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Friday, September 03, 2004

Guantanamo: Some Curious Details

In its September 2, 2004 editorial The Los Angeles Times makes many good points about the military tribunals underway at the US Naval base in Guantanamo, Cuba. There is hardly anything in this article with which I find a need to disagree.

However, one detail especially caught my eye.
...The Arab interpreters were so incompetent that the proceedings resembled a game of "telephone," in which the message veered closer to gibberish with each repetition. Yet this game is about men's futures.
This certainly makes me think of Sibel Edmonds, an ex-FBI translator whose case I have covered in the past (see these links: 1, 2). Amongst other things, she mentions corruption and complete lack of professionalism amongst some of the FBI translators. Based on what The Los Angeles Times reports, this may be a problem whose scope is way beyond the confines of the FBI. And even if the time count began on September 11, 2001,- can anyone give me one legitimate reason why almost three years later critical translator positions are still staffed by utter incompetents?

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