Raymond Davis: Diplomatic Immunity v. US Impunity

What happens with the Raymond Davis case, in the end, will likely not have very much to do with the Vienna Conventions. For that matter, we likely will never have enough of the unadulterated facts to know what should happen under the Vienna Conventions. But let’s suspend reality and see where an examination of the Vienna Conventions and the competing facts in the Davis case might take us.

As several reports have pointed out, there are numerous Vienna Conventions and the two that are likely to apply to Davis are the Vienna Convention of 1961 on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention of 1963 on Consular Relations. The VCs get wrapped in and out of discussions of passports and visa – so let’s separate and reassemble.

Diplomatic Passport. Our State Department issues passports needed for travel to other countries. Because of the State Department’s sole control over this document, it is looked at skeptically by Pakistanis in the Davis matter. The US says that, while it was not on him when he was captured and while it may have some discrepancies with other documents, Raymond Davis has a US issued diplomatic passport. Some have gone so far as to make this the equivalent of having diplomatic immunity, without anything more.

But that’s not how it works. Diplomatic immunity is derived, under VC 1961, by being validly attached to the embassy (mission) of a nation in which the “diplomat” is located. A diplomatic passport has no effect to attach someone to an embassy or mission. For example, a diplomat validly attached to the embassy in Iraq could travel to Germany on a diplomatic passport, but would not have immunity in Germany if they were not validly attached to the German embassy. So the question isn’t whether or not Davis had a diplomatic passport (or whether, if so, it was issued to an alias or issued after the fact), but whether he was validly attached to the US embassy at the time of his altercation in Pakistan.

Attachment to the US Mission/Embassy. For someone other than the head of mission, the general rule is that the sending nation (US) can “freely appoint” diplomats to its mission staff (Article 7), with a few caveats, and are then merely required to notify the receiving nation’s foreign ministry of the appointment/addition. The first caveat, also in Article 7, is that if the person being appointed is a military attaché, “the receiving State may require their names to be submitted beforehand, for its approval.” Until recently you could have said that no one has been saying that Davis is anything but ex-military, however, some of the stories now being circulated include rumors that he is a part of American Task Force 373 black operations. (No comment on how reliable any of it is – most things are likely not reliable, but just to show the way in which the VCs might be impacted by differing facts). So for military personnel being appointed to the embassy, the receiving state is supposed to get names in advance and have the thumbs up or down.

Another caveat is the “birther” issue. Article 8 specifies that diplomats attached to an embassy should be of the nationality of the sending state. If they are not, consent to their attachment and coverage as a diplomat may be withdrawn at any time by the receiving nation. This is one storyline we haven’t heard anything on yet, but just wait – I’m betting with so many security services and diplomatic extensions with so many competing interests involved, someone, somewhere, will float this one too – that Davis is not an American national.

Then there is the non grata designation laid out in Article 9. While not as immediate as a withdrawal of consent under Article 8, under Article 9 someone can be declared non grata even in advance of being presented. So if, for example, Davis was already on a non grata list from Pakistan before he arrived in Pakistan, or if Davis is not his name and under his other name he is listed as non grata, then he could never have been validly attached. If he was not on a non grata list before he was attached, but he was then put on one, then the sending State is supposed to recall them and presumably has a reasonable amount of time to accomplish that recall.

Article 11 also allows the receiving state to bar certain categories (not just persons – under the non grata designation) of officials, as long as it is done on a non-discriminatory basis. So, for example, mercenaries or intelligence officers might be barred. The VC 1961 doesn’t really speak to someone being attached under a false name – another assertion that has been made in the Davis case.

Was Davis validly attached to embassy staff? One thing that the US and Pakistan seem to agree upon is that there was some kind of an effort to place Davis with the Islamabad staff prior to his shoot out. His name was supposedly submitted to the foreign ministry on January 20, 2011. Then something happened. Perhaps someone noticed the similarity to the name of a deceased General, Raymond Gilbert Davis, but more likely there was something else going on.

In any event, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry didn’t go along with the designation of Davis from the US and apparently the US response was to pull him from the designated staff. On January 25, 2 days before the shooting, Davis’ name was not on a list of embassy staff submitted to the FM. It wasn’t until a day after the shooting that a new list was produced that included his name. And in the interim, the Pakistan FM was refusing to go along with the US designation that Davis was a diplomat assigned to the the embassy. After tremendous pressure from the US on many fronts, the FM, Qureshi, has now been replaced but he is still adamant (without giving details as to why) that Davis was not validly placed on embassy staff and has said he will testify if called upon.

Was Davis validly attached to the embassy? We don’t know – we don’t know the answer to questions such as Davis’ real name (if not Davis); what happened on January 20 when his name was submitted; whether he is military; whether he is a US national; whether he (under this or another name) was on a non grata list; or whether he is a member of a class of officials that are all barred, etc. And even if we did, it does get more complicated.

Visa. In addition to a passport for getting into a country, in some nations our citizens need visas to travel within the country. Being a diplomat attached to an embassy does not allow them to travel freely elsewhere in the countryside. Davis apparently had a business visa on him when he was captured. Whether the decision to accept a business visa in order to be able to travel in the country has an affect on underlying diplomatic status, if it had existed, is beyond my scope and capabilities – you need a real international law expert like Jack Goldsmith or the Johns – Yoo and Bellinger – for that. Or not.

Consulate attachment. In addition to Davis’ name not appearing on the Jan. 25th list, the US embassy on the day of the shooting indicated that he was attached to the US consulate in Lahore, and documents on Davis’ person indicated that he was attached to the US Consulate in Peshawar. If he was a consular employee, instead of attached to the embassy in Islamabad, then he would be covered by the VC 1963, which provide immunity for consular employees, but a more limited immunity (to consular employees engaged in consular activities and only if there is no “grave crime” at issue.

How the arguments would be made that Davis was on consular activities (for which consulate, at which point in time, and doing what) when captured with his guns, disguises, etc. remains to be seen but the argument for no grave crime being at issue will obviously revolve around the story of self defense in a robbery attempt. If someone could prove out that the actions were self defense and that Davis was engaged in appropriate consular activity, even under the Vienna Convention of 1963, he might be entitled to immunity, but there would need to be a much more extensive amount of hearings (involving all facts and circumstances of the shootings) than those under a claim of immunity under the Vienna Convention of 1961, and those would get into any number of things that likely everyone involved would want to avoid.

So this would be how immunity would work, and all the unresolved issues, if things like the Conventions and law mattered.   The one thing that a succession of US supported dictatorships, corrupted democracies, and the Bush and Obama governments have proven, though, is that the thing that will matter the very least, in the end, are treaties, conventions and laws.

  1. MadDog says:

    As far as I can tell Mary, Pakistan is complying with the Vienna conventions, and the US is trying to snooker them.

    Can any of us here in the US imagine a Pakistani running around in the US shooting people and Pakistan claiming diplomatic immunity?

    I’m sure the US government would say “No problemo!” Not!

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Nice summary. Scott Horton covered this topic a few days ago, but not in as complete or critical a fashion. Four people are dead here, the two Davis allegedly killed, the wife of one of the two men, and the motorcyclist killed by an SUV apparently speeding to Davis’ assistance (or not).

    The direct intervention by the president is rather a giveaway that Davis and his work are of vital interest to Mr. Obama, and hence the Pakistani government (though in a different way), and that we should assume that little, if anything, is as it seems. Certainly, claims of fact by either side ought to be suspect.

    What’s acknowledged about Davis’s spec ops background and the things he seems to have had on him when arrested, strongly suggest he was spying. On what? Whose interests would conflict with his spying and what he found out? And what behavior by his two shadows elicited a lethal, armed response? Even the reported suicide by the wife of one of the two men Davis allegedly killed shouldn’t be taken as caused by her certainty that “nothing would be done about it”. Other reasons may exist, such as her having overheard too much.

    As you say, even when “normal” spying is detected and formally objected to (two very different steps), resolution most often comes by way of bare-knuckled negotiations rather than at conference tables and through the exchange of memoranda written by informed or at least artful lawyers.

  3. Mary says:

    I’d sure love to have that Lahore court make Qureshi testify about why Davis got turned down on the 20th.

    And as aliases go, Ray Davis seems like it might have appeal to a former (or current) spec ops guy going to work with, or for, the CIA (although how many contractors get aliases and how fast does the state dept know they are aliases to mention that?)

    I guess one thing that would be interesting would be finding out if all our security contractors are travelling around on diplomatic passports. Not a lot being said about the escapees to the US, but this blurb claimed at least one of them had “Raymond-like diplomatic visa at the same time as he stayed in Pakistan”

    • Mary says:

      I looked at some of Scahill’s info and it seems to substantiate that yes, that’s pretty much what the State Dept does – hand out diplomatic passports to non-employee, private contractors. hmmmm.

      • Mary says:

        And now from other sources, it looks as if they way it should happen is that diplomatic passports should only go to diplomatic employees, while government contractors working for state should get something called an official passport. But I’m pretty sure State here said he had a diplomatic passport, not on official passport. More hmmmmm.

  4. PeasantParty says:

    MSNBC just reported that Davis is a contractor working for the CIA. Yeah, I know. It is impossible to believe the propaganda from MSM. Just thought I’d let you know what they are saying.

  5. scribe says:

    Just to go back to an earlier thread, in which it was reported that various media outlets had reported Mr. “Davis” was either the deputy chief of station for CIA, the chief of station for CIA, or the “acting” chief of station for CIA, and also on aspects of how the Pakistani authorities (or factions among them) are chapped with CIA and (Especially) drone strikes, so much so that they outed the former CIA station chief.

    OK. So, while I’m snowshoeing today I get to thinking: “just how screwed up is the CIA’s station in Pakistan, if the (Deputy/acting) Station Chief is out running around, playing “troubleshooter”*, gunning down people in the street?”

    And then I get to thinking some more: “just how screwed up is (security for) the CIA’s station in Pakistan if the (deputy/acting) station chief is getting ambushed on a city street?”

    And then I get to thinking even some more (I know. I shouldn’t be thinking so much – it could get dangerous.): “how does it feel, Senator Kerry, playing Garrett Morris (in drag) with a mop to Dan Akroyd’s Jimmy Carter, getting sent in to mop up this latest radioactive mess? You regretting taking the high road with your campaign on that ‘Swift Boat’ thing, yet? You regretting letting go the corruption of the Ohio election results, yet? You shoulda been President, and now you’re Obama’s and HRC’s charwoman.”

    Then I got back to the business at hand – extricating myself from 4 feet of soft snow.

    * One of 007’s witty descriptions of his job.

  6. marc says:

    “Asked during a conference call with reporters about a link between Davis and the CIA, US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley declined to comment”.

    It has become impossible for PJ Crowley to come up with new lies fast enough to conform to all the new revelations while keeping all the past lies straight. No wonder he has nothing left but a feeble “decline to comment”.

  7. orionATL says:

    why should we assume the two men davis killed were merely robbers out for money.

    maybe they were themselves hired guns looking to seize davis’, e.g., cellphone and its list of names or a laptop?

    why would it have been necessary to kill both, one of whom was reported to be running away, instead of merely wounding them?

        • bmaz says:

          Nope, but then if I were Koh, I would have resigned after being made to sing and dance that dog and pony show in Geneva about accountability at the same time the US was letting the torture tape statute of limitation expire.

        • Mary says:


          @46 – that’s along the lines of what I’ve been wondering and why I bring up the prior run in. I’m wondering if, after the prior run in, he was kicked out. I don’t have time to go back and find his entries but someone timelined it, I think, to show when he was going in and out of Pakistan. And when he came back in, it triggered something beteween the FM and Islamabad embassy. Qureshi has been coy, but keeps saying he’d be very happy to testify if a Judge asks him as to why the FM determined Davis wasn’t entitled to immunity. I wouldn’t put it past us to take someone who was kicked out before and try to run them through again.

          This would make the briefing go something like – well, yeah, when they decide to remove someone, then we can keep sending and resending them back over and over and re-triggering the duty to object and help remove. I don’t think that flies very high.

          @48 – they may as well have been.

    • jdmckay0 says:

      Don’t see much different there from Mary’s breakdown.

      From your links, this was amusing:

      QUESTION: Thank you. P.J., this question is to you. NYT has – the New York Times has said Mr. Davis is working for the CIA. Could you confirm that, please?

      MR. CROWLEY: We will not comment on his particular activity in Pakistan other than to say he’s a member of the administrative and technical staff of the Embassy and has diplomatic immunity.

      QUESTION: Thank you.

      OPERATOR: The next question comes from Tray McGuire, Upfront News. Your line is open.

      QUESTION: Good afternoon. Thanks for doing this call. P.J., can you tell me what exactly is the responsibilities of the administrative and technical staff?

      MR. CROWLEY: I’m not going to go further than that description.

      Somewhat implies a widening of commonly accepted job descriptions: administrative and technical.

      • MadDog says:

        Don’t see much different there from Mary’s breakdown…

        I agree, but I think more to the point was what they didn’t say than what they did.

        And like Mary, I wonder what other countries would think, including the US, if countries began sending armed and dangerous Mercenaries in under diplomatic immunity cover?

        I truly believe that in this instance, the US government with the Mercenary Raymond Davis, is stretching the bounds of diplomatic convention beyond the breaking point.

        Spys are one thing, but hired gunslingers is another.

        • jdmckay0 says:

          I truly believe that in this instance, the US government with the Mercenary Raymond Davis, is stretching the bounds of diplomatic convention beyond the breaking point.

          Agree. I also think this “stretching” has become status quo for quite a while now… it’s just what US Fed Gov does.

    • Mary says:

      Wow – those questions were shockingly bad!

      No one asked why Davis name was removed from the Jan 25 listing of attached staff or even seemed to know about it.

      No one asked about the alias issue or even seemed to know about it.

      No one asked if under any other names he had been put on a non grata list before he came into Pakistan or even seemed to know about that aspect.

      No one asked about whether Pakistan has any Article 11 bars on certain categories.

      Just really bad, uniformed questions and no one even mentioned Qureshi.

      No one asked whether he had been detained before and what the consequences were then and if that had resulted in any bar against him.

      Interesting – with his multiple trips to Pakistan and with being linked to the prior detentions in Lahore, there’s an AP article out that says he was driving around trying to get acclimated, like he didn’t know his way around. Hmm.

      • bmaz says:

        He was not driving around to get acclimated himself from what I can tell, he was checking problems with potential paths in the future, or so the lie was at least for a while. Probably no longer operative.

        • Mary says:

          Here’s the AP take (after going on for paragraphs about how they really only are running the story bc the Guardian made them by also running it)


          Davis was attached to the CIA’s Global Response Staff, which provides security overseas to agency bases and stations, former and current U.S. officials told the AP. In that role, he was assigned to protect CIA personnel. One of their duties includes protecting case officers when they meet with sources. On the day he was captured, he was familiarizing himself with the area.

          So, he’s been there enough before to have had a prior run in and this is a “seedy” area, but he was familiarizing himself with it for his duties of protecting case officers meeting with sources?

      • pdaly says:

        Maybe Pakistan will hold a teleconference, too. Then someone can ask your questions. That would be awesome! Thanks for the post.

      • kgb999 says:

        Considering all these “journalists” have proved they will only publish information approved by anonymous officials … in this case, specifically. Why do you presume these questions weren’t also provided/approved by the administration?

    • kgb999 says:

      WTF?!?! Our official government briefings are now done directly by some anonymous “Senior Administration Official” … and we’re supposed to take that seriously?

      I totally blame the press for putting up with this nonsense. How does anyone purport to be a serious journalist anymore? What a joke.

  8. kbskiff says:

    I wonder what the USG response would be if Davis was declared an illegal combatant and detained indefinitely without charge?

  9. jdmckay0 says:

    The first caveat, also in Article 7, is that if the person being appointed is a military attaché, “the receiving State may require their names to be submitted beforehand, for its approval.”

    Hmmm… is there requirement that submitting state notify the “military attache” thingie? Or, is hosting state required to dig that up? The way that’s written, seems to leave the procedural stuff on that rather ambiguous.

    • Mary says:

      A lot of it is procedurally vague, bc there are so many different protocols in different countries, but the way it reads, it is up to the receiving state to let the sending state know that it wants to have prior submission of the names of miilitary attaches, or they end up being treated like anyone else. A lot of those kinds of things are longstanding, though and very dependent on the relationship of the countries.

      I’d love to hear what Qureshi would say about the Jan 20 interaction, bc he is adamant that Davis wasn’t supposed to be wandering around with diplomatic immunity. But like I said in the post and despite what Crowley et al are saying, there just isn’t enough on the fact front to get to a definite answer.

      No questions, either, about the nature of Davis’ visa. Just not many questions other than, “tell us again why you’re right and Pakistan is wrong” Certainly no questions as to whether or not a Gov can have it’s own, unique, interpretation like we’ve had of waterboarding and freezing a man to death not being violations of the Geneva Conventions or about targeted assassinations in nations with which we are not at war. ;)

  10. MadDog says:

    And might I be so bold to recommend that the inhabitants of Rancho Emptywheel (and even Casa Firedoglake), refer to Raymond Davis, and others of his ilk, as a Mercenary rather than as a US government-weasel-worded and sanitized Contractor.

  11. jdmckay0 says:

    In Maddog’s link to that briefing, anon SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL repeatedly says notification date was Jan 20 2010 (not ’11).

    • MadDog says:

      I noticed that too and wondered if it was a misstatement.

      But as the SAO repeated it numerous times, it makes me wonder if it’s part of a concerted back-dated effort to fudge the issue about armed and dangerous Mercenaries hiding under diplomatic cover.

      • pdaly says:

        Could the repetition of 1/2010 be the US’s indirect way of reminding Pakistan that Davis’/David’s prior run-in with Pakistani law (12/2009) was not a hindrance to Davis/David receiving diplomatic status in 1/2010 in Pakistan?

        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.

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

        • pdaly says:

          BTW, that article is written in a strange manner: the last paragraph suggests without stating it explicitly that “Faizan Haider” was one of the two men gunned down by David/Davis.

          In the paragraph just preceding it, this is written:
          “the police record had confirmed that Faizan Haider was involved in dacoities.” but there was no mention of Haider prior this point, and his name is meaningless until you read the final paragraph.

          New word for me “dacoities”:

          robbery by dacoits —now used in the Indian penal code of robbery by an armed gang of not less than five men


  12. Gitcheegumee says:

    I don’t know if anyone has seen this,but there’s interesting info I haven’t seen mentioned before.

    Why Pakistan Cannot Release the Man Who Calls Himself Raymond …Why Pakistan Cannot Release the Man Who Calls Himself Raymond Davis. Submitted by dlindorff on Sat, 2011-02-19 16:05 …

    warisacrime.org › Blogs › dlindorff’s blog – Cached

  13. emptywheel says:

    You know, I’m wondering if there wasn’t a LAhore/Islamabad conflict here.

    Suppose Davis was attached to Lahore when he got picked up in 2009.

    So they say bubye. He comes back in in 2010 or 2011 (not sure which is correct). But they balk bc of the LAhore stuff.

    Which would be why he still had his Lahore papers on him–he was still pretending to be attached there?

  14. Mary says:

    Ante gets upped


    The Express Tribune has now learnt that the alleged killer of two Pakistanis had close links with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

    “His close ties with the TTP were revealed during the investigations,” he added. “Davis was instrumental in recruiting young people from Punjab for the Taliban to fuel the bloody insurgency.” Call records of the cellphones recovered from Davis have established his links with 33 Pakistanis, including 27 militants from the TTP and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi sectarian outfit, sources said

    Sound like someone might be telling our “sources” for the drone bombings that their goose is cooked? There’s a lot in there that is hard to buy, but what comes across loud and clear is that they have his phone and have the records on who he called and that they have enough info to break their identities down between ttp and Lashkar e Jhangvi

  15. pdaly says:

    OT: The Christian Science Monitor article from 2.21.2011 contains the familiar photo of Davis being escorted somewhere in his plaid shirt, but in what is the first time that I recall you can make out the hand chains Davis is in.

    Davis appears to be holding onto the wrist of the guy to his right for support. Wondering why the other news agencies (including Dawn.com) have edited it out these details.

    You can also make out extra plaid clothing being carried for Davis by a man to his left. I guess he really likes plaid. (It also strikes me that at 36 Davis seems to be prematurely graying, and Pakistani men are preternaturally nongraying–or are they getting help from a bottle?)

    • spanishinquisition says:

      Also in the article it expressly states that this goes back over a year ago:
      The US Embassy said he has a diplomatic passport and a visa valid through June 2012. It also said in a recent statement the US had notified the Pakistani government of Davis’ assignment more than a year ago. However, a senior Pakistani intelligence official says that Davis’ visa application contained bogus US contact information.

  16. orionATL says:

    [email protected]

    but the csm continues the fiction that davis was involved in a shootout with street bandits. elsewhere the american press describes the two men davis murdered as having long criminal records.

    it seems to be taking a looong time for our major media to get all the story parts accurate.

    headline: “shoot-out at the lahore corral”.

    headline: ” I vs I in pakistan “.

    headline: “american spy offs two pakistani spies – in pakistan; demands immunity”.

  17. orionATL says:


    i really must complement you on your beautifully clear exposition of a tortuous (:-)) subject – diplomatic immunity.

  18. ondelette says:


    Have you actually seen anyone from the Pakistan legal community cite the 1961 treaty? I’ve only seen Americans cite it so far. Every news story I’ve seen in which Pakistani lawyers or government officials are actually citing articles of the Vienna Conventions, they are citing the Consular treaty of 1963. It’s pretty obvious they believe that it is the one applicable on grounds of Raymond Davis’ visa and the terms on which Pakistan accepted him.

    In addition to the stronger protections in the 1961 treaty, there are people in the State Department who will not accept the 1963 treaty on ideological grounds, as well (it isn’t ratified even though the U.S. accepted its entry into force). But Pakistan has ratified it. Many states either did not ratify it or ratified it with reservations due to the reservations made by a block of Arab states (the U.S. took the former course, other states took the latter).

  19. JTMinIA says:

    What annoys me the most about that briefing (see post 20) is how the supposed expert just keeps repeating something that is flatly untrue. He keeps saying that the “only question” is whether we notified Pakistan about Davis, when that is not the “only question” by a long shot. For example, if someone is already on a persona-non-grata list, either by name or function, then the sending country cannot over-rule this by notifying that receiving country that he’s there. If that were possible, then a sending country could keep such people in countries that don’t want them there by repeatedly notifying, each time effectively cancelling the last “get out” request from the receiving country. In other words, it isn’t as simple as whether we notified Pakistan being the “only question”; there are hugely important other questions, so that “expert” was either an idiot or a tool.

    • Mary says:

      Exactly – and the questions were extremely unprepared as well.

      He could have been non-grata. He could be a part of a class for whom the Pakistanis are refusing fully immunity as a matter o general policy. And just as the US can freely appoint, it can just as freely un-appoint. It certainly seems to have un-appointed Davis when he was not included on the Jan 25 listing of staff attached to the embassy. No one asked about that. No one asked about report of a prior run in between Davis and Pakistani officials in 2009, also involving weapons,and whether the Pakistani government had issued any restrictions or warning as a result of that incident.

      It does seem now that the Visa Davis has wasn’t just a business visa, though. It was an “official business” visa according to more detailed reports, which would be the kind of visa that both consular officials and embassy officials would have.

      In addition, no one has asked State about it’s ability to waive and why it is not considering waiver.

      Or about what the US decisions over the past decade or more, that there are national security exceptions to not only treaties and international law but even to national law and Constitutional provisions and how they might impact or influence a determination by Pakistan that it is a matter of national security to detain and interrogate Davis?

      It would be nice to have someone flat out ask Crowley and his lawyer friend, “Are you saying that there are never any national security exceptions or good faith exceptions to the application of treaties pursuant to the international standard, without deviation from it by domestic courts or Executives? For example, if waterboarding is a violation of conventions and a war crime under international standards, are you saying that no US President or courts can treat waterboarding as, instead, a “good faith interrogation” technique? And Pakistan can’t treat a CIA employee not on the most recent listing of Embassy staff who has sensitive military installation data in his possession, phone records of contacts with domestic terrorstis, and who has killed two men, including get out of his car and stalking down one who was running away to finish him off – as something less than a diplomat with full immunity?”

      Oh well.

  20. Mary says:

    @56 – to be fair, what you cite depends on the result you want. The US State Dept wants him released (after all, they are running out of people who have been involved in killings and kidnappings to promote at CIA) and there’s almost no one in Pakistan who feels the same. The 1961 treaty might get you to the point of release/return. The 1963 probably won’t.

    The civil suits are going to start up in Pakistan soon, though and it will be interesting to see what courts require to be turned over or what ISI tells the courts they want them to require to be turned over – apparently the names of the driver and others in the vehicle that crushed a man to death are known.

    A group of Pakistani lawyers in the UK has issued some statements


    mostly with respect to the ICJ.

    A new piece by The Telegraph (which revives the acting station chief issues) indicates that maybe the big issue is that whatever Davis was doing, it wasn’t what the US had been telling Pakistan he’d be doing.


    Even Pakistan’s spies say they had no idea what Davis was doing in Lahore.

    A senior intelligence source told The Daily Telegraph he was unknown to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate and was operating outside the normal agreements between the two countries.

    “We want the US to come clean on what exactly he was up to,” he said.

    Pakistan’s Interior Minister, Malik, is saying that Davis had a diplomatic passport and that “if needed” it can be brought to light and he’s denying that it was an after-the-fact document.


    Qureshi also seems to be toning down a bit? He’s saying that the Government “mishandled” the Davis situation. ?


    Qureshi blamed government for mishandling the Raymond Davis’ case, and said that he should not be forced to tell about those responsible

    • ondelette says:

      Stories that the two people on the motorcycle were ISI have been floating in the Pakistani press for weeks, and the NYTimes article para saying that he was spying on LeT makes a lot of sense, given how mad the Pakistanis are about Ahmed Shuja being named by the US in the Mumbai attacks.

      My guess is with that. Pakistan will release any amount of crap to its own press to avoid the obvious if there’s and ISI=proxy link involved, just like the US has been doing to its press to avoid a CIA=contractor link or a CIA=consular link. It’s hard to see it now, but Pakistan has as much to lose in the spy vs. spy fight, because direct connection to Mumbai is state-sponsored terrorism pure and simple, a label they’ve been trying to avoid from numerous accusers for quite a while, the same way the U.S. has been trying to avoid war crimes labels. So at another level it’s a state-sponsorer of terror vs. war criminal state fight, too.

      • Mary says:

        There have been stories in Pakistan press both specifically saying they were ISI and also specifically denying that allegation. Personally (this is jmo) I’d question that they were direct, day in day out, employees of ISI. I can completely believe, though, that they were working in some way for or with ISI. In another thread I rambled a bit on what seems to me to be a possiblity – that the ISI might have wanted to see what was on Davis’ phone/camera and so they set up a situation where two guys “stole” other cell phones in the same area earlier that day and then “hold up” Davis and take his equip.

        It seems like spooky game playing (it was really convenient that there were other phones found on the guys and that other people showed up claiming they were robbed by them earlier, etc.) With Davis in a car by himself, ISI might think they could send the guys in, have them grab his camera and phone so they could check out what he was up to, and the “official” interaction between Pakistan and the US about it would be that unfortunately he was in a seedy area and was the victim of a documented crime spree by a couple of guys who were taking cell phones and cameras that day.

        Only, he broke the rules by killing the pseudo robbers. Actually got out of the car and stalked down one that was running away and finished him off. ANd then, to boot, the “plan” goes so far awry that when Davis calls in backup, they kill another guy and a lot of Pakistani wardens get involved, some chasing down Davis who is separated from his car and one trying to stop the killingcar and being threatened with guns as well.

        That’s all just spec, but it’s one of a lot of scenarios that I see as believable. I’d just be surprised if the two guys were “salary drawing” ISI. I’d believe it, but I’d be surprised a bit by it. I think that if they were, like Davis is now claimed to be, “working for” but not “working as” it allows people to validly say both yes and no vis a vis their status.

        There are also a boatload of different stories on the incident itself. Some saying the guys were chasing Davis and trying to rob him; some saying he “bumped” a rickshaw causing them to come after him; some saying they were coming towards him and crossed over into his lane to block him; some saying that they pulled around and in front of him. A story to fit almost every need has been floated.

        They don’t want Mumbai information exposed (and for that matter, the US didn’t let India get Headley) but that hasn’t prevented a US court from issuing a summons for the ISI chief in a case filed in the US, so it’s not like they have a win column to protect there. Pakistan and India were getting ready (still are) to have more talks, though, and someone could derail them reaching agreements by fanning flames on the Mumbai front. And then there’s the new reactor and nuke build up situation that you can see the US wanting to follow up on, plus Obama’s dedication to blowing up people in Pakistan – someone has to feed his target craving.

        • ondelette says:

          But did you see Carlotta Gall’s piece this morning? Pakistan may be hedging on it’s proxy in Afghanistan (which doesn’t mean that the U.S. is doing well there, just that Pakistan is nervous), and the Pakistan government has taken a huge blow with the flood.

          The longer Raymond Davis goes on, the more it plays into the hands of the parties that are not part of the coalition running the government and the greater the chance that the government will come down and they will need to call elections. So it makes sense that on several fronts, talks with India or not, they are hedging their bets on their use of any leverage in Afghanstan against India by building their nukes and building their Kashmir insurgent proxies. So it makes sense that the CIA or its proxies would be watching them, and that the ISI wouldn’t want scrutiny on LeT.

          No they don’t have to be traceable ISI. But he wouldn’t have gone to great lengths to make sure they were dead if they were just trying to take his cell phone. He didn’t want them to be able to talk. Two dumb guys on a bike aren’t great candidates for someone that an American with training up the wazoo and a $200,000 salary goes out of his way to make sure can’t talk at the risk of everything else.

          There’s more to the Pakistani courts and government’s hesitancy right now than meets the American eye, too. If they do try him, and his self-defense or diplomat pleas don’t hold up, Pakistani law, dictated from Sharia law origins, require that they hang him as a matter of justice, and Yousef Gilani has already been to see several big time imams for readings and judgments as to how he might ameliorate that situation which he sees as a possible diplomatic nightmare. That’s why high level people keep proposing various swaps, including the one for Aafia Siddiqui or some with “blood money” involved or some deal on the drones.

          • Mary says:

            Like I said – the way the facts are spinning like dust devils, you can end up anywhere. We’ve talked in other threads (Jim White had a couple of very good ones) about the nuke issues and Mumbai ties. Probably haven’t touched as much on the fact that this specific location, Lahore/Punjab, is one where the PPP isn’t in charge, but there is that as well and a lot of the local reports speak to the domesitc politic issues going on there. But the issues of LeT and ISI, as well as nukes, have had a big play with some of the other posters here at FDL- just not in this thread focused on the conventions issues.

            Re: the killing of the two who accosted him, I don’t think he necessarily would have had to feel they were ISI to make sure he killed them both, but if he thought so, it might have made him more determined. There had been a series of motorcyle attacks resulting in deaths in Pakistan, including suicide bombings with motorcyles targeting politicians and the like. I won’t second guess and say that he might not have felt his life was in danger – depending on what is the story of how he was blocked. I don’t think he felt he was going to be a simple cell phone robbery victim. On the other hand, if what he had on him was very sensitive information – like his informants phone numbers on his cell phone and other pictoral or personal info that was problematic, then he might have thought he had to take extreme measures to protect that information form whatever “bad guys” (which might have been criinals who might try to resell his info, guys with ties to insurgent or extremist groups or ISI). And then there’s the fact that, as Special Forces and Blackwater, he may have just been so indoctrinated in the culture that, in foreign countries, they could kill anyone who got on the wrong side of them and get away with it (from carving up pregnant women they’ve just killed to stalking down petty thieves who *messed with* them and executing them) that it was just his first reaction to a threat of any kind.

            I’d say the jury is still out and no one knows enough.

            Re your comment on the hundreds v. thousands, that makes more sense now. I’d be interested about the charges of human trafficking you mentioned for Musharef. I haven’t seen those, at least, not in the form of a real criminal charges being laid against him. I saw petitions that were in the nature of habeas petitions where a lot of allegations (most of which I’m inclined to believe) were made in support of the grounds to believe gov had the persons and to produce, but where the actual peititons were habeas types of petitions. The judge’s orders I saw were in that regard and were not a response to a prosecutor laying criminal charges of human trafficking or an individual bringing an actual claim against Musharef for civil damanges. Well, that regard and also the ones to produce recently, where the missing were guys who were acquitted of being involved in a Musharef assasination attempt.


            But I’d be interested to see civil or criminal charges that have been laid against Musharef for human trafficking if you have any links.

            • ondelette says:

              The human trafficking is that he sold prisoners to Americans, not any other type of trafficking. He documented that he had done so in his book. That is exactly human trafficking — selling prisoners across borders — even though Americans usually conjure up some other image when they hear that term.

              The habeas corpus writs, I wrote about in comments when I documented the latest Aafia Siddiqui evidence. The actual filing that the Pakistani Human Rights Commission brought before the Pakistani Supreme Court when CJ Iftikar Chaudry issued his order was habeas corpus: literally “produce the body” i.e. the government was being asked to produce the prisoners in court for charges or set them free — in no small part to show that it was the government that had them and they hadn’t been trafficked out of the country as alleged. 3 days before that date, Musharraf suspended the Constitution. Then the marches started and the head of GeoTV got beaten up and all several bombs and then Bhutto got killed the next month.

              The next summer was when the allegations about Siddiqui happened, only with the IJN document did I find out that a habeas filing was made in her case, in July 2008, too, and she showed up on the street in Ghazni the next day.

              Sorry to be abstruse, it isn’t deliberate. It’s been a while. We were an active group trying to get parallel protests going in the U.S. during the Black Flag Week and the Lawyer’s Movement Long March when they suspended the constitution so we were pretty fine tuned on all this — who was marching, who made it out of the country, who was under house arrest, who had SMS, who’s phone lines had been cut, etc., etc.

  21. Gitcheegumee says:

    I am not saying that this is in any way related to l’affaire Davis, but it is news to me and it is of interest:

    Pakistani investigators to request former military ruler’s …

    1 day ago

    … an anti-terrorism court issued a warrant for his arrest after hearing … Mr Musharraf has a home in London but also spends time in Dubai and travelling …Telegraph.co.uk – 228 related articles – Shared by 10+

    Arrest Warrant Issued for Musharraf – TruthdigFeb 12, 2011 … An arrest warrant has been issued for former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. He is wanted in connection with the (assassination of Benezhar Bhoutto)…

    http://www.truthdig.com/…/arrest_warrant_issued_for_musharraf_20110212/ – Cached

    • Mary says:

      This has been around for a few weeks. Right now they aren’t alleging his direct involvement in the assassination, but rather that he was given intelligence about the planned attacks and he did not share that information with Bhutto or her security personnel.

      He is not going to be responding – as once his feet touch soil it will open all kinds of issues. There have also been mentions of summons for him to appear to answer questions in connection with the disappearances of up to thousands of Pakistanis in cooperation with the US GWOT (for which he admitted in his book that there had been huge payments by the US).

      I’m guessing there won’t be any “rendition” of Musharef either.

      • ondelette says:

        It’s only hundreds in connection with the Americans. The thousands are an internal matter. (440 or so with the Americans, over 4000 Baloch).

        • Mary says:

          ? I’m not sure what you mean. The Pakistani petitions I’ve followed in the press don’t mention him in connection with any Pakistani petitions about missing Americans – by the hundreds or less. I was talking about the petitions that have been filed (some of which lead up to the Chief Justice being removed by Musaref) in Pakistan about missing Pakistanis and which the courts were indicating they were going to address by making his representatives (and possibly him) appear and report to the court on the status.

          Are you saying there are Pakistani petitions making allegations against Musharef about the disappearance of hundreds of Americans? I’m not sure I follow “Its only hundreds in connection with the Americans” in the context above? Or are you saying that of the thousands of Pakistantis who are at issue, Musharef only turned over hundreds of them to America? I don’t think that affects the petitions against him much – whether he disappeared them internally or to external destinations.

          • ondelette says:

            What I mean is that about 440 of the “disappeared” tallied by Pakistani human rights groups are those connected to trafficking them to the Americans. The “thousands” are the 4000 or so Baloch who have disappeared who are strictly a Musharraf government matter not related to the Americans. When Musharraf suspended the Constitution it was related to the habeas corpus petition on 63 people which I think were from the group handed over to the Americans, and he did so with three days left before Iftikar Chaudry had ordered him to produce them in court. The charges against Musharraf that I have seen include selling citizens, so those charges are specifically the people handed to the Americans, he bragged about it in his book. Aafia Siddiqui is among the charges, although the courts have ruled that she is no longer a “disappeared” since her whereabouts at present are known. It also isn’t clear she was sold, although it is now fairly clear she was taken at the behest of the Americans.

            The Baloch that have been disappeared are the far larger group, but are not, as far as I know, included in the charges yet.

      • Gitcheegumee says:

        As I said yesterday, for the past couple of months or so I have been mostly “out of the loop “. I do hope my attempt at catching up will not annoy others who are far more up to speed.

        Not to get too “tin foilly here”, but as I posted,and bmaz pointed out- Blackwater is not a welcome presence in Pakistan.Bhutto had hired Blackwater as security just months before her assassination.And Davis HAD been an employee of Blackwater at one time(although I am not insinuating he was involved in any fashion,mind you.)

        I suppose it is the timing of the Musharaff arrest warrant that intrigues me,considering it is contemporaneous with the Davis brouhaha. I mean,after all, why just now would a warrant be issued re Musharaff after all this time?

        Seems Dubai ,location one of Musharaff’s new residences, is the current destination for any number of dubious entities and personages these days.


        • Mary says:

          Not annoying at all. It’s hard because there are so many “ongoing” discussion that comments get made in that context and obviously a slew (probably the majority) of people who read a comment don’t know the overall context and I’m particularly bad about not going back and collecting context for remarks bc I think most of my comments are too long already ;)

          Real work calls.

  22. orionATL says:

    so american agent raymond davis had lots of phone numbers for pakistan terrorist group TTP on his cell phone.

    but, but america does NOT like the TTP:


    [ U.S. adds Pakistan Taliban to terror list

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    By Andrew Quinn

    WASHINGTON | Wed Sep 1, 2010 3:14pm EDT

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Wednesday added the Pakistani Taliban to its list of foreign terrorist organizations and set rewards of up to $5 million for information leading to the capture of two of its leaders.

    The steps mark Washington’s toughest moves against the Tehrik-i-Taliban, or Taliban Movement of Pakistan (TTP), a group that claimed responsibility for the failed bomb plot in New York’s Times Square and is increasingly seen as a direct threat to the United States.

    “We should be very clear about this. The TTP is very much a part of the most dangerous terrorist threat that the United States faces,” Daniel Benjamin, the State Department’s ambassador at large for counter-terrorism, told a news briefing.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s move, announced in a note in the Federal Register, adds the TTP to a list of some 46 groups the United States deems involved in terrorism and subjects to financial and travel sanctions.

    Simultaneously, U.S. prosecutors charged TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud for a plot that killed seven CIA employees at a U.S. base in Afghanistan last December, and U.S. officials offered $5 million rewards for information leading to the arrest of Mehsud and Wali-ur-Rehman, another senior TTP commander.

    “These individuals are dedicated terrorists and they are attempting to extend their bloody reach into the American homeland,” said Robert Hartung, a senior State Department security official.

    U.S. military forces have tried to kill Mehsud using unmanned aerial drones since the December attack. Both men are believed to be in the tribal areas of northwestern Pakistan, a haven for militant groups such as the TTP.

    Benjamin called the TTP a “force multiplier” for al Qaeda, expanding its reach around the world. The organization also has ties to Punjabi militant groups and is suspected of being behind most bomb and suicide attacks across Pakistan… ]

    so maybe

    – davis was recruiting a network of pakistanis to infiltrate the ttp?


    the u.s. uses ttp to work as the eyes of its drone program in the tribal areas? (how did they know which house mehshud was in that night?}

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      Pretty interesting that an Iranian group ,MEK,that has been designated as a terrorist org for some time now,is now undergoing reconsideration for removal from list:

      More DC Bigs Join Cause To Take Iranian Group Off US Terror List
      2 hours ago

      “To best make this Iranian opposition effective, the United States must revoke the terror designation.” Former Rep. Hamilton spoke about the “extraordinary …TPMMuckraker – 2 related articles – Shared by 10+

      ►More DC Bigs Join Cause To Take Iranian Group Off U.S. Terror List …Feb 22, 2011 … Several prominent former lawmakers, government officials and military leaders have added their names to the growing list of political …
      tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/…/more_dc_bigs_join_cause_to_take _iranian_group_off_us_terror_list.php

      NOTE: This is really worth a read.

    • Mary says:

      Yes, they’ve said that we are using informants in the Taliban or areas they are hiding out in to target the drone strikes (reliable informants, like the one who involved in the suicide bombing of the CIA officers and security)

  23. JTMinIA says:

    I should admit up front that all of my “man in the street” info on India and Pakistan comes from my cricket friends, but let me make a few wild generalizations anyway.

    Mumbai is in the background of everything with regard to India and Pakistan. And the Indians are none too pleased by the US pressure to drop it and move on. Imagine if one of our allies asked us to drop Al Qaida issues because they were trying to achieve something else. That’s how many Indians feel. At the same time, many Pakistanis, while pissed about Kashmir, are not in favor of heating things up with India, so they either apologize for, disavow, or deny Mumbai.

    If anything on Davis has anything to do with Mumbai, then this is much bigger than tribal issues inside Pakistan and/or Afghanistan. If it has the chance of bringing Mumbai back up, it’s tense.

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      On the thread “Raymond Davis’ Work with the CIA”,Mad Dog posted this:

      MadDog February 21st, 2011 at 10:41 am13In response to MadDog @ 11 (show text)

      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.

      NOTE:Just for the record, the Mumbai attacks were on November 26,2008

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      You may also be interested in this if you perhaps missed it on an earlier thread:

      Here is an informative excerpt from an article ,dated September 2010:

      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

      BTW, The date of Bhutto’s assassination was December 27,2007.