State of Affairs (2014–2015): Season 1, Episode 5 - Ar Rissalah - full transcript

Now that a portion of the convoy attack report has been leaked, President Payton (Alfre Woodard) has a lot of questions for Nick Vera (guest star Chris L. McKenna). Unfortunately, he seems to be MIA. As Charlie (Katherine Heigl) searches for him, she flashes back to the hours before and during the convoy attack, and we learn another secret that she's been withholding from President Payton. After an American reporter (guest star Ray Laska) is granted a rare, exclusive interview, Charlie and team must work to contain the footage as an urgent matter of national security. Kurt (Cliff Chamberlain) finally works up the courage to show Maureen (Sheila Vand) his cards, while D.P. (David Harbour) reaches out to an old friend to squash the convoy attack report before it's released in its entirety.

Previously on State of Affairs...

What can I do for you, Senator?

The investigation into the
convoy attack is wrapping up.

There's something in that
report that could hurt you.

Did you tell anyone about Fatah?

No, but I know who took the photo.

A former guard at Midnight City.

I sold the photos to the Krieg group.

The hell are you doing?

Charleston, the bullets that killed Aaron

came from a CIA-registered weapon.

I know for a fact that gun
belonged to Nick Vera.

I told you, alchemy shots

on an empty stomach is a bad idea.

The Egyptian secret police are
not gonna mess with an American.

You're not in America.



Do you know who I am?

The subcommittee report is still sealed,

but the portions that were leaked...

Can be contained, David. Must be.

Not indefinitely, ma'am,

and certainly not in this day and age.

Most of the portions that were
leaked are incidental findings.

I mean, the biggest bombshell
being that Aaron was killed

by a CIA-registered weapon.

Registered to Nick Vera, and
before we get in the room,

who is he?

It's a case officer. He's a Langley shooter.

Expect the agency to be cagey

about giving up a lot of
information about him,

at least until they have
their own house in order.

I don't care about the
housekeeping of the CIA.

I want to know the source behind the leak.

Look, this leak could be considered

a blessing in disguise.

At least we'll be prepared when
the full report gets released.

You've all read the leaked sections

from the subcommittee's report re:

The attack on my convoy in Kabul.

Somebody tell me, who is Nick Vera,

and why were there bullets
from his CIA-issued weapon

found in my son?

Don't go in that convoy unprotected.

Better to have it and not need it.

Uh, Vera's former special ops.

He's been with us since '07.

Had three years in Iraq,

and Force Recon with General Appleby,

and four in Afghanistan.

He worked for JSOC.

Was he a part of the assault
team that ambushed us?

Ma'am, I can only offer a most strident no

when it comes to that question.

Where is Vera right now?

We're in the process of locating him.

I've tasked near east division.

I've also reached out to JSOC.

What are you doing?

Director Navarro, you have a phone call.

You'll excuse me.

I'd like to clear the room.


Nick Vera, you know him?

Yes, ma'am.

I wouldn't call us friends,

but we were stationed together
in Afghanistan working ops.

I was his targeting analyst.

Your impression?

Is it possible he was aiding Fatah?

Ma'am, I do not believe he killed Aaron.

But his gun did.

You know Vera.

Find him.

Yes, ma'am.

Madam President,

- we have a situation.
- What is it?

Egyptian police just
informed us Omar Fatah's

kidnapped an American journalist.


What up, D?

What's going on?

- Nick's gone.
- Yeah. No kidding.

Word's all over the building.

He caught wind of the leaked
report and bugged out. Huh?

He didn't run.

You want to tell me what that means?

You want to pass your next agency polygraph?

Charlie, I don't mind deep
water, but I do mind drowning.

Then don't ask. Just do.

I need you to compile
everything you can on Nick.

Official and unofficial.

Classified and unclassified.

All right. You got it.


I put it together a while ago,

when he first got here.


Anything scandalous?

Not unless supplying militant opium farmers

in Noor Gal with stolen
weapons is shocking to you.

Not where Nick is concerned.

Charlie, can we take a beat as
friends just for one second?

Are you gonna get hurt by that report

and what it might contain about Nick?

I can't tell you that.

Because I care about you,

and I'm not gonna let you lie for me.

POTUS has me on the hunt for him.

What do I do?

You mean what do we do?

We find him.

K and 13th street near Franklin Square.

That's where he was taken.

Taken from where?

My car.

We got a footage of the Fatah kidnapping.

36 hours ago this man, Thomas Logan,

a reporter for WNR, was
abducted by Omar Fatah.

- Where?
- Cairo.

- Is he asking for ransom?
- No.

Have they killed him?


Do you know who I am?

It's not a kidnapping.

You will help share my
message with the world.

Fatah's granting an interview.

There's over 90 minutes of raw footage

currently being authenticated.

It'll be uploaded to the server shortly.

Fatah wouldn't risk this kind of exposure

unless it served him somehow.

Where's the journalist? Logan?

He lands at Dulles at 09:30.

Has he agreed to a debriefed?

Well, remarkably he has.

Now FBI's gonna handle interdiction,

but I want you on hand

because of your targeting
history with Fatah.

- Yes, sir.
- Let's get to it.

All right, Kurt and Maureen,
take Logan's background,

prior interviews, Middle
East contacts, everything.

Lucas, coordinate with the Cairo station.

Fatah's trail will be cold,
but see who's talking.

Dash, reach out to your buddies at the OGC.

Come up with some legal
strategies on this tape.


I think I know why Fatah might
be crawling out into the open.

I've been tracking chatter from...

from militant groups online.

They've been referring to "Ar Rissalah,"

which translates as "the message in Arabic."

For the past 36 hours, that
chatter's gone off the charts.

- Off the charts how?
- It's more than quadrupled.

Most of the sites are, like,

radical versions of fanboy
pages dedicated to Fatah.

Stay with it; If the chatter
hardens into anything else,

like a timeline for an attack, let me know.

You got it.


There were 12, maybe 13 armed men.

Do you know the type of weapons?

He seems really relaxed for a
guy who was almost beheaded.

They had AK-47s.

Uh, some had pistols, except Fatah.

He was unarmed.


- Fatah would have had a weapon.
- Are you certain?

He's a tactician; He doesn't draw a breath

unless he's thought about
the one to follow it.

There were a lot of guns...

He's being hunted.

The hunted make mistakes.

They were very cordial, for the most part.

I even gave the driver my cell
phone as a token of gratitude.

Why would you do that?


I had some music on my phone.

Not a lot of Muslim metal fans, I imagine.

He must have played Thunderstruck

about a dozen times on the ride back.

It stuck in my head 'cause I thought

it might be the last song I'd ever hear.

I still thought Fatah was gonna kill us.

Sir, may I go in there?

Yeah, go ahead.

I knew I wasn't gonna make
it through this interview.

This is Charleston Tucker
from Central Intelligence.

Who is "us"?

You said, "I still thought
Fatah was going to kill us."

Me and my cameraman, Al.

He's a local hire I use...

Al what?

I don't get that specific
in that part of the world.

Just Al.

Why would Fatah choose you?

Why would the most dangerous man alive

choose a stranger from
a DC Network affiliate?

I'm a trusted freelancer,

an expert of the region, and I'm fair.

When are you going to air?

Within 48 hours.

I'm sitting on a Pulitzer.

Mr. Logan, in the interest
of national security

and American lives, I would ask

that you please hold off
on airing this interview.

Ms. Tucker, I've been candid.

I've been forthcoming,

but as a journalist, I have
a responsibility to air it.

Thank you for your time, Mr. Logan.


How fast can you get back here?

A video of a failed suicide
bombing in Qatar two days ago.

The bomber yelled, "today's
the day the message will come,"

before pressing the detonator.

Thousands of miles away in Verona,

a terrorist safe house was raided.

Look at the painting.

Now look at the symbol
on the bomber's shirt.

It's the same design.

Exact same.

Wait, I've seen this.

In the Fatah interview.

The guards.

See, the patches.

Earl, can you...

It's called zoomorphic calligraphy.

Coded art.


Part of the rendition of
the horse... writing...

It's Arabic script.

And it just says "the message."

He gave an interview.

He's putting whatever
this message is out there.

It's not what he's saying.

It's what he's doing.

Like Al-qaeda means the base,
Ar Rissalah means the message.

Dash, the chatter you were tracking.

Yeah. Pull up the GPS pins.

All the places we picked up
"Ar Rissalah" in the chatter.

Is this accurate?

Not only is it accurate,

but it's live.

Notate and disseminate

to the rest of the staff
as soon as possible.

If that scale is right, it's massive.

It doesn't make sense, different tribes,

different sects... they'd never
fight alongside one another.

It's a call to arms.

That's Ar Rissalah.

That's the message.

Omar Fatah and Sheikh Hakam have just built

the biggest terrorist
network we've ever seen.

In Kabul, you launched an attack

that killed four American citizens,

including President Payton's son.

Do you have anything you'd like

to say to those families, to her?

What did President Payton say
when my homeland was decimated?

When my brother and his wife were killed

on their wedding day?

When my wife's village
was bombed by U.S. planes

and her mother and father were murdered?

What, then, did she say to me?

The agency believes the
interview is a message

to Fatah's followers,

and that we should try
to keep it from airing.

And exactly how much of the
First Amendment would you

like us to ignore to kill the interview?


How many lives would we want to save?

This isn't a constitutional question.

If Fatah intends to rally
terrorists using our media

as a delivery system, then
I intend to shut it down.

David, can you stop it from airing?

- It may take a favor or two.
- Do it.

Charleston, I want Fatah
targeted and reacquired.

- That's our end game here.
- Yes, ma'am.

And what do we know
about Vera's whereabouts?

Nothing yet, but I have Maureen on it.

I want results, Charleston, not updates.


If you're calling for news, I have none.

Whoever took Nick was wired-in enough

to kill all the CCTV feeds
in and around 13th and K,

three minutes before he got abducted.

I want you to look into TKG.

- Who's that?
- The Krieg group.

Shadow PMC.

How shadow?

Well, you've never heard of them,

and up until last week, neither had I.


It's a hunch, which is
all I've got right now.

I'll call you back.

This belongs to the texter?

We found it in a burn bag
with yesterday's scraps.

Who filled the bags?

Everyone on the seventh floor.

I'll run some forensics, print lifts.

I can probably get a DNA pass.

I'll let you know what comes back.

When were you gonna tell me
about Nick getting grabbed?

What do you know, Syd?

Nick said the photos of us with Fatah

were sold to the Krieg group.

Did they take him?

Charlie, let Nick stay gone.

Is he dead?

If he is, nobody's
dragging the Potomac River

looking for him.

He's amassed enough mortal
enemies to last any man,

multiple lifetimes.

You know what he is.

You can't rule out that he's either behind

or at least connected to
everything that's happening.

The photos, the texts...

The texts are being sent by
someone on the seventh floor.

And how many times has Nick
been on the seventh floor?

All the more reason to find him.

POTUS has tasked me with running him down.

Let it lie,

and hope he's lying dead
somewhere with a bullet

in the back of his head.

He's certainly earned it.

I have to find him.

I told you before you were
wandering into a world

I couldn't protect you from.

Now, wander out before
they take you next time.

Okay. Now, put your hand out.

Nope. I know better.

Come on, put your hand out.

- Fine.
- Perfect.

What's your favorite card again?

Two of spades.

Two of spades.

- Kurt...
- It's not me.

It's in the cards.

Which I wrote four days ago.

Just think about it.

I'll think about it.

This is Afghanistan, Charlie.

It's a little different than suburban DC.

You're playing house with a senator's son,

or playing presidential hopeful in Kabul.

So what's the plan?

Uh, Senator Peyton

puts on some Kevlar,
strikes a few hero poses,

and looks like she's
saving the world from evil?

She fought in the first Gulf War.

Well, boy, howdy.

She got my vote then.

- I shouldn't have come here.
- You're damn right.

Kabul's completely fubar right now.

Jack Dawkins is on the team.

He says the convoy route is clean.

Every Jihadist with a copy of the Qur'an

and an RPG has a hard-on
for this senatorial visit.

don't go on that convoy unprotected.

Better to have it and not need it.

Millions in selling oil to the west.

I mean, you say that
that gave you the ability

to be who you are, to do what you do,

as a direct result of Western wealth.

Your arrogance is surpassed
only by your naivete.

You thought you knew us.

You did not.

You thought you could control us.

You could not.

Now look where you are.

We are the righteous. The chosen.

The called...

We are the righteous...

I'll be damned. Look at his knees.

It's dust. It wasn't there before.

Something's been edited out.

Logan said he turned over everything,

but there's missing footage.

Call Hibbert at the bureau.

Let's get a federal warrant
for Logan's arrest.

FBI. Thomas Logan?

Last door on the right.


Some call him a murderer.

Others, a savior.

Now you'll have the opportunity to decide.

What the hell you want now?

You're under arrest.

What the hell for?

U.S. Code title 18, section 2339B:

Providing material support

to a known terrorist organization.

This is trumped up. You know that, right?

A federal judge disagrees.

During your debriefing, you
admitted giving a cell phone

to a known terrorist, providing
equipment, material support.

That will never hold up in court.

It doesn't have to.

What do you want?

The raw footage from the Fatah interview.

All of it.

I'm going to have the ACLU all over you...

Lovely; Until then, your assets are frozen,

you're on the no-fly list,

and you're one smart-assed answer away

from ending up in the DC detention center.

You'd really do this?

Yes, I would really do this.

May I have a moment alone with Mr. Logan?

Of course.

You said you were being
candid and forthcoming.

You weren't.

Fatah is using you, Mr. Logan.

He snatched you up off of the streets,

made you face death so that he
could show you he has the power

to spare your life so
you would feel grateful,

beholden, indebted to him,

and it's working.

You're protecting a mass murderer.

Men, women, children...

Everyone who opposes him dies.

Please, help me.

There's nothing there.

It's just B-roll.

Serving tea.

Fast forward through it.

I don't understand.

What sort of intrigue does Fatah
have with you, Ms. Tucker?

I tried to kill him once.

He took it personally.

He said you had the mind of an analyst

and the heart of an operator,

and that you coming back
to find me would be exactly

how things played out.


He promised to be open and honest with me,

and I promised to deliver
you a personal message.

You were the targeting
analyst assigned to Fatah?

Force of habit.

I'm a reporter. I connect dots.

Your target, Fatah,

attacks the Payton convoy in
Kabul and kills your fiance.

Now I hear there's this
senate subcommittee report

about the Kabul attack

that apparently has some very
powerful panties in a twist,

and the mastermind behind the attack itself

is passing notes in class,

to you.

How dirty does this thing
get at the end of the day?

I'm not the one being interviewed here.


But when this report is officially released,

you will be,

and I'll be the one asking the questions.

What is Fatah's message to me?

He said,

"Pegasus takes wing."

What exactly did you say to her father?

I said, "sir, I am truly sorry we
disrespected your daughter."

Oh. Oh!

Good ol' Southern charm, huh?

Oh, it ain't failed me yet.


All right.

Now what do you want, before
I'm too drunk to say yes?

The Fatah interview.

I need you to kill it.


I can't do it.

You own the network, Jules.

You can do whatever you want.

Then I don't want to.

Your president's asking for your help.

What's the problem?

You want me to step on freedom
of the press as a favor?

I say no. Now you want to horse trade?


I want a look inside the subcommittee report

before it's released.

Well, it's sealed, so...

Somebody got their hands on some of it.

You were the one pushing for
that trip to Kabul, weren't you?


I was.

Constance Payton's a decorated veteran,

and I wanted to remind the voting public

that unlike four of the
last five presidents,

she actually fought for this country.

Well, that political maneuver
almost cost her her life.

And it won her the primary two weeks later.

At the loss of her son.


You really gonna be that obvious?

All right, David.

- Then comment for me.
- Mmhmm.

You, off-record.

Did the death of her son

propel her to the highest
office in the land?

It was unintended political capital.

Did we gain the advantage in that race?

How could we not?

Would she rather have her son
back or be running this country?

What do you think, Jules?

I'm not gonna say what I think,

when you're just drunk
enough to take a swing at me.

I'm not killing the story.




We trade.

What's this?

It's an I.O.U. for a bigger story.

The gun that killed Aaron Payton

is linked to a CIA operator.


I told my boss, the
leader of the free world,

that I would keep a lid on that.

That's how much I trust you, Jules.

And I appreciate that,
but it doesn't matter.

He's CIA... His identity

would therefore be confidential
and redacted from any story.

I know his name.

You will, too, if you
kill the Fatah interview.

Just for now.

That's a big get.

It's a really big get.

It's also very illegal.

Cheers to that.

Cheers to that.

- Senator Green, ma'am.
- Thank you, Jill.

Gentlemen, I'll keep your apprised.

Thank you for coming, Senator.

What's this?

If you re-route this pipeline,

it's gonna cost my state thousands of jobs.

The order takes effect immediately.

What is this, ma'am?

You can frame it however
you like, from payback

to retribution.

I know you leaked portions
of that senate report.

You had proximity,

and more importantly, you had motive.

In a few weeks, that report

will be made public with
or without the leak.

Then, Kyle, you could
have come to me directly,

but it wouldn't have benefited
you politically to do that.

Would it?

I used it as leverage,

and I gave you a heads up at the same time.

You withheld, and you lied.

Your son was killed by
a CIA-registered weapon.

Charleston Tucker, of that same CIA,

sits next to you every day.

There is withholding and lying,

and yes, even treachery going on here...

But not by me.

Nick Vera and Charlie's relationship was,

and is, more than just professional.

Good day, Madam President.

So, Omar,

clean slate, fresh start.

You excited?

Hm, to inform on other Muslims?

To stop the radical influences
who have hijacked Islam.

You will be an asset of good,
an instrument of change.

Your family will be provided for.

Your wife will receive
treatment for her illness.

We will help you, Omar.

If you help us,

and helping us is turning over Sheikh Hakam.

I will be a betrayer of my brothers.

- That's what you're asking me.
- No.

You will save lives.

Your brothers and mine.

You will act as a liberator.

We're gonna wash you up on a shore in Syria,

outside of Tartus.

Your bruises and the damage to your body

will tell most of the story.

You can invent the rest.

How will I contact you?

We don't have him.

We don't have him.

We have him.

He's been recruited.

He won't take money.

We have zero control.

Charlie, he's not an asset.

He's just gonna say or do whatever he can

to get off this boat.

He has too much honor.

He wouldn't lie to us just to
lessen these interrogations.

I've been studying him for years.

I know what makes him tick.

He's recruited.

You're... you're hammering this too hard.

You're not seeing what I'm seeing.

He's already proven himself.
He gave us the Syrian cell.

- Now they're dead in the dirt.
- They were wannabes.

They were easy to give up to rope us in.

It was actionable, high-level
intelligence from Fatah.

He's ours.

Who else are you reading into this op?

Just Director Blake.

The three of us will be the only
ones with operational knowledge.

Fatah's asset code name will be Pegasus.

He has more to lose than you think.

So do we.

What you got?

20-some odd minutes of riveting footage

of terrorists drinking tea,

and then it gets interesting.

There's the cameraman, Logan's buddy Al.

So we did a little digging.

It was actually a lot of digging.

We, uh, did some facial recognition.

This is of a training camp

of Sheikh Hakam's from seven years ago.

It's the same guy.

Question is, did Logan game us?


No, Fatah did.

Logan wasn't kidnapped.

He was targeted and brought in as a mark.

Al was Fatah's plant.

All right.

We need a God-given name
to go with the face.

Let's find this guy fast.

With everything that's happening now,

do you think we really should
be taking the trip to Qatar?

Yeah. Those bases are important.

Besides, changing anything in
the wake of the report leak

could be seen as giving it too much power.

So, all right.

Charlie and Maureen will
be there to brief us.

Ambassador Davis, Admiral Frye. Good.

I assume Kyle Green will be taken off.

You assume correctly.

Okay, good.

She's best kept at a distance.

You know what Senator Green said to me?

She said that Charlie

and this Nick Vera

are romantically involved.

Do you believe her?

I believe in Charleston.

Well, that's not what I asked, ma'am.

What are you asking, David?

Fire Charleston Tucker immediately.


Ma'am, my job is to shield you from harm

and to keep your blind spots clear.

Charleston Tucker is the
most direct threat to both.

So the book deal's really closing.

Seven-figure advance.

I got the contract in my hand.

- Yes! Thank you.
- Not a problem.

And, hey, man, sorry to
hear the interview died.

No, forget about the interview.

We got what we wanted.

I'm a player again!

Put it away.

She's married.

Well, this doesn't feel coincidental at all.

Thomas Logan's dead.

He suffered a heart attack

right before he drove his car into a semi.

That's terrible.

36 is mighty young to
be having heart trouble.

Jules, you don't strike me as
the grassy knoll type of guy.

I'm running the interview.

Our deal's off.


You know,

running that interview could be
considered an act of treason.

Yeah, well, so could offering up the name

of a CIA operator under non-official cover.

So I think we're even, Dave.

You keep your story.

I'm gonna keep mine.

The Fatah interview is gonna air.

I heard.

Oval office couldn't shut it down?

The First Amendment media uproar

would have been deafening.

We've got our camera man.

I present to you Aleek Al Moosari.

Born June 24th, 1982,

in River Hills, Wisconsin.

He's American?

Gravitated to radical Islamic
groups at a young age

after his brother was killed
by Mossad agents in Aleppo.

Arrested in 2002 for attempted murder.

Released in 2008.

Died march 17, 2012.

What do you mean died?

He faked his own death.

Became a shadow in service of Fatah.

This is a real link.

This is more than real. This is actionable.

Let's get this son-of-a-bitch.

The interview. It's time.

Good evening.

I'm Philip Franklin.

Yesterday my dear friend and
fellow reporter Thomas Logan

died tragically and unexpectedly.

Tom's contribution to this newsroom

and to the craft of journalism was sublime.

We dedicate this broadcast and
final interview to his memory.

How do you answer the person
who asks, "why do you want

to kill us just because we do
not believe as you believe?"

Death comes to us all,

but I am here to prevent
death, not to cause it.

That's why I wanted to
sit with you in your home,

visit you at your place of employment,

meet you on your field of play,

and speak to you where you feel most free.

I want you to know I wish you no harm.

Your leaders have declared war.

As such, here are our terms of peace:

One, remove all military from our soil.

Two, release our brothers
you have deemed combatants.

Three, cease and desist the murder

of our sons and daughters
at the hands of your drones

and bombers.

If these terms are not met, we will strike,

and you will die.

You call us terrorists.

We are not.

We are your brothers,

your sisters,

your fathers,

your children.

We are the friend you
invite over for fellowship.

The co-worker you confide
your deepest secret.

The doctor you entrust with your life.

We are everywhere.

Our disciples are everywhere.

We have been waiting for
a moment such as this,

and now we have arisen.

The storm is brewing.

The choice is yours.

Retribution is at hand.

This is Aleek Al Moosari.

We believe he's the key to finding Fatah.

Moosari is clearly affiliated
with Fatah's network.

To what extent, we don't know.

Do you think Al Moosari is part

of a larger U.S.
-based cell?

We're investigating that possibilities.

And Nick Vera?

I know director Navarro
disagrees, but is it possible

that Nick Vera is part of the same cabal?

Ma'am, Nick didn't kill Aaron.

In Kabul,

he gave me a gun.

I had it on me during the attack.

Something happened, and
it was used on Aaron.



In the firefight, after I got out...

I didn't have it on me.

Why did Vera give you a gun?

He wanted me to be safe.

Did you love Aaron?

I still do.

Very much.

We have a job to finish.

Al Moosari is a step toward finishing it.

We can't do it with secrets between us.

Is there anything else you need to tell me?

No, ma'am.

I've told you everything.


Thank you, Charleston.

Is everything all right?

I want eyes on Charleston.

Every move she makes.

Every word she utters.

I want to know everything.