B. Todd Jones is leaving as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives effective March 31st. Speculation on this started building on Thursday and it was confirmed on Friday by the BATFE itself in a press release.
Coming on the heels of BATFE’s backpedaling on their M855/SS109 bullet/ammo ban, one might assume he was leaving to save the Obama Administration any more embarrassment over this debacle. Obama is famous for throwing people under the bus at the first sign of trouble.
I doubt that they expected the level of response from Congress, gun rights groups, and especially the public that they received. A reported 310,000 plus letters, faxes, and emails were sent to BATFE in response to their “ATF Framework”. The typical response is probably less than 10,000 comments to a proposed change and more than likely a lot less than that.
That said, while the M855 debacle may have played some role in the timing of the announcement, it my firm opinion that it isn’t the reason Jones is leaving BATFE for the NFL. One does not just leave one job one day and find a senior level position paying a multi-million dollar salary the next. It doesn’t happen that way. It takes months for something like that to come together.
From a New York Post article published on Sunday, it seems that the NFL has been pursuing Jones for quite some time. The NFL needed an investigative counsel to show the world that they are serious about cleaning up the league. Who better than a former Marine who had served as US Attorney in two different administrations and who was now running the agency that dealt with firearms given the problems that many of their players seem to have with guns. The fact that Jones is African-American and that approximately 68% of the league’s players are also African-American added to his allure for them.
“Jones is going to be in charge of the NFL’s personal-conduct policy,” the source said.
His work will involve “determining the length of suspensions and handing out fines,” the source said, adding that the job will pay “several million a year.”
“The NFL courted Jones for a while. They went after him, and recently things started heating up. The deal came very fast,” the source said.
The article in the New York Post goes on to say that the BATFE job was “wearing” on Jones. I’m sure it was as he had never managed anything larger than a US Attorney’s Office. As the US Attorney for Minnesota, all he had to deal with was the local media and his friends in the Department of Justice. He wasn’t being subjected to intense scrutiny by the national media nor was he being hauled up to Capitol Hill on a regular basis. Moreover, Eric Holder wasn’t going to have his back anymore given his announced departure.
Jones was an ineffectual leader at BATFE. He didn’t clean up the Project Gunwalker mess left behind by Kenneth Melson. The heads of the Phoenix-based operation, William Newell and George Gillett, are still at BATFE. William McMahon was allowed to double-dip before he left for a security job in the private sector. And that is just the tip of the problematic iceberg that was the BATFE run by Jones. Given all of that, is it any wonder that he is taking the money and running?
The Senate Judiciary Committee takes up the nomination of B. Todd Jones to be the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives next Tuesday, June 4th, at 10am – it has been rescheduled to June 11th at 9:30am. Jones is currently the Acting Director as well as the US Attorney for the District of Minnesota. Interestingly, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) will be presiding over this nomination hearing instead of Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT).
Given the Obama Administration’s efforts to punish whistle blowers as well as intimidate the press, Mr. Jones’ roll in this should be examined. Last July, Jones issued a video to all ATF employees under his “Changecast” set of videos. Changecast No. 8 was entitled Choices and Consequences. While Jones tried to portray this as a warning not to do stupid stuff, most in the field took it as a warning not to follow the path of whistle blowers like Senior Agent John Dodson. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) saw it this way as well and pressed him on this. I don’t know if he ever bothered to answer their letter.
Even if Jones sticks with his denial that it was meant as a warning to whistle blowers, it most certainly has had that impact. A case in point is the CleanUpATF.org website. Many who have followed this blog for a while know that it is a website run by and for dissident ATF agents who were fed up with the cronyism, stupidity, and malfeasance of the ATF leadership.
I’m sure veiled and not so veiled threats have been made to ATF Special Agents that they are to keep their mouths shut if they want to keep their badge. I do realize that correlation isn’t causation but I don’t think CUATF going quiet is just happenstance. While I do think ATF needs a permanent director, I don’t think B. Todd Jones is the person for the job.
UPDATE:The webmaster at CUATF posted the following on June 4th regarding the nomination of B. Todd Jones and their adamant opposition to it. I think they make a good case as to why B. Todd does not deserve to serve as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will soon hold hearings
regarding B. Todd Jones, Barrack Obama’s nominee to become the next
Director of ATF. By anyrational measure, Jones has been a pathetic disgrace and utter failure as ATF’s Acting Director. He represents exactly what is wrong
with the Bureau; a profound lack of integrity, transparency and
competence, shameless cronyism, vicious protection of the ATF management
“good `ol boy club”, and institutionalized corruption. His
confirmation as Director will only ensure that what was once one of the
world’s greatest law enforcement agencies will contine to decline and
fail in its primary mission. If anything, Jones should be summarily fired, if not prosecuted for his breathtaking malfeasance as Acting Director.
While it is certainly true that ATF desperately needs a
permanent Director, can’t we do better than this? In a nation of over
300 million people, can’t we find someone who actually has the basic
integrity, commitment to justice, and elemental competence to finally
put an end to the embarrassing plague of disgusting corruption and
managerial stupidity that has paralyzed the Bureau for far too many
As Acting Director of ATF, B. Todd Jones has:
Played a starring role in ATF’s criminal obstruction of justice and
outrageous stonewalling of Congress in a wide variety of matters, but
particularly with regard to the “Fast & Furious” debacle.
Engaged in flagrant relatiatory conduct against legitimate
Whistleblowers. He is currently the subject of several federal
investigations for this illegal conduct.
Presided over one of if not the lowest government-wide employee approval ratings ever recorded since such surveys have been conducted.
Repeatedly protected, promoted or otherwise rewarded profoundly
incompetent and corrupt managers, including the SAC/DAD of Milwaukee,
who was directly responsible for ignominously failed operations. Jones
personally ensured that this beacon of performance was quietly
transferred to where he had been begging to go for years.
Allowed the ATF Reno office to be closed due solely to grotesquely incompetent local leadership, with zero adverse consequences for the guilty managers.
Personally approved or at least looked the other way regarding the
blatantly illegal arrangement” under which William McMahon, one of the
primary perpetrators in the horrendous “Fast & Furious” scandal, was
allowed to “double-dip” (collect a “no-show” ATF paycheck while
actually working elsewhere) in flagrant violation of federal law and ATF
policy. This was most likely done to buy McMahon’s silence and protect
both the Obama Administration and ATF from rightful scrutiny.
Personally assisted the notoriously lawless, abusive and shockingly
corrupt Chief Counsel’s office to unlawfully attack, smear, relaiate
against and personally destroy legitimate Whistleblower and EEOC
complainants, while aggressively protecting the litany of corrupt
managers who necessitated the complaints.
Promoted one of the most viciously corrupt, dishonest and
incompetent managers in the history of ATF (and that is really saying
something) to head the Bureau’s Internal Affairs Division.
Has repeatedly rewarded unethical or demonstrably incompetent
Assistant Directors that have miserably failed in their HQ duties by
giving them paid moves back to cushy SAC positions of their choice.
Engaged in numerous additional actions to cover ATF management’s
asses at all costs, regardless of trivial considerations such as truth,
justice, law, policy or the disasterous consequences that all of this
corruption has wrought on the agency and its ability to protect the
The U.S. Congressional Committee on
Government Oversight and Reform assesses B. Todd Jones’ tenure as Acting
ATF Director as follows:
Failure to hold all the ATF personnel responsible for Operation Fast and Furious accountable–
Nearly two years have gone by since the congressional investigation
began. Still, several key individuals identified by both Congress and
the Inspector General as having played prominent roles in using reckless
tactics remain with the agency.
Failure to support Fast and Furious whistleblowers–
The Congressional investigation, the independent Department of Justice
Inspector General, and an internal ATF review during Jones’ tenure exonerated the Fast and Furious whistleblowers.
Yet, Jones has never commended or publicly defended these agents who
brought the wrongdoing in Operation Fast and Furious to light. These whistleblowers faced retaliation
from both inside and outside the Department of Justice, but Jones has
steadfastly declined to recognize their heroic efforts to stop ATF
Perceived hostility to ATF whistleblowers – In a video sent agency wide, Jones instructed ATF employees not to complain about problems outside their chain of command.
ATF released the video as Fast and Furious remained prominently in the
news. Agents within ATF were concerned enough to contact Congress
about what they perceived to be a veiled threat and indirect criticism
of Fast and Furious whistleblowers who spoke to Congress and reporters
about gunwalking after complaints to ATF officials had fallen on deaf
Affording special treatment to ATF supervisor cited for negligence in Fast and Furious – In a particularly outrageous series of events, one of the key players in Operation Fast and Furious accepted a lucrative job at J. P. Morgan
while still on ATF’s payroll. While the agency had no obligation to do
so, the supervisor was given a special waiver under Jones’ tenure as
Acting Director to remain employed by ATF while he simultaneously worked
for J.P. Morgan. This was apparently done so that the agent could gain
seniority for his government pension.
An unwillingness to engage Congress – Jones
has refused to discuss his actions and problems within his agency
related to Operation Fast and Furious with congressional investigators.
This position stands in stark contrast to his predecessor, former
Acting ATF Director Ken Melson, who proactively sought an opportunity
to tell investigators his understanding of what had gone wrong in
Operation Fast and Furious and with the Justice Department’s flawed
response to whistleblower allegations.
Failure to apply lessons ATF has learned from Fast and Furious
– Jones has, to date, exhibited a general failure to articulate to
Congress, ATF agents, and the public his understanding of what went
wrong, who is responsible, and what ATF needs to do in the future to be
successful in its mission of enforcing firearms laws. He has not
offered plans for reforming or restructuring the failed supervisory
framework that allowed reckless tactics to continue for over a year and
contributed to the death of a Border Patrol agent and numerous Mexican
Please contact your Congressmen and Senators immediately and urge them to just say “Hell No!” to B. Todd Jones.
I tend to scan the press releases from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives where they crow about their latest exploit as the “Violent Crime Bureau”. They usually involve felons in possession or drug dealers getting sent to prison with the occasional straw purchase thrown in for good measure. The press releases are officially from the US Attorney’s Office for the relevant local judicial district.
Today I happened to read one concerning a felon in possession. The headline for the release read “Austin Felon Sentenced for Possessing Assault Rifle.” I immediately wondered how some felon got a full-auto rifle which was an error on my part. Instead it was one of those ugly guns with the shoulder thing that goes up. In other words, a semi auto rifle which in this case probably was a Saiga or one of the many AK clones.
MINNEAPOLIS – Earlier today in federal court in St. Paul, a 31-year-old felon from Austin was sentenced for possessing an assault rifle. United States District Court Judge Richard H. Kyle sentenced Samuel James Johnson to 180 months in prison on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Johnson, who was indicted on April 17, 2012, pleaded guilty on June 6, 2012.
In his plea agreement, Johnson admitted that on November 4, 2010, he possessed a 7.62 x .39 caliber, semi-automatic assault-style rifle.
This press release came from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota. The US Attorney there is B. Todd Jones who is also the Acting Director of BATFE.
I guess one shouldn’t expect the press to get the difference between an “assault rifle” and a so-called “assault weapon” straight if even the agency tasked with the enforcement of firearm laws or its Acting Director doesn’t.
US Attorney for Minnesota and Acting Director of BATFE, B. Todd Jones, has been distributing a number of videos called “Changecasts” to BATFE agents and employees telling how he plans to run the agency. His Changecast #8: Choices and Consequences sent out July 9th is below.
“Choices and consequences means simply that if you make poor choices, that if you don’t abide by the rules, that if you don’t respect the chain of command, if you don’t find the appropriate way to raise your concerns to your leadership, there will be consequences,” Acting Director B. Todd Jones told the employees in a video distributed July 9 by email and closed-circuit TV and obtained by the Washington Guardian.
The 3 minute, 22 second videotape was the last of eight “Changecasts” that Jones distributed to ATF employees in recent weeks to describe how he planned to run the agency, improve morale and instill a new culture in the aftermath of one of the agency’s worst scandals.
ATF officials in Washington and rank-and-file agents told the Washington Guardian that the tape was interpreted by many as a warning not to pursue the path of the Arizona agents who went outside the agency in 2011 and reported concerns to Congress about the bungled Fast and Furious gun probe that let semiautomatic weapons flow to Mexican drug gangs.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, reacted strongly to reports of this video and the implied message. They are demanding that Jones provide them a clarification of the intent of his statements by July 25th.
WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa today urged the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to clarify his remarks to employees about reporting concerns within the agency. Grassley and Issa expressed concern that the remarks are likely to chill whistleblowers from reporting legitimate problems and undermine a necessary function for making improvements. The concern is significant because whistleblowers recently put their careers on the line to expose the operational tactics in Operation Fast and Furious that might have led to the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
In a video message released to ATF staff on July 9, 2012, ATF Acting Director Todd Jones says, “… if you make poor choices, that if you don’t abide by the rules, that if you don’t respect the chain of command, if you don’t find the appropriate way to raise your concerns to your leadership, there will be consequences. …”
Grassley and Issa wrote to Jones, stating that the essence of whistleblowing is reporting problems outside of an employee’s chain of command, and whistleblowers were instrumental in exposing the shortcomings of the government’s botched gun-walking operation, Fast and Furious. Grassley and Issa wrote to Jones, “Your ominous message – which could be interpreted as a threat – is likely to have a major chilling effect on ATF employees exercising their rights to contact Congress. Therefore, it needs to be clarified.”
Grassley and Issa also wrote, “On numerous occasions, we have stressed to ATF and the Department of Justice the importance of protecting whistleblower disclosures and preventing retaliation against whistleblowers.”
Jones has been doing a dog and pony show along with the Changecasts at various BATFE offices around the country. Agents have been strongly encouraged to attend and to submit questions in advance. Originally they were told that everything would be on the table. A post by whistle-blower Vince Cefalu at CleanUpATF.org puts the lie to the “everything on the table” discussions.
As you may know, our new Acting Director Mr. Jones and select staff are traveling the country holding Town Hall meetings for what they have said is an effort to encourage and improve communication, as well as get input from all of us. And as some of you know, I have had a public presence in questioning and pointing out significant and dangerous practices by management of ATF, and have been used as a public face for other ATF personnel who wanted to remain anonymous involving cases and initiatives which have gone horribly wrong and in more than one instance cost innocent lives. We all know we cannot stand by and let ATF disintegrate, and Congress apparently now knows it too.
You need to know that when the Town Hall was scheduled to come to the San Francisco Field Office, I contacted San Francisco Management staff to advise I would like to participate. We had all been advised in writing by one of the ASAC’s that “All active employees (which I am) are encouraged to attend.” I was also advised that all questions and concerns must be submitted in writing ahead of time, so that ATF would have the questions or concerns by close of business one week in advance. So I submitted my questions. I drove (on my own dime) over 200 miles to attend. At close of business on July 10, (the night before) I was advised I would not be allowed to attend. You may want to know about this action by ATF against one of ATF’s so-called “whistleblowers.” I have said nothing publicly.
As to the theme of the Changecast – Choices and Consequences – it has provoked some discussion on CUATF as well. You may remember that a BATFE confidential informant with a history of violence against women in the Seattle area was arrested for raping and abusing an 18-year old girl. That informant had been ultimately approved by Seattle SAC Kelvin Crenshaw. While the first-level supervisor resigned, Crenshaw is still on the job.
“Choices and consequences” my ass Mr. Jones. Do you have any idea how disingenuous you sound given that YOU BROUGHT KELVIN BACK TO WORK AS A SAC????? Or weren’t Kelvin’s choices deserving of any consequences? I cannot wait to see you attempt to explain that one while at the same time trying to justify letting your managers suspend every agent who sneezes. Especially those agents involved in exposing your regime’s nasty antics. And by the way Mr. Jones, you may want to ask Julie Torres what comments she has made about going after the CleanUp posters. I’m thinking that’s probably not going to look too good in the light of day either. Bummer huh Jones?
Finally, Agent Jay Dobyns who became a whistle-blower after he was hung out to dry, his home burned, and his family threatened by the Hells Angels with no protection whatsoever from BATFE, had this to say, in part, about the Changecast and the disfunctional management culture at BATFE.
I saw the Changecast from Acting Director Jones when it was posted. Perception is reality and the perception is that if you don’t play by the rules they are coming after you. I agree with that. Trust me, I fully understand ATF consequences. I have suffered under both justified and unjusitified consequences in my 25 years. When I had it coming I took it like a man and didn’t make excuses or perjure myself to avoid them. When they weren’t justified I didn’t roll over and play coward like they wanted me to.
The problem is the whistleblowers I know have all played by the rules and presented complaints to first, second and third level supervisors, the Ombudsmans office, Internal Affiars, the EEOC, the OIG and OSC, Congress and finally the media. None that I am personally aware of immediately jumped tough and put themselves in front of a reporter or camera. What Acting Director Jones does not discuss is the utter lack of interest when whistleblowers follow the rules. He talks as if the process is balanced but the truth is it is a one-way street. You get NO attention or concern until an executive is embarrassed in the media. Not even an acknowlegement of a complaint beyond a boilerplate email – thank you for your interest; we are very concerned; blah, etc.
Lump the Changecast message with the institutional history of ATF retaliations (still ongoing). Then add in guys like Thomasson who openly state their intent to trainwreck whistleblowers (when interviewed on his statement claimed that he “did not know and does not care”). Take the managers in Phoenix who attacked and derailed the lives of honest agents like Forcelli and Canino and have not been held accountable (Thomasson’s plan being enacted). And then top it off with a “no oversight” policy for the Office of Chief Counsel who has an undeniable track record of whistleblower ambushes. What does that leave you?
An agency where the fear of speaking the truth will leave you in such a demolished state of career, reputation, family and finance that any agent with a brain cell is going to shut up, keep their heads down, let someone else get their head chopped off, and continue to work on (more like survive) in a culture where no one of influence is willing to hear the truth. ATF’s acomplishments have historically been made in spite of our executives, not because of them. Is every executive bad? No. Come on. No one is saying that. But the ones who are, they’re out of control bad and the good ones don’t do a damn thing to reign in their peers for fear that someday the dirty boss could be their boss and the retaliation could come down on them. ATF executives are masters of playing it safe.
While B. Todd Jones will deny that he intended for his Changecast to be seen as a threat to whistle-blowers at BATFE, the message to the field and to management has come across loud and clear – shut-up. As David Codrea’s National Gun Rights Examiner column from Monday makes clear, it is working as other potential whistle-blowers have refused to come out due to fear of retaliation.
David Codrea writing in his National Gun Rights Examiner column today says that ATF Acting Director Todd Jones has given us “kabuki” instead of a real shakeup with the changes he announced yesterday in the senior management of ATF. Or as David headlines his column, meet the new boss – same as the old boss.
As any Who fan knows – or anyone that watches CSI: Miami – those lyrics come from the last stanza of The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.
I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again
Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss
And so, in honor of Todd Jones’ reshuffling at ATF HQ, here is The Who.
Jones says he plans to take the pulse inside the agency, refocus its energy on law enforcement priorities, and bring stability to the agency.
“They haven’t had a confirmed director at ATF in almost six years,” Jones said. “I will be the fifth acting director at ATF and that lack of stability takes its toll on an organization and I go into this knowing full well that there’s a lot of work to do.”
The full interview can be heard by clicking on the embedded link below.
The Department of Justice released this just a bit ago announcing that Kenneth Melson is being reassigned outside of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and that the U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota B. Todd Jones is being appointed the Acting Director. At the same time, DOJ has announced that Dennis Burke, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona is leaving. More on that in another post.
It is interesting to note that Todd Jones will serve as both U.S. Attorney for Minnesota and as Acting Director of ATF. I would have thought they would have learned their lesson about a part-time Director after the experience of Michael Sullivan as both U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts and Acting Director of ATF. They didn’t seem to work out too well.
Department of Justice Announces New Acting Director of ATF and Senior Advisor in the Office of Legal Policy
WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice today announced the appointments of U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota B. Todd Jones to serve as Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson to become Senior Advisor on forensic science in the Office of Legal Policy (OLP).
“As a seasoned prosecutor and former military judge advocate, U.S. Attorney Jones is a demonstrated leader who brings a wealth of experience to this position,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “I have great confidence that he will be a strong and steady influence guiding ATF in fulfilling its mission of combating violent crime by enforcing federal criminal laws and regulations in the firearms and explosives industries.”
Jones will continue to serve in the capacity of U.S. Attorney when he assumes the role of ATF acting director on Aug. 31, 2011.
A veteran of the Justice Department, Jones has served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota under two presidential administrations. He first served from 1998 to 2001. He was nominated again in 2009 by President Obama and has been in that role since being confirmed that year.
In 2009, the Attorney General appointed him to serve as chair of the Attorney General Advisory Committee (AGAC), a group of U.S. Attorneys appointed to advise the Attorney General on policy, management and operational issues affecting U.S. Attorneys’ Offices throughout the country. Jones previously served as a member, vice chair and chair of the AGAC from 1999 to 2001.
During his several years as a federal prosecutor, Jones conducted grand jury investigations and has been the lead trial lawyer in many federal prosecutions involving drug trafficking, firearms, financial fraud and violent crime.
Throughout his career, Jones has served as a partner with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi (2001-2009); a partner with Greene Espel, PLLP (2001; 1994-1997); First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota (1997-1998); and Assistant U.S. Attorney (1992-1994).
Following admission to the Minnesota bar, Jones went on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served as both a trial defense counsel and prosecutor in a number of courts martial proceedings.
Jones received his B.A. from Macalester College in 1979 and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1983.
Melson will join OLP on Aug. 31, 2011, in his new role as senior advisor where he will focus on issues relating to policy development in forensic science.
“Ken brings decades of experience at the department and extensive knowledge in forensic science to his new role and I know he will be a valuable contributor on these issues,” said Attorney General Holder. “As he moves into this new role, I want to thank Ken for his dedication to the department over the last three decades.”
He is a past president and distinguished fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and currently participates on behalf of the department on the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board. He has been an adjunct professor at George Washington University for almost 30 years teaching both law and forensic science courses.
Melson was appointed acting director of ATF in 2009. Prior to that, he was director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys and served several years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Melson received his B.A. from Denison University in 1970 and his J.D. from George Washington University in 1973.
CNN also has a report up on this move which repeats the info from the DOJ release and adds some old info about Project Gunwalker.
Politico is also reporting on this move and have a reaction from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, who has been spearheading hearings into Project Gunwalker.
In a statement Tuesday, Issa said “the reckless disregard for safety” by the Justice Department “certainly merits changes” in personnel.
But the committee will continue to investigate Fast and Furious “to ensure that blame isn’t offloaded on just a few individuals for a matter that involved much higher levels of the Justice Department,” Issa said. “There are still many questions to be answered about what happened in Operation Fast and Furious and who else bears responsibility, but these changes are warranted and offer an opportunity for the Justice Department to explain the role other officials and offices played in the infamous efforts to allow weapons to flow to Mexican drug cartels.”