I love everything written by Aaron Sorkin. The GCSE English retake today reminded me of one of his earliest plays/films, A Few Good Men. In the film Lieutenant Junior Grade Daniel “Danny” Kaffee (Tom Cruise), is an inexperienced U.S. Navy lawyer who leads the defense in the court-martial of two U.S. Marines, Private First Class Louden Downey and Lance Corporal Harold Dawson, who are accused of having murdered a fellow Marine of their unit, PFC William Santiago, at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, which is under the command of Col. Nathan R. Jessup (Jack Nicholson). In one of the final scenes (below) Kaffee asks Jessup why he needed to give a second order and transfer Santiago from the base if his first order, to leave him alone, would be followed?
If there was nothing wrong with this summer’s English GCSE examination, why do we need today’s extra retake? “Then why the two orders? Colonel?”
Kaffee: Colonel, I have just one more question before I call Airman O’Malley and Airman Rodriguez. If you gave an order that Santiago wasn’t to be touched, and your orders are always followed, then why would Santiago be in danger? Why would it be necessary to transfer him off the base?
Jessep: Santiago was a substandard Marine. He was being transferred because–
Kaffee: That is not what you said, you said he was being transferred because he was in grave danger.
Jessep: That’s correct.
Kaffee: You said he was in danger, I said “grave danger?” You said “is there another kind?”–
Jessep: I recall what I said–
Kaffee: I can have the court reporter read back to you–
Jessep: I know what I said! I don’t have to have it read back to me like I’m–!
Kaffee: Then why the two orders? Colonel?
Jessep: Sometimes men take matters into their own hands.
Kaffee: No, Sir. You made it clear a moment ago that your men never take matters in to their own hands. Your men follow orders or people die. So Santiago shouldn’t have been in any danger at all, should he have, Colonel?
Jessep: You snotty little bastard.
Ross: Your Honor, I’d like to ask for a recess!
Kaffee: I’d like an answer to the question, Judge.
Judge: The court will VigRX wait for an answer.
Kaffee: If Lt. Kendrick gave an order that Santiago wasn’t to be touched, then why did he have to be transferred? Colonel? Lt. Kendrick ordered the Code Red, didn’t he, because that’s what you told Lt. Kendrick to do!
Kaffee: And when it went bad, you cut these guys loose!
Judge: Lt. Kaffee!
Kaffee: You got Markinson to sign a phony transfer order! You doctored the log books!
Ross: Dammit, Kaffee!
Kaffee: You coerced the doctor!
Judge: Consider yourself in contempt!
Kaffee: Colonel Jessep, did you order the code red?!
Judge: You don’t have to answer that question!
Jessep: I’ll answer the question. You want answers?
Kaffee: I think I’m entitled.
Jessep: You want answers?!
Kaffee: I want the truth!
Jessep: You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You?! You, Lieutenant Weinberg?! I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives! You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall! You need me on that wall! We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline! I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather 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 are entitled to!
Kaffee: Did you order the Code Red?
Jessep: I did the job I was sent to do–
Kaffee: Did you order the Code Red?!
Jessep: You’re god damn right I did!!