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Driving home today, I heard a story on Democracy Now that shocked even me!!

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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:46 PM
Original message
Driving home today, I heard a story on Democracy Now that shocked even me!!
Suicide or Murder? Three Years After the Death of Pfc. LaVena Johnson in Iraq, Her Parents Continue Their Call for a Congressional Investigation

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 Johnsons 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 daughters death.

Now, the Army says that this girl shot herself in the head with an M-16 rifle.

This young woman was just over 5 feet tall. I'd like to know how the hell she accomplished this with a weapon that is at least 40 inches long.

Plus, the M-16 is designed to cause MASSIVE damage. When the round exits the body, it takes huge chunks of flesh along with it.

I can't image having to inspect my daughter's body like this young lady's father had to.

Heartbreaking.

Outrageously heartbreaking.

link to transcript and video: http://www.democracynow.org/2008/7/23/suicide_or_murder...

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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. Who the heck commits suicide by pouring acid on one's sex parts?! No doubt there is a cover-up here!
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caraher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #1
43. Right. Forget the M-16 as a suicide weapon...
NOBODY tortures himself or herself as part of a suicide. Heck, that's the whole logic of suicide - escape from pain through death.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 02:50 AM
Response to Reply #1
60. Welcome to GWB's Iraq. nt
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #60
90. Combine our illustrious Hallibruton VP's name with land. That's KBR
territory and his xxxxed-land.

I read this sad news having heard about her questionable suicide, but not knowing these details.

War is just great, isn't it?

They just tossed out all the rules of war established startomg centuries ago with De Legnano and you refine it by the work of good people and then along comes the seal of approval from certain Christians, Jews, and corporations and foundations, newspapers, tv networks, complicit participation from other governments - approval for atrocities like this one and all the torture, torment of innocent people. Can anyone calculate the number of people involved in all the cover ups of all the atrocities - citizen paid employees and contracted lawyers - are at this minute covering up all the atrocities.

Tell me again how this country is superior to all the other countries on the planet - all you lurking supremicists.

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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #90
94. Just like the Wild West.
It's great if you are the Marshall in town. Or Judge, in the mold of Judge Roy Bean. But W and his ilk have their golden world created for them as they walk a red carpet through life. As bad as this is, it can become far worse in the blink of an eye. For example, if there was a new genuine terrorist attack, or some similar emergency. This would frighten the citizenry into voting for more fascism. History can repeat itself.
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #1
81. More than likely it was done to try to prevent evidence of rape
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1monster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #81
87. I'm reminded of the Gainesville murders by Danny Rolling. He managed to destroy
Edited on Thu Jul-24-08 11:03 AM by 1monster
DNA evidence with a bleach solution.

These guys used acid?!?

Was the acid used while she was still alive or after she died? If it was after she died, then destruction of evidence could be the reasnon. If it was while she was still alive, then the motive was torture.
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #1
111. not to mention burning her hands first
:grr:
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. since these KBR, Halliburton, and Blackwater guys are beyond the reach of the law...
if our troops decided to dole out a little vigilante justice, how could they be punished?
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devilgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. Wasn't that awful - I heard that this morning.
Made me so angry that I wanted to spit. :mad:
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Parche Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. KBR
I think i saw a committee hearing on this, the subject came up
and they were quiet, said that is still under investigation.

So sad, Halliburton and KBR get away with literal murder

:hi: :hug:

OH sad MEOW

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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. mew
mew :)

:hi:
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. The case was brought up briefly during the Tillman / Lynch hearing.
And what Mrs. Tillman said is right: If they can do this to a high profile person like Pat Tillman, what is happening to everyone else.

Well, now we know what is happening. :grr:
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. Listening again right now.
They killed her after beating her, there was probably a rape involved because they tried to destroy the evidence in her BODY, and then they tried to burn the body, too.

She was right handed and the gunshot wound was at her left temple and the mfing military lab said it was a rifle, not a hand gun shot. And her poor father had to figure this out on his own. :cry:

Obscene. I don't know how that mother can stand one minute of this horror. Thank god, Anne Wright has been helping them.

My heart breaks for this family. And for all the other families of these young women who died "non combat related" deaths and who have been screwed with by the Pentagon which apparently is now a criminal institution.

She was a beautiful 19 year old with a good future ahead of her. It makes you want to BITE someone.

:nuke:
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wildbilln864 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
6. K&R! I hope justice is done here...
but I'm not optimistic!
BTW, Did they also say she burned her own genitalia with acid? :grr:
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
7. Link to her parents' site and to the PETITION to Congress:
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 06:01 PM by sfexpat2000


http://www.lavenajohnson.com /

ETA: Correction -- it looks like this site was put up to help the Johnson family but Dr. Johnson did reference it today.

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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. such a beautiful young lady
thanks for the link.

please EVERYONE!!!

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION!!!!!
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. I've been in tears off and on all day.
And who knows how many other young women of the ones who died in uniform and not in combat shared this beautiful woman's fate. We need to light up Henry Waxman.





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rucognizant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 05:31 AM
Response to Reply #10
66. ANd ONCE AGAIN............
Call pelosi, conyers ( they don't deserve my extra energy to capitalize their names..)Waxman Wexler, your congreeional reps..........TODAY, before they let the "hearings" slide into a bogus faux show tomorrow!
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #7
54. Signed and will call Waxman's office...thanks for the link. n/t
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 02:17 AM
Response to Reply #7
58. Signed. I truly hope that justice will be served
this is just horrible-and I know that she's far from the first to be raped by those people.

:grr:
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #58
98. Iirc, Amy Goodman says there are more than ten,, maybe as many as
19 of known similar cases of "non combat" deaths of female soldiers. :grr:
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
9. Kick, rec, bookmarked, and awaiting updates. n/t
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:04 PM
Response to Original message
11. They'll get an answer when Novak gets arrested. In other words, never. nt
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Ahpook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
14. I don't give a damn how any of these assholes in this country...
want to spin the shape Iraq is in. Every report like this just says to me the place is a lawless toilet.

I remember about a year ago a soldier posted to a forum i read where all his net buddies hang out. I guess he was on some kind of leave? Anyway, people asked him what is it like there. He basically said the place is a garbage pit. He also said he can get away with almost anything he wants.

He explained he can shoot any "motherfucker" he wanted without hearing to much from his superiors.

He could have been full of it, but i doubt it.

I don't know, i suppose that's how it is?
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Before the "surge", there were still a couple thousand doctors in Iraq.
Now they're down to a few hundred. That's a measure of how mfing safe it is.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #14
34. I sawa video posted in which a man in uniform
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 09:21 PM by truedelphi
Started horseplay with a young Iraqi boy. The kid was maybe all of nine.

At first the kid was laughing, and then the soldier tossed him off the bridge. The child's friend was screaming in English "You hurt him."

And really I don't know how you could get tossed off the bridge and not end up injured.

When things like this come to my attention, I think, "Don't bring them home - leave the fuckers there."
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #34
45. OMG! That poor kid. I have a little guy that age. :^(
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
15. Whoever classified that as a "suicide" is a fucking idiot.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. That's giving them too much credit.
They had to destroy evidence, lie three ways to Sunday AND deny her family information due to them.

They weren't stupid. They were criminal.
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Kitty Herder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 02:29 AM
Response to Reply #15
59. An idiot? Like hell!!
It was an obvious attempt at a cover-up. And they knew they could get away with it because military contractors are above the law.

This nation MUST, absolutely MUST start holding it's contractors accountable. They get away with the most egregious crimes imaginable. On our dollars as tax-payers.
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rucognizant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 05:34 AM
Response to Reply #15
67. Stop blurring the distinction.......
NOT "fucking idiot" BUT EVIL SOCIOPATHIC BASTARD!
Idiots CAN be harmless.........
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #67
86. But how could anyone not involved actually think that this was a suicide?
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Pacifist Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #67
109. Damn! You took the words right out of my mouth.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
18. It is utterly amazing and disgusting what these loathsome assholes think they can get away with.
Ah yes, the common, well-known acid to the genitals bullet in the head form of suicide.

I would like to see the despicable puke who covered up this crime, and the person who committed it, DIE. They are already in hell, but I would like them to KNOW IT.
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Ahpook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. "They are already in Hell"
must be true.

I know i read somewhere, possibly here that Darth and the rest of them are completely paranoid. Doing really bizarre shit to get through their fucking day :)

I often wondered if there was a small, liiittle tiny bit of soul in their wretched bodies, and how they can sleep at night.

Apparently they don't :)
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Colin Powell said they all take Ambien to sleep.
Good. I just hope it loses its effectiveness over time and they end up walking the halls, like Nixon. Or Limbaugh. (I am assuming, but really doesn't Limbaugh trying to pace away his inhumanity far into the night ring true?)

The soul thing. Well, I wouldn't take any bets on their still having any. My guess is whatever soul remnants they had ran screaming home to hell when they started all this shit.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. Why don't they take a couple
bottles of ambien at one sitting and never fucking wake up. Do the world a great service.

I bet a number of people know who these KBR assholes are and are afraid to speak out. Fucking murdering, torturing rapists. And our country does NOTHING....three damn years.

Karma.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. Indeed.
:mad:
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
20. good god....
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fed_up_mother Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:39 PM
Response to Original message
21. k&r
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Triana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 07:27 PM
Response to Original message
23. They'll never get the truth out of the Army. They murdered my step-brother in boot camp...
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 07:28 PM by Triana
...tried to pass it off as some sort of pneumonia or lung infection or some such shit.

What happened was that the Staff Sgt or someone beat him in the chest with the butt of a rifle and crushed his chest and his lungs. The goddamned rifle butt marks were there. Paul was a big guy and they make them walk/run till they drop in boot camp. Paul dropped and couldn't get back up. They rifle-butted him to death trying to get him to get back up. He couldn't.

The Army would never admit what happened. Lied on his death certificate. My step-dad didn't have the heart to go through what one has to go through to get the truth out of or to sue the goddamned Federal gov't about what they did to his son.

They'll never get the truth out of them. Ever. Likely someone in KBR raped and murdered her. Don't expect to ever get the truth, restitution, justice, or closure. It won't happen.

I'm sorry. They get away with rape and murder of their own and anyone else they choose. Nothing's changed. Since Psychopath George took over, it's gotten a lot worse.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. That's horrible. I'm so sorry, Triana.
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Triana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. My stepdad died in 1991. We couldn't talk about what happened without him tearing up...
...when he was alive, and he went to his grave with it. Now I can't talk or write about it without tears. The anger and pain is searing. I hate the people who do this stuff.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. I know. One of my aunts was murdered in Mexico City
and her death was called a suicide. I still don't know who the Mexican government was protecting.

She was a young woman, beautiful and was working at the embassy. She was poisoned. That day, she went home for lunch and was fine. By the end of the day, she was dead. It was no suicide. How many people commit suicide with poison AT WORK. We'll never know what happened to her.

It's always there.

:hug:
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renate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #26
80. I am so sorry
Your story, Triana's, Ms. Johnson's family's.... I hope the souls of those who died are at peace and don't need the sense of resolution and restitution that those of us who are still here do.
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Maat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #25
39. I'm so sorry, Triana.
:hug:
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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. I'm so sorry, Triana
:hug:
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #23
46. I am so very sorry *hugs*
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fortyfeetunder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #23
52. I am sorry to learn of your SB's tragic death
He should not have left the world this way. My deepest condolences to you and your family.
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 04:43 AM
Response to Reply #23
64. i'm so sorry
how long ago was this? maybe it's not too late to try and achieve some justice for your brother.
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Triana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #64
82. This was decades ago. And his only legal guardian (dad) is dead.
The mother, if she's even alive, wouldn't bother. That was his first wife, my Mom was his second and she's in her 80s and dealing with other struggles, namely living on a fixed income with GM cutting off her med insurance. Mom lives with my sister, who is being dragged into bankruptcy by a hospital because BC/BS refused to pay a hospital bill of hundreds of thousands of dollars for emergency care back in Jan of this year. Needless to say, they've got their own struggles.

As for me, I've not the time, energy, or money to pursue it either and am very doubtful that it would turn up anything because:

They lie and cover such things up;
I am not his legal guardian / parent and the Army/gov't would likely just blow me off;
It's been so long and the records are unlocatable or non-existant.

I think the chances are slim to none that we'd ever get the truth. It would have had to be done by my step-dad when he was alive and within a certain timeframe after it happened. He couldn't do it. He started the process and tried but it just tore him up inside and he gave up and lived and died with it.

It just PISSES ME OFF to no end that they did this and got away with it. This is why I would put nothing past our gov't after I learned of this. And I feel even more strongly about that since George W. was anointed King and has committed all the crimes he has and gotten away with it. There is little to no justice in this world. Cynical view but - well, justified.
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #82
88. you're right
but you do serve their memory by sharing the story. thank you.

the woman who killed my daughter was allowed to plead out of the murder charge and sentenced to only 4 years. she served 2 and change. if i didn't believe that justice will catch up with her on the other side i don't know, i'd be bitter and all of the rest of my life would be infected with that bitterness. i have so many friends whose children were murdered on the street in LA, and the killers have never been identified let alone caught and made to stand trial. justice is sorely lacking in the world today. i just have to believe that it will not be denied forever.
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Triana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #88
107. Karma...
...let there be karma.

I'm so sorry about your daughter. :hug:
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #107
113. thank you Triana
LaVena died on the anniversary of bekah's death.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #23
72. What a horrible thing to have gone through
My condolences to your family.

I researched the list of those who died in Iraq in Early June 2005

Sixty one names - not even the complete tally for the month.(http://www.coastalpost.com/05/07/03_.html )


But in putting together the list, I was amazed at certain types of deaths. Since many fighting in Iraq at at that time were people who had not signed on to go to Iraq, but were Army Reserve, you had people of advanced age for being grunts.

Not uncommon for a fifty three year old to be ordered out on a fifteen mile march through the 130 degree heat - and how can it be surprising that someone out of shape and over the age of forty dies of a heart attack induced by heat while toting seventy poounds of gear?

Then there were the numerous deaths of people who were so adled by the heat that when their convoy was crossing a bridge over some narrow tributary of water, they jumped out of their vehicle, made their way to the side of the gully and went in and drowned. (Again, when you are toting seventy or eighty pounds of equipment, it is not surprising that you drown when you hit a body of water.)

It was also not uncommon to read of people whose deaths were never given a real explanation. They went to bed in their barracks, and when roll call came in the morning they were found dead in bed. Was it heat induced? Dehydration? Reaction to vaccines? Depleted uranium exposure?

And now that you have told your tale, I am left wondering if they had displeased some one of their superiors. Who took it out on them with the but end of their rifle.
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Mad_Dem_X Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #23
105. Dear God, I am so sorry
What a horrible thing to have happened to your stepbrother. :hug:

As for this woman, who in their right mind would think this was a suicide???
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
30. There is something else that people are not getting about
this young ladies death......

Please don't take offense to this...but the excuse that she committed suicide is so far fetched that it has to be a lie. African American women have a very low incidence of suicide, this young lady did not kill herself.

<snip>
African American women commit suicide less than other U.S. women and men, perhaps partly due to strong, anti-suicide attitudes.
<snip>

http://www.atypon-link.com/GPI/doi/abs/10.1521/suli.33....

I hope that my research was just poor because the CDC hasn't reported new suicide statistics since 2006.

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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. no offense taken
:hi:
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. Crimes against women during the last seven years has
been astronomical...we will not know true numbers until this travesty is over.

My family is blessed that my younger sister left the military after 14 years, she got out right before all of this crap happened.

I can't say more because this makes me so damn mad.

I hope her family finds justice. KBR and the other companies are out of control and they committed crimes against all women especially American women.

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galledgoblin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 08:51 PM
Response to Original message
31. what the hell has happened to military internal affairs
there's no way this was a suicide. who ever signed that death certificate, and more importantly, TOLD them to sign that death certificate, should be brought up on charges.

our men and women deserve to know that service does not mean losing their access to justice.
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 09:49 PM
Response to Original message
35. Let's see first she broke her own nose, then lossened her own teeth,
then blakened her own eye and then after pouring acid on her own genitals, she shot herself. Oh, sure. This deserves a Congressional investigation since the army certainly has no doubt failed one of its own.
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proud patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
36. I called my cogressperson as soon as I heard this today
that poor family ..
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annm4peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
37. DO SOMETHING !!!!! CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES !!!
Sign the petition ! Call your Representatives and ask them to have a hearing !

Call the candidate's Campaign office and tell them to ask for an investigation.

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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #37
50. We have to call Henry Waxman. He's the chair of the right committee.
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:17 PM
Response to Original message
38. O. I'm nauseated about what they did to this women.
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 10:19 PM by midnight
P.S. I don't want to jump to conclusions, but the owners of that tent need to be handed over to the authorities.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:23 AM
Original message
And so does her whole chain of command. n/t
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:39 PM
Response to Original message
40. Drug running in miliary .... "suicides" going on more than 15 years...?
I think there are a lot more deaths --- but I think reported ones number 40/? suicides . . .

right!

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AnnieBW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
41. Usually female soldiers are in danger from the enemy
Not their fellow soldiers. I'm sorry - I don't care if they're "heroes". If they catch who did that to a sister-in-arms, I WILL spit in their faces. Or worse.
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janet118 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
42. LaVena is not the only victim . . . it seems like a pattern
According to this article in Common Dreams, fifteen women soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have been killed under suspicious circumstances.

94 US military women in the military have died in Iraq or during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). 12 US Civilian women have been killed in OIF. 13 US military women have been killed in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). 12 US Civilian women have been killed in Afghanistan.

Of the 94 US military women who died in Iraq or in OIF, the military says 36 died from non-combat related injuries, which included vehicle accidents, illness, death by natural causes, and self-inflicted gunshot wounds, or suicide. The military has declared the deaths of the Navy women in Bahrain that were killed by a third sailor, as homicides. 5 deaths have been labeled as suicides, but 15 more deaths occurred under extremely suspicious circumstances.

8 women soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas (six from the Fourth Infantry Division and two from the 1st Armored Cavalry Division) have died of non-combat related injuries on the same base, Camp Taji, and three were raped before their deaths. Two were raped immediately before their deaths and another raped prior to arriving in Iraq. Two military women have died of suspicious non-combat related injuries on Balad base, and one was raped before she died. Four deaths have been classified as suicides.


This is sick.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. Then there are the multiple cases of KBR rape of their own female employees
Another KBR Rape Case - http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080421/houppert
In fact, a growing number of women employees working for US defense contractors in the Middle East are coming forward with complaints of violence directed at them. As the Iraq War drags on, and as stories of US security contractors who seem to operate with impunity continue to emerge (like Blackwater and its deadly attack against Iraqi civilians on September 16, 2007), a rash of new sexual assault and sexual harassment complaints are being lodged against overseas contractors--by their own employees. Todd Kelly, a lawyer in Houston, says his firm alone has fifteen clients with sexual assault, sexual harassment and retaliation complaints (for reporting assault and/or harassment) against Halliburton and its former subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root LLC (KBR), as well as Cayman Island-based Service Employees International Inc., a KBR shell company.


KBR's Rape Problem - http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080505/houppert
"American women working in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to be sexually assaulted while their assailants go free," said Senator Bill Nelson, who called the hearing. Because squabbles about who has jurisdiction in these cases have proliferated, Nelson arranged to have representatives from the Defense, State and Justice departments sit down together in front of him. They were forced to listen while the latest victims testified.
<snip>
Senator Nelson noted that the Defense Department, which has reported 742 sexual assaults against soldiers and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, has claimed that it was unable to prosecute cases involving civilians--like defense contractor employees--until recently. (Even among those cases where it clearly had jurisdiction, a close look at the DoD's own stats reveals a far from stellar record: among the 684 sexual assault complaints lodged by US soldiers in the Middle East, only eighty-three cases have led to courts-martial. Meanwhile, last year alone, 2,688 sexual assaults were reported globally against women serving in the US Armed Forces; disposition of these cases is pending.)

Worse, those figures represent only the official count. Given that so many women are now coming forward complaining that they have been hushed by their private-military-contractor supervisors, it's clear that the real tally is likely far higher. Even in cases where the victims do report the incidents, most complaints never see the light of day, thanks to the fine print in employee contracts, which compels employees into private arbitration instead of allowing their charges to be heard in a public courtroom. Todd Kelly, a lawyer in Houston who is trying to fight the legality of private arbitration, says his firm alone has fifteen clients with sexual assault, sexual harassment or retaliation complaints (for reporting assault and/or harassment) against Halliburton and its former subsidiary KBR, as well as SEII.


All you have to do is search for "KBR rape" and tens of thousands of hits show up.
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awoke_in_2003 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:10 AM
Response to Reply #44
49. I am against the death penalty
but there are two cases that make me question that- rape and child molestation. Maybe the fact that my sister was raped while out of town at a track meet in college prejudices me (which, by the way, no one did anything about), but I can see no reason for what these animals do.
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #42
83. yeah, i was about to ask how many more 'funny' accidents were on the books
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WheelWalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
47. Kick for the Truth
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:03 AM
Response to Original message
48. K&R because this needs to be seen. nt
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fortyfeetunder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
51. The establishment must think we are a bunch of morans...
speechless and :wtf:


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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #51
92. They just don't care because they know that there is nothing we can, or will, do. n/t
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King Coal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:23 AM
Response to Original message
53. Man, that just hurts me in the gut.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:35 AM
Response to Original message
55. Petition to Waxman - link
posted above by sfexpat2000

http://www.colorofchange.org/lavena /


Also...

http://oversight.house.gov/contact /

Contact the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

(202) 225-5051

Please use this form to contact us with your questions, comments, and concerns. You may also use this form to share information that may be of interest to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.


And...

http://www.house.gov/waxman /

Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-3976 (phone)
(202) 225-4099 (fax)

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ejbr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 07:08 AM
Response to Reply #55
68. Thanks for the links
Can our govt. make me any more pissed? Unbelievable.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #68
102. YW and ...
"Can our govt. make me any more pissed? Unbelievable."

Probably :(


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Swagman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 01:38 AM
Response to Original message
56. the tragedy is bad enough but to be also told deceitful lies....
utterley disgraceful.
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sce56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 02:09 AM
Response to Original message
57. The story has gotten more horrible since I first posted it a year ago!
The Next Pat Tillman-Style Cover-Up? PFC LaVena Johnson. 1K post

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


The lies and murders keep piling up yet it is not a subject for M$M. Thank you Democracy Now!
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alphafemale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 02:54 AM
Response to Original message
61. This part chilled me to the bone. How many times has this happened?
"We have found, through investigations of other deathsyou know, there have been ninety-eight women, military women, who have died in Iraq, Kuwait and Bahrain. Forty of them have died of non-combat incidents, as the military terms it. Nineteen of those forty are under suspicious circumstances. Thirteen of them have now been termed suicides by the military."
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Indenturedebtor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 03:27 AM
Response to Original message
62. Grrr doesn't that make KBR a terrorist organisation? Huh?!?!?! n/t
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 04:39 AM
Response to Original message
63. she was murdered
and it is stupefying that more people don't know her story. she's been mentioned in congressional hearings. i've known her story for some time now. but nothing, nothing, nothing happens. her killer or killers walk free. it's an outrage.
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liberalla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 04:47 AM
Response to Original message
65. I remember reading about her death being suspicious a while back
but this has a lot of details that I didn't get before. Heartbreaking and horrific. Damn it, I hope they get to the bottom of this and that the murderers are held accountable.

My heart goes out to her family.

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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 08:10 AM
Response to Original message
69. Years ago, I read of a death in central Aftrica
The death was initially ruled a suicide. Later it was determined that the victim had died because of forty-nine hammer-blows to the skull.

No, sir. Nothing suspicious there, either. Obviously suicide in both cases.
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90-percent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
70. Support Our Troops
Support Our Troops - pour acid on their genitals and suicide them!

Thanks for serving your country, LaVena! Sorry you had to die to do it, but, hey, you got to break a few eggs to make an omelet!

-90% Jimmy
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Major Hogwash Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
71. Tell all those warmongering, chickenshit Bush assholes who say that the soldiers volunteered . .
"Did she volunteer for this?"

Did this young woman know that the United States government was going to send sick, depraved mercenaries to Iraq and then look the other way while they beat, raped, and tortured her just before they killed her?

Does anyone think this was suicide?

Does anyone even care that this happened to an American soldier at an United States Army base?

Does anyone think that is how we will achieve victory in Iraq?

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WhiteTara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
73. I think the rape numbers must be staggering
The men are out of control, killing whom ever they choose. Why not rape any woman they choose also, even if it does happen to be another soldier.
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helderheid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 09:20 AM
Response to Original message
74. So she broke her OWN nose, knocked her OWN teeth loose, poured ACID on her genitals before shooting
Edited on Thu Jul-24-08 09:20 AM by helderheid
herself in the head with an M-16???

:mad:
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Robeson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #74
95. Yeah, it was one of the worst cases of suicide they'd ever seen...
... :crazy:
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uberllama42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 09:37 AM
Response to Original message
75. Her death is not being seriously investigated?
She wouldn't have happened to be black, would she?
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unapatriciated Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #75
78. Yes
Michael Moore has been following this case since it was first ruled a suicide.
http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/latestnews/index.php?...
http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/latestnews/index.php?...


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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #75
97. The Army told a subcommittee that everything was fine.
And the family is fighting back.
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happygoluckytoyou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
76. HERE IS THE COURT TESTIMONY FROM THE DEFENSE DEPT


So.... she put the butt of the gun on the ground.... barrel to her head.... pulled the trigger with her toe...
as she fell backward, she caught herself on the stove, burned her hands, fell forward breaking her nose and blackening her eye...


I'm not certain about the acid burns... isn't there a history of acid carrying flies in the middle east???

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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
77. Another rape/murder by trained killers ...what would you expect?
Of course the army lied about it. Don't they always lie and cover up? It's to be expected that our military lies to us. When are people going to wake up?
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MadrasT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
79. OMG
How are these MOTHERFUCKERS getting away with this????

K/R and signed petition!!!!

:kick:
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Pierre.Suave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
84. God I hate this fucking country...
and what it has become...

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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
85. It is entirely possible it was a legitimate suicide - please let me explicate before you jump on me
If she was totally invested in being in the army, she thought she found the place she belonged, and then was raped, abused and humiliated by the people who she was most supposed to trust, suicide is not an unthinkable reaction.

That said, it seem obvious they are covering up AT LEAST a rape, if not rape and murder. And if she did commit suicide after being raped, then the rapist(s) is still culpable for her death.
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libodem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #85
91. With an M-16?
What kind of person refers to themselves as an evildoer? Or infers that DU is an en evil doer. Your theory sucks.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #91
96. Self-Delete
Edited on Thu Jul-24-08 01:02 PM by NCevilDUer
Having read the transcript, I see that the possibility of suicide is vanishingly small.

That this happened in a KBR compound says a lot - the military has been fairly good about prosecuting the murders of women in the service, as we've seen unending reports in the news. But that's always husbands/boyfriends stuff, not crimes by the mercenary contractors.

So I'm deleting my previous reply here (but letting my first comment stand as evidence of the dangers of commenting without all the known facts).
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #85
99. She was 5'1" and right handed. They say she shot herself with a rifle,
almost as tall as she was, to the left temple.

And she had just called her mom, excited because she was going to be home sooner than she thought and in time for Christmas.

She was found in a contractor's tent and the Army initially lied about that too, just as they tried to cover up the fact she had been beaten.
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northernlights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #85
103. try reading the "defense" testimony above...
having pulled the trigger with her toe and shooting herself in the head, when she fell backwards she was apparently still alive enough to catch her fall on the stove and burn her hands?

And then still alive enough to push herself forward off the stove?

Exactly how stupid and gullible do these despicable scumbags think we are?

god dam amerika.

p.s. I'm so sorry for the person who was poisoned in Mexico. I was poisoned last year by my kristian-konservative bush/fuckabee-loving, rw nutcase Maine employers -- T o u r c o -- when they deliberately let me drink their contaminated well water and watched me spend 2 days vomiting and another month with diahrrea -- and never once warned me about their well or advised me that *they* were drinking Poland Springs water upstairs. The Maine dept. of labor told me they can do anything they want, and if I don't like it, find another job.
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
89. I had a nightmare about this story last night
I can't imagine having to live this. Horrible..heartbreaking..
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
93. Horrific..for her family as well as for what she must have gone thru.
Edited on Thu Jul-24-08 12:19 PM by BrklynLiberal
Reminds me of a story I read about several years ago...some guy in Alabama was killed by several knife woundd in his back..and it was ruled a suicide by the local constabulary.
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frogmarch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
100. Unbelieveable!
How could her death have been ruled a suicide?

I guess the same way that the death of a college professor in my town was ruled a suicide. The professor, who'd recently broken his ankle, apparently hiked several miles through rugged, hilly terrain outside of town, then bound himself to a fencepost with barbwire and set himself on fire. It was obviously a suicide. Yeah, right.
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
101. I listened to this story in the beauty of the New Mexico mountains, far from"civilization", ...
...and I only wanted to get farther away.

How this soldier died was tragic. How our military covered it up was criminal.
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
104. K&R n/t
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Bryan Sacks Donating Member (732 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
106. It is a terrible story. . .and there are others, too
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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
108. DemocracyNow today ...cops tazered another human to death...
they tazered him again after he was passed out and foaming at the mouth. The cops then lied about the man being under the influence of drugs. Even if he was under the influence of drugs, that is no reason to pass a death sentence on him by tazering him after he was already passed out from repeated tazer attacks by the cops. Police brutality ...the fun part of law enforcement ...for some cops. MURDERERS !!!
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
110. The people responsible for the cover-up have to be the scum of the earth.
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 06:24 PM
Response to Original message
112. few want to join the army to go to Iraq except violence lovers. The recruiters are scraping
the bottom of the barrel to find people. Is Georgie giving violent criminals the option of jail or Iraq yet?
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AnnieBW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
114. No wonder they don't want teh gayz
They're afraid that the gays would stand with the women against this kind of abuse.
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