U.S. Fears for Life of Outed CIA Contractor in Pakistan Prison


Davis then called for help from several other CIA security officers who shared his Lahore safehouse, according to a U.S. official and the intelligence consultant. As they arrived near the intersection, they accidentally hit a Pakistani motorcyclist. The motorcyclist later died of his injuries. Davis' colleagues were unable to get to Davis before the police arrested him. They left the scene and returned to their safehouse.

Within hours, they had destroyed all government documents at the safehouse, abandoned it, and retreated to the U.S. consulate for safety. Both have since returned to the U.S., according to a senior U.S. official briefed on the case.

U.S. officials have been in a standoff with the Pakistani government over Davis's detention since his arrest. Pakistani officials have denied that his diplomatic passport protects him from the country's judicial system. They say the legal system will soon determine if he should stand trial for murder or other crimes, or release him.

The U.S. asserts that Davis has diplomatic immunity and is protected under the Vienna Convention, which recognizes diplomatic immunity.

Last week President Obama called Davis "our diplomat" and urged the Pakistani government to release the CIA operative.

"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," Obama said in a press conference last week.

"We expect Pakistan, that's a signatory and recognizes Mr. Davis as a diplomat, to abide by the same convention."

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Since Davis was detained, the Obama administration has summoned the Pakistani ambassador to the White House to demand Davis's release, while Secretary of State Clinton and the U.S. ambassador to Pakistani and asked senior Pakistani military, intelligence and other government officials to respect Davis's diplomatic immunity. But the U.S. has refused to elaborate publicly on Davis' position in Pakistan except to say he was a "technical advisor" for the consulate in Lahore and to refer to him as a "diplomat" in public statements.

"We are playing a game of chicken," said a senior Pakistani official, who would only speak if given anonymity. "It is not yet clear who will blink first."

According to a senior U.S. official, Davis first arrived in Pakistan in December 2008, and was posted at various times in Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar. Until last August, Davis was stationed in Pakistan as an employee of the company once known as Blackwater, now called Xe Services, and contracted to the CIA.

According to a former Blackwater executive, the CIA terminated the company's GRS contract in Pakistan, accusing the security company of failing to provide adequate services. The agency then moved to hire all the former Xe/Blackwater security personnel directly as independent contractors.

As a GRS officer, Davis made $780 per day working as a security guard for the agency's clandestine case officers. One official described his job as always being "a few tables away" from a case officer meeting with a clandestine source, and providing security escorts around the country. By 2010, he'd been moved to Peshawar.

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