Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

You Go, Joe

From zero to hero. Just a couple of weeks ago, Joe Nacchio's lawyer was in federal court, arguing that his client's upcoming trial must be moved, because the former Qwest CEO is one of "the most reviled figures in Denver history" and could never get a fair trial here.

But today, Nacchio is being hailed across the country as a hero. Why? Because after 9/11, he stood up to the National Security Agency and refused to release phone records of the company's customers — the very people who were complaining about their treatment by Qwest.

According to USA Today, which broke the story yesterday, all the other Baby Bells were only too happy to help the NSA build its database on millions of Americans. That makes Nacchio's refusal all the more admirable, because he was chair of the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee at the time.

If only he'd been as protective of his employees and stockholders. -- Patricia Calhoun

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun