Even in Death, Secrecy Shrouds SEAL Team 6

Navy asks for caution, saying news already 'has become a threat'
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2011 12:32 PM CDT
Even in Death, Secrecy Shrouds SEAL Team 6
A US flag is flown at half staff behind a Navy memorial statue of a homecoming in Virginia Beach , Va., Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. Navy Seal Team Six whose team members were involved in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, is based in Virginia Beach.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Little is known about the Navy's vaunted SEAL Team 6, but not much more is known about the 17 members killed in a helicopter crash last week in Afghanistan, reports the LA Times in a look at how the secretive unit even grieves under the radar. The widow of one SEAL deleted hundreds of messages of condolence left by friends on her Facebook page. And the Navy has asked other family members not to reveal any more information, saying the tiny bits of news that have been revealed already "has become a threat."

"There was a lot about him we didn't know," says the father of one SEAL. "We just trusted the fact that he loved what he did." The Navy has about 2,500 SEALs, but only 200 in SEAL Team 6, which is more properly known as the US Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU). The Navy drags its feet even on the release of the names of the SEALs who perished, but makes no bones about the scope of the devastation. "It's hard to put it in civilian terms," says a special operations officer. "It's like an entire NFL football team wiped out. It's like the department of surgery at Cornell medical school wiped out." (More Navy SEALs stories.)

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