Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth
Based on the memoir
Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House
SFX: SHALLOW, DESPERATE BREATHING.
Extreme close ANGLES ON
a figure kneels in a cell, in tight stress position. Bound.
Blindfold. Convulsed with intense pain. We move closer --
It's a woman.
VOICE V/O (VALERIE)
Everything you face in life.
Everything you come up against..
CLANK! She is hauled to her feet by unseen hands.
She's carried head-first fast down a corridor by four men,
like a battering ram.
Everything that stands in your way.
.. into another cell. A fifth masked man. On the table-- a
Screams ring out down the empty corridor.
Blows rain down on her. The blindfold is torn off.
..your foes, your fears, your
terrors....your darkest nights.
THEN---- SPLASH! She is thrust into a bath and held under
water. CLOSE ON her face, as the bubbles of her desperate
breath subside, her eyes glaze and a single smoke-swirl of
crimson blood rises up from her parted lips.
..are all sent to ask you the same
question. The only question..
SUDDENLY -- She looks directly at us. Awake. Alert.
Who are you?
ESTABLISHING. AERIAL SHOT. DOWNTOWN KUALA LUMPUR. DAY.
Searing heat. Eighty storey star-scrapers reflect half-built
Death Stars. Shimmering buildings and cranes for miles.
INT. CECAR ANNUAL CONFERENCE. KL CONVENTION CENTER. DAY.
50 acres of climate controlled exhibition space swarming with
global civil engineers. Tented meeting rooms, stands. The
bone dry wheels of global commerce, turning.
A striking blonde, 30s, crosses a concourse towards a
Malaysian Woman in Chanel. VALERIE PLAME extends a hand.
Jessica McDowell. Cognis Chemicals.
I hope I'm not late.
INT. GLASS ELEVATOR IN ATRIUM OF WESTIN HOTEL. DAY
VALERIE and the Malaysians rise swiftly above the hordes.
When do you leave Kuala Lumpur, Ms.
I fly to Taiwan Tuesday then back
to Dusseldorf. I really only need
five minutes of his time..
I hope we are lucky. He is very
INT. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE, WESTIN HOTEL, KL. DAY
VALERIE sits at an ENORMOUS MARBLE CONFERENCE TABLE, before a
wrap around view of the Petronas Towers. OPPOSITE HER-- two
neat Maylasian secretaries, with pads in front of them. One
smiles. She smiles back.
Mr Tabir very busy this morning.
Oh I can imagine.
VOICE (HAFIZ O.S)
Seeing's we're waiting..
AT THE HEAD OF THE TABLE a puffy 30 year old Sri Lankan,
HAFIZ, is shelling peanuts on the marble, regarding her.
..why don't you practice your
little pitch on me?
His tones contains an edge of menace. She smiles politely.
Actually. If it's all the same-
I know all my uncle's business. He
trusts me. Begin.
Well. I'm sure you're aware Mr..
You're aware that recently your
subsidiary, Kopa Oleochemicals
developed an organic, ester based
lubricant derived from Kernel oil,
that makes offshore drilling
significantly more environmental.
My company, Cognis CMBH wants-
Canadian. Actually. From Toronto.
You a Maple Leafs fan?
Right. Uh. No. Not really.
You must be the only person from
Toronto's not a hockey fan.
Valerie holds his dead eyes.
Oh I'm a fan. Dad's from Vancouver,
so I'm a Canuck. Between us, the
Maple Leaves suck. They should
never have signed Mark Bell. Guy's
a liability on an off the ice. So
who's your team?
I don't like hockey.
He holds her eye impassively. CHANEL SUIT enters.
Unfortunately Mr Tabir has no
window this morning. But tonight he
extends invitation to private
reception at his residence.
Is that ok? I really don't wish to
She meets Hafiz's level gaze. He doesn't blink.
Come to the party.
EXT. MANSION, DAMANSARAN HEIGHTS, ABOVE KL. NIGHT
Mercedes pull up outside a MANSION above the sprawling city.
INT. GROUND FLOOR, MANSION. NIGHT
Not a party. Asian men with name badges swap cards. Valerie
makes small-talk with some Germans. She spots her quarry at
the end of the corridor. She excuses herself.
Mr. Tabir? Jessica McDowall, Cognis
GMBH. Thank you for allowing me to
come to your beautiful Home.
How can I help you?
Mr Tabir I wonder if you had time
to glance at our proposal which
would allow Kopa to access to
Cognis' current Petrochemical
Service Partners. Essentially its-
A man comes up and whispers to Mr.Tabir. He stops her.
Please excuse me, I have to attend
to something.. My assistant here
will make you comfortable..
INT. LIBRARY. NIGHT.
Lit by a stock market ticker, Valerie sits in front of a
large desk. Alone. Waiting. Glances at papers on the desk.
CLICK! The door opens. It's not TABIR. It's HAFIZ.
Hi. I was waiting for Mr. Tabir.
My uncle had to leave. He asked me
to drive you to his tennis club.
You can have your meeting there..
INT/EXT. HAFIZ'S BMW. (MOVING) NIGHT
As they pull away, Valerie looks back. She spots TABIR
through a window --STILL AT THE PARTY -- She freezes.
HAFIZ turns off onto a deserted road in the Lake Gardens.
Why are we stopping?
He looks at her. Undoes his seatbelt.
Ms. Macdowall, my uncle believes
that trust is something you earn.
And he doesn't trust anyone until
he knows them very, very well..
He strokes her hair. She holds his eye. Composed.
But he trusts you, Hafiz..
The temperature in the car drops a hundred degrees.
How do you know my name?
HAFIZ's brain does 0-60 in 0.06 Seconds. He flips open the
glove box. Nothing there.
Your car was swept an hour ago.
(He goes for the door.)
Do not get out. If you get out of
this car I can't protect you.
HAFIZ STOPS DEAD. LOOKS IN THE REARVIEW: A black car, 50
yards behind. He grabs her arm.
Who are you?
Let go of my arm Hafiz. NOW.
Who the fuck are you? NOW!
He releases her arm. She holds his gaze. Breathing hard.
Listen carefully. Your uncle is in
business with Abu Domar Khan-
(Shaking his head His company provides Khan
smiling) with shipping, money
That's bullshit. laundering and contraband
Khan has made contact with a terror
organisation via an aid agency in
Pakistan. They are seeking
materials to build a weapon.
(She fixes him)
Your brother is in Kalutara jail in
Colombo facing execution for
trafficking. We can help him.
Bullshit. You can't help him. We can help him. Hafiz.
Listen to me. Listen.
You have to think straight here
Hafiz. Because I promise you one
thing... Right now, you have no
idea what we can and cannot do.
Hafiz looks in the rear view. At the floor. Deep inside
something stirred. She saw it..
We need information about your
uncle. Contacts. Shipments. If you
help us, we help you. If you don't,
your brother dies and tomorrow
you're sitting next to your uncle
in a cell in Thailand and it won't
be me asking the questions.
Hafiz closes his eyes, head back. She watches him closely.
You will get a call at 8am. You'll
be asked if you need a cleaner. You
want her to come three mornings per
week. Do you understand? I said DO
INT. GEORGETOWN BAR. NIGHT.
Packed. Behind the bar, FOX NEWS-- Bombing of Afghanistan. At
the bar, a birthday celebration. Cuervo shots. In back,
around a table piled high with empty Mexican plates, a group
of girls catch up. Valerie and some friends.
So after like six hours, he finally
manages to stand up on the
snowboard, and the instructor lets
go of him and he just plummets..
I swear to god, he can't turn, slow
down, for like four hundred yards.
And yet I'm incredible in bed.
AT THE BAR-- JOE WILSON, handsome, 50s, watches the
explosions on the screen. He picks up a tray.
Keep the change.
Valerie is being quizzed by her buddy's boyfriend, Steve.
So what do you do Valerie?
I work in Venture Capital. Brewster
Jennings, here in Georgetown.
Cool. So like net startups..?
Right. Retail and consumer..
Basically we create pooled
Sounds high risk..
I guess. But you know..high risk,
high return. Pretty boring
actually. So what do you do?
JOE arrives back to the table with a tray of drinks.
They're out of Corona. I got Me and Steve won't fly on the
a Rolling Rock. same plane. We won't even get
the same train together.
We got the same train to your
It only takes one to fly a Disneyland. A sarin attack on
plane into a nuclear power Disneyland.
Whatever they're telling us we're
totally vulnerable. I mean who's
It's real scary.
Joe. Would you risk taking your
kids to Disneyland right now?
Absolutely not. Far from being a
playground of the imagination,
Disneyland is actually a giant
clearing house for crappy
merchandise. And Space Mountain is
a major disappointment.
Valerie tries not to laugh. Gives him a stern look.
Joe thinks Disneyland is Vegas for
Vegas. A dirty bomb in Vegas.
OK. You get on a plane, there's two
guys with turbans, seats A1 and 2.
Joe closes his eyes. Valerie kicks him under the table.
They look nervous. They're
sweating, saying prayers..
Steve you have a two year old.
You're off that plane. You're
calling the cops. I think if we're
honest we all are.
Joe. Two guys. On a plane. Turbans.
Praying. Sweating. What's the call?
Joe opens his eyes. Catches Valeries'. Everybody listens. He
takes off his glasses. And looks at Jeff.
INT. CAR. NIGHT.
Valerie is driving home. Joe in the passenger seat.
Every time. Every time we go out.
He started it-
He's drunk Joe. Everybody's had a
hard day. They're just trying to
let off steam-
By invoking quasi-racist connundra?
The guy's a parent.
Is he telling his four year It's Diana's birthday. Jeff's
old to fear all men in her best friend.
So you can't call him a racist
If not sitting there while someone
spouts obnoxious crap makes you an
asshole. Then I'm an asshole. And
you knew that when you married me.
(Silence. She drives.)
By the way. How was your trip?
FLASHBACK. INT. TURKISH AMBASSADORS RESIDENCE. 1997. NIGHT.
A reception. Two hundred people in the main banquet hall. Joe
walks through the crowd. Working the room.
Valerie accepts an hors d'oeuvre. Catches sight of Joe
through the crowd. They catch eyes. She leans to her friend.
Later. Joe excuses himself and turns. Valerie stands there.
Hi. Forgive me. I was staring. It's
just I'm sure we've met before.
So who am I?
She smiles. He flounders a little. She offers her hand.
Joe. Joe Wilson.
Former Ambassador to Gabon.
Ambassador in Iraq during the Gulf
War. Married twice.. Has a
reputation for trouble.
You've been misinformed. I was only
acting Ambassador in Iraq.
Valerie smiles. He does too. It's electric.
So what do you do, Ms. Plame?
PRESENT DAY -- VALERIE ASLEEP in bed. She suddenly shakes.
Cries out. Joe wakes to see his wife, lost in a nightmare.
FLASHBACK -- THE RECEPTION. 1997.
I'm an energy consultant for a firm
And do you enjoy your work?
PRESENT DAY -- THE BEDROOM -- She doesn't wake. He strokes
her arm. On her wrist -- A DARK BRUISE. THREE FINGERPRINTS.
FLASHBACK -- THE RECEPTION. Valerie looks into Joe's eyes.
I love it.
INT. KITCHEN. DAY.
Joe carries the 3 year old twins, SAMANTHA and TREVOR in
Val. Where's the babysitter?
.. into the kitchen. Valerie, coat on, bolting coffee.
Didn't I say? She can't get here
til after lunch.
OK. I'll work from home this
Are you sure-
Relax. Me `n Spongebob are on it.
The kids start fighting. She picks up her bag.
Break it up. Trevor don't hit We're having supper with the
your sister. Mitchells Tuesday. But if you
want to skip it they know
I promise to behave.
She stops. Melts. Kisses him.
I promise to behave.
See. We're all gonna be on our best
She closes the front door. Joe looks momentarily marooned. He
begins picking up soft toys off the floor.
ESTABLISHING. CIA HEADQUARTERS AT LANGLEY. DAY.
CPD AGENT (O.S)
Counter Proliferation tracks and
thwarts nuclear and WMD acquisition
by rogue nations and non-state
INT. COUNTER PROLIFERATION DIVISION. BASEMENT. DAY
An agent walks six analysts through a crowded open plan
office. People squeezed in cubbyholes. Papers everywhere.
CPD AGENT (CONT'D)
We're the fastest growing division
in the Agency, which sounds cool
but means you may have to share a
desk. Work like hell for years you
may get your own cubbyhole. And if
you're a workaholic, they make you
boss, and you get-
He knocks on a door. Opens it. Valerie comes bursting out.
We follow Valerie into THE NEXT OFFICE-- where her colleague,
Ali, 30s, Indian, is on the phone.
Hafiz hired a cleaner.
Gotta go. Kuala Lumpur just went
Ali hangs up and follows her OUT INTO THE CORRIDOR. She scans
the page she's holding.
What time did he call this in?
11 hundred hours PST.
FLASHBACK. INT. KOPA OLEOCHEMICALS - KUALA LUMPUR. NIGHT
Hafiz, in a corridor in his Uncle's offices, late at night.
Light from a photocopier flashes across his sweating face.
CPD AGENT V/O (CONT'D)
The asset passed the intel to the
cleaner at approximately eight
fifteen local time, this morning.
FLASHBACK. INT. HAFIZ'S APARTMENT - KUALA LUMPUR.DAY
Hafiz hands a folded piece of paper to his elderly CLEANING
WOMAN. She puts it in her apron pocket.
CPD AGENT (O.S.)
She made the drop fifty minutes
later... just outside Ko Yonh
FLASHBACK. INT. KUALA LUMPUR SUBWAY TRAIN.
THE CLEANER alights, leaving her New Straits Times on the
seat. A BALD ASIAN COMMUTER next to her along picks it up.
-- SLAP! --
The paper is opened to a centre page feature of George Bush.
There is Hafiz's photocopy.
..a field team picked it up and D
and D'd it at the safe house..
In a cheap hotel room, under a broken ceiling fan another
Asian man scans the image into a laptop, behind him the BALD
COMMUTER strikes a match and burns the original.
INT. VALERIE'S OFFICE, CPD LANGLEY. DAY
Valerie, in her cramped office with half a dozen field
agents, briefs from a diagram on a white board.
We have a shipment. A holding
company in Pakistan asks Tabir to
purchase 200 un-identified units,
trackable by part numbers, from..
Teludyne Electronics of Lowell
EXT. TELUDYNE INDUSTRIES. LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS. DAY
Two men (from the briefing) in a WHIPPED CHEVY watch a red
truck leave an industrial unit in the suburbs of Lowell.
The shipment is delivered to Goza
Tech in Secaucus, New Jersey...
EXT. GOZA TECHNOLOGIES, 600 MEADOWLANDS PKWY NJ. NIGHT
The red truck turns into a low grey set of prefab buildings
in a business park. The CHEVY watches a forklift truck lift a
single pallet out and deliver it into the warehouse.
There it's bundled in with a second
shipment of legitimate electronic
parts, and documentation attached
that masks its point of origin.
INT. BONDED CUSTOMS WAREHOUSE. PORT NEWARK. NIGHT
Valerie, Ali, and the rest of the team walk through the neon
lit maze of packing cases and pallets towards a concerned
Its then dispatched as medical
electronics en route to a company
in Johannesburg South Africa. First
it spends the night at a bonded
customs warehouse in the Port of
Jersey. That's the intercept.
Can I help you?
VALERIE shows ID to the owner.
Sir, we're from U.S customs. Can I
take a moment of your time?
He takes off his cap and looks sick. An agent cracks the
packing case with a crowbar: white cardboard boxes. Valerie
draws a Buck knife and slices it open, rumaging in
polystyrene chips and comes out with a Coke sized white
plastic cylinder with two contacts at one end.
What the hell is that?
Valerie looks at the object.
A BLINDING FLASH OF PURE WHITE LIGHT becomes A GIANT BULBOUS
CLOUD of rolling hellfire. It mushrooms twenty thousand feet
over the New Mexico Desert. An awesome sight.
DR FORSTER (O.S.)
A spark gap is a high energy
INT. LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY. EXHIBITION CENTER. DAY
As a gaggle of schoolkids watch the sixty year old footage of
the Manhattan Project on a plasma screen, Valerie passes
through the compound with DR FORSTER, a geeky scientist in
his 30s. He holds the intercepted component.
To detonate a nuclear bomb you need
to be able to switch high voltage,
high current electrical circuits at
very high speeds to the nearest
hundredth of a nanosecond.
They pass through a security door to the labs.
The extremely short rise times are
achieved by discharging a low-
induct, high-voltage capacitor
through the spark gap into the
bridge wire inside the warhead. The
ballpark is 5 kilovolt and 1 mf for
the capacitor, with a peak current
between 500 and 1000 amperes...
Does it have other uses?
High speed photography, industrial
photo-chemistry. Zapping kidney
stones.Is someone out there
building the fire train for a
nuclear device component by
(Shakes his head)
You're talking one helluva
complicated process. This guy is
just one tiny piece in the jigsaw.
She hands him a piece of paper.
This is a list of other components
exported through the same network
over the last 3 years. Tilt tables.
timing equipment. High speed
Quartz rate sensors. Calibration
(Takes off his glasses.)
It's not kidney stones. Thank god
you stopped this.
I'm not stopping it.
I don't understand..
INT. COUNTER PROLIFERATION DIVISION. LANGLEY. DAY.
Valerie's team are in a briefing room.
We keep the transaction live. Trace
it all the way to the end user.
She takes them through a full whiteboard.
The shipment arrives in Joburg on
the 21st. It's put in an unmarked
container and shipped to the free
trade zone in Dubai. Our asset
meets there with the buyer on the
She tosses a spark gap to one of her team.
Dr Forster and his team at Los
Alamos have altered the impedence
timings of the spark gaps by a
fraction of a nanosecond.
Basically, they won't know it
doesn't work til it doesn't work.
Can we put a wire on the asset?
The door at the back opens. The Deputy of CPD enters with the
Chief. Everybody sits up. Valerie continues..
Too dangerous. This network has
avoided detection for years. Expect
meticulous operational security and
counter surveillance. Any
They disperse. The deputy director of CDP buttonholes her..
Val. The chief wants to see you.
INT. CORRIDOR. LANGLEY. DAY.
Valerie walks with MIKE and BILL, their chief.
Val, seventh floor have issued a
directive for a Joint Task Force on
Iraq. We want you to head it up.
Valerie doesn't blink.
You can pick your team. This is top
priority. Down the line D.F.U.
What about the Dubai op?
Mike says you got a hunch on the
Manucher Vaziri. Syrian National.
Based out of Karachi. On a wire
picked up in Cairo he talks about
componentry from a known source in
Pakistan he's moving to an unnamed
Vaziri's devoutly Shia. Iraq's
controlled by the Sunni. Saddam's
Sunni. There's no way this is Iraq.
They're all good Muslims right?
And Martin Luther King and the KKK
are both Christian.
Great job. From Monday, I need you
both eyes on Iraq.
At the door, they shake hands. Mike and Valerie walk off.
Don't fuck up.
A framed photograph, of Joe walking in the Rose Garden with
the forty first President, George HW Bush. "To Joe Wilson,
with respect and Best Wishes, George Bush..
States like these, and their
terrorist allies, constitute an
axis of evil, arming to threaten
the peace of the world...
INT. JOE WILSON'S DEN. CHARLESTON TERRACE. WASHINGTION. DAY.
CNN is on in the background, low. State of the Union Address,
2002. Joe, working on something, recording voice notes, half-
watching the President over his papers.
PRESIDENT V/O (ON CNN)
They could provide these arms to
terrorists, giving them the means
to match their hatred..
ACROSS THE ROOM -- beneath a wall of well-thumbed tomes, two
year old twins, TREVOR and SAMANTHA are lost in play. Trevor
hauls in the flex of a globe lamp on a top shelf.
They could attack our allies or
attempt to blackmail the United
States. In any of these cases, the
price of indifference would be
CRASH! -- Joe turns as the shelf GIVES WAY, and an avalanche
of books and keepsakes buries his kids. Hollers. Tears.
Hey hey hey. Everybody OK? Let's
take a look at you. Four arms. Four
legs. No broken bones.
He lugs them out. The front door opens. It's Heather the
Hey kids! Joe I'm sorry I'm late.
That's fine. Look guys. Heather's
On TV, Live. The President crossing the White House Lawn,
towards Marine One.
As the kids play with Heather in the lounge, Joe makes a
coffee in the kitchen, watching the President on TV as he
mounts the ramp. The cabin door shuts tight. A wash of rotor
blades. The chopper lifts off.
Joe takes the coffee and walks out onto the deck. He looks up
into the sky. A THRUMMING BUILDS. The deck shakes, the sky
turns black as Marine One thunders over low. Deafening.
CLOSEUP: SATELLITE IMAGES OF INSTALLATIONS IN A DESERT.
Val takes her eye from a magnifying stand.
INT. OPEN PLAN OFFICE, LANGLEY. LATE AT NIGHT
No-one around. Alone, VALERIE, surrounded by piles of files
and folders, scans pictures of military hardware, checks it
against its corresponding aerial signature.
How do you think she got the job?
She cocks an ear. PUTTING ON THEIR COATS, two male analysts:
Memo comes out saying we got two
percent women in executive roles.
It's quotas by another name.
There's ten guys I could name could
do the job better..
I wonder who's she's fucking.
She freezes. -- SUDDENLY--
VOICE (MIKE, O.S)
Don't you have a home to go to?
She turns. MIKE, her director is there. He smiles.
TWO MINUTES LATER.
In MIKE's office. She reading the document.
DIA released the report Tuesday.
WINPAC aren't buying and State
kicked it back, but it's making
waves in the Vice President's
(He looks at her)
What do you think?
He's qualified. He's been there
hundreds of times. Knows the arena
You don't look overjoyed.
He's been working hard to build his
business. Then there's the twins.
Money's kinda tight right now.
(He looks at her)
We're at full stretch here. You
know that better than anyone. He's
helped us before. Could you ask him
to come in?
INT. MARBLE LOBBY, CIA HEADQUARTERS, LANGLEY. DAY.
The vast lobby at Langley. Operatives, analysts, come and go
in the hushed marble atrium. Joe in a dark suit, attache
case, stares at the wall. Reads the inscription.
"In Honor of Those Members of the Central Intelligence Agency
Who Gave Their Lives in The Service of Their Country"
FLASHBACK. INT. BEDROOM. 1997. DAY.
Joe and Valerie lie in bed. Face to face.
You want to go out for breakfast.
Or stay here?
I want to live with you.
She looks into his eyes. A tear rolls out of her eye.
There's something I have to tell
PRESENT DAY -- The memorial on the North Wall. No names. Just
rows and rows of anonymous black stars. Dead Covert Officers.
FLASHBACK -- THE BEDROOM.
What are you thinking?
Is your name really Valerie?
PRESENT DAY. LOBBY. LANGLEY.
Joe turns. His wife is standing there.
He moves away from the memorial. In this unfamiliar context,
this is slightly awkward.
Nice place you got here. Cosy.
I need to get you cleared.
INT. ELEVATOR, CIA HEADQUARTERS, LANGLEY. DAY.
A big VISITORS badge on Joe. Side by side. They go down.
You work in the basement?
Actually. I work in Georgetown for
Brewster Jennings. We're a small
firm of Venture Capitalists.
That must be interesting work.
It pays the rent.
INT. BASEMENT, LANGLEY. DAY.
Valerie leads Joe into a windowless room. MIKE. Five or six
analysts. Agents from CIA and State Department.
This is Joe Wilson. Joe, this is
Mike, the Deputy Chief of CPD.
I'll leave you guys to it.
Businesslike, Valerie leaves. Joe sits. Silence.
Mr Wilson, what can you tell us
Joe looks around the room. Clears his throat.
I believe it's a concentrate
obtained from uranium ore used to
create fissile material for weapons
programs. But I'm not a scientist.
What about Niger?
The UN Human Development Index
ranks Niger the number one Least
Liveable country in the world. I
started my Foreign Service there.
As Ambassador to Gabon, I travelled
back many times. Then as director
of Africa policy for the NSC under
President Clinton, I frequently
visited, often met with Prime
Minister Mayaki. I know the former
foreign minister. I know the
Minister of Mines.
The Office of the Vice President
has received a report concerning a
memorandum of sale between the
governments of Niger and Iraq for
the purchase of five hundred tons
of Yellowcake Uranium ore..
(He fixes Joe)
I don't have to tell you how
serious this allegation is.
No Sir, you don't.
He leans forward.
This is a request from the Vice
President. Can you help us?
ESTABLISHING: A LONE DC-8 FLIES ACROSS A CORAL PINK SKY.
A DC-8 judders in low over hills surrounding Niamey airport.
INSIDE --Joe, two days growth, blinks out the window. Below,
a rusty burned out DC-8 which didn't make it.
EXT. TAXI, NIGERIEN ROAD. DAY
Joe, in the back of a hot, rickety Renault, rattling along
the highway into town. Low earthen dwellings. Camel trains.
INT. HOTEL ROOM, NAIMEY. DAY
A tiny, hot cell. A sign on the bathroom door. "RED HOT
SHOVER". Turns the ceiling fan on. Loud grinding.
INT. BATHROOM. DAY.
Joe lathers up his face to shave. He turns on the tap. No
water. He looks at himself in the mirror.
Bien revenue a Niger M. Wilson.
EXT. OUTSIDE DUSTY BODEGA. DAY.
Joe, unshaven, shakes hands with a 60 year old Nigerien.
Par la grace D'Allah. Comment allez
vous, M. Bonzala ?
INSIDE - We subtitle the mixture of French dialect and Hausa.
Last time we met I was Minister,
you Ambassador. Now, thanks to
Allah, we are free men. You're
growing a beard, no?
So it would seem.
So tell me. How can Niger help its
old friend, America?
INT. CONFERENCE ROOM, DIRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCE. DAY.
Several analysts sit around a table, including the LEAD
ANALYST, PAUL. Two of them are the guys who were bad-mouthing
Valerie. Another is JOE TURNER, a dough-faced offical from
WINPAC (Weapons Intelligence Non Proliferaton and Control).
"In summer 2001 Iraq sought to
purchase 60,000 high alloy 7075-T4
aluminum tubes manufactured in
China. The high spec of these tubes
led us to conclude they were
intended for the enrichment of
uranium. In August 2001 J.
Turner.." That's me.. "flew to
Vienna, to meet with IAEA
scientists. Mr. Turner produced
this report, aspects of which
represents the CIA's present
position." I'm happy to take
The INR concluded late last year
that these tubes were probably for
artillery use, and the DOE agreed
they exactly matched those used by
Iraq for artillery rockets.
Where are the tubes?
WINPAC has them. We've examined
them. This is my point. None of you
guys has even seen the tubes.
I've seen them.
Everyone looks at her.
And when was that?
Valerie looks up. Slightly surprised by his tone.
When I seized them last year in
Jordan. When I headed the covert
team that intercepted them, bought
back samples and delivered them to
you guys at WINPAC.
A couple of the analysts try not to smile.
So I take it you're not a nuclear
expert. These tubes are an EXACT
match for those developed by German
scientist Gernot Zippe in the 50s.
Valerie turns to her notes from her reading.
You're right. I'm no nuclear
expert. But Dr. Houston Wood, at
Virginia U atomic facility is. He
also knows Dr Zippe, who's 89 and
lives in Austria, and he told him
that the wall thickness of the
Iraqi tubes was three or four times
the thickness of his design.
And the tubes are twice as long as
Zippe's design. In fact the only
similarity between his tubes and
the alumumium tubes is that they're
made of aluminium.
A metal that hasn't been used in
gas centrifuges since 1952.
The chauvanist analysts share a look of respect for Valerie.
Still Turner doesn't give up.
I went to Vienna. Canada. I've
worked on this for months. They're
So basically, they're your tubes
and if we don't let you win you're
Joe. No one is saying you're wrong
here. But if you're right, it's
huge. So we ask the question.
Right? We have to ask the question.
EXT. DESERT ROAD. DAY.
Joe rides shotgun, in a 4X4, driven deep into the Sahara.
Niger has two Uranium mines in the
Sahara desert. One's flooded. The
other's run by COGEMA, a French
subsidiary, jointly controlled by
the Japanese and Germans.
A collossal earthworks defacing the flat, hot moonscape. Joe
is escorted around the mines by a small team.
500 tons of Yellowcake is not an
off the books size transaction, it
represents a 40% production
increase in the nation's annual
output of uranium. A sale that size
would leave a huge paper trail.
INT. HOTEL. DAY.
Joe sits on his bed, under the noisy fan, making notes.
Any documentation would by law have
to be signed by the Prime Minister,
Foreign minister, and the Minister
of the mines... But say it was an
off the books deal..
EXT. ROADSIDE VILLAGE. DAY.
The long road back from the mines the previous day, Joe's
Land Rover pulls over. Everyone comes out to see them.
How do you hide the transportation
of 500 tons of anything, let alone
lightly refined uranium?
JOE (V.O.) (cont'd)
You're talking fifty semi tractor
trucks on one road through villages
where nothing passed for months
except maybe one bush taxi. It
would be the biggest event for
months. To say they forgot, it's
like kids forgetting Christmas.
ESTABLISHING-- JOE AND VALERIE'S HOUSE. NIGHT.
INSIDE -- Joe sits at the dining room table, debriefed by two
CIA agents, over Chinese take out.
The droughts of the 80s and 90s
were met by millions of dollars of
U.S Aid, which continues to this
day. It just doesn't make sense
Niger would compromise this
lifeline. For that reason, and the
others I've given, it's my opinion
that the sale couldn't happen.
Joe shows them out. Shuts the door. Valerie appears.
What happens next?
They write a report. Give it to the
analysts. It'll be re-written, then
kicked upstairs where it'll be
thrown in with whoever else's
report they got-
Joe snorts derisively.
You guys are hysterical. I can't
believe you're actually gonna send
someone else all the way out there
to ask exactly the same questions.
You can't compile Intelligence from
a single source? That's not
Intelligence. That's an opinion.
I can save the CIA some air fare
here. There isn't a snowflakes
chance in hell this thing happened.
What if you're wrong? One guy says
it's true. It's not true. Lots of
guys say it's true, it's still not
true. It's intelligence. It's slow.
Painstaking. But it works. Checks
What am I, a check or a balance?
Probably neither. You're a teeny
tiny weeny cog in a giant machine.
But you did your job. You should
feel good. They count on that.
That's why they don't pay you.
I'm not feeling that 007 right now.
She puts her arms around his neck. Kisses him sexily.
I can get the kids to make you a
medal, if it'll help.
Us double oh's are more about the
I'll see what I can do.
They start making out.
TELEVISION FOOTAGE OF A PRESS CONFERENCE.
Mr. President, in your speeches now
you rarely talk or mention Osama
bin Laden. Why is that?
INT. CHIEF'S OFFICE. DAY
VALERIE leans over an analyst's desk as together they study
photographs of a Syrian man in his sixties on the analysts
screen.. The TV is on in the corner of the computer screen..
PRESIDENT ON TV
The idea of focusing on one person
indicates people don't understand
the scope of the mission. Terror is
bigger than one person. So I just
don't spend that much time on him,
Kelly, to be honest with you...
Valerie looks up and stops. ACROSS THE FLOOR SCOOTER LIBBY,
his assistant and TWO AIDES, walk past. Heads turn.
Why is the OVP here?
INT. MIKE'S OFFICE. DAY.
The Deputy director hears a knock. It's Valerie.
Mike. The Vice President's men are
What the fuck?
INT. BRIEFING ROOM. DAY.
No windows. A lone analyst sits sweating bullets. LIBBY,
spectacles on, thick folder open on his knee..
My name is I. Lewis Libby. I'm the
Chief of Staff to The Vice
President. You are?
Dave. I'm an analyst. In non-
What can you tell the Vice
President about aluminium tubes?
INT. CIA MESS HALL, 2ND FLOOR, LANGLEY. DAY
Valerie and Mike queue up in the mess with JIM PAVITT, 52 the
Deputy Director of the CIA.
Relax Mike. The Veep's just
dotting the i's.
Bullshit Jim. The only time a Vice
President comes to Langley is to
cut a fucking ribbon.
Look. Cheney doesn't trust us. This
shit with Dick goes back thirty
years. It'll blow over.
(He turns to Valerie)
Where are we on Iraq?
Behind the curve Sir. Most of the
intel is outdated. We don't have a
single operative or asset in the
What about geo-satellite imaging?
With respect sir, you can't look at
this problem from space and make a
So talk to the defectors.
The defectors are unreliable. Most
are supplied through a former asset
the agency's had on a burn notice
since `95. It's a racket. They walk
in and get paid to say whatever the
Pentagon wants to hear.
So we're blind.
We need sources we can rely on. We
need to get in close.
Jim. Val thinks she can get us
inside the weapons program.
Pavitt looks at her.
Rows and rows of stationary. Shelves filled pads, pens.
Pencils. Photocopy paper. Shelves twenty feet high.
INT. PAPER SUPPLIES AND STATIONERY SHOP. DAY
Valerie selects a pad and a pencil and approaches the counter
where a lugubrious woman in a pink Sari is doing Su Doku.
Valerie pays for her notebook and steps out into ---
EXT. BUSY STREET. CAIRO, EGYPT. DAY
The streets throng with traffic. Somalian taxi drivers.
Central Africans ferrying exotic produce. Egyptians smoking
apple tobacco. Colors. Bustle. A different world.
Valerie, head shrouded in a scarf, puts the notebook in her
bag and pushes her way along the crowded street, buzzing with
scooters and pedestrians. She steps through an archway into --
EXT. SULTANATE COURTYARD, CAIRO UNIVERSITY. DAY
An ancient cloister filled with an excited clamor. Fresh
faced students pile into a lecture theater. She follows.
The warping of the extra dimension
is analogous to the warping of
spacetime in the vicinity of a
massive object eg: a black hole.
INT. WOOD PANELLED LECTURE HALL. CAIRO UNIVERSITY. DAY
Wrapt Silence. Valerie sits at the back. She opens her new
notebook and listens.
ON STAGE -- An old Middle-Eastern professor is giving a
lecture with the help of an over-head projector. Giant shadow
hands deftly trace algebraic formulae onto projector.
Red-shifting, generates a large
ratio of energy scales so that the
natural scale at one end of the
extra dimension is much larger.
PROFESSOR AZIZ (V.O.)
It's an honor to meet you at last
EXT. CLOISTERS OF CAIRO UNIVERSITY. DAY
The prof walks with Valerie talking excitedly.
I was unable to attend your String-
Gravity seminar at MIT but I read a
transcript. Truly groundbreaking
The Faculty have just moved me, so
you must excuse the mess.
He shows Valerie up a stone staircase and through a door.
INT. BOOKLINED STUDY. CAIRO UNIVERSITY. DAY
Books everywhere. Lots still in boxes.
My old rooms were on the other side
of the courtyard. They were smaller
but I got the morning sunlight.
Will you settle for Peppermint tea.
The professor hands Valerie a cup of mint tea and sits.
Tell me Dr. Harper, did you read my
latest paper on quarks. I cite your
1995 essay more than once. I would
be very intrigued to know what you
made of my findings..
She sits forward.
Sir, Dr Harper is in Cambridge,
Massachusetts. She received a call
yesterday requesting she stay home
for 48 hours.
The professor blinks. Taken aback.
I don't understand. Who are you?
I'm sorry for misleading you. But
I'm here to ask you the same
Because you are not Professor Aziz.
He stands there. Thrown.
I'm sorry to surprise you like this
Sir. Your name is Doctor Harif Al
Fallari. You were born in Basra.
The old man looks perplexed. Even a little amused. He sits.
Well. This is indeed a strange
morning. Madam, there seems to have
been a mistake. My name is Said
Uhmah Aziz. I am a theoretical
physicist. I model space. I've
never been to Basra. I'm a teacher.
I'd like to be of assistance. But
I'm afraid I can't help you.
So you're not Doctor Fallari.
Madam. I've never even heard of
You were not lead engineer at the
Osirak nuclear installation outside
Tikrit. You were never captured by
the Mukhbarat escaping to Syria.
You didn't spend three years in the
Abu Dhan jail.
This is absurd.
You weren't tortured. Broken. You
didn't finally escape and arrive
here in Cairo with nothing.
Dr. Al Fallari had two daughters.
They were taken by Uday Hussein's
private guard. He never saw them
He stares at the floor.
That didn't happen. They never
He remains motionless. Valerie watches him closely.
I need names. Of your colleagues in
the weapons programmes. The lives
of hundreds of thousands of your
people may depend upon it.
He looks up at Valerie tears in his eyes
I know Tarif. I know what happened.
He walks over to the window. SLOWLY he takes off his jacket.
His shirt, pulls it off over his head and turns his back to
her. He's been mutilated and burned all up his back. Slowly
he turns. Deep scars. Burns.
You know nothing.
EXT. CAIRO STREET. DUSK.
Sunset. Traders are packing up. Valerie hurries into --
INT. SAFE HOUSE. CAIRO. DUSK.
..up some rickety stairs and unlocks a graffiti covered door.
Inside she takes out the notepad, her heart beating fast. On
the page, A LIST OF NAMES.
She pulls a ruggedized laptop from under the bed and pushes
the plug into a bare wires socket. It fizzes. She starts to
type the names into the computer.
ESTABLISHING. RAINY LANGLEY. DAY.
INT. CHIEF OF CPD'S OFFICE. DAY.
MIKE at his desk. His secretary pops her head round the door.
INT. BRIEFING ROOM. DAY.
An analyst sits opposite Scooter Libby. He's so nervous he
can barely open his eyes.
The Iraqis were trying to buy the
tubes off the internet. They spent
three million dollars weather-
proofing the tubes. Plus the tubes
are roughly twice too long. Now you
could argue that that's to disguise
them, you could saw them in half.
That's sixty thousand tubes.
I mean whew. Saddam's gonna get the
mother of all blisters..
Laughs. Libby stares, unsmiling. Keeps sawing. Wishing to God
he'd never started.
The door opens and the analyst, white as a sheet, comes out.
A couple of colleagues are waiting outside.
How was it?
Don't make jokes.
ANALYST 1 drifts his way back to his desk. ANALYST 2
swallows, and disappears into the `interrogation' room.
INT. BATHROOM. DAY.
PAUL, the chief analyst, comes out of the stall. ANALYST 2 is
there, throwing up in the sink.
He thinks I don't know how serious
it is.. weeks and weeks of fifteen
hour days, we've gone back over and
OK. I'll handle this.
Scooter listens patiently to PAUL, the chief analyst.
And so apart from all the
scepticism surrounding the
specification, the analysis from
the IAEA which I believe is
numbered in the report..
(Stops. Changes tack)
Mr Libby. Energy department nuclear
scientists are among the most
boring people on the planet. They
can talk about gas centrifuges
until you want to jump out of a
window. And maybe once every ten
years someone comes along and says
"so, tell me about gas
centrifuges". That's literally the
only time you should listen to
these guys. If they say an
aluminium tube is not for a gas
centrifuge it's like a fish talking
about water. We've been over this
data with you now five, six times.
And... We don't really know how you
want us to play this..
Libby listens. He nods. Waits.
Let me level with you here Paul. I
don't know what these tubes are
for. From everything you're saying,
there could be something to this,
but very likely not, right?
May I ask a question? When you say
we don't really know how to play
this, what do you mean?
(Stops. Turns white)
I'm just saying I don't know how to
say it any other way than that-
Except you didn't say `I' you said
`we'. So you and the others have
discussed how to "play" these
briefings. Why does the CIA feel
the need to play these briefings?
No. I mean that.. Ok. I didn't mean
what I just said.
Which part. The last part. Or other
I'm a getting a little confused-
You want me to come back?
No. GOD no.
The temperature drops five degrees.
You don't know why I'm here do you?
In 1991 the United States invaded
Iraq, and afterwards weapons
inspectors discovered Saddam was
six months off enriching uranium to
sufficiently high specification to
make a nuclear bomb. He had fissile
material. And not a single person
at the CIA, from the DCI down to
the janitor had the slightest clue
that such a program even existed.
So now, one decade on, are you
telling me that you're 100% sure
these tubes are not intended to
create nuclear weapons?
I..Sir..OK. With intelligence,
nothing's 100 percent.
So. What? Are you.. Ninety nine
percent sure? Ninety eight?
You can't put an exact figure. You
can't be that precise.
But if you had to say, could you
say you're ninety seven percent
sure? Is there a three percent
chance you've got this wrong? Or
four? Or five? Still pretty good
odds. You like those odds Paul? You
willing to put your name to that.
Are you ready to make that call?
I don't make the call, Sir-.
Yes you do Paul. Each time you
interpret a piece of data. Each
time you choose a "maybe" over a
"perhaps" you make a call. A
decision. And right now you're
making lots of little decisions
adding up to a big decision and out
there's a real world where millions
of people depend upon you being
right. But what if there's a one
percent chance you're wrong. Can
you say for sure you'll take that
chance and state, as a fact, that
this equipment is not intended for
a nuclear weapons programme?
The analyst sits frozen.
Do you know what one percent of the
population of this country is? It's
three million, two hundred and
forty thousand souls.
Sir. We're not machines. We.. It..
We look at the evidence, we game it
out. Not everyone agrees all the
time. It's a process.
It's a process.
And not everyone agrees.
Who doesn't agree?
SFX: A VOLLEY OF GUNFIRE. FOLLOWED BY ANOTHER. AND ANOTHER.
EXT. ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETARY. DAY
Full military funeral, in the rain. A hundred mourners from
Langley. Some uniformed. A coffin draped in the flag
A hymn is sung. In the bleechers, the analyst from the
meeting earlier, pauses in the break between verses and
squints through the rain at the bank of seats across the
OVER THERE is THE LANGLEY TOP BRASS. JIM PAVITT. Next to him,
GEORGE TENET, DCI. Next to him...... of all people.... JOE
TURNER, (the analyst from WINPAC).
What the fuck is Joe Turner doing
next to the DCI?
Didn't you hear? Friday the DCI
took him to the White House. He
briefed the President on Aluminum
You're fucking kidding me.
Turner is over there, singing the hymn, rubbing shoulders
with the good and the great.
AT THE BACK -- Valerie stands with a number of other agents,
MIKE and BILL, her Chief. A lone bugler and marine drummer
beat out a last post. A widow weeps.
Its a dead end.
Valerie walks with the Chief and other senior agents away
from the graveside.
So we've got a list of names. The
Mukhbarat watch the scientists
night and day. Their houses are
bugged. Their friends are followed.
Say we drop in a light weight tac
team outside the city.
You get through the checkpoints and
roadblocks. You show up in my
bedroom in the dead of the night
with an armed tac team ask me to
help out Uncle Sam? I'm going to
What about forcible extraction of
two or three of the main targets?
No. We've got 29 names. I want to
get to them all.
How? You can't use the inspectors.
You can't use tac. The wall's too
high Val. What are you going to do.
Train a mouse?
INT. BEDROOM. NIGHT.
Joe opens his eyes. Rolls across. He's alone.
INT. KITCHEN, THE WILSON HOME. NIGHT
Joe comes downstairs...Valerie is by the front door, dressed,
cinched black mack, suitcase.
Hey, did I wake you up?
It's three forty five..
I gotta go. I have to be at the
airport in forty five minutes.
Joe, still half-asleep, catches up.
Well...how long this time? I
mean... Do we need childcare for
I left a post-it by the lamp. Its
all on the post-it.
Right. Its on the post-it.
I didn't want to wake you.
Are you OK?
We've been leaving post-its for
each other for months now.. we talk
via Post-It. That fridge is like a
dead letter drop.
Jesus. Listen to me!. I sound like
an old... Some-
(He bangs the door)
I don't know where you go. Who you
meet. If you're in some jail, or
lying in some ditch in Jordan,
Beirut. And if you go missing, I
can't tell anyone because you were
never there. I'd never know what
happened. I don't know where you
I'm going to Cleveland.
He stops. Thunder-robbed.
I'll be home tonight.
It's on the Post-It.
She kisses him. They look at one another.
Have a nice day.
She shuts the door, leaving Joe alone. He walks through to
the kitchen, looks at the fridge, one by one he takes all the
notes off, then, deliberately, drops them in the bin.
INT. EMERGENCY ROOM, EUCLID CLINIC, CLEVELAND. DAY
A busy ER. A female doctor shakes hands with grateful
parents. She bends down to talk to a boy, cast on his arm.
VALERIE watches from a distance.
EXT. SUBURBAN HOME, MORELAND HILLS, CLEVELAND. DAY
A car park. The female doctor gets out of her car, with
grocery bags, and goes toward her house.
ACROSS THE STREET -- VALERIE watches from a parked rental.
As the doctor finds the right key, she suddenly turns to see--
Dr. Al Haddad? Is there somewhere
we can speak?
INT. STARBUCKS, SHOPPING MALL, SUBURBS OF CLEVELAND. NIGHT
In the foreground some goth kids play with their ipods. In
the window, Valerie and Dr. Sawsan Al Haddad sip coffee.
How long is it since you saw your
1989. I attended a medical
convention over there. Before that,
in `83, he came here for an
engineering conference. Twice in
twenty five years. We try to stay
in contact. It's difficult.
Would you like to go back and see
SAWSAN holds her gaze.
You want me to become a spy.
We need to ask Sa'ad some
questions. Do you think he would
I'm a doctor. I work hard. I'm also
a mother. I have a small girl and
I'm all she has.
We can help your brother. Right now
he is extremely valuable to us.
And to Saddam. The Mukbarat watch
him night and day.
He could come here Sawsan. He's an
expert physicist. He'd have a job,
his children, his family would be
safe. You, your daughter could see
him whever you want. Sawsan. Can
you help us?
I won't do anything to help you. I
don't know you. I would only do
this for Sa'ad.
Then do it for Sa'ad.
Valerie watches her.
What would I have to do?
ESTABLISHING. SHIMMERING CITYSCAPE OF AMMAN. JORDAN. NIGHT.
INT. HOTEL LOBBY. NIGHT.
Westerners mix with Mid-Easterners. A tea trolley crosses the
floor and disappears into a service elevator.
INT. TWELVE FLOOR CORRIDOR./HOTEL SUITE. NIGHT.
The elevator opens and a tea trolley stops outside room 1201.
The door is opened by Valerie's colleague. Ali. It is wheeled
inside. As Ali signs, cups of tea are poured.
He carries one into THE BEDROOM and hands it to Sawsan, who
sits on the edge of a bed wearing a long black traditional
Abaya. There are two other agents there, with Valerie. One of
them is holding a notebook..
The pages of this notebook are fast
burning. You write on them like
normal, but if you need to destroy
them in an emergency..
He whips out a zippo. Sets fire to one. It's gone in a flash.
You have two of these in your
luggage. Now this is the only pen
we want you to use..
The other agent shows her a pen.
The ink in this pen is visible for
10 seconds. Only when given the the
correct chemical fixative can it be
- I am not taking any of this. If
the Mukhbarat find any of this they
will do things to me you cannot
imagine. Tell me what you need to
know. I will memorise it.
Ma'am, we have 50 very specific
questions, some extremely
You have 206 different bones in
your body. Do you want their names
in english, latin or arabic?
They look to Val for a decision. She can't help but smile.
Later. The agents have gone. Just Sawsan and Valerie.
How do you feel?
She's trying to drink her tea, but she's shaking. Val takes
her hand and silently grips it.
Just remember, if anyone asks you
anything, if anyone stops you stay
calm and tell the truth. You're
just visiting your brother. Keep it
simple and keep to the truth.
Except it's not the truth.
How do you do it?
She searches Valerie's face.
How do you be someone you're not?
How do you lie to someone? To their
face. How do you do it?
Valerie looks at her. Before she can answer we --
OUTSIDE -- Ali checks his watch. Knocks on the door. Opens
it. Valerie and Sawsan look up from the edge of bed.
EXT. QUEEN ALIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. AMMAN. JORDAN.
A taxi cab stops and SAWSAN is helped out by the driver.
From a car across the street -- Valerie watches:
Sawsan rolls her suitcase into the terminal. At the door she
glances behind her...and disappears inside.
Ali and Valerie get out the car looking every bit like
tourists, suitcases, sunglasses, guidebook etc.
INT. QUEEN ALIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. AMMAN. JORDAN.
Valerie and Ali enter the revolving doors and follow her at a
distance across the shiny beige and gold marble floors.
By the the check in desk for the Gulf Air flight to Baghdad
stand TWO MOUSTACHIOED MEN in dark suits.
Valerie and Ali have stopped in a electronic goods store.
Mukhbarat. Watching the flight desk
on this side.
Valerie aims her zoom lens camera and as if appraising it as
a purchase, firing off some shots of the Iraqi agents.
Sawsan reaches the desk and is stopped by the two men.
They watch her talking to the men, handing over her passport.
The Iraqi agent stares at her. He asks a question in arabic
No subtitles. Sawsan responds. She remains cool, almost
disinterested. The men exchange sentences of arabic.
Valerie watches from a distance. Heart beating. At last they
allow Sawsan through, she checks onto the flight.
Sawsan walks through to board the plane. Valerie watches her
finally disappear beneath a huge advertising image.
INT. ALI'S HOTEL ROOM, GRAND HYATT. NIGHT.
Ali kneels on the floor and begins his prayer to Allah.
CU: SNEAKERS RUNNING ON A TREADMILL. A LITHE BODY PUSHING IT.
INT. GYMNASIUM, GRAND HYATT AMMAN. NIGHT
VALERIE runs.. She looks at her reflection in the window, and
the lights beyond.
CLOSE ON HER FACE --
FLASHBACK. THE HOTEL ROOM EARLIER: VALERIE sitting on the
edge of the bed with SAWSAN. The answer to her question:
You have to know. Know why you're
lying. And never forget the truth..
Valerie running. She pushes hard on the treadmill. Pouring
the stress out of her. CNN is on the TV above her.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE on WOLF BLITZER.
TELEVISION (REAL FOOTAGE)
We read in the New York Times today
a story that says that Saddam
Hussein is closer to acquiring
Slowly she stops running. Turns the volume up..
We do know that he is actively
pursuing a nuclear weapon. That
there have been shipments into Iraq
of high-quality aluminum tubes that
are only really suited for nuclear
weapons programs, centrifuge
TELEVISION (REAL FOOTAGE) -- FOX NEWS SUNDAY WITH BRIT HUME
And as we saw in reporting just
this morning, he is still trying to
acquire some of the specialized
aluminum tubing one needs to
develop centrifuges that would give
you an enrichment capability.
TELEVISION (REAL FOOTAGE) -- MEET THE PRESS.
Specifically aluminum tubes.
There's a story in The New York
Times this morning. I want to
attribute The Times. I don't want
to talk about specific intelligence
sources but it's now public that he
has been seeking to acquire the
kinds of tubes that are necessary
to build a centrifuge.
It's a coordinated leak..
INT. VALERIE'S ROOM.
Valerie on the phone, soaked in sweat, watches Meet the Press
on cable. She's on the phone to --
-- MIKE IN HIS OFFICE IN LANGLEY on the phone to VALERIE:
Someone in the OVP leaked to the
New York Times and now they're
across the networks quoting the
leak. "Smoking gun". "Mushroom
cloud". They're using the same
words. It's co-ordinated.
I'm coming home.
TELEVISION (REAL FOOTAGE)
BLITZER (ON TV)
Is Iraq's regime of Saddam Hussein
right now a clear and present
danger to the United States?
CONDOLEEZZA (ON CNN)
There is no doubt that Saddam
Hussein's regime is a danger to the
United States and to its allies, to
our interests. The problem here is
that there will always be some
uncertainty about how quickly he
can acquire nuclear weapons. But we
don't want the smoking gun to be a
ESTABLISHING. CHARLSTON TERRACE. NIGHT.
From the Wilsons, a homely glow emanates.
INT. JOE AND VAL'S HOUSE. NIGHT.
A dinner party. Dirty plates, red wine, late night. Joe, Val
and their friends. Joe is preparing to light a cigar.
OK. Number one I always open the
window and close the door..
You can still smell it.
You want me to roll up a wet towel?
Like a teenager smoking in his
bedroom. Maybe sandbag my study?
What's wrong with the deck? You used to smoke like crazy
when I met you.
Oh right. Middle of winter. It's
minus ten degrees. The whole point-
Put on a coat.
Valerie. Steve. Help me out. Val.
The whole point of a cigar you
gotta get a little Winston
Churchill vibe goin'. Slippers. A
Musty books, slippers. Maybe a
Exactly. You can't be freezing your
balls off in a GOOSEDOWN alone in
Don't think Churchill. Think Scott
of the Antarctic.
That's it. I quit.
He tosses the cigar down. She kisses his nose.
Honey Joe that's terrific It's about personal choice.
news. I'm so proud of you. It's Joe's personal choice to
gas his kids..
My father smoked cigars at the
dinner table for forty years. And
look at me.
Joe feigns a cough. Laughter. Joe slaps his sides manfully.
LATER -- The conversation has turned to politics.
It was on Blitzer and Meet It came from the Times. Judy
the Press. All over the news. Miller.
The New York Times. Exactly.
Can I ask a dumb question. What is
an aluminum tube?
They have the tubes Saddam They're for centifuges. For
was using to make a bomb. enriching uranium.
How? Who knows what they are?
Everybody knows they are. The question is what else
does he have?
Did you read about this Valerie?
I was in Europe on business last
week. I missed it.
Basically Saddam bought all these
tubes. And we've nailed him. We got
them. They're packed with uranium.
They're not packed with uranium.
Right. They're for purifying it.
The bomb comes later. It's how you
boil it up it to make the big one.
Look out Israel. Says who? It's a bunch of
Joe you know about this stuff, what
do you think they're for. These
tubes. What's your hunch?
All eyes on Joe. He tales off his glasses. Makes them wait.
Well Jeff. I don't know anything
about these tubes. I'm not
qualified. But I suppose the real
question here is-
BILL interrupts, stealing Joe's limelight.
It's a pretext! 50% of Americans
think Saddam blew up the Towers-
The table erupts in discussion, leaving Joe marooned. Valerie
spots it instantly, as he broods.
He's a threat. You can't tell me
he's not a threat.
He's mad. Like Hitler. If we'd
stopped Hitler in the thirties-
Joe sits there. Fuming.
He's not Hitler. He's Saddam. We
put him there. Why? It suited us.
He's our fault. Always was.
Right on cue, Joe rounds on the hapless FRED.
Have you met him? Fred. Have you
met Saddam? Have you looked him in
the eye? Did he threaten you? Did
he threaten to kill you? You don't
know Saddam. You don't know what
you're talking about.
Joe gets up. Joe walks out.
So. What's for dessert? (To himself)
"I may be some time"..
I'm sorry Fred. I thought we were just
What is this? Meet the Press?
Val's made a Lemon Meringue.
Yes please. Try and stop me.
Valerie comes into the kitchen. Sue follows her.
Mmm...That smells good. Shall I get
Thank Sue. Bottom cupboard.
We have a rule at home. No politics
at the table. It always ends in a
squabble. I mean, nobody knows
what's going on over there. At the
end of the day, who really knows?
You're right Sue. Who knows?
INT. ARRIVALS SADDAM INTERNATIONAL. DAY
Alone, Sawsan rolls her small suitcase across the polished
floor past a group of Iraqi soldiers. A Saddam-a-like in a
dark suit takes her passport. His eyes bore into her.
He takes her suitcase from her. HEART THUMPING. He leads her
out of the queue, down a strip lit corridor and into a
windowless room in bowels of the airport.
He shuts the door. Sawsan tries to control her breathing.
Hands search through her luggage. They unwrap a framed
photograph of SAWSAN and her daughter, smiling. The officer
turns it over in his hands.
The officer returns with her bags. Drops them on the floor.
A door opens. Sawsan appears. On the other side, there stands
a tall Iraqi man. Her relief is enormous. They embrace.
How is my little sister?
Sa'ad! I am so happy to see you.
INT/EXT. MOVING CAR - BAGHDAD STREETS. DAY
Sa'ad drives a battered dusty mercedes through the streets.
I've a friend in security services.
I've been a government employee for
25 years, there has to be some
advantage. You can wait all day.
Sawsan smiles at her brother.
EXT. LARGE DILAPIDATED FAMILY HOUSE, MANSOUR, BAGHDAD.DAY
An extended family of great uncles and aunts, grand children
and cousins greet Sawsan's arrival. Getting out of the car
she is surrounded by hugs and tears and laughter.
Sawsan removes the framed photograph of her and her daughter.
It is cooed over then given pride of place on the mantel.
INT. KITCHEN, AL TAWFIQ HOUSE. LATE AT NIGHT
Sawsan and her brother are alone in the kitchen washing up
after the big welcome home meal. His five year old daughter
watches from the stairs, fascinated by her american aunt.
The house looks very different.
It's falling down. In `93 they
bombed government buildings here.
The foundations are shattered.
Sa'ad I need to speak-
He holds up his hand and shakes his head.
..I have been meaning to repaint
Saad keeps a finger to his lips. Fear in his eyes.
..but it is difficult to find the
time when I am so busy at work..but
the gardens are still the same as
when we were children.
The gardens yes of course, I would
like to see them.
EXT. BROKEN SUMMER HOUSE, GARDEN MANSOUR. NIGHT
Sawsan and her brother speak low. He seems very nervous.
They can help you if you get out to
the Kurdish zone.
I am watched Sawsan. If I drive
even twenty minutes north of
Baghdad they will stop me.
They've given me questions for you.
How close is your program to a
warhead? When and where is the
first test scheduled? How much 235-
grade uranium do you have? Identify
other scientists in the program.
Who in the military controls the
program? Which of the-
(opens her eyes)
What is it?
Sa'ad stares at her in disbelief.
They do not know?
The program was destroyed in 1991.
The Americans destroyed it, they
know that. My god..what else?
How advanced is the centrifuge
facility? Which method are you
using to separate fissile isotopes?
This is insane. We don't have spare
parts to keep a tank on the road. I
have to work at a plant which
develops fertilizer. They know. The
inspectors are back. They know
this. They must know.
INT. DULLES AIRPORT SECURITY. DAY
Travellers throng. All nationalities. Coming and going.
Joe queues at security, holding his shoes in one hand and a
briefcase in the other. A TV screen nearby burbles over:
PRESIDENT (ON SCREEN)
Knowing these realities, America
must not ignore the threat
gathering against us. Facing clear
evidence of peril, we cannot wait
for the final proof -- the smoking
gun -- that could come in the form
of a mushroom cloud..
INT. LANGLEY BASEMENT. NIGHT.
Ali comes in to Valerie. Puts a file on her desk.
You need to see this..
INT. LOGAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. DAY
It's snowing heavily. Joe is met by a man in his 20s.
Mr Wilson. Jason Neal. How was your
INT. CORRIDOR. NIGHT.
Ali follows VALERIE down the corridor. She has the file.
We need Mike to see this. And Bill.
INT. UNIVERSITY OF BOSTON FRANKLIN THEATER. NIGHT.
APPLAUSE. Joe sits on stage with three academic types. In the
hundred seater auditorium, just a couple dozen or so
Ambassador Wilson is the last
American diplomat to meet with
Saddam Hussein. In 1990, when
Saddam threatened to execute anyone
sheltering foreigners, Wilson
appeared at a press conference
wearing a noose around his neck,
declaring, "If the choice is to
allow Americans to be taken hostage
or be executed, I will bring my own
fucking rope." Saddam backed down
and Wilson evacuated several
thousand. He came home and was
taken to the Oval Office where the
President introduced him to the War
Cabinet as an American hero.
That's not quite true. It wasn't
the Oval Office it was the
INT. CORRIDOR. CPD. LANGLEY. DAY
Valerie walks with MIKE and ALI, briefing him.
Sawsan's brother worked with five
hundred scientists at the Safa
factory. In `91 it was blanket
bombed by B52s. Hussein Kamel,
Saddam's son in law, kept the
scientists together, threatening to
kill them if they tried to leave.
But sanctions destroyed the
economy, and when Kamel was
executed in `95, the team just
drifted apart. They're all say the
same thing Mike. Everyone.
A nervous history major stands.
Does Saddam pose an imminent threat
to National Security?
I haven't seen the intelligence.
I'm not qualified to comment. We
have intelligence services working
hard to assess just this. But I
have met Saddam. I've looked him in
the eye, so I can tell you what I
saw. During a particularly vicious
period of bloodletting in the late
eighties, Saddam was asked by his
foreign minister why he had
executed a certain official who had
been a loyal supporter. He said he
would rather kill a friend in error
than allow an enemy to live. For
me, that is the mark of a monster.
VOICE - SERGEANT AT ARMS
Mr Speaker, the President of the United
INT. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. NIGHT.
Through a scrum of pumped-up Representatives, an exalted
George Walker Bush makes his way to the podium.
Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney,
Members of Congress, distinguished
guests, fellow citizens: Every year, by law
and by custom, we meet here to consider
the state of the union. This year, we gather
in this chamber deeply aware of decisive
days that lie ahead.
INT. LOGAN AIRPORT. NIGHT.
We'd like you to have this coffee
mug. And some Pennants. For your
kids. Thank you so much for coming
and speaking to us.
Joe shakes the kid's hand and walks towards Departures.
INT. LOGAN AIRPORT. NIGHT.
Joe walks underneath a TV screen playing:
PRESIDENT (ON TV)
We know that Iraq and the al Qaeda
terrorist network share a common enemy --
the United States of America...
Joe looks up at DEPARTURES: "AA22 DULLES. CANCELLED."
Resigned, he looks at his watch.
INT. PAVITT'S OFFICE. NIGHT.
VALERIE, MIKE, ALI, BILL all sit in JIM PAVITT's OFFICE.
So you got thirty nuclear
scientists interrogated by Iraqis,
inside Iraq, who are all saying the
Jim, these people took a great risk-
To bring us what? I could have
saved us the air-fare-
The White House is getting
Someone is cherry picking raw data
and serving it up to the press as
fact. And then they look to us to
confirm it. It's bullshit.
You know we can bark about this all
night. But that's all we're doing.
Barking. You, me, all of us.. We're
guard dogs. We can bark and bark,
but at the end of the day,
someone's gotta listen. Because
it's not our house. Even if it is
A TV in the corner of the Starbucks concession plays:
PRESIDENT (ON TV)
Today the gravest danger facing America
and the world is outlaw regimes that seek
and possess nuclear, chemical and
Can I get an American please. Just
a regular American?
PRESIDENT (ON TV)
U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam
Hussein had upwards of 30,000 munitions
capable of delivering chemical agents.
Joe glances at the TV as he pays.
PRESIDENT (ON TV)
From three Iraqi defectors we know that
Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile
biological weapons labs.
Joe sits amongst stranded passengers, most asleep. ON TV: the
President. Joe sips his coffee. Grimaces. He looks tired.
PRESIDENT (ON TV)
The International Atomic Energy Agency
confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam
Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons
development program, and was working
on five different methods of enriching
uranium for a bomb. The British
government has learned that Saddam
Hussein recently sought significant
quantities of uranium from Africa.
JOE stares, motionless, at the screen. The only one awake.
PRESIDENT (ON TV)
Our intelligence sources tell us that he has
attempted to purchase high-strength
aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear
Joe doesn't blink.
PRESIDENT (ON TV)
This nation fights reluctantly, because we
know the cost, and we dread the days of
mourning that always come. We seek
peace. We strive for peace. And sometimes
peace must be defended.
Ladies and Gentlemen Flight 22 to
Dulles is boarding immediately at
Gate 20. We apologize for the delay
due to adverse weather conditions-
Everybody wakes up. Starts to move. Joe stays seated.
We Americans have faith in ourselves, but
not in ourselves alone. We do not claim to
know all the ways of Providence, yet we
can trust in them, placing our confidence
in the loving god behind all of life and all of
history. May he guide us now, and may God
continue to bless the United States of
America. Thank you.
JOE is motionless. ALONE. Staring at the screen.
INT. LANGLEY MESS. DAY.
With some colleagues, Valerie in the mess watching --
COLIN POWELL'S PERFORMANCE in New York at the U.N.
Aluminium tubes. Yellowcake. The Nuclear program.
She watches motionless. She looks at Mike.
INT. SA'AD'S HOUSE. BAGHDAD. NIGHT.
Sa'ad sits in his kitchen while his wife plays with the
children next door. HE IS WATCHING THE SAME THING: Colin
Powell in the U.N. He catches his wife's eye through the open
door. Slowly he shakes his head.
Our eye moves off - across the TV - past the photo of SAWSAN
and daughter - out of the window to the street outside.
Cars. Buses. Stalls. Children playing. The end of a long day.
SLOWLY THE SHOT DECAYS IN A TIME DISSOLVE to
NIGHT -- THREE MONTHS LATER --
In the full force of an air-raid. Many of the same buildings
are gone. The whole world shakes and trembles as a PAVEWAY
GE101 laser guided bomb streaks in and impacts..
Dust. Shrapnel. Cars on fire. A vision of utter hell.
A FIGURE -- DARTS BETWEEN BURNING CARS, clutching a bag of
food, amid the firestorm. He disappears into our building.
Our eye leaves the street - back inside: Sa'ad bursts in as -
Another missile lands nearby. The building shakes. The
picture of Sawsan shifts. Dust falls like fine rain over the
small kitchen. Sa'ad unpacks food on the rickety table. Under
it, his wife, children cower. He passes down bread. Cheese.
The baby is crying.
There is a KNOCK AT THE DOOR. On the other side are two men.
What you doing? They're watching-
No one's watching. Not anymore.
I think the Secret Police have
their hands full.
We're free. Free to be blown to
Least no Mukbarat gets to watch it.
They all laugh at the gallows humor. And hug
It's good to see you, my dear
SA'AD children, sleeping in bunks.
Next door. The three nuclear scientists are drinking tea at
the same table.
My sister said the Americans could
get us over the border.
And you trust them? Open your eyes.
And your ears. Your American
friends are calling you right now.
The rumble of the now distant bombs. Small arms fire.
It's our only hope.
INT. PARKING LOT. LANGLEY. NIGHT.
BILL, Valerie's chief walks to his car. Valerie shouts after-
Bill. Wait up.
They talk by his car. Valerie is agitated.
Val, every Mobile Exploration Team
is combing the desert looking for
WMD. I can't-
All I need's a couple units We're at full stretch Val.
to bring these men and their Listen to me..
families into Camp Lima and
on an air transport into
Say we extract these guys. Bring
`em home. Put `em on CNN. What are
they going to tell us that the
White House wants to hear? "Thank
you oh and by the way there was no
nuclear programme. There's no WMD.
PS you all knew that." You want me
to go to the DCI, ask him to sign
off on his own funeral?
I gave my word Bill.
That's not my problem. I got bigger
They stare at each other. Valerie shakes her head.
Why do you do this job? The
paycheck? The holiday package. No.
To make a difference. To act. To
protect people. Then one day you
realize you're not Superman.
Sometimes you fail.
He gets in the car, reverses, and drives away.
INT. LANGLEY. NIGHT.
Valerie hurries through the building.
Hold the elevator please.
INT. MIKE'S OFFICE, COUNTER PROLIFERATION DEPT. NIGHT.
Valerie is pacing. Mike is sitting.
What the fuck is going on Mike.
It's like, if there was a baby on
the ledge up on seventh, no-one
would get up and save it in case
the White House wanted it there.
Bill's right. This is just one
snafu in a thousand we got right
now. The scientists are-
These scientists are the WMD. If we
can't protect them, they'll run to
the first country who can. And
they'll put them to work.
Mike looks at her.
I never said this. If anyone asks,
I deny any knowledge.
How quietly can you do this?
A 40 something heavy set woman walks past her down the
corridor. Valerie jogs after her.
Beth! Who do you have in Baghdad? I
need to get an RG-17 to an asset in
Why don't your guys to do it?
I'm asking you.
EXT. RUINED STREETS, MANSOUR. BAGHDAD. NIGHT
SA'AD, runs pressing himself against a shrapnel pocked wall
as a US ARMY HUMVEE blasting hiphop music passes. He runs low
across the street and over a wall into a garden.
I need to know my family will be
INT. BOARDED UP CIA SAFE-HOUSE, MANSOUR. BAGHDAD. NIGHT
Sa'ad sits at a table, speaking into an RG-17 secure satphone
with two liaison officers.
My wife, my children. They are all
I care about.
INT. THE CTC COUNTER TERRORISM CONTROL ROOM. LANGLEY. DAY
Valerie sits in the communications room with Beth.
Sa'ad, I know that. We will take
care of your family. But we have to
How do I know I can trust you?
Sa'ad. Do exactly as I say, we
won't let you down.
INT. STATE DEPT OFFICES IN OLD EXECUTIVE BUILDING - NIGHT.
A man sits feet up on his desk talking on the phone.
So how's Val? Is she there? Put her
JOE SITS IN HIS STUDY, ON THE PHONE.
She's fine. She's working late.
Val's working late. I'm working
late. You don't see a pattern here?
You know she finds me devastatingly
Yeah. Well if you see her say hi.
Listen Pete. I have a question. And
it's real important.
THE STATE DEPARTMENT. PEOPLE COME AND GO. AT HIS DESK, PETE
JOE WILSON (O.S.)
Is the President be referring to
another African country?
I've seen the INR. It's Niger. He's
referring specifically to
Yellowcake from Niger. Why?
Joe listens. It sinks in.
Pete listens nodding. His expression grows darker and darker.
Uh huh.. I see..I see.
What exactly are you proposing to
I don't know. I don't know what to
(He takes off his glasses)
You want my advice? Do nothing. You
already did your job. You did your
best. You came home. End of story.
Niger Pete. Yellowcake from Niger.
Pete looks around. Speaks low.
Look. I don't have to go all the
way to Africa to know something's
fucked up here. Three months and
what have we found? No centrifuges.
No yellowcake. No bio. No WMD. You
think something's up here. Join the
queue. Join the line stretches all
the way from State to the Pentagon
So why has no one's come forward?
Why you think Joe? We went to war.
(He pulls back)
Listen. You're a smart guy. As your
friend, now. Just. Be smart here. I
mean..you have a wife and a family.
It's the White House Pete. It's the
President of the United States.
Yes it is Joe. Now go take a long
look in the mirror and say that
Joe puts the phone down. Upstairs he can hear a child crying.
THUNDER. RAIN STREAMING DOWN A BEDROOM WINDOW. One of the
twins is asleep. The other standing in her cot. Joe scoops her
up. Jiggles her and comforts her. Lays her back down.
Joe comes down the stairs. In the hall -- coat on, soaking,
Valerie. She looks beat.
Hey. Are you OK?
Valerie doesn't move. She stands there. Then --
What's wrong Val?
Nothing. I'm just tired..
Whats the matter..what happened?
Valerie shakes her head slowly.
I'm fine. Are the kids asleep.
Yeah. They're asleep.
OK. I'm going to bed.
Joe watches her slowly walk up the stairs. Then stares at the
space where she was just standing.
BUSH (ON TV)
Let me finish..No. Let me finish.
Joe looks at the TV. He sets his jaw.
BUSH (ON TV)
There are some who feel like that, the
conditions are such that they can attack us
there. My answer is bring 'em on. .
Computerized letter appearing on a screen. Pixellated
EXTREME CLOSE UP: Joe writes:
"What I Didn't Find in Africa".
CLOSE UP ON JOE
Did the Bush administration manipulate intelligence to justify an
invasion of Iraq?"
THE PHOTOGRAPH OF JOE AND GEORGE HW BUSH
"The act of war is the last option of a democracy"
THE GLOBE IN TWO HALVES
"More than 200 American soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq already."
JOE STOPS. HIS FINGERS HOVER.....THEN TYPE.
"We have a duty to ensure that their sacrifice came for the right reasons."
CLOSE ON: JOE SITS AT HIS DESK. MOTIONLESS. WE MOVE IN.
JOE HITS `SEND'. HE STARES AT THE SCREEN.
ESTABLISHING -- WHITE HOUSE. DAY.
A long line of satellite broadcast vehicles. A reporter talks
to camera. Others in the background, doing the same.
INT. SCOOTER LIBBY'S OFFICE, OLD EXECUTIVE BUILDING. DAY.
Libby reads Joe's article: "What I Didn't Find in Africa". He
looks out at a line of satellite broadcast vehicles.
Retired Ambassador Joe Wilson
yesterday claimed in a piece in the
New York Times that the President
mispoke in his State of the Union
Address in January, concerning
claims that Saddam sought 500 tons
of Yellowcake from Niger. Wilson,
who was acting Ambassador in Iraq
during the first Gulf War, said-
INT. PRESS BRIEFING ROOM. DAY.
Fleischer, on defence, before a packed house, buzzing.
Everyone has Joe's article.
Look. There's zero, nada, nothing,
new here. The President's statement
in the State of the Union was much
broader than the Niger question.
Is the President's statement
Yes, I see nothing that goes
broader that would indicate that
there was no basis to the
President's broader statement. But
specifically on the yellow cake,
the yellow cake for Niger, we've
acknowledged that that information
did turn out to be a forgery.
The President's statement was
We see nothing that would dissuade
us from the President's broader
So you believe the British report
INT. CARD'S OFFICE. DAY.
Card is at his desk, watching the briefing on TV.
Sorry, I see what David is asking.
Let me back up on that and explain
the President's statement again..
INT. HADLEY'S OFFICE. DAY.
Hadley comes out of his office, putting on his jacket.
Linda. Clear my morning.
So it was wrong?
Let me do this, David. On your
specific question I'm going to come
back to you.
The reporters leap to their feet in uproar..
INT. ROVE'S OFFICE. DAY.
Rove, TV on, holding the article, screams into the telephone.
What is that tit-fuckin' homo
Fleischer doing to us? Call Mary.
Call Scooter. Call Hadley. We need
to get a hold of this. NOW!
INT. LOBBY OUTSIDE SCOOTER'S OFFICE. DAY.
SCOOTER comes out of his office. Unruffled. Cathie Martin is
waiting. They walk and talk.
Fleischer ploughed the I saw.
-CBS know Yellowcake was pulled
from Cincinnatti ten weeks ago at
the CIAs request. They also have
that Gerson wrote both speeches.
Karl is on line one. He's unhappy-
I want a transcript of everything
across networks, blogs and print
citing Ambassador Wilson, Niger or
Yellowcake. I want Hadley to meet
me in the VP's office in five
minutes. And tell Karl I'll be in
my office straight after I'm done.
I have something.
He goes into the Vice President's office.
INT. OUTSIDE SCOOTER LIBBY'S OFFICE. DAY.
LATER. Silence. The secretaries, tense. Typing.
INT. SCOOTER LIBBY'S OFFICE. DAY.
INSIDE. KARL ROVE stands opposite Libby, staring. Libby
finishes reading something. SILENCE.
This has become a trust issue for
the President. We can't get behind
this. We need to change the story.
They look at one another in silence. Then --
Who is Joe Wilson?
INT. WEST WING. NIGHT.
Libby comes out of his office. He walks round the corner to
Rove's office. Rove's secretary is still there.
Linda. You still here. It's late..
A piece of paper is put on a desk. Rove picks it up. Libby
wathes him read. Rove puts the paper down.
We can't do this.
So who can?
ESTABLISHING -- CHARLESTON TERRACE. DAY.
A 15 year old cyclist hurls newspapers into front yards.
INT. BEDROOM. DAY.
Valerie sits on the bed in a towel. Joe drops the newspaper
onto it. Folded open on an article. "MISSION TO NIGER".
The CIA's decision to send retired
diplomat Joseph C. Wilson to Africa-
Wilson never worked for the CIA,
but his wife, Valerie Plame..
"is an agency operative on weapons
of mass destruction."
It hits her like a wave. She braces. It doesn't pass.
They just went ahead and did it.
Does this run overseas?
The column. Novak's column. If it's in the paper it's on
Is he syndicated overseas? the net. Its everywhere.
Valerie gets up and walks out.
Valerie, dressed, leaves the house.
Valerie. Where are you going?
EXT. WILSON HOUSE. DAY.
Valerie walks outside. In the window across the street, her
neighbour stares straight at her.
Valerie looks ahead. Her eyes flick to the Paper on a
neighbours lawn: The Wall Street Journal.
Another neighbour getting in his car waves. He's thrown when
she doesn't reply. Val starts her car and drives. He watches.
INT/EXT. VALERIE'S CAR (MOVING). DAY
Valerie stares straight ahead, hands gripping the wheel. We
watch her. Close. Her driving intercuts with her thoughts.
FLASH - The Associated Press news bureau add her story to the
FLASH - An AP feed winds around a newspaper news room.
FLASH - The Reuters office in Geneva picks up the story.
FLASH - A Bloomberg tickers her name.
VALERIE, death white, drives along the Georgetown reservoir.
FLASH - Huntingdon Valley Public Library, a man tears the
page out of a high school year book.
FLASH - Microfiche search of photos of embassy events with
Joe and Valerie as guests. A grease pencil marks ones where
she can be seen.
Turning away from the canal and speeding over the Potomac,
she fishes in her glove compartment. Finds a pad. A pencil
and starts writing names on a pad. Still driving.
FLASH - Valerie next to her husband in black tie shakes hands
with a visiting dignitary. A camera bulb goes off. She
eyeballs the cameraman for a moment.
Valerie turns onto the 120 freeway. The pad falls into the
footwell. She reaches down and her --
SAME HAND - reaches to shake hands with
FLASH - different people in different countries, dinners with
diplomats, meetings with captains of industry, conferences in
far flung corners of the world.
Hands. Faces. Smiles. EACH BECOMING A PHOTOGRAPH on a file.
FLASH - Valerie shaking hands with Mr.Tabir in his Kuala
Lumpur mansion. Him smiling, mouthing words silently.
FLASH - A stock market ticker. In his office, Tabir is shown
a blow up of a grainy photograph of Valerie and Hafiz.
INT. DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS OFFICE. DAY.
Valerie sits stock still in front of a large desk at Langley.
The door opens. The DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS enters with a
fifty something woman. He sits at the desk. She sits next to
him. BEHIND HER -- in the corner, sits a third man. He
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Good morning. Please..sit down.
Good morning Sir. Ma'am.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Working backwards, we need a matrix
of everyone you've come into
contact with in a covert capacity
back to January 2001.
I've already started a list Sir.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Good. We need to get an idea..fast,
of how much this thing bleeds.
Sir, I have several live ops at
crucial stages, people in the field
in critical windows of operation-
One thing at time. Make a list.
Then come back here. Don't do
She opens her mouth. Nothing comes out.
Sir, why is Internal security here?
To help us. To help you, and us
conduct this damage assessment.
Behind her, the Internal security guy stands.
INT. CORRIDOR. DAY.
Valerie comes out, followed by security. She goes left.
This way please.
She turns and follows him. As she passes desks, she can feel
people looking at her. The news has spread fast.
INT. EMPTY OFFICE. DAY
Valerie enters an empty office. The door is closed behind
her. On the desk is a notepad and a telephone. She sits.
She picks up the phone. The phone isn't connected.
She sits staring at the blank page.
SUDDENLY -- She gets up and walks out. At the end of the
corridor: the Internal security guy follows.
VALERIE goes into the elevator..
He breaks into a run. The doors close on him.
INT. CPD OFFICE, BASEMENT, LANGLEY. DAY.
Valerie comes out of the elevator and walks fast. People
looking at her. Her colleagues. Eyes. Whispers. All around.
Bursting into her office, she sits. Starts typing fast. She
tries to access her Joint Task Force database.
ON THE SCREEN --ACCESS DENIED --
INTERNAL SECURITY (O.S.)
The INTERNAL SECURITY stands outside.
Valerie looks up. She sees Mike passing the doorway.
Mike. We need to get a message to
Baghdad. Sa'ad and his family are
being taken to the border today. I
have to get word to them.
INTERNAL SECURITY watches him closely.
I don't what you're talking about..
Mike. They're packed and ready.
(She stops. Appeals)
Mike you know what this means.
Sorry. I have to go.
He goes inside and closes his door.
HER CHIEF is standing there. He beckons her into his office.
She approaches. The Internal Security guy tries to join them.
Bill puts a hand to his chest.
Go fuck yourself.
He closes the door in his face.
Sit down Valerie.
I've just been on the seventh
floor. As of this morning all CPD
operations involving you have been
suspended. Effective immediately
you are to have no further contact
with assets or agents in the field.
Any further involvement in
operations is no longer possible.
Bill. I have eight, nine teams in
the field. We have assets in Kuala
Lumpur. Dubai. Mumbai.
She stops. The penny drops. She changes tack.
I need to brief my replacement in
the Joint Task Force.
The head of the JTFI's identity is
classified for reasons of
The shutters come down. Valerie opens her mouth.
I have a critical operation in
Baghdad in a major ongoing-
Val. It's over.
INT. CHARLESTON TERRACE. DAY.
The children are playing with Power Rangers in the lounge.
IN THE KITCHEN Joe, at home, speaking on the phone. TV is on.
"Two senior administration
officials told me that Wilson's
wife suggested sending him to
Niger" That means a Vice President,
a chief of staff or top advisor..
(hearing the front door)
I gotta go.
He hangs up. Valerie enters. The twins run out of the lounge
towards her. She goes into mom mode.
Hey guys. Give mommy a kiss.
Mommy! Mommy. Trevor won't let me
borrow his Power Ranger.
Well, did you say "Please"?
I said please. It's not fair.
They go into the kitchen. Joe follows. The kids fight for her
attention to show drawings they've done.
I drew a clown and a There's a 1982 act states
scarecrow. it's a crime for a government
official to intentionally
VALERIE disclose a covert agent.
Let's see. Carries a fine of fifty
thousand dollars and or up to
ten years in jail.
Wow. That is one cool scarecrow.
Don't eat that Sam. It's a crayon.
It's icky. Give it to mommy.
Joe watches her. He can see the tension of her face.
How did it go?
The phone rings. She freezes.
It's been ringing all day.
Don't pick it up. Who've you spoken
to? Joe, who have you spoken to?
(he holds the phone out)
Valerie looks blind sided.
OK who wants to watch TV?
Scoops them up and leaves us with Val. She composes herself.
INT. GEORGETOWN APARTMENT. DAY.
Val's friend Lisa is in her lounge. Her kids are playing.
Val. Are you OK? Whats going on?
Lisa. Yes. I read it. Listen-
(She steels herself)
I'm sorry..I can't talk about this.
I can't..I can't make a comment on
this right now.
Lisa's apartment. Another angle. Two other friends. Wrapt.
You can't make "a comment"? Val.
Your name is in the paper.
It says you're a CIA agent.
NEXT DOOR -- THE KIDS Watch TV.
I have to go. I'm sorry. I'll call
VALERIE hangs up. Joe is standing there.
Your mom called. And your Uncle.
And Janey called from Chicago. I
wrote them down.
And Andrea Mitchell called. She
says White House sources say that
quote "the real story here is not
the sixteen words but Wilson and
his wife". Would I care to comment?
Yeah I fuckin' would care to
comment. She wants me on the show
day after tomorrow.
I don't want you to go on TV.
INT. TELEVISION STUDIO. DAY.
Joe sits stiffly on the set. A make-up artist applies powder
to his nose.
Going in thirty seconds.
JOE ON NBC NIGHTLY NEWS
This is clearly designed as a shot
across the bow to those who might
step forward, those unnamed
analysts who said they were
pressured by the White House would
think twice about having their own
families names being dragged
through this particular mud.
JOE ON CNN.
I was sent to Niger at the request
of the Vice President. I was not
sent by my wife. The issue here is
not who sent me here is whether a
crime has been committed.
JOE ON MEET THE PRESS.
You're saying a crime was committed
It is a crime to reveal the
identity of a covert agent working
in the employ of this nations
This is now a matter for the
justice department Pete.
JOE ON CROSSFIRE
The justice department need to
establish whether those in the
Highest Office sought to destroy
the career of a public servant to
punish me for speaking the truth.
REAL FOOTAGE - WHITEHOUSE PRESS ROOM
The new Press Secretary, Scott McClennan, fields questions.
First of all, that is not the way
this White House operates.
The President expects everyone in
his administration to adhere to the
highest standards of conduct. No
one would be authorized to do such
Will the President move
aggressively to see if such a
transgression has occurred in the
This is a very serious matter, our
administration takes it seriously.
I've got all the confidence the
Justice Department will do a good,
thorough job. I want there to be
full participation, because, April,
I am most interested in finding out
INT. KITCHEN. DAY.
The kids are eating breakfast, acting up. Valerie is making
breakfast. The phone rings.
JOE (ON PHONE)
Valerie. Turn on MSNBC.
INT. MSNBC TV STUDIOS. DAY.
Joe leaves the building. The news is on a bank of TVs.
A team of federal Honey, Mommy's trying to
investigators have been listen to the TV.
assembled by Attorney General
John Ashcroft as part of a
probe to investigate the
alleged leaking of a covert
CIA agent's identity to the
They've launched an investigation.
Ashcroft just announced it. They're
saying he's going to convene a
I have to go. Samantha's crying.
Joe out on the street. Gets into his car.
I'll be home later. I gotta go over
to Fox. They want me to comment on
We have to fight this Val. If we
don't push back.
He looks at his phone.
I have another call. I have to go.
He's gone. She puts the phone down.
IN THE CAR, JOE TAKES THE OTHER CALL.
Joe, its Chris Matthews. I just
spoke to Karl Rove. He told me
"Wilson's Wife is fair game".
He goes still.
So when did you join?
INT. BUSY GEORGETOWN RESTAURANT. DAY.
Waiters hurry about. Valerie sits with her friend, Diana.
`84. Straight out of college.
Jenny said it makes a weird kind of
sense. Everyone says Valerie's a
great listener. Asks lots of
questions. About your job. About
Steve or the kids.
I had no plan for this day. Right
now it feels like I'm.. Everything
is smashed into a million pieces.
It's like I'm suddenly in this-
Why did you do it?
Valerie is still.
Every conversation. For twenty
years. Thousands of phone-calls.
You lied to me on every single one.
Nineteen years. Birthdays. My
wedding. You're my best friend Val.
Diana has tears in her eyes.
Diana. I know it's hard to
understand, but it..
They look at each other. Valerie really struggles. Then:
It becomes normal.
I know this is strange for you. And
you may not feel like it's, but I
need you right now. Because I'm-
What? What are you? My ol' pal Val?
(Valerie is silent.)
I have photos. Hundreds and
hundreds of photographs with this
I'm sitting here, and I know the
face, I've known it half my life.
What else do I know? Who are you?
Valerie sits there, very still.
INT/EXT. CAR (MOVING). DAY.
Valerie drives home past the Capitol, still.
THE CAR PULLS UP AT THE PLAYGROUP.
Valerie gets out and sleep-walks into the building.
She joins a small group of mothers watching through glass
door, their children playing. One of the mothers nudges
another and whispers something. They both look at Valerie,
THROUGH THE GLASS
Her kids put their coats on and come out. Valerie puts on a
bright smile. Kneels to hug them.
Hey guys. How was your day?
She carries them out, watched by the other mothers.
EXT. CHARLSTON TERRACE. DAY.
Valerie bussles the kids out of the car. A neighbor is mowing
his lawn. She tenses as he slows his pace to study her.
Another neighbor, searching for his keys stops and watches
her too, as she takes the kids into the house.
INT. WILSON HOUSE. DAY.
Valerie and the kids come inside. The phone is ringing.
Your husband is a fucking
communist. I hope you die you
fucking communist whore.
She puts the phone down. Frozen. Shaking.
Mommy. Trevor won't let me go on
All at once, the facade crumbles. VALERIE closes her eyes and
is wracked with sobs. When she opens them Sam is terrified.
It's OK honey. Mommy's just tired.
She hugs her. Crying. Samantha strokes her mom's hair.
INT. KIDS BEDROOM, WILSON HOUSE. NIGHT.
Valerie reads a storybook to her twins.
So the caterpillar built a cocoon
and it stayed safe inside for
weeks. And when it emerged it was a
She closes the door on her sleeping children. She goes next
INT. VALERIE AND JOE'S BEDROOM. NIGHT
She goes into her closet. Removes a box. Then she taps a code
into a small safe and removes another box. Alone, Valerie
opens the first box. Photographs of herself with her friends.
At college. People's weddings. Birthdays. Valerie and her
girlfriends all smiling back at us. Holidays with the same
friends. On a hen night.
She opens the second box: Different currencies. Credit cards,
photos of her with different people. Half a dozen passports.
American. A couple Canadian. EU. She looks at the photos.
Different names. Hair colour. She puts them back in the box.
Carefully, and shuts the lid tight shut. She looks at herself
in the mirror. The doorbell rings and Valerie gets up.
VALERIE opens the front door. Standing there is Sawsan.
Sawsan. What are you doing here?
Your name and address are all over
the web. There's even a picture of
Valerie tries to take this in. Sawsan steps forward --
Sa'ad has disappeared. His wife,
his children are missing.
My uncle in Mansour. He said they
were targeting them. They were
Sa'ad's colleagues. Dr Habbuck was
shot dead in the street. Dr Falli
was murdered in his hallway.
They're killing them.
Sawsan, listen to me-
I know you can't tell me where he
is. Just tell me you have him. I
beg you. Please. I don't need to
know anything. Just tell me he's
safe.. He's my little brother.
Please. If you have him, if he's
(She starts to cry.)
Please. Please, I beg you. Do you
have him. I have to know.
Valerie speaks quietly.
We don't have him.
Sawsan closes her eyes. She sobs.
You said he would be safe. You said
we would help. You promised-
VALERIE approaches. Sawsan withdraws.
I trusted you.
She turns her back and walks away. Leaving Valerie alone.
EXT. STREET IN GEORGETOWN SUBURB. NIGHT
Valerie's boss MIKE is watching TV with his wife and kids and
her mother, when the doorbell rings. He gets up.
The front door opens. Valerie is standing there.
Valerie. What are you doing here?
Mike steps forward and closes his front door. Mike glances up
and down the street.
A garage door opens. Valerie and Mike step into his garage
and fluorescent light flickers on to reveal boxes of
Christmas decorations etc-
Falli. Habbuck. Who else?
Who else Mike?
I don't know what you're talking
She fixes him. Eventually he shrugs.
You were right. It's all about the
scientists. We made a call.
We passed your case files to
liason. You know yourself we're not
great at this stuff.
(Off her shock)
Val, Mossad were already on the
They've been trying to hunt these
guys down since the invasion.
(She stops. Looks at him.)
We're killing them. We're killing
You'll drive them underground.
They'll run straight to Iran.
Valerie. This isn't your problem
It's not my problem. It's not my
problem. How can you sleep when you
I sleep just fine. Now Carol's
mother is here. I'm going to have
to ask you to leave.
It's called counter-proliferation,
She turns and walks out.
EXT. STREET. NIGHT.
Valerie gets in her car. Shaking. Shuts the door. She holds
her head in her hands and starts to sob.
We hear the sound of a crowd cheering..
INT. SEATTLE FORUM. DAY.
Joe Wilson is on a panel before a crowd of about a thousand.
At the end of the day, it's of keen
interest to me to see whether or
not we can get Karl Rove frog-
marched out of White House in
handcuffs. And trust me when I use
that name, I measure my words.
Cheers. Applause. Joe looks defiant.
JOE MEETING HIS PUBLIC. PUMPING HANDS. A WARM SHOW OF SUPPORT.
We came all the way from Portland
Your support means everything to
You're a true American hero.
The real heroes are in Iraq right
now fighting a war which was
prosecuted on lies and falsehoods.
A quick montage of Joe being feted. It ends with Joe in a
huddle with a dozen or so supporters.
My wife and I have never sought
publicity. But I know when I tell
her about how much support there
was here today, I know how thrilled
and humbled she'll be.
EXT. WASHINGTON MONUMENT. DAY.
A bright DC day. Joggers. Lunchtime office workers.
Valerie walks alone through the park. She sits down on a
bench next to JIM PAVITT.
Thank you for coming here today.
I wanted to convey my outrage to
you in person. In all my
experience, nothing has disgusted
me like this business.
I know it's not easy for you, but I
want you to know how much the
agency appreciates your silence in
the light of this matter. We know
how damaging this has been to you.
We can't afford for this knife
fight to go on any longer.
I get death threats every day.
People threatening to kill my
husband. Hurt my children. I went
to the agency and I requested
security to protect my family. It
was declined. Because quote "My
circumstances fall outside budget
protocols." If this is a knife
fight, right now, Sir - we're
fighting it alone.
Pavitt starts to chuckle.
Joe Wilson versus the White House.
Well, all I can say is Good Luck.
But as a friend, I feel I should
tell you that those men..
He points down the hill at the White House.
Those few men in that building over
there, that small white house, are
the most powerful men in the
history of the world. How much of a
stretch do you think it would be
for them to take on Joe Wilson?
He looks at her.
Joe's out there on his own Valerie.
But I know we can trust you. Speak
to your husband.
He turns and walks off, leaving her alone, looking at the
INT. KITCHEN. NIGHT
Joe and Valerie are having supper. The TV is on in the
background. Joe is energized. Valerie is quiet.
TV (MATT FREI)
The nightmare scenario of an attack
on a major city is as real, if not
more real, than it was a year ago..
Tucker Carlson said yesterday that
Wilson's wife sent him on a
boondoggle. Said I needed the work.
Who needs to work for free? Niger
does have restaurants. The Opera.
Reminds me alot of Paris.
RUMSFELD ON TV
We know if we do not fight the
terrorists over there in Iraq, in
Afghanistan and across the world,
we will have to face them here.
Someone from Vanity Fair called.
They want to do a piece on us.
Cover-story. Five thousand words.
In-depth interview. Photographs of
the two of us. What do you think?
What do I think? Do I want my
photograph in Vanity Fair? Is that
JOE WILSON NEWS
We have to keep this as high In Baghdad today, co-
profile as possible. We have ordinated car bombs killed
to keep fighting. 175 in what is being called
the worst day of insurgent
violence in months...
I'm going to bed.
Val...what's wrong? What did I say?
My name is everywhere, Joe. My real
name. Everywhere. All this
publicity and noise and fighting
talk, where is it getting us?
Karl Rove told the Financial Times
they're rolling the earth movers
over Joe Wilson. Quote.
Earth Movers. Well I'm sorry but
they don't get me without a fight.
Not without a big fucking fight
It's the White House Joe. You
seriously think you can pick a
fight with the White House and win.
They'll bury us.
They'll bury us if we don't.
How loud can you shout Val? Say we
get in an argument you think you're
right, and I think your wrong. You
start making your point with all
your might, and I start shouting
back, except I'm the White House,
and I can a shout a million times
louder. Does that make me right?
They lied Val. That's the truth.
By the time they're finished here
you won't know what that is.
REPORTER ON TV
Today Special Prosecutor Patrick
Fitzgerald, in charge of the
enquiry into the leaking of the
identity of a covert agent
announced that he is convening a
Grand Jury to investigate the
affair. Among the blizzard of
subpoenas issued are ones for the
Vice President's chief of Staff
Scooter Libby, and special advisor
to the President Karl Rove. Both
men are under suspicion of having
leaked the agent's name to
reporters in order to damage former
Ambassador Joseph Wilson, a vocal
and combative critic of the
administration. It is believed that
the President himself has been
questioned under oath by the FBI.
INT. WHITE HOUSE. DAY.
KARL ROVE walks down a corridor past Libby's secretary.
ROVE enters. Libby looks up from his desk.
Karl tosses a heavy document onto the desk.
Findings of the Select Committee on
Intelligence. All five hundred
pages and eleven pages of it.
Am I going to enjoy it?
I know someone who isn't.
EXT. PARK. DAY.
A military parade. Three hundred eighteen year old recruits.
Fresh. Immaculate. Shining in the morning sun.
Look at the soldiers mommy. Look!
VALERIE and the twins join the small crowd and watch. Valerie
watches the American flag lowered, folded, and stowed.
EXT. CHILDREN'S PLAYGROUND IN THE PARK. DAY.
The twins are playing on a slide. Valerie sits on a bench.
When she looks back, she sees Joe approaching across the
playground. He greets the kids, hugging them..
Go and play now.
And he walks over to Valerie on the bench.
Joe carries a heavy brown manilla envelope. From it he
removes a thick wad of paper and drops it on the bench.
That is the Senate Select Committee
on Intelligence. On page thirty six
it says "the former ambassador's
wife offered up his name" and
includes a memorandum written by
Valerie Plame which says quote "my
husband has good relations with
both the prime minister and the
former Minister of Mines, both of
whom could possibly shed light on
this sort of activity." I've spent
a whole year denying just this.
Telling everyone who'll listen, on
TV. In the press. My wife did not
send me on a junket.
Joe. I didn`t send you. I didn't
have that power.
You sent an email. The SSCI found
VALERIE JOE WILSON
I write hundreds of emails. Why didn't you tell me? At no
time in the past twelve
months you never thought-
I didn't make the decision. I was
asked to write a recommendation.
What am I supposed to do. Not say
my husband knows about this.
They have this now. They will call
me a liar. It will stick. They have
all the power here, what do I have?
JOE WILSON (cont'd)
My word. You have to speak up. You
have to go on record.
You have to defend us. Now.
She's cornered. Shakes her head in frustration.
So what do you want me to do Joe?
Go to the papers like you did?
Write a piece in the New York
Times? You know I'd have to submit
it to the Agency, and they'll-
The agency? The.. Wait.. Is this
the same Agency which won't give
you protection for your children?
Is this the same CIA that's erased
your pension? Where's your loyalty
Val? To your husband or the CIA?
It's to MY FAMILY. I put my family
first. ALWAYS. Were you putting
them first when you wrote that
People are looking over. The children notice. JOE is stung
I'm taking different routes to and
from school. I'm looking in empty
rooms..under the beds every time I
come home. A home we're going to
lose because your work has dried up
and your clients are running for
cover. What has all this achieved?
What changed Joe? Who won?
Maybe you're right. Maybe I should
have kept my mouth shut. Is that
what your dad taught you Valerie?
That what Colonel Sam Plame said?
JOE WILSON (cont'd)
A good American doesn't rock the
boat. A good American looks the
They are both terribly wounded. He looks at her, levelly.
Did you send me to Niger?
"His business is struggling. He's
on the slide. I'll throw him a
bone." Was that it Val? You pull
some strings for me? You help your
old man out?
How dare you?
Did you send me?
You think I'm lying to you.
Could I tell if you were?
You fucking bastard..
She stops. SAMANTHA is watching them. She has tears in her
eyes. Valerie goes over and scoops her up. And Trevor. And
carries them off. Joe is alone.
CNN NEWS FOOTAGE
The Senate Intelligence Committee
published information that showed
Joe Wilson had lied about how he
came to be sent to Niger. He
denied that his wife had any role
in it whatsoever, but a memo Plame
wrote on February 12, 2002 proves
MSNBC NEWS FOOTAGE
The Senate Intelligence Committee
let some air a lot of air - out
of Joe Wilson's overly inflated ego
when it issued its first report on
prewar intelligence. While the
committee heaped most of its
criticism on the Central
Intelligence Agency for getting
almost everything wrong about Iraq
and weapons of mass destruction it
pointedly rebuked the former
ambassador and his infamous mission
EXT. HOUSE. DAY.
Morning. Joe, in a suit, comes out of his house. A gaggle of
reporter is waiting, they follow Joe as he crosses into the
street towards his car. Shutters and flashbulbs firing.
Mr Wilson, do you still maintain
the Vice President's office sent
you Niger and not your wife?
Mr Wilson was Niger just a free
holiday? A boondoggle?
My wife did not send me. I didn't
receive payment. It was not a
holiday. It was a fact finding
mission in the run up to a war. But
the fact is no one wanted facts.
Are you against our troops Mr
Mr. Wilson is it true you donated
money to the Kerry campaign?
People are saying your wife does
not actually work for the CIA.
Is it true she was just a secretary
Joe turns round, furious, as if he's going to punch the
reporter. He tenses his jaw.
Joe gets into his car. The questions roaring around him.
INT. HOUSE. NIGHT.
Valerie is alone. In bed. Watching TV. FOX NEWS. Rogers.
The question still remains, who is
Valerie Plame? Was she really
simply a glorified typist?
Well, I think it's really all about
the money. We're talking about a
third-rate CIA agent who had a
government salary, and she had sent
her husband to Niger, and he had
come back and didn't give the
report to the CIA, but he turned it
over in an op-ed to The New York
Times. So she was already in the
hot seat with the CIA, and so now
she's all about the money. Plus
it's come out that she was
considered kind of a mediocre agent
INT. LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.
Joe puts a sheet on the couch. He looks around for something
to use as a pillow.
INT. BEDROOM. NIGHT.
Joe comes into the bedroom to get his pillow. Valerie is
lying in the bed, turned away. He pauses in the doorway.
We see Valerie up close. She begins to speak.
When we were at the "Farm",
training to be field officers, they
picked four or five of us and told
us we'd stood out.
FLASH---- Valerie, kneeling, blindfold, in stress position.
We were bound, hooded and thrown in
separate cells. They beat us.
Deprived us of sleep. All you had
to do was give up the name of one
of the others. Just one name. For a
glass of water. A sandwich. To
avoid another punch.
FLASH -- A CAR BATTERY IS CONNECTED.. SZZZZZZ!
Another hour in a stress position.
FLASH -- VALERIE bursts out from under the water. Gasps in a
draft of air.
They push you until they find it.
Til they find the point at which
you break. Because they have to
know. You have to know. And one by
one, everybody broke. Except me. I
(she looks at him)
I've been in situations, places
where I was afraid. Where if you
made a mistake, one tiny mistake,
at any moment..
But I never made a mistake. And
that made me feel special. I
thought: I'm Different. Bullet-
proof. You can't break me. I don't
have a breaking point.
I was wrong.
Joe comes over. He reaches out and touches Valerie.
Immediately she gets up and walks out.
Alone, he hears the bathroom door close.
ESTABLISHING. CHARLESTON TERRACE. DAY --
INT. UPSTAIRS, WILSON HOUSE. DAY.
Valerie packs the kids stuff up into suitcases.
INT. DOWNSTAIRS. JOE'S STUDY. DAY.
Joe sits at his desk, a book open. Not reading.
Valerie puts the kid's coats on. The study door is open. She
knows Joe is there but she doesn't look at him nor he at her.
OK. Say goodbye to your father.
The kids go into -- THE STUDY -- Joe looks up.
We're going on a mystery tour.
Why aren't you coming daddy.
It hits him in the gut.
He scoops them up. Kisses him. Her.
I'll see you both real soon OK?
In the hallway Valerie waits.
OK guys. C'mon.
On the driveway, VALERIE puts the kids in the car.
INSIDE -- Joe sits there, not looking as the car pulls away.
EXT. HUNTSVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA. DAY
Valerie gets out of the car. The kids run to hug Grandma and
INT. KITCHEN. DAY.
Valerie's mom coralls the kids.
Who wants to make toffee apples?
Val looks downstairs. In the shop, her father, in an apron.
LT. COLONEL SAM PLAME
Well don't just stand there. Come
take a look.
INT. BASEMENT WORKSHOP. DAY.
A wide workbench. Tools in neat rows. Valerie's father, an
old man in a plaid shirt holds a sander. Points to the table
he's working on.
LT. COLONEL SAM PLAME
It's cherry. I thought it'd work in
your dining room. I can see the
great and the good of Washington
eating off this thing for years to
come. Just sanding her down then
Sam. I keep telling you. They have
Valerie smiles at her Dad who looks at her properly.
LT. COLONEL SAM PLAME
Well come here.
INT. FOUR SEASONS HOTEL. DAY.
Joe walks across the floor. He shakes hands with three or
They all introduce themselves. Joe orders breakfast.
How's your wife Joe?
She's fine. She's well. She uh..
He uses the waitress to change the subject.
Hi. I'll just have a strong coffee.
I'm not very hungry.
JOE WILSON (cont'd)
(to the other men)
So. How long are you in town for?
Joe washing his hands in the bathroom. Tense. He looks tired.
Joe comes out of the bathroom and walks across the foyer and
back to his table. A woman is talking to his business
associates. He sees who it is, instantly looks concerned.
Can I help you? Excuse me. Can I
RIGHT WING REPORTER
I'm just telling these people that
you sir are a fraud.
OK. This is a private lunch. Please
leave us alone.
RIGHT WING REPORTER
This man is a liar and a traitor.
He is in the pay of left wing hate
groups, he is a democrat stooge,
and he is an anti-war zealot. He
has stabbed our troops the back.
Joe is trying to laugh it off. But everyone is watching.
OK. Leave now.
BUSINESSMAN 2 RIGHT WING REPORTER
May we get the check? You have blood on your hands.
You are a fraud and your wife
is a traitor and a fantasist.
OK. Leave my fucking table. Now.
How dare you talk about my wife?
You don't know her. You don't know
me. Now leave my table. Now.
The table nearby are watching.
RIGHT WING REPORTER
(To the next table)
Ladies and gentleman. Joe Wilson.
RIGHT WING REPORTER (cont'd)
He likes to lie in the press and he
likes to swear and insult women.
I think we should leave.
No really we should.
Shame on you. You call yourself a
reporter. Shame on you.
(to himself as she leaves)
You're a self publicising hack.
Fuck you. Fuck you.
Joe storms away. OUT OF THE FOUR SEASONS
Into the street -- He doesn't know what just happened. He
hails a TAXI. It tears past. He hails another. It stops.
INT. TAXI. DAY.
The driver drives. Joe tries to calm down, but in the back of
this cab, it all hits him and he starts to lose it. He looks
sick. His head is exploding. The tension like a vice. He
opens the window. He gets himself under control, but he's
white and shaking. The cab driver looks in the rear-view.
You're him. I see you on the TV.
You're Joe Wilson.
No, I'm not.
Yes brother. I see you on the TV.
That's somebody else.
No no. I know you. My name is Joe
too. I am from Sierra Leone.
Freetown. You've been there, right.
You like Freetown?
Joe looks out of the window.
Joe, we both know Freetown's a shit-
The taxi driver cracks up.
That's the truth. That's the truth
right there, brother. Yes indeed.
Sierra Leone is dying. The people
at the top have too much power. WAY
too much power. Over there we have
no truth. Just power. People can't
see that from here. Over here it's
a different world.
Joe stares out the window.
I wouldn't be so sure of that.
How can you say that? Land of the
Free, brother. Home of the Brave.
Joe looks sick.
Can we pull over. I'm going to
walk. Look keep the change.
Do you pray, Joe Wilson?
I give you this. It is my church
maybe you come. And if you open a
bible, look John Chapter eight.
TAXI DRIVER (cont'd)
Then Jesus said if you continue in
my word then are you my disciples
indeed. And you shall know the
truth and the truth shall set you
Take care brother Joe.
..and drives off. Joe looks up. He is standing right outside
EXT. BACK FIELD. DAY.
Valerie's father is teaching the kids how to lassoo a pole.
They both want to go first. He tries to keep the peace.
FROM THE KITCHEN -- Valerie and her mother watch.
How's is he?
Oh you know. Getting better.
OUT IN THE FIELD -- Val's Dad lassoos the pole. Kids cheer.
Sunset. Midges swirl in dizzy soups. Out in the field,
Samantha is trying to lassoo the pole. Valerie comes out and
joins her father on the porch. He suddenly points.
LT. COLONEL SAM PLAME
OK. See those birds. Those guys.
Those yellow fellas. See `em..
Yeah I see `em.
LT. COLONEL SAM PLAME
(They both listen)
You hear that? Ain't that
beautiful. They suddenly showed up
last year. They're called..
What are they called? I know their
name. They're called something.
(He wracks his brain)
Anyway. They were here last year.
And the year before. God they're
beautiful. Look at that.
They watch the birds.
Dad, I think my marriage is over.
The sun setting. Samantha playing below. He nods slowly.
LT. COLONEL SAM PLAME
Well. I know my little girl doesn't
say anything til she absolutely has
Tears come to her eyes.
LT. COLONEL SAM PLAME
I'm the same way. And I've said
that too. Those exact same words.
July 1972. Your mother and I were
fighting all the time. I guess she
was just plain tired of moving
home. Wasn't `til I retired after
42 years in the Air Force, I
realised we never had a home.
Germany, Singapore, Australia,
England. Heck I can remember the
day you were born in a freezing
cold airbase outside Anchorage
Alaska. You must have been to
twenty schools. Twenty different
chances to introduce yourself. Be
someone new. But you turned out OK.
Responsible. A little too serious.
Always looking down the road.
Worrying where life was going to
drag you next. But it made you
tough. Real tough. Maybe tougher
than I, or your mother, or anyone
He wants me to go on the record.
Speak out. Like that would suddenly
make this all go away. We can't
even speak to each other.
(She shakes her head)
I can't see how this comes round. I
just can't see it, pop. Not
He looks at her. With a serious intent. He speak low.
LT. COLONEL SAM PLAME
What they did was wrong Valerie.
Plain wrong. Never forget that.
Valerie look at the floor as her father's words sink in.
LT. COLONEL SAM PLAME
Say through some miracle you even
get through this.. you and Joe are
always gonna fight. You're
fighters. He's a stubborn son of a
bitch too. He don't give up easy
A dark cloud comes over him. He speaks levelly.
LT. COLONEL SAM PLAME
One day this country is gonna look
back on these years, and it's gonna
hang its head. It's gonna weep.
Then it's gonna stand up straight
and walk on.
He watches Samantha in the half-light, still trying to lassoo
LT. COLONEL SAM PLAME
I swear to God, she's gonna keep at
that until she licks it.
Valerie smiles. He points to Samantha.
LT. COLONEL SAM PLAME.
They're tougher than we are.
They'll piss you off from time to
time, but they're built to last.
EXT. CAPITOL. OLD ASSEMBLY HALL. NIGHT.
Joe sits surrounded by the statues of Presidents and law-
makers. A janitor approaches.
We're closing. You have to leave.
EXT. CAPITOL. NIGHT.
Joe walks out. The Capitol behind him. He walks away.
EXT. WHITE HOUSE. DAY.
A line of Satellite vans a hundred yards long.
INT. WEST WING. DAY.
Libby is escorted out of the White House by security.
The vice president's chief of
staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby
Jr., was indicted Friday on charges
of obstruction of justice, perjury
and making false statements..
Libby gets into the back of a black Mercedes. Cameras flash.
FOX NEWS CNN
..in the CIA leak Karl Rove, Bush's closest
investigation, a politically adviser, escaped indictment
charged case that casts a Friday but remained under
harsh light on President investigation, his legal
Bush's push to war. Libby, status casting a dark cloud
55, resigned and left the over a White House already in
White House. trouble.
The U.S. military death toll in
Iraq exceeded 2,000 this week, and
the president's approval ratings
are at the lowest point since he
took office in 2001.
At a news conference, special
counsel Patrick Fitzgerald declined
to comment about Rove's
Asked about Cheney, he said: "I'm
not making allegations about anyone
not charged in the indictment."
Friday's charges stemmed from a two-
year investigation by Fitzgerald
into whether Rove, Libby or any
other administration officials
knowingly revealed the identity of
CIA officer Valerie Plame..
INT. LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.
Joe stands in his living room, watching the TV.. Alone.
In a statement released Friday
afternoon, Libby said, "I have
conducted my responsibilities
honorably and truthfully. I am
confident that at the end of this
process I will be completely and
He turns. Valerie is standing there. He stiffens. Tries to
cover his shock. Becomes almost formal-
They served up Libby. He's taking
He fixes on the screen.
I bet they've already struck the
deal. He takes the fall. He gets
pardoned. The deck's stacked. I bet
this doesn't even get to a trial.
He looks at her and sways slightly.
I don't care how angry you get. I
don't care what they say about us.
I don't care if you hate me. If
they take everything away from us,
but they are not going to take
this. They do not get to take my
Joe's eyes fill with tears.
I'm so sorry.
Tears fill her eyes.
You did good.
He looks her in the eye. Shakes his head.
I did it for me.
She shakes her head.
I know why you did it.
(She looks at him)
There's a thousand things he could suddenly say. And suddenly
nothing, as he fights tears.
If I could give it back to you. If
I could give you back who you were-
This is who I am. Right here.
They clasp each other and hug, and all the pain drains away.
They kiss. As they break she looks into her husband's eyes.
So are you ready to fight?
Joe looks at his wife. His eyes filled with tears.
INT. BEDROOM. DAY.
Valerie getting ready. She puts on make-up. A grey suit.
How many of you know who put the 16
words in the State of the Union
ESTABLISHING-- OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS. DAY.
JOE WILSON (O.S.)
Arguably the most important speech
the president makes all year. Never
more important when the nation is
on the brink of war.
INT. CAVERNOUS LECTURE THEATRE, COLUMBUS OHIO. NIGHT
Joe steps out onto a stage. Packed to the rafters. Kids stand
on window ledges, others hang over balconies. SILENCE.
How many of you know who put it in?
How many of you know my wife's
(Everyone in the hall.)
How do you know one and not the
JOE WILSON (cont'd)
How did the question move from "Why
are we going to war?" to "Who is
that man's wife". I asked the first
question. Someone else asked the
second. It worked. Its still
working. Because we still don't
know the truth. But you all know my
INT. TAXI (MOVING). DAY.
Valerie sits in the back of a cab, looking out of the window.
JOE WILSON V/O
Public officials swear an oath to
uphold the constitution. That is
their duty. They must be kept to
their oath. That is yours. This
offense wasn't committed against
me. Nor against my wife...
It was committed against you.
And if you ever feel angry.
Misrepresented. Ashamed even.
VALERIE IN THE CAB.
JOE WILSON (O.S.)
Do something about it. In 1787 as
Benjamin Franklin left the
Constitution Hall after the last
drafting session, he was stopped by
a woman on the street. She asked--
-what manner of government have you
bequeathed us? Ben said 'A Republic
madam. If you can keep it.'
VALERIE IN THE CAB. THE PASSING STREET REFLECTED ON HER FACE.
If you can keep it.
INT. AIRPORT TERMINAL TEHRAN. DAY
Sa'ad and his family walk out of the jetway and are greeted
by officials and men in uniform. Sa'ad smiles and shakes
hands. His wife nervously shepherds their children.
JOE WILSON V/O
The responsibilty for this country
does not lie in the hands of a
EXT. MOUNTAINOUS ROAD. DAY
Sa'ad, a Korean man and two officers of the Sepah
revolutionary guard ride in a four wheel drive through rugged
Iranian countryside, reflected on his face.
We are strong and we are free from
tyranny only for as long as each
and every one of us remembers their
duty as citizens.
EXT. NATANZ NUCLEAR RESEARCH FACILITY, IRAN. DAY
Sa'ad arrives at the heavily fortified reactor. He is
introduced to several men the last of which is Manucher Vaziri,
the arms dealer Valerie was tracking.
Welcome to the revolution my
Sa'ad looks up at the state of the art facility.
EXT. CAPITOL HILL. DAY.
VALERIE GETS OUT OF THE CAB. She walks down the street past
the gleaming government buildings.
Whether its a pothole at the end of
your street or a lie in the State
of the Union Address..Speak up. Ask
the question. Demand the truth.
Valerie walks. We see the Capitol dome behind her. She begins
to climb steps..
Democracy is not a free ride...
Man I'm here to tell you that. But
its where we live. And if we do our
job its where our children will
live. God bless America.
A roar erupts from the auditorium.
Valerie climbs the steps. Suddenly she is engulfed in
flashes. Dozens of photographers. Reporters. She climbs the
steps. She passes between the two enormous statues to the
Spirit of Justice and The Majesty of the Law --
INT. RAYBURN HOUSE. CAPITOL HILL. DAY.
Valerie walks onto the floor of the Oversight Committee.
Cameras. Microphones. Press photographers. She sits before a
Good morning, Mr. Chairman and
members of the committee. My name
is Valerie Plame Wilson, and I am
honored to have been invited to
testify under oath before the
Committee on Oversight and
Government Reform on the critical
The shot dissolves into the REAL VALERIE PLAME delivering her
testimony to the chamber.
REAL VALERIE FOOTAGE
...of safeguarding classified
information. I'm grateful for this
opportunity to set the record
straight. I served the United
States loyally and to the best of
my ability as a covert operations
officer for the Central
Intelligence Agency. I worked on
behalf of the national security of
our country, on behalf of the
people of the United States until
my name and true affiliation were
exposed in the national media on
July 14th, 2003, after a leak by
administration officials. Today I
can tell this committee even more.
REAL VALERIE FOOTAGE (cont'd)
In the run-up to the war with Iraq
I worked in the Counter
Proliferation Division of the CIA,
still as a covert officer whose
affiliation with the CIA was
classified. I raced to discover
solid intelligence for senior
policy makers on Iraq 's presumed
weapons of mass destruction
program. While I helped to manage
and run secret worldwide operations
against this WMD target from CIA
headquarters in Washington , I also
traveled to foreign countries on
secret missions to find vital
intelligence. I loved my career
because I love my country.
On March 6th 2007 Scooter Libby was found guilty of perjury,
obstruction of justice and making false statements to the
FBI, concerning the leaking of Valerie Plame's identity.
He was handed the maximum sentence: two and a half years in
prison, and a $250,000 fine.
On July 2nd 2007. The President used his executive authority
to commute the court's sentence.
Joe and Valerie left Washington and found a new home in Santa
Fe. They live there today, with their children.