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Old 11th October 2021, 10:54 AM   #1
plague311
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Espionage charges against Nuclear Engineer and Wife

Well, you don't hear this too often. Per the article:

Quote:
According to a criminal complaint, nuclear engineer Jonathan Toebbe, who worked for the Navy, sold restricted information about the design of nuclear-powered warships. He did so with help from his wife, Diana, 45, according to the complaint.

Jonathan Toebbe placed restricted data in SD cards and hid them in half a peanut butter sandwich, in a sealed Band-Aid wrapper and in a chewing gum package, which he left at drop points in West Virginia, south-central Pennsylvania and eastern Virginia, according to the criminal complaint.
The good news is he didn't successfully sell them to a foreign country. Just an undercover FBI agent.

Quote:
On April 1, 2020, Jonathan Toebbe sent a package to a foreign government with a sample of restricted data and instructions on how to buy more, the complaint affidavit alleges. Authorities say he continued communicating for several months with someone he thought was with the foreign government.
It's not saying who the country he thought he was selling to was, it's just listed as "COUNTRY1". Which is offense, cause we all know that the US is COUNTRY1!!! USA! USA!

Any guesses as to who the country is? I'm guessing China.
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Old 11th October 2021, 10:57 AM   #2
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"Jonathan Toebbe placed restricted data in SD cards and hid them in half a peanut butter sandwich, in a sealed Band-Aid wrapper and in a chewing gum package, which he left at drop points"

Dude come on. That's not just being a bad spy, that's doing bad spy LARPING. Was he wearing a trench coat and fedora, humming the Mission Impossible theme song and very obviously sneaking from tree to tree while doing it?
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Old 11th October 2021, 11:01 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
"Jonathan Toebbe placed restricted data in SD cards and hid them in half a peanut butter sandwich, in a sealed Band-Aid wrapper and in a chewing gum package, which he left at drop points"

Dude come on. That's not just being a bad spy, that's doing bad spy LARPING. Was he wearing a trench coat and fedora, humming the Mission Impossible theme song and very obviously sneaking from tree to tree while doin git?
He plays bacarat at the casino.
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Old 11th October 2021, 11:02 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
He plays bacarat at the casino.
"Wild Irish Rose and your cheapest vodka, shaken, not stirred."
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Old 11th October 2021, 11:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
He plays bacarat at the casino.
Baccarat is the most pointless game ever. Unless the point is to flaunt your wealth by showing just how much you don't care about losing tens of thousands to the luck of the draw, while socializing with similarly wealthy and like-minded individuals.

The original scene, with baccarat, serves to show that Bond can successfully pass as a rich twat. Good solid spycraft and character establishment stuff. Changing it to poker was a mistake.
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Old 11th October 2021, 11:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Baccarat is the most pointless game ever.
They needed to have something more than "flip a coin"

Granted, red/black roulette serves the same role, but roulette has other play options (granted, the return is exactly the same but you can play variation - besides, roulette is is best played as a social game where you sit sipping free drinks chatting with a friend, and playing the minimum spread out over various places of the board - low bet, occasional low return, but it's a way to kill an hour without losing everything fast (like craps))
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Old 11th October 2021, 11:41 AM   #7
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Fox News has found out the real reason they're doing it:

Originally Posted by Faux News
Navy nuclear engineer's wife arrested for selling secrets appears to support BLM, 'resistance' movements
That's right, it's because she's apart of the "BLM, 'resistance' movements" that she was doing it. Leave it up to Fox to always get to the bottom of stuff like this.

Quote:
The social media posts on Diana Toebbe’s Facebook account include one saying "Women Can Stop Trump;" one profile picture featuring failed 2016 presidential candidate Hilary Clinton’s campaign symbol; a photo of the transgender flag; and various profile photos supporting the gay community. Her most recent public profile photos show her hair dyed purple in a bathroom selfie.
Crushing evidence here. Purple hair? Support of the gay community? Is there no evil this woman won't support?

The outrage continues:

Quote:
The Instagram account appearing to belong to Diana Toebbe focused on photos of dinners, her children, and other non-political topics, Fox News found.
Absolutely horrifying.
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Last edited by plague311; 11th October 2021 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 11th October 2021, 01:20 PM   #8
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Reminds me of Iran-Contra. Sell out to one party to raise funds you can use to help you sell out to another party. (Assuming the BLM connection is true.)
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Old 11th October 2021, 01:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Reminds me of Iran-Contra. Sell out to one party to raise funds you can use to help you sell out to another party. (Assuming the BLM connection is true.)
I don't know that they're actually saying the money is going to BLM. Just that the wife has connections, and so she's obviously an evil liberal hellbent on destroying the US.
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Old 11th October 2021, 02:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Fox News has found out the real reason they're doing it:



That's right, it's because she's apart of the "BLM, 'resistance' movements" that she was doing it. Leave it up to Fox to always get to the bottom of stuff like this.



Crushing evidence here. Purple hair? Support of the gay community? Is there no evil this woman won't support?

The outrage continues:



Absolutely horrifying.
I can only seem to see her age (45) in the article too
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Old 11th October 2021, 03:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Manger Douse View Post
I can only seem to see her age (45) in the article too
Perhaps there is a defense of senility in the works.
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Old 11th October 2021, 03:41 PM   #12
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Also, there is a real chance that what he knows is something foreign countries with nuclear programs already know.
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Old 11th October 2021, 07:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
"Jonathan Toebbe placed restricted data in SD cards and hid them in half a peanut butter sandwich, in a sealed Band-Aid wrapper and in a chewing gum package, which he left at drop points"

Dude come on. That's not just being a bad spy, that's doing bad spy LARPING. Was he wearing a trench coat and fedora, humming the Mission Impossible theme song and very obviously sneaking from tree to tree while doing it?
And he was driving an invisible car!
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Old 12th October 2021, 12:11 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Well, you don't hear this too often. Per the article:
The good news is he didn't successfully sell them to a foreign country. Just an undercover FBI agent.
It's not saying who the country he thought he was selling to was, it's just listed as "COUNTRY1". Which is offense, cause we all know that the US is COUNTRY1!!! USA! USA!

Any guesses as to who the country is? I'm guessing China.
The way I understood it from news reports was that the original package was sent to another country (non english-speaking) and that country alerted US authorities. The FBI then continued communications with Toebbe paying up to $100k in Monero* cryptocurrency for various drops.

Does this mean that the original receiving country, who has not yet been named, was actually privy to some classified nuclear sub information? You can't put that genie back into the bottle, but it would make sense that Toebbe would not have handed over anything too sensitive that would potentially undermine his future negotiating position.

eta: Criminal complaint link
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Old 12th October 2021, 12:47 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
"Jonathan Toebbe placed restricted data in SD cards and hid them in half a peanut butter sandwich, in a sealed Band-Aid wrapper and in a chewing gum package, which he left at drop points"

Dude come on. That's not just being a bad spy, that's doing bad spy LARPING. Was he wearing a trench coat and fedora, humming the Mission Impossible theme song and very obviously sneaking from tree to tree while doing it?
I'll bet he spoke to them on his shoe-phone!
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Old 12th October 2021, 04:05 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by TofuFighter View Post
The way I understood it from news reports was that the original package was sent to another country (non english-speaking) and that country alerted US authorities. The FBI then continued communications with Toebbe paying up to $100k in Monero* cryptocurrency for various drops.

Does this mean that the original receiving country, who has not yet been named, was actually privy to some classified nuclear sub information? You can't put that genie back into the bottle, but it would make sense that Toebbe would not have handed over anything too sensitive that would potentially undermine his future negotiating position.

eta: Criminal complaint link
I have understood, but don't remember where I saw it, so take it with a lot of salt, that the recipient country was France and that they indeed notified the relevant US authorities.
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Old 12th October 2021, 05:05 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Any guesses as to who the country is? I'm guessing China.
I'm personally more inclined to suspect Russia. China's projection of power outside its borders and near neighbors has tended to be soft. There is evidence of more direct antagonism, proxy conflicts, military posturing, and anti-US focused military research by Russia. I expect both would be willing to pay for such information, mind you.

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Old 12th October 2021, 05:07 AM   #18
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I've read through the complaint and a bunch of articles but can't find anyone mentioning any specific country. France would seem like an odd choice. Since Toebbe initiated contact with the foreign country in 2020, it would have been before the Aus/France brouhaha happened, unless Toebbe already knew what was happening with negotiations.

Toebbe states in his messages that he's been quietly and gradually gathering the info he intended to sell over a lengthy period of time, so it makes sense that he would have had some idea in mind of who he would try to pass it off to. If that were me, I probably wouldn't try a country that was as close of an ally as France.
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Old 12th October 2021, 05:21 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Shadowdweller View Post
I'm personally more inclined to suspect Russia. China's projection of power outside its borders and near neighbors has tended to be soft. There is evidence of more direct antagonism, proxy conflicts, military posturing, and anti-US focused military research by Russia. I expect both would be willing to pay for such information, mind you.
All true.

But I don't really see those two countries notifying the FBI, if they were being contacted and were offered secret US nucleair knowledge.

Could be that this was actually the case though, but it is really strange.
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Old 12th October 2021, 05:28 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
"Jonathan Toebbe placed restricted data in SD cards and hid them in half a peanut butter sandwich, in a sealed Band-Aid wrapper and in a chewing gum package, which he left at drop points"

Dude come on. That's not just being a bad spy, that's doing bad spy LARPING. Was he wearing a trench coat and fedora, humming the Mission Impossible theme song and very obviously sneaking from tree to tree while doing it?

So that's the operative who's been putting secret nuclear microchips in my Band-Aids, chewing gum, and peanut butter sandwiches. All this time I thought I was just delusional.
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Old 12th October 2021, 05:54 AM   #21
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The most disturbing aspect of this story is that he was willing to do all of this for $100k.

I had an engineering professor who gave a short lecture on the value of reputation and that when you decide to sell your soul make sure the price is high enough that you aren’t embarrassed when it comes to light.

This is embarrassing.
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Old 12th October 2021, 06:16 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
The most disturbing aspect of this story is that he was willing to do all of this for $100k.

I had an engineering professor who gave a short lecture on the value of reputation and that when you decide to sell your soul make sure the price is high enough that you aren’t embarrassed when it comes to light.

This is embarrassing.
That's kind of what I'm thinking now too. If he's a nuclear engineer, at least for 5+ or so years, he's making 6 digits a year. I'm seeing the average wage in the USD$100k-116k. A years worth of salary is all you went for? I'd at least want the rest of my life paid for, not a vacation.
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Old 12th October 2021, 06:17 AM   #23
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Yeah there are certain times you only roll the dice when you are 100% certain if you win you will never have to roll the dice again.

This guy sold his country out and couldn't even have bought a modest 3 bedroom starter house for his troubles.
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Old 12th October 2021, 06:24 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
The most disturbing aspect of this story is that he was willing to do all of this for $100k.

I had an engineering professor who gave a short lecture on the value of reputation and that when you decide to sell your soul make sure the price is high enough that you aren’t embarrassed when it comes to light.

This is embarrassing.
From the FBI court application, correspondence quoted by the FBI from Toebbe says total of $5mil for all the info he has, and he makes repeated offers to assist with his own knowledge regarding any questions they have as he would no longer have access/clearance to the info:

Quote:
I have divided the [REDACTED] into fifty one packages, all but the last have 100
sheets each. The first contains the [REDACTED] and the first of the drawings. If
lunderstand your letter correctly, you offer an additional 70~000 USD Monero for
the [REDACTED]. Ipropose the same payment schedule for the remaining files:
JOQ,000 USD Monero each for the 49 packages, not additional for 51. In total~
5,000,000 USD Monero.
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Old 12th October 2021, 06:28 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Yeah there are certain times you only roll the dice when you are 100% certain if you win you will never have to roll the dice again.

This guy sold his country out and couldn't even have bought a modest 3 bedroom starter house for his troubles.
Maybe he doesn't think of it as his country.
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Old 12th October 2021, 06:32 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Maybe he doesn't think of it as his country.
Nobody cares.
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Old 12th October 2021, 06:38 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by TofuFighter View Post
From the FBI court application, correspondence quoted by the FBI from Toebbe says total of $5mil for all the info he has, and he makes repeated offers to assist with his own knowledge regarding any questions they have as he would no longer have access/clearance to the info:
Ok, so that makes more sense. Although, anyone who has watched more than 2 spy movies knows that you only do 1 bulk drop. Less chance of getting caught over repeated drops. I mean, 51 drops, who does that?
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Old 12th October 2021, 06:50 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Nobody cares.
A bunch of man-children crying about "their country" or "my country" like it is a silly sports team sure seam to care a lot.
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Old 12th October 2021, 06:55 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Ok, so that makes more sense. Although, anyone who has watched more than 2 spy movies knows that you only do 1 bulk drop. Less chance of getting caught over repeated drops. I mean, 51 drops, who does that?
That was exactly what was bothering him. Near the end of his comms with his contact he starts to say "this is exactly what someone trying to trap me would do", but I got the impression that he was both overwhelmed by the whole process yet still choosing to believe he was safe rather than objectively analysing it.
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Old 12th October 2021, 07:10 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
A bunch of man-children crying about "their country" or "my country" like it is a silly sports team sure seam to care a lot.
People are woven into their country. They feel stitched together, like it's apart of them. Like a fine suit.
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Old 12th October 2021, 08:36 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
So that's the operative who's been putting secret nuclear microchips in my Band-Aids, chewing gum, and peanut butter sandwiches. All this time I thought I was just delusional.
He tried vaccines but they were already full of chips.
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Old 12th October 2021, 08:43 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Shadowdweller View Post
I'm personally more inclined to suspect Russia. China's projection of power outside its borders and near neighbors has tended to be soft. There is evidence of more direct antagonism, proxy conflicts, military posturing, and anti-US focused military research by Russia. I expect both would be willing to pay for such information, mind you.
If I were a rival nation I might consider it worth the money to recruit half-assed espionage attempts not because I needed the info or thought they'd be successful but simply to tie up my rival's resources in investigation and further security measures, as well as giving them bad PR for their competence and their countrymen's loyalty. And who knows, hearing news of it might inspire actual competent treachery. It'd be like making a not-serious pass at the dopey boyfriend of your enemy--if he responds positively then even if nothing further happens you've caused some damage.
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Old 12th October 2021, 09:28 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
If I were a rival nation I might consider it worth the money to recruit half-assed espionage attempts not because I needed the info or thought they'd be successful but simply to tie up my rival's resources in investigation and further security measures, as well as giving them bad PR for their competence and their countrymen's loyalty. And who knows, hearing news of it might inspire actual competent treachery. It'd be like making a not-serious pass at the dopey boyfriend of your enemy--if he responds positively then even if nothing further happens you've caused some damage.
Unsolicited offers of espionage seem sketchy at best and full of bait at worst. I imagine there is more payoff in reporting the sketchy stuff. Just as embarrassing to some.

More like showing the ex that his dopey boyfriend tried to pick you up. Similar damage, less risk.
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Old 12th October 2021, 09:31 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by TofuFighter View Post
From the FBI court application, correspondence quoted by the FBI from Toebbe says total of $5mil for all the info he has, and he makes repeated offers to assist with his own knowledge regarding any questions they have as he would no longer have access/clearance to the info:
Better. Still too low.

I’d need “private island in jurisdiction without extradition” money to turn on the military. At least.

Less for just ruining my career, obviously. Don’t want to scare off any bidders.
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Old 12th October 2021, 09:45 AM   #35
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I'm betting on Elon Musk and/or some other billionaires as the buyer. A nuclear submarine is about all some of them need to achieve true Bond villain status.
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Old 12th October 2021, 10:50 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I'll bet he spoke to them on his shoe-phone!
He should have used the Cone of Silence
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Old 12th October 2021, 11:30 AM   #37
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Maybe they don't have all that much money:

Quote:
No lawyer was present for the couple at their 15-minute court appearance. The judge told them they qualified for court-appointed counsel.
You'd think a nuclear engineer with top-secret security clearance would be paid enough that they wouldn't want to sell secrets to a foreign country.

Some details of the information:

Quote:
The memory card contained “militarily sensitive design elements, operating parameters and performance characteristics of Virginia-class submarine reactors”, according to a federal court affidavit.
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Old 12th October 2021, 12:50 PM   #38
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I work in IT and my department has been laughing about this all afternoon. We're shocked at the lax security in the company and how cheaply he sold out.
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Old 12th October 2021, 01:59 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
And he was driving an invisible car!
Please, I am a pretty big James Bond fan, and references to that atrocity known as "Die Another Day" upsets me. Only thing that keeps it from being the worst Bond movie is "A View To A Kill".
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Old 13th October 2021, 10:23 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Please, I am a pretty big James Bond fan, and references to that atrocity known as "Die Another Day" upsets me. Only thing that keeps it from being the worst Bond movie is "A View To A Kill".
That's why I chose it. It's the stupidest gadget in any Bond movie.
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