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Sex, Halliburton, and the State Department


By David Swanson

On Wednesday, February 27th, from 8 to 9 p.m. ET I'll be interviewing live another female Halliburton employee who was subjected to an environment of constant sexual harassment in Iraq. Tracy Barker was sexually assaulted by Halliburton employees and - in one instance - by a U.S. State Department employee in Basra, Iraq. The State Department employee has confessed to part of what Barker alleges, but remains at the State Department, and has never been charged with any crime. You can listen to the live interview and call in with your questions on Wednesday at http://www.thepeoplespeakradio.net

At the same link, you'll find the audio file of a recent interview I conducted with Jamie Leigh Jones, a victim of gang rape by employees of the Halliburton corporation in Iraq. Jones has become the best known of what appears to be a lengthy list of Halliburton employees subjected to sexual assault. U.S. contractors in Iraq cannot be prosecuted under Iraqi law and simply are not prosecuted under U.S. law.

An ABC News 20/20 report last December focused largely on Jones' story, and Jones also testified before Congress that month. But if you watch the 20/20 report through to the end you'll see a second story as well, that of Tracy Barker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ez9fFRuJB-4

PHOTO: Tracy Barker

Barker has brought charges against Halliburton/KBR claiming that she was sexually assaulted, harassed, and falsely imprisoned while working at Camp Hope in Basra, Iraq. Barker is a military wife and mother of 3 who worked for Halliburton's KBR subsidiary as an administrative assistant in Iraq while her husband served in the U.S. military. According to ABC News, Barker claims that State Department employee Ali Mokhtare attempted to rape her: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/Story?id=3998439

"Mokhtare denied that he had attempted to rape her, but admitted that he had gone too far with Tracy, and signed a statement to that effect, which ABC News has obtained. In the document, Mokhtare states he 'admitted that he pulled her vest and shirt' and that he asked Barker, 'What do you have behind there?' He also says that he 'made a mistake and it was stupid,' according to the document. Despite his admission, Mokhtare, a U.S. citizen, still works at the State Department today....

"Mokhtare was a diplomatic official in Basra who first came to Iraq as a Farsi translator interviewing detainees. The U.S. Diplomatic Security Service investigated the allegations against Mokhtare and presented the case to the Justice Department for prosecution, but 'the case was declined for prosecution' states the document. Furthermore, investigators requested that the State Department suspend Mokhtare's security clearance, but according to a handwritten note at the bottom of the document, that request was denied."

Following the incident, Barker says, Halliburton confined her to a living container where she was constantly watched, including when she used the bathroom. Food was brought to her as if she was a prisoner, and she was denied medical attention and any outside communications. Barker says she was forced several days later to wear the same clothing she'd worn the night of the assault (ordinary pants and a long-sleeved shirt) and paraded through a crowded dining area apparently to humiliate her. This was part of the official investigation, aimed at determining whether she was sexually provocative. At this point she was still be refused medical attention.

Eventually, Barker says, she was able to use a cellphone belonging to National Guardsman Kevin Rodgers. Barker’s husband, 1st Sergeant Galen Barker, says that his wife contacted him through Rodgers. He then tried unsuccessfully to get to Kuwait so that he could rescue his wife from Iraq. Barker continued to be held against her will by Halliburton, and the State Department continued to stall her release. She was eventually rescued by Dr. David Pakkal of the State Department who took her to Kuwait.

When she returned home, Barker spoke out about what she had been through and began pursuing justice through U.S. courts. She says she was the first victim to do so. Several months after returning home, in July of 2005, Barker started receiving phone calls from other Halliburton employees who also alleged sexual harassment and rape while in Iraq. Barker learned that a State Department investigator and a Halliburton employee had given her home phone number out to gang rape victims because they thought Barker could help them.

PHOTO: Stewart Hoffer

Barker says the State Department offered her $3,500 in cash to drop certain charges, but she refused.

Halliburton has requested private arbitration instead of facing a civil suit and claims that this is required by Barker's employment contract. A judge ruled this month in favor of arbitration, arguing that sexual harassment, including assault, is a reality in today's workplace. Barker's attorney Stewart Hoffer is in the process of appealing this order.

Barker was invited to testify before Congress on December 19, 2007, by Congressman Bob Etheridge. Barker’s newborn twins were fighting for their lives, but Barker made the trip to Washington, only to be denied the opportunity to testify. Barker was permitted only to submit to the House Judiciary Committee a statement from Letty Surman, Barker's human resources manager at Halliburton/KBR and an eyewitness to some of her ordeals. Surman's affidavit detailed Barker’s workplace experience and described the men who assaulted Barker.

Barker has created the Tracy K. Barker Foundation to help other women who have also been victimized while working overseas.

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The question is,,
Who opened a bigger rape room,,Suddam or Bush?

We all remember the decider guy(Bush) using Suddam's rape rooms to explain attacking Iraq,,,
The UN has announced putting on there agenda woman issues,
They estimated the rapes of woman from wars and conflicts,,,
Why didn't they estimate the woman being raped in Bush's wars?
Suddam may have had a rape room,,
Bush created conditions for the entire countries woman to be raped.
Or to prostitue themselves to feed there family.

The president put this front and center as a reason for war,,but yet when US companies are being charged with rape,assult and a form of kidnapping,,,it's okay!

Halliburton's KBR was investigated for human trafficing and some how they got a contract,,
Not only does there appear to be assult and rape but there appears to be abduction/kidnapping..
It also appears the same methods that were used in the prison abuse were used on these woman,,,sexual humiliation,,,,confinment,camera surveliance,etc.

The high crime unnoticed in her story,,,making her wear the clothing she was assulted in,,,
Along with continuing to rape her after the first assult by constantly watching her.

Just maybe,,as this is a crime that woman understand better than men,,,we should have more woman in the court,,including the judge!

This is a very criminal act that most woman live with there entire life,,that many would chose death over rape,,

What's amazing is the Congress and Courts are saying that US companies can assult,rape,abduct,kidnap,drug,humilate,etc there own employees...
But it was bad when Suddam did it!

A judge ruled this as sexual harassment.
I question what's the bigger crime,,what was done to these woman or the judges opinion!
I think we need a new judge!

The following paragraph of what they did after the incident is beyond criminal.,,I call it a continual raping,,,

Following the incident, Barker says, Halliburton confined her to a living container where she was constantly watched, including when she used the bathroom. Food was brought to her as if she was a prisoner, and she was denied medical attention and any outside communications. Barker says she was forced several days later to wear the same clothing she'd worn the night of the assault (ordinary pants and a long-sleeved shirt) and paraded through a crowded dining area apparently to humiliate her. This was part of the official investigation, aimed at determining whether she was sexually provocative. At this point she was still be refused medical attention.

Maybe we should put the judges daughter or granddaughter threw this little sexual harassment...then will have him rule on the case!

It is time and long over due for the woman of the World to unit and stop men from minimizing this high crime..
I hope the woman groups of the US band together and bring this company,judge and Congress members to task!

It would give your comments a lot more credence if you would GO LEARN HOW TO SPELL!!! Your lack of education is pathetic.

The question is,,
Who opened a bigger rape room,,Suddam or Bush?

We all remember the decider guy(Bush) using Suddam's rape rooms to explain attacking Iraq,,,
The UN has announced putting on there agenda woman issues,
They estimated the rapes of woman from wars and conflicts,,,
Why didn't they estimate the woman being raped in Bush's wars?
Suddam may have had a rape room,,
Bush created conditions for the entire countries woman to be raped.
Or to prostitue themselves to feed there family.

The president put this front and center as a reason for war,,but yet when US companies are being charged with rape,assult and a form of kidnapping,,,it's okay!

Halliburton's KBR was investigated for human trafficing and some how they got a contract,,
Not only does there appear to be assult and rape but there appears to be abduction/kidnapping..
It also appears the same methods that were used in the prison abuse were used on these woman,,,sexual humiliation,,,,confinment,camera surveliance,etc.

The high crime unnoticed in her story,,,making her wear the clothing she was assulted in,,,
Along with continuing to rape her after the first assult by constantly watching her.

Just maybe,,as this is a crime that woman understand better than men,,,we should have more woman in the court,,including the judge!

This is a very criminal act that most woman live with there entire life,,that many would chose death over rape,,

What's amazing is the Congress and Courts are saying that US companies can assult,rape,abduct,kidnap,drug,humilate,etc there own employees...
But it was bad when Suddam did it!

A judge ruled this as sexual harassment.
I question what's the bigger crime,,what was done to these woman or the judges opinion!
I think we need a new judge!

The following paragraph of what they did after the incident is beyond criminal.,,I call it a continual raping,,,

Following the incident, Barker says, Halliburton confined her to a living container where she was constantly watched, including when she used the bathroom. Food was brought to her as if she was a prisoner, and she was denied medical attention and any outside communications. Barker says she was forced several days later to wear the same clothing she'd worn the night of the assault (ordinary pants and a long-sleeved shirt) and paraded through a crowded dining area apparently to humiliate her. This was part of the official investigation, aimed at determining whether she was sexually provocative. At this point she was still be refused medical attention.

Maybe we should put the judges daughter or granddaughter threw this little sexual harassment...then will have him rule on the case!

It is time and long over due for the woman of the World to unit and stop men from minimizing this high crime..
I hope the woman groups of the US band together and bring this company,judge and Congress members to task!

is why she's not bringing a criminal case against the corporation. There has to be something they can be charged under, even if it's just destroying evidence.

Arbitration only relates to civil suits. Criminal proceedings cannot be held outside of a real court.

Barker was also raped by her supervisor and left at a staging area where she had to ride in a truck for 19 hours with no ppe gear
Courtesy of Halliburtonwatch.org
http://judiciary.house.gov/Media/PDFS/Barker071219.pdf
you see the documents of Letty Surman afadavit and the determination letter is almost the same until you get to the page of a rumor of Jones. So that means that Tracy did not contact congressman Poe in December she was actually invited by her own Congressman? So she was being passed off as a victim through Jones Foundation isnt that against the law???? I watched the 2020 interview and it barely covers this case. It sounds as though Tracy was the first to come forward and then help gang rape Jamie Jones how can Jamie stand in front of the world and pretend it was her what are the dates these girls when they were in Iraq I bet Jones came home way after Barker something is screwed up in the perception of Jones story. I read that Tracy Barker has a pre trial in Arlington Virginia in April and then a public trial how can we find out about this trial as it approaches and shine some light on the public no on the World of who Tracy Barker actually is?? I hope she gets justice especially since she was locked in a living container twice assaulted and then raped and the fact that no one knows she was the first victim to come forward that is abuse all over again

"Legalese" effectively strives to make these sex crimes not a crime at Haliburton. Disgusting, debilitating and disempowering. What woman, father of daughter, and brother of sister would not be enraged, before stuffing down and trying to forget the statistics and probabilities of harassment and sex crimes - anywhere? Yet so few comments.
Salutations to the brave women and their supporters who take a stand to not allow perpetraitors to go unpunished. Disappointingly, more money will have to try to make justice. And abundant corporate money is ready and waiting to defend the absense of morality/humanity.
Baker and Jones' alleged perpetraitors are unfettered and free to keep harassing and raping without restraint. The environment, people and legalese that facilitate it remain. It's that simple.
In lieu of the public icons who used to stand up to fight these issues (Where are they now? - Take back the night, Bella Abzug- deceased, Gloria Steinam), why not make use of electronic media to not only communicate in words but in pictures too. Isn't our recall of faces stronger than our recollection of names? Pictures of these alleged perpetraitors faces would much beter serve the public at large. And may serve as their scarlet letter - and a potential scarlet letter to the cult of abuse.
We need pictures circulated of alleged sex crime perpetraitors more than we need pictures of their victims: a cyber - public service/ social justice. With all due respect, sometimes words just aren't enough.

Got some minor details wrong from The People Speak Radio. Update here:
http://www.thepeoplespeakradio.net/2008/tracy-barker

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