August 15, 2008

This is Bullshit. It Should Not Be Allowed To Stand

I don't often use profanity in my postings. My wife frowns upon it and my pastor may read my blog on occasion. But calling the response of the Army in the case of Pfc. Lavena Johnson bullshit is fully justified and was my first, visceral response after listening to the NPR Tell Me More interview with her father recently. For her story, you can view the featured video (top of blog right) and the NPR interview is even more powerful.

Advocacy efforts on behalf of Lavena and her family are growing in momentum and volume. A vile injustice has been done and there should be an accounting. Any reasonable person reviewing the facts will agree. So the issue is really what can we do to raise the volume on this even further? How do we make an effective demand for accountability in this case?

The Army is stonewalling the family, but they are accountable to Congress. Legislators in Congress can ask questions of the Army and of Sec. of Defense Gates, but they won't know to ask unless we tell them to. Over 3,000 people have signed on to just one of the petitions being circulated on Lavena's behalf and its not the only petition making the rounds. If every one of those 3,000 and more also contacted the legislator in their respective districts, that would be a lot of contacts to elected officials on this case. And if people kept doing that repeatedly, it would have an impact.

If this makes you angry (it should) take action. Do something. What can we do to keep putting on the pressure? I urge people to contact their own legislator in the House and the Senate by phone and email, or even a personal visit, and ask them to do the following:

  • Request Cong. Waxman call hearings (his committee has jurisdiction)
  • Contact Sec. of Defense Gates and ask him to demand accountability from the Army in this case.
  • Make a public statement of concern and outrage and a public request that this case be properly investigated.
Assess the results, then repeat. And get as many people as you can to do the same. Until they do something about it.

Because this is bullshit, and it should not be allowed to stand.

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