Law & Order (1990) s15e01 Episode Script


NARRATOR: In the criminal justice system the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups, the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.
These are their stories.
Smell of it makes me gag.
Did you see how much ketchup she slathered onto that thing? Wilson should put out a memo.
If you're going to bring take-out back to the office, it should cost more than a buck ninety-nine.
What time is it? We'd better get busy.
We had better! Oh, red! Oh, that is what I am talking about! (LAUGHS) I thought you'd like (GASPS) Son of a bitch.
We're babysitting the two lovebirds upstairs.
How'd they get in here? They walked right in.
Building management said the law firm that rented this floor went bust about six months ago.
The last lawyer out should have locked the door behind him.
You working this solo? No.
My new partner didn't show up.
Must be some glitch at One PP.
They say who it is? Some dude named Fontana.
Bronx Homicide.
Don't know him.
Sweet move for him, though.
Yeah, the dude must have had some kind of hook.
They left her like this? Nice and peaceful looking, huh? Yeah, except for the blood.
Any ID? Nothing on the body.
Nothing in the office, either.
Where are her shoes? Soles of her feet are clean, so she didn't walk in here without them.
Cross painted on her chest in blood.
Looks like we're dealing with some religious nut.
We canvassed every office in the high-rise.
I couldn't make her as an employee, or a client.
A big office building like They do, in the lobby.
I have the tapes.
But there's hundreds of people walking in and out of there.
(KNOCKING ON DOOR) Can I help you? I'm Fontana.
Oh, hey! Anita Van Buren.
This is your new partner.
Hey, man.
Ed Green.
It's about time they gave me a partner with a little smooth.
I was just filling the Lieutenant in.
I caught a body.
Oh, great.
Give me a copy of the DD5 so I can get up to speed.
Missing Persons is still waiting on her prints, but her autopsy is ready.
It's good having you here, Fontana.
I wasn't sure if he was a cop or a wise guy.
Make it work, Ed.
There's blunt-force trauma on the left side of her head, but that didn't kill her.
Lacerations inside of her lower lip.
You know your way around a body.
Yeah, so I've been told.
She was smothered, manually.
Time of death between 10:00 and noon this morning, give or take.
Lividity indicates she wasn't moved post-mortem.
This girl's built pretty solid.
She fight back? No, there's no defensive wounds.
This is why I'm sure that she was smothered after she lost consciousness.
So where'd the blood on her clothes come from? It's not hers.
DNA lab says it's porcine.
Pig's blood? So we're looking for a guy with a pink complexion.
And a flat nose.
Help me roll her.
" Did you run her blood titers yet? Yeah.
Hepatitis, yellow fever? Smallpox, cholera.
Standard immunization cocktail for forward serving personnel.
Even money? She enlisted a couple of years ago.
Good kid, decent family background.
Pretty tough, too.
I mean, she could handle herself if she had to.
Did she have a beef with somebody in your unit? No.
We were in Iraq for ayear.
The 713th is a Military Police Unit.
We rotated out four months ago.
Your unit see any action? Nothing major.
We were stationed in Baghdad.
What a head game that was.
Tell me about it.
I was in Saigon.
Shiites, Sunnis, Baathists, Kurds You couldn't tell the good guys from the bad guys.
Everybody was just glad to be home.
Worst thing that happened in my company, a couple of guys flipped a Humvee.
Now this.
and Mrs.
Starr, we're very sorry for your loss.
After all your daughter did for her country, we think she deserved much better.
We'll find out who did this.
Did Lindsay live here with you? She was trying to save money for her own apartment.
That's why she joined the Reserves.
So what was Lindsay doing in Manhattan yesterday? When she left the house, she was on her way to Brooklyn to meet her boyfriend.
They were going into the city to, uh, pick up tickets Uh, Kath? Yeah, for a moonlight cruise.
She went to get the tickets at the cruise line office.
We just assumed she stayed at Donnie's last night.
What is it, Mrs.
Starr? Something was different when she came back.
I asked her if everything was all right, but she wouldn't talk to me.
She's been in a war, Kath.
You know, I'm sure Lindsay saw things.
Maybe that's it.
This is gonna seem like a strange question, but do you remember what kind of shoes she was wearing when she left? Why? Was No, no, there's no worries that way.
She was completely dressed.
Blue jeans, white blouse, but no shoes.
White blouse? Lindsay had on a black T-shirt when she left the house.
I made a list of all the tenants at 55 Morris.
There ain't no cruise line company in that building.
Obviously she puts on the blouse over her T-shirt between here and downtown.
Her boyfriend's.
Uh, Lindsay came over here yesterday, first thing in the morning.
For what? Uh, I was supposed to take the train with her into Manhattan to pick up these booze cruise tickets, but then the cable guy showed up.
Is she okay? Can you tell us about the cruise tickets? Lindsay, uh, got a letter.
Some company was throwing a party on a boat to honor the troops who served in Iraq.
They were giving away tickets.
Did Lindsay change clothes at your place yesterday? No.
Why? Lindsay was killed in Manhattan yesterday.
What? We're sorry to have to break it to you like this, but Oh, my God.
All right, Donnie? Donnie? I want you to listen to me, okay? Right now, you have to pull yourself together, because we have questions we have to ask you.
Was everything okay with Lindsay? She have any problems? Was anybody bothering her? I don't know.
She was acting a little weird, lately.
What do you mean, "weird"? Like, stressed.
Her boss was a real jerk.
I figured it was something at work.
She didn't show up to work today.
Not even a phone call.
Any reason she might not want to come in? No.
I give her herjob back after she's away for a year, and this is how she repays me.
That's big of you, after she went to Iraq and put her ass on the line.
It wasn't for me.
You live here, don't you? Look, I just gave her a raise to $9.
50 an hour, as much as my full-time girls.
Hey, man, do your employees have lockers back there? This is Lindsay's.
You sure this is legit? Oh, yeah.
We're authorized.
Ain't that much in here.
Got some magazines.
Change of clothes.
Nothing in the pockets.
Hold on a second, would you? Miss Starr has a checking account at this branch.
She came in a few months ago and rented a box.
Just the envelope.
ED: Damn! FONTANA: Oh, baby.
That looks like Abu Ghraib prison.
My God.
I don't remember seeing these photos in the newspaper.
This must be Corporal Starr's own private stash.
We should get these dusted and show them to the Lou.
The cell block in these photos looks exactly like the ones in the media.
I say we show these to the Feds right away and get confirmation that it is Abu Ghraib.
I'm not so sure we want to do that yet.
Really? Why not? There aren't just grunts in these pictures.
Two bars? This woman's a captain.
And one of these guys is in civilian clothes.
Who knows who he is? Are you suggesting that the military has something to do with our body? I'm not ruling it out.
I didn't realize I got transferred into the local chapter of Amnesty International.
A murdered soldier put these pictures in a safe deposit box, now what does that tell you? That she was waiting for the right buyer to come along? More likely she was worried she'd get the same treatment as the other guards at Abu Ghraib.
Like the girl with the leash? And the general the Army scapegoated.
A female officer in charge of hundreds of Muslim prisoners.
Well, I happen to think that the whole thing is blown way out of proportion.
A few snapshots show up on the Internet, and everybody is oh-so-surprised that these things go on! Just business as usual? For your information, Lieutenant, Muslims and Christians have been going at it for a thousand years.
Look, we could sit here and argue politics all day long, but there's still gonna be a dead girl in the morgue.
So, the Lieutenant, is she always that way? What way? Do you know that I worked for the first female captain on the Chicago Police Department? That couldn't have been easy.
It wasn't that bad.
(CHUCKLES) No, I mean for her.
(CHUCKLING) But, uh, Van Buren, she does have a good rep? Mmm-hmm.
That's why you transferred? Well, let's just say that my last boss and me, we We had some problems.
Anything I should know about? No.
Nothing that would affect you.
Look, all I want is for the three of us to get off on the right foot.
That's all I want.
Can't think of any reason why we wouldn't.
So how long were you in Vietnam? I wasn't.
So this booze cruise letter lures the girl into the building.
You know, a lot of these Reserve companies have their own websites.
You know, families sending messages to their kids overseas, reaching out to other military families.
So any Tom, Dick, or Abdullah can come up with her address.
All right, look, I gotta meet somebody.
See you tomorrow.
You should've seen this dude.
I mean, he had a knot the size of my fist.
Yeah, with an attitude to match.
So what's the 411 on him? Works hard, plays hard.
Sound familiar? Yeah.
Yeah, but they didn't give me a choice, Ed.
I'd like you to see this.
The Middle Ages.
Yeah, it's nice, isn't it? You know the History Channel's running a special on this? And this is the burial pose of a knight from the 13th century crusade of Frederick ll.
White tunic, red cross.
These knights were considered soldiers of the Church.
Once they pledged to join the crusade and fight the infidels, they were exempt from civil jurisdiction and their property couldn't be taxed.
Membership had its privileges.
Damn, you seem to know a lot about this.
There were a lot of Italian knights.
So, who would pose a dead corporal to look like a crusader? Somebody who wasn't so happy about what she had in those pictures.
Or someone who wanted to make it look that way.
Come on, Lieutenant.
You still can't believe that this is a government conspiracy? Look, I'm not saying the CIA killed Kennedy.
Maybe just a soldier from her Military Police Unit who wanted to keep a lid on this.
Starr's commanding officer was really vague about their tour in Iraq.
And he didn't mention one word about Abu Ghraib.
Any progress in your investigation? FONTANA: Yeah, quite a bit, actually.
Look, it would help us to know more about what the 713th did in Iraq.
I have to say, that's none of your business.
Colonel, we know your unit was in Abu Ghraib.
Is that what this is about? I'm a retired Suffolk County Corrections Captain.
We were transferred from Gitmo because I have experience with Muslim prisoners.
This kind of experience? Your corporal brought these war souvenirs home.
I don't have to defend my company to a couple of local cops.
You're not in charge here.
This was combat.
Stuff happens.
This stuff ain't supposed to happen.
Don't tell me you guys never crossed the line.
Look, Colonel, the reason why we have rules of interrogation is so that when our guys get captured, this don't happen to them.
You seen any burnt corpses hanging from bridges? Any heads being hacked off? Like they did to Nicholas Berg and Daniel Pearl? are High Value Targets.
What about the other 2%? If they're innocent, they get released.
Now maybe you can tell me what this has to do with Corporal Starr's murder? What if one of your ex-prisoners came out looking for a little revenge? Fair enough.
I'll get you a list.
Tuesday morning, I was here.
I work the day, my partner works the night.
Is there anybody here that can verify that? Many customers.
Why do you want to know this? Do you have any family in Iraq? My mother, my father, and my three brothers.
Any of your brothers ever in Abu Ghraib? Yes.
And I was there, also.
Since the war? Saddam put me there.
Four years.
Bring him to me, and I'll show you whatjustice is.
I'm sure your brother feels the same way about the Americans who locked him up.
(CHUCKLES) Any Iraqi would rather be in ajail run by the Americans than ajail run by Saddam.
The only mistake you made was not burning Abu Ghraib to the ground.
So how'd your brother get out? He and his neighbor were arrested together.
Lucky for Kamel, his neighbor had a relative who works for Safwan Oil.
Big U.
company in Iraq.
What's this neighbor's name? Mohammed.
Well, that should narrow things down.
Safwan Oil ain't no big U.
company I ever heard of.
Your point? Drexel Oil's corporate headquarters are in 55 Morris.
Drexel has a substantial equity interest in Safwan Oil.
And we have several directors on their board.
Did your company intervene on behalf of a prisoner at Abu Ghraib recently? Well, I'm aware of one such situation.
An employee here had a relative in detention whom he insisted was innocent.
And who might that be? I think I might want to run this past our lawyers.
Oh, absolutely.
Go right ahead.
(sums) Jeff Harrington.
He's one of our project engineers.
The floor below this one.
My brother-in-law was arrested by an American patrol in Baghdad.
Took two months before we knew he was in Abu Ghraib.
"We" meaning? My wife's from Iraq.
So, what happened with your brother-in-law? Well, Nadira's family insisted it was a mistake, and I started making calls to our contacts in Baghdad.
They finally got to the right people in military command and Mohammed was released.
You don't sound too thrilled about it.
He was killed by a car bomb about three months ago.
Was he a target? No, no.
He was waiting in line, you know, minding his own business.
Did he have any problems while he was in Abu Ghraib? You mean was he abused? You can't help but hear about what was going on over there.
He would have said something to Nadira if he was.
I met Jeff when our companies collaborated on a drilling project in Kuwait.
So not much oil exploration here on Long Island.
I'm a housewife now.
You have relatives here? No, my family's in Baghdad.
Must be tough.
With telephones and e-mail, it's not so bad.
I can still talk to them.
Your husband told us about your brother, Mohammed.
Please accept our condolences.
Thank you.
He also told us that he was in Abu Ghraib.
Did they abuse him there? "Abuse.
" You mean torture.
Well, I read about it.
It didn't sound too bad to me.
No, they didn't "abuse" him, as you say.
So there were no hard feelings on that score? My brother was killed.
By insurgents.
You invade our country and you don't give us safety.
You protect our oil fields, but people are dying on the street.
So, Mrs.
Harrington, where were you Tuesday morning? In Brooklyn.
To shop for food.
On Atlantic Avenue? Yes.
Which stores? I don't know.
I walk from one to the next, I don't write down their names.
Excuse me, sir, were you working Tuesday morning? I am the owner.
I'll take that as a "yes.
" Are these pork chops? This is not a store for Muslims.
Any other store on the block.
Did you see this woman in here Tuesday morning? Yes.
She was here.
I sold her a pint of pig's blood.
For an old Assyrian recipe.
Thank you, sir.
VAN BUREN: We've got a serious situation here, Mrs.
We have videotape of you entering and exiting the building where Corporal Starr was murdered.
She was a soldier who was guarding your brother while he was in prison.
She was found dead, with a cross on her chest painted in pig's blood.
And we have a shopkeeper who said you purchased pig's blood on the day of the murder.
And what's a nice Muslim woman doing with pig's blood? You don't have to talk to us, Mrs.
It's okay.
My name is Nadira Latif Harrington.
I was born on April 14th, 1975, and I demand to be treated as a prisoner of war.
"Docket number ”People of the State of New York ”against Nadira Harrington.
"Charge is murder in the second degree.
" JUDGE: How does she plead, Ms.
Marino? I'm not sure, Judge.
What do you mean, you're not sure? All she'll tell me is that she's a prisoner of war.
What war is she talking about? MARINO: She's Iraqi, Judge.
I'm a mujahidin.
A soldier of Islam.
JUDGE: And I'm Thurgood Marshall.
I'll take that as a not guilty.
People on bail? The victim in this case was an Army Reservist who was found manually suffocated and posed in a ritualistic manner.
We're charging this as a hate crime, YourHonoL I didn't realize Army Reserves was a protected class.
Her own statements here in court indicate this incident had religious motivations.
If she sincerely believes she's a soldier of God, she might kill again.
Remand the defendant.
And I'm ordering a 730 exam to cover my back.
She came back fit on the 730.
We can put her in the building with the pig's blood and a white shirt, and her brother was in Abu Ghraib guarded by Lindsay Starr's unit.
It's a very strong circumstantial case.
So, this "prisoner of war" gimmick is a Hail Mary.
I don't think it's a gimmick.
There is a war going on.
Look, maybe discretion's the better part of valor.
We could just turn her over to the Department of Defense.
Get ajury trial in New York City under the U.
Do we want captured American soldiers being tried in Islamic civilian courts, Jack? I don't do politics, Serena.
Yeah, well, we started this mess by invading her country.
I thought this was her country.
Iraq really doesn't have anything to do with the case we're prosecuting.
Thanks for the heads up.
Clerk's office.
Nadira Harrington's got new counsel.
Yeah, well, if they're smart, they'll want a deal.
Bernie Adler.
You expect me to drop to my knees and beg you to deal this out? The show of submission won't be necessary.
I know you've just been retained, but I can assure you, we've got a very strong case.
Pig's blood and videotape notwithstanding, what you have, Jack, is a very short case.
SERENA: We have at least a dozen witnesses.
Short, because there is no jurisdiction.
This was the murder of one New Yorker by another New Yorker in a Morris Street office building.
Assuming everything you think you can prove is true, that situation's covered by the Geneva Conventions.
What does your client want, Bernie? A one-way ticket to Guantanamo Bay? A stockade at Fort Dix is better than 25-to-life, and she'll be free to go once we're out of Iraq.
You will be getting my motion.
A soldier who kills an enemy soldier in a war cannot be prosecuted.
Article 87 of the Third Geneva Convention holds that captured soldiers cannot be punished for acts of war.
Therefore, this court has no jurisdiction over this homicide.
Neither the victim nor the defendant were soldiers.
The victim was a Reservist.
Who was inactive.
But likely to be called back to duty in my client's homeland.
The one this country invaded and occupies.
Are you seriously expecting me to rule that she is a combatant, Mr.
Adler? In April of this year, Imam Saddoun in Fallujah issued a fatwa calling upon Muslims to resist the occupation of Iraq by killing foreign invaders.
That Imam is one man in a mosque, not a sovereign nation.
But his followers believe they're engaged in jihad, a holy war.
Article Two of the Convention, Judge.
A captured member of a resistance movement, even a volunteer, merits the protections afforded to prisoners of war.
Yes, but the Article goes on to state that the fighter must have a commander, some kind of uniform, carry arms openly.
Jose Padilla, Judge, the alleged dirty bomber? A citizen of the United States who we're holding as an enemy combatant.
Where's his weapon? What army is he affiliated with? What's good for the goose.
Granted, the face of war has changed since these conventions were ratified 50-odd years ago, Mr.
Adler, but I am having a hard time buying this.
On the day she was killed, Lindsay Starr could not have perceived that she was engaged in a war.
Under the Geneva Convention, there must be a perception by not one but two adversaries that they are engaged in conflict.
It takes two to tango, Mr.
I applaud you for your creativity, but I am not giving upjurisdiction over this case.
The defendant will stand trial for murder.
Closer than you thought, Jack? More like the Yankees and the Red Sox.
It's inevitable the Red Sox won't be there when it counts, but they still have to play all the games.
Jack! A rousing day in court, don't you think? I'd hate to see you when you win.
Any second thoughts about a plea? Plea? We might be willing to withdraw the hate enhancement.
No, I don't think so.
I'm having way too much fun.
You get to try my client, but now I get to try the war.
What's Adler got up his sleeve? He lost his jurisdictional motion.
Now he'll frame it for a jury.
Corporal Starr's murder was justified because Nadira Harrington was defending her country.
Add in the emotional component that her brother was tortured by Starr's unit, and you've got a pretty potent one-two punch.
It's an appeal forjury nullification is what it is.
Which could work.
Most people I know aren't that happy about what happened at Abu Ghraib.
Well, neither am I.
But I'm also not happy about American kids in flag-draped coffins.
Muslims sit on juries, too, Arthur.
Nobody condones the actions of these overzealous soldiers.
But Abu Ghraib is a distraction from the real problem.
I mean, radical fundamentalists are waging a world war.
They've attacked innocent civilians in the four corners of the globe.
Africa, Bali, Madrid, New York City.
You make it sound so hopeless.
This all started long before 9/11.
JACK: The lslamists have their longstanding grudges.
They can't accept our presence in the Arab Peninsula, our Middle East Policy, our pre-emptive offensive in Iraq.
I think that's a cover.
They hate our way of life and our freedoms.
Now this is their war on modernism and Western civilization.
So the strategy is to scare the jury to death? Trust me, the fear is already there.
We can't have Iraqi assassins roaming the streets of New York executing Americans.
I still think we should have handed her over to the military.
We could have just ducked the whole issue instead of trying to set policy.
And I can't believe I have pusillanimous pussy-footers on my own staff! I don't think Spiro Agnew is the person to be quoting here, Arthur.
If the shoe fits.
But, if we're both still talking about Iraqi assassins, it means it's time for a press conference.
Tomorrow at 9:00.
Now, you're free to stand behind me on the stage with Jack, or you're free to stay in your office.
As you all know, we are in the midst of one of the most important criminal trials of the last 50 years.
Unfortunately, there has been much speculation and misinformation about this case.
Ladies and gentlemen, Arthur Branch.
BRANCH: Thank you, Mayor.
I'll have a brief statement and then I'll take a few questions.
The People of the State of New York are prosecuting Nadira Harrington, a United States citizen and resident of the State of New York, for the murder of Lindsay Starr, a United States citizen and resident of the State of New York.
Ail U.
citizens and all residents of New York State are bound by the same laws, regardless of race, religion, or national origin.
Racial, religious, and sectarian violence are an unfortunate fact of daily life in this country and around the world.
Now, the law cannot control people's hearts and minds, but it can and must hold people accountable for their actions.
For this is one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.
Any questions? (REPORTERS CLAMORING) Steve? Are you saying you're doing God's work in this case? Well, I fully expect God to deal with Mrs.
Harrington at some future date.
But, uh, we're dealing with man's work here.
(CLAMORING CONTINUES) Kathy? You can quote the pledge, but everyone here knows we're involved in a religious war.
That there's ajihad against the United States.
BRANCH: Irrelevant and immaterial to the matter at hand.
I think it's important to keep in mind as Americans that, at some point, our parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents came here, raised their right hand, just as Nadira Harrington did and pledged allegiance to this flag.
End of story.
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.
(ALL CLAMORING) The 713th went active in the run-up to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
We were then assigned a cell block in Abu Ghraib prison, Baghdad.
I show you what's been previously introduced as People's Exhibit 14, "A" through What's happening in these pictures? Detainees are being prepped for their interrogation with M.
, that's Military Intelligence, by soldiers under my command.
Was the defendant's brother, Mohammed Latif, one of your detainees? Yes.
Did Lindsay Starr participate in the prepping of these detainees? Absolutely.
If she hadn't, she would have been in dereliction of duty.
Nothing further.
Why is this prisoner naked, Colonel? This was a method of softening detainees before their interrogation.
Women's panties on their heads to, uh, humiliate them? It's a non-invasive technique.
Let's talk about the invasive ones.
How long was this man in a hood attached to his cell in that position? Our orders from M.
were to set physical and mental conditions favorable to the interrogation of these detainees.
ADLER: A euphemism for torture.
DANBURY: We humiliated them.
But we didn't cut their heads off while they were alive.
You're excusing this conduct, Colonel? It's textbook interrogation technique to find the enemy's hot button.
I will grant you, a handful of my soldiers went a little too far, but they were under enormous stress.
ADLER: Like my client.
How would he know that, Your Honor? These prisoners were arrested because they were trying to kill people.
This was a war.
Don't we have rules of war? Rules of engagement? Yeah, we do! But in case you haven't noticed, the enemy doesn't follow those rules.
And that makes this acceptable? Have you ever seen the carnage from a car bomb? A child with his arms sheared off? A soldier's face split open like awatermelon? These are the people who plan when and where the next one is gonna happen.
So the ends justify the means, Colonel? You wanna go home, you wanna tuck your kids in, not have to think about the fact that there's some guy in Riyadh, or Jersey City, that's right, a Muslim guy.
To hell with this PC crap.
Some Muslim who's trying to figure out a way to blow up the subway little Johnnie rides on every morning.
You want security, but you don't want to know about what it takes to get it.
I'd put panties on every head in Abu Ghraib prison if I thought it would save one innocent life.
I met my wife when Drexel Oil sent me on a drilling project in Kuwait.
JACK: Did you marry her here or there? Here.
Because her family didn't approve? Objection.
I request permission to treat the defendant's husband as a hostile witness.
As far as I know, her family was fine about it.
Is it fair to say your wife wasn't happy with her life in the suburbs? No, she was very content.
You don't have children.
What did your wife do all day? Nadira likes to cook, she reads several newspapers, she's very interested in current events.
Like the situation in Iraq? Her younger brother was in Abu Ghraib prison.
Turning your attention to the day in question, Mr.
Harrington, did Nadira visit you in your office at 55 Morris Street? Yes, as she had many times.
Enough times to know about the vacant office? Objection.
Did your wife wear this blouse that day? I don't remember.
Nothing further.
Now, Jeff, Nadira chose to come here voluntarily five years ago? JEFF: Yes, that's correct.
Did she ever say it was a mistake, that she wanted to go back? No, absolutely not.
She loves this country.
Still? Well, Nadira was never very political, but she was very upset about what was happening back home.
She started going to a mosque.
I remember I came home one day and she had CNN on and she was just sitting there, crying.
One of our planes had dropped a bomb on the neighborhood she grew up in and the building she lived in was a pile of rubble.
And then her brother Mohammed was arrested and sent to Abu Ghraib prison? My company managed to get him out.
Three months later, he was dead.
Was theirs a close relationship? Nadira and I can't have children.
When she found out that Mohammed had been killed, she said she felt like they'd taken away her only son.
By "they," did she mean the Americans or the insurgents, Jeff? I was afraid to ask.
How'd your hostile witness go? We needed him to put the defendant in the building and he did.
The only thing missing was a solo violin.
Well, remind the jury there's a grieving family in Queens and a dead girl who went to Iraq for a noble cause.
Not everyone feels that way.
We deposed a mini-Stalin who tortured and slaughtered hundreds of thousands of his own people.
Who attacked Kuwait and gassed the Kurds.
So why didn't we go in years ago? And what about the genocides in Rwanda and the Sudan? How many oil wells does Rwanda have? There's no oil in Bosnia or Kosovo.
We intervened to keep Muslims from being massacred.
We go in, we get criticized, we don't go in, we get criticized.
And it usually backfires.
We helped the Afghans fight the Russians and they became the Taliban.
We went into Iraq against the wishes of the international community and it turns into a quagmire.
When was the last time the international community did anything other than hold our coats? I mean, we're the poster kids for schadenfreude until they need us.
I'm just giving you the heads up that your poster girl for patriotism is about to be portrayed as a torturer.
Which establishes motive.
This wasn't political.
It was payback.
After my brother was released from Abu Ghraib, I spoke to him four times on the telephone.
Did he tell you what happened to him? He said he was with a friend in Sadr City.
Their taxi was stopped.
The soldiers accused them of being informants for the insurgents.
And then they were taken to Abu Ghraib.
Did Mohammed describe the conditions there? Yes.
When he arrived, they asked him to remove all of his clothing.
He said he couldn't do this, because he was a Muslim.
So a female soldier took a knife and cut off his clothing.
Then She touched his penis and laughed.
One time one of the guards made him lie on the floor, naked.
They ordered him to sing the Iraqi national song, and as he was singing, they put a stick into his rectum.
If he stopped, they said they would push it in further.
Uh, Nadira? Nadira? Do you need to, uh, take a moment? It is hard for me to say these things because of my faith.
Three months after he was released, Mohammed was waiting in line, and a man blew up a car and he was killed.
Can you, uh, tell us how you met Corporal Starr? My brother said that the soldiers in Abu Ghraib wore tape over their names, but one name he heard was Starr.
And he knew that these soldiers came from New York, so I found Starr's address on the Internet.
I thought I wanted to meet this woman.
I needed to look into her eyes and ask her why she did what she did to my brother.
So what did you do? I wrote her a letter to go to my husband's building, to pick up some tickets.
ADLER: Which was a trick? Yes, to get her to come.
And you brought pig's blood? To throw on her.
To shame her, like she shamed my brother and my family.
What happened after Corporal Starr arrived? She came in and saw me.
I told her who I was, but she tried to leave.
Then we were grabbing at each other, and she threw me on the floor.
There was a pipe next to me.
I picked it up and hit her with it.
Then she was dead.
Like my brother.
No further questions.
I, too, am sorry for your loss, Mrs.
I'm sure what happened to your brother was devastating.
Yes, it was.
Do you feel guilty because you weren't there with him? No.
I'm sure you're angry about how he was treated? Yes, I was very angry.
Wouldn't you be if it happened to someone you loved? Did you do anything about your anger? Like what? Talk to a therapist, get involved in the anti-war movement? No.
You just decided to track down one of the soldiers that tortured your brother? Yes.
You sent her an invitation to a phony party honoring American veterans? I wanted to make sure she would come.
And on the day you killed her, you bought a pint of pig's blood.
To shame her.
You also brought with you a white blouse to use as a funeral tunic, because you planned to kill her.
Isn't it a fact that after you struck Lindsay Starr with a pipe, after she was unconscious, you put your hands over her nose and mouth until her heart stopped beating? Because she Because of what she did to my country! Which is it, Mrs.
Harrington, your brother or your country? You said you came to help us.
But to help us, you need to respect us, and all Americans do is bring shame.
You break down our doors.
You throw us on the ground and you put your feet on our necks.
You search our women.
You humiliate our men.
And you say to the world that you are the guardians of freedom? But we see what you do.
Look at what you do.
And what did you do, Mrs.
Harrington? Close your eyes and imagine this picture Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard controls the streets of New York.
They break into your house.
They grab your son, or your husband, or your brother.
They take him to Rikers Island, where they accuse him of opposing the occupation of his own country.
And then, after months of systematically humiliating, abusing, and torturing him, they shove a broomstick up his rectum.
Your religious leaders tell you to resist the occupation, to kill the invaders if you have the chance.
And then And then you find out that one of the guards who mistreated your loved one is living right around the corner, and is gonna go back and do it again, and again, and again.
Shouldn't you do whatever you can to stop him? Lindsay Starr didn't deserve to die.
She was no longer a soldier.
She worked in a supermarket.
She was lured into a deserted office and ambushed.
And while Nadira Harrington's misfortunes might explain her actions, they can't excuse coldblooded retribution for the abuse of her brother.
If Corporal Starr's conduct at Abu Ghraib exceeded military or international standards, we have, in our civil society, procedures to redress those wrongs, if wrongs they be.
Yes, the processes are slow, messy, uneven, but Nadira Harrington had choices to vote, to sue, to advocate for justice.
Instead, she opted for blood feud, and the end product of blood feud is chaos.
Our history books are rife with examples of religious zealots of all stripes, Christians, Muslims, Jews, twisting their faith's fundamental morality to accommodate a personal or political agenda.
Neither rationale justifies killing.
A highest moral law in our culture is, "Thou shalt not kill.
" And where we live, killing in the name of God, country, or brother, is still called murder.
JUDGE: I have a note from the jury that you've reached a verdict? We have, Your Honor.
How do you find? We find the defendant, Nadira Latif Harrington, guilty of murder in the second degree.
Alex, what does The New York Times want to know? Whether the verdict's a win for the war against terrorism.
No, this only qualifies as a meaningless skirmish in that war.
But it was a huge win for truth, justice, and the American way of life.
Thank you.