A FEW GOOD MEN (1992) Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Kiefer Sutherland, Jack Nicholson

The defendants Dawson and Downey are charged (apparently in a military court, but it is unclear) with the murder of Pvt. Santiago at the Guantanamo Marine base in Cuba. They are two other members of his platoon. They have confessed to the killing. The defense is that they were following orders -- known as a "code red" -- to discipline Santiago for going outside the chain of command and reporting misconduct within the platoon.


JUDGE: Without objection, the sworn confessions of the two defendants have been read to the jury and entered into the court record.

ROSS. No objection, your honor.

DEFENSE. No objection.

JUDGE. Is the Government prepared to make an opening statement?

1) PROSECUTOR. Yes sir. The facts of the case are this: At midnight on August 6th, the defendants went into the barracks room of their platoon-mate, PFC William Santiago. They woke him up, tied his arms and legs with rope, and forced a rag into his throat. A few minutes later, a chemical reaction in Santiago's body called lactic acidosis caused his lungs to begin bleeding. He drowned in his own blood and was pronounced dead at 32 minutes past midnight.

These are the facts of the case. And they are undisputed. That's right. The story I just told you is

the exact same story you're going to hear from Corporal Dawson, and it's the exact same story you're going to hear from Private Downey. Furthermore, the Government will also demonstrate that the defendants soaked the rag with poison, and entered Santiago's room with motive and intent to kill.

Now, Lt. Keefe is gonna try to pull off a little magic act, he's gonna try a little misdirection. He's going to astonish you with stories of rituals and dazzle you with official sounding terms like Code Red. He might even cut into a few officers for you. He'll have no evidence, mind you, none. But it's gonna be entertaining. When we get to the end, all the magic in the world will not have been able to divert your attention from the fact that Willy Santiago is dead, and Dawson and Downey killed him. These are the facts of the case.

And they are undisputed.

2) DEFENSE. There was no poison on the rag and there was no intent to kill and any attempt to prove otherwise is futile because it just ain't true.

When Dawson and Downey went into Santiago's room that night, it wasn't because of vengeance or hatred, it wasn't to kill or harm, and it wasn't because they were looking for kicks on a Friday night. It's because it was what they were ordered to do.

Let me say that again: It's because it was what they were ordered to do. Now, out in the real world, that means nothing. And here at the Washington Navy Yard, it doesn't mean a whole lot more. But if you're a marine assigned to Rifle Security Company Windward, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and you're given an order, you follow it or you pack your bags.

Make no mistake about it, Harold Dawson and Louden Downey are sitting before you in judgement today because they did their job.

JUDGE. Is the Government ready to call its first witness?

PROSECUTOR. Please the Court, the Government calls R.C McGuire.

3) Q. Mr. McGuire, would you state your full name and occupation for the record, please?

A. Robert C. McGuire, Special Agent, Naval Investigative Service.

4) Q. Mr. McGuire, did your office receive a letter from PFC William Santiago on 3 August of this year?

A. We did.

5) Q. What did the letter say?

A. That a member of Private Santiago's unit had illegally fired his weapon over the fenceline.

6) Q. Was that marine identified in the letter?

A. No sir. I notified the barracks C.O., Colonel Jessep, that I would be coming down to investigate.

7) Q. And what did you find?

A. For the shift reported, only one sentry returned his weapon to the switch with a round of ammunition missing.

8) Q. And who was that?

A. Lance Corporal Harold Dawson.

********* CROSS-EXAM *********

9) Q. Mr. McGuire, have you questioned Corporal Dawson about the fenceline shooting?

A. Yes. He claims to have been engaged in some manner by the enemy.

10) Q. But you don't believe him.

A. It's not my place--

11) Q. Corporal Dawson's been charged with a number of crimes, why wasn't he charged with firing at the enemy without cause?

A. There wasn't enough evidence to support such a charge.

******** REDIRECT *********

12) Q Mr. McGuire, I don't understand what you mean when you say there wasn't enough evidence to support such a charge. You had Willy Santiago's letter.

A. Santiago was the only witness, but I never had a chance to interview him. So I don't know what he saw.

13) Q. And now we won't ever know, will we, Mr. McGuire?

A. No.


......Corporal Carl Edward Hammaker, Marine Barracks, Rifle Security Company Windward, Second Platoon Charlie.

14) Q. Corporal, were you present at a meeting that Lt. Kendrick held on the afternoon of August 6th with the members of second platoon.

A. Yes sir.

15) Q. Would you tell the Court the substance of that meeting?

A. Lt. Kendrick told us that we had an informer in our group. That Private Santiago had gone outside the chain of command and reported to the NIS on a member of our platoon.

16) Q. Did that make you mad? You can tell the truth, corporal, it's alright. Did it make you mad?

A. Yes sir.

17) Q. How mad?

A. Private Santiago betrayed a code that we believe in very deeply, sir.

18) Q. Were the other members of the squad angry?

DEFENSE. Object--

Q. Were Dawson and Downey?

DEFENSE. Please the Court, is the judge advocate honestly asking this witness to testify as to how the defendant felt on August 6th?

JUDGE. Sustained.

19) Q. Corporal, did Lt. Kendrick leave a standing order at that meeting?

A. Yes sir.

20) Q. What was it?

A. Well it was clear that he didn't want us to take matters into our own hands, sir.

21) Q. What was the order?

A. Sir, he said that Santiago wasn't to be touched.

******** CROSS EXAMINATION *******

22) Q. Corporal Hammaker, were you in Dawson and Downey's barracks room ten minutes after this meeting?

A. No sir.

******* NEXT WITNESS -- Corporal Raymond Thomas -- DIRECT ***********

23) DEFENSE. Please the Court, I understand Lt. Ross is planning on calling all the other members of Rifle Security Company Windward to testify.

PROSECUTOR In light of the defense that Lt. Kaffee is planning to mount, the explicit instructions of the platoon leader seems particularly relevant testimony.

DEFENSE. The defense is willing to concede that all 23 witnesses will testify substantially as Corporal Hammaker did, if the Government is willing to concede that none of them were in Dawson and Downey's room at 16:20 on August 6th.

JUDGE. Lieutenant?

PROSECUTOR. The Government will agree to the stipulation, sir.

JUDGE. Then we'll adjourn for the day. You can call your next witness in the morning.

* * * NEXT WITNESS. DR. STONE -- direct ***

... And he was pronounced dead at zero- zero-thirty-seven.

24) Q. Dr. Stone, what's lactic acidosis?

A. If the muscles and other cells of the body burn sugar instead of oxygen, lactic acid is produced. That lactic acid is what caused Santiago's lungs to bleed.

25) Q. How long does it take for the muscles and other cells to begin burning oxygen instead of sugar?

A. Twenty to thirty minutes.

26) Q. And what caused Santiago's muscles and other cells to start burning sugar?

A. An ingested poison of some kind.

DEFENSE. Your Honor, we object at this point. The witness is speculating.

PROSECUTOR. Commander Stone is an expert medical witness, in this courtroom his opinion isn't considered speculation.

DEFENSE. Commander Stone is an internist, not a criminologist, and the medical facts here are ultimately inconclusive.

JUDGE. A point which I'm confident you'll illustrate to the jury under cross examination, so I'm sure you won't mind if his opinion is admitted now.

DEFENSE. Not at all, sir. Objection withdrawn.

27) Q. Doctor Stone, did Willy Santiago die of poisoning?

A. Absolutely.

28) Q. Are you aware that the lab report and the coroners report showed no traces of poison?

A. Yes I am.

29) Q. Then how do you justify--

A. There are literally dozens of toxins which are virtually undetectable, both in the human body and on a fabric. The nature of the acidosis is the compelling factor in this issue.

******* CROSS EXAMINATION **********

30) Q. Commander, you testified that it takes lactic acidosis 20 to 30 minutes before it becomes lethal.

A. Yes

31) Q. Let me ask you, is it possible for a person to have an affliction, some sort of condition, which might, in the case of this person, actually speed up the process of acidosis dramatically? .... Commander, is it possible?

A. Certainly.

32) Q. What might some of those conditions be?

A. If a person had a coronary disorder ... or a cerebral disorder, the process would be more rapid.

33) Q. Commander, if I had a coronary condition, and a perfectly clean rag was placed in my mouth, and the rag was accidentally pushed too far down, is it possible that my cells would continue burning sugar after the rag was taken out?

A. It would have to be a very serious condition.

34) Q. Is it possible to have a serious coronary condition, where the initial warning signals were so mild as to escape a physician during a routine medical exam?

A. Possibly. There would still be symptoms though.

35) Q. What kind of symptoms?

A. There are hundreds of symptoms of a--

36) Q. Chest pains?

A. Yes.

37) Q. Shortness of breath?

A. Yes.

38) Q. Fatigue?

A. Of course.

39) Q. [Hands document] Doctor, is this your signature?

A. Yes it is.

40) Q. This in an order for Private Santiago to be put on restricted duty. Would you read your hand written remarks at the bottom of the page, please, sir.

A. (reading) "Initial testing negative. Patient complains of chest pains, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Restricted from running distances over five miles for one week."

41) Q. Commander, isn't it possible that Santiago had a serious coronary condition, and it was that condition, and not some mysterious poison, that caused the accelerated chemical reaction?

A. No. I personally give the men a physical examination every three months. And every three months Private Santiago got a clean bill of health.

42) Q. And that's why it had to be, poison, right, Commander? 'Cause Lord knows, if you put a man with a serious coronary condition back on duty with a clean bill of health, and that man died from a heart related incident, you'd have a lot to answer for, wouldn't you, doctor?

PROSECUTOR. Object. Move to strike.

JUDGE. Sustained. Strike it.

DEFENSE. No more questions, judge.

******** REDIRECT *************

43) PROSECUTOR Dr. Stone, you've held a license to practice medicine for 21 years, you are Board Certified in Internal Medicine, you are the Chief of Internal Medicine at a hospital which serves over 8000 men. In your professional opinion, was Willy Santiago poisoned?

DEFENSE: Your Honor, we re-new our objection to Commander Stone's testimony, and ask that it be stricken from the record. And we further ask that the Court instruct the jury to lend no weight to this testimony.

JUDGE. The objection's overruled, counsel.

DEFENSE. Sir, the defense strenuously objects and requests a meeting in chambers so that his honor might have an opportunity to hear discussion before ruling on the objection.

JUDGE. The objection of the defense has been. heard and overruled.

DEFENSE: Exception.

JUDGE. Noted. The witness is an expert and the court will hear his opinion.

44) Q. Doctor, in your expert, professional opinion, was Willy Santiago poisoned?

A. Yes

PROSECUTOR. Please the Court, while we reserve the right to call rebuttal witnesses if the need arises, the Government rests.

* * * FIRST DEFENSE WITNESS ***********

45) Q. Corporal Howard, name some reasons why a marine would get a code red?

A. Being late for platoon or company meetings, keeping his barracks in disorder, falling back on a run...

46) Q. Have you ever received a code red?

A. Yes sir. We were doing seven man assault drills, and my weapon slipped. It's just cause it was over a hundred degrees and my palms were sweaty and I'd forgot to use the resin like we were taught.

47) Q. And what happened?

A. That night the guys in my squad threw a blanket over me and took turns punching me in the arm for five minutes. Then they poured glue on my hands. And it worked, too, 'cause I ain't never dropped my weapon since.

48) Q. Was Private Santiago ever late for platoon meetings?

A. Yes sir.

49) Q. Was his barracks ever in disorder?

A. Yes sir.

50) Q. Did he ever fall back on a run?

A. All the time, sir.

51) Q. Did he ever, prior to the night of August 6th, receive a code red?

A. No

Q. Never?

A. No

52) Q. You got a code red 'cause your palms were sweaty. Why didn't Santiago, this burden to his unit, ever get one?

A. Dawson wouldn't allow it, sir.

53) Q. Dawson wouldn't allow it.

A. The guys talked tough about Santiago, but they wouldn't go near him. They were too afraid of Dawson, sir.

OBJ. Object. The witness is characterizing.

54) Q. I'll rephrase. Jeffrey, did you ever want to give Santiago a code red?

A. Yes

55) Q. Why didn't you?

A. 'Cause Dawson'd kick my butt, sir.

DEF. Good enough. Lt. Ross is gonna ask you some questions now.

*********** CROSS ***************

56) Q. [with book] Corporal Howard, I hold here The Marine Guide and General Information Handbook for New Recruits. Are you familiar with this book?

A. Yes

57) Q. Have you read it?

A. Yes

58) Q. Good. (hands him the book) Would you turn to the chapter that deals with code reds, please.

A. Sir?

59) Q. Just flip to the page in that book that discusses code reds.

A. Sir, you see, Code Red is a term we use-- it's just used down at GITMO, sir. I don't know if it actually--

60) Q. [another book] We're in luck, then. The Marine Corps Guide for Sentry Duty, NAVY BASE Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I assume we'll find the term code red and its definition in this book, am I correct?

A. No sir.

61) Q. No? Corporal Howard, I'm a marine. Is their no book, no manual or pamphlet, no set of orders or regulations that let me know that, as a marine, one of my duties is to perform code reds?

A. No sir. No books, sir.

PROSECUTOR. No further questions.

************ REDIRECT **************

62) DEFENSE [with book] Corporal, would you turn to the page in this book that says where the enlisted men's mess hall is?

A. That's not in the book, sir.

63) Q. I don't understand, how did you know where the enlisted men's mess hall was if it's not in this book?

A. I guess I just followed the crowd at chow time, sir.

************ NEXT WITNESS **********

64) Q. Lt. Kendrick, in your opinion, was Private Santiago a good marine?

A. I'd say he was about average.

65) Q. Lieutenant, you signed three fitness reports on Santiago. On all three reports you indicated a rating of Below Average.

A. Yes. Private Santiago was Below Average I didn't see the need in trampling on a man's grave.

66) Q. We appreciate that, but you're under oath now, and I think unpleasant as it may be, we'd all just as soon hear the truth.

A. I'm aware of my oath.

67) Q. Lieutenant, these are the last three fitness reports you signed for Lance Corporal Dawson and PFC Downey. Downey received three straight marks of Exceptional. Dawson received two marks of Exceptional, but on this most recent report, dated June 9th of this year, he received a rating of Below Average. It's this last report that I'd like to discuss for a moment. Lance Corporal Dawson's ranking after Infantry Training School was perfect. Records indicate that over half that class has since been promoted to full corporal, while Dawson has remained a lance corporal. Was Dawson's promotion held up because of this last fitness report.

A. I'm sure it was.

68) Q. Do you recall why Dawson was given such a poor grade on this report?

A. I'm sure I don't. I have many men in my charge, Lieutenant, I write many fitness reports.

69) Q. Do you recall an incident involving a PFC Curtis Barnes who'd been found stealing liquor from the Officer's Club?

A. Yes

70) Q. Did you report private Barnes to the proper authorities?

A. I have two books at my bedside, Lieutenant, the Marine Code of Conduct and the King James Bible. The only proper authorities I'm aware of are my Commanding Officer, Colonel Nathan R. Jessep and the Lord our God.

71) Q. Lt. Kendrick, at your request, I can have the record reflect your lack of acknowledgment of this court as a proper authority.

OBJ: Objection. Argumentative.

JUDGE. Sustained. Watch yourself, counselor.

72) Q. Did you report Private Barnes to your superiors?

A. I remember thinking very highly of Private Barnes, and not wanting to see his record tarnished by a formal charge.

73) Q. You preferred it to be handled within the unit.

A. I most certainly did.

74) Q. Lieutenant, do you know what a Code Red is?

A. Yes.

75) Q. Have you ever ordered a code red?

A. No, I have not.

76) Q. Lieutenant, did you order Dawson and two other men to make sure that Private Barnes receive no food or drink except water for a period of seven days?

A. That's a distortion of the truth. Private Barnes was placed on barracks restriction. He was given water and vitamin supplements, and I assure you that at no time was his health in danger.

77) Q. I'm sure it was lovely for Private Barnes, but you did order the barracks restriction, didn't you? And you did order the denial of food.

A. Yes

78) Q. Wouldn't this form of discipline be considered a code red?

A. Not necessarily.

79) Q. If I called the other 8000 men at Guantanamo Bay to testify, would they consider it a Code Red?

OBJ. Please the court, the witness can't possibly testify as to what 8000 other men would say. We object to this entire line of questioning as argumentative and irrelevant badgering of the witness.

JUDGE. The Goverrment's objection is sustained, Lt. Kaffee and I would remind you that you're now questioning marine officer with an impeccable service record.

80) Q. Lieutenant, was Dawson given a rating of Below Average on this last fitness report because you learned held been sneaking food to Private Barnes?

A. Corporal Dawson was found to be Below Average because he committed a crime.

81) Q. What crime did he commit Lieutenant Kendrick? Dawson brought a hungry guy some food. What crime did he commit?

A. He disobeyed an order.

82) Q. And because he did, because he exercised his own set of values, because he made a decision about the welfare of a marine that was in conflict with an order of yours, he was punished, is that right?

A., Corporal Dawson disobeyed an order.

83) Q. Yeah, but it wasn't a order, was it? After all, it's peacetime. He wasn't being asked to secure a hill...or advance on a beachhead. I mean, surely a marine of Dawson's intelligence can be trusted to determine on his own, which are the really important orders, and which orders might, say, be morally questionable. Lt. Kendrick? Can he? Can Corporal Dawson determine on his own which orders he's gonna follow?

A. No, he can not.

84) Q. A lesson he learned after the Curtis Barnes incident, am I right?

A. I would think so.

85) Q. You know so, don't you, Lieutenant.


JUDGE. Sustained.

86) Q. Lieutenant Kendrick, one final question: if you ordered Dawson to give Santiago a code red...

PROSECUTOR --please the court--

A. I told those men not to touch Santiago.

Q. --is it reasonable to think that he would've disobeyed you again?

PROSECUTOR. Lieutenant, don't answer that.

DEFENSE. You don't have to, I'm through.

*************** Cross **************

87) PROSECUTOR Lieutenant Kendrick, did you order Corporal Dawson and Private Downey to give Willy Santiaga code red? Lt. Kendrick, did you--

A. No I did not.

************** DIRECT OF DEFENDANT **********

88) Q. Private, I want you to tell us one last time: Why did you go into Private Santiago's room on the night of August 6th?

A. A code red was ordered by my platoon commander, Lt. Jonathan James Kendrick.

*********** cross ********

89) Q. Private, for the week of 2 August, the switch log has you down at Post 39, is that correct?

A. I'm sure it is, sir, they keep that log pretty good.

90) Q. How far is it from Post 39 to the Windward barracks?

A. It's a ways, sir, it's a hike.

91) Q. About how far by jeep?

A. About ten, fifteen minutes, sir.

92) Q. Have you ever had to walk it?

A. Yes sir. That day, sir. Friday. The Pick-up Private--sir, that's what we call the fella who drops us at our posts and picks us up... also, 'cause he can get girls in New York City -- the Pick-up Private got a flat... ... Right at 39. He pulled up and blam! ... A blowout-with no spare. The two of us had to double-time it back to the barracks.

93) Q. And if it's ten or fifteen minutes by jeep, I'm guessing it must be a good hour by foot, am I right?

A. Pick-up and me did it in 45 flat, sir.

94) Q. Not bad. Now you say your assault on Private Santiago was the result of an order that Lt. Kendrick gave in your barracks room at 16:20.

A. Yes sir.

95) Q. But you just said that you didn't make it back to Windward Barracks until 16:45.

A. Sir?

96) Q. If you didn't make it back to your barracks until 16:45, then how could you be in your room at 16:20?

A. You see sir, there was a flat tire.

97) Q. Private, did you ever actually hear Lt. Kendrick order a Code Red?

A. No, sir.

DEFENSE. Please the court, I'd like to request a recess in order to confer with my client.

98) Q. Why did you go into Santiago's room?

DEFENSE: The witness has rights.

PROSECUTOR. The witness has been read his rights, commander.


Q. Why did you go into Santiago's room?

DEFENSE: Your honor--


Q. Did Corporal Dawson tell you to do it? He did, didn't he? Dawson told you to give Santiago a code red.

A. Hal?

Q. Don't look at him.

A. Hal? Yes, Lieutenant. I was given an order by my squad leader, Lance Corporal Harold W. Dawson of the U.S. Marine Corps. And I followed it.

********** DIRECT OF COL. JESSUP **********

JUDGE. Call your witness.

DEFENSE Defense calls Colonel Nathan Jessep.

PROSECUTOR. Colonel, do you solemnly swear that testimony you will give in this General Court-Martial will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God?

A. Yes i do

99) Q. Would you state your name, rank, and current billet for the record please, air?

A. Colonel Nathan R. Jessep, Commanding officer, Marine Ground Forces, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

100) Q. Thank you, sir, would you have a seat, please. Colonel, when you learned of Santiago's letter to the NIS, you had a meeting witht your two senior officers, is that right?

A. Yes.

101) Q. The Executive Officer, Lt. Jonathan Kendrick, and the Company Commander, Captain Matthew Markinson.

A. Yes

102) Q. And at present, Captain Markinson is dead, is that right?

PROSECUTOR. Objection. I'd like to know just what defense counsel is implying?

DEF. I'm implying simply that, at present, Captain Markinson is not alive.

PROSECUTOR. Surely Colonel Jessep doesn't need to appear in this courtroom to confirm that information.

DEF. I just wasn't sure if the witness was aware that two days ago, Captain Markinson took his own life with a .45 caliber pistol.

JUDGE: The witness is aware, the Court is aware, and now the jury is aware. We thank you for bringing this to our attention. Move on Lieutenant.

103) Q. Yes sir. Colonel, at the time of this meeting, you gave Lt. Kendrick an order, is that right?

A. I told Kendrick to tell his men that Santiago wasn't to be touched.

104) Q. And did you give an order to Captain Markinson as well?

A. I ordered Markinscn to have Santiago transferred off the base immediately.

105) Q. Why?

A. I felt that his life might be in danger once word of the letter got out.

106) Q. Grave danger?

A. Is there another kind?

107) Q. holds up a document from his table. We have the transfer order that you and Markinson co-signed, ordering that Santiago be lifted on a flight leaving Guantanamo at six the next morning. Was that the first flight off the base?

A. The six a.m. flight was the first flight off the base.

108) Q. Colonel, you flew up to Washington early this morning, is that right?

A. Yes.

109) Q. I notice you're wearing your Class A appearance in dress uniform for court today.

A. As are you, Lieutenant.

110) Q. Did you wear that uniform on the plane?

OBJ. Please the Court, is this dialogue relevant to anything in particular?

RESP. The defense didn't have an opportunity to depose this witness, your honor. I'd ask the Court for a little latitude.

JUDGE. A very little latitude.

Q. Colonel?

A. I wore fatigues on the plane.

111) Q. And you brought your dress uniform with you.

A. Yes.

112) Q. And a toothbrush? A shaving kit? Change of underwear?

PROSECUTOR. Your honor.

DEF. Is the Colonel's underwear a matter of national security?

Judge: Gentlemen. You better get somewhere fast with this, Lieutenant.

Q. Yes sir. Colonel?

A. I brought a change of clothes and some personal items.

113) Q. Thank you. After Dawson and Downey's arrest on the night of the sixth, Santiago's barracks room was sealed off and its contents inventoried. (reading) Pairs of camouflage pants, 6 camouflage shirts, 2 pairs of boots, 1 pair of brown shoes, 1 pair of tennis shoes, 8 khaki tee- shirts, 2 belts, 1 sweater--

PROSECUTOR. Please the Court, is there a question anywhere in our future?

JUDGE. Lt. Kaffee I have to--

114) Q. I'm wondering why Santiago wasn't packed. ..... I'll tell you what, we'll get back to that one in a minute. This is a record of all telephone calls made from your base in the past 24 hours. After being subpoenaed to Washington, you made three calls. I've highlighted those calls in yellow. Do you recognize those numbers?

A. I called Colonel Fitzhuqhes in Quantico, Va. I wanted to let him know I'd be in town. The second call was to set up a meeting with Congressman Ramond of the House Armed Services Comittee, and the third call was to my sister Elizabeth.

115) Q. Why did you make that call, sir?

A. I thought she might like to have dinner tonight.


JUDGE. I'm gonna put a stop to this now.

116) DEFENSE. Your honor, these are the telephone records from GITMO for August 6th. And these are 14 letters that Santiago wrote in nine months requesting, in fact begging, for a transfer. Upon hearing the news that he was finally getting his transfer, Santiago was so excited, that do you know how many people he called? Zero. Nobody. Not one call to his parents saying he was coming home. Not one call to a friend saying can you pick me up at the airport. He was asleep in his bed at midnight, and according to you he was getting on a plane in six hours, yet everything he owned was hanging neatly in his closet and folded neatly in his footlocker. You were leaving for one day and you packed a bag and made three phone calls. Santiago was leaving for the rest of his life, and he hadn't called a soul and he hadn't packed a thing. Can you explain that? The fact is there was no transfer order. Santiago wasn't going anywhere, isn't that right, Colonel.

PROSECUTOR. Object. Your Honor, it's obvious that Lt. Kaffee's intention this morning is to smear a high ranking marine officer in the desperate hope that the mere appearance of impropriety will win him points with the jury..... It's my recommendation, sir, that Lt. Kaffee receive an official reprimand from the bench, and that the witness be excused with the Court's deepest apologies.

JUDGE. Overruled.

PROSECUTOR. Your honor--

JUDGE. The objection's noted.

117) Q. Colonel? Is this funny, sir?

A. No. It's not. It's tragic.

118) Q. Do you have an answer?

A. Absolutely. My answer is I don't have the first damn clue. Maybe he was an early morning riser and he liked to pack in the nq. And maybe he didn't have any friends. I'm an educated man, but I'm afraid I can't speak intelligently about the travel habits of William Santiago. What I do know is that he was set to leave the base at 0600. Now are these really the questions I was called here to answer? Phone calls and footlockers? Please tell me you've got something more, Lieutenant. Please tell me there's an ace up your sleeve. These two marines are on trial for their lives. Please tell me their lawyer hasn't pinned their hopes to a phone bill..... Do you have any other questions for me, counselor?

JUDGE. Lieutenant, do you have anything further for this witness?

JESSEP gets up to leave.

DEFENSE. Excuse me, I didn't dismiss you.

JESSEP. I beg your pardon.

DEFENSE. I'm not through with my examination. Sit down.

JESSEP. Colonel.

Q. What's that?

A. I'd appreciate it if he addressed me as Colonal or Sir. I believe I've earned it.

JUDGE: Defense counsel will address the witness as Colonel or Sir.

JESSEP. I don't know what the hell kind of an outfit you're running here.

JUDGE: And the witness will address this Court as Judge or Your Honor. I'm quite certain I've earned it. Take your seat, Colonel.

JESSEP. What would you like to discuss now! My favorite color?

119) Q. Colonel, the six a.m. flight, was the first one off the base?

A. Yes.

120) Q. There wasn't a flight that left seven hours earlier and landed at Andrews Airforce Base at 2 a.m.?

JUDGE. Lieutenant, I think we've covered this, haven't we?

DEFENSE (holding books) Your Honor, these are the Tower Chief's Logs for both Guantanamo Bay and Andrews Airforce Base. The Guantanamo log lists no flight that left at eleven p.m., and the Andrews log lists no flight that landed at 2 a.m. I'd like to admit them as Defense Exhibits "A" and "B".

JUDGE: I don't understand. You're admitting evidence of a flight that never existed?

DEFENSE. We believe it did, sir. The Defense will be calling Airman Cecil O'Malley and Airman Anthony Perez. They were working the ground crew at Andrews at two a.m. on the seventh.

PROSECUTOR. Your Honor, these men weren't on the list.

DEFENSE. Rebuttal witnesses, Your Honor, called specifically to reflite testimony offered under direct examination.

JUDGE. I'll allow the witnesses.

121) Q. Colonel, a moment ago--

A. Check the Tower Logs for christ's sake.

122) Q. We'll get to the airmen in just a minute, sir. A moment ago said that you ordered Kendrick to order his men not to touch Santiago.

A. That's right.

123) Q. And Kendrick was clear on what you wanted?

A. Crystal.

124) Q. Any chance Kendrick ignored the order?

A. Ignored the order?

125) Q. Any chance he just forgot about it?

A. No.

126) Q. Any chance Kendrick left your office and said, "The 'old man's wrong"?

A. No

127) Q. When Kendrick spoke to the platoon and ordered them not to touch Santiago, any chance they ignored him?

A. Have you ever spent time in an infantry unit, son?

128) Q. No sir.

A. Ever served in a forward area?

129) Q. No sir

A. Ever put your life in another man's hands, ask him to put his life in yours?

130) Q. No sir.

A. We follow orders, son. We follow orders or people die. It's that simple. Are we clear?

131) Q. Yes sir.

A. Are we clear?

132) Q. Crystal. Colonel, I have just one more question before I call Airman O'Malley and Airman Perez: If you gave an order that Santiago wasn't to be touched, and your orders are always followed, then why would he be in danger, why would it be necessary to transfer him off the base?

A. Private Santiago was a sub-standard marine. He was being transferred off the base because--

133) Q. But that's not what you said. You said he was being transferred because he was in grave danger.

A. Yes. That's correct, but--

134) Q. You said, "He was in danger". I said, "Grave danger". You said--

A. Yes, I recall what--

135) Q. I can have the Court Reporter read back your--

A. I know what I said. I don't need it read back to me like I'm a damn--

136) Q. Then why the two orders? Colonel? Why did you--

A. Sometimes men take matters into their own hands.

137) Q. No sir. You made it clear just a moment ago that your men never take matters into their own hands. Your men follow orders or people die. So Santiago shouldn't have been in any danger at all, should he have, Colonel?

A. You little bastard.

PROSECUTOR. Your Honor, I have to ask for a recess to--

DEFENSE. I'd like an answer to the question, Judge.

JUDGE. The Court'll wait for answer.

138) Q. If Kendrick told his men that Santiago wasn't to be touched, then why did he have to be transferred? Colonel? Kendrick ordered the code red, didn't he? Because that's what you told Kendrick to do.


JUDGE. Counsel.

Q. And when it went bad, you cut these guys loose.

PROSECUTOR. Your Honor--

JUDGE. That'll be all, counsel.

Q. You had Markinson sign a phony transfer order--


Q. You doctored the log books.

PROS. Dammit, Kaffee

139) Q. I'll ask for the forth time. You ordered--

A. You want answers?

Q. I think I'm entitled to them.

A. You want answers?!

Q. I want the truth.

A. You can't handle the truth! .... Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You got me there. We use words like honor, code, loyalty...we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use 'em as a punchline.. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I'd prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to.

140) Q. Did you order the code red?

A. I did the job you sent me to do.

141) Q. Did you order the code red?

A. You're goddamn right I did.

Defense: Please the court, I suggest the jury be dismissed so that we can move to an immediate Article 39a Session. The witness has rights.

JUDGE. Lt. Ross?


JUDGE. The Sergeant at Arms will take the jury to an ante-room where you'll wait until further instruction.

JESSEP. What the hell's going on?

JUDGE. No one will say anything until the jurors are out of the room.

JESSEP. Captain, what the hell's going on? I did my job. I'd do it again. Now I'm getting on a plane and going back to my base.

JUDGE. M.P.'s, guard the prisoner.