The killer of room 2121


The killer of room 2121


It was 7am on Monday. Another week was starting at Virginia Tech. Then the first shots rang out. Within hours, 32 people lay dead and America was left trying to make sense of the carnage. Paul Harris reports from Blacksburg.

<b>Sunday April 22, 2007</b>
<a href="">The Observer</a>

A group of Amish men, all in black, shuffled towards the chapel at one end of the enormous sports field that dominates the centre of Virginia Tech&#39;s campus. They had come to pay their respects after a tragedy they knew all too well. It was only last year that a killer struck their community, shooting dead five young girls in a tiny Amish school. Now they had driven many long hours from their Pennsylvania farms to southern Virginia, to offer solace to another American community devastated by a mass killing.

They spoke in hushed tones to the Reverend Kelly Sisson, one of the pastors of Glade Church in Blacksburg. Then they entered the comforting dark interior to pray and to mourn the dead of Virginia Tech. &#39;They understand what has happened to us in a way few others do,&#39; Sisson said.

Everyone is trying to understand what happened at Blacksburg last week. Impromptu memorials have sprung up on the sports field, covering the grass in flickering candles, pictures of the dead, and flowers. Students, friends and family have written messages, sad, desperate, noble. They speak of loss and love. They vow to remember lives brutally cut short on what should have been just another Monday morning.

But, although there was nothing ordinary about last Monday, there was a dreadful familiarity to it. Cho Seung-hui&#39;s bloody rampage cost the lives of 32 of his fellow students and staff. It was the worst mass shooting in American history, but far from the only one.

There is almost a ritual to such attacks: the fleeing students, the wailing sirens, the mourning survivors, the suicide of the gunman - Cho shot himself in the face. Columbine, the Amish school, Virginia Tech, all are now names that haunt the popular imagination. Yet no one pretends last week&#39;s rite won&#39;t happen again, somewhere else in America on some other seemingly ordinary day.

For now it is Blacksburg&#39;s tragedy that has the attention of the world. What Cho did last week is well known. In two separate attacks, he shot his victims methodically, without any outward show of emotion. It was an assault he had planned for weeks: buying guns, training physically and preparing a &#39;manifesto&#39; of his beliefs in writing, pictures and video. But the real question is not how Cho killed so many. It is why. And that is a much more difficult issue.

What could have caused him to hate so much? If he was ill, should it have been spotted? Why did he pick the targets that he did? These questions could shake the strongest faith. Sisson shook her head at the thought of them: &#39;I am determined to not give easy answers. Cliches are cheap and we are still waking up to this.&#39; Then she thought of Cho. &#39;He was in great pain. Great brokenness,&#39; she said. A faint smile of incomprehension hovered around her lips. She was close to tears.

The first sign something was wrong last Monday was a scream and &#39;popping&#39; sounds in the West Ambler Johnston dorm building. It was just after 7am: many students slept through the noise. Those who emerged bleary-eyed into the corridors found a dreadful scene. Two bodies lay near Room 4040, in the open space near the lifts. There was no sign of an attacker. The killer had disappeared, leaving a trail of bloody footprints down a hallway.

By the time Cho claimed his first victim, he had already been planning his attack for weeks, possibly months. Not that anyone knew it. Cho was a solitary figure on campus, even among the five students with which he shared a &#39;suite&#39;, Room 2121. He spoke rarely and shunned human contact. His only visitors were his parents. &#39;He never showed any interest in having conversations with anybody. He seemed like a shy person. He never spoke a word when he was around any of us in the suite,&#39; said one room-mate, Karan Grewal.

In the past few weeks, Cho&#39;s routines seem to have shifted. He started going to the gym, beefing up his slight frame. He cut his hair short. He started waking up earlier, rising at 5.30am. He began taking night-time bike rides, disappearing for hours to roam the campus paths.

These were the superficial changes. Unknown to anyone but himself, Cho was plotting mass murder. Nineteen days before he began shooting, he took a road-trip, renting a car and staying a night in a nearby hotel in Christiansburg. It was on this trip that he would film some of his rambling, hate-laden last testament. It is likely that he also used the privacy to take pictures of himself posing with his guns, a knife and a hammer. He also began drafting manuscripts blaming the outside world and decrying the lifestyles of his fellow students.

Cho prepared in private. But police are checking to see if he had mentioned or hinted at his plans, whether by phone or email. He certainly had to buy his guns in public. Tragically, it is neither difficult nor unusual for a 23-year-old student legally to buy powerful weapons in Virginia. On 9 February, Cho purchased a Walther P22 pistol from a pawn shop on Main Street in Blacksburg. He then waited just over a month - in order to comply with Virginia state law - before buying a second weapon. On 16 March, he picked out a Glock semi-automatic from Roanoke Firearms, in a town about 30 miles away. With each purchase Cho filled out the correct forms and passed a background check. No one asked what a 23-year-old English student could possibly want with two powerful hand-guns.

What the sellers did not know was that Cho had once spent a night in a mental hospital in 2005. Nor does Virginia law deem it necessary that anyone divulge such information. Yet it represented, perhaps, the biggest sign Cho was not an ordinary young man, but had at least once been through a very troubled passage in his life.

There were other signs, albeit less definite. In two separate incidents, young women on campus had complained to police he was bothering them with unwanted advances, in person, on the phone or via text messaging. Last autumn, one of Cho&#39;s teachers, poet Nikki Giovanni, had become so disturbed by the violent imagery in Cho&#39;s work that she insisted he be removed from her class. &#39;I am not allowed to say what he was writing,&#39; she explained &#39;But it was not bad poetry. It was intimidating. What I wanted was him out of my class.&#39;

He had also been taking pictures of his fellow students, many of whom had stopped attending class to avoid him. At the same time, Cho - in a rare remark to a dorm mate - said he might kill himself after the police spoke to him about pestering girls. The student reported the remark and Cho was sent for an overnight evaluation at the Carilion St Albans Psychiatric Hospital - the 2005 visit. &#39;Affect is flat and mood is depressed,&#39; a Carilion doctor wrote, but noted that Cho&#39;s &#39;insight and judgment are sound&#39; and that he had denied suicidal intentions. The next day, a judge, following the doctor&#39;s advice that Cho was mentally ill but posed no immediate danger, ordered him to take outpatient treatment.

That was probably the greatest opportunity that presented itself to stop or help Cho. After that, he resumed his solitary existence, a phantom presence at Virginia Tech. Perhaps it was also the moment that Cho&#39;s deep resentment came to fruition.

His stalking - though disturbing - was at least an attempt to reach out to other human beings. That grasp for contact had ended with the police and a stay in a mental hospital. It is not too great a stretch to imagine Cho&#39;s warped rage at such rejection. Perhaps, almost 17 months ago, the first thoughts of revenge began to take shape.

At just after 5am on Monday, Karan Grewal bumped into his flatmate, Cho. Grewal had stayed up all night to finish an assignment and he had been to the bathroom before going, finally, to sleep. Cho looked normal, Grewal thought.

Two hours later Cho killed Emily Hilscher, 18, and Ryan Clark, 23, at Ambler Johnston. Why he chose them - or that building - is not known. But investigators have strong suspicions that Cho may have had some form of contact with Hilscher, and have since been scouring her computer and phone looking for evidence.

Cho&#39;s whereabouts immediately after the attack are unknown. Perhaps he returned to his dorm room; perhaps not. What is certain is that he eventually walked across campus to the post office in Blacksburg, a 15-minute stroll away on Main Street. The post office was busy with people rushing to beat the national tax deadline and Cho did not stand out among the crowd.

He was posting a package - wrongly addressed - to NBC News in New York. It contained his &#39;manifesto&#39;. He finally mailed his package at 9.01am, after a clerk noticed that he had put the wrong postal code on it. Then he made his way back to the campus.

Cho - despite having murdered two fellow students - was still anonymous; the campus was still mostly normal. Unknown to Cho, police and university officials had gone down a disastrous blind alley in their reaction to the Ambler Johnston shootings.

When police broke the news to one of Hilscher&#39;s room-mates that her friend was dead, she told them that Hilscher&#39;s new boyfriend, Karl Thornhill, loved guns and had recently taken them shooting. At 8.25am, university and police officials held a meeting and decided they faced a &#39;domestic&#39;. Thornhill was tracked down in his car and pulled off the road. It was decided not to lock down the campus. They believed the gunman had fled, or that they had already caught him.

Some time before 9.40am, Cho walked into Norris Hall, on the other side of the sports field from Ambler Johnston. Once inside, he closed the doors with metal chains. He wandered the corridors, even poking his head into the German class in Room 207. Students inside assumed he was lost and late for a lecture. Cho shut the door and resumed his wandering. He may have been dealing with last-minute regrets, mulling whether it was too late to turn back. More likely he was selecting his first target.

He choose Room 206, where Professor Give Loganathan was giving a hydrology class. Cho simply walked in and started shooting. Aiming his two guns methodically around the class, he shot people repeatedly, wordlessly and without any hurry. Only four people survived in Room 207, by playing dead or being shielded by the bodies of their dead friends. Then Cho walked out. Yesterday, Loganathan was buried.

In other classes, the popping sounds were greeted with confusion and fear. Some appeared to know exactly what they were; others thought it was noise from a nearby construction site. Cho walked into Room 207. He fired a bullet into the head of the German teacher, James Bishop, a well-liked 35-year-old. Cho then stood at the front of the class, killing students in the first rows and then moving to the rear. He fired and reloaded, fired and reloaded. Students fell dead or wounded. Others cowered behind desks.

He went next into the French class in Room 211. Alarmed by the initial bangs, the teacher, Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, had asked her class in disbelief: &#39;That&#39;s not what I think it is?&#39; It was. She told her students to get to the back of the class and began putting desks against the door. It was heroism on her part. But it was not enough. Cho barged in, shot her dead and then worked his way through her class.

Cho then returned to Room 207. By then, students had blocked the door. Cho tried to force and shoot his way through. But, fighting for their lives, the students - some gravely wounded - held him off this time.

It was the same in a computer class. Those students also fought off Cho, even though he fired at the door. There were many acts of heroism. Some staunched their friends&#39; wounds and tied tourniquets around shattered limbs. Many blockaded doors despite having been shot. By now students and staff were fleeing through windows. As Cho walked from room to room, trying to find more people to shoot, he killed Kevin Granata, a biomechanics teacher who had served in the US armed forces. Granata had rushed downstairs and confronted Cho. He shot him dead.

Then Cho tried to get into Room 204, where Professor Liviu Librescu was giving an engineering class. Librescu, a 76-year-old Holocaust survivor, had been urging his students to flee out of the windows. Most of them did. As Cho tried to enter the room, the ageing teacher flung himself against the door, buying vital time for more students to leave. But Librescu could not hold him off forever. Cho murdered him and entered the room.

By now, it was almost over. Cho had fired more than 200 rounds, reloading an estimated 15 times. The police arrived, eventually smashing open the chained doors. Bodies lay everywhere in slicks of blood. Cho had shot many of them repeatedly in his determination to kill. Armed police moved from room to room, ordering wounded survivors to hold up their hands to show they had no weapons. Cho knew the end was near. He put one of his guns to his head and pulled the trigger. The shot almost tore off his face. When police found him, his guns at his side, they knew he was dead. &#39;Shooter down! Black tag!&#39; they screamed. Cho&#39;s killing spree was over. The story of the horror he left behind had barely begun.

When Cho&#39;s identity was first released, it came as no surprise to a few who had had contact with the loner. It confirmed their worst fears. But to most, the reaction was simply: who? Gradually, piece by piece, a picture of Cho&#39;s life has emerged. It is a disturbing one. Just as his time on campus was marked by solitude and anger, so was his school and childhood. Cho seemed to have been born in a personal mental prison from which he either could not escape or chose not to. The one true surprise was that this perpetrator of such an American crime originally came from many thousands of miles away.

Cho was born in South Korea. His parents ran a small, second-hand book store in Seoul, the capital, and lived in a cramped apartment. They had been a reluctant husband and wife. Cho&#39;s father was from a poor southern family, while his mother&#39;s kin were landowners from the north, dispossessed during the Korean War.

The marriage was arranged against the wife-to-be&#39;s wishes, but she had little choice. The family struggled to build a life and eventually moved to America at the invitation of relatives. They arrived in 1992, hoping for the best for their two children. They worked hard, in a laundry and a restaurant. And, like so many determined immigrants, they made it. They lived in a pleasant Washington DC suburb. Cho&#39;s sister, Sun, went to Princeton.

But there was one cloud on this heart-warming story of success: Cho himself. Back in South Korea, the family had noticed his deep, sullen silences as an infant. His grandfather worried he might be mute; his mother thought he was mentally ill. A committed Christian, she tried to involve her church in reaching out to the boy after his silences grew worse on the move to America. She prayed for him regularly. It did not make for a happy teenage existence.

Clearly depressed and struggling with English, Cho became a target for bullies at Westfield High School in nearby Chantilly. Once, after refusing to read aloud in an English class, Cho was forced to speak. When he did, students laughed at his strange voice and told him to &#39;go back to China&#39;. He was teased as the &#39;trombone kid&#39; for his habit of walking to school alone carrying his musical instrument. He rarely spoke, playing solitary basketball in his home&#39;s quiet cul-de-sac and ignoring the hellos of his neighbours.

Things got worse in college. His fellow students remember reaching out to him at the start of class or when they moved into a dorm with him. He was invited to dine with them at local restaurants. But Cho showed little interest in talking. He would ignore them or answer in one-word replies. It was the same in class: Cho sat at the back, wearing dark glasses and a baseball cap.

In one now notorious incident, when he filled out a sign-in sheet at the start of a literature class, he refused to write his name. Instead he put a question mark. In campus banter, Cho had turned from the &#39;trombone kid&#39; to the &#39;question mark kid&#39;. It became his totem. One of the girls he stalked awoke one morning to find a large question mark written on her room&#39;s message board.

Undoubtedly Cho&#39;s stone-like facade hid a mind in deep distress. A few signs broke the surface. Once, at a party, Cho revealed to room-mates that he had a girlfriend, presumably imaginary. She was called Jelly, he said. She was a model and she called him Spanky. It was a brief and bizarre glimpse into Cho&#39;s inner world. Another incident occurred after he had been reprimanded for bothering a girl student. In a quiet moment, he told one room-mate that he had wanted to look in her eyes and see if she was as &#39;cool&#39; as he thought. But he had been disappointed. He had gone to her dorm room and seen only &#39;promiscuity&#39;.

Such insights were few and far between. Some students joked about him being a possible college shooter. One teacher had a codeword she could use when teaching him if she became fearful for herself. It sounds dramatic, but she never used it. Cho continued to keep to himself. He wore sunglasses in class. He had no friends. His room had no pictures or posters. He often just stared blankly at the walls or ceiling. He slept with the light on and never shut his door. He was a walking void.

The silence Cho maintained in life was broken after his death. The package he sent to NBC contained 29 photographs, 27 short videos and an 1,800-word diatribe. In the clips, Cho is hard-eyed, his voice a tense, controlled staccato of rage. He speaks quickly but clearly. He is no longer silent. The pent-up emotions of his damaged psyche boil to the surface. Cho finally revealed himself.

Cho was severely mentally ill: no sane person murders 32 people. But such sicknesses vary greatly. Cho was no serial killer. He was not a sociopath. In fact, experts say, Cho&#39;s rampage was a form of suicide. He killed because he considered himself the victim; those he killed he saw as villains. &#39;This was revenge. He wanted to kill himself, but first he was going to take others with him, people he saw as persecuting him,&#39; said Professor Jack Levin, an expert on mass murderers at Northeastern University in Boston.

Certainly that was what emerged from Cho&#39;s own words. He felt himself utterly victimised. &#39;You have vandalised my heart, raped my soul and torched my conscience. I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and the defenceless people,&#39; he said. &#39;You&#39; was the world as a whole, especially the students who he felt ignored him.

He claimed he had not chosen to kill but had been forced into it. The coming massacre, he warned, was not his fault. &#39;You had a hundred billion chances and ways to have avoided today, but you decided to spill my blood. You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option. The decision was yours. Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off.&#39; Such transference of blame is rare among serial killers, for whom blame or guilt are alien concepts. &#39;It is a very elaborate blaming system. These people come from a sense of powerlessness,&#39; said Gregg McCrary, a former FBI profiler.

Cho also railed against what he saw as hedonism and materialism all around, perhaps revealing a deep resentment of his poorer background. &#39;Your Mercedes wasn&#39;t enough, you brats,&#39; he cried &#39;Your golden necklaces weren&#39;t enough, you snobs. Your trust fund wasn&#39;t enough. Your vodka and cognac weren&#39;t enough. All your debaucheries weren&#39;t enough. Those weren&#39;t enough to fulfil your hedonistic needs.&#39;

It was the product of a diseased mind, but the words strike a tone horribly familiar to those who had shared creative writing classes with Cho. In poetry and drama classes, Cho had consistently produced work whose violence, sexual imagery and anger had upset classmates and teachers. One former student, Ian MacFarlane, had kept copies of Cho&#39;s two plays and posted them on-line. They are deeply disturbing. One, Richard McBeef, deals with a young man confronting his step-father about murder and child abuse. The second - Mr Brownstone - has three students describing their desire to kill a sadistic teacher. Reading the plays is not easy. They are violent, profane and obsessed with scatological sex. They are not like reading the mind of a deranged 23-year-old: they are like reading the mind of a deranged 13-year-old. MacFarlane said he had thought of what he would do if Cho were ever to bring a gun to class. &#39;I was that freaked about him,&#39; he said.

As people struggle to understand Cho, many experts think the specifics are not important. It is the tone of persecution and victimhood that matter. &#39;He is clearly clinically depressed, probably delusional, and has been so for a very long period of time,&#39; said Levin.

There are other tantalising clues the meaning of which may never be known. Cho was found with the words &#39;Ismail Ax&#39; in red ink on his arm. The return address on the NBC package was &#39;A. Ishmael&#39;. It is impossible to know what that means, but suggestions have varied from the Bible to the Koran to Moby Dick to a Turkish hip hop artist. One literary reference Cho used was obvious. He quoted Romeo and Juliet. &#39;My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself,&#39; he wrote. Cho picked out the words about forbidden love and turned them against his own identity. It was morbidly fitting. He had denied his own name in class. His last act in life was to blast off his own face.

Cho Seung-hui did not exist in a vacuum. His actions sprang from the gun-drenched culture of America where buying a rifle can be as easy as buying groceries. The shop where Cho bought his Glock is Roanoke Firearms, standing on a busy road about half an hour&#39;s drive from Blacksburg. A bumper sticker on one wall declares, &#39;Buy A Gun For America&#39;.

America is a highly armed society. Gun rights groups argue that citizens have to be able to defend themselves. Yet it is also easy for deranged people to obtain powerful firearms.

The statistics speak for themselves. There are 200 million privately held guns in America. Each year, they cause roughly 30,000 deaths and 300,000 gun-related assaults.

Cho&#39;s massacre is just a drop in a very bloody pool. &#39;It is long overdue for us to take some commonsense actions to prevent tragedies like this from continuing to occur,&#39; said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

That such steps have not been taken yet is the result of the power of the National Rifle Association and the popular worship of gun use it encourages. The NRA is one of the most effective lobbying groups in American politics. It is motivated by a desire to protect the right of any American to own, carry and use firearms. It has an annual budget of $180m and 3.8 million members. The NRA also contributes about nine times more money to politicians&#39; campaign coffers than gun control groups.

Even now, even after Cho and his two hours of carnage, few politicians dare speak out against gun rights, despite the fact that Congress is now controlled by the Democrats. In fact, the one thing that seems certain in a post-Cho America is that another such massacre will happen again, and that it may possibly be even worse, as each perpetrator attempts to &#39;beat&#39; the last.

Already a spate of copycat incidents have occurred across the country. In Houston, a man killed a hostage and himself at the Nasa space centre. In Florida, a teenager was arrested after threatening in an email to kill 100 people. Near Seattle, another high school student was arrested while in possession of three loaded guns. Classes in a Nevada university were cancelled after a man sent a text message saying: &#39;The Korean is my hero.&#39;

The saturation media coverage, and especially the controversial broadcast of Cho&#39;s videos, will provide an anti-hero for some disturbed youth. Somewhere in America, in some school or college, a future Cho may already be allowing themselves to think along the same lines: loneliness, victimhood, revenge and suicide - and all on a world stage. They will not find it hard to find guns with which to kill. &#39;We are in trouble. This is not the end of it,&#39; said Levin.

But, just as Cho&#39;s actions reveal the dark heart of an American society at home with firearms, it also reveals the other country, the emotional America, the America of positives. The America of his victims.

The roll call of the dead speaks of a land of variety and opportunity. The dead should not be defined by dying at Cho&#39;s hands, but by their own lives and deeds. They came from everywhere. There was Minal Panchal from Mumbai, a graduate student in architecture. There was Juan Ortiz Ortiz from Puerto Rico, who loved to dance salsa and played the timbales. There was Waleed Shaalan, 32, from Egypt, who leaves behind a widow and three fatherless children. Professor Librescu had escaped the Nazis and Romanian communism only to give up his life for his students.

There were also young American women, full of hope and prospects - girls like Hilscher, whose small frame led her to name herself &#39;Pixie&#39;. Or Reema Samaha, 18, who loved dancing and planned to spend the summer in France, working at a children&#39;s camp. Or Austin Cloyd, 18, the daughter of a Virginia Tech professor, who went on Christian mission trips in the Appalachian mountains, repairing the roofs and plumbing of the poorest of the poor. Or Erin Peterson, 18, a star basketball player who was as gentle off court as she was ferocious on it.

They were also young men such as Jarrett Lan, 28, who was about to graduate in civil engineering and had been a four-sport athlete at his high school. Or Henry Lee, who had come to the US from China barely able to speak English. He belonged to an internet socialising group called &#39;My name is Henry Lee&#39; with other people sharing his name. In a recent online post, he had joked about having a convention. &#39;We wouldn&#39;t need name tags,&#39; he wrote.

Cho&#39;s victims spanned a vast spectrum of life. They were young, middle-aged, elderly. They were students and professors. They were men and women. They were biologists, engineers and linguists. They were black, white, Middle Eastern, Jewish and Asian. They were Christian. Hindu, Jewish and Muslim. They were American and foreign-born. They had all started that terrible Monday in the expectation that their lives would continue. Cho cut them short, suddenly and inexplicably, leaving behind unimaginable grief for husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, children, colleagues and friends.

But Cho also ensured they were honoured in their deaths. Their lives were celebrated by a mourning nation. Amid all the tributes springing up on campus, the tone is one of happy remembrance as well as grief. Perhaps one example among the thousands can stand for them all. It was written to Reema Samaha: &#39;Reema, wherever you are, I know that your smile and your dancing is joyous.&#39;

Cho&#39;s own family are in hiding under police protection. They are also shattered and despairing. Late last Friday, Cho&#39;s sister, Sun, released a statement for the family as a whole. It mentioned each victim by name. &#39;Each of these people had so much love, talent and gifts to offer, and their lives were cut short by a horrible and senseless act,&#39; Sun said. &#39;My brother was quiet and reserved, yet struggled to fit in. We never could have envisioned that he was capable of so much violence.&#39;

There is still a long way, a marathon, for this college, town and country to travel on the road to recovery. And incredibly many are determined to take Cho along with them. There is very little anger at Cho on campus, just disbelief and despair. He is not hated: he is pitied by many who wonder how someone can commit such evil, and slaughter 32 fellow human beings. Steven Dellinger, 20, stood on a rise in front of the main memorial. He thought about Cho all the time, he said. &#39;I just wish someone had got to him. If only he had been able to have a friend who could have helped him out.&#39;

Behind Dellinger, a row of stone blocks - a memorial - has been laid out in a semi-circle, hugging a cluster of candles and messages. Each unmarked stone is topped with a flower and a Virginia Tech pennant. They represent the dead. There are 33 stones.

Cho, whose lonely life turned his mind in ways one can hardly imagine, finally has company.

<B>On Guardian Unlimited</B><BR><A HREF="">Full coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings</A><BR><A HREF=",,182056,00.html">Gun violence in the US</A><BR><A HREF=",,178412,00.html">Gun violence in Britain</A><BR><A HREF=",,759893,00.html">Full US coverage</A><BR><BR><B>Related articles</B><BR><A HREF=",,2059217,00.html">Virginia massacre gunman named</A><BR><A HREF=",,2059103,00.html">Unofficial list of shooting victims emerges</A><BR><A HREF=",,2058887,00.html">Massacre on campus</A><BR><A HREF=",,2059250,00.html">Q&A: US gun laws</A><BR><BR><B>World news guide</B><BR><A HREF=",,618255,00.html">North American Media</A><BR><BR><B>Media</B><BR><A HREF="">CNN</A><BR><A HREF="">New York Times</A><BR><A HREF="">Washington Post</A><BR><BR><B>Government</B><BR><A HREF="">Virginia state government portal</A><BR><A HREF="">US government portal</A><BR><A HREF="">White House</A><BR><A HREF="">Senate</A><BR><A HREF="">House of Representatives</A>


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