Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Vaccinations no longer CIA cover operations

Lisa Monaco U.S. Homeland Security Advisor has announced a White House policy change and vowed that the CIA will no longer be using vaccination programs as a cover for intelligence gathering such as the one implemented prior to the neutralisation of Osama bin Laden. The agency has also agreed not to use genetic material obtained through such programs.

The deals of 13 public health schools had written to President Obama in protest over the use of immunisation as a front for espionage. One such program was run by Dr. Shakil Afridi, who offered hepatitis vaccinations in Abbottabad, Pakistan as cover for his CIA-backed effort to obtain DNA samples from children at a compound where bin Laden was later eliminated. Afridi was convicted and sentenced by Pakistan to 33 years for treason. While later overturned, he now faces retrial. Later in 2012 the UN suspended polio vaccinations Pakistan after gunmen killed several health workers. Taliban militants accused health workers of being U.S. spies.

CIA Director John Brennan said earlier that his agency would "make no operational use of vaccination programs, which includes vaccination workers." A CIA spokesman said Director Brennan "took seriously the concerns raised by the public health community, examined them closely and took decisive action." Neither The White House or the CIA have not acknowledged any error in the decision to use the Pakistan vaccine program as a spying cover. The White House statement came three days after Pakistan acted to quell a growing polio crisis within its borders. Pakistan's Health Ministry recently announced that it would require that all travellers leaving the country first get a polio vaccination following the WHO's declaration that polio's spread was an international public health emergency, and identifying Pakistan, Syria and Cameroon as nations that had allowed polio to spread beyond their borders.

SPEARHEAD’s Assistant Commander for Intelligence and Information, Brigadier General “Whopper” Creedon expressed dismay at the decision. The General explained to a closed UNSC session on Monday, that the U.S. programme was one of the easier ways to root out “those not of us”. He explained that because “their” leaders have told “them” to conform to all that humans do so as to blend in, they had unwittingly supplied UNETIDA, now SPEARHEAD with data used to track, monitor and if necessary eliminate “them” for years. “Some of ‘them’ are very good at concealing their outer identity, but advances in science have allowed us to track 'them' from things like vaccination samples later found to be ‘not human’,” he continued. SPEARHEAD’s current intelligence efforts piggybacked off the U.S. intelligence operation for years and now Creedon may be faced with using his own agents embedded with U.S. and WHO efforts to gather such intel unless the operation is scrapped in favour of more conventional intelligence gathering, which is unlikely to benefit those in need of medical care.

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