Murder or Suicide? On a military base in Iraq, PFC LaVena Lynn Johnson is found dead, shot in the head. The Army rules it a suicide, however information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, brings the Army's findings into question. Since the United States launched the Second Gulf War, over ninety-four women in the Military have died in Afghanistan or during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Of these deaths, some twenty occurred under extreme suspicious circumstances. The Department of Defense has characterized these deaths as 'non-combat' related injuries and as in LaVena's case, ruled six of them as suicides. 'The Silent Truth' follows the Johnson's search for truth and justice for their daughter.
"The Silent Truth" is a heart-breaking yet tough minded exploration of the US military's treatment of female soldiers — particularly the sexual harassment and violence perpetrated on these brave, vulnerable women. This film tells the story of Lavena Johnson, a young black woman serving in Iraq. It chronicles her father's struggle to expose the truth about Lavena's rape and murder on an army base in Irag. There is clear evidence of cover-up by the army, and the film portrays the difficulty of piercing the code of silence imposed by the army's impenetrable chain-of-command. The film plays like a mystery story, one in which the solution to the crime seems clear, and yet the ultimate truth continues to remain shrouded in silence.