From the very first reports of Raymond Davis’ killing of two Pakistanis and subsequent arrest, the insistence he was just a consular employee was obviously just polite fiction. The Guardian has stopped sustaining that fiction.
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.
The Pakistani government is aware of Davis’s CIA status yet has kept quiet in the face of immense American pressure to free him under the Vienna convention. Last week President Barack Obama described Davis as “our diplomat” and dispatched his chief diplomatic troubleshooter, Senator John Kerry, to Islamabad. Kerry returned home empty-handed.
Yet even as Pakistani officials now willingly admit they’ve known all along that Davis is a spook, it’s still unclear to what degree the press is sustaining further fictions.
Consider the ABC report that the two men in the rescue vehicle that attempted to pick Davis up had “slipped out” of the country.
A Pakistani court has demanded the arrest of a second U.S. official in connection with a deadly shootout in Lahore, Pakistan, last month, but that official, as well another American official involved in the incident, have already slipped out of the country and are back on American soil, a senior U.S. official told ABC News.
Which gives the Guardian’s source the opportunity to admit — shockers! — they’ve escaped.
The US refused Pakistani demands to interrogate the two men and on Sunday a senior Pakistani intelligence official said they had left the country. “They have flown the coop, they are already in America,” he said.
FB Ali, at Pat Lang’s blog, reports that these men flew back to the US on John Kerry’s CoDel plane.
The US, concluding that playing the heavy wasn’t achieving much, sent in the ‘good cop’, in the person of Senator Kerry, co-author of the 7.5 billion Pakistan aid bill. He expressed public regret for the deaths, held out the assurance that Davis would be criminally investigated back in the US, and met with the principal Pakistani players. His whirlwind one-day tour didn’t achieve much beyond smuggling out of the country on his plane the three Americans who had been in the backup van (and were being sought by the police and the courts).
Which sort of makes you wonder whether the Pakistanis are so shocked that these men “flew the coop.”