When a 19-year-old woman was reportedly gang-raped by co-workers in Iraq, 30 Senators* supported the rapists’ company, effectively protecting the RAPISTS along with the company. All Republicans, these Senators self-righteously voted AGAINST an amendment holding government subcontractors responsible for the actions of their employees. “Free enterprise” beat out accountability for a gang-rape.
What kind of human being, much less Senator, champions private profit over justice in the face of rape? I can only wonder -- would it have been different if a man had been gang-raped?
When The Daily Show with Jon Stewart reported this week on the debate, then vote on the Senate Floor -- including simply unbelievable speeches from a number of these 30 Republican Senators -- we went looking to other news sources to learn more, quite reasonably turning first to The New York Times. Zero, zip, zilch.
Alternative media,such as Alternet and the Huffington Post had the story, as did the member-supported MinnPost.com in the hometown of the Senator who had introduced the proposed amendment, Senator Al Franken. A press release was reprinted by HometownSource.com. Coverage was also provided by numerous bloggers and special interest groups. Except for Haliburton’s hometown Houston Chronicle, in the mass/traditional media, we had to go to the U.K.’s Guardian** for more information. Lest one argue that the story “isn’t news”, as of 7 PM Mountain time on Saturday, the story ranked #4 on the Guardian website’s most viewed list. We’re still waiting for the screaming-Fox-News-headline: Republican Senators Support Gang-Rape by Three to One Margin.
Minnesota Senator Franken served decency well by introducing this piece of proposed legislation. Anyone working for the United States government, even mercenaries working for subcontractors, has the right to expect their fundamental human rights will not be blindly violated, left with no where to turn for justice.
More, Sen. Franken has served a greater good in letting these Senators’ actions speak for themselves. It is they -- not he -- who are keeping front and center the reality of Republican ideological and dogmatic maliciousness in the service of their corporate masters.
These 30 Republican Senators may refuse to hold accountable government contractors and those to whom they subcontract. For me, the larger question is -- will voters in the states nominally represented by this Dirty Thirty hold THEM accountable?
Arbitration for gang-rape? Surely the Republican Party has earned the right to die.
*– These are the Republican senators, all male, who voted against the amendment and for the right of corporations to do pretty much what they damn well please without suffering any consequences:
The Dirty Thirty WALL of SHAME:
Apparently their views were actively supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
These are the Republican senators who voted for the amendment:***
Robert F. Bennett - R-UT
Susan Collins - R-ME
Chuck Grassley- R-IA
Kay Bailey Hutchison - R-TX
George S. LeMieuz - R-FL
Richard Lugar - R-IN
Lisa Murkowski - R-AK
Olympia Snowe - R-ME
George Voinovich - R-OH
Four of the 10 are women, bless them all.
** - see, particularly, the “controversial history” of Halliburton at the end of this article. That history appears to be part of what the DIrty Thirty voted to protect.
***- two Democratic senators, West Virginia’s Byrd and Pennsylvania’s Specter, did not vote.