Rep. Clay speaks about Pfc. LaVena Johnson at Tillman/Lynch hearing (UPDATED)

The case of Pfc. Lavena Johnson finally edged into official light today at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on Cpl. Pat Tillman and Pvt. Jessica Lynch. Representative William Lacy Clay of Missouri's First District spoke briefly about LaVena's death, the unsatisfactory investigation by Army officials, the refusal by the Army to revisit the case. To my knowledge, it is the first time that any member of any congressional body has spoken LaVena's name before the public and the wider press, and certainly the first time that her family's struggle to force a a new investigation of LaVena's death has been officially linked to the wider topic of deception by the military.

There was some question of when Congress would finally bring any sort of attention to the case of Pfc. Johnson; now we see that the search for justice for one military family just may bring light to others as well. Rep. Clay's remarks, welcome as they are, represent only the barest beginning of the kind of official attention that is required to prompt a reinvestigation of LaVena's death...but it is a beginning nonetheless.

UPDATE: Following is the text of the opening statement made by Rep. Clay:

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