A special episode of the Emmy Award-winning series, dealing with some of the questions and issues currently facing the world in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks on the United States.
THE WEST WING "ISAAC AND ISHMAEL" WRITTEN BY: AARON SORKIN DIRECTED BY: CHRISTOPHER MISIANO TEASER MARTIN SHEEN Good evening, I'm Martin Sheen, and I'm with the cast of The West Wing. For those of you who tuned in tonight to see our season premiere, I'm afraid you won't. That'll be next week. ROB LOWE We're eager to get back to our continuing storylines, but tonight we wanted to stop for a moment and do something different. ALLISON JANNEY You'll notice a few things different about this show tonight, for instance, in place of our usual main title sequence, we'll be putting phone numbers up on the screen where you can pledge donations to groups that are able to help with victims' assistance. JOHN SPENCER By now, nobody needs to be convinced that when they named New York's finest and New York's bravest, they knew what they were talking about. So we're pleased to tell you that the profits of tonight's episode will be donated to New York firefighters, 9/11 Disaster Relief Fund, and the New York Police and Fire, widows and children's benefit fund. DULE HILL A helping hand from our family to theirs. BRADLEY WHITFORD Now, don't panic! We're in show business, and we'll get back to tending our egos in short order. But tonight we offer a play. It's called "Isaac and Ishmael." We suggest you don't spend a lot of time trying to figure out where this episode comes in in the timeline of the series. It doesn't. It's a story-telling aberration, if you'll allow. RICHARD SCHIFF Next week, we'll start our third season. That's when you'll see stories about a reelection campaign, an MS disclosure, an embassy in Haiti... STOCKARD CHANNING Repealing the estate tax... ROB LOWE A fight against Big Tobacco... DULE HILL A fight to get our friends back... JOHN SPENCER Funding the NEA... ALLISON JANNEY A veto override... STOCKARD CHANNING A marriage in trouble... JANEL MOLONEY And I get a boyfriend. MARTIN SHEEN That's all for us. Thank you for listening. FADE TO: INT. FBI OFFICE - NIGHT FBI FIELD OFFICE BURLINGTON, VERMONT In a series of offices, people are at their desks, flags hanging off walls. A man, Greg, walks in, comes up to woman by a computer. GREG Joan? Run a search in the NCIC. "Yaarun Nabi" - Y-a-a-r-u-n N-a-b-i. JOAN Yaarun Nabi is a Persian name. GREG Yeah? JOAN Means "friend of the prophet." [runs search, gets a few results] GREG Getting anything? JOAN Four AKAs. [reads] Yaquin Kashani, Raqim Ali, Yamin Bandari, Yawar Aryanpur. GREG Run them. JOAN [runs the search] I wonder if they all mean "friend of the prophet." Guess that would be silly, or at least remarkably coincidental, that the aliases would mean the same thing as the actual name. I mean, you gotta ask what good would an alias be if it... [cuts off, gestures for Greg to come closer] Greg? Greg approaches, looks at the screen, then dials a number on the phone. GREG [into phone] Get me the Secret Service Joint Operations' center of the White House. CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - NIGHT Josh picks up his bag. JOSH Donna! Donna comes to the door. DONNA Yeah. JOSH I'm going home. DONNA It's only five. JOSH Yeah, I know. DONNA You can't go yet, you have to talk to the students. JOSH What students? DONNA From Presidential Classroom? JOSH What are you talking about? DONNA They're high school kids from across the country who were accepted for... I don't know, they come to Washington for four days, they get to meet with interesting people and you're one of them. JOSH [puts on coat] When did... When did this get on the schedule? DONNA [comes inside] It's been there. JOSH No, it hasn't, it just... There isn't anybody else who can do this? DONNA It's supposed to be you. JOSH I have to work. DONNA You can work in the office. JOSH No, I can't work in the office! He walks out, Donna follows into the bullpen. JOSH We've crashed five times in the last three weeks. When I'm not being evacuated from the building, I'm not being allowed to leave the building and now, the one... God, Donna, I wanna go home. DONNA Josh, it's been on your schedule. JOSH [stops] All right, I'll give them a few minutes, but then I gotta go, ok? DONNA Yeah. JOSH [sighs] When am I supposed to do this? DONNA Now. JOSH Where are they? DONNA They're right in the North-West lobby. Josh hands her his bag and walks out. CUT TO: INT. NORTHWEST LOBBY - CONTINUOUS A group of students and their teachers are standing as Josh walks in. JOSH Good evening! Good to see you... you're the group from Presidential... something? DONNA [from behind] Classroom. JOSH Classroom? MARJORIE MANN I'm their supervisor, Marjorie Mann. JOSH Josh Lyman. MARJORIE [shakes his hand] Thank you for taking the time. JOSH So, how'd you all get here? STUDENTS Bus. JOSH I meant... MARJORIE They qualified with essays, recommendations, grades in history and government. It's very competitive. JOSH All right, I'm Josh Lyman, I'm the Deputy White House Chief of Staff, I joined the Bartlet campaign shortly before the Iowa Caucus, then served as the campaign's political director. Before that, I worked with then Senator John Hoynes for a while... DONNA Josh... JOSH [turns] Yeah? He looks at the red phone on the table, its incoming call button is flashing. The security guard picks up the red phone with a sticker "Crash" on the receiver. GUARD Station One. Code Black, crash! JOSH [to students] All right, listen, something's about to happen. Don't let it frighten you, they need to seal the building. Secret Service agents burst in through all doors. AGENT 1 Stay where you are, please. AGENT 2 Everybody, please, stay where you are. GUAR Mr Lyman? These kids with you? JOSH Yeah, I guess they are. [to students] Something's happened. FADE OUT. THE WEST WING ENCOURAGES YOU TO GIVE WHAT YOU CAN TO THE FOLLOWING ORGANIZATIONS TWIN TOWERS FUND GENERAL POST OFFICE PO BOX 26999 NEW YORK, NY 10087-6999 1-877-870-4278 DISASTER RELIEF FUND AMERICAN RED CROSS PO BOX 37243 WASHINGTON, D.C. 20013 1-800-HELP-NOW END TEASER. * * * ACT ONE FADE IN: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE MESS - NIGHT Donna leads the school kids into the mess from a hallway right outside. DONNA Right in here. Just grab a seat anywhere. Right in here. This is the mess. This is where we eat lunch. We'll just... wait here. Josh walks up from behind Donna. JOSH What's going on? DONNA How should I know? JOSH Would you call Leo's office and find out what's going on, and, more important, how long it's going to be going on for? DONNA They're probably scared. You might try lightening up a little bit. JOSH Yeah, I'll definitely give that a try. Josh and Donna follow the rest of the kids into the mess. Josh stands in front of the kids and addresses them. JOSH Okay, well, uh, this is called a "crash." It means there's been some kind of security breach and no one's allowed in or out of the building. Josh turns around, smacking his hands together nervously, and looks at Donna, who is standing behind him. JOSH Would you call Leo's office? Donna goes off to a side room, and picks up a phone. JOSH So, I guess we should use this time. Uh, this is the White House, the home of the President and the Executive Branch, the most powerful of the three branches of the federal government. Josh is pacing back and forth in front of the students. One of them raises his hand to ask a question. JOSH Yeah. BILLY Actually, Mr. Lyman, isn't it true that the Framers made sure that the Executive Branch was the weakest of the three branches? Because we were breaking off from the royalist model that put absolute power in just one place. I mean, isn't that why they made the Legislative branch-or People's Branch-the most powerful? Josh stops in front of Billy, and acts vaguely menacing, a little smirk on his face, and Donna can be seen reentering in the background. JOSH What's your name? BILLY [with a slight hesitation] I'm Billy Fernandez. JOSH I'll call you Fred. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. I don't know how long we're all going to be here, but you just made my list. Billy smiles, and Josh walks off, continuing. JOSH Yes, I suppose, technically, constitutionally the Legislative Branch is the most powerful, but we get a motorcade, so back off. All right, you already know about the branches of government, I assume you know how a bill becomes a law. What do you want to talk about? The kids make no response, they seem nervous. JOSH Guys, seriously, it's nothing to worry about. We've been having these crashes once a week. Let's go. Somebody ask me something. A girl pipes up from the group. GIRL 1 So... what's the deal with everybody trying to kill you? JOSH Well... it's not everybody, and they're trying to kill you, too. GIRL 1 But mostly you. JOSH No, both of us the same. Let's go, it doesn't have to be about politics. You're off to college. I'm the guy who knows what you need to know. Sophomore year, my roommates and I got a fish registered for 18 credits, and she made Dean's List. My roommates and I made a Dean's List of a different sort, but that doesn't matter. Another boy, behind Billy, pipes up. BOY 1 Do you get scared coming to work at the White House? JOSH No. I mean, we're bystanders, basically, and we work around a lot of people who routinely put themselves in harm's way-the Secret Service and the military. You know, the protection detail? They practice a thousand different scenarios for a gun: who tackles the president, who opens the car, who's covering the perimeter, and there's one guy whose job it is to stand in front of the bullet. Not get the shooter-stand in front of the bullet. I've seen him do it. GIRL 1 Do you ever think about quitting? JOSH No. [hesitates for a moment, and continues] Well... my, uh... my mother wants me to. My family members have a habit of, uh, dying before you're supposed too. So it's just me and my mom now and... You guys know I guess, that I got accidentally shot a little bit or something at Rosslyn. So, she'd like to see me in the private sector. But I tell her my government salary may not be a lot, but I still make more than the guy whose job it is to stand in front of the bullet, so how do I tell him I'm quitting? So she made me this box that I'm supposed to keep in the trunk of my car, and it's got a super-powered flashlight, five gallons of water, and a transistor radio, and some first aid. But she keeps thinking of things to add to it. She'll call and say, uh, "I found that cap that Dad got Joe Pepitone to sign for you on your birthday. You wore it to school every day in the seventh grade. You want me to send it to you so you can put it in the box?" Josh has trailed off a bit, and stops for a moment, looking sad and serious. He looks around the room for a moment. He starts up again, livelier. JOSH So... I'll say "Yeah, Ma, let's put it in the box." Josh gives a little chuckle. He walks over, leaning against something by the wall. JOSH So anyway, I... I don't know against who, and I don't know what it's going to look like, but one of these days we're gonna have a big win, and for a lot of us who've seen what we've seen, we're not leaving till we do. I'm gonna be here six presidents from now, in my office, Wile E. Coyote and a map. GIRL 2 So why is everybody trying to kill us? JOSH It's not everybody. GIRL 2 It seems like everybody. BOY 2 It's just the Arabs. BOY 1 Saying the Arabs is too general. BOY 2 It's Islamic. JOSH It's not Arabs. It's not Islamics. [to Donna] They're juniors and seniors? DONNA Yes. JOSH You're juniors and seniors. [heads over to a dry erase board across the room] In honor of the SAT's you're about to take, answer the following question. He erases the board, and Donna hands him a marker. JOSH Thanks. Islamic extremist is to Islamic as "blank" is to Christianity. Josh writes this on the board as he speaks it again to the kids. JOSH Islamic... extremist... is to... Islamic... as... "blank" is... to Christianity. BOY 2 Christian Fundamentalists. JOSH No. BOY 3 Jehovah's Witnesses? JOSH No. Guys, the Christian right may not be your cup of tea, but they're not blowing stuff up. "Islamic extremist is to Islamic as "blank is to Christianity." No one responds. Josh turns around and writes "KKK" on the dry erase board, and circles it. JOSH That's what we're talking about. It's the Klan, gone medieval and global. It couldn't have less to do with Islamic men and women of faith of whom there are millions upon millions. Muslims defend this country in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, National guard, police and fire departments. So, let's ask the question again. GIRL 1 Why are Islamic Extremists trying to kill us? JOSH That's a reasonable question if ever I heard one. Why are we targets of war? BOY 2 Because we're Americans. JOSH That's it? GIRL 3 Because of our freedom? JOSH No other reasons? BOY 3 Freedom and democracy. JOSH I'll tell you, right or wrong-and I think they're wrong-it's probably a good idea to acknowledge that they do have specific complaints. I-I hear them every day-the people we support, troops in Saudi Arabia, sanctions against Iraq, support for Egypt. It's not just that they don't like Irving Berlin. DONNA Yes, it is. JOSH No, it's not. DONNA No, not about Irving Berlin, but your ridiculous search for rational reasons why somebody straps a bomb to their chest is ridiculous. JOSH You just called me ridiculous twice in one sentence. DONNA Hardly a record for me. JOSH And you just made my list. DONNA [to the kids] Nothing happens on the list. JOSH It's a serious list. But she does have a point, albeit college girlish. DONNA Watch now, as he's going to put me down and make my point at the exact same time. JOSH Hardly a record for me. What's Islamic extremism? It's strict adherence to a particular interpretation of 7th century Islamic law as practiced by the prophet Mohammed, and when I say "strict adherence," I'm not kidding around. Men are forced to pray, wear their beards a certain length. Among my favorites is there's only one acceptable cheer at a soccer match: Allah-uh-Akbar-God is great. If your guys are getting creamed, then you're on your own. Things are a lot less comic for women, who aren't allowed to attend school or have jobs. They're not allowed to be unaccompanied, and oftentimes get publicly stoned to death for crimes like not wearing a veil. I don't have to tell you they don't need to shout at a soccer match because they're never going to go to one. So what bothers them about us? Well, the variety of cheers alone coming from the cheap seats at Giants stadium when they're playing the Cowboys is enough for a jihad, to say nothing of street corners lined church next to synagogue, next to mosque, newspapers that can print anything they want, women who can do anything they want including taking a rocket ship to outer space, vote, and play soccer. This is a plural society. That means we accept more than one idea. It offends them. So yes, she does have a point, but that certainly doesn't mean you should listen to her. GIRL 3 So... what do we do now? JOSH What? GIRL 3 What do we do now? JOSH Well, I think for help with that question we're going to need some people smarter than I am. DONNA Definitely. JOSH Thing is... that's pretty tough to find. But I'm going to go upstairs and see if I can get some of my friends to come down and join us. Listen, I-I don't know what's going on and I don't know how long we're going to be here. Are you guys hungry? GIRL 1 Yeah. JOSH Freddy, why don't you grab a couple of people, go to the back of the kitchen, get apples and peanut butter? Guys, I've gotten entire pieces of legislation through Congress on apples and peanut butter. I'll be back in a little bit. Josh exits the mess. CUT TO: INT. A DARKENED OFFICE ROOM - NIGHT A man, clearly of Arab decent, sits by a window, smoking a cigarette. 5:22 PM, OLD EXECUTIVE OFFICE BUILDING. Out in the HALLWAY, Ron Butterfield and four other Secret Service men walk quickly to the room where the man is. The man continues to smoke, until he hears the doorknob to the room rattling behind him, and he tosses his cigarette out the window. A Secret Service agent kicks in the door, gun drawn for firing. The agents hurry into the room, and the man looks startled. AGENT 1 Secret Service, don't move! RON Show us your hands. Do it now. The man puts his hands up. He is clearly frightened. RON Are you Raqim Ali? RAQIM ALI Yes. The-there's- RON Stay calm. I'm Special Agent Ron Butterfield of the United States Secret Service. Keep your hands over your head and step away from the window. We're going to ask you some questions. FADE OUT. END ACT ONE * * * ACT TWO FADE IN: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - NIGHT Leo and Ron Butterfield enter. Ron waits for Leo to close all the doors before speaking. RON Five hours ago, Khuram Sharif was taken into custody while crossing from Ontario into Vermont. There was a warrant for his arrest in connection with an attempted bombin at LaGuardia. Turning State's evidence over to the U.S. Attorney, he named several coconspirators. One of whom was Yaarun Nabi. A preliminary check in the NCIC kicked out five aliases. One of which was Raqim Ali. There are three Raqim Alis. One's a software designer in Spokane. Another is a caterer in Los Angeles. LEO Who's the third? RON He works in the White House. Leo is surprised, almost speechless. LEO It was only a matter of time, huh? RON Yeah. CUT TO: INT. DARK OFFICE - NIGHT The Raqim Ali that works in the White House is seated at a table. Several agents are around, one of whom is asking him questions. AGENT Have you ever heard of Khuram Sharif? ALI Yes. He was arrested in connection with an attempted bombing of one of the New York airports. I think he may have also been arrested once in Patterson, New Jersey. AGENT Patterson means something to you? ALI I was born there. AGENT Where did you go to school? ALI Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I have a Bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics. Leo suddenly walks in with Ron. He looks at Ali. LEO You know who I am? ALI Of course I know who you are. Leo nods to the agent. CUT TO: INT. WHITE HOUSE MESS - NIGHT Toby is now in front of the group of children. TOBY Kill them all. Yeah. BOY 1 All the Islamic Extremists? TOBY No, no. I mean everyone. You're all bothering me. I want to be left alone. Clearly, the only way that's gonna happen is to be alone. So I'm sorry, but I'm gonna have to let you all go. [pause] Except the Yankees and the Knicks... and the Yankees and the Knicks are gonna need someone to play, so keep the Red Sox and the Lakers... and the Laker girls, and The Palm, and we'll need to keep the people who work at The Palm. That's it though. The Yankees, the Red Sox, the Knicks, the Lakers, the Laker girls, and anyone who works at The Palm. Sports, Laker girls, and a well-prepared steak. That's all I need... Sometimes, I like to mix it up with Italian... and Chinese. All right, you can all stay, but don't bug me. You're on probation. Don't forget. I was this close to banishing you. JOSH This is Toby Ziegler, and actually, he's in charge of crafting our message to the public. TOBY And today, that message is? BOY 1 Don't bug me? TOBY That's right. GIRL 1 Nice beard. TOBY My choice, sister. And by the way, there's nothing wrong with a religion whose laws say a man's got to wear a beard or cover his head or wear a collar. It's when violation of these laws become a crime against the State and not your parents that we're talking about lack of choice. [looks at the visual aid, reads] "Islamic Extremists is to Islamic as KKK is to Christianity." That's... that's about right. That's a good religious analogy. What's the political analogy? What's an analogy using governments? BOY 1 They don't have a government. BOY 2 They have the Taliban. They have the government of Afghanistan. TOBY The Taliban is not the recognized government of Afghanistan. The Taliban took over the recognized government of Afghanistan. And there's your political analogy. BOY 2 What do you mean? TOBY When you think of Afghanistan, think of Poland. When you think of the Taliban, think of the Nazis. When you think of the citizens of Afghanistan, think of the Jews in concentration camps. A friend of my dad's was at one of the camps. He used to come over to the house, and he and my dad used to shoot some pinochle. He said he once saw a guy at the camp kneeling and praying. He said, "What are you doing?" The guy said he was thanking God. And my dad's friend said, "What could you possibly be thanking God for?" He said, "I'm thanking God for not making me like them." Bad people can't be recognized on sight. There's no point in trying. JOSH Actually, we already covered that. TOBY It's worth covering twice, don't you agree? JOSH I do. A girl raises her hand to get Toby's attention. TOBY Yeah. GIRL 2 Pinochle's a card game? TOBY [pause] Yeah, I've changed my mind again. Kill them all. JOSH Laker girls? TOBY No, all right. BOY 1 What was the first act of terrorism? TOBY [to Josh] What was the first act of terrorism? JOSH I could answer, but I think he's asking you, man. TOBY [sighs] I-I know it's not new. I know in the eleventh century... I'm gonna have trouble pronouncing this, in the eleventh century, [sighs] secret followers of Al-hassan Ibn-al-Sabbah, who were taught to believe in nothing and dare all, carried out these very swift and very treacherous murders of fellow Muslims, and they did it in the state of religious ecstasy. Sam walks in behind, looking around. TOBY [cont.] As a matter of fact, young men between 12 and 20 were given hashish, and uh, smuggled into a... I really don't know what they call it, they were smuggled into a kind of specially designed pleasure garden complete with concubines. They were told this was paradise, and that the Master's Angels would carry them back if they carried out murders of the Master's enemies. SAM Ah, temptation. I have named thee, and thy name is woman. JOSH This is Sam Seaborn, Deputy Communications Director. Now, don't be frightened when I tell you that in this room, Sam is the knowledgeable terrorism expert. The good news is in this government, we have some extremely knowledgeable terrorism experts. SAM I heard I was needed, I came. TOBY We were talking about Al-, am I pronouncing this right? Al-Hassan Ibn-al-Sabbah? SAM Yeah, from the eleventh century. TOBY Yeah. SAM By the way, the Arabic name for their secret order has survived until today. Can anybody guess what it was? Their Arabic name. [points to a boy] You know. BOY 3 Assassins? SAM Assassins. That's right. JOSH Yeah, we don't call on him. Laughter. TOBY [to Sam] What's going on? SAM There's supposed to be a meeting at Treasury. TOBY I had a 6:00 on the Hill, now I'm stuck here, you know, talking with well-dressed children who can't vote. GIRL 1 You know a lot about terrorism? SAM I dabble. GIRL 1 What are you struck by most? SAM It's 100% failure rate. GIRL 1 Really? SAM Not only do terrorists always fail at what they're after, they pretty much always succeed in strengthening whatever it is they're against. BOY 1 What about the IRA? SAM The Brits are still there. The Protestants are still there. Basque extremists have been staging terrorist attacks in Spain for decades with no result. Left Wing Red Brigades from the 60s and 70s, from the Bader-Meinhoff gang in Germany to the Weatherman in the U.S. have tried to take over capitalism. You tell me. How's capitalism doing? BOY 2 What about non-violent protest? SAM What about it? BOY 2 Well, it worked for Gandhi. SAM Yeah, it did. Who else did it work for? BOY 1 The Civil Rights Movement. SAM That's right. GIRL 1 Yeah, but weren't we terrorists at the Boston Tea Party? SAM Nobody got hurt at the Boston Tea Party. The only people that got hurs was some fancy boys who didn't have anything to wash down their crumpets with. We jumped out from behind bushes, while the British came down the road in their bright red jackets, but never has a war been so courteously declared. It was on parchment with calligraphy and "Your highness, we beseech you on this day in Philadelphia to bite me, if you please." GIRL 1 Can I go back to what you were saying at the beginning? SAM Yeah. GIRL 1 About it being 100% ineffective. SAM Yeah. GIRL 1 They're still doing it anyway. SAM Yeah. GIRL 1 They're not frustrated by the failure? SAM No. GIRL 1 Well, what do you call a soceity that has to just live everyday with the idea that the pizza place you're eating in can just blow up without any warning? SAM Israel. CUT TO: INT. DARK OFFICE - NIGHT Leo is now seated across Raqim Ali, doing the questioning. LEO Can you tell us about the wire in your backpack? ALI My apartment is in an older building. It's for my computer. I needed the older telephone wires so I could upgrade the M-waves on my motherboard. LEO You're an expert in circuitry and wiring? ALI My father works for the phone company. LEO I want to talk about the applied mathematics degree. ALI Yeah? LEO What are you doing working for a White House staffer secretary? ALI I-... What do you mean? LEO We don't do a lot of math around here. ALI Well, my interests shifted, I became interested in policy. LEO You're aware that the intelligence agencies routinely recruit top mathematicians, oftentimes out of M.I.T. and train them to be cryptographers. ALI Sure. LEO And those cryptographers are the ones who, on a daily basis, code and decode messages sent between the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon. ALI Yes. Leo puts on his glasses, picks up the papers on the table and looks at them. A moment later, he takes off his glasses and looks up at Ali. LEO Last year, your father made a contribution to something called the Holy Land Defender. Were you aware of the contribution? ALI Mr. McGarry, I understand the need for these questions, and I hope you notice I've been cooperating, but if you drag my father into this pitiful exercise, I'm afraid I'm gonna get angry. LEO I don't think you understand the seriousness of what's happening right now. He puts on his glasses again and looks down at the papers. ALI I don't think you do. Leo looks up at him for a second, then down to the papers again. FADE OUT. END ACT TWO * * * ACT THREE FADE IN: INT. THE MESS - NIGHT The conversation continues. C.J. is now part of it. JOSH No, no, no, no. You walked into quicksand. TOBY You don't talk to C.J. about the CIA. SAM You just don't do it. JOSH C.J. has a bizarre affection for the intelligence community that we just don't... C.J. Bizarre? How about right? JOSH Okay. C.J. This song is called, "The CIA, Our Maligned Little Brother." SAM Oh God. C.J. We need spies; human spies. Spy satellites are great if you're trying to detect whether or not Kruschev's put missiles in Cuba. But if you want to overhear a conversation over Turkish coffee in Khyber Pass, you need a spy. You guys want to great a great job after college and serve your country? Study Arabic, Chinese and Farsi. TOBY Maybe this'd be a good time for a chorus of "Our Maligned Little Brother, Civil Liberties." C.J. Liberties, schmiberties. TOBY C.J. Cregg, ladies and gentlemen. C.J. You know the way to do this without tapping some phones? TOBY What about illegal searches? What about profiling? Do you know what Benjamin Franklin said? C.J. He said, "Hey, look, I've invented the stove." BILLY He said, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." C.J. What's your name? BILLY Well... JOSH [to C.J.] I'm on it. C.J. Well, I don't think we're talking a little temporary safety and it's not like we need to search high and low for clear and present danger. TOBY Well, what would you say the point of fighting terrorism is? C.J. It's to insure freedom, Pokey. I don't need the brochure. TOBY I think you do cause during times of great crisis and threat, America has used Draconian measures before and I think maybe you've forgotten just how affective they've been. Can you name some? GIRL 1 The blacklist. TOBY [points at C.J.] I want her to name them. C.J. [quickly] The blacklist. TOBY Thank you. C.J. Look, I talk civil liberties as seriously as anybody, okay? I've been to the dinners and we haven't even talked about free speech yet and somebody getting lynched by the patriotism police for voicing a minority opinion. That said, Tobus, we're going to have to do some stuff. We're going to have to tap some phones and we're going to have to partner with some people who are the lesser of evils. I'm sorry but terrorists don't have armies and navies. They don't have capitals. Some of these guys we're going to have to walk up to them and shoot them. Yeah, we can root terrorist nests but some of these guys aren't going to be taken by the 105thn armored tank division. Some of these guys are going to be taken by a busboy with a silencer. So it's time to give the intelligence agencies the money and the manpower they need. We don't hear about their successes. Guess what? The Soviets never crossed the Elbe. The North Koreans stayed behind the 38th parallel. During the Millennium? Not one incident. Do you think that's because the terrorists decided that'd be a good day to take off? Not much action that day? End of song. CUT TO: INT. DARK OFFICE - NIGHT AGENT You were arrested two years ago? ALI Yes, and the charges were dropped. AGENT You were arrested for holding a rally without a permit. ALI I had a permit. It hadn't processed. And the charges were dropped. LEO What were you protesting. ALI The presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia. LEO What exactly is your concern with our troops in Saudi Arabia? ALI Saudi Arabia is home to two of our holiest mosques. Mecca is there. How would you like it if I camped outside the Vatican with a stockpile of M-16s? LEO I'd like it fine if you were there to protect the Vatican. ALI Mister... LEO We sent our troops down there to make sure our friends didn't cross the Kuwaiti border and seize Saudi territory. ALI You mean Saudi Oil? LEO Yes, we have oil interests in the gulf. So does the rest of the world. ALI You sent an army composed of women as well as men to protect a Muslim dynasty where women aren't even allowed to drive a car. LEO Maybe we can teach them. ALI [stares at Leo in anger and disbelief] Anyway, that's what I was protesting. AGENT You went to Edison High School in Patterson, correct? ALI Correct. AGENT On December 3, 1994, someone called in a bomb threat to the school. ALI Yeah, I remember that there were bomb threats. I remember that there were more than one, but I don't remember the exact dates. AGENT According to your transcripts, police questioned you. ALI Yeah, it's on my school transcript 'cause I wasn't arrested. AGENT So what did they ask you? ALI They asked if I called in a bomb threat, which I didn't. AGENT Do you know who did? ALI It was a couple of football players that didn't want to take a chem final. AGENT So it was a couple of football players but they called you in anyway? ALI It's not uncommon for Arab Americans to be the first suspected when that sort of thing happens. LEO I can't imagine why. ALI Look... LEO No, I'm trying to figure out why anytime there's any terrorist activity, people always assume its Arabs. I'm racking my brain. ALI I don't know the answer to that, Mr. McGarry, but I can tell you it's horrible. LEO Well, that's the price you pay. ALI (angry) Excuse me? The price for what? LEO (to the agent) Continue the questions. FADE OUT. END ACT THREE * * * ACT FOUR FADE IN: INT. THE MESS - NIGHT Toby walks out of the mess. Charlie stands in a doorway at the back of the room, his arms crossed, and watches as C.J. speaks to the students. She's seated on a stool at the front of the room. Josh is leaning on the counter next to her, and Sam is standing by the coffee area. C.J. There's nothing more American than coalition-building. The first thing John Wayne always did was put together a posse. JOSH That's a hell of an example, C.J. C.J. Shouldn't you be finding ways to provide aid and comfort for our boys in intelligence? JOSH You know, they may need some comforting right now. When this crash is over, you'd best get in some fishnets and head to a bar. C.J. I will. A student raises his hand. JOSH Yeah? BOY 1 Where do terrorists come from? JOSH Where do they come from? SAM Everywhere. Mostly they come from exactly where you'd expect: places of abject poverty and despair. Horribly impoverished places are an incubator for the worst kind of crime. CHARLIE Which is the same as it is right here. Everyone turns to look at Charlie. CHARLIE Same as it is here. I live in Southeast D.C. If you don't know the area, think Compton, or South Central L.A., Detroit, the South Bronx. Dilapidated schools, drugs, guns, and what else? BOY 1 Gangs? CHARLIE Gangs. Gangs give you a sense of belonging, and usually, an income. But mostly, they give you a sense of dignity. Men are men, and men'll seek pride. Everybody here's got a badge to wear. "I'm the Deputy Communications Director." "I made Presidential Classroom." "I know the answer. I'm going to Cornell." You think bangers are walking around with their heads down, saying, "Oh man, I didn't make anything out of my life. I'm in a gang." No, man! They're walking around saying, "Man, I'm in a gang. I'm with them." A door to the mess is opened and several Secret Service agents walk into the room. The staff all stand as Bartlet and Abbey casually walk in, escorted by other agents. They stand next to each other at the front of the room. STAFF Good evening, Mr. President. BARTLET Hello... MARJORIE [whispering] Everyone, stand up. The students all stand, albeit belatedly. BARTLET [to C.J.] What the hell's going on? C.J. Sir, this is a group of high school students from Presidential Classroom. BARTLET Ah... Please... Bartlet nods and gestures to the students to sit back down. BARTLET You women seem bright and lovely. The men? Disturbingly dense. The students laugh quietly. ABBEY Ignore him. God knows the rest of us do. Charlie walks between the tables where the students are seated, toward the front of the room. BARTLET Excuse me... [to Charlie] Weren't you coming down to get me some apples and peanut butter? CHARLIE We're out of apples, sir. Bartlet nods good-naturedly. BARTLET [to students] So, we're stuck here, huh? BOY 2 Yes, sir. BARTLET Well, I live here. BOY 2 [laughing] Yes, sir. BARTLET [to C.J.] I'm going back to my office. Nice meeting you all. ABBEY [to Bartlet] I'm gonna stay here a few minutes. Bartlet turns to leave as a student asks him a question. BOY 1 Sir? BARTLET [turns around] Yeah? BOY 1 Do you consider yourself a man of principle? BARTLET [gently] I try to be. BOY 1 Well, don't you consider...I mean, I know they're our enemy, but don't you consider there's something noble about being a martyr? BARTLET [pauses, considers the question] A martyr would rather suffer death at the hands of an oppressor than renounce his beliefs. Killing yourself and innocent people to make a point is sick, twisted, brutal, dumb-ass murder. And let me leave you with this thought before I go searching for the apples that were rightfully mine: we don't need martyrs right now. We need heroes. A hero would die for his country but he'd much rather live for it... It was good meeting you all. Bartlet leaves and Charlie follows him out, along with most of the agents. C.J. Thank you, Mr. President. JOSH Thank you, sir. CUT TO: INT. OUTSIDE THE DARK OFFICE - NIGHT Several FBI agents are standing in the hallway outside the meeting room where Ali is being interrogated. A Secret Service agent is standing next to the door, which is closed. A second agent approaches and whispers a message to the agent at the door. The first agent opens the door and enters the DARK OFFICE to confer with Ron. The second agent stands in the doorway, waiting. Ali glances around nervously as the agent speaks with Ron. Ali is being questioned by a third agent who is seated on the table across from him. AGENT Why were you in Uzbekistan? ALI It was my Russia trip. I went there with some friends after graduation. AGENT Could you tell me about the Islamic League of Allston? ALI It used to be my mosque. The agent who entered the room speaks quietly with Ron and then leaves. Ron and the agent who has been questioning ALI confer with the agent who delivered the message. AGENT MESSENGER We found him. RON Where? AGENT MESSENGER Germany. RON [to the other agent, who is nodding] I'm fine. Ron quickly leaves with the agent who delivered the message. AGENT Mr. Ali, you're free to go. Thank you. ALI Thank you. Ali sighs heavily as everyone leaves, except Leo, who sits motionless in his chair and stares at Ali. Ali gets up to leave and is almost out the door when he stops, turns and walks back toward Leo. ALI You know what, Mr. McGarry? You have the memory of a gypsy moth. When you and the President and the President's daughter and about a hundred other people -- including me, by the way -- were met with a hail of .44-calibre gunfire in Rosslyn, not only were the shooters white... they were doing it because one of us wasn't. Leo stares blankly ahead and only looks up as Ali leaves. Leo's expression changes slightly, a hint of sadness on his face. CUT TO: INT. THE MESS - NIGHT Abbey is sitting at the front of the room. Josh is sitting in a chair by the door, his arms crossed. STUDENT How did all this start? ABBEY How did what all start? STUDENT Well... this... ABBEY Sarah... God said to Abraham, "Look toward the heaven and number the stars and so shall your descendants be." But Abraham's wife, Sarah, wasn't getting any younger, and God wasn't coming through on His promise... I was very young when I had my kids. I was very, very, very, very young. I was barely even born yet when I had my oldest daughter, Elizabeth. Josh and the students laugh quietly. Abbey glances over at Josh, who is smiling at her. ABBEY Anyway, Sarah was getting older, and she was getting nervous because she didn't have any children. So she sent Abraham to the bed of her maid, Hagar, and Abraham and Hagar had Ishmael. And not long after they did, God kept His promise to Sarah, as He'd always intended to, and Abraham and Sarah had Isaac. And Sarah said to Abraham, "Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of the slave woman will not be heir with my son Isaac." And so it began: the Jews, the sons of Isaac. The Arabs, the sons of Ishmael. But what most people find important to remember is that, in the end, the two sons came together to bury their father. JOSH I think most people also find it important to remember that the whole thing took place about 73 million years ago. ABBEY Yeah. DONNA [walks in] Excuse me, ma'am. We're clear. ABBEY Well, that's that then. It was good talking with you guys. Hang in there. Abbey stands up and leaves, along with several agents. Josh sits down in a chair near the front of the room. JOSH Well, all right. That's it then. STUDENT Can I ask one more question? JOSH Yeah. STUDENT Do you favor the death penalty? JOSH No. STUDENT But you think we should kill these people? JOSH You don't have the choices in a war that you do in a jury room. But I - I - I wish... wish we didn't have to. I think death is too simple. STUDENT What would do instead? JOSH I'd put 'em in a small cell, and make them watch home movies of the birthdays and baptisms and weddings of every single person they killed, over and over, every day, for the rest of their lives. [clears his throat] And then they'd get punched in the mouth every night at bedtime. By a different person, every night. There'd be a long list of volunteers, but that's all right. We'll wait...But listen, don't worry about all this right now. We got your covered. Worry about school. Worry about what you're gonna tell your parents when you break curfew. You're gonna meet guys, you're gonna meet girls... [looks at Billy] Not so much you, Fred. The students chuckle weakly. JOSH Learn things. Be good to each other. Read the newspapers, go the movies, go to a party. Read a book. In the meantime, remember pluralism. You want to get these people? I mean, you really want to reach in and kill them where they live? Keep accepting more than one idea. Makes 'em absolutely crazy. The students are all listening very intently. JOSH [good-naturedly] Go. Josh stands up and shakes hands with the students and Marjorie as they file out. JOSH See you later. Okay. MARJORIE Thank you. JOSH Thank you. Thanks a lot. It was fun. Don't steal anything on the way out. Okay. STUDENT Bye-bye. Billy is one of the last to leave. JOSH Billy. [gestures for him to wait] Listen... Josh waits for the others to leave. Billy looks up at Josh expectantly. JOSH Nothing, just...just keep doing what you're doing. BILLY [almost whispering] Okay. JOSH Okay. [They shake hands.] See you. BILLY Bye. Billy leaves, carrying his jacket. Josh turns, his hands in his pockets, and watches Billy leave. CUT TO: INT. ALI'S OFFICE - NIGHT Leo walks slowly inside. Ali is working at his desk. LEO [solemnly] Good evening. Ali looks up. LEO [stiffly] That's the price you pay... for having the same physical features as criminals. That's what I was gonna say. ALI [quietly] No kidding. LEO I'm sorry about that. Also about the crack I made about teaching Muslim women how to drive. Ali looks down, taking this in. Leo, nervously, stiffly, his eyes wandering a bit, searches for the correct words. LEO I think if you talk to people who know me, they'd tell you that... that was unlike me, you know? We're obviously all under, um... a greater than usual amount of... you know. And like you pointed out, with the shooting and everything... A long silence falls between them. Ali looks up and searches Leo's face. LEO Yeah. [nods slightly] All right. Well, that's all. Leo turns slowly and walks out into the hall. Ali turns back to his desk and continues working. Leo hesitates, then turns around. LEO Hey, kid... Ali turns to look at Leo. The opening notes of "For What It's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield begin. LEO [softly] Way to be back at your desk. They stare at each other for a few moments. Leo turns and leaves. Ali turns slowly back to his desk. There's something happening here What it is ain't exactly clear There's a man with a gun over there Telling me I got to beware I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound Everybody look what's going down. There's battle lines being drawn Nobody's right if everybody's wrong Young people speaking their minds Getting so much resistance from behind I think it's time we stop, hey, what's that sound Everybody look what's going down. DISSOLVE TO: END TITLES. FADE TO BLACK. THE END * * * The West Wing and all its characters are a property of Aaron Sorkin, John Wells Production, Warner Brothers Television, and NBC. No copyright infringement is intended. Episode 3.00 -- "Isaac and Ishmael" Original Airdate: October 3, 2001, 9:00 PM EST Transcribed by: The Vault August 5, 2002