Friday, October 23, 2009

Psycho 2

Jamie Leigh Jones

Jamie Leigh Jones was born in 1984, the same year as my lovely case manager, Erin. She began working for KBR in 2004, a subsidiary of Halliburton, the massive oil field services company once run by Dick Cheney, as an administrative assistant, and started her contract of employment with Overseas Administrative Services, Ltd. in Houston, Texas on July 21, 2005, and arrived in Iraq on July 24th of that year.
Four days later, on July 28th, Jamie states she was invited by her fellow KBR employees for a drink and was subsequently drugged and severely and brutally gang raped while unconscious, sustaining gross physical injuries in the process. She was able to identify one of her attackers due to his confession to her, but unable to identify the others because she was unconscious. Physical evidence of the multiple rape was confirmed by an Army physician in the form of a rape kit, which was given to KBR security forces and disappeared, only to reappear two years later missing crucial evidence.
Upon reporting the attack to her employers, she was confined in a shipping container under armed guard. She says she was denied food, water, and medical treatment. After approximately one day she was able to convince one of her guards to let her use a cell phone, whereupon she called her father, who called Representative Ted Poe (R-TX), who contacted the State Department, who contacted the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, who dispatched agents to secure Jamie's release from KBR (a miracle of cooperation in and of itself).
Ms Jones was denied due process of the law due to a stipulation in her employment contact that forced her to enter into private arbitration rather than filing civil and criminal charges against KBR, Halliburton and her one known assailant. However, on September 15, 2009 the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled Jamie Leigh Jone's federal lawsuit against KBR and several affiliates can be tried in open court.
On October 6th an amendment to the 2010 defense appropriations bill presented by Senator Al Franken (D-MN) that would withhold defense contracts from companies like KBR “if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery, discrimination cases to court." Speaking on the Senate floor, Franken said:
"The constitution gives everybody the right to due process of the law... And today, defense contractors are using the fine print in their contracts to deny women like Jamie Leigh Jones their day in court... The victims of rape and discrimination deserve their day in court and Congress plainly has the constitutional power to make that happen."
Backed by the Defense Department, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) maintained that Franken's amendment overreached into the private sector and suggested that it violated the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution, and that it was just a political attack against Halliburton.
Senator Sessions in his argument failed to take into count that Frankin's amendment was not aimed at any one particular corporation, or organization (unlike Congress's move to de-fund ACORN), just those who used similar practices against their own employees, and it is precisely Congress's role to allocate funds.
The amendment passed 68-30.
30 Republican, male senators sided with corporations rather than side American citizens who travel overseas in the service of their country, and would condone the practice of assault, discrimination, and rape perpetrated by employees of said corporations, voting to keep such heinous crimes hidden from public scrutiny and the force of law.
Those senators are: Lamar Alexander (R-TN), John Barrasso (R-WY), Christopher Bond (R-MO), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Jim Bunning (R-KY), Richard Burr (R-NC), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Bob Corker (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Jim DeMint (R-SC), John Ensign (R-NV), Michael Enzi (R-WY), Lindsey Graham (R- SC), Judd Gregg (R-NH), James Inhofe (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), John McCain (R-AZ), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), James Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Richard Shelby (R-AL), John Thune (R-SD), David Vitter (R-LA),
Robert Wicker (R-MS).
Please notice that this list contains within it the last Presidential nominee of the Republican Party.
I'm not saying that these men are psychopaths. I'm not a doctor. I am saying they have repeatedly displayed many of the symptoms associated with that disease, displaying a shocking lack of empathy towards those they were elected to serve and protect, as did the President of the previous administration who sent the men and women of our armed services into an unnecessary and needless war in Iraq.
The Republican Senate got five more of its members to vote 64-35 against cloture on a hate crime amendment in the same defense bill, stating that the laws already on the books took care of these types of crimes, dismissing the fact that hate crimes against a certain type of group, be it women, Jews, blacks, whites, Muslims, or gays, represent a terrorist act against a whole subset of our society, not just an individual.
This is the same party that is currently attempting to quash the current effort for health care reform, wherein 45,000 Americans die each year due to lack of health insurance.
Listen: psychopathological disorders are not amenable to professional treatment.
I end with this passage from, Killing Hope, by William Blum:
"[American leaders] are perhaps not so much immoral as they are amoral. It's not that they take pleasure in causing so much death and suffering. It's that they just don't care ... the same that could be said about a sociopath. As long as the death and suffering advance the agenda of the empire, as long as the right people and the right corporations gain wealth and power and privilege and prestige, as long as the death and suffering aren't happening to them or people close to them ... then they just don't care about it happening to other people, including the American soldiers whom they throw into wars and who come home-the ones who make it back alive-with Agent Orange or Gulf War Syndrome eating away at their bodies. American leaders would not be in the positions they hold if they were bothered by such things."

Addendum: 7-1-14: The Scary Word in this Article is "Millions"

No comments:

Post a Comment