Capt. Owen Honors Says Superior Officers Were Unaware of Crude Skits

Capt. Owen Honors permanently loses command of USS Enterprise.

ByABC News
January 4, 2011, 8:02 AM

Jan. 4, 2011 — -- In a pair of newly released videos, embattled Navy Capt. Owen Honors is seen prefacing his raunchy skits by saying his superior officers were unaware of the material the sailors were about to see and "should absolutely not be held accountable in any judicial setting."

In the videos, Honors appears to acknowledge that his superiors would consider the videos objectionable. The statement also comes as experts question whether the crude skits that were shown aboard the carrier U.S.S. Enterprise could torpedo careers besides his own.

The new videos come as ABC News has learned that Honors' temporary removal as captain of the Enterprise will be made permanent because of a loss of confidence in his ability to lead. The move was made official today Admiral John C. Harvey Jr., Commander of Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Va.

Honors is being replaced as the carrier's commander by Capt. Dee Mewbourne, who most recently commanded the carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Honors opened both videos by looking directly into the camera and saying, "As usual, the captain and the admiral, they don't know anything at all about the content of the video and the movie this evening and they should absolutely not be held accountable in any judicial setting."

Honors is under investigation for a series of raunchy videos in which he appeared from 2006 to 2007. The videos included skits that aimed to provide some humor during the long deployment at sea. At the time the videos were produced, the Enterprise was operating in support of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Honors was second in command of the carrier at the time.

The investigation under way by the Navy may reveal that officers senior to Honors at the time the videos were made should be reprimanded, retired Gen. Wesley Clark said on "Good Morning America" today.

"The question that comes out of something like this is why was it permitted? He wasn't the senior officer on the ship. There were people over him on the ship who permitted it and apparently there were complaints against him and he sort of bulldozed his way through it and continued to do these things," Clark said.

Top Navy officers have relieved Honors from his duties as commander of the Enterprise.

The videos are full of gay slurs, sexual innuendo, toilet humor and profanity. They were broadcast as part of the Enterprise's weekly movie night.