Sunday, February 21, 2010

Great TV Speeches: Capt. Thomas Boone (Terry O'Quinn)

This is from the JAG Season One episode "Defensive Action", in which Capt. Boone, Harm's father's wingman, at this point CAG aboard the U.S.S. Seahawk, is court-martialed for destroying a Hind gunship. He contends the Hind was strafing his men, who had ejected from a damaged F-14 Tomcat. The other side claims the Hind was rendering humanitarian aid. For closing arguments, the CAG chooses to represent himself:

Gentlemen, since I am not a lawyer, I'll be brief. I am a Naval aviator, with 11,000 flying hours, 908 of which were in combat. I know gunfire when I see it; I did not imagine it. The Hind was firing at my men as they hung helpless in their chutes. What I did I would do again without hesitation even if doing so meant ending my Naval career. God knows it is not a career I wish to end. That'll happen soon enough. But better that than to break the sacred trust between an officer and those he commands to do whatever is in his power to protect them, not only when such action is obvious or politically correct, but even when it is sure to be unpopular and questioned. The day that I can no longer live up to that trust, you will not have to ask for my resignation, gentlemen. It'll be tendered without hesitation.

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