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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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34 Responses

  1. brandann
    brandann January 14, 2008 at 2:30 am |

    consider it done!

  2. Cassandra
    Cassandra January 14, 2008 at 3:58 am |

    Right on. At least SOMEONE in Congress is taking action. Jebus.

  3. ottermatic
    ottermatic January 14, 2008 at 8:53 am |

    Jan Schakowsky is my congresswoman. Go Jan!

  4. Emily
    Emily January 14, 2008 at 9:38 am |

    I couldn’t find anything about the letter on Louise Slaughter’s official website. Where did you get the letter? Before I e-mail it to everyone I know…

  5. TinaH
    TinaH January 14, 2008 at 11:01 am |

    Done.

  6. syfr
    syfr January 14, 2008 at 11:41 am |

    Louise Slaughter is my congressperson.

    I heart her.

  7. Jesse
    Jesse January 14, 2008 at 12:04 pm |

    I just called Nydia Velazquez’s office (she’s New York’s 12th), and neither of the people I spoke to had even heard about the case. Waiting for someone to call me back about it now…

  8. Miss Robyn
    Miss Robyn January 14, 2008 at 1:17 pm |

    Oh! Louise Slaughter used to be my congressperson when I lived in Rochester! She is quite awesomely feminist. Technically she still is since I never officially became an Illinois resident and still vote in NY elections…

    I’ll pass it on!

  9. Bq
    Bq January 14, 2008 at 2:02 pm |

    Assault and misogyny often go hand and hand with militarism. Ugh, crazy world.

  10. Thomas, TSID
    Thomas, TSID January 14, 2008 at 2:13 pm |

    I called my congresswoman, and they were unaware. If you’re in Westchester, you may be in Nita Lowey’s district (NY-18). She’s good and ought to sign it. Her Washington office is (202) 225-6506.

  11. Cara
    Cara January 14, 2008 at 2:36 pm |

    Louise Slaughter used to be my congressperson, too! Now I live in the next county over and am represented by a total ass. But I LOVE Louise Slaughter. She rules.

  12. james
    james January 14, 2008 at 3:57 pm |

    I completely agree. We can’t have a situation where American civilians are treated exactly the same as Iraqi civilians. I don’t have a problem with American contractors having impunity for whatever crimes they commit against Iraqis, but things are going a bit to far when American citizens are on the receiving end. God forbid people who travel to Iraq for the purpose of making money in the knowledge they will be under the shelter of legal immunity should find themselves hoisted by their own petards. What we need is one of these colonial laws where the natives are given a lesser status than their colonial masters, rather than bothering with this PC equality nonsense. It’s just undignified to see American civilians being treated on a par with Iraqis.

    My letter is already in my Member of Congress’ inbox. Good job!

  13. zuzu
    zuzu January 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |

    Shorter james: The slut was asking for it.

  14. Bq
    Bq January 14, 2008 at 4:51 pm |

    I think it was very wrong of James to imply that Jamie Leigh Jones got what she deserved. At the same time, it is true that violence against woc gets covered less. I put “Abeer Hamza” in the search and only one post came up in which there was no call to action.

  15. The SAFER Weblog » Rape in Iraq - a call to action

    [...] at Feministe has a call to action for the Jaime Leigh Jones case. Jones has alleged that she was raped by co-workers while working as [...]

  16. preying mantis
    preying mantis January 14, 2008 at 6:21 pm |

    I emailed my guy. He’s a scumbag and won his seat through an extremely dodgy voting set-up, but here’s hoping.

  17. james
    james January 14, 2008 at 6:31 pm |

    Let’s be clear, my main target is various Americans commenting on this thread. The letter is explicity promotting the more nasty side of colonialism and you either agree or are too blind to see it.

    “There are over 20,000 Americans employed by US government contractors in Iraq. These individuals have the same right to treatment, services, and proper investigations when they are the victims of violent crime as those of us here at home.”

    No they don’t. Let me make this clear. Americans in France do not have the same rights as Americans at home – they have the same rights as French civilians. Americans in Brazil do not have the same rights to Americans at home – they have the same rights as Brazilian civilians. Americans in Russia do not have the same rights as Americans at home – you get the picture. And the same should go for Iraq.

    The idea that American civilians in Iraq should have more a superior legal status to Iraqis and be treated as if they were in the US is openly colonialist. There is a law saying contractors can shoot people up with impunity, but because it is a blanket impunity the law does not categorise Iraqis as lesser people. That is what’s being proposed, it’s openly imperialistic, and is what you are supporting.

    “Getting justice for her [Jamie Leigh Jones] would at least set a legal precedent for dealing with these crimes [against Iraqi women and girls], and would enable other women to see justice, too.”

    No it wouldn’t. The letter does not question contactors’ impunity in Iraq in any other way than saying that American civilians are on the receiving end a line has been crossed and they should be entitled to the protections of US law. Bollocks to that.

    I am rather stunned that some commentators are so blind to how iniquitous this is that they actually missed it and thought the main thrust of my post was about how she deserved to be raped.

  18. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne January 14, 2008 at 6:55 pm |

    james, you may be shocked to hear this, but when an American is accused or the victim of a crime in another country, the US consulate’s office is notified so they can monitor the progress of the trial. We used to extend the same courtesy to other countries, though now not so much (though that seems due to an out-of-control state judiciary, not federal policy).

  19. zuzu
    zuzu January 14, 2008 at 6:57 pm |

    Let’s be clear, my main target is various Americans commenting on this thread. The letter is explicity promotting the more nasty side of colonialism and you either agree or are too blind to see it.

    And how convenient! You can slut-shame to get at your “main target.”

  20. zuzu
    zuzu January 14, 2008 at 7:09 pm |

    And james, Jones wasn’t a tourist. She was employed by a US government contractor, and she was raped by other employees of that contractor, that contractor performed the investigation, that contractor took action against her, and that contractor lost or destroyed or is withholding the rape kit.

    Do you sense a pattern here?

    She’s not just an American in a foreign country. She works for a company that is in Iraq at the direction of the US government, under contract to the US government, and more than likely she has some kind of employment contract that has provisions outlining where and how she can adjudicate employment disputes (and this is one).

    And yet, somehow, the criminal case falls outside of any particular jurisdiction. Not the UCMJ, even though the company takes a quasi-military role. Not US law, because the government has declared that the company is operating outside the US and it’s not their problem, but not Iraq, because we can’t have local courts trying US military contractors.

    IOW, james, she’s not on equal footing with an American in France, because an American in France can pursue a case in the French courts.

    But you go right ahead and keep telling us the bitch deserves it because of who she worked for just so you can score some points on alla us too blind to see what you do.

  21. zuzu
    zuzu January 14, 2008 at 7:11 pm |

    And another point: the problem is not that she’s an American. The problem is that military contractors like Halliburton and KBR are not accountable anywhere. And it doesn’t matter if the victim were American or Iraqi — the company can just throw up its hands and say that nobody has jurisdiction to hold any of their employees (or them) accountable.

    Do you really want to be defending that via bitch-deserved-it arguments?

  22. Thomas, TSID
    Thomas, TSID January 14, 2008 at 7:51 pm |

    James, virtually every reader of this blog is against the American military presence in Iraq, the presence of American contractors in Iraq, the immunity of American contractors from Iraqi law, and the unwarranted deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, not to mention thousands of US military personnel who are supposed to risk their lives in defense of this country and not for the profits of a collection of oil-services barons and pith-helmet cultists. So … you’re preaching to the choir on that one.

    As to saying that JLJ got what she deserved, that’s way, way out of bounds. Being against colonialism is not the same as asserting that a woman who participates in in deserves to be raped, but what you wrote pretty plainly says the later! And it’s not even as if she were raped by some Iraqi, angry at the foreign army of occupation in his land — which itself wouldn’t be defensible. She was raped by some American KBR guy in a trailer farm base full of KBR guys. So that’s a blow against colonialism … exactly how?

    I see the language you’re talking about. I agree that it shouldn’t be there. The problem to be addressed is the hole in the law that subjects the rapist to absolutely no law, not the operation of local law. But that’s a slender reed for opposition to doing something to bring a rapist to justice.

    I’m going to put it to you directly, James: are you really, really advocating that the rapist go free because his victim was a KBR employee in Iraq, or do you agree that he ought to face trial, somewhere under some law, for what he did?

  23. Michael Hussey
    Michael Hussey January 14, 2008 at 8:03 pm |

    I got the letter from Slaughter’s Director of Internet Communications. I promise it’s legit

    I also got the letter. Jill is telling the truth. The letter came from Zac Petkanas, Slaughter’s Director of Internet Communication.

    Do you really want to be defending that via bitch-deserved-it arguments?

    I have been getting weird troll comment about how KBR is innocent. These anonymous commenter don’t care how many women came forward or that KBR admitted to taking the rape kit. Everyday, more and more of Jones’ story is verified. These trolls somehow believe pointing out KBR’s horrible behavior is an attack on conservative values. People like Adrew Sullivan realize that defending torture does not help conservatism.

    Marc Fuller created a Facebook group in support of Jamie Leigh Jones. She posted this message and video to the group.

    Thank you all so much for your support. It brought tears to my eyes when I went to the “Support Jamie Leigh Jones against KBR” page. I am so thankful that so many wonderful people have joined this support page and posted so many comments. Your support is dear to me. If you want to keep up with the latest news regarding congressional hearings, actions, The Jamie Leigh Foundation, my case etc., please visit http://www.jamiesfoundation.org

    Best Wishes,

    Jamie Leigh

  24. james
    james January 14, 2008 at 8:12 pm |

    “Arguing that they should be subject to some law — be it Iraqi, American, military or international — is not the same as saying that U.S. citizens deserve protections that Iraqi citizens don’t have.”

    Where in the letter did it mention extending protections to anyone but US citizens?

    “Nothing in the letter says that this accountability would only be available to American citizens.”

    Only because non-American citizens were not even thought worthy of consideration. The letter says: “There are over 20,000 Americans employed by US government contractors in Iraq. These individuals have the same right to treatment, services, and proper investigations when they are the victims of violent crime as those of us here at home.” Do you really think she is implicity implying that Iraqis should have the same rights to treatment, services, and proper investigations as they would if there were Americans in the US? You are kidding yourself, because Iraqis were not even mentioned as an afterthought.

    “IOW, james, she’s not on equal footing with an American in France, because an American in France can pursue a case in the French courts.”

    She is, however, on an equal footing with an Iraqi in Iraq. Which is the appropriate comparison. Do you not feel I have any justification for feeling slightly outraged by the parochialism of all this? A law was passed giving contractors impunity and this only becomes an issue when US civilians end up on the receiving end of what they were dishing out, then when it brought up the only people who are thought deserving of consideration are US civilians. I think I’m totally justified in thinking that Slaughter regards the problem as not being impunity per se, but this applying when Americans are on the receiving end.

  25. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne January 14, 2008 at 9:06 pm |

    A law was passed giving contractors impunity and this only becomes an issue when US civilians end up on the receiving end of what they were dishing out, then when it brought up the only people who are thought deserving of consideration are US civilians.

    Where the hell have you been that you think that the lack of accountability for contractors hasn’t been discussed multiple times on this blog? Go back in the archives to when the big report about Blackwater was released, at a minimum, and then come back and tell us that we haven’t been screaming about this for years.

    Sorry, but you sound like the conservative asshats in 2001 who were demanding that feminists denounce the Taliban when we’d been doing it for years and they wouldn’t listen

  26. Michael Hussey
    Michael Hussey January 14, 2008 at 10:40 pm |

    Jill or Slaughter’s office isn’t arguing for Jones getting special treatment. The Justice Department originally refused to investigate Jones case. DoJ reopened the investigation because of the negative publicity. Jones was ignored. That is problem with the administration’s handling of the Jones case.

    Many progressive bloggers, myself included, have voiced anger over Blackwater attacking Iraqis and U.S. soldiers. Blackwater has not been held accountable. If you support the war (I think it was always a bad idea) than getting contractor than anger the civilian population and U.S. military person is a top priority.

    James, I fail to see who is arguing for American women to get special treatment over Iraqi cilivians. Progressive bloggers don’t want women raped or civilians murdered. One not be a genius to understand why people are angry about the law protecting contractors. The simple solution is to place contractors under Pentagon supervision. Blackwater and KBR would be held liable under military law. THe White House isn’t about to do that.

    Apologies to Jill for derailing the thread: this anti-Jamie Leigh Jones trolls annoy the fuck out of me.

    Here is Jones the video thanking her supporters.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1g-K_0XLgVs

  27. Cara
    Cara January 15, 2008 at 10:32 am |

    James is just envious. He’s too lazy to dust the cheeto crumbs off his hands and get a job where HE can rape someone with complete immunity.

    James, you’re an asshole. Let’s make that clear. I’m astonished you can type so prolifically with one hand.

  28. Thomas, TSID
    Thomas, TSID January 15, 2008 at 10:58 am |

    James, once again, you miss the point so completely that it could only be deliberate. There are no supporters of colonialist Iraq projects on this blog, no neocons. But what sort of a piece of feces thinks that doing a sack-dance when a woman involved in such a project is raped is appropriate? Your triumphalist “got what she deserved”-ism marks you out as the sort of “progressive” who is not only willing, but happy, to throw women under the bus.

    Asshole.

  29. funnie
    funnie January 17, 2008 at 9:51 am |

    Yes, James is a progressive willing to throw women under the bus. He’s willing to blame women in order to make his point.

    On the other hand, what’s being advocated for here, including by Rep. Slaughter, is very selective protection of women’s rights. Based on? Their cooperation with the same system that allows these men to have any immunity at all regarding both American and Iraqi women.

    Status-based “protection” based on your cooperation with the agenda isn’t actually protection of women’s rights, it’s protection of the system.

    Protection of women’s rights = removing all prosecutorial immunity from contractors, allowing prosecution on behalf of Jones AND on behalf of other women who do not have her status.

    Advocating for less is actually pitting women against other women.

  30. anythings.org » The consequences of rape cover-ups

    [...] been overrun with stories relating to rapes that have been covered up by the military and KBR (and KBR, again), immigration officials, and many more. The coverage of rape myths has continued to remain popular, [...]

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