I hope this news has not escaped you. It’s so outlandish you can’t miss it. It has brought Jamie Leigh Jones front and center on news channels.
Jones was working for Halliburton/KBR, a leasing global engineering and construction company, in Iraq. The Houston woman said she was gang raped in Baghdad and the company and U.S. Government are covering it up.
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. Jones described the container as sparely furnished with a bed, table and lamp.
“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. For more, click here.
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.
Political commentators are accusing Senate Republicans of hypocrisy — and even outright support of rape — after thirty of them voted against a measure to de-fund military contractors who prevent rape victims from seeking justice.Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) introduced an amendment to a defense appropriations bill that would prevent the federal government from funding contractors whose employee contracts prevent workers from pursuing allegations of rape against co-workers.The measure passed the Senate by a vote of 68 to 30, with all 30 ‘no’ votes being cast by Republicans. Notably, 10 Senate Republicans voted for the measure, including all four female Republican senators. Franken was inspired to push the amendment by the story of Jamie Leigh Jones, who was an employee of KBR — at the time a subsidiary of Halliburton — working in Baghdad’s Green Zone when she was allegedly gang-raped by other KBR workers. For more, click here.
Take note: Sen. Sam Brownback and Sen. Pat Roberts, along with 28 other Republican senators voted against this measure. 10 Republican senators did vote for the measure…including all four female Republican Senators.
Here’s the list: 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)
How could anyone who has a mother, wife, daughter, sister or girlfriend ever vote against this amendment? With this kind of attitude, the thought of Sam Brownback imposing his extreme political beliefs on the people of Kansas is very, very frightening.
In a related story: A Gallup survey of South Africa reaffirms the extent to which the issue of rape plagues South Africa — with 97% of residents saying it is a major problem in their country. Roughly 6 in 10 (61%) say offenders should be punished with a jail sentence, but more than one in four say the crime merits the death penalty.