No Comment — December 10, 2007, 10:35 pm

Bush League Justice

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.

Dan Abrams
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.

Share
Single Page

More from Scott Horton:

Conversation March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm

Burn Pits

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.

Context, No Comment August 28, 2015, 12:16 pm

Beltway Secrecy

In five easy lessons

From the April 2015 issue

Company Men

Torture, treachery, and the CIA

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

May 2016

Unhackable

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

American Imperium

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Fighting Chance

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Front Runner

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Habits of Highly Cynical People

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
Elisabeth Zerofsky on Marine Le Pen, Paul Wachter on the quest for an unhackable email, Rebecca Solnit on cynical people, Andrew J. Bacevich on truth and fiction in the age of war, Samuel James photographs E.P.L. soccer, a story by Vince Passaro, and more

I sat in a taxi with Emma and her son, Stak, all three bodies muscled into the rear seat, and the boy checked the driver’s I.D. and immediately began to speak to the man in an unrecognizable language.

I conferred quietly with Emma, who said he was studying Pashto, privately, in his spare time. Afghani, she said, to enlighten me further.

Illustration by Taylor Callery
Article
Front Runner·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"The F.N. asked to be sent to an institution whose legitimacy it did not accept, and French voters rewarded the party with first place in the election."
Illustration (detail) by Matthew Richardson
Memoir
I Am Your Conscious, I Am Love·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A paean 2 Prince
"And one thinks, Looking into Prince's eyes must be like looking at the world."
Photo ©© PeterTea
Article
Stop Hillary!·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"As wacky as it sometimes appears on the surface, American politics has an amazing stability and continuity about it."
Article
Plexiglass·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I sat in a taxi with Emma and her son, Stak, all three bodies muscled into the rear seat, and the boy checked the driver’s I.D. and immediately began to speak to the man in an unrecognizable language.

I conferred quietly with Emma, who said he was studying Pashto, privately, in his spare time. Afghani, she said, to enlighten me further.

Photograph (detail) by Karine Laval

Amount of cash inmates compete to grab from between a bull’s horns each year at the Oklahoma State Prison Rodeo:

$100

There were new reports of cannibalism in North Korea.

The Finnish postal service announced it will begin mowing lawns on Tuesdays.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Mississippi Drift

By

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.'

Subscribe Today