Dog Robber (Part II) – 144

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

[Continued JAG episode from part 1]

Lt. Barrett was taken into custody after blowing up the surveillance plane and asked Harm (H), who was assigned TAD from JAG, to defend him. Adm Boone (the CAG) told H that “by all rights we should be giving him a medal.” Chegwidden (C) then did officially assign H the defense and H turned down Singers (S) offer to assist, in favor of asking Bud (B). She then offered to help Turner (T) who was prosecuting. While T was helping H restore his Vet – H had to remind him that “according to you, I’ve NEVER had a winnable case.” Barrett had been selected for the Naval Academy as a third generation Navy man. Boone told H that he was upset of the inequities that “would give the person giving their secret plane to the Chinese a medal; while it court-martialed the person who prevented it!” He told H of a time in Vietnam when they were ordered NOT to hit the lighthouse in Hanoi Harbor (because of it’s necessity to shipping) even though it was a site of an enemy artillery unit. When 3 US air crews had been lost, Boone said that he sent his wingman on ahead and he turned back and pumped 2,000 rounds of ammunition directly into the flack site. Boone asked if H “would have brought him up on charges.” Harm merely responded that it actually had been his own Dad that had done the deed not Boone, as he had heard the story in his father’s letter-tapes. Harm also told him that his dad had said Boone “could never hide what you were thinking or feeling… so I’d clean you out in poker.” Boone asked “have you always been this obnoxious?” H said, “yes, you just never noticed.” “The larger truth is on your side,” Boone said. “Yes,” said H, “we just have to get past the facts.”

[This is where the story breaks down. Zito seems to need to make H look woefully inadequate in order to maintain the drama] Unbelievably, Chinese General Shin-wa Chen who: had their pilot ram our EP3, hide in Manchuria, lie about being dead, incarcerate our air crew, then hold the CAG at gun point while he stripped the electronics from the plane – testified (lied) in the case! [?!!]. [and amazingly Zito had H completely ignore all of that in his defense] Later, when H told Shin-wa to “give the pilot our regards,” Chen-wa said that “Lt. Li has died” – (was killed). Boone testified about the “don’t give up the ship” tradition which were the dying words of Capt Laurence of the USS Chesapeake when he went against the HMS Shannon. Harm asked for an example where the concept was not followed and Boone mentioned the shame of the USS Pueblo incident where the ship was turned over to four North Korean gunboats without firing a shot! “For 30 years it has been tied up at a dock in N Korea and is an affront to every man and woman who served in the Navy. We should have gone in and sunk the damn thing.” He testified that since 1952 Chinese Migs have attacked seven intel planes in missions off the coast of china, killing eighteen! Barrett was found guilty but sentenced only to punitive discharge.

Mac investigated a hotline complaint of Marine Capt. Sheila Grantham that her CO Col Harry R Presser had created a hostile command influence. The call came five minutes after a videotape of her looking stupid doing her PFTs, was shown on the “military bloopers” TV show. Presser refused to follow the military guidelines on fitness standards for women which allowed women three extra minutes in their running. Grantham was not able to keep up with the men’s standards. It was the procedure of Training Chief G Sgt Smith to Videotape the training sessions “for educational purposes.” Mac discovered that incredibly Smith had undergone a “heart transplant last year” but was still on duty. He told M that he “didn’t understand weakness at all- it was my heart that gave out, not my spirit.” When M tried to talk reason with Presser he tried to intimidate her and in his arrogance shamed her into doing her re-quails while she was there at his base although she didn’t need to. He personally stood all macho and grumpy at parade rest during her PFTs. Mac did decide that the allegations were true and made recommendations that would ruin his career. Afterwards, unexpectedly, M discovered that Grantham had actually been the one who had leaked her own videotape to the media, and asked if she thought would do better out of the corps. Being very upset about it and the impact it would have on Presser, M told Chegwidden (C) about it. Chegwidden told M to charge Grantham with conduct unbecoming. Even though it would be hard to prove, someone in authority might follow the case and might still give Presser a shot at improving himself.

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