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LaVena Johnson: Army Still Calls Grisly Rape and Murder 'Suicide'Tim King Salem-News.com
LaVena's father had to seek Congressional intervention just to receive the details of the death investigation.
(SALEM) - "My daughter was raped, beaten, murdered, set on fire, then they tried to burn the tent down with her body in it." John Johnson, father of LaVena, should never have had to say those words. His daughter suffered greatly before dying.
But the army called her death a suicide.
The details surrounding the death of a 19-year old soldier named LaVena Johnson at Balad, Iraq, are horrible beyond the wildest imagination, and her family has to live with that every day.
The army lied repeatedly and was caught in those lies, LaVena's father had to seek a Congressional act just to receive the details of the investigation.
It all made sense too, the army was reluctant because they were trying to cover up a brutal sex crime and murder. The victim was an exemplary soldier, daughter and human being according to those who knew her.
Her death is one more terrible result of the country's decision to wage a war largely with contractors and mercenaries.
The hired hands got away with Murder in Iraq. Simply stated, civilians were not held to the standards of the military, even though they were authorized to use force against Iraqi people.
Not only have the contractors evaded justice from years of murdering Iraqi citizens; their shield allowed them to rape and abuse and murder this young woman, whose life was all ahead of her.
Salem-News.com writer and poet Luke Easter and I have written at length about LeVena Johnson, it is good that the matter has not gone away, her family is not about to let that happen. The story continues below with images and videos and links to our past reports.
I was at Balad air base while covering the Iraq war during the summer of 2008. I wish I had already know about her death in July 2005, but I did not. However I have studied the case at length and find it to be among the most offensive stories for Americans, and for parents.
The hidden revelation that LaVena Johnson was not in her barracks at the time of her death, as the Dept of Defense initially reported, is the kind of information that had to be shaken out of the U.S. Army, the federal agency specifically involved in the coverup of information regarding her death. It does not take a rocket scientist to know and see that Pfc Johnson was murdered. Her father says part of her vagina had been surgically removed.
And the army calls her death a suicide.
Linda Johnson, mother of Private First Class LaVena Johnson, received the flag of a nation that betrayed her daughter's innocence and her dignity. It has hard to imagine what type of people were charged with investigating the case. As a reporter in Iraq, I was pursued by the Army's CID (Criminal Investigation Division) for having photographed particular areas at a base in Kuwait. That story exemplifies the absurd nature of CID, an agency that isn't interested in real crimes.
The Johnson Family Story
The Silent Truth
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