21 February 2011

This is Independent Media?

If you read The Guardian, it was front page news yesterday that Raymond Davis - the man at the center of current dispute between the U.S. and Pakistan - is a CIA operative. I suppose that is hardly a surprise. Nor, unfortunately, is it a surprise that the American press has been complicit in seeking to hide that fact. As The Guardian reports: "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." Just now* The New York Times has admitted to this complicity:
"The New York Times had agreed to temporarily withhold information about Mr. Davis’s ties to the agency at the request of the Obama administration, which argued that disclosure of his specific job would put his life at risk. Several foreign news organizations have disclosed some aspects of Mr. Davis’s work with the C.I.A., and on Monday, American officials lifted their request to withhold publication. "
Even though Davis's CIA connection is common knowledge you can, for instance, listen to this report at npr from this morning and never hear that fact mentioned. This is independent media?
* Meaning within the past hour.

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Blogger Dave said...

So... they should have published that information and almost certainly have gotten him killed?

22 February, 2011 12:29  
Blogger Dave said...

So... they should have published it and gotten him killed?

22 February, 2011 12:30  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Big inference Dave. Just because the administration intimidates the media with it doesn't mean it is vaguely plausible. The fellow is in custody. Do you think the Pakistanis would simply through him to the screaming mobs? Please! He is way more valuable to our clients alive than dead.

And, of course, the information helps make sense of the intransigence of the Pakistanis in the face of Obama's BS about "our diplomat." Our problem seems to be that we have too many ex-military yahoos who are collecting their federal pensions and working for Blackwater (or whatever it is now called) until we call them up as CIA spooks. From soldier to mercenary to 'operative.' This one couldn't keep his gun in his pants. Well done! Can you spell international incident caused by a fellow with an associate's degree and a glock? This is pathetic. And the good 'liberal media are complicit in the cover-up to their eyeballs.

22 February, 2011 17:17  
Blogger Dave said...

Isn't that exactly the reason so many folks were upset when Valerie Plame was outted, but not really? That harm could come to her some day?

I do agree with you that it is troubling to have mercenaries doing our bidding. Either come straight out and have people doing it or just don't do it. Perhaps that naive in the Middle east.

The whole "Pakistani's are our allies and that's why we give them billions" thing is confusing to me anyways in light of the nuclear leaks they perpetrated and other clear cut cases of them supporting terrorism while supposedly helping us fight it on another front.

22 February, 2011 17:25  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...


I was upset by the Plame fracas because (1) it was a US official who outed her to he press (and he was working for our then VP) and (2) the 'outer' in the media was a conservative 'patriot' who beat the drum of national security repeatedly over the years. This was hypocrisy (at least) and criminal behavior (more likely).

Plame's career ended (at least as a covert operative) and many of her contacts may have been exposed. Who knows? But she'd been in the business for years and our guy in Lahore is just a mercenary who made trouble for himself.

I agree with you that the Pakistanis are not wholly reliable clients. But they usually do their dirty work in the shadows. I doubt they would blatantly do in one of our "diplomats."

That said, the Pakistanis seem no more troublesome in terms of play nice in exchange for largess than, say, the Israelis.

I am not naive. I figure we likely need spies. But I do take exception when the press seem to be taking orders directly from the government - especially when the same press is sanctimonious about their prerogatives.



22 February, 2011 18:45  
Blogger Mike said...

The most disappointing regular offering on PBS is Gwen Ifill's Washington Week on Friday nights. With very few exceptions, the reporters dish out the same pablum offered up by the major network commentators. They seem captive to the lure of insider access and unable to escape the rigid world view promoted by the generals and politicians. I would guess that the program accounts for a major portion of local station budgets. With belt-tightening on the near horizon, dumping WW should be high on the list.

23 February, 2011 08:52  

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