The State Department remains tight-lipped on the role of the American man recently arrested in Pakistan for murder. The man in question, Raymond Davis, was suspected of being a spy. The Obama administration claimed that Davis had diplomatic immunity and should be set free from Pakistani custody. Last Friday, P.J. Crowley, State Department Spokesman would only say to The Takeaway that Davis is a U.S. Diplomat entitled to diplomatic immunity. You can hear that interview here. But reports out yesterday confirm that Davis was working in a part of a C.I.A. team, as an independent contractor. Either way, what does the case of Raymond Davis mean for the U.S. Pakistan relationship?
Tensions continue to rise between U.S. and Pakistani intelligence agencies. The CIA’s top spy was pulled out of the country last week after receiving several death threats. The CIA believes that its Pakistani counterpart, the ISI, may have deliberately blown the cover of the operative: his name was made public in a legal complaint by a family of drone attack victims.
David Coleman Headley, a 49-year-old Chicago man, was arrested two months ago in connection with a terrorist plot against the Danish newspaper Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten. The Copenhagen paper published cartoons of the prophet Muhammed back in 2005, angering Muslims around the world. Yesterday, it was revealed that Headley's terror connections go much deeper; he now faces charges for his involvement in the 2008 massacre in Mumbai that left over 150 people dead.
According to police, Headley was born Daood Gilani and changed his name to more easily cross international borders and, allegedly, serve as an advance scout for the terrorist network Lashkar-e-Taibi. These charges make Headley not just an impressive and well-timed arrest for the Justice Department but, perhaps more importantly, a stark reminder of the wide reach of terrorist networks.
We are joined from Baghdad by Jane Arraf, correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor. We also speak with the Washington Post's national security correspondent, Carrie Johnson, and Art Keller, a former case officer for the CIA who served in Pakistan in 2006.
It’s been eight years since the terrorist organization al-Qaida attacked the U.S., hijacking airplanes, destroying the twin towers of the World Trade Center, damaging the Pentagon, and killing hundreds on Flight 93 and thousands elsewhere. Although the organization is not as robust as it was in 2001, it remains a serious security threat; its top leaders, including Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, are still at large. For an insider's take on what the hunt for al-Qaida entails we are joined by former CIA agent Art Keller, who spent the last few months of his career in Pakistan, hunting top al-Qaida operatives. We also speak to Bruce Hoffman, terrorism expert and professor of security studies at Georgetown University.
There is now a hullabaloo in Congress about alleged abortive CIA plans to assassinate al-Qaeda members. While the New York Times and other sources are reporting that the plan was initiated at the behest of Vice President Cheney and never got off the ground, members of Congress are nevertheless now beating the same drum heard again and again over the years: “Let’s investigate the CIA.” ...(continue reading)
In 2004, CIA Inspector General John Helgerson completed a report looking at abuses inside CIA prisons. The report has been kept a secret until today, when portions of the report are expected to be made public.
For more on the details of that report, we speak to Siobhan Gorman, intelligence correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and Art Keller, a former CIA case officer who served in Pakistan in 2006.
You can read Siobhan's article, "CIA Faulted for Conduct at Prisons," at the Wall Street Journal, and Art Keller's blog post on secrecy and political accountability around Washington and the CIA, "The Buck Stops Where?"