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Maybe the 55 dismissed gay Arabic linguists will get a phone call

The FBI has only 33 agents in its ranks with limited proficiency in Arabic. This kind of puts a damper on our effectiveness fighting Chimpy’s war on terror. (WaPo):

Counting agents who know only a handful of Arabic words — including those who scored zero on a standard proficiency test — just 1 percent of the FBI’s 12,000 agents have any familiarity with the language, the statistics show.

The numbers reflect the FBI’s continued struggle to attract employees who speak Arabic, Urdu, Farsi and other languages of the Middle East and South Asia, even as the bureau leads a fight against terrorist groups primarily centered in those parts of the world.

It’s nice to see our tax dollars protecting us so well. Did I mention the CIA has the same problem? In the FBI’s case, recruiting and clearing qualified people resembles a Keystone Kops operation.

Special agents, for example, must be U.S. citizens. They also must undergo background checks that are much more difficult to pass if the candidate has relatives or friends overseas.

“It is easier to get a security clearance if you don’t have any interaction with foreigners, which is not what you want if you want better interaction with foreigners,” Byman said.

How inept is this government overall in this regard? It extends to our federal prisons as well.

…A study released last week, for example, found that three terrorists housed at a federal prison in Colorado were able to send more than 90 letters to fellow extremists overseas, in part because the prison did not have enough qualified language translators to understand what was happening.

Hat tip, Shakes Sis.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding