This week’s episode of the CBS drama NCIS: Los Angeles featured an “ultra right wing” terror group complete with a Gadsden Flag, a favorite of the modern Tea Party movement.
Tuesday’s episode, entitled Recovery, had the team investigating the apparent drowning of a Navy Lt. Commander at high priced California rehab center.
The investigation revealed that the naval IT specialist had actually been drugged with scopolamine and Vicodin, pumped for intelligence on U.S. Predator drones and dumped in the pool. This led Special Agents Callen, Hanna, Deeks and Blye to a fictitious “ultra right-wing” extremist group that planned to hijack or “spoof” a Predator drone and bomb a Pakistani village.
The fictional Homeland Defense League’s manifesto said that “nation building” is not only wrong, but that the whole of Pakistan should be wiped off the map. It also said that all Pakistanis–including civilians–were legitimate targets. This is the same reasoning that al-Qaeda uses to justify killing innocent civilians with its attacks.
When the agents find the HQ of the extremist, Robert Hayes, in addition to his plans, maps and other operational details they also find a Gadsden flag. This not so subtle reference to the Tea Party was front and center. There are certainly conservatives and Tea Party members who believe that nation building is a mistake and a waste of blood and treasure. There are also those on the right that believe that Islam is anything but a religion of peace, as both Presidents Bush and Obama have claimed on many occasions.
But there is no evidence to support the idea that there are violent “ultra right-wing” extremist groups that plan or even desire to wipe out all Muslims or all Pakistanis. This episode was just a bunch of Hollywood shark-jumping nonsense.
And it followed an episode of NCIS that introduced a new character–an NSA analyst–that went to great pains to inform viewers that the NSA can only spy on Americans after acquiring a warrant.
One has to ponder the motives of the NCIS franchise’s writer’s team.