It should be no surprise to my regulars that I have no respect for media outlets who identify themselves as purveyors of “news”, while spending the bulk of their time either regurgitating White House press releases or bombarding us with all the intimate details of the latest Hollywood scandal. “Investigative Reporter” is an obsolete term.
So here are my top two stories that should have made headlines last year, but didn’t.
Based on sheer volume of hits, this is the top story for 2009:
Despite reports that Illinois-based pharmaceutical company Baxter International Inc. somehow managed to distribute flu vaccine contaminated with live bird flu virus to Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Germany
- Despite the report that this only came to light when a subcontractor in the Czech Republic inoculated ferrets with the product and they died
- Despite the report that Baxter confirmed the contamination, and the World Health Organization is “closely monitoring” the situation
- Despite reports that mixing the two viruses would make them extremely potent and contagious
- Despite reports from the medical community that the contamination could not possibly have been an accident
- Despite speculation in Czech newspapers that the contamination was a deliberate attempt to create a pandemic, for which Baxter would stand ready to profit through their vaccines
- Despite all these reports that have been circulating since March 3rd or before … I cannot find even one major news outlet that’s covering this story.
I normally avoid the “conspiracy” word, but …
can you spell c-o-n-s-p-i-r-a-c-y???
Here is my follow-up post.
Based on the story that most tore at my heart, here’s the other top story that MSM refused to report. As of this date, the army still refuses to re-open the investigation. In addition, Midtown Films is producing a documentary titled: Lavena Johnson: The Silent Truth.
Back in August, I posted briefly about LaVena Johnson, quoting from a commentary by Elizabeth Higgs:
“According to the U.S. Department of Defense, Private LaVena Lynn Johnson killed herself on July 19, 2005, eight days before her twentieth birthday. Exactly how did she end her life? She punched herself in the face hard enough to blacken her eyes, break her nose, and knock her front teeth loose. She douched with an acid solution after mutilating her genital area. She poured a combustible liquid on herself and set it afire. She then shot herself in the head. Despite this massive self-inflicted trauma, she somehow managed to drag her then fully clothed body into the tent of a KBR contractor, leaving a trail of blood along the way and set the tent ablaze in a failed attempt to cover up her crimes against herself.
If this story sounds plausible to you, you may have missed your calling as an officer in the U.S. Army, because Army officers, speaking with a straight face, would have you believe that such a thing is not only possible, but actually happened.
In reality, LaVena Johnson was raped, beaten, and murdered by someone on a military base in Balad, Iraq, and the Army doesn’t want you to know about it.”
The Army doesn’t want her parents to know about it, either. Since LaVena died, they have had doubts about the suicide story. They had talked with her every day, and she had said nothing to lead them to believe she was emotionally unstable or even a little upset. And then her body was shipped home.
“In viewing his daughter’s body at the funeral home, Dr. Johnson was concerned about the bruising on her face. He was puzzled by the discrepancy in the autopsy report on the location of the gunshot wound. As a US Army veteran and a 25-year US Army civilian employee who had counseled veterans, he was mystified how the exit wound of an M-16 shot could be so small. The hole in Lavena’s head appeared to be more the size of a pistol shot rather than an M-16 round. He questioned why the exit hole was on the left side of her head, when she was right handed. But the gluing of military uniform white gloves onto Lavena’s hands hiding burns on one of her hands is what deepened Dr. Johnson’s concerns that the Army’s investigation into the death of his daughter was flawed.”
For more than three years, her father, Dr. John Johnson, and her mother Linda have done everything within their power to seek justice for their daughter – and the Army has fought them every step of the way. They have had to resort to FOIL requests to get copies of Army documents related to their daughter. They have had to call on their local congressman to pressure the Army to release these documents.
They have been interviewed by the media countless times. A website has been created in LaVena’s name. There have been multiple petitions signed, demanding a congressional investigation. (The latest is here, if you’d like to sign it.)
And there are many other women in the military who have died under suspicious circumstances. The Department of Defense’s own statistics state that one in three women who join the military will be sexually assaulted or raped.
Despite all this – despite the statistics, despite the efforts of the Johnson’s, despite the obvious attempts to cover up a horrendous crime – nothing has changed. The Army still calls her death a suicide. They have not re-opened the investigation. The Army is still protecting their own.
From the least to the greatest – from the murderer all the way through the chain of command to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and President George W. Bush – they are all guilty. And if we continue to blindly support our military, we are guilty, too.
So the next time you’re waving the red, white and blue for a country that condones and covers-up the rape and murder of one of its own; the next time you’re singing about this land where some are more equal than others; the next time you pledge allegiance to support the United States of America, no matter what they do – you might spare a thought for LaVena Johnson and her parents. You might ask God to move His hand and provide justice for this family – because the military sure as hell won’t.
Justice, and only justice,
you shall pursue,
that you may live and possess the land
which the LORD your God is giving you.