Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 14, 2011

Raymond Davis And The Curious Lack of Drone Strikes

Raymond Davis is a U.S. government contractor who worked in Pakistan. On January 26 he gunned down and killed two people in Lahore under quite murky circumstances. He is currently in Pakistani custody. The U.S. is now claiming that he is protected under diplomatic status. But that claim seems to have evolved only after the killing. Davis arrived in Pakistan on a business visa and without diplomatic papers. In any case there is no diplomatic status protection for serious crimes.

The U.S. is pressing the Pakistani PPP-party government for the release of Davis. That isn't easily done for the Zardari government as the case happened and will be judged in the state of Punjab where the major opposition party rules.

In the current downsizing and rearrangement of the Pakistani cabinet the, until recently, foreign minister Qureshi was supposed to stay on but yesterday he was ousted over the case:

Mr Qureshi, according to sources, was angered by President Zardari’s move to stop him from issuing any statement as foreign minister on the issue of Davis and assign the task to Interior Minister Rehman Malik.
Mr Qureshi reportedly stated that “the kind of blanket immunity Washington is pressing for Davis is not endorsed by the official record of the foreign ministry”.

The murky circumstances of the crime itself and the political shenanigans to get Davis release is already enough to make this case interesting.

But I suspect even more interesting behind this.

In 2010 119 U.S. drones strike hit in Pakistan, 13 of those in November and 12 in December. In the first three weeks of January 9 drone strikes occurred, the last one on January 23, three days before the murder in Lahore.

Since then - silence. The last three weeks there was no drone strike reported, not one.

So while there was an uninterrupted campaign of drone strikes on Pakistani ground every three days for several month, taking Mr. Davis off the street seems to have stopped it.

It may be that the U.S. stopped the strikes to prevent further diplomatic complications. But earlier rows between the Pakistani and U.S. government never stopped the drone campaign.

Another reason may well be that Mr. Davis is a critical component in the drone campaign and that without what he was doing, collecting targeting data from informants or whatever, the drone strikes can not continue.

It may also be that this correlation of events is not causal.

But to me it seems that keeping Davis off the streets has probably saved some Pakistani lives. Keeping him further off and inside a jail may probably save even more. That should be enough reason to press for his custody to continue.

Posted by b on February 14, 2011 at 17:11 UTC | Permalink


b, I have a degree in mathematics, but I would never be able to sum 2 + 2 the way you do; the resignation of the foreign minister over the case is indeed noteworthy; so the conjecture would be that Mr. Crawley was the "terminal" designated to vet rumors, leads, "confessions", etc picked up in the area and decide the targets to transmit to the Cia - if you think of it, on what other information can they rely on, in Virginia?

Posted by: claudio | Feb 14 2011 17:55 utc | 1

I find the claim "The last three weeks there was no drone strike reported, not one quite extra-ordinary. I seem to remember there is frequently quite a time gap between strikes and reports from victims, much less acknowledgements by the US.

Proving a negative like this is impossible but what is your source, the BND?
There is no doubt that the person currently held by Punjabi authorities is a US intelligence operative, one who they are very worried about losing. There will be much misinformation spread during this phase of the campaign to get him back.

Pakistanis are hoping to make his return conditional on an exchange for the railroaded Dr Aafia Siddiqui who has not only been imprisoned on false charges but had her children (all under 10 years of age at the time) imprisoned in the US for 5 years to prevent them from reporting that they had seen their brother the 6 month old baby Suleman murdered by US agents during their mother's kidnapping.

Conflating the two will not give any justice, a murderer will go free and an intelligent articulate and educated woman will still be a wreck barely able communicate with others and incapable of the most mundane tasks such as feeding herself, but it is probably the best chance for Dr Siddiqui to be returned to the care of her family.

Posted by: UreKismet | Feb 14 2011 19:32 utc | 2

I find the claim "The last three weeks there was no drone strike reported, not one quite extra-ordinary.

I linked to my source in the above piece (as I usually do). It scans the local Pakistani press and it seems reliable to me in reporting every strikes. I do NOT endorse the way they report/tally strikes (they seriously undercount civilian death). Reports of strikes usually take only a day to occur in the local press.

but had her children (..) imprisoned in the US

By the U.S., not in the U.S. as far as I can tell.

Posted by: b | Feb 14 2011 19:48 utc | 3

you're an excellent sleuth b. from lang's post.

The 18-year old wife of one of the young men killed, stricken by grief over her loss, and losing hope of any redress, took poison and killed herself.

or it was discovered she knew too much and someone else killed her. what seems remarkable is Davis being so brash wrt the killing of these targets. their identity and figuring out their importance will lead to a better understanding of Davis's role.

this is funny:

The US embassy claimed .... he was a diplomat attached to the US consulate in Lahore, but next day changed that to say he was attached to the embassy in Islamabad. One of the identity cards found on him showed him as attached to the consulate in Peshawar. The embassy demanded that he be released from police custody because of his diplomatic immunity. Meanwhile, the Lahore consulate stated that it had no knowledge of the (backup) van that had killed the cyclist.

tsk tsk. could it be none of the US consulates in either lahore, islamabad or peshwar knew of davis? was he running his own private assassination squad that advised the droners while passing this info over the heads of the lowly consulates?


Posted by: annie | Feb 14 2011 19:51 utc | 4

@claudio - b, I have a degree in mathematics, but I would never be able to sum 2 + 2 the way you do;
That is because you "know" that 2+x together with x <> 2 can not be 4. I always assume it could be 4 despite the stated x <> 2 because often there is something in claiming/thinking x<>2 that is a bit weird or unknown to me. I then add some fantasy and hunting for info. Sometimes the result of that fits, more often not.

@annie - from lang's post

That post was by "FB Ali", a retired over non-conformance Pakistani brigadier general now living in Canada. He is a straight guy and has his sources on the ground.

And yes, the case is very weird. Davis was certainly an operative, likely CIA, or from some Pentagon program. He is certainly NOT a State Department guy/contractor.

I followed the case in the Pakistani press when it evolved. The U.S. official response at the beginning was very, very confused. But it showed also that the guy must be really important to them.

(The first reports in the U.S. media where like only 10 days after he was caught and they missed or camouflaged all the important details around the case. The Egyptian revolution drowned the news on that.)

Posted by: b | Feb 14 2011 20:24 utc | 5


You're bad assed! I'm glad you're on our side ;)

thanks, you and the bar rock.


Posted by: DaveS | Feb 14 2011 20:52 utc | 6

Direct evidence from the Siddiqui children has not yet surfaced, primarily because both surviving children show symptoms of PTSD and the family has refused to allow them to become enmeshed in the controversy. The US has already attempted to re kidnap the children at least once. As for the issue of whether they were imprisoned within the US, well the fact that the daughter Maryam had lost her Urdu, and speaks english with a standard american accent, points to the fact that she was most likely imprisoned somewhere in the continental US.

For a considerable time US authorities argued that the children had been born in Boston, and were therefore US citizens. The Bush administration showed no inclination to return them to Pakistan, which tends to suggest they were held in the US, possibly with a view to turning them against their own family.

That failed when it became apparent the children's psychological health was compromised, so they were thrown back. Maryam was released on an Islamabad city street in the middle of the night, she had no Urdu anymore so a sign was hung around her neck as though she were an unwanted puppy.

People can carry on all they like about 'secret intelligence services' false flag operations and all the silly dramas of this US hired gun. We know that he will be given over to the US very soon. And all that will come of any discussion about this creep whose actions killed an innocent bystander as well as his two targets, is more garbage about the romance of being a 'secret agent'.

The Siddiqui family's destruction by the US is the true face of US imperialism and is the issue that people in the west need to confront. Talking spy shit as if everything were a Bourne conspiracy doesn't help alleviate the horror of US actions in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the rest of the empire.

We know some of the horrors of the Siddiquis because they come from a middle class family. The trauma that family has been put through is repeated day in day out by US entities such as the FBI, DEA, and CIA on the streets of Islamabad, Kabul, Bogota, Mexico City, and Baghdad. For every assassination there are probably 10 abductions, blackmails, rapes and tortures.

Families destroyed for nothing. Nothing unless the advancement of some minor US functionary's career amounts to more than a hill of beans in this crazy world.

None of these sound as exciting as a car chase and shoot-out but they are the true face of the empire. The face that will make travel outside the US dangerous for any US citizen in the coming decades.

Posted by: Paradise Mislaid | Feb 14 2011 21:07 utc | 7

b. Davis was certainly an operative, likely CIA, or from some Pentagon program. He is certainly NOT a State Department guy/contractor.

yeah, that was my take on it. had he been state the consulates would have claimed him more readily instead f tossing him like a hot potato.

re following the case. yes i read about it here, some smidgens and linked to the US news report which was weirdly sparse as i recall. i didn't follow it up because the revolution was going on. but it certainly peaked my curiosity. i really appreciate your report here. i can't stand the drone attacks. are the army and all this diplomacy just a massive mask concealing the real war, which is being carried out by the cia?

Posted by: annie | Feb 14 2011 21:25 utc | 8

It looks as though western intelligence services, by way of their friends online and in the media, are using the distraction provided by the unrest in Arab speaking countries to wash all the dirty linen they can, while they can. As well as revelations about the Siddique travesty and the open pressuring of Pakistan over the arrest of a CIA murderer, news has just been allowed to surface of the release by US authorities over two months ago of the Pakistani activist who trained Mohammad Sidique Khan, the leader of the cell which perpetrated england's July 7 bombings, resulting in the death of 52 civilians.

Some New York zionist judge ( not the same NY zionist judge who used a power point presentation to justify the insane sentence of 80 years for Dr Siddique) released Muhammad Junaid Babar, who was 4 years into a 70 year sentence for being an enemy of imperialism. He has become a friend of imperialism now. The story is that he did a Gregg Allman and testified against his friends in return for leniency.

Doubtless he will be given the key to city a new identity and enough money to indulge his sociopathy in less public ways.

The conviction of alleged Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was unsound and would probably have been overturned on appeal, but that may have been after he died of cancer. No such excuse can be given for Babar's release. He openly admitted his role in training Khan in the manufacture of explosives.

These stories are surfacing now at a time when people about the world have a sort of feel-good thing going after the Egyptian events. The hope is that in their state of excitement most will be more tolerant of these horrors and that even those who are distracted by this news won't be paying too much attention to the moves being made in the Yemen Bahrein and Algeria against protests there.

By creating so many different intrigues at once, the empire hopes to take the sting out of many of them.

It is worth considering the ways that the strategies of oppression are passed down through the ages. The techniques Machiavelli perfected, that Lao Tzu taught emperors long ago have been kept alive, passed down by the enemies of humanity. There has never been a break. At any time somewhere on this planet for the last ten thousand years, probably, someone has been using this same old shit to oppress the rest of us.

Remember those harmless old english hippies who were infiltrated by the english secret police by a constable who lived with them fucked them and reported back on them for nearly ten years before he came undone.
The undercover operative had gotten the others' confidence and gained entree to the strategists merely by bringing the greenies something they didn't have. A small truck that could be used to transport people and things. Nothing is what it seems. As Virgil said a couple thousand years back:
"Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes"

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.

Chances are there will be more of these stories surfacing in the next little while. The empire has committed tens of thousands of crimes against all sorts of people. Many of these horrors eventually surface, no matter what the empire does. What better way for them to be exposed than if the empire has some control over the story and the fuss fizzles out because there is just too much else going on?

What did people used to say? "Maintain your rage" Nurture it, channel it and above all ensure that it stays within your control.

Posted by: UreKismet | Feb 14 2011 22:15 utc | 9

I have been following this on different Pakistan papers and blogs. It seems odd that the US State dept. wants to get him outta there ASAP. Pakistani FO is not ready to concede that Raymond( This may not be his legal name.) has diplomatic immunity and that's probably why the Foreign Minister was ousted by Zardari as he is under tremendous pressure from the US.
I also read in the Guardian(can't find the link now) that the Pakistani police is claiming that he was in contact with a FATA based militant outfit Lashkar Jhangavi.
I think the reason the US State dept is pushing hard for his release is that they are really scared the ISI will eventually torture him to get the details of his mission in Pakistan. That process might have already started.

Pentagon on the other hand is issuing statements claiming that this incident would not impact US-Pak strategic relationship vs. the State Dept (Or CIA) cancelling some Foreign Secretary level meeting.
I don't know if the State dept. despite all the bullying, has the clout to get him out without the Pentagon's help.

Posted by: Hoss | Feb 14 2011 22:58 utc | 10

Some in Pakistani media have speculated on the gap in the drone attacks. But that might just be speculation.

Posted by: Hoss | Feb 14 2011 23:02 utc | 11

M K Bhadrakumar suspects that Davis was a BIG CIA asset, too.

Why else would the US reportedly threaten to cut diplomatic ties with Pakistan unless they release him?

Posted by: JohnH | Feb 14 2011 23:22 utc | 12

@b #5 - it's one thing having to contest / verify someone's claim that x <> 2; it's entirely different having to search for your x without anyone pointing at it (an "unknown unknown", Rumsfeld would have said); of course, you have to know what to keep your eye on - and keep track of numbers; once upon a time, this was the work of analysts; now that intelligence has poured away from intelligence agencies, it's up to volunteers; but you have to know how to do it, have the will, and the time

all this just to say that if contributions are needed to keep you active on our side, I'm ready :)

(don't know why I wrote Crawley instead of Davis in my first post)

Posted by: claudio | Feb 14 2011 23:26 utc | 13

flickervertigo, Bhadrakumar (see link by JohnH #12) has quite a different take on the whole matter

so what are the US up to in Pakistan? destabilization? I don't get it; for example, I don't see how it would help their efforts in Afghanistan; and it could terribly misfire;

returning to b's lead, maybe the Pakistani "only" wanted (want) to know who gives the clues to Davis for drone-targeting? the US maybe are using the Pakistan Taliban to track down Bin Laden, and compensating them with information on Pakistani army and state targets ? well, that might be White House's top priority; wow, drones in exchange for bombs; well, Bhadrakumar says that Davis "might spill explosive stuff", maybe it wasn't a metaphor

Posted by: claudio | Feb 15 2011 0:22 utc | 14

somehow i thought the flickerbug days were over here.

oh well.

i bet the guys he killed were in the isi or something.

Posted by: annie | Feb 15 2011 1:00 utc | 15

Claudio #18--"so what are the US up to in Pakistan? destabilization?" Could be.

Encouraging, on the one hand, elements of the Pakistani Taliban to target the Pakistani military, trying to convince them to become fully committed to the US side? The price of such support being, on the other hand, targeting information for drone attacks against rival elements of the Taliban?

Sounds like Davis could be a reincarnation of Duke in Doonesbury...

Posted by: JohnH | Feb 15 2011 1:04 utc | 16

Not very subtle are they? If it wasn't clear that Davis was an important asset before the incident, it sure is now.

Typical 'diplomacy' under Hillary's State Department: public rants and threats where private talks and incentivized negotiations are called for.

Maggie Thatcher would be proud.

Posted by: Night Owl | Feb 15 2011 3:09 utc | 17


I just deleted a bunch of comments by one "flicker vertigo" aka "wadosy", a vandalizing troll. If he returns please do not respond to him. I'll delete all his comments asap.

Posted by: b | Feb 15 2011 3:18 utc | 18

cheers b

Posted by: noiseannoys | Feb 15 2011 3:25 utc | 19

Wonder if they will get him out!?

Hints of prisoner swap over US official - Telegraph

A senior Pakistani politician has hinted that his government may try to swap an American official accused of murder for a female scientist linked to al-Qaeda.

Raymond Davis, a contractor working for the US mission in Pakistan, has been held for more than a fortnight after admitting shooting dead two men, despite American demands that he is entitled to diplomatic immunity.

Babar Awan, Pakistan's law minister, stopped just short of demanding a prisoner swap but linked Davis with the fate of Aafia Siddiqui, who is in prison in the US after being detained in Afghanistan.

Posted by: Fran | Feb 15 2011 5:49 utc | 20

Babar Awan the most corrupt crony of Zardari in the whole of Pakistan and he has a vital position of the law minister designed to protect Zardari. Then next is the interior minister. Expect nothing good from the two. Zardari will not do it directly.

Our immediate goal should be make sure Kerry and Obama frontal assault does not succeed in freeing Davis. If someone can find his true identity, they can help the court in pakistan.

The law that protects the victims and prevents american from lying about diplomatic immunity is Vienna 63-2-41.

However, the confession of "just a consultant" also suffices to show that he is no diplomat.

Here is a small prepared summary.

The great muslim jurist and universally acknowledged as the first analytical historian, IBNE KHALDOUN, whose three volume tome was translated from HEBREW or ARABIC into english by Franz Rosenthal - a princeton univ professor - and then again translated into english as a single volume abridged translation by N J Dawood (an iraqi jew) says clearly in these paraphrased words :

that the life of any nation depends on the implementation of justice in a society.

This profound fact is extremely important in a multi-linguistic, multi-ethnic, and multi-sectarian country like pakistan. In our country, which is home to jews, christians, zoroastrians, hindus, besides various sects of islam, and various linguistic groups, it is very important to uphold the rule of law to convince everyone to be a dedicated citizen. It is also a fact that any past defficiences and dysfunctionalities of the system cannot justify the solid clear case in this instance.

Lest, anyone ignore the strength of my argument, lets not be ever NEGLIGENT in our tribute to the law and recall for a moment the GREAT service to this nation rendered by an illustrious son of this soil, Chief Justice Rana Bhagwan Das, during the dark hour of this nation when an american PROMOTED-AND-PRAISED dictator had trampled the jugular vein of this country by firing the judges of the SUPREME COURT.

Our great nation, whose provisional freedom was won after blood, tears and sacrifices must defend it. Raymond Davis or not, this land must defend the impartiality of the court and without fear or politics.

After 911 Americans imposed a U-TURN on our nation under bullying, threats, false flag and rushing us into action so we cant think clearly - Its fruit, daily terrorism. We must now resist this NEW U-TURN that they want to impose on our great nation's JUDICIARY and ITS INDEPENDENCE.

Thus, if suppose the USA cuts off all the aid and compare it to a U-turn on the judiciary, which will be more harmful to our nation can be weighed. This will take the breath out of our militants who think pakistan is whore to America. Hanging this Raymond Davis will actually decrease terrorism and crimes and corruption. Letting him go will increase terrorism and crimes and corruption. The americans have to decide if they are in war against terrorism+crimes+corruption OR against their front line ally.

Posted by: Historian and Jurist IBN E KHALDOUN | Feb 15 2011 23:08 utc | 21

President Barack Obama makes a statement during a news conference on the White House complex in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011. – AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

n his first public remarks on a case that has cast a chill over an already uneasy partnership, Obama said that detained official Raymond Davis enjoyed diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Conventions.

“We expect Pakistan… to abide by the same convention,” Obama told a news conference.

“We’re going to be continuing to work with the Pakistani government to get this person released,” he said.

Prez Obama is misinformed about the Vienna convention: Here is the relevant law:

The US State Department is also carefully avoiding mentioning a later treaty, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963. That treaty, which extends and further clarifies, and where there may be a conflict, would supersede the earlier treaty, states in Section II, Article 41 in its first paragraph regarding the “Personal inviolability of consular officers”:

Consular officers shall not be liable to arrest or detention pending trial, except in the case of a grave crime and pursuant to a decision by the competent judicial authority.

The law here would seem to be quite clear. If Davis was in Lahore on anything other than official consular business, and if he killed two people “in cold blood” as the Lahore prosecutor has stated, then legal authorities in Pakistan are absolutely within their rights under the Vienna Conventions to be holding him for trial.

“Obviously, we’re concerned about the loss of life. We’re not callous about that, but there is a broader principle at stake,” Obama said.

The real BROADER PRINCIPLE is the rule of Law and operation of judiciary without PRESSURE.

The Vienna 63-41 is very clear that Raymond Davis is to be tried in the court of the land where he committed the crime and executed for murder - if the court finds him guilty.

Obama said that diplomatic immunity was critical because otherwise diplomats who “deliver to tough messages to countries where we disagree with them” will “start being vulnerable to prosecution locally.” “That’s untenable. It means they can’t do their job,” Obama said.

It is untenable if a immunity is claimed for a criminal and he or she is labelled as diplomat.

I can claim that the alleged murderer of Chandra Levy has diplomatic immunity. Also there is no proof if she assaulted him as Monica assaulted Bill Clinton.

Posted by: Historian and Jurist IBN E KHALDOUN | Feb 16 2011 0:36 utc | 22

Who would want his criminal of criminals on the street of the United States of America killing people at random.

Better have him hanged or jailed for life in Pakistan.

We have already too many rambos and criminals in the US. W

e can have one less Raymond Davis and Roman Polanskey.

Posted by: Alex James | Feb 16 2011 2:56 utc | 23

Roman Polansky has no diplomatic immunity. This redneck ashkenazi khazar white Hun is not above other races.

Law is the same and even if it can be forged that this CONSULTANT is a diplomat, Vienna Conventions 63-2-41 allows him to be tried in pakistan and punished under pakistani law. Since he did pre-meditated murders, he will be executed. US consulate should also handover the HIT-AND-RUN vehicle and its crew of 5 to be tried. WHITE American is NOT above law in Pakistan, maybe in USA.

Posted by: nano thermite | Feb 16 2011 3:22 utc | 24

Pakistani officials differ over detained American

Although the U.S. says he's an embassy staffer, he apparently had been attached for a while to the consulate in Lahore, further adding to the confusion about his status since consulate employees do not always get the same level of diplomatic protection as embassy staffers.

The AP also obtained a photocopy of an ID and a salary document that Davis apparently gave Pakistani authorities, showing that he was scheduled to be paid $200,000 from Sept. 21, 2010, until Sept. 20, 2011, for "overseas protective sec. svcs.," training, administration work and insurance and travel expenses.

Davis is identified as a Defense Department contractor on the ID card.

Posted by: b | Feb 16 2011 12:22 utc | 25

As Sen. Kerry is in Islamabad to get Davis out, this guy is holding steady: Raymond Davis does not enjoy blanket immunity: Qureshi

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Qureshi said the foreign office had briefed him on January 31 that Davis did not enjoy the blanket immunity that the US was claiming for him.

Qureshi said that after studying the Vienna Conventions of 1961 and 1963 and Pakistan’s Diplomatic Law of 1972, one could conclude that “the blanket immunity as being demanded by the US embassy was not valid”.

He said that after seeing relevant documents, it was his “considered opinion” that Davis did not enjoy diplomatic immunity. He had informed the Core Committee of the Pakistan People’s Party of his view on the subject.

He said an inter-ministerial meeting had also endorsed this point of view.

Qureshi said that his stance on the Davis issue was principled and that he would stand by his position.

He said that for him Pakistan’s sovereignty and dignity were most important and that if need be he would apprise the people of Pakistan of more facts.

Posted by: b | Feb 16 2011 12:56 utc | 26

Sen. Kerry has assured the Pakistanis that Davis's actions will be investigated by the US and he will be tried for crimes if he is indicted.


Like that will happen! But Kerry said this with a straight face:

"It is customary in an incident like this for our government to conduct a criminal investigation. That is our law. And I can give you the full assurance of our government today that that will take place," Kerry told reporters in the eastern city of Lahore. "So there is no such thing as a suggestion that something is out of law or that America thinks somehow we're not subject to the law." (My emphasis -- and comment: "Really, Senator?")

But even more astonishing is Obama's statement, in which he seemingly has created an ambassadorship for Davis and elevated him to that rank without Senate hearings!

"If it starts being fair game on our ambassadors around the world, including in dangerous places where we may have differences with those governments ... that's untenable," Obama told a news conference, his first public remarks on the case. "It means they can't do their job and that's why we respect these conventions and every country should, as well." (My emphasis)

Ambassador Davis? Who knew? Apparently not Mr. Davis, per reports on BBC today (which I can't find, drat). I heard on the BBC a recording of Davis telling Pakistani authorities that he was a contract employee with the US consulate or embassy (I can't recall which).

Anyone have a citation for this info?

Posted by: jawbone | Feb 16 2011 17:04 utc | 27

Note: Perhaps this Constitutional scholar/professor has taken the Unitary Executive theory of Bush/Cheney to a whole new level. Obama seems to believe that he can act as judge/jury/executioner of those he sees as terrorists and can order their assassination whether citizen or non-citizen, which seems to us who merely studied our Constitution to be, well, unconstitutional.

So, perhaps, he feels that since he is a Unitary Executive and Commander in Chief, in a time of war, that he can skip those steps required by the Constitution, such as having ambassadors confirmed. Or, maybe, he made an interim appointment without informing anyone? Or, as Nixon told Frost, if the president does it it's not illegal....

Posted by: jawbone | Feb 16 2011 17:22 utc | 28

Sen. Kerry has assured the Pakistanis that Davis's actions will be investigated by the US and he will be tried for crimes if he is indicted.


Like that will happen! But Kerry said this with a straight face:

"It is customary in an incident like this for our government to conduct a criminal investigation. That is our law. And I can give you the full assurance of our government today that that will take place," Kerry told reporters in the eastern city of Lahore. "So there is no such thing as a suggestion that something is out of law or that America thinks somehow we're not subject to the law." (My emphasis -- and comment: "Really, Senator?")

But even more astonishing is Obama's statement, in which he seemingly has created an ambassadorship for Davis and elevated him to that rank without Senate hearings!

"If it starts being fair game on our ambassadors around the world, including in dangerous places where we may have differences with those governments ... that's untenable," Obama told a news conference, his first public remarks on the case. "It means they can't do their job and that's why we respect these conventions and every country should, as well." (My emphasis)

It must have been a surprise even for "Ambassador Davis" to find out that he was actually an ambassador.

Obama is saying ridiculous things now. Does it mean that in every US embassy the real ambassador is someone else than the figurehead ? Does it mean that in the USA someone else is the real president than Mr Obama ?

Posted by: nano thermite | Feb 16 2011 18:18 utc | 29

Mr. “Raymond Davis” really doesn’t know where he is. He doesn’t realize that he is in jail. He has not come to the terms with the facts that he is in Pakistan and that he is not above the law. He is obviously very agitated and frustrated at being locked up in Pakistan. In a very strange incident the double-murderer began cursing out at the morning “Azaan“. In a bizarre incident he lodged a protest with the jail authorities on “being disturbed by the morning prayer call.” To “Davis” chagrin loudspeakers were briefly muted and then turned back on. His frustrations is now getting the better of him. “He started shouting in a quite savage manner in the wee hours when the Azaan was in progress and the prisoners were waking up for the prayers,” said a prisoner, who requested not to be named. Another jail officer claimed that the US official also abused Jail Superintendent Mian Mushtaq Awan, who was trying to pacify him. “You all are bloody bastards. How dare you wake me without my permission? Now get lost,” Davis swore at them. This would get him into trouble with the jail authorities.

One of the inmates at the Kot Lakpat jail informed reporters that Davis started shouting: “Shut the louder or I will raise the matter with the (US) Consulate.” A Kot Lakhpat Jail official said that “Ramond Davis” had started huffing and puffing on hearing the Friday prayer call on his first day in that jail. He had to be calmed down.

“Seeing four prisoners offering Asr prayers in the corridor of their barrack, Davis started grumbling in a derogatory way,” he added. This behaviour of course is blasphemy which carries a death sentence in Pakistan–immunity or no immunity .....

rest at

Posted by: nano thermite | Feb 16 2011 18:27 utc | 30

B.Raman, former Indian chef spy, sees the real danger in the Davis case: CAN RAYMOND DAVIS CASE TRIGGER EGYPT-LIKE SITUATION IN PAKISTAN?

As I monitor the public anger building up in Pakistan over what growing sections of the people see as the bullying tactics adopted by the US Government to secure the release and departure to the US of Raymond Davis a member of the staff of either the US Consulate-General in Lahore or the US Embassy in Islamabad (one does not know which), who allegedly shot dead two Pakistanis in Lahore on January 27,2011, I am no longer that certain that there cannot be an uprising in Pakistan.

Yes, I still feel there cannot be an uprising in Pakistan over domestic issues and the style of governance. But if the public anger over the Davis case continues to build up as a result of the surprising mishandling of the case by the US State Department, one may be faced with a mass uprising over the issue of the country's relations with the US.

Now that would be interesting ... and bloody?

Posted by: b | Feb 16 2011 19:24 utc | 31

Extremely important article links

Here is some account of US (ie ashkenazi/khazar/neocon) machinations/intentions vis-a-vis Pakistan :

Basically, their goal is to reduce pakistan to a vassal and neutered just as a frog dies when it is afraid to jump out of a pot slowly heated to the boiling point.

Posted by: nano thermite | Feb 16 2011 21:36 utc | 32

I'm just wondering if there's any connection between the Raymond Davis incident and the "rumored" departure from the Afghan theater of

"virtually the entire U.S. civilian and military leadership in Afghanistan [which] is expected to leave in the coming months, including Ambassador Karl Eikenberry and the embassy’s other four most senior officials, Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the U.S.-led international coalition, and Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez, who runs day-to-day military operations there

as reported, among other places, by Reuters .

I have the feeling that Paetraeus has been running something akin to an Afghan-Pakistani analogue to the infamous CIA Phoenix assassination program in Vietnam, and it may be that "enough has become enough" for both his superiors (unhappy with the results) and the Pakistanis (unhappy to be targets). This is sheer uninformed conjecture on my part, and I would be happy to receive illumination from better informed observers.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Feb 18 2011 10:14 utc | 33

I guess a deal is in the works with the Taliban - without asking Pakistan.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 19 2011 12:16 utc | 34

raymond davis, cia

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 20 2011 20:24 utc | 35

from giap#35's link:

"there has not been a drone strike since 23 January – the longest lull since June 2009. Experts are unsure whether both events are linked"

only took them a week more than b, they are improving!

Posted by: claudio | Feb 20 2011 23:33 utc | 36

This report from India (via Russian intelligence) may be just rumor mongering or disinformation, but, certainly bears a mention.
If true, it is explosive news in all senses, but for now it remains only another mirror in Angleton's wilderness.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Feb 21 2011 6:58 utc | 37

If, as alleged in the link I gave @37 "Raymond Davis" is indeed a CIA operative of Task Force 373
the following link provides further information on that group's activities , in particular
confirming its involvement with Predator strikes and Operation Phoenix like assassinations.
I wonder how long before the "Davis" cover name is made known: apparently his home is in Colorado,
although, of course, he also has links to Fort Bragg, N.C.

It looks like it will be impossible to get the genie back into the bottle with regard to this case,
and precisely because the U.S. legal position seems so weak, one can reasonable expect crass appeals to U.S. patriotism to come into play very soon.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Feb 21 2011 7:16 utc | 38

It may be the lack of ISI cooperation due to Davis' murders rather than Davis' actual involvement in the drone logistics than caused the lull in the strikes.


Whatever the reason, a new drone strike (another pleasant euphemism for death) occurred yesterday.

Posted by: Biklett | Feb 21 2011 7:54 utc | 39

I imagine that many MOA habitués also visit Pat Lang's Sic Semper Tyrannis site where Pakistani
Brigadier General F. B. Ali has written a good update on the Davis story, including the, to my knowledge, elsewhere unpublished information that the official plane used for John Kerry's whirlwind visit to Pakistan also served to "evacuate" the hit-and-run back up team from the embassy.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Feb 21 2011 8:57 utc | 40

Okay, now it is official: U.S. officials: Raymond Davis, accused in Pakistan shootings, worked for CIA - a "former" Blackwater/Xe employee "now working for the CIA" - bullshit

And since that is now known, drone strikes have resumed. There were two drone strikes in the last 24 hours.

Expect ISI to go crazy now. And the people of Pakistan. Tomorrow the Arab revolutions may well spread to Pakistan ...

Posted by: b | Feb 21 2011 20:08 utc | 41

There are reasons to believe that Davis is with the U.S. military and that the CIA story is a cover within a cover. The U.S. military is not allowed to do operation within Pakistan, that's probably why ISI is going apeshit here.

The U.S. military task? Snatch Pakistan's nukes probably - the holy grail.

Posted by: b | Feb 22 2011 8:09 utc | 42

It's easy to conjecture that the main geo-political result of the Davis-fiasco, and the ensuing tin-eared U.S. diplomacy will be to nudge Pakistan into an entente cordiale with China. China certainly has the money to supplant U.S. "aid" to Pakistan, and obviously would achieve a double gain by redimensioning both the U.S. and India via such an "understanding". Although China seems to have kept an extremely low profile in Pakistan, there are also possible economic factors in play here as well (albeit with serious problems of implementation and maintenance). In that regard these recent reports are certainly striking. One should not assume that the U.S. is "behind" all the evil in the world, and concurrency is not necessarily a sure sign of causality. Nevertheless, the "coincidences" and timing of these events relative to the impasse in the Davis negotiations are remarkable.

As usual, these observations are just that, mere observations without any claim to understanding or
significance. Again, clarification by better informed "observers" would be welcome (and yes, that means you, Brigadier F.B. Ali, should you be again visiting MOA).

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Feb 22 2011 10:31 utc | 43

China has always been Pakistan main ally and economy backer. China public profile is low but his military and economic profile in Pakistan is as great or greater than the US. The war in Afghanistan is giving more public importance to US relations with Pakistan but that's not the whole story.

There has been historic cooperation between US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to reduce Russian influence in the area (interest likely shared by China). And now this 'War on Terror' bullshit that some US factions seem want to use to destabilize Pakistan (as an excuse to get the nukes from a muslim country, nukes that are very likely partly backing the Saudi regime, and to bring down a key China ally). Partly because of the extra money (patronage) and partly because there is still a collusion of interests. But the time when Pakistan and US interest should be diverging seems to be closing.

Posted by: ThePaper | Feb 22 2011 11:43 utc | 44

The Davis case seems to me to be potentially more significant than the presently much more "visible" events in Libya and the Arab world in general. The main stream Western media seem to be giving this rather limited, cool, and analytical coverage, as exemplified by this analysis of the relevant legal issues in today's NYTimes. By contrast, the Pakistani press and electronic media are full of more or less incensed and colorful articles and videos, as for example a visit to the YouTube site (and in particular this Video linking Davis to Afiya Siddiqui and several other vids make clear even to those, like me, not conversant with the local idiom.
Meanwhile, under the category of "don't believe a story until it has been officially denied" one has this report denying that the driver and passengers of the second car (involved in a hit-and-run killing in support of "Davis") were whisked out of Pakistan on John Kerry's plane, and this story denying that the two motorcyclists killed by "Davis" were ISI assets.

As to the real name of the protagonist, this post from FiredogLake, also picked up by the website www.pakistan.defence. suggests that it may (or may not) be "Shadd Pease". The photo of the latter at the link doesn't seem to be the same person (or even the same age) as those shown in the Pakistani photos of "Davis" (but that is a debatable point).

Finally, under the heading of "planted stories" of "admirable restraint" one has this heartwarming message from the Chicago Tribune,

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Feb 23 2011 9:05 utc | 45

I can make no useful comment on this latest bit of sordid news regarding the Davis case, except to note that it seems that, as mentioned in the Libya thread, the "little people" are once again being trampled by the "elephants in the room".

Meanwhile, the background against which this grisly drama is being played out emerges when one reads
between the lines of this analysis of American policy in the Hindu Kush . One wonders how long the policy of securing local U.S. military bases for "geo-political strategic reasons" will be sustainable in the face what seem to be mounting pressures from its outraged victims, and the strains that sustaining that policy places on an already much harassed American public. Judging from the last link given above, the "wink and nod" with which Pakistan has permitted thousands of U.S. mercenaries to enter the country has come to an end.

The ISI has mounted its own operations to gather intelligence on the CIA’s counterterrorism activities.

The ISI is now scouring thousands of visas issued to US employees in Pakistan. The ISI official said Davis’ visa application contains bogus references and phone numbers. He said thousands of visas were issued to US Embassy employees over the past five months following a government directive to the Pakistan Embassy in Washington to issue visas without the usual vetting by the interior ministry and the ISI. The same directive was issued to the Pakistan embassies in Britain and the United Arab Emirates, he said.

Within two days of receiving that directive, the Pakistani Embassy issued 400 visas and since then thousands more have been issued, said the ISI official. A Western diplomat in Pakistan agreed that a “floodgate” opened for US Embassy employees requesting Pakistani visas.

The ISI official said his agency knows and works with “the bona fide CIA people in Pakistan” but is upset that the CIA would send others over behind its back. For now, he said, his agency is not talking with the CIA at any level, including the most senior.

This, without doubt a hidden part of the Obama-Petraeus-Clinton surge, amounts to well-organized murder. In a more simple era, it was called war, and required an act of Congress, but such legal niceties now fall into Rumsfeld's realm of the "quaint".

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Feb 24 2011 10:28 utc | 46

Hannah - re your excerpt...

For now, he said, his agency is not talking with the CIA at any level, including the most senior.

very significant and positive for a start... But heh, I would rather have a flat statement - "Get out and stay out!"

Posted by: Rick | Feb 24 2011 11:07 utc | 47

I believe as Hannah also seems to, that, US citizens' time and energy would be better spent observing the Davis 'drama' being played out in Pakistan. No doubt most will have read the Michael Whitney article The CIA's Killing Spree in Lahore.
A quote from early in the story

Does Clinton know that after Davis shot his victims 5 times in the back, he calmly strode back to his car, grabbed his camera, and photographed the dead bodies? Does she know that the two so-called "diplomats" who came to his rescue in a Land Rover (which killed a passerby) have been secretly spirited out of the country so they won't have to appear in court? Does she know that the families of the victims are now being threatened and attacked to keep them from testifying against Davis? Here's a clip from Thursday's edition of The Nation":

"Three armed men forcibly gave poisonous pills to Muhammad Sarwar, the uncle of Shumaila Kanwal, the widow of Fahim shot dead by Raymond Davis, after barging into his house in Rasool Nagar, Chak Jhumra.

Sarwar was rushed to Allied Hospital in critical condition where doctors were trying to save his life till early Thursday morning. The brother of Muhammad Sarwar told The Nation that three armed men forced their entry into the house after breaking the windowpane of one of the rooms. When they broke the glass, Muhammad Sarwar came out. The outlaws started beating him up.

The other family members, including women and children, coming out for his rescue, were taken hostage and beaten up. The three outlaws then took everyone hostage at gunpoint and forced poisonous pills down Sarwar's throat." ("Shumaila's uncle forced to take poisonous pills", The Nation)

Good show, Hillary. We're all about the rule of law in the good old USA."

Whitney rightly demolishes the less credible theories about what Davies was really up to.
for example :
"A lot of extravagant claims have been made about what Davis was up to, much of which is probably just speculation. One report which appeared on ANI news service is particularly dire, but produces little evidence to support its claims. Here's an excerpt:

"Double murder-accused US official Raymond Davis has been found in possession of top-secret CIA documents, which point to him or the feared American Task Force 373 (TF373) operating in the region, providing Al-Qaeda terrorists with "nuclear fissile material" and "biological agents," according to a report.

Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) is warning that the situation on the sub-continent has turned "grave" as it appears that open warfare is about to break out between Pakistan and the United States, The European Union Times reports.....The most ominous point in this SVR report is "Pakistan's ISI stating that top-secret CIA documents found in Davis's possession point to his, and/or TF373, providing to al Qaeda terrorists "nuclear fissile material" and "biological agents", which they claim are to be used against the United States itself in order to ignite an all-out war in order to re-establish the West's hegemony over a Global economy that is warned is just months away from collapse," the paper added. ("CIA Spy Davis was giving nuclear bomb material to Al Qaeda, says report", ANI)

Although there's no way to prove that this is false, it seems like a bit of a stretch. "

But Whitney makes some important points about the confrontation Zadari had with Z Khalilzad, and ridiculed by wasp zionist R Woodward, that the US was working closely with Tehreek-e-Taliban (the Pakistani Taliban) an organisation whose philosophies, objectives, soldiers, and command & control is entirely separate from the Afghan resistance groups which western coalition propagandists have lumped into one big basket labeled the Taliban or occasionally "the Afghani Taliban"

"If Davis was working with Tehreek-e-Taliban, (as alleged in many reports) then we can assume that the war on terror is basically a ruse to advance a broader imperial agenda. According to Sify News, the president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, believes this to be the case. Here's an excerpt:

"Zalmay Khalilzad, the former US envoy to Afghanistan, once brushed off Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's claim, that the US was "arranging" the (suicide) attacks by Pakistani Taliban inside his country, as 'madness', and was of the view that both Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who believed in this US conspiracy theory, were "dysfunctional" leaders.

The account of Zardari's claim about the US' hand in the attacks has been elaborately reproduced by US journalist Bob Woodward, on Page 116 of his famous book 'Obama's Wars,' The News reported.

Woodward's account goes like this: "One evening during the trilateral summit (in Washington, between Obama, Karzai and Zardari) Zardari had dinner with Zalmay Khalilzad, the 58-year-old former US ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the UN, during the Bush presidency.

"Zardari dropped his diplomatic guard. He suggested that one of the two countries was arranging the attacks by the Pakistani Taliban inside his country: India or the US. Zardari didn't think India could be that clever, but the US could. Karzai had told him the US was behind the attacks, confirming the claims made by the Pakistani ISI."

"Mr President," Khalilzad said, "what would we gain from doing this? You explain the logic to me."

"This was a plot to destabilize Pakistan, Zardari hypothesized, so that the US could invade and seize its nuclear weapons. He could not explain the rapid expansion in violence otherwise. And the CIA had not pursued the leaders of the Pakistani Taliban, a group known as Tehreek-e-Taliban or TTP that had attacked the government. TTP was also blamed for the assassination of Zardari's wife, Benazir Bhutto." ("Pakistan President says CIA Involved in Plot to Destabilize Country and Seize Nukes", Sify News)

Zardari's claim will sound familiar to those who followed events in Iraq. Many people are convinced that the only rational explanation for the wave of bombings directed at civilians, was that the violence was caused by those groups who stood to gain from a civil war.

It appears there is a reason R Woodward still draws breath, he protects moa posters from cries of "where's the foil hat" although, unfortunately he does creates the space for that term of endearment to be hurled at those two heroes of Pashtu, H Karzai and A Zadari.

Whitney makes a good point. This fuss cannot possibly be over the fate of one lousy murderer for hire, Raymond Davis. The issue is to ensure there is no further leaks which give credence to the idea that "the war on terror is basically a ruse to advance a broader imperial agenda".

Citizens of the US have no good reason to be influencing events currently unfolding in the lands of the puppet kings, but they should be calling for accountability from the cia whose twisted agenda has brought untold misery to humanity.

Posted by: UreKismet | Feb 25 2011 6:08 utc | 48

Thanks to UreKismet for the links and comments @48. I note that another "jihadist terrorist"
popped up on cue yesterday in the U.S. just in time to keep the war-on-terror meme on front pages and as ledes in the nightly news.
Naturally, I have no way of knowing the full facts in that case (nor in the many similar and "providential" examples of this type one might cite), but it seems (to me) not unreasonable to assume that the psyops people have an adequate file on young Muslim males in the U.S. (dare one say "data base", as in Al Qaeda ?) so as to be able to produce the "desired effect" virtually on command. It is certainly not unreasonable to assume that the Islamic foreign student community in the U.S. is thoroughly infiltrated, and it is only slightly more audacious to conjecture that it is seeded with agents provocateurs. (Needless to say, there is always a ready supply of young males (of any ethnic or religious background) ready to take up dumb-assed ventures out of spite, wrongs suffered, or mere hormonal exuberance.) Such considerations are taken for granted here at MOA, or at least are subject for open debate, but I suspect that such forums as this have negligible weight as far as public opinion is concerned, and that this circumstance is well-known to the psyops folk.

Meanwhile, the legal process in Pakistan is moving forward . There is so much smoke and so many "mirrors" surrounding this story that it is difficult to get any sort of grasp on the "deeper truth"
(i.e. beyond the murders and hit-and-run incident which seem to be conceded by all concerned). The one fact that does seem to have emerged (undoubtedly already well-known to better informed observers
than I) is the revelation of a very extensive project of some sort (requiring "thousands of black visas" for visitors to Pakistan from the U.S., Britain, and the U.A.E.). That the Brits and Yanks are working on something dirty in Pakistan is no surprise, but I am wondering about the U.A.E.'s role, and who "passed through" there. Ure Kismet's citation of links to the TTP is also highly interesting, and seems, for now at least, to be among the most plausible (partial) explanations.

What the hell is going on, and will possible revelations ever reach the threshold of recognition for Western opinion?

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Feb 25 2011 10:47 utc | 49

The Pakistani press continues to feature the "Raymond Davis" story. Here are a few
related links. Another American (spook?) arrested in Peshawar. It is, perhaps of interest, that he "rents housing" and lives in the University area.
We also have the official denial that the "Davis" family has arrived in Pakistan , and has been driven away from the airport in cars with false license plates. There is also this report of of one of Davis's jailers being sacked due to hanky panky with a memory stick.

Meanwhile (and not coincidentally?) 13 tanker trucks were destroyed in a "Taliban" attack, while the ISI asks the CIA to reveal all its secret ops in Pakistan . (Note the acidic comments to this last story.)

Finally there is this allegation regarding the next CIA target , and a denunciation of the widespread CIA presence in Pakistan.

What seems to emerge from these and similar reports is that there is a clear effort on the behalf of the some factions within the Pakistani government to appease the Americans, and that this effort is by no means rooted in popular support. There seems to be an ample dispensing of carrots and sticks which is highly visible from the Pakistani side, and presumably matched by more circumspect echos from the Yanks on the scene and those in Washington charged with picking up the pieces from this diplomatic car-wreck.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Feb 26 2011 10:50 utc | 50

Speaking of carrots and sticks . Recall too this inconvenient datum. Hat tip to Jason Vest at,

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Feb 26 2011 11:12 utc | 51

The comments to this entry are closed.