"You can't handle the truth!"
Description - The angry put-down of Jack Nicholson as Marine Colonel Nathan R. Jessep in the motion picture A Few Good Men (1994).
In the film, Colonel Jessep is responsible for approving the cover-up of a recruit named William Santiago who accidentally died during a hazing.
At the trial investigation, Colonel Jessep takes the stand and when pressured to give the truth about the recruit’s death, Jessep yells:
“You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg?"
"I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall."
"We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand at post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.”
Later in the trial, Lt. Kaffee (Tom Cruise) persists, “Did you order the code red?” and Jessup lets loose his fury.
“Your damn right I did!...I’m being charged with a crime? I’m gonna rip the eyes out of your head. You give me your dead skull. You messed with the wrong Marine...You friggin’ people. You have no idea how to defend a nation. All you did was weaken a country. That’s all you did. You put people's lives in danger. Sweet dreams, son.”
“Don’t call me son,” replied, Kaffee. “I’m a lawyer and an officer in the United States Navy and you’re under arrest, you son of a bitch. The witness is excused."