(music playing on radio)
(indistinct police radio chatter)
(singing along): ♪ Don't you know ♪
♪ That I still care for you? ♪
♪ Send me... ♪
How you doin' tonight, officer?
OFFICER: I'm gonna need you to get outta the car.
(singing): ♪ So darling... ♪
OFFICER: Come on. Let's get out.
(continues singing) ♪ I can dream upon it too ♪
(song continues on radio)
-AGENT 1: Move! -AGENT 2: Go! Go!
Move! It's clear.
-Move, move, move. -Clear!
-Let's go, let's go! -Move! Move! Move! Move!
-(panicked shouting) -(horns blaring)
A plane just struck the Pentagon.
-(siren wailing) -(horns honking)
Let's make sure those phone lines are working.
Phones are go, sir.
The SVTC. Let's contact the FAA,
find out how many planes are in the air.
RICE: Yes, sir.
CHENEY: Let's get these televisions working.
RICE: May I get the president on the line, please?
HUGHES: We got planes in the air and nowhere for them to land.
CABINET MEMBER: I still have one plane unaccounted for
flying over Pennsylvania.
RICE: I need permission for them to land
at a Canadian airport.
WOMAN (on TV): ...very large plane. It was going fast.
CABINET MEMBER: Flying over Pennsylvania on course.
And three other planes are unaccounted for.
WOMAN: I'm seeing five planes unaccounted for.
No! Scratch that. I'm seeing four!
MINETA: I have NORAD on the line.
That is correct. He is. That is correct.
Mr. Vice President, POTUS on line one, sir.
The situation is, uh, extremely fluid.
I strongly recommend you stay in the air.
I have, uh, sequestered congressional leadership.
SCOOTER: Sir, Donald Rumsfeld is
at the Pentagon on line three.
-That? -SCOOTER: Mm-hmm. Yes, sir.
RUMSFELD (on speaker): Dick, are there still passenger planes in the air?
I need rules of engagement.
Let's get the President back on line, sir.
You have authorization to shoot down
any aircraft deemed a threat.
RUMSFELD: Presidential authority?
That is correct. All orders are UNODIR.
HUGHES: Unless otherwise directed.
NARRATOR: By all accounts of what people saw
in that room on that terrible day,
there was confusion...
But Dick Cheney saw something else
that no one else did.
He saw an opportunity.
As the world becomes more and more confusing,
we tend to focus on the things
that are right there in front of us...
while ignoring the massive forces
that actually change and shape our lives.
And with people working longer and longer hours,
for less and less,
when we do have free time,
the last thing we want is
complicated analysis of our government,
international trade agreements,
and tax bills.
(dance music playing)
NARRATOR: So it's no surprise
that when a monotone,
bureaucratic vice president came to power,
we hardly noticed--
-(shouting, crying) -(dog barking)
... as he achieved a position of authority
that very few leaders
in the history of America ever have--
-Vice President, for your-- -WOMAN: These tax cuts are--
-RUMSFELD: ...get this started? -That's for your fucking--
SOLDIER (screaming): I'm fucking dying!
NARRATOR: Forever changing the course of history
for millions and millions of lives.
And he did it like a ghost,
with most people having no idea who he is
or where he came from.
-(birds chirping) -(stream flowing gently)
NARRATOR: How does a man go on to become who he is?
Well, it starts in 1963...
when Dick's best girl, Lynne,
was getting straight A's at Colorado College.
Lynne had helped Dick get a scholarship at Yale...
where he did way more drinking than class attending.
Pretty soon, Dick got the boot.
Back then, they would've called
a guy like him a ne'er-do-well.
In today's parlance,
they would just call him a dirtbag.
-(man screaming) -(body thuds)
LINEMAN: Man down!
LINEMAN 2: Ooh!
His leg looks like an Elvis dance move.
Somebody give that poor son of a bitch a shot of whiskey.
LINEMAN BOSS: All right, back to work.
I said, back to work.
Take him into town, put five dollars in his pocket.
Find another man for tomorrow.
Somebody help. (groans)
You got a problem, Cheney?
-(music playing) -(indistinct chatter)
Are we becoming friends?
Will you stop touching me?
What are you gonna do about it, Mr. Yale?
The fuck you gonna do about it, Mr. Yale? Come on!
-There you go. -(grunting)
(singing): ♪ Send me the pillow ♪
♪ That you dream on ♪
♪ Don't you know I still care for you? ♪
(indistinct police radio chatter)
♪ Sen... ♪
I have to drag you out of that jail
like a filthy hobo.
CHENEY: I'm sorry, Lynne.
-What did you just say? -I'm sorry, Lynnie.
You're sorry? Don't call me "Lynnie."
One time is "I'm sorry."
Two times makes me think that I've picked the wrong man.
You already got your ass thrown out of Yale
for drinking and fighting.
And now you're just going to be a lush
that hangs power lines for the state?
Are you gonna live in a trailer?
We're gonna have ten kids? Is that the plan?
CHENEY: Can we discuss this later, please?
No, we're gonna discuss this right now
while you smell like vomit
and cheap booze.
-EDNA: Does Dick want some coffee? -What?
Mom, get out!
Get out. "Does Dick want some coffee?"
Jesus Christ! (sighs)
Okay. Here's my plan.
Either you stand up straight...
and you get your back straight...
and you have the courage to become someone,
or I'm gone.
I know a dozen guys
and a few professors at school who would date me.
I love you, Lynne.
Then prove it!
go to a big Ivy League school,
and I can't run a company or be mayor.
That's just the way the world is for a girl.
I need you.
And right now you are a big, fat, piss-soaked zero.
I've, I've seen my mom waitin' up all night
for my father to get home.
And I've seen my father drunk in this house
and raising his voice and way worse,
and I am not dancing that dance anymore. I'm not.
You know why I fuck her?
So can you change?
Can you change, or am I wasting my goddamn time?
CHENEY: I won't ever disappoint you again, Lynne.
(stream flowing gently)
(congressman speaking indistinctly)
CONGRESSMAN: You were chosen because of your hard work,
your diligence, and dedication.
Stated simply, you are America's best and brightest.
So let's go forward and learn and be of service.
God bless you all
and God bless this great nation.
And now, I'd like to introduce some-- a young man from Illinois
who has done quite well for himself
here in the Capitol.
Representative Donald Rumsfeld.
Did Bob tell you that this internship is a great honor?
-Did he? -(interns murmuring)
Well, it's not.
It's what we called in the Navy a "shit detail."
NARRATOR: Donald Rumsfeld,
or "Rummy," as they called him,
was the former captain of the Princeton wrestling team
and an elite navy jet pilot.
Most congressmen use their power like an axe.
Best and brightest.
NARRATOR: Rumsfeld, on the other hand, used his--
NARRATOR: ...like a master of the butterfly knife.
And, like any master, if you got in his way,
-he would cut you. -(grunts)
This can be a great opportunity.
An opportunity to work
in the hallways of decision-making
in the most powerful country in the goddamn world.
And if that doesn't give you a hard-on,
-I don't know what will. -(all laughing)
Sorry to the few ladies in the room.
This program didn't used to have girls, and now it does.
-Anyway, I'm Don. -(chuckles)
Whatever you do...
don't work for Bob over here.
He is the most boring son of a bitch in D.C.
Isn't that right, Bob?
All right, that's it.
Go get a congressman a cup of coffee.
And if his wife calls, he's always in a meeting.
All right, that's it. Scat.
Hey, I'm Alan.
You're the other guy from the University
2-of Wisconsin, right? -Right.
Uh, so one of us is supposed to start
with a Democrat and the other a Republican.
Do you care if I go with the Dem?
'Cause I did a lot of work with the DNC on campus, so...
Um, what party is, uh, the guy we just heard?
Well, there are three penises walking down the street.
Yeah, you, and who are the other two?
Rumsfeld is a Republican.
Perfect. 'Cause, uh...
that's what I am.
(knocking on door)
RUMSFELD: Don't lurk. Come in, damn it.
Um, Dick Cheney, reporting for work.
You're congressional relations
for my Office of Economic Opportunity,
and you will assist me in my job
as counselor to the president.
Jesus Christ, you want me
to pin your mittens to your sleeves
so you don't fuckin' lose 'em?
-Go. -Yes, sir.
Oh, and Cheney, your two DUIs came up on your transcript.
Don't worry. I vouched for you.
Thank you, sir.
No, thanks are when your neighbor Dottie
pulls your pud for the first time.
You owe me.
-Yes, sir. -Go!
The first thing our department did
was to conduct a sweeping audit
at the population distribution across the nation.
You will see that
the Office of Economic Opportunity benefits...
You're Rumsfeld's lackey, right?
Make sure he sees this.
We gotta get that on Nixon's desk, huh?
NARRATOR: Roger Ailes, founder of Fox News.
He first pitched the idea as Conservative News
when he worked for Nixon as a media consultant.
CHENEY: Hey, Don.
Roger wants Nixon to start a Republican news TV network.
Forget it. Roger knows TV, but he doesn't know politics.
So I would do this flaming baton trick
And Dick would wait backstage with a bucket of water.
So I'm at the state finals,
and I throw up the baton, and...
it doesn't come down.
Cheney! Oh. Where did you find her?
RUMSFELD: It is doing nothing but damage
to our private health care institutions.
-But I still got second place. -(Rumsfeld laughs)
RUMSFELD: White families. Males.
Women. Hispanics. Minorities...
You're quiet. I like that.
You don't go blabbing about what cards you have.
I missed my flush draw about a month ago,
but everybody still seems to think I have pocket kings
except maybe fucking Haldeman.
Oh, I mostly play Hearts, so I'm not...
No, no, no.
NARRATOR: For a man like Donald Rumsfeld,
he only wanted three things from his lackey.
He had to keep his mouth shut.
Do what he was told.
And always, always be loyal.
What it means is Nixon likes me,
but his circle hates me.
No, I'm sure that's not true.
So, what's it gonna be?
Is it a "yes" or a "no"?
It's a "yes."
You don't even know what the question is, do you?
-I'm assuming it's to-- -No, no, no. It's okay.
That's exactly the kinda "yes" I was looking for.
NARRATOR: Cheney had always been a so-so student
and a mediocre athlete.
But now, finally, he had found his life's calling.
He would be a dedicated and humble servant to power.
MAN: Here's your new office.
No windows, but all you'd see
are a bunch of hippies flipping off Nixon.
All right, then.
NARRATOR: Now, at this point,
you're probably wondering who exactly I am.
Well, let me introduce myself.
My name is Kurt.
My favorite football team is the Steelers,
and me and my son, we love SpongeBob.
And if you're wondering how I know
so much about Dick Cheney,
well, let's just say we're kind of related.
We'll get to that later.
ANNOUNCER (on TV): The Rifleman!
(dramatic music playing on TV)
-Hello? -CHENEY: Lynnie,
guess where I'm calling from.
I am so proud of you right now, Dick Cheney.
I knew I picked the right man. I knew it even when I didn't.
-We did it. -(Lynne laughs)
Have you seen Nixon? Hmm?
-(baby coos) -Hmm? Hmm?
I did. I met him. I shook his hand.
Oh, my gosh. (stammers) And he called you
-He gave me that, uh-- -By name, like he actually...
...that impish smile of his.
I gotta pinch myself.
Pardon my French.
It is the best fucking feeling in the world.
(gasps) I can only imagine. I am so proud of you.
- I love you. -We are proud of you.
Your girls are proud of you. Are you proud of your daddy?
Can you say you're proud of your daddy?
LIZ: My daddy.
LYNNE: You're proud of your daddy.
Oh, my goodness.
-(exhales deeply) -(phone ringing)
Dick Cheney's office.
So, now that I'm not just flipping cards,
I have a few ideas.
See that door?
To Kissinger's office?
I happen to know that Nixon is in there right now.
Now, why would Nixon
not be meeting Kissinger in the Oval Office?
CHENEY: He's having a conversation
he doesn't want to go on the record?
What is the conversation?
We're going to bomb Cambodia.
CHENEY: Well, that's impossible.
That needs approval by Congress.
I'm over there every day.
Oh, fuck Congress. Unless you're in it.
Then it's the greatest deliberative body on earth.
But we're not, so fuck it.
But didn't the president campaign on ending the--
(shushing) Listen to me, listen to me.
Because of the discussion
that Nixon and Kissinger are having right now
behind that door
five feet away from us,
in a couple of days, 10,000 miles away,
a rain of 750-pound bombs
dropped from B-52s
at 20,000 feet,
will hit villages and towns all across Cambodia.
Thousands will die.
And the world will change, for better or worse.
(woman speaking in foreign language)
That is the kind of power that exists
in this squat little ugly building.
Screw Kissinger. He's overrated. Let's go.
(woman speaking in foreign language)
CHENEY: So, what are we...
-Um, you know, I mean-- -Spit it out.
-What are you trying to say? -Are we against spending?
What do we believe?
What do we believe?
"What do we believe?"
Oh. That's very good.
"What do we believe?"
CHENEY: Like that, through there.
-You wanna try? -LIZ: Yeah.
CHENEY: You find out what the fish want.
In this case, it's a worm.
And then, uh, we use it to catch him.
Look it. Look it.
Dada. Dada, look.
The family gets to eat.
Is it a good trick we're playing, for the worms?
It's not good or bad. It's fishing.
I don't want this one hurt.
KURT: Dick had taken a job
as a political consultant for a large financial firm,
where he was finally making good money.
He took the job because Nixon's inner circle
had had enough of Donald Rumsfeld.
They're sending me to Brussels.
Nixon is making me permanent ambassador to NATO.
KURT: Or as he called it...
It's a fuck-off assignment.
Kissinger and Haldeman won.
Why don't you come with me?
I got a four and a seven-year-old, Don.
Tell Don we are not moving
just because everyone at the White House hates him.
-(thumps table) -Good boy!
I taught you well these past couple of years.
I'm sorry, Don.
I really am.
I'm like bedbugs.
You'll have to burn the mattress to get rid of me.
KURT: Dick was becoming sharper and sharper
as a D.C. insider.
And Lynne had started to write articles
and explore ideas for her first novel.
KURT: Then she received news from back home in Casper.
(indistinct radio chatter)
REVEREND: The Lord is my shepherd.
I shall not want.
KURT: Lynne's mother Edna,
who had avoided the water her whole life,
was found drowned in the local Casper lake.
REVEREND: ...paths of righteousness.
KURT: They said her and Wayne, Lynne's dad,
had had a nasty argument an hour before.
She doesn't swim, Dick.
-My mother doesn't swim. -What happened?
She never swam. I don't-- I don't know.
She just never swims, and then...
KURT: There was never a serious investigation
into Lynne's mom's death.
You wanna see me do a handstand right here?
-LYNNE: No. Don't. Dad. Dad. -I can do it right here.
WAYNE: They're getting so big.
LYNNE: You're gonna be all right, Dad.
-WAYNE: Yeah. Yeah. -They're big girls.
WAYNE: So listen, after this we should...
What should we do? Should we go get some food?
Dick, they were saying maybe--
Why don't you go to the car?
Come on, girls, let's listen to your father, all right?
(Cheney clears throat)
They're gettin' so beautiful, Dick. It's amazing.
You catching any fish?
How are you, Dick?
Things going good in D.C.?
Don't ever go near my daughters or my wife again.
"Big shot in D.C." Dick.
-CHENEY: Thanks. -Mm-hmm.
CHENEY: So, uh, what do you got?
Hassan Mustafa Nasr,
a cleric based in Milan, Italy.
He's a member of al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya,
the group that killed Anwar Sadat.
That's the blind sheikh, right?
CIA AGENT: There's some debate at Langley
on whether they're a threat or not.
They claim to be peaceful now.
I claim to be eating healthy.
Go pick him up.
What's the next name?
WOLFOWITZ: Well, Mr. Vice President,
there's been some chatter about, uh, uh...
an engineering student from Berlin...
NIXON: I have never been a quitter.
To leave office before my term is completed
is abhorrent to every instinct in my body.
But as president...
I must put the interests of America first.
America needs a full-time president.
Nixon forgot about the voice-activated recorders.
He got sloppy.
LIZ: Is the president being punished?
No, no. The president has a lot of enemies.
Brussels, please. (clears throat)
You need to remember, Lizzie--
NIXON: The fight in the months ahead for my personal vindication...
...that if you have power, people will always try to take it from you.
-Yeah. -Yes, ma'am.
You remember that.
Donald Rumsfeld, please.
This is a tragedy.
That is our president.
This is ridiculous.
I actually think this could be very, very good news.
The way I see it, any Republican not touched
by Watergate is golden right now.
Nice. Well, Ford called me before my plane took off,
and I think we're in.
Oh, still driving this chick magnet, huh?
You can always take the bus.
I shall resign the presidency,
effective at noon tomorrow.
Vice President Ford will be sworn in
as president at that hour...
RUMSFELD: So what's the plan?
Well, the plan is to take over the damn place.
RUMSFELD: Who lit a fire under your ass?
CHENEY: I haven't flipped cards for a long time, Don.
They gave me the keys to the damn palace.
Chief of Staff.
You salty son of a bitch.
-You did it. -(glasses clink)
All right, we have work to do.
Kissinger is trying to kiss and make up with the Soviets.
Well, let's make sure that shit doesn't happen.
CHENEY: If I may, I believe I may have a way
to put an oar in the water on Russia.
What if we create--
Hold on, Henry, let's hear Dick out.
KURT: One of Dick Cheney's special superpowers
was the ability to make
the most wild and extreme ideas
sound measured and professional.
What if, on a unilateral basis,
we all put miniature wigs on our penises
and we walked out to the White House lawn
and jerked each other off?
So, like a puppet show, but much more enjoyable.
Hmm. I do like a good puppet show.
I say we do it.
REPORTER: Henry Kissinger has been relieved
as national security advisor
and replaced by Brent Scowcroft.
REPORTER 2: They're calling it the Halloween Massacre.
-Mr. President. -Hold on, Henry.
REPORTER 3: Donald Rumsfeld has replaced
Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger.
REPORTER 4: And Dick Cheney has been chosen as the...
Youngest Chief of Staff in history.
-It's amazing. It's a dream. -CHENEY: It's real.
And Don is the youngest Secretary of Defense ever.
Well, I'm not talking about Don.
I'm talking about you.
And I'm going to give you
a kiss right here in the White House.
Excuse me, Mr. And Mrs. Cheney,
These girls were trying to enter the Oval Office.
-CHENEY: Oh, dear. Oh, dear. -(girls laughing)
-Girls... -Hey. Hey, there. Hey, you!
Girls, this is not a playground. Please do not...
Hey, you. Hey.
-Is this where Santa lives? -(gasps)
It's even better. It's even better.
This is where...
the leader of the greatest nation
on earth lives.
Are you one of his elves, Daddy?
CHENEY: In a way, yes.
No, he is not, Mary.
Your father is Chief of Staff.
Chief of Staff.
If you're silly with her,
she'll grow up to be a silly woman.
CHENEY: Right, of course. I forgot.
That's just, uh... That's just silly, Mary.
KURT: And as the new Chief of Staff,
and with the presidency weakened by Watergate,
Dick Cheney wanted to find out
exactly how much power did the president have.
I would like to reinstate executive authority.
KURT: Antonin Scalia,
a young lawyer with the Justice Department
who would later go on to serve on the Supreme Court
rocked Dick's world.
Interesting you should ask.
Are you familiar with the theory
of the unitary executive?
No. Tell me about it.
Uh, it is an interpretation
that few, like myself, happen to believe,
in Article II of the Constitution
that vests the president
with absolute executive authority.
And I mean absolute.
-Hey, baby? -Yep?
You wanna take Cole to the high chair?
Come on, buddy.
KURT: I've gotta try and explain
this thing to the people.
Oh, aren't you hungry? (grunts)
KURT: The unitary...
Certain legal scholars believe that
if the president does anything,
it must be legal,
because it's the president.
To hell with checks and balances,
especially during times of war.
This was the power of kings, pharaohs, dictators.
-This is perfect. -SCALIA: Mm-hmm.
KURT: Dick Cheney was a foot soldier
in the power games of Washington, D.C.
But with the unitary executive theory,
he could become...
(voice distorts) Galactus, Devourer of Planets.
But then it was election night,
and there was one big problem.
The winner, with 272 electoral votes...
we had wondered which one of us
was going to make this announcement.
James Earl Carter,
the next president of the United States.
KURT: And just like that, it was all over.
Dick Cheney, the president's Chief of Staff,
he does not have a job.
At one point, he was a broker.
It can't be. It's got to be some sort of a mistake.
-A miscalculation. -There goes the neighborhood.
(reporter continues indistinctly)
thank you all.
REPORTER 1: The Republicans have lost the presidency.
They are the minority in Congress and in most states.
With America demanding change, I don't see...
REPORTER 2: The GOP is a party in disarray.
Clearly, Watergate, the Vietnam War...
REPORTER 3: President Carter went up
on the roof of the White House today
to show off the new solar water heaters
CARTER: Today, in directly harnessing
the power of the sun, we are taking
the energy that God gave us,
the most renewable energy that we will ever see,
and using it to replace our dwindling supplies
of fossil fuels.
There is no longer any question
that solar energy
is both feasible and also cost-effective.
CHENEY: ...went on to be Secretary of Defense.
Al Haig, who became Supreme Allied Commander in Europe,
and, uh, Bob Haldeman, who is doing time
in a California penitentiary.
Well, not me. Not me, sir.
I, I will become the gentleman from Wyoming.
Most of all, and hear this,
uh, taxes must go down.
I'll say it again, taxes must go down.
-Talk. Talk. -CHENEY: We must ameliorate the pain of taxes
for the working man
and bring, uh... (clears throat)
...perspicacity to the fore.
I'm as much a Wyomingite, our, uh, demonym...
MAN: Blah, blah, blah.
Thank God for name recognition.
CHENEY: ...as Jedediah Smith.
Well, um, enough of the horsing around.
Although that is, of course, what, uh, us cowboys do.
Uh, vote for Cheney for Congress.
I will not let you down, you can count on me.
And, uh, thank you.
Vote for, uh, Cheney in Congress.
Either he drinks next time or I do.
I don't want anyone to panic,
but, uh, I do believe I have to go to the hospital.
DOCTOR: It's an inferior wall infarct.
But that, that can be fixed, right?
If it was up to me,
you'd drop out of the election.
But you've both made that clear
that it's not an option,
so you must have a minimum of two weeks bed rest.
Two weeks off, we'll lose our lead.
Like hell we will.
MAYOR: Dick Cheney has an illness,
so he can't be here today.
But we got his wife, and she's a darn pretty girl.
-Lynne Cheney! -(applause)
Hello, how are you today?
Good, good, good to hear.
Uh, it's really nice to be back in my home state.
See, I grew up in Wyoming, but it seems that, uh,
somewhere along the line,
Washington, D.C. stopped listening
to real folks like us
and started only listening to liberal snobs
who want us all to lose our jobs
to affirmative action.
Okay, Lynne. Let's...
(applause and cheering)
LYNNE: That's right.
You know, I went to New York City.
Women in New York City are burning their bras.
Well, you know what women in Wyoming do with our bras?
We wear them.
-(crowd cheering) -LYNNE: We wear them.
Here in Wyoming,
we believe there is a right and a wrong...
Because I'm a mom and a wife from Wyoming
and I know how it feels to make every penny count.
And not only do I speak for you,
but my husband, Dick Cheney...
KURT: A hard wind of change
had been blowing through America.
Civil rights, Roe v. Wade, environmentalism,
but there was a part of the country
that was angry about this change.
Thanks to my amazing wife.
It's good to be joining you all here in D.C.
as Wyoming's sole congressional representative.
KURT: And then, big money families
like the Kochs and the Coors
that were sick of paying income taxes
rolled right into Washington, D.C.
and started writing fat checks
to fund right-wing think tanks...
that would change the way
many Americans looked at the world.
Finally, in 1980, this unlikely revolution
of the super-rich and white conservatives
found its face.
REAGAN: For those without skills,
we'll find a way to help them get new skills.
For those without job opportunities,
we'll stimulate new opportunities,
particularly in the inner cities where they live.
For those who've abandoned hope,
we'll restore hope and we'll welcome them
into a great national crusade
to make America great again.
Thank you very much.
God bless America.
KURT: It was the fucking 1980s,
and it was a hell of a time to be Dick Cheney.
Vote on H.R.4445,
the Undetectable Firearms Act,
to ban plastic guns that can evade metal detectors.
REAGAN: Well, thank you, Congressmen Cheney.
I hear you've been quite the ally.
CLERK: ...establishing Martin Luther King Jr. Day
as a federal holiday.
H.R.36441, the Endangered Species Act.
Mr. T is here, right with the First Family.
Vote on H.R.500, the Water Quality Act.
-Out! -WOMAN: Woo!
MAN: Vote on H.R.44...
Someone call an ambulance!
-Can you breathe? -CHENEY: I'm having a heart attack, you idiot.
CHENEY: Thank you, Alex, for your very responsible...
WOMAN: Oh, congratulations.
Thank you. I was very, very excited...
-We are not wolves. -LYNNE: Thank you.
No, thank you.
Oh, they're both brilliant but broke.
-Hey, George. -GEORGE BUSH SR.: Hey, Dick.
-Hello, Lynne. -(kisses)
Congratulations on your appointment.
Oh, well, thank you, Mr. Vice President.
How is your lovely family?
Well, we think our son Jeb seems cut out for office.
We may be asking for your endorsements in a few years.
Well, if he's half as charming as you are, George,
then you'll have both of our votes.
Ah, can I get that in writing?
Oh, yeah, of course.
Dick, I just want to say thank you
for getting the House not to override
the president's veto on the fairness doctrine.
No, not a problem.
Happy to get rid of any big government regulations.
Thank you. Great.
KURT: The fairness doctrine was a law from the 40s
that required any broadcast TV or radio news
to present both sides of an issue equally.
Its repeal would lead to the rise of opinion news.
Let me tell you something, you skinny human prophylactic.
Love is the only human emotion you can't fake.
Except women. And thank God they can.
And eventually to the realization
of Roger Ailes' dream.
Fox News, which would go on to become
the number one news station in the United States
and swing America even more to the right.
Thank you. Great.
-(clattering) -(waitress gasps)
Sorry. Sorry. Hey, it's all right.
Lighten up, sweetheart. It's a party.
GEORGE BUSH SR.: Let me go see if I can see
if everything's okay over there.
Great to see you both. Love to the girls.
Love to Barbara.
-That's his son. -Oh, crap.
George W., black sheep of the family.
-Very boring people. Only in America... -GEORGE BUSH SR.: Let's go.
A little too much unconditional love there.
Can you feel it, Dick?
Half the room wants to be us.
The other half fears us.
I know George is next in line, but...
after that, who knows?
I respect the hell out of Reagan,
but no one has shown the world the true power
of the American presidency.
Excuse me, Miss Mary!
You cannot leave the grounds during school hours. Mary!
-(tires screech) -(horn blares)
LYNNE: Well, I don't understand.
You just left school? Why?
It doesn't make any sense.
It was Susan.
LYNNE: Susan, your best friend?
Oh, honey, did you get in a fight over a boy or...
(sobbing) She broke up with me.
I like girls.
It doesn't matter, sweetheart.
We love you no matter what.
I love you so much.
This is going to make things...
so hard for you.
(man speaking indistinctly)
When George Bush Sr. was elected president,
Dick Cheney was made Secretary of Defense,
sixth in line to the presidency.
And after a few years,
it was Dick's turn to run for president.
So they decided to do some early polling numbers.
Uh-huh. Guess that's it.
LYNNE: We can move those numbers. Just...
go after the welfare state,
-regulations, government waste. -It'll be war.
I can't put Mary through that.
Every primary opponent will go after her.
LYNNE: And we deny.
Shame them for going after the family and...
LYNNE: You let Grandma go.
PERRY: Come on. Good boy.
No. Oh, my goodness.
(Lynne exclaims and laughs)
MARY: It's great, Philip.
Uh, Coors has me mapping out strategies
for people living alternative lifestyles.
The Coors are a wonderful family.
They're good people. (clears throat)
LYNNE: Who is calling on a Sunday morning?
CHENEY: I don't know.
Okay. I'm coming.
Any way I can be of assistance.
Yep, now that should work. 3:00 p.m.
Oh, that, uh...
that goes without saying.
No, thank you.
-Who was that? -(phone beeps)
It was someone from
George Bush's son's, uh, campaign.
No, no, George W.
-Uh, Jeb's Florida. -Right, right.
Oh, I still can't believe they've got
that poor boy running for president.
(chuckles softly) What'd they want?
They want to talk to me about being his running mate.
They didn't say it outright,
I've made that call myself.
That's what they want.
A vice president is a nothing job.
Well, I'll just hear 'em out.
I owe that to the father.
The VP just sits around
and waits for the president to die.
You've said so yourself.
Yeah, it's a cruddy job.
It's just a meeting.
Is it just a meeting?
It's just a meeting.
THERESA: Yes, Governor.
The governor will see you now, Secretary Cheney.
GEORGE W. BUSH: Hey! Hello, Dick.
It's been a while.
Foreign policy sessions.
That's right. Yeah, that's right.
Those meetings were, uh...
I do remember we both agreed
my dad would've been re-elected
had he taken out Saddam.
Right. Yeah, wartime presidents.
That they are. That they are.
on a... successful primary.
I've, uh, been through a few myself,
and they can be, shall we say...
(stutters) It's a grind.
It's a grind, I'll tell you.
Buses, bologna sandwiches.
Hell, I like people, but, I mean,
you know, enough's enough.
that call I received...
I forgot, you're a brass tacks guy,
aren't ya? I like that.
You surprised I'm running for president?
CHENEY (thinking): He wants to impress his father
more than anything.
After my, uh, shall we say, wild years?
Well, George, I sowed some oats myself
back in the day.
And I still enjoy a cold beer on occasion.
-I bet you did. -Mmm.
I bet you did, you rascal.
I can't anymore. It got bad.
CHENEY: What does he really want?
What does he need?
GEORGE W. BUSH: It's tough, I'll tell ya.
I lost my first congressional race,
and it was not good.
How 'bout some brisket?
GEORGE W. BUSH: Hey, Theresa! Hey, Theresa!
-Yell up, get some brisket. -THERESA: All right, we'll find some.
-GEORGE W. BUSH: Get the burnt ends. -THERESA: 'Course.
So listen, I got a...
"lack of experience" problem in the polls,
and you are one of the most experienced guys around.
You wanna jump on board, be my vice?
Don't be honored, fuckin' say yes, Mr. Brass Tacks.
Mmm. I have to say, uh, no.
Dick, come on, we're gonna have a lot of fun.
What are you doin' right now? You're in the private sector?
Come on, I know you love politics.
-Let's go. -Not gonna happen.
-Come on now. -(chuckles)
Well, that's a shame.
Perhaps I could, uh...
help you find the right running mate.
Run my VP search team?
Mmm. No team. Just me.
Yeah, yeah, that could work, that could...
I have to run it by Rove, of course, but, uh...
If I lose, maybe I could become
-commissioner of baseball. -(chuckles)
But the, um, idea...
is to win.
I'm gonna keep you in the back of my mind.
So, are you going to tell me how it went today or not?
It was very interesting.
He is, uh...
He's very green.
And you told him "no"?
I told him I would help with the, uh...
with the search.
What are you thinking?
-I can tell you're thinking. -Mm-hmm.
KURT: What was Dick Cheney thinking...
I'm thinking I've never seen anything like this.
KURT: ...after his first meeting with George W.?
We've had a lot of successes, Dick.
And the vice president is a nothing job.
KURT: How many steps ahead was he looking?
How did he feel about the opportunity
that was in front of him?
There are certain moments
-like a teacup and saucer... -(girls crying)
...stacked on a teacup and saucer
on a teacup and saucer...
Can you change, or am I wasting...
KURT: ...and on and on...
that this moment could fall in any direction...
and change everything.
Sadly, there's no real way
to know exactly what was going on
-inside the Cheneys... -(inaudible dialogue)
...at this history-changing moment.
We can't just snap into a Shakespearean soliloquy
that dramatizes every feeling and motivation.
(chuckles) That's just not the way the world works.
My sweet Richard.
Dance'd nimbly round the king's hearth thou hath.
Even whilst clamored I for more, more!
-Mm. -Parched maw craned towards
the drip, drip of imagined waters.
But I say to you now, rest, retire.
Thou hast honored thy vows to wife and crown.
Has blindness usurped vision in you, my wife?
No mere treaty is our union.
Thou shared thy torch's flame with mine.
Revealing halls and spires...
...of long faded empires.
And now, I may hold aloft
mine own fiery cresset.
And make flesh our bond of power.
Dare I let hope's beak place gathered bramble
upon my heart for future's nest?
Many winters past hath I let this hope die,
cruel winds silencing tiny birds' needy cries.
Now that it hath arrived, I say yea.
Mine own blood and will are yours
'til pierced be
the last soldier's breastplate,
spilling forth its ruby jelly treasures.
So I think we, uh, proceed.
What about Mary?
Mmm. It's VP.
Not the same scrutiny.
No. He has allies, Dick. Connections.
You're new to his world. You don't know the landscape.
Well, I had better conduct a very thorough search.
Every stone, hell, every grain of sand
needs to be looked under for this questionnaire.
Dick, we're asking for all financials,
all medical, all interviews,
press, writings, all legal records...
Sometimes people use LLCs to hide certain monies.
Any more comprehensive
and we would need a rubber glove.
That wasn't offensive.
Should I be offended?
Well, I'm offended.
Dave didn't worry if I'd be offended.
LIZ: Oh, a rubber glove, like a proctology exam.
-That's, that's disgusting. -(phone ringing)
Hello? Oh, hello...
MARY: Dad, I'm taking the cheese off your pizza.
-LYNNE: Honey? -CHENEY: Mmm?
One. A big one.
KURT: David Addington, Dick's main legal advisor
and a huge believer in the unitary executive theory.
He was known for telling people to their face
that they're stupid.
So the, uh, vice presidency is part of the executive branch.
And because the VP casts
tie-breaking votes in the Senate,
also part of the legislative branch, right?
the VP is also
not part of the executive or the legislative.
one could argue that, uh...
has oversight of the VP.
Not only could one argue that, I'm arguing it.
That's brilliant, David.
I know. Right?
GEORGE W. BUSH: Karl Rove wanted me to buy this ranch,
distance myself from my years at Yale and Harvard,
make me more of a man of the people for the election.
So we gonna do this thing or what? I mean, is this happening?
We, uh, have found some very interesting candidates.
Um, if we could schedule
a three-hour window to get through...
I meant you. I want you to be my VP.
-You're the solution to my problems. -No.
I'm CEO of a large company.
I have been, uh, Secretary of Defense.
I have been Chief of Staff.
Uh, the vice presidency is mostly a symbolic job.
I can see how that wouldn't be, uh...
enticing to you.
the vice presidency is also defined by the president.
And if we were to come to a, uh...
Uh-huh. Go on.
I sense that, uh, you're a kinetic leader.
You make decisions based on instinct.
I am. People always said that.
Yeah, yeah. Very different.
Very different from, uh,
from your father in that regard.
Now, maybe I can, uh,
handle some of the more mundane jobs.
uh, energy, uh, foreign policy.
That sounds good.
GEORGE W. BUSH: Never wanna be the kind of team owner
that, uh, pulls the starter in the fourth inning.
-Mm-hmm. -That's the manager's job.
One more thing.
My daughter, Mary.
Right. Rove told me she likes girls.
Now, I know you have to, uh, run against, uh,
gay marriage in the South, Midwest, and, uh...
(clears throat) But it's my daughter,
and that line is drawn in concrete.
Don't you say another word.
So long as you don't mind us pushing that messaging,
we're okay with you sittin' that one out.
I think it's important for all the...
all the Marys in the world, you know?
No problemo. We got a deal?
Then I believe this could work.
(chuckles) Hot damn!
Yeah. Well, good. Hey...
-let's celebrate. -GEORGE W. BUSH: Secretary Cheney visited me and Laura
at our ranch in Crawford, Texas...
I realized the best choice was standing by my side.
Please welcome my friend
and my running mate Dick Cheney...
...and his lovely wife Lynne.
KURT: Dick never filled out
his own 83-question questionnaire.
Full medical records were never handed over.
No tax or corporate filings. Nothing.
AUDIENCE (chanting): Cheney! Cheney! Cheney!
KING: To reach more of his senior aides
to find out reasons.
But we were told when he came over,
he had already called Governor Bush,
he had wished him well, and that he would deliver
a brief concession speech here tonight.
LYNNE: I don't know.
WOODRUFF: I think we're all sitting around
wondering what it is that, uh,
-he may be doing backstage. -They just keep going on and on.
Gore rescinded his concession.
They're claiming Florida is too close to call.
He can't fucking rescind his concession.
He just did.
The Russians are loving this.
There's gonna be a recount, so...
LYNNE: I don't know.
SCOOTER: What should we do?
We play it like we've already won.
Which means we need to staff the White House.
All right. Who's leading the transition team?
I'll do it.
That's not something a vice president
really does, is it?
-It is now. -REPORTER: Vice President Gore
has called Governor Bush
and retracted his concession,
-because he is now... -(all exclaim)
-LYNNE: What? -...of the mind that things could be turning
yet again in Florida.
LYNNE: You can't do that!
I mean, that's laughable.
Depends on who your Secretary of Defense is.
-CHENEY: Rummy. -Hundred percent.
Uh, doesn't Bush Senior hate Rummy?
CHENEY: Not such a bad thing with W.
He wants to be his own man.
Rumsfeld believes in a robust executive.
That's good for us on war powers.
Just keep him out of State, he'll start World War III.
-(chuckles) -CHENEY: Look.
Halliburton just gave us a $26 million exit package.
Twice what we expected.
They're no dummies.
Uh, sorry, gang.
Think, uh, perhaps I should go to the hospital.
LYNNE: Oh, my God. Are you kidding me? Oh, come on.
MARSHAL: Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!
All persons having business with the Honorable,
the Supreme Court of the United States
are admonished to draw near and give their attention,
for the Court is now sitting.
God bless the United States and...
KURT: December 12th, 2000. Antonin Scalia, remember him,
and the Supreme Court stopped the state of Florida
from completing their recount.
MARSHAL: God save the United States
-and this Honorable Court. -KURT: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
were going to the White House by a margin of 537 votes.
Hey. Hey, little Mary Claire.
Hey, little Mary. My little Mary.
Hey, what are you doing? What are you doing? Hmm?
LYNNE: Oh, they're both doing really well.
Except, I'm trying to make this dinner.
And it's, uh...
it's this macaroni and cheese
that you said was easy
but it keeps just coming out like a little watery.
CHENEY: It's the milk. Remember?
You gotta add more milk.
Yeah. It'll get thicker.
No, no, no, no.
I am. It's much better when you use the milk.
LYNNE: There's just so much,
so much I want to say right now,
and just, you keep doing what you're doing.
You're doing so great.
You have earned something very special from your wife.
Listen, listen, listen.
I'm buying wine, and I'm picking something up.
LYNNE: Okay, I really love you.
CHENEY: I love you.
-LYNNE: Yeah. -(both laugh)
RUMSFELD: Good morning to you too.
ADDINGTON: We've met a few times.
-It's nice to see you. -Yes.
All right. Let's...
All right. Let's get this thing underway.
Scooter, why don't you let everyone know
the, um, lay of the land?
SCOOTER: Of course. As you all know,
I am Scooter Libby,
Dick's Chief of Staff.
Uh, I'm also his national security advisor
and a special advisor to the president.
Technically, Scooter outranks any of Bush's people.
Mary Matalin will serve as counselor to the VP
and assistant to Bush.
Dick's main legal counsel,
will play center field on all matters
relating to executive power.
The president has Alberto Gonzales,
Karen Hughes as his team.
Quite frankly, Gonzales has no clue.
Um... Rove is a hack.
Hughes should be in double-A ball.
So we will have fairly unobstructed access
to the Oval Office.
We will be automatically
Bcc'd on all e-mails
that the president receives or sends,
as well as have access to his schedule
the second that it is set or changed.
CHENEY: And we will also be receiving
the daily intelligence briefing before the president.
That gets us inside the decision curve.
Which we'll actually be reading.
Bush approved all of this?
Mmm, we have, uh,
What about the e-mails?
Paper shredders don't work for e-mails.
The entire administration will run off
the RNC's private server.
And we've deactivated automatic archiving.
So over at the Pentagon, we got Don,
-Secretary of Defense. -RUMSFELD: Mm-hmm.
SCOOTER: Paul Wolfowitz,
who worked with Team B in the Ford days,
Deputy Secretary of Defense.
CHENEY: Let's check,
see what plans
they had to invade Iraq.
It's already in the works.
Got Ashcroft over at the DOJ.
State seems to be the only tricky department.
That's Colin Powell, his guy Lawrence Wilkerson.
Colin Powell, who never met a camera he didn't like.
Wilkerson's a true believer.
WOLFOWITZ: We've got Bolton over there.
He's a loose cannon, but he's loyal.
Mmm. I wanna get Liz in there as well.
Let's make sure that happens.
-Okay, Dad. -Consider it done.
And this list of, uh, our people
does not include about 800 others,
uh, lobbyists, industry insiders
that we placed in the regulatory jobs.
What about Bush's friends?
Ridge? Pataki? Thompson?
I haven't heard their names.
They were not, um, offered jobs
in this administration, uh, at this time.
RUMSFELD: Not offered jobs at this time?
Are you even more ruthless than you used to be there, Dick?
Or are you just not getting laid?
All right, moving on.
Um, got Paul O'Neill.
You haven't been here in over twenty years.
Times have changed.
The, uh, softer touch,
that's the norm now.
We have the conservative TV and radio
-doing the yelling for us. -Mm-hmm.
RUMSFELD: Is your old friend embarrassing you?
Is that it, Dick?
Soft touch. That's all.
All right, I have to go to my office
at the House of Representatives.
You mean the Senate?
Vice president, tiebreaker in the Senate.
Nope, I mean the House.
KURT: Dick Cheney had used an old connection
with former wrestling coach
and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert
to get an office at the House of Representatives.
The House is where revenue bills originate,
and he wanted to be near the money faucet.
Hey, Dick. Will this work for you?
Two more offices in the Senate.
Hey, Dick, I found this extra office.
I hope it works for you.
And one in the Pentagon.
Welcome to your new home away from home.
I got you a little housewarming gift.
KURT: And later, when Cheney needed intelligence
to invade Iraq,
a conference room at the CIA.
This room is soundproof and secure.
KURT: Cheney was everywhere.
But the most powerful place in all of D.C.
was a nondescript conference room
at a relatively new think tank
called Americans for Tax Reform.
Grover Norquist ran the anti-tax group
with huge funding from the Koch brothers network,
big oil, and big tobacco.
His "Wednesday meeting,"
as it was called, had become the center
of the Republican world.
Let's go ahead and start with the estate tax.
Now, this has been hard to eliminate,
because the tax only affects those estates
worth over two million.
But we've made strides,
and marketing guru Frank Luntz is here to help.
Getting regular people to support cutting taxes
on the very wealthy
has always been extremely hard.
We've had some success in the past,
but the estate tax has always been very difficult.
I think we may have had a breakthrough.
Now, the estate tax kicks in
on anyone inheriting over two million dollars.
How many of you have a problem with that?
Okay. How many of you would have
a problem with something called
a death tax?
Instead of global warming,
which we all agree sounds very scary...
we call it
RADIO HOST: Folks, the government
is taking your money after you die.
LIMBAUGH (on radio): Now, we all know the Democrats
despise tax cuts, especially for the rich.
GOLDBERG (on TV): I want somebody to get rid
of the death tax, that's what I want.
I don't want to get taxed just 'cause I die.
LIMBAUGH: I mean, give me a break!
GOLDBERG: If I give something to my kid, I already paid the tax.
Why I gotta pay again 'cause I died?
It's like being chastised! I hate it.
The death tax has to go.
The elite liberals in Washington would tax us
for laughing or crying if they could.
So, with one of the biggest media
and political machines ever created behind him,
Cheney was able to squash action on global warming,
cut taxes for the super rich,
and gut regulations for massive corporations.
And then there was Cheney's
National Energy Policy Development Group.
His first major test to expand executive power.
I don't understand what the goddamn problem is.
I want to hear what the energy CEOs need,
and I'm not allowed to?
-ADDINGTON: It's called FACA. -The hell is FACA?
ADDINGTON: It's the Federal Advisory Committees Act.
Congress got their panties in a bunch that, you know,
elected officials would just let CEOs roll in
and, you know, write the laws.
The act demands that, uh,
appropriate government employees be present.
Hold on a second.
What's your name?
Doug, how long have you been working reception
at the Department of Energy?
So what am I supposed to do here?
Just sit there and be quiet.
-(clears throat) Gentlemen. -Hello. (clears throat)
How's your business at... (bleep)
We're good. Our stock... (bleep)
And California has been really... (bleep)
-since deregulation. -CHENEY: Great to hear.
Oh. He's with the energy department.
(indistinct audio on earphones)
KURT: The details of Cheney's meetings
with the energy CEOs were never disclosed.
But a Freedom of Information request
did provide some documents,
including a map of Iraq's oil fields
with all of the oil companies
that would be interested in acquiring them
if somehow they were ever to become available.
And then, it happened.
Would you like to lower your monthly mortgage payments
or use the equity in your home to consolidate
your credit card or other debts?
LIN ( TV): Yeah. This just in.
You are looking at obviously
a very disturbing live shot there.
That is the World Trade Center,
and we have unconfirmed reports this morning
that a plane has crashed into one of the towers.
DAHLER (on TV): It... it does not appear
that there's any kind of an effort up there yet.
-Now, remember... Oh, my God. -(Matalin gasps)
-NEWS STAFFER: Oh, God! -Dear God.
JENNINGS (on TV): That looks like a second plane.
AGENT: Mr. Vice President, we have information
that a plane's headed to the White House this moment.
We have less than a minute to get to the secure underground bunker.
Let's go! Move!
Move! It's clear!
Sir, this way. Right now.
REPORTER: Capitol is being evacuated, we're told,
and clearly that shot that we have on our screen now,
this is the Pentagon
just across the river from Washington, D.C.
You got to believe...
I need you to take me to Dick.
Mrs. Cheney, we cannot go back to the White House,
I am being told no one...
Either you take me to the White House...
-(sirens wailing) -(indistinct chatter)
Author is on the move. Coming out.
REPORTER (on TV): ...the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.
STAFFER: Have you gotten the Prime Minister yet?
WOMAN (on TV): ...headed directly into the World Trade Center.
(sobs) It just flew into it.
HUGHES: Canada's Prime Minister is on the phone.
That's right, we got planes in the air
and nowhere for them to land.
RICE: Permission for them to land at Canadian airports,
international flights into Newfoundland.
MINETA: I still have one plane unaccounted for
flying over Pennsylvania.
SCOOTER: Sir, Donald Rumsfeld
is at the Pentagon on line three.
-That? -SCOOTER: Mm-hmm.
CHENEY: You have authorization
to shoot down any aircraft
deemed a threat.
RUMSFELD: Presidential authority?
CHENEY: That is correct.
All orders are UNODIR.
RICE: "UNODIR", sir?
HUGHES: Unless otherwise directed.
RICE: Mr. Vice President, are we sure these are
the proper rules of engagement?
The country's under attack, the ROE is fluid.
-David... Addington, David. -ADDINGTON: Yes, sir.
KURT: Now, we don't know exactly
what the people in that room were thinking.
But it's safe to assume
that at least one person wondered why
in the midst of the most fateful day
in American history
was Dick Cheney talking to his lawyer.
And, um, what, um...
-Mr. Vice President? -...authority will he need?
-So, start working on... -(clears throat)
Mr. Vice President?
The congressional members you sent
to Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center
-wanna leave. -Nope.
HUGHES: Excuse me?
(sighs) They're not going anywhere.
Just, uh, tell them, um, we have all the helicopters.
I'm sorry, that is a negative.
They are to remain where they are.
There's no helicopters available for evac.
That is correct.
If you would be so kind to relay that information.
LYNNE: Are we at war?
Yes, we are.
LYNNE: With whom?
RADIO OPERATOR: Depot street.
Truck pulling in across from Depot Street.
(indistinct radio chatter)
Unit 9-3. 0-3-15 negative.
(radio chatter continues)
God damn it.
TENET: We picked up chatter
from well-known Al-Qaeda operatives
celebrating today's attack.
RUMSFELD: We shouldn't rule out Iraq.
RICE: But what's Al-Qaeda's leader's name?
His name is Osama bin Laden.
CLARKE: But this is clearly Al-Qaeda.
I've been tracking their movements for years.
Their fingerprints are all over this.
Iraq has all the good targets.
Iraq has nothing to do with this, Don.
RUMSFELD: Richard, you don't know that for sure.
CLARKE: I do know that.
POWELL: Mr. President, if I may.
Afghanistan is Al-Qaeda's headquarters.
-That is where our focus should be. -CLARKE: Yeah.
TENET: And the CIA would be capable of taking out
the Taliban's power structure.
RUMSFELD: Yeah. All due respect, George,
we are the Pentagon,
and this is what we do.
Okay. We'll, uh, we'll go with Tenet and the CIA.
I'll make some calls to our allies.
RICE: Thank you, sir.
I think, uh, given the current situation, Mr. President,
it is wise that we not be in the same location
for COG, Continuity of Government.
GEORGE W. BUSH: Of course.
We gonna be all right on this, aren't we?
Yes, sir. Yes, we are.
AGENT 1 (on radio): Angler has taken off to an undisclosed location.
I repeat, Angler is airborne.
AGENT 2: Angler? That's the VP?
I thought only the president could land
and take off from the south lawn.
AGENT 1: What can I tell you?
This intelligence has been edited,
redacted, and reduced.
Mr. Vice President, usually we vet
the daily intelligence threat matrix
to eliminate unreliable sources, non-players...
Stop. Don't you dare give me a damn disquisition...
on what I cannot hear.
FEMALE OFFICER 1: Mr. Vice President,
a lot of this intelligence is not verified.
CHENEY: I'm gonna say this for the last time.
I want to hear everything
every day, from now on.
MALE OFFICER: Yes, sir.
-CHENEY: Proceed. -(clears throat)
We're tracking the possibility of bio-attacks
using Sarin gas, cowpox, Ebola.
There was a post on a dark website
about mass beheadings in residential areas.
MALE OFFICER 1: Movie studios, museums,
subways, daycare centers may all be targets.
A source has told an asset
about fire-bombs targeting hospitals.
FEMALE OFFICER 1: A video was captured
describing televised executions
interrupting American network TV.
MALE OFFICER 2: Sporting events, tourist attractions,
New Year's celebrations, religious ceremonies,
are all hard targets.
MALE OFFICER 3: Machine-gun attacks at high-profile...
FEMALE OFFICER 2: Biological agents inside...
FEMALE OFFICER 1: Coordinated fire-bombings
of commuter trains across North America.
MALE OFFICER 2: Water filtration plants targeted with bio-weapons
and killing a million people.
FEMALE OFFICER 1: A briefcase nuke
being driven into a major city and detonated.
MALE OFFICER 2: Airborne bio-weapons can be put
into the air conditioning units
of large shopping malls or casinos.
FEMALE OFFICER 3: A beloved celebrity has been targeted
for kidnapping and possibly beheading.
MALE OFFICER 2: Phosphorus bombs,
chlorine attacks, mustard gas, cluster bombs...
I'm scared, Dick.
I'll always take care of you, Lynne.
You know that.
What are you going to do?
(stream flowing gently)
(men shout indistinctly)
SOLDIER: Move, move, move!
So, while Powell, the CIA,
and their international coalition
toppled the Taliban and took Afghanistan
in a matter of weeks,
Cheney had found something much more powerful
than missiles or jet planes.
BYBEE: Mr. Vice President, this is John Yoo.
It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Vice President.
BYBEE: So David told me you're looking
for executive authority.
John here is definitely your guy.
The war we're now fighting
will require resources and abilities that the, uh...
the current interpretation of the law... impedes.
The vice president believes
it is the duty of the commander-in-chief
to protect the nation
and that no other obligation,
whether to Congress or existing treaty
supersedes that dut.
How do you feel about that statemen?
I couldn't agree more.
KURT: John Yoo's first legal opinion
allowed the US government
to monitor every citizens' phone calls,
texts, and e-mails without a warrant.
KURT: It was a giant legal leap
based on sketchy law at best.
But John Yoo's masterpiece,
his Moby-Dick, if you will,
was the torture memo.
...your fucking contact is!
Where're your fucking hands?
What about the Geneva Convention?
The Geneva Convention is open to interpretation.
What exactly does that mean?
-(man shouting, indistinct) -ADDINGTON: Stress positions,
waterboarding, confided spaces, dogs...
We're calling it "enhanced interrogation."
Are we sure none of this fits
in the definition of "torture"?
The US doesn't torture.
Therefore, if the US does it,
by definition, it can't be torture.
-(dogs barking) -(man screaming)
KURT: But torture and privacy laws
weren't the only laws Cheney re-wrote with John Yoo.
They had a full menu of legal opinions
stretching and challenging constitutional
and international law.
WAITER: Good evening, gentlemen.
Tonight we're offering the enemy combatant,
whereby a person is not a prisoner of war,
or a criminal, which means of course
that he has absolutely no protection under the law.
We're also offering an extraordinary rendition
where suspects are abducted without record on foreign soil
and taken to foreign prisons
in countries that still torture.
Oh, that sounds delicious.
We also have Guantanamo Bay,
which is very, very complicated,
but it does allow you to operate
outside the purview of due process
on land which isn't technically US territory,
but where we still do have control.
And also, we have a very fresh and delicious
War Powers Act interpretation
which gives the executive branch broad powers
to attack nations or people
who it deems still possibly a threat.
We have the fact that under the unitary executive theory,
if the president does anything,
-it must be legal. -(scoffs)
Which, of course, means you can do whatever the fuck you want.
which would you like?
Hmm. We'll, uh, we'll have them all.
WOLFOWITZ: Look, Dick, uh, we've been working
with these focus groups and advertising executives
to try and sell the War on Terror.
WOMAN: I'll reiterate, we are still being recorded,
and there still may or may not be clients
back behind the two-way mirrors...
These guys are pretty sharp.
There's a problem.
The results show that people are confused.
WOMAN: You all support the president,
you hate terrorism, yet you're still confused.
Can you tell me why? Anybody?
MARK: Don't we have to just get Osama bin Laden? He did it.
So why are they calling it a war? A war with who?
WOMAN: Okay, thank you, Mark.
Uh, Jasmine, jump in, please.
I don't get what this Al-Qaeda is.
Are they a country, like, why can't we just bomb them?
WOMAN: That's really interesting.
Um, is anybody else confused about what Al-Qaeda is?
Show of hands, please.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven...
That's a lot of you. Right?
Would it be less confusing
if it was a country?
MARK: Damn right.
I'm angry as hell.
We've gotta fuck someone up.
WOMAN: Got it. Mark.
Really strong feelings coming from Mark. I'm interested.
Does anybody else feel the same or agree...
They understand we're at war, but...
they don't know against who.
They want a country.
It's cleaner, simpler.
ADDINGTON: That would certainly help us legally.
CHENEY: Hmm. Well...
looks like it's time to take Iraq.
-(chuckles) -RUMSFELD: It is about goddamn time.
CHENEY: It's called the Office of Special Plans.
Tenet is not yet serious enough
about the threat that Saddam poses
to the global war on terror.
But I can promise you
that this intelligence group will be.
Wolfie, I got something.
WOLFOWITZ: Truck transmissions.
If there's a donkey with a radio up his ass,
I wanna know what it's transmitting.
I think that's an excellent idea.
I've been wantin' to take that motherfucker Saddam down
-for a long time. -Hmm.
FEITH: Here's a report that says Mohamed Atta,
one of the 9-11 hijackers,
may have met with an Iraqi spy in Prague.
WOMAN: It's a really strong statement.
Does anybody agree with that statement?
Wait a minute. We can't just bomb people.
-Oh, please. -WOMAN: Yeah, no.
It's from Czech intelligence,
and they question its credibility.
WOLFOWITZ: I've been to Prague. They question everything.
Who wants to be an anonymous source?
Make sure you work in the phrase,
"We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
That focus-grouped through the roof.
RICE: There will always be uncertainty
about when he will acquire nuclear weapons.
But we don't want the smoking gun
to be a mushroom cloud.
There is a smoking gun or a mushroom cloud
-we have waited too long. -CHENEY: Simply stated,
there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein
now has weapons of mass destruction.
We gotta get rid of this dictator.
He's got anthrax, he's got all these weapons...
There is no doubt he is amassing them
to use them against our friends,
against our allies, and against us.
When, and not if, but when
Saddam creates and uses nuclear weapons,
what will we tell the American people?
Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity
to wage biological and chemical warfare.
-Hello? -MAN: Whassup!
To show that we will stand up for what we know to be right,
to show that we will confront the tyrannies
and dictatorships and terrorists
who put our way of life at risk.
BROKAW: ...of winning a second UN resolution
authorizing war against Iraq.
So tonight President Bush...
...and the hopes of an oppressed people...
The tribe has spoken.
Polling for an invasion of Iraq
is at 53 percent.
Focus groups show people
still aren't sure about a connection
between Saddam and Al-Qaeda.
And France and Germany have both said
that they will not join our coalition
And neither will Israel.
Ariel and I we went to the Wall together with Condi.
We-we prayed together.
Israel's one of our closest allies.
They said an invasion of Iraq would...
destabilize the region, sir,
and that they don't believe Saddam is an immediate threat.
That's not good.
I really want a strong coalition for this.
I have an idea.
Secretary Powell has the highest
trustworthy ratings of all of us.
What if he gave an address to the UN
and the American people
to push this over the finish line?
Karl, I have been very vocal,
very vocal about my reservations about invading Iraq.
Oh! Colin, you're such a nervous Nellie.
-We are talking about invading... -A worry wart.
-...a sovereign nation... -Sovereign nation?
-...without any provocation, Don. -RUMSFELD: Don't give me that...
POWELL: It is a sovereign nation, Don.
RUMSFELD: ...in any way, shape, or form. You're wrong.
POWELL: What's the exit strategy?
What, what about the intelligence?
-Does the intelligence matter to you at all? -The exit strategy. Oh, please.
-You break it, you bought it. -You know you're wrong.
-You break it, you bought it. -You're a chicken-shit.
All right. Hey, hey, hey, all right.
Let-let's slow down.
That's enough of that, you guys.
Well, are you...
gonna take Saddam down or not?
You are the president.
War... is yours.
Not the UN, not some coalition.
Do not share powers...
that are yours alone.
George, make sure Powell sees the intelligence.
TENET: Yes, sir.
GEORGE W. BUSH: Colin, I want you to make that speech.
I'm president, and I want this to happen.
-TENET: Yes, sir. -HUGHES: Yes, sir.
POWELL: Yes, sir.
I look forward to being briefed on that intelligence.
On another note, I've been handed a credible report
of a small terrorist enclave in North Eastern Iraq.
If we're gonna invade,
we suggest taking it out before.
Let it go, George. We have bigger fish to fry.
Let me see that intelligence.
-TENET: Of course. -(clears throat)
KURT: That classified document
described a terrorist named Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi
who had started as a drug dealer and pimp
before becoming fully radicalized
in a Jordanian prison.
Zarqawi went to meet bin Laden in Afghanistan.
Did he or did he not meet with Al-Qaeda?
KURT: But Zarqawi had vowed to kill all Shia Muslims,
and bin Laden's mother was Shia.
So the meeting didn't go over well.
They had no operational contact.
POWELL: Larry, have you seen this speech?
Yes, sir. It's bone-thin.
I saw at least five pieces of disproved intel in there.
Who wrote it?
They said it was the president,
but I think you can guess who really wrote it.
Well, there's no need to yell, Larry.
Yeah, well, we reviewed the speech,
we gave some notes.
Powell really doesn't have a clue, does he?
KURT: After the US invaded Afghanistan,
Zarqawi set up shop in Iraq.
It was the only connection Cheney had
between Al-Qaeda and Iraq.
The Security Council will now begin
its consideration of item two of the agend.
I call now on the distinguished
Secretary of State
of the United States of America,
His Excellency, Mr. Colin Powell.
My purpose here today is to share with you
what the United States knows
about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction
as well as Iraq's involvement in terrorism.
Iraq, today, harbors a deadly terrorist network
headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,
an associate and collaborator...
KURT: Powell's UN address was seen by millions of Americans,
but other people were watching as well.
POWELL: Collaborator of Osama bin Laden
and his Al-Qaeda lieutenants...
Zarqawi's activities are not confined...
KURT: The great general of America
saying his name over and over again
immediately made Zarqawi a star.
POWELL (on TV): Staying in the capital of Iraq...
KURT: Within a day, he had gone into hiding.
ALL: Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!
POWELL: ...but these denials are simply not credible.
They are simply not credible.
An Al-Qaeda source tells us that
Saddam and bin Laden reached an understanding
that Al-Qaeda would no longer
support activities against Baghdad.
KURT: By the time we invaded Iraq,
70 percent of Americans thought
that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9-11.
Later, Colin Powell would call the speech
the most painful moment of his life.
Thank you, sir.
MARY: And what was it? Justin, right?
LIZ: She can buy her album now, Mom.
HEATHER: What was the girl's name that won?
-No, Kelly. And then Justin. -Last year.
CHENEY: What are you talking about?
MARY: We're talking about American Idol, Dad.
CHENEY: What is that?
We watched it. You've seen it.
-You've seen it... -I've watched it next to you.
The singing, and the mean judge, and the...
CHENEY: I don't like that...
-MARY: The mean British judge? -LIZ: You liked it.
-You liked the mean British... -CHENEY: Oh, I like him.
LIZ: Yeah, you...
CHENEY: Do you know how to stop a fish from smelling?
LIZ: Very appropriate.
ELIZABETH: That's not a... That's a terrible joke.
Well, I didn't finish it yet.
MARY: I mean, everybody.
You cut off its nose.
HEATHER: Wait, what?
LYNNE: I know, Grace, cover your ears please.
-HEATHER: Cheers, honey. -Cheers. Oh, my gosh.
-We're not. -LYNNE: No, we're not.
We're not revisiting
your father's colorful conversations...
Let's just say that your dad...
REPORTER: Again, another,
MAN: Is the prompter visible for you?
Yeah, yeah. Bring it a little closer. Yeah.
How's my hair? All right?
-MAN: Looks good. -Tie?
MAN: And we are five, four, three...
My fellow citizens, at this hour,
American and coalition forces
are in the early stages of military operations
to disarm Iraq, to free its people
and to defend the world from grave danger.
On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking
selected targets of military importance
to undermine Saddam Hussein's ability
to wage war.
These are opening stages of what will be
a broad and concerted campaign.
To all the men and women of the United States Armed Forces
now in the Middle East,
the peace of a troubled world
and the hopes of an oppressed people...
-(explosions) -(woman sobbing)
(soldier shouts indistinctly)
SOLDIER: Guys, over here. Two o'clock.
Contact, two hundred yards.
REPORTER: This statement from the White House,
President Bush regards this as an historic moment.
The scenes on television show
the thirst for freedom is unquenchable.
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: Striker One L-S-O,
You are clear to land.
(chanting) USA! USA! USA!
GEORGE W. BUSH: Good work.
It seems like they've been shipping men and equipment
out of Afghanistan, into Iraq,
and at the moment, we're a little unsure
of what's going on.
I don't want you to worry about me.
(cheering and whistling)
Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.
In the battle of Iraq,
the United States and our allies have prevailed.
We have concerns over Halliburton KBR's
As you know, the no-bid contracts they received
were quite sizable, and now...
Well, we're not concerned, are we?
Not at all.
The secretary of defense and the vice president
just said they're not concerned.
Now, can we please talk about Iran?
KURT: To this day, Dick Cheney has never apologized
for this incident.
-Jesus, Dick! -(man groaning)
-KURT: But someone else did. -CHENEY: Oh, hell.
My family and I are deeply sorry
for all that Vice President Cheney
and his family have had to go through
this past week.
We send our love and respect to them.
And we hope that he will continue to come to Texas...
and seek the relaxation that he deserves.
So, this, uh...
Joe Wilson asshole... (clears throat)
...is questioning our intelligence
in the New York Times.
(clears throat) What's his wife's name again?
I confirmed it. She's undercover CIA.
(indistinct radio chatter)
SOLDIER 1: Okay, okay.
Like, they don't care about their dogs, man.
I mean they shoot 'em. They let 'em roam wild.
What kinda man don't love a dog?
SOLDIER 2: People in India love cows.
They look at us
and how we treat cows and think the same thing.
SOLDIER 1: Cows. All due respect...
that sounds like some liberal ass-scratchin' bullshit...
-(man exclaims) -(woman cries)
Look at this crap.
(groans) God damn it.
CHENEY: Hello, Don.
That report says Zarqawi,
the same fucking Zarqawi we talked up for months,
is now leading a major insurgence in Iraq.
And the implication is it's because we talked him up.
Has POTUS seen this?
No, no, no.
I... I intercepted it before it got across the hallway.
SCOOTER: And this is, this is generated by an analyst.
CHENEY: Get me Tenet.
This stops here.
KURT: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
had taken his fame from Powell's UN speech
and turned it into his own new thing.
-The Islamic State of Iraq and Levant... -(people screaming)
And because that intelligence somehow found itself
on the bottom of a stack of papers...
Zarqawi had a whole year
to just do whatever the hell he wanted.
And what he wanted...
Shia versus Sunni.
The West versus Islam.
And death versus life.
And on top of that,
US forces couldn't find any WMDs
or nuclear programs in Iraq.
Turns out that Saddam and his sons
mostly liked cocaine
and American movies from the '80s.
WILLIAMS (on TV): Vice President Dick Cheney
is being sued by Valerie Plame
and her husband Joseph Wilson.
GROSS (on radio): The White House announced
four cabinet resignations
including that of Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Look, I hope there's no hard feelings
about us investigating the no-bid Iraq contract
You know, I'm just doing my job.
Go fuck yourself.
ANNOUNCER: Dick Cheney emerges from the dugout
on the third base side.
There's a lot of energy that follows any opener,
whether it be the opener to the regular season
or, in this case, the home opener
for the Washington Nationals.
But there's continued buildup, Eddie, for this team
because of the success they had last year
in drawing some pretty good numbers.
ANNOUNCER: Dick Cheney, a little bit low and outside.
REPORTER 1: Iraq War, now proven to be false.
There is a chorus of people calling
for Vice President Dick Cheney to step aside and resign.
REPORTER 2: These issues may not be resolved for some time.
(sighs) I swear to God
this whole place is turning against me.
-CHENEY: Where are you? -I'm in an empty office
just trying to get a clean phone line.
Listen, if we could just get
an air bombardment in Iraq,
I think it would make a statement
and it would give us some political cover.
It's over, Don. (clears throat)
RUMSFELD: What's that?
CHENEY: It's over.
President wants you to step down.
He appreciates your service.
Well, does, uh...
Bush's kid want me out or do you?
I can't win every fight, Don.
You are a little piece of shit.
Wow. How did you become such a cold son of a bitch?
CHENEY: I'm sorry, Don.
I really am.
RUMSFELD: Well, you know how I know you're not?
'Cause I wouldn't be.
Think they'll prosecute us?
I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear...
ROBERTS: That I will execute the office
of president to the United States faithfully.
KURT: Few years later,
Dick's heart trouble started up again.
And with no donor available,
he finally found himself at death's door.
I wish I had-- I had better news.
Your heart just isn't pumping enough oxygen
to keep your vital organs alive.
Should I call for a minister?
No, no. He's not going anywhere.
you are not going anywhere, do you hear me?
You're not going anywhere.
This may be the, uh...
one time, I, uh,
I can't do...
-what your mother says, girls. -(Lynne sniffles)
-(clears throat) -(Mary sniffles)
-MARY: I love you, Daddy. -CHENEY: I love you, Mary.
I love you, Lizzie.
And we love you so much.
We love you so much.
I love you, girls.
So Dick Cheney told his family that he was ready to die
and that he wasn't afraid.
He told them he had lived a full life
and that he had zero regrets...
-(grunts) -(tires screech)
(helicopter blades whirring)
NURSE: Vice President Cheney, cross your arms, please.
There you go. Okay, on a count of three.
One, two, three.
They say my heart could give him another ten years.
Cheney doesn't like to refer to it as someone else's heart.
He likes to refer to it as his new heart.
Which, even though I'm dead, I have to say...
still makes me feel pretty shitty.
And so, when Liz decided to run for one
of Wyoming's two Senate seats
against Republican incumbent Mike Enzi,
our Dick was right there
to hopefully see the Cheney legacy of power continue.
ENZI: Are you aware Wyoming Senate candidate Liz Cheney
supports gay marriage?
Her sister is married to another woman,
and Liz Cheney refuses to support
a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
Instead, she equivocates,
claiming it's a states rights issue.
Don't you agree Wyoming deserves
a senator who believes marriage should be
between a man and a woman?
These calls went to every house in Wyoming.
Every single house.
I will never win.
What are we gonna do?
SURGEON: O2 monitor is steady.
CHRIS: We're joined here today by Liz Cheney,
who is running for the Senate from the state of Wyoming.
According to one poll,
she is behind by double digits.
Thank you for having me here, Chris.
Great to be with you.
And may I point out, there are other polls
that have me much closer.
CHRIS: Your opponent, Senator Mike Enzi,
claims that you support gay marriage
in part, because...
you support your gay sister Mary's union with her wife.
LYNNE: I think she's coming off very well.
CHRIS: How do you respond?
Let me be very, very clear.
I do not support gay marriage.
I believe that marriage is between a man and a woma.
CHRIS: But you've always claimed
gay marriage is a state issue.
Your opponent claims this is an equivocation.
SURGEON: All right, I'm cutting the aorta.
Do you have the specimen bowl ready?
NURSE: It's on the field.
SURGEON: All right. Here's the heart.
The thing is, Mom, I know that Liz wouldn't have done
any of this if you and Dad didn't approve.
I can't believe you would do th--
I really thought there was a limit to--
LYNNE: No, now you're just being hysterical,
and I can't talk to you when you get this way.
You need to settle down. Okay?
You're being hysterical.
SURGEON: Bypass is on standby.
NURSE: Is it in three?
ASSISTANT: I'll have it waiting right here.
SURGEON: All right, some suction. Some suction.
All right. We're almost there.
HEATHER: Just breathe, baby. I love you.
Patient's heart rate is stable.
Blood pressure increasing.
I'm gonna notify the family. What should I tell them?
SURGEON: Tell them the patient's doing well.
-NURSE: Okay. -SURGEON: We should be done in a half-hour.
(EKG beeping steadily)
(ventilator hissing steadily)
REPORTER: Mr. Vice President.
CHENEY: This must be the right place.
- REPORTER: Yes. -(Cheney laughs)
-Hello, Martha. -MARTHA: Hi.
-Nice to meet you. -CHENEY: Pleasure.
-Have a seat right there. -(clears throat)
So, um, is it gonna be just, uh, me on camera or...
Primarily you. We'll cut back to me.
Eddie's got you with the A camera.
I'm just gonna be... All right.
(rubs hands, clears throat)
-MARTHA: Ready? -Hmm.
MARTHA: Two-thirds of Americans say
the Iraq War is not worth fighting.
And they're looking at the value gained
versus the cost in American lives
and Iraqi lives.
So, don't you care what the American people think?
No, uh, I think you, uh,
cannot be, uh,
blown off course.
I can feel your recriminations...
and your judgment...
and I am fine with it.
You want to be loved, go be a movie star.
The world is as you find it.
You gotta deal with that reality.
And there are monsters in this world.
We saw 3,000 innocent people
burned to death by those monsters.
And yet you object...
when I refuse
to kiss those monsters on the cheek
and say "pretty please."
You answer me this.
What terrorist attack would you have let go forward
so you wouldn't seem like a mean and nasty fella?
I will not apologize...
for keeping your family safe.
And I will not apologize...
for doing what needed to be done...
so that your loved ones
can sleep peaceably at night.