The Federal Fingerprint Bureau

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Lew, I had a memorable conversation with the FBI’s Washington HQ spokesman a few years ago. Our bishop wanted to fingerprint all the parents in the diocese to “protect children” (as a response to the clerical child abuse scandals. Sanity finally prevailed, and he eventually revoked the requirement).

So I asked the FBI guy, “What happens to all those fingerprint cards? Do you really **destroy** those thousands of records after you do the background checks, or do you keep them on file?”

“Why would we want to keep them,” he asked (poker-faced, I’m sure).

“Wouldn’t you like to have everybody’s fingerprints if you could get them?”

“Oh, that’s ridiculous,” he said. “Some people are just paranoid. You just  can’t fight error with truth.”

“Oh? What do you fight it with?”

End of conversation.

7:27 pm on September 23, 2009