Vanessa Davids did most of her military service “inside the wire,” as an Arabic translator on a base in Iraq. Her job called on her to translate audio and video recordings, in hopes of gathering intelligence, foiling attacks and probing enemy action. She translated bomb plots, beheadings, even in some cases child pornography. As a result, she got an intimate, and dark, perspective on human nature.
“Doing the work that I did, it really seemed to me at the time that evil was in every single person, and it was just a matter of how well they hid it from you,” Davids said.