Monday, July 28, 2008

Will You Become One of 25 Million?

Over 25 million people have viewed Lizzie Palmer's
"Remember Me" video on YouTube, a moving tribute to US service men and women which closes with the statement, "Every Soldier Deserves Your Support"

However, apparently not everyone agrees with that sentiment, especially not when the soldier needs support and a private contractor like KBR is involved.

The following video clip is from the July 23rd broadcast of DemocracyNow during which Amy Goodman spoke with the family of the late Pfc Lavena Johnson about the their daughter's mysterious death in Iraq.

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."

If the video is not visible click on the link below:

As shocking as the Johnson family's story is, sadly it is just one in a disturbing pattern of the abuse of women (military and civilian) serving in Iraq by contractors like KBR and Haliburton. The following is a video clip from the 20/20 interview with Jamie Leigh Jones

Thank God Jamie Leigh Jones and Tracy Barker survived to tell their stories. Lavena Johnson did not. Instead her family was told that their daughter had committed suicide.

Will you now become one of 25 million who will speak up for Pfc Lavena Johnson her family and the untold number of women who are being abused and/or murdered in Iraq?:

Click here to sign the ColorofChange Pettiion which calls on Congressman Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to hold hearings to investigate LaVena's death and the Army's cover-up.

To view the rest of Amy Goodman's interview with the Johnson family click on the following links:

Part 2 of 3:
Part 3 of 3:

Related articles:

The Silencing of Tracy K. Barker
by Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff, Women’s Space, May 4, 2008

Limbo for US Women Reporting Iraq Assaults
by James Risen for The New York Times

No Prosecution for State Department Official Accused of Sexual Assault
By Brian Ross, Maddy Sauer, & Justin Rood for ABC

Another KBR Rape Case
by Karen Houppert for "The Nation"

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