‘I Face Threat From Armed Groups’ « The Washington Independent
Communicating with Iraqis is, as you might imagine, difficult. Beyond the language barrier, the unreliability of electricity and Internet access makes emailing Iraqis a dicey proposition when there’s a deadline to meet. So some Iraqi translators I reached out to for my piece yesterday about potential compromises of their identity to the Iraqi government couldn’t get back to me in time. But that’s what the blog is for.
Someone I’ll call Texas — not his real name, obviously, nor the real pseudonym he uses when working with U.S. troops for Global Linguist Solutions — emailed me late yesterday evening. He said he took a job with GLS because he needed the money. Here are some excerpts about what he fears if the Iraqi government should learn of his identity.
When I went to work with GLS company I gave all my right information for this company because I was sure that the company didn’t give any information [to the] Iraqi government and in this time I am very afraid and I’m sure that I will resign from this company if they give information about translators [to the] Iraqi government. [...]
Actually I’m very afraid [for] my safety and my family and in [actuality] I face threat from armed groups and I have submitted emigration before, more than [a] month [ago], and I didn’t get any reply yet and I can’t go to any place even my home because of this group so I stay inside the [U.S. base], but the other translators who I know them some of them had been killed by armed groups when they know [the translators' identity].
GLS spokesman Douglas Ebner said that the company won’t turn over the identities of its more than 7000 Iraqi employees to the Iraqi government, though the company is in negotiations with the Iraqi ministries of finance and interior to determine the scope of GLS’ new legal obligations to the Iraqi government under the U.S.-Iraqi Status of Forces Agreement. Still, Texas said he is “sure that I will [leave] GLS and I will [leave] my country” — he will become another Iraqi who worked with the United States turned refugee.
I’ll keep blogging Iraqi translators’ experiences as I receive them.