Skip to comments.Did translator shortage backfire? Inadequate preparation of Arabic-language interrogators
Posted on 03/22/2003 11:59:32 PM PST by Salvation
Did translator shortage backfire?
WND exposed inadequate preparation of Arabic-language interrogators
© 2003 WorldNetDaily.com
As two Kuwaiti Arabic translators are held along with an American Muslim sergeant in the fragging attack at Camp Pennsylvania, questions are being raised about the Army's heavy reliance on local translators rather than qualified U.S. military Arabic speakers and interrogators.
Back in September, WorldNetDaily first blew the whistle on the shortage of trained U.S. military translators and Arabic interrogators. Sources close to the preparations for a U.S. invasion of Iraq were concerned even last fall about what they perceived to be the military's inadequate preparation and shortage of Arabic-language interrogators a critical component not only of a battlefield victory but a nation-building operation afterwards.
"There is a severe lack of experienced interrogators taking part in current operations to start with," said one source. "Many of those designated as interrogators are reservists with little or no experience. Others are civilian law-enforcement personnel whose experience is in extracting confessions rather than strategic information."
In addition, the latest issue of Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin reports again on how the translator shortage can hurt security.
"The U.S. military forces in Iraq are critically short of two resources military police for guarding prisoners and Arabic-speaking interrogators to grill them," G2 Bulletin reported earlier today. "Even in the earliest planning stages of the Iraq campaign, U.S. Central Command expected huge numbers of surrenders would overwhelm the ability of MPs to handle them and prevent thorough interrogation of those captured. Rather than scramble to fix the problem, U.S. brass simply downgraded the official estimates of prisoners to fit the number of U.S. personnel available to handle them, according to G2B sources."
In earlier G2 Bulletin reports, sources warned about the use of Kuwaiti translators because of their questionable loyalties.
"The reason why we don't even have a whole bunch translators hired yet is because of loyalty issues," explained one source. "Another reason we can't hire more is because so many cannot get security clearances because of family ties to terrorists, Iraqis and sympathizers of one form or another."
G2 Bulletin reported the situation for linguists was so desperate before the start of the war "that CENTCOM personnel are trying to get Kuwaiti soldiers to act as interpreters. Some insiders believe this to be a mistake because so many Kuwaitis are very sympathetic to Iraq."
I'll repeat what I said a year and a half ago. In this entire senario, Islam trumps everything else.
Most people are not aware how difficult the security clearance and military training can actually be and the language training, no walk in the park, is intense. The Korean language labs used to have a small hand printed sign on the door: "Insane Asylum".
© 2003 WorldNetDaily.com
A U.S. soldier being described as a Muslim is now in custody for alleged complicity in the grenade and small-arms attack on members of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division encamped in Northern Kuwait, which injured 16 soldiers, one of whom has died.
Several others were injured seriously, and three are in surgery.
In addition, two Kuwaitis who had served a translators are being held for questioning, according to CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann, who is imbedded with the 101st.
Strassmann reported that the grenades were rolled into two commanders' tents. When officers ran from their tents, they were hit by small arms fire, he said.
In an initial statement, George Heath, 101st spokesman at home base Fort Campbell, said: "From our reports it appears that a terrorist penetrated Camp Pennsylvania, one or more terrorists threw two hand grenades into a tent."
But soon it became apparent that the attack was, as the Pentagon now says, an "inside job." After a roll call revealed that one soldier was missing on base, he was eventially found hiding. The soldier implicated was reportedly in charge of grenades, according to MSNBC.
Time reporter Jim Lacey told ABC News that he talked to an eyewitness at the rear base camp who said that grenades were rolled into a tents that housed the leaders of the brigadier unit. A "terrorist," the witness told Lacey, shot the first two people who exited the tent. Sky News reports that a third grendade was rolled into a third tent housing officers, but that it did not explode.
Camp Pennsylvania was named to honor of the victims of plane that crashed in Pennsylvania during the Sept. 11 attacks. The camp, located approximately 20-30 miles south of the Iraqi border, is surrounded by large berms and guarded by armed soldiers, with others in observation posts watching the desert. The camp is also home to Patriot missile batteries.
The U.S. soldier implicated is currently being questioned, and U.S. authorities are tight-lipped about characterizing his possible involvement.
Stuart Ramsay, a reporter with Sky News, says the Muslim soldier had become a concern to his commanding officers.
"In recent days they were concerned about his behavior and were not going to send him up to the front when the soldiers were going to be deployed," Ramsay said.
It is not clear whether the soldier, who Ramsay said would have been in the Gulf for some weeks, had planned the attack before being deployed.
"Talking to other soldiers, it could be that he was disgruntled," Ramsay said. "They said he had been acting 'weird' for days."
Lacey, the Time magazine reporter imbedded with the 101st, was in the tent next to the two tents that were the object of the grenade attack. In a phone interview, he told Fox News that the soldier responsible has an "Arabic-sounding" last name. Asked what his explanation of the perpetrator's motives, he said he believed "it was part of his misguided interpretation of his Muslim faith."
He who disbelieves in Allah after his belief in Him, (is the liar) except he who is compelled while his heart remains steadfast with the faith (has nothing worry). But who opens his breast for infidelity; on these is wrath of Allah, and for them is a great torment.
--Quran, Surah 16 (an‑Nahl), verse 100
This verse of the Quran refers to the incident when 'Ammar bin Yasir (May Allah be pleased with both) had to utter some words against Islam to save himself from the Quraishite infidels.
The Qur'an clearly allows hiding one 's true faith when one is in danger of one's life. This rule is called taqiyah.
Question 1: What is the meaning of "Taqiyah"?
Answer: Its literal meaning is to safeguard; to defend; to fear; piety (because it saves one from the displeasure of Allah).
Question 2: What is its significance in Islamic terminology?
Answer: In Islamic terminology it means "to save life, honour. or property (either one's own or of other believers) by hiding one's belief or religion".
I imagine the same rule would apply for a Muslim who hides his jihad sympathies.
But so self-serving.