Rules Of Engagement Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Rules Of Engagement script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones movie.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Rules Of Engagement. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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Rules Of Engagement Script



Ca Lu, halfa click that way,




- I say we go right up the middle.

- Negative.



One round flank up the hill, the

other one right through the swamp.



Heads, you get the hill.

Tails, you get the swamp.



Flip the motherfucker.



- See you in Ca Lu.

- All right.



Delta Two, what's your SITREP?




What do you got,




Nothing, sir.

Delta One, Delta Two, SITREP. Over.



Two-one, contact!

Contact way out!



Cease fil re! Cease fil re!



Go, go, go.

Let'sget 'em!



Come outta there!



Put your hands on your head!

Get on your knees now!



Come on!

Down, down.



Come on out ofthere!




How many you slopes are out here?

Huh? What's your unit? What's in it?



Tuan, get over here!

Talk to these motherfuckers!



Find out how many ofthem are here!



Where are they? What's in it?

Talk to me, goddamn it!






Two, this is One Actual.

Where are you?






Other side ofthe tree line.

I'm in the water unable to withdraw.



Unable to withdraw! I'm calling

in a fil re mission on this position!



- Hurry up and drop that arty!

- They're all over!



Go left! Get out there!



Tell this man to get on that radio

and pull his men off Hodges.



Tell him to break contact

and move his men north of Ca Lu!



Tell him I ain't playin'!

Pull his men off Hodges now!



I ain't bullshittin'

with you.



Eitheryou call your men off




or this motherfucker's

dead and you're next.



Last warnin '!






Call your men

off Hodges now!



If he does, he can go.

He's got my word on that.



If you don't,

I'll kill you where you stand.



Two, this is

One Actual. You still with me?



Crank off a pop-up

if you're still alive.



You got a reprieve, you hear me?

You don't get to die today.



Yougotyour "HaiIMary".



Hey! It's the colonel

with his coveron!



All right!

Make way, make way!



- I guess the drinks are on me.

- All right!



At ease!

Listen up.



Ladies and gentlemen,



the reason we're all here,

Colonel Hayes Hodges.



He's calling it a career after

   years of distinguished service.



All right, all right.



Colonel, we got you a gift

and a surprise,



so don't act like

you're not coming up here.



Speech! Speech! Speech!



Speech! Speech!




Hey, my man!



Good to see you.



You damn well better be. I came

halfway 'round the world for this.



Hey, get up here.






The sword, Colonel.

You know the story, Hayes.



Marine Lieutenant Presley O'Banion

defeated the Barbary pirates...



on the shores ofTripoli

in     .



Out of gratitude, the pasha

gave him the Mameluke sword.



Marine offilcers have

carried one ever since.



It's the symbol

ofa warrior,



and you are a warrior.



The best I ever served with.



This man's been riding a desk

for the past    years,



but not because he wanted to.



He knows how to fil ght.

It's in his blood. Ah-ooh!



What areyou

gonna do now, Colonel?



Well, uh... Well.



Heh! No more wars to fil ght,

no more trials to lose.



So I expect I'll do

some teaching at V.M.I.



I will recon the local restaurants

in a concerted effort...



to fil nd out what civilians eat.



Ofcourse, I intend to continue

serving my country...



by honorably depleting

the trout streams...



ofthe Southern United States

with my fly rod!



That's about it.



Let's get outta here.



- I missed you.

- Yeah, I missed you too.



How's the kid,

the smart Hodges?



You know, he studies more than

any two people. I never see him.



- You gotta filx that.

- Yeah.



- Got my orders.

- Oh, yeah? What?



Got command ofthe   th

Marine Expeditionary Unit.



- Special Operations capable.

- Congrats. Huh! Congrats.



- Yeah.

- Outstanding.



All I gotta do is lash

'em together, take 'em to sea.



That's, uh... outstanding.



You ain't missin' nothin', Hodge.

It's a whole new ball game.



No friends, no enemies,

no front, no rear.



No victories, no defeats,

no Mama, no Papa.



- Yeah.

- We're orphans out there.



It's funny, you know?



One guy walks out through a swamp,

he gets to come home to a desk.



Another guy drives up a hill

and he gets to still be doin' it,



all over the flip

ofa goddamn coin.



You know, that's...



It's funny.



You gave good service

to the corps, Hodge.



To think otherwise

would bejust plain crazy.



- You'd have gotten your command.

- Oh, yeah, sure.



What's up,John?



Terry, we've been ordered

to the Arabian Sea, GulfofAden.



This comes straight down Second

Division through General Perry.



The American Embassy in Yemen

is surrounded...



by a crowd ofdemonstrators.



The crowd isn't hostile,

but it's large enough...



to spook their government

into pulling their security forces.



Twenty-fourth Marine Expeditionary

Unit's gonna provide extra security.



We're gonna baby-sit, Colonel.

Just show our presence.



Remember, though, if it turns

hot, we're looking at an evac.



We got an ambassador and his family

there. Let me run you through this.



Here's your

potential L.Z.s.



Marines at the embassy advise we can

gain entrance through the back way.



Here's some stairs where you

can deploy your men to the roof.



These are your

over-watch positions.



I'll take them in




One platoon, TRAP team,

put everyone else on Ready Five.



My thoughts exactly,




What's wrong, Mommy?



The people are upset

about some things, darling.



- Are they mad at Daddy?

- No, they're not mad at your daddy.



Why are they yelling?



They're trying to get attention

so that people will listen to them.



Sir, state security analysts

are asking for an assessment.



Assessment? We're getting the hell

out of here. That's the assessment.



The Sixth Fleet marines

are in the air, sir.



If they think I'm gonna

tough this one out, they're crazy.



Tell Mrs. Mourain to start packing.

We're going home.



Shall I indicate

we're ready to evacuate?



Ask them where the hell

are those helicopters!



The ambassador wants to know

where the choppers are.



You heard me.

Where the hell are the choppers?



Lock and load!

Lock and load!



Lock and load!

Lock and load!



We're gonna

take a betterlookbefore we go in.



Wagon Wheel, this is Red Man.

I'm over the embassy.



This ain 't no baby-sit.

It's ugly down there.



RedMan, Wagon Wheel.




Let'sgo forthe evac.



Put it on deck.

We're going in the north side.



There! Go!



- Captain Lee!

- Yes, sir!



Nobody comes over those walls

or through those gates. Nobody!



One Alpha, secure all entries.

Tango and Bravo, on the walls!



- Move, move, move!

- Last man! Last man!



Pull back! Pull back!



Take cover!



You speak English?

- Yes!



Where's the ambassador?

He's topside! Go topside!



Take that corner!

Take that side! Move!






Move, move, move!

Go, go!



Bravo Two, left!

Move, move, move!



Incoming sniper fil re!

Stay down! Stay down!



Two blue, clear!



- Who's Mrs. Mourain?

- I'm Mrs. Mourain.



- Where's the ambassador?

- He's in there. Are we leaving?



The helos are outside, ma'am,

but that's up to the ambassador.



Stay away from

the windows, please.



Duck! Ow!



Aah! Colonel! Please!



My God! Are the helicopters here?

What kept you people so long?



We're ready to evacuate, unless you

want to stay and run the embassy.



I want to go right... now!

We called hours ago!



All right, sir, come to me.

Stay calm and come to me.



- Stay calm. Come to me. Stay low.

- We're like targets!



- We're sitting targets!

- Follow Sergeant Mac. Go!



Come on! Down there!

Down there! Right there!



Right there!

Down there! Down there!



Go ahead, ma'am!



Go ahead!

Go ahead, ma'am, go ahead!



Come on, son. Come on!



- What's your name, son? Justin?




Come on,Justin! Come on!



- Justin, what's that you got there?

- A flashlight.



We're gonna ride in a helicopter.

Wanna bring that with you?



- Huh? Come on. Come on!

- Mommy!



Let's go, ma'am, go!

Go, go, go!



All TRAP Unit six,

stay low, stay low!



We got crap coming over the walls

and sniper fil re at     meters. Over.



Stay low! Sit tight,

sit tight, sit tight!



Colonel, we got three marines hit!

One is K.I.A.



One Alpha says they're gonna

try to breach the front gate!



- Tell them to wait out!

- Roger that!



Put the missus on board

first. Get in there, Mr. Ambassador.



I'll personally recommend you...

Where's the belt?



- I'll personally recommend...

- Hold it!



Where areyougoing? What? Colonel!

Colonel, we can't wait here!



Come on! Let's get out!

Come on!



Let's go! Christ!



We're leaving

injust a fewseconds.



Let's go! Why are we sitting here?

Why are we sitting here?



- Sir, please! Look at me. Stay calm.

- Let's go!



She's free, sir!




Hope you know how

to fold this, sir.



Thankyou, Colonel.

I'll never forget this.









Krasevitch is hit!



Corpsman! Corpsman!




Goddamn it!






Six, Red Man.



Engage hostile targets

as they appear.



Deadly force is authorized.

How copy? Over.



Red Man, Trans Six Actual.

Negative, negative!



Be advised, I have women

and children in my line offil re.



I got snipers in the buildings

at     meters. How copy? Over.



What is it about this order

you don't understand, Captain Lee?



Sir, are you ordering me

to fil re into the crowd? Over.



Yes, goddamn it!

Waste the motherfuckers!



Six out.

Engage! Engage!



Open fil re!



Cease fil re!



Cease fil re!



Cease fil re!



Stay down! There may still be

snipers out there.



Cease fil re!



- Cease fil re, goddamn it!

- Everybodystay down!



There may still be snipers

out there. Stay down!



Get down!



- Sergeant Mac.

- Sir?



Contact all stations.

Mission complete.



Launch medevacs.

Dead and wounded out fil rst.



Aye, Colonel.



Allstations, this is RedMan.

Mission complete.



Move allmedevacs to L.Z.

Howcopy? Over.



The FBI. investigation shows...



that all the bullet holes

in the embassy wall...



came from directly across

the way, from thesnipers.



Any weapons or ammo found

among the dead or wounded?



No, sir. Nothing.

However, intelligencesuggests...



this could have been

a terrorist operation.



Any proof?



This is a tape from

the embassy security system.



- Want me to thread it up?

- No. I don't want to watch videos.



I don't want to hear about

ammo casings in some building,



'cause here I got

   dead people...




women, children, old men.



Another hundred or so

critically wounded.



Here I got an international

crisis of mega fucking proportions!



Bill, you know there have been

regular reports...



ofa terrorist

plot against this embassy.



This was a regularly scheduled

protest. It was every week.



It was the usual bullshit about

American presence in the gulf.



Have you looked at these?

I mean, I'm just assuming you have,



since they're on the front page

ofevery newspaper in the world.



It's not that the rest ofthe

world wants to hold us responsible,



we are responsible!



We can't even have

the appearance ofa cover-up.



That does not excuse us

from our duty, Mr. Sokal.



We sent Colonel Childers in there,

and the mission went to shit.



We can't go after the man

who carried out his orders...



and ignore the people

who issued those orders.



Childers ordered the slaughter...



of innocent women and children.

Get that straight right now.



I'll tell you

what we ought to get straight.



We lost three

United States Marines.



They lost   !



Now, are we gonna go to war

with Yemen over it?



We're covering our ass all over

the Middle East right now, General.



Because ofyour man's

hotheaded miscalculation,



we are in danger of losing embassies

in Saudi,Jordan and Egypt.



We're in danger

of losing our presence...



with every moderate

in the region.



Now they're gonna scream

"cover up".



The screaming will get so loud we'll

be sending Marines back over there,



and the body count ofAmerican

dead is gonna be higher than three.



I see where you're going

with this, Mr. Sokal.



Will you be needing me

anymore today?






No, that's fil ne, General.




Good day to you, sir.



Where do you think

you're going with that?



- You don't want to look at it.

- Nobody's lookin' at it.



Why should the United States

be held responsible...



for the actions ofone man?



What ifthe crowd

had weapons?



What ifthis shows

they did fil re fil rst?



He could have fil red over

their heads, this moron!



Didn't he know where he was?

The Middle East!



He could have isolated

on the snipers.



He could have

avoided confrontation.



He could have done

   fuckin' things!



Instead, he destroyed a fragile

trust, put his own men in danger...



Fuck this guy!

Forget this tape.



I don't want to watch it.

I don't want to testify about it.



I don't want it to exist.



Good morning, sir.



Good morning, sir.



Aye, aye, sir.



As soon as it's time.



General, Colonel Childers

reporting as ordered, sir.



- Give us a minute, Skip.

- Yes, sir.



Colonel, it's my duty to inform

you that you've been charged with...



You know the drill.



This is the Article   




You're facing

a general court-martial...



and charged with violation

ofat least three articles...



everything from "breach of peace"

to "conduct unbecoming".



But the bottom line...    counts,

violation ofArticle     murder.



You issued an illegal order

to have your marines...



fil re into a group

of innocent civilians.



Murder, sir?



I'm the convening authority, so I've

gotta get this B.S. out ofthe way.



Sign here, initial here.



You're not a flight risk, so there

won't be any pretrial confil nement.



This court-martial convenes

in eight days...



by direct order of

the national command authority.



Doyou want me to call

Bob Bennett orone ofthoseguys,



or do you want to go

with base legal?



Terry, goddamn it,

we've been friends for  years.



You want to tell me exactly

what the hell happened out there?



I lost marines. The crowd

was hostile. They fil red on us.



They fil red fil rst, sir.



I want you to know

I did everything in the world...



to keep this from happening.



It'sjust out

of my hands now.



Thanks a lot.



When's the last time you

actually caught something here?



Two years.



- I really need your help.

- I'll help. Anything you need.



You want me to take the stand?

I'll be a character witness.



No, you don't understand

what I'm asking.



I want you

to be my lawyer.



I'm a good enough lawyer to know

you need a better lawyer than me.



'Sides that, I'm short.



Two-nine plus one wake-up,

and I'm gone.



You need one ofthose

Washington cats.



I don't want some Starbucks

drinker who's never seen combat.



- I need somebody who's been shot at.

- Yeah, I've been shot at.



That's what I am...

a shot-up marine.



As a matter offact,

that's all the hell I am.



No, wait a minute.

I'm also a weak lawyer.



I'm a very weak lawyer...



and the government is gonna come

at you with everything they've got.



Major, Bill Sokal. It's a pleasure

to meet you. Come on in.



Let me introduce you.



Gentlemen, this

is Major Mark Biggs.



He'll be prosecuting

the Childers court-martial.



The marines put the major

through Stanford Law,



and he owes them a couple ofyears

before he takes over the world.



You know General Lowry.



I'd like you to meet thegeneral

of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,



General West, and the secretary

of Defense, Mr. Wyatt.



Have a seat.

Make yourself comfortable.



What I gather from our esteemed NSC

advisor and secretary ofstate...



is that we've got a trial

in two weeks.



- Seems awfully damned fast.

- Everyone in this room will agree...



it's in the national interest that

this trial be moved along quickly.



The Article    investigation

was complete and comprehensive.



It all seems to point

in one direction.



Has he got a lawyeryet?



He's requested a military

attorney, Colonel Hayes Hodges.



Second Marine Division, Lejeune.



Any relation to

General H. Lawrence Hodges?



His son.



Larry Hodges was one ofthis country's

most distinguished offilcers.



What do we know about

Colonel Hayes Hodges?



He's a guy who got

blown apart in Vietnam,



then went to Georgetown Law

and became a cynic.



Is that about right, Major?



He was   th in his class

at Georgetown, sir.



He doesn't take too many cases,

doesn't win too many.



He apparently went through an ugly

divorce, had a drinking problem,



retiring in two weeks.

- Can we guarantee we get this guy?



Sir, if I may

say something?



I am not a hired gun.



I accepted this assignment...



'cause I believe in the merits

ofthe government's case.



I am not gonna stack the deck

against this guy.



I will try this case

on good evidence only.



I'm glad to hear it.



Hold your fire.



Set that weapon down overhere.



We need

a couple of canteens up here.



Party incoming!

- You can go.



You can go, goddamn it!

Go on! Dee dee!



Get the fuck out of here

before I change my mind!



Looks likeyou're going back

to the world, baby.



- Doc!

- Twenty meters out. Left!



- Right there.

- Anybody else?



I got you now!



- Hey, buddy!

- Hi, Mom.



He looks fabulous.



- Happy anniversary, Mom.

- Oh, thank you. So good to see you.



I wasn't sure you'd make it.



- You look wonderful.

- Thank you.



- How's it feel to be retired?

- Um, crazy.



Good. Oh, you look great.



- Thank you.

- Well, come see Dad...



- There he is.

...and all the family.



Hello, sir.



- Glad you could make it.

- Yes, sir.



Good to see you, Hayes.

- How are you doing?



Hey, kid. Hey, you.

Remember me?



- The old guy who looks like you.

- Do I know you?



- Yeah.

- Your voice sounds really familiar.



Here's a clue. I was married

to your mom for about filve minutes.



- Really? You sure? 'Cause I don't...

- Yeah.



- Well, is he guilty?

- Sir?



Your friend

Colonel Childers.



- Guilty ofwhat, sir?

- Come on, Hayes.



You served with him. Is he the rabid

dog we've all been hearing about?



I don't think

I should comment, sir.



Come on, Dad. This is family.

You can lighten up a little.



You know what we said

at the naval academy.



Even ifyou thought

you weren't responsible,



it went wrong

and you were there.



Since when have you

not had a comment?



Since Childers asked me

to defend him.



No. Oh, Hayes.



- What?

- Excuse me.



- Are you kidding me?

- No.



Why would you do that?




- Because he asked me, and I owe him.

- That's great.



That represents everything

that's wrong with the military.



Wisdom from the one person

in this family...



who has not elected

to serve his country.



Childers must have snapped.

It happens in combat.



I've seen it.

I'm sure you have too.



Thank you for reminding me...



why we have the presumption

of innocence in America.



What are you, Abraham

Lincoln? You can't hide behind that.



The guy murdered innocent women

and children.



- You hear that on television?

- And newspapers.



- It's all over the place.

- It's Mom and Dad's anniversary.



Don't take this case, son.



This man has trashed

the reputation ofthe Corps.



He's put us back    years.



Is this how you want

to be remembered?



I don't see how I can

turn him down. He saved my life.



Well, I understand that

as well as anyone.



But you don't repay him by

falling senselessly on a grenade.



The way I see it,

this man should fil nd himself...



the best laywer in the country.

- Somebody better than me?



The guy's

a real marine, Dad.



I mean, ifthey

can do this to him...



just hang him out to dry...

they can do it to anybody.



Forget that he's my friend.

They can do it to anybody.



That means your medals

and your citations...



won't mean jack shit

when they come afteryou.



At least two of his own guys

are gonna testify...



that he didn't have

to open fil re, sir.



Nobody reports seeing any

weapons among the demonstrators.



- His psych eval was a disaster.

- What about embassy footage?



Cameras, fil lm, videotape,

home movies, shit like that?



No, I've subpoenaed everything.

The embassy got hit pretty good.



Most of it was destroyed.



Terry, you know Tom Chandler.

He's gonna help us prepare your case.



Colonel Childers, good to see

you again, sir. Um, all right.



First, we've subpoenaed all

the Article    investigator's notes,



the State Department's

notes on Yemen.



Major Biggs has already had

your head checked by their doctor.



I've got you an appointment

with ours.



- No.

- What?



No more multiple choice

questions about self-esteem.



We got the combat filtness reports.

He can forget the psych eval here.



That's a mistake, Colonel.



Listen, when I turned   

I joined the Marine Corps.



I asked to be in the infantry.



- I asked to go to Vietnam.

- Terry.



I live for the privilege

ofcommanding troops.



I think it's the greatest honor

an American can have.



You know how many birthdays

and Christmases I missed,



spent rotting in jungles

or in the desert,



just so you could play

war at ROTC?



Childers! You gotta keep

your shit together here, man.



Your court-martial board

is gonna be made up of people...



who might've spent one day in

Grenada, maybe two days in Kuwait.



They're gonna be beach boys who've

never been anywhere near combat.



They're gonna be people

like Tom Chandler...



sitting right here in front ofyou.



That's who you're

making your case to.



We don't have anybody

to back up your case.



That's because

all my witnesses are dead.



- Okay. So what happened?

- He lost it. He snapped.



That's good.

We can snap him on the stand.



This doesn't happen in a vacuum.



Let's get a complete history

of Colonel Childers.



Talk to every marine

he ever served with.



My guess is

this has happened before.



We have to be careful here.



This guy is

the warrior's warrior.



A Navy Cross, two Silver Stars

for composure in battle.



He has no wife, no kids,

just the Corps.



He was our best.

That's why he was sent.



He's not on trial for the

good service he gave the country,



but for what he did

on the wallin Yemen, period.



Major, nobody wants to say it,



but it occurs to me we're trying

to set an example here.



So let's set it and show

the world we mean business.



The fil rst charge supports the death

penalty, and I say we go for it.



No more death.



I'll see that he never gets another

command and I'll put him in jail,



but I will not seek death for a man

who served his country honorably.



Idon't want it

brought up again.



We gotta show

Childers' state of mind.



We gotta prove he went out

with intent to kill,



and that is not going to be easy.



Whether a man is charged

with murder or hailed as a hero...



is sometimes a very thin line.



Our case is this. Childers receives

orders that a regularly scheduled,



Iawful protest outside

our embassy in Yemen is unruly.



He is to secure

or evacuate the premises.



There has been no violence

prior to his arrival.



Once there, Ambassador Mourain...



does not feel the situation

warrants evacuation.



- Childers ignores him.

- There was sniper fire.



They draw fil re from snipers

across the street.



Childers retaliates into an unarmed

crowd in front ofthe embassy.



A crowd ofwomen and children.

He shot the wrong people.



Allright, here's what this means.



Murder... Obviously, he could get

up to the death penalty.



Conduct unbecoming an officer.



Max is dismissal

with a dishonorable discharge,



for feiture of all pay and allowances

and confinement for one year.



What about breach

of peace? What is that?



Breaching the peace is minor.



That means participating in an act

ofviolent orturbulent nature...



that deprives the community of the

peace and tranquility it deserves.



It's sort ofthe military equivalent

of the civilian misdemeanor.



No big deal.



There he is!

You goddamn baby killer!



Baby killer!



You're disgusting!



I'm not answering any questions,

all right? Get out of here. Go away.



You fucking baby killer!






Who the fuck are you

to spit on this uniform? Huh?



You ever play blackjack, Colonel?



Not really.



There are no intangibles.

It's all odds, sir.



You know them, you'll beat

the guy next to you.



You know what cards have been

played, you'll beat the house.



Sometimes you just can't win

no matter what you do.



I saw your man on television

knockin' some zit-faced kid around.



You have to understand the kind of

pressure Childers has been under.



A man with that kind ofservice...

No, no thanks.



This was a rescue mission

that went bad. Nothing more.



You're aware, Colonel,

we could ask for the death penalty.



You're not serious.



Oh, I'm very serious.

In fact, it's been suggested.



What do you think would happen

ifa Yemeni killed    Americans?



He'd have a trial

that would last for one day,



and they'd take off his head.



Have a seat, Colonel.






So here it is.

You plead him out. Guilty.



He throws himselfat the mercy.



- We'll help him out at sentencing.

- How much help?



I'm not about to promise you

anything, but I'd say...



in the neighborhood often

to filfteen, out in seven.






do you know what the life expectancy

was for a second lieutenant...



dropped into a combat zone

in Vietnam in     ?



I don't have time

for    questions, sir.



Then what's all this shit about

the odds ofwinning at blackjack?



You got time.

Take a guess.



My guess is your man's going down

'cause he deserves to go down.



I got a question foryou, Colonel.

What happened at Ca Lu?



The battle ofCa Lu,




You were there with Childers.

Something happened. What was it?



Fuckyou is what happened

at Ca Lu, Biggs.



Two weeks.



Life expectancy of

a second lieutenant...



in combat in Vietnam

was two weeks.



Sir, I need more time

to prepare this case.



I need your permission

to go to Yemen...



It's all here, Hodge. We did an

exhaustive Article    investigation.



This thing happened

     miles away. I need more time.



Colonel, it's all here.



We had it brought from Yemen,

and it's not unusual to convene...



a court-martial

on short notice.



There could be witnesses, something

the investigators overlooked, sir.



Don't you think Colonel Childers

is entitled all consideration?



ColoneIHodges, ldon't care

ifyougo to China.



We have our marching orders,

and this court-martial...



will convene

at      a week Monday.



- Now, is that clear?

- Yes, sir.



One! Two!


            the sergeant?

- He's off-base, sir.















Oh, shit.



It's okay.



It's okay.



- I wasn't...

- No, no. I know.



It's okay. It's all right.

I know. Believe me, I know.



Can I leave you alone

with that thing in the house?



Yeah. I ain't goin' six

on you, Hodge.



I'm goin' to Yemen.



If I have to stickyour ass

in a hospital till I get back,



that is what I will do.

- You don't have to do that.



Got your word on that?



Oh, shit.



They take my uniform away,

they may as well shoot me.



You can live with it, bud.

Believe me.



I'm not gonna shit you.

They offered us a deal.



You plead guilty, it's

ten to filfteen. You're out in seven.



- What do you think?

- I think they're out to crucify you.



For a whole lot of reasons,

I say we take it and call it a day.



I did what they

asked me to do, Hodge.



I lost marines over there.



If I'm guilty ofthis,



I'm guilty ofeverything I've done

in combat for the last    years.



I don't know.



Colonel Hodges?

Captain Hustings.



I'm not in uniform and I'm not

saluting because ofthe snipers.



Please know that I'm saluting

on the inside.



I've got some Kevlar back there

with your name on it.



We're not the most popular team

in town right now, sir.



Hustings, are you a wiseass?



My mother prefers to

think of me as glib, sir.



Very well then. You will most glibly

belay all bullshit and drive on.



Roger that, sir.



I've lined up some people who were

at the scene, as you requested, sir.



- We can start tomorrow.

- Good.



- All right. Here we are.

- Oh.   :  .



Roger that, sir.



The old embassy was

a filfth century palace.



Gotprettyshot up.



We're moving the newone

to a bunkeroutside the city...



behind about a mile

of barbed wire, sir.



- You want me to come with you, sir?

- Negative.



Stay with the vehicle.

Meet me at the hotel.



Yes, sir.



Armed American marines,

they were shooting at his people.



They werejust trying

to defend themself.



Is he saying

the marines shot fil rst?



Why were your police offilcers

ordered to abandon the embassy...



on the day ofthe riot?



It was a peaceful demonstration.

There was no reason to stay.



After the killing, were

any weapons found in the crowd?



No. They picked up everything

that was left. No weapons.






No, look. Now, wait.

Wait a minute.



Wait a minute, fellas.



Hey. Hey!



Hi. What's your name?



Do you speak English?



You're a very pretty girl.






Is that your name? "Katchi"?



- May I help you?

- Yeah.



I was wondering

what happened to her?



She lost her leg.

Who are you?



I'm a lawyer with the United States

Marine Corps. What happened?



- A marine lawyer?

- Yeah.



Follow me, please.



There are hospitals like this

all over the city.



Most of the people here

will die.



Sir? Do you want

something to drink?



Give me another one!



Open the goddamn door!



What's wrong with you?



Get yourselfa new lawyer,

you son ofa bitch. You lied to me.



I could not fil nd

one goddamn witness.



I couldn't fil nd

one goddamn shred ofevidence!



Not for our side




You clearly opened up

on those people. What were they?



Rag heads, camel jockeys

or fucking gooks?



- You through?

- Yeah.



Get up.



Come on. Get up. Come on.



Look at you.

You went all the way to Yemen.



All you proved is

you're still a drunk.



You know what your problem is? You

never measured up to your old man.



But I can't help you with that.



Stop this shit

before somebody gets hurt.



I lost every one

of my men at Ca Lu.



And I'll tell you

the fil rst thing I felt.







Gladto be alive.



I was glad it wasn't me, and

I fucking hate myselffor that.



That wasn't your fault.



We're in deep shit, bud.






It's fourth and    Hodge.



I need a Hail Mary.






Send him in.



I just want to make sure

we're on the same page here.



- Off the record.

- Of course, Bill.



Now, you didn't see any weapons

in that crowd, did you?






There was some shooting,

but I...



couldn't be sure exactly

where it was coming from.



Now, see, that's

gonna be a problem,



because we can't get on the stand

and waffle about the charges.



Waffle, Bill?



In your mind, Childers

was responsible, wasn't he?



I wasn't exactly there.

I had already evacuated.



You have to remember

he saved my life and my family.



This all happened after...



Does that mean the United States...



is gonna have to take the fall

for what he did?



I don't understand.



The investigating team didn't

fil nd any weapons in the crowd.



That's because they weren't

there until the following day.



The Yemeni government

cleaned up the scene,



but unfortunately that's

not something we can prove.



Nor can I testify about it.

It all happened afterward.



Yeah, but you can testify

about Childers' frame of mind,



his behavior

while you were there.



He saved my life.



Surely this will all come down

to what the tape shows.



The tape's inconclusive.



Hodges subpoenaed it,

ofcourse, but, uh...



it was a faulty recording.



- I see.

- Do you?



If Childers isn't held

totally responsible,



then the United States

will be.



And just guess...



where the fil nger...



is eventually gonna point.



- Me?

- Where else?



You should've known

this was gonna erupt.



And ifyou didn't,

you were asleep at the wheel.



Either way, yourconduct




Now, do you want to face a

congressional inquiry over this,



put your career at risk?



Think about it.



Thank you, Bill.









Look closely

at this picture.



Why did a well-trained

fil ghting unit...



have to slaughter unarmed

men, women and children...



when their orders

were simply to protect...



and if necessary,

evacuate the embassy?



The answer is,

they didn't.



They were ordered to open fil re,

and that order came from one man...



Colonel Terry Childers,



who stands trial

here today,



a day ofsadness,



a day when America has

to accept responsibility...



for its failures and its

mistakes as well as its glories.



We will show you that the accused,

through his mind-set and actions,



ignored the rules




and went far beyond

the scope of his authority...



to intentionally order

the murder...



of    innocent people.



I was the last one to enter the

courtroom this morning. I was late.



I was late because

I was in the head.



And I was in the head

because... I was throwing up.



And I was throwing up

because I don't know if I'm...



able to handle thisjob.



I believe that Colonel Childers

is innocent ofthese charges.



I just don't know if I have what

it takes to make his case for him.



I'm simply not on the same page

as Major Briggs, uh...



Major Biggs here,

as a lawyer.



We all know that.



So why did I take




I took this case because

Terry Childers told me...



I would have done the same thing

he did if I'd been in his shoes.



I took the case because I know Terry

Childers. His word is his bond.



He told me he did

what he had to do.



Now, I hope

I don't let him down.



We sent Terry Childers out

on a very tough mission.



And when it went bad,



and he did everything he could

to save the lives of his marines,



save the lives

ofthe embassy people,



you turn aroundnowand want

to blame the whole mess on him,



sendhim toprisonpossibly

forthe rest ofhis life.



That's not fair.



It's not right.



It is what made me sick

this morning.



It was a large crowd.



There was a lot ofcommotion.

The noise was very unsettling.



But it was

a peaceful crowd.



That is, until Colonel Childers

arrived and prevented me...



from pursuing

further avenues ofdiplomacy.



Did Colonel Childers

force you to leave the embassy?



Yes. He charged in.



He... started

pushing us around.



He physically restrained me

from doing myjob.



What washis state

ofmindat this time?



He wasin a fury.



He was disrespectful

to me and my family.



Oh, that's bullshit.



It wasalmost, how should I say,

a murderous rage.



Do you remember what hesaid?




something like...



"diplomacy is bullshit

at this point"...



andthat "nobody fucks

with theAmerican flag".



- Those were his words.

- Thank you, Ambassador.



No further questions.



Do you believe...



that an American embassy

on foreign soil...



is sovereign

United States territory?



As a general principle, yes.



Do you believe Americans

have a right...



to defend that territory

if it's attacked?



Ifit is, in fact,




Would you have expected

Colonel Childers to surrender...



to the attacking crowd

orto fight them?



I would have expected neither.



The colonel should have let me

address the crowd,



then he could have withdrawn

his marines.



Would you have expected him

to hold his fil re as he withdrew,



even if he were taking casualties?

- To the extent possible.



So your order would have been,



"Hold your fil re to the extent

possible, Marines.



And to the extent not possible,

fil re away".






This photograph

is exhibit "C".



- What is that?

- It's a security camera.



Is it mounted

on the roofofthe embassy...



and pointed down to where

the crowd had gathered?



- I would suppose so.

- Yes or no, please.






- Is it in operation    hours a day?

- I suppose so.



- Yes or no?

- Yes.



Do you suppose there is a taping

system attached to this camera?



- Your Honor.

- Colonel.



- Yes.

- Where's the tape?



It is my understanding

that ifthere were tapes,



undamaged tapes, they'd have been

sent to the State Department.



Undamaged tapes?



Well, there was

destruction andlooting...



after the killing.



Asyou withdrew, didyou remember

to take theAmerican flag withyou?



Didyou rememberto take

theAmerican flag, sir?



- Of course.

- Where is that flag now?



I brought it home and returned

it to the State Department.



It was shot to shreds,

wasn't it?



By the snipers, yes.






Right! Go right!






At ease, son.



Let me see. Which one

of you people is named Justin?



- Let me take a guess. How about you?

- No.



Then I'll have to make

another guess. I'll take, uh... you.



How'd you know?

Are you in the marines?



Yes, sir, lam.



Go on in the house, kids.

There are sandwiches in the kitchen.



Mrs. Mourain, I'm sorry

to bother you at home.



- I'm Colonel...

-I know who you are, Colonel Hodges.



- Is that your boy?

- Yes.



Can I talk to you

a few minutes?



I don't think

that's appropriate.



I don't believe your husband

is telling the truth...



about what Colonel Childers did

in Yemen.



Kids, go on in the house.

There are sandwiches on the table.



Let's go! Come on!



You should take that up

with my husband, shouldn't you?



Colonel Childers risked his life

so you could be here, ma'am,



watching these kids play

out these windows.



Does that botheryou?



I feel terrible about what

happened to Colonel Childers.



Can you tell me that he

manhandled your family?



Or that he prevented

your husband from doing hisjob?




Can you tell me that?






As far as I'm concerned,

he behaved quite honorably.



Will you testify to that?



- My husband's a good man.

- So is Colonel Childers.



I've been married for ten years.



You're asking me to throw that

away in an afternoon.



Your husband and you

and your son...



owe your lives

to Colonel Terry Childers.



We all have our priorities,




I can subpoena you, ma'am.



Please don't.



Don't put me up there.

I'm a very credible witness.



Now, ifyou'll excuse me.



You won't tell the truth

if I put you on the stand?



I don't know

what the truth is.



Colonel Childers is on trial for

what he did outside the embassy.



I wasn't there.

Were you?



Captain Lee, you were in command

of the TRAP team...



and the second ranking officer

under Colonel Childers in Yemen?



- Yes, sir.

-And you were on the roof...



of the embassy, were you not?

- Yes, I was.



Colonel Childers ordered you

to open fil re...



immediately after Sergeant

Richard Krasevitch was shot.



- Is that correct?

- Yes.



But Sergeant Krasevitch was not

shot by the demonstrators, was he?



Objection. How could we know

the exact fil ring position...



of the bullet that killed

Sergeant Krasevitch?



Sustained. Counsel

refrain from leading the witness.



Did you at any time...



receive gunfil re from within

the demonstration itself?






I can't remember any fil re

from the demonstrators,



to my knowledge that is, sir.



You killed the wrong people,

didn't you?



You should've been fil ring

at the snipers across the way.



- Isn't that correct?

- I can't answer...



- Objection. Calls for speculation.

- Sustained.



You shot at people who

were demonstrating peacefully,



who were not using

deadly force.



Your Honor, that's not

in evidence here.



Sustained. Major, I'm not going

to warn you again.



Captain, what were the words

Colonel Childers used...



when he ordered you to fil re

on the demonstrators?



I don't remember

the exact words, sir.



He orderedme

to open fire.



When you obeyed Colonel

Childers' order to open fil re,



did you believe it

to be a lawful order?



Yes, sir.



Otherwise it would have been your

duty to disobey. Is that right?



Yes, sir.



When your men opened fil re

on the attackers in the crowd,



did the snipers in the buildings

across the way cease their fil ring?



Absolutely, sir.

It went completely quiet.



It would seem, then,



that the two groups were

actually one working together.



Objection. Counselis drawing

a conclusion forthe witness.






Were you in a position

to observe Colonel Childers...



when everyone was evacuated?



Yes, I was.



What was the last thing

you saw him do?



- He went to the flagpole.

- Then what'dhe do?



He tookdown

theAmerican flag.



Was he personally

under heavy fil re at that time?



- Yes, sir.

- No more questions.



Captain, prior to receiving orders

from the accused to open fil re,



where was the point of greatest

concern for the safety ofyour men,



the crowd below or the snipers

in the buildings across the way?



- I'm not really sure.

- You're notsure?



Well, I guess...



Don't guess.

I'll repeat the question.



Was the point of greatest concern

the crowd below...




across the way?



I would have to say

the snipers.



Did you feel an immediate mortal

danger from the crowd as a whole?



- I don't understand.

- You don't understand?



- No, sir.

- Let me help you.



Were you more worried...



you'd be killed by these people

or by these people?



I wasn't thinking about that.

Have you ever been under fil re?



You didn't see the crowd fil ring, but

you did take fil re from the snipers.



Is that correct?






Our clinic is not too far

from the embassy.



So I was one of the fil rst

to arrive there.



Did you see any weapons

on the bodies ofthe dead?






Did you remove any weaponsfrom

the people you were treating?






Not a single weapon

anywhere among the victims?



No, no weapons.



In your opinion, is Yemen

a training ground for terrorists?



Not at all.



We met in Yemen.



You encouraged me to tour

your clinic in order to witness...



the suffering caused by

Colonel Childers' orders.



- Do you remember that?

- Yes.



I found an audiocassette

on the floor ofyour clinic.



It's marked exhibit "R".



Do you remember that?



- Yes.

- I found another one...



inside the embassy.



In fact, I found several others.

They're all marked exhibit "R".



Will you translate the writing on

the outside ofthat cassette?




of lslamicJihad...



Against United States".



These audiocassettes are used

for the purposes of religious...



and political propaganda due to

the high illiteracy rate in Yemen.



- Is that correct?

- Yes.



Will you translate

the words you hear...



on this audiocassette

for the court, please?



Dr Ahmar?



"We call on every Muslim

who believes in God...



and hopes for reward...



to obey God's command".



Dr Ahmar, does it say

what God's command is?



"To kill Americans...



and plunder...



their possessions

wherever he fil nds them".



- Go on, please.



"To kill Americans...



and their allies,



both civil

and military,



is duty ofevery Muslim...



who is able".



To kill Americans is a duty.



- Is that what it says?

- Yes.



Do you recognize

the speaker's voice?






Dr Ahmar, in your opinion,

is this propaganda...




of that demonstration?



No. I'm not a member

of Islamic Jihad!



The crowd

was singing songs.



I heard them from my clinic.



What was your reaction when you

learned that Colonel Childers...



had been selected

to lead this mission?



I was very pleased. The colonel

had a distinguished record.



- He's a nationally renowned war...

- How did you defil ne his mission?



We wanted to increase security,

but frankly,



ifthings got threatening,

we wanted an evacuation.



So you weren't looking

for confrontation?



No, that's what we wished

to avoidat all costs.



What was your reaction

to what happened?



I was stunned,






Wasn't the severity ofthe problem

at the embassy understated?



Absolutely not.



We operated on the information

we had at the time.



I have here a State Department

report from Yemen.



It's exhibit "M".



Willyou readthe underlined

sectionsforthe court, please?






'January  .

Grenade thrown atpolice car.



January   . Sixteen Western tourists

abducted by fundamentalist group".



- Go on, please.

- "February  .



- A bomb explodes in a car..."

- You got today's Post?



- Yeah.

- Yeah. Give it to me.



"Stungrenade thrown at newspaper

kiosk nearapolicestation.



March   .

A military offilcer...



is seriously woundedby

Yemen's first... donkey bomb.



Explosives were apparently




Thank you.



Ihave another State Department

document, dated    November.



It's from the ambassador

to you.



Will you read this

for the court, please?



"Dear Bill. Please, we must revisit

our previous conversation...



in that the security measures we

have taken are still inadequate...



for the protection

ofour mission to Yemen".



You have to understand that

when I received this letter...



Thankyou. Now, there are...

Well, are there... cameras...



mounted on the roofofthe embassy?

- Uh, yes.



Are they designed

to observe and record...



activities in the public spaces

outside the embassy?



- Yes.

- Where are the tapes?



Uh, it's my understanding

the embassy was looted.



Maybe the cameras

were destroyed.



This is a photograph.

It is exhibit "D" for the court.



It's a picture ofa camera

on the embassy roof.



Does it appear

to be damaged?






- Where are the tapes?

- I don't know.



Don'tyou think

the UnitedStates owes it...



to Colonel Childers

for    years ofservice...



to fil nd that tape

and produce it here?



Objection. We don't know

anything about any tapes.



- This is pure speculation.

- Sustained.



This is a shipping manifest.

It's exhibit "O".



It is a list of items removed from

the embassy during the evacuation...



and shipped

to the State Department.



Will you read

line six, please?



"Videotape from security

camera, VHS, one".



You too busy to look at those

tapes oryou just didn't care?



Objection. He's badgering

the national security advisor.



Sustained. Counsel,

please proceed carefully.



- Where are those tapes?

- Objection! Asked and answered.



Oh. Yes, right. Right.

Don't you think it's funny...



that a tape that could exonerate

my client is missing?



I don't think it's funny at all.



Withholding evidence

is a very serious crime.



- Objection.

- Sustained. Counsel, rephrase.



Withholding evidence to frame

a United States Marine...



is no less evil than charging

my client with murder.



Where are those tapes?



Colonel, I turned over all

materials in my possession...



to Major Biggs.



If those tapes showed a happy

crowd of peaceful demonstrators,



we'd be looking at 'em.



Objection, Your Honor.

This is contempt.




this is your last warning.



It was a new security system.



The cameras were pointed down

at the crowd.



Tapes were recorded, and those tapes

were sent to the State Department.



Why are those tapes not here?



Objection, Your Honor.

I've seen no such tapes.



No further questions.



There are no tapes showing

the crowd fil ring weapons?



None that I'm aware of.



And the government has turned

over all of its evidence?






Colonel Hodges has gone

to some length...



to have you read security reports

illustrating violence in Yemen.



- Yes, he has.

- Here is today's Washington Post.



Will you read these headlines

that I've underlined...



from today's Metro section?



"Agent, kidnapper killed in

rescue of businessman's son".



"Bomb threat evacuates

Museum of Natural History".



"Officer chases truckdriver,

fires    times".



"Husbandshoots wife,

himselfin street".



Mr. Sokal, does this random,

unfortunate news mean we should...



allow Colonel Childers and his

troops loose in Washington, D.C.?



Don't answer that.

Thankyou, Mr. Sokal.



Present arms!



Order arms!



Take deep breaths, sir! You're

almost out of here. Stay calm.



I hope you know

how to fold it, sir.



Thankyou, Colonel.

I'll never forget this.



Krasevitch is hit!






Corpsman! Shit!



Goddamn it!



Engage hostile targets

as they appear!



Waste the motherfuckers!



Cease fil re!

Cease fil re!



Cease fire!



Order arms!



I was proud of my marines.



They showed

remarkable discipline.



Why didn't you fil re

at the snipers in the buildings...



instead ofat the crowd below?



Because I believed we were

in greater danger from the crowd.



- Was that crowd fil ring at you?

- Yes.



The demonstrators in front of

the building were firing at you...



in addition to thesnipers?

- Yes.



Why didn 't anybody else

see that crowdfiring?



My men were

under cover on the roof,



except for Krasevitch

who was on an observation post.



And why isn't he here testifying

on your behalftoday?



Because he was killed in action.

He died in my arms.



So you were the only man left in

a position to observe that crowd?






Where else have you been

in combat, Colonel?



Vietnam, Beirut,



Panama, Persian Gulf.



Can you identify that blue and

white ribbon on your uniform?



It's the Navy Cross.



Do you remember the citation

that accompanied that medal?



"For conspicuous gallantry in

the face of great personal danger,



reflecting great credit

upon himself,



the United States Marine Corps

and the Naval Service".



Your witness.






you gunned down

more than    people.



You wounded




Could this have been motivated

by a desire forretaliation?



I was protecting my men.



Sergeant Richard Krasevitch was

shot only a few feet away from you.



- Is that correct?

- Yes.



And right after Sergeant

Krasevitch died,



you ordered open fil re

on the crowd?



- Is that also correct?

- I was taking fil re.



There were weapons

in that crowd.



Well, you wouldn't shoot

unarmed people, would you?



No, I wouldnot.



Even in the heat of battle, you

wouldn't shoot an unarmed person?






This is exhibit "F".



Will you please read

the following to the panel?



"Rules ofengagement governing

ground conflict in urban areas.



One. If possible,

the enemy will be warned fil rst,



then asked to surrender".



Colonel, did you warn

the enemy?



We arrived in helicopters.

We were standing on that roofarmed.



Didyou warn them, either with shots

into the air orby a loudspeaker?



Did you ask them

to surrender?






I'm sorry, no, you did not

warn the crowd?



Yes. No, I did not

warn the crowd.



Continue, Colonel.

Youseem to knowthem by heart.



"Deadly force

is the last resort".



- Go on.

- "Three.



When possible, try to arrange

for the evacuation of civilians...



prior to any U.S. attack".



Did you do that, try

to evacuate the innocent people...



before you slaughtered them?



  Objection. That is inflammatory.

- Rephrase, Major.



Did you try, following Section C

ofthe rules ofengagement...



for ground conflict in urban areas,

to evacuate innocent civilians?



- No.

- No.



Yeah, yeah.



I just have

one more thing, Colonel.



Did you have to repeat

your orders to Captain Lee?



- I'm sorry?

- You ordered Captain Lee...



to engage hostile targets,

and he advised you...



that there were women and children

in the line of fil re.



- Is that correct?

- He couldn't see...



Yes or no, Colonel? Didhe

follow your first set of orders?



I don't remember.



Captain Lee is on record

as saying he hesitated...



and mentioned the snipers

in the buildings.



- Is his testimony accurate?

- I don't remember.



Let me get this straight.



You evacuate

the ambassador.



You go back to the roof.

Two of your marines are K.I.A.



A third,

Sergeant Krasevitch, dies.



You give your captain

an order which he doesn't follow;



in fact, he questions.



And then you said what?



I don't remember.



You don't remember

what you said next?



It was combat,

not some training exercise.



A moment later,

your men were shooting.



What did you say

to make that happen?



I don't know.



You must have said something.

Captain Lee reversed himself.



- What did you say?

- I don't know the exact words.



- Let me help you.

- Your Honor.



You said, "Waste the motherfuckers,"

didn't you?



- No, no, no.

- You didn't say it?



- It all happened so fast...

- You're under oath, Colonel!



Let me refresh

your memory.



This is exhibit "ry" a tape

recording made aboard...



the U.S.S. Wake lsland ofall radio

communications received that day,



including your exact words.



Your Honor, with your permission

I would like to play this tape.



If you got it on tape,

then that's what I said!



They were killing my marines,

so, yeah, I said it!



"Waste the motherfuckers!"



- Are these "the motherfuckers"?

- Objection.



- Overruled.

- Yes!



- These?

- Objection!






- These?

- Objection!



- Overruled.

- Yes.



Are these "the motherfuckers"...



that you ordered to be wasted?

- Your Honor.



- Major.

- Yes!



The crowd in front ofthe embassy

had no weapons, did they, Colonel?



Objection. We found

no snipers' weapons either.



Yes, they had weapons!



You think there's

a script for fil ghting a war...



without pissing somebody off?



Follow the rules,

and nobody gets hurt?



Yes, innocent people probably died.



Innocent people always die.



But I did not exceed

my orders!



There are rules, and marines

are sworn to uphold them.



I was not going to stand by

and see another marine die...



just to live

by those fucking rules!






Your Honor,

I request a recess.






The government is fil nished with

Colonel Childers, Your Honor.



Allright, Colonel,

you have your recess.



Why didn't you tell me

what you said?



- I didn't remember.

- "Waste the motherfuckers".



That's brilliant.

You didn't think that was important?



Why didn't you know

about the goddamn recording?



- You're supposed to know...

- I had a week to prepare this case.



I didn't realize

what a fuckup I'm defending.



- Well, now you know.

- Goddamn.



- This is going to take us both down.

- How's that work?



You gonna spend the rest

ofyour life in prison too?



I'm sorry.



- I really screwed up in there, huh?

- Yeah, you really did.






- So what happens now?

- Shit, I don't know.



I don't know.



Your Honor, the government

calls Colonel Bin Le Cao...



as a rebuttal witness.

- Objection, Your Honor.



What are the grounds for

this rebuttal witness to be allowed?



Will counsel please

approach the bench.



- Who is Colonel Bin Le Cao?

- A North Vietnamese Colonel...



who fought against Colonel Childers

at the battle of Ca Lu.



What he has to say directly refutes

statements made by Colonel Childers.



- When was the battle of Ca Lu?

-     .



This is uncharged misconduct. It is

not allowable under military law.



How do you know this witness

is going to charge misconduct?



I'm assuming...



He knows because he was

at the battle of Ca Lu.



- Is that true?

- Yes, sir.



On what grounds are you

calling your witness?



Colonel Hodges made Colonel

Childers' combat experience...



part of his defense.




Colonel Childers testifiled...



that he never shoots unarmed people.



My witness hasan important

perspective on thatstatement.



I'm gonna allow

the witness.



Do you swear or affirm...



that the evidence you shal lgive

in this case...



shall be the truth,

the whole truth...



and nothing but the truth,

so help you God?



Yes, I do.



Will you please state

your name for the court?



- My name is Bin Le Cao.

- In      you were a colonel...



with the North Vietnamese army,

B  regiment, involved in a fight...



with American marines at Ca Lu

in the Quang Tri province?



Yes, I was.



Will you tell the court

about that battle?



We were aware that

small units ofAmericans...



ryere ryeryr

my company of men.



We found ourselves

behind your forces.



This was lucky for us

because we were out numbered.



Do you recognize

this man?






Didhe capture you and your

radio operator that day?






Did he remove your weapons

and place you under armed guard?






Didyou consider yourself

a prisoner of war?






Did he execute

your radio operator?






You personally saw him shoot

a fellow prisoner ofwar?






Where did he shoot him?



In the head.



Thank you.

No further questions.



Were your men annihilating

that platoon of marines?






Did Colonel Childers force you

to call your men off?






Do you believe his actions

were calculated to save...



the lives ofAmerican marines?

- Yes.



Would you have done the same

thing Colonel Childers did...



if the situation

had been reversed?



Colonel Cao, would you have shot...



a captive American radio operator

in the head if you thought...



it would persuade Colonel Childers

to spare the lives of your own men?






No more questions.



This court is in recess

until tomorrow at   :  .



- We will hear closing arguments.



- General, goodto seeyou.

- Perry, good to see you too.



I want you to meet

my grandson.



Hi. Nice to meet

you, sir.






Colonel Terry Childers

is a decorated war hero,



a trusted leader

of American marines,



and I wish that was

all there was to it.



Unfortunately, there are

   dead Yemeni citizens,



many of them

women and children.



Colonel Hodges would have you

believe that this crowd was armed.



He would also have you believe

that there is a videotape...



proving this to be true.



There is no tape

exonerating Colonel Childers.



There is no evidence

exonerating Colonel Childers!



Is Colonel Childers a man capable of

killing defenseless, unarmed people?



Is he capable ofordering

the execution...



of innocent

men and women?



Is he capable ofexecuting

P.O.W.s with his own hand?




we have shown that he is.



You have heard the sad testimony

of Colonel Cao...



who witnessed Colonel Childers'

barbarism fil rsthand.



You've even heard

Colonel Childers' own admission...



that his desire was to "waste"

them, regardless of who they were.



Now, we are faced

with the diffilcult prospect...



of convicting

one of our own.



None of us wants to do this,

but you've heard the facts,



and it is unavoidable.



Colonel Terry Childers ordered

the senseless slaughter...



of a peaceful crowd!



Now, asmarines,



we do not get the luxury

of covering up our mistakes.



We must air them,



there by ensuring

that they never happen again.



Thank you.



That's sovereign

United States territory...



as much as if it were

in Ohio or Maryland.



Colonel Childers didn't

volunteer to go over there.



He was ordered to go there because

he was the best man for thejob.



We armed him.

We trained him.



We sent him over there to risk

his life to save other Americans.



And then ask him

not to return fil re?



There are over     bullet holes

in this building.



Colonel Childers didn't open fil re.

He returned fil re.



And he waited until after three

of his marines were dead...



and another lay

mortally wounded.



He waited until he was

personally under heavy fil re.



He waited until he saw

that crowd holding weapons.



Only then did he order

his men to return fil re.



Under the rules ofengagement,

a civilian pointing a weapon...



is no longer a civilian,



and the use ofdeadly force

is authorized...



in order to save lives.



It's not murder.



It's combat.



Colonel Childers is

the only man alive...



who was in a position

to see that crowd.



But the camera on the embassy

roof had the same point ofview.



The government

would have you believe...



there's no tape

from that camera.



I have shown you that that tape was

delivered to the State Department.



Do you believe that tape

got up and walked out...



ofthe State Department

on its own?



By not producing that tape,

the national security advisor,



Mr. Sokal, has brought dishonor

into this court.



Without that tape, I cannot show

you that the crowd fired first...



and that Colonel Childers

is innocent.



But without that tape,

they cannot prove...



beyond a reasonable doubt

that he's guilty!



Here's my case.



He's all I've got.

Thirty-two years ofservice,



thirty-two years of heroism

as a United States Marine.



Regardless of

what you decide here,



Colonel Childers' career

as a marine is over.



He will never again

command men in combat.



The ambassador and his family

are alive today because of him.



And I know how

the ambassador feels,



because Colonel Childers

saved my life too.



I'm alive today because of him.



My son is sitting in

this courtroom because of him.



I'm alive today,

and I have a son,



because of the heroism

of Colonel Childers.



To ask this man to risk his life

for his country,



to ask this man to watch

his marines die in his arms...



and call it murder

when he's defending himself,



call it murder for fil ring back

when fil red upon...



To call it murder for saving

the lives of his countrymen...



under the most extreme

of circumstances, that's, uh...



My fellow Marines,

that's hanging him out to dry.



It's worse than leaving him

woundedon a battlefield.



That is something

you do not do...



ifyou are

a United States Marine.



And it is something that I pray

to God you won't do here either.



- What'd you think?

- You're pretty good.



Yeah. Yeah.



Dad, you were awesome.



Thanks, son.



I'm very glad that I don't

have to sit on that panel, son.



You made it

awful tough on them.



-       to      ...

- Excuse me.



I said no interruptions.



I'm sorry, Mr. Sokal.

It's very important.



Send him in.



Can we pick this up

after lunch, gentlemen?






Close the door.



What is it, Colonel?



No matter what happens

to Terry Childers tomorrow,



I'm not going to leave

thisjob until I fil nd out...



what happened to that tape.

- Good.



Think it'll ever turn up?






I don't either.



Well, then there's nothing more

for us to talk about, is there?



You ever had a pissed-off

marine on your ass?



Is that a threat?



Oh, yes, sir.






Has the panel

reached a verdict?



We have, sir.



Colonel Terry L. Childers, this

court-martial fil nds as follows.



On the charge

ofbreach ofpeace,



the court finds

the defendantguilty.



On the charge ofconduct

unbecoming an officer,



the court fil nds

the defendant not guilty.



On the charge ofmurder,



the court fil nds

the defendant not guilty.



This court-martial

is adjourned.



Sentencing will be conducted

at a time to be determined.



Thank you.



- I need one more favor.

- Yeah.



Teach me how to fly-filsh.



You are well aware that I know

shit about fly-filshing.









You realize in light of

Colonel Cao's testimony,



we'll be pushing for charges

on the Ca Lu incident.



That was    years ago.



You're going to have

a hard time fil nding witnesses.



I thought maybe

you'd be willing to testify.



I'll make you a deal.



Ifyou can tell me right now

what the life expectancy was...



for a second lieutenant dropped

into a hot L.Z. in Vietnam in     



I'll tell you everything

I remember about Ca Lu.



- One week.

- Negative.



Sixteen minutes, Major.



Sixteen fucking minutes.



And that's all I remember.






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