Halliburton's rules of war

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Jamie Leigh Jones, a Halliburton/KBR worker, alleges that she was drugged and then raped by seven male contractors in Iraq in 2005 and then locked in a shipping container under armed guard. Meanwhile, vital evidence of the attack went "missing".

One alleged rapist subsequently confessed. But Halliburton/KBR blocked her from going to court because a clause in her contract demanded that she forgo it. This practice has led to accusations that rape is acceptable in such circumstances as there are no consequences. Jones's was one of many similar accusations.

The US Senate has now ruled that contractor firms must guarantee their workers' right to go to court. But 30 Republicans, including John McCain, voted against. They claimed that government had no right to interfere in private employer-employee relations.