You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.Maybe we should get Jack Nicholson to play Dick Cheney. But Dick Cheney had five draft deferments and never served in uniform. And Joe, did you forget that at the end of the scene in 'A Few Good Men' Nicholson's character is taken into custody? Because he broke the law.
You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty... we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use 'em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I'd prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to.
- Colonel Jessep, 'A Few Good Men'
No matter how much I respect the military and the Intelligence community, they have to follow the law. And even the guys actually on trial in the movie get punished because they followed orders. Because those orders broke the law. And people who were "just following orders" need to be punished, not as harshly as those who ordered it, but punished none-the-less.
And look, a trial; the rule of law could handle this situation. America is based on laws, the Constitution, and the right to a fair and speedy trial. Tell me where Gitmo and waterboarding (I mean, TORTURE) fits into that?
And just take this part:
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 rather you'd just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post.The idea that people who don't serve can't question now we run our military or our national security policy is just crazy. Even more so because the Commander-In-Chief of the United States Armed Forces (aka, the President) has, more often than not, not worn a uniform in their lives. Like the last three Presidents who never really served.
But in the end, it's not like Obama is actually changing all that much. As David Brooks points out, while Cheney is still fighting for his ideas, he really lost the battle after the 2004 election. On national security, the 1st Obama term will look a lot like the 2nd Bush term.