Tuesday, November 30, 1999

Mishap - 95

Elizabeth "Skates" Hawkes was acting as LSO ("Paddles") when Lt Dalton Jonas crashed into the fantail of the USS Patrick Henry. In investigation Mac (M) thought she was "culpable" and Brumby (Brum)said she was "not". M & Brum prosecute, Capt Ingles decided to hold court-martial and H (H) was assigned to defend her. She told him that Jonas was a "deck spotter" and didn't fly the ball. "He eased the gun on final and made a play for deck - he panicked." She didn’t want to send him around because "he probably couldn't keep it together." However she kept second guessing and blaming herself. H reminded her of when he grabbed her chute and kept her from going into the ocean and told her "I didn't drop you then and I won't drop you now." Jonas said Skates should have given him wave off sooner. Cdr Bates said he ordered her to "send him around again" while he was coming back to the deck. H asked B for his help overheard by Singer (S) who then came into his office and volunteered saying she wanted a chance to impress him. He declined and told her to "next time leave the door open." Hs friend "tuna" came to talk to talk and said that Skates was being "railroaded." He pointed out many accidents due to ship not being combat ready but H would "have to find the evidence on his own." H asked Ingles for ships records and Ingles threw him off the ship after he arrogantly maligned H. Then he preemptively sent a complaint to Chegwidden (C)that H had blackmailed him to drop the case. C told H that he would put the complaint "with all the others."

The XO, Cameron, tried to face down H saying he'd "badly misjudged the caliber of officers on the ship." H replied back "if you think you can intimidate me you've badly misjudged, period… sir." M accused H of turning it into a personal battle with Ingles. He showed they repaired radios by cannibalizing parts, had lost catapult pressure from gun-decking readiness checks, and Leatham testified of misallocation of funds and short staff. M reminded H of when, as acting JAG, he told her not to shift blame or wrestle with two stars. On the stand M tried to get Skates to admit she was thinking about being a RIO and not thinking about landing and the ship. She told the jury that no matter what their verdict she was resigning not wanting "to be a part of an organization who punishes me for carrying out my duties." H gave an eloquent closing saying he was going to blame others but they were just honest, hardworking people doing their jobs the best they could; and said "please don't accept her resignation." Verdict was not guilty and Ingles asked H if he meant what he said in his closing or if it was just a lawyers trick. H said he "always means what he says" then told him that he would be honored to serve under him. Ingles said "I'd like to have you under my command!"

Tuesday, November 23, 1999

Contemptuous Words - 94

[A weakly written episode with blatant computer/internet related errors] A letter was printed in the newspaper critical of President Clinton and claiming to be from a Naval Officer. It said Clinton had "imposed his own bravery-deprived character on the Air Force" citing the air war over Kosovo. It called him "sleazily disgraceful. While getting a golf lesson from Congresswoman Leatham, Harm (H) was told that he had been selected for promotion to commander. Chegwidden (C) then added him to the "posse" trying to catch the officer who was contemptuous of the president.
The talked to the sleazy reporter who needed a civics lesson from Mac (M) that the reason military weren't allowed to speak against the president was to keep the military out of politics- i.e. preventing coups. She let slip that she had only communicated with her "source" through Email! H had Bud (B) trace Emails which tracked back to Hs computer. The Office of Inspector General sent John Nichols, an (all to frequently used) bumbling, arrogant, blindered, investigator with an axe to grind, who spent the whole episode antagonizing, belittling and otherwise railroading H. Leatham introduced H to Daniel Citron of the Roanoke Liberty Foundation (an anti-Clinton organization) who offered legal help. His assistant Suzanne Moore showed H her newsletter which read, partially, "the whackily trendy guidelines" of the educational system. H refused saying he wasn't "ready to BE one of their causes." M asked him "you didn't do it, did you?" then afterwards told him she was a prosecution witness for his joke at Mattoni's party about Clinton's "Whitehouse intern," and "close but no cigar." Because of Brumby's (Brum) smug looks, H suggested that he might have cracked Hs old computer. Brum just smiled, saying if he "didn't find it amusing he might take a poke at him."

While they were watching someone hacked into Bs computer with "Give your friend H my condolences, tough break. Did I put my foot in his mouth?" The OIG wouldn't investigate. H finally took Citron up on offer to help demanding no press releases or public announcements. Moore found message came from Leavenworth and H went to see Palmer, finding him sitting smugly at a computer. He admitted he wrote to "Cheer H up" while the warden insisted his computer had "no link to outside terminals"?!! H found a copy of the article but it had a hidden "digital watermark" from the newspaper showing it had been downloaded- not uploaded. Case went to court-martial and finally H accepted Citron's attorney- Mr. Pappas. Moore tried to convince H that even if he was convicted it "wouldn't be completely terrible." (H acted excruciatingly passive and unanimated through the whole episode). Gunny (G) told H that he supported him "if he did it, but you didn't." Moore sent letter of apology for "sensitivity-deprived" attempts to cheer him up and arranged a meeting with reporters. Before the press conference H confronted Moore with her use of adverbs to modify adjectives in word construction and she admitted she used her laptop to send them. He had to teach her that she used "telecommunication fraud, impersonating a military officer, and conspiring to interfere with administration of justice." He told her "it doesn't matter if I don't like him, he's my Commander in Chief." H was then shown being "sworn in" as commander.

M was pulled into the issue of Laurie Weston, fiancé of marine sergeant Kent Davey, who wanted to harvest his sperm posthumously in order to fulfill his dreams of fathering a child he espoused in letters. After harvesting, Davey's few-days-short-of-divorce wife showed up angry demanding they be destroyed. While M was "hiding" the sperm container in the JAG fridge, Brum quipped "some sort of do-it-yourself kit, right?" M stared him down with H rapidly exiting stating "they want to be alone." Davey's wife got more angry after reading the letters and filed suit. M put the sperm in Harriet's freezer then where "taken into custody" awaiting trial. Weston found she was pregnant so might not need the sperm after all.

Tuesday, November 16, 1999

The Colonel's Wife - 93

A drug bust found a package with the return address on it of Olivia Banning, the wife of the Colonel in charge of drug interdiction in Panama. Harm (H) and Mac (M) were sent undercover to investigate Colonel Bradley Dunston and his wife, the former Olivia Banning, for sending drugs in a diplomatic pouch as cigars. The NCIS agent Grondyke condescendingly assisted them posing as civilian "inspectors." H got photo's of Banning meeting a known drug dealer, Carlos Rojas who was working for the Sauteras "family." Grondyke had a wiretap recording of an affectionate call between Rojas and Banning and them arranging a meeting at night. H had the idea to have Bernado, an informant, tell Dunston of a drug "meeting" at the same time as his wife's "affair" meeting with Rojas to see if he "took bait" and was "dirty" too. Dunston did come alone with either his wife or his marine unit, but was seen arguing and threatening Rojas. Grondyke was ready to arrest them both but M and H pointed out that they hadn't seen anything illegal. They both interviewed Col and Mrs. Dunston at the same time but their stories fit; namely, that he didn't know about his wife's affair or drug dealings and Banning had "unknowingly" mailed cigars for a "favor." Grondyke came with evidence of Banning's secret off-shore bank account containing four payments and $80,000. Then she claimed she had unwittingly opened it as "a favor for Carlos." When even M didn't believe her, she said that she had figured out the mailing and wanted to quit but was blackmailed in order to "protect her husband's work." M didn't believe in Dunston's culpability and pulled rank deciding to use Bernardo to plant the story that Rojas was planning to run off with Banning and the Sauteras' money. Rojas would be too busy running to be able to discredit Dunston or the program. But when Grondyke took Banning to the airport to buy tickets she escaped and went to Rojas' house. M and H arrived to hear gunshots and Banning mortally wounded. They killed Rojas in a gunfight and M saved H from being shot. They told Dunston that Banning had been there "to call off their affair and that she had said she loved him."

Ron Katz, a very wealthy former roommate of Bud's (B) came to visit and started B obsessing over "missed opportunities." They had apparently been co-nerds and had races dis- and re- mantling PS2. Katz, founder of Wahwahpedal.com an online searchable database for music, had asked B to be his partner. B, too fearful, declined. Tiner said he had bought 100 shares the day the stock opened and it had recently had gone up $18 a share. B found that Brumby had been a professional boxer at age 17. He had seen stars during a fight and joined the Navy instead of going to a major fight he was booked in. He said he wondered "what might have been" every day. Gunny told B of a girl who had asked him to the Jr. Prom in high school. He didn't take her because he didn't have transportation or clothes etc. She married a dentist and had children but whispered to him recently at a reunion, "you should have called." Chegwidden (C) told B that Tiner had been asked by his brother, owner of a topless bar, to be his day manager. And, C said, he had worked during high school summers on a ranch in Wyoming, so he "could'a been a cowboy, yee haw." Katz and his snotty, prissy wife finally had lunch together and his wife sowed disgust at a child who would "cry." B realized that he wouldn't have traded his family for success with Katz.

Tuesday, November 9, 1999

Rogue - 92

Bud (B) was assigned as the JAG liaison to ex-SEAL Jack Raglan who conducts "mock" terrorist activities on naval facilities in order to test security. General Otis Flannick arrogantly ignored Raglan's breaking into and blowing up his base until Raglan added "believability" by adding public humiliation and "capturing" his wife from her shower. B hoped that would end his assignment but Chegwidden (C) told him that he was the most junior so he had to do it. B told Harm (H) that he didn't think the sentries, with live ammunition, knew it was a game so H went to talk with Raglan. During a manly hug Raglan stole Hs wallet- to teach him a lesson about security but H had already taken out his ID cards and lifted Raglan's walled as well. He said "fake left, go right" and reminded him of their football days together. Admiral Tom Kly told Raglan that his program was ended but gave him one last mission: "to sink a submarine." Instead, Raglan stole the San Pedro which was loaded with 60-mile range missiles. C took H with him to investigate and left Mac (M) in charge and to tell Harriet (Ht) at her own discretion. H told Kly that Raglan had done it "to prove you made a mistake in pulling the plug" and it would be in a "big and out-in-the-open way." Raglan had B, who injured his knee during the take over, read a prepared statement asking for $100 million or they would blow up a civilian target. The frigate USS Ellyson went to intercept the San Pedro so H joined it because he knew Raglan best. The skipper Cdr Wallace Burke [Malicious, know-it-all, who court-martialed the SECNAVs son in a previous episode] started with bullying and abusing H. Raglan hid below a thermocline then fired a water slug to confuse Burke and get away. B tried to signal but was tied up until he promised to behave.

H told Burke that Raglan would go west down the coast and Burke said East. A sensor was tripped east so Burke chased and ordered "sub bombs'' dropped over Hs vehement objections [baiting him as he had done the SECNAVs son]. They turned out to be low energy charges to Hs relief and said it was "payback" for Hs cross-examination which had embarrassed him. Raglan radioed "you blew up a decoy, you return to base." Kly and C discussed philosophical issues about evacuating New York and that it had become personal. Finally Kly offered to consider it a "misinterpretation of orders" if Raglan would give up. Raglan gave the order to blow up the Statue of Liberty then let B think that he had swayed one of the crew by letting him use the radio to "tattle" to H about the target. This gave Raglan time enough to leave the ship. Burke was enthused about "killing" the sub and had ordered to "fire" just as it surfaced and gave up. H figured out that Raglan wasn't on board and surmised that he was going after Kly's wife just as he had done with gen Flannick. H was ready to intercept him. Kly was going to court-martial Raglan but H intervened saying it was a legal minefield having been deceived and defeated by a security exercise he had authorized himself. C asked him if he really wanted the public to know he had been ready to blow up a $600 million sub. Kly relented.

Ht, who had gone home to be with little AJ upset that B was in danger, came back and hugged him. H said "don't I get a hug, I helped" and B replied "just as soon as I'm done with my wife."

Tuesday, November 2, 1999

Psychic Warrior - 91

Lieutenant McGrane, the subject of a "remote viewing" experiment had "flashbacks" and killed himself by escaping the room and jumping off a balcony. Admiral Harrison Spencer, the director of the "Star Gazer" research program for the navy was then blamed for the death by Admiral Linsenmeyer, director of naval intelligence, who was trying to make his embarrassing program go-away. McGrane had lied in order to join the experiment and Spencer had initiated his "viewing" experience before the drug screen had returned. McGrane was using psychotropic drugs "Sertraline and Fluoxetrine" for "manic-depression and anxiety." Arrogant Linsenmeyer commanded Harm (H) and Mac (M) to "work it out with the minimum embarrassment to the navy," and H had to put him in his place saying his sole allegiance was to exonerate Spencer. M badgered H about paranormal belief and predicting the super bowl. Spencer wanted to take the stand and use the trial to publicize his research despite Hs disagreement. M badgered him into claiming he could bend spoons and trying on the stand. He failed and blamed it on the "environment" of the courtroom. Bud (B) was helping M with prosecution but began badgering professor Pilkinton, his own know-it-all skeptic witness who was maligning anyone who believed in paranormal activities in general. M had to tell him to "sit down and be quiet." On cross examination, H showed him up for the arrogant bigot he was.

Chloe called M from her grandparents house and asked if she was dating H yet. She said she had a dream where they married and she was the flower girl. Later she fell off her horse during a ride and went missing. M was worried and Spencer offered to "remote view" in order to find her. M told him unequivocally no but then while M was cross examining him went into a trance and said he saw Chloe under a covered bridge, over a dry stream, by some white rocks. Spencer was found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter but guilty of disobeying an order (using McGrane before tox screen back). M flew back to Chloe's grandparents house and, while on the plane, had a "vision" of lightening striking a tree in the forest and Chloe appearing from behind it. When riding in the truck with her grandmother they were stopped by a tree across the road. M recognized it from her vision and began searching the area. Chloe was found wet and whining. When M came back to JAG she said that she was recommending the court accept "mitigating" evidence and retirement with no loss of rank or benefits. Spencer looked at her surprised by her turn-around and declared that she had seen a vision. When M admitted she had to H, he asked her who was going to win the super bowl.