By Barry Grey, wsws.org, 1 March 2011The New York Times on Sunday published a column by its public editor, Arthur S. Brisbane, defending the newspaper’s decision to withhold, at the request of the Obama administration, the fact that CIA killer Raymond Davis is an employee of the US spy agency.
Whatever Brisbane’s intentions, the column is a self-indictment, exposing the liberal newspaper of record’s lack of any sense of democratic responsibility or fidelity to basic journalistic principles and its role as a quasi-state propaganda organ.
On January 27 Davis, a former US Special Forces solider and Xe Services (previously called Blackwater) mercenary, shot and killed two Pakistani youth in broad daylight while driving through a crowded market in Lahore. Other CIA operatives who raced to the scene in their vehicle to prevent Pakistani officials from arresting Davis struck a third man and fled, leaving their victim to die in the street.
The following day, Pakistani authorities arrested Davis and charged him with murder and carrying an unlicensed gun. The US government demanded, and continues to demand, Davis’ release to American officials on the grounds that he is an official with the US embassy in Islamabad and enjoys diplomatic immunity. The Obama administration denied charges by Pakistani officials that Davis is a CIA operative.