Sunday, January 21, 2007


Still not enough linguists?

A conservative blog called The Compass says that the NSA and other agencies still have not hired enough translators to keep up with their intelligence mission.

The blog reports:

"How mountainous is the backlog of untranslated intercepts? Read this comment from a National Security Agency (NSA) official quoted from Congressional hearings in a Washington Times article on the subject written by Rowan Scarborough and Bill Gertz entitled: 'Intelligence backlog.'

"NSA director, Army Lt. Gen. Keith in commenting in written response to Senators on the large backlog of time consuming labor intensive foreign language intercepts on terrorism noted:

"'Today’s backlog is no longer confined to Arabic and its multiple dialect but also less commonly taught languages where linguists are in short supply.'"

The Compass also says many linguists have been turned away for reasons that seem inconsequential, given the grave need for translators.

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