Reading about the latest atrocity by KBR that is the cover up of a rape of a US citizen by its contractors (apparently one of many), I ask the lawyers a question. Surely there is enough on KBR (formerly known as the evil wing of Halliburton - now independent) now to get a RICO indictment on them, correct?(You can read about RICO - The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act here). ABC News has been updating the story as new details emerge, and Pandagon has been discussing the case as well. Yet, it this is the first you're hearing of it, ABC reports that a 22-year-old KBR employee was raped by her coworkers and, after reporting the incident:
...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.Jones eventually managed to convince one of the guards to grant her one phone call, and called her father. Her father then contacted their congressman, Rep. Ted Poe, who worked with the State Department to rescue Jones:
"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.
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.MarkH cuts to the chase, asking how we can finally get government contracted KBR for the many atrocities they've committed abroad:
I realize they do this all overseas where they apparently enjoy complete immunity from anything ranging from fraud to cannibalism... Where's the law and order? This poor woman gets raped, and then after reporting it imprisoned in a shipping crate by KBR. Probably the only reason she didn't end up in a shallow grave in the desert is she got a cell phone call in to her father who then contacted their congressman and the state department.
And what is with this arbitration nonsense? At a certain point, such as after gang rape, your contract with your company is no longer valid and you get to sue them in federal court for civil rights abuse.
So, feminist lawyers - how should this case proceed? There are obviously criminal charges to be filed against the rapists, and the company has been complicit in covering up the crime. Racketeering - check (kidnapping). Corrupt organization - check. So - RICO?
UPDATE: Here is the AP story about Wednesday's Congressional Hearing. Apparently other women have come forward with charges of rape and sexual harassment by fellow KBR employees, and one woman was fired after filing a complaint. The Justice Department chose not to attend, drawing some criticism from some members of Congress.