that if an encounter with armed pirates occured,in international waters i.e unauthorised attempted boarding , faliure to desist after clear warnings .. a prosecution of a licenced security operative would be futile,as numerous cases against blackwater operators working in iraq were dropped due to flaws in collecting evidence, i feel the same would happen in piracy cases
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Old February 2nd, 2011   #85
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hello again, a lot of what i am reading is informative but hardly applicable in real life scenarios, i feel very confident that if an encounter with armed pirates occured,in international waters i.e unauthorised attempted boarding , faliure to desist after clear warnings .. a prosecution of a licenced security operative would be futile,as numerous cases against blackwater operators working in iraq were dropped due to flaws in collecting evidence, i feel the same would happen in piracy cases
Hi GD,
No argument from me on that probable outcome.

By the way, I wasn't suggesting you or your team were thugs [or cowboys], just that they are the polar opposites to pros. in private contracting. One sleeps better with the latter on the job is my point.

More later,
Mac
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Old February 2nd, 2011   #86
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hi again,cowboy comment not aimed at you in any way.just for the benefit of people who tar us all with the same brush.regulation & discipline is paramount in most pmc's iv'e encountered . although of course some are pretty lax im sad to say
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Old February 2nd, 2011   #87
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hi again,cowboy comment not aimed at you in any way.just for the benefit of people who tar us all with the same brush.regulation & discipline is paramount in most pmc's iv'e encountered . although of course some are pretty lax im sad to say
Hi Greendeath,

For all my human foibles, the number varies depending on who you ask, "tarring people with the same brush", a form of bigotry, is definitely not included.

As much as I like facts, I had already assumed from the manner of your posts you were not a cowboy, just wanted to make that clear.

I've had a look at Eagle's blog, link in OPSSG's post, you might like to take a peek yourself.

Cheers.
Mac
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hi again mac
thanks for the link mac,as i feared, didnt really agree with its tone,although not anti american in any way the saying "some are more equal than others" springs to mind , i give you the maersk alabama where direct action by the us navy was sanctioned when u.s citizens were at risk,the assumption that crews on vessels not privately protected will suffer dire consequences is also bogus..this atmosphere of appeasement & impotence just perpetuates & compounds the problem.. have to disagree with assumption that ships engaging PMC's are the minority, not in my experience, its on the rise,more forward thinking companies ( who's people/equipment & cargo im entrusted to protect) employ a rather different maxim . hope for the best, prepare for the worst!
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Old February 2nd, 2011   #89
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There was some resistance to RAAF providing ISR via the Orions etc....

It is a sensitive issue because no one wants to take away anyones rights and they all want to deal with the problem.
I was under the impression that RAAF Orions have already been running patrols over the Straits of Melaka for many years as part of their deployments to Butterworth. The reluctance to have the USN patrol the straits is driven largely by the foreign policies and internal politics of both countries.

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Old February 2nd, 2011   #90
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hi again mac
thanks for the link mac,as i feared, didnt really agree with its tone,although not anti american in any way the saying "some are more equal than others" springs to mind , i give you the maersk alabama where direct action by the us navy was sanctioned when u.s citizens were at risk,the assumption that crews on vessels not privately protected will suffer dire consequences is also bogus..this atmosphere of appeasement & impotence just perpetuates & compounds the problem.. have to disagree with assumption that ships engaging PMC's are the minority, not in my experience, its on the rise,more forward thinking companies ( who's people/equipment & cargo im entrusted to protect) employ a rather different maxim . hope for the best, prepare for the worst!
GD,
As your are actually working in the field [though the field is an ocean. LOL], your comments are well worth hearing. Thanks for taking the time to visit the blog, I found it interesting though it quoted many of the same sources I've already used.

Current involvement of the commentator adds a degree of defensibility to the validity of a viewpoint/s that others may be criticized for holding, though they are identical in substance and arrived at by different means.

I don't wish to be misquoted so I'll only say I value your input and note I'm not arguing against it.

Cheers,
Mac
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