Spy Games


What’s behind the recent Pakistani demand that the CIA essentially shut down its entire operation in the country? The proximate cause is the shooting of two Pakistani citizens by a CIA employee last January. But as Joe Klein summarizes things, there’s a bit more to it:

It seems there may be a covert war going on between the CIA and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate. The key event appeared, at first, to be a road rage incident (of which there are zillions in Pakistan, believe me). A US “embassy employee” shot and killed two Pakistanis who were allegedly trying to rob him. Except the “employee” — Raymond Davis — turns out to have been a likely CIA employee and the “victims” may well have been ISI operatives. The rumor is that Davis was trying to penetrate Lashkar-e-Taiba, the terrorist group that pulled off the Mumbai massacre and is not-so-loosely affiliated with the ISI.

If these rumors are true — and they seem entirely plausible — the root cause of Pakistan’s move against the CIA may be anger that we’re getting close to the root of Pakistan’s operating hypocrisy: attempting to play our ally — and receiving $6 billion in aid — while funding the Afghan Taliban and supporting terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba.

I’m not sure how seriously to take something reported as “rumor,” but this does indeed have an aura of plausibility. For now, though, I’m just passing it along.

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