Baghdad, Iraq-? The US Military has lifted a ban that required Iraqi interpreters to take off any masks that they wear when providing interpretation services. Many members of the Iraqi Interpreter force wear masks to hide their identity, they have been threatened in the past, and the wearing of masks is done to protect their identities.
Multi National Forces Baghdad have imposed a ban on the wearing of masks several times in the past, once in 2005, once in 2007, and again the current ban that was removed- Again, this last week.
A group of US Congressmen and American Congressional officials were shocked to observe the ban on masks, and when a member of the armed forces mentioned to the visiting Congressional delegation, they requested that the Pentagon explain what was happening.
This led to the ban against masks being lifted, ??again?.? The military wants to show that it is professional, but the wearing of masks is common sense, the members of the interpreter staff do not want insurgent or criminal elements to target them, or their families. The wearing of masks can actually benefit the American military forces, because if the interpreters are identified they could potentially be blackmailed into causing hard against the US and coalition soldiers that they work with every day.