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November 10, 2012

Navy SEALs punished for secrets breach, sources say

WASHINGTON — 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 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 authorized to speak publicly about it.

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