Tuesday, October 27, 1998

Act of Terror - 67

An Arab, Nassen, was hired, with others, to blow up the USS Wake Island. The attempt was discovered and Nassen was captured while a young Syrian was shown watching through binoculars from a car on land. Nassen was airlifted, under guard, back to Washington; and, on television a guard, Corporal Barry, shot him. Harm was assigned to defend and Mac prosecute and Admiral Morris felt obligated to remind H of when he shot a weapon in court- that wouldn't happen again! Agent Novak, FBI, was obstructive to Hs investigations telling him that "my only mistake was not sending you to prison."
On the stand H renewed his badgering of Novak by asking what Nassen had said before he died. Novak claimed, "nothing." H got the psychiatrist to admit that Barry didn't believe he committed murder because "killing a terrorist is not wrong." Barry fired H and got a civilian attorney, Juanita Ressler, who was Ms old law professor and had never lost a murder case. When H was upset about being fired, M told him to stay away, she didn't want a mistrial, and she was "taking Ressler down." For 14 weeks Ressler had humiliated M in class and told her that she should "drop out of law and take up lap dancing." M shot down her witnesses but told H, "She's good, I'll give her that." H replied, "but you're better" then rushed off to tail Ressler to the anonymous person who had hired her- Percival Bertram, a loud-mouthed, "super-patriot", tycoon at Vectrocomp. Bertram asked if he could call H "Harm" my friends call me "Bert." H replied "really, not Percy" and Ressler left to let them see "who's was bigger." A discussion ensued that Ressler, as a civilian, would do anything for an acquittal including blame the military, a "line that you won't cross." "We're the most powerful nation on earth, and by G we're going hunting," he said. H told him "it's because were the most powerful, that we can't. We are a nation of laws, which is what makes us great. Vigilantes like yourself are as dangerous to this country as the terrorists!"

Meanwhile the same Syrian was shown watching through binoculars as a hotel blew up under his command into his phone. Ressler began blaming the "brainwashing" of the military for Barry not knowing "right from wrong." M shot her arguments down again. Ressler told M that she had become a good lawyer and M commented that the world "had lost a lap dancer." Ressler said that she had "only said that to provoke you into staying in." H continued to distrust Novak and reviewed video tapes. Contrary to the autopsy revealing hemorrhage, there was no blood or wounds on the tape. He demanded that Novak produce the body and threatened to tell the SECNAV and Attorney General. Novak showed him Nassen who they were keeping hidden so that the "real" Syrian didn't go underground. He had already led them to money that was paid them and wanted H to keep quiet until they could trace serial numbers and capture the middleman. M, of course was incensed, C had H set up a meeting with Barry and Ressler. Ressler blew up and quit, Barry decided to "play it through" so they could capture the guy. He told them that "he had done wrong to shoot Nassan, that's what they do, and I don't want to be like them." The money was sent from a Washington bank to Amsterdam where it was sent to Riyadh then to Syria. H and Novak confronted Bertram and showed him some of the money they had retrieved from a Syrian apartment. Bertram said he had met with Fazal Kasi about an agreement to finance factories Another transfer was due and he was told to go through with it. Novak watched as Kasi left the bank with the money and was gunned down by a drive-by shooter. Bertram was shown exiting his building with a smug look on his face!

Tuesday, October 20, 1998

The Martin-Baker Fan Club - 66

A mental patient in the war stress recovery unit, Dick LaCroix, began not taking his medications due to provocation by another patient. He stood by a window, that he had pried free, reliving his "ejection" from a burning plane and "ejected" from the window before an attendant could notice. Harm was asked to defend, again, the "provocateur" now being charged with murder, Roscoe Martin, the "accordion playing, paraplegic, former POW who skewered his Vietcong captor on a Georgetown street." Chegwidden wouldn't, at first, allow H the time off until he observed that "he represents the 1/2 million who were defined by that war." C recalled the Commander of his old SEAL platoon who was hospitalized after starting to talk to himself. C took him some board games but found him drowsy from drugs. Two months later he had completely stopped communicating, was bedridden and in diapers, and the board games had never been touched. Mac agitatedly advised H that he was "trading one obsession (finding father) for another." The prosecution said that LaCroix had psychosis and needed meds and that Martin had paranoid personality disorder and was the most disruptive patient. H pointed out that LaCroix had begun speaking ONLY to Martin- who was trying to badger him into "taking back his life." He pointed out that the hospital had undergone a 20% budget cut: decreased staff and programs, and increase in use of meds. The psychiatrist offered that the meds were only resulting from patient behavior. H retorted "Oh, they weren't responding to reduced treatment?" The attendant, Mr. Oakley, said that he saw Martin watching LaCroix jump from the back of the room. Martin became angry claiming it wasn't true then was awakened in the night thinking Oakley was in his room trying to intimidate him.

Martin introduced H to "his gang," Chodocowsky, Mike Brookhurst- both from Vietnam; and Dastuge, a Cajun from the Gulf. Martin, played his accordion for background music, while he asked H to put him on the stand to carry the voices of these men into the courtroom, sharing his dream… to be free to choose… Hallelujah. H seized an opportunity to badger his own client into making an emotional representation of his beliefs in freedom of choice. "The tragedy of LaCroix," he said, "wasn't his death. It was the price he paid for serving his country." H talked with Oakley at the hospital as he was putting away some restraints used on a patient. Oakley said "he had his disagreements with management." The when H pushed him retaliated with "you don't think someone with my skin color (black) understands what it means to have too much power over others?!" Martin "lost it" in court, so that H had to take him out, then said "I wasn't paranoid until I went to this hospital. The patients are the victims!" H told him that the only way out was to pursue the insanity defense. Martin dismayed that it would "make his issues meaningless," and that "they'll drug me!" That night, Oakley resigned and told Martin that he probably was mistaken about who was watching that night. He opened the locked door and said "now that we are both leaving, perhaps we can see more clearly." M came to Hs apartment with some defense strategies. She gave a mineral water toast with a Russian blessing taught to her by Rusza (Hs stepmother): "may angels appear at your door step." At that time, Martin appeared with two of his Gang and asked to have his car to get to a relative in Canada. While trying to talk them into going back a cop came to the door looking for them. The two went down the back stairs but Martin, in a wheelchair, stayed. Brookhurst appeared with a pizza and a gun. He fired it to scare the cop away which merely brought more SWAT types. Mike fired his weapon again and the SWAT stormed in with H standing right in the middle. H talked Brookhurst into putting down the gun. Martin put down his accordion as well and a trigger happy SWAT shot him, unarmed, twice. H talked to him in the hospital where, now, he was on a respirator and without use of any limbs. Martin gave H his accordion. H said "you're a man with something to say. I keep going wrong with you assuming you need my advice when all you ever wanted was my ear." H said that Martin's issues were on the table and promised "never to refuse to defend any person who had been denied the freedom of his own mind." The other two "gang" visited and Martin told them to go to Canada. They put Martins flag in his mouth and watched as he used it to flick off the respirator switch, "ejecting."

Throughout the episode Bud was obnoxiously concerned over Harriet not exerting herself because she was pregnant. Sliding a coffee table she "felt a pop" but wouldn't accept Hs offer of help. Later B found her doubled over weeping in abdominal pain and took her to the hospital. The doctor said that the pain was due to low hormone levels and gave her a shot and meds. They saw the baby's heartbeat on a monitor.

Orderly Oakley lied about seeing Martin in the room; then resigned leaving door unlocked so Martin left w/ 3 other patients he was taking to Canada - stopping off at Hs. One grabbed gun and when SWAT came H had to step in the middle. SWAT shot Martin and totally paralyzed him. Not able to move arms he gave his accordion to H; then took his flag between his teeth and turned off his own respirator to "eject" from quadriplegia (Martin Baker was inventor of the ejection seat). Ht in hospital ER w/ "hormonal imbalance" thinking she had strained moving coffee machine and was loosing her baby.

Tuesday, October 13, 1998

Going After Francesca - 65

[A major episode where Chegwidden's ex-wife is introduced] Chegwidden was in Italy on an "inspection tour" and to visit his daughter, Francesca. Harm and Mac are there for the court-martial of WO Ray Dillard for stealing five stinger missiles to sell to Afghanistan. C stopped to dress down two unruly sailors accosting a woman and was injured while Francesca was kidnapped. Italian Sgt Cade thought it had to do with "ransom" her wealthy stepfather Vittorio Paretti but C "knew" it was related to Dillard or the Afgani's. C interrogated Dillard and, as defense attorney, H advised him not to wave his rights. C offered him immunity on any new information if he helped retrieve Francesca. Dillard said he didn't know about the kidnapping but wouldn't answer who his contact was. C told H & B to personally escort him to the courtroom and M to "nail his ass to the wall"- to add pressure to cooperate. C visited Marcella Paretti, his ex-wife. Her husband, Vittorio, hadn't told her of the kidnapping and she flew into C about "keeping her safe for 26 years and in one day with you she's gone." She hated the "trail of blood" behind C, and only knew he looked good in dress whites and had a good heart when she married him. Vittorio said that he would give all his money for her return and asked what C would give up. Marcella called C back to apologize and said "allow me my guilt, AJ. An occasional confession is good for the soul- it cleanses." She took him to Francesca's apartment where C went straight to her desk and found a photo taped to the bottom of a drawer. "looks like she's got your temper," he told Marcella, showing her a photograph of a man that had been taped back together. The man was a lover, Luschiano Antinori, who had broken her heart a year ago but had kept away from her parents. H told Dillard that they had him "dead to rights" and advised cooperation for a reduced sentence. He said "lets see what they have," so M nailed him. On the way out of the courtroom he told H that he had stolen them for "love." A woman, Leila was Afghani. A motorcyclist came down the street and shot Dillard. With his last gasp he said the middleman was Luschiano Antinori.

Lusciano was shown coming to the house where Francesca was being held. He told her that he was trading her for "a truckload of Algerian oranges." They made love and she took his gun the next morning. He faced her down and she couldn’t soot him so he took the gun and hit her. Marcella overheard Vittorio on the phone and when questioned was told that it was just a problem with a truckload of "Algerian oranges." H talked to Cade who had a lot of information. Lusciano and the shooter were both "Cammora," organized crime. Lusciano had disappeared when Francesca was kidnapped. One year previous Francesca's uncle Franco killed Lusciano's father. In revenge Luschiano Killed Franco (hence their breakup). Three weeks previous Vittorio hijacked one of Lusciano's trucks, "Algerian oranges," probably the Stingers. C talked to Marcella again who told of the phone call and gave C a tiny gun for protection saying "you'll need this." He told her "this is why you left me!" She said "it had now come full circle." She didn't know why C didn't come after her when she left. Stunned, C asked, "did you want that?"

C got Admiral Evans, Cdr of 6th fleet, to authorize an EP3 over flight of the address he saw on the back of the torn photograph and to get the Italians to authorize GIS special forces action. Cade came to help them with location and said that the Cosa Nostra had "been there for 500 years and would be for 500 more." C replied "not all of them." He and H checked out armament claiming it was for "requals." Two 9mm Beretta's with extra magazines of hollow point shells. H asked for two M590 A-1 shotguns with speed-feed stocks- "for skeet" he claimed. When C asked for high power shells he said "humor me, sometimes I just like to blow the hell out of something." The chief said he "knew the feeling" but that was a "lot of firepower for a lawyer." C offered, "obviously you've never seen him in the courtroom." (see it) C & H went to stake out the house, while waiting for the GIS, and saw Vittorio come with the truck and be killed by Lusciano. C decided to "go in" and H could wait for the GIS- (yea, right!) He said "were about to break seven separate statues of Armed forces law, so you better call me AJ." They were noticed and a gun battle ensued. Lusciano used Francesca as a shield forcing C & H to put down their guns. Cade came up without weapon and was killed by Lusciano. When C went for weapon, Lusciano shot him in the leg. Francesca broke free and H had a stand off with Lusciano. He tried to do a face down, like he did before with Francesca, and Francesca shot him with the small pistol.

Tuesday, October 6, 1998

Innocence - 62

The JAG vs. Chaplain Corps baseball game was interrupted by the SECNAVs phone call sending Harm, Mac and Bud to Japan for an investigation. A Japanese citizen, Ichiro Higashimori, charged a Surface Warfare Officer aboard the Reprisal with raping his daughter Jun. The commander of Naval Forces Japan, Admiral Arthur Fissenden (Fis), was immediately in Hs face and H responded by "suggesting" political pressure "may not help." Fis said H had been selected to lead this investigation because of how he juggled politics of the "Siggonella helicopter tragedy" so "quit whining and start juggling." B pointed out that Fis had been "shunted sideways" from staff at CINCPAC for "loose lips" and H judged "one more misstep and his career would suffer." Prosecuting attorney Takahashi (Tak), out of courtesy, described the evidence against Ensign Terry Guitry (Gtry)- which was a hat. H said they wouldn't turn him over unless convicted- Tak agreed then complained to prime minister that H was blocking access. Fis then "reamed" H that the ambassador had turned Gtry over to the Japanese. Gtry was assigned Hiro Kitamura (Kit) as defense attorney. He had graduated from Yale but was a personal injury lawyer that H found unacceptable until he was convinced by his knowledge of the case, his "fire in the belly" and that he was the only one who would take a "loosing" case.

The father hated Americans due to his Nagasaki, radiation induced, birth defect that had prevented him working all his life. Fis had M & H attend a formal political gathering, reluctantly, where they found Fis running off at the mouth to a reporter with a tape recorder. He said the military got daily allegations of rape from hookers. H opinioned that Fis "could make the constitution sound offensive." Kit said that the defense wouldn't be allowed to question the girl- to prevent more trauma and that Gtry had been forced to sit in chair without moving for 36 hours. Kit didn't ask about the hat in court so H blurted out that it could have belonged to dozens of "sailors.". After being shut up, Kit said "you haven't figured it out that it isn't Gtry on trial but the US government and you've just gave them a gift." H whispered to M that he "figured it was worth the break in protocol," what did she think? She just kicked him. Tak had an unexpected restaurant videotape showing Gtry and Jun together before the "rape" which angered Kit for being lied to. Kit said the case now was unwinnable and quit having lost face and credibility. They found him in a garden and M apologized in fluent Japanese. H sweet-talked him back on the case by offering to work for him and track down the real rapist. Kit told them that Tak had offered to reduce the sentence for confession, repentance, and public apology. H was against it but M for it. Gtry held to his innocence.

They went to Fis for advice. He told them of meeting Marion Truesdale, 1st marine JAG, and asking him "when's the best time to give it up?" He had said: "You'll know, or They'll know." Then, in a completely resigned manner, he said that he'd been asked to retire. "I've been crossing lines in my career but have always know where they were, he said. This time I tripped over the damned thing." He said that his late wife had whispered to him: "don't drink, don't swear, and try to keep your mouth shut." Without her, he said, he'd lost his will to control it and was going to "move on." He said as his last official act he would advise them to "protect that boy's innocence, because once that it taken from him he's just one more sorry SOB." After they left he put on his hat and we saw his purple heart commendation, wife's photo and heard a gunshot. C came to Japan because Washington was "nervous" over the suicide which was being blamed on the case. C opined he was an "officer, dishonored, stripped of purpose" and M that it was a very Japanese "act of seppuku- a warrior, in uniform, with his own weapon."

H asked C if he was there to "supervise" and was told that "Washington just wanted assurances" and suggested they start working to discredit the fathers "eye witness." H, who disagreed and wanted to "find the real perp," challenged back about "you don't trust us." C said it "wasn't about trust, about responsibility, and I'm taking it!" H demanded "why," and C retorted in his face "because I can!" He then paused and told them to do what they wanted. He called H back and said that "I've always allowed responsible disagreement. But you ever badger me like that again and I'll supervise your ass right out of Washington." They reexamined the video tape and found a Seaman Lafferty in the restaurant with the same cap. He told them that he had gone to the "hostess house" next door. The "Madame" remembered Lafferty as a good customer who had yelled at her because he had requested Jun but she had gone to another man- Gtry. Gtry still held to his story of mistaken identity and refused to talk further. H found Jun, told her that he saw turmoil in her eyes and convinced her to testify. She said that she was actually a "hostess" for the "Madame" in order to help support the family but had fallen in love with her former "client," Gtry. She didn't tell her father because he hated Americans so much, but it wasn't rape. Gtry then said that he knew he would loose Jun because of this but thought that he would be exonerated because evidence was all circumstantial and wanted to prevent her shame. C landed on him for having "the entire Navy spinning on your lies" and asked "now that you have trashed your future, what have you got to show for it?" Kit quoted an obscure Haiku poem that H translated: "love is Eternal."