West Wing Wiki
West Wing Wiki

BARTLET PONDERS BREACHING LAW TO GET TERRORIST; MARK HARMON GUEST-STARS -- The President (Martin Sheen) is torn over forfeiting the principle of diplomatic immunity for an important Middle Eastern official known to be plotting terrorism while Josh (Bradley Whitford) duels with his feminist activist/lover (guest star Mary Louise Parker) over a key welfare reform bill. Elsewhere: Bartlet is advised not to attend a politically sensitive fundraiser; a chastened Sam (Rob Lowe) nixes ecology-friendly legislation for the Everglades; C.J. (Allison Janney) gains new respect for her Secret Service bodyguard (guest star Mark Harmon); Donna (Janel Moloney) is dispatched to North Dakota to represent the administration at a meeting to change the state's name.


Opening - Sunday Morning[]

The President and Leo are being briefed on the trail that may lead to Abdul Shareef being named as a terrorist.  The President is not convinced they have the evidence they need yet.

Act I[]

In Josh's apartment, he is on the phone with Donna, while Amy dances around the apartment.  He tells Donna she has to go to Bismarck, North Dakota to speak on behalf of the White House. North Dakota would like to add a plank to the party platform eliminating the word "North" from their state's name.  Meanwhile she is in the office preparing a briefing for him for a meeting he has with Congressman Pintero.

In the West Wing, Sam meets with two campaign staffers, who want Sam to take an idea to Bruno and Leo.  They want to suggest to save the Everglades they should tax sugar growers in Florida.  Sam tells them its a non-starter - it would look like they are taxing their enemies.

Josh arrives for his meeting with Congressman Pintero, who offers Josh a compromise to get the "Working Toward Independence Act" out of committee.  The White House has to agree to marriage incentives in the bill.  Josh tells the Congressman he will talk it up around the office - but he is not hopeful.

Leo is standing outside a limo at Arlington National Cemetery - he is on the phone.  The President has come to visit Mrs. Landingham's grave.  Leo tells the President they have intercepted the conversation between Shareef and two Muslim clerics.  The translation offers more evidence that Shareef may indeed be involved in terrorism.

Act II - Monday[]

The Senior Staff is meeting in the Roosevelt Room - they have learned that Governor Ritchie is planning to attend the benefit / play in New York when the President is also supposed to be there.  They decide the President is going to have to back out and not attend.

The President is meeting with his military advisors trying to devise a way to arrest Shareef when he visits the United States - they are still working on how to arrest an international diplomat with diplomatic immunity despite the evidence that he may be a terrorist.

C.J. and Agent Donovan have another exchange - she is growing tired of his protection and wants to know what is being done to catch the stalker.  Leo and the President are talking on their way back to the Oval Office from the Situation Room.  They talk about Shareef and Leo tells the President about the compromise that has been offered to Josh.  On reaching the Oval Office, the President thanks Charlie for coming with him to the cemetery - and since it's been a year, Charlie should begin the search for a new Executive Secretary.  The President warns Charlie that he is not going to like the first dozen or so candidates, but they should do it anyway.

In Bismarck, Donna is reading a statement on the removal of "North" from North Dakota's name.  Back in Washington, Josh returns home to his apartment where Amy has been all day cooking dinner.  He tells her about the meeting with Congressman Pintero and the compromise that was proposed.  She is angry and gets on the phone with her staff to tell them to start calling around to kill the deal.  Josh leaves the apartment to go back to the office to try and save it.

Act III[]

In Bismarck, Donna is still listening to citizens who want to drop "North" from North Dakota.  The meeting adjourns and the chairman asks Donna why she is there and not Sam.  Donna tells the chairman with respect, it's not on Sam's radar screen.  The chairman understands and tells Donna to tell Sam to get up off the dirt and get past this.

At the Secret Service building, Agent Donovan finds C.J. after her workout.  She wants to see the firing range and shoot a gun.  Donovan asks her if she has ever fired a gun.  She takes his gun (a .357 Magnum) and shoots once, which knocks her over.  She asks him how good he is.  She tells him to put five in the center target - with three dead center.  If he doesn't do it, she gets to drive her own car.  He pulls the gun and fires, putting three dead center.  C.J. has to say something nice to Donovan, which she does.

Charlie comes to see Sam asking for his input on Executive Secretary candidates.  Josh and Toby are waiting to see Leo - Josh tells him they need to move up the welfare vote because Amy is mobilizing for action.  Toby tells Leo the President has to call the Archbishop to tell him he can't come to the play.  Josh says this is good - they can use the welfare vote to get out of it and it won't give Amy enough time to gain support.

In the Situation Room, the President and Leo are informed that the testimony that links Shareef to terrorism was obtained after torture and therefore is inadmissible.  The President says they will need to find a less aggressive way to pursue Shareef and leaves.

Act IV[]

Leo and Fitzwallace are in the Situation Room.  They discuss how they can still get [and kill] Shareef.  Leo doesn't want to have the conversation - but Fitzwallace urges Leo to convince the President not to cancel Shareef's visit to the White House.

Donna returns from North Dakota - and tells Sam what Harry Conroy told her.  Sam tells her that he is indeed up off the dirt.  Charlie comes to offer to pick up his spirits - then Toby comes in to give Sam an encouraging word and that he is probably right about the Everglades proposal - but Sam tells him that he has written a memo in support of the plan.  Toby asks Sam if he is still mad - Sam smiles and walks away.

Charlie is talking with Josh about the qualifications needed for the new Executive Secretary.  In the course of the conversation - Charlie realizes who it should be.  Josh gets called into the Oval Office.  The President is visibly agitated about losing Shareef and takes it out on Josh - the President is still going to New York and now they will have to run the vote from New York.  The President tells Josh to win the damn vote.

C.J. and Donovan are walking back to her home and talking.  The two are talking and they are about to share an intimate moment, but Donovan tells her they can't.  They arrive at her house and he hands C.J. over to the overnight agent.

Josh shows up at Amy's office - he tells her that she is making it very hard for him to do his job by the way she is doing her job.  They have a fight and are not going to be able to talk about the bill or anything else until it gets settled.

Leo comes to see the President, who is still in the Oval Office.  He tells the President not to cancel Shareef's trip.  It will give them options - if he cancels the trip - they will have none.  The President agrees.


Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn
Stockard Channing as Abigail Bartlet
Dulé Hill as Charlie Young
Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg
Janel Moloney as Donna Moss
Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler
John Spencer as Leo McGarry
Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman
and Martin Sheen as President Bartlet

Special Guest Stars

Mary-Louise Parker as Amy Gardner
Mark Harmon as Simon Donovan
with John Amos as Admiral Fitzwallace

Recurring cast

Thomas Kopache as Bob Slattery

Guest Starring

Kurt Fuller as SitRoom Civilian Advisor
Juan Garcia as Rep. Rick Pintero
Christopher Curry as Colonel Lee
Glenn Morshower as Mike Chysler
William Thomas Jr. as David
Annika Peterson as Jane
Nicki Micheaux as Muriel
Bob Morrisey as Harry Conroy


S.E. Perry as Marine Officer Thomas
Harry S. Murphy as Witness
Peter James Smith as Ed
William Duffy as Larry
Kevin Brief as Democrat
Roz Witt as Democrat
Howard Lockie as Democrat
Kim Webster as Ginger
Kim Brockington as Agent Pam Thayer


We want to ask the Justice Department to indict the Qumari Minister of Defense. We’re saying he’s a terror kingpin. We’re saying he’s killed I don’t know how many civilians and how many of Tommy’s Marines. We’re saying he’s compromised I don’t know how many agents throughout the world and we’re saying he’s done it in the clothing of an ally. This isn’t a cave dweller. This is Capone. You haven’t got it
—President Bartlet to his military advisors
Leo – We spent millions of dollars developing a pen for the astronauts that would work in zero gravity. Know what the Russians did?
Toby – Used a pencil?
Leo – They used a pencil. What do you need?
Leo McGarry: Toby, an encouraging word from you to Sam wouldn't be totally out of line.
Toby Ziegler: Sam doesn't need to be patronized. He'll shake it off.
Leo McGarry: It'd make him feel better.
Toby Ziegler: I don't want him feeling better. I want him feeling mad. Is there anyone you'd rather have as a blood enemy less then Sam? That's how I want him.
Leo McGarry: [smiling fondly] You know, it was a screw up, but I got to say I love the way he did it -- full speed, bam. Like there's a Sam Seaborn-shaped hole in the wall.

We measure the success of a mission by two things: Was it successful and how few civilians did we hurt. They measure success by how many. Pregnant women are delivering bombs. You're talking to me about international laws? The laws of nature don't even apply here. I've been a soldier for 38 years. And I found an enemy I can kill. He can't cancel Shareef's trip, Leo. You've got to tell him he can't cancel it
—Admiral Fitzwallace



  • Josh has to skip a Rainer Werner Fassbinder festival.
  • Josh references broasting, a cooking method that combines pressure cooking with deep frying chicken that has been marinated and breaded
  • CJ calls Simon "Agent 99", referring to the more competent associate of the protagonist of Get Smart.
  • Bartlet says that marriage incentives involve the government getting into the yenta business, a Yiddish word for a busybody/gossip. Leo wonders that Bartlet didn't grow up in the Catskills - an area formerly famous as a Jewish holiday resort.
  • An effort was made to drop the "North" from North Dakota in 1989.


  • Fitzwallace claims that if Bonhoeffer had been successful, the Germans would have built a statue of an assassin. However, pacifist theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer had nothing to do with the July 20 attempt on Hitler's life (although he was falsely accused of this by the Nazis). The key conspirator and would-be assassin was Claus von Stauffenberg. 
  • Leo claims that the U.S. spent millions of dollars developing a pen that would write in space while the Russians just used a pencil, but this account is inaccurate. Development of the space pen was independently funded by inventor Paul Fisher, who sold them to NASA at $6 apiece. The Russians began buying the same pen a year later. (Prior to adopting the space pen both countries had used pencils in space, but this practice was abandoned due to their flammability and the risk of tips breaking off and floating around in microgravity. Graphite conducts electricity and could short-circuit electronics.)


caravan | VAN MORRISON
amy dances in the kitchen
moondance | VAN MORRISON
amy's cooking and working as josh arrives

I PilotPost Hoc, Ergo Propter HocA Proportional ResponseFive Votes Down
The Crackpots and These WomenMr. Willis of OhioThe State DinnerEnemiesThe Short List
In Excelsis DeoLord John MarburyHe Shall, from Time to Time...Take Out the Trash Day
Take This Sabbath DayCelestial Navigation20 Hours in L.A.The White House Pro-Am
Six Meetings Before LunchLet Bartlet Be BartletMandatory Minimums
Lies, Damn Lies and StatisticsWhat Kind of Day Has It Been?
II In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (Part I)In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (Part II)The Midterms
In This White HouseAnd It's Surely to Their CreditThe Lame Duck CongressThe Portland Trip
ShibbolethGalileoNoëlThe Leadership BreakfastThe Drop-In
Bartlet's Third State of the UnionThe War at HomeEllie
Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to JailThe Stackhouse Filibuster
17 PeopleBad Moon RisingThe Fall's Gonna Kill You18th and PotomacTwo Cathedrals
III Manchester (Part I)Manchester (Part II)Ways and MeansOn the Day BeforeWar CrimesGone QuietThe Indians in the LobbyThe Women of QumarBartlet for AmericaH.Con - 172100,000 AirplanesThe Two BartletsNight FiveHartsfield's LandingDead Irish Writers
The U.S. Poet LaureateStirredEnemies Foreign and DomesticThe Black Vera Wang
We Killed YamamotoPosse Comitatus
IV 20 Hours in America (Part I)20 Hours in America (Part II)College KidsThe Red Mass
Debate CampGame OnElection NightProcess StoriesSwiss DiplomacyArctic Radar
Holy NightGuns Not ButterThe Long GoodbyeInauguration (Part I)
Inauguration: Over There (Part II)The California 47thRed Haven's on FirePrivateers
Angel MaintenanceEvidence of Things Not SeenLife On MarsCommencementTwenty-Five
V 7A WF 83429The Dogs of WarJefferson LivesHanA Constituency of OneDisaster ReliefSeparation of PowersShutdownAbu el BanatThe Stormy PresentThe Benign PrerogativeSlow News DayThe Warfare of Genghis KhanAn KheFull DisclosureEppur Si Muove
The SupremesAccessTalking PointsNo ExitGazaMemorial Day
VI NSF ThurmontThe Birnam WoodThird-Day StoryLiftoffThe Hubbert PeakThe Dover TestA Change Is Gonna ComeIn The RoomImpact WinterFaith Based Initiative
Opposition Research365 DaysKing CornThe Wake Up CallFreedoniaDrought ConditionsA Good DayLa PalabraNinety Miles AwayIn God We TrustThings Fall Apart2162 Votes
VII The TicketThe Mommy ProblemMessage of the WeekMr. FrostHere Today
The Al Smith DinnerThe DebateUndecidedsThe WeddingRunning Mates
Internal DisplacementDuck and CoverThe ColdTwo Weeks OutWelcome to Wherever You Are
Election Day (Part I)Election Day (Part II)RequiemTransitionThe Last Hurrah
Institutional MemoryTomorrow