The tense saga of Raymond Davis, who shot and killed two Pakistanis in Lahore on January 27, continues. His trial in Lahore has been delayed again, with the next hearing date addressing the question of diplomatic immunity now set for either March 3 or March 14, depending on which report you believe. On Wednesday, Senator John Kerry visited Pakistan to deliver yet another threat of Congress cutting off funding for Pakistan if Davis is not released. In the meantime, analysis of records for the “businesses” with which Davis is associated in the US raises the interesting question of whether he recruits potential spies among students taking courses in international security.
The New York Times describes the hearing Thursday in Lahore:
A provincial court gave the Pakistani government three weeks on Thursday to decide whether the American official in custody for killing two Pakistanis has diplomatic immunity, a decision that amounts to a slap to the United States, the nation’s biggest donor and an ally in the fight against terror.
The judge in Lahore, Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry, ordered the Foreign Ministry to present its findings on Mr. Davis’s immunity in three weeks, a delay that is likely to intensify the standoff.
This hearing came the day after Senator John Kerry visited with Pakistani officials, including President Zardari, to argue for Davis’ release and presumably to threaten that Congress could withhold billions of dollars worth of funding to Pakistan if he is not released:
Senator Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the sponsor of a $7.5 billion aid package for Pakistan, left Pakistan Wednesday night after meeting with top leaders, including President Zardari. He was confident, he said, that the Davis case would be resolved in the “next few days.”
It would appear that Reuters, and perhaps the people of Pakistan who are opposed to release of Davis, understand how the US Department of Justice operates when it comes to cases involving the war on terror or state secrets. From a Reuters article on the standoff:
While U.S. officials have said the Justice Department will conduct a criminal investigation of its own, it is unclear whether such a probe would lead to a trial.
The likelihood that, if he is freed, Davis will not face charges for his actions in Pakistan appears to be driving at least a portion of the outrage being exhibited on the streets.
Because the Davis case has all the hallmarks of Davis being an intelligence operative of some sort, there has been much public speculation about his US business activities. Not all of the information that is circulating appears to be correct. For example, many stories state that the Florida version of his business has never been registered with the state. Here is a partial screenshot from Florida public records indicating that Hyperion Protective Consultants, LLC filed registration paperwork in February, 2007 but was then dissolved by the state in September, 2008 for lack of an annual report:
The registered agent for the business in this filing is Gerald L. Richardson, Jr, who also is listed with the state as registered agent for a clothing business, Grynd Wear, LLC but doing business as Grynd Wear, Unlimited at this website. Grynd Wear and Hyperion listed the same Orlando address for their retail locations, but multiple reports indicate that the storefront is now empty.
An online resume for Richardson notes his association with Hyperion and indicates that before joining Hyperion, he worked as Prevention/Security Manager for a large firm in Orlando.
Although the Florida business has been dissolved by the state, an entity with a very closely related name is registered and still active in Nevada. There, it is incorporated as Hyperion Protective Services, LLC and lists Raymond Davis and his wife as Managing Members, unlike the Florida filing,where there is no mention of Davis. The address listed for the business appears to be a post office box in a UPS Store.
I have not yet found any definitive information on the Nevada registered agent, who is listed as Rachel Bender.
A very poorly written web description of the Nevada business links to the website of the Florida business, and so there is a direct connection between these similalry named businesses.
Although Davis has had multiple residences in the US, a Denver television station reported that he was living in the Denver area at the time of his arrest and even interviewed his wife.
The Nevada company is registered to operate in Colorado:
The registered agent for the Colorado filing is listed as Shadd Pease. A person with the same name comes up as working toward a Master’s degree in International Security at the University of Denver. From an online profile of Pease, we see that his resume is very similar to that of Davis, who also served in Special Forces:
The International Security program at the University of Denver held a “Global Security Career Fair” last October, where the CIA joined a number of other security agencies in recruiting among the students:
In conjunction with the career fair, the CIA also held an information session on Wednesday to explain what they have to offer and the characteristics they look for in employees, whether that be in the analytical field or the clandestine service.
Also in attendance at the Global Security Career Fair were the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, U.S. Army JAG, Army Recruiting, U.S. Marine Corps JAG, Boren Fellowship, and the State of Colorado Division of Emergency Management. Both the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) plan to reschedule their campus visits after having to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances.
The massive growth in the number of government and contractor intelligence personnel, coupled with Davis’ company appearing to have integrated a student in the Denver program in international security into the firm, led me to wonder whether Davis might play a role in recruiting personnel into intelligence. Remarkably, when we list the various places Davis has lived, we find academic programs in international security that appear to be very similar to the Denver program near each location.
For the home office in LasVegas, we find the UNLV Institute for Security Studies. For the Orlando operation, there is the Global Peace and Security Studies Program at the University of Central Florida. There also is a business address and residence reported for Davis in Vail, Arizona, which is not too far from Tucson, where the University of Arizona is implementing a program to offer an International Securities Studies Certificate. At least one report also mentioned Davis having spent time in Lexington, Kentucky, where we find that a student can also concentrate on International Security. With five out of five of Davis’ known locations for living or conducting business being “target rich” environments for people being trained for intelligence careers, it is very hard not to come to the conclusion that Davis’ business function in the US may well be in recruiting for an intelligence agency or contractor.