Lahore consulate

Washington Post Lifts Veil Further on CIA’s Global Response Staff, Raymond Davis

Greg Miller and Julie Tate provide some fascinating reading in today’s Washington Post, where they provide many new details on the CIA’s Global Response Staff and reveal that its most famous (probably now former) member is Raymond Davis.

One thing that we learn is that members of the GRS typically are contractors and that they are paid a “lucrative” salary around $140,000, but with no benefits. I suppose an argument can be made that by hiring contractors, the CIA has an extra layer of deniability, but it still strikes me as completely heartless and stark that people with such important missions and at such high risk are treated in a way that nonprofit foundations have to exist to provide for school expenses for the surviving children when these operatives die while on duty.

What I want to concentrate on here, though, is the description of what GRS does and how that might give us new insight into the Raymond Davis incident. Here are Miller and Tate on what GRS does:

The GRS, as it is known, is designed to stay in the shadows, training teams to work undercover and provide an unobtrusive layer of security for CIA officers in high-risk outposts.

/snip/

CIA veterans said that GRS teams have become a critical component of conventional espionage, providing protection for case officers whose counterterrorism assignments carry a level of risk that rarely accompanied the cloak-and-dagger encounters of the Cold War.

Spywork used to require slipping solo through cities in Eastern Europe. Now, “clandestine human intelligence involves showing up in a Land Cruiser with some [former] Deltas or SEALs, picking up an asset and then dumping him back there when you are through,” said a former CIA officer who worked closely with the security group overseas.

Bodyguard details have become so essential to espionage that the CIA has overhauled its training program at the Farm — its case officer academy in southern Virginia — to teach spies the basics of working with GRS teams.

I have always been troubled by the Raymond Davis incident, trying to understand why Davis would have been seen as a target worthy of attacking in the middle of a busy and highly populated urban site. But now I wonder whether Davis was by himself when the incident started. If he was providing security to a high value target, that would provide a much better explanation for why his vehicle was attacked. Also, recall that a Toyota Land Cruiser rushed to the scene from the Lahore consulate, killing a third Pakistani when it went the wrong way down a one-way street. The whole Davis incident would make more sense to me if this Land Cruiser picked up the high value target and, most likely, a second GRS protector and took them back to the Lahore consulate. Recall that as Marcy pointed out, John Kerry subsequently smuggled the Land Cruiser driver out of Pakistan. Did he also remove the high value target and the other GRS protector?

One final note. The article addresses recruitment for GRS, stating “The work is lucrative enough that recruiting is done largely by word of mouth”. I had previously speculated that Davis was a CIA recruiter, but given the GRS duties we now know, the types of recruiting targets I described fit even better into GRS jobs.

 

Emptywheel Twitterverse
JimWhiteGNV RT @DCreDC: Please note, #MI03, @RepJustinAmash's brave (1 of 8) and humane No vote tonight against funding the 5%-effective #IronDome whil…
1hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @drunkenpredator: "Also, we blew some folks up with robots. Lotta folks, come to think of it."
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @Pedinska Indeed. Then it turns into what we call UFC grooming.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Just saw my first @RubenGallego commercial on TV, was at 6:51pm on @CNN Good to see, need more. Go Ruben!
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz It is really brave of High Holy Civil Rights Constitutional Law Scholar+Humanitarian Obama to "condemn" the Palestinians in face of genocide
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV This grooming session looks peaceful for now, but is likely to escalate to violence. http://t.co/gdcySOJOkN
3hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Apparently Director of "Intelligence" Clapper doesn't remember that just 5 years ago govt declassified more than 480 pages of torture docs.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @ChadPergram: DNI Clapper: The redactions were the result of an extensive & unprecedented interagency process..to protect sensitive clas…
3hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Casual_Obs Most of what @onekade is riffing on is in this post. http://t.co/HBWMUN6eR9 I was riffing too.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Casual_Obs No, I used that. It's the mid-point of estimates, but as @onekade notes, some estimates are 3X that.
4hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @jilliancyork You had me worried! @EFF
4hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Kittfornow Well, sure. But faking accountability while protecting the powerful comes naturally to Bayh. Like breathing. @onekade
4hreplyretweetfavorite
August 2014
S M T W T F S
« Jul    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31