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U.S. Navy SEALs sent home from Iraq following allegations of sexual misconduct and drinking while deployed

16 Marines arrested in human smuggling probe

A platoon of U.S. Navy SEALs was sent home from Iraq following allegations of sexual misconduct and drinking while deployed, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports. The Special Operations Joint Task Force commander who sent the SEALs home felt their loyalties were misplaced because they were covering for each other rather than cooperating with an investigation into the allegations, Defense Department sources told Martin.

The sources told Martin the SEALs consumed alcohol at a Fourth of July party. In a statement posted to Twitter Wednesday night, U.S. Special Operations Command only said the platoon was redeployed early to San Diego "due to a perceived deterioration of good order and discipline within the team during non-operational periods."

"The Commander lost confidence in the team's ability to accomplish the mission," the statement said. "Commanders have worked to mitigate the operational impact as this SEAL platoon follows a deliberate redeployment."

The statement added that "all Department of Defense personnel are expected to uphold proven standards and to comply with laws and regulations." The new allegations follow recent developments in two high-profile death investigations involving SEALs.

Earlier this month, a decorated SEAL, Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, was acquitted of premeditated murder in the death of an injured teenage ISIS fighter in Iraq in 2017 after another SEAL testified that he killed the militant. In May, Chief Petty Officer Adam Matthews pleaded guilty to hazing and assault and battery for his role in the 2017 death of Army Green Beret Logan Melgar in Mali.

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