Dungaree Justice – 73

Written by: David Zabel; Watch Now: – Sorry, not available on Amazon

[A follow-up to the episode where Mac confessed to killing her estranged ex-con husband]

Mattoni prosecuted Mac (M) for “lying” in the court-martial of her and her ex-CO, John Farrow, over the death of Christopher Ragle her estranged, (but not divorced) ex-con, husband. Harm (H) defended her arguing that it wasn’t to avoid punishment or even germane to the case because they were wrongly charged so it didn’t rise to the level of perjury. Adm Morris agreed and sent her to Captains mast before Chegwidden (C) who wasn’t very happy. He chewed her out for not only lying but for not trusting him and making him think she had murdered her husband. He said he was withdrawing his recommendation for her early promotion to Lt Colonel and would dismiss her from JAG if she ever lied again.

Mikey (Mk) had been coerced into joining the navy by his father and came to Bud (B) to ask him to get him out of it because he really wanted to be an artist. Tiner helped B find possible excuses behind Cs back. Chegwidden told them that he hadn’t “seen someone look so guilty since his last visit to the white house.” Bud couldn’t find a “loophole” and advised that Mikey would have to “suck it up.” Mikey said B was just like dad and hope he “did a better job raising his son than dad on us.” Later he came back and apologized saying he was a great brother and the baby was lucky to have him as a father. Bud took him to the navy art gallery at Annapolis and said that after boot camp he would try and help him get into the navy combat art program.

The owner of a bar, Peter Reardon, was beat up by 3 sailors who said they were doing it for “the Hawk.” Reardon identified PO3 Wade Colbert, (actual beater), seaman Hendrix and seaman Olin. Mac and H investigated and found that the three denied knowing anything about either the beating or “the Hawk.” They asked questions of the ships captain about non-cooperation in what they were calling “unit cohesiveness.” HThe captain got angry at them but while on the bridge they overheard a radio transmission referencing “the Hawk,” PO Lopez, a female gunner. She claimed not to know anything either, and denied being in the bar that night. They recommended referral to an article 32 hearing and were assigned to prosecute while Brumby (Brum) defended.

Chegwidden told them to identify, even up to the top, if there was a culture aboard the ship that condones dungaree justice. They found that Lopez had missed role call two weeks previously after getting drunk with her three buddies at Reardon’s bar. While she was in the restroom. the three left Lopez in the bar, drunk, and when the three didn’t return Reardon gave Lopez coffee to try and sober up. Then he helped her to her car to sleep it off when she couldn’t find her keys. Mac and H interrogated her about her lying by omission and, after H left, she told M that she was just trying to “fit in” by not complaining. Mac told her that she could recognize the signs of someone who is trying to forget a drunken indiscretion. On the stand H got her to admit that she had passed out in the car then awoke finding that she had been raped and drove home after finding her keys on the floor of the car. She had missed muster then told Colbert about it.

Harm went to Reardon with accusations but he (luckily?) had been wounded in Vietnam and was impotent so couldn’t have done it. Brumby let H talk to the three and advised them they had beaten the wrong man. Hendrix and Olin got civilian lawyers and turned evidence against Colbert for immunity against prosecution. On the stand Hendrix said that they had taken Lopez’ keys for “survival training” and that it was Colbert who had the idea to beat Reardon up and actually did it. Harm got Olin to say that Colbert had taken Lopez’s keys and had given them to him. Harm then charged that it was Olin who had gone back and raped Lopez but the keys fell out of his pocket and onto the floor. Harm told him that he had immunity from the assault charges not the rape. Olin denied doing it on the stand, but when Lopez asked him “why did you do it?” in the hall, he told her “military wasn’t a woman’s game.” He said he “didn’t join up to have some girl calling my gunnery,” in front of M and H.

At episodes end, H saw Chegwidden watching a ZNN report about the kidnapping of 3 NATO observers in Kosovo. There was a 24 hour deadline for NATO withdrawal. Chegwidden said almost everyone at the Pentagon “were looking pretty grim;” and when H asked who wasn’t looking grim, replied “some of my old friends.”

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