NBC NEWS EXCLUSIVE: Jim Miklaszewski Breaks News That U.S. Navy Capt. Owen Honors Will Be Relieved Of His Command
New York, NY-- January 3, 2010 -- NBC News Pentagon Correspondent Jim Miklaszewski reports tonight that in the wake of controversial videos that recently came to light, U.S. Navy Captain Owen Honors will be temporarily relieved of his command of the aircraft carrier Enterprise as early as tomorrow, pending the Navy's formal investigation.
Below is an excerpt from the interview airing tonight on "Nightly", mandatory credit: "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams." The video will be available on nightly.msnbc.com. Bob Epstein is the executive producer of "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams." Aurelia Grayson and Jamie Kraft are the senior broadcast producers.
Miklaszewski (stand up): NBC News has learned that Capt. Owen Honors will be temporarily relieved of his command of the aircraft carrier Enterprise as early as tomorrow, pending the Navy's formal investigation into those controversial videos.
That means Honors would NOT BE in command when the ship sails off toward Afghanistan in a couple weeks.
Miklaszewski (on tape): This is what landed Capt. Honors in all this trouble -- a series of raunchy videos, laced with profanity and gay bashing, produced aboard the Enteprise four to five years ago when he was the ship's executive officer, second in command.
Honors (on tape): Well I guess we won't be showing this to the kids at home.
Miklaszewski (on tape): Not only did Honors condone the videos, he took center stage -- appearing in one edited shot as three different people.
Honors (on tape): Finally, let's get to my favorite topic, and foreign to the gay kid over there, chicks in the shower.
Miklaszewski (on tape): In flips-flops and a shower cap, Honors plays to the camera -- revealing both men, and women supposedly showering together. In another segment Honors unleashes a barrage of hard-core profanity. At one point, Honors and others engage in simulated sex acts -- unconcerned that any of his crew, men or women, may be offended.
While videos like this are not uncommon in the military -- Navy officials say THESE videos have crossed a line -- calling them "clearly inappropriate" and "not acceptable in today's Navy."
Navy investigators also want to find out how Honors was promoted to the top commander of the Enterprise, even after these videos were first discovered four years ago.
Jack Jacobs (on tape): Well his chain of command must have thought his benefits to the Navy far outweighed the stupid things he was doing.
Miklaszewski (on tape): Up until now, Captain Honors has had a stellar military career. He was known as a serious-minded aviator and commander of an F-14 squadron when he took Tom Brokaw on a combat flight over Afghanistan in 2002. And more than 1500 fellow sailors took to Facebook today to express their admiration and support for Honors.
Pete Clark (on tape): People love him, they love him. I've never heard the crew of a ship love their XO and a captain more than Opie, Honors.
Miklaszewski (on tape): But Navy officials say these videos now raise serious questions about Honors judgment and leadership.
END OF EXCERPT
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