KBR medic complicit in rape of colleague by soldier

In January 2008, as a soldier anally penetrated 42-year-old Dawn Leamon, a paramedic for a defense contractor KBR in southern Iraq, her colleague held her hand

but instead of helping her, as she had hoped, he jammed his penis in her mouth. Over the next few weeks Leamon would be told to keep quiet about the incident by a KBR supervisor. The camp’s military liaison officer also told her not to speak about what had happened, she says.

So reported Karen Houppet April 3, in The Nation.

But Leamon not only talked to Houppet, who also writes for the WaPo, she also testified only April 9 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It was only after that testimony that the reporter updated her story to include Leamon’s name.

With Congress questioning why no reports have resulted in arrests and trials, KBR released a statement prior to the hearing to ABC News:

First and foremost, KBR in no way condones or tolerates sexual harassment. Each employee is expected to adhere to the Company’s Code of Business Conduct, and when violations occur, appropriate action is taken. Any reported allegation of sexual harassment or sexual assault is taken seriously and thoroughly investigated. KBR’s top priority is the safety and security of all employees, and our commitment in that regard is unwavering.

Houppert, however, convincingly argues that the “problem is not a lack of legal tools but a lack of will.” It appears that KBRhas tried to stifle complaints with non-disclosure agreements and private arbitration, so as to protect its huge military contracts.

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