Seven Days in May (1964) Script

Lyman lovers!


Break it up!

Come on, break it up.

Man: And when it comes to jurisdictional strikes of this nature, the administration's job is quite clear.

The 90-day cooling-off period will be observed.

And if industry is so hellbent to invoke Taft/Hartley, any support they get from me will have to get flogged out.

Underline and exclamation point.

How many men involved there, Paul?

By next Tuesday, the entire industry from San Diego to Seattle.

I'm not through yet, Mr. President -- you stick one more zing in me, Horace, and I'll take up faith healing.

And your pressure's gone up three points for every letter you've dictated.

Your predecessors would go to the clinic.

My predecessors didn't have a riot outside the White House.

They were at least sufficiently popular to get their faces on stamps.

The Gallup Poll -- 29% of the people of the United States approve of what I'm doing.

When that thing reaches stroke proportions, put it out as a bulletin.

It's probably the one thing that will make labor, management, and the Pentagon join hands and declare a national holiday.

When did you have your last vacation?

When I was six months old, back in Cleveland, Ohio.

Don't forget your CIA appointment at 2:00.

Phone Lieberman. Tell him to meet me here, assuming I'll be alive after lunch.

The White House physician makes no such assumption.

Your blood pressure's up again, Mr. President, and I don't like it one little bit.

Now this is an order -- you should go away for at least two weeks.

Two weeks!

And he can have damn few phone calls.

How about a compromise, Horace?

I'll take a quick swim in my pool.

Can I squeeze that in, Paul?

Those people from West Virginia are waiting for the crowning of the rhododendron queen.

Have the secretary of the interior handle that.

How are ya, Horace?

What's new in fee splitting?

It's quite a mob scene you've got outside.

Why in God's name do we elect a man president, then try to see how fast we can kill him?

The Vice President showed a vast amount of valor to go good-willing when he did.

Pity you didn't join him, Jordy.

I envy Mr. Gianelli, his Chianti and Italian sunshine.

My own diet will be crow and bitters.

Mr. President, Senator.

Goodbye, Horace.

Come on, Ray.

You can watch me do the Lyman Crawl.

Thank you.

Half-hour from now I'm due at a committee meeting with the illustrious Senator Prentice.

To hear him tell it, you're a third-grade idiot with clay arches.

But the chairman of the joint chiefs, one General James Mattoon Scott, will be in front of the committee.

He is a reincarnation of George Washington who could walk on that water.

That Gallup Poll shake you up?

Well, let's say I've felt more popular in my time.

Don't get your nanny up.

You knew there would be some dislocations.

You can't gear a country's economy for war for 20 years, then slam on the brakes and expect the transition to go like grease through a goose.

Think how the whole psychology of the thing has been screwed up from the outset.

We've been hating the Russians for a quarter of a century.

Suddenly we sign a treaty that says in two months they are to dismantle their bombs, we're to dismantle ours, and we all ride to a peaceful glory.

This country will probably live as if peace were just as big a threat as war.

Damn it, Ray, we could have had our paradise.

We could have had full employment, whopping gross national product, nice, cushy feeling that we've got a bomb for every one of theirs.

But just as sure as God made the state of Georgia, there would come one day when they'd have blown us up or we'd have blown them up.

The good doctor worries about my blood pressure.

You know who the gentleman is with the black box?

There are five of them.

One of them sits outside my bedroom at night.

You know what he carries in that box?

The codes.

Codes by which I can give the orders sending us into a nuclear war.

Instead of my blood pressure, I think Horace should worry about my sanity.

You want to know something, Jordy?

Riots and unemployment notwithstanding, you're an exceptionally fine president.

The day may yet come when the name "Jordan Lyman" and the expression "Senator" will come out as one word.

Mention that to General James Mattoon Scott when he's up in front of you this morning.

And try tea sometime, too, huh?

I'll give it a taste, now and then.

I personally visited the President.

I presented him with a documented case listing the reasons for concern.

Three weeks before the treaty was ratified, three of us sat in the same committee and urged a reevaluation of that treaty.

Only last week in Pravda -- excuse me, General, sorry to interrupt.

But as I understand it, you feel that the signing of this pact has been detrimental -- fiddle-de-dee and fiddle-de-dum.

If my colleague from the state of Georgia could confine his comments not only to appropriate business at hand, but do me the goodness --

In my own boorish way, I'm only suggesting that if you two continue to work from a script, with cues and stage directions, these proceedings take on all the dignity of a very bad Gilbert and Sullivan.

Man: I'd like to hear what General Scott has to say.

Thank you. So would I!

The audience has spoken, and I beg forgiveness.

I'll make the point again, Senator.

I think the signing of a nuclear disarmament pact with the Soviet Union is, at best, an act of naivete and, at worst, an insupportable negligence.

We've stayed alive because we've built up an arsenal, and we've kept the peace because we've dealt with an enemy who knew we would use that arsenal.

Now we're asked to believe that a piece of paper will take the place of missile sites and Polaris submarines and that an enemy who hasn't honored one solemn treaty in the history of its existence will now, for our convenience, do precisely that.

I have strong doubts.

Hear, hear!

Senator Prentice, if you would indulge me, sir.

You know perfectly well -- if you would indulge me for a moment, sir!

From the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, I would welcome and respect any judgment having to do with military considerations.

Insofar as his political attitudes are concerned, these, I'm sure, we could dispense with.

We're talking about the survival of the United States.

Is my uniform a disqualification?

I presume that an alternative to the treaty that would meet with your approval would be continuing to build bombs -- bigger bombs, better bombs, more bombs.

Until at some given instant a trigger-happy idiot presses the button and we go down the drain waving the American flag!

I prefer that, Senator, to a Pearl Harbor, where we went down the drain --

I did not address the question to the Senator!

I was talking to the witness!

There hasn't been a single piece of paper in the history of mankind that could serve as a deterrent to a Pearl Harbor.

I wonder why we haven't learned that lesson by now.

Every 20 years or so, we have to pick ourselves up off the floor bleeding and pay for that mistake.

And I might add, Senator, those mistakes are delivered to us, C.O.D., by peace-loving men and bought and paid for with the lives of other men, men in uniform.

Have we ever forgotten to thank you?

I wasn't soliciting your appreciation, only your memory.

Prentice: With all due respect, Senator, might I elicit one small admission on your part?

Clark: I'll make an admission to the chairman...

Thank you.

They listened, but I'm not sure they heard.

Your testimony, General, was the most effective defense I've ever heard.

Coming from you, Jiggs, that's fulsome praise indeed.

That forces me to invite you for a drink, in the name of gratitude.

Well, in the name of military protocol, you force me to accept.

Your first appointment is at 2:00, General.

Thank you.

Incidentally, Jiggs, the alert on Sunday -- nobody from the hill, no congressmen.

This one must be deep and dark.

Right straight down the line.

I noticed that nobody from congress was on the list.


Hello, Colonel, hot poop from all around the globe.

Hi, Grayson.

All properly decoded in 4.0 fashion and respectfully submitted by yours truly, Lieutenant Junior Grade Dorsey Grayson.

Give this one a reading.

Last call annual Preakness Pool?

Top secret code, too.

$10 already deposited with Murdock.

Give length your pick will win.

Deadline 17:00 Saturday, post time 19:00, Sunday, 18 may.

Scott, where did this come from?

General Scott's aide, Colonel Murdock.

He gave me that message at 07:25 this morning.

Did you get that name, Colonel?

General Scott!

I'm so disillusioned I could sit down and cry.

My hero turned out to be a bookie.

So who does this go to?

Oh, nothing but the cream --

Commander Vandenberg Missile Center, California, Commander Strategic Air Command, Omaha, Vice-Admiral Farley C. Barnswell, commanding sixth fleet, Gibraltar, CINCPAC, Pearl Harbor, and Commander First Airborne Corps United States Army, Fort Bragg, sir.

They must have a sure thing.

Uh-uh, Colonel, look at this.

Barnswell doesn't think so.

Just proves, Grayson, that sometimes even an admiral can't cough up 10 bucks for a bet.

Hiya, Jiggs.

Well, for...Mud. How are you, mud?

Just fine. Good to see you, Jiggs.

You look great. Where are you stationed?

I haven't gotten around to giving a straight answer to that one in four months.

Hell, you probably got me my orders.

I'm exec. of ECOMCON, Jiggs.

ECOMCON?

Yeah, site "Y".

Don't blame me for your orders.

You live at the base at site "Y"?

Nobody could live at that hellhole.

It's bad enough the old man keeps me there for four or five days at a time.

Mabel and I have a house in El Paso.

I'll give you the number.

If you're ever down that way, we can break open a bottle.

Oh, listen, I have to go to a party tonight.

If you're free, it might be fun for you.

Ah, Jiggs, I'd love to, but I just can't.

How long will you be in town?

Just till the old man briefs Scott.

I think you know him -- Colonel Broderick?

Broderick?

Good officer, don't you think?

Yeah, for certain armies. The kind that goose-step.

You don't find a happy medium in this man's army.

Say, how many men are there in your outfit now?

I don't think you're up to strength yet, are you?

We got the full T.O. --

100 officers, 3,600 enlisted.

The last of them came in six weeks ago.

But, you know, it's funny.

What?

We seem to spend more time training for seizure than for prevention.

Like the commies already had this stuff, and we had to get it back.

Colonel Henderson, Colonel Broderick's waiting for you.

The sergeant at the desk will show you where to go.

Oh, thank you, Colonel.

Jiggs, it's wonderful seeing you.

When you get to El Paso, that's the number.

You call.

You bet I will.

And mud, stop growing, will you?

Casey, I hope you didn't discuss Sunday's alert with Colonel Henderson.

I needn't remind you that it's top secret.

If you needn't remind me, why do you bring it up?

I see no reason for humor.

I made a note of it on my calendar.

Or was it to place a bet on the Preakness Pool with General Scott?

How did you find out about that?!

You got Grayson lathered up about racehorses.

That kid better learn to keep his mouth shut!

Don't jump the kid.

How was he to know that the security of the nation rests on Admiral Barnswell parting with 10 bucks?

That was the General's personal business!

What are you getting so hot about?

You're right. It's not important.

Operator, have you got a listing for ECOMCON?

E-C-O-M-C-O-N.

You don't? Thank you very much.

ECOMCON, horse racing.

What the hell is going on here?

Then can you explain to me why the good general walks into a senate hearing as if he were St. George and the administration was a dragon?

Simmer down, Paul.

Jiggs, I mean it.

Your boss did everything but draw a sword.

They ask, he answers.

You guys are getting sensitive.

A little too sensitive, if you ask me.

Good evening, Senator.

Good evening, Colonel. How are you, Paul?

It's as simple as this -- the President trusts Russia, the American people don't.

The people don't believe the Russians are going to take those bombs apart on July 1, and neither do I.

Do you think that the President's position is so unreasonable?

Hi, Jiggs. Hi, Hal.

If Russia reneges, the chiefs would find out about it immediately.

The deal is then off. There would be no danger.

Now, doesn't that make sense?

Let's hear the view of someone a little more knowledgeable as to the Soviet Union's capacity to destroy us.

Colonel Casey?

As a military officer, I steer clear of politics.

Let's forget for the moment you're a military officer.

You also happen to be a citizen.

Then I'll have to take the fifth.

Colonel, do you like the treaty or don't you?

Oh, Senator, pardon me, come along, I want you to meet the wife of the Indian ambassador.

We're discussing the treaty.

Now I want you to hear the Pentagon's viewpoint.

Go ahead, Colonel.

The treaty isn't viewed very favorably.

Neither are income taxes, but we pay them.

But you make me think that fruit salad on your chest is for neutrality, evasiveness, and fence straddling.

On the contrary, Senator, they're standard awards for cocktail courage and dinner table heroism.

I thought you'd invented them.

Excuse me.

Hear, hear.

Ellie, I didn't know you were back in town.

You never looked.

You surprise me tonight, Colonel Casey.

The voice of reason coming out of a military man.

I've got a lot of hidden talents.

Oh, I suspected that right along.

Ever since my ex-lover introduced us.

And how is the staunch General Scott and his lovely wife?

Well, he keeps busy.

So I read.

There's a sizable portion of the citizenry who says he's the "savior of the Western world."

He does his job, Ellie.

See that he rests on the seventh day.

I'll try.

Mmm...That marvelous military stoicism, the iron mask.

Is that for quenching a torch or washing out a wound?

Let me put it to you this way, Jiggs darling.

What the hell business is it of yours?

I want that.

No, you don't.

Now, you listen to me.

Now what is it? Is it just Scott?

Oh, it's Scott and everything.

It's...It's my whole damn life.

You're not the first dame to ever wind up on the bottom of the deck.

It happens every day.

What matters is how a person lives with it.

Stop playing the part of the anguished drunk digging olives out of Martinis and boring everybody with tragic stories.

Sober, you're a bright, beautiful dame, good to have around.

Will you drive me home, Jiggs?

Whenever you say.

I'll get my coat.

Sure.

Goodnight, Stu, thank you for a very nice party.

Thanks for coming, Senator.

Real pleasure having you.

I hope you'll forgive my little outburst.

A combination of deep concerns and dry Martinis.

That can be a dangerous combo.

I've been reamed by experts, Senator.

I was simply trying to get you to say what I happen to know you believe in.

You're working for the one man who commands confidence that could possibly lead us out of this mess.

You just remember -- there are plenty of us up on the hill who stand right alongside of you.

We've all got to stay on the alert these days.

Especially on Sunday, right?

Thank you.

There you are.

I've got to drive to Fort Myer to see the General.

May I call a cab for you?

No, thank you. I'll manage.

I'm sorry, but this is very important.

All right, Jiggs, but just in case someone forgets to mention it, you're a great crutch.

It's too bad you're only available

20 minutes at a time.

Well, you can't tell.

Sometimes the country can spare me for a whole evening.

Give me a rain check and I'll prove it.

Tuck it somewhere safe, where you won't forget it.

Good night, Ellie.

Good night, Jiggs.


Hi, Dick.

Hi, Jiggs.

Colonel Roberts with him.

Well, well, well.

If it isn't my favorite jarhead himself, Jiggs Casey.

Hello, Broderick.

I thought you'd be in Okinawa, or maybe worse.

Ah, not me, Casey boy, not me.

Still protecting the great unwashed?

I thought you'd be a civil liberties lawyer by now.

You might make it yet. You might make it yet.

By the way, Casey my boy, I hear you're doing a fine job as director for the joint chiefs of staff.

Hello, Jiggs.

Good morning, sir.

How was the party last night?

You missed a good one.

Anyone there I know?

Well, Paul Girard, from the White House and Senator Prentice were the ranking guests.

With those two, there must have been quite a hassle over the treaty.

There was, sir.

Prentice uphold our side all right?

He was pretty candid, also quite complimentary about you.

Oh, by the way, Ellie Holbrook was there.

It was nice seeing her again.

Let's get on with it, Jiggs.

Yes, sir.

These are from January's all-red alert, sir.

Pearl Harbor 12 minutes after the threat warning.

12 minutes, and over 80% of the fleet still sitting there like overfed ducks.

Next.

Wright field, 22 minutes into the alert.

This one really gives me an ache in the gut.

Half those aircraft aren't even scrambled, let alone off the ground.

Over mount thunder.

The President's in the middle helicopter.

Right out in the open.

34 minutes into the alert.

Canned sound indicates possibility of hostile action by the Soviet Union.

There are 30 more shots, sir.

Each one of them more fouled up than the others.

Let's hope Sunday's alert will be different, sir.

It damn-well better be.

Sir, wouldn't it help if you changed your mind and...

About what, Jiggs?

And invited some of the congressional people to observe the alert?

It wouldn't hurt us if a congressman or a senator saw how effectively we can work when we have to.

Nobody from the hill is to know a thing about this.

Yes, sir.

Yes?

Man: It's 9:20.

They're waiting for you in the conference room.

Thank you.

I've even persuaded the President to come down without the press.

No newspapermen?

None.

Get to bed late, sir?

Got to bed too early.

Slept from 8:00 to 8:00. Too much sleep.

I may never wake up.

Stay close, Jiggs.

I'll want to see you after this meeting.


Oh, Jiggs, Colonel Murdock tells me you've heard about our Preakness Pool.

Yes, sir.

I'd appreciate it if you'd keep it to yourself.

All I want is the right horse.

Ha ha ha.

And Admiral Barnswell's reply.

I'd appreciate that if you'd keep that in confidence, too.

Of course, sir.

I see the Navy wasn't here today.

Admiral Palmer couldn't make it.

We'll brief him later.

Oh, speaking of the Navy, that reminds me -- that young J.G. In all-service radio.

Grayson, sir?

Grayson. He is a bit of a gossip, isn't he?

He means well.

I'm off to New York and the A.V.O. Convention.

If you get a chance, Jiggs, listen in.

I'd like to know what you think about it.

Certainly, sir. Good luck.

Thank you.


Hey, Colonel, get a load of this!

What is it, Grayson?

A transfer.

Pearl Harbor?

I got some kind of a guardian angel.

Good old Pearl Harbor.

By the way, big Barnswell was the only one to poop out of the chairman's racing form.

All the others came through with their IOUs.


Ladies and gentlemen, you have heard me in my nightly newscasts.

You know where I stand.

I'm not a lover of communists, socialists, or intellectual bleeding hearts.

I happen to have only one interest, and that is symbolized by the red, white, and blue of our glorious flag.

And now I'm going to give you the one man who not only speaks for that flag, but has fought for it with distinction and now represents it with honor -- four-star general, winner of the congressional medal of honor and two distinguished service crosses, a hero of war, a stalwart protector of the peace.

Ladies and gentlemen, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General James Mattoon Scott!

We want Scott!

We want Scott! We want Scott!

We want Scott! We want Scott!

We want Scott! We want Scott!

We want Scott! We want Scott!

We want Scott! We want Scott!

We want Scott!

Ladies and gentlemen, members of the American veterans order, I would like to thank Mr. McPherson for his most laudatory comments.

You're very generous, Harold.

Perhaps patriotism is old-fashioned.

Perhaps love of country is outdated.

Perhaps even a minute degree of sentiment to one's motherland is to be considered passe.

But God help us and God help our country if the cynics, the one-worlders, the intellectual dilettantes ever persuade us that these things have passed us by, because, ladies and gentlemen, patriotism, loyalty, sentiment -- they are the United States of America!

In my lifetime, I have seen the 1,000 ways a man can die.

And I know that in this country of ours, we have a perverse habit...

Operator, could you connect me to the White House, please?


The President's expecting you, Colonel.

The study, second door on the right.


All I can tell you, pal, is that this better be damned important.

How are you, Colonel Casey?

Mr. President.

Please, sit down.

Thank you, sir.

Ever been up here before, Colonel?

No, sir. It's a big room.

Too big for living and too small for conventions.

Do you want a drink, Colonel?

Yes, sir. Scotch, please.

Fine. I'll keep you company.

How about you, Paul?

No, no thanks.

And now, Colonel, that matter of... National security.

Mr. President, have you ever heard of a military unit known as "ECOMCON"?

"E" what?

I'm sorry. E-C-O-M-C-O-N, ECOMCON.

No.

What does it mean?

I'm not sure, sir.

Well, in formal military abbreviations, it could stand for

"emergency communications control," but...

I've never heard of anything like that.

Have you, Paul?

No, I haven't.

Well?

Have you ever authorized the formation of any type of secret unit, regardless of its name, that has something to do with preserving the security of things like television, telephone, or radio?

No, I haven't.

Well, uh...Do you know of any secret army installation, sir, that's been set up near El Paso recently?

The answer is no again. Why?

Sir, this is something very difficult for me because...Well...

It concerns a superior officer -- let's get on with it, Colonel, huh?

Yes, sir.

Yesterday, I learned from a friend of mine, Colonel Henderson, that he is the exec. Officer of ECOMCON.

His commanding officer is an Army Colonel named John Broderick, and they're both from Signal Corps, which indicates communications.

They've had 100 officers and 3,600 men training secretly at a desert base near El Paso for six weeks or so.

Then Henderson said an odd thing to me, sir, something that...I can't shake quite loose of.

He said they were spending more time training for seizing than for preventing.

Who set up this outfit?

Well, Henderson and Broderick reported directly to General Scott, so I assume General Scott did.

You work directly under General Scott, don't you?

Yes, sir, but I guess I'd been cut out for some security reason.

Go ahead, Colonel.

Mr. President, this is General Hardesty's writing.

I know it pretty well.

That paper came from the joint chiefs' meeting room.

I can't make much out of this scrawl.

"Airlift ECOMCON 40 K212s at site 'Y'

"by 07:00 Sunday.

Chi, New York, LA, Utah."

Air Force jet transports, sir.

What do you make of it?

They're scheduled to lift this whole command out of site "Y", if that's what Henderson called the base near El Paso, before the alert Sunday, and take those troops to Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Utah.

Why Utah?

Telephone company has big relay facilities for its long lines in Utah.

Precisely what are you leading up to?

Well, I'm not certain, Mr. President, but...

Well, let me try to tell you the other things that have happened the past two days.

Now, General Scott has some kind of pool going on the Preakness race which runs on Sunday.

He sent messages to every important field commander talking about getting their bets in on time.

Admiral Barnswell was the only one who sent in a "no bet" message.

Your General Scott's interest in horses isn't classified, Colonel.

I don't think those messages had anything to do with horses, sir.

I think it was some kind of a code.

That's a fair-sized assumption.

General Scott wanted those messages kept under wraps.

Under wraps?

A J.G. Who decoded those messages is being shipped out to Hawaii.

There are other things, Mr. President.

Last night at a party at Stuart Dillard's house, Senator Prentice indicated to me a knowledge of the alert.

No one on the hill's supposed to know.

Senator Prentice knows, and General Scott knows that he knows.

That's a hell of an assumption. How do you know that?

The General lied -- he said he was in bed at 8:00, but I went to his quarters after the party because I was concerned.

The General wasn't in bed.

He was with Senator Prentice, who arrived at his house at 11:45.

And that's all?

Congress recessed yesterday, Vice President Gianelli is in Italy, and this Sunday, you're going to be in an underground command post on mount thunder, completely alone.

You won't even have press people in attendance.

That's true.

General Scott asked that I come alone.

All right, Colonel.

Let's sum it up, shall we?

You're suggesting what?

I'm not sure, just some possibilities, what we call "capabilities" in military intelligence.

Got something against the English language?

No, sir.

Then speak it plainly, if you will.

I'm suggesting, Mr. President, there's a military plot to take over the government.

This may occur sometime this coming Sunday.

Do you realize you could be broken out of the service for what you've said and done tonight?

I've thought about the consequences.

I've been a marine for 18 years.

Comment, Paul?

With all due respect to Jiggs here, it's just incredible that a secret base could have been constructed without our hearing about it.

When you think of the people and the supplies involved...

Frankly, sir, it doesn't seem logical.

It could be checked out, though.

I'll call Bill Condon at the bureau of budget, right now.

I know what Scott's attitude is on the treaty.

What's yours?

I agree with General Scott, sir.

I think we're being played for suckers.

I think it's really your business, yours and the senate.

You did it, and they agreed.

I don't see how we in the military can question it.

I mean, we can question it, but we can't fight it.

We shouldn't, anyway.

"Jiggs," isn't it?

Isn't that what they call you?

Yes, sir.

Do you stand by the constitution, Jiggs?

I never thought of it just like that, but that's what we've got, and I guess it's worked pretty well so far.

I sure don't want to be the one to say we ought to change it.

Neither do I.

You, um... Have any bright ideas on what else I can do, Jiggs?

No, sir, not a one. I'm just a buck-passer.

Remember what Harry Truman said one day, that "inside this room, inside this room, the buck stops."

Thanks for coming to see me, Colonel.

Yes, sir.

Call Miss Townsend, my secretary, in the morning and keep her up to date on where you'll be.

Thanks for coming in.

That's all right, sir. It was a -- pleasure, Colonel?

To get it out of my gut, yes, sir.

I don't know whether you believe this, sir, but I hope I'm wrong.

Colonel, I hope you're wrong, too.

Good night, sir.

Good night, Jiggs.

Good night, Paul.

It isn't.

Okay, Bill. Thank you.

Well?

Condon says there's never been any money cleared for anything called "ECOMCON" or whatever it is.

So your conclusion is negative, hmm?

My conclusion is that my friend, Colonel Casey, is one marine with a hell of an imagination.

You know something, Paul, I'm not about to disregard his story.

Mr. President -- we've only got four days left before Sunday.

We're going to have to come up with a list of men I can trust.

I can't move very far without the head of the White House secret service.

And Chris Todd.

He has the best mind in the government, and can keep his mouth shut.

And get Ray Clark.

With all due respect to Colonel Casey, let me give you my unequivocal reaction.

To believe any fraction of it, you have to believe in this ECOMCON business.

Nobody's heard of it before.

Not you, Mr. President, not Girard, not even Bill Condon, who should have heard of it.

What makes you think it does exist?

We've only -- and again my apologies, Colonel Casey -- your conjecture, no supportable facts.

The Hardesty note -- that refers to it.

And to a site "Y".

That could easily mean another place.

These military games.

Why, the multiplicity of our secret bases confuses ourselves more than the Soviets.

Army intelligence was asked to run a security check on this Colonel Broderick almost two years ago.

The man's views are more than just extreme.

They border on out-and-out fascism.

Again that's suspect, but not evidence.

Exactly.

Colonel Casey...

What about this communications setup at mount thunder?

Whoever controls it controls the communications across the country.

Gentlemen, if I went into court as Scott's counsel, I'd move to quash the indictment, and we'd be out of that courtroom inside of 10 minutes.

I'm offering presumption of evidence, Chris.

The Navy being left out of the J.C.S. meetings, the Hardesty note, this business of the jet transports.

But if they're flying troops to the big cities in an alert, that seems to be not only logical, but prudent.

Obviously, if the Russians struck, we'd need to send in troops in the metropolitan areas to keep order and prevent complete breakdown.

And if I may say so, the conversion of a wagering pool into a code for some sinister plot to seize the government, seems to me suggestive of lurid deductive powers, to say the very least.

Look, Mr. secretary, you saw Scott's performance on television last night!

That was no apolitical military officer!

That was a dedicated politician!

We've always known that, Senator, but that's no conclusive proof of this military junta you people are suggesting!

Gentlemen, gentlemen.

We've pretty much exhausted the information as well as ourselves.

I don't know if the evidence is as damning as it seems.

I do know it's sufficiently damning to proceed as if there were more than a few grains of truth in it.

So the following is the plan of procedure --

Chris will stay here to coordinate things.

Art's job is to keep tabs on any of the joint chiefs who have been mentioned.

You'll have to have men you can trust to handle any situation that comes up.

Ray...I want you to go to El Paso.

Take the phone number from Colonel Casey of his friend down there, and find that base.

If it means crawling underground until you hit a tunnel, but find that base.

I don't like sending you down there, Ray.

But if there were anyone else I could trust -- forget it, Jordy.

Outside of getting parity for Georgia cotton, I haven't accomplished a hell of a lot for this country.

Maybe this is my chance.

Paul?

Yes, sir?

This is a note to Admiral Barnswell in Gibraltar.

Get his reply in writing, understand?

In a court of law, your word wouldn't count for much against that of Barnswell's or Scott's.

Mr. President, it's now Wednesday evening.

My feeling is that next week at this time, we'll all be laughing about this.

I hope you're right.

Colonel Casey, you'll have the thankless job of informer.

Keep your eye on General Scott.

Keep in touch with us as to whom he talks to, whom he hears from, where he goes.

Find out everything you can about him.

Yes, sir.

Ah, I think that does it, gentlemen.

It strikes me that you're taking all the necessary steps, save one --

Chris, I hope you're quite correct in your assumption that we're all panicky idiots.

But if you're incorrect in that judgment, we're in for a week of unadulterated nightmare.


Good evening, sir.

Working late, Jiggs?

Well, just checking out some final touches so there won't be any foul-ups on the alert, sir.

Some problems in Texas?

No, sir, no problems.

I hope everything goes well.

I called you after I got back from New York, about 4:00.

They said you'd already gone.

As you can see, not so.

How was the big city, General?

You know these conventions.

A rat race -- luncheons, dinners.

If I ate one more piece of chicken, I'm afraid...

Did you hear the speech?

Yes, sir.

And?

Impressive.

Now there's a carefully chosen word.

You wouldn't be holding something back, now would you, Jiggs?

Well, that commentator who introduced you -- McPherson -- he struck me as being a little overripe.

He is, but he provides a platform for stating my position.

I don't have to like him or trust him.

I see.

Do you see?

This country's in trouble, Jiggs.

Deep trouble.

Now, there are two ways we can handle this.

We can sit here on our duffs, ask for divine guidance, and hope for it.

Or we can... Or we can what, Jiggs?

What would your advice be?

Well, sir...

We're a nation of laws, rules.

We're military men, so we've taken an oath to uphold the constitution.

The Democratic way.

The Democratic way -- do your duty, and, as you put it, ask for divine guidance.

You're right, Jiggs. You're absolutely right.

You've been working too hard on this damned alert.

You look tired.

Why don't you take the rest of the week off?

Duck down to White Sulphur Springs and employ yourself to a good time.

I couldn't do that, sir.

There are too many details on the alert.

Murdock will handle it.

I should be with you at mount thunder.

And you will be.

Check back on the job Sunday morning, and we'll pick it up together.

You've got a three-day pass. Enjoy it.

When do you think I ought to leave, sir?

Right now.

Yes, sir.

Have a good time, Jiggs.

Thank you, sir.

Announcer: American Airlines Astrojet flight number three, nonstop to Los Angeles, departing at gate six.

All aboard, please.

Paul Girard get off all right?

Still skeptical, but he's on his way to Gibraltar.

Me, I get to go to Texas.

Enough to make a man want to quit politics.

This is mud Henderson's home phone.

Flight 453 for Dallas and El Paso...

Well, that's me.

Good luck, Senator.

Oh, incidentally, Jiggs, a Miss Eleanor Holbrook, you know her?

Yes?

I'm told that she knows more about General Scott than his wife or the Air Force knows about him.

Could be.

If fact, she may know enough about him to put some ammo in our guns.

You catch my meaning?

I'm not sure I want to catch your meaning, Senator.

Just because General Scott booted you out and told you to take a vacation, that don't mean you're going to take a vacation.

I think you should see this Miss Holbrook.

If she's got something on Scott, we want it.

There are all sorts of ways of protecting the President of the United States.

Takes care of yourself, Senator.

You, too, Colonel.

Isn't that McPherson, the commentator?

Yeah.

That's General Scott's car.

Buddy, you've just been impressed into the secret service.


Harold McPherson and General James Scott.

Good morning, General. This is Jordan Lyman.

Good morning, Mr. President.

I see we're both early birds today.

To come right to the point, I'm not going to participate in the alert after all.

Frankly, I'm tired out.

I've decided to go up to my place at Blue Lake and fish for two or three days.

You'll forgive me, sir, but I don't like it.

As Commander in Chief, orders can only be given by you.

I don't think the Russians are going to be impressed by an alert that takes place while you go fishing.

Suppose you let me be the judge of that.

I'm afraid my decision is final.

Of course. It's up to you, sir.

When do you expect to go to Blue Lake?

Late Friday, probably.

I envy you. Good luck with the fish.

Goodbye, General.

Goodbye, Mr. President.

Hold my calls.

Colonel Broderick, please.

What's that, Mrs. Henderson?

Well, I'm an old friend of his, and I'm real anxious to see him.

Clark, ma'am, Ray Clark.

Well, I-I-I know it's restricted, but I thought perhaps if I could talk to him.

What's that, Mrs. Henderson?! I didn't quite hear you?!

Would you say that again?

Well, is there any way I could get a message to him?

I see.

Well, would you be good enough to just tell him that Ray Clark called?

Thank you very much, Mrs. Henderson.

Fill her up?

No, thanks, honey. I just checked my oil.

Hey...Do you mind?

Not at all.

Tell me, could you turn that down some?

Oh, sure, honey.

Hey, Charlie, turn it down!

Do you rent space in that thing?

Oh, you.

Here.

Hey, you want to dance?

No, thank you, honey.

I just had a hernia operation.

You are funny.

I was sort of hoping you were in the army.

Why?

Charlie heard there was a new base being put up here.

That's why he bought the place.

You see any soldiers?

How long has the base been here?

Who knows?

You know Charlie.

He's always decorating this place.

He has a talent for that.

And on Saturday night, he puts out a huge sign that says "big party," and he doubles his drinks, too.

I don't water them none, either.

You wonder what the country's coming to.

All those boys, sitting up in the desert, never seeing no girls.

They might as well be in stir.

How far is the base from here?

About 50 miles or so.

You hear the planes coming in and out all the time, but you don't see any pilots.

Not so much as one single pilot.

I mean, what's the matter, don't they drink in the Air Force?

How would I get in there?

Oh, lots of luck.

You can't even see the place.

There's just a road over leading to the left, and then, nothing.

I was telling Charlie, we ought to drive up there some time with a couple of kegs of beer for the boys, and tell them where it's from.

You know, leave cards or something.

I told you, I bought a place...


Well, I'm glad we can offer you some real Mediterranean weather, Mr. Girard.

Thank you, Admiral.

Not that dirty stuff they have in the Atlantic.

Care for a cigar?

Admiral, I understand you're not much of a betting man.

Depends on the game.

Hmm, well, what is your pleasure?

Poker, roulette, what?

No, those are house games.

I don't much care for the odds.

What about horse racing?

On occasion.

It depends on the race, sometimes the weather, and the horse does make the difference.

Hmm, that's true.

What about the Preakness?

You got anything good going there?

I only bet on sure things.

Admiral, you're a very lucky sailor.

That's exactly what I've got for you -- a sure thing.

What is the bet, Mr. Girard?

That there are members of the joint chiefs of staff who are involved in treason.

We know who they are.

We know the essence of the plan.

Now, from you, Admiral, I want a signed statement indicating at what moment you first heard of this operation, and your complicity in this entire matter.

Frankly, I wish I had more time.

I wish you did, too, Admiral.

Unfortunately, you don't.

Jiggs.

I'm looking for a girl named Eleanor.

Come in.

Thank you.

You're a long way from the barracks.

Oh, I was in the neighborhood.

A fact?

A lie.

I just thought the country could spare me for an evening.

I wondered how you were.

I'm fine, Jiggs.

Would you like a Martini?

That sounds great.

This is very nice.

Oh, yes, that's right.

You've never been here before.

Not even close. Thank you.

What is it, Jiggs?

You have something in your mind?

Hasn't your mother ever told you about marines?

Well, I know all about this marine, never a wasted moment or a thrown-away day.

What do you want?

Well, you invited me.

Remember, a rain check handed out the night of the party?

Oh, yes, good for one visit anytime.

Here I am.

What should we talk about?

Nuclear disarmament, uh, high cost of living, ladies' fashions.

Or should we fall back on the familiar item of conversation, gentleman Jim Scott.

Well, this must come as a shock to you, but I lock up the office now and then.

You're a beautiful woman, Ellie.

Don't tell me after all this time, you're making a pass, Jiggs?

The window's open, you could always scream.

This is when I scream?

Do you want to scream?

Well, that's a rather unfair question.

I'm a little vulnerable now.

Particularly when it concerns an old friend I happen to like.

Do me a favor -- don't complicate my life right now.

I just got over a very bad breakup.

Would you like another Martini?

Perhaps we should talk about...

It's funny.

It doesn't feel like an iron mask.

You're a fraud, Jiggs.

Hey, how about dinner someplace?

You might even talk me into wheeling you around the dance floor.

No, I'll fix something for us here.

Did you know that I'm a swinging cook?

Sounds like I've got myself a good deal.

You might have, Jiggs. A very good deal.

I'll make you two promises -- a very good steak, medium rare, and the truth, which is very rare.


And it's in writing?

Thank God.

Now, when can you get back?

Transocean, Flight 42, out of Madrid.

Good, I'll see you for breakfast.


Someone I knew a thousand years ago.

It's funny. I can't even remember his name.

Scott. James Mattoon Scott.

General of the United States Air Force.

Doesn't ring a bell.

Why the hell does a girl keep a photograph of a man she doesn't even remember?

I-I can't imagine.

Well, that's an easy way to get rid of a ghost.

It works wonders.

No symptoms remaining?

None that I'm aware of.

If I find that I'm kidding myself, I know where to go for help.

There's an easy test.

Yes?

Bring it out in the open, look at it, talk about it, see if it hurts.

I don't know what's to be gained by hurting.

But if you think it's right...

I think it's right.

I was in love with him.

I found...Excitement in his strength.

I didn't mind about the back-street angle...

Sneaking time together, stolen moments from his wife.

Eleanor Holbrook, emancipated woman.

Go on.

I don't know. I don't know when it changed.

But I began to realize that he -- he really never felt anything.

Each move was calculated.

He's a very careful man, your General.

I don't believe that he ever took a chance in his life, or ever really felt anything, any real emotion.

He was so sure of me that he could even write letters.

A careful man doesn't incriminate himself in writing.

That's where you're wrong.

If he's sure enough, he can do anything -- anything to amuse himself.

I've kept them.

I told myself that I'd use them against him for revenge.

Well, at least, Jiggs, he was right about me in that respect.

I was pretty low, but not that low.

Is that what you wanted?

Does that prove anything to you?

I'm sorry, honey.

You said to bring it out in the open, now it is.

We go from here, all right?

Sure.

Well, I'll go and repair the damages.

Get back to that steak.

Don't go away.


You know, it's a funny thing, Jiggs.

I'm not surprised at Scott.

But do you know what does cut?

The fact that he sent you, and the fact that you came.

I need these, Ellie.

The reason doesn't matter.

And trying to soften me up with a little lovemaking.

That was dirty pool, Jiggs.

You didn't come here to salvage me!

You came here to salvage his good name.

Look, Ellie, if I could tell you why I had to do this...

I was a stupid, impressionable female, who let an Air Force General use her like his personal airplane.

I don't rate any applause, God knows, but you...

Scott didn't want to dirty his hands collecting those letters, but Colonel Casey is always ready to clean up the General's privy!


Jiggs: The man on the right, that's Murdock, General Scott's aide.

On the left, that's Colonel Broderick.

He commands the base at site "Y."

I don't know who the other man is.

So the rabbit laid bait for the fox.

If I'd gone up to Blue Lake, they'd have tried to kidnap me.

I've no doubt of that at all.

I'll make the following admission, Colonel Casey, any lingering doubts I may have had, have been properly placed in a waste basket.

Good man, Chris.

Your group did a great job this morning, art.

Thank you, sir.

I can bring out another point that's made in that film.

Scott had to dispatch Broderick from El Paso on a job that any investigator could have done.

This must mean, in terms of numbers, that he's no better off than we are.

That's good, solid evidence right there.

And gentlemen, Paul Girard should be here very shortly.

This document you unearthed, Colonel Casey, is dynamite.

Very revealing of General Scott's extracurricular love life.

Any taste of victory we have in our mouth, Colonel, is due in no small measure to your efforts.

The taste I've got in my mouth, Mr. secretary, is unmentionable.

I can understand that feeling, Colonel, but when you deal with a jackal, like your General -- look, Mr. Todd, this is a full Air Force General, six times wounded, and wearing only half the medals he deserves.

Whatever else he is, he's no jackal.

My God, the sensitivity of our warriors.

Did I step on your old school tie, Colonel?

You're just like a lot of civilians, Mr. Todd.

After every armistice, you want to put us away in moth balls.

Hold up, Colonel! That's enough, Colonel!

Please, please.

I'm sorry, sir.

Jiggs, you have every right to resent what you were forced to do.

It was a dirty, thankless job.

The fact that it was necessary doesn't make it more palatable for you.

I deeply appreciate what you've done.

I find it difficult to believe I could ever bring myself to use this against Scott.

Suppose it comes down to bare knuckles?

Chris, I'm not prepared to answer that just now.

Thank God, I don't have to.

For the first time, for the very first time, I'd say we were on top.

Mr. President...

Right on top.

Paul Girard is dead.

Oh, my God.

His plane crashed in the mountains, outside of Madrid.

Any effects?

The wreckage was strewn out for a couple of Miles.

Nothing left of anybody.


Mr. President, you've got to give out some kind of statement.

May I draft one for you?

What?

About his being away.

Say he was abroad on a vacation.

Don't -- don't say any more than that.

I've had...

Two close friends in my life, I mean, really close.

One was Paul Girard... The other is Ray Clark.

One of them helped me to become President.

This one helped me to remain President.

It cost Paul Girard his life.

What about Ray Clark?

Where's he?

Where in God's name is he?

Now look here, Prentice, don't you jolly me, boy.

I'm 24 hours stuck in this oven.

You heard me right, boy.

When I get out of here, you better be ready with a long list of answers.

You heard me right, boy. You heard me right.

Yes, Senator.

Oh, I agree, sir.

By all means, Senator.

Very well, sir.

Well, Senator, Senator Prentice assures me that your committee was notified of the existence of this base.

But you were vacationing someplace, off in Georgia.

Getting a change of scene or something.

You better get yourself a change of story, because that don't cut any ice.

I've been doing no vacationing since congress has been in session.

There is no record of any ECOMCON base, or any designation like it.

Senator, why don't you have yourself a drink, and finish your dinner?

I'll show you around our base, little later on.

I'm proud of it, mighty proud.

I'd like to take that tour right now.

That won't be possible, Senator.

That won't be possible, but I'll see you later.

We'll look around when it's cooler.


Jordy boy, right now, surely they consider it a miracle.

You're going to be walking in a parade with both your legs cut off.

I'm not going to make matters worse by getting drunk on the job.

Are you from the American consul, señor?

Yes, I'm from the embassy.

I'm Captain Ortega.

Henry Whitney.

We are collecting the effects, but there really isn't very much.

As I told them over the telephone, there were only two American nationals on board -- a Mrs. Agnes Buchanan from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a Mr. Paul Girard, whose destination was Washington.

There was no address in the passengers manifest.


You find any effects of the Americans?

Anything at all?

Nothing yet, señor.

Senator Clark?

Yeah.

I'm Colonel Henderson, Colonel Broderick's adjutant.

I didn't think Colonel Broderick had an adjutant, just a bartender.

I don't understand, sir.

It's just that you're so hospitable around here.

I got a message yesterday that you had called my home.

I didn't connect you with the message until I found out you were here.

Incidentally, I'm sorry about your having to stay in your room.

Frankly, I don't understand it, but the orders were quite specific.

I'll just have to live with it.

As to the call, I was really phoning for a mutual friend of ours, Jiggs Casey.

"Mud," isn't it?

Yes, sir, that's what they call me.

How do you know Jiggs?

Oh, Jiggs has been up before our committee a number of times, and he's done some favors for me on occasion.

Well, I hope you'll be comfortable.

Could I get you a drink?

Those part of your orders, Colonel?

I don't understand, sir.

To get me snuggered?

No, sir, I just...

These bottles been coming every hour on the hour.

Doesn't that seem a little odd to you?

Keep me cooped up in here with a flow of bourbon!

Sir, I don't know what you're talking about.

Just what do you know, Colonel?

About what, sir?

Have you got a few minutes?

Would you sit down there and hear me out?

I want to preface this with an assurance to you.

My mind is sound, even though I've been cooped up here for a day and a night.

Mud, do you trust Jiggs Casey?

You name it, he can have it, sir.

If he were to tell you something, would you believe him?

I would, indeed.

All right, then, check this one out.

When you told Jiggs about ECOMCON last Monday, he'd never heard of it before.

That's funny.

There was a moment, just one moment.

How did you know about my seeing Jiggs on Monday?

He told me.

He told some other people too.

He had never heard of it before.

After you left, Jiggs went over all the JCS orders for the last year.

There was no record of ECOMCON or anything like it.

Oh, Senator, that's impossible.

Colonel Broderick goes to Washington all the time to brief the brass.

Not all of the brass.

Not President Lyman, not me, a very selective briefing.

All you got to know is this -- right now the government of the United States is sitting on top of the Washington monument, ready to fall off and break up on the pavement.

There are just a handful of men who can prevent that, and you're one of them.

Now you listen to me, mud.

I'm going to tell you the damnedest story you ever heard.

That's all for tonight, sergeant, you're relieved.

I'm taking the civilian in my custody.

You can go back to the barracks.

Senator Clark.

Post 10.

Give me Colonel Broderick's office.


I'm sorry, Colonel, but I have orders that the civilian is not to leave the base, sir.

Oh, that's all right, sergeant, I'm countermanding those orders and escorting the civilian into town.

Well, sir, now I don't know.

Colonel Broderick said that if...

Throw those keys over here.

Eject that cartridge belt and throw it down on the ground.

Halt! Step back!

You stay put right here.

I'm going to phone the White House.

Tell you what, friend.

When this is over, you can take off your girdle, and have yourself a real good cry.

Say, you got a dime to stop a revolution with?


Ma'am? Ma'am?

Did you see a real tall soldier with a funny hat waiting right here?

No.


Your men couldn't have been mistaken, could they, art?

Not a chance, sir.

Gate guard was too positive.

It was Henderson all right, brought into the Fort Myer stockade 10:30 this morning.

Rode in the back of an army sedan, under guard.

Now held incommunicado.

Okay, Arthur, thank you.

At least he's alive.

Admiral Barnswell, sir.

Admiral Barnswell, this is the President.

Well, sir, he came aboard a few days ago, passed on your personal greetings, and that's about the size of it, sir.

Frankly, no, Mr. President, he gave me nothing to sign.

No, sir.

I'm sorry, sir.

I can only recount to you the situation as it occurred.

I signed no paper. He took nothing with him.

Well, if anything happens to revitalize your memory, Admiral, I'd appreciate a phone call!

It's now 2:20 on a Saturday afternoon, and at 2:20 tomorrow afternoon, somebody will have thrown a switch at mount thunder, General James Scott will be on all three television networks, explaining to the people of the United States why this particular crucifixion is an act of faith.

What would you call this, gentlemen, sponge-throwing time?

Mr. President, what are you waiting for?

Fire Scott, Hardesty, Diefenbach, Riley.

Sedition, pure and simple.

Close down mount thunder, declare a state of martial law.

Then where do I stand?

Lunatic, paranoic, screaming, wild man with nothing to back him up.

His proof is scattered over a Mountain in Spain, disappeared in a Washington airport, or result of some delirium treatments of a dipso senator...

Great.

Will you allow me to strike that last idiotic remark?

There's no need, Jordy.

It's just what the congress would say.

But you do have one last alternative.

And that is?

Use these letters that Casey got from the girl!

When you get to the bottom of the barrel, where we are now, you use expedience.

Get the network cut off.

Network cut off.

Good. Now, one more time.

Position "a."

Site "G," Polk Field.

Take one.

Position "B."

You count down for us. Site "Y."

Take two.

Position "C."

Site "X," mount thunder, "CP."

Take three.

Let's hear it.

Barney Rutkowski, Air Defense.

He's screaming bloody murder about those 12 troop carriers dispatched to El Paso.

He says they're checked for El Paso, and then lost on the radar screen.

Wants to know where they went and why.

He also wants to know why 30 more are at Bragg with the same destination.

What did you tell him?

I told him it was classified and forget it.

That ought to do it.

Jim, he's a hard-nosed book-player with a radar screen in his bed.

If I know him, he's not going to stop here, he'll go right up to the President.

Go ahead, Barney.

One of my controllers was watching a flight of troop carriers heading for El Paso.

They turned northwest and dropped off our radar screens.

Now, we both tried to find out about it through channels, and all we get is the big stall.

There's some kind of a secret base out there, Mr. President, and I think I should have been notified of it.

Keep going, General.

Thirty more of these transports were due at this classified place at 07:00, 7:00 A.M. tomorrow.

Now I learn it's been moved up to 23:00 tonight.

General, I want all those aircraft grounded.

You're to give the order that they're to stand down.

You may say that's been authorized by the President, can be verified by phoning the White House.

You understand that?

I guess I do, sir.

I want you available.

Phone in, let this office know where you are.

Yes, sir.

The next step should be to your liking, Chris.

Esther, call the Pentagon.

Tell General Scott I want to see him right away.

Yes, sir.

I think it's time we faced the enemy, Mr. President.

He's not the enemy.

Scott, the joint chiefs, even the very emotional, very illogical, lunatic fringe, they're not the enemy.

The enemy is an age, the nuclear age.

It happens to have killed man's faith in his ability to influence what happens to him.

And out of this comes a sickness, a sickness of frustration, a feeling of impotence, helplessness, weakness.

And from this -- this desperation -- we look for a champion in red, white, and blue.

Every now and then, a man on a white horse rides by, and we appoint him to be our personal God for the duration.

For some men, it was a Senator McCarthy.

For others, it was a General Walker.

Now, it's a General Scott.


Yes?

Esther: General Scott is here, sir.

Send him in, please.

Good evening, Mr. President.

Sit down, General.

Thank you.

I'm glad you've decided to call off that fishing trip.

Don't bother about that.

We don't need it tonight.

We aren't going to have an alert tomorrow.

I beg your pardon, Mr. President.

You wish the alert canceled?

I do.

I intend to cancel it.

May I ask why?

Certain facts have come to my attention lately.

I won't waste time by detailing them all now.

I'll simply say that I want your resignation tonight and those of Generals Hardesty, Riley, and Diefenbach, as well.

You are either joking, Mr. President, or you have taken leave of your senses.

I know of no reason why I should remove my name from the active list, voluntarily, or for that matter, any of the other joint chiefs.

You could give me the reasons, General!

But if you want me to itemize them, I should be glad to do so.

Please do.

You abused, without my authority, substantial sums from the joint chiefs' contingency fund to establish a base, to train a special unit of troops, whose purpose, and even whose existence was kept secret from me, from responsible officials of the bureau of the budget and members of the congress.

And the name of that unit?

You know the unit!

Its designation is ECOMCON.

I'm afraid your memory fails you, Mr. President.

You gave me verbal authorization for the base and the unit.

As I recall it, we covered quite a few items that day.

Perhaps you didn't pay much attention to this.

I assumed you'd informed the director of the budget.

What was the date of that meeting, General?

I can't recall, exactly.

But it was right here in this office last fall.

You have a record of the date and subject?

Certainly, Mr. President, in my office.

If you care to make a point of it, I'll drive over to the Pentagon right now and get it.

That won't be necessary, General.

No, it won't be necessary.

Colonel Murdock, my aide, is outside.

He sat in on the meeting.

He will substantiate my memorandum as to the date and the discussion.

I'll ask him in.

That won't be necessary either.

You kept a member of the United States senate forcibly detained at this base, and he will so testify.

And that would be?

That would be Senator Raymond Clark!

The senior senator from Georgia.

I wasn't aware that Senator Clark had ever visited the base.

He will also testify as to the collusion between the Commander of the base and one Senator Frederick Prentice of California, who, with yourself and only a handful of others, knew of the existence of the base.

Any other charges, Mr. President?

Would you like them in chronological order?

The selection of a commanding officer for a secret base who was openly contemptuous of civilian authority and who has made some statements that come close to violations of the sedition laws.

I never discuss politics with my officers, but I do demand the highest competence.

Colonel Broderick is an excellent officer with a fine combat record.

And an interesting travel record, you might add.

What, for example, was he doing the other day on a boat cruising around my island at Blue Lake?

And don't tell me that's a figment of my imagination because I've got him on film.

And what about the kidnapping and detention of Colonel William Henderson at Dulles airport?

I know about that case, Mr. President.

Colonel Henderson struck an enlisted man and left his post.

He's now being held for disciplinary action.

Incommunicado, you might add, so that he doesn't tell what he knows.

Then there are the wagering activities of yours, General.

Particularly, a betting pool on the Preakness.

Oh, come now, Mr. President.

Or, perhaps, more aptly classified your personal and private code.

It covers your plan for the military overthrow of the United States government.

I presume, Mr. President, you're prepared to back up that charge?

I am prepared to brand you for what you are, General.

A strutting egoist with a Napoleonic power complex and an out-and-out traitor.

I know you think I'm a weak sister, General, but when it comes to my oath of office, defending the constitution of...

Nobody has to teach me how to salute a flag.

Somebody has to teach you about the Democratic processes that that flag represents!

Don't presume to take the job because you're not qualified.

Your course of action in the past year has bordered on criminal negligence.

This treaty with the Russians is a violation of any concept of security.

You're not a weak sister, Mr. President.

You're a criminally weak sister.

And if you want to talk about your oath of office, I'm here to tell you, face to face, President Lyman, that you violated that oath when you stripped this country of its muscles, when you played upon the fear and fatigue of the people, and told them they could remove that fear by the stroke of a pen.

When this nation rejected you and began militantly to oppose you, you violated that oath by not turning this country over to someone who could represent the people of the United States.

And that would be General James Mattoon Scott, wouldn't it?

I don't know whether to laugh at that kind of megalomania or simply cry.

James Mattoon Scott, as you put it, hasn't the slightest interest in his own glorification, but he does have an abiding concern about the survival of this country.

Then, by God, run for office!

You have such a fervent, passionate, Evangelical affection for your country.

Why, in the name of God, don't you have any faith in the system of government you're so hellbent to protect?!

You say I've duped the people, General, I've bilked them, I've misled them, I've stripped them naked and made them defenseless.

You accuse me of having lost their faith, deliberately and criminally shut my ears to the national voice?

I do.

Where the hell have you heard that voice, General?

In freight elevators, in dark alleys, in secret places in the dead of night?

How did that voice seep into a room of conspirators?

That's not where you hear the voice of the people, General, not in this Republic.

You want to defend the United States of America?

Then defend it with the tools it supplies you with -- its constitution.

You ask for a mandate, General, from a ballot box.

You don't steal it after midnight when the country has its back turned.

Are you serious, Mr. President?

Are you honest to God serious?

Well, I could...

I could walk out of here tonight and offer myself as candidate for the office of presidency.

And by tomorrow morning, I'd be sitting at that desk with precisely the mandate you hold so dear.

You know it, I know it, and this country knows it.

So don't tell me I'd have seized an office without support.

If you really had the guts to call for a show of hands, you'd be on an airplane right now back to Ohio.

You can get your show of hands, General.

Just wait a year and nine months for something called "election."

A year and nine months from now I don't think they'll be an electorate, let alone an election.

I think we'll be sitting in our own rubble.

A minimum of 100 million dead.

And on the gravestone we can carve, "they died for Jordan Lyman's concept of peace."

General...

General, did it ever occur to you that if you took over this government by force, you wouldn't have to wait a year and nine months for the funeral?

If the Soviet Union saw our government being taken over by a military dictatorship, how long do you suppose it would take them to break the treaty?

Possibly even attack us?

I think perhaps a question of days, perhaps hours...

Certainly weeks.

I want your resignation, General.

I want it tonight. I'm expecting it.

Along with the other members of the joint chiefs who are involved in this retreat.

I'll tell you, quite unequivocally, I'll not tell the reason for your resignation.

If that were ever made public, this country would go down the drain.

Will you resign, General?

I will not resign.

I can demand your resignation, as you well know.

Demand and be damned, I will not resign voluntarily, nor will any of the others, but what I will do is take this issue to the people.

We'll see which one the United States will follow.

Anything else... Mr. President?

General...I've called a press conference for tomorrow.

I'll announce that I've asked for all of your resignations.

I'll use as a reason...

Our differences over the treaty.

Without proof, you couldn't possibly say otherwise.

You simply wouldn't dare.

I'm going to fight you.


I'm sorry, Jiggs.

Return them to Miss Holbrook.


This will be delivered at 9:00 tonight on all major networks.

I'll be taping it in one hour.

This is strong stuff, General.

Are you sure -- thank you, General.

You're sure he won't use this press conference to make any accusations?

He will use this press conference to support a position that is totally indefensible.

General, he accuses us of sedition whether he has the proof or not, which could be a pretty sticky business.

Jordan Lyman is finished...

No matter what he says during his press conference, no matter what he does after.

An educated guess would be that within a week there will be a move for his impeachment.

That's it, gentlemen.

You're welcome to stay here and watch on television.

I'll be at the studio.

Colonel Murdock will be in touch with me if I'm needed.

Good day.

Stay tuned for the Preakness...

Stay tuned for a special broadcast...

The President next on the ABC television network.

Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States.

All right, gentlemen, let's begin.

Mr. President...

The Gallup Poll of last week indicated what appears to be a very universal rejection of your entire political philosophy.

Namely, sir, the nuclear treaty with the Soviets.

Would you care to comment on that?

Insofar as the treaty is concerned, my reasons for asking that it be ratified have been stated and restated.

We have reached a point on this earth...

Excuse me just a moment, gentlemen.

Jordy, you better talk to this fellow.

Mr. President, this is Henry Whitney from our embassy in Madrid.

He brought this.

Mr. President, I'm the only one who's read that paper.

Nobody knows I'm here.

Chris, delay the press conference for half an hour.

You are never to disclose or even hint at the existence of this paper, Mr. Whitney.

I emphasize the word "never."

Ray, have this photostatted.

Thank you, Mr. Whitney.

Colonel Casey, see that Scott and the others get copies right away.

Yes, sir.


That's a signed statement from Admiral Barnswell.

You're a night crawler, Colonel.

A peddler. You sell information.

Are you sufficiently up on your Bible to know who Judas was?

I suggest you read that letter, sir.

It's from the President.

I asked you a question!

Are you ordering me to answer, sir?

I am!

Yes, I know who Judas was.

He was a man I worked for and admired until he disgraced the four stars on his uniform.

Mr. President, for the past 48 hours, there's been considerable scuttlebutt concerning the joint chiefs of staff.

There have been rumors that there's to be some kind of mass resignation.

Would you care to comment on that, sir?

I'll answer that, but I'd like to preface with a few other comments.

In a democracy, once the President and the Senate, as responsible authorities, make a decision then debate an opposition among the military, who, as you know, have opposed this treaty from the outset, must come to an end.

This is the way in war.

So it also must be in the councils of government here in Washington.

I have had no choice but to ask for the resignation of General James Scott.

At the same time, I have asked for the resignations of three other officers, General Hardesty, General Diefenbach -- the chiefs of staff of the Air Force and Army -- and General Riley, Commandant of the Marine Corps.

Yeah?

Yes, I've already heard.

He told me so.

Woman:...Solely because of the difference...

General, I'll be right out.

Difference of opinion regarding our nuclear pact with the Soviet Union.

That's correct.

Jim, all hell's broken loose.

General, he's asked them to resign --

Hardesty, Diefenbach, Riley, and yourself.

Riley called here. He tried to reach you.

Lyman got a hold of Farley Barnswell's statement.

It implicated all of us. Names, dates, the works.

Jim, what are we going to do?

When do we tape? You got my speech, didn't you?

Yes, but when this thing came out a few minutes ago, I had five network Vice Presidents on the phone.

Do I get on the air or don't I?

We've gone along with you on this, but for God's sake, we're in jeopardy now.

The last thing on God's earth we want is publicity!

Shut up, Prentice!

Harold?

General, it's out of my hands now.

What are you going to do, Jim?

I'm going to cut in on those television networks.

But he's asked for all of your resignations.

He won't get them.

He'll find that Diefenbach, Riley, and Hardesty are made of sterner stuff than present company.

Man: ...With reference to the Soviet treaty.

I can comment on that to this extent --

Americans, traditionally and historically, have given vent to their views.

On the day that this government does anything arbitrarily to stifle those views, it will have to change form.

It will cease to be a democracy.

And I can state, quite frankly, that this day will not come.

Gentlemen, the papers just handed me are the resignations of Generals Hardesty, Riley, and Diefenbach.

I'll repeat that, gentlemen.

These three officers have just officially tendered their resignations.

Their statements will be made public after this conference.

Before we have any further questions, may I insert these comments?

The point of this treaty, and I've reiterated this on a number of occasions, is that in every true sense, we force ourselves gradually to step away from an offensive posture.

We gradually move away from...

I'm sorry, sir.

Where to, sir?

...by accident or design, someone would push that button -- sir?

Take me home.

...and they must be responded to in the manner that...

Your General's just been shot down, Jiggs.

Yeah.

I have had to request the resignations...

Are those the bullets?

They might have been.

They weren't.

Ellie?

Yes?

Another rain check?

...the test of the action is, is it right?

Tuck it somewhere safe where you won't forget.

...to do it because it is what you must.

There's been abroad in this land in recent months a whisper that we have somehow lost our greatness, that we do not have the strength to win, without war, the struggles for liberty throughout the world.

This is slander.

Because our country is strong, strong enough to be a peacemaker.

It is proud, proud enough to be patient.

The whisperers and the detractors, the violent men, are wrong.

We remain strong and proud, peaceful and patient.

And we will see a day when on this earth all men will walk out of the long tunnels of tyranny into the bright sunshine of freedom.

Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, that was the President of the United States.

Captions by Vitac -- Burbank, Pittsburgh, Washington Captions paid for by Warner Bros. Inc.