Who would have thought that the biggest danger Jamie Leigh Jones faced when she was assigned to work in Iraq would be her own co-workers? Apparently, she was housed with or nearby some of KBR’s best and brightest, some of whom, with the knowledge that they enjoyed total immunity from U.S. law, gang-raped her. She asserts that she was drugged, then vaginally and anally raped and suffered physical and emotional injury. She was then placed in a cargo container outfitted with a bed, placed under guard, and told she would be out of a job if she reported the attack. Only after a sympathetic guard lent her his phone, was she able to reach her father, who contacted his Congressperson and informed him that his daughter was being held. The Congressman, Ted Poe (R) Texas, said this to ABC news:
“We contacted the State Department first,” Poe told ABCNews.com, “and told them of the urgency of rescuing an American citizen” — from her American employer.
Poe says his office contacted the State Department, which quickly dispatched agents from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to Jones’ camp, where they rescued her from the container.
I’ve highlighted that in bold font for a reason. Rescuing an American citizen from her AMERICAN employer?
The article goes on to explain that this woman has little or no legal recourse, so she has filed a civil suit in an effort to have her day in court, though KBR has asserted that her “contract” requires her to go through arbitration rather than open court.
I’m sitting here wondering if there was anything in her contract that made her aware that if her co-workers decided to throw a rape-party, she was fair game. Does KBR have some fiduciary responsibility to Ms. Jones? I think so. I think there had better be some justice served on her behalf over at the former Halliburton subsidiary.
NOTE: I was unable to find in the article anything that indicates the citizenship of the alleged attackers. It doesn’t really matter, but its curious that KBR would insist on arbitration. All I know is that our lawmakers are cowards if they don’t immediately withdraw the provision of immunity from paid “contractors.”
You listening, Bart? How about you, Jim?