To Profit-Driven Contractors: All Rape Cases Must Go Before the Law, Period

Say, here's a concept: if you act to keep violent criminals out of jail, you are probably not working in your country's best interests, and shouldn't be called upon to defend it. It's a notion that was passed into law recently, with U.S. senator Al Franken's amendment to the defense appropriations bill stating that military contractors which prohibit their employees from taking rape and sexual assault cases to court would not receive funding or contracts from the U.S. government.

The impetus for the bill -- and the resistance against it -- sheds light on how rape can be excused or minimized and how the interests of corporations can take priority over human life.

In Baghdad in 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones claims, she was gang-raped by her colleagues at KBR, a former subsidiary of Halliburton. Her injuries, including torn pectoral muscles, tearing of her vagina and anus and ruptured breast implants, were confirmed by a physician, who said they were consistent with rape. He then handed the rape kit over to her employer, KBR. And KBR, according to Jones, locked her in a storage container, posted an armed guard outside of her door and denied her food and water.

The rape kit given to KBR disappeared, not to be seen again until 2007. When it resurfaced, it was missing doctors' notes and photographs -- which, along with the fact that Jones was drugged and could identify only one of her assailants, effectively annihilated her chances in a criminal case. KBR also denied her the right to take them even to a civil court, saying that what had been done to her was a mere "personal injury in the workplace," and could -- according to her contract -- be resolved only by arbitration.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.