By Stephen Lendman | [print_link] March 3, 2011
On February 21, New York Times writers Mark Mazzetti, Ashley Parket, Jane Perlez and Eric Schmitt headlined, “American Held in Pakistan Worked with CIA.”
On January 27, he was arrested and detained for shooting two men at a crowded Lahore traffic stop. Washington called it a botched robbery attempt. Pakistan charged him with murder and possession of a concealed, unlicensed gun. Davis said he acted in self-defense. Pakistani authorities knew otherwise when they learned he shot the men 10 times in the back, fled the scene, and was carrying a telescope, a GPS set, bolt cutters, a survival kit, and a long-range radio.
Moreover his gun was a powerful Glock semi-automatic pistol, able to fire 17 – 33 rounds, depending on what magazine is used. It’s a weapon professionals prefer, Glock World saying, it’s “designed to operate without compromise in extreme conditions.”
Pakistani authorities discredited his botched robbery story. Other accounts say the dead men were ISI agents monitoring Davis.
Claiming diplomatic immunity, US officials demand him released. Pakistan wants him tried for murder or exchanged for Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani national bogusly incarcerated as a political prisoner.
On February 22, Times writer Charlie Savage headlined, “Pakistan Case Tests Laws on Diplomatic Immunity,” asking:
“Can Pakistani officials lawfully prosecute him for murder?” Of course they can if Pakistan’s law allows. Protesters, in fact, want him hanged. They’re furious about CIA drone strikes, murdering Pakistanis with impunity, mostly civilians called terrorists, what’s also ongoing in Afghanistan.
Without revealing his cover, Obama cited the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations saying, “If our diplomats are in another country, then they are not subject to that country’s local prosecution.” Davis, of course, is no diplomat. He’s a spy working covertly against Pakistan, now charged with murder, a crime demanding prosecution.
At first, State Department officials called him a “consultant.” Later they said he was posted to America’s Islamabad Embassy, claiming he conducted surveillance of militant groups in Pakistan. False! He was covertly spying on Pakistan and much more.
All countries have laws against espionage; that is, covertly obtaining secret information without authorization, especially related to national defense or security. America’s 18 U.S.C. § 793 : US Code – Section 793: Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information is relevant, accessed through the following link:
BELOW RIGHT: Pakistanis demand that Raymond Davis be tried and hanged.
Covering a detailed list of offenses, it says anyone found guilty under this title shall be fined and/or imprisoned for up to 10 years. Legal counsel for a foreign spy claiming diplomatic immunity would be laughed out of court, his or her client convicted if serious enough security breaches warranted. In 1987, Jonathan Pollard, a former civilian intelligence analyst, got life in prison for spying for Israel. Even the powerful Israeli Lobby couldn’t save him. Imagine the fate of a Pakistani spy caught doing something similar.
Initially, The Times was complicit in coverup. On January 27, writer Jane Perlez headlined, “US Official Shoots Two Pakistanis to Death,” saying:
Davis “was posted to the United States Consulate in Lahore,” US officials “sa(ying he) was an employee, but did not specify his position.” At the time, Perlez and other Times writers knew his identity but concealed it. In her February 21 article, she said:
“The New York Times had agreed to temporarily withhold information about Mr. Davis’ (CIA) ties…at the request of the Obama administration, which argued that disclosure” would endanger his life. When forced to go public, she quoted CIA spokesman George Little saying:
“Our security personnel (read spies) around the world act in a support role providing security for American officials. They do not conduct foreign intelligence collection or covert operations.”
A pathetic response by an agency caught red-handed, exposed lying multiple ways. The Times also misreported, saying “the United States is not at war in Pakistan, the American military is largely restricted from operating in the country. So the (CIA) has taken on an expanded role, operating drones” to conduct attacks.
In fact, US military forces and private contractors like Xe Services (formerly Blackwater USA) operate freely in Pakistan, conducting air and ground attacks, largely in North and South Waziristan. CIA agents infest the country, operating covertly. Davis’ diplomatic passport describes him as “administrative and technical staff.” His visa calls him a ‘regional affairs officer,” a common CIA cover well known to Pakistani authorities.
On February 20, London’s Guardian broke the news, writer Declan Walsh headlining, “Pakistan defiant in face of US pressure to free CIA agent,” saying:
Davis called himself a “consultant” at America’s Lahore Consulate. “But the Guardian revealed (he’s) a CIA agent, citing interviews in the US and Pakistan. A number of US media outlets are also aware of his status but” conspired with Washington to conceal it. Moreover, he’s a former US Special Forces soldier and Xe Services mercenary, a hired gun, a trained killer.
Despite pressure from Hillary Clinton, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani told parliament:
“We are firmly resolved to adopt a course that accords with the dictates of justice and the rule of law….My government will not compromise on Pakistan’s sovereignty and dignity.”
At least not until pressure gets too great or a proposed deal more than compensates for releasing a killer.
On March 2, Pakistan’s Daily Times said:
An unnamed “US television (report) has claimed that the Pakistan government has asked (the) US administration to hand over Dr. Aafia Siddiqui in exchange for Raymond Davis, a private TV channel reported on Tuesday. According to the….report, the Pakistan government has asked the Obama administration that the (CIA agent) and (accused) double murder(er), Raymond Davis, could be released” if Siddiqui is freed. “But Washington has turned down Islamabad’s (offer). The report quotes a US official as saying (Pakistan wants Siddiqui) to complete her remaining sentence in the country.”
Pakistanis want her freed, knowing she’s innocent of all charges and was spuriously convicted. She one of thousands of political prisoners, languishing unjustly in US prisons, at home and abroad.
Washington officials are so certain they can pressure Pakistan to release Davis that they won’t agree to exchange Siddiqui for him. Imperial arrogance knows no bounds. America demands and expects obedience.
A Final Comment
On March 1, Dave Lindorff’s article headlined, “Davis Arrest Throws US Undercover in Pakistan into Disarray,” saying:
Fallout from his case “is apparently leading to a rollback of America’s espionage and Special Operations activities in Pakistan.” Its Interior Department “is reportedly conducting a careful review of the hundreds of private contractors” who infest the country on diplomatic passports, providing false covers.
Hundreds claiming diplomatic immunity are suspected of spying covertly. Lindorff earlier cited Pakistani and Indian news organizations saying intelligence sources explained that Davis’ role included “orchestrating terrorist activity by both the Pakistani Taliban and the terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Jhangvi,” linked to the killings of Benezir Bhutto and Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
Moreover, strained US-Pakistan relations pertain to Washington operating independently on its own, including with Pakistan’s Taliban, now complicated by Davis’ “brazen slaughter of the two Pakistanis, who reportedly were tailing him because of concerns about the nature of his activities….”
He’s now in prison awaiting trial unless pressure or a deal gets him released. So far, Washington refuses one for Siddiqui. Pakistan wants her in exchange. Both sides are firm. Whether one blinks remains to be seen.
Meanwhile Aafia languishes isolated at FMC Carswell, a federal prison some call “CarsHELL.” Her nightmarish ordeal continues, following her March 30, 2003 abduction, imprisonment, torture and witch-hunt prosecution, resulting in an 86-year sentence, despite no evidence whatever of guilt. In contrast, Davis is a covert spy, caught red-handed committing two cold-blooded murders. If he’s freed but not Aafia, justice is more than ever blind. It’s already corrupted.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Senior Contributing Editor Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.