Prayers for Raymond Davis

He’s not in a uniform, but Raymond A. Davis, former Special Forces soldier, and current CIA operator and prisoner in Pakistan is a soldier for American interests.  Our own government has admitted that he “was part of a covert, C.I.A.-led team collecting intelligence and conducting surveillance on militant groups deep inside the country.”  When he was attacked as part of a robbery, he fired on the robbers, killing both.

The New York Times also reports that this may not have been a straight forward robbery.  The implication is that Davis blatantly committed a crime.  My suspicion, if it wasn’t a garden-variety robbery, is that Davis was attacked as part of his line of work.

When help finally came Davis’ way, the driver of the rescue vehicle managed to run over another Pakistani.  Davis, who theoretically has diplomatic immunity, found himself arrested, thrown into a Pakistani prison, and made a cause celebre to the radicals and credulous street in Pakistan.

The Pakistani government, which has known all along about his CIA affiliation, is now hamstrung by the radicals on the street.  They want Davis dead, and Pakistan is afraid of those radicals.  However, given that Davis has diplomatic immunity, killing him is a problem.

Davis, of course, is in an even worse situation than the Pakistani government.  He’s in a Pakistani prison, and has to hope that the government, to make its own life easier, doesn’t simply turn its back and allow a lynch mob in.

In a spy movie, the Americans and Pakistanis would arrange for Davis to be snuck out of the country, with no one the wiser.  This isn’t a spy movie, though, and I don’t think there’s enough competence between the two countries right now to arrange for a “no one the wiser” scenario.  It seems, right now, as if Davis’ best hope is prayer — which he certainly deserves for repeatedly putting himself on the line in the service of this country.

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  • Indigo Red

    In an NPR interview this morning,, Waseem Shamshad, brother of the dead man, said the only acceptable course is an exchange of Davis for “Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman who has been convicted in an American court and is serving a long prison term for attacking America officials in Afghanistan.”

    Although Waseem says the family is not being pressured by political groups, his seems to be an odd demand in lieu of traditional monetary compensation. Perhaps the odd demand is because the Shamshad brothers may have been Paki government agents tailing Davis with orders to kill him in an apparent robbery as some reports are speculating.

    Three things seem certain here – Davis was not just a guy on the street, the Shamshad brothers weren’t just robbers, and NPR is good for something. 

  • Charles

    It is certainly understandable if the USA cannot publically make a big deal out of this – that would only make for propaganda for Islamists. 

    BUT, behind the scenes,  the Obama administration had better be working its backside off.  One reason is because gaining this guy’s freedom is the right and decent thing to do.

    Another reason is survival for Obama, if word gets out that Obama didn’t do much, or worse, allowed this guy to rot in a Muslim country’s jail then then Obama will truly be like Jimmy carter after the Iran Hostage mess.