cia vaccination programs

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Meanwhile in the land of the free (free from morals): CIA to no longer use vaccination programs in spy operations!!

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Multiple media outlets reported on Tuesday that the White House has pledged that the CIA will no longer use vaccination programs as covers for spy operations. According to the reports, Lisa Monaco, President Barack Obama’s top counterterrorism advisor, wrote a letter to the deans of 12 prominent health schools last week, noting that John Brennan, the agency’s director, had banned the operational use of such programs in August 2013 (Post, Reuters, RFE/RL). Monaco added that the CIA “will not seek to obtain or exploit DNA or other genetic material acquired through such programs.”

In January 2013, the deans had criticized the intelligence agency’s use of such immunization efforts, protesting the CIA’s recruitment of Shakil Afridi — a Pakistani doctor who launched a vaccination drive in Abbottabad that many incorrectly believe led to information about Osama bin Laden. Afridi was arrested in 2011 and convicted in 2012 of alleged ties to militant groups. While he has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for that charge, he faces a separate trial in which he is accused of colluding with the CIA.

Since the agency’s role in vaccination campaigns became public, dozens of public health workers have been killed in Pakistan and several international aid organizations have been forced to pull their staff members out of the country, hampering immunization efforts (NYT). Pakistan is one of three countries where the poliovirus remains endemic — Afghanistan and Nigeria are the other two.
Qouting the words of the Activist Arabi Souri

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