"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]


















A FEW GOOD MEN

Screenplay by

Aaron Sorkin



























Revised third draft
July 15, 1991

FADE IN:

EXT. A SENTRY TOWER--

--in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere.

Small beams of light coming from lamps attached to the tower
cut through the ground mist. We HEAR all the unidentifiable
sounds of night in the woods. We also HEAR, very, very
faintly, a slow, deliberate drum cadence. And as this starts,

we begin to MOVE SLOWLY UP THE TOWER, more becomes visible
now: ... the sandbags on the ground piled ten-high... the
steel, fire escape-type stairway wrapping around the
structure and leading to the lookout post, and finally... THE
LOOKOUT POST, maybe forty feet off the ground.

Standing the post is the silhouette of A MARINE. He's
holding a rifle and staring straight out.

The drum cadence has been building slightly.

CUT TO:

A WIDER SHOT OF THE FENCELINE. And we see by the moonlight
that the tall wire-mesh fence winds its way far, far into the
distance.

Subtitle: united states naval bas guantanamo bay- cuba.

The drum cadence continues, and we

CUT TO:

INT. A MARINE BARRACKS

We HEAR two pairs of footsteps and then

CUT TO:

THE BARRACKS CORRIDOR

where we see that the footsteps belong to DAWSON and DOWNEY,
two young marines who we'll get to know later. They stop
when they get to a certain door. The drum cadence is still
growing. DAWSON puts his hand on the doorknob and turns it
slowly. He opens's the door and they walk into

INT. SANTIAGO'S ROOM - NIGHT

WILLY SANTIAGO, a young, very slight marine, lies asleep in
his bunk.

DAWSON kneels down by the bed, puts his hand on SANTIAGO'S
shoulder and shakes him gently. SANTIAGO opens his yes, looks
at DAWSON, and for a moment there's nothing wrong--

--and then SANTIAGO's eyes fill with terror. He lunges out
of the bed----but forget about it. In one flash DAWSON and





DOWNEY grab him out of bed, and before the scream can come
out, DOWNEY's shoved a piece of cloth into SANTIAGO's mouth.

Everything that happens next occurs with speed, precision and
professionalism.

--A strip of duct tape is pulled, ripped, and slapped onto
his mouth and eyes--

--A length of rope is wrapped around his hands and feet.

DOWNEY
(quietly)
You're lucky it's us, Willy.

--An arm grabs him tightly around the neck, not choking him,
just holding his head still--

--The drum cadence has built to a crescendo. We HEAR four
sharp blasts from a whistle and we

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT. THE WASHINGTON NAVY YARD - DAY

and the drum cadence we've been hearing has turned into
Semper Fidelis and it's coming from

THE U.S. MARINE CORPS BAND, a sight to behold in their red
and gold uniforms and polished silver and brass.

The BAND is performing on the huge and lush parade grounds
before a crowd made up mostly of TOURISTS and DAY-CAMPERS.

As the TITLES ROLL, we watch the BAND do their thing from
various angles. Incredible precision is the name of the game.
Each polished black shoe hitting the ground as if they were
all attached by a rod. Each drumstick raised to tho same
fraction of a centimeter before striking. A RIFLE DRILL TEAM
that can't possibly be human. Flags, banners, the works.

SUBTITLE: THE WASHINGTON NAVY YARD, WASHINGTON, D.C.

CUT TO:

HIGH ANGLE of the entire band an we end credits.

CUT TO:

EXT. A RED BRICK BUILDING - DAY

It's an important building, a main building. A few SAILERS
enter and exit and

CUT TO:





A WOMAN

as she walks across the courtyard toward the brick building.
The WOMAN is

JOANNE GALLOWAY, a navy lawyer in her early 30's. She's
bright, attractive, impulsive, and has a tendency to speak
quickly. If she had any friends, they'd call her JO. As she
walks, she mutters to herself ...

JO
I'm requesting... I'm... Captain, I'd like
to request that I be the attorney assigned
to rep--I'd like to request that it be
myself who is assigned to represent--
(she stops)
"That it be myself who is assigned to
represent"? ...Good, Jo, that's confidence
inspiring.



We follow JO, still muttering, as she walks into the brick
building which bears the seal of the

UNITED STATES NAVY - JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL'S CORPS

CUT TO:

INT. WEST'S OFFICE - DAY

As JO enters. CAPTAIN WEST and two other officers, GIBBS
and LAWRENCE, sit around a conference table.

GIBBS
Jo, come on in.

JO
Thank you, sir.

GIBBS
Captain West, this is Lt. Commander
Galloway. Jo, you know Mike Lawrence.

JO
Yes sir.
(to WEST)
Captain, I appreciate your seeing me on
such short notice.

WEST
I understand there was some trouble over
the weekend down in Cuba.








JO
Yes sir..This past Friday evening. Two
marines, Corporal Harold Dawson and
Private Louden Downey, entered the
barracks room of a PFC William Santiago
and assaulted him. Santiago died at the
base hospital approximately an hour later.
The NIS agent who took their statements
maintains they were trying to prevent
Santiago from naming them in a fenceline
shooting incident. They're scheduled to
have a hearing down in Cuba at 4:00 this
afternoon.

LAWRENCE
What's the problem?

JO
Dawson and Downey are both recruiting
poster marines and Santiago was known to
be a screw-up. I was thinking that it
sounded an awful lot like a code red.

Jo lets this sink in a moment.

WEST
(under his breath)
Christ.

JO
I'd like them moved up to Washington and
assigned counsel. Someone who can really
look into this. Someone who possesses not
only the legal skill, but a familiarity
with the inner workings of the military.
In short, Captain, I'd like to suggest
that... I be the one who, that it be me
who is assigned to represent them.
(beat)
Myself.

Jo looks around the room for a response.

WEST
Joanne, why don't you get yourself a cup
of coffee.

JO
Thank you, sir, I'm fine.

WEST
Joanne, I'd like you to leave the room so
we can talk about you behind your back.

JO
Certainly, sir.





JO gets up and walks out.

WEST
I thought this Code Red shit wasn't going
on any-more.

LAWRENCE
With the marines at GITMO? Who the hell
knows what goes on down there.

WEST
Well lets find out before the rest of the
world does, this thing could get messy.
What about this woman?

LAWRENCE
Jo's been working a desk at internal
affairs for what, almost a year now.

WEST
And before that?

GIBBS
She disposed of three cases in two years.

WEST
Three cases in two years? Who was she
handling, the Rosenbergs?

GIBBS
She's not cut out for litigation.

LAWRENCE
She's a hall of an investigator, Jerry--

GIBBS
In internal affairs, sure. She can crawl
up a lawyer's ass with the best of 'em,
but when it comes to trial work--

WEST
I know. All passion, no street smarts.
Bring her back in.

LAWRENCE goes to the door and motions for JO to come back in.

WEST
(continuing)
Commander, we're gonna move the defendants
up here in the morning.

JO
Thank you, sir.

WEST
And I'll have Division assign them
counsel..




JO
(beat)
But ... not me.

WEST
From what I understand from your
colleagues, you're much too valuable in
your present assignment to be wasted on
what I'm sure will boil down to a five
minute plea bargain and a week's worth of
paper work.

JO
Sir--

WEST
Don't worry about it. I promise you,
division'll assign the right man for the
job.

CUT TO:

EXT. SOFTBALL FIELD - DAY

THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB

His name is LIEUTENANT JUNIOR GRADE DANIEL ALLISTAIR KAFFEE,
and it's almost impossible not to like him. At the moment
he's hitting fungoes to about a dozen LAWYERS who are spread
out on the softball field on a corner of the bass. The '27
Yankees they're not, but they could probably hold their own
against a group of, say, Airforce dentists.

KAFFEE's in his late 20's, 15 months out of Harvard Law
School, and a brilliant legal mind waiting for a courageous
spirit to drive it. He is, at this point in his life,
passionate about nothing ... except maybe softball.

KAFFEE
(calling out to the
team)
Alright, let's get two!

He smacks one to the SECOND BASE. The ball bounces right
between his legs.

SECOND BASE
Sorry!

KAFFEE
Nothing to be sorry about, Sherby. Just
look the ball into your glove.

He smacks one out to the same place. It bounces off the heel
of SHERBY's glove and into center field.






SECOND BASE (SHERBY)
Sorry!

KAFFEE
You gotta trust me, Sherby. You keep your
eyes open, your chances of catching the
ball increase by a factor of ten.

SPRADLING, a young naval officer, sweaty and out of breath,
walks up behind the backstop.

SPRADLING
Kaffee!

KAFFEE
Let's try it again.

SPRADLING
Kaffee!!

KAFFEE
(turning)
Dave. You seem upset and distraught.

SPRADLING
We were supposed to meet in your office 15
minutes ago to talk about the McDermott
case. You're stalling on this thing. Now
we got this done and I mean now, or no
kidding, Kaffee, I'll hang your boy from
a fuckin' yardarm.

KAFFEE
A yardarm?
(calling out)
Sherby, does the Navy still hang people
from yardarms?

SHERBY
(calling back)
I don't think so, Danny.

KAFFEE
(back to SPRADLING)
Dave, Sherby doesn't think the Navy hangs
people from yardarms anymore.
(back to the field)
Let's go, let's get two!

He goes back to hitting fungoes.

SPRADLING
I'm gonna charge him with possession and
being under the influence while on duty.
Plead guilty and I'll recommend 30 days in
the brig with loss of rank and pay.





KAFFEE
It was oregano, Dave, it was ten dollars
worth of oregano.

SPRADLING
Yeah, well your client thought it was
marijuana.

KAFFEE
My client's a moron, that's not against
the law.

Swapp! The THIRD BASEMAN takes one in the face.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
Ow. That had to hurt.
(calling out)
Way to keep your head in the play, Lester.
Walk it off!

SPRADLING
I've got people to answer to just like
you, I'm gonna charge him.

KAFFEE
With what, possession of a condiment?

SPRADLING
Kaffee--

KAFFEE
Dave, I've tried to help you out of this,
but if you ask for tall time, I'm gonna
file a motion to dismiss.

SPRADLING
You won't got it.

KAFFEE
I will get it.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
And if the MTD is denied, I'll file a
motion in liminee seeking to obtain
evidentiary ruling in advance, and after
that I'm gonna file against pre-trial
confinement, and you're gonna spend an
entire summer going blind on paperwork
because a Signalman Second Class bought
and smoked a dime bag of oregano.

SPRADLING
B Misdemeanor, 20 days in the brig.






KAFFEE
C Misdemeanor, 15 days restricted duty.

SPRADLING
I don't know why I'm agreeing to this.

KAFFEE
'Cause you have wisdom beyond your years.
Dave, can you play third base?

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

About 16 NAVY AND MARINE LAWYERS (several of whom are women)
are taking their seats around a large conference table.

A PARALEGAL is handing out folders and some photocopied
papers to the LAWYERS.

We might notice that one of the lawyers is Lieutenant Junior
Grade SAM WEINBERG. Sam's serious and studious looking. If
he weren't in uniform, you wouldn't guess that he was a naval
officer.

CAPTAIN WHITAKER walks in.

WHITAKER
'Morning.

LAWYERS
(school class)
'Morning Captain Whitaker.

WHITAKER
Sam, how's the baby?

SAM
I think she's ready to say her first word
any day now.

WHITAKER
How can you tell?

SAM
She just looks like she has something to
say.

KAFFEE walks in.

KAFFEE
Excuse me, sorry I'm late.

WHITAKER
I'm sure you don't have a good excuse, so
I won't force you to come up with a bad
one.






KAFFEE
Thank you, Isaac, that's nice of you.

WHITAKER
Sit-down, this first one's for you.

He hands KAFFEE some files.

WHITAKER
(continuing)
You're moving up in the world, Danny,
you've been requested by Division.

"Oooh"'s and "Ahhh"'S from the other LAWYERS. (Subtle Note:
Kaffee doesn't want to move up in the world.)

KAFFEE
Requested to do what?

WHITAKER hands him a file.

WHITAKER
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A marine corporal
named Dawson illegally fires a round from
his weapon over the fenceline and into
Cuban territory.

KAFFEE
What's a fenceline?

WHITAKER
Sam?

SAM
A big wall separating the good guys from
the bad guys.

KAFFEE
Teachers pet.

WHITAKER
PFC William Santiago threatens to rat on
Dawson to the Naval investigative Service.
Dawson and another member of his squad,
PFC Louden Downey, they go into Santiago's
room, tie him up, and stuff a rag down his
throat. An hour later, Santiago's dead.
Attending physician says the rag was
treated with some kind of toxin.

KAFFEE
They poisoned the rag?

WHITAKER
Not according to them.






KAFFEE
What do they say?

WHITAKER
Not much. They're being flown up here
tomorrow and on Thursday at 0600 you'll
catch a transport down to Cuba for the day
to find out what you can. Meantime, go
across the yard and see Lt. Commander
Joanne Galloway. She's the one who had
'em brought up here. She'll fill you in
on whatever she has. Any questions?

KAFFEE
The flight to Cuba, was that 0600 in the
morning, sir?

WHITAKER
It seems important to Division that this
one be handled by the book, so I'm
assigning co-counsel. Any volunteers?

SAM
No.

WHITAKER
Sam.

SAM
I have a stack of paper on my desk--

WHITAKER
Work with Kaffee on this.

SAM
Doing what? Kaffee'll finish this up in
four days.

WHITAKER
Do various... administrative... you
know... things. Back-up. Whatever.

SAM
In other words I have no responsibilities
whatsoever.

WHITAKER
Right.

SAM
My kinda case.

CUT TO:








INT. JO'S OFFICE - DAY

JO sits behind her desk. KAFFEE and SAM stand in the
doorway.. KAFFEE knocks politely.

JO looks up.

KAFFEE
Hi.
(beat)
I'm Daniel Kaffee. I was told to meet
with--
(checks notes)
--Commander Galloway.

JO is staring at him. KAFFEE doesn't know why.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
About a briefing.

JO is finding this hard to believe.

JO
You're the attorney that Division assigned?

KAFFEE
I'm lead counsel. This is Sam Weinberg.

SAM
I have no responsibilities here whatsoever.

JO's deeply puzzled.

JO
(beat)
Come in, please, have a seat..

KAFFEE and SAM come into the office and sit.

JO
(continuing)
Lieutenant, how long have you been in the
Navy?

KAFFEE
Going on nine months now.

JO
And how long have you been out of law
school?

KAFFEE
A little over a year.







JO
(beat)
I see.

KAFFEE
Have I done something wrong?

JO
No. It's just that when I petitioned
Division to have counsel assigned, I was
hoping I'd be taken seriously.

KAFFEE and SAM exchange a look.

KAFFEE
(to JO)
No offense taken, if you were wondering.

SAM
Commander, Lt. Kaffee's generally
considered the best litigator in our
office. He's successfully plea bargained
44 cases in nine months.

KAFFEE
One more, and I got a set of steak knives.

JO
Have you ever been in a courtroom?

KAFFEE
I once had my drivers license suspended.

SAM
Danny--

KAFFEE
Commander, from what I understand, if this
thing goes to court, they won't need a
lawyer, they'll need a priest.

JO
No. They'll need a lawyer.

During this, she'll hand KAFFEE a series of files, which
KAFFEE will pass To SAM without even glancing at them.

JO
(continuing)
Dawson's family has been contacted.
Downey's closest living relative is Ginny
Miller, his aunt on his mother's side, she
hasn't been Contacted yet.

None of this really means anything to KAFFEE.






JO
(continuing)
Would you like me to take care of that?

KAFFEE
Sure, if you feel like it.

JO takes another beat to size this guy up.

JO
One of the people you'll be speaking to
down there is the barracks C.O., Colonel
Nathan Jessep, I assume you've heard of
him.

KAFFEE
(beat)
Who hasn't?

SAM
(to KAFFEE)
He's been in the papers lately. He's
expected to be appointed Director of
Operations for the National Security
Counsel.

Passing KAFFEE another file--

JO
These are letters that Santiago wrote in
his 8 months at GITMO--

SAM
( whispering to
kaffee)
Guantanamo Bay.

KAFFEE
I know that one.

JO
He wrote to his recruiter, the fleet
commander, HQ, Atlantic, even his senator.
He wanted a transfer. Nobody was
listening. You with me?

KAFFEE
Yes.

JO
This last letter to the Naval
investigative Service--

She hands it to KAFFEE who hands it to Sam--







JO
(continuing)
--where he offers information about
Corporal Dawson's fenceline shooting in
exchange for a transfer, was just a last
ditch effort.

KAFFEE
Right. Is that all?

JO
(beat)
Lieutenant, this letter makes it look like
your client had a motive to kill Santiago.

KAFFEE
Gotcha.
(beat)
And Santiago is .... who?

JO
(beat)
The victim.

KAFFEE
(to SAM)
Write that down.
(to JO)
Am I correct in assuming that these
letters don't paint a flattering picture
of marine corps life in Guantanamo Bay?

JO
Yes, among other--

KAFFEE
And am I further right in assuming that a
protracted investigation of this incident
might cause some embarrassment for the
security counsel guy.

JO
Colonel Jessep, yes, but--

KAFFEE
Twelve years.

JO
I'm sorry?

KAFFEE
Twelve years. I can get it knocked down to
Involuntary Manslaughter. Twelve years.

JO
You haven't talked to a witness, you
haven't looked at a piece of paper.




KAFFEE
Pretty impressive, huh?

JO
You're gonna have to go deeper than just--

KAFFEE
Commander, do you have some sort of
jurisdiction here that I should know about?

JO
My job is to make sure you do your job.
I'm special counsel for Internal Affairs,
so my jurisdiction's pretty much in your
face. Read the letters. You're not under
any obligation, but I'd appreciate a
report when you get back from Cuba.

KAFFEE
Sure.

KAFFEE gets up without waiting for JO to say--

JO
You're dismissed.

KAFFEE
Sorry, I always forget that.

KAFFEE's gone. SAM's standing in the doorway.

SAM
He's a little preoccupied.
(beat)
The team's playing Bethesda Medical next
week.

JO
Tell your friend not to get cute down
there. The marines in Guantanimo are
fanatical.

SAM
About what?

And in VOICE OVER we HEAR--

SANTIAGO (V.0.)
Dear Sir,

JO
About being marines.

CUT TO:







EXT. CUBAN FIELD - DAY

A SERIES OF SHOTS - DAY

And while we HEAR the letter read in V.0., what we're seeing
is this: SANTIAGO's life in Guantanimo Bay over the last 8
months. He had a rough time of it.

The shots should include:

--SANTIAGO running along at the rear of a group of MARINES.
It's been over seven miles and he's matted with sweat. A
SERGEANT runs up along side, grabs his back, and pushes him
to keep up with the group. SANTIAGO falls, struggles to get
back up and keep running, and

CUT TO:

EXT. MARINE BARRACKS - DAY

-- SANTIAGO doing push-ups alone in the rain. He's being
supervised by a SERGEANT who sees to it that his face hits
the mud every time down and

CUT TO:

INT. MESS HALL - DAY

--SANTIAGO sitting alone in the mess hall, not a friend
within four seats of him and

CUT TO:

EXT. MARINE BARRACKS - DAY

--SANTIAGO being chewed out by a Lieutenant in front of his
squad and

CUT TO:

EXT. ROCKY HILL - DAY

--SANTIAGO running with the squad of MARINES again, this time
down a rocky hill. It's hot as hell and it looks like he's
gonna pass out.

He stumbles, and the SERGEANT picks him up and pushes him
down the hill. He rolls about 30 feet before he stops. Over
this, we HEAR

SANTIAGO (V.0.)
"...My name is PFC William T. Santiago.
I am a marine stationed at Marine
Barracks, Rifle Security Company Windward,
Second Platoon Delta.







I am writing to inform you of my problems
with my unit here in Cuba and to ask for
your help. I've fallen out on runs before
for several reasons such as feeling dizzy
or nauseated, but on May 18th, I'd fallen
back about 20 or 30 yards going down a
rocky, unstable hill. My sergeant grabbed
me and pushed me down the hill. Then I
saw all black and the last thing I
remember is hitting the deck. I was
brought to the hospital where I was told
I just had heat exhaustion and was
explained to by the doctor that my body
has trouble with the hot sun and I
hyperventilate. I ask you to help me.
Please sir. I just need to be transferred
out of RSC. Sincerely. PFC William T.
Santiago. U.S. Marine Corps."

At this point, with SANTIAGO's letter still in V.0., we

CUT TO:

INT. JESSEP'S OFFICE - DAY

THE LETTER - DAY

It's the last paragraph of the letter we've been hearing, and
at the moment, we can't see the hands that are holding it.

SANTIAGO (V.0.)
"P.S. In exchange for my transfer off the
base, I'm willing to provide you with
information about an illegal fenceline
shooting that occurred the night of August
2nd."

And as these last words are spoken, we PULL BACK TO REVEAL
COLONEL NATHAN R. JESSEP, who drops the letter he's been
reading on his desk, where it joins a stack of other letters
just like it.

JESSEP's a born leader, considered in many circles to be one
of the real fair-haired boys of the Corps. He's smart as a
whip with a sense of humor to match. As soon as he drops the
letter, he says

JESSEP
Who the fuck is PFC William T. Santiago.

He's talking to his two senior officers. CAPTAIN MARKINSON is
in his late 40's. He's a career marine and a nice guy in a
world where nice guys may not finish last, but they sure as
shit don't finish first. Lt. JONATHAN JAMES KENDRICK is 26,
from Georgia, and an Academy graduate.





If you asked him he'd tell you that the gates to heaven are
guarded by the U.S. Marine Corps.

KENDRICK
Sir, Santiago is a member of Second
Platoon, Delta.

JESSEP
Yeah, well, apparently he's not very happy
down here at Shangri-La, cause he's
written letters to everyone but Santa
Claus asking for a transfer. And now he's
telling tales about a fenceline shooting.

He tosses the letter over to MARKINSON. MARKINSON is looking
it over. JESSEP is waiting for a response.

JESSEP
(continuing)
Matthew?

MARKINSON
I'm appalled, sir.

JESSEP
You're appalled? This kid broke the Chain
of Command and he ratted on a man of his
unit, to say nothing of the fact that he's
a U.S. Marine and it would appear that he
can't run from here to there without
collapsing from heat exhaustion. What the
fuck's going on over at Windward, Matthew?

MARKINSON
Colonel, I think perhaps it would be
better to hold this discussion in private.

KENDRICK
That won't be necessary, Colonel, I'll
handle the situation.

MARKINSON
The same way you handled the Curtis Barnes
incident? You're doing something wrong,
Lieutenant this--

KENDRICK
My methods of leadership are--

MARKINSON
Don't interrupt me, I'm still your
superior officer.

JESSEP
And I'm yours, Matthew.

The room calms down for a moment.




JESSEP
(continuing)
I want to know what we're gonna do about
this.

MARKINSON
I think Santiago should be transferred off
the base. Right away.

JESSEP
He's that bad, huh?

MARKINSON
Not only that, but word of this letter's
bound to get out. The kid's gonna get his
ass kicked.

JESSEP
Transfer Santiago. Yes I suppose you're
right. I suppose that's the thing to do.
Wait. Wait. I've got a better idea.
Let's transfer the whole squad off the
base. Let's -- on second thought-Windward.
The whole Windward division, let's
transfer 'em off the base. Jon, go on out
there and get those boys down off the
fence, they're packing their bags.
(calling out)
Tom!

The ORDERLY cones in from the outer office.

ORDERLY
Sir!

JESSEP
Got me the President on the phone, we're
surrendering our position in Cuba.

ORDERLY
Yes sir!

JESSEP
Wait a minute, Tom.

The ORDERLY stops.

JESSEP
(continuing)
Don't call the President just yet. Maybe
we should consider this for a second.
Maybe--and I'm just spit balling here-but
maybe we as officers have a responsibility
to train Santiago.








Maybe we as officers have a responsibility
to this country to see that the men and
women charged with its security are
trained professionals. Yes. I'm certain
I once read that somewhere. And now I'm
thinking that your suggestion of
transferring Santiago, while expeditious,
and certainly painless, might not be in a
manner of speaking, the American way.
Santiago stays where he is. We're gonna
train the lad. You're in charge, Jon.
Santiago doesn't make 4.1 on his next
fitness report, I'm gonna blame you. Then
I'm gonna kill you.

KENDRICK
Yes sir.

MARKINSON
I think that's a mistake, Colonel.

JESSEP
Matthew, I believe I will have that word
in private with you now. Jon, that's all.
Why don't you and I have lunch at the "O"
club, we'll talk about the training of
young William.

KENDRICK
Yes sir, I'd be delighted to hear any
suggestions you have.

JESSEP
Dismissed.

KENDRICK is gone.

JESSEP
(continuing)
Matthew, sit, please.

MARKINSON sits.

JESSEP
(continuing)
What do you think of Kendrick?

MARKINSON
(beat)
I don't know that--










JESSEP
I think he's kind of a weasel, myself.
But he's an awfully good officer, and in
the end we see eye to eye on the best way
to run a marine corps unit. We're in the
business of saving lives, Matthew. That's
a responsibility we have to take pretty
seriously. And I believe that taking a
marine who's not yet up to the job and
packing him off to another assignment,
puts lives in danger.

MARKINSON starts to stand--

JESSEP
(continuing)
Matthew, siddown.
(beat)
We go back a while. We went to the
Academy together, we were commissioned
together, we did our tours in Vietnam
together. But I've been promoted up
through the chain with greater speed and
success than you have. Now if that's a
source of tension or embarrassment for
you, well, I don't give a shit. We're in
the business of saving lives, Captain
Markinson. Don't ever question my orders
in front of another officer.

JESSEP grabs his hat and walks out, leaving MARKINSON sitting
all alone, and we

CUT TO:

EXT. WASHINGTON NAVY YARD - MAIN GATE - DAY

It's maybe a little hazier today than it was yesterday. An
M.P. is waving a procession of three Military Police sedans
and a fourth unmarked car through the gate. The cars drive
through and we

CUT TO:

EXT. THE BRIG - DAY

Another red-brick building. A few M.P.Is stand out front as
the cars pull up. As soon as they come to a stop, all the
doors swing open and various uniformed and non-uniformod
officers hop out and move to the unmarked sedan where they
escort DAWSON and DOWNEY, in handcuffs, out of the car.
HAROLD DAWSON's a handsome, young, black corporal. Intense,
controlled, and utterly professional.

LOUDEN DOWNEY's a 19-year-old kid off an Iowa farm. He's
happiest when someone is telling him exactly what to do.





DAWSON's his hero.

The two prisoners stand still for a moment. They might as
we'll be in Oz.

DOWNEY
Hal?

DAWSON doesn't say anything.

DOWNEY
(continuing)
Is this Washington, D.C.?

M.P.
Alright, let's move.

CUT TO:

EXT. SOFTBALL FIELD - DAY

and KAFFEE's at it again.

KAFFEE
Alright, let's get tough out there!

JO walks up from behind the backstop.

JO
Excuse me.

KAFFEE
You want to suit up? We need all the help
we can get.

JO
No, thank you, I can't throw and catch
things.

KAFFEE
That's okay, neither can they.

JO
I wanted to talk to you about Corporal
Dawson and Private Downey.

KAFFEE
Say again?

JO
Dawson and Downey.

KAFFEE
(beat)
Those names sound like they should mean
something to me, but I'm just not--





JO
Dawson! Downey! Your clients!

KAFFEE
The Cuba thing! Yes! Dawson and Downey.
(beat)
Right.
(pause)
I've done something wrong again, haven't I?

JO
I was wondering why two guys have been in
a jail cell since this morning while their
lawyer is outside hitting a ball.

KAFFEE
We need the practice.

JO
That wasn't funny.

KAFFEE
It was a little funny.

JO
Lieutenant, would you feel very insulted
if I recommended to your supervisor that
he assign different counsel?

KAFFEE
Why?

JO
I don't think you're fit to handle this
defense.

KAFFEE
You don't even know me. Ordinarily it
takes someone hours to discover I'm not
fit to handle a defense.

Jo just stares.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
Oh come on, that was damn funny.

Jo moves close to KAFFEE to say this with a degree of
confidentiality.

JO
I do know you. Daniel AlliStair Kaffee,
born June 8th, 1964 at Boston Mercy
Hospital. Your father's Lionel Kaffee,
former Navy Judge Advocate and Attorney
General, of the United States, died 1985.






You went to Harvard Law on a Navy
scholarship, probably because that's what
your father wanted you to do, and now
you're just treading water for the three
years you've gotta serve in the JAG Corps,
just kinda layin' low til you can get out
and get a real job. And if that's the
situation, that's fine ' I won't tell
anyone. But my feeling is that if this
case is handled in the same fast-food,
slick-ass ' Persian Bazaar manner with
which you seem to handle everything else,
something's gonna get missed. And I
wouldn't be doing my job if I allowed
Dawson and Downey to spend any more time
in prison than absolutely necessary,
because their attorney had pre-determined
the path of least resistance.

KAFFEE can't help but be impressed by that speech.

KAFFEE
Wow.
(beat)
I'm sexually aroused, Commander.

JO
I don't think your clients murdered
anybody.

KAFFEE
What are you basing this on?

JO
There was no intent.

KAFFEE
The doctor's report says that Santiago
died of asphyxiation brought on by acute
lactic acidosis, and that the nature of
the acidosis strongly suggests poisoning.
(beat)
Now, I don't know what any of that means,
but it sounds pretty bad.

JO
Santiago died at one a.m. At three the
doctor was unable to determine the cause
of death, but two hours later he said it
was poison.

KAFFEE
Oh, now I see what you're saying. It had
to be Professor Plum in the library with
the candlestick.





JO
I'm gonna speak to your supervisor.

KAFFEE
Okay. You go straight up Pennsylvania
Avenue. It's a big white house with
pillars in front.

JO
Thank you.

KAFFEE
I don't think you'll have much luck,
though. I was assigned by Division,
remember? Somebody over there thinks I'm
a good lawyer. So while I appreciate your
interest and admire your enthusiasm, I
think I can pretty much handle things
myself.

JO
Do you know what a code red is?

KAFFEE doesn't, but he doesn't say anything.

JO
(continuing)
What a pity.

CUT TO:

INT. THE BRIG - DAY

And an M.P. is leadinq KAFFEE and SAM down to DAWSON and
DOWNEY's cell.

M.P.
Officer on deck, ten-hut.

DAWSON and DOWNEY come to attention. Through the following,
the M.P. will unlock the call door and let the lawyers in.

DAWSON
Sir, Lance Corporal Harold W. Dawson, sir.
Rifle Security Company Windward, Second
Platoon, Delta.

KAFFEE
Someone hasn't been working and playing
well with others, Harold.

DAWSON
Sir, yes sir!

DOWNEY
Sir, PFC Louden Downey.





KAFFEE
I'm Daniel Kaffee, this is Sam Weinerg,
you can sitdown.

DAWSON and DOWNEY aren't too comfortable sitting in the
presence of officers, but they do as they're told. KAFFEE's
pulled out some documents, SAM's sitting on one of the cots
taking notes.

KAFFEE
(continuing; to
DAWSON)
Is this your signature?

DAWSON
Yes sir.

KAFFEE
You don't have to call me sir.
(to DOWNEY)
Is this your signature?

DOWNEY
Sir, yes sir.

KAFFEE
And you certainly don't have to do it
twice in one sentence. Harold, what's a
Code Red?

DAWSON
Sir, a Code Red is a disciplinary
engagement.

KAFFEE
What does that mean, exactly?

DAWSON
Sir, a marine falls out of line, it's up
to the men in his unit to get him back on
track.

KAFFEE
What's a garden variety Code Red?

DAWSON
Sir?

KAFFEE
Harold, you say sir and I turn around and
look for my father. Danny, Daniel, Kaffee.
Garden variety; typical. What's a basic
Code Red?








DAWSON
Sir, a marine has refused to bathe on a
regular basis. The men in his squad would
give him a G.I. shower.

KAFFEE
What's that?

DAWSON
Scrub brushes, brillo pads, steel wool ...

SAM
Beautiful.

KAFFEE
Was the attack on Santiago a Code Red?

DAWSON
Yes sir.

KAFFEE
(to DOWNEY)
Do you ever talk?

DAWSON
Sir, Private Downey will answer any direct
questions you ask him.

KAFFEE
Swell. Private Downey, the rag you
stuffed in Santiago's mouth, was there
poison on it?

DOWNEY
No sir.

KAFFEE
Silver polish, turpentine, anti-freeze..

DOWNEY
No sir. We were gonna shave his head, sir.

KAFFEE
When all of a sudden... ?

DOWNEY
We saw blood drippinq out of his mouth.
Then we pulled the tape off, and there was
blood all down his face, sir. That's when
Corporal Dawson called the ambulance.

KAFFEE tries not to make too big a deal out of this last
piece of news.

KAFFEE
(to DAWSON)
Did anyone see you call the ambulance?




DAWSON
No sir.

KAFFEE
Were you there when the ambulance got
there?

DAWSON
Yes sir, that's when we were taken under
arrest.

KAFFEE kinda strolls to the corner of the cell to think for
a moment.

SAM
(to DAWSON)
On the night of August 2nd, did you fire
a shot across the fenceline into Cuba?

DAWSON
Yes sir.

SAM
Why?

DAWSON
My mirror engaged, sir.

KAFFEE
(to SAM)
His mirror engaged?

SAM
For each American sentry post there's a
Cuban counterpart. They're called mirrors.
The corporal's claiming that his mirror
was about to fire at him.

KAFFEE
Santiago's letter to the NIS said you
fired illegally. He's saying that the guy,
the mirror, he never made a move.

DAWSON says nothing.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
Oh, Harold?

SAM is staring at DAWSON.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
You see what I'm getting at? If Santiago
didn't have anything on you, then why did
you give him a Code Red?





DAWSON
Because he broke the chain of command, sir.

KAFFEE
He what?

DAWSON
He went outside his unit, sir. If he had
a problem, he should've spoken to me, sir.
Then his Sergeant, then Company Commander,
then--

KAFFEE
Yeah, yeah, alright. Harold, did you
assault Santiago with the intent of
killing him?

DAWSON
No sir.

KAFFEE
What was your intent?

DAWSON
To train him, sir.

KAFFEE
Train him to do what?

DAWSON
Train him to think of his unit before
himself. To respect the code.

SAM
What's the code?

DAWSON
Unit Corps God Country.

SAM
I beg your pardon?

DAWSON
Unit Corps God Country, sir.

KAFFEE
The Goverrment of the United States wants
to charge you two with murder. You want
me to go to the prosecutor with unit,
corps, god, country?

DAWSON stares at KAFFEE.

DAWSON
That's our code, sir.






KAFFEE takes a long moment. He picks up his briefcase and he
and SAM move to the door.

KAFFEE
We'll be back. You guys need anything?
Books paper, cigarettes, a ham sandwich?

DAWSON
Sir. No thank you. Sir.

KAFFEE smiles at DAWSON

KAFFEE
Harold, I think there's a concept you
better start warming up to.

DAWSON
Sir?

KAFFEE
I'm the only friend you've got.

And as KAFFEE and SAM walk out the open cell door, DAWSON and
DOWNEY come to attention and snap a salute.

They hold the salute until KAFFEE and SAM are well out of
sight, and we

CUT TO:

INT. KAFFEE'S OFFICE - DAY

He's packing up stuff into his briefcase at the end of the
work day. Lt. JACK ROSS, a marine lawyer maybe two years
older than Kaffee, opens the door and walks in..

ROSS
Dan Kaffee.

KAFFEE
Sailin' Jack Ross.

ROSS
Welcome to the big time.

KAFFEE
You think so?

ROSS
I hope for Dawson and Downey's sake you
practice law better than you play softball.

KAFFEE
Unfortunately for Dawson and Downey, I
don't do anything better than I play
softball. What are we lookin' at?





ROSS
They plead guilty to manslaughter, I'll
drop the conspiracy and the conduct
unbecoming. 20 years, they'll be home in
half that time.

KAFFEE
I want twelve.

ROSS
Can't do it.

KAFFEE
They called the ambulance, Jack.

ROSS
I don't care if they called the Avon Lady,
they killed a marine.

KAFFEE
The rag was tested for poison. The
autopsy, lab report, even the initial E.R.
and C.O.D. reports. They all say the same
thing: Maybe, maybe not.

ROSS
The Chief of Internal Medicine at the
Guantanamo Bay Naval hospital says he's
sure.

KAFFEE
What do you know about Code Reds?

ROSS smiles and shakes his head.

ROSS
Oh man.

He closes the office door.

ROSS
(continuing)
Are we off the record?

KAFFEE
You tell me.

ROSS
(pause)
I'm gonna give you the twelve years, but
before you go getting yourself into
trouble tomorrow, you should know this:
The platoon commander Lt. Jonathan
Kendrick, had a meeting with the men. And
he specifically told them not to touch
Santiago.





KAFFEE holds for a moment. Dawson and Downey neglected to
mention this... He packs up his briefcase and cleats.

KAFFEE
I'll talk to you when I get back.

ROSS
Hey, we got a little four-on-four going
tomorrow night. When does your plane get
in?

CUT TO:

EXT. THE PARKING LOT - DUSK

It's dusk and people on the base are going home from work.
We can see the flag being lowered in the background.

KAFFEE's walking toward his car. JO intercepts him and
starts walking along with him.

JO
Hi there.

KAFFEE
Any luck getting me replaced?

JO
Is there anyone in this command that you
don't either drink or play softball with?

KAFFEE
Commander--

JO
Listen, I came to make peace. We started
off on tho wrong foot. What do you say?
Friends?

KAFFEE
Look, I don't--

JO
By the way, I brought Downey some comic
books he was asking for. The kid, Kaffee,
I swear, he doesn't know where he is, he
doesn't even know why he's been arrested.

KAFFEE
Commander--

JO
You can call me Joanne.

KAFFEE
Joanne--





JO
or Jo.

KAFFEE
Jo?

JO
Yes.

KAFFEE
Jo, if you ever speak to a client of mine
again without my permission, I'll have you
disbarred. Friends?

JO
I had authorization.

KAFFEE
From where?

JO
Downey's closest living relative, Ginny
Miller, his aunt on his mother's side.

KAFFEE
You got authorization from Aunt Ginny?

JO
I gave her a call like you asked. Very
nice woman, we talked for about an hour.

KAFFEE
You got authorization from Aunt Ginny.

JO
Perfectly within my province.

KAFFEE
Does Aunt Ginny have a barn? We can hold
the trial there. I can sew the costumes,
and maybe his Uncle Goober can be the
judge.

Jo steps aside and lets KAFFEE got into his car.

JO
I'm going to Cuba with you tomorrow.

KAFFEE
And the hits just keep on comin'.

HOLD on KAFFEE and Jo. JO smiles.

CUT TO:







EXT. SIDEWALK NEWSSTAND - DUSK

KAFFEE IN HIS CAR

He's driving down a Washington street and pulls over at a
sidewalk newsstand.

He gets out of his car, leaving the lights flashing, and runs
up to the newsstand.

As he plunks his 35 cents down and picks up a newspaper, he
engages in his daily ritual with LUTHER, the newsstand
operator.

KAFFEE
How's it goin', Luther?

LUTHER
Another day, another dollar, captain.

KAFFEE
You gotta play 'em as they lay, Luther.

LUTHER
What comes around, goes around, you know
what I'm sayin'.

KAFFEE
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

LUTHER
Hey, if you've got your health, you got
everything.

KAFFEE
Love makes the world go round. I'll see
you tomorrow, Luther.

And we

CUT TO:

INT. SAM'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

A baby sleeping in a crib pull rack to reveal SAM is standing
over the crib. KAFFEE's sitting on a beer.

SAM
When Nancy gets back, you're my witness.
The baby spoke. My daughter said a word.

KAFFEE
Your daughter made a sound, Sam, I'm not
sure it was a word.

SAM
Oh come on, it was a word.




KAFFEE
Okay.

SAM
You heard her. The girl sat here,
pointed, and said "Pa". She did. She
said "Pa".

KAFFEE
She was pointing at a doorknob.

SAM
That's right. Pointing, as if to say,
"Pa, look, a doorknob".

SAM joins KAFFEE in the living room.

KAFFEE
Jack Ross came to see me today. He
offered me twelve years.

SAM
That's what you wanted.

KAFFEE
I know, and I'll ... I guess, I mean--
(beat)
I'll take it.

SAM
So?

KAFFEE
It took albout 45 seconds. He barely put
up a fight.

SAM
(beat)
Danny, take the twelve years, it's a gift.

KAFFEE finishes off his beer, and stands.

KAFFEE
You don't believe their story, do you?
You think they ought to go to jail for the
rest of their lives.

SAM
I believe every word they said. And I
think they ought to go to jail for the
rest of their lives.

KAFFEE nods and puts down the empty beer bottle.

KAFFEE
I'll see you tomorrow.





Sam opens the front door for him and they stand out on the
stoop for a moment.

SAM
Remember to wear your whites, it's hot
down there.

KAFFEE
I don't like the whites.

SAM
Nobody likes the whites, but we're going
to Cuba in August. You got Dramamine?

KAFFEE
Dramamine keeps you cool?

SAM
Dramamine keeps you from throwing up, you
get sick when you fly.

KAFFEE
I get sick when I fly because I'm afraid
of crashing into a large mountain, I don't
think Dramamine'll help.

SAM
I've got some oregano, I hear that works
pretty good.

KAFFEE
Yeah, right.

KAFFEE starts toward his car, then turns around.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
You know, Ross said the strangest thing to
me right before I left. He said the
platoon commander Lieutenant Jonathan
Kendrick had a meeting with the men and
specifically told them not to touch
Santiago.

SAM
So?

KAFFEE
I never mentioned Kendrick. I don't even
know who he is.
(beat)
What the hell.
(beat)
I'll see you tomorrow.







We hold for a moment on KAFFEE as he walks to his car, then

CUT TO:

EXT. THE AIRSTRIP AT GUANTANAMO BAY - DAY

The whole place, in stark contrast to the Washington Navy
Yard, is ready to go to war. Fighter jets line the tarmac.
Ground crews re-fuel planes. Hurried activity.

A 36 seat Airforce Jet rolls to a stop on the tarmac and a
stair unit is brought up.

HOWARD, a marine corporal, is waiting by the stairway as the
passengers begin to got off. Mostly MARINES, a few SAILERS,
a couple of CIVILIANS, and KAFFEE, JO and SAM. KAFFEE and
SAM are wearing their summer whites, JO is in khakis.

KAFFEE and SAM stare out at what they see: They're not in
Kansas anymore.

HOWARD shouts over the noise from the planes.

HOWARD
Lieutenants Kaffee and Weinberg?

KAFFEE
(shouting)
Yeah.

JO
Commander Galloway.

HOWARD
I'm Corporal Howard, ma'am, I'm to escort
you to the Windward side of the base.

JO
Thank you.

HOWARD
I've got some camouflage jackets in the
back of the jeep, sirs, I'll have to ask
you both to put them on.

KAFFEE
Camouflage jackets?

HOWARD
Regulations, sir. We'll be riding pretty
close to the fenceline. The Cubans see an
officer wearing white, they think it's
someone they might wanna take a shot at.

KAFFEE turns and glares at SAM.






KAFFEE
Good call, Sam.

CUT TO:

EXT. CUBAN ROAD - THE JEEP - DAY

Tearing along down the road, and now we see a beautiful
expanse of water, maybe 1000 yards across. It's a section of
Guantanamo Bay.

HOWARD
(shouting)
We'll just hop on the ferry and be over
there in no time.

KAFFEE
(shouting)
Whoa! Hold it! We gotta take a boat?!

HOWARD
Yes sir, to get to the other side of the
bay.

KAFFEE
Nobody said anything about a boat.

HOWARD
(shouting)
Is there a problem, sir?

KAFFEE
(shouting)
No. No problem. I'm just not that crazy
about boats, that's all.

JO
(shouting)
Jesus Christ, Kaffee, you're in the Navy
for cryin' out loud!

KAFFEE
(shouting)
Nobody likes her very much.

HOWARD
(shouting)
Yes sir.

The jeep drives on and we

CUT TO:

JESSEP, MARKINSON and KENDRICK are standing as the LAWYERS
are led in.






JESSEP
Nathan Jessep, come on in and siddown.

KAFFEE
Thank you. I'm Daniel Kaffee, I'm the
attorney for Dawson and Downey. This is
Joanne Galloway, she's observing and
evaluating--

JO
(shaking hands)
Colonel.

JESSEP
Pleased to meet you, Commander.

KAFFEE
Sam Weinberg. He has no responsibility
here whatsoever.

JESSEP
I've asked Captain Markinson and Lt.
Kendrick to join us.

MARKINSON
Lt. Kaffee, I had the pleasure of seeing
your father once. I was a teenager and he
spoke at my high school.

KAFFEE smiles and nods.

JESSEP
Lionel Kaffee?

KAFFEE
Yes sir.

JESSEP
Well what do you know. Son, this man's dad
once made a lot of enemies down in your
neck of the woods. Jefferson vs. Madison
County School District. The folks down
there said a little black girl couldn't go
to an all white school, Lionel Kaffee said
we'll just see about that. How the hell
is your dad?

KAFFEE
He passed away seven years ago, colonel.

JESSEP
(pause)
Well ... don't I feel like the fuckin,
asshole.

KAFFEE
Not at all, sir.




JESSEP
Well, what can we do for you, Danny.

KAFFEE
Not much at all, sir, I'm afraid. This is
really a formality more than anything
else. The JAG Corps insists that I
interview all the relevant witnesses.

JO
The JAG Corps can be demanding that way.

JESSEP smiles.

JESSEP
Jonanthan'll take you out and show you
what you wanna see, then we can all hook
up for lunch, how does that sound?

KAFFEE
Fine, sir.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE FENCELINE - DAY

A SQUAD OF MARINES jogs by as a jeep carrying KENDRICK and
the three LAWYERS cruises down the road.

We FOLLOW the jeep.

KAFFEE
I understand you had a meeting with your
men that afternoon.

KENDRICK
Yes.

KAFFEE
What'd you guys talk about?

KENDRICK
I told the men that there was an informer
among us. And that despite any desire
they might have to seek retribution,
Private Santiago was not to be harmed in
any way.

KAFFEE
What time was that meeting?

KENDRICK
Sixteen-hundred.

KAFFEE
turns around and looks at SAM.





SAM
(leaning forward)
Four o'clock.

CUT TO:

INT. THE BARRACKS CORRIDOR - DAY

KENDRICK leads the LAWYERS down the corridor to Santiago's
room.

Two strips of tape which warn DO NOT ENTER - AT ORDER OF THE
MILITARY POLICE are crisscrossed over the closed door. They
open the door and step under the tape and walk into

INT. SANTIAGO'S ROOM - DAY

The room is exactly an it was left that night. The un-made
bed, the chair knocked over... The LAWYERS look around for a
moment. The room is sparse.

Kaffee goes to the closet and opens it: A row of uniforms
hanging neatly. He thumbs through then for a second, but
there's nothing there.

He opens the footlocker: Socks, underwear... all folded to
marine corp precision... A shaving kit, a couple of
photographs, a pad of writing paper and some envelopes...

Kaffee closes the footlocker.

KAFFEE
Sam, somebody should see about getting
this stuff to his parents. We don't need
it anymore.

KENDRICK
Actually, the uniforms belong to the
marine corps.

The LAWYERS take a moment.

KAFFEE
Lt. Kendrick--can I call you Jon?

KENDRICK
No, you may not.

KAFFEE
(beat)
Have I done something to offend you?

KENDRICK
No, I like all you Navy boys. Every time
we've gotta go someplace and fight, you
fellas always give us a ride.





JO
Lt. Kendrick, do you think Santiago was
murdered?

KENDRICK
Commander, I believe in God, and in his
son Jesus Christ, and because I do, I can
say this: Private Santiago is dead and
that's a tragedy. But he's dead because
he had no code. He's dead because he had
no honor. And God was watching.

SAM turns to KAFFEE.

SAM
How do you feel about that theory?

KAFFEE
(beat)
Sounds good. Let's move on.

SAM and KENDRICK walk out the door. JO stops KAFFEE.

JO
You planning on doing any investigating or
are you just gonna take the guided tour?

KAFFEE
(beat)
I'm pacing myself.

CUT TO:

INT. THE OFFICERS CLUB - DAY

JESSEP, MARKINSON, KENDRICK and the LAWYERS are seated at a
table in the corner.

Stewards clear the lunch dishes and pour coffee. Jessep is
finishing a story.

JESSEP
... And they spent the next three hours
running around, looking for Americans to
surrender to.

JESSEP laughs. KENDRICK joins him. SAM and KAFFEE force a
laugh.

MARKINSON forces a smile. JO remains silent.

JESSEP
(continuing; to the
STEWARDS)
That was delicious, men, thank you.






STEWARD
Our pleasure, sir.

KAFFEE
Colonel just need to ask you a couple of
questions about August 6th.

JESSEP
Shoot.

KAFFEE
On the morning of the sixth, you were
contacted by an NIS angent who said that
Santiago had tipped him off to an illegal
fenceline shooting.

JESSEP
Yes.

KAFFEE
Santiago was gonna reveal the person's
name in exchange for a transfer. An I
getting this right?

JESSEP
Yes.

KAFFEE
If you feel there are any details that I'm
missing, you should free to speak up.

JESSEP's not quite sure what to say to this Navy Lawyer
Lieutenant-Smartass guy who just gave him permission to speak
freely on his own base.

JESSEP
Thank you.

KAFFEE
Now it was at this point that you called
Captain Markinson and Lt. Kendrick into
your office?

JESSEP
Yes.

KAFFEE
And what happened then?

JESSEP
We agreed that for his own safety,
Santiago should be transferred off the
base.

Here's something else KAFFEE didn't know. Neither did Jo.
SAM jots something down on a small notepad.





MARKINSON doesn't flinch.

KAFFEE
Santiago was set to be transferred?

JESSEP
On the first available flight to the
states. Six the next morning. Three
hours too late as it turned out.

KAFFEE nods.

KAFFEE
Yeah.

There's silence for a moment.

KAFFEE takes a sip of his coffee. Then drains the cup and
puts it down.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
Alright, that's all I have. Thanks very
much for your time.

KENDRICK
The corporal's got the jeep outside, he'll
take you back to the airstrip.

KAFFEE
(standing)
Thank you.

JO
Wait a minute, I've got some questions.

KAFFEE
No you don't.

JO
Yes I do.

KAFFEE
No you don't.

JO
Colonel, on the morning that Santiago
died, did you meet with Doctor Stone
between three and five?

KAFFEE
Jo--

JESSEP
Of course I met with the doctor. One of
my men was dead.





KAFFEE
(to JO)
See? The man was dead. Let's go.

JO
(to JESSEP)
I was wondering if you've ever heard the
term Code Red.

KAFFEE
Jo--

JESSEP
I've heard the term, yes.

JO
Colonel, this past February, you received
a cautionary memo from the Naval
Investigative Service, warning that the
practice of enlisted men disciplining
their own wasn't to be condoned by
officers.

JESSEP
I submit to you that whoever wrote that
memo has never served on the working end
of a Soviet-made Cuban Ml-Al6 Assault
Rifle. However, the directive having come
from the NIS, I gave it its due attention.
What's your point, Jo?

KAFFEE
She has no point. She often has no point.
It's part of her charm. We're outta here.
Thank you.

JO
My point is that I think code reds still
go on down here. Do Code Reds still
happen on this base, colonel?

KAFFEE
Jo, the colonel doesn't need to answer
that.

JO
Yes he does.

KAFFEE
No, he really doesn't.

JO
Yeah, he really does. Colonel?

JESSEP
You know it just hit me. She outranks
you, Danny.




KAFFEE
Yes sir.

JESSEP
I want to tell you something Danny and
listen up 'cause I mean this: You're the
luckiest man in the world. There is,
believe me gentlemen, nothing sexier on
earth than a woman you have to salute in
the morning. Promote 'em all I say.

JO's not upset. JO's not mad. But she's gonna ask her
question 'til she gets an answer.

JO
Colonel, the practice of code Reds is
still condoned by officers on this base,
isn't it?

JESSEP
You see my problem is, of course, that I'm
a Colonel. I'll Just have to keep taking
cold showers 'til they elect some gal
President.

JO
I need an answer to my question, sir.

JESSEP
Take caution in your tone, Commander. I'm
a fair guy, but this fuckin' heat's making
me absolutely crazy. You want to know
about code reds? On the record I tell you
that I discourage the practice in
accordance with the NIS directive. Off
the record I tell you that it's an
invaluable part of close infantry
training, and if it happens to go on
without my knowledge, so be it. I run my
base how I run my base. You want to
investigate me, roll the dice and take
your chances. I eat breakfast 80 yards
away from 4000 Cubans who are trained to
kill me. So don't for one second think
you're gonna come down here, flash a
badge, and make me nervous.

A moment of tense silence before--

KAFFEE
Let's go. Colonel, I'll just need a copy
of Santiago's transfer order.

JESSEP
What's that?






KAFFEE
Santiago's transfer order. You guys have
paper work on that kind of thing, I just
need it for the file.

JESSEP
For the file.

KAFFEE
Yeah.

JESSEP
(pause)
Of course you can have a copy of the
transfer order. For the file. I'm here
to help anyway I can.

KAFFEE
Thank you.

JESSEP
You believe that, don't you? Danny? That
I'm here to help anyway I can?

KAFFEE
Of course.

JESSEP
The corporal'll run you by Ordinance on
your way out to the airstrip. You can
have all the transfer orders you want.

KAFFEE
(to JO and SAM)
Let's go.

The LAWYERS start to leave.

JESSEP
But you have to ask me nicely.

KAFFEE stops. Turns around. Sam and JO stop and turn.

KAFFEE
I beg your pardon?

JESSEP
You have to ask me nicely. You see,
Danny, I can deal with the bullets and the
bombs and the blood. I can deal with the
heat and the stress and the fear. I don't
want money and I don't want medals. What
I want is for you to stand there in that
faggoty white uniform, and with your
Harvard mouth, extend me some fuckin'
courtesy. You gotta ask me nicely.





KAFFEE and JESSEP are frozen. Everyone'staring at Kaffee;
The OFFICERS at their tables... KENDRICK...SAM... MARKINSON
... JO... KAFFEE makes his decision.

KAFFEE
Colonel Jessep ... if it's not too much
trouble, I'd like a copy of the transfer
order. Sir.

JESSEP smiles.

JESSEP
No problem.

HOLD for a moment. JO's very disappointed.

JESSEP stands there and watches the LAWYERS as they turn and
leave the Officer's Club.

JESSEP
(continuing)
I hate casualties, Matthew. There are
casualties even in victory. A marine
smothers a grenade and saves his platoon,
that marine's a hero. The foundation of
the unit, the fabric of this base, the
spirit of the Corps, they are things worth
fighting for.

MARKINSON looks at the ground.

JESSEP
(continuing)
Dawson and Downey, they don't know it, but
they're smothering a grenade.

MARKINSON looks up as we

CUT TO:

EXT. ANDREWS AIRFORCE BASE - DUSK

As a plane touches down on the runway. It's dusk in
Washington and

CUT TO:

EXT. KAFFEE'S APARTMENT - DAY

A little one-bedroom. Just the essential furniture, barely
even that.

KAFFEE's sitting and watching a baseball came on t.v. He's
holding a copy of The Baseball Encyclopedia, normally his
favorite reading material, but right now he's having trouble
keeping his mind in it. He's holding a baseball bat and
fiddling with it.




The remnants of a pizza and Yoo-Hoo dinner sit next to him.
His white uniform in a pile in the corner. There's a BUZZ at
the door. KAFFEE's not expecting anyone. He goes to the
door.

KAFFEE
Who is it?

JO (O.S.)
It's me.

KAFFEE opens the door and JO walks in.

KAFFEE
I've really missed you, Jo. I was just
saying to myself, "It's been almost three
hours since I last saw--"

JO
Markinson resigned his commission.

KAFFEE
(pause)
When?

JO
This afternoon. Sometime after we left.

KAFFEE
I'll talk to him in the morning.

JO
I already tried, I can't find him.

KAFFEE
You tried? Joanne, you're coming dan
orously close to the textbook definition
of interfering with a government
investigation.

JO hands KAFFEE the file she's been holding.

JO
I'm Louden Downey's attorney.

KAFFEE's stunned. He opens the file and begins to read.

JO
(continuing)
Aunt Ginny. She said she feels like she's
known me for years. I suggested that she
might feel more comfortable if I were
directly involved with the case. She had
Louden sign the papers about an hour ago.

KAFFEE looks up. Still too stunned to say anything. Then
finally ...




KAFFEE
I suppose it's way too much to hope that
you're just making this up to bother me.

JO
Don't worry, I'm not gonna make a motion
for separation, you're still lead counsel.

KAFFEE hands her back the file.

KAFFEE
Splendid.

JO
I think Kendrick ordered the Code Red.
(beat)
So do you.

CUT TO:

INT. A HOLDING ROOM IN THE BRIG - NIGHT

DAWSON and DOWNEY come to attention as KAFFEE and JO are led
in.

DAWSON
Officer on deck, ten hut.

KAFFEE starts in immediately.

KAFFEE
Did Kendrick order the code red?

DAWSON
Sir?

KAFFEE
Don't say sir like I just asked you if you
cleaned the latrine. You heard what I
said. Did Lt. Kendrick order you guys to
give Santiago a code red?

DAWSON
Yes sir.

KAFFEE
(to Downey)
Did he?

DOWNEY
Yes sir.

KAFFEE
You mind telling me why the hell you never
mentioned this before?






DAWSON
You didn't ask us, sir.

KAFFEE
Cutie-pie shit's not gonna win you a place
in my heart, corporal, I get paid no
matter how much time you spend in jail.

DAWSON
Yes sir. I know you do, sir.

KAFFEE
Fuck you, Harold.

There's some understandable tension in the room, broken by--

JO
Alright. Let's sort this out. There was
a platoon meeting on August 6th at four in
the afternoon. And Lt. Kendrick, he gave
strict instructions that nothing was to
happen to Santiago. Now is that true? I
want you to speak freely.

DAWSON
Ma'am, that's correct. But then he
dismissed the platoon and we all went to
our rooms.

JO
And what happened then?

DAWSON
Lt. Kendrick came to our room, ma'am.

KAFFEE
When? DAWSON

About five minutes after the meeting broke, sir. About 16:20.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
And what happened then?

DAWSON
Lt. Kendrick ordered us to give Santiago
a Code Red.

CUT TO:

INT. THE GYMNASIUM - NIGHT

ROSS is playing a game of full-court basketball with some
other OFFICERS.

A door at the far end of the court opens and KAFFEE and JO
walk in. They head down the sideline toward Ross.




KAFFEE shouts--

KAFFEE
Jack!

But ROSS is into the game...

KAFFEE
(continuing)
Jack!!

ROSS
(waving him off)
Hang on...

KAFFEE
They were given an order.

ROSS stops cold and looks over at Kaffee. The game flies by
him. He motions to the locker room door in the corner of the
gym and the three of them make their way to privacy.

JO
How long have you known about the order?

ROSS
I didn't--
(to KAFFEE)
Who is this?

KAFFEE
This is Jo Galloway she's Downey's
lawyer. She's very pleased to meet you.

ROSS
What exactly are you accusing me of,
commander?

JO
I'm accusing you of--

They're in the

LOCKER ROOM - NIGHT

and KAFFEE slams the door shut behind them.

KAFFEE
Jack didn't know about the order. Because
if he did and he hadn't told us, Jack
knows he'd be violating about 14 articles
of the code of ethics. As it is, he's got
enough to worry about. God forbid our
clients decide to plead not guilty and
testify for the record that they were
given an order.





ROSS
Kendrick specifically told the men not to
touch Santiago.

KAFFEE
That's right. And then he went into
Dawson and Downey's room and specifically
told them to give him a code red.

ROSS
That's not what Kendrick said.

KAFFEE
Kendrick's lying.

ROSS
You have proof?

KAFFEE
I have the defendants.

ROSS
And I have 23 marines who aren't accused
of murder and a lieutenant with four
letters of commendation.

KAFFEE
Why did Markinson resign his commission?

ROSS
We'll never know.

KAFFEE
You don't think I can subpoena Markinson.

ROSS
You can try, but you won't find him. You
know what Markinson did for the first 17
of his 21 years in the corps? Counter
Intelligence. Markinson's gone. There is
no Markinson.

Some of the wind has been taken Out of Kaffee's sails.

ROSS
(continuing)
Jessep's star is on the rise. Division'll
give me a lot of room to spare Jessep and
the corps any embarrassment.

KAFFEE
How much room?

ROSS
I'll knock it all down to assault. Two
years. They're home in six months.





JO
No deal, we're going to a jury.

KAFFEE
Jo--

ROSS
No you're not.

JO
Why not?

ROSS
'Cause you'll lose, and Danny knows it.
And he knows that if we go to court, I'll
have to go all the way, they'll be charged
with the whole truckload. Murder,
Conspiracy, Conduct Unbecoming, and even
though he's got me by the balls out here,
Dan knows that in a courtroom, he loses
this case. Danny's an awfully talented
lawyer, and he's not about to send his
clients go to jail for life when he knows
they could be home in six months.

This is now clear: Ross is as good as Kaffee.

ROSS
(continuing)
That's the end of this negotiation. From
this moment, we're on the record. I'll
see tomorrow morning at the arraignment.

ROSS turns and heads back to the gym as we

CUT TO:

INT. - A HOLDING ROOM - NIGHT

Kaffee and JO are sitting at a table. Dawson and Downey are
at parade rest. Kaffee lights a cigarette.

KAFFEE
Here's the story: The Goverment's
offering Assault and Conduct Unbecoming.
Two years. You'll be home in six months.

DAWSON and DOWNEY say nothing.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
"Wow, Kaffee, you're the greatest lawyer
in the world. How can we ever thank you?"
Fellas, you hear what I just said, you're
going home in six months.






DAWSON
I'm afraid we can't do that, sir.

KAFFEE
Do what?

DAWSON
Make a deal, sir.

KAFFEE
What are you talking about?

DAWSON
We did nothing wrong, sir. We did our job.
If that has consequences, then I accept
them. But'I won't say I'm guilty, sir.

KAFFEE can't believe this. He looks over at JO.

KAFFEE
Did you--
(to DAWSON and DOWNEY)
Did she put you up to this?

JO
No.

DAWSON
We have a code, sir.

KAFFEE
Well zippity-doo-dah. You and your code
plead not guilty and you'll be in jail for
the rest of your life. Do what I'm
telling you and you'll be home in six
months.

DAWSON just stares at him.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
Do it, Harold. Six months. It's nothing.
It's a hockey season.

DAWSON
Permission to-

KAFFEE
Speak!

DAWSON
What do we do then, sir?

KAFFEE
When?






DAWSON
After six months. We'd be dishonorably
discharged, right sir?

KAFFEE
Yes.

DAWSON
What do we do then, sir? We joined the
corps 'cause we wanted to live our lives
by a certain code. And we found it in the
corps. And now you're asking us to sign
a piece of paper that says we have no
honor. You're asking us to say we're not
marines. If a judge and jury decide that
what we did was wrong, I'll accept
whatever punishment they give. But I
believe I was riqht, sir . I believe I did
my Job. And I won't dishonor myself, my
unit, or the Corps, so that I can qo home
in six months.
(beat)
Sir.

HOLD ON the four of them for a moment, then

KAFFEE
Commander, I want to talk to corporal
Dawson alone for a minute.

Jo waits Just a moment before she calls out--

JO
(to Downey)
Let's go in another room. Louden,
everything's gonna be alright.

The M.P. has shown up and unlocked the cell door.

JO
(continuing; to M.P.)
We're gonna go into a holding room.

M.P.
Aye, aye, ma'am.

JO, DOWNEY, and the M.P. are gone. KAFFEE paces a moment
before he says--

KAFFEE
You don't like me that much, do you?
(beat)
Forget it, don't answer that, it doesn't
matter.

KAFFEE paces another moment, then sits on the cot. He's
trying to choose his tack carefully.




KAFFEE
(continuing)
You know, Downey worships you. He's gonna
do whatever you do. Are you really gonna
let this happen to him because of a code?
Harold?

DAWSON
Do you think we were right?

KAFFEE
It doesn't matter what I--

DAWSON
Do you think we were right?

KAFFEE gets up.

KAFFEE
(beat)
I think you'd lose.

DAWSON
(beat)
You're such a coward, I can't believe they
let you wear a uniform.

KAFFEE stares at DAWSON.

KAFFEE
I'm not gonna feel responsible for this,
Harold. I did everything I could. You're
going to Levenworth for the better part of
your life, and you know what? I don't
give a shit.

KAFFEE calls out--

KAFFEE
(continuing)
M.P.!

KAFFEE and DAWSON are staring each other down. The M.P.
shows up and unlocks the cell door. KAFFEE steps out to
leave.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
What happened to saluting an officer when
he leaves the room?

DAWSON holds on KAFFEE. Then DAWSON, a man who would rather
die than breach military protocol, takes his hands and puts
them in his pockets.







The cell door closes and we

CUT TO:

INT. THE OFFICE CORRIDOR - NIGHT

One light is on at the end of the hall.

CUT TO:

SAM has joined KAFFEE and JO. The mood is somber.

KAFFEE
Dawson's gonna go to jail just to spite
me. Fine. If he wants to jump off a cliff,
that's his business. I'm not gonna hold
his hand on the way down.
(to SAM)
I want to get him a new lawyer. How do I
do it?

SAM
You just make a motion tomorrow morning at
the arraignment. The judge'll ask you if
you want to enter a plea. You tell him you
want new counsel assigned.

KAFFEE
(beat)
Then that's that.

JO
(beat)
Yeah. One thing, though. When you ask
the judge for new counsel, Danny, be sure
and ask nicely.

KAFFEE
What do you want from me?

JO
I want you to let 'em be judged! I want
you to stand up and make an argument!

SAM
An argument that didn't work for Calley at
My Lai, an argument that didn't work for
the Nazis at Nuremberg.

KAFFEE
For Christ sake, Sam, do you really think
that's the same as two teenage marines
executing a routine order that they never
believed would result in harm? These guys
aren't the Nazis.

There's a pause in the room.




JO
Don't look now, Danny, but you're making
an argument.

KAFFEE
(pause)
Yeah.
(beat)
Tomorrow morning I'll get them a new
attorney.

JO
Why are you so afraid to be a lawyer? Were
daddy's expectations really that high?

KAFFEE
Please, spare me the psycho-babble father
bullshit. Dawson and Downey'll have their
day in court, but they'll have it with
another lawyer.

JO
Another lawyer won't be good enough. They
need you. You know how to win.
(beat)
You know they have a case. And you know
how to win. You walk away from this now,
and you have sealed their fate.

KAFFEE
Their fate was sealed the moment Santiago
died.

JO
Do you believe they have a defense?

KAFFEE
You and Dawson both live in the same
dreamland. It doesn't matter what I
believe, it only matters what I can prove.
So please don't tell me what I know and
don't know. I know the law.

JO looks at him, shakes her head, and turns to walk away.
She turns back.

JO
You know nothing about the law. You're a
used car salesman, Daniel. You're an
ambulance chaser with a rank. You're
nothing.
(beat)
Live with that.








Jo walks off leaving KAFFEE alone. We HOLD on KAFFEE. He's
not having a good night.

CUT TO:

INT. A GEORGETOWN BAR - NIGHT

KAFFEE sits at the bar. The place is crowded with YUPPIES
and STUDENTS. KAFFEE's been drinking there a while now. Next
to him is a YUPPIE LAWYER, regaling his FRIENDS with the
story of his latest brilliant maneuver in the world of high
stakes corporate law.

We HOLD on a KAFFEE a moment longer, then

YUPPIE LAWYER
... So I told duncan if we leverage the
acquisition of Biotech, the
interrogatories would be there on demand.
All I have to do is not pick up the phone
and it'll run Flaherty ten thousand a day
in court costs.

CUT TO:

EXT. A GEORGETOWN STREET - NIGHT

KAFFEE sits on a bench in the night. He takes a sip from a
bottle he's holding in a brown paper bag.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE PARADE GROUNDS - DAY

A bright, sunny morning. The BAND is performing for a group
of day campers.

CUT TO:

INT. THE COURTROOM - DAY

DAWSON and DOWNEY are at the defense table, ROSS is his
place. KAFFEE walks in and joins JO and SAM at their table.
Papers are being passed back and forth between ROSS and the
SERGEANT AT AMS. Quiet activity.

The door in the back of the courtroom opens and RANDOLPH, a
marine colonel, enters and takes his place at the bench. We
can HEAR the band in the background.

SERGEANT AT ARMS
All rise.

Everyone present in the courtroom stands.

RANDOLPH
Where are we?




SERGEANT AT ARMS
Docket number 411275. VR-5. United
States versus Lance Corporal Harold W.
Dawson and Private First Class Loudon
Downey. Defendants are charged with
Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Murder in the
First Degree, and Conduct Unbecoming a
United States Marine.

RANDOLPH
Does defense wish to enter a plea?

KAFFEE stands.

KAFFEE
Yeah.
(pause)
They're not guilty.

JO, SAM, ROSS, RANDOLPH... it's hard to say who's the most
surprised. It takes everything Jo's got to suppress a smile.
The silence is broken by ROSS, who takes the two files, drops
them into his briefcase, closes the lid, and snaps it shut.

RANDOLPH looks at KAFFEE and ROSS, then turns to the SERGEANT
AT ARMS.

RANDOLPH
Enter a plea of not guilty for the
defendants. We'll adjourn until ten-
hundred, three weeks from today, at which
time this Court will reconvene as a
General Court-Martial.

He raps the gavel.

RANDOLPH walks out. ROSS walks up the aisle without a word
to anyone. The M.P.'s come to escort DAWSON and DOWNEY back
to their cell.

KAFFEE and JO and SAM are the only ones remaining. SAM is
looking at KAFFEE with question marks in his eyes.

KAFFEE
Why does a junior grade with six months
experience and a track record for plea
bargaining get assigned a murder case?
(beat)
Would it be so that it never sees the
inside of a courtroom?

KAFFEE picks up his briefcase and begins heading toward the
door.








KAFFEE
(continuing)
We'll work out of my apartment. Every
night, seven o'clock. Jo, before you come
over tonight, pick up a carton of legal
pads, a half-dozen boxes of red pens, a
half-dozen boxes of black pens. Sam get
a couple of desk lamps. I need you to
start on a preliminary medical profile and
Jo, we need all the fitness reports on
Dawson, Downey and Santiago. The only
thing I have to eat is Yoo-Hoo and
SugarSnacks, so if you want anything else,
bring it with you. Okay?

Jo's still stunned.

JO
Yeah.

KAFFEE's at the door, stops, turns around, and takes it all
in for a moment.

KAFFEE
So this is what a courtroom looks like.

He walks out the door, and we

CUT TO:

INT. KAFFEE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Among the stuff, is a blackboard that's been hung on the
wall. Written across the top are three headings:

INTENT CODE RED THE ORDER

Sam is on the floor, sorting papers into piles. KAFFEE comes
in from the kitchen with a fresh bottle of Yoo-Hoo and joins
Sam on the floor.

KAFFEE
Were you able to speak to your friend at
NIS?

SAM
She said if Markinson doesn't want to be
found, we're not gonna find him. She said
I could be Markinson and you wouldn't know
it.

KAFFEE
Are you Markinson?

SAM
No.





KAFFEE
Well, I'm not Markinson, that's two down.

SAM doesn't laugh.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
What.

SAM
(pause)
I was wondering, now that Joanne's working
on this ... I was wondering if you still
need me.

KAFFEE
(pause)
They were following an order, Sam.

SAM
An illegal order.

KAFFEE
You think Dawson and Downey know it was an
illegal order?

SAM
It doesn't matter if they know, any decent
human being would've refused to--

KAFFEE
They're not permitted to question orders.

SAM
Then what's the secret? What are the
magic words? I give orders every day, and
nobody follows them.

KAFFEE
We have softball games and marching bands.
They work at a place where you have to
wear camouflage or you might get shot.

Sam looks away. He doesn't buy it.

KAFFEE
(continuing; pause)
I need you. You're better at research
than I am and you know how to prepare a
witness.

Jo lets herself in. She's carrying a huge stack of papers
under one arm, and a large brown paper bag under the other.
But we stay with KAFFEE and Sam a moment longer.







JO
I've got medical reports and Chinese food.
I say we eat first.

KAFFEE's still looking at SAM. SAM nods his head.

SAM
Did you get any dumplings?

CUT TO:

INT. KAFFEE'S APT. - LATER - NIGHT

The remnants of the Chinese food is spread around. SAM and
JO are sitting and taking notes from KAFFEE. As he speaks,
he'll pace slowly around, carrying his baseball bat. He
refers to the blackboard.

KAFFEE
This is our defense. Intent: No one can
provee there was poison on the raq. Code
Red: They're common and accepted in
Guantanamo Bay. The Order:
(he writes)
A) Kendrick gave it. B) They had no
choice but to follow it.
(beat)
That's it.

SAM
What about motive?

KAFFEE
We're a little weak on motive. They had
one.

JO
Just because a person has a motive doesn't
mean--

KAFFEE
Relax. We'll deal with the fenceline
shooting when it comes up. For now we
start here--
(pointing to INTENT)
I don't know what made Santiago die, I
don't want to know. I just want to be able
to show it could've been something other
than poison. Jo, talk to doctors. Find
out everything there is to know about
lactic acidosis. Let's start prepping for
Stone.

JO
As long as we're on the subject of the
doctor--





KAFFEE
Here we go.

JO
Listen to me, three o'clock he doesn't
know what killed Santiago, then he meets
with Jessep, and at five o'clock he says
it was poison? The doctor's covering up
the truth.

KAFFEE
Oh, that's a relief. I was afraid I
wouldn't be able to use the "Liar, Liar,
Pants on Fire" defense. We can't prove
coercion!! Alright, fitness reports and
biographical information.

SAM
Cartons 3 and 4.

KAFFEE looks at the cartons and the mind-numbing amount of
paper.

KAFFEE
No Cliff-Notes on these things?

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. KAFFEE'S APARTMENT -

A SERIES OF SCENES

The scenes cover the three weeks Of preparation leading up to
the trial, and are interspersed with shots of Kaffee's
apartment getting messier, KAFFEE, JO and SAM flipping
through documents and reference books, writing on the
blackboard, dozzing off ...

... we start with

INT. KAFFEE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Jo's on the phone, KAFFEE and SAM are going over testimony,
with SAM sitting in a mock witness chair. During this,
KAFFEE will go to the door, pay the PIZZA Man for the pizza,
and return without missing a single beat.

JO
(into phone)
Captain Hill, this is Lt. Commander
Galloway, I'm an internal affairs officer
with the JAG Corps in Washington, D.C. I'm
trying to track down a Captain Matthew
Andrew Markinson, USMC...







KAFFEE
Doctor, other than the rope marks, was
there any other sign of external damage?

SAM
No.

KAFFEE
No scrapes?

SAM
No.

KAFFEE
No cuts?

JO
(into phone)
He resigned his commission a week ago
Thursday.

KAFFEE
Bruises? Broken bones?

SAM
No.

JO
(into phone)
No, please don't put me on hold--

KAFFEE
Doctor, was there any sign of violence?

SAM
(beat)
You mean other than the dead body?

KAFFEE
Fuck!! I walk into that every goddam time!

SAM
Don't ask the last question.

CUT TO:

INT. A LAW LIBRARY - NIGHT

MOS-- JO pulls two thick volumes off a shelf and takes them
to the table where SAM and KAFFEE are working. She plops the
books down where they join a pile of about two-dozen just
like them and we

CUT TO:







INT. A COFFEE SHOP - DAY

The LAWYERS have their books and papers spread out in front
of them.

KAFFEE
Lt. Kendrick, the type of disciplinary
action, or "training'' as you say--

JO
Object.

KAFFEE
Please the Court, I maintain that nothing
could be more relevant than what the
defendants learned by the example of,
among others, the witness.

JO
Nice.

CUT TO:

INT. KAFFEE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

MOS--KAFFEE's paying the pizza boy again. He goes into the
living room where SAM is on the "stand". It's getting hard to
see the floor from all the papers, cartons, books, pizza
boxes, etc., and

CUT TO:

INT. THE BRIG - DAY

A HOLDING ROOM where DAWSON and DOWNEY are being put through
their paces.

JO
And what happened after Kendrick came into
your room?

DOWNEY
(beat)
He ordered me and Corporal Dawson to give
Willy a Code Red.

SAM
(to Jo)
His answers still have to come faster, Jo.
The Iowa farmboy thing'll play for a
while, but in the end it looks like he's
searching for the truth.









KAFFEE
(to Dawson & Downey)
He's right, and from now on, "Willy" is
Private Santiago. You start calling him
Willy and all of a sudden he's a person
who's got a mother who's gonna miss him.

CUT TO:

INT. THE APARTMENT - NIGHT

MOS--The clock reads 3:37, and KAFFEE, in sweatpants and a
bathrobe, is pacing around slowly with his baseball bat and

CUT TO:

SAM and JO art listening to a lecture for the 14th time.

KAFFEE
Poker faces. Don't flinch in front of the
jury. Something doesn't go our way, don't
hang your head, don't shift in your seat,
don't scribble furiously. Whatever
happens, you have to look like it's
exactly what you knew was gonna happen.
When you pass me documents--

JO/SAM
Do it swiftly, but don't look overanxious.

KAFFEE
(beat)
And don't wear that perfume in Court, it
wrecks my concentration.

JO
Really!

KAFFEE
I was talking to Sam.

SAM
What time is it?

KAFFEE
Time to go home. Try to get some sleep
tonight.

JO
(to SAM)
I'll give you a ride.

SAM begins to gather up his things. He stands in front of
KAFFEE.







KAFFEE
(to SAM)
You're a good man, Charlie Brown.

SAM
See you in court.

Sam steps out the door. JO looks at the ground, then up at
KAFFEE.

JO
Danny--

KAFFEE
I know what you're gonna say. You don't
have to. We've had our differences. I've
said some things I didn't mean, you've
said some things you didn't means but
you're happy that I stuck with the case.
And if you've gained a certain respect for
me over the Last three weeks that you
didn't have before, well, of course I'm
happy about that, but we don't have to
make a whole big deal out of it. You like
me. I won't make you say it.

JO
I was just gonna tell you to wear matching
socks tomorrow.

KAFFEE
(beat)
Oh.
(beat)
Okay. Good tip.

JO
We're ready.

KAFFEE
Bet your ass.

Jo walks out the door and KAFFEE closes it and locks it
behind her.

Then he says, very softly...

KAFFEE
(continuing)
We're gonna get creamed.

CUT TO:









INT. THE COURTHOUSE CORRIDOR - DAY

A few M.P.Is are standing by the entrance. KAFFEE comes
around the corner and heads toward the courtroom. we're
immediately stricken by something:

In his dress blue uniform he could easily be mistaken for a
real live naval officer. He opens the courtroom doors and
walks into

INT. THE COURTROOM - DAY

A few more M.P.'s are standing around. THE JURORS, nine
enlisted navy and marine men and women, are in their place,
Ross is at his table looking through some papers, and DAWSON
and DOWNEY, in handcuffs, are seated at the defense table.
The trial in a few moments from being underway and a few
people are milling about. KAFFEE walks down the aisle but is
stopped by a voice behind him.

MAN (O.S.)
Lieutenant Kaffee?

KAFFEE turns around to see a MAN and WOMAN who are clearly
Dawson's parents.

MAN
You're gonna save our son, aren't you?

KAFFEE
(pause)
I'll do my best.

KAFFEE continues on and stops next to JO, who's talking with
a WOMAN in her mid-30's.

JO
Danny, I want you to meet Ginny Miller,
Louden's aunt.

KAFFEE
You're Aunt Ginny?

GINNY
Uh-huh.

KAFFEE
I'm sorry, I was expecting someone older.

GINNY
So was I.

Not quite the words of inspiration KAFFEE was hoping to hear
before he does the hardest thing he's ever had to do.

He walks over to ROSS.





KAFFEE
Last chance. I'll flip you for it.

RANDOLPH enters.

SERGEANT AT ARMS
All rise.

ROSS
Too late.

KAFFEE walks back to his table as

SERGEANT AT ARMS
All those having business with this
general court-martial, stand forward and
you shall be heard. Captain Julius
Alexander Randolph is presiding. God save
the United States of America.

RANDOLPH raps the gavel.

RANDOLPH 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.

KAFFEE
No objection.

RANDOLPH
Is the Government prepared to make an
opening statement?

ROSS
(standing)
Yes sir.

ROSS walks to the jury box.

ROSS
(continuing)
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.
(beat)
Now, Lt. Kaffee, 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.
(beat)
And they are undisputed.

ROSS walks back to his seat.

RANDOLPH
Lt. Kaffee?

Before KAFFEE's even stood up, these words are coming out of
his mouth.

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

KAFFEE walks back to the table and takes his seat.

RANDOLPH
Is the Government ready to call its first
witness?

ROSS
Please the Court, the Government calls Mr.
R.C McGuire.

While McCGUIRE, a civilian in his late 30's, is being sworn
in, KAFFEE has sat back down.

He leans over to DAWSON and whispers.

KAFFEE
How you doin'? DAWSON doesn't change his
expression.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
Good.

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

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

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

MCGUIRE
We did.

ROSS
What did the letter say?

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




ROSS
Was that marine identified in the letter?

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

ROSS
And what did you find?

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

ROSS
And who was that? Lance Corporal Harold
Dawson.

ROSS
(continuing; to
KAFFEE)
Your witness.

ROSS goes back to his table. KAFFEE stands.

KAFFEE
Mr. McGuire, have you questioned Corporal
Dawson about the fenceline shooting?

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

KAFFEE
But you don't believe him.

MCGUIRE
It's not my place--

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

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

KAFFEE
Thank you.

KAFFEE sits.







ROSS
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.

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

ROSS
And now we won't ever know, will we, Mr.
McGuire?

MCGUIRE
No.

ROSS
No more questions.

CUT TO:

HAMMAKER, a young marine corporal, is being sworn in.

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

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

HAMMAKER
Yes sir.

ROSS
Would you tell the Court the substance of
that meeting?

HAMMAKER
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.

ROSS
Did that make you mad?
(pause)
You can tell the truth, corporal, it's
alright. Did it make you mad?






HAMMAKER
Yes sir.

ROSS
How mad?

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

ROSS
Were the other members of the squad angry?

KAFFEE
Object--

ROSS
Were Dawson and Downey?

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

RANDOLPH
Sustained.

ROSS
Corporal, did Lt. Kendrick leave a
standing order at that meeting?

RANDOLPH
Yes sir.

ROSS
What was it?

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

ROSS
What was the order?

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

ROSS
(to KAFFEE)
Your witness.

KAFFEE
Corporal Hammaker, were you in Dawson and
Downey's barracks room ten minutes after
this meeting?





HAMMAKER
No sir.

KAFFEE
Thanks, I have no more questions.

HAMMAKER gets off the stand, and KAFFEE watches while walks
past DAWSON and DOWNEY. A barely perceptible exchange occurs
between the eyes of DAWSON and HAMMAKER.

KAFFEE makes a decision.

ROSS
The Government calls Corporal Raymond
Thomas--

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

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

KAFFEE
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.

RANDOLPH
(to ROSS)
Lieutenant?

ROSS
The Government'll agree to the
stipulation, sir.

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

CUT TO:

SHOT OF WASHINGTON AT NIGHT

DISSOLVE TO:








THE PARADE GROUNDS - EARLY MORNING, two SAILORS are raising
the flag.

CUT TO:

INT. THE COURTROOM - DAY

COMMANDER STONE, a Navy doctor in his mid-40's, is on the
stand.

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

ROSS
Dr. Stone, what's lactic acidosis?

STONE
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.

ROSS
How long does it take for the muscles and
other cells to begin burning oxygen
instead of sugar?

STONE
Twenty to thirty minutes.

ROSS
And what caused Santiago's muscles and
other cells to start burning sugar?

STONE
An ingested poison of some kind.

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

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

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

RANDOLPH
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.




KAFFEE
Not at all, sir. Objection withdrawn.

KAFFEE sits.

ROSS
Doctor Stone, did Willy Santiago die of
poisoning?

STONE
Absolutely.

ROSS
Are you aware that the lab report and the
coroners report showed no traces of poison?

STONE
Yes I am.

ROSS
Then how do you justify--

STONE
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.

ROSS
Thank you, sir.

KAFFEE gets up.

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

STONE
Yes.

KAFFEE
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?

STONE says nothing for a moment.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
Commander, is it possible?

STONE
Certainly.




KAFFEE
What might some of those conditions be?

STONE
(beat)
If a person had a coronary disorder ... or
a cerebral disorder, the process would be
more rapid.

KAFFEE
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?

STONE
It would have to be a very serious
condition.

KAFFEE
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?

STONE
Possibly. There would still be symptoms
though.

KAFFEE
What kind of symptoms?

STONE
There are hundreds of symptoms of a--

KAFFEE
Chest pains?

STONE
(beat)
Yes.

KAFFEE
Shortness of breath?

STONE
Yes.

KAFFEE
Fatigue?

STONE
Of course.






KAFFEE has gone back to his table where JO has handed him
some documents. Hft shows then to STONE.

KAFFEE
Doctor, is this your signature?

STONE
Yes it is.

KAFFEE
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.

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

KAFFEE
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?

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

KAFFEE
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?

ROSS
Object. Move to strike.

RANDOLPH
Sustained. Strike it.

KAFFEE
No more questions, judge.

ROSS stands immediately.






ROSS
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?

Jo stands.

JO
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 witness's
testimony.

KAFFEE and SAM are dying, but they're trying to keep their
poker-faces. RANDOLPH'S gonna try to be polite about this,
but he thought he made himself clear.

RANDOLPH
The objection's overruled, counsel.

JO
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.

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

JO
Exception.

RANDOLPH
Noted.

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

ROSS
Doctor, in your expert, professional
opinion, was Willy Santiago poisoned?

STONE
Yes.

ROSS
Thank you, sir, I have no more questions.

RANDOLPH
Commander, you may step down.





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

RANDOLPH
We'll stand in recess until ten-hundred
hours this Monday, the l9th at which time
the defense will call it's first witness.

RANDOLPH raps his gavel.

SERGEANT AT ARMS
Ten hut.

And the courtroom begins clearing out. KAFFEE, JO and SAM are
packing up their various papers.

SAM
I strenuously object? Is that how it
works? Objection. Overruled. No, no, no,
no, I strenuously object. Oh, well if you
strenuously object, let me take a moment
to reconsider.

JO
I got it on the record.

SAM
You also got it in the jury's head that
we're afraid of the doctor. You object
once so they can hear you say he's not a
criminologist. You keep after it and it
looks like this great cross we did was
just a bunch of fancy lawyer tricks. It's
the difference between paper law and
trial--

KAFFEE
Sam--

SAM
Christ, you even had the Judge saying
Stone was an expert!

KAFFEE
Sam, she made a mistake. Let's not relive
it.

There's an uncomfortable silence.

SAM
I'm gonna go call my wife. I'll meet you
tonight.

Sam starts to leave. JO turns and says





JO
Why do you hate them so much?

Sam stops and turns around.

SAM
They beat up on a weakling, and that's all
they did. The rest is just smokefilled
coffee-house crap. They tortured and
tormented a weaker kid. They didn't like
him. And they killed him. And why?
Because he couldn't run very fast.

A long silence. KAFFEE makes a decision Alright. Everybody
take the night off.

SAM
(continuing)
I apologize, I,--

KAFFEE
It's alright. We've been working 20 hour
days for three and a half weeks straight.
Take the night off. Go see your wife, see
your daughter. Jo, do whatever it is you
do when you're not here. What day is
tomorrow?

SAM
Saturday.

KAFFEE
We'll start at ten.

KAFFEE picks up his stuff and walks out.

SAM and JO stand there uncomfortably for a moment. JO begins
packing up her things.

SAM
Why do you like them so much?

JO
(pause)
'Cause they stand on a wall.
(beat)
And they say "Nothing's gonna hurt you
tonight. Not on my watch."

Despite their differences, SAM likes this woman.

SAM
Don't worry about the doctor. This trial
starts Monday.

CUT TO:





INT. KAFFEE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

A baseball game is on.

KAFFEE's pacing slowly around, carrying his baseball bat.
He's looking at the blackboard as he walks around the room.

He's studying it. Studying it hard. There's a knock on the
door. KAFFEE answers it. JO is standing in the doorway.

I'm sorry to bother you, I should've called first.

KAFFEE
No, I was just watching a baseball game.

JO
I was wondering if--how you'd feel about
my taking you to dinner tonight.

KAFFEE
Jo, are you asking me out on a date?

JO
No.

KAFFEE
It sounded like you were asking me out on
a date.

JO
I wasn't.

KAFFEE
I've been asked out on dates before, and
that's what it sounded like.

JO
Do you like seafood? I know a good
seafood place.

CUT TO:



INT. A SEAFOOD RESTAURANT - NIGHT

On the Virginia side of the Potomac. KAFFEE and JO are
sitting at a table, finishing up dinner.

JO
My third case was a Drunk and Disorderly.
The trial lasted nine weeks. I rounded up
31 people who were in the bar that night.

KAFFEE
Nine weeks on a D and D? What was the
prosecutor offering?




JO
15 days.

KAFFEE
(pause)
Well, you sure hustled the shit outta him.

JO
After that, they moved me to internal
affairs.

KAFFEE
Tough to blame them.

JO
Where I've earned two distinguished
service medals and two letters of
commendation.

KAFFEE
Why are you always giving me your resume?

JO
Because I want you to think I'm good
lawyer.

KAFFEE
I do.

JO
No you don't.
(beat)
I think you're an exceptional lawyer. I
watch the jurors, they respond to you,
they like you. I see you convincing them.
I think Dawson and Downey are gonna end up
owing their lives to you.

KAFFEE
(pause)
Jo... I think you have to prepare yourself
for the fact that we're gonna lose.
(beat)
Ross's opening speech, it was all true.
(beat)
I mean, let's pretend for a minute that it
would actually matter to this jury that
the guys were given an order. We can't
prove it ever happened.
(beat)
We'll keep doing what we're doing, and
we'll put on a show, but at the end of the
day, all we have is the testimony of two
people accused of murder.

JO
We'll find Markinson.




KAFFEE
Jo, we're gonna lose. And we're gonna
lose huge.

We HOLD on then for a moment, and in VOICE OVER hear

HOWARD (V.O.)
Corporal Jeffrey Owen Howard, Marine
Barracks Windward, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

CUT TO:

CORPORAL HOWARD, the young marine who drove the lawyers
around Cuba, is on the stand.

KAFFEE
Corporal Howard, name some reasons why a
marine would get a code red?

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

KAFFEE
Have you ever received a code red?

HOWARD
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.

KAFFEE
And what happened?

HOWARD
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.

KAFFEE
Was Private Santiago ever late for platoon
meetings?

HOWARD
Yes sir.

KAFFEE
Was his barracks ever in disorder?

HOWARD
Yes sir.




KAFFEE
Did he ever fall back on a run?

HOWARD
All the time, sir.

KAFFEE
Did he ever, prior to the night of August
6th, receive a code red?

HOWARD
No sir.

KAFFEE
(beat)
Never?

HOWARD
No, sir.

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

HOWARD
Dawson wouldn't allow it, sir.

KAFFEE
Dawson wouldn't allow it.

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

ROSS
Object. The witness is characterizing.

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

HOWARD
Yes sir.

KAFFEE
Why didn't you?

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

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






ROSS takes three books out of his briefcase and puts them on
the table. He brings one to HOWARD.

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

HOWARD
Yes sir.

ROSS
Have you read it?

HOWARD
Yes sir.

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

HOWARD
Sir?

ROSS
Just flip to the page in that book that
discusses code reds.

HOWARD
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--

ROSS has produced another book.

ROSS
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?

HOWARD
No sir.

ROSS
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?







HOWARD
(pause)
No sir. No books, sir.

ROSS
No further questions.

ROSS sits. KAFFEE walks over to ROSS's table and picks up
one of the books. He brings it to HOWARD.

KAFFEE
Corporal, would you turn to the page in
this book that says where the enlisted
men's mess hall is?

HOWARD
Lt. Kaffee, that's not in the book, sir.

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

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

KAFFEE
No more questions.

KAFFEE chucks the book back on ROSS's desk.

RANDOLPH
Corporal Howard, you can step down.

HOWARD
(greatly relieved)
Thank you, sir.

KAFFEE gives HOWARD a subtle "You Did Good, Kid" look, and we

CUT TO:

INT. THE COURTHOUSE CORRIDOR - DUSK

It's the end of the day's session. KAFFEE walks down the
hall with SAM and JO.

KAFFEE
Seven tonight, we'll do a final Kendrick
review. I want to slam- dunk this guy.

CUT TO:








EXT. SIDEWALK STAND - NIGHT

KAFFEE'S CAR

as it drives along a street in the D.C. business district.
it's evening now and the windshield wipers are fighting
against a rain

KAFFEE pulls over at his usual newsstand. He hops out,
leaving the lights flashing and the door open, and runs to
the stand.

KAFFEE
Hey, Luther.

LUTHER
Admiral, how's the big case goin'?

KAFFEE
Nose to the grindstone.

LUTHER
No flies on you.

KAFFEE
A rolling stone gathers no moss.

LUTHER
Yeah, well it ain't over til the fat lady
sings.

KAFFEE
Ain't that the truth. Catch you tomorrow.

He gets back in his car, tosses the newspaper on the
passenger seat, and turns on the ignition. And as soon as he
does

--a hand is slapped over his mouth--

VOICE (O.S.)
It's Matthew Markinson.

--and KAFFEE jumps out of his skin.

Because sitting in the back seat, in civilian clothes, is
MARKINSON.

KAFFEE
Jesus fucking Christ!!--

MARKINSON
You left the door unlocked.

KAFFEE
Scared the shit outta me.





MARKINSON
Drive.

KAFFEE
Are you aware you're under subpoena?

MARKINSON
Yes. I'm also aware that the lives of two
marines are in your hands. If there was
something I could do about that, I would,
but since I can't, all I can do is help
you. Why don't you drive, Lieutenant.

KAFFEE begins driving down the street.

KAFFEE
What do you know?

MARKINSON
I know everything.

KAFFEE
Was it a code red?

MARKINSON
Yes.

KAFFEE
Did Kendrick give the order?

MARKINSON
Yes.

KAFFEE
Did you witness it?

MARKINSON
I didn't need to--

KAFFEE
Did you witness it?!

MARKINSON
No.

KAFFEE
Then how do you know?

MARKINSON
I know.

KAFFEE
You know shit.

MARKINSON
He was never gonna be transferred off the
base.




And with this, KAFFEE screeches the car over to the side of
the road. He grabs the parking brake and pulls it up. He
turns to Markinson.

MARKINSON
(continuing)
Jessep was going to keep him on the base.
He said he wanted him trained.

KAFFEE
We've got the transfer order. it's got
your signature.

MARKINSON
I know. I signed it the morning you
arrived in Cuba. Six days after Santiago
died.

KAFFEE's wheels are spinning. He's pumped.

KAFFEE
I'm gonna get you a deal. Some kind of
immunity with the prosecutor. In about
four days, you're gonna appear as a
witness for the defense, and you're gonna
tell the court exactly what you told me.
Right now I'm gonna check you into a
motel, and we're gonna start from the
beginning.

MARKINSON
I don't want a deal. And I don't want
immunity.

KAFFEE shakes his head and laughs.

MARKINSON
(continuing)
I want you to know, I'm proud neither of
what I've done nor what I'm doing.

KAFFEE puts the car in gear and we

CUT TO:

INT. KAFFEE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Where KAFFEE has just finished telling his story to an amazed
SAM and JO.

There's silence.

Then JO has a total adrenaline rush.

JO
Where is he?





KAFFEE
The Route 23 Best Western.

JO picks up the phone.

JO
I want him guarded.

KAFFEE
That's probably a good idea.

JO
(into phone)
This is Lt. Commander Joanne Galloway. My
clearance code is 411273.

KAFFEE is impressed. He turns to SAM--

KAFFEE
Clearance code?

JO
Thank you.

KAFFEE
(to SAM)
I don't have a clearance code. Do you
have a--

JO
(into phone)
It's Jo Galloway. I need to secure a
witness.

Jo continues giving information to the person on the phone,
while Kaffee keeps talking to the both of them. Sam is
writing down notes as fast as he can.

KAFFEE
He also said that Jessep's lying about the
transportation off the base. Jessep said
six the next morning was the first flight
Santiago could've left on, Markinson says
there was a plane that left seven hours
earlier.

JO hangs up the phone.

JO
Damn.

KAFFEE
That was impressive. Did you hear what I
just said about the flight?

JO
Yes.




KAFFEE
Sam, when a plane takes off from a base,
there's gotta be some kind of record kept,
right?

SAM
We need the Tower Chief's Log for GITMO.

KAFFEE
(to SAM)
Get it.

JO
We're gonna win.

KAFFEE
Jo, don't get crazy about this. We don't
know who Markinson is. We don't know what
the log book's gonna say. You just
concentrate on Downey. I'm gonna talk to
Ross and tell him where we are.

JO
(sing-song)
"Kaffee's got his case now, Kaffee's got
his case now."

KAFFEE
You are like seven of the strangest women
I have ever met.

CUT TO:

INT. A WASHINGTON SALOON - NIGHT

A WAITRESS sets two drinks down in front of KAFFEE and ROSS,
who are sitting across from each other in a booth in the back.

ROSS
That was nice work today. The redirect on
Howard.

KAFFEE
I have Markinson.

ROSS only takes a moment digest this.

ROSS
Where is he?

KAFFEE
A motel room in Arlington with 14 Federal
Marshals outside his door. Take a sip of
your drink.

ROSS
Damn.




KAFFEE
The transfer order that Parkinson signed
is phoney. And Jessep's statement that the
six a.m. flight was the first available is
a lie, we're checking the tower chief's
log. But in the meantime I'm gonna put the
Apostle Jon Kendrick on the stand and see
if we can't have a little fun.

ROSS takes another sip of his drink, then lays it on the line
for Kaffee..

ROSS
I have an obligation to tell you that if
you accuse Kendrick or Jessep of any crime
without proper evidence, you'll be subject
to Court-Martial for professional
misconduct. And that's something that'll
be stapled to every job application you
ever fill out. Markinson's not gonna hold
up, he's a crazy man. I'm not saying this
to intimidate you. I'm being your lawyer.

KAFFEE
Thanks, Jack. And I wanna tell you that
I think the whole fuckin' bunch of you are
certifiably insane. And this code of honor
of yours makes me wanna beat the shit
outta something.

ROSS
Don't you dare lump me in with Jessep and
Markinson and Kendrick because we wear the
same uniform. I'm your friend, Danny, and
I'm telling you, I don't think your
clients belong in jail. But I don't get
to make that decision. I represent the
Government of the United States. Without
passion or prejudice. And my client has
a case.
(pause)
I want you to acknowledge that the judge
advocate has made you aware of the
possible consequences involved in accusing
a marine officer of a felony without
proper evidence.

KAFFEE
I've been so advised.

ROSS stands up and heaves a few dollars on the table.

ROSS
You got bullied into that courtroom,
Danny. By everyone. By Dawson, by
Galloway, shit, I practically dared you.






Not for a second have you believed you
could win. You got bullied into that room
by the memory of a dead lawyer.

KAFFEE
(pause)
You're a lousy softball player, Jack.

ROSS
Your boys are going down. I can't stop it
anymore.

CUT TO:

INT. COURTHOUSE CORRIDOR - DAY

People are filing in. KENDRICK is standing at the entrance
to the courtroom. KAFFEE glides past him...

KAFFEE
Batter up, J.J.

KENDRICK watches this impudent thing walk into the courtroom
as we

CUT TO:

INT. THE COURTROOM - DAY

KENDRICK's on the stand. What drives Kaffee's entire
examination of Kendrick is this: Kaffee's got him. He's
gonna win. At least this round. All he has to do is not let
his emotions take control of his professional skill.

SAM will have files and documents ready to hand Kaffee as he
needs them.

KAFFEE
Lt. Kendrick, in your opinion, was Private
Santiago a good marine?

KENDRICK
I'd say he was about average.

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

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







KAFFEE
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.

KENDRICK
I'm aware of my oath.

KAFFEE's handed some more files.

KAFFEE
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.

KENDRICK
That's fine.

KAFFEE
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.

KENDRICK
I'm sure it was.

KAFFEE
Do you recall why Dawson was given such a
poor grade on this report?

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

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

KENDRICK
Yes.

KAFFEE
Did you report private Barnes to the
proper authorities?




KENDRICK
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.

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

ROSS
Objection. Argumentative.

RANDOLPH
Sustained.
(to KAFFEE)
Watch yourself, counselor.

KAFFEE
Did you report Private Barnes to your
superiors?

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

KAFFEE
You preferred it to be handled within the
unit.

KENDRICK
I most certainly did.

KAFFEE
Lieutenant, do you know what a Code Red is?

KENDRICK
Yes I do.

KAFFEE
Have you ever ordered a code red?

KENDRICK
No, I have not.

KAFFEE
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?






KENDRICK
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.

KAFFEE
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.

KENDRICK
Yes.

KAFFEE
Wouldn't this form of discipline be
considered a code red?

KENDRICK
(beat)
Not necessarily.

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

ROSS
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.

RANDOLPH
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.

ROSS
Thank you judge.

KAFFEE looks over at DAWSON. They share a brief moment
before KAFFEE turns back to KENDRICK.

KAFFEE
Lieutenant, was Dawson given a rating of
Below Average on this last fitness report
because you learned held been sneaking
food to Private Barnes?
(to ROSS)
Not so fast.
(to KENDRICK)
Lieutenant?




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

KAFFEE
What crime did he commit?
(beat)
Lieutenant Kendrick?
(beat)
Dawson brought a hungry guy some food.
What crime did he commit?

KENDRICK
He disobeyed an order.

KAFFEE
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?

KENDRICK
Corporal Dawson disobeyed an order.

KAFFEE
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.
(beat)
Lt. Kendrick?
(beat)
Can he? Can Corporal Dawson determine on
his own which orders he's gonna follow?
(pause)

KENDRICK
No, he can not.

KAFFEE
A lesson he learned after the Curtis
Barnes incident, am I right?

KENDRICK
I would think so.

KAFFEE
You know so, don't you, Lieutenant.

ROSS
Object!





RANDOLPH
Sustained.

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

ROSS
--please the court--

KENDRICK
I told those men not to touch Santiago.

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

ROSS
Lieutenant, don't answer that.

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

ROSS doesn't even wait before he says--

ROSS
Lieutenant Kendrick, did you order
Corporal Dawson and Private Downey to give
Willy Santiaga code red?

But KENDRICK isn't listening--he's glaring at Kaffee.

ROSS
(continuing)
Lt. Kendrick, did you--

KENDRICK
No I did not.

ROSS
Thank you.

CUT TO:

FWAP! - a nerf ball slams into a hoop.

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

INT. KAFFEE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

JO and KAFFEE. KAFFEE's pumped and shooting baskets as Sam
walks in with some bound papers under his arm.

KAFFEE
What's the word?





SAM
This is the tower chief's log for that
night. Jessep was telling the truth. Tne
six a.M. Flight was the first plane out.

KAFFEE lets the ball drop out of his hands.

KAFFEE
Let me see that.

CUT TO:

EXT. A MOTEL - NIGHT

A SEDAN, with U.S. MARSHALL stenciled on the door, sits in
front of one of the rooms, and the two FEDERAL AGENTS inside
the car are reading the newspaper as

KAFFEE'S CAR pulls next to them and KAFFEE jumps out.

AGENT #1 sticks his head out the window and calls to KAFFEE--

AGENT #1
Workin' late, lieutenant?

KAFFEE pays no attention and bangs on MARKINSON's door. The
door opens and KAFFEE walks into

INT. MOTEL ROOM

HE tosses the log book on the table.

KAFFEE
There was no flight out at eleven o'clock.
What the fuck are you trying to pull?

MARKINSON
The first flight stateside left Guantanamo
Bay at eleven and arrived at Andrews
Airforce Base, Maryland, at a few minutes
past two.

KAFFEE
Then why the hell isn't it listed in the
Tower Chief's log?!

MARKINSON
Why the hell did you think it would by?!!

KAFFEE is silent. And now it begins to sink in.

KAFFEE
What are you telling me?
(beat)
He fixed the log book?

Setback. Big setback.




KAFFEE
(continuing)
Well, maybe he can make it so a plane
didn't take off, but I can sure as hall
prove that one landed. I'll get the log
book from Andrews.

MARKINSON says nothing. But his face says that KAFFEE was
born yesterday.

KAFFEE
(continuing; beat)
He made an entire flight disappear?

MARKINSON
Nathan Jessep is about to be named
Director of Operations for the National
Security Council. You don't get to that
position without knowing how to side-step
a few land mines.
(beat)
And putting me on the stand isn't gonna
make him step on one.

KAFFEE stares at him.

Then shakes his head, sighs, and picks the log book up off
the table, and heads for the door.

KAFFEE
You're taking the stand. Thursday.

KAFFEE leaves.

HOLD on MARKINSON.

CUT TO:

INT. KAFFEE'S APARTMENT

KAFFEE'S APARTMENT later that night and SAM and J0 have just
heard the report him.

KAFFEE
There's gotta be someone who can testify
to the flight. A ground crew member.
Someone.

SAM
Do you have any idea how many planes take
off and land every day? A kid from the
ground crew isn't gonna remember a flight
that landed four weeks ago.








KAFFEE
Forget the flight. We'll put Markinson on
the stand and we'll deal with Jessep's
refusal to transfer Santiago and he'll
testify to the forged transfer order.
That'll be enough. That and Downey's
testimony really oughta be enough.

CUT TO:

INT. THE HOLDING ROOM - DAY

Jo is working with DOWNEY. He sits on a mock witness stand.

JO
Private Downey, why did you go into
Santiago's room on the night of the 6th?

DOWNEY
To give Private Santiago a Code Red, ma'am.

JO
And why did you give him a Code Red?

DOWNEY
I was ordered to give him a Code Red by
the Executive officer for Rifle Security
Company Windward, Lieutenent Jonathan
James Kendrick.

JO smiles.

JO
You're gonna do fine.

DOWNEY smiles.

DOWNEY
You think they'll let us go back to our
platoon soon, ma'am?

JO
(pause)
Absolutely.

CUT TO:

INT. THE COURTHOUSE CORRIDOR - DAY

Jo is going over last-minute details with KAFFEE.

JO
You remember the order of the questions?

KAFFEE
Yes.





JO
Are you sure?

KAFFEE
Yes.

JO
And you'll use small words?

KAFFEE
Yes.

JO
He gets rattled when he doesn't understand
something.

KAFFEE
Jo--

JO
I'm just saying go slow.

KAFFEE
I'm gonna go slow.

JO
Okay.

KAFFEE
Alright.

JO
And get him off as fast as you can.

KAFFEE
Joanne!

JO
What?

KAFFEE
He's gonna be fine.

They turn and head into the courtroom as we HEAR MARKINSON in
VOICE OVER ...

MARKINSON (V.O.)
"Dear Mr. and Mrs. Santiago..."

CUT TO:

INT. MARKINSON'S ROOM - DAY

MARKINSON is writing a letter and we HEAR it in V.0.







MARKINSON (V.O.)
I was William's company commander. I knew
your son vaguely, which is to say I knew
his name...

And while we continue to HEAR Markinson's voice writing the
letter, we begin a SERIES OF SHOTS: MARKINSON is getting into
his class A dress uniform, complete with medals, side arm,
and military dress sabre.

MARKINSON (V.0.)
In a matter of time, the trial of the two
man charged with your son's death will be
concluded, and seven men and two women
whom you've never met will try to offer
you an explanation as to why William is
dead. For my part, I've done as much as
I can to bring the truth to light.

MARKINSON is finished dressing. He stands in the middle of
the motel room.

MARKINSON (V.0.)
(continuing)
And the truth is this: your son is dead
for only one reason. I wasn't strong
enough to stop it.

MARKINSON takes a pistol out of his holster and cocks the
trigger.

MARKINSON (V.O.)
Always, Captain Matthew Andrew Markinson.

MARKINSON puts the pistol in his mouth--

MARKINSON (V.0.)
United states marine corps.

We HEAR the BLAST of the gunshot as we

CUT TO:

EXT. - THE COURTROOM - DAY

Kaffee is at the end of his examination of Downey.

KAFFEE
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?

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






KAFFEE
Thank you.
(to ROSS)
Your witness.

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

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

ROSS
How far is it from Post 39 to the Windward
barracks?

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

ROSS
About how far by jeep?

DOWNEY
About ten, fifteen minutes, sir.

ROSS
Have you ever had to walk it?

DOWNEY
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...

At the defense table, KAFFEE, poker-faced, scribbles
something down on a piece of paper and slides it to JO. JO
looks at it:

"Where's he going with this?" JO scribbles I?" and hands it
back to KAFFEE.

DOWNEY
(continuing)
... 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.

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





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

ROSS
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.

KAFFEE knows what's coming. There's nothing he can do about
it. And he can't lose his cool in front of the jury.

DOWNEY
Yes sir.

JO. Helpless. Panicked.

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

DOWNEY's confused. These are questions he hasn't been asked
before.

DOWNEY
Sir?

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

DOWNEY
(pause)
You see sir, there was a flat tire.

ROSS
Private, did you ever actually hear Lt.
Kendrick order a Code Red?

KAFFEE's world is falling down around him, and there's
nothing he can do about it. And he knows it.

DOWNEY
(pause)
No, sir.

Jo leaps to her feet.

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

ROSS
Why did you go into Santiago's room?






JO
The witness has rights.

ROSS
The witness has been read his rights,
commander.

DOWNEY
(confused)
Hal?

RANDOLPH
The question will be repeated.

ROSS
Why did you go into Santiago's room?

JO
Your honor--

DOWNEY
Hal?

ROSS
Did Corporal Dawson tell you to do it?

Everyone is frozen.

ROSS
(continuing)
He did, didn't he? Dawson told you to
give Santiago a code red.

DOWNEY looks at DAWSON.

DOWNEY
Hal?

ROSS
Don't look at him.

DOWNEY
Hal?

DAWSON
Private. Answer the Lieutenant's question.

The room is still silent. DOWNEY does something we've never
seen him do before. He straightens himself up and says this
with the pride of a man who believes he's done the right
thing.

DOWNEY
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.




ROSS let's it hang. He looks over at KAFFEE. KAFFEE won't
meet his eyes.

INT. KAFFEE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

JO and SAM are sitting in silence. It's dark outside.

JO
Where do you think he is?

SAM doesn't know. JO is beside herself, and trying to keep it
together.

JO
(continuing)
As far as Downey was concerned, it was an
order from Kendrick. It didn't matter
that he didn't hear it first hand. He
doesn't distinguish between the two.

SAM understands, but he doesn't say anything. The door opens
and KAFFEE walks in.

JO
(continuing)
Danny. I'm sorry.

KAFFFEE seems to be in an incredibly normal mood.

KAFFEE
Don't worry about it.

JO
Sam and I were just talking about how all
we really have to do is call some
witnesses who'll talk about implied
orders.,.or maybe we put Downey back on
the stand before we get to Dawson.

KAFFEE
Maybe if we work at it we can get Dawson
charged with the Kennedy assassination.

JO studies KAFFEE for a moment.

JO
Are you drunk?

KAFFEE
(a simple answer)
Pretty much. Yeah.

JO
(pause)
I'll make a pot of coffee. We have a long
night's work ahead.





KAFFEE
She's gonna make coffee. That's nice.
(beat)
He wasn't in his room.
(Kaffee's amazed)
He wasn't even there.
(beat)
That was an important piece of
information, don't you think?

JO
(pause)
Danny, it was just a setback. I'm sorry.
But we'll fix it and then move on to
Markinson.

KAFFEE
Markinson's dead.

JO and SAM are frozen.

KAFFEE says this with no particular feeling one way or the
other.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
You really gotta hand it to those Federal
Marshals, boy.
(he almost has to
laugh)
It's not like he hanged himself by his
shoelaces or slashed his wrists with a
concealed butter knife. This guy got, into
full dress uniform, stood in the middle of
that room, drew a nickle plated pistol
from his holster, and fired a bullet into
his mouth.

Jo and SAM don't say anything.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
Anyway, since we seem to be out of
witnesses, I thought I'd drink a little.

JO
I still think we can win.

KAFFEE
Then maybe you should drink a little.

JO
Look, we'll go to Randolph in the morning
and make a motion for a continuance. 24
hours.






KAFFEE
(beat)
Why would we want to do that?

JO
To subpoena Colonel Jessep.

KAFFEE
What?

JO
Listen for a second--

KAFFEE
No.

JO
Just hear me out--

KAFFEE
No. I won't listen to you and I won't hear
you out. Your passion is comforting, Jo.
It's also useless. Private Downey needed
a trial lawyer today.

JO
(pause)
You chicken-shit. You're gonna use what
happened today as an excuse to give up.

KAFFEE
It's over!

JO
Why did you ask Jessep for the transfer
order?

KAFFEE
What are you--

JO
In Cuba. why did you ask Jessep for the
transfer order?

KAFFEE
What does it matter--

JO
Why?!

KAFFEE
I wanted the damn transfer order!









JO
Bullshit! You could've gotten it by
picking up the phone and calling any one
of a dozen departments at the Pentagon.
You didn't want the transfer order. You
wanted to see Jessep's reaction when you
asked for the transfer order. You had an
instinct. And it was confirmed by
Markinson. Now damnit, let's put Jessep
on the stand and end this thing!

KAFFEE
What possible good could come from putting
Jessep on the stand?

JO
He told Kendrick to order the Code Red.

KAFFEE
He did?! Why didn't you say so!? That's
qreat! And of course you have proof of
that.

JO
I--

KAFFEE
Ah, I keep forgetting: You were sick the
day they taught law at law school.

JO
You put him on the stand and you get it
from him!

KAFFEE
Yes. No problem. We get it from him.
(to SAM)
Colonel, isn't it true that you ordered
the Code Red on Santiago?

SAM
Look, we're all a little--

KAFFEE
I'm sorry, your time's run out. What do
we have for the losers, Judge? Well, for
our defendants it's a lifetime at exotic
Fort Levenworth. And for defense counsel
Kaffee? That's right--It's-- A Court-
Martial. Yes, Johnny, after falsely
accusing a marine officer of conspiracy,
Lt. Kaffee will have a long and
prosperous career teaching typewriter
maintenance at the Rocco Columbo School
for Women. Thank you for playing "Should
We or Should-We-Not Follow the Advice of
the Galacticly Stupid".




And with one motion, he knocks everything from his desk. A
ton of papers, books, files, etc., falls to the floor.

There's dead silence. Maybe just the sound of KAFFEE
breathing after this exhausting outburst.

Finally...

JO
I'm sorry I lost you your set of steak
knives.

Jo picks up her purse and coat and walks out. The door slams
behind her.

KAFFEE walks into the kitchen without a word.

SAM gets down on the floor and begins picking up all the
stuff that Kaffee knocked off the desk.

KAFFEE comes back in with a bottle of Jack Daniels.

KAFFEE
Stop cleaning up.

But Sam continues.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
Sam. Stop cleaning up.

SAM stops and sits in a chair. KAFFEE sits on the couch.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
You want a drink?

SAM
Yeah.

SAM takes a swig from the bottle.

KAFFEE
Is your father proud of you?

SAM
Don't do this to yourself.

KAFFEE
I'll bet he is. I'll bet he bores the
shit outta the neighbors and the
relatives. "Sam, made Law Review. He's
got a big case he's making--He's arguing
making an argument."








(pause)
I think my father would've enjoyed seeing
me graduate from law school.
(beat)
I think he would've liked that... an awful
lot.

SAM
Did I ever tell you that I wrote a paper
on your father in college?

KAFFEE
Yeah?

SAM
He was one of the best trial lawyers ever.

KAFFEE
Yes he was.

SAM
And if I were Dawson and Downey and I had
a choice between you or your father to
represent me in this case, I'd take you
any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
You should have seen yourself thunder away
at Kendrick.

KAFFEE
Would you put Jessep on the stand?

SAM
No.

KAFFEE
You think my father would've?

SAM
With the evidence we've got? Not in a
million years. But here's the thing-and
there's really no way of getting around
this--neither Lionel Kaffee nor Sam
Weinberg are lead counsel for the defense
in the matter of U.S. versus Dawson and
Downey. So there's only one Question what
would you do?

We HOLD on the two of them for a moment, then

CUT TO:

EXT. A SUBURBAN STREET - NIGHT

JO is walking through the night at a brisk pace. She's doing
her best not to fall apart.





TWO HEADLIGHTS appear coming down the street, and KAFFEE's
CAR, with SAM driving and KAFFEE riding shotgun, slows down
alongside JO. KAFFEE rolls down his window.

KAFFEE
Joanne.

JO ignores them and keeps walking. The car crawls along with
her.

JO starts walking faster.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
Jo, we look ridiculous.
(to SAM)
Stop the car.

KAFFEE hops out and calls--

KAFFEE
(continuing)
Joanne.

JO keeps walking.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
I apologize. I was angry and... I'm sorry
about what I said.

But JO'S still walking.

KAFFEE
(continuing; calling)
I'm gonna put Jessep On the stand.

She stops. She turns around.

CUT TO:

INT. KAFFEE'S APARTMENT - LATER- AFTERNOON

A nerf ball bounces off the wall.

KAFFEE, JO and SAM are sprawled out in the living room. For
hours now they've been trying to come up with an idea.
KAFFEE's mind seems to be on his basketball game.

JO
I say we hit him with the phoney transfer
order.

SAM
What's the transfer order without a
witness?





KAFFEE
We have a witness.

SAM
A dead witness.

KAFFEE
And in the hands of a lesser attorney,
that'd be a problem.

SAM
Look at this. Last night he was swimming
in his Jack Daniels, now he can leap tall
buildings in a single bound.

KAFFEE
I'm getting my second wind. Siddown.
Both of you.

He sees that SAM and JO were already sitting down.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
Good.
(beat)
Jessep told Kendrick to order a code red.
Kendrick did, and our clients followed the
order. The cover-up isn't our case. To
win, Jessep has to tell the jury that he
ordered the code red.

SAM
And you think you can got him to just say
it?

KAFFEE
I think he wants to say it. I think he's
pissed off that he's gotta hide from us.
I think he wants to say that he made a
command decision and that's the end of it.
He eats breakfast 80 yards away from 4000
Cubans who are trained to kill him, and no
one's gonna tell him how to run his base.
Least of all the pushy broad, the smart
Jew, and the Harvard clown. I need to
shake him and put him on the defensive.

SAM and JO are silent for a moment.

SAM
That's it? That's the plan?

KAFFEE
That's the plan.







SAM
You're gonna trip Jessep and he's gonna
confess.

KAFFEE
I'm not gonna trip him. I'm gonna lead
him right where he's dying to go.

SAM
And how are you gonna do that?

KAFFEE
I have no idea. I need my bat.

JO
What?

KAFFEE
(looking around)
I need my bat. I think better with my
bat. Where's my bat?

JO
I put it in the closet.

KAFFEE
You put it in the closet.

KAFFEE heads to the closet.

JO
I was tripping over it.

KAFFEE (O.S.)
Don't ever put a bat in a closet.

JO
He thinks better his bat?

And we go to KAFFEE AT THE CLOSET.

OFFSCREEN we HEAR

SAM (O.S.)
I can understand that. I used to have
stuffed panda named Mr. Bobo. I could
never do my home work without him.

During this, KAFFEE's opened the closet door. He reaches in
to grab his bat when all of a sudden he notices something:

His clothes.

His uniforms and his civilian clothes. Hanging neatly along
the bar. He stares at this a moment, then suddenly heads back
through the living room towards the front door.





KAFFEE
Stay here, I'm going to the office for a
while.

KAFFEE storms out.

SAM
Boy, he does think better with that bat.

CUT TO:

INT. THE COMPUTER ROOM - DUSK

A small room at the end of a corridor at the office. KAFFEE
stands over a printer and watches it spit out something he's
been waiting for. He tears the printout off and we

CUT TO:

INT. KAFFEE'S OFFICE - EARLY EVENING

KAFFEE,ls looking over the computer printout. From what we
can tell, it resembles a large, military coded phone bill.

KAFFEE picks up the phone and dials.

KAFFEE
(into phone)
Sam.
(beat)
I need you to do something.

CUT TO:

INT. KAFFEE'S APARTMENT

SAM hangs up the phone slowly.

JO
What's goin' on?

SAM
I've gotta go out to Andrews.

CUT TO:

INT. COURTHOUSE CORRIDOR - DAY

The day's session is going to begin in a few minutes. KAFFEE
comes around the corner and runs into Jo.

KAFFEE
Is Sam here?

JO
Not yet.





KAFFEE
Where is he?

JO
He's on his way.

KAFFEE
Did he got the guys?

JO
Yes. Listen, can I talk to you for a
second?

CUT TO:

INT. AN ANTE-ROOM OFF THE CORRIDOR - DAY

JO closes the door behind them.

JO
How're you feeling?

KAFFEE
I think he's gonna have his hands full
today.

JO
Listen.
(beat)
Danny.
(beat)
When you're out there. If it's not gonna
happen he's not gonna say it
(beat)
... don't go for it.

KAFFEE looks at her.

JO
(continuing)
If you feel like... if you feel like...
You could get in trouble.
(beat)
I'm special counsel for internal affairs,
and I'm telling you, you could get in a
lot of trouble.

KAFFEE
Why Lt. Commander Galloway ... are you
suggesting I back off a material witness?

JO
If you think you can't get him.
(beat)
Yeah.






KAFFEE
Do you think I can get him?

JO
(beat)
I think it doesn't matter what I think.
I'm an administrator.
(beat)
I can't seem to defend people.

KAFFEE takes that in. He picks up his briefcase and grabs
his jacket.

Then he turns to JO.

KAFFEE
You're my hero, Joanne.
(beat)
From the first day, you were a lawyer.
(beat)
Live with that.

And in VOICE OVER we HEAR the SERGEANT AT ARMS.

SERGEANT AT ARMS (V.0.)
All rise.

CUT TO:

INT. THE COURTROOM - DAY

Everyone stands at attention as RANDOLPH enters. SAM is
missing.

RANDOLPH
(to KAFFEE)
Call your witness.

KAFFEE
Where's Sam?

JO
He'll be here.

RANDOLPH
Lieutenant, call your witness.

KAFFEE
Defense calls Colonel Nathan Jessep.

JESSEP is escorted in through a side door. He's wearing his
dress uniforms, adorned with the appropriate medals.









ROSS
Colonel, do you solemnly swear that the
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?

JESSEP
Yes I do.

ROSS
Would you state your name, rank, and
current billet for the record please, air?

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

ROSS
Thank you, sir, would you have a seat,
please.

JESSEP sits.

KAFFEE
Colonel, when you learned of Santiago's
letter to the NIS, you had a meeting witht
your two senior officers, is that right?

JESSEP
Yes.

KAFFEE
The Executive Officer, Lt. Jonathan
Kendrick, and the Company Commander,
Captain Matthew Markinson.

JESSEP
Yes.

KAFFEE
And at present, Captain Markinson is dead,
is that right?

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

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

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




KAFFEE
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.

And from the back of the room, SAM enters. He's escorting
two young AIRMEN in Airforce dress uniforms. SAM shows the
AIRMEN to a seat near the front, and takes his place at the
defense table.

Over this we HEAM--

RANDOLPH (O.S.)
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.

SAM scribbles something on a piece of paper, KAFFEE walks
over, looks at the paper on which are wrttten two names:
Cecil O'Malley and Anthony Perez, then turns back to RANDOLPH.

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

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

KAFFEE
And did you give an order to Captain
Markinson as well?

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

KAFFEE
Why?

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

KAFFEE
Grave danger?

JESSEP
Is there another kind?

KAFFEE holds up a document from his table.







KAFFEE
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 bass?

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

KAFFEE nods and decides to move on.

JESSEP steals a quick glance at the two AIRMEN sitting out in
the courtroom.

KAFFEE
Colonel, you flew up to Washington early
this morning, is that right?

JESSEP
Yes.

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

JESSEP
(continuing)
As are you, Lieutenant.

KAFFEE
Did you wear that uniform on the plane?

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

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

RANDOLPH
A very little latitude.

KAFFEE
Colonel?

JESSEP
I wore fatigues on the plane.

KAFFEE
And you brought your dress uniform with
you.

JESSEP
Yes.




KAFFEE
And a toothbrush? A shaving kit? Change
of underwear?

ROSS
Your honor.

KAFFEE
(to ROSS)
Is the Colonel's underwear a matter of
national security?

RANDOLPH
Gentlemen.
(to KAFFEE)
You better get somewhere fast with this,
Lieutenant.

KAFFEE
Yes sir. Colonel?

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

KAFFEE
Thank you.

KAFFEE gets a document from his table.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
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--

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

RANDOLPH
Lt. Kaffee, I have to--

KAFFEE
I'm wondering why Santiago wasn't packed.

That landed. On the JURY, RANDOLPH, ROSS ...








KAFFEE
(continuing)
I'll tell you what, we'll get back to that
one in a minute.

JO hands KAFFEE the computer printout.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
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.

Handinq Jessep the printout--

KAFFEE
(continuing)
I've highlighted those calls in yellow. Do
you recognize those numbers?

JESSEP
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.

KAFFEE
Why did you make that call, sir?

JESSEP
I thought she might like to have dinner
tonight.

ROSS
Judge--

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

Jo's handed KAFFEE another printout and a stack of letters.

KAFFEE
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.
(to JESSEP)
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.

ROSS
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.

ROSS
(continuing)
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.

RANDOLPH ponders this a moment.

RANDOLPH
(pause)
Overruled.

ROSS
Your honor--

RANDOLPH
The objection's noted.

KAFFEE
(beat)
Colonel?

Jessep's smiling ...

... and now he can't help but let out a short laugh.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
Is this funny, sir?

JESSEP
No. It's not. It's tragic.




KAFFEE
Do you have an answer?

JESSEP
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.
(beat)
Do you have any other questions for me,
counselor?

The courtroom is silenced. Jessep's slammed the door.

KAFFEE looks around the room, sees that the world is waiting
for him to do something ...

RANDOLPH
Lt. Kaffee?

KAFFEE says nothing. He glances over to AIRMEN O'MALLEY and
PEREZ.

RANDOLPH
(continuing)
Lieutenant, do you have anything further
for this witness?

KAFFEE doesn't respond. JESSEP gets up to leave.

JESSEP
(standing)
Thanks, Danny. I love Washington.

And JESSEP starts to leave, but he's stopped by--

KAFFEE
Excuse me, I didn't dismiss you.

JESSEP turns around.

JESSEP
I beg your pardon.





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

JESSEP
Colonel.

KAFFEE
What's that?

JESSEP
(to RANDOLPH)
I'd appreciate it if he addressed me as
Colonal or Sir. I believe I've earned it.

RANDOLPH
Defense counsel will address the witness
as Colonel or Sir.

JESSEP
(to RANDOLPH)
I don't know what the hell kind of an
outfit you're running here. 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 goes back to the stand.

JESSEP
(continuing)
What would you like to discuss now! My
favorite color?

KAFFEE
Colonel, the six a.m. flight, was the
first one off the base?

JESSEP
Yes.

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

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

KAFFEE gets the two log books from his table as well as the
piece of paper that SAM scribbled on.









KAFFEE
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".

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

KAFFEE
We believe it did, sir.
(glancing at the
paper, then
motioning to the
AIRMEN)
Defense'll 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.

ROSS
Your Honor, these men weren't on the list.
Rebuttal witnesses, Your Honor, called
specifically to reflite testimony offered
under direct examination.

If you looked closely at JESSEP, you could see a drop of
sweat.

RANDOLPH
I'll allow the witnesses.

JESSEP
This is ridiculous.

KAFFEE
Colonel, a moment ago--

JESSEP
Check the Tower Logs for christ's sake.

KAFFEE
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.

JESSEP
That's right.

KAFFEE
And Kendrick was clear on what you wanted?





JESSEP
Crystal.

KAFFEE
Any chance Kendrick ignored the order?

JESSEP
Ignored the order?

KAFFEE
Any chance he just forgot about it?

JESSEP
No.

KAFFEE
Any chance Kendrick left your office and
said, "The 'old man's wrong"?

JESSEP
No.

KAFFEE
When Kendrick spoke to the platoon and
ordered them not to touch Santiago, any
chance they ignored him?

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

KAFFEE
No sir.

JESSEP
Ever served in a forward area?

KAFFEE
No sir.

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

KAFFEE
No sir.

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

KAFFEE
Yes sir.

JESSEP
Are we clear?




KAFFEE
Crystal.

KAFFEE speaks with the quiet confidence that comes from
knowing you're about to drop your opponents

KAFFEE
(continuing; beat)
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?

And JESSEP has no answer.

Nothing.

He sits there, and for the first time, seems to be lost.

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

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

JESSEP
(pause)
Yes. That's correct, but--

KAFFEE
You said, "He was in danger". I said,
"Grave danger". You said--

JESSEP
Yes, I recall what--

KAFFEE
I can have the Court Reporter read back
your--

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

KAFFEE
Then why the two orders?
(beat)
Colonel?
(beat)
Why did you--




JESSEP
Sometimes men take matters into their own
hands.

KAFFEE
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 dangor at all, should he have,
Colonel?

Everyone's sweating now. Everyone but KAFFEE.

JESSEP
You little bastard.

ROSS
Your Honor, I have to ask for a recess to--

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

RANDOLPH
The Court'll wait for answer.

KAFFEE
If Kendrick told his men that Santiago
wasn't to be touched, then why did he have
to be transferred?

Jessep is looking at O'KALLEY and PEREZ.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
Colonel?

JESSEP says nothing.

KAFFEE
(continuing)
Kendrick ordered the code red, didn't he?
Because that's what you told Kendrick to
do.

ROSS
Object!

RANDOLPH
Counsel.

KAFFEE will plow through the objections of ROSS and the
admonishments of RANDOLPH.

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




ROSS
Your Honor--

RANDOLPH
That'll be all, counsel.

KAFFEE
You had Markinson sign a phony transfer
order--

ROSS
Judge--

KAFFEE
You doctored the log books.

ROSS
Damnit Kaffee!!

KAFFEE
I'll ask for the forth time. You ordered--

JESSEP
You want answers?

KAFFEE
I think I'm entitled to them.

JESSEP
You want answers?!

KAFFEE
I want the truth.

JESSEP
You can't handle the truth!

And nobody moves.

JESSEP
(continuing)
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.









(beat)
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 me
there
(boasting)
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.
(beat)
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.

KAFFEE
(quietly)
Did you order the code red?

JESSEP
(beat)
I did the job you sent me to do.

KAFFEE
Did you order the code red?

JESSEP
(pause)
You're goddamn right I did.

Silence. From everyone. RANDOLPH, ROSS, the M.P.'s, they're
all frozen. JO and SAM are likewise. JESSEP seems
strangely, quietly relieved. KAFFEE simply takes control of
the room now.

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

Silence.

RANDOLPH looks to ROSS.

RANDOLPH
Lt. Ross?

ROSS is frozen. He doesn't know what to do.




KAFFEE
(as a friend)
Jack.

ROSS looks at KAFFEE, then JESSEP, then nods his head "yes"
to RANDOLPH.

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

The SERGEANT AT ARMS begins leading the JURORS out of the
room.

JESSEP
What the hell's going on?

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

JESSEP
(continuing; to
captain)
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.

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

The M.P.Is are tentative. They've never heard a marine
colonel referred to as "the prisoner" before. They sure as
hell have never been asked to guard one.

ROSS
Guard the prisoner.

JESSEP
What the hell-

ROSS
Colonel Jessep, you have the right to
remain silent. Any statement you do make
can be used against you in a trial by
court-martial or other judicial or
administrative proceeding. You have the
right ...

ROSS continues reading JESSEP his rights, over--

JESSEP
I'm being charged with a crime? I'm--
that's what this is--









(to Ross)
Marine!
(Ross keeps going)
Marine!!
(Ross is doing his
job.)
I'm being charged with a crime? I'm-
that's what's happening? This--I'm-this
is funny, you know that, this is--

And JESSEP lunges at KAFFEE, and KAFFEE would be dead but for
the three M.P.'s who've leapt in to restrain JESSEP. SAM and
JO have come to their feet and stand behind KAFFEE.

JESSEP
(continuing; to
Kaffee)
I'm gonna tear your eyes right outta your
head and piss in your dead skull. You
fucked with the wrong marine.

ROSS is done reading JESSEP his rights.

ROSS
Colonel Jessep, do you understand those
rights as I have just read then to you?

JESSEP
I saved lives. That boy was--there was
weak link. I saved lives, you hear me?

The courtroom is silent from Jessep's outburst. Jessep shakes
his head.

JESSEP
(continuing)
You fuckin' people.
(beat)
You have no idea how to defend a nation.

JESSEP
(continuing; to
KAFFEE)
All you did was weaken a country today,
Kaffee. That's all you did. You put
people in danger. Sweet dreams, son.

KAFFEE
Don't call me son.
(beat)
I'm a lawyer, and an officer of the United
States Navy. And you're under arrest you
sonofabitch.

KAFFEE stays on JESSEP a moment longer, then remembers--





KAFFEE
(continuing)
The witness is excused.

The M.P.'s start leading JESSEP out, and KAFFEE notices
DAWSON. And DOWNEY. And ROSS. who are watching a man in a
marine colonels uniform be led away in handcuffs...KAFFEE
takes a handkerchief from his pocket and wipes some sweat
from his hands. He takes a deep breath as we

SLOW DISSOLVE TO

INT. THE COURTROOM - LATE AFTERNOON

There's low murmor in the room as the JURORS are being led
back into their box.

Everyone's in place.

RANDOLPH enters.

SERGEANT AT ARMS
Ten-hut.

All rise. And sit when RANDOLPH sits.

RANDOLPH
Have the jurors reached a verdict?

JURY FOREMAN
We have, sir.

The SERGEANT AT ARMS takes all the slips of paper from the
FOREMAN and brings them to RANDOLPH.

KAFFEE stands, and nods to DAWSON and DOWNEY that they should
do the same. SAM and JO stand as well.

RANDOLPH
(reading)
On the charge of Murder, the Members find
the defendants Not Guilty.

It's hard to resist the temptation to scream and shout, but
they do.

RANDOLPH
(continuing; reading)
On the charge of Conspiracy to Commit
Murder, the Members find the defendants
Not Guilty.

RANDOLPH looks up. Then reads from the last slip of paper.








RANDOLPH
(continuing)
On the charge of Conduct Unbecoming a
United States Marine, the members find the
defendants Guilty as Charged.

A little of the energy drains out of the room. RANDOLPH
continues reading.

RANDOLPH
(continuing; reading)
The defendants are hereby sentenced by
this court to time already served, and are
ordered...

RANDOLPH clears his throat.

RANDOLPH
(continuing)
... And are ordered to be dishonorably
discharged from the marine corps.
(pause)
This Court-Martial is adjourned.

RANDOLPH raps his gavel.

SERGEANT AT ARMS
Ten hut.

All rise.

RANDOLPH's gone.

SERGEANT AT ARMS
(continuing)
Dismissed.

The M.P.'s move to DAWSON and DOWNEY to unlock their
handcuffs. KAFFEE is packing up his things, just another day
at the office.

DAWSON
Why?

KAFFEE
Harold, I'm sorry.

DAWSON
Why?!

DOWNEY
I don't understand. Colonel Jessep said
he ordered the Code Red.

JO
I know, but--





DOWNEY
Colonel Jessep said he ordered the Code
Red, what did we do wrong?

JO
It's not as simple as--

DOWNEY
What did we do wrong?

DAWSON
We did nothing wrong.

SAM slaps his hands down on the table--

SAM
Yes you did! A jury just said your
conduct was unbecoming a marine. What does
that mean?!

DAWSON
You're the lawyer.

SAM
You're the marine.

DAWSON
Not anymore.

SAM lets it hang. DAWSON is staring at SAM. His stare moves
slowly to the floor.

DAWSON
(continuing)
I never meant to hurt Willy.

DAWSON looks up at HIS PARENTS. The moment hangs there ...
before

SERGEANT AT ARMS
Kaffee, I've gotta take these guys over to
personnel for some paper work.

KAFFEE nods.

SERGEANT AT ARMS
(continuing; to
Dawson & Downey)
Gentleman?

DAWSON looks to KAFFEE. There's gotta be more. This can't
be it.

But KAFFEE has nothing to say.







DAWSON and DOWNEY walk to the SERGEANT AT ARMS and begin to
follow him up the aisle and out of the courtroom. But before
they get to the door, KAFFEE turns around and calls

KAFFEE
Harold!

They stop and turn around.

DAWSON
Sir!

KAFFEE
(pause)
You don't need to wear a patch on your arm
to have honor.

DAWSON stares at KAFFEE for a long moment.

DAWSON
Ten-hut.

DAWSON and DOWNEY come to attention.

DAWSON
(continuing)
There's an officer on deck.

DAWSON snaps a salute and holds it.

KAFFEE stares back. Then stands up straight and returns
their salute.

With one last glance back at KAFFEE, DAWSON turns and walks
out the door, followed by DOWNEY.

ROSS walks over to the defense table.

ROSS
Airmen Cecil 0'Malley and Anthony Perez?
What exactly were these guys gonna testify
to?

KAFFEE
Unless I'm mistaken they were gonna
testify, under oath, that they have
absolutely no recollection of anything.

ROSS smiles.

ROSS
Strong witnesses.

KAFFEE
And very handsome, too, don't you think?






ROSS
I'll see you around the campus. I've
gotta go arrest Kendrick.

KAFFEE
Tell him I say "Hi".

ROSS
Will do.

CUT TO:

EXT. OUTSIDE THE COURTHOUSE - DUSK

KAFFEE, JO and SAM are walking down the steps. The BAND is
practicing on the parade grounds.

JO
What do you say we take the rest of the
day off. Go out someplace. Sam?
Champage? Yoo-Hoo?

SAM
Thanks, I can't. I'm gonna go home and
talk to my daughter. I think she's gotta
be bilingual by now.

And SAM heads off toward his car.

JO
So what's next for you?

KAFFEE
Staff Sargeant Henry Williamson. He went
to the movies on company time. What about
you?

JO
Me? Oh ... you know... the usual.

KAFFEE
Just pretty much generally annoying people?

JO
Yeah.
(pause)
So what do you say? How 'bout a
celebration?

KAFFEE
No. How 'bout a date. A real date.
Dinner. Attractive clothes. The works.

JO
Sounds good. Who do you think I should
call?





KAFFEE
I'll pick you up at seven.

JO
What are you gonna do now?

KAFFEE
I'm gonna get started on Henry Williamson.
(beat)
Stand my post for a while.

JO holds out her hand. KAFFEE shakes it. JO kisses him.

JO
Wear matching socks.

Jo splits off toward her building and KAFFEE keeps walking
toward the bleachers as we

PULL BACK TO INCLUDE the almost empty parade grounds and

PULL BACK as to show the Washington Navy Yard and PULL BACK
and back and back and

FADE OUT.

JUNE 1991

NEW YORK CITY

































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