Season 2 – Episode 14 – “The War at Home”

Episode Summary:

After his State of the Union speech, Bartlet (Martin Sheen) boldly greenlights a daring military mission to rescue five federal drug agents taken hostage by Colombian terrorist commandos — until complications arise — while Toby (Richard Schiff) is confronted by an angry, liberal Senator (Ed Begley, Jr.) who threatens to launch a third-party run for President. Elsewhere, a frustrated Josh (Bradley Whitford) tries to conduct a poll to sample reaction to the speech which he hopes will provide support for a new gun protection law but he wonders why his assistant Donna (Janel Moloney) keeps urging him to ask out an attractive pollster (Marlee Matlin). In addition, C.J. (Allison Janney) tries to convince the host (Ted McGinley) of a TV political program to include a controversial policeman (Richard Riehle) as a guest who was the President’s invitee at his speech while Abbey (Stockard Channing) is livid with Bartlet for what he said and didn’t say in his speech.

Script:

THE WEST WING
"THE WAR AT HOME"
WRITTEN BY: AARON SORKIN
DIRECTED BY: CHRISTOPHER MISIANO

TEASER

FADE IN: EXT. WHITE HOUSE COLONNADE - NIGHT
Bartlet stands in the cold smoking. Leo enters from the Oval Office. He
gathers his suit
coat around him. Secret Service Agents line the colonnade.

LEO
Mr. President?

BARTLET
It was just three hours ago I gave the State of the Union.

LEO
Yeah.

BARTLET
Do you believe that?

LEO
[shivering] What are you doing? It's freezing out here.

BARTLET
I'm not allowed to smoke inside anymore.

LEO
I thought you were allowed to do pretty much whatever you want?

BARTLET
Up to the point where you accidentally burn holes in priceless antiques.

LEO
You should stop smoking.

BARTLET
Why?

LEO
You'll live longer.

BARTLET
I smoke two cigarettes a day.

LEO
It's a bad example.

BARTLET
For who... Russian spy satellites? [points up] George Bernard Shaw says,
"You don't live
longer, it just seems longer."

LEO
I'm not sure it was Shaw.

BARTLET
I'm not sure it was either. [looks at his watch] Is it time?

LEO
Yeah.

Bartlet takes a last drag and puts the cigarette in the ashtray. He follows
Leo in.

CUT TO: INT. SITUATION ROOM - NIGHT
Leo and Bartlet enter.

OFFICER
Ten hut!

Everyone rises. Bartlet motions them to sit.

BARTLET
Where are we? Everyone sits.

ARMY OFFICER
Sir, a C-141 with two Delta Force teams has been in the air for 85 minutes.

BARTLET
Tell me what happens when I give the order

ARMY OFFICER
They'll enter Columbian airspace.

JACK
At the same time a 19-man unit, Special Forces Alpha Team that's already on
the ground
at Tres Encinas, will head to Villa Cerreno.

BARTLET
What'll they do when they get there?

JACK
They'll hike 11 miles into the jungle and hold still.

BARTLET
Why?

LEO
It'll be daylight by then.

BARTLET
Nineteen guys are going to have to lay face down in the jungle until sunset?

JACK
That's when the hostages are going to be moved.

OFFICER
And that's when we go.

BARTLET
They're moving the hostages from where to where?

JACK
From the Tasco outpost to the Affronte Command Center.

LEO
On foot.

JACK
Yeah. 10.7 kilometers down the road there's a plateau called Mesa del
Oro. That'll give
the Deltas maximum maneuverability.

BARTLET
Code name's Cassiopeia.

JACK
Yes, sir.

BARTLET
Mickey, you look like you want to say something.

MICKEY
Yes, Mr. President. I... I think you should wait.

LEO
For what?

MICKEY
To see how negotiations continue with Guerra.

LEO
Guerra wants Aguilar out of a Columbian prison. Are there any other
circumstances under
which he's gonna give these hostages back?

MICKEY
Possibly.

LEO
Crap!

MICKEY
We know if we keep talking we're not running the risk of these hostages
getting shot
during a rescue.

LEO
What difference does it make it make if they're shot during a rescue or at
Affronte
Command at Villa Cerreno?

MICKEY
I believe we can keep them alive longer if we let them be taken to Villa
Cerreno.

BARTLET
Are we going to keep them alive longer, or is it just going to seem longer?

Mickey looks confused.

MICKEY
Sir?

BARTLET
I've been given reason to believe they'll be tortured at Villa Cerreno. They're
U.S. drug
agents. They know things these people want to know.

The Air Force officer puts down a phone.

AIR FORCE OFFICER
Sir, the C-141 is approaching Columbian airspace.

Everyone looks down the table at Bartlet. He looks at Mickey, then at Leo.

BARTLET
Go.

SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES
END TEASER
* * *

ACT ONE

FADE IN: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT

MARK [VO]
Tonight's State of the Union took 8,756 words...

CUT TO: INT. C.J.'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Officer Sloane watches the TV.

MARK [on TV]
It was second in length only to his Inaugural Address. And 75 minutes longer
than
Washington's first address to Congress.

C.J. walks quickly in.

C.J.
Officer Sloane? Would you be willing to go on television tomorrow?

She grabs the TV remote.

SLOANE
They knew how many words there were!

C.J.
In the speech?

SLOANE
Yeah.

C.J.
[turns off the TV] About 8700?

SLOANE
Yeah.

She sits on her desk.

C.J.
Would you be willing to go on TV?

SLOANE
I think I'd really rather just go home.

C.J.
This is going to be a part of the news cycle tomorrow whether you go home
or not.

SLOANE
And how do you know that?

C.J.
Roughly the same way I knew there were 8700 words in the speech. I have some
experience
at this.

SLOANE
What'll happen?

C.J.
You'll do a very quick satellite interview. [rehearsing] "What was it like
being at the
State of the Union?" "Did you meet the President"... It was a thrill and an
honor.
"Talk about your act of heroism that brought you to the attention of the
White House..."
Well, I wouldn't really call it heroism but..."Now, I understand you had
some trouble
back in the early 80's... I'm glad I have a chance to talk about that." And
you tell
your story just like you told it to me.

SLOANE
Do I wear my uniform?

C.J.
Coat and tie.

C.J. gets up and walks to the door.

C.J.
[yelling] Carol!

CAROL
[walks in] Yeah.

C.J.
Would you make sure officer Sloane gets back to his hotel?

CAROL
Yeah.

C.J. looks at Sloane and leaves.

CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S BULLPEN - NIGHT
C.J. joins a group huddled around a TV.

MARK [on TV]
I'd like to thank all our guests tonight: Henry Shallick, David Sachs,
Toby Ziegler,
Bob Woodward, Jeff Greenfield...

In the LOBBY, Mark Gottfried broadcasts from the Capitol Beat set.

MARK
... C.J. Cregg. And of course the White House for allowing us to broadcast
live from the
West Wing on this historic night. You've been watching a special expanded
edition of
Capitol Beat. I'm Mark Gottfried.

C.J. leaves the crowd in the bulllpen and walks to the LOBBY.

Mark [on TV]
Have a good night.

STAGE MANAGER
We're out.

Mark and the stage crew applaud. C.J. walks in.

MARK
Great job everybody! [takes off his mic and stands] You said 20 minutes.

C.J.
I was called in to a meeting.

They walk.

MARK
It's now 40 minutes.

C.J.
I was called in to a meeting...

MARK
At midnight?

C.J.
It's not midnight everywhere in the world, Mark!

MARK
What's the story?

C.J.
He's innocent.

Mark stops and looks at her.

MARK
You just decided?

C.J.
No, a Grand Jury, a DA and a Civil Court Judge decided 17 years ago. Nobody
brought
charges and the civil suit was dismissed.

MARK
Then why on his record?

C.J.
The Detroit police department cited him for excessive force to calm down
the black
community. It was a robbery. They were climbing through windows and jumping
over walls.
The guy's leg was already fractured when Sloane got there. He's going to do
your show
tomorrow morning.

MARK
Is he doing everybody else's show too?

C.J.
No.

MARK
Why not?

C.J.
'Cause you waited 40 minutes. [leaves]

CUT TO: INT. BALLROOM - NIGHT
The Post Address party is winding down. Toby sits alone at a table smoking
a cigar.
He looks tired and frustrated. A rumpled Sam walks up with a beer. Toby
glances at him
as he sits down.

SAM
Hey.

Toby looks at him for a moment.

TOBY
Hey.

SAM
Bill Dryer from Gillette's office called. He wants to have a meeting with
you.

TOBY
[confused] Dryer?

SAM
Gillette.

Toby rolls his eyes and sighs.

TOBY
I'll bet he wants to have a meeting with me.

SAM
Yeah.

TOBY
[smiles] It's not gonna happen.

SAM
Toby...

TOBY
It's not gonna happen.

Toby gets up and walks away. Sam follows.

TOBY
We got enough input from him during the six weeks we were writing the thing. I
don't
need to hear his...

SAM
He's very upset.

TOBY
I know.

Toby grabs a knosh off a table.

SAM
More I think than we calculated he was going to be.

TOBY
We've upset him?

SAM
Yeah.

TOBY
Well, we're going to have to learn to live with that pain.

SAM
Look...

TOBY
He's not the President of the United States. He's a junior Senator from
North Dakota
where nobody lives! Cause it's too cold and they don't have a major sports
franchise.

SAM
Do I have to lay out the ways in which this man is important to us?

TOBY
No.

SAM
He is adored by the Left.

TOBY
Stop laying out the ways.

SAM
He's our link to the Environmentalists.

TOBY
Stop laying out the ways!

SAM
Toby, asking for this meeting isn't out of line and you should take it. In
fact you
should take it tomorrow morning at 7:30 at the Hyatt.

Toby turns and looks at him.

TOBY
You set it up already?

SAM
[smiles] Just the time and place.

TOBY
[smiles] And you expect me to explain myself to him.

SAM
Yes. Yes, I do.

TOBY
[sighs] Fine.

C.J. [OS]
Toby!

TOBY
C.J.?

Toby walks off unhappily.

SAM
7:30.

Sam heads off. Toby meets up with C.J. who is walking down the hall with a
newspaper.
They walk.

C.J.
The Post is calling it [reading] "sleek, challenging, and often times witty."
Not, unlike myself.

TOBY
Who's Jack Sloane and why am I just hearing about this now?

C.J.
Sloane was the invited guest. He was the police officer.

TOBY
The one we stepped in over the weekend?

C.J.
Yeah.

TOBY
And what happened?

C.J.
A long time ago he was cited by the Detroit Police Department for excessive
force.

TOBY
Against a black suspect?

C.J.
Yeah.

TOBY
[pained] C.J..

C.J.
Toby...

TOBY
How was this guy not vetted?!

They stop walking.

C.J.
Cause he wasn't. Cause it was last minute!.

TOBY
What are you doing about it?

C.J.
Mark Gottfried's going to interview him in the morning.

TOBY
It's a bad idea.

C.J.
Why?

TOBY
Why?!

C.J.
Yeah!

TOBY
[angry] Cause blacks aren't going to react well to our supporting a brutal
cop.

C.J.
He's not a brutal cop.

C.J. walks off.

TOBY
Says you!

She quickly turns back.

C.J.
[angry] Says me, a Grand Jury, 2 Judges, the District Attorney and common
sense!

TOBY
C.J....

C.J.
It's going public anyway, Toby. Gottfried got the story on his own.

TOBY
Fine. [She turns to leave.] Where's Josh?

She turns back again.

C.J.
He went back to the phone banks.

TOBY
Is the electricity back on?

C.J.
No.

TOBY
Then what's he doing there?

C.J.
Hoping the electricity goes on.

C.J. walks off.

TOBY
[mumbles] Well that outta do it.

Toby sighs, looks at the uneaten knosh in his hand and walks away.

CUT TO: INT. NATIONAL STRATEGIES GROUP - NIGHT
Josh and Donna stand in the dark. Kerosene lanterns are set on desks.

DONNA
Josh...

JOSH
Yeah. [leans on the counter]

DONNA
[baiting] Can I tell you something about women?

JOSH
Oh God. [covers his face] Please don't...

DONNA
They like... to be wooed.

JOSH
Donna!

DONNA
She wants you to ask her out, Josh.

JOSH
She really doesn't!

DONNA
You're missing the signs.

JOSH
I'm really not!

DONNA
I know a thing or two about the ways of love.

JOSH
No, you don't.

DONNA
You're missing the signs.

JOSH
I'm thinking of firing you.

DONNA
You fired me twice already tonight. I'm impervious.

Joey and Kenny walk up.

JOEY
Josh...

JOSH
Among other things. [to Joey] Yeah?

JOEY [KENNY]
Let's pack it in. We'll start over tomorrow night.

JOSH
Why?

JOEY [KENNY]
It's already 9:30 in California. The power isn't on. We're missing half the
window.

JOSH
Joey...

JOEY
Pack it in.

Josh looks frustrated for a moment then turns to the workers.

JOSH
[yelling] Okay. Folks, we'll start over tomorrow night!

JOEY
See ya.

JOSH
Take it easy.

KENNY
Good night.

Joey and Kenny leave.

DONNA
So you have to wait another day. [starts to clean up the counter]

JOSH
I'm not good at waiting.

The workers grab their coats and leave.

DONNA
[mocking] No kidding.

JOSH
Donna... [leans on the counter]

DONNA
Why do you expect our internal polling to be any different than any other
polling?
We've got dial up groups. We've got CNN, USA Today. We've got Gallup. Why
is our poll
going to be any different?

JOSH
We're asking different questions.

DONNA
I'll get your coat. [starts to walk off] By the way, right there, back when
she said,
"see ya,"...

Josh looks up at her.

DONNA
That was a sign.

JOSH
You're fired.

DONNA
[over shoulder] Impervious!

Josh leans against the counter in the dark.

CUT TO: EXT. PORTICO - NIGHT
Bartlet sits on a bench playing chess. Leo, bundled in a long coat, walks up.

LEO
Mr. President...

BARTLET
Yeah?

LEO
You understand we've got heating inside, right?

BARTLET
This isn't cold. It's crisp.

LEO
No, it's cold.

BARTLET
Well you're a big wussie.

Leo sits on the couch and looks over the board.

LEO
Knight to King 4.

BARTLET
It'll leave the Bishop open.

LEO
You're gonna sacrifice the Bishop for the Queen's rook.

BARTLET
Where?

LEO
Four moves down.

Bartlet makes a rapid succession of moves.

BARTLET
Abbey's pretty pissed at me.

LEO
How bad?

He continues to play.

BARTLET
Pretty bad.

LEO
King's Knight 3.

Bartlet moves, then studies the board.

BARTLET
You know I have this image in my mind of the dead soldiers coming back from
Vietnam...
the caskets coming off the plane. I don't know from where.

LEO
Television.

BARTLET
[surprised] Caskets coming off the plane?

LEO
Yeah.

BARTLET
Are they down?

LEO
Yeah. Delta's landed at Tres Encinas. Alpha moved out and will be in Villa
Cerreno
at 0700.

BARTLET
Where they'll wait.

LEO
Yeah.

BARTLET
I'll see you in the morning.

LEO
Thank you Mr. President.

Leo picks up his briefcase and walks up the portico. Bartlet studies the
chessboard.

FADE OUT.
END ACT ONE
* * *

ACT TWO

FADE IN: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - DAY
WEDNESDAY MORNING

CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS
Charlie and Mrs. Landingham walk up the hall.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
Good morning, Charlie.

CHARLIE
Good morning, Mrs. Landingham.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
Did you ever solve the mystery?

CHARLIE
Of the $500 check?

MRS. LANDINGHAM
Yeah.

CHARLIE
Yes I did. I solved the mystery.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
Well what was it?

CHARLIE
[proudly] I'm a mystery solver.

They enter the OUTER OVAL OFFICE.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
That's wonderful, sweetie. What was it?

Mrs. Landingham hands Charlie her bag and hangs up her coat.

CHARLIE
Mrs. Bartlet wrote the check to a woman she read about in the paper who's
now living in
a battered women's shelter. You know why the woman never cashed the check?

MRS. LANDINGHAM
Because it was from the First Lady and she had it framed instead?

She takes back the bag and walks behind her desk.

CHARLIE
Yep. That was the mystery.

She glances at an appointment book on her desk.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
It's a good one. Does the President know he has breakfast with Josh and Sam?

CHARLIE
He's on his way.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
Good.

CHARLIE
It was a good mystery. I just think you solved it fast because I loosened
the ketchup
bottle up for you.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
[smiles sweetly] Okay.

CHARLIE
Okay.

Charlie walks over to his desk.

CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - DAY
Josh and Sam walk down the hallway.

JOSH
Can I tell you something strange?

SAM
Sure.

JOSH
[smirking] All last night at the phone banks, Donna was telling me I should
ask Joey
Lucas out.

SAM
You should. [smiles]

JOSH
Fine. But... that aside. What do you make about Donna being the one pushing...

They enter a PRIVATE DINING ROOM. A table with three place settings sits
inside.

SAM
I don't think anything.

JOSH
You wouldn't think she'd be jealous?

SAM
She goes out with guys. Are you jealous?

JOSH
No.

SAM
See.

JOSH
[quickly] I don't get jealous.

SAM
So?

JOSH
I don't like it and usually do everything within my considerable capabilities
to
sabotage it.

They sit down at the table.

SAM
Yes.

JOSH
[takes a deep breath] Which is why its curious that Donna would do nothing
to discourage
and in fact everything to do encourage a date with Joey Lucas... who, quite
frankly,
[his voice goes sky high] is a very attractive woman!

Sam stares at him.

SAM
Josh?

JOSH
Yeah.

SAM
You know your voice just got really high at the end of that.

JOSH
Yeah, sorry.

Bartlet enters carrying his coffee.

BARTLET
Hey.

They stand.

SAM
Good morning, sir.

BARTLET
Thanks for having breakfast with me.

SAM
Yes.

BARTLET
Did you order something?

SAM
No sir, we were waiting for you.

BARTLET
[loudly] Billy! [to Josh and Sam] You want scrambled eggs?

They sit. A steward, Billy, enters.

SAM
Yeah, thanks.

BILLY
Yes, sir.

BARTLET
Could we get these guys some scrambled eggs?

BILLY
Yes. Nothing for you, sir?

BARTLET
No, I'm fine.

JOSH
Then... we're fine, too.

SAM
Yeah.

BARTLET
No!

JOSH
Sir, we're fine!

BARTLET
Bring them some food, would ya?

Billy
Yes, sir. [leaves]

BARTLET
You guys understand I can't discuss with you any rescue mission that may or
may not be
in play right now?

SAM
Of course.

Bartlet scans the newspaper.

JOSH
I'm assuming State has people negotiating with Nelson Guerra?

BARTLET
Nelson Guerra wants me to tell President Santos to release Juan Aguilar from
prison.

JOSH
I wouldn't make that phone call with a gun to my head.

BARTLET
I have a gun to my head and I'm not making that phone call. I inherited the
war on drugs
from a President, who inherited it from a President, who inherited it from
a President
before that. I'm not a hundred percent sure who we're fighting but I'm sure
we're not
winning. Ten years ago we spent $5 billion fighting drugs and we did such
a good job that
last year we spent $16 billion. Sixty percent of Federal prisoners are in
jail on drug
charges as opposed to two and a half percent in jail for violent crime. We
imprison a
higher percentage of our citizens than Russia did under Communism and South
Africa under
Apartheid. Somewhere between fifty and eighty-five percent of our prison
population has a
drug or alcohol abuse problem. We've tried "just say no." I don't think it's
going to
work. [looks at his watch] I'm mentioning this because I'd like you to give
me any
thoughts you might have on the subject.

He gets up. Sam and Josh rise as he quickly leaves.

JOSH
Thank you, Mr. President.

SAM
Thank you, sir.

Sam and Josh look at each other.

CUT TO: INT. COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE - DAY
Ainsley is waiting as Sam walks in.

AINSLEY
Hello.

SAM
What are you doing here?

AINSLEY
I came in early.

SAM
Bonnie...

AINSLEY
I've been here for an hour.

SAM
[walks to Bonnie] Are we releasing the names of the agents or are we not
releasing them?

BONNIE
Yeah.

AINSLEY
You've got to give me another chance.

Sam picks up phone messages from Ginger.

SAM
At what?

AINSLEY
At meeting the President.

SAM
[reads the messages] You met the President last night.

AINSLEY
I was wearing a bathrobe.

SAM
You sat in paint!

They enter SAM'S OFFICE.

AINSLEY
[upset] I was singing and dancing!

SAM
You were happy.

AINSLEY
[upset] I threw my drink up in the air!

SAM
[walks behind his desk] Yeah, but not that much landed on your head.

AINSLEY
[upset] I looked like an idiot and it's your fault!

SAM
[looks up quickly] How is it my fault?

AINSLEY
You arranged the meeting over my express wishes.

SAM
I'm not the one who got you jumping around like Joey Heatherton.

He sits. She paces.

AINSLEY
You have to do something for me...

SAM
Arrange another introduction?

AINSLEY
You have to arrange another introduction!

SAM
Last night you were scared to meet him.

AINSLEY
[upset] And I'm still scared to meet him but I'll overcome that in order to
erase the
humiliation I have brought upon myself and my father.

SAM
You're just in your own little Euripides play over there aren't you?

AINSLEY
Please arrange another introduction.

SAM
Fine.

AINSLEY
Really!

SAM
Yes.

AINSLEY
[relieved] Thank you. [rushes out]

CUT TO: INT. WASHINGTON, D.C. HYATT RESTAURANT - DAY
Toby and SETH GILLETTE eat breakfast in the crowded restaurant.

SETH GILLETTE
You should've given me a heads up on the blue ribbon, Toby.

TOBY
Seth...

GILLETTE
You should've given me a heads up.

TOBY
It happened five minutes before the man walked into the House chamber. You're
a Junior
Senator from North Dakota and you don't get script approval [laughs] on the
State of the
Union!

GILLETTE
Whatever language you may have couched it in was not an insignificant change.

TOBY
Seth...

GILLETTE
You started off with "We will not cut Social Security"... period, wound up
with "We are
announcing the formation of a bipartisan Blue Ribbon Commission to study
new options with
regard to Social Security."

TOBY
What exactly is the danger of studying new options?

GILLETTE
What's the danger in the White House getting behind my reform bill?

TOBY
Diverting General Revenue into the trust fund is not reform.

GILLETTE
It's the only Social Security reform bill supported by any Senate Democrats.

TOBY
How many votes did you get for it last year?

GILLETTE
If the White House...

TOBY
Eighteen.

GILLETTE
If the White House...

TOBY
82 U.S. Senators think your reform bill sucks. So unless you have a plan
for picking up
a majority, I don't know what's so wrong with saying we're open to hearing
new ideas?

GILLETTE
And compromise essential Democratic Party principles to cut a Social Security
deal with
the Republicans?

TOBY
It's simply not what we're doing.

GILLETTE
[emphatically] If your commission recommends raising the retirement age one
day...
reducing benefits one dollar... reducing quotas. If your commission recommends
partial
privatization of Social Security...

TOBY
[smiles] Are there cameras on someplace?

GILLETTE
...I will condemn it the act of a group intent on destroying Social
Security...

TOBY
...and ruling the galaxy.

GILLETTE
Oh, you think this is a joke? You think I won't publicly condemn a member
of my party?

Toby stares at him.

TOBY
The President is not a member of your party. He is the leader of your
party. And if you
think demonizing people who are trying to govern responsibly is the way to
protect our
liberal base, then speaking as a liberal... go to bed, would you please!

GILLETTE
You're running to the right on the environment.

TOBY
We admonished environmental terrorism.

GILLETTE
Please!

TOBY
You in favor of it?

GILETTE
It was a cheap shot and you lost a lot of friends that night.

TOBY
We made more than we lost.

GILLETTE
Then you go on TV this morning with this ridiculous defense of a cop who
kicked the crap
out of a black kid cause you guys don't want to admit you screwed up on the
vetting and
he never should've been invited in the first place. [counts on his fingers]
Seniors...
Environmentalists... African Americans. You tell me which you think has a
greater chance
of happening, my reform bill getting passed or the President getting reelected
without
the three groups I just mentioned?

TOBY
You just named three groups that'll never desert the President.

GILLETTE
Not unless I run as a third-party candidate, no. Oh! Those eighteen votes
are looking a
little bigger now aren't they you patronizing son-of-a-bitch!

Gillette drops his fork on the table loudly and looks around angrily. Toby
shakes his
head and smiles.

TOBY
I was just thinking about this cartoon I once saw. A bunch of tiny fish are
swimming
through the leaves of the plant but then one of the fish realizes it's not
a plant,
it's the tentacles of a predator. And the fish says, "with friends like this,
who needs
anemones?"

Gillette looks confused. Toby signs the check.

TOBY
Come at us from the left, I'm gonna own your ass.

Toby grabs his paper and coat and leaves. Gillette watches him go.

CUT TO: INT. THE PRESIDENT'S BEDROOM - DAY

ABBEY
Carrie, can you have someone from my office bring the notes on the new
speech?

CARRIE
Women in the arts?

ABBEY
Yeah.

CARRIE
Yes, Ma'am.

ABBEY
And would you have a sweater for the plane?

CARRIE
Yeah.

Charlie knocks and enters.

ABBEY
Hey, Charlie.

CHARLIE
Good morning, Ma'am. You headin' out?

ABBEY
Not till tonight. Chicago then Seattle.

CHARLIE
I wanted to check to see if I had your permission to draw $500 in cash,
and walk it over
to that woman in the shelter.

ABBEY
Oh! I appreciate that. Thank you!

CHARLIE
Is there anything else I can do for you?

ABBEY
No.

CHARLIE
Thank you, Ma'am.

Bartlet walks in. Abbey looks uncomfortable and avoids looking at him.

BARTLET
[to Charlie] Hey.

CHARLIE
Good morning, sir. I'll be in the office. [walks out]

BARTLET
[to Abbey] What was that about?

ABBEY
Charlie's going to bring cash over to Jane Robinson.

BARTLET
Packing already?

ABBEY
Yeah.

Abbey folds clothes and avoids him.

BARTLET
You aren't leaving till tonight, right?

ABBEY
Yeah.

BARTLET
Men and women are completely different in this regard.

ABBEY
[sharply] When was the last time you packed a suitcase at all?

BARTLET
I don't know. I just had breakfast with Sam and Josh. Toby's having breakfast
with
Seth Gillette, who's every bit as pissed at me as you are.

Carrie glances nervously at him.

BARTLET
Abbey, can we...

ABBEY
[to aides] Guys... can you give me a minute?

Bartlet smiles tensely at the aides as they leave. Bartlet sits on the bed
by Abbey.

BARTLET
We didn't get a chance to talk again last night.

ABBEY
I don't think we should.

BARTLET
Talk?

ABBEY
No.

BARTLET
Ever?

ABBEY
[angry] Oh if wishing made it so, Jed.

BARTLET
Look...

ABBEY
[angry] I don't think it's a good idea for us to talk about this now. [gets
up]

BARTLET
Why?

ABBEY
Cause you've got to focus on Columbia.

BARTLET
[angry] I can do two things at once. [throws up his hands]

ABBEY
[angry] You don't have two things at once, Jed. You have ninety-two things
at once and
one of them is five hostages in Columbia.

He gets up and faces her.

BARTLET
[shouting] Yes and I'd like to go about my day without this black cloud
around me so
I'd like to talk now!

ABBEY
[angry] And I'm saying this is a longer conversation than that. I don't want
you all
over the place and we can talk about it later and you should focus.

BARTLET
[shouting] What are you, my Zen master? Can I be in charge of my own mind?!

She faces him angrily.

ABBEY
[shouting] Let me tell you something, jackass! Get as chippy as you want if
that makes
you feel better. I am your wife... I love you... you have a crisis... you
have to deal
with it. When it's done we'll talk.

She sits down on the bed and packs, ignoring him. He looks at her angrily.

BARTLET
[mumbles] I feel better already.

He throws open the door and storms out.

FADE OUT.
END ACT TWO
* * *

ACT THREE

FADE IN: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT
WEDNESDAY EVENING

JOSH [VO]
I'm on hold.

CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
Josh paces in his darkened office, phone held to his ear.

JOSH
I'm on hold. [paces] I'm on hold. [bangs the receiver on his desk loudly,
then puts it
back to his ear and continues pacing] I'm in some hellish hold world of
holding.

DONNA
[comes in] Josh?

JOSH
I'm on hold.

DONNA
They'll call us and tell us when the power's back on. [puts a file on his
desk]

JOSH
They did call us.

DONNA
What happened?

JOSH
[holds out the phone] I'm on hold.

DONNA
I'll wait with you. [sits on a table]

JOSH
That'll be a lot of fun.

DONNA
So, you never told me why this poll is different.

JOSH
Hmm? [listening to the phone]

DONNA
You never told me why you're interested in these particular numbers.

Josh sits on his desk, still listening to the phone.

JOSH
There five Congressional districts that are concerning me.

DONNA
Which districts?

JOSH
Kentucky 3rd... that's Louisville.

DONNA
Or Jefferson...

JOSH
Yeah, Louisiana 4th, Missouri 9th, Missouri 6th, and Ohio 12th.

DONNA
What's with those five districts?

JOSH
The President last night announced a crime package that would among other
things...

DONNA
... require a five-day waiting period for a background check.

JOSH
The five Congressmen in those districts...

DONNA
... are sitting on the fence.

JOSH
Right.

DONNA
So, you want to know how the crime package polled in those five districts.

JOSH
Yes.

DONNA
If it polled well, you've got your gun law...

JOSH
Probably.

DONNA
If it tanked you've got to shut up or lose five democratic seats in the
house.

JOSH
Why are you asking a question when you're going to have the conversation
all by yourself?

DONNA
You want me to hold the phone for a while?

JOSH
I can hold the phone.

Donna looks at him.

JOSH
Take the phone.

Josh jumps up and hands her the phone. Donna just holds the phone. She knows
it's coming.
Josh immediately spins around and reaches for the phone.

JOSH
[impatiently] Give me the phone.

She hands him back the phone. As he listens, he stares at her.

JOSH
Why are you trying to... fix me up... with Joey Lucas?

DONNA
[quickly] I think you'd make a nice couple.

JOSH
Fine.

DONNA
If you got married you'd be Joshua and Josephine Lucas Lyman. You wouldn't
have to get
your towels re-monogrammed.

JOSH
[into phone] Thank you.

Josh hangs the phone up and sits behind his desk.

JOSH
The power's back on.

DONNA
Excellent.

JOSH
Yes.

DONNA
What do we do now?

Josh sits uncomfortably.

JOSH
We wait.

CUT TO: INT. COMMUNICATION OFFICE - DAY
C.J. and Ainsley pass in the doorway...

C.J.
How you doing, Ainsley?

AINSLEY
[readily] Well, my mouth is dry, my hands are moist and I have to pee.

C.J.
Okay... .

C.J. exits. Ainsley turns to see Sam.

SAM
Hey, you ready?

AINSLEY
Yes. [straightens her jacket]

SAM
You sure?

They head down the hall.

AINSLEY
Yes.

SAM
Let's go.

AINSLEY
Call it off.

SAM
[enthusiastically] Here we go!!

AINSLEY
No, really.

SAM
Ainsley?

AINSLEY
I'll meet him another time.

SAM
What other time?

AINSLEY
A better time.

SAM
What's a better time?

AINSLEY
Tomorrow.

SAM
Don't you have to absolve yourself of the humiliation visited upon your
family and the
House of Atreus?

AINSLEY
Yes, but I believe I'm going to compound the humiliation.

They walk into MARGARET'S OFFICE AREA. Leo stands by Margaret's desk reading
a file.

SAM
It'll never happen.

AINSLEY
Really?

SAM
No, probably will.

LEO
[to Sam] Hey.

They head towards LEO'S OFFICE.

SAM
Is he coming?

LEO
He's stopping in on his way from the... thing.

He stands behind his desk. Ainsley stands looking at her feet. There is an
awkward
silence as they wait.

LEO
How you doing, Ainsley?

AINSLEY
I'm concerned about peeing on your carpet.

LEO
Okay. Well... now I am, too.

SAM
Tell her it's going to be fine.

LEO
Your skirt's on backwards.

AINSLEY
May I use the bathroom?

LEO
Yes.

AINSLEY
Thank you.

Ainsley turns and walks into the closet.

LEO
Ainsley...

BARTLET
[enters] Hey.

SAM
Good evening, Mr. President.

BARTLET
Is she here?

SAM
Ainsley Hayes?

BARTLET
Yeah.

SAM
Yes, sir.

BARTLET
Where is she?

SAM
Well, she's in the closet, Mr. President.

Bartlet turns and looks at the closet.

BARTLET
Why?

SAM
She thought it was a bathroom.

Bartlet looks at the closet again.

BARTLET
Why is she still in there?

SAM
That's kind of hard to say, sir.

BARTLET
Why don't we get her out here?

SAM
Yeah. [approaches the closet] Ainsley?

AINSLEY [VO]
Yes?

BARTLET
Ainsley, why don't come on out of there...

Ainsley steps out of the closet looking very embarrassed.

BARTLET
How you doing? We met last night. [shaking her hand] You were singing and
dancing in a
bathrobe.

AINSLEY
Yes, sir.

BARTLET
Why were you in the closet?

AINSLEY
I had to pee.

BARTLET
They won't let me smoke inside but you can pee in Leo's closet.

AINSLEY
[embarrassed] Mr. President... I...

Leo answers the phone.

BARTLET
I appreciate you coming to work for me, Ainsley. You're an exceptionally
bright young
woman. Is your father proud of you?

AINSLEY
[pauses and smiles] Yes, sir.

BARTLET
I bet he is. [pats her arm] Listen...

LEO
[interrupting] Mr. President... [nods to him] Sam...

Sam escorts Ainsley out. Leo and Bartlet exit to THE OVAL OFFICE. The Suits
and Uniforms
from the Situation Room are gathered. Included are the Jack, Mickey and
Charlie.

BARTLET
What happened?

They look at him. Bartlet motions to Charlie.

BARTLET
Charlie, get the door.

Charlie closes the door as he leaves.

BARTLET
What happened?

JACK
Mr. President...

BARTLET
Did we lose the hostages?

JACK
The hostages weren't there.

BARTLET
What are you talking about?

LEO
Oh, God...

BARTLET
What are you talking about?!

JACK
The radio communications we've been intercepting on the Signet were wrong. When
the
Delta's got to the area it was a dry hole. That's when...

BARTLET
No...

JACK
...one of the two Blackhawk helicopters was shot down by a shoulder-mounted
surface-to-air missile.

Bartlet walks behind his desk.

BARTLET
How many guys were on the Blackhawk?

JACK
The Pilot, the Engineer, and seven Deltas.

BARTLET
[angry] So I've got nine more guys now on the ground we've got to get back.

Leo looks at Jack, then back at Bartlet.

LEO
Mr. President...

SECURITY ADVISOR
Sir, the second Blackhawk went in and recovered the bodies.

Bartlet looks at them, then at Leo who shakes his head.

BARTLET
[to Leo] They're dead.

JACK
Yes, sir.

Bartlet looks shaken.

BARTLET
I want the President of Colombia on the phone. I want a translator in this
room right now.

Bartlet exits to the PORTICO. Rain falls and we hear thunder. Secret Service
Agents stand
post. Bartlet walks down the patio, fists clenched.

BARTLET
[shaking his fists] DAMMIT! [paces, obviously livid] DA...! [shaking his
fists]

Bartlet calms down and leans against a post as Leo comes out.

LEO
Sir?

BARTLET
How the hell did that happen?

LEO
[quietly] It was bad intelligence.

BARTLET
[shouting] YOU THINK!?

LEO
Fronte left behind a radio and a soldier at the outpost. They were deliberately
sending
misinformation.

BARTLET
We've never anticipated the possibility that somebody might try that?

LEO
Sir... .

BARTLET
[gestures angrily] We weren't prepared for someone to try to outfox us with
a stratagem
so sophisticated it's an entire generation beyond "Hey look, your shoelaces
are untied"!?
[shouting] IS THAT HOW I JUST LOST NINE GUYS TO A DAMN STREET GANG WITH A
HAM RADIO!?

Leo looks down as Bartlet paces.

BARTLET
[shouting] THEY LURED US THERE SO THAT THEY COULD KILL NINE [voice breaking]
AMERICAN
SOLDIERS!!!

Leo quietly watches Bartlet lean against the post.

BARTLET
Where are the bodies?

LEO
[quietly] They're on their way back.

BARTLET
Where?

LEO
[quietly] Dover... around 4 a.m.

Bartlet leans against the post and looks down. A staffer comes out of the
Oval Office.

STAFFER
Mr. President... .

Leo looks at Bartlet as he takes a deep breath. He straightens his tie and
pats down
his hair. They re-enter THE OVAL OFFICE. Jack walks with the President to
the phone at
his desk. An interpreter holds a phone nearby.

JACK
We have a secure connection.

BARTLET
Is somebody translating on the other end?

JCK
Yes, Sir.

Bartlet picks up the phone.

BARTLET
[into phone] Mr. President, this is the President of the United States.

INTERPRETER
Good Evening, Mr. President.

BARTLET
[into phone, looks at his watch] Mr. President, 90 minutes ago the United
States invaded
Columbian airspace. Two Blackhawk helicopters went into Tres Encinas with
20 Delta
Commandos on intelligence that the hostages were being moved. One of the
Blackhawks
was shot down. They were nine military fatalities.

INTERPRETER
I'm terribly sorry to hear that, Mr. President.

BARTLET
[into phone] I'd like to ask for your assistance in confirming that the five
hostages
are still alive.

INTERPRETER
The hostages ARE alive.

LEO
How's he know that?

BARTLET
[into phone] How do you know that?

INTERPRETER
We have confirmation that we're transmitting to you through channels. [pause]
Mr. President...

BARTLET
[into phone] Yes?

INTERPRETER
I respect and appreciate your diplomacy in not yet asking to release Juan
Aguilar from
prison.

BARTLET
[into phone] I'm not going to ask you, Miguel.

INTERPRETER
I'm wiling to do it at this point.

Everyone looks at each other. Mickey shakes his head.

BARTLET
[into phone] Say that again.

INTERPRETER
I'm willing to let Augilar out in exchange for the hostages if you ask me
too.

BARTLET
[into phone,long pause] Well I appreciate your making that offer but I don't
think
that's a very good idea.

INTERPRETER
I agree with you but I'm making the offer and leaving it up to you.

BARTLET
[into phone] Okay. Thank you, Mr. President.

INTERPRETER
Thank you, Mr. President.

Bartlet and the interpreter hang up.

FADE OUT.
END ACT THREE
* * *

ACT FOUR

FADE IN: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT

CUT TO: INT. ROOSEVELT ROOM - CONTINUOUS
The room is crowded with the senior staff, Bartlet, Charlie, military advisors,
and other
staffers. Bartlet stands across the table from Toby and Sam.

SAM
Wait, Toby...

TOBY
[loudly] Hang on a second Sam, you give into terrorist demands and that's
the ballgame!

SAM
I understand the principle but there are real lives at stake!

TOBY
Ah, it's real easy to stick to principles when nothing's at stake Sam!

SAM
[to Bartlet] Well sir, lets argue principles when these five guys get home.

BARTLET
Juan Aguilar runs one of the largest drug cartels in the world.

SAM
Sir...

BARTLET
He has produced $15 billion worth of cocaine in two years.

Donna comes in and stands next to Josh.

BARTLET
He's murdered or ordered the murder of eight Supreme Court justices, a
pro-extradition
Prime Minister and three Federal police officers in Bogot.. And from his
prison cell I
guarantee you he orchestrated the kidnapping of five U.S. DEA agents and
the killing of
their rescuers!

TOBY
I believe he did it as well Mr. President, which is all then evidence you
need that it
couldn't matter less whether Juan Aguilar is in prison, or not!

BARTLET
I'm not letting him out. [slams shut his folder] I'll share a cell with him
before I let
him out. I want military options!

LEO
Yes, sir.

They all rise as Bartlet leaves.

MILITARY ADVISOR
Yes, sir.

TOBY
Thank you, sir.

LEO
Thank you, Mr. President.

Josh follows out to the HALLWAY as the room starts to clear.

JOSH
Yeah?

DONNA
Joey says it's probably just another hour.

JOSH
She'll bring me the numbers here?

DONNA
Yeah.

Josh sighs as they walk to the LOBBY.

DONNA
Josh, how is this not a no-brainer?

JOSH
Columbia?

DONNA
Yeah.

JOSH
You say get'em home?

DONNA
Of course I say get'em home. Who doesn't say get'em home? That should be
the person who
has to make the phone calls to the families.

They face each other in the doorway of Josh's office.

JOSH
And who calls the families of the nine commandos who just died trying to
save five guys
it turns out we could've freed six hours ago.

DONNA
That's not a good enough reason.

JOSH
The good enough reason is you give in to terrorists it gives them a pretty
good incentive
to keep terrorizing.

DONNA
Not negotiating with them hasn't given them much of a disincentive.

JOSH
How do you know?

DONNA
Please...

JOSH
You don't think they're going to kidnap five more people tomorrow morning
and demand
twelve months of free cable?

DONNA
So you give them free cable.

JOSH
How about the keys to the Situation Room?

DONNA
[unsure] You draw a line.

JOSH
Where? [looks at his watch] Did she say about an hour?

DONNA
On early numbers?

JOSH
Yeah.

DONNA
Yeah.

Josh walks into his office. Donna heads off to her desk.

CUT TO: INT. SITUATION ROOM - NIGHT
Mickey, Leo and military advisors sit around the table. Bartlet stands at
the head.

BARTLET
Do we know where they are?

MICKEY
They were moved about sixty miles into the jungle at Villa Cerreno.

BARTLET
What would it take to get them back?

MICKEY
Alive?

BARTLET
Yeah.

Leo looks at Mickey. Mickey looks at the military advisors uneasily.

MICKEY
Mr. President, uh...

BARTLET
What would it take to wipe them out?

JACK
Affronte?

BARTLET
Yeah. What would it take?

MICKEY
Mr. President, for the kind of victory Americans are used to, for the kind
of victory
Americans demand from a war you need a ten to one ratio.

Bartlet looks at Leo who nods.

MICKEY
It was only after we built up a 10:1 ratio in the Gulf we felt comfortable
making a move.
The Fronte has 20,000 well-armed, well-trained soldiers, each of whom has
a financial
stake in heroin and cocaine. We'd need to put 200 to 300,000 men into a
jungle war.
And I think we'd lose as many as half.

BARTLET
[surprised] Half?

MICKEY
Yes, sir.

Bartlet looks down at the table and shakes his head.

BARTLET
[to Leo] You've really got to ask yourself what's the point in being a Super
Power
anymore.

They rise as Bartlet leaves.

CUT TO: INT. THE PRESIDENT'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Abbey's two aides carry her suitcase to the door. Abbey enters carrying a
sweater.

ABBEY
I wanted to bring that book for the Governor...

CARRIE
The Truman biography?

ABBEY
Yeah.

She hands Carrie a sweater.

ABBEY
You got a sweater for the plane?

CARRIE
Yes, Ma'am.

ABBEY
And you guys should both take sweaters.

BARTLET
[enters] And then there's the repack!

Abbey looks at him.

CARRIE
Good morning, Mr. President.

He glances at the suitcase.

BARTLET
First there's the preliminary, or the dry run. Then there's the actual
packing. [joking]
Abbey, you're just going away for two days, right?

ABBEY
[to aides] Guys...

The aides leave, closing the door behind them.

BARTLET
[seriously] Right?

ABBEY
What happened?

BARTLET
It was an ambush.

ABBEY
Oh God... [sinks into a chair]

BARTLET
A guy with a shoulder thing shot down a Blackhawk. Everybody's dead. [sits
facing her]
Nine guys. Meanwhile, they've moved the hostages 60 miles into the jungle
where we'd need
a pair of tweezers to get them out.

ABBEY
[concerned] Do you want me to stay?

BARTLET
[shakes head] No.

ABBEY
I can stay.

BARTLET
No. I didn't make the decision to run again. I wouldn't do that without
talking to you
first.

ABBEY
[sighs] Oh, we don't need to talk about that now. [gets up and starts pacing]

BARTLET
When, Abbey?

ABBEY
Jed!

BARTLET
I didn't make the decision to run again!

ABBEY
Yes, you did! [faces him angrily] If we're gonna talk about this, let's talk
about this.
The moves over the last few weeks... the changes in last night's speech. This
whole place
is in reelection mode.

BARTLET
That's what we do, Abbey. We run for things! From the day a Congressman is
sworn in he's
got to raise $10,000 a week to get reelected! A President gets to govern
for eighteen
months. We try to get people to vote for us and in the process we hope the
people force
us to do good things.

ABBEY
[hurt] We had a deal!

BARTLET
[angry] Yes, we had a deal.

ABBEY
Yes, Jed.

She walks back over and sits across from him. She leans in to eye level.

ABBEY
Look at me!

He reluctantly looks at her.

ABBEY
[tearfully] Do you get that you have M.S.?

BARTLET
[scornfully] Abbey...

ABBEY
Do you get that your own immune system is shredding your brain? And I can't
tell you why.
[tearfully] Do you have any idea how good a doctor I am and that I can't
tell you why?

BARTLET
I've had one episode in two years.

ABBEY
[tearfully] Yes, but relapsing-remitting M.S. can turn into
secondary-progressive M.S.
oftentimes ten years after the initial diagnosis which is exactly where
we'll be in two
years! Do you know what that's going to look like when it happens?

He looks away.

BARTLET
[quietly] I know what it's going to...

ABBEY
Fatigue... an inability to get through the day...

BARTLET
Look...

ABBEY
...memory lapses... loss of cognitive function... failure to reason... failure
to think
clearly. And I can't tell you if it's going to happen. I don't know if it's
going to get
better I don't know if it's going to get worse. But we had a deal. And that
deal is how
you justified keeping it a secret from the world. It's how you justified it
to God.
[hurt] It's how you justified it to me.

He looks up at her. Carrie knocks on the door and sticks her head in.

CARRIE
Mrs. Bartlet.

ABBEY
[to Carrie] Yeah.

Carrie leaves.

ABBEY
You sure you don't want me to stay?

He avoids looking at her.

BARTLET
[quietly] Yeah.

ABBEY
[quietly] Okay.

Abbey rises and heads for the door.

BARTLET
Have a good trip.

She turns back to him as he rises.

BARTLET
Call me when you get there.

ABBEY
I will.

He gives her a long look.

BARTLET
I love you.

ABBEY
I love you too.

Abbey quietly leaves. Bartlet sits back down and thinks.

CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Josh dejectedly leans over the polling results on his desk. Donna stands
next to him.
Joey sits across the desk. Kenny stands next to her.

JOSH
Son of a bitch.

DONNA
That's okay.

JOSH
A five day waiting period, that's all. A person can't wait five days to buy
a gun?
If someone needs a gun right now, right this second, isn't that something
the public
should be concerned about?

DONNA
On the other hand taking the feelings of gun owners into account, if you've
got to shoot
somebody it probably isn't something that can wait.

Josh looks at the numbers.

JOSH
Yeah.

Donna looks at her watch.

DONNA
Mind if I take off?

JOSH
What time is it?

DONNA
2 a.m.

He looks at his watch.

JOSH
All right. We'll call it a full day. But come in early in the morning.

DONNA
Yeah.

Donna heads for the door. Joey glances at Josh as he watches her go.

JOSH
You all right getting home?

DONNA
Yeah. [to Joey and Kenny] Good night, guys.

KENNY
Good night.

Josh watches Donna leave. Joey smiles at his distracted look.

JOEY [KENNY]
They're just preliminary numbers.

Josh sits down with a sigh and puts his feet on his desk.

JOSH
They're not gonna change.

JOEY
No.

JOSH
Five day waiting period...

JOEY [KENNY]
It tested well nationwide.

JOSH
Yeah.

JOEY [KENNY]
58%.

JOSH
I didn't need nationwide. I needed those five districts. Now we're gonna
have to dial
down the gun rhetoric in the Midwest.

JOEY
Why not dial it up?

JOSH
Because these numbers just told us that...

JOEY [KENNY]
You don't know what these numbers just told you. I'm an expert. I don't know
what these
numbers just told you.

JOSH
We know.

JOEY
Really?

Kenny sits next to Joey.

JOSH
Numbers don't lie.

JOEY [KENNY]
They lie all the time. They lie when 72% of Americans say they're tired of
a sex scandal,
while all the while, newspaper circulation goes through the roof for anyone
featuring
the story. If you polled a hundred Donnas and asked them if they think we
should go out,
you'd get a high positive response. But, the poll wouldn't tell you it's
because she
likes you. And she's knows it's beginning to show and she needs to cover
herself with
misdirection.

Josh stares blankly at Joey.

JOSH
Believe me when I tell you that's not true.

JOEY [KENNY]
You say that these numbers mean dial it down. I say they mean dial it up. You
haven't
gotten through. There are people you haven't persuaded yet. These numbers
mean dial it
up. Otherwise you're like the French radical watching the crowd run by and
saying "There
go my people, I must find out where they are going so I can lead them."

Josh sits quietly with a thoughtful look on his face.

JOSH
[distracted] Yeah.

JOEY [KENNY]
We'll go through the rest of the numbers in the morning.

Josh looks at her with a confused smile.

JOSH
[to Kenny] Ok.

Joey smiles and they leave. Josh sits with a bemused expression.

CUT TO: EXT. PORTICO - NIGHT
Bartlet walks tiredly towards the Oval Office. He passes Charlie who is
waiting.

CHARLIE
Good evening, sir.

Charlie walks with him.

BARTLET
Hey, Charlie. You shouldn't be out here without a coat.

CHARLIE
I'm ok.

Charlie stops outside the outer office. Bartlet walks on deep in thought.

CHARLIE
Mr. President?

Bartlet stops and turns.

BARTLET
Yeah?

CHARLIE
Is there anything I can do for you?

BARTLET
No. Thanks.

Bartlet walks on to THE OVAL OFFICE. A Secret Service Agent opens the door
for him.
Leo is waiting inside.

BARTLET
Hey!

LEO
I checked outside. I thought you'd be having a cigarette.

Bartlet walks behind his desk.

BARTLET
Let me tell you something, Leo... [sits] After heroin and cocaine, tobacco
is next.

LEO
Great. Another criminal empire we can give birth to. There'll be speakeasies
all over
Chicago where you can get smuggled cartons of Marlboro lights. [sits]
[quietly] I fought a jungle war. I'm not doing it again. If I could put
myself anywhere
in time it would be the Cabinet room on August 4, 1964, when our ships were
attacked by
North Vietnam in the Tonkin Gulf. I'd say, Mr. President... don't do
it. You're
considering authorizing a massive commitment of troops and throwing in our
lot with
torturers and panderers. Leaders without principle and soldiers without
conviction with
no clear mission, and no end in sight. This war is at home. The casualties
are in our
prisons, and not our hospitals. The amount of money the American government
is spending
in Columbia is the exact same amount American consumers are spending buying
drugs from
Columbia. We're funding both sides of this war and we'll never win it that
way.

BARTLET
Leo, I can't possibly reverse our...

LEO
No one...

BARTLET
I can't possibly reverse our position on negotiating...

LEO
No one's gonna know. You don't make another phone call, it happens someplace
else.
Santos is gonna be the one to let him out.

BARTLET
There were just fourteen people in this room who heard Santos make me the
offer.

LEO
Those fourteen people keep bigger secrets than this.

Bartlet stands and stares out the window.

BARTLET
You know what Truman Capote said was the bad part about living outside the
law?

LEO
What?

BARTLET
You no longer have the protection of it. What's to stop me? Two hundred CIA
operatives...
Black Ops. Two hundred guys with no wives, no kids, no parents. [faces Leo]
I send 200
operatives down there. Monday morning I read in the paper Juan Aguilar is
dead. What's
to stop me?

LEO
[stands] We lost this one, Mr. President. It was bad intelligence and we
lost this one.

BARTLET
It was the Queen's Rook. That's why I couldn't trade the Bishop. It was over
six moves
ago. Arrange for their immediate release.

LEO
Yes, sir, Mr. President.

BARTLET
[warning glare] If they so much as experience turbulence on their way out...

LEO
Yes, sir.

BARTLET
I want to go to Dover later tonight.

LEO
[nods] Yes, sir.

BARTLET
Thank you.

LEO
Thank you, Mr. President.

Leo leaves as Bartlet turns back to look out the window.

CAROL [VO]
Folks, take your seats, please, the briefing will start now.

DISSOLVE TO: INT. BRIEFING ROOM - NIGHT
The room is murmuring with activity.

CAROL
Folks, can you take your seats?

C.J. steps up to the podium.

C.J.
Good evening. Thank you for coming back so late.

DISSOLVE TO: EXT. DOVER AIR FORCE BASE - NIGHT
The Presidential motorcade speeds onto the tarmac.

C.J. [VO]
I want now to fill you in on some events that have taken place in the last 24
hours. When I'm through there'll representatives from the...

CUT TO: INT. BRIEFING ROOM - NIGHT

C.J.
... Pentagon, State Department and Justice Department who'll continue with
your questions.

CUT TO: EXT. DOVER AIR FORCE BASE - NIGHT
Bartlet exits his limo. An Honor Guard stands in front of a cargo aircraft.

C.J. [VO]
Yesterday at approximately eight p.m. eastern time, five agents from the
DEA were taken
hostage in the...

CUT TO: INT. BRIEFING ROOM - NIGHT

C.J.
... Punta Maya region of Columbia by members of Affront.

CUT TO: EXT. DOVER AIR FORCE BASE - NIGHT
Bartlet walks past Mickey.

C.J. [VO]
Hold your questions. There was a demand for the release of a Columbian
prisoner...

MICKEY
The hostages are out.

BARTLET
I'll call their families afterwards...

CUT TO: INT. BRIEFING ROOM - NIGHT

C.J.
...whose name we are not releasing at this time. President Miguel Santos,
acting on his
own authority has...

DISSOLVE TO: EXT. DOVER AIR FORCE BASE - NIGHT
The first detail carries a flag draped coffin past the Honor Guard. They
pause in front
of Bartlet and Mickey. Bartlet gazes past the coffin as an Honor Guard
carries a second
coffin out of the cargo bay. Bartlet looks on with a tired expression as
another coffin
is carried off... and another... and another.

DISSOLVE TO: END TITLES.
FADE OUT.
THE END
* * *

The West Wing and all its characters are properties of Aaron Sorkin, John
Wells
Production, Warner Brothers Television, and NBC. No copyright infringement
is intended.

Episode 2.10 -- 'The War At Home'
Original Airdate: February 14, 2001, 9:00 PM EST
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