Monday, February 28, 2011

UPDATED: Raymond Davis (Pakistan): more notes on the case

Not the best written OpEd yet there are some possibly interesting notes (especially all the items Davis was carrying with him when the tragedy occured - in this latest 8 am or so ET Wed. March 2, 2011 from Pakistan
Forget Aafia, we’ll keep Davis heres What is not shown to be comparative in such different cases as Davis and Aafia's is that in BOTH situations, the US obviously wants to hide lots of evidence of unintelligent intelligence if not blatant human rights abuses. The dark side and the lack of transparency from GWB continues...

Perhaps one good thing to come out of this incident is that allegedly a number of US operatives have left or are leaving Pakistan. (About time!) An article from end of February here

Pakistan and Indian news say CIA contractor organized terrorist activities here (there are many interesting comments under this article)

Same Cover, Same Lies
I Had Ray Davis's Job, in Laos 30 Years Ago
Davis is the American being held as a spy working under diplomatic cover out of our embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. You can understand why foreign countries no longer trust us and people are rising up across the Middle East against the Great Satan.

While some of these comments and items may sound unfamiliar to many western readers who come here, surely there are some items which should resonate with us all as truth we need to heed. Let's pray that those who need to accept the challenge will see the part of this problem in the mirror, will seek amends, and will find the courage and path.

Raymond Davis Incident from here

Drones in war and peace at wondersofpakistan here

Also for many more Pakistani and pertinent blog-sites (as well as some items celebrating the beauty of Pakistan, go to wondersofpakistan blog here and to oneheartforpeace here

Also see the notes on Duane Clarridge (who may also figure in some of these shadowy affairs and set-ups) by going to other recent posts just below at nomorecrusades and at oneheartforpeace


No time to organize, but if you put Raymond Davis Duane Clarridge in google search, here's what comes up from the top:

About 4,480 results (0.36 seconds)
Search Results

No More Crusades: Raymond Davis case: NOTES on Duane Clarridge and ...
Feb 27, 2011 ... Raymond Davis case: NOTES on Duane Clarridge and his Questionable Advise. Recently Duane Clarridge has been seeking to advise the US policy ... - Cached

No More Crusades: Raymond Davis (Pakistan): more notes on the case
Feb 28, 2011 ... Raymond Davis Incident from here ... Also see the notes on Duane Clarridge (who may also figure in some of ... - Cached

No More Crusades: Raymond Davis case: NOTES on Duane Clarridge and ... - Cached
Duane Clarridge | PKonweb
Aug 31, 2010 ... NEW YORK: Former CIA agent Duane Clarridge, who was indicted in 1991 .... MUST WATCH: Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Raymond Davis: Kal Tak 23 Feb ... - Cached

Dewey Clarridge - My FDL | Home
Tags: Afghanistan, assassination squads, CIA, contractor, Dewey Clarridge, drone targeting, Eclipse Group, Pakistan, Raymond Davis, special forces ...

Raymond Davis 'was acting head of CIA in Pakistan'
14 posts - 5 authors - Last post: Feb 22
Raymond Davis 'was acting head of CIA in Pakistan' A US intelligence ... WASHINGTON —

Duane R. Clarridge parted company with the Central ... - Cached
oneheartforpeace: "Raymond Davis" case -- The New Yorker questions ...
Feb 28, 2011 ... ... - Cached
Duane Clarridge « Overseas Civilian Contractors
ne of the companies used a group of American, Afghan and Pakistani agents overseen by Duane Clarridge, a Central Intelligence Agency veteran best known for ... - Cached

See: Daily Kos: First Mercenaries, Now Spies For Hire

Mar 1, 2011 ... It is one thing for someone like Raymond Davis, a contractor for the ... This group run by a former C.I.A official named Duane Clarridge, ...,-Now-Spies-For-Hire
Ex-CIA officer says pay | Intelligent Intelligence

Feb 23, 2011 ... Former CIA senior officer Duane Clarridge says diplomatic talks to free Raymond Davis are a “waste of time”. In an interview with the ... -

Hope you have more time than I do today to sort these out - because there are at least a few clues here as to what goes wrong with folks like the so-called "Raymond Davis" and the shenanigans the US military pulls to try so hard to cover-up the obvious "wealth of secrets" Raymond could show to Pakistan and to the world about American duplicity abroad and in this "war on terror"...

Everybody love(d) Raymond, the double slayer

From 17 February 2011 Truthspring dot info

( Some of the sentiment expressed a few weeks ago - per below - of the Pakistani Gov/Military has changed rapidly - partly due to the pressures and sentiments of the Pakistani people in the streets and Pakistan journalists writing scathing Op Ed. Yet, this Op Ed is still one of the most challenging to come out of this fiasco with truth that still needs to be addressed decently, with reason and without bravado. Ignoring this kind of conversation would continue to raise the ante for disastrous difficulties between the US and Pakistan. )

Everybody loves Raymond, the double slayer

The Pakistani Government ‘loves’ him to the extent that they are willing to bend the rules to grant him diplomatic immunity from prosecution for the twin killings that he committed in Lahore. They ‘love’ him for the large one-time dose of Manna, over and above the routine dosage, that is likely to fly into their coffers from the Grand Masters for the deal.

The US of A ‘loves’ him to the extent that no less than the President of United States wants him released, and pronto too. The lesser minions of America, of course, blow hot and cold threatening to cut off all aid and bring to an abrupt halt the so called ‘strategic alliance’ that the two countries have. They ‘love’ him so much in fact that all drone attacks in FATA have been ceased lest a single hair on Raymond’s well-fed body is harmed in retaliation.

The Punjab Government, in whose domain the crimes took place and who now hold Raymond, ‘loves’ him because he gives them a handle with which to embarrass deeply, and irreparably if it so chooses, the central government –their political opponent. They want the country’s ‘law’ to take its course and the criminal duly prosecuted.

The religious parties ‘love’ him because they have at last found a cause with which to rally the naive masses around. They will now beat their chests in sympathy with the heirs of the victims, organize mass protests, foam at their mouths at the spinelessness that the Pakistani Government shows in every confrontation with the ‘Great Satan’, invoke Islam at every mass gathering and remind people that their version of Islam is the only solution to all evils plaguing the country.

The sacked Foreign Minister of Pakistan, a Makhdoom whose principle vocation is to sell charms and amulets to simple villagers, ‘loves’ Raymond because it was due to him that the Makhdoom has overnight turned into a hero. He has supposedly withstood the pressure of the great US of A by not agreeing to a diplomatic immunity for Raymond, getting fired from his job instead.

All the opposition political parties ‘love’ him because Raymond gives a lease of life to their flagging existence. They can now create further chaos in a nation already deeply splintered along ethnic, sectarian and political fault lines. They see a chance of quietly slipping into corridors of power in the ensuing bedlam. They ‘love’ him for giving them a case that has the rare potential of solidifying the Pakistani nation into a single, unified front against ‘brazen American recklessness’.

The gullible Pakistanis ‘love’ Raymond not only because they have been told to do so but also because his issue all of a sudden reminds them of their ‘love’ for the rule of law. They ‘love’ him to the extent that they are willing to forget and rally around the same leaders who have historically held the rule of law in Pakistan in utmost contempt. It makes them conveniently overlook that the very Pakistani leaders calling Americans to respect Pakistan’s laws are the same people who organized mob attacks on the Supreme Court and even had the Chief Justice of Pakistan manhandled by lowly police constables.

And that bunch of lovelies, the Pakistani Taliban, ‘love’ him for a very simple and straightforward reason. They want him released into their custody so that they could do another Daniel Pearl on him. Call it love for love’s sake.

While all this love wingding goes on, let us have a quick look at the controversy itself.

America’s stand point 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.

Their Pakistani counterparts, however, tell an entirely different story.

They say that not only Raymond Davis does not enjoy diplomatic immunity, the matter is far murkier than what meets the eye. Talking with ABC News on the condition of anonymity, four Pakistani officials have claimed that the two men who Raymond Davis killed in Lahore last month were working for Pakistan’s premiere intelligence service, the ISI. They were following Davis because he was spying. According to these officials, the ISI believed he had crossed “a red line” and needed to be followed.

Between these two diametrically opposing views, journalists, bloggers, media pundits and Charlie’s aunt continue to paint theories with varying shades. While some saner elements want to wait for the smoke to clear away before taking a stance on the issue, most have already announced America’s grand alliance with the Pakistani Taliban/Al-Qaeda with the sole aim of destabilizing the country. They don’t, of course, explain why the US would continue to pump billions of dollars into the country’s treasury on the one hand while conspiring to sink her on the other.

Be that as it may, while everyone else’s sudden rush of love for Raymond is understandable, America’s feverish urgency in their demands for the release of their new found love, a low level operative really, is not.

It is not understandable why seasoned American diplomats would suddenly drop all decorum of hushed and enduring diplomacy. Why would normally dignified US officials suddenly become bulls in a china shop, all muscles, horns and hind quarters, threatening to bring down the whole painstakingly erected edifice if their man is not released. Pray, what sensitivities are involved that have forced the weathered US envoys to replace tact and discretion with threat and bombast? And even if Raymond had diplomatic immunity, why can’t it be waived for the sake of 60 years old partnership? The Americans are, after all, convinced that their man is innocent. No one knows at this point.

So yes, everybody loves Raymond. But the mother of everybody in Pakistan, the Pakistan Army, watches the fracas quietly from the sidelines. For now at least.

By Anwaar Hussain

About Anwaar Hussain Sahib and his archive here

Truth-Spring is the result of one man’s relentless pursuit of truth and his total rejection of lies that are peddled in the name of God, king or country.At Truth Spring it is believed that only truth will set us free. That only truth will help us break the shackles of misplaced patriotism, stranglehold of religion and mind numbing lies of imperialistic forces and their corporate sponsors. Here it is believed that no country is great, or a religion the only true one, because an individual was born in it. Here it is felt that religion is sponsored by the same people who control us through monetary schemes, fiscal laws and credit systems. And that the high priests of these projects are the same people masquerading variously in cloaks or in pinstripe suits.May ‘The Force’ be with the truth seekers.

MORE here

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Raymond Davis case: NOTES on Duane Clarridge and his Questionable Advise

Recently Duane Clarridge has been seeking to advise the US policy makers via an interview with the Washington Post. (February 23-24, 2011) and reposted various other places. To see what kind of

here and



Clarridge's "dispatches — an amalgam of fact, rumor, analysis and uncorroborated reports — have been sent to military officials who, until last spring at least, found some credible enough to be used in planning strikes against militants in Afghanistan. They are also fed to conservative commentators, including Oliver L. North, a compatriot from the Iran-contra days and now a Fox News analyst, and Brad Thor, an author of military thrillers and a frequent guest of Glenn Beck.[4]"

Do US and Pakistan citizens and leaders want a man such as Clarridge to inform policy as he tried to do in a recent Washington Post interview regarding the Raymond Davis case?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Duane Ramsdell "Dewey" Clarridge, (born 1932) was an operations officer for the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and supervisor for more than 30 years, who became known in the mid-1980s for his role in the Contra end of the Iran-Contra Affair. He is the reputed planner of the clandestine mining of Nicaragua's harbors during the Nicaraguan Revolution.[1][2] Clarridge was the founding director of the CIA Counterterrorist Center.[3]
Contents [hide]
1 CIA Career
1.1 Iran-Contra
2 Post-CIA career
3 See also
4 References
5 Further reading
6 External links
[edit]CIA Career

Clarridge was born into a "staunchly Republican family"[4] in Nashua, New Hampshire on April 16, 1932. His father was Duane Herbert Clarridge and his mother was Alice Scott Ramsdale. Duane Herbert Clarridge worked as a dentist.

Duane Ramsdell Clarridge went to the private college preparatory Peddie School for high school, and then went to the Ivy League Brown University. For graduate school he went to Columbia's Graduate School of International Affairs and joined the CIA in 1955. He then rose through the ranks of the CIA in "a normal career pattern up to the late 70s", (as quoted in an interview he gave to CNN's Cold War Episodes program), being chief of the CIA station in Istanbul, where he maintained close contacts with the Counter-Guerrilla, the Turkish stay-behind anti-communist organization. He transferred to Rome before becoming chief of the Latin America division in 1981. According to the New York Times, "[f]rom his days running secret wars for the C.I.A. in Central America to his consulting work in the 1990s on a plan to insert Special Operations troops in Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein, Mr. Clarridge has been an unflinching cheerleader for American intervention overseas."[4]

During his three year tenure, he directed several of the CIA's more notorious operations in Latin America, including the 1984 mining of Nicaraguan harbors, an act for which the United States was convicted in the 1986 World Court at the Hague. When asked about his role in the mining, Clarridge was open about his involvement but downplayed the severity of the covert operation: "So we decided to go big time for the economics alright... So I was sitting at home one night, frankly having a glass of gin, and I said you know the mines has gotta be the solution. I knew we had 'em, we'd made 'em outta sewer pipe and we had the good fusing system on them and we were ready. And you know they wouldn't really hurt anybody because they just weren't that big a mine, alright? Yeah, with luck, bad luck we might hurt somebody, but pretty hard you know?"

Clarridge was also instrumental in organizing and recruiting Contra forces to overthrow Nicaragua's leftist Sandinista government. Clarridge used aliases such as "Dewey Maroni" during these operations. He described the early Contra force as "about 500... some of them were former members of the Nicaraguan National Guard (whose leader Anastasio Somoza Debayle had been overthrown by the Sandinistas in 1979), or a lot of them were just you know peasants from the mountainous areas between Honduras and Nicaragua who had been at war with somebody, forever. And in many respects they were like a bunch of cattle rustlers. Bandits. Not bandits, they weren't robbing people but they were doing the things they do in that area." But, Clarridge maintained, by the end of the conflict, the Contras numbered more than 20,000 peasants due less to the CIA's efforts than to the Sandinistas' attempts at reeducation and land redistribution.

In 1984 he became chief of the European Division of the CIA, where he ran a successful "counterterrorist" operation. Later, with the support of CIA director William Casey, he set up a Counterterrorist Center that operated out of Langley, Virginia.
He has claimed that he had no involvement in the later illegal diversion of funds to the Contras or the subsequent cover-up. Clarridge was indicted in November 1991 on seven counts of perjury and false statements. On Christmas Eve 1992 in the waning hours of his presidency, George H. W. Bush pardoned Clarridge before his trial could finish. At the same time, Bush pardoned five of Clarridge's associates in the Iran-Contra Affair including former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, Elliott Abrams, a former assistant secretary of state for Inter-American affairs; former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane; and former CIA employees Alan Fiers and Clair George.
[edit]Post-CIA career

Clarridge currently runs a "private spying operation . . . from poolside at his home near San Diego.[4] According to the New York Times, "he has fielded operatives in the mountains of Pakistan and the desert badlands of Afghanistan."[4] Specifically, he "has sought to discredit Ahmed Wali Karzai, the Kandahar power broker who has long been on the C.I.A. payroll, and planned to set spies on his half brother, the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, in hopes of collecting beard trimmings or other DNA samples that might prove Mr. Clarridge’s suspicions that the Afghan leader was a heroin addict."[4] In addition to these efforts, Clarridge's "dispatches — an amalgam of fact, rumor, analysis and uncorroborated reports — have been sent to military officials who, until last spring at least, found some credible enough to be used in planning strikes against militants in Afghanistan. They are also fed to conservative commentators, including Oliver L. North, a compatriot from the Iran-contra days and now a Fox News analyst, and Brad Thor, an author of military thrillers and a frequent guest of Glenn Beck.[4]

Colleagues say that Clarridge now views the CIA "largely with contempt."[4] He has "likened his operation, called the Eclipse Group, to the Office of Strategic Services, the C.I.A.’s World War II precursor."[4]
[edit]See also

Gladio, NATO's paramilitary anticommunist organizations during the Cold War, active in most European countries and which followed a strategy of tension in Italy and Turkey.
Operation Charly

^ Fonzi, Gaeton. "The Troublemaker". The Pennsylvania Gazette (November 1994).
^ Historical Encyclopedia of U.S. Independent Counsel Investigations, Gerald S. Greenberg, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000, p. 57
^ Dickey, Christopher. Securing the city: inside America's best counterterror force : the NYPD. Simon and Schuster, 2009. p.25
^ a b c d e f g h Mazzetti, Mark (2011-01-22) Former Spy With Agenda Operates a Private C.I.A., New York Times
[edit]Further reading

Baer, Robert. See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2002.
Clarridge, Duane. A Spy for All Seasons (1997 memoirs)
Kornbluh, Peter and Malcolm Byrne, eds. The Iran-Contra Affair: The Making of a Scandal, 1983-1988 (Document collection). Alexandria, VA: Chadwyck-Healey; Washington, D.C.: National Security Archive, 1990.
Kornbluh, Peter and Malcolm Byrne, eds. The Iran-Contra Scandal: The Declassified History. New York: New Press, Distributed by W.W. Norton, 1993.
Walsh, Lawrence E. Firewall: The Iran-Contra Conspiracy and Cover-up. New York: Norton, 1997.
[edit]External links

Appearances on C-SPAN
Works by or about Duane Clarridge in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
Former Spy With Agenda Operates a Private C.I.A., Mark Mazetti, The New York Times, January 22, 2011
Interview With Duane Clarridge, February 21, 1999

This page was last modified on 20 February 2011 at 22:53.

Related recent items mentioning Duane R. Clarridge:

Duane R. Clarridge, an Ex-CIA officer says pay | Intelligent Intelligence
Feb 23, 2011 ... Former CIA senior officer Duane Clarridge says diplomatic talks to free ... In an interview with the Washington Times, Mr Clarridge –first director of the CIA's

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Feb 23, 2011 ... The New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press and other media outlets ... glcarlstrom Raymond Davis is an Indian spy now? This case keeps getting ... Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and the other former Soviet republics. ... Hasenfus' crash and detainment blew the lid off the Iran-Contra affair. ... - Cached

Glenn Greenwald -
Feb 25, 2011 ... (1) On January 27, Raymond Davis, a former U.S. Special Forces soldier, ... while The Washington Post's "fact-checking" feature reviews the ... A number of US media outlets learned about Davis's CIA role but have kept it under .... secret": his case was dismissed at the initial stage; by contrast, ... - Cached
Ex-CIA officer says pay | Intelligent Intelligence
Feb 23, 2011 ... Former CIA senior officer Duane Clarridge says diplomatic talks to free ... In an interview with the Washington Times, Mr Clarridge –first director of the CIA's ... CIA officer Davis shot and killed two Pakistani men on January 27 as they ... Add A Comment. You must be logged in to post a comment. ...

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Feb 18, 2011 ... CIA case managers are well-trained and are unlikely to conduct themselves as Davis did. .... In contrast, cases that undermine and weaken the government ..... by the Slate Group, a division of The Washington Post Company ...

The following are simply from google search and I haven't looked these over for an opinon:

NEW U.S. STUDY – The Taliban have nothing to do with Al-Qaeda 3/4 ...
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Also published Sunday night was an analysis by the Washington Post revealing that ... CIA drone attacks in Pakistan killed at least 581 militants last year, .... The case of Raymond Allen Davis, who has admitted he fatally shot two ..... It can send up to 65 different images to different users; by contrast, ... - Cached

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED | The History The US Government HOPES You ...
Feb 26, 2011 ... Even if you believe Unions have been corrupted, in this case you have to go ... The two intelligence chiefs reportedly discussed the Raymond Davis issue and the status of cooperation between the CIA and the ISI, the Dawn reports. ..... Gates, a former CIA director, replaced Donald Rumsfeld in the ... - Cached - Similar

Pakistan News - Breaking World Pakistan News - The New York Times
Why “C.I.A.” was too risky to publish in the case of Raymond Davis, who is charged ... Pakistani authorities gave no details in their case against the former president, now in exile. .... A network of spies run by Duane R. Clarridge shows how private citizens can exploit the .... The Washington Post. July 3, 2007. ... › World › Countries and Territories

Excuse this overly-quick posting not yet edited - yet wanted to get this info out with limited time.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fallout of the (Raymond) Davis case

Posted By Huma Yusuf in DAWN (Pakistan) On February 21, 2011 @ 2:05 am (21 hours ago) In Columnists > Op-ed | Comments Disabled

TO most westerners, putting Raymond Davis, Aafia Siddiqui, COIN ops in Afghanistan, and drone attacks in the same context is incoherent. But to Pakistanis and others across the Muslim world, these things are all part of the same political and emotional continuum.

It is no wonder that the Davis case is igniting the anti-American sentiment that has smouldered in the region for decades now. As the standoff between Washington and Islamabad over Davis`s fate continues, any recent gains made by US public diplomacy officers to alter the Pakistani public`s perception of America have been lost.

Congressmen and senior government officials are frothing at the mouth. They know that despite generous pledges of civilian aid and hopes for a long-term strategic partnership, Pakistanis will remain politically obstinate. In recent days, US lawmakers have complained that Pakistanis are `ungrateful` and that too many US taxpayer dollars are being wasted to buy our hate. This disdainful tone stems from frustration with anti-Americanism, which is perceived as a knee-jerk reaction by the illiterate and uninformed. The Great Satan narrative is, to US policymakers, a hysterical response to complex political realities and diplomatic relations. They write off the attitude and refuse to engage it owing to its one-dimensionality and emotionalism.

In Pakistan`s case, the news media is held largely responsible for proliferating this sentiment. It has been accused of kowtowing to a populist narrative and taking cheap shots at the US to boost ratings. The consensus is that the media industry has sacrificed objectivity, ethics and journalistic standards in favour of a paranoid dramatics centred on American imperialism.

Findings of a poll of Pakistani journalists published recently complicate this picture, however. In 2010 professors Lawrence Pintak of the Washington State University and Syed Javed Nazir of LUMS surveyed 395 Pakistani journalists, with support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. They found that journalists` brand of anti-Americanism was nuanced, distinguishing between people and policies. Some 52 per cent viewed the US as a whole favourably, and 76 per cent had a positive opinion of Americans as a people.

But they were overwhelmingly critical of US foreign policy: more than three-quarters (77 per cent) view it unfavourably. Moreover, their grievances about US foreign policy are specific. Eighty-four per cent think the US meddles unjustly in Pakistan`s politics, and 87 per cent are clear that US forces should not be allowed to operate on Pakistani soil.

Significantly, the journalists` concerns about US interventionism are balanced by rational and self-reflexive political views. Their responses indicate a willingness to engage with the rationale driving US regional policy. Seventy-two per cent approve of the US decision to provide aid after the Kashmir earthquake, whether to generate Muslim support or owing to a humanitarian impetus. And almost half the respondents (46 per cent) acknowledge that US involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan stems from a sincere desire to help.

Survey respondents also reveal a thoughtful — and measured — perspective on Pakistan`s domestic socio-political situation. Asked what is the greatest threat facing Pakistan today, 30 per cent responded `terrorism`, 20 per cent `political instability`, 18 per cent `economy`, 16 per cent `US policy` and 11 per cent `education`. These responses illustrate how apprehension about US foreign policy is a small part of a bigger picture, and that media professionals are justifiably more concerned about internal rather than external threats.

That said, some aspects of the survey require one to view the industry with a critical eye. For example, while about one-third of journalists agree that terrorism is the major national problem, their understanding of what constitutes terrorism reflects conflicted politics: 67 per cent define US drone attacks as terrorist acts, 65 per cent believe US military operations in Kandahar also count as terrorism. These figures are lower than opinions about whether the Mumbai attacks and journalist Daniel Pearl`s murder are terrorist activities but reiterate strong objections to US foreign policy.

What becomes clear is that televised anti-Americanism — or, more accurately, strong reservations about US foreign policy — is not merely a media marketing strategy. Instead, it is a reflection of the position held by the `key influencers` themselves. More research is now needed to determine whether the influencers within the media industry create and drive broader anti-US sentiment, or if they are participants in a pre-existing social phenomenon.

Here`s the more vital takeaway from the poll: the US, international community and domestic media practitioners and critics should not reject or resist the hyper anti-Americanism on Pakistan`s airwaves. Rather, parties on all sides should recognise the need for expressing the same ideas in an articulate, accurate and therefore more effective manner — one that can facilitate dialogue.

All stakeholders should acknowledge that media professionals and audiences are not reactionary for the sake of being so. They are amplifying concerns about genuinely problematic policies and politics. Roger Hardy, a British journalist who has written extensively about the Middle East, often refers to a `deep well of grievances` from which many members of the global Muslim community draw.

This well gushes with the many factors that have produced tensions between the Muslim world and the West: colonial history, contemporary geopolitics, systemic inequalities of development, and ideological marginalisation — the backdrop that seamlessly links Davis to drones. And it nourishes to various degrees the frustrations of various people, whether they are vociferous journalists, political activists, enraged clerics or suicide bombers.

Before the US shuns the voices in our public sphere as rabid and `ungrateful`, it should think about hearing them. That may be the first step towards changing the content of the well, thereby learning how to progress beyond stalemates such as the Davis affair.

The writer is the Pakistan Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Centre in Washington, D.C.

Article printed from DAWN.COM | Latest news, Breaking news, Pakistan News, World news, business, sport and multimedia:

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For various other items on this case go to oneheartforpeace


Friday, February 18, 2011

US Strange form of "Justice" (Padilla)

Torture Policy
Friday, Feb 18, 2011 05:19 ET

U.S. Justice v. the world

By Glenn Greenwald In March, 2002, American citizen Jose Padilla was arrested in Chicago and publicly accused by then-Attorney-General John Ashcroft of being "The Dirty Bomber." Shortly thereafter, he was transferred to a military brig in South Carolina, where he was held for almost two years completely incommunicado (charged with no crime and denied all access to the outside world, including even a lawyer) and was brutally tortured, both physically and psychologically. All of this -- including the torture -- was carried out pursuant to orders from President Bush, Secretary Rumsfeld and other high-ranking officials. Just as the Supreme Court was about to hear Padilla's plea to be charged or released -- and thus finally decide if the President has the power to imprison American citizens on U.S. soil with no charges of any kind -- the Government indicted him in a federal court on charges far less serious than Ashcroft had touted years earlier, causing the Supreme Court to dismiss Padilla's arguments as "moot"; Padilla was then convicted and sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Padilla -- like so many other War on Terror detainees -- has spent years in American courts trying unsuccessfully to hold accountable the high-level government officials responsible for his abuse and lawless imprisonment (which occurred for years prior to his indictment). Not only has Padilla (and all other detainees) failed to obtain redress for what was done to them, but worse, they have been entirely denied even the right to have their cases heard in court. That's because the U.S. Government has invented -- and federal courts have dutifully accepted -- a whole slew of legal doctrines which have only one purpose: to insulate the country's most powerful political officials from legal accountability even when they commit the most egregious crimes, such as imprisoning incommunicado and torturing an American citizen arrested and detained on U.S. soil.

Continue Reading here

For constant updates on another case, that of another US citizen, Raymond Davis, with other unusual twists on "justice" go here

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pakistanis Demand Exchange of Aafia Siddiqui for Raymond Davis

Pak Minister: They want Davis, We want Aafia
Pakistani media: NATION, DAWN, The NEWS and other sources...

“We will demand the release of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui if America demands the release of Raymond Davis,” said Federal Law Minister Babar Awan at a press conference in Gujranwala on Sunday.

Yet, at just about noon ET New York Time, reports indicate the Pakistan authorities seem to be weakening. Legal/justice official states that Davis should be released to the US according to a Geneva law on diplomats.

However, many Pakistani lawyers and experts on the rulings for diplomats disagree.

If Davis is released and without an exchange for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, all indications are that there will be way more trouble for the US administration and military than expected. Meantime, here are some recent reports:

Feb 14,2011

GUJRANWALA/LAHORE– Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Babar Awan said on Sunday that the United States has “a repatriation call (for Davis) and we have a call (for Aafia)”. Awan’s statement, the first of its kind by a state functionary, came during his talk with journalists as he visited Gujranwala to offer condolences for PPP City President Lala Muhammad Idrees’s demise. He made another similar statement on his arrival in Lahore later in the day.

A US court has sentenced Dr Aafia to prolonged imprisonment on charges of abetting militants in Afghanistan, a charge Dr Aafia and his family vehemently deny. There had been calls from political and religious parties of Pakistan to free Dr Aafia in view of her deteriorating health, but the US never paid heed to such calls.

Awan wants to swap Davis with Dr. Aafia Siddiqui


Feb 13, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's federal law minister has called on the US authorities to exchange a US national currently facing trial for a double murder in Lahore for a Pakistani doctor who was sentenced to 86 years in jail in the US.

“We will demand the release of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui if America demands the release of Raymond Davis,” said Federal Law Minister Babar Awan at a press conference in Gujranwala on Sunday.

Thirty-eight-year-old Aafia Siddiqui, a highly-educated Pakistani neurologist, is serving 86 years in prison after being found guilty of shooting at two US soldiers in dubious circumstances while in custody in Afghanistan.

The case of Davis, who shot dead two Pakistanis in late January, has raised tensions between Pakistan and the US. The US government insists he enjoys diplomatic immunity and should be released.

Awan’s statement shows a different position than that adopted by the Zardari government, which says the courts will decide Davis’ fate.

Awan, who normally articulates the policy statements of President Asif Ali Zardari, has picked the line of the Jamaat-e-Islami, which has been demanding a prisoner exchange. President Zardari also recently canceled a visit to the US due to the case.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Egypt and US' Faustian Bargains

Al Jazeera Photo

Faustian Bargains in Egypt and Elsewhere
By: Peterr Saturday February 12, 2011 9:00 am

Posted on FireDogLake

photo: Al Jazeera

First Tunisia, then Egypt, and next comes . . .?

The media reporters, pundits, and pontificators were filling the airwaves yesterday with breathless conversations and speculations about the possibility of other countries following the path of Tunisia and Egypt. What about Algeria? Jordan? Saudi Arabia? Iran? Libya? What about central Africa?

Behind the scenes, the same conversations are being held at the State Department headquarters in DC and in US embassies around the world. “What is the reaction to Egypt in your country?” the folks at Foggy Bottom ask their embassies. “Is there any likelihood of your country being next?”

Diplomats love the orderly transitions of power found in stable democracies. When it comes to foreign elections, the party in power in DC might prefer one political party to come out on top (US Republicans might root for Germany’s Christian Democrats over the Social Democrats, for example), but the US takes a neutral stance in these election so as to be able to work with whoever wins. Generally speaking, the same holds true in reverse, and everyone releases statements of congratulations to the winners and praises the work of peaceful democratic institutions in action.

There’s also a certain amount of ease at Foggy Bottom when dealing with acknowledged enemies. Both Kennedy and Reagan used speeches in Berlin to contrast the freedom found in the west with the oppression found in the east. “We’re the good guys, they’re the bad guys, and we support freedom in those countries instead of oppression.” It’s not only easy to criticize these countries, but expected. In these situations, the diplomatic world is black and white, more or less, so if something unusual takes place, the diplomats from the Secretary of State on down to the lowest intern know which way to jump. Nelson Mandela gets released? Strike up the band. The Berlin Wall topples? Start the cheers!

But when the US decides to prop up a local strongman, it makes a bargain. “OK, we don’t like what you’re doing, but we’ll ignore that for the larger goal of your cooperation on something else.” There may be good short-term reasons for bargains like these, but the longer this kind of support goes on, the more trouble it may cause down the road when things boil over. The anger at the oppression of the Shah of Iran in the 1970s also was aimed at the US, because the victorious Iranian revolutionaries knew about the bargains the Shah made with the US.

These Faustian bargains — selling the freedom-loving soul of the United States for short-term advantage — come due when the strongman leaves the scene. If a new strongman deposes the old, perhaps a new bargain can be struck. But if a popular revolution takes down the strongman, all bets are off and the diplomats start to sweat. Again, see Iran in the 1970s.

Which brings us to this tweet from Jake Tapper= GO here

"Raymond Davis" Case: Pakistan & Judiciary Holding Firm

Just as the US needs all the help in get from Islamabad if it wants to start bringing home its troops from Afghanistan later this year, a crucial meeting set for end of February was canceled due to the disgreements over the Raymond Davis case - further undermining an alliance that has not been working well for quite awhile.

To America's disgrace, the reporters and officials alike have written off the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and now this current tragedy of Raymond Davis' murders as insignificant.

This is desperately sad news for the leadership and people of both countries. And for America, the case has already revealed too many uncomfortable facts. Yet many remain - and more for the US who have yet to investigate. Who exactly is Raymond Davis, described by the US as a member of "technical and administrative staff"? What sort of "diplomat" carries a weapon? What was he doing driving alone through Lahore? How does Hyperion come into play? Was he meeting an informer? Such is the panic, that last week the State Department spokesman denied his name was even "Raymond Davis". Yet a spokeswoman for the embassy in Islamabad said Crowley had not denied the name was "Raymond Davis" which name has been used since.

Releasing Davis on the grounds of diplomatic immunity (especially when top well-informed lawyers have good reason to cancel such as not at all in keeping with national agreements) risks unleashing the angriest sentiments yet from the Pakistan people.

Many are asking wouldn't US demands further undermine one of the world's most important alliances? This would take us back to Pakistan's birth as a democracy when the US was the only nation to be present with confirmation and recognition. Yet the history of US in the region keeps growing more and more shady.

Various Wires/News Sources indicate the following as of Saturday February 12, 2011 US time or Sunday, February 13, 2011, 00:09 Pakistan time:

***Pakistan extends jailing of U.S. official according to article by Waqar Gillani and Jane Perlez in the New York Times who report that "The official, Raymond Davis, 36, whose arrest has cast a deep chill over U.S.-Pakistan relations, said he acted in self-defense when he shot the men in an attempted daylight robbery Jan. 27."

***A 30-minute, closed- door court hearing too place, after which Lahore Police Chief Aslam Tareen said Davis had committed "coldblooded" murder. Davis was then transferred to a city jail to await formal charges.

***Hassam Qadir, attorney for Davis (US?), requested of Judge Aneeq Anwar Chaudry and Municipal Court to adhere to the principles of diplomatic immunity and release Davis. (Perhaps because the US State Department has been adamant that Davis is protected by diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention. The US has demanded immediate release.

***In a statement Friday night, the senior U.S. official posted to Lahore, consulate head Carmela Conroy, described the shooting as "a tragedy." Conroy also criticized the Pakistani authorities for ignoring what she called eyewitness accounts and physical evidence, including the alleged police statement that one of the assailants carried a loaded gun.

***The statement Friday night said Davis had been assigned as an "administrative and technical" member of the staff (a contractor?)at the American Embassy in Islamabad. His wife had rented a home in Highlands Ranch. Evidently, Davis visited over the holidays.

***There have also been some conversations/suspicions among Pakistanis wondering if Raymond Davis was in Pakistan to spy on facilities in the country.

*** Islamabad: Due to the 16-day stand-off between the US and Pakistan over an American official arrested for gunning down two men in Lahore a crucial trilateral meeting has been canceled. This meeting was to be held late February in US to discuss the emerging situation in Afghanistan.

***The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of US, Pakistan and Afghanistan is "most likely being rescheduled" allegedly according to Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said today to the Diplomatic Correspondents of Pakistan. During this quickly assembled meeting, Bashir also said that there were "no clear dates" for President Barack Obama's visit to Pakistan though "this has been talked of for a long time."

***Some Reports have said recently that the US has suspended ALL HIGH-LEVEL contacts to pressure Pakistan to release American official Raymond Davis, who was arrested in Lahore on January 27 after he shot and killed two men who he claimed were trying to rob him.

***Confusion has surrounded the diplomatic status of Davis, a former military personnel, and the identity of the two men he killed - although perhaps less confusion on the part of Pakistan authorities than on the part of the US officials who are not accepting carefully gathered information from the Pakistanis.

***Bashir added that the pressure mounted by the US for Davis's release was "counter-productive" and said that this could adversely impact bilateral ties.
He said adamantly that Davis' case was in (Pakistan) court and would be decided according to Pakistani laws.

*** Poignantly, Bashir added: "If I were personally to do something which is morally wrong or even criminal, (something) that is not right by civilized standards, then I (would) not seek immunity or seek protection under some figment like the concept of immunity." (He was likely referring to past 15-16 days of confusion which may have been stirred largely by the US military officials.)

***Diplomatic Immunity has a long history and is not limited to the Vienna Convention and Pakistani laws. The US has said dogmatically that Davis enjoys diplomatic immunity. Thus, Bashir indicated that such a ruling could and should be an "executive determination"that could and should be made by Pakistan's Foreign Office. Bashir said that the Lahore High Court, which is hearing a case related to Davis' immunity, had stated that "this question has not arisen and it is the court's prerogative to take (this up) if the issue is raised."

*** Tactfully, Bashir expressed the hope that the Lahore incident will not be "blown out of proportion and affect our bilateral relationship. It is an important relationship with the US, Pakistan values that relationship," he said, adding,
"We hope that nothing will be said or done that will be detrimental to this relationship that we want to have with the US. In Islamabad we are very clear; we hope they are equally clear in Washington.

***Quite striking was one of Bashir's ending comments: "It will be extremely counter-productive if one incident, one person destroys a relationship of 60 years," he added. (Pakistani leaders have been quite unified in rebuffing US demands for Davis to be freed despite warning by American lawmakers that the issue could lead to cuts in civil and military aid.)

***Davis is currently in Pakistani judicial custody and police have rejected his claim of acting in self-defense. In fact, on a 'charge-sheet', Pakistani police accused Davis of "intentional and cold-blooded murder".

To see contrast again of a more US position GO to this article "Pakistani police call American a 'cold-blooded' killer" posted Saturday, February 12, 2011. LAHORE, Pakistan — Pakistani police on Friday accused an ... 27 in the eastern city of Lahore while trying to rob Davis. here Also see Read more: Pakistan extends jailing of U.S. official - The Denver Post lead The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content:

And top article at one heart for peace

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

No more Torture accepted in the name of so-called "Intelligence"

If you are from a country outside America, do YOUR people and our's a favor: HOLD U.S. RESPONSIBLE for US misdeeds. This is the only way there will be peace and justice worldwide. The US has been allowed to be "cowboys" running wild in the world too long.

YOUR nation does not do the Americans any favor by allowing US abuses to get a mere spanking and then continue to let this criminal nation off the hook!

Here's an older Human Rights Report showing how Europe has been involved in torture.

Of course, US involvement in the use of torture, intimidation, isolation (even with out charge or fair judicial trial) has taken an unfortunate lead over many years and there's quite a bit of debate as to whether or not this is still ongoing. But in my research - it is.

Part of the way the US leadership or "outsourcing" of torture and war crimes may well be continuing are as follow:

There are now military-connected ships (may be even disguised as other kinds of ships) where detainees are on board out of territories more likely to be considered vulnerable to prosecution.

There may well be other torture cells/prisons where such abuses continue outside of Gitmo and in prisons/cells where the US has been or is currently engaged in some manner of occupation.

The cooperation of torture activity and related continue, unfortunately by US cooperation with other nations considered allies and partners.

Renditions and extra-judicial renditions still continue from a number of sources. These would be fairly easy to search for online.

Fortunately, these abuses are becoming somewhat easier to hide due to the various movements by the people in Tunisia and Egypt. Often, these abuses continue under the auspices of two-nations - including often the US. YET, the US has had a practice since the former G W Bush regime - and likely longer - of faulting these "partners and allies" for human rights abuses without admitting to America's own larger schemes.

Since there has been no effective exposure nor indictment of the "torture lawyers" who operated under former US President G W Bush (and several are thought to still be retained in the US government in some capacity), nor has Rumsfeld and many other designers of torture been called

In Egypt, some major steps have been taken toward human rights which are a huge lesson for our US pseudo-democracy. At the same time, few know how involved current Egyptian vice-president (or spokesman?) has been in activities related to torture and in order for true human rights to exist - this must be brought out and admitted as well as dramatically changed.

Of course, as always these days, the US is the most notorious bully and torturer and there is so much that must be changed in America before human rights advocates will have the integrity needed to address these abuses elsewhere.

Bringing Guantánamo to Poland

— and Talking About the Secret CIA Torture Prison By Andy Worthington

Last Monday, Moazzam Begg (former Guantánamo prisoner and the director of the NGO Cageprisoners) and I flew out to Poland to take part in a week-long tour of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (which I co-directed with filmmaker Polly Nash) to raise awareness of the plight of the remaining 172 prisoners in Guantánamo (effectively abandoned by the Obama administration, and now largely held as political prisoners), and to ask the Polish people to encourage their government to help close Guantánamo by offering new homes to one or two of the 31 men cleared for release by the Obama administration, but still held because they face the risk of torture or other ill-treatment in their home countries, and to join 15 other countries (including Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia and Slovakia) in doing so.

In addition — and perhaps most crucially — Moazzam and I were looking forward to having the opportunity to discuss the existence, in the early years of the “War on Terror,” of a secret CIA torture prison at Stare Kiejkuty, near Szymany, where a number of “high-value detainees,” including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, were held, as part of a network of secret prisons that also included facilities in Thailand, Romania, Lithuania and Morocco...

Read more at Andy Worthington's website/blog

And be sure to see the very CRUCIAL case and story unfolding of Robert Davis in the blog below...

Monday, February 7, 2011

UPDATED: The "Raymond Davis" Case: the part the US plays

For update as of 13 February (Pakistan time) see post above on this blog as well as on blogsite: One Heart For Peace for this same date.

photo from AP wires showing widow's body with family member(s). The woman widowed as reaction to husband's death due to crime committed by an American named "Raymond Davis" committed suicide. Mr. Davis has been called differing names by differing American officials). She said before taking the poison that she feared the murderer would be set free.

This incident and all that is entailed by the Pakistani justice system is yet another crucial conflict is exposing the distrust between the US and "Ally"? Pakistan. Although the news from Egypt on the protests is huge and deserving - we ignore this current conflict in Pakistan to the detriment of crucial relationships with a named "ally". Doesn't this case affect us all? (see items UPDATED Tuesday & Wednesday 8-9 February, 2011 as well as the KEY brief from a lawyer familiar with immunity laws -find this below the wired news)

First, here's a brief summary I've paraphrased with liberty from a larger piece by a friend and journalist:

On Thursday, 27th, an American shot down two motorcyclists in Lahore. Another car, apparently connected with the same American, overran a civilian within minutes. The one who shot the motorcyclists escaped from the scene but was chased by the traffic police and arrested. He was identified as Raymond David, an American who had once been intercepted while trying to enter the cantonment with a weapon (which diplomats are not usually supposed to carry).

The law minister promised that access would be gained to the driver of the other car by the next evening. This promise was not known publically to have occured.

The next day, the police got a six-day remand of Davis from the court. Davis pleaded self-defense. Highly suspect: the autopsy reports showed that the victim who died on the spot had received four bullet wounds, the one who died in the hospital had received three, and the one ran down by the other car died of head injuries.

The following day, the US embassy demanded Davis' immediate release under diplomatic immunity. This was turned down by the Pakistani government since the issue was sub-judice and the embassy was asked to present its argument in the court.

In the meanwhile, the Supreme Court chief justice Javed Iqbal ordered that Davis should not be allowed to leave the country.

Notable: this incident happened during the same time period Pakistan's Supreme Court had given hint that it would press criminal charges against officials involved in the abduction of the "missing persons".

On separate charges of corruption, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had started investigations against its own chief on orders from the Supreme Court. Hence, there is a high expectation in the public that the law of the land would be upheld even against odds.

"Respect the law, and trust the judiciary to dispense justice." Is not this the noblest and safest approach for those who can influence public opinion in the case of Raymond Davis in Pakistan, US or elsewhere? Since Pakistan and the US are allies (and both are facing more and more near unsurmountable challenges) why not fall back on an ideal that ought to be equally dear to all civilized societies can be a good way of responding to this latest crisis.

In Washington, the State Department announced that the person arrested was a diplomat but the name given by the media was not correct. Following this, the media soon changed the name to Raymond Davis (hopefully getting it correct this time?).
The name Raymond Davis reported to have been given to the alleged perpetrator of the crime AFTER the crime brings up even more suspicions when upon seeing that this is quite a common name.

Latest News:

US Cuts Ties here A big question is the degree of reaction by the US authorities and WHAT is perhaps being shoved under the rug? Isn't this a time more than most for diplomacy and a look at consensus on international LEGAL agreements?

Replies sought on pleas for Davis record here

Diplomat Davis Faces Forgery Charge here

UPI wires 7 February, 2011:

Two men allegedly shot by U.S. diplomat Raymond Davis were allegedly linked to the Pakistani intelligence agency, a security source disclosed. Davis, whom Washington described as a member of the "technical administrative staff" at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, was arrested last month on charges he shot two Pakistanis. He said the shootings were in self-defense. Washington and Islamabad are at odds over the status of his diplomatic immunity. Islamabad is reluctant to release the American, however,Read more here Why should US blame Pakistan officials if they are not caving in before the world - especially if there is good legal reason to support Davis' trial in Pakistan? What is the part the US plays in goodwill and law? See lawyer's excellent summary below.


4 pm EST 7 February, 2011 Online News:

US insists release of Robert Davis; Pakistan adamant on legal course

ISLAMABAD: Warning that delays in unconditional release of Robert Davis could adversely affect bilateral ties, US on Monday once again insisted upon earliest possible release of the American involved in killing of two people in Lahore.

According to sources, the intimation to this effect was made during the meeting between US ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter and President Asif Ali Zardari. The President, however, made it clear on the US ambassador that the matter was subjudice before a court of law and the verdict of the court must be awaited.

The President reiterated during the meeting that Pakistan values its relations with US and desires durable bilateral relations. However under the present circumstances the immediate release of the US national in question was not possible before the relevant court disposes off the case.

Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar briefing the media about the meeting said that the two discussed Pak-US bilateral relations.

Cameron Munter, who had arrived from Washington after discussing the Raymond Davis issue with his govt, gave a message from his government to the President regarding the immediate release of Robert Davis, he added. He said that the matter of Raymond Davis lies with the Punjab govt and the federal govt is in constant touch with the Punjab govt on the issue.

Earlier, UK High Commissioner Mr. Adam Thomson also called on the President and discussed bilateral relations.


In preparation for articles on this case (mine and perhaps others) - I am collecting and posting NOTES below. The points are a condensation of various trusted sources (some are named and some will most likely be named soon upon permission.)

The following is almost verbatim (slight editing and a few omissions. This case is much more crucial than appears to meet the eyes of American reporters. Here is a summary of a legal background for both Pakistan and the US which certainly figures in this case.



From a well-informed lawyer: Salahuddin Ahmed

Pakistan is a signatory to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The substance of both Conventions are part of Pakistani law through the Diplomatic & Consular Privileges Act 1972.

Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, a diplomatic agent cannot be arrested or detained. Period. No exceptions. The same for members of the technical and administrative staff of a diplomatic mission.

Many other countries in the world have adopted this convention and usually hold to the same. Whether an ethical consideration or no, such a convention is also to protect the lives and property of each nation's own diplomats.

Thus, if Pakistan was to prosecute a U.S. diplomat rightly accused of murder in Islamabad - what would stop the U.S. from bringing trumped-up terrorism charges against a Pakistani diplomat in Washington? The whole diplomatic system would be jeopardized.

Perhaps, the closest a country has been to ignoring the Convention was when someone fired a machine-gun from the Libyan embassy in London upon a crowd of protesters outside and killed an unarmed British police-woman as a result. The UK police laid siege to the embassy for more than a week (in itself a violation of the Convention). The British police were not allowed to enter the embassy and/or to waive diplomatic immunity for the Libyan embassy staff. The Libyan police were ordered to besiege the British Embassy in Tripoli. Eventually, the UK broke off diplomatic relations with Libya but the embassy staff was nevertheless allowed to return to Libya unhindered.

Pakistan could thus become an international pariah with such willfully violating of this Convention as to confer immunity upon such diplomats. A first step might be that all NATO countries (and other countries under US influence) would then withdraw their diplomatic missions from Pakistan citing 'risks to personnel'.

However, consular staff (as opposed to diplomatic staff) enjoy only a limited immunity under the second Vienna Convention. The second Convention does not protect them against 'grave crimes'.

The US originally termed the man known as "Raymond Davis" as a staff member of the Lahore consulate. That was insufficient to save him from a murder charge - given the limited immunity conferred by the second Convention. Therefore, "Raymond Davis" was subsequently termed a staff member of the US Embassy in Islamabad assigned to the Lahore consulate. This would bring him under the protection of the first Convention.

Who will decide what was his actual/official US capacity?

The courts?

If Davis raises a plea of diplomatic immunity, the court should ask the Federal Government to verify his status. Section 4 of the Diplomatic & Consular Privileges Act 1972 states that 'if any question arises whether or not any person is entitled to any privilege or immunity under this Act... a Certificate of the Federal Government stating any fact relating to that question shall be conclusive evidence of that fact'.

In other words, the courts have to accept the government's finding. The reason for maintaining the government's primacy in the matter is that the delicate matter of maintaining diplomatic and foreign relations is not considered to be within the competency of the courts alone.

Under Article 10 read with Article 39 of the first Convention, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has to be notified of the appointment of persons to a diplomatic or consular post and about their entry into the host country. Such immunity and privileges are expected to start from entry for eligible persons by the host country for the purpose of taking up their post. (Or - if such officials were/are already in the host country at the time of their appointment - this immunity was/is to begin from the time such an appointment is notified to the Foreign Ministry of the host.

The holding of a diplomatic passport alone means nothing.

There is therefore only one question that is to be answered. On the date when Raymond Davis killed the two men in Lahore, was his status as a diplomat duly notified to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs? If not, the Pakistani government would be completely within its rights under the Conventions to deny him immunity.

The fact that the Foreign Ministry has refused to comment tends to indicate that his appointment was not notified. Otherwise, the government could have easily used the dictates of law as an excuse to hand him over. It is clear that the only compulsions currently operating upon the government are political (both American and perhaps other parties) and not legal.

However, the government cannot bury its head in the sand for much longer nor can it pass the buck on to the courts (who are obliged to accept the government's certificate in the matter).

The other issue that bears greater scrutiny (than appears to have been given thus far) is the profile of the 3rd man who was killed by the SUV coming, evidently, to save Davis. Was it driven by a consul official?

As pointed out above, consul officials are not immune from arrest for grave crimes. Manslaughter is a grave crime. In any event, the consul is not immune from civil suits in relation to road traffic accidents. Why are there so few reports about the background of the third man? What are possible options under consideration in his case?

Last, since the question of 'green cards and dollars' came up, shouldn't the wishes of the deceased closest family members be considered? While they may indeed want to see Davis punished ... they may instead be of the view that nothing will bring back the dead. Should that decision not be theirs without influence by other perceptions of 'honour' and 'national pride'?

Pakistanis show solidarity with Siddiqui//Memories of MIT to Carswell Prison

Pakistanis show solidarity with Siddiqui
Sun Feb 6, 2011 10:45PM
Press TV and other sources...
Once again, people in Karachi have gathered to show their solidarity with Pakistani scientist Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and to denounce the Lahore killings in which two Pakistanis were killed by Raymond Davis, a US national.

These protesters are angry at what they say, the US meddling in Pakistani affairs and its double standards as on one hand it sentenced Afia Siddiqui to 86 six years in prison and on the other hand it is putting pressure on Pakistani officials to release Raymond Davis.

The US government insists Raymond Davis who was arrested after he shot down two Pakistani men has diplomatic immunity and must be allowed to leave the country. However, Pakistani officials say he's probably a security expert who works for a private contractor, making him ineligible for diplomatic immunity.

A UK based Lawyer believes that he is not a diplomat and government is trying to get a forged passport for him.

Afia Siddiqui was arrested in July 2008 in Afghanistan on charges of having links with Al-Qaeda. In early 2010, she was convicted in a US court of trying to kill her US interrogators in Afghanistan.

Siddiqui's family say despite their serious concerns regarding Afia's health, US officials have repeatedly turned down their request to meet Aafia, while in the case of Davis, the US officials have met him several times.

Although the Zardari administration claims they are trying their best to ensure the safe and immediate release of Aafia, but her family do not pin great hopes on their efforts, as Pakistan does not have any extradition treaty with the United States while the US officials expect Raymand's release soon.
Here's a touching article, memory and challenge by a supporter/friend of Aafia's - evidently written shortly after Aafia's trial):

Aafia Siddiqui – Memories of MIT to Carswell Prison

by Hena Zuberi

I prayed two rakah salah before writing this – I wrote it after her sentencing but honestly have not had the guts to publish it. I have been scared by friends and relatives – paranoid in these times of guilt by association – ‘Don’t write they will come after you too” For what? writing a blog entry. Fear is a strange thing…Allah (SWT) may I never be fearful of anyone but You… Ameen.

She set up the table and pressed play. Tugging at her floral scarf, she instructed me to let the video run until the end. It was a documentary on the atrocities being committed in Bosnia. Her kind, confident voice soothed my anxiety. It was my first time manning the booth in Slater Hall on the Wellesley campus. Next to us was a Native American lady selling silver jewelry. She handed us some extra pamphlets and waved goodbye.

Sister Aafia, the sister I remember was the heart behind the MSA of Greater Boston. I was a first year student at Wellesley College and my future husband a sophomore at MIT. She was the one who would make hundreds of samosas to sell at MSA fundraisers.

A passionate activist, she struggled to find Muslim homes for the hundreds of Bosnian orphans that were brought to the U.S. I could relate to her then, I spent my childhood in Africa, too and like her had come to study in the U.S. from Pakistan. She was one of the first women I had met who was brilliant, educated, ‘religious’ and a hijabi – not many those around in the 1990s. Pakistani women had been ‘liberated’ in the seventies and eighties, nobody my age, in our social circle, covered. Most women who covered then were older grandmothers or TV anchors forced to cover under General Zia.

They make her sound so scary, ‘neuroscientist’ sounds ominous when linked with chemical warfare. Brandeis has a world-renowned school for neuroscience where she studied behavioral sciences, her concentration was children. Our paths diverged, we both left Massachusetts and for years, I did not hear of her. I was visiting Pakistan and heard about her abduction in the newspapers. Sheikh Rasheed was the then Interior Minister in Pakistan and he claimed (on television) to have no knowledge of her kidnapping. An internet search of her name revealed her familiar face but on the FBI’s most wanted list. How did she end up there? The shock of seeing her face still gives me shudders. It is so hard for me to believe that someone like her could have become entangled in anything so terrible as the crimes they accuse her of.

This was 2003, I had just had my second daughter. Her child, Suleman would have been my daughter’s age, 7. It gives me chills thinking about what happened to that poor child, to this day no one knows. She was missing for 5 long years; her family believes that those years were spent in underground prisons. Why, why her? Could what happened to her, happen to any one of us?

Recently, she was tried in a court in Manhattan. Her sentence is for eighty six years – how long is that? Slightly, less than a century. We will all be dead before that date rolls around. 86 years ago for attempted murder where no one was hurt except for her. When she was arrested some of us foolishly hoped that at least now she was in the hands of the American justice system and the chances of her being released were higher. Eighty-six years!! I tried to find who else had been meted a similar sentence but was led to an unfruitful search of child molesters and dads who murders their kids.

Even if she is guilty of the worst of what they accused her of – EIGHTY SIX years? As she was not charged on any count of terrorism, her judgment was based solely on her “attempt at murder,” but she was given a terrorism enhancement on her sentence. This case will go down in the books of major law schools on the effect of political influence on the judicial system. Aafia’s lawyer described Aafia’s cell, “a small concrete block, no light, no windows… She reminded all Americans that one day “We’re going to look back in history and see what drove Aafia’s sentencing—fear, instilled and practiced by its very own government. We want to punish her more because of fear.”

To further rub salt on her wounds, the same judge who declared her mentally capable of standing trial then insisted on sending her to Carswell Prison, a mental institute, notorious for rape and medical neglect, where 100?s of women have lost their lives under “questionable” circumstances.

I am reminded of Prophet Yusuf’s (AS) trial and his term served in the prisons of ancient Egypt – I pray that as Allah’s mercy intervened for him, it too will intervene for Aafia. As he was rewarded for his patience and constant faith, may she also be elevated in her ranks. How can I make this comparison, if I was not a witness and have no idea to her state of mind. I read eyewitness accounts of her cruel verdict – they speak volumes of her character.

She reminded the judge:

“No one here is in charge of my sentencing except for Allah. None of what you all decide for me matters. I am content with Allah’s decision. I’m happy and you can’t change that. All thanks to Allah.”

This should shake any human to the core regardless of your religion or political inclinations. The jury did not even find her guilty of firing a weapon.

“If you want to save humanity, get rid of child imprisonment. Help other innocent prisoners. Don’t waste your efforts and money on me. The money you spend on me is not used for your desired change. Lord knows what happens to that money. I’m stuck with these people as my decision-makers. You won’t get to alleviate my conditions. But I’m very content as is. Don’t cry over my case. God wants me to survive so I am here.”

"At the end of an out-of-this-world hearing, when the judge was wrapping up his 86 year sentence, Aafia brought up the 6th verse in the 49th chapter of the Quran, ‘O you who believe! If a rebellious evil person comes to you with a news, verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful to what you have done.’ She then asked all the people present in the court and her supporters outside of court that they have mercy on and forgive the prosecutors and defendants and Judge Berman. It seemed almost like Judge Berman was mocking her when he said, ‘I wish more defendants would feel the way that you do. Enjoy your life, Dr. Aafia.’” (

She urged Muslims not to hate American soldiers. After being held, broken, physically, mentally, psychologically, a travesty of her former self, the torture etched in her face, she still is able to forgive them and urges us to forgive them, too. Learning this make me ashamed of my own shoddy, spiritual state compared to her. She has so much forgiveness in her heart despite being caged and I having so many luxuries at arms length; can kiss my children whenever I want, hug my sisters, talk my brother, yet I am so weak. I have a hard time forgiving someone who harms me by backbiting or hampering my work. I wonder in our separate journeys, who is better off?

Some words from her brother, Muhammad, whose experience in the US has been very different from his sister’s and who is still waiting for American justice to prevail. Despite many attempts to visit her, he has been told that “our normal rules don’t seem to apply to your sister.“ She is isolated, although she has retained a new lawyer but has not been allowed to contact this person. She is told that her brother has not made the arrangements to see her. Imagine the emotional havoc on her soul, making her think her family has abandoned her, too.

“In the end you had a judge pronounce an 86 year sentence but it was Aafia who calmly offered him forgiveness and he almost greedily accepted it and thanked her for it. For a moment one could be excused for wondering who was lording over whom? This was not unexpected but by quantifying the number of years, I think Berman inadvertently fueled the passions in Pakistan. A life sentence in Pakistan generally means 10-14 years and in political cases commuted in a couple of years. People would not have been as upset had he given her life but 86 is an undisputed mathematical number and is a large number. The reaction was therefore much stronger and in an odd way, Berman provided the momentum that we all thought would be over. Now the emotion has shifted from guilt or innocence to the sheer brutality and total lack of compassion for Muslims. TV channels are on a countdown to 86 years, and children put on school plays in elite English-medium schools about Aafia’s legend – every day people will be reminded.”

I pray that Americans join in the demands for her repatriation back to Pakistan – send her back to her home country where her aching eyes can at least see her children through the bars.

Many people go through trials and tribulations during their lifetime. Scholars say, that to see whether the trial is a test from Allah (SWT) or a punishment from Allah (SWT), you must do muhasabah (ask yourself is this bringing me closer to Allah or away from Allah?) Judging solely by her remarks made in court, I can say I believe this is a supreme test from Allah (SWT) for Sister Aafia – her iman unwavering, her night filled with visions of the Habib (SAW).

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Alfred McCoy (and others) on American network of rights abuses

Alfred McCoy's recent book, - Policing America’s Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State (2009)- , discusses covert operations. His discussions make grave and soundly-reported implications concerning ongoing secrecy if not the common control/master-minding of various US persons working with the US government. The web of dark operations continuing after the Bush administration - not only in McCoy's various writings yet also from many other American writers - is indicated to be huge and sticky world-wide.

Certainly from McCoy and countless other historians and analysts in and out of America, the American Secret Services are in "cohoots" with US military leaders, contractors, diplomats and those in the American Justice Systems. Add to this the multiplication of leaders in many other parts of the globe who -- via lies, fear, perks, cross-ups, threats and/or inertia -- continue to work with the US in these capacities.

McCoy's less recent classic, - A question of Torture - has also received much attention. In a review "A Call to Soul-Searching" Michael Hopping says the following:
"McCoy recounts the political moves that paved the way for prisoner abuse to become US policy during the war on terror. And he documents the inability or failure of judicial, military, and congressional authorities to hold high-ranking personnel in the executive branch, CIA, military, or behavioral sciences accountable. In such an environment, he believes we should expect a continuing series of revelations concerning direct and indirect US sponsorship of torture.

'Does torture work? McCoy finds little specific factual evidence to suggest the "ticking time bomb" rationale for torture on a small scale has merit. The Manila police learned of a plot to destroy several airliners from Abdul Hakim Murad's laptop computer, not from the sixty-seven days of torture that followed. Israeli claims of many suicide bombings prevented by harsh interrogation techniques boil down to one documented case. Mass torture, such as that practiced by the French in Algeria, Project Phoenix in Vietnam, the right-wing Latin American dictatorships of the Pinochet era, the shah's Iran, and the Marcos Philippines did win battles. But, in each case, the popular reaction to it contributed to losing the war.

'If the "ticking time bomb" justification for torture doesn't correspond to experience and mass torture loses wars, why do governments resort to it? The reason, McCoy concludes, is not rational and not very different from kicking the dog after being barked at by the boss. "In sum, the powerful often turn to torture in times of crisis, not because it works but because it salves their fears and insecurities with the psychic balm of empowerment.

'A Question Of Torture is a lucid exposure of an evil open secret and of the skeins of denial and justification swaddling it. This book deserves a wide readership and should, but probably won't, stimulate some serious national soul searching."


Let me mention here that this blog is covering Egypt in an unusually revealing way - and connecting problems in America in a way rare in the mainstream. SEE and more by Stephen Soldz below, at Common Dreams among many other places.


As indicated above, McCoy is an historian many have found indispensible (and I have as well)in human rights work and study - thus I've printed in detail the following references to his other work:

Alfred W. McCoy

History Department
Center For Southeast Asian Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Alfred W. McCoy is the J.R.W. Smail Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Over the past forty years, his writing about Southeast Asia has focused on two topics--the political history of the modern Philippines and the politics of opium in the Golden Triangle. The first edition of his book, published in 1972 as The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, sparked controversy, but is now regarded as the “classic work” about Asian drug trafficking. Now in its third revised edition, this book has been translated into nine languages, including, most recently, Thai and German. Three of his books on Philippine historiography have won the Philippine National Book Award--Philippine Cartoons (1985), Anarchy of Families (1994), and Lives at the Margin (2001). In 2001 as well, the Association for Asian Studies awarded him the Goodman Prize for a “deep and enduring impact on Philippine historical studies.” His latest book, Policing America’s Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State (2009), draws together these two strands in his research--covert operations and Philippine political history--to explore the role of police, information, and scandal in the shaping both the modern Philippine state and the U.S. internal security apparatus.

History 319: The Vietnam Wars
History 458: Southeast Asia--1800 to the Present
History 755 (Seminar): Empire and Revolution in Southeast Asia
History 755 (Seminar): CIA Covert Warfare & the Conduct of U.S. Foreign Policy
History 755 (Seminar): Tropical Dictators--Authoritarianism in Indonesia & the Philippines
History 755 (Seminar): Islands of Southeast Asia--Comparative History of Indonesia & the Philippines


* "Policing America’s Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State" (Madison, 2009).
* (ed. with Francisco Scarano), "Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State" (Madison, 2009).
* ed., "An Anarchy of Families: Filipino Elites and the Philippine State" (Madison, 2009).
* "A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War on Terror" (New York, 2006).
* "The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Traffic" (New York, revised, 2003).
* ed., “Lives at the Margin: Biographies of Filipinos Ordinary, Heroic, Obscure" (Quezon City, 2000).
* "Closer Than Brothers: Manhood at the Philippine Military Academy" (New Haven, 1999).
*”Philippine Cartoons: Political Caricature of the American Era, 1900-1941” (Quezon City, 1985).”
*“Priests on Trial” (Melbourne,1984).
* ed.,”Philippine Social History: Global Trade and Local Transformations (Quezon City, 1982).
* ed., “Southeast Asia Under Japanese Occupation” (New Haven, 1980).
*”Drug Traffic: Narcotics and Organized Crime in Australia” (Sydney, 1980).
* ed.,”Laos: War and Revolution” (New York, 1970).


“A Hundred Years of Drug Prohibition: A Study in the Failure of Global Governance,” in Michael Heazle, Martin Griffiths, and Tom Conley, eds.. Foreign Policy Challenges in the 21st Century (London: Edward Elgar, 2009), pp. 207-30.

“Covert Netherworld: Clandestine Services & Criminal Syndicates in Shaping the Philippine State,” in, Eric Wilson, ed., Government of the Shadows (London: Pluto Press, 2009), pp. 226-55.

“Legacy of a Dark Decade: CIA Mind Control, Classified Behavioral Research, and the Origins of Modern Medical Ethics,” in, Almerindo Ojeda, ed., Trauma of Psychological Torture (Westport: Praeger, 2008) pp. 40-69.

“Torture in the Crucible of Counterinsurgency,” in, Marilyn B. Young and Lloyd C. Gardner, eds., Iraq and the Lessons of Vietnam: Or, How Not to Learn From the Past (New York: New Press, 2007), pp. 230-62.

“The Stimulus of Prohibition: A Critical History of the Global Narcotics Trade,” in, Michael K. Steinberg, Joseph J. Hobbs, and Kent Mathewson., eds., Dangerous Harvest: Drug Plants and the Transformation of Indigenous Landscapes (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 24-111.

“America’s Secret War in Laos, 1955-1975,” in, Marilyn B. Young and Robert Buzzanco, eds., A Companion to the Vietnam War (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002), pp. 283-313.

“RAM and the Filipino Action Film,” in Rolando B. Tolentino, ed., Geopolitics of the Visible: Essays on Philippine Film Cultures (Quezon City: Ateneo University Press 2000), pp. 194-216.

“Mission Myopia: Narcotics as ‘Fall Out’ from the CIA’s Covert Wars,” in, Craig R. Eisendrath, ed., National Insecurity: U.S. Intelligence After the Cold War (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2000), pp. 118-48.

“Requiem for a Drug Lord: State and Commodity in the Career of Khun Sa,” in, Josiah McC. Heyman, States and Illegal Practices (Oxford: Berg, 1999), pp. 129-67.

How to contact Professor McCoy:
Phone: (608) 263-1855
5131 Humanities
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706