In response to the revelation that U.S. Navy Captain Owen Honors produced a series of lewd videos while serving as the executive officer on board the U.S.S. Enterprise, the Navy has cashiered him. And swiftly at that: 48 hours after the videos went viral on the internet, Honors was relieved of duty, despite the fact that the Enterprise's departure for Afghanistan was imminent.
But that shouldn't be the end of the story. As the executive officer, Honors was merely second-in-command at the time the videos were produced. According to the Washington Post's Greg Jaffe, the scrutiny has extended to the men who served as Honors's superiors at the time of the incident:
[U.S. Fleet Forces Commander, Admiral John C.] Harvey will lead a broader investigation into whether other senior Navy officials knew about the four-year-old videos, which aired on the ship's closed-circuit television, and why they failed to take disciplinary action against Honors. The probe is likely to focus on whether Rear Adm. Lawrence Rice, who was captain of the ship in 2007, and his immediate commander, now-retired Rear Adm. Raymond A. Spicer, had seen the videos or received complaints about them.
At issue is the whole "what did Rice/Spicer know and when did they know it" thing. As Rice was the commander of the vessel, and these videos were broadcast on "the ship's closed-circuit television," the answer seems to be a pretty academic, "everything and immediately." But even if Rice somehow remained unaware of what was going on, it may not matter. From what I understand of the specific culture of command that the Navy (as well as the U.S. Coast Guard) has enshrined for itself, the commander of a vessel ultimately bears responsibility for everything that happens on board, whether he or she was standing at the watch or not. Will that remain the standard as this investigation expands? We're going to find out.
Senior military officials are trying to determine not only which navy leaders knew about the videos, but whether Honors was reprimanded at the time the videos were discovered, the Associated Press reports [WATCH]:
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