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A Rare Quality on Capitol Hill

For the last ten years, Representative Walter Jones (D-NC) has been fighting to clear the names of two Marines who piloted an MV-22 Osprey that crashed during a training exercise. 

Some people have called his efforts quixotic, but others see it differently. POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian said Jones "demonstrates a rare quality on Capitol Hill—he is outraged at injustice and goes against powerful forces to help the powerless."

POGO's Dana Liebelson recently caught up with Rep. Jones and put together an article about his story. Here's an excerpt: 

In the spring of 2000, an MV-22 Osprey carrying 19 Marines crashed in the desert of Arizona during a nighttime training exercise, killing everyone on board. After the Marine Corps hastily announced that the crash was the result of human error, the news made the usual media rounds and then all but disappeared for the next decade. 

But for Representative Walter Jones (R-NC), this wasn’t the end of the story, it was only the prelude. After attending the funeral and meeting one of the Osprey pilots’ widows—who insisted that the crash was the result of faulty aircraft design, not pilot error—Jones embarked on a ten-year odyssey that continues to this day: a quest to hold the military accountable, clear the pilots’ names, and fight for the truth.  

“Anyone familiar with the accident agrees that the pilots were not at fault,” Jones told POGO in a recent interview. “After speaking with [the widow] Connie Gruber, I promised I would not let this go as long as I’m living.”

Read the piece in full here.

By: Bryan Rahija
Blog Editor, POGO

bryan rahija At the time of publication, Bryan Rahija was the blog editor for the Project On Government Oversight. In addition to those duties he also focused on open government issues.

Topics: National Security

Related Content: Osprey V-22 , Defense

Authors: Bryan Rahija

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