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Papers >> Arts >> A Few Good Men

The Strive for Truth

Though truth is hard to come by, it must be found no matter the consequences. In the film, A Few Good Men, Daniel Kaffee makes a good example of what it is to strive to find the truth no matter how tedious or long the path is.
At first, when presented with the case, Kaffee really does not take interest and looks for the easiest route to go with. He does not want to go all the way because he is afraid of losing and not living up to the reputation of his father. JoAnne Galloway, Kaffee’s associate, wants to find the universal truth in the case and pressures Kaffee, but he still does not take interest. Kaffee continues not to take interest in the case until Jack Ross, the prosecutor, dares him to go to court saying he will lose.
Kaffee is told by Private Dawson and Private Downey that they were ordered to undertake a code red on Private Santiago, by Lieutenant Jonathan J. Kendrick. Upon arriving to Cuba to look for evidence, Kaffee is told other wise by Lieutenant Kendrick, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Markinson, and Colonel Nathan Jessep. They tell Kaffee that they specifically ordered Private Dawson and Downey not to touch Private Santiago. This new evidence, when presented to Kaffee, sparks his interest. Knowing the consequences he decides to find some truth by taunting the prideful, Colonel Jessep. Jessep is annoyed by Kaffee and his colleagues and ends their meeting.



When Kaffee returns back to Washington, he becomes more involved in the case and is commited to finding the truth. Kaffee talks to Dawson and Downey and learns of the Marine’s code of honor and how they follow with no questions asked. Private Dawson would rather go all the way and live up to his honor and truth, rather than worry about the consequences and take a short prison sentence. He wants the whole truth no matter what it cost him.
Lieutenant Kendrick is put on the witness stand, and when questioned becomes nervous and hostile. Seeing the nervousness of Kendrick, Kaffee has a feeling that Dawson and Downey are telling the truth. After buying a newspaper, Kaffee gets into his car and is surprised by Colonel Markinson. Markinson tells Kaffee shocking news that the code red was ordered by Colonel Jessep. Markinson’s confession gives Kaffee enough confidence to win the case.
When Kaffee asks Markinson to take the witness stand, Markinson refuses. Kaffee insists that Markinson take the witness stand and puts Markinson in a hotel with guards. Markinson, not wanting to be dishonored for confessing the cover up of the code red, commits suicide the night before he is to be on the witness stand. Upon hearing of Markinson’s death, Kaffee finds the path of truth hard and assures himself that they have lost the case
Kaffee’s only other hope to find the truth now was to put Jessep on the witness stand. Putting Jessep on the witness stand has very extensive consequences


though. If Jessep does not confess or there is not enough evidence to convict him, than Kaffee will be court marshalled for accusing a high-ranking officer.
Kaffee asks his associate, Sam Weinberg what his father would do in the same situation. Weinberg tells him that his father would not do it because of fear of consequence. Kaffee decides to put Jessep on the stand no matter the consequence so that he might live up to the reputation of his father.
Scared at first, Kaffee questions Jessep and gets no where until he taunts him and Jessep confesses. Colonel Jessep and Lieutenant Kendrick are arrested for illegally ordering a code red on Private Santiago. Private Dawson and Private Downey are found innocent of murder, but are dishonorably discharged for unbecoming a Marine.
Without heed to consequence, Daniel Kaffee found the entire truth to the case. Truth is only hard to come by because most are afraid of the consequences. Those that overcome that fear though, like Kaffee, show us that although the path can sometimes be long and tedious, it must be pursued no matter any consequence.



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