This week’s episode of NCIS delved into the continuing plight of Afghan women.
It also exposed the false hope offered by Hillary Clinton to those women when U.S. forces removed the Taliban from power in 2002 following the 9/11 attacks.
** Spoiler Alert **
The episode, entitled Anonymous Was a Woman, starts with the investigation of a woman’s murder, initially identified as a Marine sergeant, by the excruciating method of being burned with hydrofluoric acid. We soon learn the dead woman was, in fact, using the identity of a Marine who was killed in Afghanistan three years prior.
The investigation then turns to who the deceased actually is, how she came to be using this false identity and why she was murdered.
When Dinozzo (Michael Weatherly) sends a job application that the dead women filled out to Abby (Pauley Perrette), she notices the victim put down the name Leyla Shakarji as her emergency contact. Leyla Shakarji is the daughter-in-law of Gibbs’ (Mark Harmon) late mentor Mike Franks.
It turns out that the victim is an Afghan woman that Franks helped smuggle into the U.S. illegally so she could escape a marriage arranged by her family. He somehow got her the identification from the dead Marine’s affects during their transport back to the US.
In flashbacks we learn that Mike Franks had tried to get Gibbs to help him get military transport for six Afghan women two years earlier, but that Gibbs had refused because while he would “bend” law, he wouldn’t “break” it. Those six women were subsequently killed when their shelter in Afghanistan was bombed.
Also in flashbacks Franks makes reference to “all this talk about a border fence” making it more difficult to get these women into the U.S. A veiled knock on border security advocates?
Eventually, DNA from the crime scene leads the team to an Afghan immigrant who it turns out is a hit man doing “honor killings” against Afghan women for their families. But catching this one man doesn’t protect the women on his list unless they can determine how the fake identities were compromised. He may have been captured, but if the leak isn’t plugged others will finish what he started.
This leads agents Gibbs and McGee (Sean Murray) to travel to Afghanistan and a UN women’s shelter in Kabul to try to discover who leaked the assumed names to the families. They interview the women in the shelter and determine they didn’t reveal the names. But in the process Gibbs and McGee find themselves protecting the shelter and the women from a group of men that mean to burn it down.
There is a classic Gibbs versus bad guys confrontation, and he saves the shelter, which McGee says to Gibbs. This leads Gibbs to reply, “For tonight … what happens tomorrow?”
That is the question that Clinton, President Barack Obama and others that promised the women of Afghanistan that they would not be abandoned have to answer. The reality is that the U.S. didn’t go into Afghanistan to save its women from the Taliban or the way their society treats them. As offensive as it may be to us, it is the way they’ve lived for centuries and nothing we’ve done, or will do, can likely change that truth.
The U.S. military went to Afghanistan to avenge the 9/11 attacks and to stop that nation from being a safe haven for al-Qaeda, not to offer false hope to the women of Afghanistan. For political gain that is what Clinton and Obama have done. Obama isn’t going to run for office again, but Clinton has presidential aspirations. As the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has progressed Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been making efforts to accommodate the Taliban in order to ensure his survival after the US and NATO leave in 2014.
More than a year ago, in April of 2012, Afghanistan’s Ulema Council–the country’s top religious body–“issued an edict that men are “fundamental” and women “secondary,” and barred women from mingling with men in schools or the workplace. Afghan President Hamid Karzai appeared to embrace the ruling…”
Will Clinton pay a political price for her false pledge that, “We will not abandon you?”