I called U.S. Border Patrol folks today to find out the best place to e-mail a request for public information.

The mildly pleasant woman who answered the phone explained to me that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Freedom of Information Act office does not accept requests electronically. I could either mail the request, or maybe, if I could convince the agency there was some sort of emergency that necessitated an exception to their rules, they just might accept a faxed request.

She asked if this was an emergency. Well, of course, (?!?) I responded

She said I could try to fax it, but go ahead and send a request in the mail, too, just in case her boss decides not to accept the faxed request.

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For real? No e-mail in the administration of a president who would not relinquish his Blackberry? And why would it have to be an emergency to respond to a fax? And who deems what constitutes a public information emergency?

The best part, though, is she told me she'd fax the letter back to me if they decided not to accept the request by fax. Thanks.

Guess I better go find a new ribbon to put in my Olympia SM4 typewriter so I can write a letter and give it to the nice postman.

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