Sexual Assault Is a Crime, Not a Labor Dispute, Unless of Course You Work for Halliburton/KBR [VIDEO]

The notion that sexual assault cannot be tried as a criminal matter but is treated as a labor dispute is simply beyond belief.
The notion that sexual assault cannot be tried as a criminal matter but has to be arbitrated in secret arbitration and treated as a labor dispute is simply beyond belief. But then again, defending democracy by making a mockery of it is what Halliburton/KBR is all about:
"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."
But it is what the judge in the case said that is most disturbing:
"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."
And this in what way would have any bearing on it being a criminal offense? But wait for it...

It gets worse:
"Barker's case had also involved a claim of sexual assault against a State Department employee. Those claims have been severed from her case against Halliburton/KBR and transferred to the Eastern District of Virginia."
Yes, you read that correctly, if a Halliburton/KBR goon commits sexual assault they are not subject to the same criminal proceedings as the same charges brought against a State Department employee.

So there you have it-we are officially fighting terrorism and defending freedom by paying private companies exhorbitant amounts of money and allowing them to terrorize our own citizens and deny them their civil liberties. And it's all legal. Talk about a classic case of the best democracy money can buy.

Editor's Note: The video to your right aired on 20/20 this past December and it features Barker and another victim of rape by Halliburton emplopyees, Jamie Leigh Jones, telling their horrifying stories.
Lucinda Marshall is a feminist artist, writer and activist. She is the Founder of the Feminist Peace Network. Her work has been published in numerous publications in the U.S. and abroad including, Counterpunch, AlterNet, Dissident Voice, Off Our Backs, the Progressive, Countercurrents, Z Magazine, Common Dreams, In These Times and Information Clearinghouse. She also blogs at WIMN Online and writes a monthly column for the Louisville Eccentric Observer.
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