The One That Got Away – 186

Written by: Thomas Moran; Watch Now: – Sorry, not available on Amazon

[An interesting JAG double story, where Harm and Mac do their own thing; but, one story’s credibility breaks down at the end.]

Force Recon Sergeant Christopher A Ambrose was with his squad in Iraq destroying some fiber optic cable when they were attacked by the Iraqi army. During the battle his life was saved from a close explosion by his ruck sack and radio. He tried to retrieve them but shells prevented him from doing so. His squad was captured by the Iraqi’s but he made it across 200 miles of desert into Syria. Two were killed during capture and the remaining three were released after the fall of Bagdad. Maj Gen Kubin pressed an article 32 hearing against Ambrose for dereliction of duty and unrealistically shortened Mac (M) and Turners (T) deadline for investigation and trial. Mac had to remind him that when he was charged with undue command influence for his aggressive pressure and investigation of his daughters death he left no stone unturned for justice; and, he should afford Ambrose the same courtesy. None of the remaining squad were pressing issues in their after action reports; however, Maj Spain “let it slip” to T that Ambrose had disagreed with Spain wanting to call on their radio beacon for an extraction because the Iraqi’s would hear it too. Then Ambrose disappeared in the sandstorm when he was calling. The squad remained at their position for 20 minutes waiting for Ambrose to return but the Iraqi’s captured them. Ambrose told M that he had gotten separated in the storm and tried to back track but ended up in the desert.

JAG officer Bud Roberts was shown worried about not being able to contact Harm. Mac said “that’s what they do in the CIA – disappear.” Turner coldly told him that “the words ‘Harm’ and ‘everything will be alright’ don’t usually go together.” Turner said that he couldn’t get comfortable in H’s old office. Mac told him that “if H’s ghost is going to haunt anyone it will be me.” Mac talked to T about his resentment of B. Turner told her that “my credibility as an attorney can’t just be turned back on… neither can my friendship with B.” Then he completely refused to even talk to M about a plea, obviously revealing his own personal revulsion for Ambrose. Mac caught Chegwidden (C) between his meetings with the caterers for his wedding to talk about Turner’s refusal. Chegwidden refused to intervene but said that “T feels he has more to prove than just winning a case and considering recent events I can’t blame him.” He advised that if the squad was protecting him it was out of loyalty “or something else.”

Mac [the defense] cross examined Spain and pressured him until he said the squad wouldn’t have died “if Ambrose had…” then she kept on pressuring until he revealed that they were staged 100 yards from the enemy when Ambrose was told to take out someone who was unknowingly walking closer. Ambrose jumped up to kill the person and found that it was a small boy herding his goats. He didn’t kill the child and the boy ran to tell the army. Mac continued to question and found that Spain routinely disregarded the rules of engagement and had made an agreement with his men for this time too. He claimed that “anyone with two eyes and a mouth was the enemy.” Amazingly T added to the charges claiming “willful disobedience and misbehavior before the enemy”! On the stand T began attacking Ambrose personally calling him a coward. Mac only objected once but T continued relentlessly [unopposed] calling him a coward and claiming that he didn’t live up to “semper fi” but only “saepe fi – sometimes faithful.” During Ts barrage Ambrose asked him if he could kill a child. Arrogantly T told the judge he wanted to answer and said that “from a distance he could but he probably wouldn’t face-to-face” but he wasn’t in Force Recon and again called him a “coward.” The judge acquitted Ambrose on the original charge but incredibly bound him over to court martial on the willful disobedience charge claiming that killing the child was a valid order. Mac told Ambrose that the government wouldn’t be able to prove the court martial charge; but, he replied “they won’t have to because he was going to plead guilty.” He said that he felt he did right but basically believed Ts ranting about how he shouldn’t have been in Force Recon. Disgusted, M went to T and said “it must be great to be above it all… I wouldn’t do it but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done… NOW THAT’S A COWARD”!

In the CIA Harm was assigned to agent Blaisdell to test a new supersonic spy plane with “Pulse Detonation Wave Engines – the Aurora” and given Purdue graduate and civilian test pilot Andy Watson as his co-pilot. During their orientation mission to test their “foliage penetrating” and “ground penetrating” radar they spiked near-insults at each other. Watson knew that H had “abandoned his navy career to undertake a personally financed, unauthorized, undercover mission in a country he didn’t speak the language.” At mach 6 (4,000 miles per hour) they were at 98,420 feet altitude when Blaisdell reclassified their mission to tactical and sent them to recon over North Korea. There were reports that two divisions (50 thousand men) had entered tunnels that had been dug toward the DMZ. They had been warned about “unstarts” of the engines and when they slowed down to use their radar both of their engines flamed out. During their fall Watson continually complained that they needed to abort and eject. He was told to just get the radar and let H fly. When they got so low that missiles were fired at them H had slowed enough to restart the engines. A missile was shown exploding on their plane – but after the commercial H reported that they had escaped. They turned around and made another pass, this time slowing down more slowly and found that the tunnels were actually full of water not men.

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