Originally Posted by DrCosmic
Military orders involve evacuating to a safe distance. Apparently Fury just picked a random number, in faith that it would work, and Hill called him on it, and said the tesseract should be the focus. Fury, as we would soon see, was on his way to focus on the tesseract. That's called agreement: regardless of who thought of it first, they had the same plan of action in mind. Your bias is causing you to block out that dialogue and imagine an inactive plan of action that Hill never suggested. Your word choice shows your bias even more sharply.
Where in that scene did Fury even cite a numerical distance to which he felt the base's personnel should evacuate, much less some "random number," as you stated? He never said, "Go x number of feet/yards/miles to get clear of the blast radius." In fact, it was Agent Coulson
who gave the order for personnel to evacuate, and he did so off-screen, so a distance was never specified. We don't know whether or not Selvig and the team of scientists had given an estimated safe distance or even whether a specific distance was ever given at all. You pulled that "random number" business out of the air because it never happened at all in the film.
You seem to favor Fury's stance, making "sure bets" not only with no info, but that conflict with known information (Fury cussed out the WSC and defied them directly, losing Phase II in an emergency evac doesn't even chart). It worked out for him though but if you thought it worked out "of course" then we simply watched different films and can end our discussion here. I think you're confusing everything working out in Fury's favor with his point of view making any sense at the time. Avengers was a miracle, and you're trying to make Hill out to be a villain or unintelligent for not betting on them from the start. Perhaps if she knew she was in a movie where the good guys always win, I could understand that.
Fury followed his beliefs over military protocol and any other moral responsibility. Any responsible XO would have reported him.
Yes, Fury cursed and defied the WSC, but do you even recall when and under what circumstances he told them that they had "a stupid-ass plan"? Let me refresh your memory: It was when they told him that they planned to drop a nuclear weapon on Manhattan, an island with 8 million residents, because they lost their **** over the Chitauri invasion. The WSC panicked and committed a war crime by using weapons of mass destruction against a civilian population. The nuke wouldn't have closed the portal anyway, since it was impervious to all forms of energy, so they would have slaughtered millions of people for nothing. Had Fury not defied the Council's order to destroy Manhattan and gotten Stark to intercept the nuke, all would have been lost. So sure, Fury cursed and defied a group of wannabe war criminals who were ****ting their pants over a crisis which they had done nothing to help avert. He was thoroughly justified in doing so.
Fury's plan to recruit the various heroes into the Avenger Initiative did make sense at the time he implemented it. He stated numerous times that SHIELD had become aware of the existence of beings with super powers on Earth. Some of those individuals had already caused massive problems. Johann Schmidt, Stane, Vanko, Emil Blonsky and the Destroyer had all come and gone, leaving devastation in their wake. Conventional weapons and soldiers had proven ineffective against superpowered menaces (the military was powerless to stop Blonsky, for instance). Fury, reasoning that there were other, perhaps bigger threats still lurking, chose to assemble the individuals who had been successful in defeating the criminals/villains/enemies who had already appeared so that they could fight those potential future threats. That's not "faith-based" decision making, it's advance planning to counter a threat that had already arisen more than once.
It should also be noted that the WSC's brilliant plan to create weapons based on the Tesseract was what led Thanos to turn his attentions upon the Earth. So not only was the Phase Two research futile, it also placed humanity in incredible peril. They couldn't have known that would happen, but still, it makes Fury's plans seem all the more reasonable and even prescient. Had Fury not assembled the Avengers, Loki and his army would have overrun the Earth. That wasn't the result of luck but of planning, as the "freaks" Hill and the Council were so disdainful of saved humanity.