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Wednesday, July 9

The not too distant future...

"This bill will help our intelligence professionals learn who the terrorists are talking to, what they're saying and what they're planning," Bush said in a brief White House appearance after the Senate (FISA) vote.

3:00 A.M; Somewhere in the eastern United States; early fall before the elections. The family is sleeping quietly. Nothing is stirring, not even a mouse.
Moonlight streams through the bedroom window illuminating a man still asleep.
The phone rings…again…again…
The man rolls over and fumbles for the phone…
“Hello?”, he sleepily says.
“Is this Kenneth?”, comes a heavily accented voice.
“Huh?”, says the wakening man.
“I asked, is this Kenneth?”, says a man with a strange accent.
“Who is this?”, demands the waking man.
“You know who it is. I’m confirming the meeting with (unintelligible) you have scheduled to discuss your involvement with (unintelligible).”, says the voice.
The man is awake now and trying to identify the accent. It seems so familiar; Spanish? No. Dutch? No? But it keeps nagging at him as he listens to the voice continue questioning him. “I don’t know anything about a meeting. Who did you say it was with?”, the now wide awake man asks.
“Thank you for the confirmation. (unintelligible) will meet with you at the prearranged time. Tell no one. Goodbye.” Says the voice.
The man hears a dial tone then hangs up the phone.
Hearing her husband talking, his wife groggily asks, “Who was that, honey?”
“I don’t know, dear. Must’ve been a wrong number. Good night, dear”, he replies.
He turns on his side and pulls the covers over his now chilly shoulders. Closing his again sleepy eyes, he thinks once more about that accent but it doesn’t matter. Just a wrong number. Got to get to sleep. He has to get up at 6:00 A.M. and he’s got a long day ahead.

Verizon Headquarters; sub-basement room 31 complex B.

Monitor: “Yes sir. We have a confirming call from somewhere in northern Pakistan to a number here in the states.”
Supervisor: “Recorded?”
Monitor: “Yes sir.”
Supervisor: “Suspicious?”
Monitor: “Well, seems he was sleeping and the call woke him.”
Supervisor: “Could be a ruse?”
Monitor: “Yes sir. How should we treat it?”
Supervisor: “Inform the NSA. We can’t take a chance.”
Monitor: “Yes sir.”
Supervisor: “Yeah, they’ll pick him up in the morning. These people think they can get away with tramping on our country! We’ll show them!”
Monitor: “Sir?”
Supervisor: “Oh, they all think they can get away with their subversion. But we got ‘ em now.”
Monitor: “Sir. The man is a businessman. Small businessman at that. His profile suggests he’s not a threat.”
Supervisor: “That makes him more of a suspect. Business! Probably making some arrangement he thinks won’t get him caught. That’s how they all are. We got this one. Who was the caller?”
Monitor: “No idea, sir.”
Supervisor: “Well, it doesn’t matter. The boys will take care of it now. Good work. Chalk up another one for mom, apple pie and the American way.”
Monitor: “…Sir? What if it WAS a wrong number?”
Supervisor: “Well, son. Better to be safe than sorry, Right? It’s only one man.”
Monitor: “..Aa..yes sir…”

A small town in Northern Pakistan

“Akmed. “Get me another number for someone in the United States.”

TV teaser that night in the man’s town:

Local man arrested as terrorist. Wife and son detained for further questioning. No other details were released.

In other news, Sanjay may get another chance on American Idol. One judge may have been drunk.

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