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08 February 2011

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John Bennett

One of the problems the US government has is that the numbers of contractor-Americans is so high that the embassy can't keep track of them, much less supervise them. At best, this is a contractor who was out of control.

The Twisted Genius

jonst,

One would definitely fire through the windshield in such a situation. I've known it to happen twice. Both times were defensive reactions. The only time that would be a bad idea is if it was an up armored vehicle with a bullet resistant windshield.

The Twisted Genius

FB Ali,

Davis could have photographed his kills out of force of habit if he was former SOF rather than SF. In the adrenaline rush of the moment, he could have fallen back on old Delta or STS procedures. This is just a guess on my part.

Charles I

Thanks for the thread FB, kinda nutty stuff I could never make up for Bohica.

Seriously, how much of this kind of suff can all parties tolerate before they have to turn on us?

bth

It seems unlikely he would photograph victims that he knew vs more likely he would photograph someone he did not know for later identification.

FB Ali

bth,

Good point! Another version of the incident is that these were Pakistani security personnel tailing him. But if that were so, it is most unlikely that they would confront him. In that case, the self-defence story becomes doubtful. So, what was he trying to hide so desperately that he would kill them just because they had been following him?

Another report says that, after getting out of his car, he pumped some more bullets into the fallen bodies before taking the pictures.

FB Ali

Jane,

Don't forget the 18-year old widow who killed herself. More collateral damage (always innocents!) from the wars raging in that benighted region.

And there are people making money and building careers from them.

Jake

I believe he photoed for identification. But I am more concerned with the rather poor tradescraft displayed. Is this what our spooks (contractors included)have become? Bill Donovan is rolling in his grave....

Bobo

The basic facts of this incident indicate Davis fired his weapon in self defense. You differ? Then why would a white American fire through his windshield in a poor section of Lahore disabling his vehicle leaving himself amongst the locals. The individuals who died were found to be carrying weapons.

Now we have an American citizen employed in some manner by the US government jailed in a foreign country for defending himself. While the Pakistan government have laws that are reasonable and acceptable the question arises why have the local police forces, after investigating this incident, not ruled that Davis is free and clear due to self defense. Or are they listening to local leaders who are more interested in raising the publics ire.

US government ire is warranted in this case and the Pakistan government should return Davis to their custody. Self Defense and Diplomatic Immunity are evident reasons to do so. Anything else is local propaganda at its fullest.

Highlander

You pansy asses.

This kind of thing,goes on all over the world,all the time! This one,just gets a little public spin for Pakistani political purposes.

Raymond Davis is an obvious American proponent of GOOD GUN CONTROL. He is great American, bring him home and given him a medal!

Jane

I would have included her had I known about her at the point that I posted. She chose to sacrifice herself in an attempt to shame the Pakistani government into providing justice in my estimation.

It is difficult to disentangle facts from this distance ti establish what true justice would be but the location of the shooting is such that it makes sense neither as an indulgence in mindless lethal violence nor a targeted assassination unless Davis had a death wish. There were no feasible escape plans. It does make sense as the actions of a man who believed he was under threat. Arun has a link to Pakistanipal which contains a claim that one of the men Davis shot was carrying a pistol for protection while on his way to court where the killers of his brother were being tried. Whether the brother's killers were on trial is something that could be checked and inexpert handling of a pistol while on a motorcycle could have been a trigger for the killings.
Taking photos of the dead young men could have been simply a means of preserving evidence. Alternative, in the case of a planned assassination, such a photo could have been taken to provide proof that the intended victim was killed.

But with too many differing accounts of the shooting and too few verifiable facts judgment at this time is premature.

Jane

Information from the other end of the problem. Dell Whited states:

Raymond Davis is a real person...I went to high school with him and he has always been a standup guy. He is out defending and working for our country...so, Harry Bowman you might want to adjust your wiki page. I dont know what capacity he was working in, but before you send him out to slaughter, you might want to take a minute to see that it just wasnt some street thugs but Pakistani intelligence that rolled up on him.

People in the thread have made checks to the relevant year books and the claim looks to be true.

Fred

Bobo,

How convenient. Two guys are dead from gunshot wounds. The man who shot then says 'self defense'. Case closed? I'm sure we could free up about 10,000 prison cells in America with that standard.

The dead guy run over by the back-up van, guess that is just 'too bad'?

The Pakistani government is in trouble, I suspect they would be more willing to sacrifice the life of one American rather than release him if they felt this would give some kind of stability. I wonder if, however, they won't just follow the example America set and just waterboard Mr. Davis to find out what he knows.

securecare

GUN CONTROL

Is using both hands.

Hard to do while driving of course.

Cal

Davis appears to be an incompetent cowboy idiot.
It's obvious he paniced and over re-acted.
I have yet to find a single report of the Pak security guys having fired any weapons.
When you sign up for this kind of work you know the chances you take if you screw up.
No immunity.

bt

Nancy K:

As far as electing Obama, that was a team effort!

It took W (8 lonnnggg years), McCain, Palin, 2 botched wars, and a once every 50 years economic catastrophy to elect an African-American president. Something I would never have predicted in my lifetime.

I can only wonder is Sarah will restrain herself in 2012, she could get him elected all on her own at this point.

FB Ali

Nick Shifrin of ABC News in a Feb 9 report says:

The four Pakistani officials who spoke to ABC News on the condition of anonymity say that the two men who Raymond Davis killed in Lahore last month were working for Pakistan's premiere intelligence service, and they were following Davis because he was spying........

According to the Pakistani officials, the two men had been sent to track Raymond Davis by the Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, which believed that Davis had crossed "a red line" and needed to be followed.

In late January, those officials say, Davis was asked to leave an area of Lahore restricted by the military. His cell phone was tracked, said one government official, and some of his calls were made to the Waziristan tribal areas, where the Pakistani Taliban and a dozen other militant groups have a safe haven. Pakistani intelligence officials saw him as a threat who was "encroaching on their turf," the official said.

(http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/ray-davis-shooting-pakistan/story?id=12869411&page=1)

zanzibar

FB

The ABC News story you linked to seems very plausible considering the extent of the threats from the US government. What do you speculate he may have been doing to warrant such high level pressure on Gen. Kayani?

But, it also seems to have become a political nightmare for the Pakistani government if this story gains further traction in the Pakistani media. In your opinion can the Pakistani government bury this story and quietly release Ray Davis? What additional concessions from the US would they want for the release?

FB Ali

Zanzibar,

There is speculation in the Pakistani media that, instead of simply gathering intelligence, Davis may have been involved in some kind of covert US program to actually finance or orchestrate some of the bombings that have been occurring in Pakistan (based on the stuff found in his car, which included several weapons, ammo and cell phones). Whatever he was doing, it was sensitive enough for him to kill the men whom he discovered were tracking him. All the reports seem to indicate that he shot them in the back in cold blood, i.e, without any hostile move on their part.

If the men he killed were indeed ISI operatives, then the obstacles to his release may be more than just public pressure; the military may be involved. There was a news report that, the day after the shooting, Gen Kayani summoned the Interior Minister to discuss the case. I presume the ISI does not take lightly its men being gunned down on the streets of the country.

A US report speculates that he may be a serving SF soldier rather than a contractor (Dave Lindorff at http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/). That may explain the extreme pressure the US is bringing to bear on Pakistan. I don’t see the US in any mood to buy his release. I agree that the Pakistani government is in a helluva fix, especially if the military is on the warpath. As I said, this case may have quite serious repercussions on US-Pakistan relations.

JimTicehurst

Real World IN~trigue..Always bad when things go wrong..and Very Public...Messy..
Thanks Ali..

FB Ali

Jim Ticehurst,

Glad you liked it. As you say: Very messy!

James ben Goy

Tell Hillary to pay the blood money, promise (in private, of course) never to do it again, & she can take Mr. Davis home. Or, keep effing around being the hardass & let the matter fester until it erupts into something uncontrollable, like exposure of his actual mission. I think while everyone has a pretty good idea by now what that was, it has yet to be proven.

FB Ali

On Feb 11 Davis was produced before a judge and remanded into custody for 2 weeks.

According to an AP report:

Later in the day, Lahore police chief Aslam Tareen declared that a police investigation into the shootings determined Mr. Davis was not defending himself.

“It was an intentional and cold-blooded murder,” Mr. Tareen told a news conference......

Mr. Tareen said, the slain man's pistol had been examined and officers found that its magazine was loaded with ammunition but no round was in the chamber ready to fire. Police also determined that the American shot and killed the second Pakistani as he tried to flee, hitting him in the back, Mr. Tareen said.

Charles I

The worm appears to have turned for Mr. Davis. The BBC is reporting that the police investigation entirely discounts self-defence, based partly on fingerprints, whether the attackers' weapons had rounds chambered.

A Pakistani police chief has said a US citizen in custody over the deaths of two men in Lahore last month was guilty of "cold-blooded murder".

Lahore city police chief Aslam Tareen told a news conference that one of the men was killed while running away.

He spoke after Raymond Davis was remanded for another 14 days following an appearance in a Lahore court.

Mr Davis, 36, has admitted he shot the men, but says he acted in self-defence because they were trying to rob him.

The court has ordered the Pakistani government to clarify US embassy claims that Mr Davis has diplomatic immunity.

He is charged on two counts - murder and possession of illegal weapons.

Mr Tareen told a news conference: "The police investigation and forensic report show it was not self-defence. His plea has been rejected by police investigators. He gave no chance to them to survive".

Mr Tareen also said that forensic evidence did not support Mr Davis's claim that one of the motorbike riders had approached his car window, cocked his gun and pointed it at him.

No fingerprints had been uncovered on the triggers of the pistols found on the bodies of the two men, he said.

And tests had shown that the bullets remained in the magazine of the men's gun, not the chamber.

"It was cold-blooded murder," said Mr Tareen. "Eyewitnesses have told police that he directly shot at them and he kept shooting even when one was running away. It was an intentional murder."

Police officials have previously said that the two men were street robbers, although conspiracy theorists have suggested that the pair were members of Pakistani intelligence.

The American has reportedly been sent to the high-security Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore. His next hearing is scheduled for 25 February.


Wonder who has the movie rights?

zanzibar

FB

The BBC confirms the AP report that you noted.

It would seem that with this statement diplomatic immunity would be trumped due to murder charges.

I am curious about your speculation that Davis was involved in "some kind of covert US program to actually finance or orchestrate some of the bombings that have been occurring in Pakistan". What would be the intent behind such a de-stabilization program? If they want a change in government why wouldn't they just want Gen. Kayani to takeover? Or is it that they would prefer a split in the military with a more compliant officer in charge? I realize we may just be grabbing at straws here but the story is very intriguing in light of the high level extreme pressure from the US government.

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