Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Did the CIA Fake a Vaccination Campaign?

Apparently the CIA faked a vaccination campaign in an attempt to collect DNA samples from Bin Laden's children. The scheme was concocted by the C.I.A. earlier this year when they were struggling to learn whether Bin Laden was hiding in the compound in Pakistan.

There's a fairly factual report in the New York Times, Vaccination Ruse Used in Pursuit of Bin Laden, but they miss the serious implications of this that are discussed in this post at Wired, File Under WTF: Did the CIA Fake a Vaccination Campaign?

This is awful. It plays, so precisely that it might have been scripted, into the most paranoid conspiracy theories about vaccines: that they are pointless, poisonous, covert shields for nefarious government agendas meant to do children harm.

The fallout from this scheme has already begun, Reported CIA vaccine ruse sparks fear in Pakistan.

One of the Pakistani Taliban's top commanders, Maulvi Faqir Mohammed, recently called on people in the northwest to avoid vaccines offered by the international community, claiming they were made with "extracts from bones and fat of an animal prohibited by God — the pig."
"Don't fall prey to these infidel NGOs and this U.S.-allied government and its army," said Mohammed over the illegal radio station he transmits from his sanctuary in eastern Afghanistan.
Pakistani officials and their international partners have pushed back against these claims, but the CIA's reported activities in the country may have made their job that much harder. 

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