An unpopular U.S. President manages to get a nuclear disarmament treaty through the Senate, but finds that the nation is turning against him...更多>
[a terse note refers to "Site Y"] Christopher Todd: That could easily mean another place. These military games... why, the multiplicity of our secret bases confuses ourselves more than the Soviets. [Watching the bar girl rummage through her purse] Senator Raymond Clark: Do you rent space in that thing? Senator Frederick Prentice: You make me think that fruit salad on your chest is for neutrality, evasiveness, and fence-straddling. Colonel Martin "Jiggs" Casey: On the contrary, Senator, they're standard awards for cocktail courage and dinner-table heroism. I thought you'd invented them. Colonel William "Mutt" Henderson: We seem to spend more time training for seizure than for prevention, like the Commies already had the stuff, and we had to get it back. Eleanor "Ellie" Holbrook: I'll make you two promises: a very good steak, medium rare, and the truth, which is very rare. General James Mattoon Scott: 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 deliberately played upon the fear and fatigue of the people and told them they could remove that fear by the stroke of a pen. And then when this nation rejected you, lost faith in you, and began militantly to oppose you, you violated that oath by not resigning from office and turning the country over to someone who could represent the people of the United States. President Jordan Lyman: And that would be General James Mattoon Scott, would it? I don't know whether to laugh at that kind of megalomania, or simply cry. General James Mattoon Scott: James Mattoon Scott, as you put it, hasn't the slightest interest in his own glorification. But he does have an abiding interest in the survival of this country. President Jordan Lyman: Then, by God, run for office. You have such a fervent, passionate, evangelical faith in this country - why in the name of God don't you have any faith in the system of government you're so hell-bent to protect? President Jordan Lyman: All right, Colonel. Let's sum it up, shall we? You're suggesting what? Colonel Martin "Jiggs" Casey: I'm not sure, Mr. President: just some possibilities, what we call, uh "capabilities" in military intelligence... President Jordan Lyman: You got something against the English language, Colonel? Colonel Martin "Jiggs" Casey: No, sir. President Jordan Lyman: Then speak it plainly, if you will.
Colonel Martin "Jiggs" Casey
: I'm suggesting, Mr. President, there's a military plot to take over the government. This may occur some time this coming Sunday. President Jordan Lyman: The next step should be to your liking, Chris. Esther, call the Pentagon. Tell General Scott I want to see him right away. Esther Townsend: [on intercom] Yes, sir. Christopher Todd: I think it's time we faced the enemy, Mr. President. President Jordan Lyman: He's not the enemy. Scott, the Joint Chiefs, even the very emotional, very illogical lunatic fringe: they're not the enemy. The enemy's an age - a 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, and out of sickness a 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, and now it's a General Scott. Senator Raymond Clark: Ah, don't get your nanny up; you knew there'd be some dislocations. You can't gear a country's economy for war for 20 years, then suddenly slam on the brakes and expect the whole transition to go like grease through a goose. Hmph. Doesn't work out like that. And think how the whole psychology of the thing's 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're 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. President Jordan Lyman: Dammit, Ray, we could've had our paradise. Yes, by God, we could've 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'd've come one day when they'd've blown us up, or we'd've blown them up. My doctor worries about my blood pressure. You know who that gentleman is down there with the black box. There are five of them... you know that one of them sits outside my bedroom at night? You know what he carries in that box: the codes. The codes by which I, Jordan Lyman, can give the orders sending us into a nuclear war. Instead of my blood pressure, Horace should worry about my sanity. Senator Raymond Clark: All you've got to know is this: right now the government of the United States is sitting on top of the Washington Monument, right on the very point, tilting right and left and ready to fall off and break up on the pavement. There are just a handful of men that can prevent it. And you're one of them. Senator Raymond Clark: 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, uh, you got a dime to stop a revolution with? General James Mattoon Scott:
I think the signing of a nuclear disarmament pact with the Soviet Union is at best an act of naÔvetÈ, and at worst an unsupportable 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. And 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, gentlemen.