Independent Christian Voice

Thursday

ALAN SHORE FOR SENATE: 'Private Elliot is dead in part because we have a people and a government in denial'

I absolutely love ABC's Boston Legal; the show is classic David E. Kelley — entertaining, fun, funny, smart and even thought-provoking. Last season, Alan Shore (played by James Spader) made an impassioned, poignant plea for a man's life in a Texas death penalty appeal; it was the best episode of that season. (Watch segment clip of Shore's arguments before the Texas High Court.) This week's episode is the best yet; it was brilliant. Alan Shore's hard-hitting, passionate and compelling arguments in a case surrounding the Iraq War is one for the books. If you didn't see it, the case revolved around the sister of a dead soldier suing the U.S. Army. The closing statements for both sides gives you the basic arguments on both sides of the issue. Crooks and Liars posted a video clip of Alan Shore's closing. (The video jumps around alot but the audio is clear.) Below is a transcript of those closing statements.
In U.S. Attorney Chris Randolf: In war, any war, there are casualties. For the family of a victim to sue the army for such a casualty is not only patently ridiculous its an insult. First it offends the memory of the soldier who gave his life to defend his country. Worst, it’s an attack on patriotism and the US Army itself. He enlisted. He was trained in combat. He assumed the risks of combat. This lawsuit merely represents a flamboyant attempt to showcase anti-war sentiment. It is wrong, it is baseless and it’s an affront to every soldier, to every veteran who has put himself on the line to defend the United States of America. Especially, primarily the ones who have given their lives to do so. Alan Shore: First. This is hardly about anti-war sentiments. Private Elliot was for the war. Personally I was against it, then I was for it then I was against it again, but that’s just me, I’m a flip flopper. But whether one is for or against the occupation and let’s assume judging from your tie one is, that does not exempt the military from a duty to be honest with its soldiers. Private Elliot was told he’d serve a year. He was told he wouldn’t see combat! Okay! Unexpected stuff happens he did see combat. Fine! But, he was sent into combat with insufficient backup, he was sent in to perform duties for which he was never ever trained! He wasn’t given the most basic of equipment. And then after his tour of duty was up they wouldn’t let him leave. He never assumed those risks by enlisting. Over extended, under equipped, non-trained. He never signed up for that. And now he’s dead. An aside from his sister, nobody seems to care. We talk about honoring the troops. How about we honor them by giving a damn when they’re killed. Our kids are dying over there. In this country, the people, the media, we all just chug along like nothing is wrong. We’ll spend a month obsessing about Terri Shivo. But dare we show the body of a fallen soldier? The most watched cable news station will spend an hour a night on a missing girl in Ioruba, but God forbid we pay any attention when kids like Private Elliot killed in action… Judge Clark Brown: You’re off the point. Alan Shore: I’m not off the point. We’ve had two thousand American trees fall in that forest over there and we don’t even know it. Not really. But, maybe we don’t wanna know about our children dying. So lucky for us this war isn’t really being televised. We’re not seeing images of soldiers dying in the arms of their comrades, being blown apart on the streets of Bagdad. But they are! By the thousands! And all the American public wants to concern itself with is whether Brad and Angelina really are a couple. At least with Vietnam we all watched and we all go angry! Judge Clark Brown: What does this have to do with the death of Private Elliot? Alan Shore: Private Elliot is dead in part because we have a people and a government in denial. We currently have no strategy to fight this war. We have no timetable for getting out. Some of these troops could be extended twenty plus years! Their mothers and fathers have to spring for body armor because the army doesn’t. And they’re getting killed! And we as a nation in denial are letting them. We simply don’t seem to care. Well she does. She’s in this courtroom honoring one dead soldier. That’s a start. (Transcript courtesy www.boston-legal.org.)
If only more people would have seen this. Whether or not the case has merits, "Alan Shore's" compelling arguments certainly do.

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