December 8, 2022

A Few Good Men

By Glenn

As a kid I didn’t “go to the movies” with adults.  On special occasions my Aunt Barbara would round up her nieces and nephews and take us to see classics like Herby the Love Bug.  In Bamberg Germany, my friends and I would walk together to the theater on the military base.

One trip to the theater as an adult with my parents, however, does stand out.  In 1992 A Few Good Men debuted, and my parents wanted to see it.  I remember the movie both for its famous court room scenes and my conversation with my parents after it.

Hopefully, you’ve seen the movie, and I won’t spoil the ending for you.   The plot centers on two Marines accused of murdering a fellow Marine, Private William “Willy” Santiago.  The two defended themselves claiming the death was the accidental result of a brutal hazing incident ordered by Base Commander Colonel Nathan Jessup.

At first nobody believes the two privates because Colonel Jessup denied ordering the illegal “Code Red,” or beating.  Eventually, their attorney, Naval Lieutenant Daniel Kaffe, believed them and called Col. Jessup to testify under oath. Kaffe’s questions goaded Jessup into saying more than he should.

In the movie’s most famous scene, Kaffe demanded the truth, and Jessup shouted back, “You can’t handle the truth.”  Jessup admitted under oath that he ordered the illegal Code Red because the Marines needed to be tough to protect America.

With this explosive testimony, a military jury convicted Colonel Jessup and the two privates.  One of the privates couldn’t understand the verdict because he was just following orders.  The other private explained the verdict: “We were supposed to fight for the people who couldn’t fight for themselves. We were supposed to fight for Willie.”

My dad instantly understood rationale.  He understood that the military serves the society, not that society serves the military.  My mom, however, couldn’t understand the guilty verdict.  My dad, a Vietnam veteran patiently explained that soldiers and marines shouldn’t follow illegal orders.  A Few Good Men say “no.”

Like Jessup, Donald Trump continues to mislead conservatives in beating down our democracy.  On January 6, 2021, he incited a mob to attack the United States Capital.  Like Jessup, Donald ordered a “Code Red.”  A few well-placed punches from the mob would “Stop the Steal.”

Unlike Jessup, Donald is not in jail yet.  Donald continues to promote illegal activities.  On December 3, 2022 he wrote “A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.”

Simply put, Donald called for treason.  Anyone following this mad man’s ranting will find themselves in jail with January 6 insurrectionists. Where do you stand?  With Donald?  With the United States of America?  I know my choice.

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