You may not be familair with the controversy over The Franken Amendement. Sen. Franken’s amendment to the 2009 Defense Appropriations Bill would close a legal loophole where defense contractors such as Haliburton can force employees to sign contracts waiving their right to a civil trial against other employees that rape or sexually assault them.
Sen. Franken’s amendment stems from the case of Jaime Leigh Jones, who as a 19-year-old contractor working for KBR in Iraq, a subsidiary of Haliburton, alleges she was drugged, gang raped and locked in a storage container by several other contractors. Her Wikipedia listing details the assault:
According to Jones, on July 28, 2005, several of her fellow KBR employees offered her a drink containing a date rape drug, of which she took two sips. The men then allegedly engaged in unprotected anal and vaginal gang rape upon her while she was unconscious. She was able to name one of her attackers based on his confession to her, but was unable to identify the others due to her unconsciousness. Further, the lawsuit filed by Jones’ attorneys cites the following: “When she awoke the next morning still affected by the drug, she found her body naked and severely bruised, with lacerations to her vagina and anus, blood running down her leg, her breast implants ruptured, and her pectoral muscles torn – which would later require reconstructive surgery. Upon walking to the rest room, she passed out again.” Jones’ account was confirmed by U.S. Army physician Jodi Schultz. Schultz gave the rape kit she used to gather evidence from Jones to KBR/Haliburton security forces, after which the rape kit disappeared. It was recovered two years later, but missing crucial photographs and notes.
When Jones returned home she learned the contract she had signed with KBR waived her right to file civil charges against her assailants.
30 Republican Senators–all male–opposed Franken’s amendment.
One of them, Sen David Vitter (R-La), a guy who enjoyed getting his freak on with hookers while he wore diapers, had an encounter at a town meeting with a woman who says she was raped.
Decide for yourself if the Senator handled the moment with grace under pressure:
Sen. Vitter claims both The White House and Pentagon also opposed The Franken Amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill.
“We support the intent of the amendment, and we’re working with the conferees to make sure that it is enforceable,” a White House spokesperson said.