Remove SOFREPS's Ambush Video from YouTube
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This video has crossed the line. It is disrespectful to these men, their families, their friends, their teammates, and quite frankly, to the American people. This petition is for EVERYONE - you don't need to be military or former military to sign!!
The video in question shows the savage murder of two U.S. Special Forces soldiers, ambushed by terrorists in Niger. It shows these brave men fighting until the end, taking their last breaths before they are viciously executed by the enemy.
SOFREP (Special Operation Forces Report run by former American military, intelligence and Special Operation Forces vets) has apparently lost their mind and taken this video from ISIS, watermarked their OWN logo onto this footage, and posted it onto YouTube for the world to see. Not only are they aiding the enemy by spreading their ideology, they have turned their backs on their BROTHERS. I watched the video, not in its entirety, but I saw more than I intended to. I wasn’t expecting to see what I did. My heart hurt. It ached. And it still aches. My heart aches for the men who bravely died for us that day, for their families who have lost a brother, a son, a husband, a father. And I know that there are a lot of other true, red-blooded Americans who feel the same.
What is SOFREP's justification for reposting an ISIS propaganda video? So that the world can see the brutality of war. That they are "merely journalists and we as the general public need to be educated on what happened in Niger". That is a pitiful excuse if I have ever heard one. This is not journalism. This is a moral violation. We don't need to see a video of men perishing for our country. We don't need this kind of graphic, visual reminder of the inhumanities of war. The only people who need to be "educated" on what happened are the people who are in a position to make changes so that this doesn't happen again. Not the general public. Not these men's parents, their siblings, their wives, their kids. Basically no one but those who have the authority to change the mistakes that were originally made that day to prevent further casualties.
SOFREP justified this video by likening it to the 1943 Life Magazine picture of three Americans killed in war, lying lifeless on a beach. I am sure this was a hard picture to look at back in the 40's. It still is a hard picture to look at today. War is terrible. It is ugly. It is sad and painful. But there can be ABSOLUTELY no journalistic comparison between a grainy image from the 1940s and a GoPro helmet cam video showing the vicious deaths of American soldiers. The bodies on the beach had no identifiable markings and their faces cannot be seen. The same cannot be said for the video in question. These men have identifiable markings. Tattoos, watches, clothing, the way they walked, the way they ran, the way they bravely took position to fight the enemy. Slightly blurring out their faces, in which SOFREP did, does not remove the fact of who they are. People who knew them, who watch the video, will know who they are. Their loved ones who accidentally stumble onto this video will know who they are.
In the Life Magazine picture, we cannot see these men dying but we can only imagine how they died. We cannot see them lying on the ground, slowly taking their last shallow breaths. We cannot see their brothers frantically checking on them to see if they are dead or alive. We cannot see their bodies being blasted by high powered rifles. We cannot see their blood pooling on foreign soil on which they lay from execution shots. We cannot see them fighting until the bitter end. Journalism has changed a lot these last few decades. What may not have been acceptable years ago may now be accepted by the mainstream media and the general public as okay. However, the posting of this video is unequivocally unacceptable. This has to end today.
Shame on you SOFREP. Shame on your inability to stand behind your brothers. Shame on you for your lack of professionalism. Shame on you for disrespecting these men and their families. Shame on you for capitalizing on enemy propaganda by putting your watermark on such a video. Shame on you for using their deaths for your own agenda. Shame on you for trying to justify your decision to post such atrocities. Shame on you, period.
Out of respect to these men, their families, their teammates, their friends, the SF community, the men and women who are still in harms way and fighting for our freedoms, and anyone else who may be deeply disturbed by SOFREP's inability to make good decisions, we demand that SOFREP remove this video from YouTube immediately. Let's take a stand now and put an end to SOFREP's madness. Let's join forces and band together as true Americans to show them that this is not something that we stand for. Heck, if you feel so compelled, stop associating with SOFREP. Stop following them on social media, stop subscribing to their services, stop giving them the clicks they need to continue such senseless decisions.
To Staff Sergeant Bryan Black, Staff Sergeant Jeremiah Johnson, Staff Sergeant Dustin Wright, and Sergeant La David Johnson: May you rest in peace. Your ultimate sacrifice that day will never be forgotten. To your families: Thank you for your sacrifice as well. Without your support, brave men like these wouldn't be fighting for our freedoms. We pray that you find peace and comfort in this difficult time.
To all the men and women who have previously served, are currently serving, and who have lost their lives serving in our United States Armed Forces, thank you. Thank you for being brave and doing more than what most people could.
PLEASE DO NOT VIEW OR SHARE THIS VIDEO. IT IS DISTURBING IN NATURE.
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