Death at the Mosque – 223

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

[Except for Vukovic’s arrogant, know-it-all character, this was an episode reminiscent of the “real” JAG that we all used to know and love.]

Coates (Co) spruced up Vukovic (V) before he went in to see Cresswell (Cr), and was told to “call me ‘Vic.'” Co later told Mac (M) that V “was kinda cute” to which M responded: “He clearly shares your opinion of himself.” Cresswell sent V, alone, to defend PFC Hoke Smith, who had been charged by General Hugh Cardworthy with the un-premeditated murder of a civilian – an incident which just happened to be caught on ZNN videotape. Col Bootney presided [he was judge last week in San Diego] and Marine Maj Atkins prosecuted. Atkins had been a tank commander in Desert Storm and went into JAG after “he lost some body parts.” Cardworthy told V that he would need to “‘be there’ in order to understand, even a little, what a marine is and does and why.” Smith said that their six men went through a raging gun battle to neutralize the sniper in the minaret of the mosque. They shot some terrorists on the ground floor, then Brad Holliman’s cameraman wanted to get a shot from the tower so ran on ahead. He was blown back, dead. Smith and PFC Quick went up the stairs, threw a grenade, then shot a terrorist who they saw raising his gun. Holliman then brought the camera up just as another man was raising his arm and was shot by Smith. Later he wasn’t found to be armed or booby trapped. Holliman threw the video all over the airwaves, “just doing his job.”

Capt Ellis said that he considered any building with snipers and weapons a target and that Smith was justified in the shooting. V was loosing in court and began bargaining for confinement and dishonorable discharge, but Atkins told him that “in the blink of an eye” they had to make a decision and those decisions were frequently correct. V finally decided to actually put forth some effort in his job and go back to take a look at the mosque. Only then did he find a loose floorboard with explosives along with a hidden suicide vest and a detonator chord. The following day he got Ellis to testify that the man Smith killed could have been a commonly used “spotter” and then played the videotape of the weapons storage. Smith was found not guilty.

Cardworthy handed V his new TAD orders, compliments of Cr, to accompany the 1st Marine division back to Karbala as “JAG on the spot.” Holliman was in Vs face and Ellis ordered him to cooperate. V told him “I’m not in your Chain of Command,” to which he was told that his TAD, in fact, made him Ellis’s soldier. V replied that he was no soldier, I’m in the navy! They encountered another fire fight and had to blow entry. Smith saved V from another booby trapped terrorist but was injured in the doing. As V was helping Smith out, Holliman blinded them with his camera light. V had to kill a terrorist, who had only seen them because of the light, then shot Holliman’s light and camera. Ellis then expelled Holliman from combat areas for endangering his men.

Mattie was still in a coma but there was some small improvement. Cr told H to “take all the time he needs.” H found Tom outside a bar, drunk but was told that “I’ve made this choice. Leave me alone.” M went, uninvited, to the hospital to ask why her calls hadn’t been returned. “Cause you would ask questions I couldn’t answer and say things I didn’t want to hear.” When she tried to touch his shoulder, he told her “No,” so she said “let me know” and left. Cr asked M to talk to Cammie, his daughter, who (this week) claimed issues of “gender holding her back” in the military. Mac did, and Cammie told her that her mom met Cr at age 18 and knew in 3 seconds they would marry. She asked if M had ever loved like that and was told “no.” After the talk, Cammie apologized to her mother, saying: “I love having you as my mother” and that she would “try the Navy” but hot to tell her dad.

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