In a striking legal development, the Biden administration, specifically the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), is being sued by The Heritage Foundation and Mike Howell for the cancellation of the Christian film “Sound of Freedom” at a military base.
“Sound of Freedom,” a film depicting the harrowing world of sex trafficking and the heroic efforts to rescue children from this plight, was initially scheduled for two showings at the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) headquarters in 2023. However, these screenings were abruptly canceled, with SOUTHCOM leadership citing concerns over copyright and intellectual property laws.
The Heritage Foundation, a leading conservative think tank, alongside Mike Howell, has taken a firm stand against the decision. Their lawsuit alleges a lack of transparency and possible political motivations behind the cancellation. The plaintiffs argue that the American public deserves clarity on whether the decision was influenced by political concerns or other factors beyond the stated copyright issues.
Senator Marco Rubio has been vocal in this matter, urging SOUTHCOM to reschedule the screenings. In a letter from September 2023, Rubio highlighted that the film’s producers had addressed the copyright concerns, suggesting that the cancellation might have other underlying reasons.
The legal action by The Heritage Foundation and Mike Howell is more than just a dispute over a film screening. It represents a broader concern among conservatives about what they perceive as increasing censorship and suppression of Christian and conservative viewpoints under the Biden administration.
The lawsuit seeks answers and stands as a challenge to what is seen as an overreach by the government in matters of free speech and religious expression.
SOUTHCOM spokesperson, Jose Ruiz, justified the plan to screen the movie to Military Times, explaining that the film’s main focus on battling human trafficking in Latin America is closely related to the command’s jurisdiction and objectives. These include the safeguarding of human rights.
“The subject of the movie is something that’s of great concern to the command, in that it follows as part of its mission of countering transnational criminal organizations,” said Ruiz.
“Because of the way these transnational criminal organizations exploit migrants — the hopes of migrants — in ways that end up being serious violations to their human rights, and unfortunately in some cases lead to the deaths of the migrants.”
“Sound of Freedom” is based on a true story that follows the journey of a federal agent dedicated to rescuing children from child traffickers. The plot unfolds with the agent rescuing a young boy from a dangerous trafficking ring. However, he soon learns that the boy’s sister is still held captive.
The federal agent, deeply moved by the plight of these children and driven by a strong sense of justice, makes a life-altering decision. He quits his job at Homeland Security, just ten months shy of earning his pension, to focus on rescuing the missing children.
The agent’s mission leads him deep into the Colombian jungle, where he embarks on a high-risk operation to save the young girl. The movie portrays his unwavering commitment and bravery as he puts his life on the line to rescue the children and bring them to safety.