“Raymond Davis” – Actually, Not the Worst Result 31

Whoever “Raymond Davis” really was, he is out of Pakistan now. The interests of justice have not been best served, but this is far from the worst possible outcome.

The most disastrous of outcomes would have been for Pakistan to accept Davis had diplomatic immunity. By agreeing to pay blood money the US have de facto dropped that claim. To accept that an evident mercenary like Davis had immunity would have made a mockery of the Vienna Convention, and ultimately eroded the security of all diplomats worldwide, and especially US diplomats. Davis was never a diplomat and we can be confident he is not going on to supervise textile negotiations or public diplomacy in Denmark. It was a farce and a disgrace that Obama ever made that ridiculous claim.

Another very bad outcome is that Davis could have been hung. Nobody deserves to be hung. If you could make a world ranking of by how much people do not deserve to be hung, Davis would not score too high. But still, nobody deserves to be hung, plus blood is becoming the currency of politics in Pakistan. We have to hope nobody connected with his release is assassinated.

The payment of blood money entails an acceptance of guilt. It would have been better if his self defence plea could have been tested in court, but he has dropped it and acknowledged guilt.

Personally the payment of blood money for murder is a bias towards the rich which is one of the many things I find unacceptable in Pakistan’s system of sharia law. But the Americans have taken it, and in doing so have indicated their acceptance of the justice and validity of sharia law, which is one to chalk up for future reference.

So my own urge for proper justice may not be satisfied. But I am not a party to the case and it appears that Pakistani law has been followed. So as I say, not the worst outcome.

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31 thoughts on ““Raymond Davis” – Actually, Not the Worst Result

  • Herbie

    Most of the coverage I've seen is saying that the relatives were forced to accept blood money against their wishes and under threat etc.

    It's also suggested that Pakistani Intelligence have negotiated some sort of deal whereby the CIA will in future be subordinate to Pakistani spooks in Pakistan. Some hope.

    But anyway, it's just another indication that the CIA and other western Intelligence agencies are themselves the creators of the terrorist threat that we're spending so much money and time fighting. They're the manufacturers of terrorism, in much the same way that all the forced and fake confessions of terrorist activity was used to increase the fear of terrorism in the West.

    It's all just a big expensive protection racket really.

    If we could get this evil military industrial complex off our backs, not only would we have much more money to spend on useful things, we'd also get our lost freedoms back and be able to fly around the world without all the joke security goons.

    • Craig_Murray

      Herbie – yes, though I fear the relatives may well not be telling the truth. The US AfPak policy is going to disintegrate completely over the next 18 months – but only after seriously destabilising Pakistan.

    • Uzbek from UK

      Surprisingly that the cost of the contract is just $2.6 millions. Not very expensive for possibly very beneficial outcome. I wonder if dictatorships should also order such software for their own benefit. Let’s say Karimov of Uzbekistan orders such software and in few months time we all are convinced that boiling people alive is actually not very bad thing to do.

    • Guest

      Ah, just like the old days of "Encounter" magazine, except that they're finally catching up with the new fangled technology of the interweb. Same old lies, just tied up in new gift wrapping. I've been following the online media response to the nuclear problems in Japan. Many articles contain embedded videos hosted on YouTube. It's very clear when reading the comments that there's a well organised response from pro-nuclear interest groups to the PR nightmare that is footage of exploding nuclear plants, with attacks on anyone who expresses concerns about the longterm safety of nuclear energy or who dares doubt the official version of events so far. Similarly, any expert who appears in the video interviews who isn't cravenly pro-nuclear is castigated for a supposed lack of expertise or independence while any valid points they raise are ignored. Pretty standard ad hominem stuff.

      • Suhaylsaadi

        Yes, thanks, Herbie. I saw that article and of course it rang many bells. So, regarding this matter, it would appear that Roderick Russell was right all along then. CENTCOM's claim not to be infiltrating English-language sites is simply not credible and as a tactic (even if, for the sake of argument, it were being used only to undermine Jihadist extremists) would be illogical.

        Re. 'Encounter' magazine – well, today we have 'Prospect' magazine, though of course the correlation is not certain.

        Oh yes, you can bet you bottom dollar that the nuclear industry – notorious for such covert activities – will have gone into meltdown over the current crisis and that their fall-out will be all over the web.

  • CanSpeccy

    "nobody deserves to be hung"

    Of course there are lots of people who deserve to be hung. The reason they should not be hung is not because they don't deserve it, but because the judicial processes by which people are condemned to death are highly unreliable and more often than not those hanged are completely innocent.

    • dreoilin

      I don't know what country you're talking about, Alfred, but "more often than not" sounds exaggerated. Are you talking about the death penalty or hanging specifically? In the case of the death penalty, if murder is wrong, then "legalised" murder by the State is equally wrong.

  • Hatari

    Seems that Pakistani life is cheap and worthless both to the Pakistani Goverment and the US. The Pakistani quicky extradiated Aimal Kansi who killed two CIA for ritual killing by the Americans and they kindly shipped his body back for a proper burial. Than there countless Pakistanis being killed by Drones or in jail tortured by the American. The Pakistanis finally had a Blackwater thug in custody and they let him walk for a fistfull or dollars. US's pimps the Saudis were involved in this dirty deal.

    • Guest

      Thanks for the link – excellent article. Does anyone know whether the family of the motorcyclist who was killed by Davis's back up team, (speeding the wrong way down a one way street in the hope of getting him away before the Pakistani police arrived), has also received any form of compensation payment? I understand the two Blackwater/Xe employees were spirited out of the country and back to the USA immediately afterwards, so they've avoided having to face a charge of manslaughter. Like "Davis", I don't suppose they'll face any charges in the USA either.

  • dreoilin

    My first thought yesterday when I heard the news was, what a shame Afghan and Pakistani families can't pay a few million to get their (largely innocent) sons and fathers and brothers out of Guantanamo. The US is so two-faced it makes me physically sick.

    • Craig_Murray

      I don't really believe it. I expect the money was far too tempting – it is an awful lot for the vast majority of Pakistanis. But they are seeking to avoid the obloquy from wider society of accepting it.

  • Sweetpee1

    Craig, I've been following your antics for some years now! You're a highly impressive man. I try to read as widely as possible and like to refer back to your blog to get my bearings. So thanks for the blog. By the way Davis would/could have been "hanged"… anything else could be hung but people are always hanged. (Sorry for nit picking!)

    harpie – yes, she really should have been part of it. When will Pakistan have another opportunity to bring such pressure for her release?

  • Michael.K

    From a purely pragmatic point of view I think you're correct. As they were never going to get away with hanging him, I suppose it was better for the families to get something for their loss. But one wonders whether they might be able to pursue the matter in the American courts, and potentially get the best of both worlds?

  • ghaleb

    The Americans, who fight Islam everywhere, have gone by the Sharia law and accepted it here because it suites them.

    I hope they would understand that other people who choose to apply Shaira law and live by it will not be haggled, ridiculed and bombed by drones on daily basis.

    • Suhaylsaadi

      But Ghaleb, the Americans helped to create the Islamists. Bin Laden was their asset. What are the CIA/Pentagon up to now, one wonders? The Islamists are a creation of the US Empire.

      • YugoStiglitz

        There is absolutely no evidence that bin Laden was ever an asset of the U.S.

        I think perhaps you should do a little more reading on people like Sayyid Qutb and others that sparked Islamic hatred of modernization.

        You've obviously satisfied yourself with the explanation that the U.S. is responsible for everything. That renders you ignorant.

        • Suhaylsaadi

          Nice to meet you, too, Yugo. I'm so intrigued that your view on this sees to coincide perfectly with that of the Islamists. You know fine well that what you have written is simply a misrepresentation of my views as expressed here and elsewhere, for years. Are you denying that the USA funded, armed and trained the 'so-called 'Mujaheddin' of Afghanistan, both directly and via its client regimes in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan? Of course, the development of Islamism is a multifactorial historical phenomenon, as you suggest with the reference to Qutb. But my reply was to ghaleb, who had stated that the USA 'fights Islam everywhere'. I was pointing out one example where that most certainly has not been the case (though of course there is a profound semiotic difference b/w 'Islam' and 'The Islamists'). Another, in a different way, might be Kosovo. Do you agree, then, with ghaleb, Yugo? Do you think that 'the Americans fight Islam everywhere'? Do you think they ought to? I would argue that this global duality advocated by Neocons and Islamists alike is a fundamentally mendacious narrative constructed for aggressive political purposes in order to promulgate the hegemonic strategies of the Pentagon (which is the geopolitically operative node of the MI complex). In my view, such policies run counter to the interests of the vast majority of the American people. Would you agree? Very pleasant discoursing with you again.

          • YugoStiglitz

            Yes, the U.S. supported the Mujaheddin. The Soviets were committing mass atrocities there. Study up on that.

            No, the U.S. does not fight Islam everywhere. Bosnia, Kosovo. Remember the Gulf War – I would hardly call Hussein Islamic, while most of his victims in Kuwait and Iraq were quite Islamic.

            Where is your evidence that bin Laden was an asset of the U.S.?

          • Suhaylsaadi

            In fact, in spite of recent nonsense spouted by hypocritical Provisional IRA supporters like Peter King and the lunatic Tea Party fringe, Islam has been thriving in the USA, with official approval. There are vigorously open-minded, thoughtful and progressive Muslim organisations throughout the US; this is a good thing. I'm glad we agree wrt your para 2. But re. para 1, don't you think it was, at the very least, a monumental error for the USA, UK et al to have helped build-up militant Islamism in Af-Pak and that we now are reaping the harvest of that policy? I thought that was more-or-less a truism, Yugo.

            As for Bin Laden, well, Yugo, I jumped in my bubble-car and visited him in his little cave… and he told me, in his usual perfectly-enunciated classical Arabic that he once was an asset of the USA. He said, "Tell Yugo Stiglitz that I cut my teeth on apple pie with the boys from Langley!" But seriously, I accept that it is a disputed area. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA-Osama_bin_Laden_

            Do we know each other, Yugo? Forgive me this observation, but I feel that I have met you before, somewhere in cyberspace. But then, perhaps it was a dream – that's what comes from watching too much Colonel Qaddafi on youtube! I like his umbrella, though. It reminds me a little of cult UK TV series, 'The Prisoner'.

  • adrian

    This morning I hung out the washing, but I always thought Derek Bentley had been hanged. Has Ray Davies avoided being hanged as well as hung?

  • ingo

    He who does not make any mistakes, please be stood up.
    We might have lawyers amongst us, but as long as we get the guist of hwat someone writes here, do we really have to act like some?
    Our deliberations here are noteworthy, our wit can be immense, dry and deadly at times, so please do overlook my petty typos and mistakes, no need to get hung up about them. 🙂

  • haward

    Hanged is right but wrong………..

    A fine analysis , old bean , but maybe Davis could have been prosecuted in the US or even , like the once apparently doomed but now apparently immortal Megrahi , there could have been agreement to try him in a relatively neutral country. That would seem more like the rule of law working better than it has in this case

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