Gang Rape Isn’t A Crime When…

Two disturbing items in the news today.

Contractors in Iraq Answer to No One (again)

ABC News is reporting on Jamie Leigh Jones, then 20, who was drugged and gang-raped by mJonesidale Halliburton/KBR co-workers after working only four days in the Green Zone in Iraq. She had earlier requested to be moved from an almost all-male barracks, and was told to “go to a spa.” (To what? Relax?)

After the rape she was locked in a shipping container and warned that if she sought medical help, or revealed to anyone what had happened, she would lose her job.

Eventually, Jones was able to contact her father via cell phone and tell what happened, which led to the State Department’s involvement to dispatch members of the US Embassy in Baghdad to rescue her from the container.

The rape kit with evidence of the attack had “disappeared” since being shipped from Iraq to Washington through KBR security. Although later recovered, it was missing vital photos and doctors notes.

Two years later, not a single charge has been filed.

Read her story in her own words here.

ABC reports

The Justice Department has brought no criminal charges in the matter. In fact, ABC News could not confirm any federal agency was investigating the case.

Legal experts say Jones’ alleged assailants will likely never face a judge and jury, due to an enormous loophole that has effectively left contractors in Iraq beyond the reach of United States law.

She has recently filed a civil suit against both Halliburton (who says it’s improperly named) and KBR (who says no external investigation is necessary because they’re handling it all themselves…) Her lawyer, Todd Kelley, feels that

KBR and Halliburton created a “boys will be boys” atmosphere at the company barracks which put her and other female employees at great risk.

“I think that men who are there believe that they live without laws,” said Kelly. “The last thing she should have expected was for her own people to turn on her.”

Three other female KBR employees have also come forward.

And…

The 10-Year Old Was Asking For It…

The Guardian reported today on the rape of a ten-year old aboriginal Australian girl by nine males aged 14-26. Queensland District Court judge Sarah Bradley gave suspended sentences and probation for the rapists, one of whom was a repeat sex offender, because – in her own words – the girl

“…probably agreed to have sex with all of you.”

Probably? Agreed? A ten year old child. Nine men.

Wrap deep-seated racism in deep-seated sexism and I suppose you come up with thinking like this.

Australia has been attempting to address the “toxic levels” of sexual abuse against Aboriginal children following the Northern Territories’ June 2007 report “Little Children Are Sacred“, which details the “endemic proportions” of sexual abuse.

Widespread disgust and outrage has ensued since the late October sentencing, and Queensland’s attorney-general, Kerry Shine, plans to appeal Bradley’s decision.

Although the Prime-Minister is “appalled and disgusted”, the town’s Mayor oddly refused to comment on the case, saying only “I think this is all a lot of crap,” and asserting that Aboriginals are really the ones with power. The men are said to have come from affluent families and Mayor Pootchamunka seemed afraid that further comment would imply his involvement in the light sentencing.

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