Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Has the UN learned lessons of Bosnian sex slavery revealed in Rachel Weisz film?

The Whistleblower is a shocking film that reveals how Balkan peacekeepers turned a blind eye to kidnapping, torture and rape. But these abuses still go on

“Those girls are whores of war. It happens.”

The Guardian  January 14, 2012

We do not see the torture inflicted on one girl for trying to flee her captors, but we see the tears of her fellow slaves forced to watch. We see the iron bar tossed on to the cellar floor when the punishment is over, and we know what has happened.

The Whistleblower spares you little. It is a film about that most depraved of crimes: trafficking women for enslaved sex, rape and even murder.

As a dramatised portrayal of reality, however, The Whistleblower is “a day at the beach compared to what happened in real life”, says its director, Larysa Kondracki. “We show what is just about permissible to show. We couldn’t possibly include the three-week desensitisation period, when they burn the girls in particular places. We couldn’t really capture the hopelessness of life these women are subjected to.”

Starring Rachel Weisz, The Whistleblower, released tomorrow on DVD, is the most searing drama-documentary of recent years and has won many prizes. But more important than the accolades is that everything in the film is true. The film deals with enslavement and rape in Bosnia, not during wartime 20 years ago but during the peace. Worse, not only were the enslaved women’s “clients” soldiers and police officers – so too were the traffickers, protected at the top of the United Nations operation in Bosnia

Please read the entire story here

January 15, 2012 Posted by | Balkans, Civilian Contractors, DynCorp, Human Trafficking, Rape, United Nations | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

.KBR Requests That Losing Rape Claimant Pay Company’s Legal Fees

WSJ Law Blog  August 23, 2011

The skirmishing has not yet subsided in the high-profile suit brought by Jamie Leigh Jones, the Houston woman who claimed that she was raped while working in Iraq for defense contractor KBR

Jones had sought $145 million in damages against KBR, claiming it condoned a hostile sexual climate in Iraq, but a jury last month rejected her claims.

Now, KBR wants Jones to pay for its legal fees and court costs. Here’s a report on the filing by the Disputing blog.

In its motion seeking to recover more than $2 million in fees, KBR alleged that Jones’ rape and hostile work environment claims were fabricated and frivolous. The company has also requested that she cover its court costs of $145,000.

In a reply brief, Jones countered that there is “nothing frivolous” about her claims, as evidenced by the fact that the judge agreed to let her proceed to trial and the jury deliberated for more than 10 hours before reaching its verdict.

Her lawyer, Todd Kelly, told the Law Blog that in 16 years of practicing law he has never had a case where a defendant requested that a plaintiff cover its legal fees.

Jones does not have the means to cover KBR’s fee request, “nor could I,” Kelly said. “They have beaten us and now they are attempting to crush us,” he added. “This is an attempt by KBR to chill other people from bringing claims against them

Please read the entire post here

August 23, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, KBR, Rape | , , | Leave a comment

Contractor Accountability and Human Trafficking at Center of Upcoming Film, The Whistleblower

By NICK SCHWELLENBACH at POGO  August 2, 2011For those looking for more of the backstory on Dyncorp whistleblowers Ben Johnston and Kathyrn Bolkovac, whose tale is the subject of the movie The Whistleblower, (opening in theaters this Friday, see trailer above), I have unearthed material from an interview I conducted with Bolkovac and some related research last year.

The material was chopped from a story I was working on for The Washington Post because of space considerations. Here’s the draft section that was cut:

Roughly a decade ago, two Dyncorp employees reported that some of their fellow employees were involved in the buying and selling of women and young girls in Bosnia. Dyncorp is a U.S. defense and security contractor that held U.S. logistics and security contracts for work in the former Yugoslavia.

Both were fired, retaliation for their whistle-blowing they said.

“The only reason they fired me was because I told on them, and I broke up their little boys’ club,” former Dyncorp employee Ben Johnston said at a congressional hearing in 2002.

A helicopter mechanic working for Dyncorp on an Air Force contract, Johnston had observed Dyncorp employees with young girls believed to have been purchased and employees bragging about buying and selling them in 1999 and 2000.

His allegations were investigated by the Army but after some initial work that did turn up significant evidence of trafficking, including a confession by one employee that women were sold “permanently,” they turned the investigation over to the local police. But the local police erroneously did not believe they could prosecute American contractors, according to a Human Rights Watch report. Nor did the Army investigators interview a Moldovan woman who was purchased, explore allegations that Johnston’s supervisors had raped a woman or that she or other women had been trafficked.

“There is my supervisor, the biggest guy there [in Bosnia] with DynCorp, videotaping having sex with these girls, girls saying no,” Johnston said at the hearing, referring to a video turned over to Army investigators, “but that guy now, to my knowledge, he is in America doing fine. There was no repercussion for raping the girl.”

In addition to the Army’s investigation, a Department of Defense Office of Inspector General assessment found evidence that contractor employees were involved in trafficking, the latter finding that it “continues to be an issue” in Bosnia as late as December 2003. However, no prosecutions for trafficking came as a result.

Johnston reached a settlement for an undisclosed amount with the company hours a British panel ruled against Dyncorp in another similar case and days before his case was to go to trial in Texas in August 2002.

The other company insider was Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraskan deployed by Dyncorp on a State Department contract as part of the U.S. contingent of the International Police Task Force there.

An October 9, 2000, e-mail she wrote, entitled, “Do Not Read This if You Have a Weak Stomach or Guilty Conscience,” was sent to more than 50 U.N. personnel in Bosnia detailing the involvement in trafficking of various aspects of the international force of which she was part. It started a chain reaction that led to her firing the following April, she said.

She won before a British employment tribunal in August 2002 that ordered Dyncorp to pay her nearly $180,000.

But she saw little government action to investigate her specific allegations, said Bolkovac, a former policewoman. In her estimation of what was done: “pretty much zero.”

On the issues she raised in Bosnia, “there’s nobody willing to go the extra mile and do the investigation,” she said.

But other roadblocks also existed. “Get rid of the victim and get ride of the perpetrator and you don’t have a case,” Bolkovac told me, referring to the pattern of sending offenders and victims back to their home countries.

These cases and the media attention they garnered played out around the same time President George W. Bush issued his government-wide “zero tolerance” trafficking policy in 2002 and spoke before the U.N. General Assembly in 2003.

Since Bosnia, DynCorp has continued to win large and important contracts with the U.S. government, including contracts to train police in both Iraq and Afghanistan. But accusations of continued involvement of its employees in prostitution followed it beyond the Balkans – at least according to one former DynCorp subcontractor who testified before the Senate Democratic Policy Committee in 2008.

Dyncorp employees ran a “prostitution ring” that imported prostitutes from Kuwait into Baghdad in armored vehicles and operated out of hotels along the Tigris River, according to Barry Halley, a former Dyncorp subcontractor. The women appeared to be adults from Eastern Europe, he said.

Halley observed this in early 2004 before switching jobs

August 2, 2011 Posted by | Balkans, Contractor Oversight, Government Contractor, Iraq, Rape, Sexual Assault, Whistleblower | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rape charges dropped against former Iraq contractor

A judge has dismissed rape and indecent liberties charges against a former Iraq contractor.

The Pilot Online  July 27, 2011

Police brought Daniel P. Phillips, 46, back from Iraq in January to face felony charges of rape, indecent liberties and aggravated sexual battery, according to a police report.

In court papers, Phillips denied the allegations and stated that he was in Kuwait and Iraq between December 2004 and January 2005, when the alleged attacks occurred.

Earlier this month, a prosecutor asked the judge to dismiss the charges and release Phillips from the Norfolk jail. Circuit Court Judge Charles E. Poston on Monday signed an order dismissing the charges

July 27, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Iraq, Legal Jurisdictions, Rape | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fluor employee victim of brutal rape at FOB Shank in Afghanistan Critical in Germany

Updates:  Fluor states that the rape victim did not die but is in critical condition in Germany.

This post has been edited to correct errors in the original that reported the victim had died in Germany of her injuries.-Yes, sometimes I get it wrong too. Ms Sparky-July 26, 2011

Cross Posted from MsSparky  July 25, 2011

I’ve just learned there’s been a brutal   at in . The victim was reportedly a female Fluor employee from the Macedonia region.

I’m not certain of the date, but the attack occurred between July 17-22. She was reportedly found unconscious and was medi-vac’d to Bagram Air Field (BAF) and then to Germany where it has been reported, she died of her injuries.

This crime has apparently got the entire FOB locked down. Hopefully, they’ll find the person(s) who committed this heinous crime and prosecute them to the full extent of the law.

This is but another on the long list of tragic rapes and murders in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As soon as I get more information on this sad tragedy I will update the post.

My most heartfelt condolences to the friends, family and co-workers of this victim.

Ms Sparky

July 25, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Contractor Casualties, Fluor, Rape, Safety and Security Issues, Sexual Assault | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Jury rejects woman’s rape claims in KBR suit

Houston Chronicle  July 8, 2011

Jurors in a Houston federal courtroom on Friday rejected a former Conroe woman’s claims she was drugged and gang-raped while working for Kellogg Brown and Root in Iraq in 2005.

The jury also rejected Jamie Leigh Jones’ fraud claims against the Houston-based defense contractor.

Jones, 26, had sued KBR and former KBR fireman Charles Boartz, accusing the company of creating a “sexually hostile working environment” at its Camp Hope installation in Iraq in 2005. She named Boartz as one of the alleged rapists.

Boartz, 34, denied raping Jones, saying the two engaged in consensual sex. The jurors agreed with Boartz.

The jury also found that KBR did not commit fraud by inducing Jones to enter into an employment contract.

By answering “no” to those two questions, jurors were not obligated to continue deliberations on other questions in the jury charge.

The month-long trial ended earlier this week, with both sides delivering closing statements on Thursday. The jury deliberated about five hours on Thursday and six hours Friday.

Jones sued KBR in 2007, accusing employees of the former Halliburton subsidiary of imprisoning her in a shipping container for more than six hours after she reported the alleged attack. She testified during the trial that she was denied food, water or the opportunity to call home for help.

In closing statements Thursday, Jones’ lawyers said the company gave the green light for other employees to commit similar offenses by neglecting to enforce its sexual harassment policies as far back as the late 1990s.

Lawyers for KBR and Boartz accused Jones of making up the attack, pointing out that doctors’ tests showed no sign of drugs in her system after the alleged incident. Defense attorneys throughout the trial accused Jones of lying repeatedly on company documents and questioned what they said where inconsistencies in her story.

Jones’ lawyers asked jurors to order KBR to pay up to 5 percent of its net worth in actual and punitive damages, which they said would have amounted to more than $114 million

Please see the original story at The Houston Chronicle

 

July 8, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Halliburton, Iraq, KBR, Legal Jurisdictions, Rape, Safety and Security Issues, Sexual Assault | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Female Foreign Correspondents’ Code of Silence, Finally Broken

This piece was co-published in the New York Times as Why we need Woman in War Zones

By Kim Barker at ProPublica

Thousands of men blocked the road, surrounding the S.U.V. of the chief justice of Pakistan, a national hero for standing up to military rule. As a correspondent for The Chicago Tribune, I knew I couldn’t just watch from behind a car window. I had to get out there.

So, wearing a black headscarf and a loose, long-sleeved red tunic over jeans, I waded through the crowd and started taking notes: on the men throwing rose petals, on the men shouting that they would die for the chief justice, on the men sacrificing a goat.

And then, almost predictably, someone grabbed my buttocks. I spun around and shouted, but then it happened again, and again, until finally I caught one offender’s hand and punched him in the face. The men kept grabbing. I kept punching. At a certain point — maybe because I was creating a scene — I was invited into the chief justice’s vehicle.

At the time, in June 2007, I saw this as just one of the realities of covering the news in Pakistan. I didn’t complain to my bosses. To do so would only make me seem weak. Instead, I made a joke out of it and turned the experience into a positive one: See, being a woman helped me gain access to the chief justice.

And really, I was lucky. A few gropes, a misplaced hand, an unwanted advance — those are easily dismissed. I knew other female correspondents who weren’t so lucky, those who were molested in their hotel rooms, or partly stripped by mobs. But I can’t ever remember sitting down with my female peers and talking about what had happened, except to make dark jokes, because such stories would make us seem different from the male correspondents, more vulnerable. I would never tell my bosses for fear that they might keep me at home the next time something major happened.

I was hardly alone in keeping quiet. The Committee to Protect Journalists may be able to say that 44 journalists from around the world [2] were killed last year because of their work, but the group doesn’t keep data [3] on sexual assault and rape. Most journalists just don’t report it.

The CBS correspondent Lara Logan has broken that code of silence. She has covered some of the most dangerous stories in the world, and done a lot of brave things in her career. But her decision to go public earlier this week with her attack by a mob in Tahrir Square in Cairo was by far the bravest. Hospitalized for days, she is still recuperating from the attack, described by CBS as a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating.

Several commentators have suggested [4] that Ms. Logan was somehow at fault: because she’s pretty; because she decided to go into the crowd; because she’s a war junkie. This wasn’t her fault. It was the mob’s fault. This attack also had nothing to do with Islam. Sexual violence has always been a tool of war. Female reporters sometimes are just convenient.

In the coming weeks, I fear that the conclusions drawn from Ms. Logan’s experience will be less reactionary but somehow darker, that there will be suggestions that female correspondents should not be sent into dangerous situations. It’s possible that bosses will make unconscious decisions to send men instead, just in case. Sure, men can be victims, too — on Wednesday a mob beat up a male ABC reporter in Bahrain [5], and a few male journalists have told of being sodomized by captors — but the publicity around Ms. Logan’s attack could make editors think, “Why take the risk?” That would be the wrong lesson. Women can cover the fighting just as well as men, depending on their courage.

More important, they also do a pretty good job of covering what it’s like to live in a war, not just die in one. Without female correspondents in war zones, the experiences of women there may be only a rumor.

Look at the articles about women who set themselves on fire in Afghanistan to protest their arranged marriages, or about girls being maimed by fundamentalists, about child marriage in India, about rape in Congo and Haiti. Female journalists often tell those stories in the most compelling ways, because abused women are sometimes more comfortable talking to them. And those stories are at least as important as accounts of battles.

There is an added benefit. Ms. Logan is a minor celebrity, one of the highest-profile women to acknowledge being sexually assaulted. Although she has reported from the front lines, the lesson she is now giving young women is probably her most profound: It’s not your fault. And there’s no shame in telling it like it is.

Please see the original at ProPublica

February 19, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Africa, Iraq, Journalists, Pakistan, Rape, Safety and Security Issues, Sexual Assault | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

17 Veterans Sue Pentagon for Indifference to Military Rapes

Courthouse News February 17, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CN) – Seventeen veterans, male and female, claim they were raped, sexually assaulted or harassed on active duty while officials turned a blind eye to the crimes and even promoted the assailants. “After plaintiffs and other victims reported the crimes against them, they were retaliated against, drummed out of the services, or, in some tragic cases, killed,” the veterans say.

The veteran-plaintiffs say Defense Secretaries Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates “failed to investigate rapes and sexual assaults, prosecute perpetrators, provide an adequate judicial system as required by the Uniform Military Justice Act, and abide by congressional deadlines to implement congressionally ordered institutional reforms to stop rapes and other sexual assaults.”
The veterans say that military leaders “ran institutions in which perpetrators were promoted and where military personnel openly mocked and flouted the modest congressionally mandated institutional reforms.

Defendants ran institutions in which plaintiffs and other victims were openly subjected to retaliation, were encouraged to refrain from reporting rapes and sexual assaults in a manner that would have permitted prosecution, and were ordered to keep quiet and refrain from telling anyone about the criminal acts of their work colleagues.”
The 42-page complaint relates grisly tales of sexual assault.

Please read the entire article here

February 17, 2011 Posted by | Department of Defense, Pentagon, Rape, Safety and Security Issues | , , | Leave a comment

Women team to stop alleged contractor abuse in Iraq

Christine Dobbyn at KTRK TV Houston ABC Local

See also MsSparky

HOUSTON (KTRK) — For the first time on Monday night, we heard the story of a local woman who claims she was brutally attacked and raped while working for an American government contract company in Iraq. Now, we’re continuing the story with reaction from the company — KBR — and how other women say it happened to them too.

The story of 27-year-old Anna Mayo is graphic. “He was grabbing my hair and grabbing my hair, and my face and at one point he had my face and he was ripping it, he had gloves on and I was biting him so hard, I could taste, I could taste the gloves, I could taste the blood, I could taste the smell,” she said. Mayo was working at KBR’s Ballad Facility in Iraq last November when a man claiming to be a maintenance worker attacked as she lay sleeping in her bed. “I remember poking him in the eyeballs because he was on top of me, and I took my nail and digged it into his eye, and it’s like he was mocking me,” she said.

He put a rope around her neck and she passed out. When she came to, she was being raped. “It was almost like a relief because it didn’t hurt as bad as when he was ripping my face off,” Mayo said.

Her injuries left her in intensive care.”A girl that I worked with at the warehouse came in, looked at me, sat down and fainted — that’s how much of a monster I was,” Mayo said

Mayo has filed a lawsuit against the government contractor and subsidiaries, saying, “It is not the first time that KBR has had problems with sexual violence in its workspaces, nor the first time that it has been put on notice of these rampant violent behaviors.” But KBR says it in no way condones or tolerates illegal or unethical behavior saying “Sexual misconduct is not tolerated. Ms. Mayo’s allegations to the contrary are not correct.”

Anna Mayo is just one of a group of women to come forward with claims of being sexual assaulted while working in Iraq or Afghanistan for KBR. Another Houston woman filed suit against the company just a few weeks ago. And this woman — Jamie Leigh Jones — made headlines when she decided to show her face and share her story after alleging she was gang raped and left in a shipping container with no food and water for hours in 2005. “I really believe that there is strength in numbers, and we’re going against a giant and with our voice, we will be able to conquer what’s headed towards us,” Jones said. Jones has also challenged the company’s arbitration policy.

Houston Attorney Todd Kelly represents Jones, Mayo and four others. “Companies only have one sense of conscience, and it’s their bottom line,” Kelly said. “A jury is going to have to tell KBR and Halliburton that they don’t appreciate how they are treating American citizens in Iraq; it is the only way to stop this.” Kelly says he has received many calls from women making claims from sexual harassment to sexual assault. “They care about business as usual, move the perpetrator to somewhere where he can keep doing his work, and get the injured women out of the way,” he said.

KBR says while Mayo’s lawsuit identifies her attacker as a KBR employee, the Army’s criminal investigation division found he was not a KBR employee but employed by a subcontractor. The Army has assumed full control of the investigation. “He’s walking around somewhere, and there’s some woman who doesn’t know,” Mayo said.

Mayo claims her attacker was located, but he resigned and was allowed to leave. “If somebody said it’s like the wild, wild west and somebody will enter your room and beat you and rape you and let them go home eight days later, I would have not gone,” Mayo said. And now she battles nightmares and lasting images of the night that changed her life.

A court of appeals just dismissed some of Mayo’s contractual claims, which a win for KBR. The rest of her allegations will be dependent on a ruling in another pending case against her former employer. Jones’ case is scheduled to go to trial next May. KBR disputes much of her story. We also want to note KBR is a former subsidiary of Halliburton. Halliburton is mentioned in some of the cases, but broke ties with KBR in 2007.

November 10, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, KBR, Rape, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

KBR employee recalls attack in Iraq

HOUSTON (KTRK) — A Houston woman is telling her story of survival for the first time on camera. She is a former KBR contractor who began working in Iraq in November of 2008.

See the Video here

Warning: This story may be considered graphic.

Anna Mayo says what happened to her one morning in her sleeping quarters changed her life forever. While we don’t normally identify rape victims, the young woman says she wants her story heard.

In the fall of 2008, Anna Mayo left Austin to work as a KBR contractor in Iraq. Within a month, she was promoted to an operations specialist with project management. “I loved it,” Mayo said. “I moved up really fast; I got a lot of responsibility.” And then Mayo was moved to the night shift, so that meant sleeping during the day. “I had a sign on my room that said daysleeper, please come back after 14:00,” she said.

On a November morning in 2009, there was a knock on her sleeping container door. She opened it to find a man she says was not an American. “He told me that he needed to come in and check something in my bathroom,” Mayo said. But he didn’t stay long. “Ten seconds, it seemed like, it was in and out. And then he just walked out. It was just the weirdest thing,” Mayo said. Mayo then called to report the strange incident but was referred to someone in maintenance.

“I blew it off. I mean, they blew it off. They said that’s as far as it went and I said, ‘OK. Well, I guess he was checking something,'” Mayo said.

But three days later as she slept, there was no knock this time, and when she opened her eyes, that same man was in her room. “It was just this fear, where I’m in danger,” Mayo said. ” I immediately knew that I was in danger.” He attacked, grabbing her hair and she fought back. “He took his hands and dug them into my eyeballs as hard as he could, and it hurt so bad, and then I got weaker and then he put a rope around my neck,” Mayo said. But Mayo could only fight for so long. She was face down, being raped. “It was almost a relief because it didn’t hurt as bad as when he was ripping my face off,” Mayo said. He had tied her arms behind her back and tried to smother her.

She passed out again, and when she came to, she could only crawl. “I looked in the mirror and I saw a monster,” Mayo said. “I couldn’t recognize me.” Her hair was falling out, her eyes hemorrhaging. It took all the strength she had left to get help. “I screamed help and turned around, and I fainted again,” Mayo said.

Mayo was transferred to a military hospital in Germany. “The military hospital was fantastic,” she said.

“They treated me amazing, like one of their own troops, but the company I worked for, they had nothing to do with me. It was immediately like I was cut off.”

Now the former contractor is suing KBR, claiming there is a culture of sexual misconduct within the company. “I want them to take responsibility or at least show some kind of accountability,” Mayo said.

KBR disputes parts of Mayo’s story and said in a statement, “Sexual misconduct is not tolerated. Ms Mayo’s allegations to the contrary are not correct.” They go on to say Mayo did not follow up after her initial report of that strange maintenance check, adding, “Ms. Mayo made no further inquiries or report that she felt threatened by the incident.”

Mayo has recovered from most of the physical injuries. “Sometimes when I get really hot or I take a shower, you can see a rug burn on my neck,” she said.

It’s the emotional ones that still haunt her.

A district court just ruled that Mayo’s case will not move forward until there is a decision in another pending case against a military contractor, though it involves truck drivers injured on the job.

Mayo’s lawsuit is the latest in a series against U.S. companies working military contracts in Iraq. On Wednesday, find out how Mayo is joining other women with similar claims. 

Please see the original story and video here

November 9, 2010 Posted by | KBR, Rape, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , | Leave a comment

KBR Employee (Anna Mayo) Says She Was Raped and Beaten By Fellow KBR Employee in Iraq

MsSparky.com broke this story on Anna Mayo’s brutal rape and assault on December 4, 2009. Naturally we would not disclose her name at that time. Anna is the niece of KBR’s LOGCAP IV Principal Program Manager Mike Mayo – the #1 guy.

By MARK SCHONE
June 3, 2010
Anna Mayo’s Lawsuit Is The Latest In A Series Against Military Contractor

According to a lawsuit filed in federal court in Houston Wednesday, Anna Mayo was working at KBR’s facility in Balad in November 2009 when she was assaulted by an unnamed rapist who worked for KBR. She charges that she was choked unconscious with a rope, beaten and raped. The suit seeks damages from KBR and from KBR subsidiary Service Employees International Inc., the contractor that employed Mayo from 2008 to 2009.

Without releasing the name of the victim, an Army spokesman confirmed that the military has investigated an alleged sexual assault that occurred at the time and place specified in Mayo’s suit.  Read the full post here

June 4, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, KBR, Rape | , , , , | Leave a comment

KBR mandates “no more pimping, pandering or brothels” for LOGCAP employees

May 27, 2010 — Ms Sparky

I think I worked with the guy on the right!! LOL

Earlier this month, KBR management put together an informative power point presentation regarding compensation and benefit changes for those transitioning from LOGCAP III to LOGCAP IV in Iraq. I would assume their intention was to ease employee concerns and squelch any rumors that are bound to arise in a transition such as this. Not an unreasonable management approach.

As I read through the presentation the changes seemed in line with what I already knew. On pages 5 & 6 under “Additions to Employment Agreement” I was glad to see this statement:

Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act – Under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA) persons employed by or accompanying the U.S. Armed Forces outside the United States are potentially subject to prosecution for certain criminal acts, including such acts occurring outside the United States. MEJA applies only to those crimes punishable by imprisonment for more than one year if committed within United States jurisdiction. The law applies to individuals accompanying a contractor for the US armed forces, which may include a dependent of a DOD contractor or subcontractor employee. This law authorizes DOD law enforcement personnel to arrest suspected offenders in accordance with applicable international agreements and specifies procedures for the removal of accused individuals to the US.

It also authorizes pretrial detention and the appointment of counsel for accused individuals. See Army Field Manual 3-100.21,Contractors on the Battlefield and DoD Instruction 5525.11, Criminal Jurisdiction Over Civilians Employed By or Accompanying the Armed Forces Outside the United States, Certain Service Members, and Former Service Members.

I like this. No longer will rapists and other criminals be allowed to hide behind “I’m not in the Military, the Military has no jurisdiction, the worst that will happen to me is I will get fired!” Then I get to page 7. What the hell?? Again, listed as “Additions to Employment Agreement”:

Prostitution –The Company has adopted a “zero tolerance policy” regarding employees who engage in prostitution and other related activities, including, but not limited to, pimping, pandering, or maintaining brothels. Failure to comply with this policy will result in disciplinary action up to or including removal from the Assignment Location and/or termination of employment in accordance with standard procedures and applicable laws or regulations in the host country.

“The Company has adopted….what?? For USG contractors or their employees to participate in prostitution in ANY manner, in any location even if it is legal in that location is a Trafficking In Persons (TIPS) violation and therefore a violation of the Federal Acquisitions Regulation (FAR) and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations System (DFARS). These FARS are not recommendations or guidelines. They are Federal Law and compliance is REQUIRED in order to participate as a USG contractor. So every time an employee goes to Thailand and procures a “girlfriend” for a week or two is violating federal law. Technically, I think KBR is required to self report every time someone comes back bragging about their Thailand exploits.

Subpart 22.17 of the FAR and Subpart 222.17 of the DFARS outline the REQUIREMENTS that Contractors MUST adhere to in order to combating Trafficking In Persons.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld issued a memorandum in September 2004 which stated “trafficking in persons will not be tolerated”. The FAR and DFARS were officially amended in April 2006 to included the Subparts 22.17 and 222.17.

Isn’t KBR a little late to this party? This has been very enforceable all along. They could have fired John Reddy and his minions for participating in his Towne Lodge brothel in Thailand. They still could fire those who participated and are still employed. Will they? Highly unlikely. What about Donald Vannoy and his brothel in Pattaya? KBR doesn’t have to adopt a “zero tolerance policy” to enforce federal law. So why the big public appearance on this. Are they trying to appease DoD investigators?

As always, if you have any information regarding KBR or USG contractor involved in prostitution activities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Dubai, Thailand, the Philippines etc please let me know. I am especially interested in any past or present prostitution activities at the DFAC’s at FOB Marez in Mosul.    MsSparky

May 29, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, KBR, Rape, Safety and Security Issues, Sexual Assault | , , , , | 1 Comment

PMC and Sex Crimes

The crime that dare not speak its name…

By David Isenberg at Huff Post

On April 16 the Department of Defense Inspector General released a report that nobody has been talking about. Allow me to be the first. Perhaps we should subtitle it the crime that dare not speak its name, as it deals with a topic that most private military contractors (PMC) generally don’t talk about publicly.

The title of the report is “Efforts to Prevent Sexual Assault/Harassment Involving DOD Contractors During Contingency Operations.” .

My first thought is how is it that some contractors can’t seem to keep it in their pants? This is an issue that seems to keep happening over the years; from the days when DynCorp contractors were involved in a sex trafficking scandal in Bosnia when employees and supervisors engaged in sex with 12 to 15 year old children, and sold them to each other as slaves to the gang-rape of Jamie Leigh Jones a former KBR employee who claimed that seven KBR employees drugged and gang-raped her on July 28, 2005 at Camp Hope, Baghdad, Iraq.

For those who like to dismiss such things as isolated occurrences just head on over to the “Rape, Hazing, Discrimination & Harassment” section of Ms, Sparky’s blog and you will be promptly disabused of such a notion.

In fact the situation is serious enough that the sexual assault of employees of U.S. military contractors working in Iraq and Afghanistan will be tracked by the Pentagon under a system it is setting up.

Evidently the fact that the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) declares that sexual assault committed by the Armed Forces and DOD civilians and contractors accompanying Armed Forces in contingency operations is a criminal offense that is punishable by court-martial is not enough to keep assaults from happening.

The IG report reviewed contracts that support Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom for language in clauses that address the prevention of sexual assault or harassment of or by contractor personnel. It also determined whether DOD and/or DOD contractors provided sexual assault/harassment prevention and response training to contractor employees prior to deployment.

What it found was:

That of the 10 DOD contractors reviewed, 8 did not have policies or training requirements for sexual assault prevention and response. This condition occurred because contractual requirements were not established to ensure that contractors were aware of DOD’s definition of sexual assault or that contractors should report sexual assault complaints to Military law enforcement during contingency operations. In addition, sexual assault prevention and response policy was not applied to contractors and contractors were not required to complete such training as part of theater-specific individual requirements training. The Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, and Air Force contracting officers did not provide adequate oversight of contractor deployment training for sexual assault prevention and response. This condition occurred because the Kellogg, Brown, and Root Services, Inc. Continental United States Replacement Center (CRC) and Fluor Corporation CRC operations were inappropriately approved, despite the contractors’ sexual assault awareness and reporting training not meeting the minimum
training requirements. Further, contractor employees were processed through pre-deployment sites without ensuring that sexual assault prevention and response training was completed.

One can’t help wondering what the world is coming to when men have to go through training to understand that no means no.

Indeed, the report found that most contractors had problems even defining sexual assault. The report noted:

We determined that 8 of 10 contractors reviewed did not establish an adequate corporate definition of sexual assault or promote awareness to contractor employees assigned to DOD projects in Iraq and Afghanistan. Specifically, five contractors misclassified sexual assault, a violent felony, as an act of sexual harassment, a civil offense, which is reported internally within the companies instead of externally to Military law enforcement; one contractor developed a definition that was inconsistent with DOD’s definition and established internal company reporting procedures; and the remaining two contractors did not provide any definition of sexual assault. The remaining 2 of 10 contractors developed a definition of sexual assault that was consistent with DOD’s definition, but only 1 of the 2 contractors established external reporting to Military law enforcement.

Sexual assault is not just a problem for private contractors; it also is a problem for regular military forces. On February 5, 2004, the Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum, “Department of Defense Care for Victims of Sexual Assaults,” that expressed concern with the increasing numbers of reports alleging sexual assaults involving Service members deployed to Iraq and Kuwait and directed a review of how DOD handled the treatment and care for victims of sexual assault in theater. On February 10, 2004, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness [USD(P&R)] directed the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Health, Protection, and Readiness to establish and lead a task force to review the reporting of sexual assaults and consider the necessity of training for Service members. In April 2004, the task force issued the “Task Force Report on Care for Victims of Sexual Assault,” which found that DOD did not have a policy or program aimed at preventing sexual assault, particularly in joint combat environments.

The companies that the report looked at were. AECOM; Environmental Chemical Corporation (ECC); Fluor Corporation (Fluor); ITT Corporation, Systems Division (ITT); Innovative Technical Solutions, Inc.(ITSI); Kellogg, Brown, and Root Services, Inc. (KBR); L-3 Communications; Parsons Corporation (Parsons); Readiness Management Support, LC (RMS); and Tetra Tech, Inc.

These ten contractors were selected based on the following criteria: U.S.-based companies; contracting actions awarded in FY 2006 and FY 2007; and combined FY 2006 and FY 2007 contracting actions equal to or exceeding $250 million.

As is often the case with PMC issues the government shares the blame for the problem. The report noted:

Although the 10 DOD contractors reviewed have policies and training requirements in place to comply with the intent of Equal Employment Opportunity laws regarding sexual harassment, the contractors did not establish similar policies and training requirements for sexual assault awareness, prevention, and reporting for DOD contractor employees. This occurred because the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics [USD(AT&L)] did not establish requirements in DOD contracts to ensure: • contractors are made aware of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) definition of sexual assault; and
• contractor employees report sexual assault complaints to Military law enforcement during contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In addition, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness [USD(P&R)]:
• established sexual assault prevention, reporting, and response policies that excluded DOD contractors; and
• did not ensure that combatant commanders established minimum pre-deployment training requirements to include sexual assault prevention and response training for contractors who accompany U.S. Armed Forces in contingency operations.

As a result, contractor employees who were alleged victims or witnesses may not have known how to report sexual assault crimes to the appropriate Military law enforcement officials while in Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Iraqi Freedom (OIF) areas of operation. Additionally, DOD contractors, a supporting component of the DOD total force, may have been unaware of the severity of sexual assault as a criminal offense under the UCMJ, thereby increasing the risk of sexual assault occurrences that threaten contractor productivity in support of DOD contingency operations.

In terms of policies the report found:

We determined that KBR and Parsons were the only two contractors that developed company policies for their employees that addressed sexual assault prevention and response, but that the KBR and Parsons policies were limited. The KBR sexual assault policy, issued in October 2007, applied to only KBR employees who supported the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) and excluded KBR employees performing work on other contracts supporting contingency operations; provided a definition of sexual assault that considered any nonconsensual sexual act or contact to be sexual assault; and established reporting procedures for its LOGCAP employees to report sexual assault crimes internally to KBR human resources representatives, employee relations representatives, its ethics hotline, or legal counsel, and did not mention local law enforcement. Parsons’ workplace violence policy prohibited physical assault, which included sexual assault; however, the Parsons’ policy was inadequate because it did not provide the defining elements of sexual assault. Additionally, the Parsons’ policy provided internal company reporting procedures for its employees to contact Parsons supervisors, security, and emergency hotline, and did not mention local law enforcement.

In terms of training the report found:

RMS and Fluor were the only two DOD contractors that developed and implemented sexual assault prevention and response training that classified sexual assault as a crime characterized by nonconsensual and threatening physical contact causing bodily harm, including rape. The RMS training module, implemented in June 2007, was the only sexual assault training that appropriately instructed employees to report sexual assault crimes to law enforcement authorities as well as to internal company management, human resources managers, and the RMS ethics hotline. However, the Fluor sexual assault prevention and response training, implemented in June 2009, inappropriately instructed employees to report sexual assault crimes internally to Fluor supervisors and managers.

The IG report recommends that the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics develop contractual requirements to ensure that DOD contractors are aware of the DOD definition of sexual assault and require contractors to report sexual assaults to Military law enforcement.

Of course, there are many private military contractors working for places other than the Defense Department. One can’t fault the IG report for that; it can only address its own department. But one hopes that someone in government will ensure the recommendations apply government wide and not just to Pentagon contractors.

Follow David Isenberg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/vanidan

April 21, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, KBR, Legal Jurisdictions, Private Military Contractors, Rape, Sexual Assault | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

KBR changes policies to comply with Franken Amendment

Thanks to MsSparky for the best in KBR updates

Well….it’s official. By KBR’s own email admission, they will no longer force you into “behind closed doors secret arbitration” if they falsely imprison you, if you are raped and/or assaulted by a boss or co-worker, if you are discriminated against or harassed by your boss or co-worker  etc. One might think they made these changes because it was the morally and ethically right thing to do. But sadly, that is not the case. KBR had to be forced to make these changes. Thank you Jamie Leigh Jones and Senator Al Franken! SHAME ON YOU KBR!

Below is an excerpt from “The Weekly Delivery” KBR’s LOGCAP III weekly magazine distributed to all employees.

This information applies to you if you are currently covered by the Dispute Resolution Program.
AMENDMENTS to the DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROGRAM
Effective March 29, 2010

Copy of February 23, 2010 e-mail:

TO: All KBR Employees
FROM: Andrew Farley, Senior Vice President & General Counsel

Since 1993, the Dispute Resolution Program (DRP) has helped employees with finding productive solutions when workplace conflicts occur. Recent legislation and experiences have necessitated some amendments to the DRP and we are now giving you 30 days notice of these changes, which provide as follows:

  1. The DRP will now exempt from arbitration any claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any tort related to or arising out of sexual assault or harassment, including assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, or negligent hiring, supervision, or retention (See Plan Paragraph 2.E.4 and 3.E)
  2. Clarifies who is covered by the Dispute Resolution Program (See Plan Paragraph 2.G)
  3. Updates the selection process for the arbitrator (See Rules Paragraph 4 and 5)
  4. Makes two typographical corrections in the Vacancies paragraph, with references to Paragraphs 5 and 6(instead of 6 and 5 as before) (See Rules Paragraph 6)
  5. Refines how the hearing location is selected and set by the arbitrator (See Rules Paragraph 7.A and C)
  6. Further defines the circumstances under which an arbitrator may modify an award (See Rules Paragraph 27
  7. Clarifies the limitations for filing formal DRP proceedings (See Rules Paragraph 34.B)
  8. Updates the International Ombudsman Association Standards of Practice in the Appendix, now dated 2009

The changes will go into effect on March 29, 2010. However, no change shall apply to a Dispute which is initiated prior to March 29, 2010.

The Dispute Resolution Program brochures will be reprinted and available to you soon, but in the mean time, the revised Plan and Rules is available online at theDRP website.

Should you have questions about these changes, please call the DRP office at 713-753-5383, or 800-947-7658.

Thank you.

Read this with the comments at MsSparky

April 9, 2010 Posted by | KBR, Rape | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Halliburton drops high court appeal in rape case

HOUSTON — Halliburton Co. and KBR have withdrawn an appeal asking the Supreme Court to block the trial of a former military contractor from Texas who says she was raped by co-workers in Iraq.

Halliburton confirmed today that the appeal was withdrawn, but wouldn’t elaborate.

Jamie Leigh Jones says she was raped while working for KBR in Baghdad in 2005. She later sued KBR and Halliburton, which split in 2007.

Halliburton and KBR had argued that Jones’ case should be settled in arbitration as required by her contract. A lower court ruled it could go to trial, which is set for May 2011.

The Associated Press usually doesn’t name people alleging sexual assault, but Jones’ identity has been broadcast in media reports and on her own Web site.  Original story at  bostonherald.com Also See Ms Sparky

March 22, 2010 Posted by | KBR, Rape, Sexual Assault | , , , , | Leave a comment