Seven members of US Navy SEALs punished for breach of secrecy
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Seven members of US Navy SEALs punished for breach of secrecy

Washington : DC : USA | Nov 09, 2012 at 7:27 AM PST
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US Navy SEAL students in physical training

It was a serious breach of secrecy when seven members of the elite US Navy SEALs worked as paid consultants to a company that makes the video game “Medal of Honor: Warfighter.”

This scandal of the video game had come to light around the time another SEAL member Matt Bissonnette wrote a firsthand account of the Osama bin Laden raid; he used the pseudonym Mark Owen. He has now retired from service, but the Pentagon accused him of disclosing classified information in violation of nondisclosure agreements.

It seems the seven SEALs linked to the video game did not obtain any sort of permission from authorities to share sensitive information. They went to the extent of showing the video game’s designers some of their combat equipment that was specially designed for their combat unit.

It was foolish of them because they are bound by the nondisclosure agreements that SEALs sign.

As professional soldiers they should have known that their misdemeanor would not remain under wraps and would mark them out for life.

The seven SEAL members of Team 6, in the course of providing assistance, leaked sensitive information and have paid the price for their indiscretion. One of the seven was a member of the team that eliminated Osama bin Laden in May 2011 in his hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The punishment meted out is non-judicial, in the form of letters of reprimand which could become a punishment that could mean an end of one’s career in the military. However, that would depend on how the commander views the crime.

Moreover, the seven SEAL members would face financial loss because forfeit half their pay for two months.

It seems four more members who are still on active duty and who are believed to have been involved are being investigated.

The video game “Medal of Honor: Warfighter” is published by Electronic Arts, and even though it does not recreate the Bin Laden mission directly, it purports to be of realistic raids.

Details of those punished are two senior chief special operators and five chief special operators. They had worked for two days during spring and summer.

It may be recalled that the US Navy SEAL mission to capture or kill Bin Laden was a successful one, but during the attack, a stealth helicopter was lost—it was partially blown up by the SEALs after making a hard landing inside the compound of the al-Qaida leader.

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prabirghose is based in Nāshik, Maharashtra, India, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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