The facts of the incident that sparked all this are now fairly clear. Davis, in a rental car, was driving around in Lahore in areas where foreigners scarcely ever venture, tailed by two ISI auxiliaries on a motorbike. After an hour or more of trying to shake them off, they both came abreast at a stoplight. He pulled out a gun and, firing through his windscreen, shot them both. Accounts differ as to whether they made any threatening gesture, but one was killed as he was trying to run away.
The backup van that Davis called for came roaring up the wrong way on a one-way street, ran over a cyclist, killing him, then turned around and roared off. Davis was arrested, and weapons, ammo and other paraphernalia were found in the car. On his cell phone were numbers that were later traced to phones in the tribal belt where the Taliban operate, while his camera had pictures of religious schools and military sites…
Hat tip to commentor Gen. Stuck for a link to the Guardian‘s latest update:
American who sparked diplomatic crisis over Lahore shooting was CIA spy
… Based on interviews in the US and Pakistan, the Guardian can confirm that the 36-year-old former special forces soldier is employed by the CIA. “It’s beyond a shadow of a doubt,” said a senior Pakistani intelligence official. The revelation may complicate American efforts to free Davis, who insists he was acting in self-defence against a pair of suspected robbers, who were both carrying guns.
Poor old John Kerry, described as Obama’s “chief diplomatic troubleshooter”, got sent to Islamabad to fetch “our diplomat” Davis home. That didn’t work, although the Guardian suggests elsewhere that three embassy employees (the ones who failed to rescue Davis but did succeed in running over an innocent cyclist) were spirited back to the US on Kerry’s plane. The government of Pakistan, fearful of “Egyptian-style protests”, has announced that it needs until March 14 to decide whether David is entitled to diplomatic immunity.
Washington’s case is hobbled by its resounding silence on Davis’s role. He served in the US special forces for 10 years before leaving in 2003 to become a security contractor. A senior Pakistani official said he believed Davis had worked with Xe, the firm formerly known as Blackwater. […] __
A number of US media outlets learned about Davis’s CIA role but have kept it under wraps at the request of the Obama administration. A Colorado television station, 9NEWS, made a connection after speaking to Davis’s wife. She referred its inquiries to a number in Washington which turned out to be the CIA. The station removed the CIA reference from its website at the request of the US government. […] __
A senior ISI official denied the dead men worked for the spy agency but admitted the CIA relationship had been damaged. “We are a sovereign country and if they want to work with us, they need to develop a trusting relationship on the basis of equality. Being arrogant and demanding is not the way to do it,” he said.
Complete recap of the story to date, replete with cinematic detail, at the Guardian “Special Report: A CIA spy, a hail of bullets, three killed and a US-Pakistan diplomatic row“.
… Press coverage zings with unlikely stories about Davis – that he howls in his prison cells when the five-times daily call to prayer rings out; that the CIA plans a “Hollywood-style heist” to spring him; that he is the linchpin of the CIA’s drone programme.
One popular suggestion has it that Davis should be swapped for Aafia Siddiqui, the US-educated neuroscientist jailed for 86 years in 2010 on charges of attempting to kill American soldiers and FBI agents in Afghanistan.
(Thanks to commentors Par4 and Sharl for the original SST link.) Of course, anything that involves the wounded dignity of a religiously divided and economically struggling nation-state with access to a nuclear arsenal has to be taken seriously… and then there’s Pakistan’s national pride, as well. But I’m still seeing Mr. Davis as less Matt Damon/Jason Bourne and more Will Ferrell…