Friday February 21, 2020
Feb-15-2010 23:11TweetFollow @OregonNews
Poetic Verses Shed Light on LaVena Johnson's Military Rape and Murder in IraqPoems by Luke Easter foreword by Tim King Salem-News.com
The government didn't even bother trying to have a credible story, they covered their friends and ruled her terrible death a suicide; it was impossible.
(CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio) - LaVena Johnson was a bright, beautiful young woman whose father, a doctor, could not believe she was going to join the U.S. Army. He had much bigger plans, and I'm sure she would have very likely fulfilled them after the military, that is if she hadn't been viciously raped and murdered while serving her nation at the air base in Balad, Iraq.
For her parents, I imagine it is little more than one big nightmare, since their extremely well adjusted and highly accomplished child's death in Iraq, was deemed a suicide.
This is one where the military and KBR--the Haliburton company that staffs almost all military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, didn't even try to fool us. They knew they could simply deem the murder of this teenager as a suicide and get away with it, and they did. The military knows and acknowledges that big problems remain unaddressed in this area, but Lavena's case shows that it is mostly just talk.
LaVena's body was burned, bruised, she had a tooth knocked out; she had been raped, and a chemical had been poured on her pubic area, before she was set on fire. Oh, and there was a gunshot wound, thus the 'suicide' ruling. The investigators certainly didn't imply that LaVena was anything less than a talented young woman right to the end. In fact she was so talented that after her death, she miraculously moved the location of her body from one spot to another, and lit the evidence on fire... amazing.
Not everyone can do that, I'd like to talk to the investigators in this case more about it some day and see if they want to maybe contact the Guiness Book of World Records. Shouldn't they get credit for that amazing investigative discovery, that still allowed them to see her death as a suicide?
There is another strong fact at play based on what I know with more than twenty years as a news reporter, and that is that black women just don't commit suicide. It isn't part of the program according to any and all statistics.
I was contacted by Luke Easter with the accompanying poems today, and I immediately knew I wanted to publish them. Being able to do one tiny thing for the legacy of LaVena Johnson, a proud American soldier who was murdered and whose family knows that murder was covered up by people with American insignias on their collars, is an honor.
Looking back to when I was at Balad, covering the war for Salem-News.com, I now more fully understand the cool reception I received from Balad's Public Affairs office when I arrived there in the summer of 2008. I've never been so frustrated, and they really were not going to be of any assistance of any kind. Maybe they were really busy worrying about a reporter on the base snooping into the LaVena Johnson story, and I would have been, but somehow I didn't come into contact with the story until I was long gone from Balad.
The interesting thing is that the person, or people (more likely) responsible for LaVeena's rape and murder are reading this, along with everyone else. So are the 'investigators' who buried the evidence and wrote a summary that could only be described as bad fiction.
Those individuals, and you know who you are, must have one hell of a hard time sleeping at night. The sad part is that at least one of the people who knows, didn't participate in the killing, and therefore really could come forward with the true story.
I am right here always and my email is posted below the two related poems. Write to me and share what needs to be shared about the Lavena Johnson case at Balad, and give us enough to allow these parents to learn what really happened to Lavena, and help bring the perpetrator(s) to justice, so you can once again sleep at night.
Luke Easter in Ohio, who wrote the two poems below, says he emailed then-President Bush & Laura, Barack & Michelle, and Congresswoman Tubbs, after Lavena's death.
He said the correspondence from Washington D.C. was with a person named Marcia Fudge, "who replied she appreciates my concern for the troops as they are doing a good job."
"Ha! She must have just come back from Mars," he suggested.
He also emailed Kucinich & the mayors of Cleveland and Cleveland Heights. Wrote to NOW, NAACP and countless other women's and human rights organizations.
He says a reporter he has known for a very long time showed interest, then subsequently lost interest in the story, and he says that even the young woman's parents are being stonewalled to this day.
This former Marine who served during the Vietnam War period, says his desire to raise awareness about the terrible problems associated with sex abuse in the military, something our own Dr. Leveque has written about several times, is tied to something he will never forget.
"Well, as a transit cop, I do remember arriving on the scene of a rape (after the fact) and the perp was already gone. The 34 year-old victim was lying on the ground crying for her 'mommy' and it just broke my heart. But this, wow! Here's another one."
He even took the time to caution me not to expect much, and I understand.
"Don't be surprised if your efforts get put in the, 'to do list' because it's happened to everyone else so far."
When I wrote about her the first time, it led to an interview on Radio Free Nation and brought more dialog to people about LaVena Johnson's story. Now we have these poetic contributions from Luke Easter who took the time to compose and convey words of meaning, about something so meaningless.
The first is about LaVena Johnson, the second is about KBR employee Jamie Leigh Jones, a rape victim who survived, but saw the same total lack of support from military investigators. Jamie Jones is a hero to me and in the eyes of many people, as she refused to be silent about the crime committed against her. Both women were heroes.
LaVena Johnson (In Memorial) Where Is The Justice?
Just when you think you’ve heard it all,
Is it any wonder Osama Bin Laden can’t be found?
What a shame when the real enemy is on the same side,
How many before shooting themselves bust their own lip,
So, how did that chemical burn get on her private parts?
Being right handed, she shot herself in the left side of the head,
The U.S. Army actually tried lying, hooray for her dad,
Military personnel or civilians aren’t we on the same side?
Where’s is the ACLU, what happened to the mighty NAACP?
Can’t call it racial because all women are treated the same,
The Uniform Code Of Military Justice aka the U.C.M.J.,
Funny thing though, seems they have a roadblock in Iraq,
Here's a little something to me that is simply downright scary,
If there ever was this kind of incompetence in World War II,
Whomever, wherever, whatever, an injustice did occur,
A petition was signed that is over twelve thousand strong,
I saw something on the Internet much sadder than sad,
Apparently the stars and stripes blows in two directions,
Beware this incident is not about colors, Black or White,
And here’s a timeless saying, which is entering my mind,
For every ranking Army official who signed off on this case,
And we also have to keep open the options of another factor,
BTW, this isn’t the end of this kind of story, not in the least,
Like priests who joined the church to freely molest little boys,
Update! From March 15,2009 here is some very disturbing news,
Yes, because only 11% of reported cases will ever make it to a trial,
LaVena, 7/19/2009 is the 4-year anniversary of your death,
Oops! I’m very sorry, I meant to say that “they” are aware,
Or any so-called Black Leader for that matter, what’s going on?
LaVena Lynn Johnson your homicide's over 48 months old,
During this time lots of turmoil from an incident in Cambridge, Mass.,
There were no lives lost, no blood shed, only pride & feelings hurt,
The question is, what course are either of these fellows going to pursue?
“The Silent Truth” can be found at www.Midtownfilms.com,
12/20/09 Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo III has made pregnancy a punishable offense,
Ha! There is a public cry of “outrage” and this crap is squashed before it really begins,
Had this been the daughter of a bigwig campaign contributor or someone from the DOD,
Every now and then I check for updates but the same old stuff is there,
What is the most important topic in the military? Hehehe! “Don’t ask, don’t tell,”
Jamie Leigh Jones Protected By Whom? The USA?
Google & ponder the case of KBR employee Jamie Leigh Jones,
Left alive it’s another unbelievable story, heartbreaking & intense,
Doctors took photos, a rape kit, however security lost the evidence.
Repeatedly penetrated back and front, unable to put up a fight,
Bam! Headache! She awakened with blood all over her thighs,
A victim screaming out for justice & no one answered her cries.
More calls, inquiries, like PFC Johnson; her case too has stalled,
There’s a term for negative situations like this; it’s the X-factor,
Not only the Army to blame but what about the KBR Contractor?
Safe under the guise of government protection at their Iraqi venue,
Alien or resident, civilian or military, rape & murder is still a crime,
Death penalty, life without parole, yet the victims are doing the time.
Why all the Department Of Defense & Halliburton cover-up still?
Could these rape and murder claims be really false or just maybe?
Is the connection too strong to former Vice President Dick Cheney?
His old conglomerate makes billions in government deals overseas,
Especially due to the invasion of what is now good old war-torn Iraq,
What’s more important, making money or unmasking sexual attacks?
To hell with mental and physical abuse let’s make even more money,
Rape, murder, cover-up, whatever we need to remember the bottom line,
This is pure and simple about greed, it will continue until the end of time.
Had this violation occurred in the U.S. these cowards would be put away,
Felony this and felony that without leniency facing a very serious charge,
However, it was done under military rule so they’re free and living large.
Let down by company promises, while made to feel like they’re to blame,
Hello! It’s life and death not an American versus Iraqi soccer league game,
All is fair in love and war but not when sharing the same Haliburton name.
by Luke Easter