Navy SEALS punished for disclosing secrets

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Seven members of the secretive US Navy SEAL Team 6, including one involved in the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, have been punished for allegedly disclosing classified information, a senior defence source said yesterday.

The official said the troops received what the military calls “non-judicial” punishment on Wednesday.

They are said to have provided the information to the maker of a video game.

The official said four other SEALs were being investigated for similar alleged disclosures.

Each of the seven received a punitive letter of reprimand and a partial forfeiture of pay for two months – actions that generally hinder a military member’s career.

The deputy commander of Naval Special Warfare Command, Rear Admiral Garry Bonelli, acknowledged that non-judicial punishments had been handed out for misconduct, but did not offer further details.

“We do not tolerate deviations from the policies that govern who we are and what we do as sailors in the United States Navy,” he said. He alluded to the importance of honouring non-disclosure agreements that SEALs sign.

He said the punishments this week “send a clear message throughout our force that we are and will be held to a high standard of accountability”.