The American assassin held in Pakistan for shooting two people dead on the street was not just a random guy who wandered off his AARP tour bus, but in fact is a soldier of fortune employed by the CIA to murder people in foreign countries. Working for one of the thousands of covert assassination teams you pay for with your tax dollars, “Raymond A. Davis, a retired Special Forces soldier, carried out scouting and other reconnaissance missions for a Central Intelligence Agency task force of case officers and technical surveillance experts.” The people are rising up around the world, revolutions are arranged via Facebook and Twitter, you can watch HD videos of teenagers cutting themselves on your wireless telephone, but the American Government still conducts its international business the same way it did a half-century ago.
Mr. Davis’s arrest and detention, which came after what American officials have described as a botched robbery attempt, has inadvertently pulled back the curtain on a web of covert American operations inside Pakistan, part of a secret war run by the C.I.A. It has exacerbated already frayed relations between the American intelligence agency and its Pakistani counterpart, created a political dilemma for the weak, pro-American Pakistani government, and further threatened the stability of the country, which has the world’s fastest growing nuclear arsenal.
The only real difference between the clumsy brutality of Yankee thugs today and 50 years ago is we no longer have a Graham Greene to turn this human garbage into compelling literature. Not that anybody would buy compelling literature today …. [NYT]