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Your Vaginas belong to Them
Author: Raine    Date: 02/07/2008 09:00:37

This is not a pretty blog today. The content is ugly and the story is not pretty.

We have a VERY serious problem. AMERICAN women are just another casualty in Bush's war on terror. In all the drama, the constant dribble of horrific stories we hear every day, the constant numbing down that we all feel, we are missing a VERY serious serial problem with one company in particular.

Halliburton/KBR ... They force employees to give up their civil rights in order to be employed. That means you as a woman have the right to be raped by your fellow workers.

No, I am not kidding. And YES, the Government is complicit.

From ABC news, On December 12, 2007:
Victim: Gang-Rape Cover-Up by U.S., Halliburton/KBR
KBR Told Victim She Could Lose Her Job If She Sought Help After Being Raped, She Says
A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident.

Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she'd be out of a job.

"Don't plan on working back in Iraq. There won't be a position here, and there won't be a position in Houston," Jones says she was told.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court against Halliburton and its then-subsidiary KBR, Jones says she was held in the shipping container for at least 24 hours without food or water by KBR, which posted armed security guards outside her door, who would not let her leave.

"It felt like prison," says Jones, who told her story to ABC News as part of an upcoming "20/20" investigation. "I was upset; I was curled up in a ball on the bed; I just could not believe what had happened."

Finally, Jones says, she convinced a sympathetic guard to loan her a cell phone so she could call her father in Texas.

"I said, 'Dad, I've been raped. I don't know what to do. I'm in this container, and I'm not able to leave,'" she said. Her father called their congressman, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas.

"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.

According to her lawsuit, Jones was raped by "several attackers who first drugged her, then repeatedly raped and injured her, both physically and emotionally."

Jones told ABCNews.com that an examination by Army doctors showed she had been raped "both vaginally and anally," but that the rape kit disappeared after it was handed over to KBR security officers.

A spokesperson for the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security told ABCNews.com he could not comment on the matter.

Over two years later, the Justice Department has brought no criminal charges in the matter. In fact, ABC News could not confirm any federal agency was investigating the case.

Legal experts say Jones' alleged assailants will likely never face a judge and jury, due to an enormous loophole that has effectively left contractors in Iraq beyond the reach of United States law.

"It's very troubling," said Dean John Hutson of the Franklin Pierce Law Center. "The way the law presently stands, I would say that they don't have, at least in the criminal system, the opportunity for justice."

Congressman Poe says neither the departments of State nor Justice will give him answers on the status of the Jones investigation.

ABC news reported the following on December 14, 2007
Another KBR Rape Claim Brings Scrutiny
Congress is asking questions about another ex-employee of government contracting firm KBR who claims she was raped in Iraq.

Letters to the Pentagon and the Justice Department today from Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. underscore congressional concern about a second alleged assault, this time of a woman from Florida who reportedly worked for a KBR subsidiary in Ramadi, Iraq in 2005.
[....]
In particular, Nelson expressed concern that in the case of Jamie Leigh Jones, the U.S. Army doctor who examined her turned over the rape examination kit, thought to contain useful evidence, to KBR officials. In the letter, Nelson also asked for an investigation to determine how many rape examinations were performed by U.S. military doctors in Iraq, and what was being done to ensure the cases were prosecuted.

In a separate letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Nelson asked why there has been no criminal prosecution in the case of the alleged Florida victim. The woman, reportedly now 41, has alleged she was raped in her living quarters. She has sued KBR and Halliburton in civil court, but the judge ordered the case into private arbitration.
Boldface mine. Last night I came across the following story. I finally snapped.
ALSO from ABC news:
Sex Assault Suit Vs. Halliburton Killed
Alleged Sexual Assault Victim's Case Forced Into Secretive Arbitration
A mother of five who says she was sexually harassed and assaulted while working for Halliburton/KBR in Iraq is headed for a secretive arbitration process rather than being able to present her case in open court.

A judge in Texas has ruled that Tracy Barker's case will be heard in arbitration, according to the terms of her initial employment contract.

Barker says that while in Iraq she was constantly propositioned by her superior, threatened and isolated after she reported an incident of sexual assault.

Barker's attorneys had argued that Halliburton/KBR had created a "boys will be boys" atmosphere at their camps and that sort of condition is not the type of dispute that she could have expected to be within the scope of an arbitration provision.

District Judge Gray Miller, however, wrote in his order that "whether it is wise to send this type of claim to arbitration is not a question for this court to decide."

"Sadly," wrote Judge Miller, "sexual harassment, up to and including sexual assault, is a reality in today's workplace."

Barker says it was a reality at Halliburton/KBR. From the moment she arrived at the Halliburton/KBR camp in Basra, Iraq, she says she was treated like a sex object.

"When I arrived in Basra, there were about five men that worked on the camp for the company I worked for and they were waiting for me," Barker told ABC News in an exclusive interview that aired last December.
It doesn't (or shouldn't) matter to me WHAT kind of contract you sign, if you are raped or sexually assaulted on the job, as a woman, here in AMERICA, you should be able to have your case heard in court.
From The Equal Opportunity Employment Commision:
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations, as well as to the federal government.

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.


What we have here are judges who are bending to the wills of a company that encourages raping women by turning a blind eye to the civil rights act. What we have here is a company that has a government contract --- and that is KEY -- who allows for the rape and assault of women. They allow it by trying to shut these women up. They allow it by the very fact that they have a contract that takes away a woman's right for a civil and public trial if they are raped or assaulted.

These are only three brave woman who have chosen to speak out. For every three, I am more than sure, there are many others who will not. I cannot understand WHY for the life of me why any company would have a clause in a hiring contract that takes away a persons right to claim publicly that their civil rights were denied. These woman were sexually abused, and they don't get a civil trial. Hell they aren't even seeing a Criminal case. NO ONE HAS BEEN CHARGED.

Did you get that? There are NO criminal charges pending in ANY of these cases. No one is being held responsible, and no one is being punished (well, with the exception of these women, who are not getting their day in court).

The government is not doing all it should to prevent or to stop this from continuing. Halliburton/KBR are allowed to continue this behaviour with no worries. That makes the government complicit in allowing our sisters, mothers, wives, daughters, partners and lovers to be raped and assaulted while the company that employs them keeps on getting a paycheck from, ultimately, you and I.

Why is this company still allowed to do work for the government? Is it just another one one of those freedoms clearly stated in the constitution that we have to give up to be secure?

It's a tragedy that American Women are subjected to this in this day and age. It is a tragedy that the Department of Justice and the Pentagon and ALL of the people who say they are fighting this war to protect America from the bad guys are letting this happen to our own... it is a tragedy that it is happening to them, our sisters, BY OUR OWN.

OH... in case you were wondering about Tracy Barker and Jamie Jones? The DoJ has decided they will not investigate KBR on these allegations. (Background on Tracy Barkers case here. and And the Pentagon's decision regarding Jamie Jones..) So, if you have ovaries, welcome to back to the bad old days when being a Woman meant being a second class citizen in the United States of America, where Terror rules, and all your vaginas belong to them.

Women deserve better than this treatment. Too many of our mothers and grandmothers and great grandmothers fought too hard for this to still be happening. I don't care if we have a woman president... I don't. These woman were terrorized while they were employed for a company allegedly assisting in the fight on the War on Terror™.

:peace: and :heart:
Raine

152 comments (Latest Comment: 02/08/2008 09:32:38 by m-hadley)
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Comment by velveeta jones on 02/07/2008 13:44:59
I have been keeping up with these stories. I am so fucking APALLED! Especially the response - or lack thereof- of the courts.



Let me go ahead and say what we already know: HALLIBURTON/KBR SEEMS TO SHOW ALL THE SIGNS OF BEING A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION.



If you don't hear from me later on today........... check Gitmo.





Comment by TriSec on 02/07/2008 13:47:01




Raine bringing the goods!



Remember folks, you won't see this anywhere else. At least until our links to the internets are cut off...







Aside: We're on day 2 of the deathwatch here. Still at 101º, but that is down from yesterday. And that was the morning temp after all the aspirin wore off. I've got some tylenol in me now, we'll see what happens.



Comment by m-hadley on 02/07/2008 13:59:03
Raine,

Amazing f*ckin' post, amazing f*ckin' stories, amazing lack of coverage in the MSM, though I've heard about these crimes, I have never read such a powerful piece that pulls them all together - you, my dear, are a great writer/journalist/blogger...



Mornin' gang, I'm at work this morning - just toiling away in my tiny office here in the liberry ;)

Comment by velveeta jones on 02/07/2008 14:30:18
I am one of those that will NOT vote for Clinton I'm sorry, but I stood for Kucinich, then for Edwards. I'll vote for Obama, but won't be happy about it. If the super-delegates go to Clinton and its a race between her and McCain (and Nader) ....................



Velveeta will not vote at all!!!!!! Why should I?

Comment by m-hadley on 02/07/2008 14:34:59
VJ,

I hate to say this, 'cause I am not a fan of Hillary Clinton either, but the prospect of president mccain scares the bejesus out of me, and I would rather not have to leave a country that I once loved because the electorate has their collective heads up their asses - present company excluded ;(

Comment by starling310 on 02/07/2008 14:53:37
Morning....

Working from home today. . . I was feeling run down and like I might be getting sick. And, other people come into work spewing germs so I thought I would be better off between my own 4 walls.



Ok...I have to read Raine's post.



Comment by BobR on 02/07/2008 14:54:39
morning, folks... :coffee:



Comment by shelaghc on 02/07/2008 14:56:27
Raine, may I post a link to this blog entry from my blog and possibly a community on Livejournal?



The more people see it and are outraged, the better the chances that someone who can do something will see it.



Comment by BobR on 02/07/2008 15:01:01
Quote by shelaghc: Raine, may I post a link to this blog entry from my blog and possibly a community on Livejournal?



The more people see it and are outraged, the better the chances that someone who can do something will see it.



Raine will be asleep for a while (note the time she posted it), but I can guarantee you she would like as many people as possible to see this.

Comment by starling310 on 02/07/2008 15:01:56
Disgusting.



Disgusting.



Disgusting.



Comment by wickedpam on 02/07/2008 15:14:45
Morning :hug:





Why am I so not surprised by the news in the opening post

Comment by wickedpam on 02/07/2008 15:28:59
I heard about this pet story - it's so sad.

Comment by Raine on 02/07/2008 15:30:47
:coffee: Good Morning!

Comment by wickedpam on 02/07/2008 15:33:02
Heyya Raine

Comment by m-hadley on 02/07/2008 15:34:57
Quote by BobR:
Quote by shelaghc: Raine, may I post a link to this blog entry from my blog and possibly a community on Livejournal?



The more people see it and are outraged, the better the chances that someone who can do something will see it.



Raine will be asleep for a while (note the time she posted it), but I can guarantee you she would like as many people as possible to see this.






Raine & BobR,

I added a link to Raine's powerful post the sidebar of my blog . Excellent work, grrrrl.



VJ, I hope I didn't piss you off too much - that was not my intention. Sorry if I did.



Comment by shelaghc on 02/07/2008 15:35:34
Quote by BobR:
Quote by shelaghc: Raine, may I post a link to this blog entry from my blog and possibly a community on Livejournal?



The more people see it and are outraged, the better the chances that someone who can do something will see it.



Raine will be asleep for a while (note the time she posted it), but I can guarantee you she would like as many people as possible to see this.




Thanks Bob. I just posted a link on my own LJ, and in two LJ communities and sent a link to C&L.



Comment by Raine on 02/07/2008 15:36:31
:ireland:, and everyone else, Please feel free to cross post this wherever you want.

Comment by livingonli on 02/07/2008 15:38:49
Good morning all.



I got home on time but still went to bed too late.



Between this and the secret trial of the protestors, it is really scary how some judges are giving in to Halliburton. Both examples are the perfect model of fascism when government and big business are in cahoots.



If we could reputation on the blog, this would be a +1000.

Comment by Raine on 02/07/2008 15:39:24
The tragedy... oh the million dollar tragedy!! won't someone please think of the mansion owners???

Comment by livingonli on 02/07/2008 15:42:16
BTW, folks, now that we are all up we need to discuss the DC trip. Which weekend are we shooting for and other stuff? I also have to get my vacation request in so I need a date soon.

Comment by Raine on 02/07/2008 15:42:39
WEll liv, we CAN reputate the blogs that is why we added the digg and the flaven! :peace:

Comment by livingonli on 02/07/2008 15:43:15
Eddie Vedder campaigned for Nader in 2000 so he's the more radical of the group.

Comment by livingonli on 02/07/2008 15:43:50
Quote by Raine: WEll liv, we CAN reputate the blogs that is why we added the digg and the flaven! :peace:


I guess I should set up a digg account.

Comment by Raine on 02/07/2008 15:54:02
How does the weekend of the 4-6th sound? BobR is on the phone, but once he is off I would like to have his input as well.

Comment by livingonli on 02/07/2008 15:56:35
Weekend of the 4th would be good. I could go either weekend though. So, if everyone else is good, I'm good.

Comment by Raine on 02/07/2008 15:57:14
Some Senior Clinton staffers are working without pay?!?!



This is a tiny blurb at Time Magazine:



Source says they have “voluntarily chosen to work without pay this month” as part of Clinton cash crush against Obama moola factory.



Includes campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle.



Comment by wickedpam on 02/07/2008 15:57:18
Think the progression would be he's gone from teacup poodle to a sheltie next step st. bernard :p

Comment by wickedpam on 02/07/2008 15:57:53
Quote by Raine: How does the weekend of the 4-6th sound? BobR is on the phone, but once he is off I would like to have his input as well.




is this may or april?



Comment by TriSec on 02/07/2008 15:58:37
I just cross-posted over at UNN...





And wasn't 9ui11ani's staffers going without pay the begging of the end for him?





Comment by Raine on 02/07/2008 16:00:57
A certain Bloggers Birthday is the #rd so it could be a party !

Comment by Raine on 02/07/2008 16:01:48
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Raine: How does the weekend of the 4-6th sound? BobR is on the phone, but once he is off I would like to have his input as well.




is this may or april?



April. Right in the middle of the festival... That is what I saw on the website.

Comment by TriSec on 02/07/2008 16:02:37
Oh, and it sure is interesting sitting up in bed surfing aimlessly through...



Fox Noise has been exclusively covering the SWAT standoff in LA as if nothing else was going on today...





Comment by livingonli on 02/07/2008 16:03:46
Quote by Raine: A certain Bloggers Birthday is the #rd so it could be a party !


My birthday is March 21st, first day of spring.



I alos requested that day off since I am off the two days after (that weekend).

Comment by wickedpam on 02/07/2008 16:08:52
Quote by Raine:
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Raine: How does the weekend of the 4-6th sound? BobR is on the phone, but once he is off I would like to have his input as well.




is this may or april?



April. Right in the middle of the festival... That is what I saw on the website.




Hmm- that's the weekend after the long weekend in Clearwater - not sure how kosher it would be with the roommate (ie mom) if I was gone for 2 weekends in a row. But if more people can come then I'll work it out. The parade is on the 12th though.



Comment by shelaghc on 02/07/2008 16:09:33
I'm planning/hoping to go, but there will be a *lot* of factors involved for me.



If I'm working, I won't be able to leave, almost certainly, until after work hours. If I'm not working, I'd be able to leave earlier, but if I haven't been working, I might not be able to afford to do much.



I really hate money and jobs.....



Comment by Raine on 02/07/2008 16:10:46
I see many many posts about pets on Craiglist becuase people have no way to tak the pets with them. It is very sad.

Comment by livingonli on 02/07/2008 16:11:40
I'm in a position where I couldn't afford to be without a job but I do wish I had more money coming in since I am making less money than I did before my 2005 layoff.

Comment by BobR on 02/07/2008 16:14:33
Quote by Raine:

April. Right in the middle of the festival... That is what I saw on the website.


Will that be a problem with hotel rooms?... Will they be less available and more expensive?

Comment by livingonli on 02/07/2008 16:15:17
Quote by BobR:
Quote by Raine:

April. Right in the middle of the festival... That is what I saw on the website.


Will that be a problem with hotel rooms?... Will they be less available and more expensive?


Time to go check the travel websites.

Comment by wickedpam on 02/07/2008 16:17:07
Quote by BobR:
Quote by Raine:

April. Right in the middle of the festival... That is what I saw on the website.


Will that be a problem with hotel rooms?... Will they be less available and more expensive?




It's one of the biggest draws in Washington - the place gets packed with tourist during the festival - I'm thinking it would be a bit more pricey.



Comment by wickedpam on 02/07/2008 16:18:33
What was the hotel we used last time?

Comment by Mondobubba on 02/07/2008 16:24:08
Comment by Raine on 02/07/2008 16:24:59
Quote by wickedpam: What was the hotel we used last time?


The holiday inn.

Comment by wickedpam on 02/07/2008 16:25:26
Quote by Raine:
Quote by wickedpam: What was the hotel we used last time?


The holiday inn.




Holiday Inn Capitol Hill right?



Comment by Raine on 02/07/2008 16:25:30
Good morning Mondo!

Comment by Raine on 02/07/2008 16:26:02
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Raine:
Quote by wickedpam: What was the hotel we used last time?


The holiday inn.




Holiday Inn Capitol Hill right?

yes! that was the one!



Comment by Raine on 02/07/2008 16:26:49
Quote by Mondobubba: Could be worse, could be Nader!
OMG!



Comment by wickedpam on 02/07/2008 16:27:00
Hey Mondo!

Comment by Raine on 02/07/2008 16:28:20
Quote by shelaghc: I'm planning/hoping to go, but there will be a *lot* of factors involved for me.



If I'm working, I won't be able to leave, almost certainly, until after work hours. If I'm not working, I'd be able to leave earlier, but if I haven't been working, I might not be able to afford to do much.



I really hate money and jobs.....

well if you can't get there till late Friday or Saturday night, that is fine!



HEya Mala, if you see HBK , maybe we could see if she wants to come as well?



Comment by wickedpam on 02/07/2008 16:30:09
Quote by Raine:
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Raine:
Quote by wickedpam: What was the hotel we used last time?


The holiday inn.




Holiday Inn Capitol Hill right?

yes! that was the one!





Okay that weekend - according to travelocity at that hotel - $180 a night