KBR, the defense contractor doing a lot of heavy lifting in the upholding of our occupation of Iraq, has banned the use of personal cell phones by its employees. KBR and its previous parent company Halliburton are notorious for many things. One of those things is the rape and cover up of rape committed by its male employees against its female employees.
How are the two related? Well, the first and most widely-known woman to come forward with an allegation of rape and cover up is Jamie Leigh Jones. Jones was gang raped by her coworkers, then locked inside of a shipping container for days in order to prevent her from reporting the attack. The Justice Department never brought charges against her assailants, and extremely important evidence in the case was “lost” by KBR. But the relevant part is how Jones escaped: through the use of a cell phone. A “sympathetic guard” loaned the phone to her, which she used to call her father in the United States. Her father subsequently called his congressperson, who ended up securing Jones’ release. If that “sympathetic guard” (you know, the one who didn’t set her free) hadn’t handed her that cell phone, god only knows where Jamie Leigh Jones would be today. But it just might not be alive, let alone acting as a major anti-rape and anti-KBR activist.
So. KBR employee is raped by her coworkers and then kidnapped and held prisoner. Employee secures her release through use of a personal cell phone. KBR doesn’t really give a shit about any of it. Employee makes a lot of noise about the incident, making KBR look really bad, even if not actually impacting the company financially. KBR bans personal cell phone use.