Major General William Devereaux
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Quotes for
Major General William Devereaux (Character)
from The Siege (1998)

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The Siege (1998)
General William Devereaux: The CIA didn't know the Berlin Wall was coming down until bricks started hitting them in the head.

General William Devereaux: This is the land of opportunity, gentlemen. The opportunity to turn yourselves in.

General William Deveroux: This is a new kind of war.

Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: [upon informing Devereaux that he is being arrested] William Devereaux, you are under arrest for the torture and murder of Tariq Husseini, an American citizen.
General William Devereaux: Is this some kind of a joke?
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: You see me laughing, general?

Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: [upon learning Devereaux's plans to torture Tariq] Are you people insane? What are you talkin' about?
General William Devereaux: The time has come for one man to suffer in order to save hundreds of lives.
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: One Man? What about two, huh? What about six? How about public executions?
General William Devereaux: Feel free to leave whenever you like, Agent Hubbard.
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: Come on General, you've lost men, I've lost men, but you - you, you *can't* do this! What, what if they don't even want the sheik, have you considered that? What if what they really want is for us to herd our children into stadiums like we're doing? And put soldiers on the street and have Americans looking over their shoulders? Bend the law, shred the Constitution just a little bit? Because if we torture him, General, we do that and everything we have fought, and bled, and died for is over. And they've won. They've already won!
General William Devereaux: Escort him out.

General William Devereaux: Twelve hours after the President gives the order we can be on the ground. One light infantry division of 10,700 men, elements of the Rapid Deployment Force, Special Forces, Delta, APCs, helicopters, tanks and of course the ubiquitous M-16 A2 assault rifle. A humble enough weapon until you see it in the hands of a man outside your local bowling alley or 7-11. It will be noisy, it will be scary and it will not be mistaken for a VFW parade.

General William Devereaux: The Army is a broad sword, not a scalpel. Trust me, senator - you do not want the Army in an American city.

Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: [to General Devereaux during the Mexican standoff] You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to a fair trial. You have the right not to be tortured, not to be murdered, rights that you took away from Tariq Husseini. You have those rights because of the men who came before you who wore that uniform. Because of the men and women who are standing here right now waiting for you to give them the order to fire. Give them the order, General.
General William Devereaux: Do you think that I would hesitate to kill you, or every Federal Agent in this room, if I thought it was in the best interest of my country?
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: No, no, no, you wouldn't hesitate, I know that. But they might.
[motions to soldiers in room]
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: Give the order. Make murderers out of these young kids, give the order.
[Devereaux is silent]
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: Give 'em the order, General!
[pause]
General William Devereaux: [over his shoulder] Stand down, Sergeant.

General William Devereaux: Go fuck yourself, bureau! I am serving my country. Why don't you try serving yours?

General William Devereaux: [announcing the declaration of martial law in Brooklyn] Good morning. Today with the invocation of the War Powers Act by the President, I am declaring state of martial law in this city. To the best of our knowledge we are opposed by no more than 20 of the enemy. He is hiding among a population of roughly two million. Intelligence tells us that he is most likely Arab speaking, between the age of 14 and 30, narrowing the target to 15,000 suspects. We can further reduce that number down to those that have been in this country less than six months. Now you have 20 hiding among 2,000. If you are one of these 20 young men, you can hide among a population of similar ethnic background. Unfortunately for you, you can only hide there. And that population, in the classic immigration pattern, is concentrated right here in Brooklyn. We intend to seal off this borough, then we intend to squeeze it. This is the land of opportunity, gentlemen - the opportunity to turn yourselves in. After sundown tonight, any young man fitting the profile I described who is not cooperating will be arrested and detained. There is historically nothing more corrosive to the morale of a population than policing its own citizens, but the enemy would be sadly mistaken if they were to doubt our resolve. They are now face-to-face with the most fearsome military machine in the history of man, and I intend to use it and be back on base in time for the playoffs. Thank you for your time.

General William Devereaux: Make no mistake, Senator. We will hunt down the enemy, we will find the enemy, and we will kill the enemy. And no card-carrying member of the ACLU is more dead set against it than I am. Which is why I urge you - I implore you. Do not consider this as an option.

General William Devereaux: Are you questioning my patriotism?
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: I am questioning your judgment!
General William Devereaux: [after a pause] I am here serving my president, and quite possibly not in the best interests of our nation. My profession does not allow me to make that kind of distinction.

General William Devereaux: Elise Kraft wouldn't know the difference between a sheik and a prophylactic of the same name.
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: Thanks for the heads-up.

[Frank Haddad's son is among those who have been rounded up by the Army]
General William Devereaux: And his name is Haddad?
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: Frank Haddad, Junior.
Colonel Hardwick, Army Intelligence: His father's a Shiite. We're checking him out.
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: Check this out, pal. His father's a federal agent for ten years.
Colonel Hardwick, Army Intelligence: Don't get in my face, Hubbard. I might decide you're an Ethiopian.
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: And you're just stupid enough to think that's an insult.

[a big discussion is underway about the fight against terrorism in New York City]
Chief of Staff: General?
General William Devereaux: The Army is a broadsword, not a scalpel. Trust me, senator, you do not want the Army in an American city.
Chief of Staff: But hypothetically... how long would it take you to deploy?
General William Devereaux: You know we can't go in until the President invokes the War Powers Act.
Chief of Staff: I understand that, General. Let's assume, for a moment, that the order has been given.
General William Devereaux: Twelve hours after the President gives the order we can be on the ground. One light infantry division of 10,700 men, elements of the Rapid Deployment Force, Special Forces, Delta, APCs, helicopters, tanks, and of course the ubiquitous M16A1 assault rifle. A humble enough weapon until you see it in the hands of a man outside your local bowling alley or 7-11. It will be noisy. It will be scary, and it will not be mistaken for a VFW parade.
Army General: I wanna remind you, General Devereaux does not speak for official Army policy. A police function has become accepted as our role in Haiti and Somalia.
General William Devereaux: Make no mistake. We will hunt down the enemy. We will find the enemy. And we will kill the enemy. No card-carrying member of the ACLU is more deadset against it than I am. Which is why I urge you - I *implore* you - do not consider this as an option.
Chief of Staff: I know just what the President's going to say: that's exactly why your the only man for the job.
[cut to a clip of unseen hands cleansing themselves]
FBI Director: I'd like to introduce Anthony Hubbard. He's my ASAC on the ground up in Brooklyn. His team was able to take out the first cell within 36 hours of the attack on the #87 Bus. He's also the man who took out the terrorist in that schoolhouse.
[This last sentence overlays a clip of the hands assembling an explosive charge]
FBI Director: Hub?
[Hubbard stands up]
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: The job of the FBI is to - to respond.
[the mystery hands turn the key in the ignition of a van]
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: The job of the Army is to defend. With the presence of the Army, our ability to investigate will be seriously inhibited.
[the van pulls out of a garage]
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: It will push these criminals further underground. Most importantly, you can't fight a war against an enemy you can't see.
[the van makes its way through the streets]
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard: I think if we exercise patience and restraint - allow our men and women up in New York to do their job, I think it'll be effective.
[long pause; the van is seen coming off the Queensboro Bridge as it enters Manhattan]
Chief of Staff: Thank you, Agent Hubbard. I, too, think that we should proceed with caution. Some of you may not know Sharon Bridger. Sharon was posted in Iraq as part of our covert operations during the Gulf War. Sharon?
[Elise Kraft/Sharon Bridger comes in with several folders]
Sharon Bridger: Sir, if I may?
[She starts passing the folders around, intercut with clips of busy Manhattan streets, and the explosives packed into the back of the van]
Sharon Bridger: I'm sure everyone here knows the traditional model of the terrorist network: one cell controls all others. Cut off one head, the body will wither.
[Cut to clips of One Federal Plaza; Sharon continues in voice-over]
Sharon Bridger: Unfortunately the old wisdom no longer applies.
[We see the van make a right turn]
Sharon Bridger: The new paradigm is each cell operates independent of the other. Cut off one head, another rises up in its place.
[the van cruises slowly down the street]
Sharon Bridger: Bus 87 was the work of the first cell, whose remaining elements, we believe, the FBI took down.
[the camera pans down the side of One Federal Plaza]
Sharon Bridger: This then activated cell #2:
[the camera closes in on the van]
Sharon Bridger: the theater gala.
[Agents Frank Haddad and Danny Sussman leave the building and exchange some words with two agents in the plaza]
Sharon Bridger: At the most we believe there are three, possibly four cells.
Chief of Staff: Well then how much longer until we can take out the last cell?
[Long pause; the van speeds up, and jumps the concrete barriers in front of the plaza, on a collision course with the lobby]
Sharon Bridger: We don't know.
[the van crashes through the windows of the lobby. Flash cut to an aerial view over Manhattan. The camera pans down on numerous emergency vehicles in front of the ruins of One Federal Plaza]