Dick Cheney’s gang rapists in Iraq

This video from the USA is about Jamie Leigh Jones‘ – KBR gang rape. It says about itself:

Jamie Leigh Jones remarks on mandatory arbitration

29 April 2009

Jamie Leigh Jones, of Houston, Texas, was raped by co-workers while working for a Halliburton subsidiary in Iraq. Her company said she couldnt go to court because the employment agreement she signed required her claims to be settled through arbitration.

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold reintroduced legislation to protect the right of Americans to have their day in court. The bill would make pre-dispute agreements requiring arbitration for any employment, consumer, franchise, or civil rights disputes unenforceable.

From Mother Jones in the USA:

Halliburton Loses to Jamie Leigh Jones

— By Stephanie Mencimer | Wed September 16, 2009 6:34 AM PST

Remember Jamie Leigh Jones, the Halliburton/KBR contractor who alleged she was gang raped by her co-workers in Iraq? When Halliburton failed to take any action against the men and the Justice Department failed to prosecute, Jones tried to sue the company for failing to protect her. But thanks to an employment contract created during the tenure of former Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney, Jones was forced into mandatory binding arbitration, a private forum where Halliburton would hire the arbitrator, all the proceedings would be secret, and she’d have no right to appeal if she lost.

Jones fought the agreement in the hopes of bringing her case before a jury. She argued that the alleged gang rape was not related to her employment and thus, wasn’t covered by the arbitration agreement. Finally, three years later, a federal court has sensibly agreed with her. Yesterday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2 to 1 ruling, found her alleged injuries were not, in fact, in any way related to her employment and thus, not covered by the contract. (One of the judges who ruled in her favor, Rhesa Hawkins Barksdale, is a West Point grad, Vietnam vet, and one of the court’s most conservative members, a sign, perhaps, of just how bad the facts are in this case.)

It’s a big victory, but a bitter one that shows just how insidious mandatory arbitration is. It’s taken Jones three years of litigation just to get to the point where she can finally sue the people who allegedly wronged her. It will be many more years before she finally wins any real justice.

It is stunning that 30 Republican members of the United States Senate would vote to protect a corporation, in this case Halliburton/KBR, over a woman who was gang raped: here.

Plight of Contractor Raped in Iraq Spurs Push in Congress: here.

Stewart: GOP protects Halliburton’s ‘it’s okay if you get raped’ clause: here.

Cindy Beringer reports on the struggles of Fort Hood soldiers who have stood up to resist the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: here.

Vice President Biden visited Iraq to uphold the US occupation and push for a law to open up the country’s oil wealth to exploitation: here.

Solidarity with Iraqi trade unions: here.

The US Army has abandoned its three-year effort to punish First Lt. Ehren Watada for refusing to deploy to Iraq, allowing him to resign from the military on October 2: here.

Cheney as Nosferatu, cartoon here.

KBR could face penalties, Pentagon auditors warn: here.

16 thoughts on “Dick Cheney’s gang rapists in Iraq

  1. Helicopter goes down at US base

    Iraq: A US Blackhawk helicopter crashed at Balad air base in Iraq on September 19, killing one US soldier and wounding 12 others.

    The US military said that the cause of the crash was unknown and was under investigation.

    Balad air base, which is home to about 28,000 US soldiers and 8,000 mercenaries, is popularly known as Mortaritaville because it is regularly targeted by Iraqi resistance forces.



  2. http://www.khou.com/news/local/stories/khou090921_mp_jamie-leigh-jones-speaks-out.1a30e898b.html

    Former KBR employee: I know I was drugged and raped in Iraq

    08:46 AM CDT on Tuesday, September 22, 2009

    By Len Cannon / 11 News

    CONROE, Texas – Conroe native Jamie Leigh Jones made national news when she claimed to have been sexually assaulted by several co-workers at KBR.

    Raw interview with Jamie Leigh Jones
    September 21, 2009
    Former KBR employee speak out
    View larger
    E-mail Clip
    More Video

    At the time KBR, was a subsidiary of Halliburton.

    Jones has talked openly about what she says happened in Iraq while she was working for the Houston-based company.

    “I am living with a disfigurement to my chest. I had reconstructive surgery and I am so angered that someone would violate my body in such a personal way,” said Jones.

    Jones was 20 years old in 2005 when she claims she was raped by KBR co-workers after someone put a drug in her drink.

    Since then, the case has been tied up in litigation, and the only comments about the incident have come from Jones.

    “I was drugged and raped. I know for certain I was drugged and I know for certain I was raped. It is not possible,” said Jones, when asked if it was possible that the incident may have started out as consensual.

    KBR tried to handle the allegation privately in arbitration. The arbitration is mentioned in the very employment agreement Jamie signed. But last week the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that arbitration doesn’t apply in this case.

    KBR has said little about the matter, but they released a statement saying that “KBR disagrees with the court’s findings and is considering its option to appeal.”

    Jones’ lawyer, Todd Kelly, claims what happened to her is a pattern of abuse that KBR has covered up more than once by going to arbitration.

    “I would estimate between severe sexual harassment and rape that we have 30-40 women who have reported such things to Halliburton, and these are just the ones we know about,” said Kelly.

    Kelly says he will subpoena at least four women to testify at trial. Two of them, he says, were KBR employees who were raped by co-workers overseas.

    Since the story first broke, Jones has gotten married, had a child and is now teaching middle school in Houston.

    She started the Jamie Leigh Foundation to help other sexual assault victims. She says she wants any damages from a civil trial to go the foundation and not into her pocket.

    “It’s not about the money. It’s the bigger issues such as being able to sit in front of a judge and have your day in court,” said Jones.

    Jones’ day in court could still be months or years away.


  3. Posted by: “bigraccoon” bigraccoon@earthlink.net redwoodsaurus
    Mon Nov 2, 2009 2:37 am (PST)

    “Gen. Peter Pace, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked in
    2006, ‘Should people in the US military disobey orders they believe are

    “He answered, ‘It is the absolute responsibility of everybody in uniform to
    disobey an order that is either illegal or immoral.'”


    Ehren Watada: Free at Last
    By Jeremy Brecher & Brendan Smith
    October 26, 2009

    On June 7, 2006, a 28-year-old Army lieutenant named Ehren Watada released a
    video press statement announcing that he was refusing to deploy to Iraq
    because the Iraq War was illegal and his “participation would make me party
    to war crimes.” After three years of trying to convict him by court martial,
    the Army has finally given up and allowed Lt. Watada to resign. Despite his
    direct refusal of an order to deploy, Watada did not spend a single day in

    Watada’s Story

    A former Eagle Scout with a degree in finance, Watada volunteered for
    military service after 9/11. His motives could hardly have been more
    patriotic. For himself and his fellow soldiers, he said, “the reason why we
    all joined the military” and “the commitment we made to this country” is “to
    sacrifice everything–sacrifice our lives, our freedom–to ensure that all
    Americans live in a country where we have true democracy.”

    When he learned that he would be shipped to Iraq, Lt. Watada began to read
    everything he could find about the war, on all sides, so that he could
    better motivate the troops under his command. One of the books he read was
    James Bamford’s A Pretext for War. In a film made about his story, In the
    Name of Democracy, Watada described shock at what he learned: “Our country,
    and we as a military, had been deceived. There’s no other way of putting it.
    Whether they misrepresented the truth, or they told half-truths or
    misled–it’s a lie.” The Iraq War was “a war not out of self-defense but by

    Watada is not a pacifist, and he based his stand not just on the falsehood
    of the justifications for the war but on the usurpation of legitimate
    constitutional authority by the officials in the George W. Bush

    “There came a time when I saw people with power, and they held that power
    absolute and they did not listen to the will of the people,” he says in In
    the Name of Democracy. “That was the leadership of our country. Those were
    the people who were in charge of our lives, and yet they did what they
    wanted to do with impunity, and nobody was willing to stand up and challenge

    Watada offered to resign or to be deployed to Afghanistan; the Army refused.
    He felt bound by his military oath to do what his conscience abhorred. Then
    he had an epiphany: his military oath actually required him to refuse orders
    he believed were illegal, and his loyalty was owed to the Constitution, not
    to the officials who were perverting it.

    “I believe the only real God-given right we have is the freedom to choose,”
    Watada says. “And when we take that away from ourselves, then we put
    ourselves in an invisible prison that nobody else imposes on us except for
    ourselves. When you tell yourself again that you do have a choice–I could
    go to prison for it, I could be tortured, I could die for it, but I have
    that choice and I can make it–then that invisible prison kind of lifts off,
    and you feel free. I felt so free when I told myself that I have a choice.”

    On June 7, 2006, Watada issued a statement announcing his refusal to deploy:
    “It is my conclusion as an officer of the armed forces that the war in Iraq
    is not only morally wrong but a horrible breach of American law. Although I
    have tried to resign out of protest, I am forced to participate in a war
    that is manifestly illegal. As the order to take part in an illegal act is
    ultimately unlawful as well, I must as an officer of honor and integrity
    refuse that order.”

    Crucial to his argument was the unconstitutionality of the decision to go to
    war. “We had people within our country with tremendous amounts of power who
    were doing whatever they felt they wanted to,” Watada explained. “There were
    no checks and balances like our Constitution espouses.”

    His disobedience was also his duty under international law: The UN Charter
    and the Nuremberg principles “bar wars of aggression.” As treaties, they are
    US law as well.

    Watada was aware that imprisonment was the likeliest consequence of his
    action. But he planned to put the war on trial in the process: “I will try
    to argue the legal merits of the war: that it is illegal, that it is immoral
    and that officers and soldiers of conscience should not be forced to do
    something that is illegal and immoral.”

    The Army charged Lt. Watada with failure to deploy to Iraq with his unit and
    began court martial proceedings. There began the torturous process that
    ended with Watada’s recent victory–a process that echoes the old saying,
    “Military justice is to justice as military music is to music.”
    Watada and his supporters prepared to put the war on trial. But Military
    Judge Lt. Col. John Head refused to allow Watada’s motivation for refusing
    the order–the war’s illegality–even to be considered. Judge Head
    maintained that when Watada stipulated that he had disobeyed an order, he
    was actually confessing guilt, making any defense irrelevant.

    The court tied itself in knots trying to maintain the paradox that a soldier
    has a duty to disobey illegal orders while Watada could not argue that the
    order he disobeyed was not a lawful order.
    When the judge called for the prosecution and defense lawyers to request a
    mistrial on the grounds that Watada must have misunderstood his own
    statement, both sides told Judge Head that they disagreed with him. At that
    point the judge virtually instructed the lawyer for the prosecution to ask
    for a mistrial, which he immediately granted.

    Judge Head proposed to retry Watada on the same charges. But, as Watada’s
    lawyer Eric Seitz said in a press conference after the court martial, since
    both prosecution and defense had presented their full cases, that would be
    an obvious breach of the Constitution’s safeguard against double
    jeopardy–trying anyone twice on the same charges. The Army, Seitz said,
    should realize that “this case is a hopeless mess.”

    Three military courts rejected Watada’s double jeopardy claim; but as soon
    as the case was appealed to a civilian court, US District Court Judge
    Benjamin Settle issued a stay blocking the retrial and charging that “the
    military judge likely abused his discretion.” The Army announced it would
    appeal but then did nothing for eighteen months, leaving Watada in limbo.
    Finally, after a campaign by Watada’s supporters, the Obama administration’s
    Department of Justice nixed the Army’s appeal. The Army threatened to court
    martial Watada on other charges but finally decided to accept defeat.

    Deeper Questions Remain

    Ehren Watada is now free to go on with civilian life. But as the Obama
    administration goes into arrears on its pledges to withdraw from Iraq,
    plunges further into quagmires in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and threatens to
    escalate conflict with Iran, the questions Watada’s action posed continue to
    haunt us. Here are a few:

    Is there a right and obligation to resist?

    Watada raised the fundamental question of whether authority–in the military
    or in society more generally–is something to be blindly accepted, or
    something to be subject to rational moral and legal examination. He asserted
    that “the American soldier must rise above the socialization that tells them
    authority should always be obeyed without question. Rank should be respected
    but never blindly followed.”

    Gen. Peter Pace, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked in
    2006, “Should people in the US military disobey orders they believe are
    illegal?” He answered, “It is the absolute responsibility of everybody in
    uniform to disobey an order that is either illegal or immoral.” If so, what
    are the implications for soldiers, for the military and for the rest of us?

    Should the military hear claims that orders are illegal?

    Watada stated, “I understand that under military law, those in the military
    are allowed to refuse and in fact have the right to refuse unlawful
    orders–a duty to refuse. In a court of law they should be given the
    opportunity to bring evidence and witnesses to their defense on how that
    order was unlawful. In this case I will not be, and that is a travesty of

    Should the law recognize selective objectors?

    The Selective Service Act provides conscientious objector status to those
    who oppose all wars on grounds of moral conscience. But it takes the
    position that objectors can’t pick and choose their wars. Yet today there
    are strong moral grounds to oppose many, if not most, of the wars that
    occur, even for those who might admit in principle that some wars might be
    justified. Amnesty International takes the position that there is a right to
    such “selective objection” and that those who are punished for refusing to
    participate in a war they consider immoral are “prisoners of conscience.”

    Watada recognized that “in opposition to my position, the argument will be
    made that soldiers don’t have a right to pick and choose their wars.” But,
    he maintained, “I would respond that it is not only our right but our
    constitutional and moral duty.” Is it time to recognize conscientious
    objectors to particular wars?

    How can illegal wars of aggression be prevented?

    There is currently a broad debate on torture in policy circles, the public
    and to some degree in the courts. But torture is only one war crime, and
    it’s not the most severe. Yet there is virtually no effort to question or
    establish accountability for the most important war crime by the United
    States in Iraq: illegal pre-emptive war.

    As Watada said, “I think the greatest crime that the leaders of a country
    could commit–the leadership of a country–would be to take their people,
    their country, into war, based upon false pretenses.”

    In a statement that won him an additional charge from the Army, Watada told
    a Veterans for Peace convention, “To stop an illegal and unjust war, the
    soldiers can choose to stop fighting it.” Is such action disloyalty, or a
    much-needed addition to our system of checks and balances?
    The Army vented its own frustration at its failure to convict Watada by
    insisting that his resignation was “under other than honorable conditions.”

    Lt. Ehren Watada honorably sacrificed much and risked more “to make sure
    that all Americans live in a country where we have true democracy.” The Army
    should honor him as a military hero.


  4. Troops sue KBR over toxic waste in Iraq, Afghanistan

    Posted Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:04am PST

    A US soldier cleans his weapon in the Buhriz police station, southeast of Baquba in 2007. Dozens of US military personnel have filed 34 lawsuits against US defense contractor KBR for allegedly incinerating toxic waste and releasing it into the atmosphere in Iraq and Afghanistan.(AFP/File/Olivier Laban-Mattei)

    WASHINGTON (AFP) – Dozens of US military personnel have filed 34 lawsuits against US defense contractor KBR for allegedly incinerating toxic waste and releasing it into the atmosphere in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Susan Burke, one of the lawyers bringing the suits, said they have been filed over the past year, 18 of them in recent days.

    “All the cases are being put together before a federal judge in Greenbelt, Maryland,” she told AFP Tuesday.

    Each of the lawsuits represent several soldiers but were filed on behalf of at least 100,000 others who are alleged to suffer from health problems resulting from exposure to emissions released by the incineration of waste at military bases.

    Kellogg Brown and Root and its former parent company Halliburton, which at one time was led by former vice president Dick Cheney, had a government contract to destroy waste at US bases and camps in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    One lawsuit filed in federal court in Nashville, Tennessee charged that they “ignored their contractual obligations and burned vast quantities of unsorted waste in enormous open air burn pits with no safety controls.”

    “This misconduct began in 2003 and continues unabated to date,” it alleges.

    “Every type of waste imaginable was and is burned on these pits, including trucks, tires, lithium battery, Styrofoam, paper, rubber, petroleum-oil-lubricant products, metals, hydraulic fluids, munitions boxes, medical waste, biohazard materials (including human corpses), medical supplies (including those used during smallpox inoculations), paints, solvents, asbestos insulation, items containing pesticides, polyvinyl chloride pipes, animal carcasses, dangerous chemicals and hundreds of thousands of plastic water bottles,” the lawsuit claims.

    In a statement posted on its website, KBR said the company posted lists compiled by the US Army of items that could not be disposed of in burn pits.

    “If KBR observes a waste generator delivering a prohibited item, its practice is to refuse or remove such items,” the company said.

    Copyright © 2007 Agence France Presse.


  5. Military contractor loses $25m bonus

    Iraq: US military contractor KBR has lost about $25 million (£16.3m) in bonuses from the government because of “failed” work done in Iraq during the time that an elite Green Beret soldier was electrocuted in a barracks shower the firm was responsible for maintaining.

    The US Army Sustainment Command said in a statement released on Wednesday that KBR had failed to meet a level deserving of an award fee payment for work it did during the first four months of 2008.

    The army statement did not specifically mention the January 2008 death of Staff Sergeant Ryan Maseth, but said that a task force that had reviewed electrical work in Iraq was consulted in making the decision.



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