Raymond Davis Affair: Deeper than you think–and profound repercussions

[The following article, if true, is an excellent analysis of the “Davis” affair (ignoring the author’s expected pride in ISI superiority).  It is always true that the ISI knows much more than it has been revealing about the true American relationship to Pakistani terror groups.  Is this case a true turning point in the relationship; has the ISI finally had enough and stands ready to defend itself by exposing the CIA hand, even if that implicates them in the process?

Pakistan’s only possible defense has always been to reveal the CIA hand, even if the ISI is holding that hand.

The ISI’s “Islamists” (the militants and mercenaries trained to fight in the “name of Islam” for the US missions), are America’s excuse for invasion.  The ISI, and therefore Pakistan, have been set-up as an American “patsies,” guided all along to take the fall whenever the great war against Islam got underway.  Persuaded to accept the American/Afghan “poison pill,” in the person of Abdullah Mehsud and his group of IMU fighters (SEE: The American War on Wana ), the ISI has simply watched the unfolding of an American psyop called the Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP).  The Army dared not eliminate this American guerrilla force or expose it to the international press up till now, but even Pakistan has limits to what it is willing to take.

Let us hope that this case represents a real turning point in the sado-masochistic Pakistani/American relationship and not just another missed opportunity for Pakistan to be free.]

Raymond Davis Affair:  Deeper than you think–and profound repercussions

Obama Taliban

‘Davis’ is the missing link to US support for ‘TTP’ terror in Pakistan

Undoubtedly this is the biggest scandal in US Foreign relations since the US was shot down by the Soviets in the sixties. Then, as now, both sides played out the drama in an iterative manner–neither side letting the other know how much they know.

There are clear indications that there is much more to the “Raymond Davis” affair than thePakistanis are letting on. THis isn’t about murder and diplomatic immunity. This is mush bigger. Something is very wrong with this picture, and Islamabad is tight lipped because it now has concrete evidence that Mr “Raymond Davis” is linked with the Tehrik e Taliban e Pakistan (TTP) and some of the terror activities that have been happening in Pakistan. The Pakistanis are not stupid. Americans stick out like sore thumbs in Pakistan. When they go running around in their black SUVs laced with Satellite equipment they are tracked, traced and followed. In a cat and mouse game, the contractors can sometimes shake their “tails”. On other occasions they cannot. In fact the ISI gives them enough rope to hang themselves with. In this case, it seems Mr. Davis fell into a trap and his situation is now fully compromised. In panic Mr. “Davis” used the Nuclear option and killed the two Pakistanis who were trailing him–knowing full well that killing Pakistani spies or those who knew his identity would blow up in this face. He doesn’t have to say much–the equipment he carried tells a long and bloody story. All this is irrefutable evidence in a Pakistani court of law. The Pakistanis have already released the pictures of the equipment and the evidence that they have gathered. Of course they are still holding on to the juiciest details.

The US has postponed the Afghan-Pakistan-US Trilateral meeting, dropped hints about postponing the date of Mr. Zardari’s visit to the US, and floated all sorts of other threats. Normally Islamabad would have been cognizant of the the problems of spoiling its relationship with the sole Superpower. However the smirking Pakistanis are so confident in the validity of their cause, that they are letting the US escalate the issue.

Pakistan has ignored some of the US pressure and has not buckled under intense US pressure. Both General Kayani and Former Foreign Minister Mahmood Qureshi were not very impressed by US posturing. In fact right after their threatening phone calls and messages Islamabad formally charged Davis with pre-meditated murder in the Lahore High Court. The Court promptly remanded Mr. “Davis” to prison for another 14 days of interrogation. There were stories that if Mr. “Davis” does not cooperate, the interrogation would have been upgraded to level 3 (a euphemism for torture). There are reports that despite admonitions from the US Embassy, Mr. Davis is singing like a bird, and has already given enough information to the Pakistanis to get him convicted in any court of law.

The Former Foreign Minister Qureshi publicly confirmed that Secretary of State Hillary Clintonpressured him to “publicly confirm diplomatic immunity of Davis. However, I refused to do so because it was against the factual position in the case.” FM Qureshi’s confirmation that Mr “Davis” is not a diplomat was repeatedly discussed on all 80 TV channels with copies of his passports and visas prominently displayed for the audience. Mr. Quresh said that
“The kind of blanket immunity Washington is pressing for Davis is not endorsed by the official record of the Foreign Ministry,” adding that Washington even “threatened that Hillary Clinton would not meet me at the Munich conference on February 6 if the request was not granted.”

The situation is so polarized that even traditional US allies in Pakistan have condemned the intrusive murders. Mr. Pervez Hoodbhoy who almost never criticizes the US has condemned the “Davis” affair. The PMLN is of course threatened the PPP with a vote of no-confidence.

It is clear that Mr. “Davis” shot the Pakistani operatives knowing full well who they were. The Pakistani authorities have informed the the media that they are very well aware that Mr. Davis was in touch with the “Pakistani Taliban” (TTP). There is conjecture that Mr. “Davis” walked into a trap laid out by the ISI. In fact his contacts were actually ISI agents. All that he said and did is in the hands of the Pakistanis. Mr. “Davis” thought that by shooting the two operatives, he would eliminate the evidence against him. In fact, it made matters worse. Other operatives who were in the vicinity had already taken the necessary precautions. The ISI has leaked information to the media that Mr. “Davis” had crossed a “red line”.

Clearly, the Americans have panicked because the know that the Pakistani side knows much more than it is prepared to admit in public. This is typical behavior when spies are caught with their thumbs up their noses. There are clear indications that Mr. “Davis” has broken down after sustained interrogation in police custody, and has spilled his guts–making the Pakistanis aware of explosive stuff. Its not that this stuff has surprised the Pakistanis. When you have 3000 of these guys running around the country–something gives. The ISI is one of the world’s most powerful spy organizations in the world. It has deep roots in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Nothing that crawls or walks in Pakistan is hidden from the ISI and other agencies. On top of this there is a million man Pakistani army. 180 million Pakistanis are also watching the Americans and reporting on them. The panicked Americans have continually given highly contradictory versions about Mr. “Davis’s” identity and the nature of his assignment in Pakistan.

It is very clear that Mr. “Davis’s” discovery and detention has sent alarm bells ringing all the way to President Obama’s White House. In a way the Pakistanis are amused. They know they have the Americans where they want them–right up against the wall. The Americans are fully aware that the “Davis” case is shaking the very foundations of the transactional relationship with Pakistan. While the CIA, the State Department and the White House think that this is a new discovery–the Pakistanis point to a long trail of evidence that directly points to the US consultants and their hirelings in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The ISI and the Army believe that at the right time, the details of what the Pakistanis know will be revealed to President Obama and the world.

Pakistan and Pakistanis have known for a long time who is behind the TTP (Tehrik e Taliban e Pakistani). Its not that hard to guess. What surprised the Pakistanis was their ability to inflict bloody attacks on the Pakistani military in order to destabilize Pakistani. Mr. Davis is not an isolated incident–there is a history behind much of what is happening in Pakistan–most of which can be correlated to the rise of the US “consultants” and “contractors” in Pakistan. It is pedagogical to note that last year when the ISI put in requests for deep security checks on those coming into Pakistan–the US put up a hissy fit and forced about 500 of these “Davis types” through without any background checks. Is is noted that the ISI became very suspicious of the insistence of the US in getting these guys into Pakistan at short notice. These guys got very special attention–and that has paid off in the arrest and detention of Mr. Davis. This points to the fact that this incident was not just an accident–it was an incident waiting to happen. The ISI was ready to pounce on the situation once it happened.

Pakistan has been very suspicious of these “contractors” especially when Pakistani state institutions were attacked. The attacks on the the Army HQ, and the ISI sent alarm bells among the rank and file of the Pakistani government. The vibrant Pakistani press has also been on the trail and has repeatedly pointed out the facts about the former Afghan intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh (who was eventually fired by Mr. Karzai). However the US security establishment was in cahoots with him.

The Pakistani military and its highly efficient intelligence set-up had concluded a very long time ago that the TTP was being aided by the very sort of free-wheeling “contractors” that Mr. Davis represents. It was just a matter of time when things came to a boil. It is amazing that the Americans are surprised they have finally be caught red-handed. This has happened in the past, but during the reign of President Musharraf, the Americans got away with it and escaped. This time Mr. “Davis” was caught with his hands in the cookie jar.

Over 100,000 American troops in Afghanistan facing the new Taliban “Spring Offensive” are totally dependent on supplies running through Pakistan. The last time Pakistan shut off the spigot, the Americans ran out of toilet paper and had to cut down on food rations. It must have been hard eating food with dirty hands! If the tiff between the US and Pakistan is not resolved the US may face the consequences in Afghanistan. Failure in the Hindu Kush will certainly impact the presidential elections in 2012.