HomeFeaturesDailyBriefingsRapidReconSpecial ReportsAbout Us

On Lessons not Learned

There seems to be a continuing disconnect between current time and what is now just eight years ago. The question must be asked, "Have we learned nothing?"

Time stamp, September 10, 2001: While the public record is difficult to track, it is cited that Attorney General John Ashcroft rejected the funding request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to hire additional Arabic translators. Further, it is also held that China was considered to pose a greater threat to U.S. security than al Qaeda (prior to September 11, 2001).

Today, as if a revelation we can read that we still have a lack of foreign language speakers and translators, and that our ability to understand Pashto, Dari and Urdu are non-existent.

Finding or training people to speak obscure languages is easier said than done.

The former officer, who asked not to be named because the information is classified, said intelligence agency representatives have visited polyglot locations such as Detroit to recruit native speakers.

"They were able to find many recent immigrants and first-generation U.S. citizens with needed language skills," he said. "But none of them could pass a background check."

Somehow, this continues to be a problem unsolved. Yet, the importance of finding a solution is no less compelling today, less than two weeks from the eighth commemoration of the attacks that changed our Nation, than it was then. Answers?

Leave a comment