Jamie Leigh Jones
Jamie Leigh Jones told ABC News she was drugged and raped fellow Halliburton/KBR contractors. Jones told 20/20 she was locked in a crate by her assaulters and told not to file charges.
"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.
Imagine being a father and hearing your daughter say she has been raped and held captive. Jamie's situation is even harder to fathom. Being a woman in a foreign country at the mercy of brutal men.
Welcome to the heart of darkness.
Media reports, Congressman Ted Poe and Jones' father say that she was released because of State Department intravention.
"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.
A Congressman confirmed the story. The Bush administration would be stupid to use the State Department to protect Halliburton and KBR. The State Department granted Blackwater mercenaries, involved in the killings of 17 Iraqi civilians, were granted immunity. The only logical reason for doing this is to destroy the FBI chances of prosecution. People should put pressure on the State Department to make sure that doesn't happen again.
The Army test showed Jones was raped. Why in God's name did Army doctors hand the rape kit to KBR? Any criminal investigation should be done by neutral outsiders. Jones is an American citizen protected under the laws of the United States. KBR is not law enforcement. The Army should have informed the FBI about a civilian rape.
The Justice Department had two years to make a case and did nothing. By all accounts: prosecution should have been a slam dunk. Instead the rape kit was given to the last people that should have posession of evidence and we have no idea if DoJ ever questioned State Deparetment officials. Exactly what does a contractor have to do to warrant the Bush administration's outrage?
The sad fact is the Bush administration put contracts under the State Department. Jones's assaulters are protected from prosecution thanks to the law designed by the State DEpartment.
Other bloggers posting on the story:
Majikthise - KBR employee says she was gang raped by coworkers and detained in Iraq
Matthew Yglesias - It's the Strategy
Jesus' General - The Republican Revolution delivers again
Update: Jamie's journel is at her foundation's website.
July 26, 2005 US/ July 27 Baghdad- I sent several e-mails to management to ask to be moved into a container because I was experiencing cat calls even when I was walking through the barrack to get to the restroom. I received the response that I would be fine if I “go to the spa." There was no spa in Greenzone, Baghdad . I started socializing with some Halliburton/ KBR employees, including approximately four or so firefighters. One of these men prepared me a drink and joked that there were no “rooffies” in it, and handed it to me. After having a couple sips, I passed out. I was drugged.
July 28, 2005 US/ July 29 Baghdad- I awoke the next morning in the barracks to find my naked body battered and bruised. I was still groggy from whatever had been put in my drink. I was bleeding from between my legs and my breast implants were severely disfigured. (I found out later that my attackers tore my pectoral muscles due to the brutality of the attack). One of the men who had raped me was brazen enough to be lying in the bottom bunk of my assigned bunk bed. After getting to the clinic and having a rape kit performed, and pictures taken of my bruising, I was locked in a container with no food, no way to call my parents, and was placed under armed guard by Halliburton. I did not have access to soap, toiletries, a tooth brush, or any of my belongings. I was unable to leave, therefore I was imprisoned. After some time, one of the guards allowed me to use his cell phone out of sympathy. I called my father back in Houston, who quickly contacted Congressman Ted Poe, who then initiated a Congressional Inquiry to get me out of Baghdad . At this point I was in a state of shock, severely traumatized, and was scared for my life.
Jones goes into detail about her frustration with the handling of her case. The incompetence is staggering. The doctor wasn't sure if he could find Jones's rape kit because he has "no idea which rape victum you are because so many young contractor girls were raped after drinking with the guys."
Update: More bloggers have covered the story.
Hullabaloo - The Pirates of Mesopotamia
Fiedoglake Halliburton Slips Just A Little Further Down The Barbarism Slope
Newshoggers - Texas Girl Alleges Gang Rape By Contractors In Iraq
Newshoggers links to conservative bloggers defending Halliburton and casting doubt on Jones's story with no facts to back up their assertions. The fact that a Republican Congressman believes Jones's story is not good enough. Exactly how does Halliburton equal conservatives' tough on crime values?
aTypical Joe - Gang-Rape Cover-Up in Iraq. By U.S., Halliburton/KBR
It looks like her only real recourse is a media-induced public outcry.
The federal govenrment is going to have to be shamed about this. Many Americans associate all Iraqis to terrorists. The Right can't say Jones is a member of Al-Qaeda that got what she deserved. The media will go into overdrive over a young attractive woman in distress. CNN couldn't be bothered to question the WMD intelligence. They are too busy covering Anna Nicole Smith, the Runaway Bride and any young attactive woman that will garner ratings. It is sad that it takes a rape of an American woman to get the media to question the State Department's handling of contractors.
Update: Shakesville has a post on the Jones story and links to other bloggers covering the story.
I left this comment at Shakesville.
The outrage has sparked so fast. What people need to do is lobby Congress to retroactively change the State Department contracting laws. Blackwater, Halliburton need to be held accountable.
Jamie's diary states that an Army doctor told her that there are so many rapes of American woman in Iraq that they would have a hard time finding the rape kit. They ultimately did. There is no telling how many Western and Iraqi women have been raped by military and contractor personal.
Change. the. contractor. law. now.
Update: John Conyers and Ted Poe Information Request On Jones Case
Pajamas Media Embarrasses Itself On Jamie Leigh Jones Story
Jamie Leigh Jones Update
Latest Update Jamie Leigh Jones & Arbitration Fairness