Seven members of the Navy SEAL Team Six are being punished for leaking classified information, but the punishment isn't linked to the raid to kill Osama bin Laden at all.
No, these members of SEAL Team Six are being punished for helping produce a video game. EA released their latest offering in the Medal of Honor series, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, a few weeks ago bragging about real world missions designed by real world Navy SEALs. They had a group of retired and active SEALs help with the development of the game to try and bring a true-to-life experience of what it would be like to be a Navy SEAL.
Well, apparently things were a little too real. CBS News' David Martin reports the SEALs are being punished for using classified material given to them by the Navy during the game's development, and for violating "the unwritten code that SEALs are silent warriors who shun the spotlight." The Associated Press' Robert Burns reports the SEALs are being suspended for showing the EA developers their fancy, unique SEAL Team Six combat equipment and for not asking permission from their unit before working on the game.
You probably thought SEAL Team Six members were getting punished for writing books about the bin Laden raid. Ha! Wrong.
The punishments are pretty serious, too, from what we can gather. Each SEAL was given a letter of reprimand and docked half of two months pay. The pay doesn't seem like a big deal. The letter of reprimand is. It means the SEALs who participated with the help of the game have next to no hope of being promoted past their current rank, whatever that happens to be.
While one of the SEALs being punished did work on the bin Laden raid, it seems unlikely the raid has anything to with the punishments. The raid was not featured in the game... when it shipped. It is coming, though. The "Zero Dark Thirty" downloadable map package, promoted in conjunction with the movie, is coming in December.
Can we all agree Navy SEALs should probably stick to playing Call of Duty from now on? Black Ops 2 comes out next week. Maybe they should pick that up instead.