A report by Jerry Gordon of the American Congress for Truth:
Almost four fifths of both Arabic and Farsi speakers in the U.S. are non-Muslims: Middle East Christians: Copts, Maronite, Orthodox, Syriac, Assyrian Chaldeans, Mizrahi Jews, Zoroastrians. Add to that native American language specialists and apostate Muslims and you begin to see a pattern of discrimination in our national security agencies: FBI, CIA, DIA, NSA, and others. It is largely a product of moral equivalency “˜blindness” in the lackluster recruiting efforts of our national security system and intimidation by American Muslim community advocacy groups.
The result is that we have a large gap in un-translated intelligence information and a deficit in HUMINT analysis and assessments that has blindfolded development of National Security strategies in the war against radical Islam Jihad in the Middle east and globally. At the forthcoming Intelligence Summit in St. Petersburg, Florida in March 2007, I will be presenting both anecdotal and profile information that indicates the crisis of self delusion and denial of precious linguistic and cultural analysis skills of non-Muslims by U.S. security agencies fully capable of serving in our intelligence establishment as loyal Americans.
I recently sent a letter to U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman Independent Democrat regarding this matter as he is the new Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. I will shortly be meeting with the Senator’s committee staff to discuss this “˜scandal.”
Walid Phares of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy and prominent member of the expatriate Maronite Christian community has indicated interest in this issue. In an email exchange following his review of the letter, he said:
“This is a very important task. The way you are addressing it is very smart. Keep me posted”¦”
Political science professor at Boston College, Dennis Hale remarked in an email response:
“˜Great idea, good letter”¦.You”ve at last gotten the problem presented to someone who might be able to do something about it.”
I have anecdotes from Persian, Iraqi and Syrian Jews, Coptic and Maronite Christians about their less than warn reception upon applying for such positions. My colleague at American Congress for Truth Brigitte Gabriel, bestselling author of Because They Hate, applied for a translator position immediately following 9/11 — and while conversant in several Arabic dialects, Hebrew, English and French, was rebuffed!
Here are excerpts from my letter to Senator Lieberman’s key staff about the matter seeking their cooperation in getting the facts straight and laying out an agenda for collection of key background information from U.S. security and intelligence agencies.
Given reports in the media about the huge backlog of domestic intercepts of telephone calls by the FBI and other U.S. intelligence agencies of targeted parties of interest, there is many of us believe a need for an appropriate inquiry into the subject of why the intelligence and homeland security community haven’t done more to enlist such valuable talent to assist in these important security investigations.
One glaring example of the conundrum of the lack of qualified Arabic translators was a New York Times story in its Faith and war series by Times staffer Andrea Elliot entitled “˜From Head Scarf to Army Cap” in the December 15, 2006 edition, about recruitment of a Jordanian Muslim woman by the U.S. Army to be given citizenship under an accelerated Logan Act program to become a qualified Arabic translator.
As a former U.S. Army intelligence officer with contacts in the Military Intelligence community engaged in Middle East language translation and intelligence analysis, I have received anecdotal information corroborating current practices and the enormity of the deficit of trained linguists and analysts.
In furtherance of my own investigations that may be of interest to the Senator and the Homeland security staff, I have annexed an agenda containing information requests that might under the committee’s auspices be sent to U.S. and domestic intelligence agencies for their response. The information derived from the security agencies responses may be revelatory as regards possible hearings on the topic and administrative actions to acquire qualified personnel to provide language translation and analysis capabilities to fill an enormous and important task to assure this country”s Homeland Security.
I”m sure that the Senator, who has just returned from a trip to the Middle East, is acutely sensitive to the issue of more valid intelligence and information upon which to base development of the nation’s domestic and international security agenda, policies and programs. This topic should be of interest to both he and the Homeland Committee staff and members.
Thank you for your cooperation in handling and facilitating this information request.
U.S. Security Hiring Practices of Arabic, Farsi, Turkic and Urdu Translators and Analysts
Census of Qualified Translators Employed;
Number in staff
Age, Sex, Ethnicity, Religious affiliation
Citizenship: U.S. / if non U.S., country of origin
Educational attainment: high school, college/university/graduate school
Language training: formal college/university or military language programs, others
Military rank or GS- pay grades
Years of service/experience
Location: U.S. –national /regional offices
Abroad: Countries where currently deployed
Recruitment policies and programs
Current and project staffing requirements
Career development programs in language and area studies
University language and NSEP programs
Military language programs
Community outreach programs
Foreign sourcing programs
Standardized language testing
Candidate screening criteria
Candidate Acceptance rejection rates by ethnicity and religious affiliation
Target language translation and analysis requirements
Current level of translation needs — number of lines of original language texts or message transmissions for translation
Number of assigned language translator/analysts
Current level of translation reports and output — number of lines of texts and message transmissions
Backlog deficit of un-translated lines of texts and message transmissions
Contract language translation services — volume and extent of procurement, domestic U.S. versus foreign providers
Machine language translation augmentation and support-availability, uses and quality of output.
Language translation program development and initiatives
History of programs-pre and post 9/11
Objectives of programs vis a vis support of domestic and international security
Interim Remedial adjustments vis a vis program recruitment, staffing
Future program initiatives to cover current language translation deficits