30 GOP Senators Vote to Defend Halliburton over Gang-Rape Victim

13 10 2009
Rape Victim Jamie Leigh Jones

Rape Victim Jamie Leigh Jones

Two years ago, Jamie Leigh Jones came forward to accuse her co-workers at government contractor Halliburton/KBR of drugging and gang-raping her on the job in Baghdad, locking her in a shipping container, and then threatening to fire her if she left the country for medical treatment.  Here is the video of her shocking testimony: 

Apparently, Jones was given a rape-kit in Baghdad, but the incriminating evidence was mysteriously destroyed before a sympathetic guard finally allowed Jones to call her father in Texas and report the situation.  For the past two years, Jones has been trying to bring the case to court, but Halliburton has fought her right to press charges on the grounds that she signed a contract preventing company employees from publicly pursuing criminal charges against co-workers.  

Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) stepped up in defense of gang-rape victims such as Jones (others have since come forward with similar allegations) and introduced an amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill that would withhold government funding from defense contractors “if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court.”  Here is his speech:

Senator Franken’s amendment was actually opposed by 30 Republican Senators (all men), including John McCain (R-AZ) and Louisiana’s own David Vitter (R-LA), who view the rape victim protection amendment as a “political attack” against Halliburton.  The only four female Republican Senators voted in favor of the amendment, apparently moved by Jones’ testimony before the Senate, and the amendment passed by a vote of 68-30.

So, let me get this straight: Woman is gang-raped by employees at Halliburton.  Halliburton destroys evidence and denies her a fair trail, based on fine print in her contract that she didn’t realize she was signing.  Senator Franken steps up to protect her and other rape victims’ right to be heard in court, and 30 Republican men call this an unfair attack against Halliburton? 

I can’t even wrap my mind around it.  The GOP has reached a new low.  Why are we protecting Halliburton/KBR over the thousands of women working for these corporations that are at risk of being gang-raped and then restricted from trial?  What kind of sinister company slips fine print into its contract preventing sexual assault and battery victims from bringing their cases to court, essentially backing and encouraging their mostly male employees to target female co-workers without legal repercussions?

Alternet posted a list of the Senators (mostly from the South, interestingly) who voted against this amendment, and I will re-post it in hopes that at least one voter will think twice before re-electing one of these men to office: 

Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

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17 responses

13 10 2009
bros

thank you for posting this. this truly is sickening and I cant believe they actually have that clause in the contract, meaning, holy shit, this happens way more than we like to think, otherwise it wouldnt be in there. halliburton, cheney, male republican senators. disgusting and shameful doesnt even begin to describe it. writing al franken’s office now. I can’t wait for these old guard republicans to shrivel up and retire. oh wait, nevermind, they basically have to die in office at a very advanced age because the medical care their wonderful health insurance policies provides keeps them artificially alive….

13 10 2009
ahf5p

So outrageous!

13 10 2009
ahf5p

This is $#@929`!@#@! . God this makes me sick.

13 10 2009
Geof Boyle

I am livid. One of a few reasons the military should not rely on contractors. It has been happening more and more since I was in the service in the mid-90s, although the Bush/Cheney administration embraced this fully. We are witnessing more of the fallout. My thoughts 12 years ago were that form an operations perspective, it was unsound to rely on contractors, but holy fucking shit, I did not imagine this.
Eisenhower originally had the term political attached to his oft quoted warning about the military-industrial complex but he crossed it out at the last minute. He should have kept it in.
To be fair to the beast, Halliburton’s (or KBR?) blanket statement covered all redress in court, not specifically rape.
Fuckers.

13 10 2009
districtramblingshugefan

This is outrageous – but unfortunately, I’m not surprised by the GOP’s response. They will do ANYTHING to protect corporate interests and protect the henchman who do their bidding. Thanks for doing your part and writing intelligently, accurately and passionately about this issue, and getting the word out. -gv

13 10 2009
rockymtnhigh

Wow…the GOP has stooped to a new low…I can’t describe the bad taste it leaves. That list of 30 comprises the same list of jack-asses that pretty much stand not for the people they represent but for the narrowly defined corporate interests that fund their coffers. Regardless of your political leanings, defending the capability of a corporation to deny rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and Constitution smacks of a greater threat to personal freedom, rights and liberty than any “socialised” medicine proposal. Considering that corporations are far more prevalent in your everyday life than Congress.

But this takes the cake.

13 10 2009
VJane

Now I am really mad. Two of these assholes are from MY state. They should be hung up by their “you know whats” but probably their “you know whats” aren’t big enough to hold them. Thanks LB for bringing this forward. I will write the appropriate letters to them.

13 10 2009
Ashley

Incendiary. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. One wouldn’t think this would be a two-sided issue.

14 10 2009
गैब्रियल

There is really only 1 word for this kind of behavior: OUTRAGEOUS!!

May all of those men suffer the same things they are condoning in others. (And do not confuse that sentiment with the idea that their daughters suffer similar abuse, but rather that they should all be raped and trampled by a herd of elephants and camels. Bastards!)

oh yeah…FUCK HALIBURTON!

15 10 2009
BS

This is actually a good lesson in privatization. let’s ask all the people scared of socialized, government medicine:

-Do you support privatization of the military? Since private companies are more efficient and work better, this should be a no brainer right?

-We can outsource all public education to Blackboard.com.

-How about our police and firestations? We can outsource those to the haliburton’s sodomy squads.

17 10 2009
Geoff

That’s fully 75% of the republican senators.

I heard one guy argue that he voted against it because he doesn’t think the government should be involved in this. I don’t understand that. Isn’t the bill limited to government contracts?

The whole thing is about mediation, right? I guess the idea is to limit government contracts to those companies that either have no mediation clause, or have an exception for sexual assault in their mediation clause. What’s the beef with that? It’s not like the bill says no more mediation… right?

22 10 2009
edinblack

It is a true smack in the face. Jon Stewart made a good point in his discussion of the whole fiasco by comparing the GOP’s hands-off attitude about Halliburton with their somewhat different approach to the ACORN question. Absolutely infuriating.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-october-14-2009/rape-nuts

23 10 2009
districtramblings

Great find, edinblack– just posted it on my main page.

2 11 2009
luke

just wanted to point everyone towards this. i hope it will reassure and energize everyone who reads this blog that Senators opposed to the Franken amendment, especially those up for reelection, are beginning to be held accountable for their votes:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/02/vitter-confronted-by-rape_n_342051.html

also check out the editorial on Vitter in one of District Ramblings’ hometown papers:

http://www.dailyworld.com/article/20091102/OPINION/911020310

the editorial doesn’t go far enough (the notion that Senators were “merely going along with the DOD” is a non sequitur; Congress has both the authority and expertise necessary to set government contracting policy, if it so chooses) but it’s a good start in trying to drum up awareness of what kind of values these Senators support, right in their backyards.

finally, here is a link to the campaign site of David Vitter’s challenger, Representative Charlie Melancon. check it out if you want David Vitter out of the U.S. Senate.

http://www.charliemelancon.com/

3 11 2009
KEKSI

KEKSI
11.03.2009
” … if two policemen see a rape and watch it just for their own amusement, [violation of humans by humans is] no violation of the constitution .. .. (laughter)…”
It’s the law. It’s the manmade traditional predatory law biased against the women and the children of the world. That is why on Nov 2, 1988 during oral argument in the case of DeShaney v Winnebago County duly reported in Official US Supreme Court Reports as 1989, 489 US 189, this traditional and customary law was judicially re-affirmed as the supreme law of the land in US that sells Freedom as its Crown Jewel. It is in the words of the then US Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist. It is in the law-breaking landmark decision to make law-breaking News. This law in the area of human procreation with its derivatives in all the areas of industrial production is the basic historical reason why lawmen and laymen to-get-her are forced to perceive Judges as Honorable, knowing they are Dishonorable as Predators of the Highest Order.
This law was masterminded by adult men who made rape the adult sport to protect their predatory rights to rape and deny paternities of children to enjoy illicit sex as Human Rights of men and thus to endure illicit sex as Human Duties of women. Unless and until outlawed by the Congress, US Supreme Court and/or Constitution to become Honorable, it will keep devolving (evolving in the wrong direction) as our ancestors’ rich but sick legacy. It’s the law that fails to outlaw the predatory law made real surreal by the law itself, ages ago. It’s the law that is the problem sold as the solution since the day the law was masterminded.
KEKSI
11.03.2009

27 04 2010
Halliburton Rape Trial Update « District Ramblings

[…] news for Jamie Leigh Jones, the KBR/Halliburton employee who was gang-raped in Iraq by a bunch of her co-workers and then locked into a room without water, food or a phone: Halliburton has decided to drop its […]

22 12 2010

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