Bro Drew Murray is way too cool to write his own work. Image courtesy of Drew Murray/IMDB

At the moment, the American media is enjoying an unprecedented level of unpopularity with terms such as fake news, liberal agenda, and biased media thrown around almost reflexively.  Of course, none of this is new and the media has long been in need of some internal soul-searching.  It’s sad that this did not even begin to happen until after the election of President Trump.  Finally, some journalists and news networks are having internal conversations about making their coverage more fact-based.

At SOFREP, we’re a part of the media as well, but certainly not among the established legacy media networks.  We’re extremely proud to be a successful and independent news organization that does not play lapdog to the Department of Defense the way the Pentagon press pool does. We’re not kept journalists like many at the New York Times who become de facto CIA puppets. The mainstream media is desperate for access. We create our own. We’re also very proud to publish original works that rely on our own research, interviews, and sources.

 

However, the bro-culture website “The Chive” just outright lifted our work.  I was shocked to read an article published by Drew Murray in which copied and pasted entire paragraphs from my article about the CIA’s Omega teams and presented them as his own work.  The article was written as a paid advertisement for the new NBC television show called “The Brave.”  Of course, I am sure that NBC and their ad agency were completely unaware of the plagiarism issue as they usually don’t have that type of visibility on the nuances.

I called out Murray publicly and asked him to explain himself.  His reply was to change his name on the byline of the article to include just his first name, then reword the plagiarized parts of the article, making some cosmetic changes.   He still did not reply to me.  Finally, I sent an email to the CEO of The Chive, John Resig, explaining the situation.  A few days later, Murray replied.

This is why Americans dis-trust the media.  The military doesn’t have Omega teams Drew, the CIA does.  Murray should have stayed inside his juvenile bro-culture and not stepped into my lane in the first place.  If he decided to anyway, he could have at least understood that hitting control-C followed by control-V does not mean that he did his research.  Only after I contacted the CEO did he even bother to respond with this.  If I had pulled a stunt like this when I attended Columbia University it would have been seen for what it is, plagiarism; and I would have been kicked out of the school for it.

Here are some skin-crawling examples of plagiarism in a side-by-side comparison between my original article about Omega teams and The Chive article written by Murray:

The Chive, Sept 13 2017:

“The military holds Title 10 authorities related to war time deployments, and the CIA holds Title 50 authorities which allow for covert operations.  Combining the two authorities by “sheep dipping” active duty military personnel allows for the best of both worlds. The U.S. is able to disguise operatives with different identities, placing them within legitimate organizations so they can infiltrate, extract, eliminate, and get out when necessary.

SOFREP, June 7th 2015:

“The military holds Title 10 authorities related to war-time deployments while the CIA holds Title 50 authorities which allow for covert operations.  Combining the two authorities by “sheep dipping” active duty military personnel allows for the best of both worlds.  Granted, it exploits a legal loophole and circumvents the intent of the law but this gray area is something that politicians, the military, and the CIA are all rather comfortable with.”
 
The Chive, Sept 13 2017:

“Conducting many of these operations is something that the CIA and JSOC can do independently of one another, but rather than having two bureaucracies competing for the same missions, it is much more sensible and successful to work in a joint environment.”
“Capturing and killing High Value Targets, conducting vehicle interdictions, and intelligence gathering is something that the CIA and JSOC can do independently of one another, but rather than having these two bureaucracies competing for the same missions, it is much more profitable to work in a joint environment.”
The Chive, Sept 13 2017
“The origins of the program go back to the 1980’s proxy wars in Central America between the Soviet Union and the United States. The CIA had lost some of their capabilities due to the Church Committee hearings amongst other disclosures and America was reluctant to deploy military forces in mass after the Vietnam War, so creative solutions had to be found in order to prevent communist regimes from sprouting up in America’s back yard. The answer was to take active duty Special Forces soldiers and place them in the financial roles of the Central Intelligence Agency, deploying them as national para-military contractors.

While the White House had limited the number of actual soldiers who were allowed to deploy to Honduras, this did not apply to “CIA personnel.” This also provided the White House with plausible deniability, allowing the President to go on television and say that we did not have troops in non-permissive environments.”

“In the 1980’s the ugly little proxy wars in Central America between the Soviet Union and the United States were in full swing.  With the CIA having lost some of their toys due to the Church Committee hearings amongst other disclosures and America reluctant to deploy military forces en mass after the Vietnam War, creative solutions had to be found in order to prevent communist regimes from sprouting up in America’s back yard.  The answer was the take active duty Special Forces soldiers and place them on the financial rolls of the Central Intelligence Agency, deploying them as notional para-military contractors.”
According to Murray, the above does not constitute plagiarism.  What alternate bro-universe this guy lives in we can only imagine.  What was most amazing is not that he stole our work, which we have come to expect, but that he then justified it and changed his name on the byline to put distance between it and himself.  This is basically the Homer Simpson test-taking strategy of hiding under a pile of coats during the exam and hoping that everything magically works itself out.  The article itself has been taken down, but The Chive has not adequately addressed the issue.
Meanwhile, we’ll keep doing what we do best, bringing our readers original work about Special Operations history and ongoing operations from the Philippines, to Syria, to Niger, to Korea.  Murray can keep doing whatever the hell it is he thinks he’s doing, as long as he stays off my radar.
Lead image courtesy of Drew Murray/IMDB

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