US Caught in The Big Lie: ThisCantBeHappening! was Correct in Exposing Raymond Davis as a Spy

Talk about getting caught in a Big Lie.

So desperate has been the US effort to get the US government killer Raymond Davis sprung from police custody in Lahore, Pakistan following his execution-style slaughter of two Pakistani intelligence operatives in broad daylight in a crowded commercial area, that the government trotted out President Obama to declare that Pakistan was violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations by holding “our diplomat,” whom he insisted had only been defending himself, and should in any case be entitled to absolute immunity.

Now both the Guardian newspaper in the UK over the weekend, and the Associated Press today are reporting that sources in both the Pakistani and American governments are confirming that Davis works for the CIA. The AP is even reporting that he is a “CIA security contractor,” which is something less and a little more amorphous than a CIA employee, and that means he has no claim on diplomatic immunity whatever, and that raises the added question of who he actually is and who he actually works for. But more on that later.

The Guardian noted in its article that Davis’s wife had provided phone numbers for information about him to a local TV station and that those numbers turned out to be the CIA. Meanwhile, Agence France Press reported over the weekend that Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), a loose-tongued member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also apparently inadvertently slipped up and disclosed on the Senate floor that Davis is an “agent”, saying, “We can’t throw this agent over.”

America’s and the President’s reputations lie in tatters as a result of the handling of this bloody incident. Not only did the US dispatch to Islamabad members of Congress, including the oleaginous Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), as well as the reprehensible Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to press for Davis’s release, threatening the withholding of aid to Pakistan (our ostensible ally in the Afghanistan War!). It provided a patently false document to the Pakistani Foreign Office claiming Davis to be an employee of the US Embassy in Islamabad (which would have meant he’d have immunity from arrest and detention), when he was actually working out of the Lahore Consulate, where he would not be entitled to any immunity for his actions). It also tried to exchange his regular passport for a diplomatic one a day after his arrest, again retroactively trying to get him immunity from prosecution for his murderous acts.

Furthermore, the US government, according to the Guardian, induced major US news organizations to hide what they knew about Davis’s real role from the American public. The paper reported that several US news organizations had also learned on their own that Davis is a spy, but then voluntarily withhheld the information from the American public “at the request of the Obama administration,” which preferred to stick to the fictional story line that Pakistan is holding an American “diplomat” in “violation of the Vienna Convention” on diplomatic immunity. In fact, on Feb. 15, when the president lectured Pakistan about releasing “our diplomat” Davis, saying “We’ve got a very simple principle here that every country in the world that is party to the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations has upheld in the past and should uphold in the future, and that is, if our diplomats are in another country, then they are not subject to that country’s local prosecution,” not only did he know he was lying, but so did some major news organizations which ran his statement but didn’t tell readers the truth: Davis was no diplomat, but was a spook, or a contractor for a spook agency.

Update Even late today, when the NY Times finally says it got “permission” from the government to publish what it knew–that Davis “worked with” the CIA, it still fudged the issue of its allowing President Obama to lie at his press conference. “Without describing Mr. Davis’s mission or intelligence affiliation, President Obama last week made a public plea for his release,” the self-described “paper of record” wrote. But that’s not what Obama did. He simply lied and called Davis a “diplomat” and demanded his release, claiming he had immunity, and the Times knowingly let him get away with that lie.
This Dept. of Defense Contractor ID found on Davis belies his "diplomat" claim, but also raises questions about whether he's really CIA, or something elseThis Dept. of Defense Contractor ID found on Davis belies his "diplomat" claim, but also raises questions about whether he’s really CIA, or something else

Readers of ThisCantBeHappening! will not be surprised about any of this however.

Diplomatic and Consular Immunity: One Rule for Foreign Consulates in US, Another for US Consulates Abroad

President Obama, before he was a President or a Senator, was a constitutional law professor. He should know the law.

And yet in the increasingly dangerous show-down over Pakistan’s arrest and detention of Lahore consular contract “security official” Raymond Davis, who is charged with two counts of murder for the shooting deaths of two young Pakistanis on January 27, the president has grossly misstated what international law is with respect to the immunity from prosecution of diplomatic and consular officials.

As the president put it on a few days ago at a press conference, “With respect to Davis, our diplomat in Pakistan, we’ve got a very simple principle here that every country in the world that is party to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations has upheld in the past and should uphold in the future. If our diplomats are in another country, then they are not subject to that country’s local prosecution. We respect it with respect to diplomats who are here. We expect Pakistan, that’s a signatory should recognize Davis as a diplomat, to abide by the same convention.”

The first problem is that Davis isn’t a “diplomat.” At best he’s a consulate employee. Furthermore, whoever wrote the president his lines or gave him his background briefing sure didn’t read the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963! Nor did he or she read a document issued last August by the US State Department titled: Diplomatic and Consular Immunity; Guidance for Law Enforcement and Judicial Authorities (Dept. of State Pub. 10524)
US State Dept. has one rule on immunity for consular officials here, another for our guys overseasUS State Dept. has one rule on immunity for consular officials here, another for our guys overseas

Tyrants Beware: The People of Egypt Have Done It! They Have Driven Mubarak Out!

Breaking News! After 18 days of huge protests, Egypt’s dictator of 30 years, Hosni Mubarak, has been driven from power by the uprising of the Egyptian people, who refused to accept his attempt last night to hang on to power.

Mubarak ousted by People Power!Mubarak ousted by People Power!

There is still much to know, but the 20-second announcement on state television at 6 pm Egyptian time informed the country that Hosni Mubarak had been driven from the Presidency of Egypt. It appears that his handpicked successor, the blood-drenched Interior Ministry head Omar Suleiman, who had been “vice president” for a few days, and who made the announcement, has also been pushed out–he said in flat tones on state television that the Army would henceforth be running the country’s affairs.

The reality is that it was the demonstrators and strikers who made this happen, but technically the ousting of Mubarak was a military coup, and It remains to be seen if the army will now to hold power and keep the ruling elite in power, or whether it will hand things over to civilians from the incredible people’s movement that has accomplished this astonishing feat.

One thing’s for sure: it would be hard to push the millions of Egyptians whose peaceful but unflinching protests achieved this revolution back into the shadows and margins of society and economic life where they have lived for half a century.

As one man told an Al Jazeera reporter: “The Egyptian People now know that they can do this. We have just witnessed the rebirth of a great nation!”

US Terror Campaign in Pakistan? What was Raymond Davis Shooting for in Lahore?

The mystery surrounding Raymond A. Davis, the American former Special Forces operative jailed in Lahore, Pakistan for the murder of two young motorcyclists, and his funky “security” company, Hyperion-Protective Consultants LLC, in the US continues to grow.

When Davis was arrested in the immediate aftermath of the double slaying in a busy business section of Lahore, after he had fatally shot two men in the back, claiming that he feared they might be threatening to rob him, police found business cards on him for a security company called Hyperion-Protective Consultants LLC, which listed as its address 5100 North Lane, Orlando, Florida.

A website for the company gave the same address, and listed the manager as a Gerald Richardson.

An investigation into the company done for Counterpunch Magazine that was published on Tuesday, disclosed that the address was actually for a vacant storefront in a run-down and almost completely empty strip mall in Orlando called North Lane Plaza. The 5100 shop was completely empty and barren, save for an empty Coke glass on a vacant counter.

Now Tom Johnson, executive of a property company called IB Green, owner of the strip mall property, says that the 5100 address was rented by a man named Gerald Richardson, who used it to sell clothing. “We made him move out in December 2009 for nonpayment of rent,” he says. Johnson recalls that at one point when Richardson was leasing the space for his clothing store, he told him, “Oh, I have another company called Hyperion which might get mail there.”

Hyperion-Protective Consultants LLC, as reported in the Counterpunch article, is not registered with the Florida Secretary of State’s office, although it still lists the vacant 5100 North Lane, Orlando address as its headquarters on the company website, which also provides an email address for Richardson, who is described as the company’s “manager and chief researcher.” (Efforts to reach Richardson via his email and by leaving a message on the one functioning number listed on the website have gone unanswered.)

But there are other mysteries here, too, regarding Davis (whose name does not appear on the Hyperion-Protective website), and regarding Hyperion.
Just a security guy? Guns, shells, clips, multiple cell phones and batteries all found in Davis's possession by policeJust a security guy? Guns, shells, clips, multiple cell phones and batteries all found in Davis's possession by police

America: Standing in the Way of Democracy

It is pathetic and even laughable to hear American leaders, and the leaders of the other Western democracies in Europe, cautioning that Egypt’s revolution needs to move slowly, as they call for a “transition” government that would be gently guided to elections by the very man, Omar Suleiman, who for years has headed the dreaded Mukhabarat, the Egyptian secret police, all under the protective umbrella of the Egyptian military.

What is this nonsense?

Did America’s revolutionary government have a slow transition to democracy? Did America’s revolutionaries sign the Declaration of Independence and then hand over the reins of government to a general from the British Army to oversee things as they prepared for elections? No. They immediately set up a democratic system, even in the midst of a bitter war for independence. Did the African National Congress turn to a general from the South African military to run a transition government in South Africa when they finally ousted the Apartheid regime in that country? No, they held an election, and went on to rule as the elected majority. When the People Power revolution in the Philippines toppled the Marcos dictatorship after a generation of autocratic and brutal martial law law, did the people turn to the country’s military and ask it to run the country for a transition year to democracy? No, of course not! They held a snap election and elected the widow, Corazon Aquino, wife of the martyred democracy activist Benigno Aquino.

Democracies don’t need “transitions” run by military rulers and hold-over tyrants. These are tactics designed to subvert, delay and even prevent true popular rule.
Tom Paine would be in Egypt's Liberation SquareTom Paine would be in Egypt's Liberation Square

Exclusive: The Deepening Mystery of Raymond Davis and Two Slain Pakistani Motorcyclists

This article appeared initially in Counterpunch magazine
 

The mystery of American Raymond A. Davis, currently imprisoned in the custody of local police in Lahore, Pakistan and charged with the Jan. 27 murder of two young men, whom he allegedly shot eight times with uncanny accuracy through his car windshield, is growing increasingly murky. Also growing is the anger among Pakistanis that the US is trying to spring him from a Punjab jail by claiming diplomatic immunity.

Davis (whose identity was first denied and later confirmed by the US Embassy in Islamabad), and the embassy have claimed that he was hired as an employee of a US security company called Hyperion Protective Consultants, LLC, which was said to be located at 5100 North Lane in Orlando, Florida. Business cards for Hyperion were found on Davis by arresting officers.

However ThisCantBeHappening! and Counterpunch magazine have investigated and uncovered the following information:

Firstly, there is not and never has been any such company located at the 5100 North Lane address. It is only an empty storefront, with empty shelves along one wall and an empty counter on the opposite wall, with just a lone used Coke cup sitting on it. A leasing agency sign is on the window.

 Hapless US consular employee, CIA agent or mercenary intelligence black-ops operative?Raymond Davis: Hapless US consular employee, CIA agent or mercenary intelligence black-ops operative?

The empty strip mall in Orlando where Davis claims his company, Hyperion Protective Consultants LLC, is basedThe empty strip mall in Orlando where Davis claims his company, Hyperion Protective Consultants LLC, is based

Shumaila, widow Faheem poisoned herself to death to demand justice for her husband, slain motorcyclist Mohammad Faheem.Shumaila Faheem poisoned herself to death to demand justice for her husband, slain motorcyclist Mohammad Faheem.

America's Happy Talk Media: No Jobs is Good News!

The propagandists in the corporate media are scratching their heads trying to figure out how to paint a rosy picture using the shockingly bad employment news out of the Labor Department today.

Here’s the raw data:

The official unemployment rate fell from 9.4% to 9.0%, when the prediction had been that it was going to move up slightly to 9.5%

The number of new jobs added was a net 36,000, the lowest increase since last September, when the economy was still losing jobs.

Here are some of the media quotes:

Associated Press: “The unemployment rate dropped sharply last month to 9 percent, based on a government survey that found that more than a half-million people found work.”

MSNBC: “The U.S. labor market slowed sharply last month, generating just 36,000 net new jobs, the fewest in four months, as winter storms depressed payrolls growth. Still, the unemployment rate dropped sharply to 9 percent, the lowest level in nearly two years.”

Fox News: “Economic growth is gaining momentum, with factories busy and service firms expanding, but one critical area still lags: job creation.”

Hoops were being jumped through here to try to make something terrible look good.

Here’s the reality: In a trend that has continued now since October, the number of net new jobs created by the US economy has fallen once again, thanks to layoffs by construction companies, warehouse and transportation companies and especially public employers like state and city governments and school districts, which undercut minor gains in the manufacturing and retail sectors. A gain of 36,000 jobs has to be put in perspective too–the US economy has to add 150,000 new jobs a month just to accommodate the growth in the size of the working age population. We haven’t seen those kinds of numbers since October, when the job picture slipped back into the negative zone again.

The average number of jobs created monthly over the last three months was just 83,000, according the the Labor Department.
Looking for jobs that aren't thereLooking for jobs that aren't there

President Obama’s State of the Union Speech: WTF?

 
I never expected to find myself agreeing with Sarah Palin, but I’ve got to admit that the woman nailed it regarding President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address. Asked to comment on it, she said it had a lot of “WTF moments.”

That’s exactly what I found myself thinking as I read through it!

We’ve “broken the back” of the recession? WTF? The official unemployment rate is still 9.4%, and even that is down slightly from a 9.8% high only because so many people have given up trying to find a job and have left the workforce, taking early retirement or just staying home. And the real unemployment rate–the one that counts those who have given up but would work if there were actually jobs to be had, and those who have grasped at part time work just to survive–is still at between 19% and 22%, depending on how you’re counting. Who’s Obama kidding: us or himself?

We need to “out-educate” the rest of the world? WTF? All across the country, school districts are laying off teachers. In New York City, the country’s largest school district, the world’s richest mayor, $18-billionaire Michael Bloomberg, recently hired corporate hack, Cathleen P. Black, a former magazine publisher who has no educational experience or training, but who does have a reputation for whacking employee lists, as his new school chancellor, and has put out the word to teachers in New York, including those who have earned tenure through years of dedicated work, that their jobs are on the line because of a lack of money. In Philadelphia, another or the country’s largest districts, principals have been warned to prepare for 20-30% budget cuts next school year–this in a district where 40 kids to a classroom the norm, and where kids still study from dog-eared history and science textbooks dating to the 1970s and ‘80s. Obama also talked about the need to focus education on science, math and technology. WTF? What about foreign languages? What about history and political science? What about the arts? If he had actually checked what happens in China–a country he warned was outdoing us in educating its kids–he’d have discovered that music and art are key parts of every kids’s education, and that kids start learning foreign languages when they are little–not in high school. Same in most countries like Korea, Taiwan or Germany, all of which are eating our lunch in global economic competition.

Dave and Sarah, listening to Obama's State of the Union, both say WTF?Dave and Sarah, listening to Obama's State of the Union, both say WTF?

Tyranny American-Style: Pvt. Bradley Manning is a Hero of Our Age

 
 
Looks can be deceiving.

When you see photos of Army Specialist Bradley Manning, the fresh, boyish-faced 23-year old private who has spent the last seven months in solitary confinement, first in Kuwait and later at the Marine base at Quantico, VA, enduring the tender mercies of military guards, you don’t get the sense that this is someone who could withstand a lot of pressure and physical and mental abuse.

Pvt. Bradley Manning, the face of a heroPvt. Bradley Manning, the face of a hero

But it turns out he’s one tough hombre. Manning, according to his attorney, to a friend who has been allowed to visit him, and to activists who have been demonstrating outside Quantico for his release from this private hell, has been subjected to sleep deprivation, has been barred from exercising in the slightest, and recently was improperly placed by the Quantico base commander on suicide watch–meaning his clothing was removed, and also his reading glasses–as punishment for “disobeying” orders of the guards. (After news of this order, and publicity about it, the commander rescinded it, and was citicized by the Pentagon for allegedly overstepping his authority, an indication that public pressure in this case can help.)