The Court-Martial of Sandra Gilbert – 40

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

Arrogant marine, Lt. Col. Turner, charged 1st Lt. Sandra Gilbert, top in her class as a Cobra pilot, with disobeying his specific order, as well as “conduct unbecoming,” when she “related” with Gunnery Sgt. Maxwell Frankl. JAG officer Harm (H) tried to tease Mac (M) about her quick volunteering to investigate the case. She said that she just wanted Gilbert to get a fair shake and H returned “no playing the gender card.” General McCartney called the JAG, Chegwidden (C), at home to request that everything be handled “quietly” because he was undergoing interrogation by congress for funding.

When M arrived with Bud (B), Turner just made them stand there at attention waiting for him to finally talk so they would have to submit to his “power.” He told M that C had told him she was “cold blooded” and would be fair on the case. Without jumping to his baiting she merely asked for the file and instead of handing it to her, Turner just dropped it on his desk trying to make her have to stoop to get it. Bud, seeing his disrespect, picked up the file for her. Turner had already filed charges – WITHOUT INVESTIGATION, claiming it was his prerogative and grounded Gilbert in the middle of her flight quals. Turner claimed that he had given a direct order to Gilbert to stop her affair with Frankl. Congresswoman Bobbi Latham was shown dragging Gen McCartney over the coals in her budget hearings. She defiantly flailed about claiming that she was “going to get to the bottom of this” (referring a ‘good ol’ boy’s network); then, inflicted herself in the middle of the trial.

Gilbert had been invited to a birthday dinner given for her by the Frankl children while Mrs. Frankl was away. Mrs. Frankl returned home unexpectedly and blew up. Harm was assigned to defend and M prosecute. Both Frankl and Gilbert claimed that there had never been any affair and that Gilbert had only been “counseling” Frankl over his marital difficulties. Mac’s legal tactics were specious and she led Mrs. Frankl into making assumptions which were completely ludicrous. Then she began objecting to H’s almost every question. However, Harm was able to adequately break down both Mrs. Frankl’s assumptions as well as Turners arrogant “railroading.” Turner said that he had acted on an “anonymous hotline” phone call; but, that he had never given Gilbert the courtesy of telling her about it, claiming that “even the perception of impropriety” needed action. He also had never put his order in writing and said that he couldn’t recall his specific wording. “But,” he said, “Gilbert knew what I meant!”

Latham demanded a Cobra demonstration flight from Turner and took H with her during her request. When Turner said “he couldn’t reverse” his grounding so that Gilbert could take her up, Latham asked H “is he telling the truth?” Reluctantly, H said that he could reinstate Gilbert. After the flight, Latham slinkily forced herself on H in a bar and told him that “if the Pentagon had cashiered every officer during WWII who committed adultery, Hitler’s children would be sitting in the White House instead of Bill Clinton.” She inflicted personal questions on H about previous loves. He said that it had been his best friends wife (Annie Pendry) so he hadn’t said anything. Latham started to rag on him about wanting a “little woman waiting patiently for her ‘man’ to come home from the war”; until, he shut her up by saying “that was my mother’s life.” Referring to her colleague Congresswoman DeLong (an arrogant congresswoman whose manipulative interference actually killed an incompetent female navy pilot) she told H that “I don’t dislike you as much as DeLong said I would.”

Bud discovered that Gilbert was actually pregnant from her medical records [?!]. Gilbert finally admitted to H that they actually did have an affair but Frankl had broken it off many months ago. It was actually Frankl’s daughter who had called and asked her to come over to the party while their mother was gone. Harm tried to get M to back off on the charges; but, she threw his previous words back in his face to “not play the gender card.” Harm found that four male officers had also been found in adultery at Pendleton but none of them had been charged. He claimed it was “selective prosecution” but M still wouldn’t budge. Latham went ballistic when H wouldn’t tell her the confidential information. He had to back her down by asking “are you trying to threaten me?” She replied “is a pig’s ass pork?”

She then went to talk to Gilbert personally demanding that she “wouldn’t let you quit.” Gilbert finally admitted that she had had the affair but that Frankl had broken it off a long time ago. She said that she “knew it was wrong, but I was just so damned lonely‚Ķ and now I’ve lost everything that I love.” Latham added “except your baby.” Harm worked out an “administrative discharge” with M and a promise that Gilbert wouldn’t contest it. He then told Turner that Gilbert wouldn’t let him file charges against him for “selective prosecution.” He was incensed but H threw his own words back at him “It’s the perception of impropriety that counts.” Turner let her finish her quals and she passed number one in her group.

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