Monday, February 28, 2011

Rilke's God

*
"You who know, and whose vast knowing is born of poverty, abundance of poverty -
make it so the poor are no longer despised and thrown away.
Look at them standing about -- like wildflowers, which have nowhere else to grow."
Rilke

No one lives his life...

Our true face never speaks...

Maybe all paths lead there,
to the repository of unlived things...

All life is being lived.

Who is living it, then?
Is it the things themselves,
or something waiting inside them,
like an unplayed melody in a flute?

Is it the winds blowing over the waters?
Is it the branches that signal to each other?

Is it flowers
interweaving their fragrances,
or streets, as they wind through time?

...Who lives it, then? God, are you the one
who is living life?

All who seek you
test you.
And those who find you
bind you to image and gesture.

I would rather sense you
as the earth senses you.
In my ripening
ripens
what you are.

I need from you no tricks
to prove you exist...

No miracles, please.
Just let your laws
become clearer
from generation to generation.

How surely gravity's law,
strong as an ocean current,
takes hold of even the smallest thing
and pulls it toward the heart of the world...

You are the future,
the red sky before sunrise
over the fields of time.

You are the cock's crow when night is done,
you are the dew and the bells of matins,
maiden, stranger, mother, death.

You create yourself in ever-changing shapes
that rise from the stuff of our days --
unsung, unmourned, undescribed,
like a forest we never knew.

You are the deep innerness of all things,
the last word that can never be spoken,
To each of us you reveal yourself differently;
to the ship as coastline, to the shore as a ship.

The kings of the world are old and feeble.
They bring forth no heirs.

Their sons are dying before they are men,
and their pale daughters
abandon themselves to the brokers of violence.

Their crowns are exchanged for money
and melted down into machines,
and there is no health in it.

Does the ore feel trapped
in coins and gears? In the petty life
imposed upon it
does it feel homesick for the earth?

If metal could escape
from coffers and factories,
and te torn-open mountains
close around it again,

we would be whole.

All will come again into its strength;
the fields undivided, the waters un-dammed,
the trees towering and the walls built low,
And in the valleys, people as strong
and varied as the land.

And no churches where God
is imprisoned and lamented
like a trapped and wounded animal.

The houses welcoming all who knock
and a sense of boundless offering
in all relations, and in you and me.

No yearning for an afterlife, no looking beyond,
no belittling of death,
but only longing for what belongs to us
and serving earth, lest we remain unused.

pp 165-181 of Rilke's Book of Hours:
Love Poems to God

100 anniversary edition (containing also the original German Text)

Translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy (Like me, you may want to find out which of your friends know German and are willing to provide the German layered insights to this beautiful translation. For a lover of God like me I'm thus able to lean more toward that view and faith in these poems.)

* The Wildflower Painting found here

Aafia Birthday & Address (article by her sister)



Aafia Siddiqui #90279-054
FMC Carswell
Federal Medical Center
PO Box 27137
Fort Worth, Texas 76127

I understand that it would still be appropriate to send postcards and cards (not long personal letters nor anything political/likely to be suspect and held back.) IF you don't want to send your return address, you don't need them on postcards, as I understand. Why not send Aafia a birthday week greeting today? Or another greeting anytime?

Here is an action you may want to take during Aafia's birthday week on her behalf:
here

The family will celebrate her birthday as a festive occasion for her children Ahmad and Mariam who will mark this occasion together for the first time in 8 years and for all the sincere supporters who have been the manifestation of many hopes and prayers.

For more on Aafia go to freeaafia.org

A Tale of Two Prisoners
Aafia and Raymond
by Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui, February 2, 2011

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration has rejected Pakistan’s proposal to trade Raymond Davis for Dr Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist serving an 86-year term in a US prison, diplomatic sources told Dawn.

The sources said that Pakistan discussed the proposal at “the highest level” in the Obama administration but was told that this was “a non-starter”.

The US government informed Pakistan that they would not entertain the possibility of trading Ms Siddiqui for Mr Davis because “these were two different cases”.

The proposal called for Ms Siddiqui to be transferred to Pakistan, where she would serve the remainder of her sentence in a prison or under house arrest. Ms Siddiqui’s case became a cause celebre in Pakistan last year when Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called for her exoneration and release.

Mr Davis’s arrest in the January 27 shooting in Lahore that led to the death of three Pakistani citizens, however, led to a diplomatic standoff, which threatens to derail US-Pakistan partnership in the war against extremists. Since his arrest both sides have discussed various proposals to break the impasse but have not yet succeeded in doing so.

The proposals include quashing a case against the ISI chief in a New York court and curtailing the CIA’s activities in Pakistan.
Another proposal calls for the US government to pay reparations to the victims’ families, who under a Pakistani law can pardon Mr Davis if asked. Apparently, the US administration is discussing all three proposals with Pakistani officials.

ISI chief’s case: Meanwhile, a court in New York has accepted a petition against the ISI chief for his agency’s alleged involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks, which also killed some US citizens.

Diplomatic sources claim that the US administration appears willing to claim sovereign immunity for the ISI chief in this case provided Pakistan also granted diplomatic immunity to Mr Davis, who is a CIA contractor. “At one stage, the Americans were going to file papers in the court, stating that the ISI chief enjoyed sovereign immunity but decided not to do so after Mr Davis’s arrest,” an official source said.

The arrest of another alleged CIA operative in Peshawar for over-staying his visa has further annoyed the Americans who point out that more than 100,000 Pakistanis were living in the United States after the expiry of their visas.

“The Americans seem to indicate that they too can start deporting Pakistani citizens,” the source said.

Similarly, the Americans also seem willing to discuss Pakistan’s demand for sharing CIA’s activities in the country with them, “provided the Pakistanis also shared relevant information”, the source added.

The Americans complain that Pakistan often refuses to share sensitive data about certain militant groups with their American counterparts.

“But on Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the Americans are showing no leniency,” the source said. “They have informed Pakistan that they are not even going to pursue it.”

Ms Siddiqui, an MIT-educated Pakistani neuroscientist, was convicted of trying to shoot FBI agents and military officers in an Afghan police station in 2008.

In 2004, FBI director Robert Mueller described Ms Siddiqui as an “Al Qaeda operative and facilitator but Ms Siddiqui was never charged with any terrorism-related crimes.

Shortly after the FBI alert, she and her children disappeared, only to surface in Afghanistan five years later.

Ms Siddiqui has claimed she was held in secret American prisons, including Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, during that time.

US rejects Pakistan's proposal to trade Raymond Davis for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui

By Anwar Iqbal originally published in Dawn newspaper (prominent English printed Pakistani news)

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration has rejected Pakistan’s proposal to trade Raymond Davis for Dr Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist serving an 86-year term in a US prison, diplomatic sources told Dawn.

The sources said that Pakistan discussed the proposal at “the highest level” in the Obama administration but was told that this was “a non-starter”.

The US government informed Pakistan that they would not entertain the possibility of trading Ms Siddiqui for Mr Davis because “these were two different cases”.

The proposal called for Ms Siddiqui to be transferred to Pakistan, where she would serve the remainder of her sentence in a prison or under house arrest. Ms Siddiqui’s case became a cause celebre in Pakistan last year when Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called for her exoneration and release.

Mr Davis’s arrest in the January 27 shooting in Lahore that led to the death of three Pakistani citizens, however, led to a diplomatic standoff, which threatens to derail US-Pakistan partnership in the war against extremists. Since his arrest both sides have discussed various proposals to break the impasse but have not yet succeeded in doing so.

The proposals include quashing a case against the ISI chief in a New York court and curtailing the CIA’s activities in Pakistan.

Another proposal calls for the US government to pay reparations to the victims’ families, who under a Pakistani law can pardon Mr Davis if asked. Apparently, the US administration is discussing all three proposals with Pakistani officials.

ISI chief’s case: Meanwhile, a court in New York has accepted a petition against the ISI chief for his agency’s alleged involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks, which also killed some US citizens.

Diplomatic sources claim that the US administration appears willing to claim sovereign immunity for the ISI chief in this case provided Pakistan also granted diplomatic immunity to Mr Davis, who is a CIA contractor. “At one stage, the Americans were going to file papers in the court, stating that the ISI chief enjoyed sovereign immunity but decided not to do so after Mr Davis’s arrest,” an official source said.

The arrest of another alleged CIA operative in Peshawar for over-staying his visa has further annoyed the Americans who point out that more than 100,000 Pakistanis were living in the United States after the expiry of their visas.

“The Americans seem to indicate that they too can start deporting Pakistani citizens,” the source said.

Similarly, the Americans also seem willing to discuss Pakistan’s demand for sharing CIA’s activities in the country with them, “provided the Pakistanis also shared relevant information”, the source added.

The Americans complain that Pakistan often refuses to share sensitive data about certain militant groups with their American counterparts.

“But on Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the Americans are showing no leniency,” the source said. “They have informed Pakistan that they are not even going to pursue it.”

Ms Siddiqui, an MIT-educated Pakistani neuroscientist, was convicted of trying to shoot FBI agents and military officers in an Afghan police station in 2008.

In 2004, FBI director Robert Mueller described Ms Siddiqui as an “Al Qaeda operative and facilitator" but Ms Siddiqui was never charged with any terrorism-related crimes.

Shortly after the FBI alert, she and her children disappeared, only to surface in Afghanistan five years later.

Ms Siddiqui has claimed she was held in secret American prisons, including Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, during that time.

Find article source WASHINGTON: The Obama administration has rejected Pakistan’s proposal to trade Raymond Davis for Dr Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist serving an 86-year term in a US prison, diplomatic sources told Dawn.

The sources said that Pakistan discussed the proposal at “the highest level” in the Obama administration but was told that this was “a non-starter”.

The US government informed Pakistan that they would not entertain the possibility of trading Ms Siddiqui for Mr Davis because “these were two different cases”.

The proposal called for Ms Siddiqui to be transferred to Pakistan, where she would serve the remainder of her sentence in a prison or under house arrest. Ms Siddiqui’s case became a cause celebre in Pakistan last year when Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called for her exoneration and release.

Mr Davis’s arrest in the January 27 shooting in Lahore that led to the death of three Pakistani citizens, however, led to a diplomatic standoff, which threatens to derail US-Pakistan partnership in the war against extremists. Since his arrest both sides have discussed various proposals to break the impasse but have not yet succeeded in doing so.

The proposals include quashing a case against the ISI chief in a New York court and curtailing the CIA’s activities in Pakistan.
Another proposal calls for the US government to pay reparations to the victims’ families, who under a Pakistani law can pardon Mr Davis if asked. Apparently, the US administration is discussing all three proposals with Pakistani officials.

ISI chief’s case: Meanwhile, a court in New York has accepted a petition against the ISI chief for his agency’s alleged involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks, which also killed some US citizens.

Diplomatic sources claim that the US administration appears willing to claim sovereign immunity for the ISI chief in this case provided Pakistan also granted diplomatic immunity to Mr Davis, who is a CIA contractor. “At one stage, the Americans were going to file papers in the court, stating that the ISI chief enjoyed sovereign immunity but decided not to do so after Mr Davis’s arrest,” an official source said.

The arrest of another alleged CIA operative in Peshawar for over-staying his visa has further annoyed the Americans who point out that more than 100,000 Pakistanis were living in the United States after the expiry of their visas.

“The Americans seem to indicate that they too can start deporting Pakistani citizens,” the source said.

Similarly, the Americans also seem willing to discuss Pakistan’s demand for sharing CIA’s activities in the country with them, “provided the Pakistanis also shared relevant information”, the source added.

The Americans complain that Pakistan often refuses to share sensitive data about certain militant groups with their American counterparts.

“But on Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the Americans are showing no leniency,” the source said. “They have informed Pakistan that they are not even going to pursue it.”

Ms Siddiqui, an MIT-educated Pakistani neuroscientist, was convicted of trying to shoot FBI agents and military officers in an Afghan police station in 2008.

In 2004, FBI director Robert Mueller described Ms Siddiqui as an “Al Qaeda operative and facilitator but Ms Siddiqui was never charged with any terrorism-related crimes.

Shortly after the FBI alert, she and her children disappeared, only to surface in Afghanistan five years later.

Ms Siddiqui has claimed she was held in secret American prisons, including Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, during that time.

========

There's a lot more on these two different (and yes, quite distinct) cases.
For starters, go to freeaafia.org (the official family site)

UPDATED "Raymond Davis" case -- The New Yorker questions US truth-telling

The CIA, the ISI and ‘desi liberals’ – The Express Tribune
Feb 28, 2011 · It is critic­ally import­ant to find out what hundre­ds of CIA agents are doing in Pakist­an. here

From Business Insider dot com: The CIA Operative Who Shot Two Pakistanis Is Now A Hostage -- Obama Needs To Resolve This Quickly - READ here

US/Pakistan officials meet in Oman, etc. - Read more here

Two days ago from Anjum Niaz: No spin zone: Cooking facts - An even-handed Op Ed raking BOTH US and Pakistan "experts" and journalists over the coals here

Also, I just posted an earlier MUST SEE Op Ed from Truth Springs on my nomorecrusades blog - Everybody Love(d) Raymond here

==========
EARLIER

Key excerpts:

"...One could just as easily argue that news that the American media covered up for Davis would make the Pakistani public even madder, and less willing to trust American justice and intentions, encouraging vigilantes....

'Maybe the danger was not to Davis but to the C.I.A.’s ability to operate with impunity within Pakistan...And Davis was not arrested for spying but for killing people recklessly; the widow of one, an eighteen-year old, killed herself. Do journalists need, at the cost of their credibility, to deny these people’s survivors a day in court?"

'...who was this supposed to be kidding? Crowley, according to the Times, was not asking the paper to suppress something that hadn’t been reported but, as Keller put it, “not to speculate or recycle charges in the Pakistani press.” So news outlets were asked not to tell Americans, among others, what Pakistanis were already reading? (It is also interesting that this involved elevating the “authoritative” Times and disparaging the Pakistani press—which was actually ahead on the story.) Was the government, beyond its protestations about Davis’s safety, concerned about how this might affect American views of our wars, or cause people here to question elements of our involvement in Pakistan or our use of private contractors? (Davis had worked until some point for Blackwater, the company now known as Xe.) This relates to the next question:

'...The restrictions may have hindered the paper in conveying just why Pakistanis were so angry. That is something that Americans—the families of our soldiers on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and really everyone—deserve, and even need, to know...

'...How is it that, in an eleven-hundred-word column that includes a quote from Bob Woodward about how “I learned a long time ago, humanitarian considerations first, journalism second,” there wasn’t room to mention that the death toll in the incident was not two, but three? ...a four-wheel-drive vehicle slammed its way through Lahore to get to him, driving recklessly, going up streets the wrong way, breaking traffic laws. Because this is real life and not an action movie, the car hit and killed a bystander. (I live in New York, a city in which, for years, the easiest way for the tabloids to excite rage was to point to diplomats who used their immunity to get out of parking tickets; how would that kind of driving go over here?)"

SEE the complete article:

Keeping Quiet About Davis
Posted by Amy Davidson

The column by the Times’s Public Editor, Arthur Brisbane, on the case of Raymond Davis—the man who reportedly had some connection to the C.I.A. and is now in Pakistani custody after killing two policemen who, he has said, he thought were thieves—is genuinely puzzling. The Times reported last week that it had kept silent about Davis’s C.I.A. connection. Brisbane attempted to explain why. Here are the key passages:

The Times jumped on the story, but on Feb. 8, the State Department spokesman, P.J. Crowley, contacted the executive editor, Bill Keller, with a request. “He was asking us not to speculate, or to recycle charges in the Pakistani press,” Mr. Keller said. “His concern was that the letters C-I-A in an article in the NYT, even as speculation, would be taken as authoritative and would be a red flag in Pakistan.”

Mr. Crowley told me the United States was concerned about Mr. Davis’s safety while in Pakistani custody. The American government hoped to avoid inflaming Pakistani opinion and to create “as constructive an atmosphere as possible” while working to resolve the diplomatic crisis.

The Times acceded to the Obama Administration’s wishes, as did the Washington Post and the A.P. Brisbane concludes that “the Times did the only thing it could do,” even though “in practice, this meant its stories contained material that, in the cold light of retrospect, seems very misleading.” So the “only thing” the Times could do was be “misleading”? That question contains a lot of sub-questions. Here are some:

1. What was the risk to Davis, exactly? He is in the custody of Pakistan, one of our allies. It is not like he’s being held hostage in a cave somewhere, or on the run. One suggestion, laid out in the Post, is that a prison guard might have killed him out of anger; the Post mentions that other prisoners had, in fact, been killed by guards in the facility he was held in. Were those prisoners also working for the C.I.A.? (Or whatever agency Davis was affiliated with, as an “operative” or a contractor—his exact status is still not clear.) There was rage, maybe even life-threatening rage, at Davis in Pakistan even when the U.S. was pretending he was an ordinary diplomat—pulling out a Glock on the streets of Lahore and shooting two people, then claiming immunity, will do that. He was burned in effigy before the Times used “the letters C-I-A.” One could just as easily argue that news that the American media covered up for Davis would make the Pakistani public even madder, and less willing to trust American justice and intentions, encouraging vigilantes.

(In any event, after the Guardian went with the story, the Administration told the Times that it needed twenty-four hours to get the Pakistanis to put him in a safer facility; if it took the Guardian story to persuade the Pakistanis, could one in the Times have facilitated a move weeks earlier?)

Or is the idea that the attacker wouldn’t be a rogue guard, but an Pakistani government operative sent to take him out, or maybe torture him for intelligence? There are a couple of problems with that: (a) the Pakistani government, if not the public, seems to have known who Davis was without American newspapers telling it; and (b) if we think that Pakistani security services torture or kill people because they are C.I.A. operatives, then why are we giving them so much taxpayer money?

Or would the story endanger his safety because it would undermine a claim to diplomatic immunity, exposing him to years in a Pakistani prison (not so good for one’s health) or even capital punishment? If so, does that count as a good reason? I am not sure of the points of international law here, and have read conflicting assertions about what Davis’s standing was, and exactly what sort of immunity he might have been eligible for. I also am not sure of the penalty for double murder in Pakistan. But if Davis isn’t entitled to diplomatic immunity then he isn’t entitled to diplomatic immunity. Do we believe that it’s the role of newspapers to pretend that he is, if he isn’t—to help the government make legally and factually false claims? (Is the press asked to suppress damaging details in cases of Americans charged with murders abroad who aren’t C.I.A. operatives?) And wouldn’t doing so endanger actual diplomats whose claims would, in the future, be treated with greater skepticism?

Maybe the danger was not to Davis but to the C.I.A.’s ability to operate with impunity within Pakistan. But that’s not the argument Brisbane presents, and has its own problems. (Is it the job of newspapers to create “as constructive an atmosphere as possible” for anything the government wants to do?) Anyway, the damage had been done by the incident itself; it was really a matter of making sense of the wreckage. And Davis was not arrested for spying but for killing people recklessly; the widow of one, an eighteen-year old, killed herself. Do journalists need, at the cost of their credibility, to deny these people’s survivors a day in court?

Maybe the Administration had good answers, and a better explanation of the danger to Davis; but those answers weren’t in the Times.

2. Who was the intended audience, or, rather, non-audience, for the silence? Put differently, who was this supposed to be kidding? Crowley, according to the Times, was not asking the paper to suppress something that hadn’t been reported but, as Keller put it, “not to speculate or recycle charges in the Pakistani press.” So news outlets were asked not to tell Americans, among others, what Pakistanis were already reading? (It is also interesting that this involved elevating the “authoritative” Times and disparaging the Pakistani press—which was actually ahead on the story.) Was the government, beyond its protestations about Davis’s safety, concerned about how this might affect American views of our wars, or cause people here to question elements of our involvement in Pakistan or our use of private contractors? (Davis had worked until some point for Blackwater, the company now known as Xe.) This relates to the next question:

3. How did agreeing to the Administration’s request affect not only what the Times, the Post, and the A.P. revealed, but how they reported the story? When Crowley asked the Times “not to speculate or recycle charges,” did he say the charges were false, or did he confirm them—was the problem that the speculation was unsubstantiated, or that it was true? Is “recycle” in this case a synonym for “follow up on,” “investigate,” or “pursue”? (The Times doesn’t exactly say what the paper knew when, although it quotes Washington editor Dean Baquet as saying that it had the information it needed “sometime before” the Guardian ran its piece.) Does feigning ignorance encourage actual ignorance—if nothing else as a way to avoid being “misleading” about what you do and don’t know? One would like to hear much more about how these news outlets, even just internally, interrogated the official story.

The restrictions may have hindered the paper in conveying just why Pakistanis were so angry. That is something that Americans—the families of our soldiers on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and really everyone—deserve, and even need, to know. Brisbane did not accomplish that here, either. How is it that, in an eleven-hundred-word column that includes a quote from Bob Woodward about how “I learned a long time ago, humanitarian considerations first, journalism second,” there wasn’t room to mention that the death toll in the incident was not two, but three? After shooting the policemen, Davis called our embassy for help, and a four-wheel-drive vehicle slammed its way through Lahore to get to him, driving recklessly, going up streets the wrong way, breaking traffic laws. Because this is real life and not an action movie, the car hit and killed a bystander. (I live in New York, a city in which, for years, the easiest way for the tabloids to excite rage was to point to diplomats who used their immunity to get out of parking tickets; how would that kind of driving go over here?)

Brisbane called this “a brutally hard call.” And, again, the Obama Administration may have told the Times things that the paper still hasn’t told its readers, which would make all of this seem a little more sensible than it does now. But that’s not what we’re left with. What we get, instead, is Brisbane’s credo: “Editors don’t have the standing to make a judgment that a story—any story—is worth a life.” It’s not so simple. Unless you are only covering the Oscars, you get into areas in which lives can be changed by your reporting, or your failure to report. You can’t simply abdicate. For one thing, doing so may cost more lives: reporting, say, that bad training or poor command judgment caused soldiers to kill civilians may make people angry at American soldiers, but it might lead to changes that keep more civilians from being killed, and stave off a subsequent cycle of anger and retribution. Our best defense when our government does something wrong is that we hold it accountable—that an eighteen-year-old widow can trust that we care, a little, about her abandonment. That is the nature of our system, and what prevents rage at an American operative from becoming rage broadly directed at “Americans.”

Also: governments are lazy, and politicians confuse risks to their careers with risks to their countries. If they can prevent the publication of embarrassing stories simply by repeating the word “danger,” then they will misuse and overuse that tactic. The press can’t let that happen. It’s a matter of responsibility.


Here are some of the Comments:

Thanks for your outstanding work. The battle against official and corporate duplicity is endless. Not everyone e.g., the the likes of the NYT and our government, values First Amendment Freedoms or the basic standards of ethics in journalism above perceived personal and economic self-interest. But, without people like you it would be a lot worse.

Posted 2/28/2011, The rationale offered by Brisbane and Kellar is an embarrassment to the NYT, almost as embarrassing as Kellar's sneering commentary, of a couple weeks ago, on Julian Assange. That their decision to mislead the public on Davis' status could have accomplished nothing is what makes this all the more disturbing. Within a day or so of Davis'arrest, the online European press published a video clip taken, apparently, at the time the Pakistani police arrived at the scene of the attack on Davis. The audio includes Davis' response to questions at the scene,in which he stated that he was a "consultant" to the American "consulate." Doesn't take much reading between the lines to figure out what that meant. No doubt that clip was played repeatedly in the Pakistani media. So, it was only the American public that was misled, and misled for no purpose other than genuflecting to power. God help us.

Posted 2/28/2011, 4:02:25pm -
- good analysis. The problems with the Times are the tip of the iceberg of problems with US media and why we need a new democratized media. See votersforpeace.us item here . The WMD story, misrepresenting WikiLeaks documents on Iran's long range missile ability are all recent examples of why the Times cannot be trusted on national security issues. Thanks for the excellent analysis. KZ

Posted 2/28/2011, 3:27:20pm
I've found more disclosures about Davis at thiscantbehappening.net than from all of our mainstream media combined. Sterling Greenwood/AspenFreePress

Posted 2/28/2011, 2:13:22pm by AspenFreePress
This all part of a pattern to deceive. The US government has been, with the Press in its back pocket, duping the entire planet with their yellow journalism for decades. This comes as no surpise. We take it, day in and day out, without so much as a murmur. The vast majority of us are guilty of denying reality and we act as though we don't know what to do about it, while at the same time millions of brave people, all over the world, are rising up and casting off their corrupt political leaders along with their rotten system. There will be ebbs and flows, twists an turns with only one thing certain, there's no turning back. They chronicled a „New World Order“ confident of their superiority and dominion over us all.

Know we see their best laid plans being made to naught and forcing them to throw caution to the wind with even more bizarre plots being hatched in desperation as we almost helplessly look on. Not one of those foul governments existed without the economic, military and political sponsorship of the US. Now, what does that mean? Show me your friends and I'll tell you who you are. Now the chickens are coming home to roost in the truest sense of the word. The US government's shameful history gave rise to the suffering and oppression of the peoples of the Middle East and was/is administered by US-backed Dictators. An Era is coming rapidly to an end leaving a vacuum that has the perpetrators uncertain about an uncertain future. From Cairo to Madison, everything is up in the air and many things are possible and that's a good thing. p.s.

Until the Press trully investigates the „911“ caper how can we take them seriously? We'll just have to ignore them. As for responsibility, these people have no principles period. Stop wishing for or wanting something from them that will never happen. Never did, never will.

Read more here

Has Davis been recruiting for the Taliban?

here

Pakistan/US & the Davis Case (not a diplimat the Guardian says)

3 hours ago as of 4:26 PM February 28, 2011

Excerpts:

"Davis (as we will call him for now) is not a diplomat and does not possess diplomatic immunity. There is some doubt as to who he really is, with the charges against him in Pakistan including one that he obtained documents using a false identity.

'Watching Barack Obama's presidency has been a stream of bitter disappointments. His endorsement of Davis as "our diplomat" and invocation of the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations was, in its sheer dishonesty, as sad an Obama moment as any...

'...(and there has been no claim yet that Davis was actually working for Unicef)...

'...the US has to explain in the course of precisely which diplomatic duties Davis needed to carry a Glock handgun, a headband-mounted flashlight and a pocket telescope. The Vienna convention lists the legitimate duties of an embassy, and none of them need that kind of equipment...

'...Under article 10 of the Vienna convention the host authorities must be formally informed – by diplomatic note – of the arrival and departures of such staff, and as embassies under article 11 are subject to agreed numerical limits, that in practice occurs when another member of staff is leaving. If this was not done Davis was not covered even in the course of his duties...

'...Sadly this whole episode reflects the US's continuing contempt for the basic fabric of international law. It sits with its refusal to sign up to the international criminal court so that US citizens may not be held accountable for war crimes, with its acknowledged overseas assassination programme, its one-sided extradition treaties and claims of extra-territorial jurisdiction over offences committed outside the US...

See the complete article at guardian.co.uk (Comment is free at The Guardian and on this site, of course :) Be sure to see the comments under this article on both sites.)

This CIA agent is no diplomat
By Craig Murray
The Guardian

I tread with some caution in discussing the case of Raymond Davis, the CIA agent facing charges of double murder in Pakistan and the threat of the death penalty. I add my plea to the voices urging the Pakistani government to ensure Davis does not hang.

But one thing I can state for certain: Davis (as we will call him for now) is not a diplomat and does not possess diplomatic immunity. There is some doubt as to who he really is, with the charges against him in Pakistan including one that he obtained documents using a false identity.

Watching Barack Obama's presidency has been a stream of bitter disappointments. His endorsement of Davis as "our diplomat" and invocation of the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations was, in its sheer dishonesty, as sad an Obama moment as any.

As a general rule, international treaties are written in very plain language and are very accessible. That is certainly true of the Vienna convention. Unfortunately I can see scant evidence that any journalists have bothered to read it.

Leaving aside staff of international organisations recognised by the host country as having diplomatic status (and there has been no claim yet that Davis was actually working for Unicef), in bilateral diplomatic relations the provision for diplomatic immunity is tightly limited to a very small number of people. That makes sense when you consider that if Davis did have diplomatic immunity, he would indeed be able to avoid detention and trial on a murder charge. The world community is not going to make that impunity readily available.

Full diplomatic immunity is enjoyed only by "diplomatic agents". Those are defined at article 1 (e) of the Vienna convention as "the head of the mission or a member of the diplomatic staff of the mission". Helpfully the diplomatic staff are further defined in the preceding article as "having diplomatic rank". Those ranks are an ascending series of concrete titles from third secretary through to ambassador or high commissioner. Davis did not have a diplomatic rank.

But there is a second category of "administrative and technical staff" of a mission. They enjoy a limited diplomatic immunity which, however, specifically excludes "acts performed outside the course of their duties". (Vienna convention article 37/2.) Frantic off-the-record briefing by the state department reflected widely in the media indicates that the US case is that Davis was a member of technical staff covered by this provision.

But in that case the US has to explain in the course of precisely which diplomatic duties Davis needed to carry a Glock handgun, a headband-mounted flashlight and a pocket telescope. The Vienna convention lists the legitimate duties of an embassy, and none of them need that kind of equipment.

It appears in any event unlikely that Davis ever was a member of the technical staff of the embassy or consulate. Under article 10 of the Vienna convention the host authorities must be formally informed – by diplomatic note – of the arrival and departures of such staff, and as embassies under article 11 are subject to agreed numerical limits, that in practice occurs when another member of staff is leaving. If this was not done Davis was not covered even in the course of his duties.

Pakistani senior ex-military sources tell me there is no note appointing Davis as embassy or consulate staff, and that appears to pass a commonsense test – if the note exists, why have the Americans not produced it?

Finally, possession of a diplomatic passport does not give you diplomatic status all over the world.

I hope this helps clarify a position that the US government, and the media it influences, have deliberately muddied. Sadly this whole episode reflects the US's continuing contempt for the basic fabric of international law. It sits with its refusal to sign up to the international criminal court so that US citizens may not be held accountable for war crimes, with its acknowledged overseas assassination programme, its one-sided extradition treaties and claims of extra-territorial jurisdiction over offences committed outside the US.

We hoped it might get better under Obama. It is not.

"We've got a very simple principle here that every country in the world that is party to the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations has upheld in the past and should uphold in the future, and that is, if our diplomats are in another country, then they are not subject to that country's local prosecution," Obama said in a press conference. "We expect Pakistan, that's a signatory and recognises Davis as a diplomat, to abide by the same convention ... I'm not going to discuss the specific exchanges that we've had [with the Pakistani government], but we've been very firm about this being a priority."

For Comments click here

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Raymond Davis and US Stalemate with Pakistan

Watch here for updates and plz go to nomorecrusades for deeper analysis and commentary.

Pakistanis Tourist Industry affected by Raymond Davis Episode

The following article is from blog.travel-culture.com

Already low, Tourists trafic has halted after Raymond Davis episode
February 27, 2011 – 8:16 pm

LAHORE: Pakistan‘s already dieing tourist Industry has suffered the hardes after the Raymond Davis episode of January 27.

It is revealed that despite untiring efforts of Pakistani travel agents and professional guides to lure in foreign tourists into the country, a visible tightening of national visa policy had already halted the flow of a good number of prospective travellers of late.

However, those who have still managed to secure visas from the Pakistani embassies in during the last one month or so, have been seen posing accommodation and transport-related queries regarding Southern Sindh, Punjab, Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu and Chitral etc on these travel sites.

Under the new visa policy, most foreign tourists (except a few cases) will now have to seek the Pakistani visa from their respective countries of origin.

In the past, most of the tourists would enter Lahore through the Wagah border; fly into Pakistan from and via New Delhi, and even land in through direct flights coming from Dubai and Bangkok-with none at the airport or border immigration desks caring to ask them about the exact purpose of their visits to a country otherwise haunted by terrorism and where mountain tourism has been endangered since long.

These tourists also included journalists and English language teaching professionals. In Lahore, these tourists have mostly been interested in staying at shabby backpacker hostels near the Regal cinema or a few known budget accommodations at the otherwise congested locality of Old Anarkali-the place from where Raymond Davis was intercepted by the crowd while fleeing.

The couple of backpacker hostels at the Regal Chowk (The Mall) have also been taking these tourists for ‘Sufi nights’ to the shrines of eminent saints like Hazrat Shah Jamal etc, where these travelers have been witnessed smoking a bit of hash amidst thumping beat of the drums.

Personal accounts of tourists enjoying these ‘Sufi nights’ have also been posted on these travel forums in recent years.

While thoroughly studying the content on these afore-quoted travel forums, one also comes across travelers seeking information about prospects of photography in the garrison town of Rawalpindi, instead of inquiring about the more picturesque Islamabad interestingly.

One may also come across complaints of foreign tourists, whereby they are seen raising hue and cry after being ripped off by travel touts, paid translators or even by the staffers of the budget hostels.

It is noteworthy that countries like North Korea have always treated both journalists and ordinary travelers with a pinch of salt-suspecting that a few of them crossing over from China— might well be on reconnaissance missions or deputed on tasks to perform preliminary surveys, that are normally undertaken with the sole aim to collect certain information.

There have reportedly been numerous incidents in China and North Korea etc in recent past, where tourists have been probed extensively in connection to certain exploratory military surveys, for which one needs to be on the ground actually.

The Chinese and North Korean authorities thus ended up arresting and jailing a few travelers for not giving satisfactory answers.

One wonders if the Pakistani national security institutions have till date pondered over initiating a scrutiny of the most-preferred backpacker resorts in the country to find some ‘startling’ clues, and should an exercise such as this is undertaken in near future, it might unmask a few shocking facts!

Raymond Davis Case; Various missed and new analysis

Inside the secret U.S.-Pakistan meeting in Oman
Posted By Josh Rogin Thursday, February 24, 2011 - 5:59 PM

A host of top U.S. military officials held a secret day-long meeting with Pakistan's top military officers on Tuesday in Oman to plot a course out of the diplomatic crisis that threatens the U.S.-Pakistan relationship.

The United States was represented by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. David Petraeus, commander of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Adm. Eric Olson, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, and Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, commander of U.S. Central Command, Stars and Stripes reported. The Pakistani delegation included Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Pakistan's chief of army staff, and Maj. Gen. Javed Iqbal, director general of military operations.

The meeting was planned long ago and covered various aspects of the U.S.-Pakistani relationship, but a large portion was dedicated to the diplomatic crisis surrounding Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor who was arrested in Lahore, Pakistan, last month after fatally shooting two armed Pakistani men.

"Where do you go to think seriously and bring sanity to a maddening situation? Far from the madding crowd to a peaceful Omani luxury resort of course. So that's what the military leadership of the US and Pakistan did," wrote Gen. Jehangir Karamat in a read out of the meeting obtained byThe Cable and confirmed by a senior Pakistani official. Karamat is a former chief of Pakistan's army, and also served as Pakistan's ambassador to the United States from 2002 to 2004.

"The US had to point out that once beyond a tipping point the situation would be taken over by political forces that could not be controlled," Karamat wrote about the meeting, referring to thereported split between the CIA and the Pakistani Inter-services Intelligence (ISI) that erupted following the Davis shooting.

In Oman U.S. officials implored the Pakistani military to step up its involvement in the Davis case, following the Pakistani government's decision to pass the buck to the judicial system on adjudicating Davis' claim of diplomatic immunity. However, their concerns also went beyond this most recent diplomatic spat.

"[T]he US did not want the US-Pakistan relationship to go into a free fall under media and domestic pressures," Karamat wrote. "These considerations drove it to ask the [Pakistani] Generals to step in and do what the governments were failing to do-especially because the US military was at a critical stage in Afghanistan and Pakistan was the key to control and resolution."

"The militaries will now brief and guide their civilian masters and hopefully bring about a qualitative change in the US-Pakistan Relationship by arresting the downhill descent and moving it in the right direction."

A senior Pakistani official confirmed the accuracy of Karamat's analysis to The Cable. The official said that the Davis incident would hopefully now be put on a path toward resolution following a feeding frenzy in the Pakistani media, which has reported on rumors of an extensive network of CIA contract spies operating outside of the Pakistani government's or the ISI's knowledge.

"The idea is to find a solution whereby the Davis incident does not hijack the U.S.-Pakistan relationship," the official said. The most probable outcome, the official explained, is that Davis would be turned over to the United States, following a promise from the U.S. government to investigate the incident.

The United States would also compensate the families of the two Pakistani men killed by Davis, and a third man who died after two other U.S. embassy personnel ran him over while racing to the scene of the shooting. Negotiations between U.S. officials and the family members are already underway, the official said.

Shuja Nawaz, director of the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council, said that it was the responsibility of the Pakistani Foreign Ministry, led until recently by Shah Mahmood Qureshi, to resolve the Davis case. Qureshi was removed as Foreign Minister after reportedly refusing to go along with the government's plan to grant Davis immunity.

"It's really the Foreign Ministry's responsibility," said Nawaz, "But in the absence of action by the civilian government, if the military can help persuade them to resolve this matter and find the way, that's all for the better."

But once the Davis case is resolved, there's still much work to be done in repairing the relationship between the CIA and the ISI. The ISI is widely suspected of airing its anger with the CIA in both the Pakistani and U.S. media. The latest example was Wednesday's Associated Press story that featured a never-before released ISI "statement" that said the Davis case was putting the entire ISI-CIA relationship in jeopardy.


The CIA and the ISI are talking, the Pakistani official said, but the path toward reconciliation will be a long one.

"It's a spy game being played out in the media and the CIA has told the ISI to cut it out," the official said. "The relationship remains testy. But after the meeting between Mullen and Kayani the likelihood of some resolution has increased."

Inside the Pakistani government, the Davis case has exacerbated internal tensions between the civilian government, led by President Asif Ali Zardari, and the ISI. Pakistani news agencies have been reporting that the Pakistani embassy in Washington has approved hundreds of visas for American officials without proper vetting, increasing the ease with which covert CIA operatives could enter the country.

Pakistan's Ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani has denied that any visas had been issued from his embassy without proper authorization. An analysis of Pakistani visas granted to U.S. government employees, conducted by the Pakistani government, shows there has been no significant increase in the number of visas issued since 2007.

Regardless, the gentlemen's agreement between the ISI and the CIA that the two organizations would keep each other informed on each other's actions in Pakistan has now broken down.

"It's a vicious circle. Davis was in Pakistan because Pakistan can't be trusted. But Davis getting caught has increased the mistrust," the Pakistani official said. "Their interests are no longer congruent. Eventually the ISI and the CIA will have to work out new rules of engagement."

Hiding davis's CIA link

here

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Moving & mind-bending radio stories on language

Includes Shakespeare's well known inventions here
and Radio Lab's various other stories as well - the man who didn't understand a word at 27, how children are like rats until six years old when confronted with language connections, etc. here and here

Friday, February 25, 2011

Some Pakistan Officials Shine the Light on US Abuse

There seems to have been a bit of a shift recently between the US and Pakistan - "triggered" (in more ways than one) by the so-named "Raymond Davis".

At first this incident may seem to be an impossible state of affairs and near tragic for two nations which may continue to be somewhat inter-dependent. Yet, Pakistan's resolve not to release Davis, whatever the combination of motives, may be helping to add honesty and disallow the arrogance and residual colonialist attitudes.

The fact that key players in Pakistan continue to hold firm may be a signal in the direction of more human rights sought and expected for both Pakistan and the US.

Reasons to expect some positives to eventually emerge from this current and quite messy conflict are multitude. These changes for the better may not be obvious for quite awhile. They have foundations in sound social dynamics which include the needs and cries of the masses - rather than the often duplicitous principles of both US and Pakistan's so-called "higher" and "special" intelligence.

When the light of rule of law comes to bear on complicated world events - the education of people everywhere from every class becomes routine. In these times, the most basic rights of persons as well as of nations are rapidly becoming essential in all our foreign affairs. Just law and basic rights - both alone and together - help prevent dishonest media from hiding actual facts. Formerly missing information comes to the surface at last and helps connect rule of law to human rights to honest media.

Then, add to ALL of the above, multi-layered cultural and historical nuances. These are progressively understood by more and more people - young and old - from all classes. (At least this is seen more and more as a deep and great longing as many of our world's nations are highlighted in turn on world media.)

While sometimes helped by formal education, no longer are those highly-motivated limited by the lack thereof. Self-education and life experiences themselves, when reflection comes to bear, is often enough for the common citizen to get the jist of the truth underneath the array of flimsy lies.

Finally -- as worldwide events move in an unprecedented pace -- vital information - like a flowing river - becomes unstoppable.

Due to all the above named dynamics, atrocities - like cockroaches - have fewer places to hide. Brutal and careless actions should (and often do in our time) have fewer ignorant and manipulated supporters.

Amnesty Release and worldwide Updates on the Many "Revolutions"

Calls for UN skill and pressure needed immediately in Libya and ongoing.




Security Council must refer Libya to International Criminal Court
Embed: Amnesty International's Philip Luther on Colonel al-Gaddafi's role in the current crisis

© Amnesty International
25 February 2011

Amnesty International has today called on the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Libya to the International Criminal Court and impose an immediate arms embargo, ahead of a planned session in New York on 25 February.

"Colonel al-Gaddafi and his chain of command have to understand they will answer for their actions," said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International's Secretary-General. "They need to see that investigation and prosecution are a reality they will face."

"This should act as a wake-up call to those issuing the orders and those who carry them out: your crimes will not go unpunished."

"Members of the Security Council must act now to stop the outrageous abuses taking place on the streets of Tripoli and elsewhere in Libya."

The organization repeated its call of 23 February to the Security Council to immediately impose an arms embargo on Libya preventing transfer of equipment and personnel, and to implement an asset freeze against Colonel al-Gaddafi, those associated with him, and anyone else involved in human rights abuses.

Release and More such as these items also on the Amnesty URL listed
here

Middle East and North Africa: Stop supply of arms used in protest killings (Appeal for action, 25 February 2011)
Security Council and African Union failing Libyan people (News, 23 February 2011)
Security Council and Arab League must act decisively on Libyan crimes today (News, 22 February 2011)
Libyan leader must end spiralling killings (News, 20 February 2011)
Demanding Change In The Middle East And North Africa (News and multimedia microsite)

===========
Besides these listed, al Jazeera and npr.org (US National Public Radio) are doing quite a piece of work reporting LIVE and the signs of GRAVE abuses from anyone with weapons is growing grave indeed. Although easy to see how violence is getting out of hand and derived from rage and fear, there are now beheadings, torture and wide-spread detention. Also, there are the unnecessary attacking and wounding - killing of anyone black -even those not working nor siding with the Libyan state nor against the peoples' cause.

Day of Rage Yalibnan.com here

Talk Islam talkislam.info or go here “Day of Rage” spreads to Iraq, nineteen dead

Pakistan News: Davis refuses to sign charge-sheet; hearing adjourned

DAWN.com

Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor, charged with double murder after shooting dead two men in Lahore refused to sign a charge sheet in court Friday and insisted he had diplomatic immunity, lawyers said.

The hearing in the murder case against Davis took place amid high security in Kot Lakphat jail in Lahore where he is being held, and was adjourned until March 3.

“Davis refused to sign the copy insisting that he be released and claiming that he enjoys immunity,” public prosecutor Abdul Samad told AFP.

Samad said that Davis, who claimed he acted in self-defence when he shot the men in a busy Lahore street last month, was handcuffed during the hearing which was guarded by more than 300 armed police officers in and around the prison.

A separate legal process to determine the diplomatic immunity issues returns to the Lahore High Court on March 14.

Revelations that Davis was a CIA contractor have heaped pressure on Pakistan’s government and further ramped up burning public mistrust of Washington.

A third Pakistani was struck down and killed by a US diplomatic vehicle that came to Davis’s assistance. US officials denied Pakistan access to the vehicle and the occupants are widely believed to have left the country.

Police have said they recovered a Glock pistol, four loaded magazines, a GPS navigation system and a small telescope from Davis’ car after the January 27 shooting.

US Consul General Carmela Conroy and other American officials were present at Friday’s hearing.

Asad Manzoor Butt, lawyer for the families of the men who were shot dead, rejected the American’s immunity claim.

“We have also received copies of the charge sheet. We will pursue this case as we want Davis to be punished for his act. We believe he does not enjoy immunity,” he said.

Samad has said that the immunity case before the Lahore High Court would not affect the murder charge hearings, unless the higher court barred them from proceeding.

Washington is pushing hard for Pakistan to free Davis, arguing that he has immunity and backing his claim that he acted in self-defence.

The United States postponed a round of high-level talks with Afghanistan and Pakistan following failed attempts to get Davis out, and US lawmakers threatened to cut payments to Pakistan unless he is freed.

Find this article in Pakistani - Dawn.com - posting here At this same URL find the following links - as well:

US national arrested in Peshawar for illegal stay

‘851 US officials enjoy diplomatic immunity in Pakistan’

US ‘ready to mend Pakistan ties’
==================================
Also see the reports trickling in on DemocracyNoW.org

US UPDATE Raymond Davis appears in Pakistan court Incident (US Pakistan Stale-mate)



Arif Ali/
AFP/Getty Images

Pakistani police stand guard outside the Kot Lakhpat jail during today's court hearing.

UPDATE Friday 4:22 PM ET (New York Time) from 2:30 or so ET on NPR.org (US National Public Radio):

February 25, 2011

Raymond Davis, a security contractor for the CIA who last month killed two men in Lahore, Pakistan, in what he says was a case of self defense, today refused to sign the charges leveled against him and asserted his right to diplomatic immunity, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from Islamabad.

The court adjourned to March 3. The case has sparked anti-American protests in Pakistan, and there was heavy security around the building where Davis' hearing was held.

GO to npr.org blog to hear Julie's comments http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/02/25/134060247/in-pakistan-detained-american-refuses-to-sign-charging-sheet 's report and read or send comments here

Meanwhile, "American national Aaron Mark Dehaven has been arrested in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Capital, Peshawar, for overstaying illegally in Pakistan, sources told Dawn News (Pakistan's preeminent English newspaper). ... The sources said that DeHeaven had been issued a visa on Jauary 1, 2010 which expired on 30th October 2010 and despite that he kept on staying in Pakistan without a valid visa document which resulted in his arrest."

Dehaven is from West Virginia and is now married to a Pakistani woman, Dawn added.

==============

For another piece of US new on this case (this time a business site) GO here

Earlier for Friday 9:39 am ET:

CIA employee faces Pakistan court
26 minutes ago (when this was posted here)
Raymond Davis, accused of murdering two men in Lahore, refuses to sign charge ... Raymond Davis, a CIA employee accused of murdering two Pakistanis...
Aljazeera.net - 1250 related articles

News that Raymond Davis is CIA could further jeopardize his return
Christian Science Monitor - 2996 related articles

Related items of possible interest:

Can Pakistan Be held Accountable for American Crimes (as well as their own)?
found on International Justice Network here and here

Short editorial comment from oneheartforpeace blogger:

There seems to have been a bit of a shift recently between the US and Pakistan - "triggered" (in more ways than one) by the so-named "Raymond Davis".

At first this incident may seem to be an impossible state of affairs and near tragic for two nations which may continue to be somewhat inter-dependent. Yet, Pakistan's resolve not to release Davis, whatever the combination of motives, may be helping to add honesty and disallow somewhat colonialist attitudes from the mix.

The fact that key players in Pakistan continue to hold firm may be a signal in the right direction on human rights for both Pakistan and eventually for the US. The reasons to see positives come from this current and quite messy conflict are multitude and have foundations in sound social dynamics rather than the often duplicitous principles of both US and Pakistan's so-called "higher" and "special" intelligence.

When the light of rule of law comes to bear on complicated world events - the education of people everywhere from every class becomes routine. In these times, the most basic rights of persons as well as of nations are rapidly becoming essential in all our foreign affairs. Just law and basic rights both alone and together help prevent dishonest media from hiding actual facts and the formerly missing information to which these are connected.

Then, add to ALL of the above, multi-layered cultural and historical nuances. These are progressively understood by more and more people young and old from all classes in most of our nations. While sometimes helped by formal education, no longer are those highly-motivated limited by the lack thereof. Self-education and life experiences themselves, when reflection comes to bear, is often enough to get the jist of the truth underneath the flimsy lies.

Finally -- as worldwide events move in an unprecedented pace -- information (and often vital information) becomes unstoppable.

Due to all the above named dynamics, atrocities - like cockroaches - have fewer places to hide. Brutal and careless actions should (and often do in our time) have fewer ignorant or manipulated supporters.



See many related items below on this blogsite as well as on the site: nomorecrusades.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Raymond Davis saga: US warns of moving International Court

Raymond Davis saga: US warns of moving International Court
By Sumera Khan
Published: February 24, 2011

Western newspapers reveal they knew that Davis was employed by the American spy agency, the CIA.

ISLAMABAD: US officials have indirectly warned that their country could approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ), if the spat over their ‘consular employee’ Raymond Davis, is not resolved in accordance with the Vienna Convention.

In a related development, Western newspapers have revealed that they knew that Davis, who is facing double murder charges, was employed by the American spy agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, but the information had been withheld on the request of the US administration. However, US diplomatic officials on Wednesday continued to insist that Davis was a member of the ‘technical and administrative staff’ of their mission in Pakistan and hence immune from criminal prosecution.

Davis, who is currently on judicial remand in Kot Lakhpat Jail, was arrested after he allegedly shot dead two Pakistanis at a busy bus stop in Lahore on January 27. US officials claim that the killings resulted from a ‘botched robbery’ attempt.

US diplomatic officials told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity that if Pakistan did not honour the Vienna conventions, the US could move the ICJ. They added that the ICJ rulings are mandatory for all signatories to the Vienna Convention.

The US officials said that the Pakistan government could declare any diplomat persona non grata and ask him to ‘pack up and go’, but it could not try any diplomat in any case.

They ruled out the criminal prosecution of Davis who, according to them, enjoys ‘blanket immunity.’ They hinted that Davis’s CIA links had no bearing on his diplomatic immunity because, according to them, anybody could be appointed as a diplomat by a country.

The US officials also claimed that it was not necessary for a diplomat to acquire his/her diplomatic card from the host country.

However, a top foreign ministry official contradicted the claim and termed it bizarre. “It’s mandatory for diplomats to get their diplomatic cards and other necessary documents from the foreign ministry after landing in a host country,” the official told The Express Tribune.

US officials claimed that the US Embassy in Islamabad had declared Davis’s diplomatic status on January 20. But senior officials in the Foreign Office say that they had not received any intimation from the US mission in this regard before the Lahore shooting.

The US Embassy has allegedly been pressuring the Foreign Office to forge the records and backdate Davis’ diplomatic status.

Former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had also corroborated these allegations on the floor of the National Assembly on Tuesday. He told lawmakers that he had refused the foreign ministry because he feared the government would force him to forge documents to prove Davis’s diplomatic status.

On Wednesday, the US official renewed the demand for the ‘unconditional and early’ release of Davis. US Senator John Kerry, on a recent trip to Pakistan, had promised a thorough investigation by the US Justice Department if Davis was released by Pakistani authorities.

Qureshi advised the US not to publicly demand diplomatic immunity for Davis. Qureshi recalled that he had refused diplomatic immunity to Davis despite US pressure and had instead made it clear to the Americans that the matter was ‘sensitive’ which could have far-reaching repercussions.

“If asked, I will appear before the Lahore High Court to share my views on the issue which is that Davis does not have blanket immunity,” Qureshi told a gathering at the Rawalpindi district bar on Wednesday. (With additional reporting by OBAID ABABSI in Rawalpindi)

Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2011.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Poetic Fractal Moments



"Who knew mold spores could make a petri dish look like a Persian tapestry! This one reminds me of a peacock’s fan – which by the way is also a fractal pattern."
This quote is under the above illustration - found at the bottom of
"Patterns in Nature" see last line for urls below.

By the way, an expert student of physics, fractals and such whom I met in
my writers' group suggested to me it was important to remember that fractals
were patterns that could be made INFINITELY and yet within BOUNDS. I can't quite get my mind around that statement - can anyone reading this help me out in the comments
section below? (Sorry but I don't have the stamina to accept and sort out anonymous comments at this time unless they are clearly appropriate.)
at this time.

Here's a delightful poem I just found:

Chaos Theory

Within the realm of Sanity

things are catalogued and even, lined up in orderly rows.
Strolling in the garden, the immaculate flowers are prim and proper,
presenting perfectly round handkerchiefs
on rail-straight arms without thorns.
It only rains on Tuesday nights,
and the orderly days are invariably sunny—
but Sanity can be tiresome,
and when the perfume of roses begins to sicken me
I flee to the realm just outside Sanity, just inside Bedlam.

There, it’s sunny any night it decides to be
and snail-shells can come pouring down from a clear green sky.

The garden paths twist back on themselves, leading to nowhere alcoves
where carpets of ferns play over rough-hewn triangular rocks.
Square-rooted trees with zigzag crooked branches
lift fine-cut leaves to the growing light.

Here, on the fringes of imagination, I can quiet my yearning spirit.

I found this "Poetic Moment" or Chaos Theory here

Watching the Rose found here

Contradiction found here

Other Essays found here

A few other sites like "Patterns in Nature" here and here

Siddiqui: wrongfully accused (lawyer, Elaine W. Sharp)

2011-01-12 Appeal is pending for April 2011 (some missing pieces have been filled in since the recent releases at International Justice Network.)

"Dr Affia Siddiqui was no more a terrorist than Nelson Mandela. She was not a person who was a serious player in Al-Qaeda. She may have had contact in those associations, but it was innocent contacts. She was not the person that I would believe to be involved in anything remotely designed to cause harm to another human being, but rather quite the opposite."

Those were the words of conviction spoken by Aafia Siddiqui's lawyer, Elaine Whitfield Sharp, on VOC's Drivetime on Monday. Aafia Siddiqui, the American educated Pakistani cognitive neuroscientist, was convicted of assault with intent to murder her US interrogates in Afghanistan. She was sentenced in a US Federal court to 86 years in prison.

Capturing of Siddiqui

According to Whitfield-Sharp, this is a case that many will never understand completely. "From the defense's point of view, I can relate our position on the facts: Aafia Siddiqui was picked up in Karachi Afghanistan in March 2003. We believed that she was rendered, which is taken illegally against Pakistani law, by Pakistani forces and the American Criminal Intelligence Agency (CIA)."

"We believe she was then taken to some off-site country... a third-world nation, possibly Jordan or Afghanistan, where she was detained for five years in a black site or secret prison. Here she was forced to create documents to incriminate herself to support what we see, is this war on terror. She was then dumped in Afghanistan with a bag that conveniently had incriminating documents."

Siddiqui's story was then picked up in the "world hysteria against Muslims and terrorism". She was brought to the United States and charged with firing at US personal at the Afghan national police headquarters in Ghazni. One of the US personnel, who was a warrant officer, shot her in the abdomen, claiming that she picked up an N4 rifle and fired it at the group.

However, Whitfield-Sharp said, contrary to the accusation, there was no bullet fragments found or any damage to the wall. There were also no fingerprints found on the gun and the witnesses testimony conflicted in several ways, thus there were many discrepancies in the forensic evidence.

Sharp again cited the rife Islamophobia in the US for Siddiqui being unanimously convicted by the jury to her 86 year sentence. She believed that the case was a riddle of misunderstandings, false nuances and political posturing that has tragically resulted in the sentencing of an innocent woman to prison. Saddiqui is currently incarcerated at the Carswell Federal Medical Centre near Texas.

"We tried to stop the case from going to trial on the grounds that Siddiqui was so traumatised from the ‘missing five years'. We believe that the five years culminating to the shooting of this woman in the abdomen...the bringing and trying of her in the US and keeping her in solitary confinement rendered her mentally incompetent to stand on trial. Unfortunately the judge disagreed with us and we went ahead with the trial," Sharp continued.

Siddiqui's children

Siddiqui is the mother of three children, Ahmed, Mariam and the youngest Sooliman. Since her capture in 2003, Ahmed and Mariam have been recovered, but Sooliman's whereabouts are unknown and he is feared dead. "According to Siddiqui, on the day she left her mother's house with her three children the cab they left in detoured from the usual route to the station," the lawyer related.

"The driver took a back road and this is when two black cars pulled up, held the cabdriver at gunpoint while the other men opened the back door and took the children. Siddiqui herself was then dragged from the cab and given something that knocked her out. Ahmed corroborated this, saying he too was made unconscious. Next thing she woke up strapped to a gurney. Reports in the Urdu speaking press in Pakistan stated she was seen and picked up on CIA Transport plane."

Sharp said Siddiqui was continually tortured whilst in custody and was shown pictures of what was deemed her dead son, face down in a pool of blood. "Siddiqui said she was drugged, electrocuted, tortured and threatened with her kids being harmed. They threatened to rape her daughter, told her that Ahmed was dead and said that they would shoot her baby son and asked if she would she like to watch!

"Her daughter just appeared last year outside their house in Karachi. A car pulled up, threw Mariam out and sped off. Siddiqui's sister Fowzia, a Harvard trained neurologist, is taking care of both children. Ironically enough, Siddiqui was sent to Carswell Federal Medical Centre which is a facility where people are treated for mental illness. Do the math! At the facility she has been declared mentally unstable and I believe she is ill as a result of what has happened to her."

‘The grey lady of Baghram'

Siddiqui was dubbed ‘The grey lady of Bagram' as several detainees at the Bagram Theatre Internment Facility in Afghanistan - renowned for its capture and torture of so-called terrorist - claimed to see a woman matching her description, thus suggesting that this is where she was held for the five ‘missing years'.

"There were open bull-pens or wired cages where men were placed and they were able to see out of what was going on. One of the people incarcerated at the Baghram male area was Moazzam Begg who said he saw a woman matching Dr Siddiqui's description in Baghram. We have also heard accounts of the men being tortured psychologically by hearing a tape recording or, as we believe, live screams of a woman being repeatedly raped (which we assume to be Siddiqui). There are more than enough people who say they saw her," Whitfield-Sharp said.

An appeal has been filed and in the lawyer's view, the trial had been fair in many ways, except that a considerable amount of the evidence was kept out. "There are very many excellent issues for appeal and it is going forward, the brief for appeal is due in April. As you know there have been some Wikileaks cables leaked suggesting that the CIA were using agents to infiltrate the Taliban, which makes one think what role Dr Siddiqui was forced into once she was rendered and tortured at the beginning of March 2003.

"What we do know is Affia Siddiqui says she was tortured and, unlike the witness's contradicting testimonies that went all over the place, Affia's has never changed." VOC (Mishqa Rossier)

Raymond Davis Case May end up in the International Court of Justice

DAWN.COM | Latest news, Breaking news, Pakistan News, World news, business, sport and multimedia - http://www.dawn.com -

Davis case may end up in ICJ

Posted By From the Newspaper On February 24, 2011 @ 3:01 am Karachi time (3 hours ago at 6 PM Feb 23 ET - New York time) In Home > Top Stories,Latest News,Newspaper > Front Page,Pakistan > Top Stories | Comments Disabled

"There is an optional protocol to Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR)… under which there is a provision for the dispute to be notified to the International Court of Justice,” a diplomatic source said. — Photo by AP

ISLAMABAD: The lingering dispute over immunity for jailed US official Raymond Davis [1], accused of double murder, may end up at the International Court of Justice if efforts to resolve the matter diplomatically and bilaterally fail.

Although the US has been insisting that it is focused on bilaterally settling the row, sources suggest that the dispute [2] could be referred to the ICJ.

“There is a dispute resolution mechanism. There is an optional protocol to Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR)… under which there is a provision for the dispute to be notified to the International Court of Justice,” a diplomatic source said on Tuesday.

Both Pakistan and the US are signatories to the ‘optional protocol’ to the VCDR.

Another route for ending the controversy could be arbitration.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told the National Assembly on Monday that the two countries continued to differ on the interpretation and applicability of international and national laws in the case.

The government last week requested the Lahore High Court, hearing petitions challenging Davis’s immunity, for more time to certify his status.

Indecision on part of the government has added to confusion in the case, but it is widely speculated that delaying tactics [3] are being employed to provide the US embassy and the victims’ families an opportunity to reach a compromise.

A reference to the ICJ in a dispute over immunity is rare and the only precedent is that of the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis.

“States realise that they have to work it out together,” the diplomatic source said.

The VCDR’s optional protocol had mandatory jurisdiction and the ICJ “decision will be binding on the states”, said the sources, who is an expert in international law.

“It will be the responsibility of the state concerned to bring its actions in conformity with international law,” the expert stressed.

Meanwhile, a US embassy official questioned the jurisdiction of Pakistani courts to criminally prosecute Davis.

“Since he enjoys immunity the matter shouldn’t have been in the court in the first place,” the official said, adding that Pakistani courts didn’t have jurisdiction to hear his case.

[4]
Article printed from DAWN.COM | Latest news, Breaking news, Pakistan News, World news, business, sport and multimedia: http://www.dawn.com

URL to article: here

URLs in this post:

[1] Raymond Davis: http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/04/timeline-the-raymond-davis-case.html
[2] the dispute: http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/23/cia-link-does-not-affect-daviss-immunity-us.html
[3] delaying tactics: http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/03/court-extends-remand-of-raymond-davis-in-shooting-case.html
[4] Image: http://www.addtoany.com/share_save

Pakistan Intelligence Ready to Split with CIA

Washingtonpost JUST in 23 February 5 PM ET

SEE one of many republications of the AP article here

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan's ISI spy agency is ready to split with the CIA because of its frustration over what it calls heavy-handed pressure and ...
The Associated Press

Pakistan's intelligence ready to split with CIA
By KATHY GANNON and ADAM GOLDMAN
The Associated Press
Wednesday, February 23, 2011; 5:32 PM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Pakistan's ISI spy agency is ready to split with the CIA because of frustration over what it calls heavy-handed pressure and its anger over what it believes is a covert U.S. operation involving hundreds of contract spies, according to an internal document obtained by The Associated Press and interviews with U.S. and Pakistani officials.

Such a move could seriously damage the U.S war effort in Afghanistan, limit a program targeting al-Qaida insurgents along the Pakistan frontier, and restrict Washington's access to information in the nuclear-armed country.

According to a statement drafted by the ISI, supported by interviews with officials, an already-fragile relationship between the two agencies collapsed following the shooting death of two Pakistanis by Raymond Davis, a U.S. contracted spy who is in jail in Pakistan facing possible multiple murder charges.

"Post-incident conduct of the CIA has virtually put the partnership into question," said a media statement prepared by the ISI but never released. A copy was obtained this week by the AP.

The statement accused the CIA of using pressure tactics to free Davis.

"It is hard to predict if the relationship will ever reach the level at which it was prior to the Davis episode," the statement said. "The onus of not stalling this relationship between the two agencies now squarely lies on the CIA."

The ISI fears there are hundreds of CIA contracted spies operating in Pakistan without the knowledge of either the Pakistan government or the intelligence agency, a senior Pakistani intelligence official told the AP in an interview. He spoke only on condition he not be identified on grounds that exposure would compromise his security.

Pakistan intelligence had no idea who Davis was or what he was doing when he was arrested, the official said, adding that there are concerns about "how many more Raymond Davises are out there."

Davis was arrested Jan. 27 in Lahore after shooting two Pakistanis. A third Pakistani was killed by a U.S. Consulate vehicle coming to assist the American. Pakistan demanded the driver be handed over, but the AP has learned the two U.S. employees in the car now are in the United States.

Davis has pleaded self-defense, but the Lahore police upon completing their investigation said they would seek murder charges. The ISI official told the AP that Davis had contacts in the tribal regions and knew both the men he shot. He said the ISI is investigating the possibility that the encounter on the streets of Lahore stemmed from a meeting or from threats to Davis.

U.S. officials deny Davis had prior contact with the men before the incident, and CIA spokesman George Little said any problems between the two agencies will be sorted out.

"The CIA works closely with our Pakistani counterparts on a wide range of security challenges, including our common fight against al-Qaida and its terrorist allies," he said. "The agency's ties to ISI have been strong over the years, and when there are issues to sort out, we work through them. That's the sign of a healthy partnership."

The CIA repeatedly has tried to penetrate the ISI and learn more about Pakistan's nuclear program. 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 U.S. employees in Pakistan. The ISI official said Davis' visa application contains bogus references and phone numbers. He said thousands of visas were issued to U.S. 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 U.S. 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.

To regain support and assistance, he said, "they have to start showing respect, not belittling us, not being belligerent to us, not treating us like we are their lackeys."

NATO and U.S. operations in Afghanistan could be adversely effected by a split between the ISI and the CIA. Washington complains bitterly about Pakistan's refusal to go after the Pakistani-headquartered Haqqani network, which is believed to be the strongest fighting force in Afghanistan and closely allied with al-Qaida.

The ISI official said Pakistan is fed up with Washington's complaints, and he accused the CIA of planting stories about ISI assistance to the Haqqani network.

Relations between the CIA and ISI have been on a downward slide since the name of the U.S. agency's station chief in Pakistan was leaked in a lawsuit accusing him of killing civilians in a drone strike.

Fearing for his safety, the CIA eventually pulled the station chief out of the country. ISI leaders balked at allegations that they outed the CIA top spy in their country. Former and current U..S. officials believe the station chief fell out of favor, but the Pakistanis say this is not the case

Those accusations and the naming of ISI chief Shujah Pasha in a civil lawsuit in the United States - filed by family members of victims of a November 2008 attack in Mumbai, India, by insurgents - started the downslide in relations, the ISI official said.

To help repair the crucial relationship, the CIA earlier this year dispatched a very senior officer to be the new station chief who was previously the head of the European Division, one of the most important jobs in the National Clandestine Service, the agency's spy arm.

The spy agencies have overcome lows before. During President George W. Bush's first term, the ISI became enraged after it shared intelligence with the United States, only to learn that the then-CIA station chief passed that information to the British. The incident caused a serious row, one that threatened the CIA's relationship with the ISI and deepened the levels of distrust between the two sides. At the time Pakistan almost threw the CIA station chief out of the country.

----

Adam Goldman reported from Washington. Kathy Gannon is AP special regional correspondent for Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Arrest of CIA Agent Sheds Light on American Covert War in Pakistan, Straining U.S.-Pakistani Relations

Find the Amy Goodman interview with the Correspondent reporting from Pakistan

U.S. officials have (finally) admitted clearly that an American detained in Pakistan for the murder of two men was a CIA agent and a former employee of the private security firm Blackwater, now called Xe Services.

Declan Walsh has been reporting from Pakistan and Afghanistan and is the author of the new book, Insh’Allah Nation: The Crisis of Modern Pakistan.

Find this article on Huffingtonpost here where comments and tweets are starting to come in - including this one "Raymond Davis may be the Eugene Hasenfus of the war in Afghanista­n. Just the tip of the iceberg. Hasenfus' crash and detainment blew the lid off the Iran-Contr­a affair." See also at this site other related articles including one from The New York Times.

Text: U.S. officials have admitted an American detained in Pakistan for the murder of two men was a CIA agent and a former employee of the private security firm Blackwater, now called Xe Services. Up until Monday, the Obama administration had insisted Raymond Davis was a diplomat who had acted in self-defense. The arrest of Davis has soured relations between the United States and Pakistan and revealed a web of covert U.S. operations inside the country, part of a secret war run by the C.I.A. The Guardian of London first reported Davis’s CIA link on Sunday and noted that many U.S. news outlets knew about his connection to the CIA but did not report on it at the request of U.S. officials. We speak with Declan Walsh, the Pakistan correspondent for The Guardian, who first broke the story. [includes rush transcript]

Find the original posting link to Democracy Now! (with a three part transcript of interview and audio available here

Find this article also featured on Huffingtonpost here

December 02, 2010, Jeremy Scahill (author of -Blackwater-) shared the following with Democracy Now!: WikiLeaks Cables Confirm Secret U.S. War Ops in Pakistan

Despite sustained denials by the Pentagon, the leaked cables from WikiLeaks confirm that U.S. military special operations forces have been secretly working with the Pakistani military to conduct offensive operations and coordinate drone strikes in the areas near the Afghan border. A U.S. embassy cable from October of 2009 states: "These deployments are highly politically sensitive because of widely-held concerns among the public about Pakistani sovereignty and opposition to allowing foreign military forces to operate in any fashion on Pakistani soil.” The cables confirm aspects of a story about the covert U.S. war in Pakistan published in The Nation magazine last year by investigative journalist and Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill.

Find this earlier item from Scahill here

Declan Walsh | guardian.co.uk
Declan Walsh is the Guardian's foreign correspondent for Pakistan and Afghanistan.
www.guardian.co.uk/profile/declanwalsh

Declan Walsh (declanwalsh) is on Twitter. Sign up for Twitter to follow Declan Walsh (declanwalsh) and get their latest updates.
twitter.com/declanwalsh or GO here

Find a progression of items from Pakistan, World and US news on this Raymond Davis case here at oneheartforpeace blogsite and on the blogsite nomorecrusades as well.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Updated: Raymond Davis Case: Analysis Feb 20-23

No easy solution to impasse over jailed CIA man

By TOM RAUM
Associated Press
Posted: Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011
WASHINGTON The standoff between Pakistan and the United States over the detention of an American CIA contractor held in the fatal shooting of two Pakistanis is posing a growing diplomatic quandary for both countries.

Some members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, are threatening to cut off funds to Pakistan if Raymond Allen Davis is kept much longer in a Pakistani jail. But turning him over to the U.S. could unleash a torrent of anti-American sentiment across Pakistan, threatening to undercut that country's fragile civilian government.

With anti-government protests sweeping the Middle East, public restlessness and anger could ripple as far as Pakistan, probably making the timing less than ideal for a government in an Islamic country to make a public show of cooperation with the United States.

The U.S. maintains that Davis, 36, is exempt from criminal prosecution under the principle of diplomatic immunity and should be turned over to American authorities. The U.S. also claims Davis acted in self-defense when he shot the two men he says tried to rob him.

Does the U.S. still maintain that position despite the disclosures that Davis was working as a CIA security contractor? "Yes," insisted State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley on Tuesday.

Crowley said U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter met Tuesday in Pakistan with that country's foreign affairs minister, "continuing our work with Pakistani authorities to resolve the issue."

But no easy face-saving resolution for either side appeared in sight.

Pakistan's government thus far has not offered a formal position on the issue of diplomatic immunity, despite efforts to try to ease tensions by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., who visited Pakistan last week at the request of President Barack Obama.

A judge last week put off ruling on the case until mid-March to give the government more time to formulate an official position.

Kerry later said that there were still "very difficult issues" surrounding Davis' legal situation but that several options remained. The senator expressed hope that things will be worked out.

If the dispute continues to fester, it could set back gains the U.S. has claimed in rebuilding trust for Pakistan's military and in winning that country's cooperation in going after al-Qaida and other militants inside the country. The standoff could also threaten billions in U.S. aid.

Also hovering in the background: the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, given the apparent lack of influence of the fledgling central government.

The controversy is the latest in a series of recent setbacks in U.S-Pakistani relations and underscores growing friction between the CIA and its Pakistani counterpart, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, commonly known as ISI.

"It certainly complicates relations between the U.S. and Pakistan," said Mark Quarterman, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. "This is an issue that has dominated the headlines and political discourse in Pakistan since the shootings."

In particular, U.S. drone strikes inside Pakistan, which have claimed civilian casualties, are "very unpopular among the Pakistani people," who generally think the government has already acquiesced too much in cooperating with the U.S., he said.

"A relationship that has been strained at times anyway was just sent into a tailspin by the Raymond Davis incident," said Quarterman, who headed a United Nations technical team that helped investigate the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Analysts in both the United States and Pakistan said that the ruling Pakistan People's Party is weak to begin with and that the shooting raises new questions about its ties to Washington and its very stability.

It has only been three years since the party's electoral victories restored civilian democracy after nearly a decade of military rule, and the government is still struggling to get its footing.

"On the one hand, the government wants to please the Americans and bow down to their wishes," said Talat Masood, a Pakistani political and military expert. "On the other hand, it wants to tell the Pakistani people it is not giving in to U.S. pressure."

Previously, the administration had identified Davis as simply "a diplomat." U.S. officials have said he was in Pakistan on a diplomatic passport.

The Associated Press and several other news organizations learned about Davis working for the CIA last month, immediately after the shootings, but withheld publication of the information because it could endanger his life while he was jailed overseas.

The AP had intended to report Davis' CIA employment after he was out of harm's way, but the story was broken Sunday by The Guardian newspaper of London.

He was working as a CIA security contractor - essentially a bodyguard - and living in a safe house in Lahore, according to former and current U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to talk publicly about the incident.

There are hundreds of CIA employees on the ground in Pakistan, which is one of the agency's biggest stations. Davis' arrest raised concerns about their safety.

Davis, a former Special Forces soldier who left the military in 2003, was arrested Jan. 27 in connection with the fatal shooting of two armed men. Davis said he was defending himself against what he described as an attempted armed robbery as the men approached him on a motorcycle. A third Pakistani, a bystander, died when he was struck by an American consulate vehicle rushing to rescue Davis.

The two men in the response car have since left the country in what has been described by the Pakistanis as a concession to the U.S. Davis was carrying a Glock handgun, a pocket telescope and papers with different identifications.

The State Department maintains that Davis is an accredited member of the technical and administrative staff of the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad. U.S. officials said that the Pakistani government had been informed of his status in January 2010 and that Pakistan is violating its international obligations by continuing to hold him.

Under international law, diplomats are extended a degree of immunity from criminal prosecution in the countries where they are posted.

U.S. lawmakers have raised the possibility of cutting off U.S. aid to Pakistan if it continues to hold Davis. Earlier this month, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., and Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., bluntly told senior Pakistani officials during a trip to the country about the ramifications of their actions.

"I think it is imperative that they release him," Kline told reporters at a news conference, adding there is certainly the possibility that there would be repercussions if they don't.

Associated Press writers Adam Goldman and Donna Cassata in Washington and Nahal Toosi in Islamabad contributed to this report.

=================

So how are we to depend on our news being "fresh" and at least an attempt at truth? What is this? How is this any different than under GWB? Are we to depend more and more on international news and ignore more and more US news?

Raymond Davis’ Work(s) “with” the CIA
By: emptywheel Monday February 21, 2011 9:52 am

After the Guardian confirmed for the Anglo-American world what the rest of the world had already concluded–that Raymond Davis is some kind of spook --

(THEN at last many days after the crime and arrest)--

-- the government gave the American outlets that have been sitting on this knowledge the go-ahead to publish it.

The New York Times had agreed to temporarily withhold information about Mr. Davis’s ties to the agency at the request of the Obama administration, which argued that disclosure of his specific job would put his life at risk. Several foreign news organizations have disclosed some aspects of Mr. Davis’s work with the C.I.A., and on Monday, American officials lifted their request to withhold publication.

Yet even though the NYT claims they have been cleared by the government to describe Davis’ “specific job,” the article does no such thing.

Note how none of the usages in the story make it clear whether Davis works for the CIA, for Blackwater, for his own contracting company, or for JSOC:

The American arrested in Pakistan after shooting two men at a crowded traffic stop was part of a covert, C.I.A.-led team of operatives conducting surveillance on militant groups deep inside the country, according to American government officials.

[snip]

carried out scouting and other reconnaissance missions for a Central Intelligence Agency task force

[snip]

Mr. Davis has worked for years as a C.I.A. contractor, including time at Blackwater Worldwide, the controversial private security firm (now called Xe)

[snip]

The officials gave various accounts of the makeup of the covert task force and of Mr. Davis, who at the time of his arrest was carrying a Glock pistol, a long-range wireless set, a small telescope and a headlamp. An American and a Pakistani official said in interviews that operatives from the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command had been assigned to the group to help with the surveillance missions. Other American officials, however, said that no military personnel were involved with the task force.

[snip]

Even before his arrest, Mr. Davis’s C.I.A. affiliation was known to Pakistani authorities, who keep close tabs on the movements of Americans.

[snip]

American officials said that with Pakistan’s government trying to clamp down on the increasing flow of Central Intelligence Agency officers and contractors trying to gain entry to Pakistan, more of these operatives have been granted “cover” as embassy employees and given diplomatic passports.

[snip]

American officials said he operated as part of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Global Response Service in various parts of the country, including Lahore and Peshawar.

[snip]

It is unclear when Mr. Davis began working for the C.I.A., but American officials said that in recent years he worked for the spy agency as a Blackwater contractor and later founded his own small company, Hyperion Protective Services. [my emphasis]

This article leaves open every single possibility–CIA, Blackwater, other contractor, JSOC–with the least likely being that Davis is an employee of the CIA (not least because according to the Pakistanis he makes $200,000). Though the article does make it clear we’re now extending official cover to contractors.

The most likely, I’d guess, is that we’re using Blackwater to employ JSOC folks to get around legal niceties.

Now, the difference is pretty important, to both the Pakistanis and us. As the article makes clear, the military isn’t really supposed to be in Pakistan. We’re not at war with Pakistan, after all, at least not as far as Congress has declared.

And Americans are going to care a whole lot more if it is confirmed that another Blackwater cowboy has inflamed our relations with an ally by shooting off his guns wildly and killing the locals. We were supposed to have learned our lesson about Blackwater in Nisour Square.

Hell, I’m pretty cranky about this confirmation that we’re giving official cover to contractors in the first place, given that it exposes us to just this kind of diplomatic problem.

Now, frankly, I’m all in favor of protecting CIA officers’ identities when they are unknown. But just about everyone in Pakistan already knew Davis is a spook. The NYT’s continued silence on that fact doesn’t serve to protect Davis; it only makes the paper complicit in the government keeping secrets from us, from its own citizens.

And it appears that the NYT is still engaged in such complicity by refusing to clarify precisely who employed Davis and whether in doing so our government is engaging in illegal war or continuing to employ the same old problematic contractors.

I guess it’s a whole lot easier to confirm someone is CIA when doing so distracts attention from the fact that he’s probably something more embarrassing still.

Update: The WSJ, without admitting it too has been sitting on Davis’ CIA affiliation, tells a different story. It says this guy with a camera full of pictures, a phone full of tribal area phone numbers, and a GPS is just a simple protective officer.

U.S.officials say Mr. Davis, who has been held in the eastern city of Lahore since late January, was on a short-term contract as a protective officer, responsible for providing security to officials with the CIA and other agencies in the country.

“Rumors to the contrary are simply wrong,” a U.S. official said of Pakistani claims that Mr. Davis was directly involved in intelligence gathering operations.

And it quotes an ISI officer claiming they didn’t know that Davis was a spook.

A senior official with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, said Pakistan was not aware that Mr. Davis was working for the CIA and believes the U.S. could be using undeclared operatives as a way of circumventing visa restrictions imposed by Islamabad on the U.S. spy agency.

“We didn’t even know about him,” the ISI official said. “We don’t know how many Raymond Davises there could be running around.”

Well, if the idea behind lifting the request that newspapers withhold details was to confuse the issue, then the government and its compliant newspaper friends have succeeded!

Update: See how exact the ISI can be as compared to Americans?

But an official from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) told AFP Monday that Davis was working for the CIA.

“He’s on contract. He’s not a regular CIA guy, but he’s working for CIA. That’s confirmed,” the official said.

Or maybe the AFP just feels less obligation to tell the American people what the government wants us to hear?

Update: The WaPo’s Greg Miller seems to get it right (though he admits WaPo sat on this too).

The American who fatally shot two men in Pakistan last month and who has been described publicly as a diplomat is a security contractor for the CIA who was part of a secret agency team operating out of a safe house in Lahore, U.S. officials said.

[snip]

But in fact Davis has spent much of the past two years working as part of a group of covert CIA operatives, whose mission appears to have centered on conducting surveillance of militant groups in large cities including Lahore.

[snip]

Current and former U.S. officials said that Davis had previously been employed by the sprawling security firm once known as Blackwater. A spokeswoman for the company, now known as Xe Services, did not respond to a request for comment.

SEE the original posting and 62 Responses to “Raymond Davis’ Work “with” the CIA”

Also find Related Posts at this site:

•“Consular Employee” Charged with Murder in Pakistan January 28, 2011
•Raymond Davis: Diplomatic Immunity v. US Impunity February 21, 2011
•Lindsey Graham Calls Raymond Davis an “Agent” February 18, 2011
•Spy v. Spy: Unmasked? February 20, 2011
•State Department Secrecy: What a Bunch of Crap! January 10, 2011

Here's just a sampler from the comments:

MadDog February 21st, 2011 at 9:56 am 1…This article leaves open every single possibility–CIA, Blackwater, other contractor, JSOC–with the least likely being that Davis is an employee of the CIA (not least because according to the Pakistanis he makes $200,000)…

Second least likely is active duty military so I think JSOC is out as well.

Unless JSOC is running contractors which would be news as well.

MadDog February 21st, 2011 at 9:58 am 2In response to MadDog @ 1
Of course, this part of the NYT piece leaves the JSOC thingy kind of up in the air:

…An American and a Pakistani official said in interviews that operatives from the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command had been assigned to the group to help with the surveillance missions. Other American officials, however, said that no military personnel were involved with the task force.

Special operations troops routinely work with the C.I.A. in Pakistan. Among other things, they helped the agency pinpoint the location of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the deputy Taliban commander who was arrested in January 2010 in Karachi…

earlofhuntingdon February 21st, 2011 at 10:02 am 3 I agree that the Guardian is a tad over the top with its sole-source confirmation about Davis’ role. Pakistani intelligence was embarrassed by these killings and quite possibly by Davis’ work, not to mention that as an intelligence agency, its record for public truthtelling ought to be suspect. And the Guardian should have caveated its “confirmation” with just those observations.

Illegal wars, spies as diplomats, overpaid contractors substituting for spies, overpaid outsourced contractors subbing for military spec ops in a country we’re not at war with, which we consider an ally in our misguided but hugely expensive imperial ops in Afghanistan. None of that seems news “worth fit to print”.

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readerOfTeaLeaves February 21st, 2011 at 10:06 am 4Hell, I’m pretty cranky about this confirmation that we’re giving official cover to contractors in the first place, given that it exposes us to just this kind of diplomatic problem.

Madness.

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MadDog February 21st, 2011 at 10:10 am 5In response to readerOfTeaLeaves @ 4
FUBAR, meet “waiting to happen”.

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SaltinWound February 21st, 2011 at 10:15 am 6Reconnaissance and surveillance sound sort of benign until you take into account that we use drones. Is there any chance he was involved in choosing targets? if so, the motivation of his ambushers becomes more clear.

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MadDog February 21st, 2011 at 10:19 am 7…Update: The WSJ, without admitting it too has been sitting on Davis’ CIA affiliation, tells a different story. It says this guy with a camera full of pictures, a phone full of tribal area phone numbers, and a GPS is just a simple protective officer…

You missed the infrared headlamp. I suppose one could use that for finding one’s d*ck in the dark. *g*

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MadDog February 21st, 2011 at 10:23 am 8And the WaPo’s Greg Miller jumps in as well:

U.S. officials: Raymond Davis, accused in Pakistan shootings, worked for CIA

…At the time of his arrest, Davis was based at a house with five other CIA contractors as well as a former agency staff officer who had returned to work for the spy service for the assignment in Pakistan, a U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The official said the impact of the disclosure that Davis is a CIA employee “will be serious.”

“I think it’s going to make it a hell of a lot harder to get him out,” said the official. “I think ISI knows what this guy is, but I think this is just going to inflame the Pakistanis…”

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PJEvans February 21st, 2011 at 10:25 am 9In response to MadDog @ 7
The WSJ might be able to use the IR headgear and the GPS to find its own ass.

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MadDog February 21st, 2011 at 10:28 am 10…Update: The WaPo’s Greg Miller seems to get it right (though he admits WaPo sat on this too)…

Except these 2 parts seem to be contradictory:

…But in fact Davis has spent much of the past two years working as part of a group of covert CIA operatives, whose mission appears to have centered on conducting surveillance of militant groups in large cities including Lahore…

Versus this in the very same article:

…But even while shedding new light on the circumstances of his detention, U.S. officials continued to provide scant information about his assignment. A former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, Davis was hired as a contract employee of the CIA’s Global Response Staff, a unit that is responsible for providing security for agency employees and facilities in other countries…

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MadDog February 21st, 2011 at 10:38 am 11And some more from ABC News:

Raymond Davis Is CIA Contractor and Former Blackwater, U.S. Officials Say

…Davis and a group of fellow security officers lived in a safehouse in Lahore. The CIA keeps safehouses for security personnel in an effort to limit the ability for militants to track their movements, the intelligence contractor said.

On Jan. 27, Davis left the safehouse and conducted an “area familiarization route,” according to the senior U.S. official. He drove through various Lahore neighborhoods for several hours. It was during his route, two U.S. officials say, that Davis stopped at an A.T.M. and possibly drew the attention of two Pakistani men on a motorcycle…

…Davis has told the police in Lahore that the two men were attempting to rob him when he fired several rounds from his Glock handgun hitting them both. Davis fired multiple rounds from inside his car, killing one man in the street, while the second died later from his injuries.

Davis then called for help from several other CIA security officers who shared his Lahore safehouse, according to the U.S. official and the intelligence consultant. As they arrived near the intersection, they accidentally hit a Pakistani bicyclist, the two officials said. The bicyclist later died of his injuries. Davis’ colleagues were unable to get to Davis before the police arrested him. They left the scene and returned to their safehouse.

Within hours, they had destroyed all government documents at the safehouse, abandoned it, and retreated to the US consulate for safety. Both have since returned to the US, according to a senior U.S. official briefed on the case…

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emptywheel February 21st, 2011 at 10:40 am 12In response to MadDog @ 1
JSOC does work with contractors: both work w/BW.

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MadDog February 21st, 2011 at 10:41 am 13In response to MadDog @ 11
And this tidbit from page 3 of the ABC News piece boggles the mind:

…According to a senior US official, Davis first arrived in Pakistan in December 2008, and was posted at various times in Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar. Until last August, Davis was stationed in Pakistan as an employee of the company once known as Blackwater, now called Xe Services, and contracted to the CIA.

According to a former Blackwater executive, the CIA terminated the company’s GRS contract in Pakistan, accusing the security company of failing to provide adequate services. The agency then moved to hire all the former Xe/Blackwater security personnel directly as independent contractors…

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MadDog February 21st, 2011 at 10:42 am 14In response to emptywheel @ 12
Yeah but…but…but… *g*

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emptywheel February 21st, 2011 at 10:46 am 15In response to earlofhuntingdon @ 3
It’s not clear that it’s sole source. It appears there may be two Pakistani sources, plus an interview in the US which may or may not be a Pakistani source (though it’s possible Sanaullah is the “senior Pakistani intell official”):

Based on interviews in the US and Pakistan, the Guardian can confirm that the 36-year-old former special forces soldier is employed by the CIA. “It’s beyond a shadow of a doubt,” said a senior Pakistani intelligence official. The revelation may complicate American efforts to free Davis, who insists he was acting in self-defence against a pair of suspected robbers, who were both carrying guns.

[snip]

“This is not the work of a diplomat. He was doing espionage and surveillance activities,” said the Punjab law minister, Rana Sanaullah, adding he had “confirmation” that Davis was a CIA employee.

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MadDog February 21st, 2011 at 10:47 am 16Mark Hosenball over at Reuters has this:

American held in Pakistan is CIA contractor: U.S. sources

…U.S. officials who declined to be identified told Reuters Davis’ duties as a protective officer — essentially a bodyguard — were to provide physical security to U.S. Embassy and consular officers, as well as visiting American dignitaries.

The officials strongly denied news reports alleging Davis was part of a covert CIA-led team of operatives conducting surveillance on militant groups in Pakistan. The officials insisted Davis was not part of any undercover operations team…

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emptywheel February 21st, 2011 at 10:48 am 17In response to MadDog @ 10
Fair enough. I wonder whether they’re being hired as protective to hide the fact that they’re doing the spooking?

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MadDog February 21st, 2011 at 10:53 am 18In response to emptywheel @ 17
I was thinking the very same thing.

As if the Global Response Staff was itself a cover and/or if that was the only way the CIA/JSOC could get more of their bodies into Pakistan because the Pakistanis were trying to limit CIA/JSOC headcount.

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Mary February 21st, 2011 at 11:01 am 19You know, I question all of it. You can make a case for almost any of it – CIA deputy/acting, military black ops, or contractor. In some ways, he might have been “more eligible” for being put on as a “diplomat” than if he was a military attache or a CIA, bc there were probably standing agreements on those kinds of categories and how they were going to be handled.

I’m not sure I believe ISI’s public statement that they didn’t know anything about him, since they refused to recognize him when he was on the Jan 20th submission from State to the Pakistan Foreign Ministry; since Qureshi has said that he was not entitled to immunity based on the briefings given to him (Quresthi) and since Dawn reported that Davis was arrested previously and only freed with consulate intervention.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/28/us-official-guns-down-two-motorcyclists-in-lahore.html

A senior police officer told Dawn that Raymond David was among four people who were detained by security personnel near Lahores Sherpao Bridge on Dec 9, 2009, when they were trying to enter the Cantonment area in a vehicle with tinted glasses. They were armed with sophisticated weapons. The intervention of the US consulate led to their release, the officer recalled

I think the degree to which Obama and Hillary and others are rattled smells more like him being a ranking CIA guy – but it could just be that he’s got a lot of intel and that’s why they are so rattled. Certainly, the Iranian hikers and civilians being mowed down and a plethora of other problems haven’t received the all out Obama press that this guy has.

Contractor is absolutely possible, but I’m not putting to bed the possibility of direct CIA with lots of cover yet either. Especially since it was after the Pak sources were naming him as acting/deputy station chief that all of a sudden everyone here in the US is clamoring that he’s a contractor and no one seems to really know if his name is even Raymond Davis – not such a usual thing for the state dept to be so uncertain about for a contractor.

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Gitcheegumee February 21st, 2011 at 11:04 am 20In response to MadDog @ 13
Just for the record, the Mumbai attacks were just one month earlier,on November 26,2008.

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emptywheel February 21st, 2011 at 11:07 am 21In response to Mary @ 19
Fair enough.

And I think we need no more evidence that ISI knew who he was than that he was being tracked by at least two guys who appear to have ISI ties themselves.

It’s not like they just thought he was cute, after all.

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emptywheel February 21st, 2011 at 11:09 am 22In response to MadDog @ 13
Huh. That is interesting.

Get rid of the BW ties before Obama takes over?

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MadDog February 21st, 2011 at 11:11 am 23In response to Mary @ 19
I’d agree that the idea of Davis being “covert” seems to be an oxymoron (yes, directly in line with the definitive oxymoron of “military intelligence”).

Just how does a white guy with a twenty-five inch neck and armed to the teeth plan on being “covert” in Pakistan?

Regardless of Davis’ real mission, having a bunch of armed US folks running around Pakistan was/is a recipe for disaster. Bound to happen!

What was the US government thinking (another oxymoron)?

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Gitcheegumee February 21st, 2011 at 11:11 am 24In response to Gitcheegumee @ 20
And if I may, I will repost an earlier comment from another thread:Here is an informative excerpt from a Scahill article,dated September 2010.

(It is a superior piece. Apologies if this has been previously linked elsewhere.)

The Nation has previously reported on Blackwater’s work for the CIA and JSOC in Pakistan. New documents reveal a history of activity relating to Pakistan by Blackwater. Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto worked with the company when she returned to Pakistan to campaign for the 2008 elections, according to the documents.

In October 2007, when media reports emerged that Bhutto had hired “American security,” senior Blackwater official Robert Richer wrote to company executives, “We need to watch this carefully from a number of angles. If our name surfaces, the Pakistani press reaction will be very important. How that plays through the Muslim world will also need tracking.” Richer wrote that “we should be prepared to [sic] a communique from an affiliate of Al-Qaida if our name surfaces (BW). That will impact the security profile.”

Clearly a word is missing in the e-mail or there is a typo that leaves unclear what Richer meant when he mentioned the Al Qaeda communiqué. Bhutto was assassinated two months later. Blackwater officials subsequently scheduled a meeting with her family representatives in Washington, in January 2008.

NOTE: The entire article is worth a read for additional background details.

Blackwater’s Black Ops | PKKH.tvSep 23, 2010… security cell where double murder accused Raymond Davis is … …. CIA officials Cofer Black and Robert Richer for “representation” to …
http://www.pakistankakhudahafiz.com › Feature – Cached

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MadDog February 21st, 2011 at 11:15 am 25In response to emptywheel @ 22
And Erik can then truthfully deny that Blackwater is running around with guns in Pakistan.

I took the termination of the Blackwater/XE contract as mere window-dressing (probably for Congress and perhaps wink-wink, Pakistan as well) since all the mercs were then hired directly by the US government as “independent contractors”.

Jeremy Scahill had this sucker nailed!

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PJEvans February 21st, 2011 at 11:16 am 26In response to MadDog @ 13
Yeah, that’s mind-boggling.
What kind of service were they expecting to get from people who had just been fired for not providing the kind of service they were being paid for?

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Mary February 21st, 2011 at 11:20 am 27I just have a squiffy feeling about the new take, coming as it does right as it was appearing that the old take that Davis is a diplomat entitled to diplomatic immunity as evidenced by the DIRECT PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT FROM OBAMA – is doomed to failure and will cause an uprising in Pakistan.

It opens up one of the best portals the US could have to resolve things – anger over contractors is huge, but more likely to be bought off with a blood money approach. It buys more deniabiliy on Davis’ actions – not CIA/Gov, but out of control contractor. It buys more distancing on any intel they might have picked up from Davis and minimizes him as a intel target.

I just have a hard time buying that Blackwater contractors are operating under such large cover, with a name that is a possible alias and a back company here in the US to point to as his personal security company. And that they would generate a direct plea from Obama – who has repeatedly shown he feels he owes the CIA and owes it big and will do about anything to keep it happy, but not so much any other entity like Blackwater.

The clamor of the press to this point makes it sound really spoon fed to me. But then again, I’m so cynical these days, I don’t believe in daylight when I see it.

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PJEvans February 21st, 2011 at 11:21 am 28In response to MadDog @ 11
You know, driving around town in for several hours in a vehicle that might have been Conspicuously Not Local isn’t too bright. Stopping at an ATM while you’re driving around is even less bright: you’d think he’d be aware of the (apparently very real) possibility of locals who are interested in acquiring whatever he’s carrying. (Also, you’d expect someone who works with the diplomatic people to have learned which parts of town are bad areas. It isn’t rocket science.)

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marc February 21st, 2011 at 11:22 am 29When Blackwater/Xe was awarded the CIA’s Global Response Staff contract a few members of Congress and the public tried to complain that continuing to employ Blackwater was reckless and a diplomatic disaster waiting to happen. Leon Panetta brushed off those concerns claiming that Blackwater was a changed company and furthermore would not be involved directly in operations beyond providing security. Former Blackwater employees when asked about Panetta’s assertion that the CIA could prevent Blackwater’s former “high-speed, low drag” Special Ops veterans from taking an active and central role in any covert operation was laughable. So it seems Raymond Davis could have been hired as a protective officer and just expanded his duties with a wink and a nod from the Station Chief

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Gitcheegumee February 21st, 2011 at 11:25 am 30In response to PJEvans @ 28
You are reading my mind.

Wonder if there was evidence of ATM transaction…

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emptywheel February 21st, 2011 at 11:29 am 31In response to Mary @ 27
Well, one of the problems, though, is that Davis proves the point of those who have warned (I think Carl Levin was one) that our stance on enemy combatants is going to really fuck over our own combatants when they’re picked up in civilian clothing.

From that perspective, Davis is really much better off than we have treated Pakistani citizens caught in the same situation or not even that bad.

We’ve been pretending for years that our own hypocrisy on international law carries no dangers for our own people. And when it bites us in the ass, we expect we can push people around and –raise international law!?!?!?!?!– such that our own people won’t be treated like we treat enemy combatants.

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Mary February 21st, 2011 at 11:29 am 32In response to emptywheel @ 21
Some people are fascinated by plaid.

Not that I buy the foreign press stories either, but if he was a Blackwater/Xe guy, those reports would make him top of the line – they were indicating how well he spoke the languages, plural, that might come in handy and how well he knew local customs.

OTOH – wasn’t there just a report out that the same Armor guys are guarding Kabul, despite the lord of the flies parties?

I can definitely buy contractor, I just get immediately suspicious of a story that our own press sells so enthusiastically with so little acknowledged sourcing and all at the same time.

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Mary February 21st, 2011 at 11:33 am 33In response to emptywheel @ 31
Yes, no one’s being going to Goldsmith and Yoo to get them to explain how the Vienna Conventions, like their takes on the GCs, mean whatever the political process in Pakistan thinks they should mean; or how long Davis could just be “detained” forever as a national security risk/illegal enemy combatant and just what Pakistan should be able to do with him now. After all, he probably has “actionable intelligence” on drone attacks in Pakistan.

BTW – I haven’t read all the US reports, but are they also saying that the guys Kerry smuggled out were ex-Blackwater contractors too?

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Gitcheegumee February 21st, 2011 at 11:33 am 34In response to Gitcheegumee @ 30
Wonder if ATM’s in Pakistan have security cameras as they do here in US?

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MadDog February 21st, 2011 at 11:36 am 35In response to Mary @ 27
I’ll go even further than that Mary.

I’m astonished by the public US high-level muckety-muck involvement.

You mentioned Obama’s own public statement. Then there was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pleading to Pakistan, Senator John Kerry’s rush trip to Pakistan, and then Representative Darrell Issa & company’s Pakistan visit.

To me, this all seems to be an awful lot of public US government handwringing in relation to the “detainee”. I too, think there is more here than meets the eye.

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emptywheel February 21st, 2011 at 11:45 am 36In response to Mary @ 32
He sure hides his fluency if he is fluent when he’s questioned, though I might do that too if I were caught like that.

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Mary February 21st, 2011 at 11:55 am 37In response to MadDog @ 35
Particularly when it was such a high profile open wound in Pakistan. You have revolutions going on everywhere and a nuclear power teetering and you put that much pressure on it’s turbulent street over a contractor? Maybe – if what he has/knows would be even worse to have come out, but it seems oddd.

@36 – that’s why I take all the reports with a grain of salt. It’s not even as if there is just one ISI faction or just one Foreign Ministry faction or just one CIA faction or … so many different possiblities. I did enjoy seeing the Russians chime in, though. It made it seem like simpler times. And it gave them same oblique satisfaction for their little ring here and their guy collecting the Irish passports getting nailed.

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Gitcheegumee February 21st, 2011 at 12:25 pm 38O/T

Just a thank you to all here who provide me (and others) with an oasis of sanity and critical thinking.

I don’t have the time I once did for these endeavors, but I have sincerest appreciation for all the efforts by EW,bmaz et al.

A first class site with first rate thinkers.

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seacrow February 21st, 2011 at 12:26 pm 39Have a gander at this from rediff.com:

‘CIA spy’ Davis was passing nuke tech to Al Qaeda?
February 20, 2011 16:49 IST

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

Russia’s [ Images ] 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 SVR warned in its report that the apprehension of 36-year-old Davis, who shot dead two Pakistani men in Lahore [ Images ] last month, had fuelled this crisis.

According to the report, the combat skills exhibited by Davis, along with documentation taken from him after his arrest, prove that he is a member of US’ TF373 black operations unit currently operating in the Afghan War Theatre and Pakistan’s tribal areas, the paper said.

While the US insists that Davis is one of their diplomats, and the two men he killed were robbers, Pakistan says that the duo were ISI agents sent to follow him after it was discovered that he had been making contact with Al Qaeda, after his cell phone was tracked to the Waziristan tribal area bordering Afghanistan, the paper said.

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
Source: ANI

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bmaz February 21st, 2011 at 1:14 pm 40In response to emptywheel @ 22
Get rid of the BW ties before Obama takes over?

In Pakistan, there was also that little problem regarding Blackwater and Bhutto. BW was a very bad name to the Paks.

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passepartout February 21st, 2011 at 3:59 pm 41As usual, the humanity of the situation gets lost in the talk of agency affiliations and body counts. Fortunately, Asia One News comes through with pathos and poignancy:

US national Raymond Davis contacted his family members back in American and talked with them for 12 minutes, reported a private TV channel Sunday.

Davis told them the situation and asked them to pray for his release. He said to his family members not to worry about him but only pray for him. He said, “I have committed a mistake, and I have realized it.”

After talking to his family members on the phone, Davis became sad and didn’t even eat chocolates and drinks the US Consulate sent for him.

http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/World/Story/A1Story20110221-264590.html

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Raymond Davis February 21st, 2011 at 6:01 pm 42In response to PJEvans @ 9
+1

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EternalVigilance February 21st, 2011 at 6:12 pm 43Note the WaPo openly admits it knew about Davis’ role as CIA operative and withheld that information from the public at the request of the Bush Obama Administration:

The Washington Post learned of Davis’s CIA affiliation after his arrest, but agreed not to publish the information at the request of senior U.S. intelligence officials, who cited concern for Davis’s safety if his true employment status were disclosed.

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kgb999 February 21st, 2011 at 6:15 pm 44In response to MadDog @ 1
Hasn’t it been confirmed that JSOC is running contractors?

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Knut February 21st, 2011 at 6:24 pm 45In response to Mary @ 19
I think you are onto something. If he was just an ordinary grunt they wouldn’t spend as much diplomatic capital as they have to get him out. He’s got something that’s worth something, and the Pakistani’s can sell it to the highest bidder.

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Knut February 21st, 2011 at 6:28 pm 46In response to emptywheel @ 21
One possibility that involves a red line. He was fingering ISI operations connected with the Taliban. It’s an open secret, but the details are what matter. Davies was getting into the details.

It will make a great action movie, whatever the truth.

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EternalVigilance February 21st, 2011 at 6:30 pm 47In response to seacrow @ 39
I have no illusions about the willingness of those who would kill millions to kill more, regardless of their nationality, but it seems that giving anyone outside the power group control of ABC material is silly. False flags are stock in trade for the U.S. government, so there’s no need to find an external actor – and there’s no reason to risk either the outside group using the material in places one wouldn’t prefer, or more importantly, botching the attack so the pretense for war is lost.

And if the world economy is collapsing, at some point a pretense for war becomes unnecessary. Though given the clockwork regularity (roughly every 20 years for the last century) with which false flags have been used to take the U.S. public into wars, it would be unusual to have it be so open.

That doesn’t mean I think yet another domestic false flag attack, possibly quite large, is unlikely – just that there’s no advantage to be gained by giving the means to execute it to people outside the government’s control, when the U.S. government can execute the same plan better itself.

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Knut February 21st, 2011 at 6:30 pm 48In response to emptywheel @ 31
For $200,000 a year, his nuts should be able to take a few dozen 210 volt hits.

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spanishinquisition February 21st, 2011 at 6:34 pm 49In response to MadDog @ 35
I thought it was coming out that he was the de facto station chief, which it wouldn’t surprise me there would be this kind of involvement for the CIA station chief in Pakistan, but they seem to be carrying it too far. This is going to have far-reach consequences both with the claim that Davis is entitled to immunity (as a contract spy) as well as the impact of the State department being so highly involved in spying…this makes what came out of Wikileaks look mild by comparison. I think the Obama administration is just totally winging it and haven’t considered the diplomatic consequences of what they are doing.

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kgb999 February 21st, 2011 at 6:40 pm 50In response to EternalVigilance @ 47
Since we’re down the path of complete speculation … what if this was just another entrapment set-up? You know. Like the FBI keeps doing here – attract folks and give them a bunch of ideas. Sell them the means to carry it out. And then nab them for the Teevees?

Nailing a “legitimate” WMD threat would be awesome coming into 2012.

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quanto February 21st, 2011 at 6:58 pm 51In response to MadDog @ 23
I was thinking the same thing, it would be like trying to hide Carrot Top in Harlem.

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quanto February 21st, 2011 at 7:19 pm 52in response to passepartout @41

After talking to his family members on the phone, Davis became sad and didn’t even eat chocolates and drinks the US Consulate sent for him.

After the U.S. Consulate requested the security cameras be removed I wouldn’t be eating or drinking anything they sent over.

I would think they have standing orders if you can’t get him out then take him out.

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trademarkdave February 21st, 2011 at 7:32 pm 53BTW, “Raymond Davis” is just one of this guy’s aliases. His real name is Jim Prideaux…

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EternalVigilance February 21st, 2011 at 7:40 pm 54In response to kgb999 @ 50
I don’t think I have much grounds for speculating on what might have really been going on, I just thought the one paragraph that suggested the U.S. might have been passing ABC material to Al Kaydee was simultaneously inflammatory and naive.

I don’t think a WMD-terrist connection to domestic electoral politics is necessary. It’s clear that both R’s and D’s work for the same people, so in the largest sense it doesn’t matter which group wins. The belief that change is possible by voting in one group or another is part of the con – so it would do us all well not to fall for it anymore.

It seems to me likely that Davis was connected to targeting groups to drone strike – which of course would also require developing relationships with those who would turn over their neighbors to the U.S., including not just tribal warlords in the mountains but also high-ranking officials in the government. The U.S would want to protect those resources and would not want their collaboration with the U.S. exposed.

And we haven’t discussed the possibility the reason the U.S. is sending Senators over to threaten and beg for Davis’ release wasn’t that he was working to overthrow the Taliban, but that he was working with the Taliban to overthrow the present government of Pakistan. A new government in Pakistan would make the U.S. domination of ME energy resources much easier.

Then again, Valerie Plame and her CIA front company, Brewster Jennings, were involved in tracking illicit proliferation of nukes in that part of the world, and it was their ability to monitor such trafficking that Cheney torched when he outed her, and that has me think there are also games afoot about who’s trying to sell what to whom that we don’t know anything about.

Once one starts to accept all present world governments are bad guys, with a common goal of keeping humanity enslaved, the specifics of who’s doing the chicken slaughtering on any given day become less important (though not to the chickens du jour, of course).

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TarheelDem February 21st, 2011 at 7:52 pm 55In response to emptywheel @ 17
“Protective” is a weasel word. It is easy to argue that someone involved in investigating what various militant groups are up to “protects” the Pakistani public and leadership. A blatant falsehood but easy to argue. It makes him sound like an overseas Secret Service sort of guy.

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texan99 February 21st, 2011 at 8:02 pm 56It was blindingly obvious he was a spook from the first reports of his having shot the two guys who were coming after him, while having some vague, unspecified connection to the embassy. He practically had “spook” written on his forehead.

Doesn’t change his diplomatic immunity.

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JamesJoyce February 21st, 2011 at 8:41 pm 57http://articles.latimes.com/1997-02-16/news/mn-29399_1_fatal-car-crash

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EternalVigilance February 21st, 2011 at 11:05 pm 58In response to texan99 @ 56
Doesn’t change his diplomatic immunity.

Indeed, he didn’t have any before and still doesn’t.

From the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963:

Article 41
Personal inviolability of consular officers

1.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.

(emphasis added)

So even beyond the canard that Davis was a consular officer, a double killing is without question a grave crime.

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ondelette February 21st, 2011 at 11:05 pm 59This has all the earmarks of a fight between two spy agencies. People around the outside have lots of valid points to make, especially the Pakistanis about the difference between the way the U.S. wants to be treated and the way it treats people, but deep down, this is about the ISI and the CIA, and about their proxies. Only when it boiled over did it turn into something about the two countries and peoples themselves and their relations.

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kabuki101 February 22nd, 2011 at 12:06 am 60Davis worked for Xe. It’s in the Guardian.

How long before the Guardian website is blocked in the US? It cannot be long – seriously.

The volume of the lying, and conspiring being done by “official government” in this case is mind blowing. Davis should be tried like any other murder suspect. He is afforded ZERO protections by international treaties and law.

The US is completely lawless. The rule of law is gone for good in the US.

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bmaz February 22nd, 2011 at 3:09 am 61In response to EternalVigilance @ 58
But they are arguing he is first tier diplomatic official under Vienna Convention 1961.

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whattheincorporated February 22nd, 2011 at 5:49 am 62If he’s blackwater, [edited by moderator]

[Mod Note: Please do not wish or suggest violence against anyone. Thanks.]

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