Tuesday, November 26, 2002

The Killer - 168

Inspector Pietro Gianinni of Interpol requested JAG assistance investigating four serial killings in Italian cities wherever the destroyer USS Gillcrest was in port. Harm was diverted from the Seahawk to Italy and Manetti was sent to meet him because she was the only one in the office who had taken an FBI "profiling" course. She had never actually profiled a case before but was told to follow Hs lead. H walked in on her only wearing a towel in his room (while hers was being cleaned). She hit if off with Gianinni because she spoke Italian from her heritage. With Cmdr Amanda Waller, ships captain, and PO Marshall, they narrowed the suspects down to duty section four, the only one ashore during all four murders. Manetti gave the profile as a young man with female authority figure issues. They uncovered two previously unknown crimes but they both had alibi's. PO Lester Petrosky was with a prostitute who turned out to be a transvestite and got so upset he beat him up. PO Benjamin Holt's initial alibi didn't pan out but H eventually tricked him into admitting that he had raped a girl. Feeling they had failed they saw PO Marshall saying goodbye to his new wife who met him in his port's of call. They then started looking for a dependent of a crew member and the Waller told them of her step son Peter who had been under psychiatric help for anger and violent behavior after his father died. They had to subdue him but found a sailor's uniform in his suitcase.

B was found unfit for full duty by the physical evaluation board so he began conditioning w/ Turner's help while he requested a formal hearing. S was back and rebuffed all attempts at friendship of the staff. Ht obsessed at S's intended abortion and forced herself on S about not having one and advised that pregnancy was "a gift.". Later S came to Ht's house and AJ called her the wicked witch. S asked why she cared. Ht told her "I know what it's like to loose a child." "Sometimes it's not what you do that's hard, it's living with it afterwards." S said goodbye and that she was taking 30 days leave to "sort things out."

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

When the Bough Breaks - 167

Bud is preparing to return to JAG. He routinely Emails Coats, still aboard the carrier Seahawk with Singer, standing up "for practice." Ht, still worried about B "overdoing it," whined to Meredith about it when she was visiting Chegwidden. So Meredith came up with "sit down" busy work to coerce C into coercing B to do: reading 6 major volumes of work by Shakespeare. C was very concerned not to make B feel like his own choice of reading (comic books, star trek stuff) wasn't "good enough" but Meredith persisted. B was able to rapidly return the books because he said he "already knew the stories." Macbeth was "Dagger of the mind," Tempest was "Requiem for Methuselah" and Hamlet was "conscience of the King" all Star Trek episodes. He said that he was writing a fan fiction story himself for a web magazine based on Richard the Third called "Picard the Third."

Singer had wanted to become indispensable to the Captain by studying continually. "All work and no play makes Lauren a dull girl," Coates told Mac. Her vomiting, "sea sickness," had subsided and she since has been eating ravenously such that she had her uniform let out at the waist. She was watching on the catwalk when an arresting cable snapped killing a Boatswains mate trying to remove some FOD from the deck prior to a Hornet landing. After her heavy handed interviews she wanted to court-martial "all men that had a hand in putting those men in that position," seven in all including the Air Boss, LSO and Pri Fly lens operator. Captain Johnson was astounded and requested a "second opinion" from C. And, after S got light headed on the bridge he ordered her to sick bay, found that she was pregnant and filed conduct charges against her. So C sent H to give the second opinion and M to investigate S.

M talked to many people and couldn't find anyone who even liked her "let alone …." But S refused to give any information about the father except that the incident occurred about 3 1/2 months ago before she came aboard the ship. Her refusal to talk made M suspicious but when she could find absolutely no one who might be the father she had to drop the case. H called Manetti and asked her to "nose around" about S telling her "you'll know what your looking for when you find it." Manetti found that the barman at Benzinger's recognized S as a "tag along" with those JAG people who seemed to not really want her along. He also saw her with a "nondescript, sandy haired man" acting very happy and sitting in the back booth for a long time shortly before she left. Harm thought it was Sergei but didn't say anything to M. On the way back to JAG, H told S that he thought it was Sergei and she said nothing except that she was going to have an abortion.

All the men refused to talk to H about the incident because S had "turned all your witnesses into suspects." S said that her shock at witnessing the death had nothing to do with the report she filed. She thought rules were black and white and didn't understand why the captain wouldn't take her word. H told her that he was sticking to the rules like she always did. When H told the captain that the men's silence spoke to a cover-up and charges being appropriately filed, Johnson became very upset thinking he was "loosing it." He made mistake jumping to conclusion S was guilty and then that his men were innocent so he said he was resigning. After that everyone started to talk to H. He called everyone together in a "show" to convince Johnson not to retire. A Tomcat made a heavy and off center landing but the LSO PO wrote it up as normal. The F18 "Super" Hornet landed but Pri-Fly misdialed for a Hornet, 8,000# lighter. It "added" the equivalent of 15 traps to the wire but it still was within navy guidelines. Chief Kaufenhaus realized excessive run out on prior landing to 184" but reg's don’t call for in depth inspection until 185". Technically ALL were responsible but no ONE person was to blame. He said he was filing an amended report and Johnson asked "who the show was for." H said he shouldn't resign and he replied that he found "arguing with attorneys was rarely a winning proposition." M stayed onboard to replace S for 2 weeks until reaching Norfolk.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Ready or Not - 166

H defended Marine Maj Gen Lucas West (red team) charged with disobeying orders of Army Lt Genl Anthony Manzarek (joint ops leader) when he won a war game that he claimed was "rigged." West used small zodiac boats, troops had shoulder fired missiles and corporate jets were loaded with fuel and TNT and they ran directly at the battle group and disabled it. Manzarek wanted to put a punitive letter in West's record but he refused wanting his day in court. Blue team admiral Tucci whined that he was "killed" unfairly so he had to be "reconstituted" to finish the game. "West," he said, "had targeted their communications which is what the games had been scripted to test." Manzarek claimed he had disobeyed orders to stand down, but West said they had no communications as they were being jammed. Col Haller, West's chief of staff, told harm that they did have an emergency channel to communicate only "real world" emergencies. Turner brought up a previous incident of West's 10 years earlier when his battalion killed a column of Republican Guard who were "retreating" after having fired on West's men, after the cease fire had been called but before he had received the message. Harm found that Manzarek had testified against him back then as well and was angry when West had been cleared. West sent an Email to Oliver North who ranted about it on his radio talk show.

Mac was the judge for this trial and she dogged Hs standard courtroom procedures to the point that he said "I know, sustained" before she had the chance to do it. She let Turner get away with things that she wouldn't allow H. H tried to deal with Turner but he wouldn't. Haller then brought H a copy of West's complete battle plan that he had surreptitiously given to Manzarek 5 months before the game- a spy. He said he had originally been told West was a loose cannon but had now changed his mind. H reamed Manzarek on the stand and made him look like a fool . It was obvious that he had rigged the game to get rid of "an officer which he had branded as corrosive and disruptive." West was found not guilty on all counts. T said he was glad this one was over and H said "you and me both and appeal before this judge would be murder."

Meredith nearly killed C in her car saying she had been to "rally school." During a dinner she admitted to wounding her male high school home economics partner with a knife requiring stitches & loosing his tennis scholarship. He had a great dinner with her and said "I can't believe it." She admitted to having purchased their dinner at a restaurant." C tried, but failed, to confront her about her penchant for danger.

B & Ht had an open-house where C told him that his coming back was up to the doctors. M said the crab cakes looked "dangerous" and H asked her if that was a "ruling or an opinion." B found Manetti in his old office and she called him a "legend around the office" and a "true northern gentleman." He was approved to return to limited duty. Full duty would be determined by the Physical Review Board (85% fail).

Tuesday, November 5, 2002

Need to Know - 165

[Captivating episode about the submarine USS Angel Shark going down with 129 men aboard during a "compartmentalized mission (black-ops)" in 1968.] Congresswoman "Lillian," who was the daughter of the Angel Shark's captain, told the new SECNAV, Edward, that "she wasn't asking for favors." She had helped him become "what he wanted" now she "expected" him to help her get the classification lifted to provide "closure" for the families. So he authorized C to hold a second board of inquiry into the incident (the published results of the first one being a lie.) C assigned H & M but also Turner, because of his extensive submarine experience, to be court council. Norman Watts, CIA Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) got in a power struggle with the SECNAV and assigned Catherine Gale, touted to be really "tough," to represent them.

As the CIA was the Original Classifying Agent (OCA) Watts had the upper hand and kept blocking inquiry at every angle by claiming that the new hearings were only "level ONE" security cleared and the operations were "level TWO" so no one could reveal anything. H found that even Gale didn't know why the ops were classified so asked her if she was BLINDLY doing her job "how she knew she was doing the right thing." She told him because "I'm doing my job right and that makes it the right thing." H talked to W, thinking they had at least a working relationship after the Kabir capture, and was told that Watts had given him a direct order to "keep out of it" and not even "see" H. Gayle dogged H, M & Ts every move with secrecy level rhetoric trying to intimidate their witnesses into silence. Gale even dogged W for information about how to "rattle" H, M & T. He told her that with H "what you see is what you get, he never quits" and to leave him alone as well.

B, who was recuperating in Harriet's two story home, found a cross reference on the internet that a CIA agent had "committed suicide" two days after the Angel Shark went down. Surmising that he had been a "double agent" T said that the Russians may have had a Victor-class Hunter-killer sub waiting for them. He also knew that if it had been a "cable tapping" mission they would have been in the Sea of Okhotsk- not where the CIA had lied about. The COMSUBPAC admiral, didn't even know the mission, except that the president approved it! The then CNO admiral did know & did want it released but couldn't say anything- except let it slip that they did search for, and found, the ship due to its having released a radio buoy before it went down. H was masterfully unruffled in the hearing and with every avenue closed by Gale finally called Director Watts. It became much more clear that it really was a "pissing" contest between him and SECNAV so H asked for court order that they produce documents. Watts immediately classified even the recovery as "level TWO" to block Hs inquiry and had to admit that it wasn't the level of clearance but the "need to know" that determined who could see information; and, that with those rules he could even keep secrets from the president! W met H at the "wall of stars" in the CIA building representing those CIA agents who had died "anonymously." He said that he had been told by Watts to prevent H from "going to the press." H apparently effectively shamed him because W sneaked H a video tape of the burial at sea of recovered bodies that had been videotaped by the CIA. H surprised Gale with the tape which showed Watts himself to have supervised recovery! That conflict of interest was enough to get Gale to say she'd "talk to Watts about it. H suggested he could keep some of it secret, tell the surviving families, and show them the tape," which was done." The sub collided w/ a Russian sub which was tipped off by a CIA double agent. Immobilized and waiting for rescue they sent up the buoy and radioed but their pressure hull collapsed. They found the ship, secured the wiretapping devices, recovered bodies and videotaped the burial at sea.

Coates Emailed B that Singer had been "sick" continuously since coming on the ship but wouldn't go to the doctor. B struggled w/ rehab & eventually climbed stairs, in the house that Harriet went behind his back to have her daddy buy for them, to the upstairs bedroom where he then had to deal w/ Harriet's aversion to intimacy by saying "I'm not a freak. I just lost a bit of weight, finally." Watts was really pissed at W & reassigned him to Paramaribo, Surinan as deputy chief of station. He told H "it could have been worse, it could have been Canada." Watching the videotape together Webb told Harm "it's better than stars on a wall."