Diplomatic immunity isn’t something that should be thrown around by governments, as it’s a fine line to walk. The whole purpose of the immunity is to protect the relationship between countries and their respective diplomats.
Instead of civil law only being taken into question in cases where foreign representatives, military personnel and politicians are concerned, international law and policies on safeguarding international ties are also used.
When used incorrectly, it can have the opposite effect and could severely harm relations.
Recently, news surfaced on several Pakistani English-language websites which claim that a former US Special Forces operative named Raymond Davis who killed two motorcyclists in Pakistan has been considered for diplomatic immunity.
If the story is factual, then it appears it has also been hushed up throughout the U.S. media, as next to nothing has appeared in Western press or online.
The Raymond Davis Story
The story goes like this. Raymond Davis was working for Xe, a private military contractor that deals with embassy security in troubled regions such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Kenya and most relevant to this story, Pakistan.
Formerly known as Blackwater (they changed their name to re-brand in an attempt to shake bad press cause by ‘trigger happy’ activities in the field), Xe are known contractors for the US government and specifically the CIA.
Apparently, Davis was on an odd mission (either his own or under someone’s instruction). He is accused of making contact with the Pakistani wing of the Taliban and helping them in their operations by recruiting and ‘waging war on Pakistan’.
Covert Cover Blown by Pakistani Authorities
When driving through a rough slum in Lahore (Pakistan’s second biggest city), Davis allegedly shot and killed two motorcyclists.
It is thought that these may have been ISI agents (Pakistani intelligence agency) who were following him due to their suspicions. Others say they were innocent civilians.
Pakistani news sources claim that when Davis was arrested, 27 phone numbers belonging to extremists and militants were found on his phone and numerous other pieces of ‘security paraphernalia’ such as a gun, GPS device and more cellphones.
The media sources say that the Lahore court has given the Pakistani government 3 weeks to decide whether or not Davis has diplomatic immunity. It will be a tough one to figure out, as there are numerous undefined variables.
What the Davis Case Reveals
Firstly, we know Davis is a US citizen. Although the US (and indeed all western nations) almost always pressure foreign governments for the return of their citizens to face imprisonment in their home countries, there is no legal obligation for Pakistan to do this.
The best Davis can hope for in this regard is sufficient pressure from the US consulate/ambassador.
Also, he’s a former military man, but it’s unclear whether or not he was working for the CIA. We know Xe (Blackwater) do have contracts with the CIA, but it’s unclear whether or not that was the case with Davis.
Private military organizations are renowned for simply ‘forgetting’ about their personnel once they get into hot water like this. In previous cases, Blackwater sent ill-equipped troops on missions and rarely step in when things go wrong for their own operatives.
International Law and Private Mercenaries
Finally, there are laws regarding mercenaries, although they’re ambiguous and rarely used. Because the view is taken by most countries that Mercenaries are paid soldiers and outside of a regular army, it is their company which should look after them and not International law.
It’s worth noting that this story is based upon Pakistani sources – and it’s uncertain where the information is originating from. There could be numerous other factors involved in this case which remain unknown and could vindicate Davis.
Indeed, the story could have been ‘planted’ by the Taliban, ISI or God knows who else, for an entire plethora of reasons.
Whatever the case, it’s a prime example of the complexities which arise when International law, delicate international relationships, military action, mercenaries, militants and intelligence agencies collide.Originally published on TopSecretWriters.com