Biden Admin Sued For Canceling ‘Sound Of Freedom’ Screenings

By Robert Cunningham, updated on December 25, 2023

In an unprecedented legal challenge, the Biden administration faces a new lawsuit.

The Heritage Foundation's Oversight Project has initiated legal action against the Biden administration and the Department of Defense over canceled film screenings.

The conservative think-tank's lawsuit on Thursday aims to highlight the reasons behind the Department of Defense's decision to cancel scheduled screenings of "Sound of Freedom." The film, which has been both commercially successful and controversial, portrays the harrowing world of sex trafficking and the efforts to combat it. It's a story that the Heritage Foundation argues is of particular relevance to the operations of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in regions where human trafficking is a significant concern.

Lawsuit Seeks Clarity on Film Cancellation

The abrupt cancellation of "Sound of Freedom" screenings by SOUTHCOM earlier this year took many by surprise, given the movie's subject matter aligns with the command's operational interests. The Heritage Foundation's lawsuit contends that there is a public interest in understanding the rationale behind the cancellation, especially since no explanation was provided. This action follows a refusal by the DOD to comply with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the same documents, indicating a potential lack of transparency.

The lawsuit states:

"As SOUTHCOM routinely works with partners in Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean, it has a vested interest in ensuring that its personnel are well aware of issues surrounding human trafficking in the region."

It also highlights the film's unexpected commercial triumph, with "Sound of Freedom" grossing over $182 million domestically, surpassing other major summer releases. This success suggests that the film has resonated with audiences, and canceling the screenings by a relevant government body is even more puzzling. The movie’s theme is particularly pertinent to SOUTHCOM's jurisdiction, which includes areas heavily affected by human trafficking.

The Political and Social Landscape Surrounding the Movie

The movie's portrayal of human trafficking and its success has stirred conversations on both political and social fronts. "Sound of Freedom" has been described by some journalists as “QAnon-embraced” and “Christian-faith-based,” indicative of the broader cultural and ideological debates it has sparked. Its commercial performance also points to a significant audience interest in themes often sidelined in mainstream cinema.

Former President Donald Trump's response to the film further politicizes the issue. His commitment to making human trafficking a capital offense during a special screening of the movie underscores the political weight the subject carries. This response and the film’s success showcase the movie's impact on the national conversation surrounding human trafficking.

The Heritage Foundation's Legal Pursuit for Answers

The Heritage Foundation's legal pursuit represents the broader government transparency and accountability context. It challenges the Biden administration and the DOD, pressing them to disclose the reasons behind their decision to cancel the screenings. Such information could provide insights into the government's stance on human trafficking issues and freedom of speech.

The lawsuit mentions the interest of SOUTHCOM in human trafficking issues, given its operational focus in regions plagued by this heinous crime. The Foundation argues that the screenings would have been an educational opportunity for personnel to better understand the challenges they face in their work. The legal action also raises questions about the role of the media in shaping the narrative around the film, following inquiries by journalists that preceded the cancellation.

Conclusion

  • The lawsuit filed by the Heritage Foundation's Oversight Project poses significant questions about transparency within the Biden administration and the Department of Defense. This story encapsulates several crucial points:
  • The Heritage Foundation's Oversight Project has sued the Biden administration and the Department of Defense over canceled screenings of the movie "Sound of Freedom."
  • The film, which has been commercially successful and controversial, deals with themes of human trafficking, an issue relevant to the operations of the U.S. Southern Command.
  • The lawsuit follows a refusal by the DOD to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request, suggesting a potential lack of transparency.
  • The movie's portrayal and its political response highlight the ongoing debate surrounding its themes.

About Robert Cunningham

With years of experience at the forefront of political commentary, Robert Cunningham brings a blend of sharp wit and deep insight to his analysis of American principles at the Capitalism Institute.

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