Summary: As standard fare the FM website provides analysis of current events. Seeking hidden truths (often in vain) and using these incidents to illustrate larger dynamics at work in America. The Raymond Davis affair is rich in lesson for us. Here we see one obvious explanation what’s happening, but ignored by our geopolitical experts and news media. This is the 4th post; links are at the end; see the comments for updates.
To be an American geopolitical expert requires (broadly speaking) a willingness to see the US government’s views, and only the US government’s views. Alternative views can only be false or irrational or evil. Not always, but on important issues. When the government’s views change, then one’s views can change (staying at most slightly ahead of the pack). Crimestop, blackwhite, doublethink, and bellyfeel are keys to career success. Heretics require integrity and personal courage; no matter how skillful they remain on the margins (to name a few examples: Chuck Spinney, Winslow Wheeler, Doug Macgregor, Bernard Finel).
The Raymond Davis affair nicely illustrates this problem. The news media and most geopolitical experts reflexively treat the US government’s (USG) story as gospel, and alternative versions circulating in Pakistan as irrational or propaganda. Pakistan’s government (GOP) appears torn, unable to formulate a coherent story. We can draw some interesting conclusions, working step by step to an explanation (but not THE explanation) of actions taken by the USG and GOP.
Step #1: The USG as the dog that didn’t bark
Step #2: Why has the GOP not ended this incident?
Step #3: Summary of the key questions
Step #4: Circumstantial evidence
Update — Step #5: Of what significance is Davis’ CIA connection?
Step #6: Conclusions
For more information: other posts about the Raymond Davis
Step #1: The USG as the dog that didn’t bark
The USG says that on 20 January 2010 they sent POG a note stating that Raymond Davis was due full diplomatic immunity by his job and location under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 (see Wikipedia). In this “background briefing” by the State Department on 21 February a senior administration official said this note had been released to the press. It hadn’t. When Justin Elliott of Salon asked he was told:
Summary: The fog spewed by America’s geopolitical experts (mostly faithful lapdogs for the US government, abetted by the lackeys of the news media), has obscured the core dispute between the US and Pakistani governments. Was Davis an embassy employee? That’s the question. If he was just a consular employee he had a minimal level of immunity. It’s a simple question, although impossible for outsiders to answer. This is the third in this series (see other links at the end).
Global wars are won by alliances. The Davis affair has angered many people in Pakistan, seen as yet another US insult to their sovergenty. Whatever Davis was doing in Pakistan, its strategic cost might be high.
Understanding the situation begins with the facts. Neither government has been helpful; here we examine the various stories. The US government provided several stories, but giving no supporting evidence. The Pakistani government, probably hoping this nightmare ends soon, has done rebuttal by leak (while its government churns). Conflicting assertions, where loyalists believe the home team story — and refuse to see the other side.
The first US announcement said Davis was a consular employee (matching the ID he carried): Embassy Statement Regarding Lahore Incident, US State Department (Islamabad), 28 January 2011:
A staff member of the U.S. Consulate General in Lahore was involved in an incident yesterday that regrettably resulted in the loss of life. The U.S. Embassy is working with Pakistani authorities to determine the facts and work toward a resolution.
Realizing that this meant no criminal immunity for Davis, eventually a new story emerged. As in this “background briefing” teleconference by the State Department on 21 February. Excerpt (red emphasis added):
Summary: There is interesting news about the Davis affair. Little of it appears in the US newspapers; our leaders prefer that we remain ignorant. How sad that the people of Pakistan know more about this story than Americans relying on our news media (see comment #1 for evidence). Updates will go in the comments; the first one is interesting! Links to other posts appear at the end.
- A history of lies
- Government transparency we can only dream of: Pakistan releases key documents
- Pakistan officials comment on the affair Davis
- More interesting news (updated)
We continue to piece together as best we can what happened in the affair Davis. The truth is out there. Please forward this to people who might be interested.
For an excellent summary see “The Raymond Davis Affair“, FB Ali (Brigadier, Pakistan Army, retired), Sic Semper Tyrannis, 19 February 2011.
(1) A history of lies
The years go by and the lies by our government continue. They lie to us about things foreigners (including our enemies) already know, lies designed to deceive us. Perhaps like an abused spouse, we have come to accept as natural our leader’s contempt for us.
“There was absolutely no–N-O–no–deliberate attempt to violate Soviet air space. There never has been. … It is ridiculous to say that we are trying to kid the world about this.”
—- Lincoln White, Press Secretary of the State Department, 6 May 1960 (For more detailed lies see this memo from NASA, dated 5 May 1960)
“As previously announced, it was known that a U-2 plane was missing. As a result of the inquiry ordered by the President it has been established that insofar as the authorities in Washington are concerned there was no authorization for any such flight as described by Mr. Khrushchev. Nevertheless it appears that in endeavoring to obtain information now concealed behind the Iron Curtain a flight over Soviet territory was probably undertaken by an unarmed civilian U-2 plane.”
— Press Release from the State Department, 7 May 1960 — In fact Eisenhower made most of the key decisions about the U-2 flights
“With respect to Mr. Davis, our diplomat in Pakistan, we’ve got a very simple principle here that every country in the world that is party to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is — 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.”
— President Obama’s lies at a press conference on 15 February 2010. Davis may have been a member of the embassy or consular staff, and may have had some form of immunity (see this post for more about these immunities). Davis is certainly not a diplomat.
(2) Government transparency we can only dream of: Pakistan releases key documents