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The Clinton-Obama Failure To Confront The "New Normal" Of Terrorism

- March 23, 2016

Yesterday's Terrorist Attack In Brussels Is The Latest Reminder Of How The Dangerous Clinton-Obama Strategy Fails To Confront The Terrorist Threat

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TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Yesterday's ISIS terrorist attack in Brussels is a tragic reminder of how Secretary Clinton and President Obama have failed to prioritize the fight against terrorism.
  • Clinton stands by Obama's failed ISIS strategy, refuses to declare war against ISIS, and won't even admit we're fighting radical Islamic terrorism.
  • Clinton staunchly supports Obama's dangerous plan to close Gitmo and as Secretary of State fought hard to bring detainees to the United States.

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Today, Hillary Clinton Will Make A Counter-Terrorism Speech At Stanford University. "Presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will make an appearance Wednesday morning at Stanford University to deliver a speech on counter-terrorism in the wake of deadly bombings in Belgium earlier today." ("Hillary Clinton To Give Counter-Terrorism Speech At Stanford Today," Fox 2, 3/22/16)

ISIS Has Claimed Responsibility For Yesterday's Attacks In Brussels. "BREAKING: The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Brussels attacks. Three deadly terrorist blasts rocked the Belgian capital Tuesday, leaving more than 30 dead at the Brussels airport and a metro station and striking fear in the heart of the European Union just days after a manhunt captured a key suspect in last year's Paris massacres." (James McAuley, Michael Bimbaum, and Brian Murphy, "The Islamic State Has Claimed Responsibility For The Brussels Attacks," The Washington Post , 3/22/16)

  • As News Of The Explosions In Brussels Emerged Yesterday, Terror Experts Across Europe Seem To Agree That "This Will Not be The Last Attack" And That A "New Normal" Is Emerging. "As news emerged of explosions in Brussels on Tuesday morning, terror experts across Europe could mostly agree at least on one prediction: This will not be the last attack. After the July 7 bombings in London in 2005, Europe and Britain in particular were prepared to become to become the new normal on the continent. That fear did not materialize -- until recently. As the frequency of attacks in Western Europe has risen, so has the number of casualties." (Rick Noack, "Has Terrorism Become The New Normal In Europe," The Washington Post, 3/23/16)

The Economist: "As Long As Jihadists Threaten The West, There Is No Escaping The Need To Act. Welcome To The New Normal." "But as long as jihadists threaten the West, there is no escaping the need to act. Welcome to the new normal." ("Bombings In Brussels: The New Normal," The Economist , 3/23/16)

CLINTON HAS REPEATEDLY STOOD BY OBAMA'S FAILED ISIS STRATEGY

December 2015, Clinton: "We Now Finally Are Where We Need To Be" On ISIS. CLINTON: "Look at these Complex problems. I wish it could be either or; I wish we could say yes, let's go destroy ISIS and let's let Assad continue to destroy Syria which creates more terrorist, more extremist by the minute. No. We now finally are where we need to be. We have a strategy and a commitment to go after ISIS which is a danger to us as well as the region and we finally have a UN Security Council resolution bringing the world together to go after a political transition in Syria. If the United States does not lead there is not another leader, there is a vacuum and we have to lead if we're going to be successful." (Hillary Clinton, Democratic Primary Debate, Manchester, NH, 12/19/15)

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In December 2015, Clinton Said That Obama's ISIS Strategy "Is Close To Mine." QUESTION: "Anything you would have said differently or disagreed with respect to President Obama's address [inaudible]?" CLINTON: "I was really happy that he made the address. I thought it was very important for him to address the nation. And you know, I think his take on what needs to be done is close to mine." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks With The Concord Monitor Editorial Board, 12/8/15)

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Clinton Refuses To Say We Need A New Strategy Against ISIS. STEPHANOPOULOS: "If you were in the Oval Office tonight, would you be announcing a new strategy?" CLINTON: "Well, I think that's what we'll hear from the President, an intensification of the existing strategy." (ABC's "The Week," 12/6/15)

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In February 2015, Clinton Said Obama Is Making "The Right Moves" In The Effort Against ISIS. "On the effort against ISIL, Clinton suggested during the Q&A with journalist Kara Swisher that there was little use in inserting U.S. combat troops into the fight and essentially backed the president's strategy so far. 'It's a very hard challenge, because you can't very well put American or Western troops in to fight this organism,' she said, in her clearest statement yet on the topic. 'You have to use, not only air force but also army soldiers from the region and particularly from Iraq. … A lot of the right moves are being made, but this is a really complicated and long-term problem.'" (Gabriel Debenedetti, "Hillary Clinton Tackles ISIL, Previews Economic Message," Politico, 2/25/15)

  • In June 2014, Clinton Supported Obama's Handling Of ISIS, Saying, "I Would Have Advised Him To Do Exactly As I Believe He Is Now Doing." QUESTION: "If you were in the administration today, what would you have advised President Obama to do in Iraq?" CLINTON: "I would have advised him to do exactly as I believe he is now doing. To tell Maliki there will not be any American involvement whatsoever unless you take the following steps, and that we would begin, through our channels, to reach out to the Sunni tribal chiefs that we had worked with to turn back Al-Qaeda in Iraq. And I don't have the kind of access to the top-secret negotiations any longer, but that's what I believe is happening. Because when you think about how we were able to stop the spread of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, it was by partnering Shiite with Sunni with American support. I think that's the only way you're going to be able to get rid of this so-called ISIS group too. So, that's what I would be looking for and I believe that's probably what the President has put under his list of things that have to be accomplished." ( Interview With Hillary Clinton , NDTV, 6/21/14)

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The Strategy Clinton Is Aligning Herself With Remains To Be Seen As The Obama Administration Has Failed To Meet The Congressionally Mandated Deadline To Produce A Strategy

The White House Missed The Deadline To Deliver Islamic State Strategy To Capitol Hill. "The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Tuesday that the administration is essentially sending troops into the 'wilderness with a compass, but no map' after it failed to deliver a strategy to defeat the Islamic State by Monday's deadline. The fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act required the administration to provide a strategy to counter violent extremism by Monday, a deadline it missed Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said the failure to come through is unsurprising, despite the administration's repeated assurances that its strategy is 'well underway.'" (Jacqueline Klimas, "White House Misses Deadline To Deliver Islamic State Strategy To Capitol Hill," Washington Examiner , 2/16/16)

Yesterday, President Obama's Secretary Of Defense Said That One Month After Missing The Congressional Deadline Of February 15 The ISIS Strategy Is Still Not Ready To Be Turned Over To Congress. REP. MAC THORNBERRY (R-TX): "Do you have any idea on when we might see a strategy to beat ISIS?" SEC. DEF. ASHTON CARTER: "Well thank you chairman, and you're right the Brussels attacks reinforce our need to accelerate the defeat of ISIL. We have a strategy for doing so, I'll describe it in a moment. The strategy document, the strategy report you are asking for, its delivery is imminent. It's a DoD plus other document and we'll get that to you." ( Hearing, House Armed Services Committee, 3/22/16)

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CLINTON AND OBAMA HAVE LONG UNDERESTIMATED THE THREAT OF ISIS

Obama's Former DIA Chief Says The Administration Dismissed Early Warnings Of ISIS Because It Did Not Fit Their Reelection "Narrative"

As Far Back as 2012 "There Were, In Fact, More Than Hints Of [ISIS'] Plans And Potential," But It Was Disregarded By The White House. "And there were, in fact, more than hints of the group's plans and potential. A 2012 report by the United States Defense Intelligence Agency was direct: The growing chaos in Syria's civil war was giving Islamic militants there and in Iraq the space to spread and flourish. The group, it said, could 'declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.' 'This particular report, this was one of those nobody wanted to see,' said Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who ran the defense agency at the time. 'It was disregarded by the White House,' he said. 'It was disregarded by other elements in the intelligence community as a one-off report. Frankly, at the White House, it didn't meet the narrative.'" (Ian Fisher, "In Rise Of ISIS, No Single Missed Key But Many Strands Of Blame," The New York Times , 11/18/15)

  • "A 2012 Report By The United States Defense Intelligence Agency Was Direct: The Growing Chaos In Syria's Civil War Was Giving Islamic Militants There And In Iraq The Space To Spread And Flourish." "And there were, in fact, more than hints of the group's plans and potential. A 2012 report by the United States Defense Intelligence Agency was direct: The growing chaos in Syria's civil war was giving Islamic militants there and in Iraq the space to spread and flourish. The group, it said, could 'declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.' 'This particular report, this was one of those nobody wanted to see,' said Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who ran the defense agency at the time. 'It was disregarded by the White House,' he said. 'It was disregarded by other elements in the intelligence community as a one-off report. Frankly, at the White House, it didn't meet the narrative.'" (Ian Fisher, "In Rise Of ISIS, No Single Missed Key But Many Strands Of Blame," The New York Times , 11/18/15)

Gen. Michael Flynn, Obama's Former Defense Intelligence Agency Chief: The White House Dismissed Early ISIS Warnings Over Reelection "Narrative." TAPPER: "It was not long after you issued that report that President Obama referred to ISIS as the jayvee team. Do you feel your warnings were ignored?" FLYNN: "You know, I think they did not meet a particular narrative that the White House needed, and I'll be very candid with you. I have said, and I believe, that people that were around the president, his sort of inner circle that were advising him, I think advised him incorrectly." TAPPER: "What was the narrative?" FLYNN: "I think the narrative was that al Qaeda was on the run, and bin Laden was dead and he was --" TAPPER: "The election narrative." (CNN's "The Lead With Jake Tapper," 12/1/15)

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National Security Advisor Susan Rice Admitted The Administration Has Only Been "On Top" Of The ISIS Threat When It Took Over Major Iraqi Cities In 2014

National Security Rice Susan Rice Conceded That The Obama Administration Has Only Been "On Top" Of The ISIS Threat Since 2014. ZAKARIA: "Is it fair to say that the President and you, the administration, underestimated ISIS when calling it a Jayvee team?" RICE: "Fareed, I think, look, we have been on top of the threat since the summer of 2014 when ISIL made a significant move to take territory in Iraq. And from that point on, we have acted militarily, but not just militarily, we built diplomatically a coalition of 65 countries."(CNN's " Fareed Zakaria GPS," 12/6/15)

Click To Watch

Clinton Hasn't Admitted We Are At War With ISIS

Clinton Refuses To Say That The United States Is At War Against ISIS. STEPHANOPOULOS: "Is it time to declare war on ISIS?" CLINTON: "Look, we are definitely in conflict with ISIS and I think we need a new update of military authorization, the AUMF, which was passed after the attack after 9/11, should be brought up to..." STEPHANOPOULOS: "Why not declare war?" CLINTON: "Well, declare war is a very legal term as you know so well. I think what we want to do is make sure we have every tool at our disposable to, number one, destroy their would-be caliphate in Syria and in Iraq. Number two, do everything we can to dismantle this very effective virtual jihadist network that they're using on the internet. And number three, do whatever necessary to protect us here at home." STEPHANOPOULOS: "What are you concerned about in the declaration in war?" CLINTON: "Well, I think that the legal experts say, that if we, there are a lot who say that we already have the authority we need to go after ISIS or any international terrorist network, including Al Qaeda and anybody else in the AUMF. I think it is important, though, for the Congress to vote on behalf of the American people and to make sure that we are updating it to take into account the new authorities at risk." (ABC's " This Week," 12/6/15)

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Both Clinton And Obama Refuse To Acknowledge Islamic Terrorism

Clinton Refuses To Categorize Terror As "Radical Islam." STEPHANOPOULOS: "You've also been reluctant to say we're fighting radical Islam. I wonder why not. Isn't it a mistake to not say it plain that the violence is being pushed by radical elements in that faith?" CLINTON: "Well, that's a different thing. Radical elements who use a dangerous and distorted view of Islam to promote their jihadist ambitions, I'm fine with that. I say it all the time. And I go after Islamists, too." STEPHANOPOULOS: "So what's the problem with radical Islam?" CLINTON: "Well, the problem is that that sounds like we are declaring a war against religion. And that, to me, is number one, wrong." (ABC's "This Week," 12/6/15)

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The Obama White House Refuses To Refer To Terror As Islamic. QUESTION: "Okay. And lastly, what is your response to some of the reaction that was expected to come right after the President's address, especially from Republican candidates, saying that this isn't anything new; is this all there is; it's just a couple of bombs each day, that's not really going to defeat ISIS? And again, every time he speaks it's going to keep coming up that he doesn't say radical Islamic terrorism; he called it an 'act of terror,' but he's not wanting to say Islamic. Are you feeling like that is just going to be overly broad and it's going to exacerbate the problem, as you've mentioned? Or is it to the point that he's not going to say it because people are -- his opponents are calling for him to say it? What would be the harm of actually saying that one word?" EARNEST: "Michelle, I think this -- the President essentially covered this in the last four or five paragraphs of his address last night. So I think for careful consideration of this issue, I'd encourage people to go back and look at that part of the speech again. The President made clear, as his predecessor did, that it would only serve ISIL's interest to leave people with the impression that somehow the West or the United States or the entire world is at war with Islam. That's a fantasy. That is not true. There are millions of patriotic Muslims in America right now that are outstanding members of their community, that are serving in the United States military, that are teachers, that are coworkers, that are neighbors, that are friends. And I think the President was quite direct about the role that those Muslim Americans can play in defeating ISIL, both in terms of the responsibility that the Muslim community has to stand up and speak out against those extremist voices inside their community. At the same time, the broader American community has a responsibility to make clear that we're going to work with Muslim Americans to protect our country and to protect those in their community that are at risk of being radicalized." QUESITON: "Calling it an individual act of terror, an act of radical Islamic terror, that would indicate that we're at war with all of Islam?" EARNEST: "Well, it certainly would advance ISIL's narrative that somehow they were acting on behalf of Islam when, in fact, as the President noted yesterday, that the ideology that they are seeking to advance is a gross perversion of that religion." (Josh Earnest, White House Press Briefing, Washington, D.C., 12/7/15)

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CLINTON AND DEMOCRATS SPENT WEEKS ACCUSING REPUBLICANS OF HATRED AND DEMAGOGUERY, BEFORE EVENTUALLY CONCEDING THAT THE FEARS AND CONCERNS ABOUT THE VETTING OF REFUGEES ARE "LEGITIMATE"

Clinton Admitted There Are "Legitimate Fears And Concerns" Over Refugees. CLINTON: "So, there are a number of steps we have to take. And we're going to have to be really focused on going after anybody who poses a threat to us, no matter how they get here. And I know there's a big argument going on in the country about refugees. Look we have to be careful, I understand the legitimate fears and concerns people have. We have to have the toughest possible vetting that our defense department, our intelligence community, homeland security, the state department-everybody has to be as careful as we can. And it does take up to two years." (Hillary Cliton, Remarks, Sioux City, IA, 12/4/15)

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After The Terror Attack In Paris, Clinton And Obama Mocked Concerns Over The Vetting Of Refugees, Dismissing Them As "Inflammatory"

Clinton: "I Have Heard All This Loose Inflammatory Talk About Refugees. … I Don't Think That Does Us Any Good At All." "'I have heard all this loose inflammatory talk about refugees,' she told the Colorado audience. 'I don't think that does us any good at all,' in defeating the Islamic State. 'We must be willing to continue to take refugees into our country,' Clinton said." (Anne Gearan, "Clinton Says Trump Is 'Dealing In Prejudice And Paranoia," The Washington Post , 11/24/15)

  • Clinton: "This Is Not A Time For Scoring Political Points." CLINTON: "And we can get this right. America's open, free, tolerant society is described by some as a vulnerability in the struggle against terrorism, but I actually believe it's one of our strengths. It reduces the appeal of radicalism and enhances the richness and resilience of our communities. This is not a time for scoring political points." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks On The Fight Against ISIS, New York, NY, 11/19/15)

Obama Accused Opponents Of Syrian Refugees Of Being "Scared Of Widows And Orphans Coming Into The United States Of America." "President Obama is lashing out at Republican politicians who oppose allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S., accusing them of being 'scared of widows and orphans.' …'Apparently they are scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America,' Obama said of Republicans. 'At first, they were too scared of the press being too tough on them in the debates. Now they are scared of three year old orphans. That doesn't seem so tough to me.'" (Jordan Fabian, "Obama: GOP Refugee Opponents 'Scared Of Widows And Orphans,'" The Hill, 11/17/15)

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Compared The Concerns Over Refugees To The Turning Away Jews During The Holocaust

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Compared GOP Concerns Over Syrian Refugees To The Holocaust. ""This quickly translated into the most shameful part of the GOP's response to the Paris attacks: the scapegoating and turning away refugees fleeing this same terror in their own countries. We have seen this movie before. In May 1939, the SS St. Louis left Hamburg, Germany carrying more than 900 passengers, nearly all of them Jewish and seeking refuge in the United States. Our country turned them away, and many who were sent back to mainland Europe were killed in the Holocaust. Instead of learning from that mistake - Republican candidates and politicians were eager to repeat it." (Democrat National Committee, "Excerpts From DNC Press Conference Call On GOP Candidates Out-Of-Touch With Jewish Community," Press Release, 12/3/15)

AS SECRETARY, CLINTON FOUGHT TO BRING GITMO TERRORISTS TO THE UNITED STATES

In A January 2013 Memo To Obama, Clinton Said "She Worried That Support For Closing Guantanamo Would Further Erode Unless The Administration Took Action." "Weeks before she stepped down as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton wrote a memo urging President Barack Obama to step up his administration's efforts to close the military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay in his second term. In the confidential January 2013 memo obtained by The Huffington Post, Clinton told Obama she worried that support for closing Guantanamo would further erode unless the administration took action." (Ryan J. Reilly, "We Obtained Hillary Clinton's Confidential Memo To Obama. Read It Here.," The Huffington Post, 11/29/15)

Clinton Told Obama She Remained "A Strong Advocate" Of His Policy To Close Guantanamo Bay Prison . "I remain a strong advocate of your policy to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility (GTMO) responsibility and to ensure U.S. detention policy and practice for terrorism suspects are consist with U.S. values and do not strengthen our enemies." (Hillary Clinton, Memo To Barack Obama, 1/15/13, p. 1, Accessed 11/30/15)

Clinton Advocated For Moving Gitmo Detainees To The U.S. So They Could Face A Trial

In The Memo, Clinton "Advocated For Moving Guantanamo Detainees From The Cuban Prison Into The United States So They Could Face Trial." "She also advocated for moving Guantanamo detainees from the Cuban prison into the United States so they could face trial." (Rebecca Kaplan, "Hillary Clinton Urged Obama To Close Guantanamo Bay," CBS News, 11/30/15)

  • Clinton: "If The Law Permits, I Recommend That You Consider Transfers To The United States For Pre-Trial Detention, Trial, And Sentences." "I recommend that, in a coordinated legislative strategy, you direct efforts to prevent Congress from reenacting the current restriction in FY 2014. … (If the law permits, I recommend that you consider transfers to the United States for pre-trial detention, trial, and sentences.)." (Hillary Clinton, Memo To Barack Obama, 1/15/13, p. 2, Accessed 11/30/15)

As Clinton Pushes To Close GITMO, The Commander Of U.S. Special Operations Command Said He Did Not Know Where We Could Detain And Interrogate Captured Terrorists

General Joseph Votel, Commander Of U.S. Special Operations, Admitted That While There Is A "Requirement For Long Term Detention" Of Captured Terrorists He Doesn't Know Where They Could Be Detained And Interrogated. SEN. KELLY AYOTTE (R-NH): "General we just recently captured someone from ISIS and as I understand it they are being held short term and then they will be turned back to the Kurds. What about long term detention? You would agree that long term interrogation was quite helpful for example in gathering the information we needed to get bin Laden. That's what worries me. What do we do in a long term setting? Do we know?" GEN. VOTEL: "I would agree that there is a requirement for long term detention, Senator." AYOTTE: "And do we know where that would be now?" VOTEL: "I don't know. That is a policy decision that I think is being debated." AYOTTE: "I think that is a policy decision that is basically never been made under this administration. It's one that has been left up in the air. Which means it's left up in the air in a way that I think undermines our national security interests. And I think you all need to know what would happen tomorrow given the great men and women that serve underneath you. We hope they capture these individuals, we interrogate them and we find out what they know in order to prevent attacks on this country and obviously continue to dismantle these terrorism networks. Thank you all." (Committee On Armed Services, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 3/8/16)

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It's No Wonder Everyone Is Leery-The Director Of National Intelligence Said Nearly 200 Former Detainees Are Confirmed Or Suspected Of Retuning To The Fight

The Weekly Standard Headline: "Obama Releases Dangerous Jihadists-Then Misleads Country About It" (Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn, "Obama Releases Dangerous Jihadists-Then Misleads Country About It," The Weekly Standard, 12/14/15)

According To A Report By Obama's Director Of National Intelligence, "196 Former Detainees Are Either Confirmed (117) Or Suspected (79) Of Returning To The Fight." "A handful? Obama is woefully ill-informed or he's being dishonest. According to the most recent report on Guantanamo recidivism, prepared in September 2015 by James Clapper's office, Obama's own Director of National Intelligence, 196 former detainees are either confirmed (117) or suspected (79) of returning to the fight. That's a recidivism rate of more than 30 percent. Intelligence officials tell THE WEEKLY STANDARD those numbers are almost certainly low, as they do not include jihadists the United States and its allies are no longer tracking." (Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn, "Obama Releases that Dangerous Jihadists-Then Misleads Country About It," The Weekly Standard, 12/14/15)

  • "That's A Recidivism Rate Of More Than 30 Percent." (Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn, "Obama Releases Dangerous Jihadists-Then Misleads Country About It," The Weekly Standard , 12/14/15)

Released Guantanamo Prisoners "Return To The Fight With Elevated Status And Often Assume Leadership Roles In The Groups Determined To Attack The U.S. And Its Interests." "Obama continued, describing the process officials use to determine whether a detainee can be released or transferred. 'The judgment that we're continually making is: Are there individuals who are significantly more dangerous than the people who are already out there who are fighting? What do they add? Do they have special skills? Do they have special knowledge that ends up making significant threat to the United States?' It's an odd set of criteria for evaluating threats unless your main objective is emptying the detention facility. These are standards set up to allow the administration to claim that the knowledge base and skill sets of Guantanamo detainees are outdated. But former Guantanamo detainees return to the fight with elevated status and often assume leadership roles in the groups determined to attack the U.S. and its interests. Just like Ibrahim al Qosi." (Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn, "Obama Releases Dangerous Jihadists-Then Misleads Country About It," The Weekly Standard, 12/14/15)


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