Skip to main content

United States Navy Lieutenant Shane Osborn gestures April 14, 2001 as he describes the collision of his EP-3E aircraft with a Chinese military jet off the coast of China April 1 at a press conferece before returning home to the state of Washington from Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu, Hawaii.....SSM - RTRGZEB
Shane Osborn describes the collision of his aircraft with a Chinese military jet, after his return to the U.S. in 2001
Whoa. Nebraska's open Senate race doesn't get a lot of attention, largely because it's a safely red seat where all the action is in the Republican primary, but this is definitely one of those "read the whole thing" links, stat. Here's the extraordinary, eye-popping lede to whet your appetite:
Dogged by questions about his 2001 decision to land a crippled Navy EP-3 reconnaissance plane in China, U.S. Senate candidate Shane Osborn has distributed an official-looking Navy memo supporting his account.

The memo, written Aug. 8, 2013, on Navy letterhead, is titled "Disposition of actions by EP-3E flight crew on April 1, 2001." It explains that Osborn's plane was authorized to land on China's Hainan island "due to the extreme circumstances and condition of this aircraft."

But The World-Herald has learned that the unsigned memo was not authorized by the Navy, or vetted through normal channels, and was written as a favor to Osborn by a Navy buddy working at the Pentagon.

"We cannot confirm the authenticity of this document," said Lt. Cmdr. Katie Cerezo, a Navy spokeswoman. "We couldn't discuss a memo that we can't authenticate."

Just wow. Osborn forged a memo to cover his ass, and the Navy is dismissing it on the record? That's not something you see often, to say the least. But the story gets even more incredible. The author remains anonymous because, according to the paper, "his career could be jeopardized" if he comes forward, and his actions "could potentially lead to a criminal charge of violating orders or dereliction of duty." Here's a thought: If you have to shield your identity while helping your buddy in order to avoid prosecution, then maybe you're not really "helping" him after all.

Faking up military documents is a pretty grave sin, and entire campaigns have gotten derailed for less. Osborn is locked in a competitive Republican primary against Midland University President Ben Sasse, and while he's had small leads in recent polling, these revelations could alter that state of affairs in a hurry, particularly since Osborn's running heavily on the EP-3 incident and has even been running ads touting his deeds. But again, go and read it all for yourself—"hard to believe" doesn't even begin to describe it.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 10:35 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site