Dear Morning Edition, the Problem is Not the Taliban it is the CIA

Over at NPR, they had a story about how hostility to vaccination efforts in Pakistan is hobbling the Polio eradication program.

The problem is that they finger the Pakistani Taliban as the source of the problem, while soft pedaling the fact that the whole country of Pakistan has been made hostile by the CIA’s use of vaccinations in the operation to hund down Osama bin Laden:

The edict by the Islamic militants to ban immunization was in response to the CIA’s setting up a fake hepatitis vaccination campaign in Pakistan. The covert operation was part of an attempt by the U.S. spy agency to verify whether Osama bin Laden was holed up in the city of Abbottabad.
A polio vaccination booth in Rawalpindi.

The polio problem in Pakistan right now is a result of the CIA’s actions in the country, says , a prominent and moderate cleric in Pakistan. He personally accepts the polio vaccine. He encourages people at his mosque to get their kids vaccinated.

“But there are certain areas in Pakistan where the people resist [the polio vaccine] because the CIA used the polio campaign for intelligence purposes,” he says.

Like many Pakistanis, Ur Rehman erroneously says the CIA operation against bin Laden used a polio campaign for cover, even though it actually used a fake hepatitis B campaign. “The one who can use hepatitis for intelligence,” he says, “they can use polio for intelligence.”

When (and I do mean when) Polio returns to the United States, and kids end up in iron lungs, it will be largely because of this operation.

Yet another reason why the US state security apparatus needs adult supervision.


  1. Yes, opposition to vaccination in Nigeria predates this, and in fact predates the existance of Boku Haram, as I noted to Mutharch, but in the case of Pakistan, where the disease is most prevalent, the opposition to vaccination increased by at least an order of magnitude as a direct result of CIA actions.

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