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SEAL Those Lips

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Electronic Arts

Game-maker Electronic Arts paid seven SEALs as consultants on its recently-released “Medal of Honor Warfighter” game.

The Navy has issued career-ending letters of reprimand to seven members of SEAL Team 6 – including one involved in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden last year – for showing some of their secret gear to a video-game manufacturer.

It’s about time the Navy tried to restore some discipline to the SEALs’ ranks.

You think the Army’s Delta Force — and other units you don’t even know about — appreciate what the SEALs have been broadcasting recently? The Navy special-warfare community has let too much information leak from the SEALs, including Matt Bissonnette’s recent book, No Easy Day, about the bin Laden raid.

Why should other U.S. military special operators keep their mouths shut if the only thing that accrues to the once-secret SEALs for blabbing are best-selling books and cash to spill the beans on some of how they do what they do? A retired Navy officer says that there’s concern that all the hub-bub ab0ut the SEALs is “diluting their brand.”

Rear Admiral Gary Bonelli, deputy commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command, put it like this in a statement:

We do not tolerate deviations from the policies that govern who we are and what we do as sailors. The non-judicial punishment decisions made today send a clear message throughout our force that we are and will be held to a high standard of accountability.

Game-maker Electronic Arts paid seven SEALs as consultants on its recently-released “Medal of Honor Warfighter” game. CBS first reported the punishment, which also included a 50% cut in pay for two months.

The Navy had to do something, judging from the promotional material EA issued to promote the game:

Written by active U.S. Tier 1 Operators while deployed overseas and inspired by real world threats, Medal of Honor Warfighter™ delivers an aggressive, gritty, and authentic experience that puts gamers in the boots of today’s most precise and disciplined warrior.

You’d think SEALs would be the first to acknowledge the difference between what they do and a game.

8 comments
BobSheepleherder
BobSheepleherder

The military uses similar "games" to train with. It stands to reason that their opponents would do the same. You'd think the pros would think twice before handing their opponents material that would allow them to gain, even the slightest, advantage against them. I don't get it.

Whatnow05
Whatnow05

That's actually not the same in that photo... Thats an operation flash point shot.

Super nerdy I know, but just saying...

ChloeSmith
ChloeSmith like.author.displayName 1 Like

One would think that "Seal those lips" would be referring to our current military leadership here. After all - it WAS our Vice President who told the world SEAL Team 6 was the group who carried out the UBL raid. Then we have Kathryn Bigelow, Hollywood producer invited to CIA headquarters and given unlimited access to UBL raid information- including introduction to SEALS on the raid. Then there's civilian author, Mark Bowden who was photographed sitting in the Oval Office interviewing Obama for his book, "The Finish; The killing of Osama Bin Laden." Admiral McCraven, a former SEAL himself, currently has a book on the shelves titled, "Special Ops; Studies in Special Warfare." Numerous military leaders consult on a regular basis in the civilian world. Both the history and military channels frequently air shows about our special forces and their tactics... hmmm.... now we reprimand 7 American HEROES for consulting on a video game? The hypocrisy here is PATHETIC!!  

smj95
smj95

@ChloeSmith  Well said, Maybe some folks can chew on this comment a little and let it sink in...!

Also, the Act of Valor movie used real life Seals it was said to help for recruiting purposes.  Who's watching who's back anyway.  You're telling me they didn't give away anything.  What did the actors get for participating.  It's a double standard.  Thanks for posting!  

I honestly like them writing books like "The Heart and the Fist" or American Sniper it helps clear up the fog after listening to all the convoluted stories the press puts out there.  You get the facts from the real world operators who were there.  They confirm all of the unfounded media bias.  They have no recourse when these guys that are making the history tell it!  It's the only surefire avenue to the truth.  

GaryMcCray
GaryMcCray like.author.displayName 1 Like

Some times it is a very fine line between what is OK and what is not and the decision is often made after the fact.

Recently there was the movie "Act of Valor" that portrayed active duty seals in very seal like operations with lots of methods and techniques the public hadn't seen before. No censure there.

The public is very interested in this stuff, wants to see it and if it doesn't truly compromise actual operations, in the United States has every right to know about it. Video games represent the same thing, they are just a different media.

If the military is censuring these people for disclosing actual information that is damaging to ongoing operations, that is as it should be, but there is clearly a double standard here and what needs to happen is that if there is a possibility of dispute that needs to be settled up front.

The military does not have the right to simply blanket forbid there soldiers from interacting with the public, they do have a right to prohibit actually sensitive information from being leaked.

There needs to be a fair and clean way of determination prior to disclosure that both the command and the soldiers can fairly live with.

That is not what we have here.

GaryMcCray
GaryMcCray like.author.displayName 1 Like

The most popular (and highest income producing) video games are about modern warfare and the video game producers strive very hard to produce the most realistic experience they can. So to simply dismiss them as "a game" as if they have no right to realism is naive at best and to imply criminality on the part of the seals involved because they contributed to a video game is nonsense.

At one point the Army was actually producing a very realistic very modern team based video game to aid in recruitment.

From what you have said a court marshal was not convened and charges have not been officially filed, indicating the Navy is simply using it as an example telling it's soldiers to keep their mouths shut rather than indicating they have actually broken military law. Maybe they did, but who knows, in the military authority is often used to suppress what you don't like, not only for actual infractions.

I am sure this will have a chilling effect on soldiers getting involved with the entertainment industry and on disclosing information in general.

Whether this actually has a net beneficial effect on either the public or the military is not nearly so clear.

Unnecessary secrecy is always abused.

ihavetwitan
ihavetwitan

What were these Seals thinking? For their own safety, because they have been involved in such delicate operations, they should be very discrete.

flash6100
flash6100

We'll,if what those seals did in consulting Ea games and allowing them to know about some of their gear,then I got to ask how did this story get out and once again what's the player hating about in their chain of command?

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