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Archive for June 26th, 2007

State Dept. asked to hire ex-military gay linguists

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If you’re fighting a war against an enemy who speaks a language — or several — you don’t know, you’re at a disadvantage. It would be hard to make sense of captured documents or question “enemy combatants,” glean useful intelligence from civilians or simply to make new friends for your side.

Donated computers with translation software would help, but it’s just not the same as being conversant in your foe’s language. You want your soldiers to be able to speak the language. But in Iraq, writes Jeff Stein, national security editor at Congressional Quarterly, “The war has been hobbled by a lack of language abilities in Iraq.” Part of the reason, says Stein, is the United States has sent people into theater with sub-par training.

The other reason: The military has been flushing its ranks of many Arabic and other language specialists — because they are gay. Yes, that’s not news. But there’s 300 ex-military linguists versed in the languages the enemy speaks who aren’t putting sorely needed expertise to work.

Democratic Congressmen Tom Landos (D-Calif.) and Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) want to change that.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

June 26, 2007 at 5:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized