Bruce Garrett Cartoon


November 4, 2002


News Item:
Army Purges Gay Arabic Linguists From Ranks

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network reports that the Army has fired a significant number of trained language specialists from the military's Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., because they are gay, despite a shortage of qualified Arabic linguists in the intelligence and defense fields

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network has assisted in the cases of seven Arabic speakers trained at Monterey, where they say the army is actively and illegally questioning service members on base to obtain information about homosexual conduct. Service members at the Defense Language Institute have been reportedly threatened with disciplinary action if they do not cooperate with the ongoing investigations.

Officials within the intelligence communities, and throughout the U.S. government, have spoken publicly about the impact a shortage of Arabic linguists has had on the nation's ability to fight terrorism.




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