Raymond Davis: Murder and Espionage
The reasons for this? We may never know with certitude, but informed speculation suggests that, contrary to the protestations of American officials that their staff would never engage in espionage or covert operations in Pakistan, this was indeed what he was busy with. The Washington Post goes so far as to detail that he was operating out of a ‘safe house’ and at the time of the incident he was conducting “area familiarisation” – basic surveillance – in order to better acquaint himself with the area he was working in. There is also speculation that his contacts with the TTP and LeT were more than mere ‘surveillance’. If this is anywhere close to the truth then we are getting a glimpse of the very dark and very dirty side of American foreign policy as it is played out here. Protestations loudly made about diplomatic immunity suddenly appear fatuous and facile, and those making them duplicitous and utterly deceitful. Bluntly put, we have been lied to. Moreover, we have been lied to by some very senior figures in the American administration who sought to both cover their tracks and extricate their man before cat and bag parted company. Whatever the legal outcome, whether Davis is tried for murder or espionage – with the latter probably unlikely – the coinage of American diplomacy in Pakistan has been debased to the point at which it is virtually worthless. And if the Americans ever again complain about us being wary of issuing their ‘technical and administrative assistants’ with visas, they can, to use the vernacular, go take a running jump.