…and why it was a horrible idea.
From The Guardian:
“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.”
The doctor hired health service workers in the area who had participated in administering polio vaccine in the area in the past and told them he had obtained free doses of Hepatitis B vaccine. They then used the administration of the vaccine as a ruse to obtain DNA samples from bin Laden’s family in the course of vaccinating the surrounding residents.
The story gives no positive indication that the vaccine was genuine. In any case the full course was never administered and full protection was not provided to the innocent citizens. More important, the duped nurses were not relocated and were left to face possible reprisals from al Quaida.
In addition, by using this ploy the C.I.A. has put Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, and other health workers who visit dictatorships at risk because they will be suspected of being agents of U.S. intelligence agencies. The same thing happened in the ’60s when the C.I.A. placed agents in the Peace Corps and when it hired reporters to collect intelligence.
Finally, there will be a new conspiracy theory about the C.I.A. using phony vaccinations to administer mind control drugs or microchip implants in 3…2…1…
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The Town Scryer is a mixed bag of humor, socio-political observations and ephemera from the perspective of a eclectic Pagan veteran of the counter-culture. Philip Posehn's main blog is at The Town Scryer