US Navy SEALs punished for information leak
Washington: Seven United States Navy SEALs have been punished for revealing secrets, senior Navy officials said on Thursday.
The seven members of the secretive Navy SEAL Team 6 disclosed classified information to the maker of a video game during work as paid consultants on `Medal of Honor: Warfighter`.
Four other SEALs are under investigation for similar alleged violations, one official said.
Each of the seven received a punitive letter of reprimand and a partial forfeiture of pay for two months.
The deputy commander of Naval Special Warfare Command, Rear Admiral Garry Bonelli, issued a statement acknowledging that non-judicial punishments had been handed out for misconduct, but he did not offer any 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," Bonelli said. He alluded to the importance of honouring nondisclosure 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”.
The two main complaints against the SEALs were that they did not seek the permission of their command to take part in the video project and that they showed the video designers some of their specially designed combat equipment unique to their unit, said a senior military official. The official was briefed about the case but was not authorised to speak publicly about it.
SEALs, including some of those involved in the bin Laden raid of May 2011, have been uncharacteristically prominent in the news this year.
(With Agency inputs)
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