Sources within the Special Operations community have described a situation to SOFREP in which SEAL Team Six operators are routinely high on drugs while conducting highly dangerous direct action missions while deployed abroad.  Operators are known to abuse methamphetamine and other uppers on a regular basis during combat operations.  The use of cocaine and methamphetamine is also quite common while re-deployed back to the United States.  The question remains as to how elite Special Operators who must hold a Top Secret security clearance are allowed to not only remain on the SEAL Teams, but also to retain their security clearance.

That they are not stripped of their clearance would imply that they are not being tested for drugs, or if they are, that the results are covered up.  By some accounts, the legal counsel out at Dam Neck has a full-time job ensuring that SEAL Team Six operators retain their clearance and are not kicked off the teams.  “The drug use, it’s growing,” a Navy SEAL told CBS News.  “People that we know of, that we hear about have tested positive for cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, ecstasy.”  Whether or not the SEALs who spoke to CBS are SEAL Team Six operators or served on one of the other SEAL teams is not known as they spoke to the press on the condition of anonymity.  Considering the peer ostracization and command reprisals they would face for exposing the drug problem on the SEAL teams, it is understandable why they wanted their identities concealed.

“You stand up for what’s right, and you get blackballed, or driven out,” a SEAL told CBS.  Another confirmed saying, “It’s a career killer.”

What is worse than drug use is the criminal culture that has come to dominate Naval Special Warfare’s most elite unit, a culture that not only tolerates drug use but also money laundering, unethical behavior, corruption, and war crimes.  It is a conspiracy of silence in which unit members all have dirt on one another, locking them together in a mafia-like organization in which no one dares to snitch.

Image courtesy of DOD, photo by MSG Timothy Lawn

The expose on drug use in the SEAL teams was followed up today by a written statement that the three SEALs who participated in the CBS news piece prepared themselves, in their own words.  They detail their anger over a promotional video series for the Medal of Honor video game that active duty SEAL Team Six operators participated in, videos in which they discussed secret tactics, techniques, and procedures.  SOFREP has met several retired Delta operators who were also consultants to the MOH video game in question.  When they heard about the video advertisement being made that disclosed tactics the two former Delta operators walked out the door that day, never to return.  The SEAL whistleblowers also point out movies like Act of Valor and Zero Dark Thirty writing, “the highest level of the chain of command have authorized this, even using active duty SEALs and Navy assets. This is shameful and they should be driven from the ranks without benefit of pay.”  Sure enough Act of Valor was a Navy produced recruiting film and Zero Dark Thirty saw the CIA collaborating with Hollywood, not willingly but under orders from the Obama administration.

The SEALs also write that the fame and attention of the teams has, “also attracted scores or millionaires searching for access to SEALs that they can buy time with, creating a literal breed of ‘SEAL pets’ used and exploited by business and the rush for status and credibility. I have heard countless outrageous stories from wealthy men claiming to know the facts about classified missions, tactics, official DoD policies that are absolutely inappropriate for public consumption, not to mention a bit more than far-fetched.”  This is an interesting sub-text as well, one that this author has experienced.  Affluent individuals have out of the blue bragged that they know such and such SEAL Team Six operator or officer.  Some have even told outrageous stories about SEALs involved in “CIA black ops.”  These stories are invented out of whole clothe by the person telling them or by SEALs exaggerating their backgrounds.

Most importantly, the SEAL whistleblowers point out how their command turned into a mafia like organization writing:

What I started seeing, was that when certain guys did something that would have been grounds for separation, there were a handful in leadership positions that saw these guys as easy prey. If the leadership could get the charges dismissed, they had at their disposal someone who owed them and their career, and in exchange, these “Problem Children” would be willing to do anything for them. In this way, they were able to recruit cronies, people who would not question when leaders were taking kick-backs or making decisions based on publicity and notoriety and personal agendas.

This is the very heart of the problem, everything else is just a symptom of the disease.  The SEALs go on to describe how once corrupt commanders had separated the compromised individuals from the straight shooters, they now had a little organization of sycophants who also saw opportunities for corruption, and began giving out sweetheart military contracts to friends who were fellow SEALs.  These unethical deals resulted in the SEAL teams getting sub-standard equipment and training.  “It was becoming something like the show Sons of Anarchy—like a biker gang within the teams,” one SEAL described.

Image courtesy of DOD, photo by MSG Timothy Lawn

The whistleblowers also describe what a joke NCIS investigations have become.  SEAL Team Six operators who are called in and interrogated by NCIS simply sit in their chair and say nothing to investigators according to SOFREP’s sources.  The investigators have no legal manner to compel them to talk and the operators would see it as “snitching.”  Because everyone has dirt on each other in the unit, snitching is mutually assured destruction anyway.  Years ago, SOFREP’s CEO reported improper behavior to Department of Defense.  The only result was DoD stalking his neighbors and scaring them.  They also leaked his personal information to the press.

The three Navy SEALs who have spoken up deserve a lot of credit for choosing the hard right over the easy wrong.  They literally have nothing to gain and everything to lose by speaking out.  Those who have tried to blow the whistle in the past have been silenced, intimidated, and threatened.  With report after report describing corruption, drug use, unethical behavior, and war crimes emerging, one has to wonder just how much worse it has to get before Naval Special Warfare realizes that they cannot cover these issues up any longer.  In some ways, it is reminiscent of how the military has handled sexual assault to include the recent Marines United scandal.

The military thinks they can just ignore the problem and it will go away.  Instead, it just gets worse and worse.

Lead image courtesy of DOD, photo by MSG Timothy Lawn