Wednesday, December 19, 2007

On Jamie Leigh Jones

The Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security has just finished hearing the case of Jamie Leigh Jones. A Justice Department official was expected to attend the hearing in order to answer questions but did not appear. That tells a lot about how seriously this administration takes Jones's accusations that she was gang-raped by her colleagues while working for Halliburton/KBR in Iraq:

A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident.

Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she’d be out of a job.

“Don’t plan on working back in Iraq. There won’t be a position here, and there won’t be a position in Houston,” Jones says she was told.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court against Halliburton and its then-subsidiary KBR, Jones says she was held in the shipping container for at least 24 hours without food or water by KBR, which posted armed security guards outside her door, who would not let her leave. Jones described the container as sparely furnished with a bed, table and lamp.

And why is this in a special hearing? Because of the way the contractors in Iraq have been defines as being outside the law. This means that the case can't be taken up by a criminal court in Iraq or here in the United States.

The following YouTube video is of Jones reading her opening statement. It may be upsetting for some to watch:

A transcript is available at the Pelosi blog, as well as a video and a transcript of the questions the Committee Chairman John Conyers asked.

I can't believe that the Justice Department official didn't turn up. Most unfortunate.