JAG



Year:
1995
332 Views

Adm. Albert Jethro 'A.J.' Chegwidden:
[Seated at his desk as PO Coates enters his office] What can I do for you, Petty Officer?

P.O. Jennifer Coates:
I wanted to explain my actions...

Adm. Albert Jethro 'A.J.' Chegwidden:
No, let me explain them *for you*. You are meddling in affairs that are none of your business...

P.O. Jennifer Coates:
All I wanted was...

Adm. Albert Jethro 'A.J.' Chegwidden:
No... [standing, removes his glasses and leans forward on his desk] Petty Officer, I am not interested in what you want, I'm interested in what I need, and what I need is an administrative assistant who does her job and that job only. Is that understood?

P.O. Jennifer Coates:
Sir, I'm still defining the parameters of my duties... [the Admiral glares at her] with your input, of course, being paramount.

Adm. Albert Jethro 'A.J.' Chegwidden:
[With rising incredulity] Petty Officer, did... did you just *handle* me?

P.O. Jennifer Coates:
Of course not, sir.

Adm. Albert Jethro 'A.J.' Chegwidden:
[Suspiciously] You are not, by chance, going to law school at night, are you?

P.O. Jennifer Coates:
No, sir. Why do you ask?

Adm. Albert Jethro 'A.J.' Chegwidden:
[Stands up and replaces his glasses, sighs, and then in a grumbling tone] Starting to parse the truth like a lawyer!

P.O. Jennifer Coates:
No, sir. I am, however starting to look deeper into the truth, like a psychologist. 'The Human Mind, 101'; the course I'm taking on line.

Adm. Albert Jethro 'A.J.' Chegwidden:
[Glares at her again, then in a forced whisper] Dismissed!

P.O. Jennifer Coates:
Aye, aye, sir!

Maj. Gen. Gordon 'Biff' Cresswell:
I just got off the phone with the Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney's Office. Care to venture a guess about who we talked about?

Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts:
Me, sir?

Maj. Gen. Gordon 'Biff' Cresswell:
You, sir. He informed me the Commonwealth of Virginia is charging you with assault.

Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts:
So I've heard, sir.

Maj. Gen. Gordon 'Biff' Cresswell:
So you've heard? Were you ever going to tell me?

Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts:
I didn't want to burden you with my personal problems, General.

Maj. Gen. Gordon 'Biff' Cresswell:
A JAG officer brawling in public is not a "personal problem", Commander Roberts. When he's in uniform under my command, it's my problem. Did you know about this?

Cmdr. Sturgis Turner:
No, sir.

Maj. Gen. Gordon 'Biff' Cresswell:
Did you attack this civilian?

Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts:
Yes and no, sir. Uh, he attacked my brother with a shoe, and I was trying...

Maj. Gen. Gordon 'Biff' Cresswell:
A-a shoe?

Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts:
Yes, sir, a-a-a heavy shoe: a wing-tipped Oxford.

Maj. Gen. Gordon 'Biff' Cresswell:
Why?

Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts:
The gentleman had said some disparaging remarks about the military. My brother Mikey's a midshipman at the Academy. He took offense, heated words were exchanged, and...

Maj. Gen. Gordon 'Biff' Cresswell:
So you hit a wing-tip wielding history teacher because he insulted the Navy?

Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts:
Well, not just the Navy, sir. The Marine Corps, as well.

Maj. Gen. Gordon 'Biff' Cresswell:
Are you trying to manipulate me, Commander?

Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts:
No, sir.

Maj. Gen. Gordon 'Biff' Cresswell:
If you're convicted, your naval career is over. You know that.

Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts:
I expect to be acquitted, sir.

Maj. Gen. Gordon 'Biff' Cresswell:
[to Sturgis] You're a member of the Virginia Bar, Commander. You'll volunteer as defense counsel.

Cmdr. Sturgis Turner:
Aye aye, sir.

Maj. Gen. Gordon 'Biff' Cresswell:
Make this go away.

Cmdr. Sturgis Turner:
Do my best, sir.

Maj. Gen. Gordon 'Biff' Cresswell:
After the civilians are done with you, Commander Roberts, it'll be my turn.

Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts, Jr.:
So, the dolphin did come back?

Lt. Col. Sarah 'Mac' MacKenzie:
Apparently.

Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts, Jr.:
What's going to be the charge?

Lt. Col. Sarah 'Mac' MacKenzie:
Sturgis hasn't decided yet.

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
Hasn't decided what?

Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts, Jr.:
Oh, sir. You've got to hear this. It's ridiculous.

[off Mac's look]

Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts, Jr.:
In a serious sort of way, sir.

Lt. Col. Sarah 'Mac' MacKenzie:
I'm representing Seaman Apprentice Charles Bander. He released two Navy dolphins from a marine mammal deployment center.

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
Why?

Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts, Jr.:
They think he did it on porpoise, sir.

Lt. Col. Sarah 'Mac' MacKenzie:
He felt he owed them a debt.

Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts, Jr.:
You know, kind of a squid pro quo, sir.

Lt. Col. Sarah 'Mac' MacKenzie:
He was caught by one of the trainers in the dolphins' pen with a bucket of fish.

Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts, Jr.:
Red herring, probably. You know, trying to avoid pursuit.

Lt. Col. Sarah 'Mac' MacKenzie:
One more fish joke, and I'll have you filleted.

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
What happened to the dolphins?

Lt. Col. Sarah 'Mac' MacKenzie:
Well, they, uh, came back on their own.

Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts, Jr.:
What would you charge him with, sir?

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
Well, there's, uh, Article 96: Releasing a prisoner without authorization.

Lt. Col. Sarah 'Mac' MacKenzie:
You enjoying yourselves?

Lt. Gregory Vukovic:
[entering] Room for one more?

Lt. Col. Sarah 'Mac' MacKenzie:
Yeah, if you promise no fish jokes.

Lt. Gregory Vukovic:
Oh, not even one, just for the halibut?

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
[about Singer's cross-examination of Harriet] What the hell were you doing in there?

Lt. Loren Singer:
Discrediting the witness, sir.

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
You attack her testimony to put doubt in the members' mind, Lieutenant. You attack her, you look like a bully.

Lt. Loren Singer:
They saw she wasn't objective.

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
They saw a lawyer attacking a woman who lost her baby.

Lt. Loren Singer:
That was my point, sir.

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
You brought her to tears, Lieutenant. You made her sympathetic.

Lt. Loren Singer:
The members knew what I was doing, sir.

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
Two of the members are women who have children.

Lt. Loren Singer:
She was a strong witness, sir. I decided it was a risk worth taking.

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
Well that's not your decision to make, is it? Where'd you get this dream stuff from, anyway?

Lt. Loren Singer:
Harriet told petty officer Tiner. He told me this morning.

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
I should have been informed.

Lt. Loren Singer:
Would you have used it, sir?

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
Not the way you did. You hurt us in there, Lieutenant.

Lt. Loren Singer:
I thought it was our best shot, sir.

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
Our best shot comes this afternoon when we present our case. I'll be conducting both the direct and the cross.

Lt. Loren Singer:
Are you implying I'm a bad lawyer, sir?

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
Just inexperienced, Lieutenant, and without wisdom.

Lt. Loren Singer:
Permission to speak freely, sir.

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
Denied. That'll be all.

Lt. Cmdr. Faith Coleman:
What happened that night at Benzinger's bar?

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
I met with Lieutenant Singer. We argued. She left, I followed her outside, we argued some more in her car.

Lt. Cmdr. Faith Coleman:
And was that when you phoned your brother using your cell phone?

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
Yeah, I wanted to be there when she told him it wasn't his baby. I wanted to look into her eyes.

Lt. Cmdr. Faith Coleman:
Because you didn't believe her.

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
I rarely believed anything Lieutenant Singer said.

Lt. Cmdr. Faith Coleman:
I read your interview with Gibbs. Why didn't you tell him your story?

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
I was protecting my brother.

Lt. Cmdr. Faith Coleman:
Fine, but when they told you that the murder happened in January and not six weeks ago, you knew your brother couldn't be involved, so why not cooperate then?

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
Because by then I looked guilty. And I decided to trust Navy justice instead of Navy cops.

[Coleman sighs]

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
Look, there are enough holes in this case to raise reasonable doubt.

Lt. Cmdr. Faith Coleman:
There's also enough evidence to tie you to the murders and a string of witnesses, your colleagues, will testify to angry words between you and Lieutenant Singer right up to the time of her death.

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
Well, it could be worse, I guess.

Lt. Cmdr. Faith Coleman:
How?

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
I could not have an alibi.

Lt. Cmdr. Faith Coleman:
You have an alibi?

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
No.

SecNav Edward Sheffield:
I don't see how I can help you, gentlemen.

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
Sir, there has been a serious miscarriage of justice.

SecNav Edward Sheffield:
Allegedly.

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
Almost certainly, Mr. Secretary.

SecNav Edward Sheffield:
At this point in time, only the president has the authority to order a retrial.

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
Sir, you could suspend the remainder of Mr. Wainwright's sentence.

SecNav Edward Sheffield:
But there's another recourse. File a writ of habeas corpus on the grounds that Wainwright's constitutional rights were denied due to a Brady violation.

Cmdr. Sturgis Turner:
We considered that, sir. But it could take months for the federal district court to hear the arguments and issue a decision.

SecNav Edward Sheffield:
I suggest keeping the president out of this.

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
I'm aware that Congressman Bolton represents your home state, sir.

SecNav Edward Sheffield:
And if he's guilty of misconduct, he's going to answer for it. But we can't afford to go after him, not now.

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
Don't you mean not ever, sir?

SecNav Edward Sheffield:
Watch your tone, Commander. Congressman Bolton is a ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee. And he's spearheading the opposition to the Navy's low-frequency active sonar project. If we go after him now, it smacks of retaliation.

Cmdr. Sturgis Turner:
Politics.

SecNav Edward Sheffield:
Damn right, politics. The president's under a magnifying glass. He can't give his enemies anything to use against him. Maybe next year.

Cmdr. Harmon 'Harm' Rabb, Jr.:
Mr. Secretary, former Seaman Wainwright has spent the last twenty-two years of his life in prison for a crime he didn't commit, sir. Every day he remains there is an affront. He can't afford to wait until next year, sir.

Lt. Loren Singer:
You'll find my report quite thorough, sir.

Captain Johnson:
I'm not disputing your attention to detail, Lieutenant Singer. I just happen to disagree with your findings.

Lt. Loren Singer:
A man was killed when that arresting wire snapped, sir. Another was seriously injured.

Captain Johnson:
Are you under the impression, lieutenant, that this is the first time a tragedy like this has befallen a carrier during flight operations?

Lt. Loren Singer:
No, sir. I just want to know why it happened on *this* carrier.

Captain Johnson:
You know why.

Lt. Loren Singer:
The boatswain's mates were collecting foreign object debris. A broken piece of launching rail that should have been removed prior to the landing of the second F-18. An arresting wire that shouldn't have broken snapped while trapping a plane that should have been waved off.

Captain Johnson:
In a perfect world, Lieutenant Singer, every piece of FOD would be removed prior to the next landing. Every trap would be like clockwork, and no one but the enemy would experience casualties. But we do not live in that world. Had those boatswain's mates not acted, you'd be investigating the loss of an aircraft now and God knows how many fatalities.

Lt. Loren Singer:
I am aware of that, sir.

Captain Johnson:
You want to cut to the chase, then? Save me some reading? What is it you're after?

Lt. Loren Singer:
For one thing, I want to court martial all the personnel that had a hand in putting those men in that position in the first place.

Captain Johnson:
[waving Singer closer] You have *got* to be kidding?

Lt. Loren Singer:
I assure you, sir, I'm quite serious.

Captain Johnson:
Who exactly are we talking about here?

Lt. Loren Singer:
Your landing signal officer, sir. Your air boss, the arresting gear department chief, the LSO's assistant, the arresting gear operator petty officer, the pri-fly lens operator, the...

Captain Johnson:
[interrupting] That's enough. Thank you, lieutenant.

Lt. Loren Singer:
I gave due consideration to these recommendations, sir.

Captain Johnson:
I said that's enough.

Lt. Loren Singer:
[standing at attention] Aye, aye, sir.

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