The West Wing (1999–2006): Season 3, Episode 6 - War Crimes - full transcript

After a fatal shooting in Texas, the president asks Hoynes to go down there and speak out for gun control, in spite of his history opposing it. Donna makes a gaffe in front of the Congressional committee. Leo argues with an old friend about the creation of an international war crimes tribunal.

Previously on The West Wing:

He's a Republican lawyer.
Turns out...

...he's on Government Oversight.
- You can't see him.

Political reporters don't care
about the scope of inquiry.

We're not gonna get anywhere putting
on a calm face. We need to pick a fight.

- Hoynes put a poll in the field.
- A trip to New Hampshire?

- High-tech corridor of the Northeast.
- Thanks to who?

What does that matter right now?

Third down and 12,
45 seconds to go.

Whitmeyer has the ball
on the right side...

... and immediately stops
for a 2-yard loss...

- Okay.
- Do we know what kind of gun it was?

- Which gun?
- The first gun.

It was a.38 pistol.

Okay, here are a few confirmations
and a few more details.

The shooting took place approximately
15 minutes into the 9:00 service... United Baptist Church
in Abilene, Texas.

Will Sawyer, is that you?


- You back in the country?
- Yeah.

- Work for the San Francisco Chronicle?
- No.

Then you wanna get your ass
out of their chair?

There's assigned seating?

See the little brass plaques
with the names of media outlets?

I thought that meant they made
a contribution.

Find a seat in back.

Fifteen minutes into the service,
Daryl Bechtell...

...B- E-C-H-T-E-L-L,
walked into the sanctuary.

Reports indicate he was looking
for his estranged wife.

He fired off a round
that was from the.38...

...missing his wife and hitting
Harold Winter in the left shoulder.

Mr. Winter is 65 and currently
undergoing surgery... Abilene Regional Medical Center.

Mr. Bechtell fired off anywhere between
two and four more rounds at that point.

Reports differ as the crowd
began to scatter.

Then Ron Cahrl pulled a 9mm Glock
from under his suit coat...

...and fired off three rounds
in the direction of Mr. Bechtell.

It's unclear which round
struck Melissa Markey.

- Confirmation on her age?
- She'll be 9 tomorrow.

Can you speak to what Daryl Bechtell
or Ron Cahrl might be charged with?

The Abilene Sheriff's Office
will address that.

Doesn't Texas law prohibit weapons
in a church or synagogue?

I'll let the sheriff's office
speak to that...

...but I'll say that it only prohibits it
if they post the prohibition in plain sight.

- C. J... .
- Hang on.


...Melissa Markey died.

If you don't understand a question,
say so, and they'll repeat it...

...or they'll rephrase it.
- Yeah.

It's okay to not understand
a question.

- It's okay to say,"I don't recall."
- I appreciate this.

Yeah. Don't you want to go over this
with Josh?

- He's pissed at me.
- No, he's not.

- He's... Yeah, he is.
- He didn't say anything.

- He doesn't say anything.
- All right.

Anyway, I appreciate this.

Charlie, hang on a second.

You're gonna be sitting in a room.
It'll feel like you did something wrong...

...but guess what.
- What?

- You didn't. So... .
- Yeah.

- You got a cab?
- Yeah.

- Come back when it's over.
- Thanks.

- You make a pick?
- Oakland over Dallas.

- It's a lock.
- Okay.

Everybody wants to keep Oakland
down the road...

...but I'm not as impressed
with the preseason hype.

You pick the Raiders at home...

...and bank on them not being
a favorite in the playoffs.



- Should I take Tennessee over Detroit?
- I didn't say that.

- You said it with your eyes.
- Okay.

- I'll take Tennessee over Detroit.
- I'm writing it down.

Write it down. Wait, no,
give me Oakland over Dallas.

- Okay.
- Make it New Orleans over Atlanta.

- The game's about to start.
- New Orleans.

- I'm writing it down.
- Write it down.

- Good afternoon.
- Hi, Charlie.

- How was church?
- It was fine.

- Stop it.
- It sucked.

- You're talking about church.
- I'm already going to hell.

- What was the problem?
- He feels the homily lacked panache.

- It did.
- It was a perfectly lovely homily...

...on Ephesians 5:21.

Husbands, love your wives
as Christ loved the church...

...and gave himself up for her.

She's skipping the part that says,
"Wives, be subject to your husbands.

The husband is the head of the wife
as Christ is the head of the church."

- I do skip that part.
- Why?

- Because it's stupid.
- Okay.

Husbands, love your wives... Christ loved the church
and gave himself up for her...

...that he might sanctify her,
having cleansed her... washing of water
with the word...

...that he might present the church
to himself in something.

In splendor.
And I have no problem with it.

Anytime you want me to cleanse you
with the washing of water, I'm up for it.

- Then what is your problem?
- Hackery! He was a hack.

He had a captive audience.
I know...

...because I tried to tunnel out
several times.

He didn't know what to do.

- Want him to sing"Volare"?
- Couldn't hurt.

- Words...
- Oh, God.

Words, when spoken out loud
for performance, are music.

They have rhythm and pitch
and timbre and volume.

These are properties of music.
Music has the ability to find us...

...and lift us up in ways
that literal meaning can't.

- Do you see?
- You are an oratorical snob.

Yes, and God loves me for it.

- You said he was sending you to hell.
- Not for this.

You can't just trot out Ephesians,
which he blew.

It has nothing to do with husbands
and wives, it's all of us.

St. Paul begins,"Be subject to one
another out of reverence to Christ."

Be subject to one another.

In this age of 24-hour cable crap
devoted... feeding the voyeuristic gluttony
of an American public hooked on...

...a bad soap opera that's passing
itself off as important...

...don't you think you could find
some relevance in verse 21?

How do we end the cycle?
Be subject to one another.

- This is about you.
- No, it's not.

Yes, it is. But tomorrow
it'll be about somebody else.

We'll watch Larry King and see who.

All hacks off the stage now.
That's a national-security order.

I'm going to the residence,
taking a bath and turning on Sinatra.

- How does Mrs. Sinatra feel about that?
- Peace be with you.

Good morning, Mr. President.

He's feisty. Please,
don't ask him about church.

No, I won't. I'm sorry, Mr. President.
Melissa Markey died.

Yeah, okay.

Oh, damn.

- Charlie, can I see Leo?
- Yes, sir.

She lost too much blood at the scene,
Jed, she didn't have a chance.


All right, I'll be over in the residence.

- I gotta see Babish this afternoon.
- Okay.

When do you think
I should go in there?

I'd wait a couple of hours
till we have some more facts.

You'll talk to the sheriff's office
and I guess, the DA.

Yeah, but you don't want to walk
too far into that.


- Good morning.
- You heard?


- C.J. thinks I should wait a few hours.
- I would.

- Okay.
- Thank you, Mr. President.

Be subject to one another, Leo.

- What can I do to be of subject to you?
- I'm fine.

- Yeah?
- I've got Margaret.


I think you should send
Hoynes to Texas.

- He's not gonna want to do it.
- What do you care?

- What are you doing today?
- I'm meeting with Adamley.

- What about?
- He wants to talk to me...

...about the War Crimes Tribunal.
- Keep me out of it, all right?

You think I should send
Hoynes to Texas?


All right, get him over here.

- Now?
- Yeah.

Thank you, Mr. President.

This proceeding is known
as a deposition.

The person transcribing the deposition
is a House reporter.

You were sworn in by a notary public
and are under oath.

- Do you understand?
- Yes.

Because you are under oath,
your testimony here today...

...has the same force and effect
as if you were testifying...

...before the committee
in a courtroom.

- Do you understand?
- Yes.

This committee has authorization
pursuant to House Resolution 173.

My name is Clifford Calley.
I'm majority counsel...

...for the House Oversight
and Reform Committee.

State your full name for the record.

Donnatella Moss.
D-O-N-N-A-T-E-L-L-A M-O-S-S.

I'd like the record to show that I've met
the witness socially on occasion...

...and without objection
I'd like to proceed.

- No objection.
- Counsel?

- No objection.
- I'd like to express...

...our appreciation to you
for appearing on a Sunday.

Ms. Moss, are you here voluntarily
or due to a subpoena?

- A subpoena.
- No need to thank me.

Donna, this is gonna be easy,
you can laugh.

Were you asked
to organize documents...

...pursuant to this committee's

- Yes.
- Would you describe how that worked?

On instructions from Joshua Lyman
and the White House Counsel's Office...

...I took over a storage room
at the OEOB...

...and began sorting through inter-office
and inter-departmental documents...

...both from the campaign
and from the West Wing.

- The campaign you're referring to is...?
- Bartlet for America.

- How'd you guys do?
- We won.

My colleagues are gonna
ask you some questions.

Then we'll get back to me
and finish up.

- Okay.
- Ms. Moss.

- Do you keep a photo album?
- No.

- Okay, do you keep...?
- I'm sorry.

I keep photographs.
I don't have them in an album.

- Okay, do you keep a scrapbook?
- No.

Do you keep letters, notes
or correspondence you receive?

Sometimes a birthday card
or a letter from my father.

- Do you keep a diary?
- No.

Okay. Do you receive gifts
from anyone who is currently...?

I'm sorry. Hang on.

Would you read that back?

"Question: Do you keep a diary?
Answer: No.

Okay, do you receive gifts from...?"

Okay. Okay, go ahead.

Do you receive gifts from anyone who
is currently working at the White House?

- How you doing?
- Good.

- You're sitting in my chair.
- It didn't have a plaque.

- Oh, I've missed you.
- Yeah.

- Well, you've been gone three weeks.
- Two and a half years.

- Really?
- Yes.

- You were our man in Myanmar.
- I got kicked out of Myanmar.

Is there a third-world country
that hasn't kicked you out?

I've been kicked out of plenty
of industrialized nations too.

- Why'd they kick you out?
- First...

...they didn't kick me out exactly.
They love me in Myanmar.

- What happened?
- They put a bounty on my head.

It's not funny.

The Myanmarese government
is built on narcotics trafficking.

Myanmar, Thailand, Laos.
I was this close to the story.

- Yeah?
- I had interviews with Peng Jiasheng...

...Pao Yuqiang, Li Zuru.
I was tight with narco-barons.

- Until?
- The Myanmarese army...

Put a bounty on your head?

- How'd you know?
- State Department came and got me.

That had to be embarrassing
in front of your narco-baron friends.

Anyway... .

I'm assigned
to the White House Press Corps...

...until they can find me,
you know, a reporting job.

- No, no offense taken.
- Thanks.

- Why'd you wanna see me?
- Have a quote for comment.

- What is it?
- Toby Ziegler says:

"If the president wins reelection,
it'll be on the vice president's coattails."

If the president wins reelection,
it'll be on the vice president's coattails?

I think that's... .

- He said this to you?
- No.

- Where'd you get it?
- The person he said it to.

Do me a favor, give me some time
to check it out, okay?


- You were gone two and a half years?
- Yeah.

It seemed like less than that.

People lose all track of time and space
when I'm not around.



It's 30 billion
in school-modernization bonds.

Thanks, Ginger.

- Thank you.
- Sure.

It's 30 billion
in school-modernization bonds.

- Interest-free?
- Interest-free for school districts.

We're estimating it will help build and
modernize 7000 schools nationwide.

There's another 1.5 billion for urgent
repairs targeted to high-need districts.

- Like roof repairs?
- Roof repairs...

...heating and cooling systems,
electrical wiring.

We think we need the congressman's
vote to get it onto the floor.

- He'll be with it.
- I thought so.

He wants the president's support
on a bill he's sponsoring.

- What's it called?
- The Legal Tender Modernization Act.

- Which is...?
- Elimination of the penny.

- Sorry?
- It would permanently halt...

...production of the penny.
- Why?

- I'm glad you asked.
- Yeah.

Last year, the U.S. Mint cut
14 billion pennies...

...and shipped them to the Federal
Reserve, which dumped them on us.

- They're worthless.
- They're actually worth 1 cent.

The dollar has the buying power today
the quarter had 30 years ago.

- Penny's power's shrunk to nothing.
- Not true. You can get a gumball.

- No, you can't. They cost a nickel.
- Really?

I need to give the congressman
a good reason...

...why the White House
won't support the bill, if they won't.

- Don't make me give you a good reason.
- You want your school repairs?

We're already well on our way
with 140 million pennies.

- Sam.
- I'll get you a good reason.


Yes, sir.

- You took Indianapolis?
- Yes, sir.

- You didn't want to take Kansas City?
- No, sir.

Kansas City's got three players
out of Notre Dame.

Always go with a team with
more players out of Notre Dame.

- That's a heck of a system.
- What's yours?

I compare the team's record
to its opponent's record.

- That's a little simplistic, isn't it?
- Yes, sir.

- Excuse me, Mr. President?
- Yeah.

- The vice president.
- Thank you.

- Hi, Charlie.
- Sir.

- Hey, John.
- Good afternoon, sir.

- Do you know this church?
- No.

- The United Baptist Church in Abilene?
- No.

- You feel like having a beer with me?
- No, I'm fine.

On Sundays after church, my father
would let my brother and me split a beer.

- Mind if I split some water with you?
- Nancy.

I need you to go to Texas, John.

Nancy, could I get a cold beer
and some ice water?

- Yes, sir.
- And close the door, please.

- You want to send me to Texas.
- It's what Texans do.

You know, a decade ago, we passed
a few national gun-control laws...

...and the gun lobby turned its back on
Congress and focused on the states.

The NRA systematically
worked the legislatures... weaken conceal-and-carry laws,
the effect of which... to increase gun sales
and pad its own membership.

I don't agree with that...

The National Conference of State
Legislatures is meeting in San Antonio.

- You want me to go and speak for you.
- Yeah.

Because that's what Texans do.

It's also what vice presidents do.

Thank you, Nancy.

Thank you, Nancy.

- Alan.
- Hey.

Come on back.

- Thanks for taking the time.
- No, no.

- So how did it go?
- Oh, it was a good trip.

I met with Hassan,
and I met with the aviation prince.

- You know what we need?
- An aviation prince.

That's right.

Well, let me tell you something.

Sultan Bin Abu Azir ain't
what he used to be.

Last time I was in Kuwait, he gave me
a gold-inlay Gadara sword...

...originated from the Binalhmar tribe.

- What'd you get this time?
- Nothing.

You wanna go to the Situation Room,
blow him off the face of the earth?


So the NSC Communications Office...

...cabled me a draft of the president's
radio address for next weekend.

- Alan, it's a week...
-"At the close of the last World War...

...our nation was instrumental in the
creation of both the United Nations...

...and the Nuremberg War
Crimes Tribunal.

Now, at the dawn of the millennium,
we cannot betray...

...that tradition of moral leadership."
He's made up his mind.

It's an early draft.
It's not a big thing.

I know that Hutchinson
and Berryhill are for it, but to me... Fitzwallace, the Pentagon,
the House and Senate Armed Services...

...and House and Senate
Foreign Relations...'s a thing of catastrophic

Let's go inside and talk.

- Hey.
- I'm not here.

- I called and had you paged.
- Yeah?

- I didn't know you were here.
- I'm not.

- I think the jig is up.
- Clearly I'm here.

But I'm not open. The president
was meeting with Hoynes... I wanted to see how it goes.
- Listen...

I see you picked Chicago over Cincinnati,
so your money's gonna be in my pocket.

"If the president wins reelection...'s gonna be
on the vice president's coattails."

You wanna know what's weird?

I just said that exact same thing
a couple of days ago.

I know. You know how I know?
Will Sawyer just told me.

- Will Sawyer's in Myanmar.
- He got kicked out.

- He's in the Room now.
- C.J., I said it.

I said it in the W.A. meeting.
I said it at the end of the meeting.

We were talking about areas where
Hoynes is polling stronger than... .

It was... .

I said to our own... .

- Do I have a little time?
- A little.

- Thank you.
- You're here now?



I want you to page every junior staffer
and senior assistant...

...who works in the West Wing.

I want them to assemble
in the mess in two hours.

- What if...?
- If they can't be here...

...then they don't need to come
in tomorrow morning.

- Hey.
- How you doing?

- How'd you get here before me?
- I drove.

- Should you be here?
- No.

- Then what...?
- I need to know why you lied.

- When?
- Donna.

- I didn't lie.
- I saw your diary.

When I was over that night. You keep
a diary. Why'd you say you didn't?

- I don't keep a diary.
- I saw it.

- You didn't, because there is no diary...
- Donna, it's me and you.

- What's in it that you had to lie?
- It's me and you?

You're investigating me, my friends,
my boss and the president.

- That's right.
- I thought you were smarmy with your:

-"You can laugh." Was that charm?
- Tell me what's...

There is no diary.

Eighteen U.S.C., 1001.
Lying to Congress:

$ 10,000 and not more
than five years in prison.

- Cliff...
- Eighteen U.S.C., 1505.

Obstruction of Proceedings
Before Committees:

Not more than five years.

Two U.S.C., 192.
Contempt of Congress:

$ 1000 and imprisonment
in a common jail...

...for not more than 12 months.
It was a perfectly innocent mistake.

Let me talk to your lawyer
and help you walk this back.

Just out of curiosity,
what would you say?

That you thought you saw a diary...

...while you were hunting around
for your boxer shorts?

You shouldn't be here.

- Why?
- Why?

- Yes.
- Because this country is populated...

...with unbalanced people, many
of whom find their way to Washington... if the continent funnels them
into this one spot.

He wants to abolish the penny?

Not as much as he wants to give
his boss a reason why we can't.

- Well, it's stupid.
- Yeah, the thing is, it isn't really.

- Really?
- The majority of pennies don't circulate.

They go in jars, drawers. 2/3 of
pennies produced in the last 30 years...

...have dropped out of circulation.
- You're reading about this?

- It's interesting.
- No, it's not.

The Mint gets letters with pennies
taped on notebook paper from citizens...

...who found them on the street...

...and mailed them in to help
with the debt.

- Hard to believe that hasn't worked.
- It's bad for the environment.

Production requires mining of tons
of copper and zinc each year.

- Zinc?
- In 1982, they changed...

...the composition to 97.5 percent zinc
and only 2.5 percent copper.

- Sam.
- I'm turning into a funnel person.


- Donna thinks you're still pissed at her.
- I'm not. I wasn't before.

- When did she tell you that?
- Before she left.

- You've heard from her?
- No.

- She should be done by now.
- Here's a riddle:

What's the most ubiquitous
man-made object in America...

...that doesn't interact with
any mechanism or machine?

- The penny?
- The penny.

You can't even throw it
in a tollbooth.

- Well, except for Illinois.
- Why can you use it in Illinois?

- That's an interesting question.
- No, it's not.

- Hey.
- Hey.

I'm gonna have something for you soon.
Toby's talking to some people.

- Hey, are you a king?
- No.

Somebody said you were hanging out
with some tribe...

...and they made you a king.
- I'm a god.

I'm the only white man to ever
witness the sacrificial rites...

...of the Bau tribe of Fiji.

I was almost a victim myself...

...until they made me
The Supporter of the World.

- How'd you swing that?
- Using my Palm Pilot...

...I convinced them I had the power
to make the gods' writing appear...

...and more significantly,
predict the next day's weather.

- So you're a god.
- The God of Good Harvest.

I gotta go and bring my laptop.
It quacks when I have e-mail.

- No, you're too tall.
- What would happen?

They would paint your face
and other body parts black... as to resemble a warrior
ornamented for feast or combat.

Then you would be garroted
by a length of boar tripe.

Yeah. No, good safety tip.

- Alan Adamley here?
- Yeah.

- Why?
- He's meeting with Leo McGarry.

- Why?
- I don't know. Listen... made a joke before.

- Yeah.
- About being assigned here...

...until you can get a real reporting job.
- Yeah.

- Was it a joke?
- Yeah.

Okay. I'll have something for you
on the other thing soon.


- That's not true.
- John...

It is not, Mr. President. Twenty-nine
states have"shall issue" laws.

If you look at the state of New Jersey,
which has a"may issue" law...

...if you change that one word...
- I'm not saying...

Changing that word means
law enforcement decides...

...who gets a concealed weapon
and when and where they carry it.

Texas has a"may issue" law
in front of the legislature right now.

- You going down there...
- It's suicide, and you know it.

It's counter-scheduling. You tell an
audience what they don't wanna hear.

It shows you have courage.

The editors of The New York Times will
think I have courage, while the people...

- You're a hero in Texas.
- I was a hero in Texas.

Texans don't like your courage
of your convictions?

They're not my convictions,
they're yours.

Oh, yeah. I forgot.

Mr. President...

...we're not gonna get anywhere
by treating gun owners like psychopaths.

And particularly in the South,
where guns are a tradition...

...and a heritage that's passed on
from father to son.

That's not good enough.

- Sir...
- A tradition passed from father to son?

We tamed the frontier, John.
We did that already.

The NRA is gonna say you're taking
advantage of the shooting in Abilene.

That you like when this happens.
It gives you a chance...

Let them stand in this room
and say that.

On this day.
Let them stand in this room.

I like it?

She was 9 years old.

Green Bay lost.

She was 9 years old.

You know, last month in Idaho,
a man killed six members of his family...

...including his pregnant wife.

And you know why the liberal
intelligentsia didn't go crazy?

Because he did it with an ax.
You think we need ax control?

Well, that is an excellent point.
I never saw it that way.

- I'm playing devil's advocate.
- Tighter ax control.

You come down on firearms,
tobacco and alcohol...

...but you let Griffith talk
about legalizing marijuana.

- She didn't...
- Sir...

You know what?
Last year, gun deaths: 30,708.

Alcohol deaths: 35,450.

Tobacco deaths: 400,000.

Marijuana deaths: zero.

This guy, the second shooter,

...he's gonna get a parade.
You know why?

There was no sign posted
in the church...

...saying you can't carry
a concealed weapon.

I'm just playing devil's advocate.

She was 9 years old.

Two things. One, technically it's not
just a court for war crimes.

- Technically?
- And two...

...the president hasn't
made up his mind.

- The U.N. has.
- The U.N. made up its mind in 1948...

...when they recognized genocide.
- Yes...

A crime so immense
as to exceed the jurisdiction...

...of any single court or government.
Alan, systematic extermination...

...of civilians, enslavement, torture,
rape, forced pregnancy, terrorism... .

Doesn't the world need
a permanent standing body...?

National sovereignty is at stake.
Americans are answerable to no one...

...but their own government and laws.
- Yeah.

The U.N. is not
a democratic organization.

There's no input
into its deliberations by any...

Come on, the court is designed
with plenty of safeguards... say nothing of if we don't
subject ourselves to the treaty...'ll encourage other countries.

You don't think that'll undercut
the U.N. 's campaign against war crimes?

- Excuse me. Excuse me, general.
- Hey, Sam.

- Margaret wasn't here.
- What do you need?

- No, if you're busy, I can come back.
- We're eliminating genocide.

- What are you doing?
- Eliminating the penny.

So I'll come back.

- Yeah.
- See you later.

- Hey.
- Hi.

- How'd it go?
- It went fine.

- Just background, right?
- It was fine.

- Is Josh in his office?
- He's around someplace.


The only thing pennies interact with
are coin-wrapping machines...

...people buy to get rid of pennies,
which proves the point.

- What point?
- I don't know.

- It went okay?
- Fine.

- How'd it go?
- I need to talk to you for a second.

- What happened?
- Can we go in your office?

- Hey, how'd it go?
- Fine.

- What happened?
- They asked if I kept a diary...

...and I said no.
Only I do keep one.

- Why'd you say that?
- I don't know.

- You don't know?
- Nothing in it is relevant.

Does anyone know
you keep one?

Nobody knows I keep a diary,
except Cliff saw it.

- What do you mean?
- After the deposition...

...Cliff told me he saw the diary
when he was in my apartment.

I swear, it wasn't premeditated.
Nothing in it was material...

You don't get to decide that!

You don't get to decide
what's material, Donna!

- Keep your voice down.
- This is how it happens.

They got nothing on the president
with MS, then you hand them...

- I know.
- You were subpoenaed!

- You were under oath!
- I screwed up.

You think?!

- What should I do?
- Do nothing.

Do absolutely nothing.

There's an old saying:

Those who speak don't know,
and those who know don't speak.

I don't know if that's true or not...

...but I know, by and large, the press
doesn't care who really knows what... long as they've got a quote.

Friday, we had our"week ahead"
meeting in the Roosevelt Room.

Some of you were there,
most of you weren't...

...but I'm talking to all of you now.

Bruno Gianelli and I were leading
a discussion...

...about whether the president
should stop in Kansas...

...on his way back
from the West Coast.

And I remarked that the vice president
is polling better than the president...

...right now in the plains states.

And if the president is reelected,
it'll be on the vice president's coattails.

That remark got
to a White House reporter.

We're a group.

We're a team.

From the president and Leo on through,
we're a team.

We win together.

We lose together.

We celebrate and we mourn together.

Defeats are softened
and victories sweetened...

...because we did them together.

And if you don't like this team...

...then there's the door.

It's great to be in the know.

It's great to have the scoop,
to have the skinny.

To be able to go to a reporter and say,
"I know something you don't know."

So the press becomes your constituents,
and you sell out the team.

So an item will appear
in the paper tomorrow...

...and it'll be embarrassing to me
and embarrassing to the president.

I'm not gonna have a witch-hunt.

I'm not gonna huff and puff.
I'm not gonna take anyone's head off.

I'm simply gonna say this:

You're my guys.

And I'm yours.

And there's nothing
I wouldn't do for you.

- That was unexpected.
- Yeah.

You're a good deputy, Sam.

- What do you mean?
- That.

- You won money on football, didn't you?
- Yeah, but I mean it anyway.

What can I do for you today?

Give me a good reason why we can't
support the elimination of the penny.

- The Legal Tender Huckleberry Bill?
- Modernization Bill, yeah.

- It'll never get to the floor.
- Why not?

- Where's the House speaker from?
- Illinois.

Which is the only state where you can
put pennies in a toll machine. Why?

- It's because...
- Lincoln's from Illinois!

- And so's the speaker.
- Yes.

That's a good reason.
Well, it's a dumb reason.

- But it's good enough, right?
- Sure.

- Thank you.
- Yeah.

- And thanks for the other thing.
- Yeah.

- Hi.
- Hi.

- What do you need?
- You called me.

Yes, I did. Well...

...Toby made the remark in response
to some new polling data.

It was offhand.
Obviously, he meant it as a joke...

...and he regrets it.
- Okay.

- He'll be happy to go on-the-record.
- No, that's all right.

- What do you mean?
- I don't need him.

- You won't let Toby explain himself?
- I'm not writing it.

- Why not?
- It's not news.

- Really?
- Yeah.


I'll see you in there.

- You weren't joking before, were you?
- When?

- When you said...
- No.

- Why do you think this is a bad beat?
- I don't like being a stenographer.

And I don't like writing gossip.

I read a column where a lady bemoaned
the decade of scandals she covered... if the news was to blame
for the quality of journalism.

I don't know if there's ever been a more
important time to be good at what I do.

Can you imagine how much
I don't give a damn...

...about what Toby said to a staffer?


All right.

You can sit anywhere you want.

A hundred and thirty-nine countries
have signed.

Thirty-five have ratified.
Once 60 ratify, that's the ballgame.

- You want to be left out?
- Absolutely.

- This'll raise 19 kinds of hell in Congress.
- What doesn't?

There are already extreme Republicans
who are attaching amendments to bills...

...cutting off military aid to any
NATO member that signs the treaty.

- That won't happen.
- And committing the U. S... forcibly rescue any American
soldier held and tried in such a court.

Leo, this commits the United States
to a scenario...

...where we'd be invading Holland.

How much of this is about
hedging our bets?

- It's not...
- We set up Nuremberg!

We set up the Tokyo War Crimes Trial.
And that was fine.

Until we realized the Cold War threat
would take precedence.

So when the German rocket scientists
came here to help us get into space...

Oh, please.

...we looked the other way while
SS officers followed right behind...

...protected by American
intelligence services...

...because they were gonna help us
with the communists. Oh, please, Alan.

So how much of this
is hedging our bets?

You remember
Operation Rolling Thunder?

Yeah. I think I do. Yeah.

- September, 1966.
- Yeah.

You were piloting
an F-105 Fighterchief.

This was our first unit, the 355th
Tactical Fighter Wing out of Thailand.

I was forward air commander.
I gave you your directions.

"From IP, heading 273
for 10.5 miles...

...your target is north-south
running bridge over river...

...1 kilometer to the tree line
running east-west."


- It was a military target.
- It was a civilian target.

It was a dam.
There were 11 civilian casualties.

Why did you tell me that?

Because you could be charged
and tried for a war crime.

Why did you tell me that?

All wars are crimes.

- We've been here a while.
- Yeah.

- Maybe we'll call it a day, huh?
- Yeah.

I'll get you some time
with the president this week.

I'd appreciate that.

Thank you.

Thank you.

- Can I ask a question out of curiosity?
- Yes, sir.

If guns are meant to deter the threat
of crime, why conceal them?

I mean, wouldn't you want the criminal
to see that you've got a gun?

- I suppose you would.
- Then what's the answer to that?

I really don't know, sir.

- You don't know?
- No, sir.

The concern is with the threat
to the Second Amendment.

We can't agree it's a stupid amendment
written before there were street lamps...

...and police forces, and move on?
- Sir.

There's no need for a citizen militia.

- I agree with you.
- Then say so.

Forty percent of Americans
have a gun in their home.

Only 16 percent believe gun ownership
is an absolute right.

Only 9 percent believe
it's an absolute wrong.

There's a middle.
We can win them.

Not when we're running
the MS defense.

Which we wouldn't
have been doing if...

- If what, sir?
- Nothing.

- Sir...
- You outed me, John.

With that trip to Nashua,
with the oil companies.

You wanted people to start
asking questions.

I needed to start running because
nobody told me that I wasn't!

And you announced
that I found out on television!

So did my wife.

This thing was mismanaged.
It was blown!

- Yes, it was.
- Yes, it was.

Not easy being my vice president,
is it?

No, sir.

I wouldn't think so.

But it's the only way you're gonna get
the nomination. You know that, right?

- If I win.
- Yeah.

And the only way you're gonna win
is if I'm on the ticket.

- You know that, don't you, sir?
- Yeah.

You'll go to Texas?

- I want a seat at the table.
- Yeah.

- Mr. President?
- Yeah.

- They're ready in the Briefing Room.
- Thank you.

- I'll be back in my office.
- Yeah.

- Is there anything else, sir?
- No.

Thank you, Mr. President.

There's a coffee shop across the street.
You'll read it there. You got an hour.

I haven't read it.

But if anything bothers you,
you'll issue a subpoena in the morning.

You'll have it back before the end
of the day. If not, that's that.

- Yeah.
- If I read any of this in the newspaper...

...or anything happens I don't like...

...I've got the entries
for October 4 and 5.

What's October 4 and 5?


That's fair.

Thank you.

It's starting to get cold already.

It's gonna be fine.

It's gonna be fine.