Stewart slams Don't Ask Don't Tell as it regards to Arabic translators

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Sun Dec 10 16:24:03 UTC 2006

The Daily Background:

Stewart slams Don't Ask Don't Tell as it regards to Arabic translators

On Thursday, I quoted the Iraq Study Grop report as saying:

All of our efforts in Iraq, military and civilian, are handicapped by
Americans' lack of language and cultural understanding. Our embassy of
1,000 has 33 Arabic speakers, just six of whom are at the level of
fluency. In a conflict that demands effective and efficient communication
with Iraqis, we are often at a disadvantage. There are still far too few
Arab language-proficient military and civilian officers in Iraq, to the
detriment of the U.S. mission.

I then suggested if the military abandoned its flawed Don't Ask Don't Tell
policy, there would be more Arabic-speaking translators in the US

	Do you have any idea how many Arabic linguists the Army has fired because
	theyre gay? A ton. Its one of the most common positions gay Americans get
	kicked out of the US military in. If you want a case study of how the
	unconstitutional and bigoted Dont Ask Dont Tell policy has hurt the US
	military, look no farther than this.

Jon Stewart noted the ISG finding that said there was a severe shortage of
Arabic linguists working for the US military, and also suggested that it
was due to the Armys archaic Dont Ask Dont Tell policy, which requires
non-heterosexual translators and other personnel to be fired on the spot
if they are open about their sexual preference. The Daily Show host said:

STEWART: There was so much [for White House Press Secretary Tony Snow] to
deflect in the report, like the Study Groups call for more Arabic speaking
intelligence officers.

	CLIP OF SNOW: [You] cannot snap your fingers and [get] the Arabic speakers
	you need overnight.

	STEWART: True, although if you already have them, and they turn
	out to be gay, you can make them go disappear with a snap.

You can watch a video of Stewarts recent segment on the Iraq Study Group,
including that moment, here (Quicktime format).


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