By Barbara Starr
The commander of all Navy SEALS is sharply critical of claims attributed to a man called "The Shooter," identified in a published report to have been the SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden but felt mistreated by the military when he left the service.
Esquire magazine's riveting account of the 2011 bin Laden raid in Pakistan was based on an interview with the former SEAL, who was not named but complained about losing his health care coverage when he left the Navy last year.
He was short of the full 20-year career required to receive such benefits.
"Concerning recent writing and reporting on 'The Shooter' and his alleged situation, this former SEAL made a deliberate and informed decision to leave the Navy several years short of retirement status," said Rear Admiral Sean Pybus, commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command.
By Jamie Gumbrecht
He's the man who rolled into a bedroom in Abbottabad, Pakistan, raised his gun and shot Osama bin Laden three times in the forehead.
Nearly two years later, the SEAL Team Six member is a secret celebrity with nothing to show for the deed; no job, no pension, no recognition outside a small circle of colleagues.
Journalist Phil Bronstein profiled the man in the March issue of Esquire, calling him only the Shooter - a husband, father and SEAL Team Six member who happened to pull the trigger on the notorious terrorist. It's a detailed account of how the raid unfolded, and what comes after for those involved. The headline splashed across the cover reads, "The man who killed Osama bin Laden ... is screwed."
"They spent, in the case of the shooter, 16 years doing exactly what they're trained to do, which is going out on these missions, deployment after deployment, killing people on a regular basis, " said Bronstein, executive chairman of the Center for Investigative Reporting. "They finally get to the point where they don't want to do that anymore."
By Barbara Starr
The Navy is investigating the death in Afghanistan of one of its most senior SEAL officers as an apparent suicide, a U.S. military official tells CNN.
Navy Cmdr. Job W. Price, 42, of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, died Saturday while serving as the commanding officer of SEAL Team 4, a special warfare unit based in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The official, who has direct knowledge of the event, spoke on the condition of anonymity because the death remains under full investigation by the U.S. military. FULL POST
By Qadir Sediqi
An elite U.S. special forces team rescued an American doctor who had been abducted in Afghanistan, but lost one of their own members in the mission, officials said.
Dr. Dilip Joseph was freed 11 hours after his captors released two other kidnapped staffers of his nonprofit agency, Morning Star Development, the organization said Sunday.
Hours later, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that "a U.S. service member was killed in the operation."
A U.S. official said the man who was shot dead belonged to the Navy's Special Warfare Development Group, more commonly known as SEAL Team Six. The elite unit is the same one that took part in the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, but the official didn't know if the fallen service member was involved in that operation.FULL STORY
By Chris Lawrence
The disciplining of U.S. Navy SEALs who aided a video game maker was conducted in a more public fashion than typically done in order to send a message to the SEALs community about keeping classified information secret, CNN has learned.
Seven U.S. Navy SEALs have been reprimanded for giving up classified information connected to their work so a video game could seem more realistic, according to a Navy official.
The seven were charged with the unauthorized showing of their official combat gear and dereliction of duty for disclosing classified material, according to the official, who is familiar with the investigation. The letters of reprimand will be "considered" when the SEALs go up for promotion, essentially ending any chance of advancement in the Navy.
At least one of the SEALs disciplined was part of the team that raided Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan, a defense official said Friday.
The reprimand was not conducted privately, as is usually the case. The decision was made "at the command level" to conduct the disciplinary proceedings, with most members of the command present, "to send a message to other SEALs" that revealing classified information and publicly speaking about their missions is "unacceptable." FULL POST
By Mike Mount
Seven U.S. Navy SEALs have been reprimanded for giving up classified information connected to their tradecraft so a video game could seem more realistic, according to a navy official.
The seven were charged with the unauthorized showing of their official combat gear and dereliction of duty for disclosing classified material after an investigation found the seven to have worked as paid consultants for two days with the video game company Electronic Arts, according to a U.S. Navy official familiar with the investigation.
The work, done around the late spring and early summer, was unauthorized by their commanders and against military regulations according to the Navy official.
All seven are active duty members of SEAL Team 6, considered the most elite of the Navy’s SEAL community. At least one of the team members was on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden last year, according to a Navy official.
The seven, all senior enlisted sailors, received their punishment Thursday at their base in Virginia. All seven were given a letter of reprimand and their pay taken for two months. The move essentially prevents their chances for promotion and ends their military careers.
By Larry Shaughnessy
The new book "No Easy Day" by former U.S. Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette has attracted a great deal of attention for his first hand account of the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Bissonnette chronicles the drama of the daring operation and the al Qaeda leader's final moments at his compound in Pakistan. But it also details quieter revelations, including one in which Bissonnette talks about the use by SEALS of the powerful sleep drug Ambien.
Available by prescription, Ambien is known to cause some potentially troubling side effects including sleep walking, hallucinations and amnesia, according to Dr. Thomas LoRusso, the medical director of the Northern Virginia Sleep Diagnostic Center.
According to Bissonnette's account, between the time the SEALs left the United States for the bin Laden raid in Pakistan and their return flight less than a week later, he took at least six Ambien pills, always two at a time.
By Barbara Starr
(CNN) - Deep inside the military's special operations forces there is a crisis of conscience unfolding. The publication of "No Easy Day," a former Navy SEAL's account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, is forcing many to rethink a fundamental point of military honor. How much should America's commandos talk about what they do?
It's a debate that goes beyond disclosure of classified information, which is a crime. The discussion now centers on honor, ethics and cultural values inside the ranks.
"This is a battle for the conscience of the SEALs," a recently retired senior SEAL told me.
He served for decades in operational positions in the force, and has never told me any of the details of his missions. For years he did what every SEAL has done: Go on raids, find targets and, if necessary, kill them. It's what the nation asks of them.
The question now: Is the SEAL community taking that Tom Clancy superman image and turning it into celebrity? "Was No Easy Day" indeed that last straw?
By Barbara Starr
A Pentagon official said Tuesday that a former Navy SEAL who helped kill Osama bin Laden included classified material in his new book and did not follow protocol for pre-publication review.
On the same day the much-anticipated memoir hit book shelves, CNN obtained a copy of message written by the SEALs' commander to members of his unit.
In it, Rear Adm. Sean Pybus, head of the Naval Special Warfare Command, said he was "disappointed, embarrassed and concerned" that troops are now openly speaking and writing about their secret work.
Pre-orders put the book at No. 1 on Amazon's bestseller list for two weeks.
But the Pentagon was not as as eager to see the release of "No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden."