• Iraqi interpreters seek punishment; say contractor sexually harassed them…

    April 22, 2011

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Iraq, Military

    We all used interpreters in Iraq, as only some tiny, tiny percentage of Americans deployed spoke any Arabic at all. The people we called ‘terps typically were supplied as a commodity by various contractors– you ordered up another ‘terp like you’d order office furniture. If one did not work out, you’d call the contractor and ask for a substitute. That some people likened it to an escort service and saw the contractor companies as pimps only now seems more ironic.

    The Washington Post today has a story about how several Iraqi women employed as ‘terps by a US company faced sexual harassment. The women assert that their boss, Christopher J. Kirchmeier, a contractor in charge of security badges and clearances on a base inside Baghdad’s Green Zone, demanded sex in return for job-related approvals. Kirchmeier worked for Government Services, a Chantilly, VA-based subsidiary of super-contractor L-3 Communications. L-3 supplied the US Government with everything from simple ‘terps to trained torturers, er, interrogators, for intel work.

    The problem the women face is that it is almost impossible to successfully sue any of America’s finest contractors for things that may have happened in Iraq. Read another set of sad stories about this below, in Down the Toilet.



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  • Recent Comments

    • Sue said...

      1

      Another sad tale. I hope L-3 and the U.S. government get those women over to the US, and send Chris to jail.

      04/23/11 2:43 AM | Comment Link

    • Former PRTer said...

      2

      Glad I came across this. Look forward to reading the book.

      Another shameful thing, perhaps worse than this story, is how murdered interpreters were screwed out of Defense Base Act death benefits by the contractors and the insurance carriers, like AIG.

      They misinterpreted the law to say that only interpreters engaged in actual work at the time of their death were entitled to benefits. If they just happened to be killed at home because they were an interpreter, they’d be screwed out of the death benefits for the family. Titan would only pay a $10,000 condolence payment.

      04/23/11 2:24 PM | Comment Link

    • Stan said...

      3

      Are L-3 contractors generally arrogant and abusive like those ******** in Blackwater? Can’t we give all our contractors from this day forward a forearm smash to the mouth and a solemn promise that future behavior like this will be prosecuted automatically.

      I am so ashamed of the State Department’s complicity. These bucaneers are morally in the same boat as the Somali Pirates. We really have no reason to allow them to continue living.

      04/27/11 10:52 PM | Comment Link

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