This is No Game

If these allegations are true… (from the AP’s Robert Burns):

Seven members of the secretive Navy SEAL Team 6, including one involved in the mission to get Osama bin Laden, have been punished for disclosing classified information, senior Navy officials said Thursday.

Four other SEALs are under investigation for similar alleged violations, one official said.

The SEALs are alleged to have divulged classified information to the maker of a video game called “Medal of Honor: Warfighter.”

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

The deputy commander of Naval Special Warfare Command, Rear Adm. Garry Bonelli, issued a statement acknowledging that nonjudicial 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 honoring 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 video game project and the SEAL’s connection to it came to light as a result of the investigation into a book by Matt Bissonnette, a retired member of SEAL Team 6, who participated in the Osama bin Laden raid and then published a tell-all book about the raid, said military officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the probe.

I’ve never had a secret that someone wanted to pay a lot of money to listen to I guess, but really — how hard can it be to just shut up — especially if the consequences (at least possibly — not in this case) could mean prison, loss of career, etc.?

14 comments to This is No Game

  • -fritz-

    This doesn’t make it right, but if they were held to the same standards the current White House upholds, there would be no penalty!

  • Daniel Crandall

    I understand the outrage at divulging classified information. This story conflates two things not necessarily related.

    The charges, as far as this game is related were as follows: “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.”

    Equipment and not getting permission strikes me as one thing. A “tell-all book about the raid” that lead to the extermination of the vermin Osama bin Laden is something else. But that’s just me.

  • I read the book and I think I know a little bit about what’s classified and what isn’t, I didn’t read anything in the book that was classified. As for giving away secrets to game developers, I don’t think anything they might have given them was “SECRET” or above that level, the problem is probably revealing FOUO (For Official Use Only) stuff and not getting permission to do the consulting.

    They are on a witch hunt and people will be made to pay. Fortunately, or not (depending on your point of view, I guess) people in the military are held to a higher standard than politicians…at least most of us are. ALL IN baby!

    • I figure “secret” is a relative term. This sounds like something that goes on all the time until they crack down. Like i said… no one has offered me money to look at my er… equipment.

      One day they will make Dry Erase Boards of Honor and I’m “all in” baby!

      • Texacalirose

        How ’bout five bucks? Just askin’.

      • kbiel

        Secret and Top Secret are not relative terms. There are serious penalties which begins with suspension of clearance and usually proceeds to prosecution for violation of federal law and/or UCMJ (I’m guessing on that since I only know about the civilian side), if you knowingly divulge classified material. The fact that these men only received a reprimand and docked pay lead me to believe that nothing truly classified was shared. Outlaw mentions FOUO which exists but on the same level as proprietary information at a private corporation. Essentially, you can be reprimanded, fired, or sued civilly for sharing proprietary information. That is what this sounds like.

  • btw… I am taking the book on my Thanksgiving trip… is it good?

  • Texacalirose

    I saw a big, hunky, gorgeous Navy Seal who is definitely my type on Jeanine Pirro’s show yesterday who defended these guys. He said the fellers who consulted on and starred in Act of Valor gave more. So, it appears that it’s their unilateral decision to do whatever it was they did that has caused the stir.

    • Yeah, you can argue that it isn’t fair and others gave away more, but the problem is they had permission to do it.

      That’s the rub here, that the current SEALs in trouble did it without permission, and we all had to sign paperwork saying we wouldn’t do things like that.

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