Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Obama, Obama, Pants On Fire
You know that politicians have contempt for the citizenry when they shamelessly tell big fat lies that can be easily checked. And you know that the media are naught but whores when they fail to check them.
Which brings us to the case of Raymond Davis. What all sides agree is that Davis, a veteran special forces operative, shot and killed two Pakistani motorcyclists in Lahore on January 27. After that, disagreement begins. Though Davis packed two handguns, intelligence gear, a civilian U.S. passport, a variety of business cards, and described himself as a “consultant” employed by a private firm, the U.S. Government declared him to be a consular officer entitled to immunity under the Vienna Treaty governing diplomatic relations among countries and demanded his immediate release. But the Pakistani authorities have so far demurred and kept him in the clink, looking forward to a trial. Basically, the U.S. claims that Davis was defending himself from an assault by the two bikers, who were also armed with hand guns, while the Pakistanis hold that Davis committed “cold blooded murder.”
The plot is right out of “24.” The question is whether Davis is Jack Bauer? Pakistan is among the most anti-American places in the universe. Its media is currently awash in spy speculation about what Davis was actually up to and why Washington is so antsy to spring him. It should be noted that there’s little need for spy fiction here, since the real thing in the form of our our massive “covert” intervention, not to mention Indian intrigues, have made Pakistan the world’s sneaky business Mecca of the moment.
If you want to delve into the dirty details, Dave Lindorff at Counterpunch is doing some of the most thorough-going reporting on the story. See his Feb 8 and Feb 10 pieces. For a Pakistani take, peruse this.
aving given you some background about a yarn you may not have known about, let’s get to the reason for the headline on this blog. Commenting on the Raymond Davis contretemps at his Feb 15 news conference, President Obama said: “If our diplomats are in another country they are not subject to that country’s local prosecution.” What a whopper!
What the 1963 Vienna treaty on consular relations (which we signed) actually says on this subject is: “Consular officers shall not be liable to arrest or detention pending trial, except in the case of a grave crime and pursuant to a decision by the competent judicial authority.” (Section 2, Article 41)
If you consider alleged double murder a grave crime, either our president has been misinformed or is deliberately misinforming us about a treaty any school kid can check out. What Pakistanis are saying is that the U.S., is arrogating to itself the right kill anyone anywhere under the cover of diplomatic immunity. The failure of our money media (and that includes NPR) to do basic reporting on this story is yet another indication of their corruption. As I.F. Stone, one of our greatest investigative reporters, used to warn us, the pols and the press lie about everything all the time.