"In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones was gang-raped by her Halliburton/KBR co-workers while working in Iraq and locked in a shipping container for over a day to prevent her from reporting her attack. 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.
This year, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) proposed an amendment that would deny defense contracts to companies that ask employees to sign away the right to sue." There were 30 nay votes! How can anyone vote this sort of amendment down? Matter of a fact why should this amendment even need to be purposed in the first place?! My head hurts
All 30 nay votes came from republicans.
My grandpa (who's a conservative) has a saying.
"If you're young and you're not liberal, you have no heart. If you're old and not conservative, you have no brains."
If you are for sale, lobbed by these companies, and paiod perks for contractural awards, why would you, "NOT" vote nay?
Our Congress and Senate is for sale, has been for a long time, should be no shock, just vote the garbage out of office. Study the Congressional record, subscribe to it and read it, tell others about it. Then ban togeather and vote out the nays!
Apparently there are payoffs or there wouldn't be any nay votes. It is a complete travesty that this ever happened.
It's crazy she's not allowed to sue or prosecute. I understand not suing the company, but the people who did it should definitely get charges.
What can you expect from a company that profits from death and violence?
True. However, the opportunity was created by Congress and the President.
Agreed, but had the former VP not been CEO of Halliburton/KBR would this have so easily happened?
Corporations are not democracies. If you sign away your rights just to join up with them, you're an idiot. Anyone can make any contract with anyone with any terms, and it is binding in contract law.
It's horrible what happened to her and a terrible crime. But she DID sign away her rights and her co-workers knew the "secret" rules. Sick.
Oh, and one more thing . . . Franken is a piece of s**t, no matter what he proposes.
Agreed on Franken. He is not stupid. He is taking advantage of this woman's situation to make himself look good with out "rocking the boat" as I mentioned earlier.
"Franken is a piece of s**t, no matter what he proposes."
Thats just funny! And true.
There are actually a bunch of scenarios where a contract is voidable. One of those is when the terms of a contract are unconscionable. I can't say what the current case law says about what terms are unconscionable, but there certainly seems to be some lively debate out there on the topic of binding arbitration and unconscionability.
Unconscionability will void a contract but that's not the case here. She understood that she could only go to arbitration when she signed up. But since it's crime and not just civil, it seems like she should be able to prosecute. I'm not an attorney so I don't really know.
Are you truely saying you can sign away your right Not to be raped?
Does this mean if they murdered her, her family would only be able to 'arbitrate'.
This sounds somewhat distant from what those who crafted your original laws had in mind.
Do you really think I'm saying that? She didn't sign away "her right not to be raped", she signed away her right to prosecute in a court of law, according to them anyway. I'm sure a good lawyer will see the immense settlement possibilities in this and cash in on it as soon as possible.
That's not what she's after, as her testimony in front of Congress made completely clear.
Yes, Big Business is impersonal. It does not tend to get involved too deeply at the grass roots level. Just sets vague, broad policies. One of its policies is compulsary arbitration as a condition of employment. These types of situations occur all the time. Haliburton, bought, then sold KBR BTW. My point is this happened at a forward Army Base/Camp Hope. The U.S. Justice department was more than capable of delivering justice. Thats the key. Money won't undo the damage. If the VP had anything to do with this, I would suspect it was the turning over of the rape kit to Haliburton/KBR. Why would the Army have done this? Did they check with their legal department prior? The Kit belongs to the victim, not the company. Who knows...we don't know the answer to that.
Sick. You do realize that the Franken amendment doesn't make such arbitration clauses illegal; it just says such organizations who engage in such clearly unethical practices should not get federal contracts.
If the Right these days weren't hyperventilating about ACORN, "death panels" or Obama's birth certificate, they would probably feel the same as the 3 female GOP senators who sided with Franken and all the Democrats on this one.
Yep, thats the truth of it. But do we really want the government disovling contracts post mortem. Especially if there was nothing illegal about the contract at the time? I mean what about all of the people clammering for tort reform? Franken's legislation is a classic case of mistaking movement for action.
Sorry, there are 4 female GOP senators, and all supported the amendment:
--Olympia Snowe (Maine)
--Susan Collins (Maine)
--Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
--Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas)
To their credit, 6 male GOP senators also voted for the amendment.
I'm not sure why you think this should have been couched with tort reform. This had to do with the military appropriations bill; seemed like a good time to insert this amendment, unless, of course, you think shutting up rape victims is something government money should support.
My point is Franken is addressing the wrong issue. I don't care how many R's or D's voted for the measure. There has been a miscariage of justice here. This woman should have had a chance to see these creeps in court. How will this piece of legislation stop another incident? I have been in DOD Contracting for years. A lot of the contracts that were done post 9/11 were fast tracked. In other words not all of the Background investigations and manditory training were done. Thats the problem. An arbitration agreement that a company signs with its employee has NOTHING to do with preventing or covering up a rape. I believe Franken is simply using this as a way to reach out to the former VP. A poke in the eye, so to speak. Besides I don't want government telling business how to do business. What they did is not illegal. Its no secret that Chainey is probably more hated than Bush. Hell, I never cared for the guy. We don't have time for that kind of crap!
KBR can continue to pay hush money to rape victims to keep horrible stories like hers out of the press, and so they don't have to do a better job of recruiting, hiring and training workers.
They'll just have to find other customers.
You can't seem to see the forest for the trees.
"Irrelevant ranting deleted" could also be replaced with points you can't form an intelligent answer to. Its simply a matter of perspective. You miss the point. The fact that our congress has not pushed to have this case brought forward on criminal grounds is a disgrace. They can and they should.
But it okay that the "BUSINESS" gets to receive government contracts, which are paid for with TAXPAYER's Tax dollars?
The amendment is to prevent a business from forcing an employee to give up that right.
Or am I misunderstanding.
The amendment would NOT allow a business to tell a person they hire that they cannot sue, should something happen?
And, there are people against this? How absurd is that.
I am completely disgusted by the comments from the so-called "conservatives" who have weighed in here. Disgusted.
Vision such as this, condoning, whether on the surface or beneath it the act of these individuals and this corporation, is the reason the Republican party is in its death throws.
Certainly, some issues are beyond party or corporate politics and have to do with a sense of universal ethics and basic human rights.
It's fairly clear. And this isn't the only issue I've felt this way about as far as the commentary I've seen here. I understand that I am actually talking about 2-10% of the population, but they are extremely vocal on this forum.
My opinion stands. But as I don't appear to know what I'm talking about, it shouldn't matter to you.
If you have an opinion I'd like to hear it. If you don't understand what some of us here have said then ask a few questions. But overt disdain for other posters isn't going to engender any form of real communication.
Nonetheless, that was my feeling when reading the posts. And I have a right to express my opinions. I certainly didn't target anyone directly. Only the vision I see here.
Not interested in pursuing questions, but thank you.
There are exactly two "conservatives" here - me and C.J. Wright. And while you do indeed have a perfect right to your opinions, I resent being called "filth". Especially when you clearly did not understand the deeper meaning of the conversation.
NO ONE here condones what happened to this poor woman. We were discussing her legal options under the law, and related subjects in regards to that law.
Clearly I am a poor writer and did not express myself very well if I have caused you to comprehend my words in such a manner. I have also completely misjudged the tenor of certain statements in the conversation here, as well.
Therefore, I do soundly apologize to you and the other person mentioned, as I did not know you were the only conservatives on this post. And yes, of course I misunderstand the issues. I am not very well informed. Please do tell me of the deeper meaning of the ongoing conversation. I would appreciate hearing your well-rounded take.
Apology mixed with sarcasm - how truly liberal.
Could you be you have misjudged either tenor or the nature of the person posting?
I am a libertarian. But I still have a right to express my opinion, be I a conservative, moderate, liberal or otherwise. That you took it personally has to do with your comprehension...or something else, perhaps.
You mean could I have misjudged YOUR post? Gee, being called filth. . . hmmm, what could you have meant?
That the situation itself is filth? But I have noticed this before with certain people on this forum.
And I am done with the conversation, as it really isn't a conversation when comprehension on either side is missing.
I guess I'm not following the conversation. There was a rape that was not within US jurisdiction because it occurred in Iraq. Is it possible that these types of cases are done through private arbitration because trying to pursue this case in an Iraqi court would mean it would be subject to Iraqi rules which would certainly be different from US rules. I mean if this were to go through Iraqi court then wouldn't that mean a sharia court which mean that 3 other men would have to swear that they saw rape?
Technically, I think you may be right but NO American woman in her right mind would go anywhere near an Iraqi "court", such as it is. The fact that this poor woman can't get justice because of the jurisdiction games everyone is playing is an outrage in itself.
But it is not a jurisdiction game. It's a problem because if any crimes were to be committed by non-US military personnel against another outside of the US zone, it would be subject to local criminal prosecution. I don't know how this poor woman is going to be able to have her case heard in this kind of situation. It really stinks.
Contractors in Iraq have immunity from Iraqi prosecution.
That's what I mean, how is this poor woman going to be heard? Contractors in Iraq have immunity for a whole host of reasons.
Most of them bad.
An American woman was raped by her American co-workers - correct? Then her attorney should be moving the venue to the US so they can be prosecuted through the regular channels. So yes, that is a jurisdiction aspect of this.
But don't most crimes committed in another country have to go through that country's legal procedure? I don't think that because it was Americans involved that there is an exception.
That's why I say her attorney should be fighting to move the venue. Then she'd have a chance.
Except it doesn't work that way. If an American is shot by another American in Argentina, a lawyer can't "fight" to have the trial in Georgia.
Sorry to tilt the scales, just another piece of filth--uh, I mean conservative (or at least seen that way in the forums) weighing in....
Most of the discussion involves the law (or lack of same, depending on your perspective) involved in this case. Deeper than the case law, however, is the river of human nature running through any employment situation.
I worked for Hallliburton myself in 1981-1982. In Montana, not in Iraq, but the company and its hands (as employees refer to themselves) are the same regardless of planetary location. It was (and is) a rough and dangerous company for which to work. I did not see a woman raped, but I did see one grossly insulted without cause.
Even so, it is not "just" Halliburton. Not by a long shot. The "rowdy" nature of the oilpatch and affiliated industries cannot be overestimated and can make the wild, wild West look tame by comparison.
So: Done said all that to say all this: Providing a legal remedy after the fact for a rape victim is a matter not of "good", "bad", or even "indifferent". It is a matter of making or not making a law. And as been stated so accurately, if you love either sausage or the law, you would be wise never to watch either one being made. "Why" were there nay votes? Because those particular sausage makers were in office when the roll was called. If we the people don't like it, our only viable option is to replace the errant sausage makers.
A better (although possibly unattainable) option would be to altogether prevent rape in the first place. If we can't do that, however, voting in the application of term limits might help.
One thing is more than certain: Screaming about it in an online forum limited to members won't accomplish a single, solitary thing...except, maybe, to acquire a callous or two on the fingers of the busiest posters.
I also don't agree with the way the U.S. has handle this either.
If it happened on an ARMY base, which is U.S. jurisdiction, then the U.S. clearly has first crack at them.
If it happened off-base and in Iraq, itself, then IRAQ would have jurisdiction, because U.S. troops has turned over FULL control.
How ever, with that said- if I am correct- this was in 2005, when the attack happened- U.S. should have jurisdiction, because we didn't hand over control until 2007 or 2008.
At the time of the attack/rape, U.S. was in power in IRAQ, not IRAQI government. U.S. should automatically pin those idiots to tent peg and give 40 lashes, since they are in IRAQ.
Your individual right to sue to company for an attack like rape, which happens by other employees, must always stay with employee. It's their only protection, should something serious happen.
Otherwise, they are left helpless, like her.
Well, I guess I put my two cents in for now.
There is another point to consider here. Binding Arbitration can be escaped when the infraction is not covered in the agreement. I suspect that "wrongfull imprisonment" and "Rape" are not in the agreement. The spirit of most binding arbitration agreements is to prevent Sexual Harrasment, negligence cases etc from being brought to court.
On binding arbitration. For the better part of US Legal history Binding Arbitration has been struck down by US Courts. In the past 30 years however the courts have upheld it. In fact the Supreme court upheld it. In fact the two desenters were Thomas and Scalia. Funny how two conservatives are the desenters here. Its a matter of contract law. The courts have ruled. The legislative body is attempting to subvert the law. Thats not their role in government.
If that happened to someone I knew I think I would take matters into my own hands. Some of us just can't live with that injustice.
It's clear that we all agree on this issue at its core. Justice was not served. How many will write their senators and congressmen to have this issue addressed? While I disagree with Franken's tact, he has now made this woman's cause relevant again.
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