As someone who spends the vast majority of his time trying to keep up with what is happening in the world, I am always embarrassed when confronted by an extraordinarily important story that I somehow completely missed. The story I am referring to in this case is the fact that the CIA organized a fake vaccination program in Pakistan several years ago in order to get Osama bin Laden’s family DNA. The Guardian reported this back in 2011:
The CIA organised a fake vaccination programme in the town where it believed Osama bin Laden was hiding in an elaborate attempt to obtain DNA from the fugitive al-Qaida leader’s family, a Guardian investigation has found.
As part of extensive preparations for the raid that killed Bin Laden in May, CIA agents recruited a senior Pakistani doctor to organise the vaccine drive in Abbottabad, even starting the “project” in a poorer part of town to make it look more authentic, according to Pakistani and US officials and local residents.
The doctor, Shakil Afridi, has since been arrested by the Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) for co-operating with American intelligence agents.
Naturally, many Pakistanis were none too pleased about this situation. After all, how would you feel if let’s say Chinese health workers were caught using the guise of humanitarian activities in order to spy on American citizens. Yeah, that’s what I thought.
So thanks to the CIA’s idiocy, the entire world will now never trust any vaccine program that has any connections to the USA. There has already been an armed backlash against American immunization programs where 56 people have died. Furthermore, there has been a resurgence of polio in Pakistan. Of the 77 cases of polio documented worldwide so far in 2014, 79% have been in Pakistan.
While this is horrible in its own right, there is a much bigger story here. The fact that the United States holds no claim to any sort of moral high ground whatsoever. Rather, due to the many factors that I have outlined on this site over and over, the U.S. is now seen, internally by its citizenry, as well as externally, as a thieving, corrupt, nuclear armed Banana Republic ruled by a cadre of childlike oligarch puppet figureheads concerned only with how much they can steal before society collapses. This has been proven and reinforced over and over again by stories such as this one, as well as the recent revelation of: Conspiracy Fact – How the U.S. Government Covertly Invented a “Cuban Twitter” to Create Revolution.
Now we learn from Yahoo News that:
Amid a deadly backlash again vaccinations and a resurgence of polio in Pakistan, the White House has promised that the CIA will never again use an immunization campaign as a tool of spycraft.
Sure, let’s go ahead and take professional liars at their word.
“I wanted to inform you that the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) directed in August 2013 that the agency make no operational use of vaccination programs, which includes vaccination workers,” President Obama’s top counterterrorism and homeland security advisor, Lisa Monaco, wrote to the deans of 12 public health schools. Yahoo News obtained a copy of the May 16 letter (below).
“Similarly, the Agency will not seek to obtain or exploit DNA or other genetic material acquired through such programs,” Monaco wrote. “This CIA policy applies worldwide and to U.S. and non-U.S. persons alike.”
The Central Intelligence Agency had enlisted a Pakistani doctor, Shakil Afridi, to collect intelligence under the guise of an immunization effort in the city of Abbottabad as part of planning for the high-risk May 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound there.
The agency aimed to confirm intelligence that bin Laden was at the compound by comparing DNA obtained from children living there to a sample from the fugitive al-Qaida chief’s late sister, the Guardian newspaper reported in July 2011.
Another result of the CIA’s actions was to lead many Pakistani parents to forgo vaccinations for ailments like polio. The crippling and sometimes fatal illness has no known cure – but there are several safe and effective vaccines, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Nice work guys.
Monaco’s letter came nearly a year and a half after the deans of 12 schools of public health wrote a letter to Obama saying that “as a general principle, public health programs should not be used as cover for covert operations.”
“While political and security agendas may by necessity induce collateral damage, we as an open society set boundaries on these damages, and we believe this sham vaccination campaign exceeded those boundaries,” they wrote, referring to the CIA’s hoax campaign.
What a total fucking joke we have become.
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