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Call me a late starter.
Only now am I getting to episode six of “Homeland,” the basically police procedural drama about a would-be American mole for some Al-Qaida like terrorist group. Our possible mole is none other than a Marine rescued in Afghanistan after eight years captivity, named Nick Brody (Damian Lewis). But is he? Or isn’t he?
Fighting against the powers that be who see the Marine as a perfect poster boy for American patriotism and valor is one very thin, stressed out CIA person, namely Claire Danes, who gets the initial tip while initially engaged in some highly improbable activity in Baghdad.
Danes, like our Marine, is shipped home, where the subsequent action ensues. (Yes, it is called Homeland; better that than Motherland, I guess.)
Which is the nub of the problem for me. The drama unfolds in the USofA, with all sorts of CIA to-ing and fro-ing involving wiretapping, surveillance, FISA documents, interrogations, and the like.
Now, excuse me for this, but isn’t it fairly common knowledge that it is a no-no for the CIA to be engaged in any of those activities on US soil? Or, as the CIA says itself on its website: “By law, the CIA is specifically prohibited from collecting intelligence concerning the domestic activities of U.S. citizens.”
Our Marine is a US citizen; he has returned to the US and his dysfunctional family; he remains in military service.
So, where exactly is: the FBI? military intelligence? the NSA? the Department of Justice? Etc.
At heart, Homeland is essentially just as shallow, contrived and intellectually dishonest as CSI, or that Law and Order was in an especially bad episode.
What contrivance the producers and writers will come up with in subsequent episodes is already the main theme I will likely be fixated on, not whether Brody is an Al-Qaida mole. That’s assuming I continue to watch this tripe. Because, in the end, it’s all about distractions; and I’m now distracted enough to let my wife fill me in on the details over breakfast. Maybe I’ll keep reading David Mitchell’s engrossing first novel, “Ghostwritten.”

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