Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yes, an American civilian employee was involved in Lahore shooting, but it's not Raymond Davis ....

As can be expected, the Lahore incident made it to the Daily Press Brief with PJ Crowley. He confirmed that 1) an American employee was involved in the shooting, 2) the employee is a civilian, and 3) the name floated around in the news report is "not correct."

From the Daily Press Brief, January 27:

QUESTION: A new topic. What can you tell us about this Raymond Davis, the – who works at the U.S. Consulate in Lahore and who apparently shot and killed two would-be robbers? What’s his position there? Does he have diplomatic immunity?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, let me say three things. First, I can confirm that an employee at the U.S. Consulate in Lahore was involved in an incident today. It is under investigation. We have not released the identity of our employee at this point. And reports of a particular identity that are circulating through the media are incorrect.

QUESTION: What does that mean? You mean the name?

MR. CROWLEY: I mean the name’s wrong.

QUESTION: The name that – the name that Michele --

MR. CROWLEY: The name that’s out there is wrong.

QUESTION: The name that was just mentioned?

MR. CROWLEY: Including that one.

QUESTION: The one that I just used --


QUESTION: -- is wrong?

QUESTION: Is wrong?

MR. CROWLEY: Not correct.

QUESTION: But what – this – the incident involved, you say, an employee of the consulate. But is this someone who has diplomatic immunity? Is this a diplomat?

MR. CROWLEY: Again, I’m going to leave it there for the moment. As we are able to share greater details with you, we will.

QUESTION: Okay. You said you --

QUESTION: And do you know what this individual was doing out and about that day, why he was driving around?

MR. CROWLEY: Again, this is a matter under investigation.

QUESTION: You said you would say three things. You only said two.

MR. CROWLEY: I said three.

QUESTION: What was the third?

MR. CROWLEY: Confirm the employee – there’s --

QUESTION: One, you confirmed an incident.

MR. CROWLEY: It was an employee working at the consulate.

QUESTION: And two, the identities out there are wrong.

MR. CROWLEY: Two, the matter is under investigation, and --

QUESTION: Well, that doesn’t count. (Laughter.)

MR. CROWLEY: All right.

QUESTION: That doesn’t tell us anything.

MR. CROWLEY: I’ve given you everything I’ve got.

QUESTION: But this is a very sensitive country.

QUESTION: He’s a U.S. national and not a Pakistani national, because you could have Pakistanis --

MR. CROWLEY: He is a U.S. national.


QUESTION: But this is a very sensitive --

MR. CROWLEY: That’s three. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: -- a sensitive issue, a sensitive country where anti-Americanism is rife, so --

MR. CROWLEY: I – completely. This is a matter under investigation, and we’ll let the investigation work its course.

QUESTION: And when you say an employee of the consulate, this is a civilian employee, yes? This is not a military person?


QUESTION: And who is doing the investigating? U.S., Pakistani, or both?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, this happened within Pakistan. There’s a Pakistani investigation. We will cooperate fully.

QUESTION: Can you say whether this person was authorized to be carrying a firearm?

MR. CROWLEY: I’m not going to say anything else.

QUESTION: Is this person still in Lahore or has he left the country?

MR. CROWLEY: I’m not aware of any movement.

The Skeptical Bureaucrat
has a couple of new posts on this including a video and his thoughts on WaPo's SpyTalk piece and source.

About an hour ago, BBC also reported that police in Pakistan have now charged an unnamed US consular official with double murder after they say he shot and killed two motorcycle riders in the eastern city of Lahore. The BBC coverage includes a local video.

The Times of India later reported that a large number of motorists and locals were reported to have gathered outside Lahore's Old Anarkali police station and blocked the road by burning tyres.

One local Twitter user writes: "There is a rule of thumb for the mob here.Whosoever drives the larger/bigger vehicle is always the bad guy."

The US Embassy in Islamabad would only confirm that the person involved in this incident is an employee of the consulate and that they are working with Pakistani authorities to investigate the matter.

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