26 March 2006

An Army of Translators - Broad Advances

Congrats to the Free Republic! jveritas is doing yeoman's work in translating documents and bringing interesting nuggets to light. Brought to my attention on a posting by Ray Robison and the Free Republic mention in the Telegraph. And just overall thanks to the folks there for showing the news links!

  • Belgians shown to be origin of chemical strike suits. So, knowing the Coalition doesn't *use* chemical weapons, why would Saddam want the things? Logic folks! If he didn't have chemical weapons he wouldn't need them... and if he did, he would. Note the date of 3/2/2003.
  • And in 2001 Saddam *still* had an active chemical weapons platoon. Again, if it was defensive... well, knowing his regional opponents he wouldn't need such... but if Iraq *had* chemical weapons, then even a defensive capability would be needed for cleaning men, equipment, etc.
  • Saddam ordering chemical weapons attacks on the Kurds. A repeat, but this should be the independent confirmation of the first report if I have my sources straight. Dated July 1987.
Ray Robison links to this Washington Times story that the released documents are only the tip of the iceberg and that the DIA is still generating up reports based on *more* documents. Heaven help us if this is only the 3% that have been examined as Mr. Negroponte indicated. The document scan and conversion rate *alone*, not counting shipping, QC and re-scan, for that many documents will be... hmmm... 100 a day? Since the Federal Government doesn't have the personnel to do it in-house, this is entirely on contract. QC must be done by the Government and must be 100%. And whoever does the QC needs the originals *back*... that will be the main bottleneck in release. So with re-scan and such, loop time... maybe 5 QC people... each doing a real 20 a day of 3-5 pages. Call it 300 a week for all the overhead and such... ouch! 2 years for 30,000? Time to get the National Archives in on this, they have good scan contractors out there. Maybe even the Government Printing Office and the Prison folks. Again, the scanning is not the problem, the QC time is. Since the Archives will be getting this stuff in the long run, they should be willing to pony up a few people to help out... maybe ask the FBI for help? Doesn't need expert work, just basic oversight and ensure the document scan is a faithful replication of the actual original.

A looooong time.

[My apologies to Mr. Robison... my fingers just keep putting in that extra 'n'... I do know that feeling]

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