Family says Fort Lewis soldier was murdered (killed execution-style) - Democratic Underground: "Source: AP
Here is the latest report. Look below for an article by Col Ann Wright on a disturbing pattern of suspicious deaths among women servicce ,e,bers,, especially minority women.
TACOMA, Wash. -- The family of a Fort Lewis soldier who died in a non-combat shooting in Iraq says she was killed execution-style, with a bullet in the back of the head.
The mother of Staff Sgt. Amy Tirador of Colonie, N.Y., told The News Tribune of Tacoma it was not an accident or a suicide.
The Army says it is still investigating the Nov. 4 death at a military base in Kirkush. Tirador was an Arabic-speaking interrogator with the 209th Military Intelligence Company.
Her mother, Colleen Murphy, says she has enlisted the support of Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, to help find the person responsible for the shooting.
Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/6420ap_wa_killed_in_iraq..."
U.S. Military Is Keeping Secrets About Female Soldiers' 'Suicides'
By Col. Ann Wright, Truthdig. Posted September 10, 2008.
Our soldiers' families deserve better than that.
Since I posted on April 28 the article "Is There an Army Cover Up of the Rape and Murder of Women Soldiers," the deaths of two more U.S. Army women in Iraq and Afghanistan have been listed as suicides -- the Sept. 28, 2007, death of 30-year-old Spc. Ciara Durkin and the Feb. 22, 2008, death of 25-year-old Spc. Keisha Morgan. Both "suicides" are disputed by the families of the women.
Since April 2008, five more U.S. military women have died in Iraq -- three in noncombat-related incidents. Ninety-nine U.S., six British and one Ukrainian military women and 13 U.S. female civilians have been killed in Iraq, Kuwait and Bahrain, as well as probably hundreds of thousands of Iraqi women and girls. Of the 99 U.S. military women, 64 were in the Army active component, nine in the Army National Guard, seven in the Army Reserve, seven in the Marine Corps, nine in the Navy and three in the Air Force. According to the Department of Defense, 41 of the 99 U.S. military women who have been killed in Iraq died in "noncombat-related incidents." Of the 99 U.S. military women killed in the Iraq theater, 41 were women of color (21 African-Americans, 16 Latinas, three of Asian-Pacific descent and one Native American).
Fourteen U.S. military women, including five in the Army, one in the Army National Guard, two in the Army Reserves, three in the Air Force, two in the Navy (on ships supporting U.S. forces in Afghanistan) and one in the Marine Corps, one British military woman and six U.S. civilian women have been killed in Afghanistan. According to the Department of Defense, four U.S. military women in Afghanistan died in noncombat-related incidents, including one now classified as a suicide. Four military women of color (three African-Americans and one Latina) have been killed in Afghanistan.
The deaths of 14 U.S. military (13 Army and one Navy) women and one British military woman who served in Iraq, Kuwait or Afghanistan have been classified as suicides.
Two Army women in Iraq (Pfc. Hannah Gunterman McKinney, a victim of vehicular homicide, and Pfc. Kamisha Block, who was shot five times by a fellow soldier who then killed himself) and two Navy women in Bahrain (MASN Anamarie Camacho and MASN Genesia Gresham, both shot by a male sailor who then shot, but did not kill, himself) have died at the hands of fellow military personnel.
Several more military women have died with unexplained "noncombat" gunshot wounds (U.S. Army Sgt. Melissa Valles, July 9, 2003: gunshot to the abdomen; Marine Lance Cpl. Juana Arellano, April 8, 2006: gunshot wound to the head while in a "defensive position"). Most of the deaths of women who have died of noncombat gunshot wounds have been classified as suicides, rather than homicides.
The Army, the only military service to release annual figures on suicides, reported that 115 soldiers committed suicide in 2007. According to Army figures, 32 soldiers committed suicide in Iraq and four in Afghanistan. Of the 115 Army suicides, 93 were in the Regular Army and 22 were in the Army National Guard or Reserves. The report lists five Army women as having committed suicide in 2007. Young, white, unmarried junior enlisted troops were the most likely to commit suicide, according to the report.
From 2003 until August 2008, the deaths of 13 Army women and one Navy woman in Iraq and Afghanistan (including Kuwait and Bahrain) have been classified as suicides (numbers confirmed with various media sources):
2008 -- Spc. Keisha Morgan (Taji, Iraq)
2007 -- Spc. Ciara Durkin (Bagram, Afghanistan), Capt. (medical doctor) Roselle Hoffmaster (Kirkik, Iraq)
2006 -- Pfc. Tina Priest (Taji, Iraq), Pfc. Amy Duerkson (Taji, Iraq), Sgt. Denise Lannaman (Kuwait), Sgt. Jeannette Dunn (Taji, Iraq), Maj. Gloria Davis (Baghdad).
2005 -- Pvt. Lavena Johnson (Balad, Iraq), 1st Lt. Debra Banaszak (Kuwait), USN MA1 Jennifer Valdivia (Bahrain)
2004 -- Sgt. Gina Sparks (it is unclear where in Iraq she was injured, but she died in the Fort Polk, La., hospital)
2003 -- Spc. Alyssa Peterson (Tal Afar, Iraq), Sgt. Melissa Valles (Balad, Iraq)
The demographics of those Army women who allegedly committed suicide are as intriguing as the circumstances of their deaths:
-- Seven of the women, being between the ages of 30 and 47, were older than the norm (Davis, 47; Lannaman, 46; Dunn, 44; Banaszak, 35; Hoffmaster, 32; Sparks, 32; and Durkin, 30). (Most military suicides are in their 20s).
-- Three were officers: a major (Davis), a captain and medical doctor (Hoffmaster) and a first lieutenant (Banaszak).
-- Five were noncommissioned officers (Lannaman, Dunn, Sparks, Valles and Valdivia).
-- Five were women of color (Morgan, Davis, Johnson, Lannaman, Valles).
-- Four were from units based at Fort Hood, Texas, and were found dead at Camp Taji, Iraq (Dunn, Priest, Duerkson, and Morgan).
-- Two were found dead at Camp Taji, Iraq, 11 days apart (Priest and Duerkson).
-- Two were found dead at Balad, Iraq (Johnson and Valles).
-- Two had been raped (Priest, 11 days prior to her death; Duerksen, during basic training).
-- One other was probably raped (Johnson, the night she died).
-- Two were lesbians (Lannaman and Durkin).
-- Two of the women were allegedly involved in bribes or shakedowns of contractors (Lannaman and Davis).
-- Two had children (Davis and Banaszak).
-- Three had expressed concerns about improprieties or irregularities in their commands (Durkin's concerns were financial; Davis had given a seven-page deposition on contracting irregularities in Iraq the day before she died; Peterson was concerned about methods of interrogation of Iraqi prisoners).
-- Several had been in touch with their families within days of their deaths and had not expressed feelings of depression (Morgan, Durkin, Davis, Priest, Johnson).
- snip -
The families of slain soldiers deserve the truth about how they served and how they died. A professional military should handle each case with utmost care and concern. Tragically, in the past seven years, too many families have been faced with unanswered questions and a military bureaucracy that closes ranks against those who are trying to find answers.
I appeal to those in our military who know how these women died to come forward. Hopefully, the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Susan Davis, (202) 225-2040, will hold hearings on military suicides in the next two months and provide protection from retaliation for those willing to testify.