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John Kerry, the senior senator from Massachusetts, was nowhere to be found in Washington in early December 2011.
His office was uncharacteristically mum about his whereabouts; it would say only that he was not in the capital.
“Does anybody know why Kerry did not vote on Cordray’s nomination?” asked a Democratic blogger, puzzled that Kerry would miss the opportunity to cast his vote for a former campaign worker.
It turns out he was undertaking a secret mission whose importance only now can be appreciated fully, following the interim agreement reached over the weekend to begin the process of stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program.