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DOJ Confused: Is Rape Really a Crime?
Another angle of the contractor immunity phenomenon is exhibited in a report carried by ABC’s chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross this evening.
A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident. Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she’d be out of a job.
“Don’t plan on working back in Iraq. There won’t be a position here, and there won’t be a position in Houston,” Jones says she was told.
Sounds like a serious crime to me. Or rather, several: Assault. Rape. False imprisonment. All crimes which the DOJ is empowered to prosecute if they occur in Iraq and involve contractors. It’s the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, or MEJA.
But in the eyes of the Bush Justice Department, contractors functioning in Iraq have complete immunity for whatever crimes they choose to commit. The U.S. issued a decree preventing the Iraqis from prosecuting. And the Justice Department isn’t going to do a thing about them. As one assistant attorney general explained to me in the corridors of the Rayburn Building, “we simply don’t have the resources or time to deal with this sort of thing.” Of course. When you dedicate 58 FBI agents (one of them recalled from Iraq just for that purpose) to a raid on a law office whose principals are under strong suspicion of raising money for Democratic presidential candidates and reimbursing staffers who make donations, then it only stands to reason that you have no resources to deal with the rape of a woman from Texas, or a group of Blackwater guards who needlessly murder 17 civilians at Nisoor Square. Or when you spend over $5 million on a bogus political prosecution of a Democratic governor, using evidence which is (as we will discover in the next two weeks) completely false. Or when you spend about $10 million on a series of trials in Mississippi which have the principal objective not of law enforcement, but of bankrupting the treasury of the Democratic Party. All of this shows what the priorities are: politics. Especially electoral politics. Dirty tricks designed to advance a G.O.P. electoral agenda. Murder, rape, assault? What is that by comparison? Unimportant. Trivial Stuff. Welcome to the Bush Justice Department.
This week MS-NBC’s “Live with Dan Abrams” is featuring a special series entitled “Bush League Justice.” The first installment featured the destruction of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. It will be hard to get through all of this in just five hours. On Thursday, Dan will come to focus on political prosecutions. The case of America’s most prominent political prisoner, Alabama’s former Governor Don E. Siegelman, will be examined in some depth—along with others. Make a point of checking in and learn what the Birmingham News doesn’t want you to know.
Javert Returns to Centerstage
Siegelman prosecutor Louis V. Franklin is back in the center of another politically charged case. Sources in the Montgomery U.S. Attorney’s Office state that Leura Canary has put her most trusted political prosecutor in charge of a grand jury proceeding that Canary launched. The target is apparently an insurance executive who raised corruption allegations targeting two of Mrs. Canary’s husband’s clients. Apparently making accusations against clients of the Canary household is a crime down in Montgomery.
Incestuous Prosecutions in Alabama
Raw Story’s Larisa Alexandrovna discusses the Siegelman case on Ring of Fire. She starts her account with how Siegelman was defeated in 2002, and the key role played by Alabama Attorney General William Pryor in blocking the counting of the votes in Baldwin County, so that Pryor’s friend and Bill Canary’s client, Bob Riley, could be declared victor by a 3,000 vote margin that statisticians call “not improbable but impossible.” Larisa goes on to describe the key role played in the corrupt prosecution of Siegelman by Karl Rove, Rove’s close friend, Bill Canary, and Canary’s wife, Leura, the U.S. Attorney who brought the case against Siegelman. It’s all a case of acute political incest, says Alexandrovna. Read the transcript here.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Average speed of Heinz ketchup, from the mouth of an upended bottle, in miles per year:
After studying the fall of 64,000 individual raindrops, scientists found that some small raindrops fall faster than they ought to.
The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighbors’ loud lovemaking.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”