Wednesday, July 23, 2008

LaVena's parents on Democracy Now!

John and Linda Johnson, parents of PFC LaVena Lynn Johnson, were interviewed on Democracy Now! by host Amy Goodman. Activist and retired Army colonel Ann Wright was also part of the program.

Three years ago, on July 19, 2005, Army Private First Class LaVena Johnson was found dead in Balad, Iraq. Her body was found in a tent belonging to the private military contractor KBR. She had abrasions all over her body, a broken nose, a black eye, burned hands, loose teeth, acid burns on her genitals, and a bullet hole in her head. The Army labeled Johnson’s death a suicide. But her parents never believed that story. They think she was raped and murdered and are now demanding a full congressional investigation into their daughter’s death.

The program is available at the Democracy Now! site for viewing or listening in a number of formats: Real Video stream, Real Audio stream, MP3 download, and others. A partial transcript is up as well; I expect a full version will be made available later.


mckoskey said...

Hello and good day,

I just saw Pfc. Johnson's parents on Democracy Now!, as I am an avid watcher of the program.

LaVena's case is a brutally tragic one, and I do hope justice is eventually served. The criminals who killed her should receive life sentences for their crimes, or capital punishment. The system that currently hides them from justice is clearly broken and dysfunctional. I do hope a congressional hearing is conducted and the truth finally brought to light.

Truth or not, it is clear that LaVena's family is profoundly shaken by her death and its most suspicious circumstances. Please extend my prayers and condolences to them in this very dark chapter of their lives. I am very sorry this happened.

Yours sincerely,

David McKoskey
St. Paul, MN

SP Biloxi said...


Glad to hear that the Johnsons did an interview on Democracy now. I will write something up in a few days as followup and continuation into LaVena's death on Newsinkling. I will read the Johnsons' interview late this evening.

bones288 said...

Just signed the Waxman petition and I would recommend that everyone else to do the same.

My thoughts and best wishes go out to the family.

Laura Klein said...

I just listened, this morning, to the Democracy Now interview and have spent the day full of horror and outrage for this woman and her family. After signing two petitions and sending them around to family and friends, I'm left wishing to do more to help these good people and to save this country from what seems like a terrible slide into corporate financed barbarism and injustice...
Wishing that the anger expressed by Dr. Johnson continues to energize their efforts and that others continue to join in and demand justice and an end to these abuses and cover-ups.
As others said previously, sending prayers for peace and condolences to the family. Yearning to help in any way possible...

Philip Barron said...

Just wanted to thank you all for your kindness and concerns, and to assure you that LaVena's father does indeed visit the website just about every day. Your condolences and best wishes do not go unnoticed, and they are truly appreciated.

lisa jackson said...

I am embarrassed to say that I have never been online before. But seeing the Johnsons on Democracy Now! today so inspired me, that I made my teenage daughter teach me to use the family laptop just so I could sign the petition for Lavena. As a mother, my heart broke for her. As a libertarian, I was enraged by the problems her family has encountered just trying to find out the circumstances surrounding their daughter's death. Sadly, this entire war seems to have been plagued by secrecy and cover-ups. Why haven't the national networks been broadcasting this story? Please extend her family my deepest sympathy. I am keeping them in my thoughts and prayers.

African History said...

I a so very upset and my heart hurts that this happened to daughter.

I pray that our Father comforts you in your time of anguish and loss.

I know of the government's blindness, how it allows these things to happen and how they continue to cover-up for the men who committ these crimes. I too was raped in the military, in Germany on active duty in the Army. Our government (the one I went in for, the one I believed in), has hidden my records, told me that I was a liar and refuse to acknowledge the rape and what is evident in my military medical records.

I have lived with this for over 26 years and the effects that it has on my life. And when I hear of these crimes I get MAD all over again.

I pray that someone causes a dramatic change in a way the our government treats us; and fixes the broken dog that will cause these men in high governmental places begin to view women as human and not things for sexual abuse, misuse and murder.

I am truely hurt and sadden because if restraints had been in place for what happened to me maybe in 1980, maybe this would not have happened to your daughter, LaVena.

May God Bless you and help you endure this tragedy.

Love Linda,
EX Military Spec, E4
Philadelphia, PA

Fabian said...

I listened to Democracy Now and heard this story and it really broke my heart, the little faith that I have for this country is out the window. It is criminal that they are covering up what really happened and not being forthcoming with information. I am going to sign the petition and I hope something is done, if I can help in anyway please contact me.

You guys are in my thoughts...