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Supporting Halliburton's Rape Clause

Updated on August 22, 2012
Supporting Halliburton's Gang Rape Clause
Supporting Halliburton's Gang Rape Clause

Al Franken's Anti-Rape Bill

Former comedian and current Senator from Minnesota Al Franken introduced an amendment to a defense appropriations bill prohibiting the United States Government from giving funds to contractors who include clauses in employment contracts that prohibit employees from bringing claims against the companies for sexual harassment, sexual assault or discrimination. The amendment was put forth after Franken learned of the case against Halliburton brought by Jaime Lee Jones. The Amendment passed but a remarkable 30 Republicans voted against it instead siding with companies like Halliburton.

Jaime Lee Jones Was Gang Raped Then Forced Into A Shipping Container So Her Story Would Not Get Out
Jaime Lee Jones Was Gang Raped Then Forced Into A Shipping Container So Her Story Would Not Get Out

The Story of Jamie Lee Jones

Jaime Lee Jones was an employee of Halliburton. Specifically, Jones was employed by KBR, a Halliburton subsidiary. She was 20 years old and was sent by the company to Iraq. In 2005 Jones and the few other females employed in Iraq were harassed and threatened by their co-workers. One day, Jones was drugged and gang raped by several KBR co-workers.

According to Ms. Jones, upon hearing about the incident KBR security forces locked her in a shipping container without food, water or any way to communicate with the outside world. A guard loaned Jones his cell phone and she called her dad, who called his Congressman who got her freed from the shipping container. She was treated by army doctors who found wounds consistant with rape but the investigation was turned back over to KBR security forces that promptly lost all the physical evidence.

The Bush Justice Department refused to bring charges against any of the KBR employees because of a clause in Jones’ employment contract that referred all disputes to Arbitration. To the Bush Justice Department, all disputes include criminal allegations of gang rape and false imprisonment.

Jeff Sessions And The Bush Justice Department Believe Rape Claims Should Be Arbitrated
Jeff Sessions And The Bush Justice Department Believe Rape Claims Should Be Arbitrated

The Republican Opposition To The Franken Amendment.

To be fair ten Republicans voted in favor of the Franken Amendment, including all four Republican women Senators. But thirty Republicans voted against it and their opposition was telling. Senator Jeff Session called the bill “a political attack directed at Halliburton.” Sessions also stated “The Congress should not be involved in writing or rewriting private contracts. That’s just not how we should handle matters in the United States Senate.” Neither Sessions nor the other thirty Republican Senators who voted against the amendment agreed to share their thoughts with any news organization.

Franken's Amendment Is No Laughing Matter And Democrats Need To Make Sure It Becomes Law
Franken's Amendment Is No Laughing Matter And Democrats Need To Make Sure It Becomes Law
Which Is Worse: Supporting Tax Advisors To Fake Pimps Or Supporting Gang Rapists And The Companies That Pay Them?
Which Is Worse: Supporting Tax Advisors To Fake Pimps Or Supporting Gang Rapists And The Companies That Pay Them?

The Aftermath

Defense contractors are apparently lobbying hard to have the Amendment stricken from the final version of the bill. If this happens, and a Democrat is to blame, then that Democrat needs to lose his next election (in Hawaii.) But what this really shows is the continuing hypocrisy of many in the Republican Party. For many of the Senators who opposed this bill, rape in Iraq by Republican friendly Halliburton is not a big deal. But alleged misconduct by Democratic friendly Acorn is the end of the world as we know it. In response to hidden videotape by two young Republicans posed as a pimp and a hooker asking for tax advice, Republicans went after Acorn with vengeance, and Democrats joined the posse. In support of taking down Acorn, Republican Senator Mike Johanns said we should “prohibit one more penny of taxpayer money from going to Acorn.” Senator Richard Shelby stated, “We’ve gotta get corruption out of any organization that is taking taxpayer money.”

Yet for these same Republicans, Halliburton, and its numerous allegations of condoning the rape of young women should not be cut off their taxpayer money. For years, Halliburton received special treatment from the Bush Administration with no bid contracts despite findings by audits that much of the money was not used for its intended purpose. For years, soldiers have been complaining and been hurt by Halliburton’s shoddy work on government projects in Iraq. But Republicans choose to go after Acorn who has not been proved of any wrongdoing as of yet. Let Halliburton employees rape women, but lets not register African Americans.

As Jon Stewart said, If you have to side against rape victims to support Halliburton, perhaps you should change allegiances. Maybe Acorn should be let go, Democrats must concede that.  But shouldn't Halliburton and other companies that take taxpayer money then ask Senators to stand behind their horrible behavior be told no more as well?

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    • profile image

      JJ 7 years ago

      That is so horrible that this is happening. Its bad enough that poor girl had to go through the actual experience but by the government looking the other way its like the rape never ends. That is great the Franken is trying to make new laws so that this never happens again!

    • bgpappa profile image
      Author

      bgpappa 7 years ago from Sacramento, California

      I agree. Hopefully Democrats will ensure it becomes law.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • Patrice52 profile image

      Patrice52 7 years ago

      I loved John Stewart's take on this subject on the Daily show. Nothing is funnier than the dumbfunded look he got after showing the clips of the Republican senators as they went after Acorn (for imaginary crimes), and then the mumbling around about not rewriting private contracts when confronted with a real gang rape by the employees of a company that's also receiving tax payer dollars.

      Of course, as funny as John Stewart is, there was nothing funny about what happened to this young lady, nor the Republicans efforts at trying to protect Haliburton.

    • bgpappa profile image
      Author

      bgpappa 7 years ago from Sacramento, California

      I agree. The sad part about Jon Stewart's take was most of it was Republicans defending their actions. Some of the arguments were so absurd that you can't help but laugh

      Thanks for the commnet.

    • Friendlyword profile image

      Friendlyword 7 years ago from house9466@yahoo.com

      Didn't Haliburton cut corners when building a soldier's barracks? Wasn't a soldier electrocuted in a faulty shower? Is their Billions of Dollars Haliburton can not account for?Is there any law they have NOT broken? Face it. The republicans have been covering up for Cheney's company the whole 8 years Bush was in Office. I dont care how nice President Obama wants to be. It is time for OUR elected Congress to investigate these Crooks, thieves, and Murderers. Start the hearings NOW!

    • bgpappa profile image
      Author

      bgpappa 7 years ago from Sacramento, California

      I agree, but for now Republicans still stand behind at all costs, even at the expense of rape victims. Excpet for of course, the 25% of the Republicans in the senate.

    • profile image

      Tom B. 7 years ago

      Too many of these women lie. They party, get what thet're asking for, then want too cry about it. That probably didn't happen, and even if it did, that's what she wanted. That's what they all want.

    • bgpappa profile image
      Author

      bgpappa 7 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Wow, what an awful thing to say,

      Lie or don't lie, the purpose of this wasn't to judge the girls. The Republicans want to insert contract provisions to protect rapists from liablity to these girls, even the few that aren't lying.

    • profile image

      Cowan 6 years ago

      Tom B: I hope you're dead already.

    • bgpappa profile image
      Author

      bgpappa 6 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Easy Cowan, although I do understand the anger.

      Thanks for stopping by

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