American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"Crimson Tide" (1995)

 

Naval Station Pearl Harbor Tribunal

 

Rear Admiral Anderson: All right, stand there, Lieutenant Commander Hunter. This won't take long.

This panel has convened in order to investigate the events subsequent to the setting of condition 1SQ for strategic missile launch on board the USS Alabama on 1 November.

Now, based on the testimony from personnel on board the Alabama and, in no small measure, to that of the senior officer, Captain Ramsey, I am prepared to make my recommendations to SUBPAC [Submarine Force, (U.S.) Pacific Fleet].

Lieutenant Commander Hunter: Without my testimony, sir?

RADM Anderson: You have a problem with that?

LCDR Hunter: I might, sir.

RADM Anderson: I have known Captain Ramsey for almost 30 years. We served together on more than a few occasions. If he is lying, this will be
the first I've heard of it.

LCDR Hunter: Yes, sir.

RADM Anderson: My primary concern here is the breakdown in the system.
In this instance, the system failed because the two senior officers did not
work to resolve their differences while preserving the chain of command.

Now you may have been proven right, Mr. Hunter, but insofar as the letter of the law is concerned you were both right. And you were also both wrong. This is the dilemma that will occupy this panel, this Navy and this country's armed forces as a whole long after you leave this room.

Off the record, you've both created one hell of a mess: A mutiny aboard a United States nuclear submarine, violation of nuclear launch protocol.

For the record, it is the conclusion of this panel that your actions aboard the Alabama were consistent with the best traditions of the Navy and in the interests of the United States. As such, the recommendations of this panel will be to accept in a manner reflective of his long and dedicated service to his country Captain Ramsey's request for early retirement from active duty.

And based, in no small part, on Captain Ramsey's recommendation that Lieutenant Commander Hunter be given his next command at the earliest possible convenience.

Unless, of course, you wish to challenge these recommendations.

LCDR Hunter: No, sir.

RADM Anderson: Captain Ramsey?

CAPT Ramsey: No, sir.

RADM Anderson: Dismissed.

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American Rhetoric.
HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.