Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Compare and Contrast

Both at home and abroad, McCain appears intent on abandoning some of his most deeply cherished personal values, including his commitment to secular values and distaste for religious bigotry, in favor of catering to the great W. coalition of white evangelicals and security-obsessed conservatives. Like Bush, his mantras are war and belligerence abroad, and at home, fear-mongering, "free trade," lower taxes on the wealthy, and "job training" for the increasingly miserable middle classes. If he is elected, it will be "Groundhog Day," the Bill Murray film about a character doomed to live through the same day over and over again. It will be the last eight years that we will suffer through again under a President McCain. Only worse, because we have already eaten so much of our seed corn.
Juan Cole, "John McCain runs for George Bush's third term"
Jamie Leigh Jones, a woman working in the Green Zone in Iraq, alleged that she was drugged and violently gang-raped by her co-workers before being thrown into a shipping container. She was then held without food or drink for an undetermined amount of time. Jones’s employer, an engineering and construction company called Kellogg, Brown and Root employed by the United States in Iraq, told the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that the poor woman was “taken to a secure unlisted living container where she could rest.” Wait, there’s more. The rape kit used by a military doctor to examine the victim was reportedly shipped to Halliburton and KBR, and now the doctor’s notes and photos of her bruises have mysteriously gone missing.

So not only will it be next to impossible for Jones to build a case in court, she apparently cannot even pursue a civil lawsuit. Why? Her employment contract stipulates that all “disputes would be resolved through a binding arbitration process, which lacks (among other things) a jury, rules of evidence, an appeals process … media access and a transcript.” The rapists themselves could technically be tried in a U.S. federal court for the offense, but it would be very difficult to get around Order 17, and the Justice Department has made it very clear it has no interest in Jones’s case. This means those bastards won’t get so much as a smack on the bottom.
Aaron Elias, "Justice Dept. Says Rape Is A-OK"

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