By William Kelly
Originally Posted http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2009/04/few-good-men-from-philly-to-gitmo.html
The real story is actually more incredible than the movie or the play.
The play “A Few Good Men,” was recently performed and has called renewed attention to that still sensitive
As an arch typical military court room drama, the story focuses attention on two attorneys defending two Gitmo Marines charged with second-degree murder in a hazing incident gone wrong.
The 1992 film “A Few Good Men,” directed by Rob Reiner and starring Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon and Jack Nicholson, is a classic of its genre that spawned the JAG TV show, and coined the phrase “You can’t handle the truth!” as a modern cliche.
However exciting Aaron Sorkin’s fictional film and the dramatic Shakespieriean theatrical play may be, the real story of two
For William Szile and John Gordon it was a pivotal point in their respective military careers, and for Szile, continues to haunt him up to and including today.
Their stories sound pretty close to the fictional incident of the movie and play, as Szile was in charge of the USMC prison at Guatanamo when he was ordered to remove the body of a Cuban national, suspected of being a spy, who died suspiciously on the base. It probably would have been an open and shut case against Szile except for the fact that the other marine accused with him was a Medal of Honor recipient.
Szile was a home grown
Just after the disastrous
Among the records relapsed under the JFK Assassinations Records Act (of 1992) is a Congressional committee report from Mason Cargill; Subject: JOHN GORDON, which reads: "The following is Gordon’s story. A few days after the
"At one briefing by officers from a certain office within the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), he was told that there was a Cuban national who lived on our base at Guantanamo and was an employee of the Navy who was willing and able to assassinate Fidel Castro. His name was Alonzo Gonzalez. One of the officers who told him this was Lt. James Carr. Another’s name was Day, although Gordon does not remember his first name or rank."
"Gordon arrived in
"Sometime, in July 1961 Gordon discovered that dynamite had been brought into the base surreptitiously. He suspected Gonzalez of doing this and immediately telephoned the base commander to suggest that Gonzalez be arrested. According to Gordon, less than one hour after his telephone call to the base commander he himself was arrested by the Shore Patrol and placed in the psychiatric ward of the base hospital. After several days at this hospital he was transferred to
"In 1969, Gordon says he wrote to the new Secretary of the Navy requesting an appointment to inform him of the Gonzalez episode. Shortly after writing this letter, Gordon was confined to the
"He also admitted that he had no evidence that any domestic
Mary Ferrell, who maintained files on JFK assassination subjects, Comments: "DOB:
Since Gordon approached the wrong committee with his information, it doesn't appear anything was done, despite Gordon's attempt to seek redemption.
Szili, William A. – USMC.
Szili's story is even more bizarre, if that's possible.
Bill Szili is tired of hearing about it, and it irks him that it seems we haven’t learned anything from history.
Szili’s company commander, Captain Arthur J. Jackson, shot and killed a Cuban while escorting him off the base for being in a restricted area, an ammunition dump. The Cuban, Ruben Lopez, a bus driver on the base, who commuted to his job from nearby
Arthur J. Jackson wasn’t just another USMC Captain, he had earned the Congressional Medal of Honor in combat during World War II, and was one of the most highly regarded soldiers in the military service.
JACKSON, ARTHUR J.
Rank and organizations:
When the details of the incident concerning the violent death of a Cuban spy at
Before leaving the service however, both Jackson and Szili had been held under guard in the psychiatric ward of the base hospital and likewise later at Camp Lejeune, NC, and were required to sign statements verifying they understood that if they ever spoke about the incident, they could face fines of up to $10,000 and 10 years imprisonment under the Espionage and Sabotage Act.
In the end, none appeared before a military or civil court (the shooting having occurred outside the base) and all left with honorable discharges, with Szili being the only one to eventually speak out.
Szili returned home to
Szili was working for Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Company at the time the story broke in the media (Apr/May '63). According to newspaper accounts, Szili left the Marines in March, 1962.
In a telephone interview with Bill Kelly [ –
Does he see the irony today? "Yes I do (Laugh). Oh, yea. My first tour of duty at
As for Castro, Szili says, "He’s giving, six, seven, eight presidents a hard time."
Concerning Schweiker's cancelation of the scheduled committee hearing on his case, Szile said, "I don’t know. Schweiker was just an opportunist. Hell no, he didn't help at all. All he did was to take over the Armed Services Committee when he became a Senator. He just made sure he got in print."
"I got an honorable discharge, but, yea, I didn’t want to leave. All they wanted to do was to hide this thing. And that’s exactly what they did."
Having kept it under wraps all this time, I asked Szili if he was still upset about it, to which he responded, "Well, the Commandant at the time was David Shoup and he said, “Time heals all wounds,” and he’s full of shit too." (Laugh)
What about Fred Korth, the Secretary of the Navy?
"Nobody went to bat for us. I have no idea what happened to anybody. I was held incommunicado for quite awhile. Everybody kind of disappeared. After I left the corps, I...I tried to...keep the family together, you know, took jobs here and there, and finally got into country club management."
Now can you handle that?
[Thanks to Greg Parker and Robert Howard for research assistance on this story]