By May 25, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Don’t Worry, CIA Says It Won’t Use Vaccine Programs For Spying Anymore…

BESTPIX The Battle To Eradicate Polio In Pakistan

It’s been three years since the CIA used an immunization survey as a cover in its hunt for Osama bin Laden. Now, the White House is assuring the public that the agency done with their history of using vaccination campaigns part of spying programs.

A letter was drafted from the deans of 12 U.S. public health schools urging White House to take such action. Lisa Monaco, the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, said last week that the letter was taken to heart, and the CIA will no longer conduct such campaigns, according to White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.

The letter that the deans wrote to President Obama was sent back in January 2013 in response to the CIA using vaccinations as a cover to get information from Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani surgeon, about bin Laden under the guise of conducting a hepatitis immunization survey in the northwest city where he the White House later announced they had killed him.

The real goal of the immunization survey was simply to obtain fluid containing DNA from relatives living near the bin Laden residence, rather than to immunize anyone. The effort failed miserable. To add insult to injury, Afridi was later convicted of treason in Pakistan and is now serving 23 years in prison.

“This disguising of an intelligence-gathering effort as a humanitarian public health service has resulted in serious collateral consequences that affect the public health community,” the deans wrote in the letter to the White House.CIA Director John Brennan explained, “the Agency will make no operational use of vaccination programs, which includes vaccination workers.”

The letter went on to say that the agency “will not seek to obtain or exploit DNA or other genetic material acquired through such programs.”

Beyond that, a CIA spokesman said that Brennan “took seriously the concerns raised by the public health community.”

It did not, however, speak to why it took 16 months for the White House to respond to the letter.

Posted in: Vaccinations

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