White House: CIA has ended use of vaccine programmes

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The CIA has ended the use of vaccine programmes in its spying operations amid concerns for the safety of health workers, the White House has said.

In a letter to US public health schools, a White House aide said the CIA stopped such practices in August.

The CIA used a fake vaccine programme to try to find Osama Bin Laden before US special forces killed him in 2011.

The CIA's move comes after a wave of deadly attacks by militants on polio vaccination workers in Pakistan.

"By publicising this policy, our objective is to dispel one canard that militant groups have used as justification for cowardly attacks against vaccination providers," CIA spokesman Dean Boyd said in a statement to the BBC.

Sixty-six cases of polio have been declared in Pakistan since January, compared with only eight during the same period last year.

And more than 60 polio workers and security personnel were killed between December 2012 and April 2014, most of them in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, according to Pakistani officials and humanitarian workers.

The geographical spread of the cases suggests they are mostly sourced to the north-western Waziristan tribal region, the BBC's Ilyas Khan reports from Islamabad. Militants controlling the region banned vaccination there, saying health workers may include American spies.

"This reassurance is coming at the right time and we sincerely hope this will contribute towards reaching the children," Zubair Mufti of the World Health Organization told the BBC. "Public health programmes should only be focused toward providing health to the people and not collateral things."

In a letter dated 16 May, the White House assistant to the president for homeland security and counter-terrorism, Lisa Monaco, wrote that CIA director John Brennan had directed the agency to cease "operational use of vaccine programmes".

Written By: BBC News
continue to source article at bbc.com

10 COMMENTS

  1. Wouldn’t it be nice if they had discontinued these programs because they bred massive distrust of vaccinations, thus causing many people to avoid vaccinations, and thus endangering the lives of everyone, everywhere? (To say nothing of the fact that the fake vaccination program they had while looking for Osama Bin Laden ended up not doing followup shots for anyone, leading many people to believe they were vaccinated when they weren’t.)

    sigh Like everything else the CIA has done since its founding: we would be better off if they had simply not done it.

    • In reply to #1 by The Vicar:

      Wouldn’t it be nice if they had discontinued these programs because they bred massive distrust of vaccinations, thus causing many people to avoid vaccinations, and thus endangering the lives of everyone, everywhere? (To say nothing of the fact that the fake vaccination program they had while looking…

      Much nicer if they had never begun any such program indeed! Now the damage has been done.

  2. Did they ever stop to think about the “unintended consequences”? I guess ends justifying means is their idea of ethics. So if Red Cross trucks start getting bombed we shouldn’t be surprised. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, don’t get fooled again.

  3. Reminds me of a line by Martin Sheen’s character (Capt. Willard) in Apocalypse Now…

    “We’d cut ‘em in half with a machine gun and give them a Band-Aid. It was a lie….”

    The truth is that America doesn’t care about the well-being of non-Americans… And more and more, the American government seems to care less and less about the well-being of their own citizens.

  4. Its really no surprise that non American people don’t trust the USA vaccine programs…. I’m kind of appalled that the doctors and medics allowed themselves to be used as covert distractions by the American Government or CIA as a false pretence to be in any country – maybe they didn’t know or maybe they were forced to comply ?………Imagine if Iraq sent some guys into the USA to do this….There would be Outrage…….I’m more appalled but not surprised that the USA government would give the okay stamp to falsify a vaccine program to do their surveillance dirty work …there’s a lot more to say about this……

    America Consistently Violates International law…..

  5. Of course Islamic extremist base all their strategies and actions based on White House press releases. Thanks CIA for screwing this up for at least a generation. They’re now switching to the back up plan of infiltrating malaria eradication programs and the ASPCA.

  6. How did the attempt to use health workers to find Bin Laden leak in the first place? I thought the attempt failed. Too late now to bolt the stable door. Still, one way to propel trouble spots back to the stone age is to destroy their medical support. Shame if diseases escape and go global.

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