Wednesday, January 09, 2008

KBR Admits to Taking Rape Kit

The Pentagon's Inspector General Claude Kicklighter will not investigate the Jamie Leigh Jones case. The reasoning is that the Justice Department is investigating the Jones' allegations she was rape Kellogg Brown and Root employees. Kicklighter's explanation defies logic. The Justice Department has decided long ago not to press charges against KBR.

The Pentagon can not press charges against KBR. Contractors are under State Department supervision. Congress made all State Department contractors excempt from military prosecution. The Bush administration could place contractors under Defense Department management. That would make KBR liable under military law. The administration has shown no desire to change contractor control.

Senator Bill Nelson told ABC News he is "not satisfied" Kicklighter's response.

The Inspector General will investigate the confusing matter of what happened to the rape kit.

In a separate letter, Kicklighter's office said that the State Department had said its security officials had Jones' rape kit in their possession at one point.

The State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security told Kicklighter "evidence in the rape kit was collected by a U.S. Army doctor and was later provided to [the Bureau of Diplomatic Security]," the IG's office wrote to Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Alaska, who had asked about Jones' case.

An Army spokesman referred questions about the rape kit to the State Department, which declined to provide new information on the case.

Jones lawyer, Todd Kelly, has yet to examine the rape kit. Former KBR employee Jamie Armstrong told ABC News that an Army doctor gave the rape kit to Halliburton/KBR security personnel. Jones has been vocal about her mistreatment at the hands of Armstrong, when Jones was recovering from her sexual assault in the KBR crate. Armstrong and Jones can hardly be considered pals, which makes Armstrong's statement more damning.

The Inspector General will investigate why the rape kit was turned over to KBR/Halliburton security. Kicklighter is attempting to determine how many more rape kits for given to private contractor security teams. KBR has admitted they had the kit in their posession.

Officials for Houston-based KBR have said the kit was handed over to a company security coordinator and placed in a safe until investigators from the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security — the department's law enforcement arm — arrived three hours later.

Jones testified that she spoke earlier this year with a special agent from the bureau, who was unaware of the rape kit's existence. Eventually, the agent found the kit, but the photographs and doctor's notes were missing, Jones said.

The kit was eventually handed over to the State Department. The kit was handed over to the Justice Department. The State Department did not request the DoJ to prosecute. Now the Justice Department is telling the media they are investigating the case. Even though they can't be bothered to respond to Senator Nelson on the progress of the investigation. The Defense and State Departments refuse to tell Nelson how rapes of female contractors have been reported in Iraq.

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