Have I reached the party to whom I am speaking?
BIDEN: Let me very precise.
BIDEN: I have not heard of NSA saying to the Intelligence Committee, "We are binding ourselves as we engage in this activity under the minimization procedures of 12333, as well as other statutes." I'm unaware that that's written down or stated anywhere or been presented to the Intelligence Committee. Can you assure us that has been done?
GONZALES: No, sir, I can't assure you that.
BIDEN: Can you assure us, General, that you are fully, totally informed and confident that you know the absolute detail with which this program is being conducted? Can you assure us you personally can assure us that no one is being eavesdropped upon in the United States other than someone who has a communication that is emanating from foreign soil by a suspected terrorist, Al Qaida or otherwise?
GONZALES: Sir, I can't give you absolute assurance of the kind that you've asked for.
BIDEN: Who can?
ERNESTINE: Here at the Phone Company we handle eighty-four billion calls a year. Serving everyone from presidents and kings to scum of the earth. (snort) We realize that every so often you can't get an operator, for no apparent reason your phone goes out of order [snatches plug out of switchboard], or perhaps you get charged for a call you didn't make or we listen to your calls. We don't care. Watch this [bangs on a switch panel like a cheap piano] just lost Peoria. (snort) You see, this phone system consists of a multibillion-dollar matrix of space-age technology that is so sophisticated, even we can't handle it. But that's your problem, isn't it? Next time you complain about your phone service, why don't you try using two Dixie cups with a string. We don't care. We don't have to. (snort) We're the Phone Company!