In a harrowing report from the Washington Post it's revealed that the body of Sgt. La David Johnson was discovered with his hands bound and a massive head wound either from a gun shot or another kind of trauma.
Why is this an important detail?
Johnson had already been reported to be discovered apart from the other three Green Berets who were killed in the October ambush in Niger. This report provides some explanation to a mysterious detail that led to much speculation about what happened in the attack.
How do they know this is how he was found?
The Washington Post interviewed the man who says he discovered the bodies and reported them to a village chief, who then contacted the Nigerien military to collect Johnson's remains.
“The back of his head was a mess, as if they had hit him with something hard, like a hammer,” said the villager. “They took his shoes. He was wearing only socks.”
Why is this controversial?
Some have questioned the circumstances surrounding the ambush and whether the U.S. military deserves some blame for the deaths. According to the U.S. military, 50 militants attacked the team that included special forces members, and they began to run out of ammunition.
Air support arrived an hour later to disperse the militants, but it was too late to prevent the fatalities. Now it's known that Johnson might have been captured and killed a mile away from the attack.
The death of Sgt. La David Johnson became a source even more headlines when President Trump called his widow to console her, and his comments were taken as an insult. That controversy was quelled when White House chief of staff John Kelly gave a statement in defense of the president's comments and used the example of the death of his son in the military to provide context for what Trump told the widow.