Jamie Leigh Jones was a 20-year-old woman working in Iraq for a subsidiary of Halliburton when she was drugged and brutally gang-raped by several co-workers.
The next day, Halliburton told her that if she left Iraq to get medical treatment, she could lose her job.1
Jamie's story gets even more horrific: For the last two years, she's been asking the US government to hold the perpetrators accountable. But the men who raped her may never be brought to justice because Halliburton and other contractors in Iraq aren't subject to US or Iraqi laws. They can't be tried for a crime in any court.2
This is one of the most disturbing stories we have come across in a while. We're calling on Congress to investigate Jamie's case, hold those involved accountable, and bring US contractors under the jurisdiction of US law so this can't happen again. If hundreds of thousands of us speak out against this outrageous story, we can force Congress to take action.
Can you sign the petition? The text is in the blue box at the right. Clicking below will add your name.
After you sign, please forward this email to friends, family and colleagues—we all need to speak out together.
When you get an email from us, it doesn't usually include a graphic description of a brutal attack. But when we heard this story, we knew we had to do something about it.
Here's how Jamie described what happened after the attack:
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... After getting to the clinic and having a rape kit performed...I was locked in a container with no food, no way to call my parents, and was placed under armed guard by Halliburton.3
Jamie's attackers aren't the only ones exploiting a legal loophole to get away with their violent crimes. Another female employee of Halliburton says she was raped by her co-workers in Iraq.4 Employees of Blackwater, another private contracting firm in Iraq, were accused of killing innocent Iraqi civilians, and that incident turned into an international scandal. Worst of all, they may never be punished.5
Private contractors in Iraq are making massive amounts of money, operating above the law and are accountable to no one. This has to stop.
Congress needs to act now to bring these contractors under the rule of law. If they don't, nothing will prevent a case like Jamie's from happening again. No man or woman working in Iraq should have to fear that they can be attacked without consequences.
Please sign on to the petition: "Congress must investigate the rape of Jamie Leigh Jones and others, hold those involved accountable, and bring US contractors under the jurisdiction of US law." Clicking below adds your name:
Thanks for all you do,
–Nita, Wes, Karin, Marika, and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Friday, December 14th, 2007
I don't usually cut and paste whole emails into blog entry's. I haven't done the veracity check on this yet, but it sounds plausible to me and equally atrocious that this happened in every sense of what is gratuitously wrong with our whole approach to Iraq.