Nebraska Senate Candidate Osborn Apologizes for Misrepresenting Military Memo
10:12 AM, Mar 26, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Nebraska Senate Candidate Shane Osborn is a former Navy Lieutenant Commander who was flying a reconnaissance mission in April of 2001 when the EP-3 aircraft he was flying was struck by a Chinese fighter plane. Osborn managed to land the plane safely, but in Chinese territory. This sparked the first of many foreign policy crises during the Bush administration. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for courage and airmanship, and the Meritorious Service Medal for leadership as a result of the episode.
Despite his medals and heroism during the episode, questions have dogged him in his political life about whether he followed military protocol when he handed over his plane and other sensitive information to the Chinese. On Sunday, the Omaha World-Herald revealed that Osborn's senate campaign was responding to criticism by distributing an unsigned memo on Navy letterhead about his conduct that was drafted by a friend in the Pentagon. The memo discussed classified directives and had not been approved for dissemination by the Navy. The memo may have been illegal and has possibly jeopardized the career of the person who authored it.
Today, the Osborn campaign apologized for the memo in a statement:
In related news, Joseph Prueher, former head of the U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. ambassador to China when Shane Osborn crash-landed in China, has come out in defense of Osborn's conduct in the Lincoln Journal Star:
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