Season 5 – Episode 10 – “The Stormy Present”

Episode Summary:

When a former President of the United States dies, the two remaining ex-Presidents fly on Air Force One with Bartlet to attend the funeral. Onboard, Bartlet’s two historic guests partake in a lively debate about their administrations. Their past mistakes haunt the current administration including a recent event–protestors have surrounded a Saudi Oil headquarters, taking 200 hostages, including 50 Americans. Meanwhile, C.J. investigates government experiments on mind control. Leo discovers his ex-wife is engaged to be married. And Josh referees a debate concerning an original copy of the Bill of Rights.


Please, tell President Lassiter I’ll call him back.
I’m late as it is.
I know he called before.
President, you forgot Kevin Barkovsky.
– I’m sure I did.
– He’s been waiting.
– Who is he? – Candidate to paint your official portrait.
It’s a put-up job, Charlie, a conspiracy.
Official presidential portraits aren’t official.
It’s Abbey who wants it.
– Send Mr.
Barkovsky on his way.
– Every president has one.
I’m not sitting for any portrait unless you dig up Gilbert Stuart.
– Who did Lincoln? – I have no idea.
When you think of Lincoln, you think of the photographs.
Particularly that last one, where the plate broke.
Fifty-six, he looked ancient.
It’s Leo.
– I’m late.
– General Alexander is waiting in the Oval.
– I should have brought my tie.
– We’ve got a situation.
Of course we do.
General, you have a tie? Mr.
President, several hours ago protesters began gathering in Riyadh calling for free speech, press and popular elections.
It’s in the streets.
Maybe a thousand.
Midnight over there, and it’s still growing.
Who’s leading the protest? We don’t know.
State’s calling the embassy, waking everyone up.
One thing’s clear, Mr.
President: In Riyadh, this has never happened before.
Leo? Free speech is good.
Free-for-all for a quarter of the world’s oil reserves laced with rabid anti-American sentiment Yeah.
– Gentlemen.
– Sir.
Did you reach Secretary Berryhill? Sir, he’s in Tokyo.
He’d like to fly to Jordan to monitor the situation.
General? The number seems now to be several thousand primarily students and young clerics.
They’re using anti-American rhetoric, yet demanding democratic reforms.
– Are they armed? – CNN’s reporting they’re not.
Do we have any real intelligence on these people? Our intel in Riyadh is only slightly better than in the rest of the Middle East.
– Which is to say lousy.
– Sir, the good news is the Saudis are very concerned with their image in the West.
If the demonstrations remain nonviolent We have time before they start breaking legs? Public beheadings are more their style.
It will give us a chance to establish contact with the leaders of the protest.
– If they are democratic – I don’t need to remind you that chaos on the Arabian peninsula could destabilize the entire Middle East.
Throw the global economy into crisis.
If it’s a Trojan horse for a fundamentalist coup – We’d better start buying hybrids.
– And gas masks.
– Mr.
President, the devil you know – Is one I’m pretty tired of dancing with.
Get me better intelligence.
And, Leo, let’s get the ambassador in here first thing.
– Thanks, everybody.
– Thank you, Mr.
You want the latest on Riyadh? So do I.
We can watch CNN together.
, any update on former President Lassiter’s condition? Lassiter is recovering nicely from the operation.
If I took as many trips as he does, I’d have to get my hip replaced as well.
Now, let me see if I can answer the rest of your questions so I can get dressed.
The president will attend the gala at Ford’s Theater tonight.
Yes, it’s where Lincoln was shot.
We’re expecting the president’s Lincolnalia to be in rare form.
Yes, the bad jokes can start now, and that means I can’t call on See, I told you we were done.
Thank you.
A source in the Pentagon says the military is funding mind-control experiments.
– Mind control? Who are you? – Randal Fierstin, Backslash Magazine.
Backslash Magazine? Oh, come on.
– Who let you in here? – I have a source.
Two, in fact.
Randal, I meant bad jokes about Ford’s Theater.
So the White House has no comment.
The White House in this dimension? Backslash Magazine.
You’re dressed and ready to go.
– This is true.
– I’m not.
– Also true.
– Is there a reason you’re following me? – Do I need one? – You’re avoiding the president.
– Yeah.
– I don’t have to go, do I? – Into the valley of death rode the 600.
– That’s helpful.
What do you know about mind-control experiments? – MK-ULTRA.
– Excuse me? In the ’50s, it was the CIA mind-control research program begun in response to the Chinese attempt on U.
– Like The Manchurian Candidate.
– Like what’s gonna happen tonight.
You’re ready too.
– It’s a far, far better thing I do – Maybe it’ll be different this year.
– No.
– But it’s long gone, yes? Mind control? It worked on Freddie Briggs when I was 16.
– Freddie Briggs? – He was my first.
Was he my first? – Sixteen? – I’m the only one who’s not dressed? – Was your dress stolen? – No.
– The copy of the Bill of Rights was stolen.
– There are copies around? George Washington sent copies to each of the 13 original colonies.
North Carolina’s got snatched at the end of the Civil War.
– Scintillating.
– The soldier was from Connecticut.
– Josh is from Connecticut.
– That’s right.
Go Whalers.
Not a ton to get excited about in the Nutmeg State.
The FBI seized it, both states claim ownership, the case is in federal court.
– Didn’t North Carolina steal the Whalers? – People are going crazy.
The president’s appearing in Raleigh next week.
They’re handing out fliers.
Who’s on it at the AG’s office? – That would be Freddie Briggs.
– No.
No, but I had you.
the Persian Gulf, Southeast Asia and Japan are major consumers of Saudi oil.
In a single-world market, a price of oil would be 260 billion barrels of oil.
It’s the epicenter of the world economy.
A civil war, a fanatical new regime.
These could imperil our very way of life.
– Yeah, no kidding.
– Oh, Toby! – Yeah? – Was there something you wanted? World peace? Go hide from the president somewhere else.
Out! Waiting for your date? – She’s late.
Go figure.
– When you start dating younger women I hear you’re old enough to be her father.
Al Jazeera’s reporting and protests now in Jiddah, Burydah, Rafha.
– State find out anything? – They’re digging.
Berryhill’s en route to Jordan and the king’s brother’s on his way.
Bitar? We’re not the only ones who think this is a thing.
– Yeah.
– I’ll see you at the theater.
– Josh.
– Hey.
You might not wanna be – Have you been to Ford’s Theater? – It’s my first time.
Oh, well, you gotta talk to the president about Lincoln, about the Civil War.
Sit with him.
It’s educational.
What are you doing? He’s on his way.
– Maybe if we don’t ask – If you don’t miss the easy ones.
– I didn’t miss a question.
– It wasn’t me.
We had to go downstairs with him and open the museum.
– What are you talking about? – Sit with him.
I’m not sitting with him.
I did last year.
He’ll start in with Lincoln’s first inaugural address and then carry on through to the letter Lincoln wrote to the woman who lost all her sons, who didn’t really lose her sons.
– You have Sandburg’s number? – Sandburg is dead.
– Oh, sure.
Take the easy way out.
– No, it’s not.
I’m not gonna ask this year, don’t worry.
– Evening, Mr.
– Good evening.
I’m not going to ask what was the line that made the audience laugh that John Wilkes Booth used as cover to enter the presidential box? I’m not gonna ask about the broken lock to the box the snapping shinbone sic semper tyrannis.
Major Rathbone and Clara Harris.
Or the exact time Lincoln drew his final breath.
I know that one, 7:21:55.
And the final heartbeat? He had to open his mouth.
Every year, Josh.
Always the first one.
Angela, why don’t you ride with me.
Oh, hi, Dad.
It’s not nice to keep the gentleman waiting.
– Mal, I hardly recognize you.
– Oh, and why is that, do you suppose? That’s why we’re here.
You can tell me everything that’s going on.
Did I mention I’m taking that job in Tanzania? Yeah.
Let’s go.
– The president’s dead.
– What’s going on? What’s happening, Dad? Sir.
President Lassiter is dead.
– Right-wing Republican.
– Conservative.
– Attila-the-Hun conservative.
– Lunatic wife.
Lunatic, Lady Macbeth of a wife.
Didn’t Lassiter vote against the Emancipation Proclamation? – I’m not writing the eulogy.
– You’re riding on Air Force One.
– I am not.
– I thought it was a hip operation.
All good things must come to pass.
Angela Blake, Lieutenant Colonel Castorp.
It’s a pleasure, colonel.
– Colonel.
– I have the file here, sir.
The file? The dead presidents file.
Oh, this is Lieutenant Colonel Castorp, from the military district of Washington.
Upon a president’s death, his unit coordinates travel of dignitaries and handles protocol in concert with the wishes of the family.
– You keep a file on all the presidents? – Yes.
– You got one on Walken? – Thanks, colonel.
President Lassiter’s funeral will be held at the Lassiter Library in Costa Mesa.
The one with the fake Oval.
The president’s giving one of the eulogies.
I’m staying to monitor the situation in Riyadh.
I need C.
here to brief.
Toby, I don’t wanna hear it.
You’re on Air Force One, writing the eulogy.
Josh, you’ll help the lieutenant colonel coordinate with Mrs.
Leo, I got lawyers from Connecticut and North Carolina coming to – What? – A Union soldier stole a copy of the Bill of Rights at the end of the Civil War.
A dead president, time bomb in Riyadh, and you’re arbitrating the Civil War? I hear they’re threatening to rally in Raleigh.
Introduce Donna to Lieutenant Colonel Castorp.
Class dismissed.
Leo, I got a question yesterday.
Tell me we’re not conducting mind-control research.
We’re not conducting mind-control research.
You’re not doing it on me right now? – There might be something at DARPA.
The guys who research flying cars and x-ray vision? Also the guys who invented GPS, stealth technology and the Internet.
But if the public finds out we’re spending taxpayer dollars on mind control Give the DOD a call.
I have to babysit the first widow? Beehive hair, dewlaps hysterical phone calls all hours of the day and night.
And Lieutenant Colonel Castorp.
You’ll love it.
Why can’t you do it? I’m gonna be watching a reenactment of Gettysburg.
Since when do you care about the Bill of Rights? The Civil War – Whaler pride.
– You sold me down the river.
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
I love New York.
The light on the water towers and the tops of the buildings.
These water wells, hundreds of feet above the ground.
Hell of a long way to toss a canteen.
Prince Bitar.
The prince was giving me a virtual tour of New York.
I come with greetings from the royal family who convey their pleasure at the way our countries weathered recent storms in keeping with our friendship.
And Leo here thought you were coming to talk about the protest.
Protest? Hardly.
A few errant schoolboys.
A few thousand schoolboys and a couple thousand clerics.
– It’s of no concern.
– Your country’s crying out for reform.
Things must be done at the proper pace.
You’ve got 10,000 people who seem to think you’re not moving fast enough.
We’ve announced plans for elections.
I recall you passed a law to elect municipal councils in 1975.
Hasn’t happened yet.
You’ll forgive us if we don’t hold our breath.
Do you really wish to see the results of popular elections in my country? The royal family’s very large.
There are thousands of members.
At times, some have been less than progressive.
But we do want change.
Manageable change.
You’ll keep us in the loop on the situation? Of course.
And yet if things suddenly become unruly, we – I trust you’ll consult with us.
– As friends do.
As you would consult with us.
Thank you.
President, when these schoolboys protest when they truly wish to denounce us, you know what they say? They call us Americans.
Why former President Newman wanted to fly with the GOP geriatric brigade.
I’m gonna crank up “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.
” Josh, shut up.
You want a history lesson? I’m in Madame Tussaud’s.
All of Lassiter’s men.
There’s Robert Rosiello, who I think tried to sell back Alaska when he was Secretary of the Interior.
Max Pearlman, who served three to five.
Earl Rankowsky, he’s on oxygen.
Dwight Mothman, they must have exhumed him.
And Bobby Bodine, Josh the one who said, “We have enemies without and within, and we must purge” He actually used that word.
“Purge them all until we are purified.
” Purified.
Who needs Dante? I’m on my way to hell at 30,000 feet.
– Hi.
– Josh Lyman.
– Ralph Fairfax, from Fairfield.
– Marylou.
A pleasure.
Wouldn’t you agree that in the chaos and disarray of war to make off with our state’s prized possession, a piece of our heritage doesn’t that sound more like raping and pillaging? – We bought it legitimately.
– You stole it.
I think we’re off to a promising start.
– A copy of the Bill of Rights belongs – To the Union.
You seceded.
This is why we needed General Order 100.
– General Order 100? – All confiscated rebel property – belonged to the Union.
– Tromped by Special Order 88.
– Special Order 88? – Issued by a Union general.
All archives and property entrusted to Carolina must be returned.
The Bill of Rights made 100 unconstitutional.
It violated due process.
One of my law-school classmates published an article on the constitutionality of Lincoln’s order.
Akhil Amar.
– You went to Yale? – Well, Yale’s close to home.
– You’re from Connecticut? – Connecticut? Go Whalers.
Riyadh entered its third day of demonstrations.
And while the demonstrations are peaceful, tensions remain high.
– The president on his way? – Yeah.
– We had to get the forklift out for Toby.
– CNN reports crowds in smaller cities.
– Where are you going? – I’m meeting Mallory at Oberdorfers.
I was supposed to take her to Ford’s Theater.
With all that was going on, I kind of had to I’ll be back in an hour.
– The DARPA budget.
– I thought it was classified.
– It’s on the Internet.
– Hoisted on their own petard.
– Any word back from the DOD? – Not yet.
– There’s a man in your office.
– Okay.
I didn’t see him come.
I turned around and he was there.
A man in my office.
Is he dashing? Not how I’d describe him.
Can I help you? – There are no firewalls on here.
– Excuse me? I could do something with this.
I could call security to do something with you.
Oh, sorry.
I’m Dr.
Max Milkman, from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
– Dr.
– Yes.
– The man from DARPA.
– Yes.
I’ve been reading about you.
Operation Midnight Climax.
Setting up brothels, testing LSD on the patrons without their knowledge.
– Talk about a mind-blowing experience.
– Please.
Cregg, that was ARPA.
– ARPA? – ARPA, not DARPA.
I can’t tell you how comforting that is.
This is Colonel Gantry speaking.
We radioed ahead and it looks like clear skies the rest of the way.
– You okay? – Do I look okay? Not so much.
I think Bobby Bodine was looking for you.
Enemies without and within.
Thank you.
Come on, I’ll show you around.
– Looks like a new plane.
– Reconditioned and reconfigured, I think.
– Don’t care much for the color.
– You should see the house.
The Mauve House? What, shades of puce? I wouldn’t doubt it.
– I got the NSC brief this morning.
– Yeah, I wish they wouldn’t do that.
Those protesters are talking about democracy, Jed.
We don’t know what they’re talking about, D.
Not yet.
– The royal family had – They’re a convenience, getting rich off the oil we gobble up, spending their billions promoting radical Wahhabists.
That was a bad bed we made.
I had to live with it in my day, but it’s time for a change.
Trust the people, Jed.
They’ll make rational decisions.
In the deserts of Arabia, are there any rational decisions? – Excuse me.
Sorry, Mr.
– Raiding the pantry? Just a prop, sir, to help me with the eulogy.
– You know President Newman? – Yes.
I voted for you a couple of times.
You seem to be voting against me at the moment.
– It’s hard to get Toby to speak his mind.
– It just seems to me that most Muslims on the Arabian Peninsula believe they must choose between the law of Allah and the laws of man.
I see.
Arabs don’t make rational decisions, only fundamentalist ones.
Without strong guidance, elections could be a onetime event.
Strong guidance.
You think we should colonize? No.
I think we should run away as fast and as far away as we can.
I think our friends in Britain would argue it’s the best way to midwife modernity.
And didn’t they do a bang-up job with the Arabian Peninsula.
President Bartlet.
It’s Leo.
Do you wanna? – I’ll take it here.
Excuse us? – Mr.
– Yeah.
– Sir, there’s been a development.
Protesters have surrounded the Aramco facility in Dhahran.
They’re picketing the Saudi oil headquarters? The compound includes 40 homes, – Are they at risk? – The protesters are refusing to let anyone in or out until their demands are met.
We’ve also managed to identify a number of the leaders of the protest.
They appear to be members of the royal family.
The honor guard will escort the casket to the grounds after the buglers warm up, but before they seat the presidents.
The reverend will open the program, and Mrs.
Lassiter requested the president give the eulogy.
She also asked for five minutes with the president.
– I’m on the voyage of the damned.
– Village.
It was village.
What’s the difference? – Why are we descending? – What? – This plane.
It’s going down.
– What? – To pick up President Walken.
– Has he been drinking? I don’t think so.
We are dealing with a foreign-policy dilemma of unmatched perplexities with consequences lurking at every turn.
– What’s he talking about? – Maybe not so unlike a woman.
Toby, focus.
Lassiter wants five minutes with the president.
Suicide is painless – Charlie, is he singing? – I don’t think so.
It brings on Many changes Dhahran’s the nerve center.
It goes, the world loses 5 million barrels.
Not to mention 50 Americans.
It’s a nonviolent protest.
President, we’ve located a political officer at the embassy, a Dan Strasser who has a relationship with one of the princes leading the protest.
He’s on leave.
We’re tracking him down.
– George, what’s your take? – This Prince Arujunah was educated at Harvard, but anything’s possible.
– He could be real or not.
– In the meantime we need to prepare to evacuate the Americans in the compound.
This looks and feels like the beginning of a real democratic movement.
– Over the next few hours, as we learn – Sir, this is Iran in ’79, not ’97.
Even if this Arujunah has noble motives the not-so-silent majority isn’t gonna vote for a more perfect union.
We could be hours away from civil war.
If their troops, if the national guard is mobilizing, how long do we have? – A couple hours, maybe less.
– Okay.
Ted, you and Berryhill have an hour to track down this Strasser guy.
Miles, I want you to stay in constant contact with the security forces at the compound.
And, general, fuel up the Chinooks on the Peleliu.
– We hear any noise out of Dhahran – Yes, sir.
Wanna let Bitar know we’re holding him accountable for the safety of? We send that message, they’re definitely gonna start knocking heads.
Say we’re confident in the monarchy’s ability to broker a peaceful solution.
One hour, gentlemen, and we’re gonna have to make a call.
Ought to be a warning when you hitch up to be leader of the free world.
What happened in here? I’m not biased just because I’m from Connecticut.
I see how Carolina thinks it’s entitled to the Bill of Rights.
Okay, fine.
I’m biased.
They denounced the Constitution.
They denounced the Bill of Rights.
They seceded from the Union.
You wanna go back 140 years? Why not 200? North Carolina’s the reason we have a Bill of Rights.
Your New England patriots were ready to dump the bill into the Long Island Sound.
– Where are you from? – Asheville.
– North Carolina? – No rights amendments, no ball game.
We refused to ratify the Constitution without it.
You certainly placed a lot of importance on those rights in the 1800s.
– Especially about life, liberty, property.
– You’re lecturing me on equal rights? How does a state that fought for slavery claim ownership in a document that? First, Josh, the war wasn’t just about slavery.
It was about industry.
Second, that’s why North Carolina needs a copy in Raleigh to remind them.
And third, Connecticut has the highest per capita income in the country.
They want the paper so badly, why don’t they compensate North Carolina.
Oh, we’d be willing to pay.
Come on, Bess.
– Glen, good to see you.
– Mr.
President, it’s good to see you.
Just like a fraternity reunion.
Where’s the keg? Or maybe you better break out the bingo instead.
Shut up, Bess.
Come on.
Come in.
You know President Newman.
– Mr.
We’ve met before.
– Oh, yes.
So, what are you up to these days, Glen? Vouchers? School prayer? Actually, it’s more like dog-walking.
And, of course, my spin class.
You’re not looking for another place to bomb? – I like to make an impression.
– You certainly did.
Why should I complain? I’m sure it helped precipitate the current situation.
I should’ve taken a longer vacation.
And let him wage war with the Arab world? I heard you were one of my biggest fans.
The old formulas don’t work, D.
We need to make new choices.
Glen, the protesters are surrounding the Aramco compound in Dhahran.
What do you think, Glen? Should we invade? We need wholesale change in the region.
This is an opportunity.
We’re the only superpower.
Why wouldn’t we go into Riyadh? The more of the world we inhabit, the better it is.
– The buck stops here.
– Yes, the almighty dollar.
In my four years, we spent $200 billion on foreign oil.
And 100 billion protecting leaders of the countries supplying it.
How many lunches did I have playing footsie with some Saudi prince? Promising to sell them AWACS and Bradleys, and all in the name of stability.
But I paid a premium.
– His people hate us.
– Of course they hate us.
Because we support their oppressors.
We are their oppressors.
Glen, I’m not sure we have the stomach for empire.
I’m not looking for empire.
I’m not looking to colonize.
If this protest is a call for democracy I think we should create a provisional secular government oversee the transition and get out as fast as we can.
Leaving them with a weak state and a hated Vichy government.
You really wanna make a difference? Support this Arujunah from the sidelines.
You start saddling up camels in every country in the Middle East then you better be prepared to spend the next 50 years sifting through sand.
Because this isn’t a quick run on the beach, Jed.
This is the new world order.
– Mr.
President, we’re ready for takeoff.
– Thank you.
Seems you’re happy to publicize your work on micro-nanocameras gecko fingertip adhesion something delightfully nicknamed “smell-o-vision.
” There is the brain-machine interface program.
It measures the processes in the brain in hopes of detecting deceptive intent.
– So not mind control, mind reading? – Part of a counterterrorism initiative and the heart of our strategy is bio-surveillance.
– We’re mining health databases – You’re looking at medical records? – It’s anonymous.
– You’ll have Social Security numbers – addresses, personal data.
– For the human ID program.
– Human ID.
– Human identification at a distance.
Where we use a variety of biometric technologies that focus on body parts face identification, human kinematics.
– Kinematics.
– Oh, yeah.
It’s amazing what we can tell from the human stride.
Personality, intention, pathology, criminality.
All from scrutinizing one’s gait.
I gotta go.
Thank you.
How you doing? I’ve been walking up and down these aisles.
Looking at these old men.
These great and terrible old men.
And thinking prosperous, free and democratic Saudi Arabia.
Something to wish for.
But the men on this plane spent the better part of the late in other countries.
And the regimes they anointed are the ones that haunt us today.
Yeah, I’m not making much progress with the eulogy.
Did you ever meet President Lassiter? No.
He was an arrogant bastard.
Pompous, high and mighty know-it-all.
He used to call me in the middle of the night to pontificate on whatever president had a birthday that week.
When we were elected, I really thought we were gonna own the place.
Do it differently.
Now I realize the men on this plane are the only others who have been there before and really know.
I wish that I’d taken more of his calls.
Sir, it’s Leo.
– Hey.
– Did Walken make it on board? They broke the mold on that one.
What do you got? Dhahran’s quiet.
But there’s been an outbreak of fighting in Riyadh.
How serious? Bunch of imams throwing stones.
A number of people were injured.
And they found Strasser, the guy at the embassy.
Says Arujunah’s a true reformer.
A believer in checks-and-balances democracy.
Wouldn’t lie about chopping down cherry trees.
That’s the gist.
Tell Alexander I want the Truman Battle Group moved to the Gulf.
And set up a call with Bitar.
– Sir.
– It’s time to tell him, Leo.
Real change.
Or he can start looking for a new kingdom.
This is the captain.
We are beginning our descent.
Please fasten your seat belts.
– Hello.
– Well, at least you’re not singing.
How is it? Oh, don’t ask.
– How is it? – Sad.
It’s It’s just sad.
Sir, it’s Leo.
– Yeah.
– Mr.
President I’m with Secretary Hutchinson and General Alexander.
The national guard has started to fan out around protests in Riyadh and Dhahran.
– Bitar? – Haven’t been able to reach him.
He’s apparently on a plane back to Riyadh.
General, I want you to ready a peacekeeping mission.
Leo, fax, FedEx, carrier pigeon, I don’t give a damn how but get word to the crown prince.
Any unprovoked use of force and I’m gonna freeze the sale of all military arms.
We’re gonna stop training his precious national guard.
Tell him if he can use saving American lives as a pretext for force, so can I.
Did you see all those books? Do you think Lassiter actually read Shakespeare? I would’ve thought he was more of a Melville fan.
He called me, you know.
When we all found out about your illness.
– He must have been livid.
– I was livid.
I wanted to call the White House, to call CNN.
And there was Lassiter on the phone, telling me to can it.
There’s a Wilson quote: “Is the present war a struggle for a just and secure peace or for a new balance of power? There must be not a balance of power but a community of power.
Not organized rivalries but an organized common peace.
” What the hell.
Woodrow Wilson didn’t have all the answers.
Neither did Lassiter, God knows.
And then again neither did I.
But, at least at the end we were all asking the right questions.
– Hey, Glen.
– Mr.
– Please.
– Ms.
Libby’s looking for you.
– Is this gonna bother you? – Not at all.
World’s certainly turned upside down since Owen Lassiter’s time.
True enough.
Went on a trip to China with him one time.
We ate dinner in Beijing.
We couldn’t find a bathroom.
Talk about yellow peril.
The two of us are out in the bushes and Owen Lassiter’s reciting Lincoln’s second State of the Union.
“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present.
” – Something like that.
– Yeah.
I lost touch with him toward the end.
He started making all those strange trips to nonsense places.
Old battlefields.
But I can’t help wonder how he’d react to the situation in Riyadh.
Me too.
I’ll catch up with you, Glen.
The more immediate concern is for the a number of whom are expatriates from Britain, France.
– How’s it going with Grant and Lee? – They’re gonna hold a ceremony.
– Maybe even a 21 -musket salute.
– You reached an agreement? The Union will stand.
Freedom, and the right to assemble for one and all.
Not if the man from DARPA has anything to do with it.
– They’re sifting through medical records.
Just trying to protect you.
Haven’t you had enough trouble haggling over the Bill of Rights? Does the press have the story? – The mind-control story.
– Yeah.
So the story breaks, the public has the same reaction.
– No more mind control, no more sifting.
– No more gait scrutiny.
Democracy in action.
You gotta love it.
– So we’d need to send in 30,000 troops? – Initially.
And if this were to move beyond peacekeeping? Yeah, okay.
I’ll be down in a minute.
Is it important? – No.
– Not really.
Hi, Dad.
Mal, what are you doing here? I have something to tell you.
It’s why I’ve been late.
– I just didn’t wanna – You all right? Yeah.
Not really.
It’s hard for me because of who you are, we are.
– Oh, I hate this.
Can I just go? – I don’t think so.
Mom’s getting remarried.
I know that.
– You know that? – She called me.
– She called you? She said she didn’t.
– Mal, I appreciate the concern.
I’m fine.
– See, I knew it.
– Knew what? I just didn’t want you to hear it.
I didn’t want you to be alone when you heard.
It’s okay.
I’m just sorry we haven’t had more time together.
I thought we’d have a nice night at the theater but we got this little problem in the Middle East.
President, I want to thank you for coming.
Of course I came, Libby.
Owen would have loved the eulogy.
Who wrote it? The humor, so dry and And sad.
I always thought you detested him.
That’s a long time ago.
I know he called you just the other day, but you didn’t call him back.
Several times.
But you never called him back.
When we left the White House, I thought we’d have some time together.
His job was done.
But he took to traveling.
To Korea, to the Philippines, to Vietnam and to Europe.
Any spot where American boys had shed blood.
Even the Civil War.
He’d fill a jar come back to this room this oval room he’d had built.
He’d come here to think.
He took to eating here and sleeping here.
Even after the operation.
And when they came, they found him here.
– Battlefields.
– Yes.
I wanted you to come.
Because he left this for you.
Thank you.
“We owe it to ourselves to stand in this dirt as survivors and witnesses.
We have to cure ourselves of the itch for the absolute knowledge or power or right.
We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act.
We have to touch people.
” Sir, it’s Leo.
– Did you talk to the crown prince? – We’re too late, sir.
A protester in Riyadh fired on the national guard.
– There was tear gas, more gunfire.
– A protester fired? We think a member of the national guard dressed as a protester.
– Are there casualties? – Twenty, 30.
Probably hundreds more in the aftermath.
– Our people are safe? – The crowds in Dhahran have dispersed.
Riyadh, Jiddah, it’s all breaking up.
And the leaders of the protest.
– Arujunah? – No.
– Okay.
– I guess this changes things.
I’m not sure it changes anything.

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