Shifting Sand – 184

Written by: Dana Coen; Watch Now: – Sorry, not available on Amazon

Harm (H), Mac (M) and Webb (W) came back from So America in time to tell Tiner (Ti) goodbye to Officer’s Candidate School then Naval Justice School. Coates (Co) is the JAG’s, Chegwidden’s (C), new administrative assistant. Mac told H that the “earth doesn’t stop spinning just because you leave the room” and B said “that’s not what he tells me.” Mac and H visited W in the hospital, who had nerve damage. Mac got all “lovey dovey” so H walked out. Chegwidden asked Turner (T) to start giving him progress reports because “there have been calls” regarding his “inefficient council.” Then, over Ts objections, C had to shout to get him to take Hs office and “put up pictures.” Bud dogged T to apologize but T told him to “leave him alone” to work it out. Chegwidden welcomed M back but when H asked to come back too, C said he had forwarded his resignation immediately and H had no longer worked at JAG and had been a civilian for 72 hours. He told H that he was “fed up with his lack of dependability; not being a team player; and being ruled by emotions.” Mac argued but H said “he’s just finally accepted that I’m unchangeable, as YOU have.” Turner told H that C took it as a personal insult that “your respect for his authority had a ceiling.” Dept CIA Director Kershaw called H and offered him a job explaining that Catherine Gale was his sponsor. He declined “because your world is too fluid” and he “needed moral consistent environment.” Because the legal department was full, Kershaw asked him “what else do you do?” Mac overheard H telling W that he was going to be a CIA pilot from outside Ws hospital room. Webb welcomed H “to the brotherhood” and M left.

PO Allison La Porte, daughter of Rear Admiral Richard La Porte, fell out of a medevac helicopter in Kuwait and spent 12 years with the Bedouins. She was captured stealing Doxycycline, an antibiotic, from a military truck. Chegwidden sent Bud as sole investigator because there were “hardly any other senior officers.” Bud whined and C finally had to back him down. Bud found that the petty officer had lain in a ditch with a broken pelvis for three days until the Al Hadi tribe found and cared for her without anyone to translate. Gradually the son of the Sheik, Jamal Ben Fahad, took a liking to her and played backgammon with her. Over the year she fell in love with him, embraced the Muslim faith, took the name “Hiba” and married. When the Sheik turned over the reigns she became the wife of the sheik. During the “black years,” 10 years ago when Saddam undertook a wave of oppression against the Bedou, he blocked off the rivers to prevent them from getting water. Allison treated her father rudely and he told Mac to “lock her up,” it turned out that he did it so that she would be forced to stay and not go back to the dessert. He described her as trying to “save the world with love,” “apolitical,” and “guileless” after her mother had abandoned them. Bud prosecuted and Mac, back from Paraguay with Webb, defended.

Webb told M that Allison’s tribe was spying for Saddam and that her father knew it. Mac confronted Adm. La Porte for more evidence much to his consternation. She promised him that the info wouldn’t go beyond the room but accidentally gave B the file. La Porte then blew up at her and C, called her incompetent and purposefully blowing her case. When she said that it was an accident, he claimed that instead of having followed her convictions she was sloppy and stupid. Chegwidden had to back him down in order to get him to stop ranting. The witnesses were pretty strong against her but M countered them on cross examination until B called Allison’s father. He revealed that they knew the tribe had followed the troops with sophisticated listening devices. Bud made him realize for the first time that the troops were speaking English and Allison was the only one in the tribe who could speak English. He said that he had never even considered that because of her nature. Allison said that she had brokered a deal with Saddam to open a river, which he did but it had been so contaminated that it was brackish and they all got sick with Leptospirosis. Which she said “is why I needed the antibiotics” that she stole. She was bound over for court-martial on both desertion and aiding the enemy charges and the admiral told her he would “find her husband and tell him that he was looking out for you.”

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