People vs. SecNav – 196

Written by: Larry Moskowitz; Watch Now: – Sorry, not available on Amazon

[This would be classified as a pretty far-fetched JAG episode if it just wasn’t that the depiction of the Frenchman was too close to be funny. He is just the type who would make secret arms deals with the Iraqi tyrant; then, try to mask his vested interest behind a feigned moral principle, at the US’s expense.]

A Platoon of the 1st marine division was pinned down by cross fire coming from a Tikifa hospital. They called for air support but there were secondary explosions and several civilian buildings were destroyed. The Athens bar association filed a complaint with the international criminal court charging the US president, Secretary of Defense, SECNAV and others with war crimes – calling it the “Iraqi incursion.” Even though the JAG, Chegwidden (C), said it was meaningless because the US didn’t recognize the court, the SECNAV said the Clinton administration was shifting policy and he had chosen, himself, to go to the Hague and answer the charges in order to “improve the US image” with the rest of the world. Thirty two civilians were killed (18 patients in the hospital) so Mac (M) said “if we lose we will be branded an outlaw nation by the entire civilized world.” Afterwards, Harm (H) teased her for being “too dramatic.” Mac, H and Bud (B) were summoned to the white house where Marcia Wheatstone, an advisor, said she disagreed with the decision; but, had set up meetings for them with Justice, Defense and State.

A soldier told H that Iraqis were overwhelmingly surrendering everywhere, making it impossible to do anything but take their weapons and send them home. Tikifa was on the road to Baghdad and had to be secured. Another, told M that that they couldn’t wait for reinforcements, because the crossfire made it impossible to evacuate their wounded. Lieutenant Morris said that they had sent in corpsmen, to assist wounded civilians, but they were being shot. “We were the liberators, Saddam is the criminal,” he told H, and said he would go to testify, even though he wouldn’t have immunity. At the airport, chief inspector Doosman had a warrant, and arrested the SECNAV for a “perp walk.” Immediately, H objected to the “glass booth,” as visually prejudicial, so the SECNAV was allowed to sit with his defense team. A flamboyant, weenie, Frenchman with an “inspector Cleuseau” accent and an imperious attitude (weenie) read the “sharges,” and the SECNAV plead “not guilty.” The weenie first called a Dr. Aziz who said they had moved some patients to the lower level and the Iraqi soldiers were trying to “protect them from the American and British aggressors.” Harm got him to reluctantly acknowledge that Iraqi’s had stored munitions in the hospital long before the American’s came, and that he had “protested” both that and the occupation of the building.

Then the weenie called Mrs. Bahnam, a distraught mother, whose 6-year-old, crying son had been killed in a second explosion. Harm got her to admit that her husband, a teacher, had been taken to prison by Saddam’s men six years ago and was now “missing.” “Saddam,” she said, “will get a trial but my husband didn’t.” Later M told H that “Webb sends his love,” and H replied “that’s a scary thought.” He despaired to M that “it could have been me dropping the bomb, and Bahnam doesn’t see any difference between me and a murderous dictator!” The weenie even called the secretary-general of the UN who incredibly called the US action in Iraq “unsanctioned by the UN and therefore illegal.” H got him to reluctantly admit that the UN allowed “military action for purposes of self-defense.” The secretary quoted the biblical passage about the lamb and lion lying down together and H responded “well before the ‘lamb’ rules against eating ‘me,’ he better get the wolf to agree.” Lt Morris told that they were pinned down, had wounded, receiving fire from two locations including the hospital and were scrupulously avoiding hospital and civilian targets. “If Iraqi’s hadn’t used the hospital as a bunker it would still be standing today,” he said. The Weenie pompously challenged “what gave you the right to be on Iraqi soil in the first place?” Morris said “first, my orders; but, then I saw the mass graves, spoke to a father forced to watch his little boy’s arms cut off, a woman repeatedly raped and tortured. I didn’t have the right to be there — I had an obligation!” During a break, a man came from the audience with a knife and tried to stab the SECNAV in the back; but Morris got in the way and took the blow.

Coates (Co) was bitten on the leg by little AJ who was hiding under her desk. Harriet (Ht) complained that the school was out, her baby sitter was sick, she had a deadline on paperwork and AJ was “acting out, because of the new school and new baby.” AJ broke into C’s office and the admiral offered him a cookie. AJ asked “what is acting out,” and C told him “when something is bothering you and you don’t say what, but instead do things you shouldn’t.” AJ told C that “mom and dad are always with the baby and I’m always with the babysitter.” Mikey (Mk) was babysitting AJ at an arcade and AJ didn’t want to leave. He begged for “one more” and when Mk turned to get another token to give in to him, he ran away. Of course Ht came to the arcade flailing and blaming Mk. Bud left their case in the Hague and returned, only to flail at him as well, blaming and abusive. Bud spouted that “You’re worthless, you’ve always been worthless, you’ll always be worthless.” Mikey just walked out. He went back to the arcade and saw a boy with AJ’s coat and “frog pet” that he had given him. The boy ran to his father, in a transient shelter, who told Mk that AJ had given them as presents and had told them that he “didn’t have a family.” AJ appeared as if nothing had happened and called Albert and Bobby his friends because “he doesn’t have to go to work and take care of some dumb baby.” Alfred didn’t want any dealings with the police so had avoided their searches. Bud tried to tell Mk “he didn’t mean it” and he “would make a fine officer.” Mk said “yea, I know, but you don’t.” He said B would always see him as “a kid brother, dumb and worthless — you and dad.” He said he was tired of it so next time they needed a babysitter, chauffeur or stooge to call someone else. “And,” he said, “it’s Mike not Mikey” as he walked out.

The weenie, who apparently was only providing security for the prosecution side of things, offered to drop charges if SECNAV plead guilty and made reparations. He called the US an “arrogant bully”; but SECNAV countered with “arrogant, that’s a French word isn’t it? After all these years of being friends and allies, you still don’t have any idea who we are!”<
The pompous-faced weenie taunted: “well tell us, just who you are.” (The scene cut to the next day in court.)
SECNAV: “Since it’s founding, America has been the symbol of hope for the world, and remains so today. We accept our responsibility, which all civilized nations should, to fight against aggression and tyranny. We don’t fight for land, oil, money or to impose our will — we take up arms against violent men who threaten our freedom and the freedom of others.”
Weenie: Did the world ask you to be its savior?
SECNAV: In 1917, 1941 and throughout the 40 years of cold war, the world asked us for help… and we gave it! Now that the war on terrorism has begun, we can’t wait to be asked. We must do what has to be done!
Weenie: So you have the right to attack any nation of which you disagree?
SECNAV: If that nation poses imminent threat, we reserve the right to use military force to protect ourselves.
Weenie: (Just a stupid look on his face.) No further questions.

The court’s decision: “The use of armed force without the mandate of the security counsel is a breach of international law; but, must be weighed against each particular case. Would greater loss of life have occurred if Iraq’s tyrannical regime had continued? Moral, as well as legal factors, must influence court decision.” The SECNAV was found not guilty on all counts, except willful destruction of civilian property, and reparations of $20 million to the town was ordered. The weenie told the SECNAV that he disagreed with the decision; but, was glad that the SECNAV “didn’t have to spend his life in jail.” The SECNAV spoke French to him and said that the two countries’ long time friendship shouldn’t be discarded, so asked him to go have a drink. [A bigger man than I, for both he and his attitude pisses me off, greatly.]

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