Here’s a list of United States senators.
No, it’s not about health care. No, it’s not the economy. Not the environment. Not jobs. Afghanistan? Warmer.
This is a list of United States senators who voted against a bill “…to prohibit the use of funds for any Federal contract with Halliburton Company, KBR, Inc., any of their subsidiaries or affiliates, or any other contracting party if such contractor or a subcontractor at any tier under such contract requires that employees or independent contractors sign mandatory arbitration clauses regarding certain claims.”
Corporations like this ‘arbitration, not lawsuits’ provision because it prevents minor incidents being blown out of proportion and costing businesses thousands in legal fees. It’s usually a good-faith effort to tone down the general litigiousness of Joe Blow trying to make a killing on frivolous lawsuits. I’m no lawyer (obviously), but I see where this might not be a bad idea, in theory.
In this particular case, the ‘certain claim’ being quashed is the gang-rape and imprisonment (they locked her up in a shipping container and posted armed guards to keep her there) of then twenty-year-old Jamie Leigh Jones by fellow Halliburton employees in Baghdad’s Green Zone. She was warned 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.
“Jones told ABCNews.com 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.”
“Over two years later, the Justice Department has brought no criminal charges in the matter. In fact, ABC News could not confirm any federal agency was investigating the case.”
(This report is from two years ago).
And here are the senators that feel it’s more important to protect the corporations than to encourage any attempt whatsoever towards justice for Ms. Jones, or others like her:
Vote Date: October 6, 2009
Alexander (R-TN), Barrasso (R-WY), Bond (R-MO), Brownback (R-KS), Bunning (R-KY), Burr (R-NC), Chambliss (R-GA), Coburn (R-OK), Cochran (R-MS), Corker (R-TN), Cornyn (R-TX), Crapo (R-ID), DeMint (R-SC), Ensign (R-NV), Enzi (R-WY), Graham (R-SC), Gregg (R-NH), Inhofe (R-OK), Isakson (R-GA), Johanns (R-NE), Kyl (R-AZ), McCain (R-AZ), McConnell (R-KY), Risch (R-ID), Roberts (R-KS), Sessions (R-AL), Shelby (R-AL), Thune (R-SD), Vitter (R-LA), Wicker (R-MS).
Despite the efforts of these “statesmen”, the amendment passed.
Here’s SFGate’s Mark Morford’s original column alerting me:
Here’s the latest article I could find on the case. A Texas judge will allow the case to go to court, but KBR can stall this for years if they choose.
Two other cases:
And here’s the Jamie Leigh Foundation’s web site if you’re interested: