Scott Horton Interviews Marcy Wheeler

Scott Horton, February 25, 2011

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Marcy Wheeler, blogging under the pseudonym “emptywheel” at firedoglake.com, discusses the mysterious case of CIA officer Raymond Davis and the shootings in Pakistan, doubts about his robbery story, the Obama administration’s clumsy response and their legal gymnastics in trying to arrange for diplomatic immunity to be applied and the agent released, the Pakistani public’s outrage over the incident and the large-scale covert war being waged there.

MP3 here. (18:38)

Marcy Wheeler, aka emptywheel, blogs at firedoglake.com. Marcy grew up bicoastally, starting with every town in NY with an IBM. Then she moved to Poway, CA, home of several participants in the Duke Cunningham scandal.  Since then, she has lived in Western MA, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and finally–for the last 12 years–Ann Arbor.

She got a BA from Amherst College, where she spent much of her time on the rugby pitch. A PhD program in Comparative Literature brought her to MI; she got the PhD but decided academics was not her thing. Her research, though, was on a cool journalistic form called the “feuilleton”–a kind of conversational essay that was important to the expansion of modern newspapers in much of the rest of the world. It was pretty good preparation to become a blogger, if a PhD can ever be considered training for blogging.

After leaving academics, Marcy consulted for the auto industry, much of it in Asia. But her contract moved to Asia, along with most of Michigan’s jobs, so she did what anyone else would do. Write a book, and keep blogging.

8 Responses to “Marcy Wheeler”

  1. You should have asked me about this Scott. The guy was definitely not a NOC and the pause in the drone activity has nothing to do with the case. Davis was a CIA contractor either out providing security for a CIA case officer who was meeting a source that was not completely trusted or he was himself meeting such a source. The backup van was there in case something went wrong and to provide additional security. He was not a diplomat as he was not accredited to the Pak foreign ministry, but he would have limited immunity if it could be demonstrated that he was out doing work for the consulate (which he will be unable to do). I have been "technical and administrative" while overseas and it really provides very little protection. The US government is going crazy trying to get this guy freed because CIA is apoplectic insisting that it has to be done because the US government takes care of its own, particularly when they are on dangerous missions. The Obamas have mishandled the whole thing by publicly demanding the release. It should have been dealt with quietly with plenty of bribe money all around, which is not to say this guy should go free, but that is the way CIA makes flaps go away.

  2. Thanks.

    Why did he have phone numbers in the tribal areas?

  3. Because he was meeting people from those areas, which is where the militants are as well as the targets for drones. It would not be safe to meet them outside of an urban area with elaborate security laid on.

    I am not saying that the intelligence he might have been seeking wasn't connected to drone activity, only that the pause is unrelated. BTW the Agency fear is that Davis might start blabbing to save his skin and tell about all of the CIA unilateral operations in Pakistan, which would end any cooperation from the Paks.

  4. To my mind the most important thing in this interview is the fact that the National Security apparatus is conducting all kinds of secret ops without the consent or knowledge of the president, congress, or senate. In other words they have decided that democracy doesn't matter and they don't need approval from our elected representatives, they can do whatever they like. CIA is now secretly in charge, and Obama doesn't dare object.

  5. Sounds like someone is attempting to cover-up something. One question i would have is – why?Has a hint that NSC satff or NS-Advisor made a boo boo and are attempting to cover-up some nefarious operational issues that are about to go public. Sounds like Hassenfaus all over again. Congressional investigation and/or special prosecutor is likely in order to root out the bad actors and activity. Espirit de corp issues are secondary here and the poor managers and supervisors must go.

  6. The Pakistanis say he was travelling in areas he had no authorization being in.

  7. Hey Scott: Quick note. Your levels are much higher than your guests. Is there any way your engineer can mix you down or your guests up? Even if you set the dials to "auto" the machine should be able to ride the gain.

  8. Austin Powers writes……"Congressional investigation and/or special prosecutor is likely in order to root out the bad actors and activity. Espirit de corp issues are secondary here and the poor managers and supervisors must go."

    I assign the BLAME further up the chain of command..FIRE LEON PANETTA …..Cut off the head of the snake… How did this RAMBOZZO rise to the position of station chief.?? Acting or otherwise?? It appears that the rot that the bush boyz broght to that organization has engulfed it from the TOP down.. Who Is Leon Panetta… Why did he want the top CIA job…?? He has NO intelligence background and this latest episode instructs us that intelligence has been replaced with the cult of Rambo impunity and infected with xenophobia… It appears that Leon Panetta is a spook wannabee…… One who looks up to the Rambos… & morons. All we need to do is see is how Davis is dressed to understand there is something wrong over at Foggy Bottom.. Ray McGovern has written about the cult of impunity there and what needs to be done to restore the proper function of the organization… More "intelligence" and less "operations" is the prescription…

    Look at the world news on this incident:

    FROM THREE SOURCES…!!

    "CIA spy" Davis was giving nuclear bomb material to Al-Qaeda, says report"

    "Double murder-accused US official Raymond Davis has been found in possession of top-secret CIA documents, which point to him or the feared American Task Force 373 (TF373) operating in the region, providing Al-Qaeda terrorists with "nuclear fissile material" and "biological agents," according to a report." http://www.britainnews.net/story/746756/ht/CIA-sp….

    The report said Davis was discovered making contacts with Qaeda after his cell phone was tracked to the Waziristan tribal area bordering Afghanistan.

    “The combat skills exhibited by Davis, along with documentation taken from him after his arrest, prove him being a member of the TF373 black operations unit currently operating in the Afghan War Theater and Pakistani tribal areas, and comprised US Military Special Forces soldiers, CIA spies and freelance mercenaries,” said the report. http://www.asianewsnet.net/home/news.php?sec=1&am….

    “CIA spy” Davis was giving nuclear bomb material to Al-Qaeda, says report
    From ANI

    London, Feb 20(ANI): Double murder-accused US official Raymond Davis has been found in possession of top-secret CIA documents, which point to him or the feared American Task Force 373 (TF373) operating in the region, providing Al-Qaeda terrorists with "nuclear fissile material" and "biological agents," according to a report.

    Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) is warning that the situation on the sub-continent has turned "grave" as it appears that open warfare is about to break out between Pakistan and the United States, The European Union Times reports. http://www.dailyindia.com/show/425735.php
    k
    These were the last three footnotes in the Wikipedia article "Raymond Allen Davis"…….
    It is beginning to look like the "O" crew will need more than Asif Siddiqiu to trade for this amazing Raymbozzo Moron…!! LOEN PANETTA, the PINHEAD needs to get a new 'position.. Dogcatcher is MY suggestion…. Leon Panetta for DOGCATCHER…. Pity the dogs….

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