A Separate Peace (Part I) – 116

Written by: Stephen Zito; Watch Now: – Sorry, not available on Amazon

[The first of a two part JAG episode] While waiting for the SECNAV, Admiral Thomas Boone told Harm (H) how he had aced Rabb Sr (R) out of making the 100,000th trap on the Ticonderoga because R had to go around for a visual inspection of his tail hook thinking it not properly extended. Boone was up for taking command of the 6th fleet but the SECNAV said that there was an anonymous tip that Boon had taken part in killing civilians in Tan Dien village, Vietnam. The SECNAV asked JAG officer Sara Mackenzie (M) to investigate without any paperwork and report directly to him before the confirmation hearings.

She thought that Boone wasn’t being “forthcoming” even though H, who had requested to assist M, tried to explain. Boone had been assigned TAD to do reconnaissance in Saigon (he had lost a coin toss with R). The village was “pacified” of VC by elements of South Vietnamese Provincial Reconnaissance Unit (PRU). Boone and Lt RC Coffin landed outside Tan Dien village to stay the night. Boone had been shown a recon photo of a girl on the ground holding up the severed head of Boone’s downed-pilot friend for the plane to see 5 miles outside Tan Dien. Harm went to Webb (W) to ask for records because Ws father was CIA director in Saigon and in charge of the Phoenix program. Webb wouldn’t release the records so H went to congresswoman Latham. She did H a favor and went to W to discuss “funding” right before H stepped into the room. Webb asked H “have you no shame” but did give him information from the file.

Coffin had flown for the CIA at night but wasn’t part of the pacification effort. Harry Drax was the project director and mercilessly killed bound prisoners in interrogation. Drax had ordered the sweep of the village and went in shooting. He was shot in the back and buried in a mass grave so Ellis Burke had to file the after action report. Harm spoke with Burke who said Drax had ordered the “death squads” after the decapitation as “payback.” He said Boone had been there and reports had claimed that he entered in the fighting. There had been a quota of 2000 suspected VC kills per month.

The SECNAV was continually pushing for resolution and reading M the riot act until Chegwidden (C) had to intervene. Harm talked to Boone now that there was more information. Boone said that he remembered Coffin now as a liar and drunk. Mac traced down Coffin who claimed he was dying of Tuberculosis and wanted to “set things right.” He had landed at Tan Dien to see his “girlfriend” Tam. Boone recognized her as the girl who was holding up the head in the photo. Drax came that night and warned them that Tam was VC. He told them to get out or be in the fighting. Coffin said he went to try and find Tam then saw Boone 10 minutes later using a little kid as a human shield and shooting Tam. Boone told H that he shot Tam while she was reaching into the hut roof for a gun.

Bud (B) was back at work after the death of his baby. Mac ordered him to go home to sleep but he instead that he began working on legal aspects of the baby’s death. He told Harriet “we’ll find out what went wrong.” Chegwidden tried to get his SUV back from the impound lot but the “lot guy” told him that it “has been charged and it was up to him to prove that the Ford Expedition was innocent.” Singer (S) researched his case on her own and said they had to show that Danny used the car for drug transportation without Cs knowledge, consent or willful blindness. Chegwidden told her to go ahead. She argued the case in court and won Cs car back but the police claimed they had “lost it!” He told her to “find my car.”

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