HIGHTOWER: From Top-Secret to Toilet Paper

Here's the scene: a large, white truck pulls into an out-of-the-way spot in the back parking lot of a high-security government building in Washington, D.C. Men in dark uniforms, led by a former Marine Corps anti-terrorist specialist, spring from the truck and swiftly enter the building. These professionals know exactly what they're looking for, and they make quick work of the job, taking the particular papers they want and hauling them from the building in unmarked, blue, nylon bags.These men deal in secrecy, but they are not foreign spies, nor part of a rogue CIA operation. Instead, they work for an organization called -- get this -- Shred-it!The Washington Post reports that Shred-it is a highly-successful, mobile shredding service that operates six trucks in the Nation's Capitol, servicing federal agencies, downtown lobbying firms, corporate offices, and others that are somewhere between prudent and paranoid. Shred-it employees literally do the job right in the client's parking lot, since the truck really is a giant shredder on wheels. The blue bags of classified memos, records, reports, executive doodles, and whatever are dumped into the back of the truck, where a growling metal contraption devours a half-ton of paper an hour.Actually, shredding is no longer enough, since there have been embarrassing experiences of the shreds being glued back together. So Shred-it's machines take the art of paper disposal to a higher level, cross-cutting, pulverizing, or even reducing the documents to dust, depending on the client's level of anxiety about keeping any shred of material out of the wrong hands. The company motto is: "Our business is to ensure that nobody knows yours," and the truck doesn't leave the parking lot till all the paper has been processed to nothingness.One final step -- much of the waste generated by these shredders is hauled out of Washington to paper mills, where it is reduced to pulp. Then it's recycled ... into toilet paper!This is Jim Hightower saying ... How appropriate.

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