Home > General, US Politics > 30 Senators Vote NAY on Anti-Rape Amendment

30 Senators Vote NAY on Anti-Rape Amendment

October 19th, 2009

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
Rape-Nuts
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
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.

Categories: General, US Politics Tags:
  1. Second-Alamo
    October 20th, 2009 at 06:55 | #1

    Why can’t the girl bring criminal charges against the individuals? The company shouldn’t be held responsible for the act of some employees unless it some how assisted in such acts, or took no action when such acts occurred. Companies should only be held liable if they allow an environment where such acts could easily occur. Most companies hold training sessions on various subject such as sexual harassment as a defense against lawsuits. Does Halliburton? I’d be surprised if they didn’t. However, if one company is allowed to be sued, then all companies should be under the same rules. I would have to think that the senators had a much broader focus on the legislative impact than the one horrible personal incident and its disallowed lawsuit. I wonder how many people have signed employment papers with this clause, and had no idea it existed.

  2. Rick Bentley
    October 20th, 2009 at 07:47 | #2

    Bizarre that 30 voted against this. I think that they just hate Franken so much that they couldn’t stand to vote for anything he championed.

  3. Second-Alamo
    October 20th, 2009 at 07:53 | #3

    Look at it another way. The Dems had 4 years to address this, since it is so ‘humungously’ important, but did nothing. And that is back when Halliburton and Dick Cheney were canon fodder for the left. I think Franken is just pissed that he missed the opportunity to tell Dick Cheney jokes from the senate floor! Why is he bringing up old news? Trying to make an early name for himself? What has occurred on the case over the past 4 years anyway?

  4. Moon-howler
    October 20th, 2009 at 08:05 | #4

    Someone has put up a fake website called

    http://www.republicansforrape.org

    SA asks some good questions. I think the answers might be in the Al Franken speech on the floor. Rick, if that is the case then shame on them.

    Actually, Franken has been rather impressive since taking office. I thought he would be a joke and I am pleased to announce I was wrong.

    One thing I wasn’t clear on. Al Franken’s legislation is an anti-rape amendment to the 2009 Defense Appropriations bill

  5. Elena
    October 20th, 2009 at 08:31 | #5

    Second Alamo,
    I agree with on you some of your assertions regarding criminal action and the quetion of whether pracitices at Halliburton contributed to this environment. Having said that, IF Haliburton is found complicit, they should be held accountable.

  6. Gainesville Resident
    October 20th, 2009 at 08:32 | #6

    It may be we aren’t seeing all the issues here. Indeed, almost every company holds training on sexual harrassment issues – at least every company I’ve worked for which includes 3 different defense contractors. I agree with SA – all companies should be on the same footing as far as whether or not they can be sued for this type of thing. Certainly the individual employees can be sued, or prosecuted criminally. And, why should defense companies be treated differently?

  7. Moon-howler
    October 20th, 2009 at 08:37 | #7

    Listen to Franken’s speech. It answers some of the questions we have here.

    It is a fine print clause that Jamie signed that prevented her from pressing criminal charges. She was outside US jurisdiction seems to be the most pressing issue.

  8. Moon-howler
    October 20th, 2009 at 08:38 | #8

    As for Franken being 4 years behind…give the guy a break. He just got there! As for why the Democrats didn’t do anything before this, I have no idea. ‘Process’ isn’t my forte.

  9. Elena
    October 20th, 2009 at 08:41 | #9

    WHAT???!!!! She can’t press criminal charges????!!!!!

    I have a daughter, and you better believeme, my butt would camped out on the steps of congress DARING those senators to vote no. That poor girl, no recourse? I am thoroughly disgusted. I wonder how those senators would feel if it were THEIR daughter whom they loved and cherished with no way to seek justice.

  10. Moon-howler
    October 20th, 2009 at 08:45 | #10

    This type of situation just makes NO sense to me. Maybe some of you who have worked for similar type companies can shed some light on how a situation like this even exists.

    The defense contractor argued that her employment contract required that her claim be heard in private arbitration rather than in open court.

  11. Gainesville Resident
    October 20th, 2009 at 09:03 | #11

    I don’t know about that part – private arbitration rather than in open court. Could have been MAYBE due to classified security issues. Just a guess. It still says she can sue them but it has to be handled by arbitration.

  12. Mando
    October 20th, 2009 at 09:14 | #12

    Franken is now guaranteed a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

  13. Moon-howler
    October 20th, 2009 at 09:20 | #13

    Sorry for any disruption–Elena and I decided to post Al Franken’s floor speech for clarification. Last night when I was posting, I discovered his floor speech AFTER I was finished. I went back and included the link. It is critical to hear what he has to say about the history of this case. I don’t think some of those senators understand what happened to Jamie Leigh Jones. I can’t imagine any responsible adult male chosing the business model over the human situation.

  14. Moon-howler
    October 20th, 2009 at 09:20 | #14

    Gainesville, I think that I read somewhere where artibration generally favors the business rather than the individual.

  15. Elena
    October 20th, 2009 at 09:26 | #15

    Mando, I guess you think this a joke, being violated and gang raped? Do you have a mom, a sister, a daughter? Imagine someone you love being raped, it wouldn’t be a joke, I guarantee you.@Mando

  16. Elena
    October 20th, 2009 at 09:30 | #16

    Arbitration is NOT meant for survivors of violent crime. Divorce, simple disbutes, etc are meant for arbitration. Subjecting a victim of violent crime to sit down and talk out a solution is not a reasonable request. She should have been able to seek legal justice, but apparently, being overseas, she is denied that recourse.

    Having been a counselor for a rape hotline, I can tell you, the court proceeding themselves are another hurdle for these women to overcome. If you have had personal experience with victims of rape, you would understand.

  17. Mando
    October 20th, 2009 at 09:37 | #17

    Uh… Haliburton/KBR didn’t rape this lady. This isn’t about rape and you know it.

    Politicizing rape is bad business in my book. Do YOU have a mom, a sister, or a daughter?

  18. Moon-howler
    October 20th, 2009 at 10:01 | #18

    Mando, what are you saying? Rape is never a political issue!

    Who was she to complain to? The Iraqis? There was no US jurisdiction. She was in Iraq. She did not come under military code. Haliburton is responsible for its employees.

  19. Mando
    October 20th, 2009 at 10:12 | #19

    Moon-howler :
    Mando, what are you saying? Rape is never a political issue!

    I’m not the one calling this the “Anti-Rape Amendment”. Shame on anyone that is. This amendment has nothing to do with rape. The rape part of it is just political fodder.

    You’re running with this case for the same reasons that Franken is running with it so spare me the outrage.

  20. Moon-howler
    October 20th, 2009 at 10:20 | #20

    Mando, I am opposed to rape. Everyone should be opposed to rape. This corporate loophole needs to be closed. Political fodder? PUH-leez! I can’t imagine why 30 senators voted against it. Doesn’t that raise questions in your mind or are you just accepting that fact?

    I want to know why someone like John McCain, who is a respected senator and who has a wife, a mother and daughters would vote against this bill. And you will see plenty of outrage until I learn why.

    And it is an anti rape amendment. How would you refer to it? That is sort of the focus and the movitivation behind the amendment.

  21. Mando
    October 20th, 2009 at 10:27 | #21

    PUH-leez yourself.

    It’s an amendment that states entities that want to do business with the fed govt can’t have anti-arbitration clauses. There are many reasons why a corporation would want anti-arbitration clauses, none having to do with rape.

    Taking the GIANT leap that being against this amendment = being for rape is beyond disingenuous.

  22. Moon-howler
    October 20th, 2009 at 10:39 | #22

    Do you not agree that there needs to be some safeguards against having all situations go to arbitration? Does the amendment do away with ALL arbitration clauses? I would think a salary dispute would easily fit in under arbitration. Criminal acts like rape, muggings etc should not fall under arbitration.

    Mando, you are the one making the case for voting nay = being FOR rape.

    I was kind and said that they voted against anti-rape amendments. The 2 are not the same.

  23. Moon-howler
    October 20th, 2009 at 10:42 | #23

    Specifically, Mando, how would you have voted and why if you were a senator?

  24. Mando
    October 20th, 2009 at 10:59 | #24

    Moon-howler :
    Criminal acts like rape, muggings etc should not fall under arbitration.

    The court already ruled in her favor and other circuits would follow suit if there were other cases.

    I don’t know if he’s asking for the same in amendment form or asking to totally do away with arbitration clauses. I haven’t read it. Either way, it’s either redundant or over-stepping.

    This is clearly nothing more then another FU to the Bush administration. I guess that will never get old to some. Actual issues take the back-burner for political vendettas.

  25. Mando
    October 20th, 2009 at 11:00 | #25

    Moon-howler :
    Specifically, Mando, how would you have voted and why if you were a senator?

    As I said, it’s a non-issue already decided by the court.

  26. Moon-howler
    October 20th, 2009 at 11:18 | #26

    Not everyone sees every move in Congress or the Senate as FU motivated.

    Should everyone have to go to court each and every time something like this happens? I am sure there are still ‘episodes’ going on now in Iraq. There will be a few bad apples in any batch of people. Its the human condition.

    Why not have laws that allow people some recourse when they find themselves in unacceptable situations.

    Mando, I think what bothers me the most is that your comments seem to imply that everything boils down to Democrat or Republican or Bush vs Obama.

    I see this as a loop hole that allows bad people to do bad things and I see Franken and those who voted Yea as trying to fix the problem so that others won’t have to go through similar situations.

    I doubt if I am alone. Otherwise the remaining Republicans would have voted straight down party lines. ARe things really this bad that we have to look at rape and kidnapping as democrat or republican?

  27. October 20th, 2009 at 12:54 | #27

    Any victim of a crime should have fair, legal recourse. End of story.

  28. Opinion
    October 20th, 2009 at 13:07 | #28

    You know, times like this I lived in another state (so I could vote against one or more of the Senators who voted against the Franken Amemdment.) I hope female voters are paying attention to this in the states those Senators represent.

  29. Mando
    October 20th, 2009 at 13:13 | #29

    Moon-howler :
    Not everyone sees every move in Congress or the Senate as FU motivated.

    Obviously not. If people actually wizened up and realized this was all a dog and pony show, BS like this would no longer get political mileage, things would get done, and Congress would actually have a better approval rating.

  30. A PW County Resident
    October 20th, 2009 at 13:22 | #30

    The Franken Amendment–took about 2 minutes to find. I really enjoy how people argue on this board based in information from Comedy Central, statements on the Senate Floor, or what any commentator on MSNBC or FOX, or CNN has to say. it is just as easy to do your own research rather than allowing others to think for you.

    “SEC. 8104. (a) None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any existing or new Federal
    contract if the contractor or a subcontractor at any tier requires that an employee or independent contractor, as a condition of employment, sign a contract that mandates that the employee or independent contractor
    performing work under the contract or subcontract resolve through arbitration any claim under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any tort related to or arising out of sexual assault or harassment, including assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, or negligent hiring, supervision, or detention.

    (b) The prohibition in subsection (a) does not apply with respect to employment contracts that may not be enforced in a court of the United States.”

    The only question I would have is the term “negligent hiring, supervision” and whether that is too broad. I would enjoy hearing what a lawyer would say the term means and whether it is overly broad. I don’t know myself. The other conditions seem pretty narrow and justified.

    That is the problem with legislation and why politicians use it against each other. For illustration purposes (so it is absurd), suppose someone put in a bill that said that all men and women in the same job in a town must be paid the same rate, provided that the women jump off the tallest building. So politician A votes no. Politician B says, “politician A voted against equal pay for women.” It is always best to look and see what the vote was actually.

    Even worse are the ones that say that “the sky is blue” as part of a bill that says we should give away all the gold in Fort Knox. So in voting against the giving away of US treasure, another politician can say, “he voted against the sky being blue.”

    Don’t trust any of them.

  31. Elena
    October 20th, 2009 at 13:34 | #31

    PW Resident,
    I do think for myself, thanks for your concern though. I still see NO issue with this statement:

    requires that an employee or independent contractor, as a condition of employment, sign a contract that mandates that the employee or independent contractor
    performing work under the contract or subcontract resolve through arbitration any claim under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any tort related to or arising out of sexual assault or harassment, including assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, or negligent hiring, supervision, or detention.

    There ARE certain circumstances were arbitration is NOT appropriate and I stand by my original statement.

  32. Elena
    October 20th, 2009 at 13:36 | #32

    Mando,
    I don’t see it as political mileage at all, that is your opinion. This young woman was allegedly brutalized and has had NO legal recourse that is suitable. Atribitration is NOT suitable where a violent crime is being alleged.

  33. A PW County Resident
    October 20th, 2009 at 13:59 | #33

    Elena, I don’t think I directed anything to you. It was a general statement.

    I don’t have an issue over most of it and I support it. If someone explained what “negligent hiring” meant, I may not have issue with that as well.

  34. A PW County Resident
    October 20th, 2009 at 14:01 | #34

    If it means that a compnay should be sued because they hired someone who didn’t perform, wouldn’t that be a form of “negligent hiring”?

  35. Elena
    October 20th, 2009 at 14:04 | #35

    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.

  36. A PW County Resident
    October 20th, 2009 at 14:08 | #36

    I am shocked too that there is no criminal recourse in Iraq.

  37. A PW County Resident
    October 20th, 2009 at 14:15 | #37

    Also, if it is true tha,t when she reported it, the company is the group that put her in a shipping crate, there should be more repercussions (sp?) than just this action. Besides the rape which should hang on the men who did it, the fact that a company might do that kind of thing is beyond my ability to comprehend.

  38. Opinion
    October 20th, 2009 at 14:29 | #38

    I just watched the John Stewart video… I’m going to start watching him live more often.

  39. Elena
    October 20th, 2009 at 14:39 | #39

    A PW County Resident :Also, if it is true tha,t when she reported it, the company is the group that put her in a shipping crate, there should be more repercussions (sp?) than just this action. Besides the rape which should hang on the men who did it, the fact that a company might do that kind of thing is beyond my ability to comprehend.

    Agree!

  40. A PW County Resident
    October 20th, 2009 at 14:49 | #40

    While doing more research, I found out the following but don’t know if it is accurate. Apparently, KBR has immunity in Iraq under some order but that means that the DOJ can prosecute in those situations if Iraq cannot.

    I understand that some of the evidence may be tainted or missing due to chain of custody problems. But why couldn’t criminal charges be brought against the company by DOJ for false imprisonment/kidnapping? Some in Congress apparently believe that DOJ should be proceeding with criminal action but they have not.

    One would think that Congress should also be pursuing legislative action for DOJ to report to Congress why it is or is not pursuing the matter.

  41. Opinion
    October 20th, 2009 at 15:40 | #41

    I’m no lawyer; however, age gave me time to pick up a couple of things. (I think) civil charges have a lower standard of evidence and results on an award to the plaintiff (vice judicial punishment) which is probably why she is trying to sue. Ideally, we do both. Alternately, we “sue the b*****ds until their eyes bleed”! Remember O.J? He is still paying (although that’s little conselation when I see him in a golf cart).

    That locked in a conex container for 24 hours is just icing on her claim. The problem will be finding a court where she can establish some legal standing. I hope she gets legal permission to sue.

    Lawyers, correction welcome (as I’m curious how accurate my assessment is). You know what they say about finding legal advice on the web…

  42. Moon-howler
    October 20th, 2009 at 16:01 | #42

    Rez, we like Jon Stewart here at Anti. What can I say? I would hardly say he affects our thinking. Howevaaaa….in this case, there was no case.

    In general,the story of Jamie Leigh Jones seems to be the best kept secret in town. Where was Faux News, those defenders of all that right and just? Sure didn’t hear it there. To be fair, didn’t hear it on any of the other news stations either, yet it happened in 2005.

    I don’t claim to know all the details of the case. I just find it appalling. Someone asked about Iraq handling the crime. We don’t want to ever put American citizens at the mercy of their laws. Shudder. Maybe we could then stone the victim? Not sure Iraq does that. Who knows what they do.

  43. A PW County Resident
    October 20th, 2009 at 16:59 | #43

    Opinion, I believe that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans last month said that she could sue KBR and subsidiaries in open court.

    Wolfie, again I wasn’t speaking of anyone specifically, just in general. I like Jon Stewart also. I just go look at things elsewhere when things come up on tv. Actually I think almost all of the commentators can identify an issue but I want to know more before I take it a face value. And that was a general statement also.

    This blog is certainly not the only one in which people (everyone not just admins) argue about things that use “facts” generated by commentators without looking beyond it.

    If I offended anyone, I do apologize. it was not intentional. Only the message for people to look beyond the sound bite was an intentional message.

  44. Opinion
    October 20th, 2009 at 18:06 | #44

    A PW County Resident… re “If I offended anyone…” No offense taken… I quite agree with you. The real issue (IMHO) is sorting out what is amusing, what is serious, and recognizing something that is both. It appears John Stewart is the master of that art. It’s interesting you bring this up because news and entertainment have evolved to a point where it is hard to tell the difference. Just how do you fill five or six cable news networks with twenty-four hours worth of reasons to watch them?

    Re KBR, I spent around 15 years overseas in the Far East, Europe and other colorful places… and often worked with Contractors. Generally speaking, they are covered by under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) to protect them from… well… perhaps being stoned in an Islamic court (I suspect you get the point). SOFA’s are generally negotiated on a Country by Country basis. The details often depend on our bargaining position (being a conqueror helps). Re how to handle crimes committed against US citizens by one of these companies when it occurs overseas… don’t know. The Contractors always kept their business and problems to themselves (in retrospect, under wraps).

    Interestingly enough, I understand crimes committed on cruse ships at sea in international waters also cause a jurisdictional problem that surprises people. Anyone familiar with that scenario (as an analog to this story)?

    IF it’s too off topic, never mind.

  45. Moon-howler
    October 20th, 2009 at 19:17 | #45

    It sort of makes you not want to take a cruise. Of course, if you are the victim, you are generally shark food anyway.

    Interesting thing about this thread–I like Jon Stewart so that is what orginally caught my eye. This story kept on growing as I researched it. I thought I was doing the Jon Stewart take. The more I read, the further involved things go.

    I had not heard anything about this story. Did it get buried? I don’t know. It seems that the media dictates what we are to pay attention to.

    Rez, I would like to think that most people here go beyond the comedy channel. I don’t watch the comedy channel, much to my family’s disgust. I rely on youtube to supply me with my laughs. Except this one got not so funny real fast.

  46. hello
    October 20th, 2009 at 19:55 | #46

    Moon-howler :Where was Faux News, those defenders of all that right and just?

    Didn’t you hear Moon, our dear leader has said that they aren’t a ‘news’ channel so it must me so. However, it wasn’t on any other news stations so are they all real ‘news’ channels?

  47. hello
    October 20th, 2009 at 19:58 | #47

    Actually Moon, maybe you should try a simple search before making such a statement. Fox did cover it: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,349170,00.html

  48. Gainesville Resident
    October 20th, 2009 at 20:24 | #48

    @Elena
    Still, unless the company knowingly allowed the rape to happen, or created an environment that encouraged such activity, I’m not sure how it can be held responsibility. Now, the individual employees – that’s a whole other matter obviously and they should be held responsible. As to arbritration favoring the company – I know nothing about legal matters – as to arbitration versus any other method such as judge or jury trial, so I’ll take your word for it. I am not a legal expert – and never have been involved in any kind of legal proceedings so I can’t really render an opinion as to that.

  49. Gainesville Resident
    October 20th, 2009 at 20:28 | #49

    Elena :
    PW Resident,
    I do think for myself, thanks for your concern though. I still see NO issue with this statement:

    And how many times have I and others been told on here by more than just a few posters that we do NOT think for ourselves, and Greg somehow puts thoughts into our heads (even if we don’t necessarily agree with him on all issues). Well, now you know what it feels like. Actually, lately I don’t have to worry about not thinking for myself – several posters have very cleverly managed to reword my writings to make it sound like I said things that would never have come out of my mouth. No one seemed to get too indignant over that!

  50. Moon-howler
    October 20th, 2009 at 20:39 | #50

    And Hello, learn to read. I said I didn’t see it. Go back and look at those words again….

    And while you are here, let me ask you how smart you think it is to come here and deliberately, day after day, try to piss off the admins here? You might want to do the research on what happens to people who do that…wait a minute..you can’t. They no longer exist here. I’m just saying.

    You remind me of one of those kids on the playground who comes up and sucker punches the guy holding the ball in the back and then runs.

    It was covered by the associated press in 2008. That’s a long time after 2005. It was never a major story. It should have been. All the media is guilty for not giving it more attention.

  51. Moon-howler
    October 20th, 2009 at 20:45 | #51

    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.

  52. Gainesville Resident
    October 20th, 2009 at 20:53 | #52

    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.

  53. Gainesville Resident
    October 20th, 2009 at 20:54 | #53

    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.

  54. Gainesville Resident
    October 20th, 2009 at 20:56 | #54

    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!

  55. Gainesville Resident
    October 20th, 2009 at 21:21 | #55

    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.

  56. Gainesville Resident
    October 20th, 2009 at 21:25 | #56

    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.

  57. Slowpoke Rodriguez
    October 20th, 2009 at 21:25 | #57

    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.

  58. Slowpoke Rodriguez
    October 20th, 2009 at 21:26 | #58

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

  59. Gainesville Resident
    October 20th, 2009 at 21:36 | #59

    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.

  60. Gainesville Resident
    October 20th, 2009 at 21:38 | #60

    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.

  61. Moon-howler
    October 21st, 2009 at 00:32 | #61

    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.

  62. Rick Bentley
    October 21st, 2009 at 07:27 | #62

    Read how brutal this rape was before you decide that “arbitration” is perfectly appropriate – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Leigh_Jones

    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.

  63. Rick Bentley
    October 21st, 2009 at 07:30 | #63

    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.

  64. Opinion
    October 21st, 2009 at 09:02 | #64

    @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.

  65. Elena
    October 21st, 2009 at 11:13 | #65

    Rick,

    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.

  66. Elena
    October 21st, 2009 at 11:14 | #66

    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.

  67. Moon-howler
    October 21st, 2009 at 11:49 | #67

    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.

  68. Slowpoke Rodriguez
    October 22nd, 2009 at 07:17 | #68

    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?

  69. Moon-howler
    October 22nd, 2009 at 17:30 | #69

    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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