Dogpatch Spy Provocateur: An American Original


There are so many holes in this story, it’s hard to know where to push in the probes. It began, the public part, with an incident Jan. 27, in Lahore, as reported in the New York Times.  An American driver stopped at an intersection, suspected two men on a scooter of being armed, and firing “through his windshield” with a Glock 9mm, killed both. He then emerged from his vehicle to photograph the corpses with his digital camera. Soon afterward, he was arrested by Pakistani police. A search and preliminary interrogation turned up a lot of suspicious gear and eyebrow raising documentation, setting in motion a chain of shadowy exchanges between US and Pakistani officials, and the New York Times.

Meet Raymond Davis, identified as the American at the center of this brewing storm in relations between the two countries, and a figure so enigmatic at this point that one is hard-pressed to think of his equal in international spy fiction. An International (Express) Tribune story has identified him as either a CIA spook, or a US State Department adjunct working out of Lahore, Pakistan. He certainly looks like the sort we became so uncomfortably familiar with in the bad old days before  Blackwater, forced by a growing number of incidents eerily similar in type to the present one, rose Phoenix-like from its own ashes, reincarnated as Xe (pronounced “Kaiser Seozay”).

What is wrong with this picture?
What is wrong with this picture?

David Lindorf, writing on the growing debacle in Truthout,makes it very clear that, although the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post were all slow to seize on this story, perhaps due to pressure from the Obama administration, the story is so far out ahead of the traditional news outlets that, whatever damage it has the potential to do US-Pakistani relations is unlikely to be mitigated anytime before a lot more damage-causing information, and possibly disinformation, has been revealed.

Raymond Davis seems a most unlikely choice to be out in front of the kind of covert shenanigans he is being accused of perpetrating in behalf of whoever his shadowy masters are. At first glance, he seems utterly lacking in either the formal education or cross-cultural sophistication, to pull off anything nearly so tricky. And that is precisely why the story, focusing as it does on dueling spy agencies carrying out leftover missions from the W Bush era, seems so abjectly plausible. Stay tuned. This story is going to get a lot uglier before it goes away.

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