17 February 2011

Just Who, and What, Is Raymond Davis

He's currently being investigated for a double murder in Lahore, Pakistan, and the US government is claiming that he has diplomatic immunity, and so must be released.

There are a number of peculiarities here. As constitutional lawyer
Scott Horton notes, the issuance of a diplomatic passport does not convey diplomatic immunity, the host country formally recognize and accept their diplomatic status.

Also, it's unclear if he was a diplomatic or a consular officer and if the latter, then the charge, double murder, would certainly not be covered by any immunity.

In fact, immunity might not apply in either case, since the Vienna convention does not apply to serious crimes, like, for example, murder.

Additionally, thanks Dave Lindorff of Eurasia review for this, it appears that Mr. Davis was not a consular or embassy employee, but rather the employee of a defunct security firm, Hyperion Protective Consultants, LLC, which makes his status even more suspicious.

Also, when caught, he had at least two guns in his car, a number of cell phones and batteries, and a telescope.

Linhoff also reports that the two Pakistanis were shot in the back, and that he has received reports that they were not just two guys on a motorbike, but in fact operatives of Pakistan's security service, the ISI.

Given the circumstances, and the fact that a heavily armed strike team in the SUV rushing from the US consulate to try to snatch him from police immediately following the incident, and running down and killing a person in the process, I would be inclined to believe that whatever he was doing there had nothing to do with diplomacy.

One interesting factoid in all of this is that his arrest has corresponded to an unusual lull in drone strikes, which would be consistent with his having a senior managerial role in those operations:
A mysterious halt to U.S Predator strikes on Pakistan after the Raymond Davis incident in Lahore has led to intense speculation the American "diplomat" was connected to the Drone program even as Washington and Islamabad are going eyeball-to-eyeball over his status.

Davis, 36, was apprehended by Pakistani police after he shot dead two Pakistanis on a busy Lahore thoroughfare on January 27, four days after the last drone U.S Drone strike in Pakistan. There has not been a single strike in the 25 days since then, making it the third-longest period of inactivity since the U.S ramped up the Predator program to take out terrorists infesting Pakistan's frontier regions, according to Long War Journal (LWJ), a blog that tracks U.S Predator attacks.

Speculation is now rife that Davis was somehow connected to the Predator program since he was reportedly carrying a GPS, telescope, camera and assorted equipment not usually associated with thoroughbred diplomats. Pakistani authorities have also accused him of unauthorized travels to the Frontier region and being in touch with extremist elements in Waziristan, which suggests he might have been coordinating the attacks with U.S moles in the region.

While Davis claimed that he shot the two Pakistanis in self-defense when they were trying to rob him, some reports have said they were ISI tails assigned to follow him because the Pakistani intelligence felt he had crossed certain unspecified "red lines." Those red lines may have involved discovering the Pakistani establishment's links with terrorists group, a pursuit which led to the death of Wall Street Journalist Danny Pearl.
I'm thinking that Hyperion Protective Consultants, LLC, is about as real as Brewster-Jennings was for Valerie Plame, and that he works for the CIA, some other TLA (three letter agency), or a contractor hired by some arm of the US government.

It would explain why heads have been exploding at Foggy Bottom (State), and probably Langley (CIA) as well, for the past few weeks.


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