SPECIAL REPORT

ARMY GENERAL NAMED AS KILLER OF LAVENA
JOHNSON - 12 YEARS AFTER BRUTAL DEATH OF PFC
IN IRAQ, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY DONALD WATKINS
ACCUSES PENTAGON OF "SUICIDE" COVER-UP - SAYS
RETIRED FOUR-STAR GENERAL KEVIN P. BYRNES
"EXECUTED" AFRICAN-AMERICAN SOLDIER WITH A
BULLET TO THE HEAD - DISGRACED FLAG OFFICER
(FIRED BY DONALD RUMSFELD) HAD "WOMANIZER"
REPUTATION - BYRNES' SUDDEN DISMISSAL IN 2005
PART OF ELABORATE ATTEMPT TO HIDE "HORRIFIC
CRIME," CONTROVERSIAL TRIAL ATTORNEY SAYS

© 2017 MilitaryCorruption.com

By MAJ GLENN MacDONALD
U. S. Army Reserve (Ret.)
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

PFC LAVENA JOHNSONAt long last, the truth as to the mysterious death of Army PFC Lavena Johnson in Balud, Iraq on July 19, 2005 has come to light. The Pentagon's specious cover-story that the idealistic young soldier committed "suicide" (CASE CLOSED) has now been proven to be the despicable lie that it is.  She was murdered.

That's what one of America's best trial attorneys and a prominent civil rights lawyer (he won a full and complete pardon for Clarence Norris, the last known surviving "Scottsboro Boy") says.  The colorful and controversial barrister - he and the Securities and Exchange Commission are battling each other with lawsuits - led an investigative team that looked into the so-called "suicide" of Johnson just eight days before she would have reached her 20th birthday.

"We followed the trail of evidence in Private Johnson's murder case to wherever it led us," he wrote.  "Between the physical and forensic evidence in Iraq, the post-exhumation autopsy in the United States, a personal notepad kept by Private Johnson . . . and the litany of cover-up activities in Washington, all of the pieces of evidence needed to solve Lavena's murder was hiding in plain sight.

"The totality of evidence in her case supports the investigative conclusion that she was murdered . . . and the killer is former four-star general Kevin Byrnes . . ."

"WRONG TIME - WRONG PLACE"

DONALD V. WATKINSWatkins believes Johnson died because of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  It cost her her life.  She died a very hard and painful death, indeed.

The trial lawyer tells MilitaryCorruption.com he believes PFC Johnson stumbled into a situation where she inadvertently happened upon the general and a female civilian government worker having sex in a tent not far from where Lavena's battered and broken body was later found.

Watkins theorizes Byrnes, said by some to have sudden outbursts of temper, was enraged at the accidental intrusion, and struck the young soldier in the face, breaking her nose.  From there, the top general became so angered, he lost control, the lawyer feels.

EXTENSIVE DAMAGE TO JOHNSON'S BODY

GEN KEVIN P. BYRNESBoth the Army's autopsy report and a later independent probe performed by a civilian forensic pathologist show extensive injuries to Johnson's upper body, notably shattered eye sockets, the broken nose, a split lower lip, and teeth punched down her throat. 

Johnson also suffered a broken neck and a caustic substance like lye was found on her genitals (to destroy DNA evidence?)  The 19 year-old woman's body was so battered, it is ludicrous to even contend she had inflicted such heavy damage on herself.

Watkins demolishes the flimsy "official story" that PFC Johnson beat herself up and then expired from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  The false "suicide" scenario had the five foot tall, 100-pound soldier sticking the muzzle of a M-16 rifle into her mouth and pulling the trigger. And what would be the motive to commit such a drastic act?  The Army claimed she was "depressed."

DIFFERENT SERIAL NUMBER ON M-16
PLANTED AT THE DEATH SCENE 

The big problem with the concocted cover-story is Lavena couldn't reach the trigger on the 40-inch long weapon,  For those Army apologists who then claim "she must have done it with her toe," in the government's own death photos showed Lavena's prone body with boots on both feet.

Here's what Watkin's legal team discovered: "Our investigation revealed the M-16 rifle found at the scene of the murder bore serial number #7095028.  This was NOT Private Johnson's rifle!  Hers had the serial number #709069. The M-16 rifle found at the murder site was actually 'planted' there after Lavena's slaying."  Out on the street, they call that a "throw down," and it is a practice not unknown to some corrupt police officers.

Even more damaging to the "suicide" cover-story, is the fact that (according to CID documents obtained through the FOIA) the M-16 rifle found laying beside Lavena's lifeless body was devoid of any fingerprints.  In other words, it had been wiped clean.  We ask "by who, and why?"

WHERE'S THE "BLOWBACK" FROM SHOT FIRED?

First of all, for those who stubbornly want to swallow the official line and cling to the suicide claim, how do they explain the fact if Lavena shot herself in the mouth with a round from the M-16 rifle, why was the back of her head intact when her body was "discovered?"  Such a bullet fired into the mouth cannot help but leave a bloody mess. 

The Army's own x-rays show no such traumatic result, but it does reveal something else.  A bullet entered Johnson's head (upper left side - Lavena is right-handed).  How did that happen?  The victim wasn't a contortionist.  The shot had to have been fired by someone else, at close range from a 9mm handgun.  Who is more likely to carry such a handgun in 2005?  A low-ranking enlisted person, like PFC Johnson, or an officer?

"She was executed," Watkins contends.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BULLET?

The second autopsy - performed by an independent examiner in the United States - showed something else that was baffling.  A good-sized chunk of Johnson's tongue had been cut out and removed.  Why?  Could it be the slug from the 9mm handgun - fired at a downward angle from the top left-hand side of her head - lodged in the victim's tongue?  Could that be why the "evidence" that would contradict the "official story" of the M-16 being the suicide weapon had to be disposed of right away?  

A bullet wound at close range from a 9mm. handgun matches the size of the entry hole on Johnson's skull.  Certainly it wasn't the result of a rifle being fired.

Something else puts the lie to the hastily-conceived official version of events.  There was NO residue or gunpowder found on Johnson's hands.  That would be impossible, if the private had done what the CID claimed she did to kill herself.  The "inconvenient truth" is, the private didn't fire ANY weapon that day.  Someone else did.

BODY WAS MOVED

Watkins says his investigative team dug out the fact the dead soldier's body had been dragged a distance before being deposited in a contractor's tent where she was said by the CID to have undertaken her own demise.  How does the Army explain a "blood trail" leading to where Johnson's body was found?

If we adhere to the "official story," Johnson was "depressed" and used a rifle to shoot herself in the mouth, ending her life.  But only an idiot would believe that.  There would be no signs of dragging on the legs of the dead soldier and no blood "trail" would exist at all if she had simply fired a bullet into her mouth from INSIDE the tent.

What would be the reason her body would be moved in the first place, unless that location might prove to be embarrassing and difficult to explain for a certain high-ranking officer?  PFC Johnson most certainly did not fatally shoot herself in one place and crawl to another to die.

LAVENA HAD NO REASON TO KILL HERSELF

Just a day before she died, PFC Johnson made a phone call to her loving mom back in suburban St. Louis, Mo.  Linda Johnson described that conversation to a MilitaryCorruption.com reporter: "I spoke with Lavena on July 18th, and she was her usual bubbly self, telling us how much she loved and missed her family.  She was happily making plans for the future."

While the CID "truth-seekers" came up with a bizarre theory that Johnson was upset over a "love affair" gone wrong - thus the alleged "depression," - the myth-makers, while mindful such a tale usually worked with most grieving families, weren't aware of Lavena's true home life.

She was the daughter of successful parents.  Her siblings all attended college and she was raised in a close-knit, deeply religious home atmosphere.  An honor roll student popular with all her classmates at school, Lavena sang in her church choir and was a devout Christian. Such a person is less prone to "suicide" than the average 19 year-old.

"She was very close with her mom and dad" a family friend told MCC.  "Lavena would never hurt them by doing such a thing.  The fact that the Army says there was no suicide note left behind for Dr. and Mrs. Johnson, further undermines their false story. "

"COVER-UP" FROM THE VERY BEGINNING

"It was highly suspicious from the start, how the Army put up one roadblock after the other to keep us from finding out the truth as to what really happened to Lavena," Dr. Johnson said. "We were forced to seek meaningful information through the F.O.I.A. and found out the Army  had held back a color CD containing close-up photos of the body and other material related to Lavena's autopsy. 

"When I requested in writing a disc be released to me, they flat-out refused.  That got me mad," said Dr. Johnson.  "Sensing a cover-up in progress, I filed a Freedom of Information Act request.  After numerous delays, I finally got it, and what I saw made me physically ill.  It was so horrible that I kept some of it from my wife, who had already suffered so much to know that our daughter had died."

Dr. Johnson angrily recalled how he requested a meeting with Army officials in the Washington office of his congressman, William Clay (D-Missouri).  "There were six of them," Johnson said, "yet they refused to allow a retired colonel friend of mine to sit in on the discussion. It was just Linda and I against a half dozen of them. It made me wonder what they had to hide."

WHY SUCH A HUGE EFFORT TO CONCEAL THE TRUTH?   

In the seventeen years MilitaryCorruption.com has been online, we have written many times of the old axiom "DIFFERENT SPANKS FOR DIFFERENT RANKS." 

By this point in the longest story we have ever published on these pages, you dear reader, have been shown that the "suicide" story  is completely bogus.  So that leavs us with the pregnant question, who is the Pentagon protecting?

If an African-American female soldier been killed by a sergeant or junior officer, punishment and justice would likely be sure and swift.  But the scope of the cover-up is such that it tells us that a very powerful person is being protected here.  How about a four-star general?   Such a criminal case would shake the Pentagon's foundations, cause a media feeding frenzy, and do tremendous damage to the White House and Administration, then headed by George Bush. 

NO TIME TO WASTE

Does anyone think for a moment that Vice-President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had no knowledge of what happened and the severe repercussions that could occur if the truth about her murder got out?

Please note it was only a few weeks after Johnson's death, that the Pentagon announced GEN Kevin Byrnes had been fired and was being retired in disgrace for disobeying an order to end a sexual relationship with a civilian woman not his wife.  Why couldn't the Army have waited a few more months for Byrnes to take his already announced intention of retiring after 36 yrs service?  Why the rush, and since when does a four-star general get publicly fired for such a common offense?

Maybe the answer was all along, they needed to get Byrnes out of the Army and away from the spotlight and news media as soon as possible.  We shall see.

A PERSONAL MESSAGE FOR GENERAL BYRNES

Unlike attorney Donald Watkins, we are not ready to unequivocally state that you were involved in the death of PFC Lavena Johnson.  But we feel, if an officer of the court, a well-known trial lawyer of some 40 years experience like Watkins, is willing to risk his fortune and future to call you out by name, we have no choice but to report it.

In the spirit of fairness, however, we are offering you equal space on these very well-read pages to dispute any statement the Johnson family lawyer has made about you.  Surely being accused of murder should cause you to at least deny such a horrible charge.  Why not sue Mr. Watkins, and take your chances in a court of law?

We hope you will ask the Army to reopen the Lavena Johnson case and urge them to clear your name and find whoever brutally took this young woman's life.  We owe that to her loved ones and every soldier, sailor, airman and Marine who serve in our military, willing to lay down their life, if need be, for our beloved country.  Thank you, sir

AN EDITORIAL

For the better part of a decade (see Related Stories below) MilitaryCorruption.com has fearlessly covered this story, even when our friends in the mainstream media chose - for whatever reason - to look the other way.  The time for that silence to come to an end is here.

We are calling out the nation's major media - The Associated PressNew York TIMES, Washington POST and ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX NEWS, and NBC to join us in calling for a full and complete investigation into not only Johnson's death, but the 12-year long cover-up that has put her family through unimaginable suffering.

You, who are quick to cover any activity or excess by "Black Lives Matter," should devote at least a small fraction of that time to pressure the Pentagon to re-open this case and let the chips fall where they may.  Doesn't Lavena Johnson's life matter?  After all, she's Black, too.

 

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