Wrong Is Right (1982) - full transcript

A satire of American news reporting, Covert Agencies, and political system. The theft of two suitcase sized nuclear weapons, and their sale to a terrorist group, leads TV Newsman Patrick Hale on an international chase to track them down, and uncover the twisting maze of apparent involvement of US Government agencies.

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It was a time when outer space
was filled with incredible machines...

... whose telescopic eyes and ears
witnessed our most sensitive secrets.

Information that could and did
change the fate of nations.

It was a time when no one on Earth
could hide from technology.

No people, no continent, no one
was safe from spy satellites.

It all could have happened
in the recent past...

... or the present...

... or even in the near future.

But it didn't.

It did happen in that elusive time
between now and later.

That time when dark is light,
when down is up...

... when foul is fair, when:

Get the money!
Get the money!

Get the money!
Get the money!


Ma'am, how long have you
wanted to kill him?

I don't know.

Years, I guess.

Every night, he comes home,
same thing.

On with the TV.

Football, basketball, boxing, beer.

Missus, you okay?

- Feeling a lot better now?
- Ever so.

This won't inspire you to shoot
your real husband?

No, Mr. Hale,
not if I can do it here.

- Then it was worth the $400 fee?
- Oh, yes.

Tonight, our special report
comes to you from the Happy Farm.

The latest craze sweeping New York.

Here, for a price, you can safely
work out your fantasies of violence.

Here, you can murder your father
or your mother...

...or even both...

...which is easily the most popular
crime on the program.

And how are you going to kill
your folks, miss?


I can't stand blood.

Why do you hate them?

Oh, I don't.

It's just that they're,
you know, useless.

Don't you feel guilty?

I'd rather live with the guilt
than with my parents.

What if they're watching
this broadcast?

Oh, God, I hope so.

Is it entertainment or therapy?

Is violence becoming
the national pastime?

Is murder
as American as apple pie?

- Roll it.
- Rolling.

They've logged a thousand calls.

Biggest Nielsen we ever had.

This was a special report
by Patrick Hale.

When I first met King Awad,
he was unknown.

His country was sand, wandering
Bedouins, poverty and illiteracy.

His home was a tent,
where he lived alone...

... prayed alone
and listened to his desert v oices.

A few years ago,
the mystical voices...

...prompted by American engineers,
of course...

...whispered the magic word, "oil."


An ocean of it under this emptiness.

Instant billions...

...instant power,
instant changes.

Go to commercial.

Is he hurt?

- Is he all right?
- Now. Now.

- Roll nine.
- Rolling.

And ready, take nine.

No, I don't know.
We've gotta keep these lines clear.

- Did you get through?
- On the satellite audio circuit.

How is he?

- Are you all right?
- Yeah.

- That was Awad's car.
- Yeah.


New York calling.

- Press.
- It's the boss.

Mr. Hale!

Sally Blake, Globe Syndicate.

Well, what are you doing here?

A story on what you're doing here.

Let's see, you were an actor.

And a coal miner and a bartender
and a sailor...

...and a soldier of misfortune,
et cetera, et cetera.

- How'd you end up in television?
- I was invented for it.

Instant heroes. Football stars,
baseball, golf and tennis stars.

A galaxy of stars.

Famous names, gorgeous dames,
crashing cars...

...superstars like me.

Wish it were me.

- Married?
- Just lucky.

Lots of girls?

Off and on.
Hit and run.

No commitments,
like the rest of television.

How is the love life of a superstar?

Oh, it has its ups and downs.

What's the best thing you've done?

- Not written my autobiography.
- Mind if I use that?

Hell, that isn't news.

Besides, you've already got it on tape.

Why did King Awad send for you?

I'll know tomorrow.

Why is tomorrow the most important
day in his life?

It is?

Death to America!

Death to President Lockwood!

Death to Jews!

Can you operate a movie camera?

- Even this one.
- Okay, cover me.

Hey, wait! Hey, wait!

Where is he?

Get the cow.

Bloody fools!
Look at them.

- Lovely.
- I am not American.

I am not President Lockwood.
I am not now and never was...

...and so help me God,
I never intend to be a Jew!

You'll have to pay $200 for the cow.

Thank you.

Those bums, they'll rob me
when they see my money.

If you don't pay, first they'll bury you,
then they'll kill you.

And then they'll rob you.

They wouldn't take my personal
check, would they?

Not even American Express.

About the sailboat, apologies.
I will pay for the damage.

Mr. Unger.

- Oh, have we met before?
- Met?

You know my name.

- On your business card.
- Really?

Those suitcases, heavy.

- Valuable?
- Oh, they're presents for King Awad.

You really his friend?

The man has got many friends.
He's a saint.

Why would a saint meet secretly
with the world's bloodiest terrorist?

If it was such a secret,
how come you know of it?

- King Awad met with Rafeeq?
- Twice.

- I don't believe it.
- Do you?

I am not political.

Nice camera you've got here.

Is it American?

- Mister...
- Unger.

Mr. Unger, what do you export
from here?

- Oil.
- God bless oil.

My dear, God is oil.

Thanks for the ride.

Madam, my eternal gratitude.

- What does he really export-import?
- Death.

Helmut Unger, slickest
arms dealer in Europe.

Guns, planes, tanks, poison gas.

You name it, he's got it.

And we've got company.

U.S. Embassy, Homer Hubbard.

- Nobody else.
- It's faster by phone.

Our embassy phones are bugged.

Cocktail later?

You've just won my heart.

I'm calling for Marcus.

This is his cousin.


This is your cousin Sally.

Yes, urgent.

No, now. Same place.

Hey, I gotta see
a Mr. Homer Hubbard!

Give me her exact words.

"Humpty Dumpty's ready to fall."

- Nothing else?
- She had to see her cousin.

Business, urgent.

Two suitcases...

...3 feet long...

...2 and a half feet high...

...9 to 10 inches thick.

Weight: About 90 pounds.

Highly radioactive.


This all happened four hours ago.

Sally Blake, American reporter,
killed instantly.

The police here claim that the man
with her was an Israeli secret agent.

The terrorist Jew dies by
his own bomb. No question.

- The woman is spying for the CIA.
- No question!

No question.

I tried to reach Jack Philindros,
director of the CIA.

He wasn't in.
He wasn't out.

He was, I suppose,
somewhere in between.

Said Homer Hubbard,
embassy official...

Sally Blak e was murdered
to suppress the truth.

- The truth about what?
- About whoever killed her.

What's happened
to the American image?

How did America become
a dirty name?

Mr. President...

- We don't hate the American people.
- Except the Jews! No question!

- And President Lockwood!
- No question!

Jack Philindros just phoned
from his car.

He suggests we alert the secretary
of defence, vice president...

...General Wombat...
- Do it.

The Post says Mallory's coming out
with a statement about Sally Blake.

Don't they know he's crazy?
He was crazy when he was a senator.

He was even crazier
when he was president.

He's crazy enough to be insane.

Yes, sir. No question.

The ghost of Sally Blake cries out
for American justice.

And what's President Lockwood
doing about it?


Bunch of raggedy Riffs over there
screaming, "Death to America."

And what is America's answer?

The Arabs raised the price of oil
four times in two years.

And they'll raise it again.

And what are we going to do
about that?


Four years of Lockwood has
changed us from strong to weak...

...from proud to puny,
from fearless to faceless.

Is that what you want?

Are you ready to march
with Mallory?

That poor young woman.

- Oh, Sally Blake.
- Terrible, terrible.

They say she was my enemy.

Well, perhaps those who say it
are your enemy.

It was not our doing.

Tell your people, yes?


Tomorrow is the most
important day of my life.

Tomorrow, I must do God's will.

Pray for me, my friend.

Your Majesty, one moment.

Your birthday gift.

- You remembered.
- Yes, a little late, but...

- You look through here and press that.
- I know, I know.

Make a happy face.

What's the matter?

Nothing. Thank you.

Bless you.

Tomorrow, I have for you
a great surprise.

I watched him speed away
to his beloved desert...

... and his omniscient v oices...

... v oices that may decide
his destiny tomorrow.

This is Patrick Hale in Hagreb.

Voices in the desert?

Crackpot! Never knew a Turk
who wasn't.

King Awad is not a Turk.
And even if he were, so what?

When someone starts hearing voices...
Seriously, Mr. President.

- Joan of Arc heard voices.
- Moses heard them.

- General Patton didn't.
- Jesus did!

- MacArthur didn't.
- General Wombat!

It's not wrong to hear voices.

The desert affects people. If they're
sensitive, they just hear voices.

Do you, Mr. President, hear them?

- Maybe even once in a while?
- No.

And I don't see flying saucers, like a
certain General "Galloping" Wombat.

- I saw them, all right!
- Did I say you didn't? Did I?

You say you saw them,
all right, you saw them.

And some people say
they hear voices. Okay?


- Associated Press.
- Not now.

- Jack.
- It's election time.

Name's Tom, married.

Mr. President,
we're running out of time, sir.

Tom, boy, how's the family?

Hold it, fella.

Of course I intend to do something
about Sally Blake.

What about Patrick Hale?

Disappeared where?

Sally Blake was not a CIA spy.


Yes, you can quote me on that.

Hacker, find out where
Hale has disappeared to.

- I'm on it now, sir.
- Jack, can we get on with it, please?

Yes, sir, but this is top security, sir.

I know that, Jackie.

This is Reverend
Billy Bob Harper.

- Didn't we meet on my last crusade?
- No.

- The night 14,000 were born again?
- I wasn't one of them.

Sir, we are facing a national crisis.

Billy Bob is going to lead us in a
prayer, just like before a ball game.

There's no time.

No time for God, Jackie?

Bless you.

If you know who I am,
why the handprint?

Nobody gets in here...

Mrs. Ford, will you please
put your hand on that light?

- Thank you, ma'am.
- Just a lot of white tape.

- I believe you've met everybody.
- Not me. Not eyeball to eyeball.

Meet the vice president
of the United States.


General Wombat heads our
terrorism task force.

Eyeball to eyeball, I'm sure.

- Mr. President...
- Shoot, Jack, and aim at Mallory.

The Eye of Gaza,
you've heard of it?

- Terrorists.
- The deadliest.

Spy satellite. One of ours.

Can read a license plate
from outer space.

Can tap a telephone conversation
in Russia, China, anywhere on Earth.

Picture's coming in now.

Enemy training camp, North Africa.

He's dead.

This man's dead.

Hit the dirt! Hit the dirt!

Hit the dirt! Mr. Hale, hit the dirt!

Thank you.

The man at the top.

His name is Rafeeq.

His soldiers are fanatics.

Ready, willing to die for their cause...

...even commit suicide on command.

Especially on television.

Last month, two airliners
exploded over Israel.

There were no ransom demands,
no hostages.

Acts of pure vengeance.

So how did these bombs
get smuggled aboard?

Plastique. Implanted by surgeons
into the flesh of Rafeeq's agents.

Egyptian police shot this killer.
The doctors found the explosives.

- Well, what's this got to do with...?
- This report, sir...

...confirmed in seven hours
from now...

...Rafeeq will receive
two atom bombs.

And he will use them tomorrow.

Bull. Where would those crackpots
get two atom bombs?

They're not things you buy
at a drugstore, like golf balls.

Jack, could your information be...?

Well, not wrong, of course...

...but just a little mistaken?
- No, sir.

That report was taped on a piece
of crystal the size of a dime...

...hidden in a pair of eyeglasses.

Recorded by our agent
in Hagreb today.

As she was...

As she was killed by a bomb.

Sally Blake...

...was a spy?

No question. Everybody's a spy.

- Maybe even you.
- Then why trust me?

Television. You reach millions.

- You are offended.
- Because you use me?

- We use each other.
- I like frankness.

You met secretly twice
with King Awad.

- True?
- You find this strange?

A contradiction.

We plan to purify Islam.

- Surely not together.
- Why not?

King Awad uses the word of God.
And you, sir, use...



To you, what is terrorism?

Innocent victims, political murders.

Like the Belgians used in the Congo.

Like the French in Algeria.

The Japanese in Manchuria.

Like the British
against the Americans.

Like the Irish against the British.

Like Mussolini against Ethiopia.

Like Hitler used against the Jews.

Like the Jews used against us.

Like the Americans
used a bomb in Hiroshima.

You mean terrorism like that?

Two atom bombs...

...each strapped in a suitcase.

Each an easily made,
functional bomb.

And each is a 10-kiloton weapon...

...with a destructive force,
Mr. President...

...greater than the Hiroshima bomb.

Primary targets,
Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

- Do the Israelis know?
- Doubtful.

- Because if they did...
- Atomic war.

Mr. President, press the button
on that little black box...

...nothing personal,
and in 30 minutes, whammo.

No more commies, no more Arabs,
no more oil crisis.

No more anything.

Get King Awad.
He'll crack down on that lunatic.

- What are you doing?
- He bought the bombs.

- He who? Not King Awad?
- Yes, sir.

- And he's giving them to...?
- Yes.


Voices in the desert told him to.


Predetermined. Unless I stop it,
the rocket destroys the plane.

If I touch this, no explosion.

If I don't...

Death to the enemy! Death!

Tomorrow, the Jew!

And the day after that...

- New York?
- Lf we support Israel.

- With the election, we have to.
- They'd actually bomb New York?

- Love to.
- But that's an act of war!

Mr. President, push the button.

Yeah. Okay.

- Okay, money talks, right?
- Right.

We'll freeze every dollar
they've got in this country.

Too late, sir.

- Twelve billion, 700 million...
- Transferred.

- Switzerland, Liechtenstein.
- Not so crazy.

Well, I'll go on television,
and I'll tell the world.

Can't you hear Mallory?
"Anything to get re- elected."

If Mallory doesn't say it,
the press will.

- But if people know the truth...
- We're all out of a job.

Attack now, Mr. President.
Hit them first.

- Good guys never shoot first.
- Why not?

I will not go down in history as the
president who started World War III.

Which brings us
to your final option, sir.

Tell it like it is, baby.

In private, please, Mr. President.

See he gets back safely.

- I didn't know you cared.
- About you?

About this, I care much.

191. S- 191.

Home base. Home base. S - 191.

Home base. S-191. S-191.

Receiving, over.

Operation Suitcase,
result negative.

And the Koran quotes them.
King Awad quotes them.

Moses, Abraham, Solomon, Jesus.

- He must respect Jews.
- Dead ones, yes.



Negative, huh? Casualties?

All right, notify next of...
He said what?

Suicide. Stand by.

- Rafeeq?
- No.

- Not King Awad?
- Not yet, sir.

Boy, if he would die before...

Is that your instruction, sir?

- Why should he kill himself?
- Oh, well...

...religious fanatics are unstable
people. They're unpredictable.

- Must he die?
- Sure would be convenient.

He certainly won't abdicate.

- Well, Jackie.
- Yes, sir.

Uncork your touchdown play
and score.

- Blast him out of the ballpark.
- I'm not too familiar with football.

Score, Jackie, score.

- What you're really saying...
- Right. Go ahead.

- Go where?
- Damn it, man, do it.

Do what, sir?

- You want me to spell it out?
- Yes, sir, I do.

I have seen the CIA take the rap
for the last seven presidents.

But no more,
unless you give me a direct order.

- You want me to say "kill him"?
- That is one of your options, sir.

Even if I thought such
a terrible thing, which I never did...

...do you realize
I could be impeached?

Politics don't mean
anything to me...

...unless they affect the CIA
and the United States.

In that order, Jackie?

They're interchangeable,
Mr. President.

Those eyeglasses...

...they wouldn't be a tape recorder
like the ones Sally Blake...

That king...

...the one who wanted
to waste Thomas Becket.

- King Henry II.
- Right.

He didn't say, "Pop him, burn him."
He said what?

"Who will rid me of this man?"

- Get the drift, Jackie?
- No, sir.

All I've heard is " rid me of," " pop him,
burn him" and "score a touchdown."

Just as over the years
in this office I've heard:

"Terminate with extreme prejudice."

I've heard "croak him"
and "chill him" and "pop him."

"Burn him," "fire him," "grease him."

- And you still don't understand?
- No, sir.

Well, how's this:
K-l-double- L him, by God.

- By God, sir?
- By executive action.

Immediately. Thank you, sir.

- Was this session taped?
- Sir?

What was said here,
was it taped as usual?

- Of course.
- Burn it.

- Your own tape?
- Burn it.

Watergate, remember?

You think I want a black Ford
in my future?

Well, how's this:
K- l-double-L him, by God.

- By God, sir?
- By executive action.

Why is tomorrow so bloody
important to Awad?

Beats me. Kings and priests,
they talk in riddles.

Why is an American fighting here
in that uniform?

Why'd Americans fight
over there in Vietnam?

Beats me.

What did he say?

King Awad, he's dead.

- What are you doing?
- Going to Awad's camp.

You might not be welcome.

Television not welcome, where?

Beats me.

Take the wheel.

I don't understand.
He had such hopes for tomorrow.

- How did it happen?
- Suicide.

Frothing at the mouth.
Traces of poison.

- That doesn't prove suicide.
- This does.

I have tried to live
by the teachings of the prophet.

I heard v oices, angry v oices.

Let fire rain from the sky.

Let blood run in the streets.

Death to the enemy.

The v oices made me unclean.

My own blood,
shed by my own hand.

Only that can mak e me
clean again.

No, not suicide.

Not him, not this saint.

Murder. I say it to you,
your television, the world.

Murder. The CIA did it.

Blame the CIA. Same old story.

- Old, but true.
- How was it done?

How could they get to him?

- I don't know.
- Thank you.

Not suicide, murder.

- The suitcases.
- Not here.

- Where are they?
- Safe.

You said tonight.

You promised.

King Awad promised me
a million dollars.

Dead man's promise.

- Well.
- Wait.

- No cash, no business.
- You'll get your money.

That's when you'll get
the merchandise.

Get off!

By morning,
a spontaneous mass demonstration...

... was staged, vilifying America
and President Lockwood.

Rafeeq's Rev olutionary Council will
control this country by nightfall.

We lucked out.

- Videotape, how much time is left?
- Riot footage, 11 seconds left.

The live switch to the airport remote
in three, two, one...

- We're on it.

So ended an explosive 30 hours...

... that began with the violent death
of Sally Blak e.

She was going home now.

She wasn't the only one.

American newspapers
were ordered to leave.

Television was invited to stay.

We left in support
of our fellow reporters.

Was today's outrage
riot or rev olution?

Was it political or religious?

Was King Awad's death
suicide or assassination?

Are you accusing anyone
of his murder?

- I never said it was murder.
- Certainly not.

- You question suicide?
- Yes.

No comment.

Are you accusing anyone
of his murder?

What are you trying to prove?

- Everybody says suicide.
- I just can't accept it.

Well, that makes it murder.
That makes it even better.

Only if you're right. If you're wrong,
it could be slander.

It could be libel.
Worse, a drop in the Nielson ratings.

Goodbye, number one.
Goodbye, period.

All fixed.

Pat, do me a favour, please.
Drop the crusade.

Go away. Go fishing, go hunting.

Make love. Do anything,
but drop the lost causes.

I hate fishing. Love love.

Welcome back, honey.

- Hi.
- Expensive?

She works for us.
She's a sort of reporter.

What could be news
in a call house?

Loose women loosen
men's tongues.

Who's behind it?

- Who tipped you?
- A John.

Private eye, ex- FBI.

Make us a drink.

Get me the phone company.
I'll take it here.

Big guy. Phone company emblem
on his back.

Not sent by you?

You sure?

- Don't answer it!
- Hello?

The FBI says it was rigged
to explode...

... three to four seconds
after the phone was answered.

We were lucky.

It seems to be open season
on reporters.

Why was Sally Blake killed?

What secret did she know?

Was her information connected
with the suicide of King Awad?

As a direct descendant
of Mohammed...

... by killing himself,
he'd be killing the son of the prophet.

Suicide? Hardly.

We asked U.S. Intelligence...


Army, Navy and Air Force Intelligence,

Our spy factories, all unavailable.

President Lockwood was busy
with domestic matters, unavailable.

Hack er,
Chief of White House Staff...

... was deeply inv olved
in affairs of state...

... unavailable.

Madam Vice President was dealing
with national issues, unavailable.

The Reverend Billy Bob Harper
was available.

God moves in mysterious ways.

Scotland Yard's expert
on voiceprints.

Our tests prove that the v oice
on the tape is King Awad's.

Egyptian authority on languages.

King Awad spok e his dying words.

No question.

The experts all agree, suicide,
despite my doubt.

Without a motive,
there is no case for murder.

Who would benefit most
by Awad's sudden death?

Honest John Lockwood.

He ordered a wet operation.

- Is that a quote?
- You bet.

- Any proof?
- Would you use it against Lockwood?

Even if it lost him the election?

- Meaning I'm biased?
- Against me, hell, yes.

Well, facts never were
your strong suit.


Sometimes they don't add up
to the truth.

All right, what is the truth
of the suicide tape?

I have tried to...

- Oh, I heard that before.
- Not this one.

I heard v oices.

We put this together with our
computer using his old speeches.

They're both lies.

A fake suicide to cover up murder.

- You said proof.
- Coming up.

Based on what?

Based on a phone call...

...from him.

He wants to sell two suitcases.
One million dollars...


Expensive luggage.

Cost Sally Blake her life.

News was her cover.

She worked for him.

The CIA's toughest trouble- shooter
in the Mideast.

What's he selling
that's worth $2 million?

Ask the Agency.

They wanted those suitcases
bad enough to kill him.

Lockwood lies!
Lockwood lies!

Lockwood lies!

The Jews own television!

All right, break it up.

The Jews own television!
Patrick Hale!

Patrick Hale, CIA stooge!

Swan dive, baby.

A student spok esman
said the human bomb...

... was a protest against the CIA...

... Wall Street, Harvard and Yale...

... against President Lockwood,
TV reporter Patrick Hale...

... all Christians, Jews,
and a protest against pantyhose...

... chewing gum, alcohol
and disco dancing.

- Urgent.
- Later.

Desert film, 16 mm,
shot three days ago, guy in a Cadillac.

What is this?
Mallory just put us on notice.

If you don't use his interview,
he's gonna sue for bias...

...prejudice and equal time.
- Right.

Run it.

Looks like the negative's
been damaged.

- Sure it didn't pass through an x-ray?
- Run it again.

Homer Hubbard, please.

Sorry, sir. No one by that name
works for the Agency.

- Give him a message.
- I don't see how.

Tell him I know where he can buy
two aluminium suitcases.

- Just a moment.
- Two million dollars.

How shall I find him?

Try dialling his number.

- Of course the president will see you.
- When? Well, when?

As soon as possible.

- Today?
- Positively, unless it's tomorrow.

Well, that's too late.

He instructed me to say, quote:

"Pat is my friend.
Give him anything he wants."

- Ten minutes.
- Anything except that.

- Five minutes, now.
- No can do.

My God. Mallory said that?

- Is it true?
- Of course not.

I can go on the air
and say you deny it?

Of course not.

It would be to admit
there's something to deny.

Could the CIA do it
without Lockwood's knowledge?

- Ask him.
- When?

As soon as possible.

Police found one of the Arab's hands.
Couple of fingers intact.

FBI ran the prints through a computer.
Nothing so far.

- Last night, I saw Mallory.
- We know.

- He said that...
- We know.

- What don't you know?
- Did Mallory buy the suitcases?

- What's in them?
- Who's got them?

this is the elusive Mr. Hubbard.

Yes, sir.

I tried to see the president.

Got stopped by his "can do" man.

All I got was double talk.

- He denied everything.
- It's called "plausible deniability."

If you're wired, it'll be erased.

Plausible deniability, which means?

When a president
does something sticky...

...he can say he didn't do it
and plausibly deny it.

- Nice term.
- Eisenhower used it.

Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon,
Ford and Carter used it.

Who takes the rap?

Whoever did what the president
said he didn't do, but did.

- Are you saying Lockwood did?
- Did what?

What he didn't do.

Do you have any idea how many
people hate the CIA?

You know how many people
have tried to destroy us?

Congressmen have tried, senators.

Even some of our own agents
have tried.

Your rat's just died.

The autopsy will show it died
of a heart attack.

That's a hell of a pen.

Do you really think it's important
who killed King Awad?

- Well, don't you?
- No.

I do.

And you're ready to go on national
television and blame the CIA?

- Can you keep a secret, sir?
- I doubt it.

Well, in that case, Mr. Hale...

"Croak him," "waste him,"
"grease him."

- And you still don't understand?
- No, sir.

Well, how's this:
K- l-double-L him, by God.

- By God, sir?
- By executive action.

Fire him! Shoot him!
Charge the CIA with treason!

- Too late.
- Deny it.

- Pat, boy!
- Mr. President.

- Excuse me.
- President's office.

You're angry.




Carrot juice?


A few answers, Mr. President,
spiked with the truth.

Well, I don't know where to begin.

How about "K-l-double- L him"?

Well, nothing is
what it seems to be.

Like what you didn't do, but did.

But never intended to.

Plausible deniability.

Justifiable homicide.

- And that's it, all of it.
- Everything?

- Except for some things.
- What things?

- Things I can't talk about.
- Why?

- Executive privilege.
- To withhold information?

Even from Congress, from the courts.

Mr. President, according to the law,
we're supposed to be equal.

We are, only some of us are
more equal than others.

George Orwell.

I go on air with that,
you're out, Mallory's in.

Can't. Two reasons.
One: We're friends.

- That wouldn't stop me.
- Two: It's classified.

- Who classified it?
- I did.

- When?
- Just now.

That, my friend,
is executive privilege.

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
The president will be here in a minute.

- I didn't have anything to do with this.
- Patrick?

Joyce. Hi, Richard, how's the wife?

- Just fine.
- It's a self-prepared statement...

Tape's rolling.
We have speed.

Good morning,
ladies and gentlemen.

If you don't mind,
I've brought along a friend.


Scruffy, meet the press.

Man's best friend.

By tomorrow, he may be
the only friend I've got.

Did you ever realize that "dog"
spelled backwards is "God"?

All right, folks, fire away!

This is the latest,
most popular automatic weapon.

Fires 800 bullets a minute.
Weight: Four pounds.

Effective range: 270 yards.

Sky-light scope for night work.

Makes killing a pleasure.

Five thousand rifles.

The two suitcases,
they're still available.

Now? What would I do
with atom bombs now?

The same as before, drop them.

For each bomb we drop,
they will drop 50.

The same was true before.

Before, when King Awad ruled,
we had nothing.

Now we rule.
Now the oil belongs to us.

Now comes law and order.

Now what happens to the
homeless Palestinians?

We'll sell them oil, of course.

And the Israelis?

They'll have to pay more, of course.

Of course.

Satellite cleared.
World hookup confirmed.

Gallup and Harris will conduct
new election polls.

And three commercial breaks
at $300,000 for every spot.

Some presidents come into office
because they're ruthless.

All become ruthless
before they leave.

I want the people to know the truth...

... the whole truth.
It's the American way.

I tak e full responsibility for the...

For King Ibn Awad's
removal from office.

Right, I can't do anything about that.

It's the dog that worries me.

If the truth turns you against me...

... the blame falls not on us,
but on the facts.


Lockwood swore to protect and defend
the United States and its Constitution.

Fact: King Awad made
an unholy alliance...

...with an international
gang of terrorists. Fact:

King Awad paid for two atom bombs,
concealed in two suitcases.

I saw them.
I can prove they were radioactive.

Fact: Those bombs were
to be used by this terrorist...

... to destroy Jerusalem.

His secondary target was to be
New York City or...

- No bombs, no proof.
- No question.

- Get the bombs!
- How?


Was the death of
King Awad justifiable?

The maniac who shot Lincoln...

... the killers of Dr. Martin Luther King,
the Kennedys, Lumumba...

... those who burned Joan of Arc,
poisoned Socrates, crucified Christ...

... all assassins cry,
"Justifiable homicide."

If you'd been president, how would
you have handled King Awad?

Killed him.

- Then you'd call it justifiable?
- I'd call it necessary.

Murder is never justified. No!

The end does not justify the means.

To prevent a plague by killing
the germ isn't murder.

It's mercy.

The U.S. Of A. May not
always be right...

... but God knows we're never wrong.

Nobody ask ed Congress.

- Why?
- Public opinion.

With gas more than 3 bucks
a gallon, the prez did right.

- Wrong.
- Right.

- King who?
- Given the facts, sir...

Facts? What facts?

What suitcases? What bombs?
What nonsense!

Where's the proof?

There's only one fact.

The president is guilty of
premeditated, cold-blooded murder.

Ladies and gentlemen,
the greatest outlaw of the century.

Thank you.

In the Gallup poll...

- Well?
...we dropped 17 points.

- They've been wrong before.
- The Times picks Mallory to win.

- How close?
- Landslide.

- I thought that if I faced the people...
- Just another television show.

Seen by a hundred million people.

- They cried.
- Soap opera.

Seventy thousand
telegrams are raves.

- Most of them sent by you.
- The people need us.

Will they vote for us?

- Why not? He told the whole truth.
- Words.

- The president's word...
- Is suspect.


These days, yes, sir.

You heard the lady.

We need proof,
2 million dollars' worth.

Urgent. Overseas.

- What changed your mind?
- Conditions.

Are the suitcases here?

Always. Unless they are not.

- American guns?
- Yes, my dear.

American. Also Russian,
French, Israeli, Czech.

Why can't people like us
buy them, directly?

Americans don't like you.

Not diplomatic.

The Russians don't trust you...


So they sell to me,
knowing that I sell to anybody.

Well, that makes the big guys
good guys.

And it makes me fairly well-to-do.

- Washington.
- Who is calling?

Who you expected.



Yes, Mr. Unger. Are you alone?
Please answer yes or no.

- No.
- Have you sold the suitcases?

We're ready to buy.
Two million dollars, right?

Not now.

Two million, one- hundred thousand?

Two million, two?

Would you stand by
just a moment, please?

How high do we go?

Brand-new bullet.

Explodes on impact.


Two and a half million dollars,
Mr. Unger.


Now, certified check?


Swiss francs.

Our man is on the way.

Since we will never use the bombs,
the price is too high.

- We're prepared...
- Never buy anything you cannot use.

You drive a hard bargain.

In my business, no bargain, no credit,
and in your case, no sale.

Carlos, our charming friends
are leaving.

- American.
- Texas?

Sounds like war.
Shooting, yelling.



Hey there, partner!

Gonna do me some fancy travelling.
Gonna get me some fancy luggage.

You remember them
$2 million suitcases?

What's that?
Shut that damn door.


Did you say 3 million?

Hey, hey, boy, that's cheap.
We're in business.

Look for John Brown.

John Brown.
He's leaving now.

The suitcases are the key.

Lockwood needs bombs
to prove justifiable homicide...

...Rafeeq, to prove
there were none...

...and Mallory needs them
to win the election.

And we need them
for an exclusive story.

Book me on the first plane to Paris.
Have that money when I get there.

You expect us to pay $2 million?

- Maybe more.
- But that's checkbook journalism!

What was it when TV paid half a million
for an exclusive on the Bay of Pigs?

A million dollars for Nixon
to apologize coast to coast?

CBS paid Haldeman,
Eisenhower and Johnson.

NBC paid John Dean and
Robert Kennedy's assassin.

ABC paid Lieutenant Calley...

...and for breakfast,
served up the My Lai massacre.

And what about the killer
I put on television?

From death row to the electric chair,
fried meat on prime time.

You paid $100,000 for that!

Paid it to the killer!

Do you call that journalism?

We're in show business, baby.

- Get that guy on camera.
- What?

The soldier
with the bleeding stumps.

You rolling?
Hey, sarge, you're on TV!

How does it feel losing your legs?

You call that news?
We peddle disaster!

And violence, it's commercial!

Blood and tears and football
and cheers.

Performers, superstars.
Get them on, get them off.

Next, next, fast, fast!

We're in the entertainment biz.
Nothing wrong with that...

...if you call it that.

Now, for my next act, I'm gonna
try to save the president's neck.

You bum, you're the one
that exposed him!

Right! And that's not wrong.
That's my job.

And if he told the truth,
I'll get facts to prove it.

And that's my job too!

I happen to be for Mallory!

Frankly, my dear,
I don't give a damn.

Monsieur John Brown?

Mr. John Brown?

Tonight. 6:00.
Not sooner. Not later. Bring cash.

Come alone.


All the same. All empty.

No bombs.

Not here.

No suitcases here, either.

- Mr. Unger?
- Not here.

- Who are you?
- Shipping. Freight.

Then you know where everything is.
Name's Brown.

Supposed to pick up two suitcases.
I got the cash right here.

Anyone here?

Mr. Unger?

Turn around.


Open it.

Go in.

Don't touch anything!

Sit down.

- Jesus.
- Hardly.

How did he get it?

Same way. Ice pick.

Not my style.

What is your style?
King Awad's suicide?

Poisoned cigars? Darts?
Umbrella tips?

Or like the rat in the cage?

Awad's camp's a fortress,
but you got in and out. How?

You know I'm not wired.

What is the style of the CIA?

Is this where I get it?

You brought the king a birthday gift...

...a camera at the airport,
the day he died.

- I bought that camera myself.
- It wasn't the one he got.

He took a picture...

...of you.

Tiny needle, tiny puncture.

Hardly felt.

Seven hours later, dead.

Who switched the cameras?

Your Majesty, just a moment.
Your birthday gift.

You remembered.

Mike works for you?


But that means Awad was killed
before Lockwood gave the order.

- Before!
- Details.

You people get
bogged down in details.

You people? What people?
You're talking about me!

You've made me
accessory to murder!

That's not serious.

You're an amateur.
That's serious.

I don't believe this.

You'd say anything for the CIA.


Even the truth.

Why? Why hide a cheap Bible?

You, wait. I get something,
we go to the railroad.

You, call the police.
You, anything moves, kill it.

Save him!
Save the bastard!

No question.
Crude oil going higher.

- Twenty-two dollars a barrel?
- Correct.

- Why punish the people of Europe?
- You're all the same.

Will oil prices ever go down?

Will President Lockwood
ever resign?

The price of gas went up
50 cents a gallon.

And not enough to go around.

Angry drivers lock ed
attendants in a toilet.

Meanwhile, other drivers
filled their tanks.

Blame the president.

Blame the oil companies.

Today, Wall Street went wild.

More than $3 billion changed hands.

Do you know how much
a billion dollars is?

You'd have to spend more than
$2.5 million every day for one year.

Oil up $ 22 a barrel.
President Lockwood down 26 points.

Gold up.
Lockwood down.

Food prices up.
Lockwood down.

The dollar down.

Lockwood way down.

A sad day for America.
We're a nation tired of being without...

... without jobs,
without pride...

... without hope...

... without leadership.

We've had enough, Mr. President.

Your own party's against you.
The whole world's against you.

Resign, Mr. President.

- Quit.
- Quit?

- We've just begun to fight, right?
- Damn right.

They've hit us below the belt.

They've whomped us behind the belt.
They've belted us with the belt.

So rally our friends.
Convert our enemies.

Damn the torpedoes,
full speed ahead!

You know what I want.

- Do you?
- Ma'am?

- Do you know what he wants?
- No, ma'am.

We want a list of enemies.

CIA never meddles
in domestic affairs.

- Of course.
- Or politics.

Of course, now cut the crap!
We want a hit list.

Congressmen, senators, cabinet,
big business, labour, lobbies...

...yesterday's pals,
cowards trying to give us the shaft.

Am I talking too fast for the hidden
microphones getting this?

Because here it comes, baby,
loud and clear!

We want pictures, witnesses,
hard evidence!

Kickbacks, bribery, usury, adultery,
lechery, bigotry, larceny...

Every dirty deal they ever made.
If you can't or won't get facts, he will.

- They want a dirty alley fight?
- They've got it!

Remember, you gotta be seen.

If it doesn't happen on television,
it means nothing.

Twenty-one shots.

And by golly,
they miss me every time.

The Alamo!

Davy Crockett fought here.

Jim Bowie fought here.

John Wayne fought here.

And here's where I fight back.

Mr. Mallory says
I can't beat the odds.

- "Quit," he says.
- No!

The heroes who defended the Alamo,
the odds were against them too.

Four thousand enemy troops...

...against 150 Texans.

- Did they quit?
- No!

- Did a Texan ever quit?
- Hell, no!

Hell, no!

We're gonna win this election
because our side is right...

...because we're not afraid to fight...

...because we will always...

...remember the Alamo!

Remember Ibn Awad.
Remember Ibn Awad!

Blame the president!

Down with Lockwood!

Blame the president!

Death to Lockwood!


Miss, pull it over! Pull over!

At the Alamo,
it was darkness at noon.

Here again,
the moment that shocked the nation.

The president
had a narrow escape.

Now safe.

This FBI agent...

...was killed by an ice pick.

The terrorist, a young woman,

Terrorism in the streets.

Terrorism in the sky.

Terrorism by kids, by gangs,
by governments.

When the rats take over...

...call the exterminator...

...and blast off!

We have the men...

... and the means
to get the job done.

Turn us loose, Mr. President...

...and we'll blow them
all to hell and gone!

This was a special report
by Patrick Hale.

You won't believe this.
Two thousand phone calls, local.

Coast to coast clocked 40,000.

40,000! Our biggest ratings.
We're the hottest show on television!

It's bigger than
the Kennedy Act in Dallas.

It's bigger than the Super Bowl.
It'll be bigger tomorrow.

- Only if the human bomb tries it again.
- Let's pray for a double- header.

They'll mingle with the crowd.
If there's trouble...

What crowd?

There are no people.
I'm gonna be talking to nobody.

With coverage by all the networks,
cable, satellite television...

...more than one billion people
will see this event by tonight.

Here, in Times Square...

...it's like New Year's Eve.

But these people are not waiting
to blow out the new year.


They're waiting to see somebody
blow himself to pieces.

They all wanna see themselves
on television.

Actors in a real-life melodrama.

Except for them...

...it isn't real.
It's a television special.

Fun and games, a gory spectacle,
the Circus Maximus.

But today...

...there are no Arab students...

...no violence.
The crowd is disappointed.

Back to work.

Death to America!

- Remember lbn Awad!
- Here they come.

Death to the enemy!

- The carnival's open for business!
- Death to America!

- Kill the Jews!
- Kill the Arabs!

Get the fuckers!

Justice! Justice!



Get the prick!

Damn it, men!
We're on the wrong beach!

This morning, President Lockwood
urged for an end to human sacrifice.

Violence breeds more violence.

The place for justice is the
United Nations, not the battlefield.

This afternoon, we finally reached
Rafeeq by satellite.

Piety from the mouth of an assassin
is blasphemy.

You will have my answer tonight.


In the city of infidels...

... in Washington.

Well, this is Washington.

And it's 10:00.

The White House, government
buildings, national monuments...

...are all under armed guard.

Only police and military planes
will cross these skies tonight.

Only police cars
and armoured vehicles here.

And no pedestrians.

It's like wartime London...

...holding its breath...


Waiting for the next bomb to hit.

Did you hear that?

A police helicopter was stolen.

It looks like...

It's a woman!

There's three!

Three women!

They're drifting towards the Capitol.

We've just heard...

...similar demonstrations
in Chicago, Detroit.

It's happening
all over the country.

- Not a word.
- Hold on.

Hello, Mr. Secretary.

- How's weather in Moscow?
- Never mind!

- No comment.
- Explosions? What explosions?



- Put me through to Mr. Hale.
- He has a call. Overseas. Hagreb.

- Not now.
- Personal, urgent and now.

- Is it a wrap?
- Yeah.

Maybe for the whole darn world.

Mr. Hale.

New York. Urgent.

He's coming on.
They want this on tape.

- Go ahead.
- Rafeeq Abdallah here.

- Is this an answer to...?
- Listen carefully.

Do not interrupt.

Do not question.

Do not betray this trust.

- Call the president.
- Of the network?

Of the United States.

I do not trust Lockwood.

Through you, Mr. Hale...

... the American people
will know the truth.

Make no appeal.

I will answer no calls.

Get me the FBI.

I have three conditions.

Fail to meet all conditions,

One: Lockwood will appear
at the United Nations.

He will resign as president.

The International Court of Justice...

... will try Lockwood
for the murder of Ibn Awad.

The trial must be shown on television.

If Lockwood has not resigned
by 10:00 tomorrow morning...

... two atom bombs will destroy
the city and people of New York.

If Lockwood has not resigned...

Finish Lockwood or commit

- News flash!
- Wanna interrupt the commercial?

- Hell, no!
- Harv, no news flash.

- Hold it, Pat. Hey.
- You can't use the story.

- Hey!
- Ed.

- Yes, sir.
- Did you tape Rafeeq's call?

- Yes, sir.
- Give it to the FBI.

- Harvey, sit down.
- You expect me to kill this story?

- For now.
- It means an Emmy Award! Ratings!

- Numbers!
- You can't use the story.

People have a right to know!

You put it on TV, you'll have
eight million people running crazy.

You'll kill more people
than the bombs.

- Harv, boy.
- Mr. President.

We can't go looking for a gas leak
with a lighted match, can we?

No, sir.

Proud to have you aboard.

If Lockwood has not resigned
by 10:00 tomorrow morning...

... two atom bombs will destroy
the city and people of New York.

Mr. President, that voice
could be anybody.

Students, Cubans, Ricans, Afros.

Sir, the FBI voiceprint
proves that was Rafeeq.

Fake! I can smell it. There are
no atom bombs. There never was!

General Wombat!

We know who built those bombs.
We know who tried to buy them!

We know Rafeeq has them!

But is he crazy enough
to use them?

Rafeeq Abdallah,
personality profile.

Medical, physical, psychological...

... from age 4 up to tonight.

Severe case
of psychopathia martialis.

Age 11, shell shock.
Refugee camp.

Now, a paranoid megalomaniac.

Highly dangerous, suicidal...

...chronic masturbator...
- Mr. Hubbard.

- Sir.
- Will he blow up New York?

According to this report, yes.

Fifteen- minute break.

Sir, it's Mallory.
He's heard a rumour about the bomb.

Don't say "yes" or "no."
Don't say "maybe."

Say you'll call back, but don't.

That's how you stay president.

Now, look! Some of us
have got family in New York.

And in America, family comes first.

But not before God and country.

Stay off the phone
and don't start a panic.

- Shouldn't you tell the governor?
- He supports Mallory.

FBI, Operation Scramble,
New York area.

Don't ask why.


And tell nobody else, but nobody!

Call my sister in New York.
Tell her to...

Get out of town. No!

Don't tell your mother!

Mr. President, Mrs. Ford on three.


Who's got the evacuation plan?


Well, where is he?

Then break into his office
and get it.

New York airport's
suddenly doing big business.

Secretary of State.

- Now where is he?
- China.

Hang up.

Well, any answers?

We've got to do something.

- Terrific!
- I say attack.

We can wipe them off the map
in five hours!


Pour me a shot of that stuff.

- Give me that thing.
- Yes, sir.

We can settle this mess
in 25 minutes.

That's the ticket, chief.

Pulverize them!

How do you open this damn thing?

- Who's got the combination?
- You, sir.

- Oh.
- That won't stop him.

It will if he's dead.

Even if you kill Rafeeq...

...his bombs could be preset,
rigged so nothing can stop them.

If he does not send a signal...


Jack? Is that possible?

That's the way I'd do it.

That rat...

...just insured his own life.

FBI, sir.


I don't care what it takes!

You have got less than seven hours
to find those bombs!

Two million people live in New York.
Another million come in every day.

Just give me the bottom line.

Using everything from buses
to subways, ships and planes...

...two million can be evacuated.
- How fast can we be on the air?

- Minutes, but...
- lf we can save two million...

Yes, sir, if we can squeeze
an extra 40,000 vehicles...

...into the New York traffic...

...another 300,000 extra persons
into the airports.

It's page 18 of that report.

If you don't take pets,
the old, the blind...

...abandon the hospitals
and the people in them...

...don't panic
and if the police don't panic...

...then maybe you might save
two million people.

In how long?

- Four days.
- Four days?

Now, I want some answers,
and I want them now!

To begin with,
didn't anybody check this report?

Eight years ago, sir.

- Worthless then.
- Why wasn't something done about it?

- Maybe there is no defence against...
- He's bluffing!

- What if he's not?
- All right. All right.

Say it happens.

What's the worst?

Mr. President,
recent nuclear tests prove...

- That is classified information.
- No, sir.

The bomb's gone public.

Newspapers, magazines,
even college kids have built them.

Come on, I want numbers,
facts, figures!

The first shock, blast
and thermal dose...

...will kill at least two million people.

All this glass...

...will become bullets.

Billions of them!
They'll slash everything for miles.

There'll be fires. Tens of thousands.

Winds. Winds double the force...
The destructive force of hurricanes.

All the water...

...all the food, poisoned!

And within 10 days...

...all the rest of the people...

...dead. Radiation.

Even the ones in the shelters.

Mr. President, if these bombs
are allowed to go off...

Notify Rafeeq.

Well, time to go.

One of us has gotta try sanity.

Don't do it, Mr. President.
You'll hate it.

Mr. President, you can't resign.

Me or millions?
There's not much choice.

Mr. President,
if you resign, a woman...

...a black woman
will be in the White House.

And she won't be serving dinner.

- Congratulations, Madame President.
- Lf I'm not shot before I'm sworn in.

That's a well-hung flagpole.

Thank God!

Call the FBI.

- I'll disarm the other bomb.
- Just in the nick of time.

- Yep.
- Convenient.

Oh, I'd say lucky.

I thought for a while, the CIA had...

...arranged the suitcases.

Like King Awad's suicide.

Mr. Hale,
we only try to do what's right.

Even when it's wrong?

If it's good for America,
it can't be wrong.


- What's next?
- War!

- What's next?
- War!

These atom bombs on our land...

...constitute an act of war.

Undeclared war, unprovoked war...

... started by the bloodiest terrorist
of modern history.

By Rafeeq, the Hun of Hagreb.

What war?

What bombs?

What the hell? Is he crazy?

- Frank, boy!
- You did it! You finally did it.

- We're not gonna take it anymore.
- You hit them!

- You bet!
- Hit them with everything you got!

And, but for God's sake,
don't hit those oil wells!

What we got here is a war.
You're here for one reason.

No matter what happens, nothing
happens until it happens on television.

Right. But before you take
the oil wells, remember...

...we're taking a three- minute
commercial break!


Now, let's kick ass!