Newsweek's Anna Quindlen writes:
I used to hear strange clicking sounds on my telephone and assume it was Verizon's usual level of service. Now I figure it's the National Security Agency.
I'm with you Anna. I've heard it too. So have those I've been talking to. A friend of mine first pointed it out a little less than a year ago. We were mostly exchanging "girl talk" but our long conversation drifted into the political here and there. We share a contempt for all things Bush. "What's that clicking sound?" she said excitedly. After that I started paying attention. Lo and behold, when my phone conversations drift into criticisms of the war, the economy, Bush the Liar, Cheney the Undead, etc., I start noticing audible clicking sounds. It happens when I talk to friends. It happens when I talk to my sister. All of whom, by the way, are right here in the good old US of A. So, yeah, it could be the woefully crappy Verizon service. Or it could be that saying anything negative about this misadministration gets you surveiled, and Fourth Amendment be damned. No, I no longer feel secure in my person.
It is indeed an outrage, that the big phone companies serve customers so poorly and the authorities so cravenly, that the so-called war on terrorism is so ineptly waged that billions of pages of numbers seemed like a useful tool. We can never forget that these were the same folks who intercepted two messages from Afghanistan on Sept. 10, 2001: "the match begins tomorrow" and "tomorrow is zero hour." No one understood except in hindsight, but hindsight was the only way the messages were seen. They weren't translated until Sept. 12, and zero hour had come and gone.
Oh, right. I don't feel any safer, either.