The The Wall Within was hailed by critics who — like the Washington Post's Tom Shales — gushed that the documentary was "extraordinarily powerful." There was just one problem: Almost none of it was true.
The man identified as "Steve" turned out to be one Steve Southards, and through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, Burkett obtained his military records. The truth, he found, was that "Southards was not a SEAL, nor had he taken any SEAL training.... In reality, Southards was an ‘internal communications repairman,’ assigned to rear area bases and had no combat decorations.