Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson’s Statement on the Niger Ambush Briefings
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson issued the following statement on the Pentagon’s investigative report on the Niger ambush:
“In the past two weeks I have attended two briefings on the Niger ambush that left dead four American soldiers, one of whom was my constituent, Sgt. La David Johnson.
“My hope was that we would finally learn how Sgt. Johnson was separated from his unit, how he ended up nearly a mile away, and why it took so long to locate and recover him. His family and I also had hoped to view video footage of the ambush taken by the drone that Gen. Joseph Dunford spoke of during a press conference last October. While painful to watch, it could have answered these questions and given the family some of the closure they so desperately need. After being asked whether we wanted to see the video, however, we were told that it does not exist.
“I also question the wisdom of allowing the Africa Command’s chief of staff to lead the investigation instead of enlisting an independent team, which as General Thomas Waldhauser acknowledged during today’s Pentagon briefing, doesn’t look good.
“So, nearly eight months after Sgt. Johnson and his fellow soldiers were killed, the Johnson family and I still have as many questions as we did when we first learned of this tragic loss of life. And while I am still thinking about next steps, of this I am certain: We will not rest until our questions have been satisfactorily answered.
“The Miami community is enormously proud of Sgt. Johnson and deeply appreciative of the way he so honorably served our nation. We are saddened that he made the ultimate sacrifice, but Sgt. Johnson is and always will be our hero.”