Season 3 – Episode 22 – “Isaac and Ishmael”

Episode Summary:

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.

Script:

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

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