Showing posts with label Al Franken. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Al Franken. Show all posts

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The military-industrial complexities of rape

Nebraska's junior U.S. senator, Mike Johanns, is all about lowering the boom on anti-poverty organizations that advise faux pimps and hos how to game the system.

But when it comes to stopping defense contractors from legally abusing female employees who have been raped by co-workers and then held against their will -- by their employer, by the way -- to keep them from yelling "rape" . . . not so much. As a matter of fact, Johanns is dead-set against requiring Pentagon contractors not to deny victims of sexual assault their day in court through terms of an employment contract.

HERE'S the amendment offered by Sen. Al Franken, which passed 68-30 Tuesday:
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 retention.
OBVIOUSLY, SIMPLE JUSTICE must be one of those radical, pinko-commie notions the Democrats are trying to ram down the throats of God-fearing patriotic Americans. I mean, get a load of this 2007 report from ABC News on the case that inspired Franken's amendment:
A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident.

Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she'd be out of a job.

"Don't plan on working back in Iraq. There won't be a position here, and there won't be a position in Houston," Jones says she was told.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court against Halliburton and its then-subsidiary KBR, Jones says she was held in the shipping container for at least 24 hours without food or water by KBR, which posted armed security guards outside her door, who would not let her leave. Jones described the container as sparely furnished with a bed, table and lamp.

"It felt like prison," says Jones, who told her story to ABC News as part of an upcoming "20/20" investigation. "I was upset; I was curled up in a ball on the bed; I just could not believe what had happened."

Finally, Jones says, she convinced a sympathetic guard to loan her a cell phone so she could call her father in Texas.

"I said, 'Dad, I've been raped. I don't know what to do. I'm in this container, and I'm not able to leave,'" she said. Her father called their congressman, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas.

"We contacted the State Department first," Poe told, "and told them of the urgency of rescuing an American citizen" -- from her American employer.

Poe says his office contacted the State Department, which quickly dispatched agents from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to Jones' camp, where they rescued her from the container.

According to her lawsuit, Jones was raped by "several attackers who first drugged her, then repeatedly raped and injured her, both physically and emotionally."

Jones told that an examination by Army doctors showed she had been raped "both vaginally and anally," but that the rape kit disappeared after it was handed over to KBR security officers.

Since no criminal charges have been filed, the only other option, according to Hutson, is the civil system, which is the approach that Jones is trying now. But Jones' former employer doesn't want this case to see the inside of a civil courtroom.

KBR has moved for Jones' claim to be heard in private arbitration, instead of a public courtroom. It says her employment contract requires it.

In arbitration, there is no public record nor transcript of the proceedings, meaning that Jones' claims would not be heard before a judge and jury. Rather, a private arbitrator would decide Jones' case. In recent testimony before Congress, employment lawyer Cathy Ventrell-Monsees said that Halliburton won more than 80 percent of arbitration proceedings brought against it.
I'M NO constitutional scholar, but I'm fairly confident that document doesn't begin "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, do ordain and establish the right of Employers to contractually deny their Employees any of the Rights enumerated herein, especially when Employees have suffered an Offense against their Virtue."

Of course, I am not patriotic and smart like Republican senators such as Mike Johanns. I am a mere pinko, commie-lib like Al Franken, and thus cannot grasp how it is far worse to be ACORN and give legally dubious advice to pretend pimps and hos than it is to be Halliburton and cover up an actual gang rape.

And when you're unable to get your mind around something as simple as that, trying to figure out how anybody could be against the Franken amendment is doubly discombobulating.

I suppose we must just have faith that there was nothing at all remotely creepy about the Nebraska senator being on the same side of this issue as the esteemed john from Louisiana, David Vitter.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Drudge calling the Franken weird

Matt Drudge thinks Minnesotans have elected Stuart Smalley to the U.S. Senate. Or maybe Drudge thinks Al Franken is good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like him.

Or -- most likely -- the conservative Drudge just wants to make fun of the liberal Democrat who used to play Smalley on Saturday Night Live.

But the thing is . . . Stuart Smalley was a character played by a professional comedian, and we were supposed to laugh at him.

Matt Drudge, on the other hand, is a persona -- a really bad knockoff of Cary Grant in "The Front Page," actually -- trying to pass himself off as a journalist. I'm not sure, but I think he thinks we're not supposed to laugh at him.

Not that it's stopping us.