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Oct-21-2009 00:56printcomments

US Republicans Side With Halliburton/KBR Against Gang-Raped Woman

American woman gang-raped by fellow US contractors in Iraq wins rights despite Republican opposition.

Jamie Leigh Jones
Jamie Leigh Jones Courtesy:

(WASHINGTON D.C.) - A federal appeals court has ruled a woman who says she was gang-raped by co-workers of the war contractor KBR can pursue her case in open court.

The three-judge panel rejected KBR’s attempt to have the case handled in private arbitration instead of a courtroom.

In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones was gang-raped by her Halliburton/KBR co-workers while working in Iraq and locked in a shipping container for over a day to prevent her from reporting her attack.

The rape occurred outside of US criminal jurisdiction, but to add serious insult to serious injury she was not allowed to sue KBR because her employment contract said that sexual assault allegations would only be heard in private arbitration--a process that overwhelmingly favors corporations.

This year, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) proposed an amendment that would deny defense contracts to companies that ask employees to sign away the right to sue. It passed, but the amendment received 30 nay votes all from Republicans.

According to Think Progress:

"She was detained in a shipping container for at least 24 hours without food, water, or a bed, and "warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she'd be out of a job. (Jones was not an isolated case.) "

Halliburton and KBR, its former subsidiary, were the largest defence department contractors in Iraq.

Critics allege that huge contracts were won in part because of ties to George Bush's government, particularly to his vice-president, Dick Cheney, a former Halliburton chief executive who left the company during the 2000 presidential campaign with a $36m pay-off.

They also allege that Halliburton/KBR won a contract to plan oil-well firefighting in the Iraq invasion because no other firm was permitted to bid.

The Pentagon's auditor found Halliburton/KBR was linked to "the vast majority" of fraud cases investigated by the defence department in Iraq.

Below is the list of Republicans who voted to protect a corporation over a victim of rape:

Alexander (R-TN)

Barrasso (R-WY)

Bond (R-MO)

Brownback (R-KS)

Bunning (R-KY)

Burr (R-NC)

Chambliss (R-GA)

Coburn (R-OK)

Cochran (R-MS)

Corker (R-TN)

Cornyn (R-TX)

Crapo (R-ID)

DeMint (R-SC)

Ensign (R-NV)

Enzi (R-WY)

Graham (R-SC)

Gregg (R-NH)

Inhofe (R-OK)

Isakson (R-GA)

Johanns (R-NE)

Kyl (R-AZ)

McCain (R-AZ)

McConnell (R-KY)

Risch (R-ID)

Roberts (R-KS)

Sessions (R-AL)

Shelby (R-AL)

Thune (R-SD)

Vitter (R-LA)

Wicker (R-MS)

Please visit these stories to learn more about how bad this situation can be:

Army Should Reopen Investigation Into Death of Pfc Lavena Johnson (VIDEO)Tim King

Military Rape: S O P (Standard Operating Procedure)NOT OUR BOYS! - Dr. Phillip Leveque


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Morris Hagerman October 26, 2009 4:26 am (Pacific time)

If indeed arbitration is a good thing, then we should have everyone in America sign an arbitration contract to live here. Then, when someone is raped, we will send the case to arbitration hearings that will be paid for by the people accused of the crime. I really don't understand why people are having trouble with the amendment. This was rape and any company that says that it must go to arbitration instead of open court is only protecting themselves and is not interested in punishing.

researcher October 24, 2009 6:30 am (Pacific time)

Why KBR make employees sign a private arbitration form? Why only Republicans voted against it? Are any of these Senators female? Who pays the arbitration company's bill? The vast majority of arbitration cases are won by whom? Who will benefit the most if the "2010 defense appropriations bill" was defeated? and last... what is the definition of "mercenary" ... the more you know!

GIJoe October 24, 2009 6:14 am (Pacific time)

Lets get the facts and only the facts...She was not allowed to sue KBR because her employment contract said that sexual assault allegations would only be heard in private arbitration ...AND the federal appeals court has ruled that she CAN pursue her case in open court.....AND KBR’s attempted to have the case handled in private arbitration....AND only Republicans voted against the bill... By the way, I am a Republican, Retired military, and ex KBR employ...

DG October 22, 2009 9:59 am (Pacific time)

The rape of the woman and the bill republicans opposed are entirely different issues, but I'm sure the intent of this story was to throw in a lot of emotion to distort reality. Apparently it worked for many. She wasn't forced into agreeing to alternate dispute resolution processes. It was entirely her choice. I wonder what proof the author has that private arbitration

Vic October 21, 2009 3:26 pm (Pacific time)

I believe this story tells us something about the kind of people who choose to be mercenaries, and work for an invading army. How many Iraqi women and children are raped daily by US forces and their mercenary partners? It's no worse to prey on each other than on the captive civilian population.

Great Americans...NOT! October 21, 2009 8:53 am (Pacific time)

OMG I can't believe this can happen in America. Where is our pride? This is no less than evil, and these politicians that see dollar signs instead of people will dwell in the house of....well, they're not going to heaven. I hope in their dreams, they are kidnapped, raped, brutalized and locked in a container where their screams cannot be heard, again and again and again, night after night. Are they brain dead, or just plain old corrupt? Sick.

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