Season 6 – Episode 14 – “The Wake Up Call”

Episode Summary:

On Valentine’s Day, an Iranian fighter jet accidentally shoots down a British passenger plane — killing 100 people — but C.J. (Allison Janney) is reluctant to awaken the President (Martin Sheen) even as the hawkish British prime minister considers bombing Iran’s nuclear reactors in retaliation. After learning that the passenger jet was mistaken for a U.S. spy plane, Bartlet calls in British ambassador Lord John Marbury (Roger Rees), as they debate whether a strike is the perfect excuse to wipe out the atomic sites or if it will set back reform movements in the rogue nation. Elsewhere: Abbey (Stockard Channing) and C.J. war over the President’s schedule for rest; Toby (Richard Schiff)and a legal professor (Christopher Lloyd) try to pound out a new democratic constitution with representatives of Belarus — and everyone keeps dodging the traditional White House appointment with Miss Universe.


Previously on The West Wing: Get the president a report on storage.
– I’m not sure we’re ready – He asked me for it.
Are we done? We need to focus on the best way to manage his symptoms.
How many hours a day? Six or seven, and he’s gonna need a nap midday.
A nap? He’s gonna love that.
For both of us, sir, this is our last game.
Let’s leave it all out on the field.
Sir? – Evening.
– I thought you were heading – to the residence.
– Thought about it.
Then I thought I’d sit and enjoy the art for a while.
– Do you want me to get Curtis? – No.
– I’m a bachelor tonight.
– So I heard.
Abbey’s in Baltimore with Ellie and the new boyfriend.
– I hear we like him.
– What’s not to like? The guy spent the last 15 years studying the mating rituals of Drosophila melanogaster.
He likes fruit flies.
And my daughter, hopefully not in that order.
What say we grab Toby and head out on the town, trip the light fantastic? Are we gonna chase after Miss Turnstiles? The old lady’s out of town.
She’ll have my head if I don’t get you to bed in a half-hour.
– Yeah.
– Besides, you’ve got a date tomorrow.
I actually convinced her to let me out of the house for Valentine’s Day.
– You’re taking her to the opera? – Verdi’s Otello.
Romantic, huh? Isn’t that one where the guy kills his wife? It’s in Italian.
I’m hoping she won’t notice.
– Sure you don’t want me to call Curtis? – I’m good.
– Night, C.
– Night, sir.
Get some rest.
– Margaret? – Yes.
Will you ask Debbie to move the president’s wake-up call back to 8:30? I’d like to take a look at the president’s schedule for tomorrow.
Shevardnadze just pulled the section on executive power? And replaced it with his own.
The old constitutional bait and switch.
– Hello.
– C.
Cregg, I’d like you to meet – Professor Lawrence Lessig.
– Hi.
He’s a constitutional writer.
He’s helping Belarus write their constitution.
I’d have thought they’d written one by now.
They have.
It’s three lines pledging allegiance to the Supreme Soviet.
– Hence the rewrite.
– Hence.
You have a copy of the BLS mass-layoff report I can read in the residence? – Sir.
– Evening, Mr.
– Am I interrupting? – Sir, this is Professor Lawrence Lessig.
The Future of Ideas? That Lawrence Lessig? He’s here to help with the Belarus constitution.
He helped – with the Georgian constitution.
– Founding father for hire? No, no.
The Belarusians will be the founding fathers.
I’m more of a midwife.
Well, it’s God’s work if you can help us bring some stability to that mess.
– Maybe we should – Sir Where do you start a document of that importance? I like to begin with a series of conceptual questions, then proceed Excuse me, Professor Lessig, I’m sorry.
– But the president really needs to – I think we can spare five minutes to discuss the roots of democracy, if the professor has time.
– It would be an honor, sir.
– Come, then.
Let us sit as men do, and discuss important things.
So, what’s the latest in comparative constitutional theory? Is separation of power still in vogue? This is the White House operator.
I have an urgent call from Commander Harper.
Go ahead.
Tell me you’re calling about a guy you met.
A United Britannia flight from London to New Delhi went off radar over the Caspian Sea an hour ago.
– A commercial plane? – About 100 passengers.
Mostly British and French.
– How many? – Six Americans.
– We think it was a crash? – It’s too early to tell.
The plane was off course – drifting into Iranian airspace.
– I’ll be right in.
– Can you transfer me to the switchboard? – Yeah.
– Ms.
Cregg? – Let’s wake some people up.
Yes, of course we understand, and this is a terrible tragedy, but Yes, Madam Prime Minister, but Ma’am, we’ve had no indication the Iranians were involved.
And I think it’s in all of our interests not to jump to conclusions.
Yes, ma’am.
– The British prime minister? – In all her glory.
When I left the president, I thought I’d go home nights.
Can’t complain you’re not getting overtime.
– You don’t pay me overtime.
– You wake up the guys at State? Great Britain desk sent over language for the condolence statement.
They suggested we invite the ambassador for breakfast.
Just what we need, international intrigue.
– I thought you liked Lord John.
– I adore him.
And when I was press secretary, I could adore him from afar.
– You gonna be in the Sit Room? – Hoping to catch a game? – Maybe a nap.
– Call Barrow.
Set up some time with Chet.
He’ll know.
Thirty minutes out of London, the flight was six miles off course.
We think they accidentally left the autopilot in heading mode.
– Do you see the trajectory of the plane? – Yeah.
I just got off with the prime minister.
They’re coordinating on a search party.
But she’s already pointing fingers.
Is she pointing them for a reason? I’m sorry.
Are we waiting for the president? No.
Do we have any reason to believe the Iranians were involved? We’ve been flying RC-135s off the northern coast of Iran.
– Spy planes.
– Since last March.
And the Iranian MTI that tracks the RC-135 produces very rough CAPPI readouts.
– English.
– The United Britannia flight drifted into Iranian airspace on a track very close to our RC-135’s flight path.
The Iranians mistook the flight for a spy plane and took a shot at it? It’s possible.
The RC-135 is roughly the same size as a 737.
– With a large dish on it.
– And a banner that says “spy plane.
” – But on a dark night.
– We have to find out what happened.
We’re talking to the Israelis.
Signals Intel has feed from the time the plane went off radar.
– But it’s gonna take a while to translate.
– I want updates every half-hour.
So the Iranians taking potshots at our spy planes – that’s fair game.
– We don’t let them hit us.
Did the president get into it with Graty? He wasn’t on the call.
She got pretty hepped up all by her lonesome.
State’s been conducting talks with Iran on their nuclear program.
– We’ve made progress.
– It’s fragile.
If Iran’s involved, Graty makes this a thing I put in a call to Chet.
Do you find it odd calling a high-ranking Iranian official “Chet”? Well, it’s easier to say than Asefi Hossein Kamal Bin Hamid.
– Man, I’m fried.
– Up late last night? Lecture on the future of democracy in Belarus.
Democracy? The last guy made his political opposition disappear.
– Literally.
– Why they’ve asked for help.
Prime Minister Graty, she tends to overreact.
– She’s a runaway train.
– The president likes a heads-up if she’s making decisions with international ramifications.
He’ll be awake in a few hours.
Make sure I get those updates.
Debris from what appears to be a plane crash has begun to wash up in Astara Do you have my schedule? Officials fear this could be the wreckage of United Britannia Airlines Flight 101.
We’re gonna need to pare this down.
Get rid of my 10:30.
Have Charlie take the 12:00 with Karshner.
– Please tell me this is a joke.
– No, ma’am.
I’m meeting with Miss World? She’s from Bhutan.
I have her bio so you can be prepared.
– For Miss World? – It’s a tradition.
Every year, the new Miss World comes in to lobby.
– On what? – AIDS in Africa, world hunger.
She generally has a very good cause.
She gets to meet with the chief of staff to the president of the United States? Leo thought that as a show of international good faith – we should accord all due respect to – Pretty girls everywhere? – She’s a brilliant flautist.
– Get it off my schedule.
You’re in early.
Toby? Yeah.
– What you doing? – Reading.
Constitutional Choices.
It’s amazing how tricky emergency powers are.
The executive in a young republic you’ll need some type of emergency power.
Do you write that in the constitution, or does that lead to abuse? – I just came in because – See the predicament.
– Toby.
– Right, we need to put out a condolence statement on the crash.
I’ll put Annabeth on it when she gets in.
Charlie’s got some language from State.
Building a new democracy.
– How do you shape a new world? – Right.
Have you reassigned Miss World? – Well, I thought maybe I could – I’m sending Toby a Valentine.
We just got a call from our base in Incirlik.
This is surveillance of the Caspian Sea from the time the plane went off radar.
– And these are? – Two jets flying out of the Iranian air base in Rasht, on course to intercept the flight.
Margaret, call the switchboard.
Ask them to wake the president.
Good morning, ma’am.
– Mr.
President? – Good morning, sir.
Why are there three of you? Mr.
President, we think the Iranian air force mistakenly shot down a British commercial airliner.
I need to speak with Prime Minister Graty.
I asked her to wait before making a statement.
– What’s Iran saying? – Not much.
– I’m sure that’s going over well.
– Intel’s working on the feed.
If Iranians were aiming at our plane, it’d provide explanation for their actions.
– We called Marbury? – On his way.
– We should call Chet.
– On his way.
Damn it! We were just making progress with the Iranians.
If Graty gets revved up and starts quoting Churchill.
She gets aggressive, Iran gets defensive, this thing’s gonna spiral.
I need to talk her down.
Get her on the phone.
We condemn the attack by Iran against 109 innocent men, women and children aboard an unarmed United Britannia plane.
This is a barbaric, monstrous crime committed against Great Britain against Europe, against the United States, against humanity.
There can be absolutely no justification.
Well, I guess I’ll have to wait till she’s off camera.
This shall not stand.
That was Prime Minister Graty Have we heard anything from Prime Minister Graty? – Were we talking with British intelligence? – Yes, sir.
They have something, or she wouldn’t be getting Hans and Franz.
– Where’s the report from Hutchinson? – It’s here.
Marbury on the way? We schedule time with the networks? – We should discuss if that’s necessary.
– It wasn’t.
But now that there’s been a crime committed against Britain and the U.
, I have to say something! Is she on the phone yet? – Thank you.
– Thank you, sir.
I want an update from Hutchinson.
Put in a call to Barrow.
See where we are with Chet.
Make sure Lord John doesn’t stop for an eye opener on the way from the British Embassy.
– Hello there.
– Did you just get in? About half an hour ago.
Around the time I noticed my husband wasn’t in bed.
I checked the bathroom, the sitting room.
He was nowhere to be found.
I get a little nervous.
My husband’s not the healthiest guy, you know.
So I call Curtis.
He tells me the president’s in the Oval.
Can you imagine my surprise? There was a development.
You do remember waking me at 4 a.
? – Ma’am – We agreed to let him sleep.
I let him sleep until I couldn’t let him anymore.
How late was he up last night? Ma’am, I let him sleep as long as I could.
Toby Ziegler, this is Alexander Zubatov head of the delegation from the Republic of Belarus.
– Pleasure to meet you, sir.
– And we thank you for having us.
– Hi.
– Hello.
Could you check and see if you can find Lessig? No problem.
– Is that a copy of our constitution? – Yes.
– You know this document? – Yes, I do.
– I have many question.
– That’s good.
– Over the course of the week, we – For example it says here, president shall be commander of Army, Navy, et cetera.
– Yes.
– Here, it says: “Congress shall have power to declare war.
” – Yes.
– Commander does not declare war? – Theoretically, Congress needs to.
– Theoretically.
– So your habit is to ignore document? – No.
Well, occasionally.
– Good morning.
How you doing? – Excuse me.
– Good morning.
– Good morning.
Sorry I’m late.
I was having breakfast with Justice Lang.
And we got into a fascinating discussion over the reformation of the rule against perpetuities.
I see we’ve got our noble patriarchs.
– Have you started? – I’ve been answering questions.
Gentlemen, let’s begin.
I hope to embark upon a conceptual journey into the world of democratic theory.
I’ll be right back.
Excuse me.
I trust you’ve glanced at the material.
– She wants to see you.
– A beauty queen on my schedule? She did it.
You put a beauty queen on my schedule? The United Britannia flight was shot down by two Iranian fighters.
It might have been a mistake.
Kate’s gonna give you more.
You need to brief.
And tentatively set up some time with the networks.
Graty’s a little excited.
He wants to distance himself.
If he went on TV every time Graty blew Tentatively schedule.
And, Toby, in the briefing Since morning, the president has done everything to assist the British.
Yeah, but don’t say “president.
” The White House has done everything? It’s gonna sound like he got a good night’s sleep.
Gerald? Gerald? – Gerald? – Good lord.
– C.
? – Toby, I gotta.
Lord John? Hello.
You look familiar.
– C.
We’ve met a number of times.
– Yes, yes.
Where is Gerald? I do hope he’s recovered.
Leo has moved down the hall.
Oh, yes, I heard.
Demoted on account of a heart attack.
That’s cutthroat, even for American politics.
– Actually, he’s been – No, no.
There’s no need to hedge.
So you’re the new Gerald.
I suppose.
– Delightful.
– If you’ll just.
Maureen, of course we support Yes, but until we know all the facts Yes, madam.
We’ll be in touch.
Thank you.
So much for a stiff upper lip.
– Mr.
– John, thank God.
– Kate, may I introduce – I’m Lord John Marbury hereditary Earl of Sherborne great-great-grandson of the former viceroy.
I have served as the queen’s minister in India and Pakistan.
And I am presently the British ambassador to the United States.
Oh, and I have an uncle who once performed in the London Opera Company’s production of The Mikado in the role of Nanki-Poo.
– It’s a pleasure.
– Yes, isn’t it? John, please.
I’m afraid your prime minister is doing her William the Conqueror thing again.
Prime Minister Graty’s own party thinks she’s soft on Iran.
Her government is far from stable.
And we have just lost almost 100 countrymen.
– So are you surprised? – Not at all, really.
But we think this might have been a mistake.
They accidentally fired two Anab AA-3 missiles at the side of a passenger jet? – Lord Marbury – No, please call me John.
– John.
– Yeah.
It’s possible the Iranians thought they were shooting at a U.
spy plane.
So it’s your fault.
– John – Been spying on their nuclear facilities? Yes.
Why do you think they want you to stop? The Iranians deliberately killed British and American citizens or they tried to shoot down your plane because they want to build weapons.
They are a rogue nation on the verge of becoming a rogue nuclear power.
While I in no means wish to trivialize the most appalling loss of life earlier this morning one need not reread Thucydides to see this as an opportunity.
She’s gonna use this as an excuse to bomb their nuclear plants? Heavens, no.
The prime minister must demand remuneration for the victims.
Perhaps a formal apology, even some elegiac groveling.
We all know the ayatollah will never pay, let alone apologize, for anything.
Well, then we will be forced to take appropriate measures.
Will there be mimosas with breakfast? Toby, will the president back the British if they respond with force? – I’m not gonna speculate.
– If they need logistical support? I’m not gonna speculate on Britain’s response.
What was the president’s reaction to Graty? – I haven’t discussed it with him.
– Were we consulted before the address? The White House has been working with the British since morning.
– Was there a call with? – I don’t have the details now.
– When can we get the tick-tock? – I’ll get back to you.
– Toby, the prime minister’s address? – I don’t have any more for you now.
She called it a monstrous crime.
Does the president? The president is scheduled to address the nation at 6.
I’d tune in.
For you.
– Why? – It’s Valentine’s Day.
Go ahead, they’re yummy.
Hey, what’s the tick-tock? Minute-by-minute accounting of the president’s actions.
The press – Asks for it during a crisis.
– Then why ask? “White House has been working with the British since morning”? The president needs to look strong, like he’s up to this.
“The president has been working with the British.
” – I got it.
– Apparently not.
Or they wouldn’t have asked for the tick-tock.
Good, huh? I’ve got more if you want, for your special someone.
– Excuse me? – I like Bhutan in spring, how about you? – I’m still meeting with the beauty queen? – Oh, yeah.
We say the president is the sole representative of the people because while he is elected by electors these electors are elected by the people upon the premise that they will vote for him.
I can go through it again if you’d like.
– No.
– Is he explaining the Electoral College? – We’ve covered it in some detail.
– Toby.
We’ve been discussing the American executive.
You could shed some light.
We should push beyond American-style government.
– Push beyond? – Yeah.
Zubatov has many questions.
But perhaps this time would be better spent discussing a parliamentary system.
– We don’t want parliamentary system.
– Okay.
– President Eliches needs broad powers.
– Like American president.
Sir, your country has a history of brutal dictatorship.
I don’t think a strong executive is such a good idea.
– You agree with this? – Not entirely.
Half the faculty at Yale Law describes the American presidential system as one of this country’s most dangerous exports wreaking havoc on over It is a recipe for constitutional breakdown.
Well, I can see this is going to be a vibrant discussion.
John, you can’t focus on the ayatollah.
President Alijani is a champion of reform.
– If negotiations with Iran progress – Alijani’s weak.
Nonproliferation agreements won’t stop their efforts.
It’ll just drive them underground.
Bombing is the better solution.
Iranians have spread out their nuclear facilities.
– We don’t know where half of them are.
– Well, we’ll bomb the half we can find.
Abigail! Blanket my loins, I’m tied to the stake.
– Here we go.
– Lovely to see you, John.
So many distractions, Mr.
How do you get anything done? – God only knows.
– Where’s C.
? With Secretary Hutchinson.
May I have Kate for a minute? Tarry not long, gentle courtesan.
– Did he just call me a? – Isn’t he delightful? – Yeah.
– The president needs a break.
– Okay.
– He was up late last night.
He was up early this morning.
He needs a break.
Well, we’ve got the French ambassador, then the Iranian, but maybe I mean now.
– Maybe I should just check with C.
– You could do that.
Or you could go back in there and get my husband.
Yes, ma’am.
My heart is like a singing bird Whose nest is in a water’d shoot My heart is like an apple-tree Whose boughs are bent With thick-set fruit Raise me a da�s of silk and down – Hang it with vair and purple dyes – Kate Harper.
– Carve it in doves and pomegranates – Can you repeat that? And peacocks with a hundred eyes Yeah, we’ll send it over right away.
– Hello.
– Thank God.
, so good of you to return.
– Where’s the president? – Apparently on recess.
May I use your phone? – He went back to the residence? – First lady wanted him to rest.
I guess we can try to delay the French.
– I’m sorry, should I have? – No.
– Wasn’t clear on the chain of command.
– It’s fine.
Margaret? – Yeah.
– Yes.
Can you find Charlie and see if Leo’s in yet? – Sure.
– Slovakia, Slovenia Bulgaria.
They chose parliamentary systems.
Hamilton, Madison, Jefferson.
They all chose a presidential system.
Only four presidential democracies have lasted longer than 30 years.
Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison? They got lucky.
Well, they want a unifying national figure.
– We need a unifying figure.
– British prime minister is a unifying figure.
– Prime Minister Graty’s weak.
– Subject to shifty coalitions.
She’s subject to the representatives.
She can be ousted if she locks people up who don’t like The White Album.
President Eliches is a good man, and he wouldn’t do this.
He’d create a stable environment for the country.
For the next 10 years, yes.
But this document isn’t about President Eliches.
It’s about the 60 guys who come after him.
You need systemic protection.
Safeguards that can last beyond a generation.
You gotta look beyond the moment, beyond the here and now.
Your 12:30 is here.
My 12:30.
I need you to take my 1:30 with Conrad and my 2: 15 with Lauer.
No problem.
You rang.
Gerald! Sweet Lord in heaven.
– It’s been too long.
– Oh, I don’t think it has.
One moment.
I trust you’ve heard our news? Oh, terrible tragedy.
But if it means that our paths may cross again well, there is indeed some small consolation in that.
– Yes.
– Leo, I hate to pull you into this.
– Toby’s plate is full and with Josh gone – What do we got? The president’s in the residence, Iranians in the Mural, French at the gate.
And then there’s Maude.
I really can’t believe we still let him in the building.
Tell me about it.
We have relations with the Iranians now? No, we have Chet.
– Chet’s the new Phil? – Phil? Chet’s the new Phil.
I was hoping you’d take the French – I’m not of that opinion.
– French are fine.
You take the French, I’ll take Chet.
And Kate can stay and entertain Lord Flibbertigibbet.
– Good.
– Not good.
– Have fun.
– That’s your fault.
So you said you were from? Bhutan.
I’m sorry.
Say that again.
– Did you ask for the Asian carp report? – No.
– You sure? – Pretty sure.
– Sorry.
You were saying? – Yes, Bhutan.
– It’s just south of – Toby, I brought you the latest.
You the man.
– So Bhutan, just south of – Hi.
You need something? – You need something? – No.
Thank you.
– Annabeth.
– Happy Valentine’s Day.
I’m still waiting for the tick-tock.
Would you settle for a chocolate heart? Why wasn’t the president on the call with Graty? – That would be a no? – I got a tip he wasn’t on the call.
Well, the British papers can be kind of dodgy.
– Is Toby around? – He’s busy.
If the president wasn’t up, the country has a right to know.
I’ve got candy hearts.
I can post this story with or without comment from the administration.
Maybe now would be a good time to talk to Toby.
No, I think large-scale study of gene expression is a very noble cause.
Excuse us.
I hate to bother you, but Gordon had a And this is I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name.
Lyonpo Palden Wangchuk.
This is Gordon.
He’s a famous journalist from The Washington Post.
In fact, Gordon has written columns on the mapping of the human genome.
– Oh, yes? – And Miss? – Wangchuk.
– Wangchuk is very interested in microarray-based gene expression studies.
Really? Yes.
I think this research is quite important.
– Would you excuse us? – Sure, sure.
Yes, sure.
What in God’s name? Gordon got a tip the president wasn’t on the early call.
– Figured we might stall him.
– You think that? That was written by a colleague.
Okay, it might work.
Toby, I have the first lady for you.
You have to control the British.
They’re jeopardizing more than nuclear talks.
– They’re understandably upset.
– Maybe.
But even the educated are rallying around the ayatollah.
Alijani’s worried about the future of our reform movement.
Which is why the ayatollah needs to apologize.
The president has been trying to reason with him, but with Graty’s threats the ayatollah can’t apologize.
And really, why would he consider it? Maybe to avoid compromising a potential relationship with the U.
Did the United States apologize when the U.
Navy shot down Iran Air Flight 655 killing 290 innocent people? And even if it were in his best interest, the ayatollah’s a very proud man.
Especially when it comes to his air force.
– You’ll do what you can.
– I will try.
But if you cannot control the British.
Things went well with Chet, huh? – Yeah.
How’d it go with the French? – Like talking to Madame Defarge.
The EU is scared to death of an Iranian nuke.
Opportunity knocks.
Maybe we should fall in line.
You gotta believe in the future of Iran.
They got pro-America rallies.
We play nice, democracy could be around the corner.
The reform movement’s gained ground over the years.
Why do you think the ayatollah’s refusing to budge? He can rebuild nuclear plants, but the anti-Western sentiment it’ll generate if the RAF starts dropping bombs on Tehran.
I got a call from the first lady.
She wants to cancel the address tonight.
– Excuse me? – She wants to issue a statement.
– She thinks he’s not up to it.
– Not her call.
– Pretty much what I said.
– I’ll talk to her.
Is that the Miss? – Yeah.
– I used to love this time of year.
– Why is she with Gordon? – He was asking for the tick-tock.
– How long can we? – Annabeth thinks a while.
Keep me posted.
Abbey’s been more involved since you got back from China? – Yeah.
– Thank God for early retirement.
After China, Abbey and I met with the doctors.
We came up with a plan.
A full night’s sleep, a nap during the day a way to manage things.
Of course, getting him to cooperate is another story.
I called Abbey last night.
I thought we should wake him, but he’d been up I always thought the wake-up call was one of the hardest decisions to make.
The president’s always gonna want the call.
But really, all you have to ask yourself at the end of the day is would it have made a difference if he’d been awake? It’s no surprise.
Iran’s always been a problem.
But this time, they painted themselves into a corner.
And I urge the president to take all appropriate measures.
– Easy for him to say.
– Hey.
– Where’s Lord John? – He lost interest.
Something about a Miss World.
Can you believe these people? – Which people would you be referring to? – Hoynes, Vinick, Walken.
Pick one.
All on the “Iran is evil” bandwagon.
When you’re campaigning for the presidency, there’s no need for nuance.
– A French word.
– When are we meeting the French? – Leo sat with them.
– They’re on the bombing bandwagon.
– When do we sit with Chet? – Didn’t have much luck there.
You talked to the Iranians without me? Kate, Leo, can I have the room, please? I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t raise your voice at me in front of the staff.
I need to manage this crisis.
I needed to be in those meetings.
– We handled the meetings.
– You’re right.
– My presence wouldn’t have added much.
– You were up in the residence, sir.
All I have in this situation is influence and relationships.
Take those things away from me, I am powerless.
Ayatollah is praying for rain.
I’m not sure Mohammed could change his mind.
Do you know how many hours I have sat with the Iranians? With the French? With Prime Minister Graty? I put in my time.
I’ve built relationships with these people.
So when they’re headed for the deep end, I can rein them in.
Which is what I would have done if I were awake this morning! I doubt that, sir.
From the moment that pilot pulled the trigger, Graty was writing speeches.
All the king’s men weren’t gonna keep her from opening her mouth.
Had you been on her doorstep, I don’t think you could have reined her in.
The funny thing is, sir, I’m pretty sure you don’t think you could have either.
– Hey, how’s everybody doing? – Fine, fine.
– Great, great.
– The president’s speech is in the printer.
– Assuming there is one.
How are they? – Dandy.
Don’t you just love Valentine’s Day? Toby, good to see you.
Grab a sandwich and listen in.
I think I’m managing to pick up a few phrases.
It’s not all that different from Polish, actually.
They’re still on a lunch break.
– They love roast beef.
– You’re giving them a two-hour lunch after wasting the morning on a system that’s never gonna work for them? I wouldn’t call it a waste.
These guys have to walk out on Friday with a set of laws to take back home to Minsk.
Not a set of laws, a sense of the rule of law.
You’re not planning on writing a constitution this week? Are you familiar with Meyer v.
State of Nebraska? Nebraska passed a law making it illegal to teach anything but English during World War I.
Meyer wanted to teach German.
Supreme Court said the law was unconstitutional.
Now where in the constitution does it say you’ve got a right to teach German in school? – The document is irrelevant? – No.
I’m saying the document is just the beginning.
A constitutional democracy succeeds only if the constitution reflects democratic values already alive in the citizenry.
Yes, but these Belarusians don’t have those values.
Which is why our most important job is to instill those values in their leaders through discussion and debate.
But you’re talking about eight guys on a sightseeing trip to Washington.
You think you teach values to eight guys you’ll reverse 50 years of brutal dictatorship? Mr.
Helakal was known as the only honest legislator in the government.
Lipecki is the most respected judge in the country.
And Mr.
Zubatov, well Mr.
Zubatov is the editor in chief of Sovetskaya Belorussiya.
His articles helped bring down the last dictator.
How many guys do you think it takes? Got a cigarette? First lady get to you? – Yes, sir.
– Come on.
Cough them up.
Aren’t those bad for the MS? You wanna play doctor too? Suddenly, I’ve got 17 nursemaids.
– She didn’t wake me up this morning.
– Okay.
– If I was awake this morning, I could’ve – What? Prime Minister Graty thinks you’re an intellectual snob.
A Yankee Doodle windbag.
Likely as not, you would’ve made things worse.
If an American dies, and there’s suspicion of international intrigue – she’s supposed to wake me.
– Since when? If I’d used that rule, you’d be dead from sleep deprivation.
Five minutes ago, you told me to leave it out on the field.
– Now you’re telling me to stay off it? – Let her do her job so you can do yours.
Excuse me.
Do you have a minute, ma’am? – I sent him back to work.
– Yes, I saw him.
Thank you.
Ma’am, I can’t have you confusing my staff.
If you have a question, a concern, I need you to come to me.
What if I can’t find you? Find me.
You gonna take away my key to the executive washroom too? Ma’am I made a mistake this morning.
He needed to sleep.
Yes, I agree with you.
The mistake was not making the decision on my own.
You can’t make these decisions by yourself.
– I’m the chief of staff.
– You’re not a doctor.
It’s not a medical decision.
It’s a question as to whether the leader needs to be informed about something that puts citizens in jeopardy.
What he does with that, how he manages his disease those are his decisions.
He was up until midnight.
He’s not managing his disease.
You’re gonna have to take that up with him, ma’am.
I’m sorry.
Excuse me.
– John.
Thanks for sticking around.
– No trouble at all, really.
We’ve translated transmissions from before the incident – we’d like to share with you.
– By all means.
At 0230 Greenwich mean time, we believe this is an Iranian fighter calling in to military-radar ground control in Rasht.
“Unable to establish visual contact with RC-135.
Hailed on military channels.
No response.
Please advise.
” They thought it was our plane.
Here’s the response at 0233.
“Iranian Air Defense Command radar signal confirms aircraft as U.
You are instructed to fire.
” This is all very lovely, but I’m not sure how it changes anything.
Damn it, John, the reform movement in Iran has real promise.
Demographics are on our side.
Yes, you’ve been making that argument for some time now.
You’re gonna drive the Iranians back into the arms of hard-liners.
The Iranians have a ballistic missile that reaches 2000 kilometers.
That’s half the distance to London.
And they’re making improvements.
To their weapons technology, to their already formidable air force.
How long do you think we can wait for democracy to sweep through Tehran? Five years? Ten years? Would you bet your capital on it? We threaten to make this public.
We call a meeting of the Security Council.
Tell them we’ll play the intercepts.
Intercepts prove the Iranian air force shot down our plane.
– Prime minister won’t budge.
– Not the prime minister.
The ayatollah.
Iranians couldn’t tell the difference between an airliner and a spy plane.
– It’s embarrassing.
– For a man who’s proud of his air force.
We let the ayatollah know what we have he jumps to apologize for the actions of a pilot rather than humble Air Defense Command.
If they issue even a vague apology Mr.
President, Jack Stanley and his fianc�e perished in that plane last night.
Nicolas Ashe and his three small children.
He was a fellow at Oxford.
The list goes on.
The casualties are nothing compared with what might happen should Iran successfully develop a nuclear weapon.
They have over 100 nuclear facilities.
It’s not a matter of four bombs.
It’s a matter of 400.
And this regime will not be afraid of selling to the highest bidder.
Kate, set up the meeting with the U.
And have Chet get word to the ayatollah.
He can apologize now or after he reads about it in the Times.
– Yes, sir.
– You do realize the ayatollah will be embarrassed and weakened? He’ll do nothing but redouble his nuclear efforts.
Diplomacy, John.
The job of statesmen.
And I thought it was drinking and dancing.
– The networks can have their time back.
– The Iranians are apologizing? Let’s work on a statement for the papers.
Where are we with Gordon? And I always looked down my nose at beauty pageants.
– We should at least consider – Give him the tick-tock.
Tell him the prime minister was a courtesy call.
I didn’t think we needed to wake him.
Just because the public thinks he’s supposed to be up doesn’t mean he is.
– Know what the story’s gonna be? – They’ll write MS stories till the end of this administration.
Give him the tick-tock.
So maybe we should cancel the address.
I took care of it.
Iran’s apologizing, Britain’s backing down.
There’s no need for you to distance yourself from Graty.
You gotta trust me to make these decisions or there’s no point in having me in this job.
– Yeah.
– I spoke to Mrs.
I’ll be making the wake-up calls on my own.
Your MS won’t be a factor in my decision.
Thank you.
Sir these international crises drag on for days.
One rolls right into the next.
You need to take care of yourself.
There will be mornings when I’m gonna have to wake you at 3 a.
– Good night, sir.
– Good night.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
That’s what you’re wearing to the opera? You have a 7 a.
call in the morning.
I canceled the opera.
– The whole opera? – No.
Just the part where we give the usher the tickets I can manage my health without you taking my pulse every five minutes.
Is that what you were doing when you decided to stay up gossiping last night? – I was talking to Professor Lessig.
– Shove it, Jed.
“It’s my disease, my health, I can handle it.
” The hell you can! You can run this country on four and a half hours’ sleep with MS? You’re out of your mind.
– Stop treating me like a child.
– Then stop acting like one.
Where would you be if I hadn’t bought you those extra hours this morning? Do you want to manage your disease? You accept your limitations and you manage it.
You don’t go sneaking around like a teenager staying out after curfew.

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