Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 20, Episode 1 - Law & Order - full transcript

The shooting death of a veteran of the War on Terror leads to an investigation and conspiracy indictment against a former Bush Justice Department employee on conspiracy charges involving the torture of prisoners.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
criminal justice system

the people are represented by two
separate yet equally important groups,

the police who investigate crime

and the district attorneys
who prosecute the offenders.

These are their stories.

This is crazy. You can't leave.

I can't stay. Even
with the work-study,

I won't make my
next tuition installment.


I'll get you the money, okay?

I got something big lined up.

Don't worry about me.
Just take care of yourself.

Excuse me, you spare something?

Beat it!

going to be all right.

I love you.

Call me, okay?

You a Marine?


Here, take it all. You serious?


Thanks, buddy.

MAN: God bless.

Two in the chest.

Student biking through the alley
heard the shots around 21:10.

Patrol got here quick.

Faculty parking garage. Not
exactly ground zero for gun crime.

You secure the
area? First thing.

No ins or outs till
you release the scene.

LUPO: No wallet or ID, but
we've got a dormitory keycard.

Let's see what else he's got.

Looks like he was
a business major.

Yeah, minoring in herbology.

Looks like the
campus dope dealer.

Mark his report card
"D" for deceased.

GUARD: Dealers. Good riddance.

There's a bunch of
Latinos over on 125th,

my guys keep them off campus.

We're going to need the
security videos for the garage.

GUARD: Uh, there's
only one camera.

It covers the exit.

But the rains this summer
knocked it out of commission.

Okay, we'll need a list of
all the faculty who park there.

That I got.

Okay, it's ready.

And your John Doe is...

GUARD: Hayley Kozlow.

It's Greg. Greg Tanner.

He's been crashing here.

I can't believe this.

How do you know him?

We met at the cafeteria.

He's not a student or anything.
He said he had a sister here.

He was mature and nice.

Really nice.

LUPO: His duffel
bag is military issue.

Was he in the service?

Um, Greg said he
had nightmares from it.

But we didn't talk
much, you know?

You talk about this?

Oh, my God. If I knew about that,
I swear, he would've been gone.

Was anyone giving him trouble?

I don't know.

Last Saturday, I saw
him outside of Rocco's.

He was getting into it
with some Hispanic guy,

but Greg said it was nothing.

LUPO: We got a winner.

Wait here. Hey.

The M.E.'s confirming that there's no
stippling or powder burns on Tanner,

so figure he was shot from
at least three feet away.


There's a young woman
downstairs, just in from Pittsburgh,

looks very upset.

That's the sister of
our campus dealer.

Do we have any
progress to report to her?

Uh, a witness picked out this guy as
someone Tanner was having a beef with.

Manny Lopez, works
with a drug crew on 125th.

So maybe this
was a turf dispute.

Well, slugs came back to a
.22, but they're fragmented.

Even if we do find a weapon,
matching ballistics will be iffy.

All right. Let's go
talk to Ms. Tanner.

Oh, my God, my big brother.

When was the last
time you saw him?

It was two days ago.

I had to leave school. My
financial aid fell through.

Greg said not to
go, that he'd help me.

Megan, how did he
end up living on campus?

It was because of me.

After he got out of the service,
he had no place else to go.

My mom's at a home in
Pittsburgh. She's got Parkinson's.

Dad died when I was 10.

Greg joined the Marines
so he could be like him.



MEGAN: He never
said where they sent him,

but me and my mom
would get e-mails,

a phone call at Christmas.

Then he showed up at my dorm
one day. He'd been discharged.

But he didn't come
back the same guy.

How was he different?

He got anxious a lot.

He needed help, but I think he was
having problems getting his Army benefits.

Megan, do you know what your
brother was doing on campus?

I think auditing classes.

I didn't see him much
the last few weeks.


We believe he was dealing drugs.

Oh, God.


MEGAN: He met this girl. I wanted
to give him space. I should've...

Oh, my God, I lost him.

Excuse me.

The last time you
saw your brother,

what did the two
of you talk about?

He said he'd get
me money for school.

That he was working
on something big.

woman has seen it all.

Now one tale of woe and
she suddenly goes soft?

You know, if she hears
you talking like this,

you're gonna be
eating through a straw.

Now, that's the
Lieutenant I know.

The something big the sister
mentioned could have been a drug score,

could be how Tanner got himself
into a beef with the competition.

So they ambush him
in the faculty garage?

Or maybe they
followed him there?

BERNARD: Eh, could be
he was meeting a client.

Professor Pothead.

Take this guy, for example,

a law professor by the
name of Kevin Franklin.

In the garage every
day at 1:00, out by 9:15,

except the day
that Tanner's killed.

Yeah? Franklin
breaks his pattern,

leaves his car in the garage overnight,
drives it out the next day at noon.

looks vaguely familiar.

I might've seen
him around campus.

How about the faculty garage
Wednesday night? Say, around 9:00?

I wasn't in the
garage Wednesday.

If you'll excuse me, I have a
class of law students waiting.

(STAMMERING) Actually,
we have a few more questions.

You'll have to call me later.

Not so fast, Professor.

We believe that you
were in that garage,

maybe to do a little
business with Mr. Tanner.


Score a little pot for
your weekend barbecue.

Are you kidding me? I used to
work for the Department of Justice.

Look, we don't care if you
like the occasional joint.

Well, I don't.

And if I saw something, I
assure you, I know my obligations.

But I wasn't in the garage.

Then tell us why you left your
car there overnight Wednesday.

I finished teaching
my class around 9:00.

I went to Wordplay on
Amsterdam to buy a book.

What book?

John Rawls' Theory of Justice,
the new annotated edition.

You buy it? No. There
was a line at the cashier,

so I walked back to the garage. But
the police had already sealed it off.

What time was this?

Just after 9:30, I guess.

My wife was waiting up, so
I got a cab to Grand Central

and caught the last
Metro-North to Hastings.

Right, the new Rawls
edition came in last week.

What kind of traffic did you have
at the register Wednesday night?

Traffic? You're joking, right?

This place is dead after dinner.

Dead. Great.

Hey, just ran Kevin
Franklin through the system.

He was arrested in
Hastings last year,

get this, on a CPW.

A CPW. How sweet is that?

Mr. Franklin got into a fender-bender
on North Street with a Max Epstein.

LUPO: And the CPW?

Epstein claimed Franklin
flashed a weapon.

That was an exaggeration, but Franklin
was carrying a piece in a hip holster.

He said he had a carry
permit, but he couldn't

produce it, so the
officer took him in.

Did he have a permit?
OFFICER: Turns out he did.

Full carry for Westchester, and a
special permit for New York City.

The charge was dropped.

What kind of weapon did he have?

.22 caliber Smith & Wesson.

Sweeter and sweeter.

Franklin's alibi
doesn't hold up.

Plus, he got his timeline wrong.

Yeah, Franklin said he
couldn't get his car at 9:30

because the garage
was sealed off,

but the first unit wasn't
on the scene until 9:45.

So tell me why he
killed Greg Tanner.

Money. Greg told his sister he
was working on something big.

Our guess is he tried
his hand at blackmail.

BERNARD: Franklin's a
tenure-track assistant professor of law.

Comes out he's buying
pot, he's got a lot to lose.

Academic post, law license...

None of which adds up to probable
cause for a warrant for his gun.

We can always say, "Pretty
please with a cherry on top."

Call me when you have some PC.

VAN BUREN: Look, you guys
need to tie Franklin to Tanner.

Calls, meetings,
evidence of bad blood...


I have to take this.

Look, this case won't clear itself
with you guys sitting on your ass.


I never heard Greg
mention a Professor Franklin.

Conflict of Laws. Civil Rights.
You want to be a lawyer?

Those are Greg's.

Is there anything else up
there that belongs to him?

That folder's not mine.

HAYLEY: Hey, I gotta
go to a spin class, okay?

Just don't mess with my stuff.

Got you. Have fun spinning.


Look at this.

Course syllabus for
Franklin's Con Law classes.

And this.

need your help with the VA.

If you'll just go on record.

FRANKLIN: I don't know
what you're talking about.

TANNER: I can't do this
without you. Please. You owe me.

FRANKLIN: Get that
thing out of my face.


That bad blood seems to be
about the Veterans' Administration.

Tanner's sister said he was
having trouble getting benefits.

Sergeant Tanner received
counseling for 30 days, post-discharge.

After that, his temporary
benefits lapsed.

What was the counseling for?

Come on, you know
I can't get into that.

How about what type of discharge
he got? That's not classified.

He got a 513 discharge,
separation from service

due to a pre-existing
personality disorder.

Pre-existing, meaning whatever was
wrong with him wasn't service-connected.

Meaning the military's not on
the hook for his long-term care.

(SIGHS) That's how it works.

Oh, man. A guy humps it
for his country for eight years,

he comes home, and then Uncle
Sam just kicks him to the curb.

Does that seem fair, Doc? No.

Not for a soldier who acquired
post-traumatic stress disorder

from doing guard
duty at Abu Ghraib.

Greg was guarding terrorists?

He said what he saw
kept him up nights.

From the stuff that Tanner has underlined,
looks like he was preparing a lawsuit

to have his benefits reinstated.

And he wanted Franklin
to represent him?

I get your attention?



Listen, last week, I was
diagnosed with cancer.

It's manageable, but I have
to start treatment immediately.

I'm telling you this because I'll be
coming and going more than usual,

and I don't want
any tongues wagging.

Oh, and before I forget, the Chief of
Ds is coming down hard on the fives,

or should I say
the lack of them.

You're all big boys and girls,
so get them done on time.

Uh, Lieu?

Yeah, what you got?

It looks like Tanner
was after Franklin

to help him sue the government
over his veteran benefits.

Except Franklin's a constitutional
scholar, not a benefits expert.

Well, talk to some of Franklin's
colleagues, see what they know.

Hey, Lieu? Yeah?



Professor Franklin never
mentioned a Greg Tanner.

I highly doubt that he'd have
anything to do with a drug dealer.

He's wound tighter
than a Swiss watch.

He sounds pretty
tough to get along with.

He's very competitive.

We're both up for tenure, except I
don't have his fancy government pedigree.

Not that I'm suggesting that
he's unqualified, mind you.

Just that he's very

BERNARD: He must be.

Not too many law professors
carry permits for handguns.

That's because of the work he
did for the Department of Justice.

What kind of work,
drug enforcement?

No. All I can tell you

is that a number of Bush
administration documents

have recently been declassified,

including a few memos
that Franklin wrote.

And you didn't hear it from me.

"Techniques That May
Be Used in Interrogation

of High-value
Al-Qaeda Detainees."

Now there's a sexy title.

These de-classified documents are
all about handling terrorist suspects.

This one says

the President can send the Army into
American neighborhoods to make arrests.

Now here's one
that Franklin wrote.

"Legal Standards Governing
the Detention and Interrogation

"of Unlawful Enemy Combatants,"

the entire playbook for
GITMO and Abu Ghraib.

The playbook that set the working
conditions for guards like Tanner,

the conditions that caused
his post-traumatic stress.

Tanner might have
seen it that way.

And blame Franklin. He
said Franklin owed him,

maybe this was the payday
Tanner was talking about,

money from Franklin
for his pain and suffering.

There's your bad blood.

And our probable
cause for a search.

Let's go.

Connie, I think we've
got our PC on Franklin.

You guys are about
five minutes late.

Come on in, Detectives.

CUTTER: Professor Franklin here
just confessed to shooting Greg Tanner.

He even brought the gun.

Professor Franklin
was being stalked

by a mentally disturbed lunatic
who had accosted him in a stairwell.

If this office intends
to file charges,

my client will be
arguing self-defense.

Of myself and my country.

A plea?

First, you push for a million in bail,
and now you expect us to take a plea?

We're here as a courtesy,

to give you a chance to drop this
charge before we publicly embarrass you.

He shot an unarmed war
veteran from three feet away,

and we're the ones who're
supposed to be embarrassed?

He shot a trained killer who
blamed him for his mental problems,

demanded money and then
threatened him when he said no.

It's a perfect case
of self-defense,

except for the running
away, the lying.

All of which evinces a
consciousness of guilt.

Now he can plead
to manslaughter one

or starting tomorrow a grand jury
will hear all about his deceptions.

No, they won't.

What's that? A
writ of prohibition,

to exclude all statements
my client made to the police

on the grounds that their
interview with him was custodial

and he should've
been Mirandized.

The judge threw it all out,

his phony alibi, his claims
of not knowing Tanner.

I mean, in short everything
that makes him look guilty.

I can count on the fingers of one
hand the times I've seen a writ used

to keep evidence
out of the grand jury.

Not just any writ, but one Franklin
dashed off during a plea conference,

complete with
citations, brilliant.

Any evidence he killed Tanner
for reasons other than self-defense?

Nothing. The only one who'd know
is Tanner and, well, he's not talking.

Thanks. Oh, it's from Franklin.

He's asserting his right
to address the grand jury.

CUTTER: Sure. First get rid of as
many inconvenient facts as possible,

and then spin what's
left into a self-serving tale.

The law-abiding professor
versus the deranged drug dealer.

Spin it the other way.

Make Greg Tanner as
cuddly as a week-old puppy.

MEGAN: Greg was smart.

People liked him.

He believed in serving
the greater good.

But when he was
over there, in the war,

something inside him broke.

He suffered from
post-traumatic stress.

That's what a
psychiatrist told him.

He worked in the prisons,

he saw interrogations,

people being hurt, being
hanged in a shower room.

He had nightmares.
He couldn't keep a job.

Mr. Tanner approached
me one night after class.

He told me about his grievance
over his military discharge.

He wanted my help suing to
have his benefits reinstated.

FRANKLIN: He thought because I
worked for the Department of Justice

under the Bush administration,
that I had some special expertise.

What work
specifically did you do?

I wrote advisory memos

governing the manner in which
suspected terrorists were held.

Because Mr. Tanner
guarded those detainees,

he thought I had
insights into the conditions

that had caused his
post-traumatic stress.

I told him he needed a
specialist in health care litigation.

I thought that that was the
end of it, but a week later,

he confronted me at the garage.

He was agitated,
he demanded money.

He said that I was responsible
for his mental problems.

I tried to reason with him,
but he wouldn't let me leave.

I was trapped by this
deranged ex-soldier.

Did he actually
threaten to kill you?

I was in fear for my
life. He kept saying,

"You're not leaving."

And then he started
toward me and...


That's when I shot him.

He fell,

he stopped moving.

What did you do then?
Did you call the police?

Somebody else did.

I wish that I had had the
presence of mind to stay calm,

but I was in shock.

And it took you four days
to regain your composure

and turn yourself
in to the police?

No. I was in contact with the police
before the formality of my surrender.

You were "in contact"?
Please describe those contacts.

Mr. Cutter, I would be
happy to tell the grand jury

what I discussed with the
police, but there's a judicial writ

prohibiting me from doing so

because of the misbehavior
of your detectives.

He cooperated from the get-go.
It's the police who misbehaved.

I let myself get bushwhacked.

CONNIE: Twice.

We got bushwhacked twice.

Tanner's sister told the police

that he never talked to
her about his service in Iraq.

But she testified that he
witnessed interrogations.

She might've gotten that
from news reports on the case.

No. She said he saw people
hanged in a shower room.

That wasn't in the news.


No bill. The grand jury
bought Franklin's story.

Next stop, Megan Tanner?

I told the police the truth.
Greg never said anything to me.

Well, then where did you
hear about this shower room?

My mom needs to know
that Greg served with honor,

like my dad.

She's very sick

and if she ever found
out that he did that,

well, I don't think
she could take it.

Why? What did he do?

When Greg was living with
me, he made a video diary.

I found it on my
computer after he died.

We walked the detainee
into the shower room.

He was handcuffed and he was
wearing a hood over his head.

The interrogator
told us to hang him

by his wrists from the
bars of a window, like this,

with his hands behind
his back, up high

so the guy can't kneel or sit, and all
the weight is on his arms and chest.

The 'gator said the guy

was an unlawful combatant

and under the rules, we could
do whatever we want with him.

We hooked him up and
we left him with the 'gator.

An hour later, the
'gator called us back in.

He wanted us to
reposition the detainee.

The detainee was
slumped forward.

His arms were almost out of
their sockets, he wasn't responsive.

Then we took the
hood off his head

and all this blood
poured out of his mouth.

He was...

He was dead.

And those rules,

those damn rules were wrong.

We had to live by them
and it messed us up.

I found one of the guys who
wrote the rules, here at the college.

I got to get right with this.

I didn't join the service
to murder people.

Can we confirm this story?

Tanner was stationed
at Abu Ghraib in 2003,

and there was a death that fit his
description in November of that year.

Yeah, he talks about other
interrogations he witnessed

in Iraq and GITMO, enhanced
interrogations, water-boardings,

what all kept him up at night.

Maybe that's what was going through
Franklin's mind when he shot Tanner.

Maybe he thought Tanner was threatening
to implicate him in a death by torture.

CUTTER: Franklin was bucking for tenure.
Controversy's the last thing he wanted.

He shot Tanner in a panic,

not to defend his life
but to protect his position.

Forget it. You had your
bite at the grand jury.

Franklin is getting
away with killing Tanner.

This memo he wrote for
the Department of Justice

laid out the legal architecture

permitting the
abuse of prisoners,

abuse that led directly
to this death in Iraq.

You could argue this memo is an
element in a conspiracy to commit assault

and depraved
indifference murder.

Someone could try to argue
it, if they had jurisdiction.

Have you looked at
the time stamp on this?

"April 10th, 2003, 1
St. Andrews Plaza."

Franklin was working at the US Attorney's
office downtown when he wrote it?

Right under our noses.

It's the jurisdictional nexus
we need to prosecute him.

We already have the testimony
of one of his co-conspirators.

Jack, you want to prosecute a
member of the Bush administration

for assaulting
suspected terrorists?

The word is torturing,

and, yes, it's about
time somebody did.

Draw up a bill of
indictment against Franklin.


The People have met their
jurisdictional requirement, Mr. Granick.

Your motion's denied.

But, Your Honor,

a conspiracy charge requires an
agreement between the conspirators.

There is no agreement
between Mr. Tanner and my client

to assault prisoners in 2003.

The agreement is manifest by
the fact the recommendations

in Mr. Franklin's memo were
conveyed by intermediaries

to Mr. Tanner in the
field and agreed to by him.

haven't connected the dots.

Those intermediaries should be named
in the indictment as co-conspirators

or the charge is
legally insufficient.

Franklin's daring us to indict
the whole chain of command.

Have you actually
read Franklin's memo?

CUTTER: Cover to
cover? No, not yet.

Read his advice to anyone

worried about being
charged with torture.

"If a defendant has a good
faith belief that his actions

"will not result in
prolonged mental harm,

"he lacks the specific intent necessary
for his actions to constitute torture.

"A defendant could show
that he acted in good faith

"by surveying the
professional literature

"or consulting with experts.

"Good faith is a
complete defense

"to a charge of torture."

He's telling the interrogators
how to circumvent the law.

Just remember, kids, if you're
going to torture, read a book first!

They want co-conspirators?

I'll give them co-conspirators.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff?

Former Secretary of Defense?
Vice-President Cheney?

In for a penny, in for
a pound, Mr. Cutter?

The indictments are being
served as we speak, Your Honor.

Mr. Franklin can consider
the dots connected.

It's absurd. Mr. Cutter is making a
mockery of the conspiracy statutes.

It's clear who's behind this.

Jack McCoy obviously took exception to
my boss's conduct of the War on Terror,

and now he's politicizing
this prosecution.

If Mr. Franklin is afraid a trial might
embarrass his former colleagues,

he's always welcome
to take a plea.

I see no reason for this
indictment not to proceed.

See you all at trial.

So far so good.
This was nothing.

The real hailstorm's going to
come when those indictments

start landing on the
co-conspirators' desks.

Our clients sent us here hoping we
can talk some sense into you, Mr. McCoy.

You wouldn't
be the first to try.

You're going to spark a constitutional
crisis, and that's no threat.

Is that really the valediction
you want for your career?

You let me worry
about my career.

And now, unless you're all here to
talk about a plea, there's the door.

A plea?

You actually believe
that you, a county

D.A., can prosecute a
former Vice-President,

cabinet members, for their
conduct of a war on foreign soil?

I prosecuted a Chilean colonel for
the murder of a US citizen in Santiago.

So government officials
who torture prisoners

on American military bases?

Sure, why not?

This is why not.

This is just the beginning.

We'll keep churning them out until
your office is drowning in motions.

Motions for change of venue,
motions to dismiss, to suppress.

The trial starts next week. We'll be lucky
to get through just one of these bricks.

Strawn doesn't
represent everybody.

We'll sever the trials. We'll try
Franklin and his associates first.

We convict them,

then move up the
chain of command.

Connie, assemble a team,

get them working
on Strawn's motions.

Cards on the table, Jack,

I think we bit off more
than we can chew.

And I'm not even convinced
of our legal standing.

I know.

You value
legalities over ethics,

but sometimes doing what's
ethical is more important.

You can insult me
all you want, Jack,

but maybe the ethical thing to
do here is to save American lives.

We're at war with people who've
sworn to kill us for who we are.

It doesn't matter if it's
civilians, women, children,

as long as they kill Americans.

And if we have to use force to
extract the information we need

to protect ourselves,

well, then maybe that's
the right thing to do.

I see.

Maybe I should find somebody
else to prosecute Franklin.

Oh, no. You can count on
my obsession with legalities.

If there's a way to prove
that Franklin broke the law,

I'm your man.

It's called a
Palestinian hanging.

It's how the North Vietnamese tortured
Senator John McCain when he was a POW.

It's one of the stress positions
sanctioned by Mr. Franklin's memo.

What other harsh techniques are
sanctioned by Mr. Franklin's memo?

The most well-known
is water-boarding,

where a detainee is held down,

a cloth is placed over his
face and water is poured

over his mouth and
nose to simulate drowning.

And who, if anyone
besides the US military,

has used this
interrogation technique?

The Spanish Inquisition.

And after the Second World War,

we convicted Japanese
officers of war crimes

for water-boarding our POWs.

Now you told us that during
your career in the military,

you participated in over
a thousand interrogations.

Did you ever use any of
these harsh techniques?

No, sir. We took down terror
networks with tools like respect,

rapport, cunning and deception.

CUTTER: Not the
techniques in this memo?

Besides the fact I have a moral
problem with torture, it doesn't work, sir.

In fact, it works against us.

It's hypocritical to defend
our values with torture.

That hypocrisy

is the best recruiting tool
you can give to the terrorists.

Thank you.

I want to be clear, Mr. Gardner.

If you had a terrorist

who you believed had information

about a dirty bomb set to go off

in this city within 24 hours,

you wouldn't avail yourself
of every possible technique

to extract information from him?

A man in severe
pain or mental anguish

will say anything
to make it stop.

If you only have 24 hours,

the last thing you want to do is
waste time chasing down false leads.

Torture just doesn't work.

No one here's advocating
torture, Mr. Gardner.

We're talking about
harsh techniques.

I know what we're
talking about, sir.

I don't need a memo
to tell me what torture is.


David. What a nice surprise.

Come with me, I'm taking
the stairs. I need the exercise.

So do you, kid.

How're they treating
you in Washington?

Good. The Attorney General's no
Jack McCoy, but I'm learning a lot.

Jack, they sent me here to talk
to you about the Franklin case.

They want you to call it off.

The jury's empanelled,
jeopardy has attached.

They don't care. They want the charges
dismissed against all the defendants.

I don't get it. The new administration
doesn't have a dog in this fight.

We can't let state prosecutors try
to hold federal officials accountable

for their conduct of a
war. It's a bad precedent.

In any event, the Attorney
General's naming a special prosecutor

to investigate torture claims.

I heard. To go after the small
fry, a couple of thugs in the field.

What about the
policy-makers, the deciders?

Right. They get a
free pass because

if you go after the previous
administration's dirty laundry,

the next administration
will go after yours.

That's the precedent
you don't want to set.

It's just politics, Jack.

I don't know what you're
learning over there, David,

but you've forgotten
everything you learned here.

Tell the Attorney
General no deal.

Information is perhaps

the most critical weapon for
defeating the terrorist threat.

Our success rests on our
ability to extract that information.

I was asked to advise the Defense
Department as to the legal standards

governing the interrogation
of terrorist suspects.

I put my findings in a memo

and sent it on to
the relevant parties.

Thank you.

Mr. Franklin, isn't it fair to
characterize the legal standards

you set governing the interrogations
of suspects as "anything goes,

"so long as the
President orders it,"

and in his capacity as
Commander-in-chief in a time of war,

he has the authority to issue
any order he deems appropriate?

The President
can't break the law.

Well, according to
your memo, what law is

the President bound
by in the War on Terror,

the Geneva and
Hague Conventions?

Not applicable because terrorist
detainees are illegal combatants.

The Due Process Clause
of the Fifth Amendment?

Not applicable to alien
enemy combatants held abroad.

The Eighth Amendment ban on
cruel and unusual punishment?

Not applicable because harsh
interrogations are not punishment.

So you are saying, in war, the
President is bound by no laws?

Yes, in war.

So if he deems he's got to
torture somebody, for example,

by crushing the testicles
of that person's child,

your memo says there is no
law, no treaty that can stop him?

Well, it would depend on why the
President thinks he needs to do that.

Now, your memo
justifies these actions

because the detainees
are not regular soldiers

in a national army as
we understand it, correct?

Correct. Unlawful enemy combatants
are not entitled to the usual protections.

Is it too much to assume they'd be
protected by our own sense of decency?

That's not the task I
was given, Mr. Cutter.

My memo addressed
legal, not ethical standards.

Now, your memo says that,
"Historically, nations and their sovereigns

"have been free to treat
unlawful combatants as they wish."

Could you please give us
such an historical example?

Well, off the top of my head...

What about this example?

The summary execution
of a Vietcong guerilla

by a South Vietnamese general.

Or this,

the torture and murder of Polish
resistance fighters by the German army?

Is this the historical right you say
the President should avail himself of?

I didn't invent the right of sovereigns,
Mr. Cutter. I simply defined it.

The right to do what they
want with unlawful combatants.

Yes. Unlawful combatants like

the American militia after King
George declared them rebels?

Yes, like that.

So you would defend the brutal
treatment of American prisoners

by the British during
the Revolutionary War?

From a legal standpoint, yes.

Mr. Franklin, what is it about
this country that you don't get?

CUTTER: Withdrawn.

No more questions.

There was a state senator on just
now calling for your removal as D.A.

You know, that day,

eight years ago, we could see the
towers burn from Adam's window.

I remember.

Part of me says I don't care
what you do to these detainees.

I don't want to know.

Just protect us.

The problem is,

now we do know.

Yeah, and I'm not sure
that makes a difference.


We're wanted in
federal court tomorrow.

The Attorney General is
asking the court to issue an order

staying the District
Attorney's prosecution

of Mr. Franklin and
the other defendants.

They can't just step
in and stop the trial.

Under the Supremacy
Clause of the Constitution,

actions taken by federal
officials in pursuit of foreign policy

are not grist for
state prosecutions.

If those actions are
illegal, as torture clearly is,

there's no overriding
federal interest

in shielding those who
enabled such actions.

All right, gentlemen.

I'll take the motion
under advisement.

I'll issue my ruling
by the end of the day.

In the meantime, the
state trial can proceed.

I never expected this of you.

You're way off the
reservation, Jack.

Damn it, David.

I'm trying to save
the reservation.

We're looking
forward, not backward.

We're not looking to give
aid and comfort to the enemy.

What are you accusing me of?


GRANICK: My client
never tortured anybody.

He never ordered another or
conspired with others to commit torture.

As a member of the
Office of Legal Counsel

of the Department of
Justice and in service

to his Commander-in-chief, he
was asked to give a legal opinion.

It might not be the most

brilliant opinion ever
written, but in the end,

it's just that, a legal opinion.

Whether or not we
agree on the conduct

of the War on Terror,
we can all still agree

that in this country,

you have to actually
commit a crime

to be convicted of one.

Thank you.

This is no simple legal
opinion, ladies and gentlemen.

This is an instruction on how to
commit a crime and avoid prosecution,

a surgical parsing of words to
draw hair-splitting distinctions

between severe pain
and extreme pain.

The creation of a
special class of prisoners

who are fair game for any
suffering we might subject them to.

This is the legal grease

that enabled the
conspirators to commit acts

that are immoral and illegal.

Hanging prisoners

by their wrists until their
lungs collapse against their ribs,

water-boarding one
detainee over 180 times.

Now, Mr. Franklin's defense is
that he was just following orders

as a mere lawyer in
the Justice Department.

Well, like all lawyers,

he was employed as the last
and best defense against injustice,

to use the law as a
shield to protect people.

But instead, he used it
as a sword to injure them.

Where he was sworn to
uphold the Constitution,

he used his legal
education to subvert it,

to shame it

and betray its
promise to the world.

Five days after 9/11,

Vice-President Cheney told us that
we would have to "work the dark side"

to fight terrorists.

Well, we never
imagined that to mean

that we would cede
control to our own dark side.

The tactics justified in
Mr. Franklin's memo draw

from the worst of our nature.

Even in the midst of
the Revolutionary War,

in the midst of the Civil War,

Washington and Lincoln

admonished their troops
not to injure their prisoners.

Now, some of you may feel

that it is not the
place of this jury,

or even the People,

to question the actions of our
government officials during a time of war.

That the premise of
this trial itself somehow is


I would assure you,

ladies and gentlemen,

it is not disloyal

to hold our officials to the
highest standards of conduct.

And it is not disloyal

to allow you, the
People, to decide

what you want done in your name.

Thank you.

the jury reached a verdict?

We have, Your Honor.

The defendant will stand.

On the first count
of the indictment,

Conspiracy in the...

What's going on, Eddie?

He's a Federal Marshal, with
an order from the district court.

JUDGE CATES: Bring it here.

The federal court for
the southern district

has issued an order
preempting this prosecution.

The trial is over.

JUDGE CATES: Ladies and gentlemen
of the jury, thank you for your service.

We're adjourned.

Your Honor, the
jury had a verdict.

There's no verdict until it's entered
in the record. It's over, Mr. Cutter.

I'll start checking the case
law, see what our next step is.

You won't find anything.
There's no recourse.

The people who want you out,
Jack, they'll use this to hammer you.

Good. At the end of the day, I hope to
give them even more reason to be mad at me.

JACK: Come on, Mike.