In the current issue of Homeland Security Today, my “Editor’s Letter” provided a prescient understanding of not only the multi-coordinated jihadi attack in the heart of Paris, but also the very nature of jihad as spelled out in the dialogue for several characters in the popular Showtime series, “Homeland.”
The speech that told it like it is regarding ISIS and jihad was made by one of the regular CIA characters in “Homeland.”
It was, by all accounts – even by reviewers of the episode – a surprisingly candid, unvarnished and politically incorrect account about ISIS and Islamist jihad overall. In fact, the Twitter and blogosphere was abuzz over "telling it like its is."
It was about time that prime time addressed this reality. It was a wake up call that I hope fans of "Homeland" paid attention to, too!
Mark Tapson, a Hollywood-based writer and screenwriter and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, called it “a speech that stands out as uncommon sense on a show that has largely wallowed in moral equivalence between the West and Islamic terrorism.”
The politically incorrect dialogue went like this:
Dar Adal, a career CIA black ops specialist, brings a field operative into a CIA briefing room with intelligence, military and government officials seated around a long table.
Adal: “This is Peter Quinn, He’s been on the ground in Syria for the past two years. We’re all eager to hear about your experience there.”
Quinn: “I just got back from the Al Raqqah province in the oil-producing regions.”
Adal: “Could you speak up? Please? It’s a big table.”
Quinn, speaking louder: “Al Raqqah. It’s where I’ve been for the past few months. Our approach has remained constant. US air strikes prepare targets for surgical intervention by Special Forces — initially against Assad, then Al Nusra … and most recently … against the Islamic State. I’ve been heading up a team of special ops more or less continuously for the past 28 months. We’ve been busy.”
State Department official Joe Crocker: “Doing what? What the hell is actually going on over there?”
Quinn: “Well, if you’ve read the after action reports …”
Crocker interrupts: “I have. Every one of them. A handful of enemy dead here. Another handful there. I honestly have no idea what it all adds up to.”
Quinn: “The program has been effective, sir. I believe it should be continued.”
Crocker: “You do? Assad is still in power. ISIL is still growing … are we really getting anywhere in Syria?”
Quinn: “I just said yes.”
Crocker: “You said a program should be renewed. I’m asking, is our strategy working?”
Quinn: “What strategy? Tell me what the strategy is, and I’ll tell you if it’s working.”
Everyone in the room goes silent until Quinn breaks the hush: “See, that right there is the problem! Because they … they have a strategy. They’re gathering right now in Raqqa by the tens of thousands … hidden in the civilian population … cleaning their weapons. And they know exactly why they’re there.”
Crocker: “Why is that?”
Quinn: “They call it the end times. What do you think the beheadings are about? The crucifixions in Deir Hafer? The revival of slavery? You think they make this shit up? It’s all in the book. Their f—–g book. The only book they ever read. They read it all the time … They never stop. They’re there for one reason, and one reason only. To die for the caliphate and usher in a world without infidels. That’s … their strategy … And it’s been that way since the seventh century. So, do you really think that a few Special Forces teams are gonna put a dent in that?”
Crocker: “Well, what would you do?”
Quinn: “You offering me a promotion?”
Crocker: “I’m offering you a hypothetical.”
Quinn: “200,000 American troops on the ground indefinitely to provide security and support for an equal number of doctors and elementary school teachers.”
Crocker: “Well, that’s not going to happen.”
Quinn: “Then I’d better get back there.”
Crocker: “What else? What else would make a difference?”
Quinn: “Hit reset.”
Crocker: “Meaning what?”
Quinn: “Meaning pound Raqqa into a parking lot.”
Several weeks later, at a House Committee on Homeland Securityhearing to examine the growing threat America and the West faces from ISIS and other Islamist jihadi groups, National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas J. Rasmussen and FBI Director James Comey admitted “terrorist actors” around the world pose a broader, wider and deeper threat than at any time since 9/11, but they – and other administration officials – still have yet to concede what’s really behind this threat.
“The enemy threat doctrine has been patiently, exhaustively, spelled out — in English and any other language you’d like to speak … He tells us exactly who he is, why he fights, and what he is going to do to us. And then, he does it,” said former career CIA agent and Islamist authority Clare Lopez. “And, yet, we continue to deny that he knows what he is talking about; that when the enemy tells us he is fighting jihad in the name of Islam in order to impose shariah, he is telling the truth as he sees it.
And that’s what made the above dialogue in "Homeland" surprisingly truthful — perhaps for the first time in a mainstream television program dealing with jihadi terrorism.