and mccain could have been our president. disgusting!

In 2005, a woman named Jamie Leigh Jones was working for US defense contractor KBR (which at the time was owned by Halliburton). She was sent to Iraq, where she shared a barracks with 400 men. Over the course of her stay, she was drugged and gang-raped. When she attempted to report the crime, she was, under the orders of KBR employees, imprisoned in a shipping container where she was denied food, water, and medical treatment. She was only released due to the efforts of her father back in America.

When she was finally returned to the United States, she attempted to bring a lawsuit against KBR. She found that she could not do so because her contract specifically stipulated that any allegations of sexual assault had to be heard in private arbitration. This was apparently a frequent enough problem that it was, staggeringly enough, actually a standard boilerplate in their contracts.

Yesterday, Senator Al Franken introduced an amendment to the FY2010 Defense Appropriations Bill. Put simply, the amendment would prevent federal money from going to any company that had such a clause in their employee contracts.

This amendment would seem to be a no-brainer. It says nothing about taking any action against KBR or Halliburton; it says only that if a company attempts to conceal allegations of rape, our country will not respond by giving them money. Indeed, the amendment passed handily. However, the following 30 men voted against it:

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
John Barrasso (R-WY)
Kit 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)
Mike 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)
Roger Wicker (R-MS)

Of these 30 men, the following are up for reelection in 2010:

Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Jim DeMint (R-SC)
Johnny Isakson (R-GA
Richard Shelby (R-AL)
John McCain (R-AZ)
John Thune (R-SD)
David Vitter (R-LA)
Richard Burr (R-NC)

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