The idiocy of those involved in voting ‘nay’ on the Franken amendment continues unabated. No explanations have been forthcoming from our two Idaho senators explaining their vote even though I’ve called the offices of both senators twice since the vote as well as have others.
This past Sunday, Sisyphus had an excellent post countering Kevin Richert’s write-up in the Idaho Statesman. As stated:
Almost three weeks ago I wrote about the Idaho senators’ shameful vote on the Franken Amendment, carefully attentive to avoid an overreaching headline. Fortunately the traditional media in Idaho, Kevin Richert, took note of the issue and confronted the Idaho senators on their vote. Unfortunately Richert framed the issue as to whether Idaho’s senators were “pro-rape”, giving them a pass, rather than investigating and disclosing the reasons underlying the Franken Amendment.
The victim in this case started the Jamie Leigh Foundation to correct the abuses by government contractors in foreign jurisdictions and the inherent unequal bargaining positions between an employer and employee in those circumstances:
Did you get that?
“Correction of the abuses by government contractors in foreign jurisdictions.”
Because? The existence of disparity.
“The inherent unequal bargaining positions between an employer and employee in those circumstances.”
Yes – the case that illustrates the need for such correction and backlights everything is about rape – gang rape. It could have been about any other type of crime. However, it is about one of the most egregious crimes any woman can encounter and withstand. For anyone – anyone – to have voted to disallow any American citizen redress after such a despicable violation is absolutely inexcusable.
Not one woman in the Senate voted ‘nay’ on Mr. Franken’s amendment – not ONE. That happens to include the four women in the Senate who are Republican: Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX). Do you know these women politically? I do, and I have a fairly good idea how they will vote on any bill so when I say I’m impressed by their votes – meaning I’m really surprised by them – I mean it.
As Sisyphus highlighted:
Currently there are approximately 180,000 military contractors in Iraq. Approximately 20,000 of those contractors are females. 50% of Americans on military bases in Iraq are contractors. Contractors have been immune from both Iraqi law and the Uniformed Code of Military Justice. Contractors have been able to adopt the “whatever happens in Iraq stays in Iraq” attitude.
180,000 military contractors in Iraq with approximately 10% of those contractors being women. None of whom were subjected to the home country’s laws nor subject to the UCMJ.
There is a double standard in laws that military personnel and contractors fall under. It seems unfair that an enlisted member of the armed forces can be court marshaled and the only likely ramification for criminal misconduct for civilian DOD contractors is the possibility of being fired, however it is unlikely. A United States Contractor signs an immunity agreement before going overseas that he or she has immunity from any tribunal action under Iraqi law (HRW, 2004). The Coalition Provision Authority enacted the immunity in June of 2003 (Hays, 2004). According Ohmy News (2004), The United States military code Manuel specifically states:
Contractor employees are not subject to military law under the UCMJ [Uniform Code of Military Justice] when accompanying US forces, except during a declared war. Maintaining discipline of contractor employees is the responsibility of the contractor’s management structure, not the military chain of command
Thus, the Franken Amendment – arbitration reform. And so, Sisyphus points out that is specifically what Senators Risch and Crapo’s votes were about – voting against arbitration reform that had ‘ “render unaccountable” contractor employee rape.’ The speciousness of our two senators is illustrated by their vote to defund ACORN, Sisyphus says, and as such “the Idaho senators are endowed with no small amount of hypocrisy….”
Still waiting …… and to help speed it along, I think I’ll check in with both the senators offices today.