February 12, 2011

Raymond Davis, Black Ops, and the Inherent Right to Self-Defense

AP News: Pakistani Police: U.S. Man Committed 'Murder'
Fox News: Pakistani Police: U.S. Man Committed 'Murder'
EU Times: CIA Spy Captured Giving Nuclear Bomb to Terrorists

The first link is the article as it appears at the AP website and presumably as it is received by news agencies around the world. The second is the Fox News presentation of the same article with some minor changes performed by their editorial staff. These changes are an excellent demonstration of how "editorial slant" is applied by different news agencies. Fox removed the mention of Islamist protestors demanding that Davis be hanged, but added a couple extra sentences about his past, quite important ones actually. And then there is the EU Times version of the same story given a flare and expanse worthy of a bestselling novel! Clearly the EU Times takes a very creative approach to "editorial slant".

Ignoring the EU Times report and just going from the basic AP article a couple of things jump to the forefront for me. First of all is the insistence by both the American embassy and Raymond Davis himself that he was being robbed at gunpoint and acted in self-defense. It doesn't worry me in the least that the Pakistani police determined the "robbers" had not chambered a round in preparation to fire, nor does it bother me that Raymond Davis probably shot one of the men while he was fleeing. It does worry me that the embassy has not provided details about exactly what tasks a private security consultant with a background in special forces and experience in a hotbed of East-West tension performed in his official capacity. The accusation that the two "robbers" were actually ISI agents assigned to follow him is curious, but not surprising given his history. If I went to Pakistan the ISI would probably assign someone to follow me and my past is nowhere near as colorful as that of Raymond Davis.

Black Ops are a reality of our world and they will remain so. It does not matter how peaceful the world becomes, Black Ops will always be part and parcel of international relations. There are simply some tasks that must be accomplished in secret, behind closed doors and far from official view. The President himself does not know the full extent of these operations because he cannot. They are too extensive and widespread for any one person to completely grasp. And yes, once in awhile they get out of hand. That is the risk a nation takes when they send men and women so deep into the shadows that they themselves sometimes cannot remember which side they are supposed to be defending. The question, of course, is whether or not something of that nature happened in Lahore, Pakistan on January 27th. Personally, I am inclined to believe not. The incident has become far too public and far too politicized. If this had been a genuine Black Op that went sour no one would know it had ever happened. Nations are not in the habit of airing their dirty laundry to the Associated Press. No, I am inclined to believe that no matter what his official capacity might have been, in this case Raymond Davis was simply a robbery victim with the training and capacity to take matters into his own hands and so he did.

Both the AP and Fox articles mention that rumors have been flying in Pakistan about armed American Black Ops soldiers wandering the streets in plain clothes. Well, let me put those rumors to rest. I am one hundred percent certain those rumors are true and I am equally certain that Raymond Davis was indeed one of those "armed American mercenaries roaming the country". Thugs and criminals of Pakistan need to be aware that attempting to deprive a well-dressed lone American of his pocket change at gunpoint could very well result in a dead thug. By the same token, American thugs and criminals need to keep in mind that well-dressed foreigners in bad neighborhoods in American cities might turn out to be well-heeled foreign operatives doing the same kind of work over here. It happens every single day and it is one of those things that makes crime such a high-risk occupation. You can never be quite sure who it is you're doing business with! The best way to avoid it is to choose a safer line of work, like parole officer, or maybe high school teacher.

This story also brings to light the inherent right to self-defense that every individual possesses from birth. Crooks and cops, spies and school teachers all have the right to defend their own lives. Regardless of whether this was a Black Op gone bad or a simple attempted robbery, everyone involved had the right to defend themselves. Unfortunately, criminals have this right just the same as you or I. On the plus side for you and I, we are far more likely to have the training and skill necessary to be the one who walks away. Criminals generally have neither the time nor inclination to learn how to use their weapons properly. As probably happened here, the criminal fully expects to pull a gun and have the whole world bow down in submission at their awesome armament. It is the right, no, it is the duty of every honest citizen to prove that assumption false.

The question still arises, in this case did the good guy walk away from the armed confrontation or fall to a hail of copper-jacketed 9mm slugs? There is no way for me to judge this based on the limited information available to me. I would hope that the good guy won and the two men (boys?) on the motorcycle were indeed nothing more than desperate individuals with no legitimate way to make a living. The alternative would be too close to the EU Times for comfort.