Thursday, February 15, 2007

Keeping Faith: Not lost in Translation

There has to be some solution to the issue of special visas. Where there is a will there is a way, and there really ought to be a will:

(CBS) Iraqi interpreters have to keep their faces hidden to survive working so closely with U.S. troops. They are the eyes and ears of American soldiers, but as CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan reports, for that, they are hunted down and murdered.

There are close to 10,000 translators in Iraq alone — but until now, only 50 special visas to the U.S. have been available each year for both Iraq and Afghanistan.

For interpreters, like "Timmy," whose real name CBS News can't reveal, that lack of special visas is almost a death sentence.


"He's pulled soldiers out of trucks after the trucks have been hit with an IED. He's protected me while I was rendering first aid to a soldier," Krieger says.

Krieger says he has trusted him with his life multiple times.

Both men believe Timmy will die if he stays in Iraq. But he needs a U.S. general's signature to apply for that special visa. The problem is that he doesn't work with any generals.

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