Thursday, May 25, 2006

Aborted Mission

We had some terps ride along with us today, a male and a female. I’m not sure where they’re from. They’re probably of Middle Eastern decent judging from looking at them. They were new so we really didn’t know them. Anyway, we were getting ready to roll outside the wire this morning when the female jumps out of the vehicle. She starts going hysterical. We were clueless as to why. She just started getting all of her belongings and getting out.

After we calmed her down we came to find out that the other terp had called someone right before we left. He was speaking to someone in Arabic on his mobile phone. He gave away all types of sensitive information like the time and place we were leaving, the number of vehicles we had, and our destination. She was in the same vehicle at the time and overheard him give this info away.

She immediately got upset and jumped out. I don’t blame her. She told us what had happened and why she wasn’t going. We were going to kick him out too but then we figured, why not just take him with us just incase something did happen.

We respect the privacy of the terps. They need that privacy to protect their identities and their families. It would be nice if they returned that respect and didn’t tell anyone on the phone what we were doing or where we were going. That sensitive information could get us killed. I think we’re going to make some new policies. No one is going to be allowed to use a mobile phone, unless they wear the uniform.

2 Comments:

Blogger kbug said...

It has to be hard to know whether to trust the terps or not, just like it's hard to know who the good Iraqis are. I think I'd keep the female and get rid of the male in this case, though. You guys be careful over there...watch your six.

5/25/2006 8:57 AM  
Blogger Bro. Bartleby said...

A "terp" should never have "a need to know" when it comes to the details of a mission. Period, end of issue. I was in the "old" Army in Asia, and a translator or "terp" would never know the details of a mission, especially routes, destination, even time of departure. Again, in the old army, even the grunts were in the dark about details of a mission. And you certainly have a much bigger issue, the enemy is suicidal, so there is no comfort in taking a questionable terp with you, who knows if they are steering you into an ambuse, and suicide is part of "their mission."

5/25/2006 11:54 AM  

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