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Old 02-21-2011, 08:30 AM
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SnappyDan SnappyDan is offline
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American Held in Pakistan Worked for CIA

What A surprise?

American Held in Pakistan Worked for CIA





By TOM WRIGHT And ADAM ENTOUS

U.S. officials Monday acknowledged for the first time that former Special Forces soldier Raymond Davis, held in detention in Pakistan for killing two armed men, works for the Central Intelligence Agency, but said he was not directly involved in spying operations.
U.S.officials say Mr. Davis, who has been held in the eastern city of Lahore since late January, was on a short-term contract as a protective officer, responsible for providing security to officials with the CIA and other agencies in the country.
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Associated Press Pakistani security officials escort Raymond Allen Davis, a U.S. citizen, to a local court in Lahore, Pakistan in late January .His arrest has strained the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan.






"Rumors to the contrary are simply wrong," a U.S. official said of Pakistani claims that Mr. Davis was directly involved in intelligence gathering operations. The U.S. says Mr. Davis, 36 years, shot the two men in self-defense when they tried to rob him.



President Barack Obama, referring to Mr. Davis as "our diplomat", said last week that he was covered by diplomatic immunity and should be immediately released. Facing public anger over the killings, Pakistan has refused to do so.


The Davis case has deeply strained relations between U.S. and Pakistani spy agencies, threatening counterterrorism cooperation against militants in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, officials say. U.S.officials say Washington fears for Mr. Davis's life, and they have appealed to the Pakistanis to do more to ensure his security.


The jail where Mr. Davis is being held holds about 4,000 inmates, most of them militants, according to U.S. officials.


Mr. Davis has been moved to a separate part of the facility. U.S. officials say all the guards have had their guns taken away for fear that one of them may kill him, and dogs are tasting or smelling his food to make sure it doesn't contain poison.
A major concern for the U.S. is that local police are allowing protesters near the prison, officials said.


"The Pakistanis have a solemn obligation to protect Ray Davis. If they're not going to release him -- which they certainly should based on his diplomatic immunity -- surely they can find a safer place for him," a U.S. official said.


A senior official with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, said Pakistan was not aware that Mr. Davis was working for the CIA and believes the U.S. could be using undeclared operatives as a way of circumventing visa restrictions imposed by Islamabad on the U.S. spy agency.
"We didn't even know about him," the ISI official said. "We don't know how many Raymond Davises there could be running around."


U.S.officials had asked several U.S. news organizations, including The Wall Street Journal, not to publish information about Mr. Davis's connection to the CIA due to fears over his safety in jail.


The ISI over the weekend revealed Mr. Davis's CIA connection. Its decision to do so appeared to reflect Pakistani anger over intense U.S. pressure to release him.


Comments last week by CIA Director Leon Panetta that relations between the two agencies were among "the most complicated" he's ever seen also rankled the ISI.


The CIA has "acted with arrogance towards ISI which has resulted in weakening the relationship on which it is entirely dependent," the senior ISI official said, adding that Pakistani authorities are under intense pressure from Islamist and student groups not to release Mr. Davis.



Regular street protests since the Jan. 27 incident have called for Mr. Davis to be hanged.
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