Bridging the Gulf – 220

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

[Yet another episode with barely believable dialog and contrived conflict. New cast member touted as “the new Harm” (DJE leaving the show after this season) shown to be unethical, inconsiderate, full of himself –  the complete antithesis of Harm; neither he or Cresswell are believable characters]

Lt. Vukovick (V) arrived at JAG, knocked into Mac (M) flinging her papers, ogled her while he helped pick them up and announced that “I’m the new guy.” Cresswell (Cr) assigned him to second M in the case of Gunnery Sergeant Genuzzi who was charged with illegally commandeering a civilian vehicle in Iraq. Vukovic came in late, brusquely acknowledged Tali Mayfield (Mf), prosecutor, then led and directed Genuzzi in telling his story. Genuzzi said that his (Lt. Revere’s) vehicle had broken down and they had time sensitive intel; so, when a local, Azzam, came down the road after curfew in a SUV they commandeered it. Azzam became belligerent and drew a crowd so they drew weapons. Revere was killed in the vehicle by a land mine. V tried to push him to say that Lt. Revere had ordered him to take the vehicle, but Genuzzi refused. Mac asked Cr if V had “any experience with litigation at all” [he certainly was unbelievable to the audience) and, unbelievably, Cr said: “he’s got something better, he’s got fire in the belly, and we need that around here.” Then Cr played his tiresome manipulation game of “can’t you handle it M.”

Mayfield whined to Bud (B) about being on the “wrong side” of yet another case because she believed Genuzzi wasn’t being honest. B advised her to proceed with “zeal,” which she did. V tried to elicit a bargain with Mf without even discussing it with M and was found out. She read him the riot act, commenting that he’d graduated “6th in class at Dickenson and still didn’t learn anything about the chain of command.” He patronizingly started to apologize but M called him on how “practiced” his apologies were. She made him repeat that he would “do nothing without Ms complete consent.”

Cresswell was shown “thinking” in empty court room when a “friend(?)”/acquaintance, sheik Suhaib al-Hassan came to demand that he “punish the man who took my son’s car.” Cr asked him if that was a threat and was told that if he wasn’t punished “there would be consequences.” M spoke to the Sheik in his language and asked him to request clemency. He argued so she said “forgiveness is the noblest revenge.” He said “that’s a woman’s argument,” and she replied “yet simple enough that even a man can understand.” On the stand Azzam acted the expected spoiled-brat son of a Sheik. His father admitted that the son was not harmed, and was compensated financially but “how can you compensate for loss of dignity.” M said in court the real reason this was being pressed was to appease his politically powerful father. Cr got on her case about that. Even Genuzzi was admitting to M and V that he was ordered to take the vehicle – but still wouldn’t “bad mouth” Revere – when in came a man announcing that he was “Paul Revere” the lieutenant’s father. He read a letter stating that Revere had ordered Genuzzi to take the car and threatened “either you tell the truth or I will.” Mayfield reduced the charge to wrongful appropriation and Cr asked the Sheik if he was satisfied. The sheik said yes and asked to have the sentence commuted. Cresswell went out of his way to commend V – and M happened to be there as well. When M got V alone she confronted him with using an actor – “do I look that stupid to you, that I wouldn’t check?” Completely oblivious to his dishonesty he flippantly told her “whatever works.” She landed on him for “fraud, unethical and despicable” and said “do it again and I’ll have you before the rules council! I might anyway.” He arrogantly said “you won’t do it because you like what I did,” and she told him “don’t bet your career on it.”

Harm (H) completed his field quals in the F-18 and told Cr he only needed 16 carrier traps until he was F-18 qualified. Cr offered an investigation on the carrier JFK to Turner (T) who deferred to H. A Huey pilot Lt. Gutierrez shot the stern of the fishing boat belonging to Jalal Sharif who was heading for an oil platform and refusing to stop when orders were broadcast in his language. The CAG authorized him to shoot warning shots across the bow which caused him to run although still not stop. The government was complaining. Iraqi commando battalion leader Colonel Fadil Najijar, Masters of engineering from MIT, was Hs counterpart. The CAG clearly held “seeing it my way” over Hs head to get on the schedule for his quals. Harm found that Gutierrez had acted within the ROE because Sharif could speak English and didn’t stop. The CAG gave him the flights – with bullets but no missiles; except, that during the flight he was diverted to intercept a small aircraft which was heading directly at the oil platform. The two occupants appeared unconscious and Hs getting in front of them then lifting their wing with air pressure from his own craft was still ineffective. At 5 seconds before impact H saw the pilot’s lips moving before deciding to shoot. The small craft’s occupant was reportedly Hakim Ma’mun, an Iraqi minister, on a fact finding tour.

Turner was sent to investigate and after perfunctory greetings H said “I guess were exchanging lies” and T agreed. T railroaded through a perfunctory “investigation” and charged H with negligent homicide because he hadn’t asked for permission to fire – despite there having been only 5 seconds to impact. Harm and T had it out. Turner accused H of jealousy and undermining his authority during his temporary JAG appointment. Harm said he was a “tight ass, pompous, sanctimonious prig or he would have had everyone’s support.” Najjar overhead them arguing and told H “best friends make the worst of enemies.” H asked, “from the Koran?” He said, “no, John Wayne.” Najijar eventually discovered that two men, speaking Arabic with Jordanian accents, had been seen talking to Sharif on his boat then afterward Sharif had thrown up over the side. Sharif finally admitted that he had been forced by “Zarqawi’s men” to head to the oil platform in order to test security. They convinced him to wear a wire into the terrorists. Troops then entered the house killing all but one – including Sharif. The troops also found the bodies of the real minister and his pilot who had been killed before their scheduled flight. Harm was therefore exonerated. Turner flew back with the real Sharif, who’s death had been staged in order to avoid retaliation, and said to Harm: “It turned out well. I’m glad.” Harm said “yea, I believe you.” Turner said, “we’re still swapping lies.”

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