Commentary on Alabama Law and Society

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Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Do Not Sign Up With Qwest!

Unless you want to end up in Gitmo, that is.

"Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" was excellent this morning, Tom Hanks was the celebrity guest for Not My Job, and everyone was very witty. Roy Blount Jr., for example, asked Hanks about his role in the soon to be released Da Vinci Code movie: "Did you contact Satan directly, or did his people call your people?" And there was no shortage of material, with the week's news including Dubya's Iranian pen pal, and and also Patrick Kennedy.

But, the most important part of the show was Paula Poundstone unraveling the whole NSA scandal. It is simple, really. First, all the phone companies except Qwest turned over our calling records to the feds. So Qwest is the only company whose customers can expect that their calling records will remain private. Second, terrorists want their calls to be private. Therefore, if you want your calls to be private, you are a terrorist.

Do you see it yet? It's obvious. This is a big sting operation. Qwest is the only company that keeps our calls private, so anyone who now signs up with Qwest must be a terrorist. The feds just have to sit back and wait for the new customers/terrorists to call. They probably have undercover agents working in customer service, or new accounts, waiting for you.

Thanks to Paula, though, we won't be caught in the sting. Keeping its listeners out of Gitmo, one more reason to listen to what is always a great program.

(Update: Oh m' gosh, I just realized something. Paula has published important national security secrets! Thanks to her the whole sting operation is now worthless! So she is going to Gitmo. And me as well, for spreading the information? And you, for reading this? Good heavens, what a mess. Well, if you don't hear from me for a while, you know why.)