Mr. Clarke says a great officer is being railroaded by a media-led campaign of political correctness.
“This looks like it’s turning into a witch hunt,” he said of the investigation, which will also look at what Capt. Honor’s chain of command knew and did about the videos at the time they were made.
In one of the videos, a military lawyer working for the aircraft carrier’s battle group command appears, suggesting that senior officers were aware of their existence.
Capt. Honors begins each video with a jocular disclaimer to the effect that neither the captain of the Enterprise, nor the admiral commanding the battle group have any knowledge of the videos, and they should “not be held responsible, in any judicial setting.”
Capt. Honors “should be prosecuted,” said Mr. Jacob of SWAN, an advocacy group that, according to its website, campaigns for equal opportunity in the military and “the freedom to serve in uniform without threat of harassment, discrimination, intimidation or assault.”
Mr. Jacob said Capt. Honors “created a hostile work environment for every sailor” aboard the Enterprise, and violated several provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) — the law that governs U.S. service members.
Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice and a lecturer in military law at Yale Law School, said several provisions of the UCMJ might have been breached by the captain — including Articles 133, regarding conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, and 134, involving conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline or that discredits the service.
“It does seem to me that Capt. Honors could receive nonjudicial punishment” at a so-called “flag mast” or summary hearing, Mr. Fidell said. “It’s also possible he has violated one or another general orders concerning misuse of government property and services” by using Navy public-affairs resources to make and broadcast the videos, he added.
Cmdr. Christopher Sims, a spokesman for U.S. Fleet Forces Command, which is conducting the investigation, declined to comment, saying only, “It would be inappropriate to speculate on any possible outcomes of the investigation.”
Cmdr. Sims told The Times the investigation into the videos — ordered by the head of the command, Adm. John C. Harvey, Jr., and headed by Rear Adm. Gerald Beaman — was being conducted by personnel from the command’s legal department and from the Navy inspector general’s office.
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