LUBP archive on Declan Walsh
On the so called ISI-CIA rift on the Raymond Davis issue
Foreign journalists in Pakistan: Embedded in the narratives of military establishment
Yesterday, Declan Walsh published two stories in the Guardian (20 Feb 2011) revealing an explosive truth, i.e., Raymond Davis is a CIA spy. The aim of this brief post is to consider the sources behind the stories and the possible motives of such leakage at this crucial juncture of the Pakistan-USA relations.
First, some extracts from the two stories published in the Guardian:
American who sparked diplomatic crisis over Lahore shooting was CIA spy
• Raymond Davis employed by CIA ‘beyond shadow of doubt’
• Former soldier charged with murder over deaths of two men
• Davis accused of shooting one man twice in the back as he fled
Declan Walsh in Lahore and Ewen MacAskill in Washington
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 20 February 2011
The American who shot dead two men in Lahore, triggering a diplomatic crisis between Pakistan and the US, is a CIA agent who was on assignment at the time.
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.
The US has accused Pakistan of illegally detaining him and riding roughshod over international treaties. Angry politicians have proposed slashing Islamabad’s $1.5bn (£900m) annual aid.
But Washington’s case is hobbled by its resounding silence on Davis’s role. He served in the US special forces for 10 years before leaving in 2003 to become a security contractor. A senior Pakistani official said he believed Davis had worked with Xe, the firm formerly known as Blackwater.
“This is not the work of a diplomat. He was doing espionage and surveillance activities,” said the Punjab law minister, Rana Sanaullah, adding he had “confirmation” that Davis was a CIA employee.
Some reports, quoting Pakistani intelligence officials, have suggested that the men Davis killed, Faizan Haider, 21, and Muhammad Faheem, 19, were agents of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency (ISI) and had orders to shadow Davis because he crossed a “red line”.
A senior police official confirmed US claims that the men were petty thieves – investigators found stolen mobiles, foreign currency and weapons on them – but did not rule out an intelligence link.
A senior ISI official denied the dead men worked for the spy agency but admitted the CIA relationship had been damaged. “We are a sovereign country and if they want to work with us, they need to develop a trusting relationship on the basis of equality. Being arrogant and demanding is not the way to do it,” he said.
Tensions between the spy agencies have been growing. The CIA Islamabad station chief was forced to leave in December after being named in a civil lawsuit. The ISI was angered when its chief, General Shuja Pasha, was named in a New York lawsuit related to the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Although the two spy services co-operate in the CIA’s drone campaign along the Afghan border, there has not been a drone strike since 23 January – the longest lull since June 2009. Experts are unsure whether both events are linked.
Davis awaits his fate in Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore. Pakistani officials say they have taken exceptional measures to ensure his safety, including ringing the prison with paramilitary Punjab Rangers. Press reports have speculated that the authorities worry the US could try to spring Davis in a “Hollywood-style sting”. “All measures for his security have been taken,” said the ISI official. “He’s as safe as can be.”
A CIA spy, a hail of bullets, three killed and a US-Pakistan diplomatic row
Barack Obama weighs in to Raymond Davis row as Pakistani anger grows over CIA agent blamed for civilian deaths in Lahore
Declan Walsh in Lahore
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 20 February 2011
On 27 January, Raymond Davis, a bulky 36-year-old CIA agent with a shock of grey hair, was winding through the chaotic Lahore traffic when he stopped at a red light. A motorbike carrying two men, coming from the opposite direction, swerved in front of his Honda Civic. The pillion passenger was carrying a gun. Davis, a former special forces soldier, whipped out his 9mm semi-automatic Glock pistol and, still behind the wheel, opened fire. Five shots sliced through the windscreen. Muhammad Faheem, a 19-year-old street criminal, fell dead.
The Davis debacle is another disaster for the Pakistan government, whose handling has been characterised by bungling and division, and highlights the country’s pathological relationship with America.
How will it end? One solution is a hefty payment to the families of the dead, with the courts quietly dropping the case and Davis being expelled from Pakistan, although this would require an American admission of guilt.
But in a case where fact and fiction collide, nothing is certain.
Some critical reflections:
1. What are the motives of this intentional leakage? What purposes does the Pakistan military intend to achieve through this story, which was apparently fed from the ISI to Declan Walsh and is now being feverishly recycled and reported in Pakistan’s mostly right wing dominated Urdu media?
2. Based on the sources cited in Mr. Walsh’ story, the ISI seems to be behind this intentional leak to the Guardian. Why on earth is it only Mr. Walsh (along with a select few others) who is usually chosen to publish pro-state (i.e., pro-military establishment) but anti-government (i.e., anti-political government) stories?
3. If the above is true, why is Declan Walsh allowing the Guardian to be used as a convenient propaganda tool for the ISI?
4. Who are the writers and bloggers helping Declan Wlash in publicising and circulating this story? To what extent are ‘resourceful’ people such as Najam Sethi, Mosharraf Zaidi, Ejaz Haider, Cyril Almeida etc facilitating Declan Walsh’s contacts with the ISI? (This may help us in connecting the dots, tracking the whole racket.)
5. The only sources used in Declan Walsh’s story are: a senior ISI official, Punjab Police official, Punjab Law Minister. In other words, a net work of the military establishment and the right wing (Mullah-Military Alliance of Pakistan) appears to be behind Walsh’s story. You are in good company, Mr. Walsh!
6. While Mr. Walsh’s story has merely confirmed what many always suspected and the ISI always knew but it does not tell us much about what lines did Davis cross for such public expo in the media!
It is shockingly poor reporting when a paper like the Guardian did not even bother to get the veiwpoint from the PPP-lead Government. Did Declan Walsh bother to contact the Pakistani ambassador to the US, Mr. Husain Haqqani? Did he bother to contact anyone from the US side? Balance and objectivity are not so visible in this article.
Collusion between the FCS and Islamofascists
Timing of Declan Walsh’s article in the Guardian could not be better. No wonder he remains surrounded and appreciated by pro-establishment writers of Pakistani’s Fake Civil Society (FCS).
It is commonly known in Pakistan that many journalists (both from liberal writers in English media and right wing writers in Urdu media) take their lead from the ISI. Colonels and majors are usually the source, and such stories are usually published as a result of investigative reporting.
Why doesn’t Walsh tell which agency issued and reissued Davis’ visa in Pakistan? Why does not his article reflect on the CIA-ISI relationship in the current development?
It is a fact that while civilians (i.e., elected Pakistani government) are conveniently blamed by ‘free’ media, agreements for the agents and contractors all conducted under Musharraf and by Pakistani generals (i.e., Pakistani state).
Keep watching who recycles and feeds this “Raymond is a CIA spy” fable to the right wing thugs. This is a classic example of collusion between fake civil society (pseudo-liberal thugs) and the right wing (Islamofascist thugs), both proxies of the military establishment.
mosharrafzaidi Mosharraf Zaidi
holy cow. RT @declanwalsh: Raymond Davis, American ‘diplomat’ held for murder in Pakistan, is a CIA agent. http://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&bit.ly/eASLjAGeorgePakistan
Bolshevik Urooj Zia
@declanwalsh Whom would one speak to if one were to try and tell The Guardian that hiring one is going to be awesome for them?
mehreenkasana Mehreen Kasana
Check it out. RT @declanwalsh Guardian interactive guide to Lahore shootings involving CIA agent Raymond Davis: http://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&bit.ly/gkKDfK
Now I know where the American consulate in Lahore is! RT @declanwalsh interactive guide 2 shootings involving CIA agent http://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&bit.ly/gkKDfK
FiveRupees Five Rupees
Raymond Davis confirmed by Guardian’s @declanwalsh to be CIA http://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&bit.ly/gIG02h US media knows it too, silent due to US govt request.
@declanwalsh hi I’m an anchor with express 24/7, need some words with u over your recent article for the guardian on Davis, can we talk?
A senior Pakistani intelligence official feeds a story to Walsh who then publishes that Raymond Davis is a CIA spay. How convenient!
The Guardian can confirm that Raymond is CIA employee. “It’s beyond a shadow of a doubt,” said a senior Pakistani intelligence official. LOL
@declanwalsh fable: “All measures for [Raymond’s] security have been taken,” said the ISI official. [Thanks for candid revelation, Declan]
@declanwalsh fable: “there has not been a drone strike since 23 January.”
This myth was effectively busted today (20 Feb 2011). More power to drones! Drone pause was probably due to weather. #FCS & #JI dominated media didn’t bother to check drone patterns before saying it was because of Raymond Davis.
Drone attack in Azam Warsik, South Waziristan, killing six terrorists, fuck u #Raymond if you were a reason for a long pause.
Here is a possible explanation of why ISI might have fed the “Raymond is CIA spy” story to the Guardian:
Raymond Davis case: Men killed in Lahore were intelligence operatives, says official
By Kamran Yousaf
Published: February 5, 2011
ISLAMABAD: The government’s reluctance to free Raymond Davis is attributed to the fact that the two killed in the Lahore shooting were believed to be the intelligence operatives.
“Yes, they belonged to the security establishment….they found the activities of the American official detrimental to our national security,” disclosed a security official. He requested not to be identified since he was not authorised to speak to the media on record. The official confirmed that the president, the prime minister and the chief of army staff (COAS) had discussed the issue in a meeting last week. The three thought it was advisable to resist the US pressure on the Raymond Davis issue and believed the detained American national should not be released at this stage, he said.
He said the government’s tough stance on the controversy was also its reaction to the attempts by certain elements in Washington to implicate the country’s top spy agency, the ISI, in the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. “The government is very angry with the decision of an American court to summon top ISI officials in connections with the Mumbai attacks,” the official maintained. The military spokesman was not available for comments.
The officials in the Foreign Office also confirmed the government’s position on the Raymond Davis issue but said he would eventually be released once the firm assurance from the US that such incidents would not recur.
The government was also contemplating to ask the American government to waive off Raymond’s immunity and try him in the US courts, the officials added. A US Embassy official said his government had “no plans yet to agree on such a step”.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2011.
Obviously the ISI put pressure on the Express Tribune to retract the story:
Victims’ identity: Intelligence officials refute claim
Intelligence officials have contradicted a report published in The Express Tribune, which alleged that the two motorcyclists killed by Raymond Davis in Lahore were intelligence operatives.
The report had claimed that the death of the intelligence personnel was the reason behind the government’s reluctance to free Davis and that it was in retaliation to the summoning of a top ISI official by a US court.
The official regretted that such “speculative reporting”, appearing on the front page of a major newspaper on such a sensitive matter, which was sub judice and “detrimental to the security interests of Pakistan”, was published without any confirmation from the concerned quarters.
The official vehemently denied that there was any linkage whatsoever between the US court’s summon and the Lahore incident.
The intelligence agency reserves the right to initiate legal action against The Express Tribune, said the official.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 8th, 2011.
However, no such pressure was available on the ABC News:
Did Ray Davis Shoot Two Pakistani Agents?
Pakistani Officials Claim American Killed Men Working for ISI
BY NICK SCHIFRIN
Feb. 9, 2011
The public narrative from the United States is simple: one of its diplomats in one of the most dangerous countries in the world was threatened by two men with guns, and the diplomat shot and killed them in self-defense. He sits in jail, “illegally detained,” because he enjoys diplomatic immunity.
But the version of events told by multiple Pakistani officials — and adamantly denied by the U.S. State Department — is utterly different.
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.
If true, their story dramatically changes the nature of an incident that is already severely straining the two countries’ already tumultuous relationship. Davis’s detention is fraying the U.S. alliance with Pakistan, one of the most delicate and important in the world. U.S. and Pakistani officials both admit the fate of Raymond Davis could threaten an alliance that is critical to the war in Afghanistan and the fight against al Qaeda.
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.
U.S. officials dispute the story. Davis came to Pakistan on a diplomatic passport and is a “member of the technical and administrative staff” of the embassy in Islamabad. He therefore enjoys diplomatic immunity, which means he may not be tried for a crime in Pakistan. In public and in private, U.S. officials say they do not believe reports that the two men Davis shot and killed were working for the ISI. They say the men had robbed another person before they approached Davis’ car.
“We don’t find [the reports] credible,” P.J. Crowley, the State Department’s spokesman, said at his daily press briefing on Monday.
The U.S. says his detention is “illegal” and has put extreme pressure on Pakistan to release him.
Men Followed Davis For Two Hours, Says Official
Davis was traveling through a lower middle class part of Lahore on Thursday, Jan. 27, when the incident took place. The men he shot had been following him for at least two hours, one of the Pakistani officials claimed, and recorded some of his movements on their cell phone cameras. Davis has a U.S. Special Forces background and runs Hyperion Protective Consultants, LLC, a company that provides “loss and risk management professionals.”
That the ISI sent the equivalent of two hired guns to trail Davis is a sign that the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistani intelligence agencies is at a low point, according to all four officials quoted in this article. In October, the ISI helped reveal the name of the CIA station chief — inadvertently, according to a separate, senior Pakistani official — forcing the station chief to leave the country.
The U.S. officials who deny that the men Davis shot were intelligence officials believe Davis is being held despite his diplomatic immunity because of fears that releasing him might cause domestic unrest. He is being held in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, where Zardari’s chief political opposition controls the provincial assembly. Some of the government’s political opponents — as well as some parts of the Pakistani media — benefit from stories that suggest U.S. contractors or spies operate throughout the country.
The Pakistani officials agreed with that, acknowledging that Davis’ release could at least temporarily weaken the federal government and spark protests in Lahore and perhaps across the country.
Good news: Goal achieved
If the purpose of the intentional leaking of the “Raymond is a CIA spy” news to Western media was to recycle and spread the same in Pakistan’s right wing dominated media, the aim has been in the main achieved. This will further enhance the USA phobia in Pakistani society and build further pressure on the democratic government. Here are two of several examples from two popular Pakistani newspapers Jang (Urdu) and The Nation.
ریمنڈڈیوس سی آئی اے کاایجنٹ ہے،برطانوی اخبارکاانکشاف
لندن(جنگ نیوز)برطانوی جریدے گارجین نے انکشاف کیاہے کہ لاہورمیں دوپاکستانیوں کے قتل میں ملوث امریکی سفارتخانے کامبینہ اہلکارریمنڈڈیوس امریکا کی خفیہ ایجنسی سی آئی اے کاایجنٹ ہے اور وقوعہ کے روز لاہور میں خفیہ مشن پرتھا۔امریکااورپاکستان میں کئے گئے انٹرویوزکی بنیادپراخبارنے اس امرکی تصدیق کی ہے کہ 36سالہ سابق خصوصی فوجی اہلکارسی آئی اے کاملازم ہے۔ پاکستان کے ایک انٹیلی جنس اہلکارنے اخبارکوبتایاکہ اس بات میں کوئی شک نہیں کہ ریمنڈسی آئی اے کیلئے کام کررہا تھا،ریمنڈکے جاسوس ہونے کے انکشاف کے بعد اس کی رہائی کی کوششیں متاثرہوسکتی ہیں کیوں کہ امریکامصرہے کہ ریمنڈنے دونوں پاکستانیوں کواپنے دفاع میں قتل کیاتھا۔ اخبار کے مطابق پاکستانی حکام اس بات سے آگاہ ہیں کہ ریمنڈڈیوس سی آئی اے کااہلکارہے تاہم شدیدامریکی دباوٴکے باعث پاکستان نے اس معاملے پرچپ سادھ رکھی ہے۔پاکستانی اہلکاروں کامانناہے کہ ریمنڈکی مددکو پہنچنے والی وہ گاڑی جس نے تیسرے پاکستانی کوکچل کرہلاک کردیا تھا ، اس میں سواردونوں افرادکاتعلق بھی سی آئی اے سے تھا مگر امریکا نے پاکستانی حکام کوان دوافراد سے تحقیقات کرنے کی اجازت نہیں دی۔ ایک پاکستانی انٹیلی جنس اہلکارکے مطابق مذکورہ دونوں افرادپاکستان سے امریکاپہنچ چکے ہیں۔اخبارکے مطابق امریکی میڈیا کو بھی ریمنڈکی سی آئی اے سے وابستگی کاعلم تھامگراوباما انتظامیہ کی درخواست پرمعاملے کوخفیہ رکھاگیا۔
Source: Daily Jang
Davis CIA’s acting chief in Pakistan
By: Jawad R Awan
Published: February 21, 2011
LAHORE – Raymond Allen Davis, who killed two Pakistanis last month in the provincial capital, is second-in-comm-and to Jonathan Banks, the former station chief of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Islamabad, The Nation has learnt. Well-placed sources said that the highly-trained operative of the CIA was the second important man of the CIA in Pakistan after ex-station chief Jonathan Banks who left Pakistan after his cover was blown. Banks left Islamabad when Karim Khan, a resident of North Waziristan, submitted an application at the Secretariat Police Station, Islamabad for a FIR against the CIA station chief for the killing of Karim’s brother and son in one of the drone attacks directed by the CIA boss in Pakistan.
The sources said that Davis could be called the deputy station chief of the CIA in Pakistan, or the acting station chief. They said that after Banks left the federal capital, Davis assumed the charge of his office by carrying out all the tasks previously under the domain of his boss, including gathering information for drone attacks. The sources said that one of the main tasks of Davis was to keep CIA network intact in the tribal agencies as well as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Establishing their point regarding Davis, the sources said that the detained killer of Pakistanis demanded ‘naswar’ in jail, which reflects he visited the KP frequently. He also speaks the local languages and has complete information about the cultures being practised in all the provinces.
Source: Daily The Nation