The first fifteen hours deal with finding and disposing of the nuclear bomb. After the bomb is disposed of safely, the story focuses on the United States' response to the thwarted attack, and in particular the nation's retaliation against the people responsible for planning it. A recorded conversation between a terrorist involved with the bomb and high-ranking officials of three Middle Eastern countries (which are never specified) is used to implicate those countries in the plot. However, due to Jack Bauer's doubts, Palmer is reluctant to order military action against them until he has absolute proof that the recording is genuine. A majority of his Cabinet then vote to relieve Palmer of his position as President under Section 4 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment, believing his hesitation to be a sign of indecision and weakness, and is therefore indicative of his inability to lead the country effectively. The vice president, James Prescott, is elevated to the presidency and orders military strikes against the three countries to continue.