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    Repiglican Roast

    A spirited discussion of public policy and current issues

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    I'm furious about my squandered nation.

    Thursday, February 14, 2008

    U.S. women reporting rapes in Iraq remain in limbo

    Mary Kineston, an Ohio mother who went to Iraq to drive trucks, thought she had endured the worst when her supply convoy was ambushed in April 2004. After car bombs exploded and insurgents began firing on the road between Baghdad and Balad, she and other military contractors were saved only when army Black Hawk helicopters arrived.

    But not long after the ambush, Kineston said, she was sexually assaulted by another driver, who remained on the job, at least temporarily, even after she reported the incident to KBR, the military contractor that employed the drivers. Later, she said she was groped by a second KBR worker. After complaining to the company about the threats and harassment endured by female employees in Iraq, she was fired.

    "I felt safer on the convoys with the army than I ever did working for KBR," said Kineston, who won a modest arbitration award against KBR after returning to Ohio. "At least if you got in trouble on a convoy, you could radio the army, and they would come and help you out. But when I complained to KBR, they didn't do anything. I still have nightmares. They changed my life forever, and they got away with it."

    Kineston is one of a growing number of American women who have reported that they were sexually assaulted by co-workers while employed as contractors in Iraq, but find themselves in legal limbo, unable to seek justice or even significant compensation.

    [...]

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