Defense Department Opposed Franken's Anti-Rape Amendment
From Huffington Post
When thirty Republicans lined up against an amendment that would have required defense contractors to allow their employees access to U.S. courts in cases of rape or sexual assault, Jon Stewart ripped them to pieces.
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"I understand we're a divided country, some disagreements on health care. How is ANYONE against this?" he wondered.
It's a question, it turns out, best addressed to the White House.
The vote against the amendment has sparked outrage at the all-male, all-white bloc of thirty Republican senators. HuffPost readers have been particularly infuriated by the GOP opposition and have regularly posted the names of the offending thirty in the comment section of even unrelated stories. A mock website - www.republicansforrape.org -- has sprung up.
The men had an ally in opposition that has so far gone unreported: the Department of Defense.
"The DoD opposes the proposed amendment," reads a message sent from the Obama administration to the Senate on October 6, the day the amendment passed by a 68-30 vote.
"The Department of Defense, the prime contractor, and higher tier subcontractors may not be in a position to know about such things. Enforcement would be problematic, especially in cases where privity of contract does not exist between parties within the supply chain that supports a contract," reads the DoD note. "It may be more effective to seek a statutory prohibition of all such arrangements in any business transaction entered into within the jurisdiction of the United States, if these arrangements are deemed to pose an unacceptable method of recourse."
The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), is intended to address the type of Kafka-esque treatment Jamie Leigh Jones received from the U.S. justice system after she was gang-raped by fellow KBR workers. The defense contractor argued that her employment contract required that her claim be heard in private arbitration rather than in open court.
Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/19/defense-department-oppose_n_326569.html