|Subject: General Disaster
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Date Posted: 16:26:46 04/01/08 Tue
Disclaimer: JAG and its characters belong to Donald P. Bellisario, CBS, and Paramount, not me.
Spoiler: Camp Delta
Summary: Be careful of what you wish.
Feedback is always appreciated, but be nice. We’re all friends here.
Harm was defending three Army guards of brutally punishing a detainee who resisted being removed from his cell. Harm thought he might have a chance to clear them until he saw the tape.
He even tried to spread the blame to the civilian contractor. He showed that the contractor was there observing what was going on, but did nothing to stop it. He even tried to show the panel that their actions were okay by asking the General a series of questions showing that he approved of their methods.
But in the end he knew his clients still knew it was wrong to physically hurt any prisoner the way they did, that they were guilty of abuse. He could only hope that he showed enough evidence to the panel so they would be lenient when it came time to judge his clients
"General, do you believe my clients did anything wrong in their efforts to remove the prisoner from his cell." asked Harm trying to get the panel to see his clients were only following orders.
"No." answered General Espinoza.
"I'm confuse General, if you truly believe the accuse did nothing wrong, then why are we here? Why did you ask for this Court Martial?" queried Mac.
"I needed to show accountability to the public about detainee abuse and their rights. I don't like the use of some of the interrogation methods that are in use today, but it's a necessary part of the war on Terrorism.
It is a necessary part in the effort to get the information to stop the terrorist before they carry out their plans. It has been a very successful method in the past.
The vast majority of American people are glad we're here to do the job. They know it has to be done." answered General Espinoza.
"And if you're wrong Sir?" asked Mac.
"When I believe that time has occurred, I will ready to answer for my actions to any authority that demands it." answered General Espinoza with distain.
Who was this woman who would doubt his integrity? What happened to respecting Command Officers, that their actions were justified? He needed to set this woman, this marine straight.
Outside the Courtroom
After the results of the trial was announced Harm offered his congratulations to Mac for winning the case. He, like Mac, didn't feel that this case should have gone to Court Martial. It should have been handled in house by non judicial punishment.
"Another win for the good guys." smiled Harm.
"I didn't win, you lost. This trial shouldn't have gone to court. It was only a publicity stunt for the General. He cares more about his own ass than about his men." argued Mac.
"It's the price of freedom and freedom of the press. The story made it's way around the world before it could be handled properly. The General really didn't have a choice, but I agree with you, it could have been handled better." replied Harm solemnly.
General Espinoza walked up and greeted them. He walked along with Mac and Harm outside the courtroom. He had been impressed with their work. They had done a good job. There would be no questions about a cover up. Justice had been served.
"That was mighty fine work in there Commander, Colonel." praised General Espinoza.
"Do you think you justified your actions?" asked Mac.
"What do you think?" asked General Espinoza.
"I think you sacrificed your men for public absolution, the wrong people were on trial." replied Mac pertinently.
"Base on what, your vast leadership experience making difficult command decisions?" asked General Espinoza with utter distain. Why was this woman questioning his motives?
"No Sir, base on my opinion of what is fitting and just. Your men were doing their jobs and you hung them out to dry instead of accepting the responsibility of having a poorly designed procedure for handling difficult prisoners." replied Mac.
Harm smiled to himself. He was watching Mac at her finest. She was putting a smug General in his place. He could see the General didn't like the new hole that was being reamed.
"Come serve under my command for a few years and I might take your opinion seriously. You want to put me on trial for my actions Colonel, you know where to find me." replied General Espinoza. He had had enough.
Harm and Mac came to attention before being dismissed. As Mac was walking away, Harm needed a word with General. He needed to give him some sound advice and a heads up.
"Be careful of what you wish for General. If there is a convening authority who believes you need to be held accountable and she comes after you in court, your time in the Army will be a thing of the past.
If you're lucky you won't be doing any time in Leavenworth and you'll still have your pension." infirmed Harm.
"Is that a threat Commander?" questioned General Espinoza. First it was the Colonel, now it was the Commander who was showing him total lack of respect.
"No Sir. But just for your general info, Colonel Mackenzie has been responsible for ending the careers of twenty Admirals and Generals over the last eight years. Half of them are currently residing in Leavenworth.
If you were in the Marines, you probably would have been held responsible for your men's actions. The SOP's would have been questioned and solutions would be made. You probably would have gotten at least a letter of reprimand in your file Sir." replied Harm.
"Thank you Commander, you're dismiss."
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