So US did pay for Raymond Davis to be released

So I suppose this ultimately goes in the “no shit Sherlock” files. But still, a little embarrassing for the US. This from Peter Bergen’s Manhunt, his eminently readable account of the mission to kill Osama bin Laden (p 178 in the edition I’m reading)

On March 16, Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor who had killed the two Pakistanis two months earlier, was released from jail following an ingenious deal in which the US government paid $2 million of Islam-sanctioned “blood money” to the families of the two victims.

Given that Bergen’s book has been written with pretty comprehensive access to the White House, Pentagon and various dark corners of America’s special ops world, then it’s fair to assume he knows what he’s talking about. Which is awkward for Hillary Clinton who told anyone who asked that the US most definitely not pay for Davis to be released last year…

Clinton told reporters in Cairo: “The United States did not pay any compensation.” Asked who did, she replied: “You will have to ask the families.”

Anyway, Bergen’s revelation is hardly a bombshell: No-one believed Clinton at the time.

Lots of interesting points to be made in relation to the current US-Pak impasse over the Salala killings. This is most definitely a transactional relationship – no matter what either side says. And this time there’s no Husain Haqqani around to cobble together a solution.


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