The Nation reports on another contractor accusing KBR of covering up gang rape among their employees.
That dawn, naked, covered in blood and feces, bleeding from her anus, she found a US soldier she did not know lying naked in the bed next to her: his gun lay on the floor beside the bed, she could not rouse him and all she could remember of the night before was screaming and screaming as the soldier anally penetrated her while a colleague who worked for defense contractor KBR held her hand–but instead of helping her, as she had hoped, he jammed his penis in her mouth.
Over the next few weeks Smith would be told to keep quiet about the incident by a KBR supervisor. The camp’s military liaison officer also told her not to speak about what had happened, she says. And she would follow these instructions. “Because then, all of a sudden, if you’ve done exactly what you’ve been instructed not to do–tell somebody–then you’re in danger,” Smith says.
Read the whole thing. Her story is nauseating — the hurdles she’s forced to endure seem Kafkaesque. Jamie Leigh Jones was not alone. She is using a pseudonym not only to avoid the metascrutiny she would be subjected to otherwise, but because she is going back — if she doesn’t she loses her family’s health insurance, critical for her husband who suffered a partial stroke the day she returned from Iraq.
According to the order, imposed by Paul Bremer, US defense contractors in Iraq cannot be prosecuted in the Iraqi criminal justice system. While they can technically be tried in US federal court, the Justice Department has shown no interest in prosecuting her case. In fact, for more than two years now, the DOJ has brought no criminal charges in the matter. Representative Ted Poe, a Texas Republican who has taken up Jones’s cause, reports that federal agencies refuse to discuss the status of the investigation; meanwhile, in December, the DOJ refused to send a representative to the related Congressional hearing on the matter.
Even more appalling, the Justice Department, which can and should prosecute most of these cases, has declined to do so.
Her alleged attackers are effectively immune from criminal prosecution unless a President willing to administer justice can be found. The only way she and others like her (one firm has fifteen clients with sexual assault, sexual harassment and retaliation complaints against Halliburton, KBR, and SEII) can seek justice is through the US Justice Department, or Michael Mukasey. The only person he listens to is George W. Bush. January can’t come soon enough.
If I were Lisa Smith I’d accidentally amputate the dick off the next asshole who came to me for medical help after raping me. What are they gonna do, sue for malpractice? All contractors are immune from any criminal liability whatsoever right? KBR surely will have her back.