Raymond Davis CIA beyond a shadow of doubt
Raymond Davis, the American “diplomat” who shot dead two men on a Lahore street, triggering a diplomatic crisis between Pakistan and the United States, is a CIA agent who was on assignment at the time of the incident. The Guardian states it 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 Pakistani government is aware of Davis’s CIA status yet has kept quiet in the face of immense American pressure. 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.
Davis served in the US special forces for 10 years before leaving in 2003 to become a private security contractor. A senior Pakistani official said he believed Davis worked with Xe, the controversial firm formerly known as Blackwater, before joining the CIA. A Colorado television station, 9NEWS, initially made a connection after speaking to Davis’s wife, who lives outside Denver. She referred its inquiries to a number in Washington which turned out to be the CIA.
The episode has badly damaged relations between the CIA and the ISI, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency. Davis killed, Faizan Haider, 21, and Muhammad Faheem, 19. A senior police official confirmed American claims that the men were petty thieves – investigators found stolen mobile phones on their bodies, as well as small amounts of foreign currency and illegal weapons – but did not rule out an intelligence link.
Many Pakistanis are outraged at the idea of an armed American rampaging through their second largest city; some analysts have warned of Egyptian-style protests if Davis is released. Outrage has been heightened by the death of a third man who was crushed by an American vehicle as it rushed to Davis’s aid. Pakistani officials believe the vehicle’s occupants were also CIA because they came from the same suburban house where Davis lived and were heavily armed.