tv Studio B With Shepard Smith FOX News September 11, 2013 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
>> i'm trace gallagher in for shepard smith and this is "studio b." another day of huge developments concerning syria. the united nation security council meeting today. secretary of state john kerry is about to leave for a trip to meet the russians and now, new warnings that a strike on syria could lead to an arms race with iran. americans across the nation today remembering those lost in the september 11th attacks on new york, at the pentagon and shanksville, pennsylvania. even after 12 years, tears show the healing isn't over.
>> fox news obtained state department memos that describe the, quote, substandard security all ahead unless breaking news changes everything on "studio b." first from fox at 3:00, the russians reportedly handed over their plan for syria as the united states puts the war talk on hold. at least for now, in hopes of a peaceful solution. the secretary of state john kerry set to travel to switzerland tonight to meet with counterparts from russia and syria. they'll hash out russia's proposal to put syria's chemical weapons under international control. at the united nations, the five permanent members of the security council aring meeting today to discuss that plan. it comes after president obama's address to the nation last night in which he continued to make the case for a strike on syria. but he said we need more time to see if the russian proposal will really work.
the president asked congress to hold off on a vote to authorize force. it's a drastic slow down after a blitz making the case for war but skeptical lawmakers said they would never sign on to the russian plan. poll after poll shows americans are dead set against any military action. the white house seemed to take credit for the turn towarddy loamcy. >> there's no question that the credible threat of u.s. military force brought us this diplomatic opening. until two days ago, syria did not acknowledge it possessed chemical weapons. >> reporter: still, the diplomatic plan leaves a lot unanswered like how long the president would wait for syria to hand over the chemical weapons and exactly how do you go about securing an estimated 2 million pounds of weapons while a civil war rages around you. president obama also did not
explain how the plan would work under russia's condition the u.s. give up any plans to use force. now there is a new threat in the mix. just as secretary kerry jets off, a russian lawmaker warns if the u.s. strikes syria, russia could expand arms sales to iran. wendell goler is at the white house. the white house is caught in the tricky position here of deciding whether or not to trust the russians. >> reporter: it's not a new position. trust but verify. white house press secretary jay carney says the past week as seen the end of syria's lie that it didn't have chemical weapons and perhaps the end of two years of russia blocking efforts to hold assad accountable. those two things he said are significant and now he says russia put its prestige on the
line. >> russia's engaging with the united states and other members of the united nations security council and other participants and we'll see where it leads. it's too early to tell if it will be successful. therethere's reason to be skeptl and we're entering this with our eyes wide open. >> reporter: folks say secretary of state john kerry and russia's foreign minister will go over the nuts and bolts of the russian proposal tomorrow. carney says those two meetings will test the seriousness of the participants. >> while the administration clear pushed pause, you have others like the democratic west virginia senator joe manchin pushing for a vote to authorize a strike. >> ac ward as best given the president can't lobby for it while conducting discussions
about no military action. he may not give those assurances. it's possible the manchin legislation could be voted down. most members of the house at least were leaning against voting for authorization. in his 9/11 remarks today, mr. obama suggested the country should have the courage to try diplomacy. >> let us have the wisdom to know while force is sometimes necessary, it cannot build the world we seek so with he we commit to the partnerships that builds respect, deepens trust and allows people to live in freedom. the. wendell goler live at the white house. thank you.
meantime at the pentagon in new york and shanksville, pennsylvania and cross the country. thousands of americans got together to remember the victims of the deadly terror attack. 12 years after 9/11. drums, bagpipes, rang out this morning in the shadow of the rising world trade center towers. in an annual tradition, family members read the names of each person killed in the attacks from 1993 and 2001. many of those relatives included young kids for whom 9/11 has been one of the earliest memories for them. >> my father, william john irwin, we'll miss you and i'll always remember you and never stop thinking about you. i miss you and will always forever miss you.
>> [bells] >> they paused for moments of silence to mark the minutes when the plane struck the north and south towers and the minutes when the buildings collapsed. the president and first lady also observing a moment of silence at the white house. >> speaking later from outside the pentagon, president obama remarked on the courage and strength of the 9/11 families. >> let us have the strength to face the threats that endure, different though they may be from 12 years ago so that as long as there are those that strike our citizens we stand vigilant and defend our nation. >> an american flag hanging over the side of one of the
pentagon's walls today. american airlines flight 77 struck that wall 12 years ago killing everyone onboard as well as 125 people in the pentagon. members of congress filled the steps of the u.s. capitol to honor the courage of the thousands of men and women who died. >> from the fallen and from all who have sacrificed so that we may live free, we can take heart that ours are the greatest cause and the work before us is not above our capacitor beyond our strength. >> just outside shanksville, pennsylvania, families gathered at the field where united flight 93 went down reading the names and ringing the bells once again. >> jason m. doll.
>> just yesterday workers broke ground on a permanent flight 93 national memorial in shanksville. just the latest sign americans will never forget the terror attacks that forever changed our nation more than a decade ago. rick leventhal is live at the world trade center site. >> lots of new yorkers will tell you how frustrated they are this is still a construction site but developers point out it's one of the most complex projects imaginable and the heart of a major city with heavy traffic on all sides adjacent to the hudson river with 13 subways and a commuter train running underneath or around the site. they've navigated obstacles and concerns of family and politicians and the problems can be seen in a time lapse video showing the nine year odyssey from securing the pit and
building the foundation, rising floor-by-floor with 26,000 workers, 45,000 tons of steal, 1 million square feet of glass and 200,000 cubic yards of concrete topping off with the antenna or spire on the roof which is 1776 feet tall in all with 3 million square feet of office space in the building. 60% leased as we saw yesterday from the 64th floor sky lobby. the new tenants will be treated to spectacular views. tower one will be ready next year, tower 4 ready in a couple months. next spring the 9/11 museum opens with a focus on telling the stories of the victims and the heroes to responded. >> in the minutes and seconds after the attacks we started to see americans come together with limitless compassion and do the most heroic things for people they never knew.
that knowledge for kids and future generations that we can take care of one another when times require is essential and we have to get the story right. >> that museum will be interactive, free to victims' families and cost 20 bucks for the general public. in part to pay for the significant operating cost of the museum. >> all so well done. rick leventhal, thank you. >> the attacks of 9/11 continue to kill people today. more than 1,000 responders have cancer. many who worked on the so-called pile have also fallen ill4cñ ana deadline to get help is weeks away. next we'll talk to new york republican congressman michael gribble, who was at the world trade center and among those leading the push to help those how nor -- who are now sick. [ female announcer ] it's simple physics...
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as we mark 12 years since the attacks of september 11 and remember the thousands who died, there's an imprint deadline for anyone in lower manhattan on or after that day, october 3rd. that's the final day to sign up for the 9/11 victim compensation fund. for people who knew or had reason to know before october 3, 2011, they would come down with an illness related to the attack, registration preserves the right for a claim. it's not just first responders, iron workers, construction employees and others who worked at the site for months. officials encourage people who lived in the immediate areas to register. the number is expected to grow. with us, new york congressman michael grimm, an fbi agent in lower manhattan at the time and spent months at are ground zero
and is pushing for survivors and fellow respondatories -- responders to sign up for the fund. good to see you. >> good to be here. >> it's important to understand there's a reason you're pushing so hard for people to sign up for the imprint deadline because there are people who may not know they will need these funds in the future, correct? >> absolutely correct. unfortunately many people think that it's only the first responders,çó firefighters, nypd but as you mentioned, you could have been an iron worker or construction worker or someone handing out supplies, a volunteer. there were so many volunteers handing out masks, water, while we were on the pile. they were all exposed as everyone else so it's important everyone understand, if you were at hile or lived in the vicinity, you should sign up and preserve any rights you may have. >> you're talking about
$2.8 billion set aside for the fund. even if you never use that or get your share of the money or need it in the future, god willing people do not need it, it's important to put your name on the list just so that if something happens you're protected by the law. >> absolutely. that is exactly the point. you want to preserve any rights that you may have. you don't know unfortunately many firefighters, many others, came down with rare cancer many years after the event. after this tragedy. so you're not sure how long some of these diseases could take to actually manifest themself physically. it's very important. anyone down on that pile, even if you were not working on the pile but you were a half block away handing out water, you were exposed to those -- i would say that toxic air and you may unfortunately come down with a rare cancer in the near future.
>> clearly congressman this is a noble cause but while i've got you, i want your thoughts on syria because you switched your support. you came out in favor of strikes and now you're against it because your feeling appears to be if the president was willing to go with peace to begin with, why didn't it? >> i think there's several things. when i came out to support the president -- listen, i want to support our president, our commander in chief. it's important for the united states to do so but i was clear when i gave the support there were two things important. that we did not delay and if we were going to do a strike, it be done quickly. the window of opportunity was small. the other thing is i felt it had to be a meaningful strike, not a shot across the bow. as time went on, 72 hours went by, i could see the president was not going to do that. he wanted to wait for us to come
into session and not call a special session. the period of time was too long and it didn't think it was going to be a meaningful strike, especially after the secretaries came to the hill and couldn't articulate the goal. those were important items to make me pull that support ane i still feel that was the right decision at this time. >> and you're among many lawmakers who switched their support. new york congressman michael grimm, good to see you, thank you, sir. >> good to see you, thank you. >> coming up, we'll talk more on syria with washington democratic congressman adam smith, one of the major arguments against attacking the syrian regime is it could strength rebel groups aligned with al-qaeda. we remember the al-qaeda attack that killed thousands of americans. how do we square one with the other?
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>> trace: fox news is investigating the situation on the ground in syria and extremely complicated task it has to be. the government restricts access. a civil war is raging and dozens of rebel groups are operating in the country. according to a report from the dc think tank homeland security project, part of the bipartisan policy center the rebel movement in syria has overlap with al-qaeda. this report 12 years after the 9/11 attack. it says if the u.s. helps the rebels it could mean we would inadvertently help al-qaeda.
one rebel group is effectively a branch of al-qaeda. rebel group has provided social services to build support with people in the areas it controls. if that group and others like it gain control of syria's chemical weapons, they could smuggle them out of country and use those weapons in future attacks. robert young pelten is an author and filmmaker and spent time with al-qaeda members around the world since the group was formed. at one point osama bin laden was his neighbor. good to see you. >> how are you? >> i'm well, sir. thank you. my question is, do you believe as others do that al-qaeda is not on its heels, that al-qaeda is actually inside syria flourishing? >> al-qaeda is in a number of countries and set up countries in places as wide ranging as somalia, afghanistan, the
taliban and nigeria. it's doing well and they're more powerful in northern africa and the middle east than in the early 90s. remember they were an offshoot of us funding islamic groups. in the 80s, $6 billion was pumped in to fundamentalist groups which was spread across the the world create al-qaeda today. >> trace: we said by helpingñi t rid of bashar al-assad we might be inadvertently helping the rebels. what about the flip side? what if we don't help the rebels? do they say america left us hanging and we're going to lean more towards al-qaeda, who is giving us schools, money, food and housing in some cases?çó >> trace, we have a mechanism set up in the 60s by president kennedy, u.s. special forces, green beret, trained to support and train rebel groups and shape them on the battlefield.
we neglected to do that. we did this in afghanistan, sent in special forces after 9/11 and shaped the government of afghanistan. under the obama administration we have chosen not shape that conflict so it's shaped up and we're between two rotating lawn mower blades. the shia conflict and the east-west thing and we got on the wrong side going against assad, who a moderate shia leader and ended up supporting the growth of this sunni arm of al-qaeda. >> trace: you have long argued the u.s. has been on its heels in the middle east and russia leading the charge. when you watch what's happening, the chess game with vladimir putin leading the charge, what are your thoughts? >> well, first of all i think obama was playing chess, taking a long time to make complicated moves and putin was playing
checkers. he stole president obama's lunch money and moved quickly to form an alliance with assad, china and iran to come up with a peace plan. as you know, the main criteria of military action is speed, surprise and balance of action. i don't think president obama understand, so now we have to deal with the u.n. and a complex group of diplomats to come up with a very unsatisfactory solution. >> good to see you, thank you. >> always a pleasure. >> trace: members of congress spent a weeklies to go why they should vote for war. now it's on hold while the world looks to russia to keep the peace. not everybody in congress is happy. congress has set another hearing on benghazi andçó the deadly terror attack that happened there one year ago today. why some of the victims' family members are still waiting for answers. that's next on "studio b."
>> trace: i'm trace gallagher in for shepard smith. this is "studio b." fox news confirmed the five permanent members of the united nation security council will meet 30 minutes from now to hash out details of the resisting proposal to turn over syria's chemical weapons. it looks like congress is off the hook. the shift on strategy means congress won't have to take an
unpopular vote on authorizing force, an issue that left both parties at odds with the president's plan. still most lawmakers say they're skeptical of russia's proposal. today state department officials made a point of saying the russian proposal is not a done deal. >> the details matter. we're not predetermining or presuggesting we're going to approve of whatever proposal we talk through over the next several days. it has to be credible and verifiable. >> one of the strongest supporters of a military strike, john mccain, said the new approach is a blow to the syrian rebels. he said he's not against checking out the russian plan but that, quote, there's nothinr that will drive syrians more into the hands of extremist than to feel they've been abandoned by the west. mike emanuel is live on capitol hill. what now for lawmakers?
>> senate lawmakers moved on to other business, an energy efficiency bill and the difficult issue of funding the government after september 30th. some who were skeptical about using force in syria are now saying they cannot support the president's call for limited military action. >> i could support a resolution if it involved the use of desighs active and overwhelming force without self-imposed limitations and without leaking to our enemies what our tactics are and what it is we would not do. >> cornyn says he does not like the idea of sending our troops to war with one hand behind their backs and clearly does not like the idea of telegraphing to the syrian regime what the united states is willing to do.d trace? >> trace: what about that vote on syria? is it ever going to happen? >> you get a sense of number of lawmakers are breathing a sigh of relief because it would have
been a tough vote. some said when the president comes to congress and says i need you to vote on this authorization, ultimately there should be a vote. the question now is timing. one person who wants to keep the pretty sure on the syrian regime is chris van holland. >> the resolution says after 30 days the president would be authorized to take very limited action if, number one, assad has not signed the convention or,ñi number the president certifies there's no credible plan to put assad's chemical weapons stockpile under verifiable international control. >> the timing is under certain because they're waiting for the president to see how the diploma will work out so i asked a lot of senators what we're doing next? they say you tell us. >> trace: key fundraise, whether diplomacy works out. mike, thank you. on that notexd let's bring in pj
crawly, formerñi assistant secretary of state and from george washington university. atop jiz. great to see you. >> hi, trays. >> mikeñi emanuel's point is go. the whole idea of the vote, it seems to be dead in the water because if in fact the diplomacy weeks, months down the line doesn't work it seems the president's not going to go back to congress to seem approval. we'll go in just on my approval. >> i'm not sure that's the case, trace. everyone will take a pause, we're holding pattern to see whether the russian and syrian pledges are serious. there are ways in which you can test it early. first is can you get a credible resolution through the security council that commits syria legally to give up its weapons. then you're looking for a
credible declaration by syria as to what they have and where it is. one of the great challenges is in inserting an inspection team, how do you keep that team safe. we saw withñi the u.n. inspectin team in damascus they were fired on as they traveled the site of the august 21 attack. over time, how do you position these weapons so they can be destroyed. that process will take years. i think there will be a way of testing this early on to find out is it serious, can it work or not. >> trace: you talk about the challenges. what about the deal breakers? it seems that if we go on with this weeks and months negotiation process, what's the first sign in your estimation that bashar al-assad is simply trying to buy time? what's the big point we need to look for? >> i would move itçó back to das or weekse as opposed to months. i don't think the administration will let this go on indefinitely. the first order of business is
will there be a credible resolution. the value there is it brings the u.n. back in to having a meaningful role inxd the syrian crisis, china and russia sidelined the united nations for two years. there's a way to see if it's credible. if not, the president is probably in a stronger position coming back to congress to say i tried diplomacy, it doesn't look like it's going to work, as chris just said, we need to come back to the issue of military force. i think that if this diplomacy does not work out, is not doable and credible. it's going to cause recalculations among house and senate members. >> trace: you talk about china and russia being the flies in the ointment of the u.n. security council. no matter how you spin it, it appears putin really is pulling the strings on this case alone. >> you know, i heard the comment
earlier about stealing his lunch money but this puts putin on the hook. he's the guy that has the most significant leverage with bashar al-assad. russia's credibility is now invested in syria as well as american credibility. ; ts client state syria that reflects badly on putin and that works to the president's favor because he can argue that, look, putin didn't deliver so my plan for military force is the only viable one on the table. >> trace: former assistant secretary of state, pj crawley. good to see you. >> one year after the consulate attack in benghazi, a car bomb exploded there this morning near libyan foreign ministry building. it blew out a side wall of the building. you can see desks and office
furniture in the rubble. last check, no one claimed responsibility but it's important to note the building housed the u.s. consulate decades ago before the late libyan dictator muammar gadhafi came to power. this comes one year after the deadly assaulton the current u.s. consulate which killed four americans including our embassador, chris stevens. still no arrest and leaders of an independent review board which investigated that attack are set to testify as a house hearing next week. catherine herridge is in washington now. >> thank you. the review of state department memos and congressional testimony by fox news shows the policy decision to have a consulate in eastern libya was made at the highest levels of the state department that escaped blame for the benghazi attack. this action memo owe signed in december 2011, nine months before the assault, gave the operation the green light. the memo was prepared by jeffrey
feltman who ran near eastern affairs and cleared by patrick kennedy. a seasoned diplomat says kennedy would not have acted in isolation, he needed cover from clinton and others on the state department's 7th floor. >> i would be amazed if he had not consulted at least with deputy secretary burns and i feel for a place as sensitive as libya, with secretary clinton directly. and many others within the building. i don't think he would have made what is a really fundamentally political decision purely on management grounds. >> reporter: also the testimony of greg hix suggested embassador stevens felt pressure to be in benghazi. he wanted benghazi converted into a permanent operation and stevens needed to report back to the state department before the end of the budge year, september 30th. on the needed physical upgrades.
fox news has asked the state department beginning in may of this year to comment on our findingsñhr based on testimony s well as documents. but the policy decision was made at least by undersecretary kennedy or even higher to secretary clinton. we have had various responses to be frank and today they told us they weren't clear on who made that policy and they would have to look into it further. >> trace: katherine, thank you. more continuing coverage on the crisis in syria. we heard from a republican congressman. next reaction from the other side of the aisle. the ranking member of the house arms services committee joins us next, straight ahead on "studio b."
crisis to succeed. so far there's a healthy debate among lawmakers. listen. >> the president appreciates that and you've seen his administration at every level engage with congress in any way it can to provide more information about this very important issue. >> trace: earlier we spoke with republican congressman michael grimm. now let's get the democratic side, washington congressman amd adam shapiro adam smith. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for the chance. >> a lot of republicans believe some democrats areçó relieved te vote's not happening because they believe a lot of democrats wanted to support the president but were not in favor of force in syria. were you in that camp? >> i don't think we're relieved. we all have different positions. the biggest perspective from the democratic side is it's apparent
in the senate and house the president would have a difficult time getting those votes. the impact on policy would not have been good so this gives us another option, hopefully better options, to control the chemical weapons. a lot of democrats and republicans were skeptical about one-time strike, how effective it would be and what it would accomplish. the debate will continue and it's far from over. we may still have that vote. >> trace: what if this lingers? this could go on for months. negotiations and posturing and bashar al-assad. what if it lingers for months? then what? >> i think the single-most important thing -- the problem here is we all agree assad isñi terrible. he's a war criminal. the worst war criminal in decades. he should not be in power but what is the alternative? we need time to build a reasonable alternative.
that's the policy we should pursue. i met with a number of syrian refugees, there's reasonable forces in syria fighting assad. we need to support them. there's al-qaeda and folks we don't want to see succeed. we need to build a reasonable alternative to assad and that's going to take some time. >> trace: john mccain said if you don't support the rebels, then why would they stick with us? why don't they go and join al-qaeda because al-qaeda's got money and can give them food and shelter and all the things you need to survive? >> no, they're definitely saying that over there. you know, they meet with us and talk to us but they want more help. that's why a one-time military strike focused on chemical weapons, that's an important issue but there are nther more important issues. we need to contain the damage in syria, protect jordan and israel and develop a reasonable
alternative to assad or being in this awkward position of wanting to stop assad from using chemical weapons but not knocking him out of power. if we lose control of the chemical weapons, they'll probably fall under control of people that are even worse. >> trace: it's the old saying better to deal with the devil you know than the devil you don't. do you believe this will come to a vote in congress? >> you know, i'm not into hypotheticals or predictions. tough uphill fight ahead of them to get those votes. i'll be honest, part of the reason is they were very, very late to coming to congress to talk about this. the president made his announcement that he was going to come to congress for this vote. then they started talking to us. i will tell you -- i didn't alternately support the surge in iraq but president bush reached out to congress and said what do
you think. he engaged with us. that didn't happen and that has the president playing catch-up on getting the votes. >> trace: yep, congressman adam smith, good to see you, thank you. >> thank you. >> trace: more complications in the syrian mess today. the israel prime minister with a threat for syria and its neighbor, iran. and that's next. [ male announcer ] this is brad. his day of coaching begins with knee pain, when... [ man ] hey, brad, want to trade the all-day relief of two aleve for six tylenol? what's the catch? there's no catch. you want me to give up my two aleve for six tylenol? no. for my knee pain, nothing beats my aleve.
>> trace: the international community must strip syria of chemical weapons. and other countries that use weapons of mass destruction must pay a price. that's the word from israeli prime minister benjamint3 netanyahu speaking at a military ceremony in israel, he also said iran, syria's ally and a sworn enemy of israel, is watching to see how the world responds.
remember people in israel had recently been lining up to get gas masks fearing a u.s. attack on syria could prompt iran to retaliate against israel. now that syria accepted a russian proposal to hand over chemical weapons, the reaction from israelis is mixed. >> in my eyes, everything is -- it's snowballed. it was normal even when the -- it was on the table. >> i'm not relieved. it's a matter of time. it will explode again. i don't feel any better now. >> trace: some israelis say they're concerned syria's chemical weapons could under up in the hands of israel's enemies. conner powell? jewel let -- in jerusalem. >> for the past week or so, israel leaders have been quiet on the topic of syria.
today's comments by benjamin netanyahu is the first we've heard from any israel leader in the past seven days. just as things were starting to calm down, netanyahu seemed to have taken a hard line saying not only should assad's chemical weapons be taken but those who use chemical weapons should be punished. the current u.s. position seems to be removing chemical weapons is the punishment and netanyahu seems to be calling for more. in israel there are two camps, one believes an american air strike would ignite a war that could hurt israel, another wants u.s. to hit assad to send a message to iran. netanyahu falls in that second camp. >> trace: he has long term issues as well. assad isn't punished now, the the ayatollahs in tehran will pursue nuclear weapons. the flip side is if the u.s.
were to strike syria and the assad regime, they -- the ayatollah may speed up their nuclear production. >> trace: thank you. the 12th man in sports is a well-known thing. fans are getting behind their teams in bizarre ways that you will see next. clay. mom? come in here. come in where? welcome to my mom cave. wow. sit down. you need some campbell's chunky soup before today's big game, new chunky cheeseburger. mmm. i love cheeseburgers. i know you do. when did you get this place? when i negotiated your new contract, it was part of the deal. cool. [ male announcer ] campbell's chunky soup. it fills you up right.
>> trace: if you need another reason to salute the flag, we have got it. the united states punched its ticket to the 2014 world cup in brazil. the men's soccer team defeated mexico by 2-0. it was all thanks to a couple of second half goals. the invitation to the sporting event wasn't official until an hour after the game when honduras tied against panama. it's the 7th straight time the men qualified for the world cup.
then there's this before we call it a day on "studio b." it's no secret brazil takes soccer seriously, perhaps too seriously. take the case of two city teams that were in a last-minute playoff, tied 2-2 and one team about to score the winning goal when the other team's masseuse reportedly jumped on the field and blocked the shot. the team that should have won chased him off. the game ended in a tie and the team that should have been lost advanced. the other team is angry and threatening a lawsuit. the masseuse probably in hiding. i'm trace gallagher in for shepard smith. that's it for "studio b." shep back later for the "fox report." neil cavuto and your world starts right now. >> neil: 9/11 and today we remember two acts of terror. one targeting theñi nation's
financial center. another one that killed our embassador and three other americans in benghazi 12 months ago. we've gotten the answers to this attack. we're waiting for answers to this one. today former new york city mayor rudy giuliani on both. also here, arizona senator john mccain on the threat we're still facing in syria and the president's response to it. welcome, i'm neil cavuto. across the country today tributes honoring the victims of