A Scrutiny of the Ethical Dilemmas in ‘a Few Good Men’

Published: 2021-09-02 11:35:13
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Category: Ethical Dilemma, A Few Good Men

Type of paper: Essay

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A young Navy Lawyer named Lt. Daniel Kaffee is in charge of the cases of two Marines, namely: PFC Louden Downey and LCpl Harold Dawson, who have been court-martialed because of allegedly murdering a fellow marine that goes by the name of PFC William T. Santiago.
PFC William T. Santiago criticizes the status of Guantanamo Naval Base Bay in terms of its health condition. The top officials ignore his appeals which led him to finally decide on requesting that he be transferred to another Naval Base. As they continue to pay no attention to his complaints, he threatened that he would expose a case of an “illegal fence-line shooting” if they would not transfer him to another Naval Base.
He then sends a letter to Col. Nathan Jessep, the CO of the Marines at the aforementioned base. Col. Nathan Jessep reads it as a way of informing Lt. Col. Matthew Markinson, who is Col. Nathan Jessep’s executive officer, and 1st Lt. Jonathan Kendrick, who is the platoon commander of PFC William T. Santiago.



Both Col. Nathan Jessep’s subordinates get mad as they were being notified about it but they disagree with the decision of transferring PFC William T. Santiago to another Naval Base. Lt. Col. Matthew Markinson wants to transfer PFC William T. Santiago, however, Col. Nathan Jessep does not agree with it stating that PFC William T. Santiago will be trained there instead.
Lt. Daniel Kaffee establishes that PFC Louden Downey and LCpl Harold Dawson were just carrying out the instructions/orders given by Col. Nathan Jessep, as well as, 1st Lt. Jonathan Kendrick. PFC Louden Downey and LCpl Harold Dawson reiterate that they were given instructions to “give the victim a Code Red”. A “Code Red” is a “colloquial terminology” that pertains to “extrajudicial punishment”.
When Lt. Daniel Kaffee began to infer that he was only specifically picked to be the lead counsel of PFC Louden Downey and LCpl Harold Dawson, he knew immediately the reasons why. It was because he used to engage himself in “quickly settling cases by plea bargains”.
The ones who picked him had two motives for choosing him: number one is to hamper the case of PFC Louden Downey and LCpl Harold Dawson from being tried and number two is to humiliate the Marine Corps which will eventually tarnish Col. Nathan Jessep’s promotion.
Fortunately, as the case progresses, Lt. Daniel Kaffee is more motivated to work on the case. He even learned to cooperate and respect LCDR JoAnn Galloway, his partner in defending the case of PFC Louden Downey and LCpl Harold Dawson.
In the end, Lt. Daniel Kaffee is successful in defending the case by providing evidence that indeed Col. Nathan Jessep “ordered a Code Red” to get back at PFC William T. Santiago who has written a letter with regards to a case of an “illegal fence-line shooting”.
As Col. Nathan Jessep confesses that he ordered so, he was arrested and detained while PFC Louden Downey and LCpl Harold Dawson were not charged by the court as “guilty of murder and conspiracy to commit murder” however, was charged for “conduct unbecoming of a United States Marine”. PFC Louden Downey and LCpl Harold Dawson were “dishonorably discharged” because of that.

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