I checked to make sure that the 30 Republican Senators who voted against Jamie Leigh Jones' anti-rape bill two weeks ago had wives and daughters. Most of them did. But their love for defense contractor PAC money is obviously greater than their love even for their own daughters. The Senate bill was simple to follow. If a contractor like KBR has an employee who is sexually assaulted on the job, then that employee has a right to have a jury hear and decide the facts of the case. If the contractor denies the victim that right, then the U.S. government won't do business with that contractor. In 2005, Jones, a KBR employee, was gang-raped in Iraq by KBR workers. After she was gang-raped, KBR security held her prisoner inside a 5' x 6' shipping container to make sure she kept her mouth shut.
The vote to enact the bill was 68 to 30. Go to the website: www.republicansforrape.org, and you can see the list of those 30 GOP leaders who voted against victims like Jamie. They argued that it is too harsh to force a valued defense contractor like KBR or Haliburton to appear in front of a civil jury to face outraged and repulsed fathers, mothers, and sisters when stories like Jamie's are told. What those 30 all-male, all Republican Senators would prefer is that Jamie and victims like her would be raped again by KBR by appearing in a closed door, secretive, arbitration setting where no one hears the details of the assault. It's worth mentioning that Jamie was also drugged while she was held captive by KBR management employees in that shipping crate so no one would hear her cries to be allowed to simply go home to her family. The drugs were supposed to keep her quiet in the same way that the KBR good ol' boy corporate arbitration panel would keep the details of this disgusting story quiet.
The GOP Senate leaders were not in the dark about the details of Jamie's rape. They knew she had been repeatedly sodomized and that her body was so torn up that she needed reconstructive plastic surgery. They knew that KBR's own security force held Jamie as a prisoner after the rape where she was denied food and medical treatment. We are aware of how at least a couple of those 30 GOP leaders regard women. Louisiana Senator David Vitter had a "stable" of female prostitutes at his beck and call when he wanted female companionship. John Ensign had his wife and at least one girlfriend around when he wanted the company of a woman. Women were at the top of mind for those two GOP leaders mostly out of convenience. But stories like the Jamie Leigh story are never convenient. We have to hear them, and the people responsible for that evil need to be held accountable in courtrooms instead of closed door, corporate arbitration panels where the victim's chances to obtain justice are over at hello.
We want to believe that some corporate money is sometimes too expensive even for politicians, but the Jamie Leigh story has again proved us wrong.