In 2005, 19 year old Jamie Leigh Jones was allegedly gang raped by some of her Halliburton/KBR co-workers. Her attackers locked her in a shipping container for more than 24 hours to prevent her from reporting the rape. Jamie has been denied the right sue.

According to the Huffington Post:

The rape occurred outside of U.S. criminal jurisdiction, but to add serious insult to serious injury she was not allowed to sue KBR because her employment contract said that sexual assault allegations would only be heard in private arbitration–a process that overwhelmingly favors corporations.

Junior senator from Minnesota, Al Franken, recently proposed an amendment that would deny defense contracts to companies who made employees sign away their right to sue. Seems simple enough, but not to 30 Republican Senators. The amendment passed but there were 30 NAY votes.

The most egregious remarks came from Senator Jeff Sessions who said:

… he opposed the amendment because it “would impose the will of Congress on private individuals and companies in a retroactive fashion, invalidating employment contracts without due process of law.” However, because the amendment applies to the fiscal year 2010 defense bill, it would not apply retroactively.

Sessions added one more reason for opposing it. “I think we should listen to the Department of Defense and vote no on this amendment,” he said.


[ED. Note:  Elena and I decided to add the Franken floor speech.  It is critical to the discussion]



Jon Stewart goes on the war path over these 30 NAY votes as only Jon Stewart can:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
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Political Humor Ron Paul Interview

The senators have had a lot to say about fake prostitutes and ACORN but apparently real RAPE doesn’t count. There are just some things that should not be political. Rape is one of them.

There are some mighty surprising names on the list of 30 senators who voted NAY. I hope they will be able to explain this to voters next time they are up for re-election. I am shocked at some of them!

See Al Franken’s presentation on the floor of the Senate. It is horrifying that any woman serving overseas should have to endure what this young woman has gone through.

69 Thoughts to “30 Senators Vote NAY on Anti-Rape Amendment”

  1. Moon-howler

    Gainesville, have Elena or I said that to you? I don’t recall telling you you don’t think for yourself. We don’t control what others say unless we put them in moderation. I have never noticed you at a loss for words or unable to defend yourself. In fact, I give you an A in self defense.

  2. Gainesville Resident

    Elena reworded what I said recently and took extreme offense to the reworded version – it’s right there in a few posts below this one. Anyway, I just find her post above humorous for that and other reasons – as this blog had tens (if not hundreds) of posts saying those in favor of the current version of the resolution could not think for themselves.

  3. Gainesville Resident

    And no MH, you have never behaved that way – I was referring to Elena obviously in at least rewording people’s posts to make them extra objectionable sounding. That even goes beyond the “not thinking for yourself” type posts, that more than a few posters on here are guilty of.

  4. Gainesville Resident

    Although it’s not half as bad as the time someone invented the fact I used the word cockroach, which I never typed that word here (or anywhere else) when they made that up. Oh, I know, I must have “thought” that since I can’t think for myself. Now it all makes sense! I see the light!

  5. Gainesville Resident

    Getting back to this amendment – in a way that is a bad name for it – just created to stir up publicity. Why not name it for what it really is, but that would be too boring sounding! It’s nice to know our congressmen are resorting to newspaper like tactics – naming amendments similar to the way newspapers come up with names for headlines! It still boils down to – one has to pay attention to the employment agreement when signing it, and also there are limits to what a company (rather than a single employee or group of employees) should be held responsible for – if they did not create an environment that fostered this bad behavior, or if they did not “look the other way” or refuse to take action when it was reported.

  6. Gainesville Resident

    Elena :
    PW Resident,
    That is a fair question. I wonder if the men accused of raping her had previous criminal records that had to do with sexual offenses.

    I would highly doubt that. Most federal contractors perform background checks on employees for security clearances or even if they aren’t going to get a clearance, and I would think a prior criminal offense like that – in which one would be a convicted felon, would make one ineligible for hiring. Now, if they knowingly hired a convicted felon like that, and that person then proceeded to commit a rape of a fellow employee – that would definitely be a case for suing the company. However, I highly doubt that is what happened – the odds are highly against a company even hiring someone like that. I doubt there are many convicted felons (no matter what the crime) hired by defense contractors. For one thing, it would be exceptionally hard to get a security clearance, and most jobs at defense contractors require security clearances – at least at the Secret level – which I still think would preclude a convicted felon from obtaining that kind of clearance.

  7. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    This is, of course, completely ridiculous. Nobody made these people sign those contracts at gunpoint. They had the option not to sign the contract. And it doesn’t sound like the company raped the woman, it sounds like some men raped her. Awwww, no big pay date!! Boo-Hoo. Go after the men who committed the crime.

  8. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    And it’s Al Franken! Come on…seriously. The man’s a professional clown.

  9. Gainesville Resident

    I do agree with going after the men who raped her, rather than the company. Unless you can prove the company knowingly fostered such an environment, or took no action after the fact, or hired men with rape convictions (highly improbable) – I agree with that part of what Slowpoke says. Also, when you sign a contract, you should probably read what’s in it, although many people probably don’t. I know for most companies I’ve worked at you sign your life away – including rights to intellectual property – even for things you invent not directly related to your job. I’m not saying it’s necessarily right – but it’s a fact of life, at least in every job I’ve worked at. Also, at IBM there was an agreement not to sue, in the event of layoff, etc.

  10. Gainesville Resident

    Of course, we all know that going after individuals isn’t as financially lucrative as going after a company with deep pockets. I’m not saying that’s the motivation here, but it often is in many cases. Individuals – even if you get a $1 million judgement – unless it is someone like OJ Simpson (and even if it is him we’ve all seen how successful they are in collecting any money from him) – you may never see much money in reality no matter how big the judgement is.

  11. Moon-howler

    While we talk about Al Franken’s vocation, it might serve some well to remember that both Ronald Reagan and Fred Thompson were both actors. Are we going to call them both ‘clowns’ also?

    GR, If the company fine print kept the men responsible from any prosecution, then I think the fault might be with the company. There is a lot I don’t understand about this case because it seems to fall in no man’s land.

    Slow, if you want a job, you sign what they tell you to sign. Most people don’t anticipate being slipped a roofie and then raped. Most people think salary disputes and poor evaluations and move right on, after signing.

    Hopefully Franken’s amendment will make everyone more accountable and offer a layer of protection for all people doing defense contracting jobs.

    Those who voted NAY might have some questions to answer voters. Those kinds of votes make it easy for campaign staffers when doing political ads.

  12. Rick Bentley

    Read how brutal this rape was before you decide that “arbitration” is perfectly appropriate –

    On Franken, he’s a funny story. He did so much offensive comedy over the years (much of which is brilliant albeit abrasive). He also was a member of a show’s writing staff notorious for their drug use though he worked up a good line for this in his prescient “Why Not Me?” book which anticipates the issue. To paraphrase Franken : “A lot of people were doing cocaine 9at the all-night writing sessions). Myself, I only did a little cocaine so that I would be able to stay up all night and keep an eye on the others who were doing cocaine … Sadly, in the case of John Belushi, I failed”.

    Franken lost his sense of humor some years ago. I am hoping that in the heat of battle at some point it comes back to him and he savages someone. The Al Franken that I respect could incite a fistfight on the Senate floor every week or so.

  13. Rick Bentley

    Not everyone clicks links, and we are talking about rape, so let me excerpt this. Here is what we are talking about. I have a feeling that if this were done by someone not American, we could all agree that this is an “atrocity”.

    According to Jones, on July 28, 2005, several of her fellow KBR employees offered her a drink containing a date rape drug, of which she took two sips. The men then allegedly engaged in unprotected anal and vaginal gang-rape upon her while she was unconscious. She was able to name one of her attackers based on his confession to her, but was unable to identify the others due to her unconsciousness. Further, the lawsuit filed by Jones’ attorneys cites the following: “When she awoke the next morning still affected by the drug, she found her body naked and severely bruised, with lacerations to her vagina and anus, blood running down her leg, her breast implants ruptured, and her pectoral muscles torn – which would later require reconstructive surgery. Upon walking to the rest room, she passed out again.”[5] Jones’ account was confirmed by U.S. Army physician Jodi Schultz.[6] Schultz gave the rape kit she used to gather evidence from Jones to KBR/Halliburton security forces, after which the rape kit disappeared. It was recovered two years later, but missing crucial photographs and notes.

  14. Opinion

    @Rick Bentley
    You know, Rick Bentley’s story conclusively proves evolution (for those with some doubt)… proving the point that we, as a species, just aren’t that fully evolved yer.

  15. Elena


    You and I often diverge on many issues, but on this one, I commend your stance. The lawsuit filed was almost to much to read, but if this poor woman could suffer by those animals hands, I could at least do her the courtesy of reading it.

    Thanks again Rick for finding this and sharing it.

  16. Elena

    She had been complaining for more appropriate barracks for some time and was ignored, she was worried about her safety. Furthermore, the rape kit has crucial pieces missing? Yeah, some “accident” I’m sure…..NOT.

  17. Moon-howler

    Rick, thanks for forcing us to read that. You are right, people do by-pass links and I believe we all needed to see the severity of this crime that was not treated like a crime.

    It is far worse than I had imagined, in my mind’s eye. I wish all the nay voters could read it.

    I still don’t understand all the implications of what she originally signed but if the Franken amendment makes it more difficult for animals like these to get by with being animals, then good.

  18. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Moon-howler :
    While we talk about Al Franken’s vocation, it might serve some well to remember that both Ronald Reagan and Fred Thompson were both actors. Are we going to call them both ‘clowns’ also?
    Slow, if you want a job, you sign what they tell you to sign. Most people don’t anticipate being slipped a roofie and then raped. Most people think salary disputes and poor evaluations and move right on, after signing.

    I bet I don’t have to explain the difference between an actor and a comedian. Signing paperwork to begin a job and being slipped a rufie and gang-raped…….what’s the connection? Are you trying to link political ideology differences in the Xhaing Province in China to the relative quality of the Apple crop this year in the Pacific Northwest?

  19. Moon-howler

    I don’t see much difference in comedians and actors. Many people do both. Performing arts sort of thing.

    No connections. I am just making the point that when people sign contracts with a job, they certainly don’t anticipate being slipped a roofie and being raped. Additionally, most of us aren’t in the position to negotiate all that fine print.

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