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Polio Eradication
February 11, 2013 11:55 AM   Subscribe

How the CIA Is Hurting the Fight Against Polio.
posted by homunculus (63 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
How the CIA (as depicted in a movie) Is (causing crazy militants) [to hurt] the Fight Against Polio.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:59 AM on February 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


The 10th Regiment of Foot: "How the CIA (as depicted in a movie) Is (causing crazy militants) [to hurt] the Fight Against Polio."

Not just in a movie, though: U.S. officials have acknowledged the CIA organized a vaccine program in the Pakistani town where they believed Osama bin Laden to be hiding in an effort to obtain DNA from his family. They also say the campaign was a legitimate part of the effort to find the al-Qaeda leader.
posted by boo_radley at 12:05 PM on February 11, 2013 [13 favorites]


How the CIA (as depicted in a movie) Is (causing crazy militants) [to hurt] the Fight Against Polio.

It started before the movie, after the CIA did the crime. The movie seems to be making things worse, but it's inaccurate to paint it as the source.
posted by anonymisc at 12:06 PM on February 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well the CIA admitted to using fake vaccination campaigns as intelligence gathering operations, so it's not like the "crazy" militants are acting completely illogically.

Protip: when a major superpower uses NGO's to gather intelligence in developing nations, that broadly reduces the effectiveness of all NGO's by some (difficult to quantify) degree. If we want NGO's to be effective in their actual mission (presumably the alleviation of human suffering), we should stop using them as cover for secret operations. If we don't, people will come to suspect that the actual mission of NGO's is to gather intelligence and perform dirty tricks for the West, and they would be mostly correct.

And another thing: our enemies, with few exceptions, are not "crazy". They are not insane. They are deeply violent, ignorant, religious zealots but they are, as far as we know, in full possession of their mental faculties. They are behaving in a way that makes sense in their cultural context. We do ourselves a disservice when we ascribe less-than-human or less-than-sane motivations to our enemies, as it is much easier (and much more convenient) to just assume our enemies are Crazy Cannibal Zombies From Planet Islam or whatever and have no real motivations to which we may appeal.
posted by Avenger at 12:07 PM on February 11, 2013 [69 favorites]


It started before the movie, after the CIA did the crime.

Crime? Did they even promise to deliver something that wasn't provided? I don't understand what the crime was (other than the killing of Bin Laden by the Seals maybe?).

Well the CIA admitted to using fake vaccination campaigns as intelligence gathering operations

The CIA admitted to one Hepetitis B campaign that did not really get off the ground and failed to gather actionable intel.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:11 PM on February 11, 2013


I think my problem here is how the killing of aid workers is the CIA's fault and not the crazy militants' that are killing aid workers. The CIA has done a lot of shady shit in their day, but this one seems pretty tame and not really grounds to slaughter innocent people that are trying to actually help children avoid a nasty disease.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:14 PM on February 11, 2013


The 10th Regiment of Foot: "Crime? Did they even promise to deliver something that wasn't provided? I don't understand what the crime was (other than the killing of Bin Laden by the Seals maybe?)."

this is an extension of an English phrase, "don't do the crime if you can't do the time". They committed an act -- "the crime" -- and now there are consequences -- "the time". It is not a suggestion that the CIA is involved in litigation around these acts.
posted by boo_radley at 12:15 PM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not grounds to murder innocent people. But when we use NGO and NGO activity as a cover for our intel ops, people are going to start treating NGO workers as potential American spies and respond accordingly.

It puts NGO workers in harms way. We know it does, and we do it anyway, hence we bear some burden of responsibility.
posted by Avenger at 12:16 PM on February 11, 2013 [18 favorites]


The Nigerians have reason to be wary of outside agencies offering vaccines. However, that does not excuse bombing.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:17 PM on February 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Crime? Did they even promise to deliver something that wasn't provided?

From the first link "the campaign didn’t give any protection against the disease to young children in the town".

That said, as boo_radly points out, it's part of an idiom.
posted by anonymisc at 12:21 PM on February 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


So, what consequences are the CIA facing for their "crime", boo radley? It seems the aid workers are the ones with their ass on the line.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:22 PM on February 11, 2013


When intelligence and military agencies use 'aid work' as pretense for operations, they are knowingly and deliberately interfering with legitimate NGOs at best and endangering them at worst. It's no better than Al Queada taking them hostage.
posted by empath at 12:25 PM on February 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


The Central Intelligence Agency: Mistaking Tactics for Strategy since 1953.
posted by R. Schlock at 12:25 PM on February 11, 2013 [9 favorites]


Contaminating the Iraq UN weapons inspections teams with spies was also a huge factor in the breakdown of that situation. This MO has an inglorious history of tripping up the good guys.
posted by anonymisc at 12:25 PM on February 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


So, what consequences are the CIA facing for their "crime",

In a corrupt society, none?
posted by anonymisc at 12:27 PM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


'Crazy militants' are (from their own perspective) quite sanely killing potential American spies who are not inoculating anyone as much as they're killing aid workers. Due to the CIA's fake vaccine programme (useful intel gathered or no) they are now unable to distinguish the two. If anyone in this mess is crazy, it's the CIA for willingly conflating aid workers and intelligence agency operatives.
posted by Dysk at 12:29 PM on February 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's no better than Al Queada taking them hostage.

Really? No better than taking them hostage? Does the killing of aid workers cross the line though?

Look, you're not going to get an argument from me that the CIA is not sleazy, but I just don't see the equivalence here. I'd have to say that the killing of aid workers is the killers' fault, not the people that made them angry. I'm angry that McDonalds feeds kids fat and sugar laden food in order to make a huge profit on their suffering, does that justify me firebombing a fast food joint?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:30 PM on February 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


'Crazy militants' are (from their own perspective) quite sanely killing potential American spies who are not inoculating anyone as much as they're killing aid workers.

Yes, and to the Wesboro Baptist Churchgoers God really does hate gays. Does that make them rational?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:31 PM on February 11, 2013


quite sanely killing potential American spies

In an amusing turn of geopolitical confusion, some of the most recent casualties (in Kano) were North Korean.
posted by aramaic at 12:32 PM on February 11, 2013


I can't believe the CIA would do something like this. I had always thought of them as straight up, square dealing bunch of lads.
posted by Damienmce at 12:33 PM on February 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


If it turned out that the pharmacists at CVS giving flu shots were actually spies working for the Taliban, it would probably deter some of us from getting one.
posted by steve jobless at 12:34 PM on February 11, 2013 [17 favorites]


> Yes, and to the Wesboro Baptist Churchgoers God really does hate gays. Does that make them rational?

This is a pretty glaring false equivalency, though. Can you not at least see that there is another side to the argument without justifying anyone's actions?
posted by Burhanistan at 12:34 PM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


In a sane world. "the CIA willingly conflating aid workers and intelligence agency operatives" would be considered a crime against humanity and prosecuted as such.
posted by DreamerFi at 12:35 PM on February 11, 2013 [18 favorites]


If China had bribed doctors to give American children fake, totally ineffective vaccines as part of a plot to actually get blood samples for DNA testing in order to hunt down a sole Falun Gong leader/parent, what do you think our response would be?
posted by crayz at 12:45 PM on February 11, 2013 [27 favorites]


Really? No better than taking them hostage? Does the killing of aid workers cross the line though?

If the US screws around with the perceived neutrality of aid workers, they're putting a target on them, plain and simple. War isn't touch football. There are consequences when you do these things.
posted by empath at 12:57 PM on February 11, 2013 [9 favorites]


As someone who has a very very high chance of ending up as a medical aid worker/researcher with an NGO, let me just say that there is absolutely no conflict between blaming extremists for the twisted logic of killing aid workers that have a very, very, very tiny possibility of being Western spies and wanting to kick the CIA in the teeth for putting us in that freakin' situation.

Jesus. It's like the CIA doesn't actually care about American lives at all or something. /sarcasm
posted by WidgetAlley at 1:00 PM on February 11, 2013 [16 favorites]


Externalities at work again in the world.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:02 PM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's externalities, all the way down.
posted by R. Schlock at 1:05 PM on February 11, 2013 [7 favorites]


If anyone in this mess is crazy, it's the CIA for willingly conflating aid workers and intelligence agency operatives.

Well, if we're going to give the benefit of the doubt to fundamentalist militants, then we should do the same to the CIA: their move was completely sane and rational from their perspective, which prioritizes their mission (killing OBL, advancing US interests broadly). A few Pakistanis with polio or hepatitis isn't their problem.

The aid workers are very literally caught in the crossfire; their lives aren't significant to the calculus of either the CIA or the militants, both of whom see themselves operating at a level where human lives are indistinct.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:06 PM on February 11, 2013 [8 favorites]


Because the Taliban really needs an excuse to kill foreign nationals in Pakistan--or even Pakistanis.
posted by Ideefixe at 1:06 PM on February 11, 2013


The Nigerians have reason to be wary of outside agencies offering vaccines.

Did you read your links? The first one offers no reason whatsoever for Nigerians to be wary of vaccines offered by "outside agencies." The only medical maladventure it mentions that isn't entirely bogus is Pfizer's 1996 anti-meningitis drug trial. The problem is that your second link makes it quite clear that that's rather less of a "scandal" than you might think. Yes, Pfizer cut corners in implementing the test--but although the drug was ultimately recommended against for treating meningitis, it actually performed better than the drug that Medecins Sans Frontieres was using for meningitis in Nigeria at that time. The experimental drug actually killed fewer children than the "approved" drug that MSF was using (although more than would have died had either team used what has since become the "gold standard" drug for meningitis).

I'm not really sure why one 1996 case of a not-quite-as-effective-as-the-very-best drug being tested without all the proper signed releases counts as "reason" to be opposed to the administration of very well-tested and proven vaccinations.
posted by yoink at 1:09 PM on February 11, 2013


> I'm not really sure why one 1996 case of a not-quite-as-effective-as-the-very-best drug being tested without all the proper signed releases counts as "reason" to be opposed to the administration of very well-tested and proven vaccinations.

I didn't say it was well-justified. I was just showing they are wary and paranoid of outsiders.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:11 PM on February 11, 2013


Back it up a bit, for goodness sake.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:11 PM on February 11, 2013


Bill Gates AMA touching on this.
posted by Artw at 1:18 PM on February 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Crime? Did they even promise to deliver something that wasn't provided?
It was a fake vaccination program. If some random person in the US was caught running a vaccination program, injected thousands of children with an unknown substance, and collected DNA samples of those children you honestly don't think they would go to jail? Or be breaking any laws at all? Mind boggling. I guarantee you if this happened in the U.S people would be outraged and expect the perpetrators to go to jail.

The people of Pakistan have no way of knowing what was actually given to them, and know way to find out.
I think my problem here is how the killing of aid workers is the CIA's fault and not the crazy militants' that are killing aid workers.

You haven't established that they can't both be at fault. I mean, the effect of what they did should have been obvious. And it isn't just militants killing workers, parents are afraid of getting their kids vaccinated as well.

The reason it's possible to do vaccinations is that people trusted that the people doing the vaccinations were doing what they said they were doing - now the CIA has violated that trust for real, as opposed to just in the paranoid imaginings of anti-vaxxers.

I mean, your first comment implied you thought this is just something that happened in a movie, not real life. Now you're trying to deflect blame by arguing some kind of semantics about the "true meaning" of 'fault' - it's a pretty weak argument. It's entirely possible for multiple people to be at fault for something.
posted by delmoi at 1:43 PM on February 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Can you not at least see that there is another side to the argument without justifying anyone's actions?

Certainly, I think everybody's a jackass in this situation, save the aid workers and the kids who are going to get polio because of this. I'm just reacting to the framing that seems to lay the blame at the feet of the CIA for the killings without much regard for the people actually doing the killing.

I mean, your first comment implied you thought this is just something that happened in a movie, not real life.

In the first link they note that, while the CIA did admit to one fake program that didn't work out, it was not a polio campaign, that is the mistake made by the millitants and the authors of Zero Dark Thirty, that's what I was responding to.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:44 PM on February 11, 2013


The fake vaccination program was for hepatitis B, not polio! And it happened while Osama bin Laden was alive, but now Osama is dead! There are so many misunderstandings going on here that the message that the CIA shouldn't be running fake vaccination programs becomes so hard to grasp, so difficult to comprehend. It's like looking into an impenetrable fog.
posted by leopard at 2:12 PM on February 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Look, you're not going to get an argument from me that the CIA is not sleazy, but I just don't see the equivalence here.

I don't understand why you keep harping on about equivalence. This is not a situation coming from equivalence; this is a situation where crazy "ay-rab" terrorists where seen to be being crazy, and the CIA wasn't seen at all. I think it's pretty much a given that terrorist and militant groups killing people is bad - there have been gajillions of articles talking about them killing aid workers since it started happening. There has been way, way less coverage of why they are doing it, and the fact that the CIA's actions have certainly exacerbated the situation in Pakistan - certainly it has not been mentioned in many of the articles covering the killings.

So, this is not really about equivalence - that is meaningless in this context, and I struggle to see anyone saying "CIA is as bad as terrorists" (personally, I kinda feel like the CIA basically are terrorists, in so far as Pakistan is concerned, but that's another discussion). People are saying "CIA has done things that provoked a predictable response from terrorists on a predictable issue, and it was irresponsible and has arguably resulted in more people being killed".

Western vaccination programs are a huge, hot-button issue in many areas o the developed world. For the CIA to cynically use something so frail and troubling for their pitiful holy-grail quest for Osama is immoral, and - much like the accusations of militants et al - graphically illustrates what they really think about Pakistanis: not bloody much, and certainly not much compared to living out some masturbatory revenge fantasy.
posted by smoke at 2:16 PM on February 11, 2013 [10 favorites]


Someday there will be a literature review of "what the internet thinks" about this topic and a high school senior will cite this thread. As a primary source.
posted by infini at 2:48 PM on February 11, 2013


I don't want to be seen as defending the CIA too vigorously in this, but it does occur to me that there's two important pieces of context missing from this threat thus far:

1. This should have been secret. Intelligence agencies do shady things all the time, and mitigate the risk of doing those things with information security. Now posing as aid workers was bad, bad, bad, but posing as aid workers and then allowing that deception to leak was bad, plus incompetent. For it was the information about this campaign that put aid workers in danger, not the campaign itself (which put them at the risk of being in danger, if you catch my drift). Bad is bad, but bad and stupid is much worse.

Having said that,

2. Attacks on aid workers may actually have nothing to do with the CIA. Islamist extremists have been attacking aid workers for years, because part of their strategy is making populations dependent on them as the sole source of aid, stability and civil justice. So if aid workers are coming into your patch and showing people that the Hated West is actually full of nice and helpful people, then that works against your interests as an extremist wacko. So you kill them, and do so in a nasty way that is likely to scare off other aid workers from coming near you, and then you get to control the population more thoroughly.

That's not to say that posing as aid workers isn't still bad; even if it isn't the actual cause of the attacks, it still gives the extremists a plausible sounding excuse, and may even push some of them to violence. Local populations often feel threatened by vaccination programmes anyway, because vaccinations often involve introvenious injection and that just freaks people out (see 'anti-vaxers' in our own society), so they're a very effective propaganda target. But just because this group of extremists says their actions are caused by this CIA op, we have to consider that their statements are likely to be propaganda cover for something they wanted to do anyway.
posted by Dreadnought at 4:14 PM on February 11, 2013 [7 favorites]


Dreadnought, if secrecy had been maintained then the campaign simply endangers the kids instead, who were told they had been immunized but were not. Any way you slice it, it was going to be wrong. And thus should not have been done.

Even putting that aside, while I think it's ok to take a gamble on being able to maintain enough secrecy to allow a mission to succeed, I don't think it's ok to stake the lives of uninvolved people on your gamble.

Also, (and I suspect more inflammatory) the CIA is always going to be incompetent, you have to allow for that, and avoid staking uninvolved people on competence, because it routinely ends badly. (Any organization or action that is protected from full scrutiny and responsibility (and insiders have indicated that most of the routine secrecy serves more to cover ass and dirty laundry, rather than a legitimate need) is an organization protected from the very furnace that forges competence. They try to work around not having the proper furnace, but at the end of the day, nothing can compete with daylight. Institutional secrecy is institutional incompetence.)
posted by anonymisc at 5:04 PM on February 11, 2013


the CIA is always going to be incompetent

Overstating it. The CIA has often done well at achieving its short term goals. They've got a pretty good record of overthrowing governments. What they're historically bad at is predicting and managing long term consequences. Like R.Shlock said, they mistake tactics for strategy.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:26 PM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


In the first link they note that, while the CIA did admit to one fake program that didn't work out, it was not a polio campaign, that is the mistake made by the millitants and the authors of Zero Dark Thirty, that's what I was responding to.
That doesn't actually make any sense. It obviously doesn't matter what specific disease the CIA claimed to be vaccinating against, if they could use one in one mission they could use a different one on another mission. The only way you could have written that comment was if you beloved the program had only happened in a movie.
1. This should have been secret. Intelligence agencies do shady things all the time, and mitigate the risk of doing those things with information security. Now posing as aid workers was bad, bad, bad, but posing as aid workers and then allowing that deception to leak was bad, plus incompetent. For it was the information about this campaign that put aid workers in danger, not the campaign itself (which put them at the risk of being in danger, if you catch my drift). Bad is bad, but bad and stupid is much worse.
It wasn't 'leaked' the Pakistanis figured it out after the Bin Laden raid. The doctor involved was arrested three weeks later:
Pakistan's military and its main intelligence service, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), saw things differently. After the ISI discovered that Afridi had visited Bin Laden's house just before the raid, its agents arrested him as he was driving home in Peshawar on May 23, and as they say in Pakistan, "he was disappeared." Afridi was taken to a secret prison, leaving unanswered the question of what exactly happened that day in Abbottabad.

And it's not exactly rocket science, after the raid people might have started wondering about anything strange that might have happened in the city and it might not have been that difficult to figure out that there hadn't been an officially sanction vaccination program in that city.
posted by delmoi at 6:04 PM on February 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Too often, our relationships with some of these nations can be summed up with "With friends like these, who needs enemies?"
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:41 PM on February 11, 2013


In a sane world. "the CIA willingly conflating aid workers and intelligence agency operatives" would be considered a crime against humanity and prosecuted as such.

A ... crime against humanity. Like apartheid? Because I really can't tell whether this is tremendous hyperbole, or whether you're just using the term "crimes against humanity" incorrectly.
posted by Amanojaku at 8:42 PM on February 11, 2013


Amanojaku, each year thousands of people in the USA alone died in polio epidemics; many more were paralysed; still more suffered other permanently debilitating effects. Think of it - a World Trade Centre's worth of people dying in the USA each year, ten times as many people crippled. Polio is one of the few diseases which we may be able to eradicate, but the risk of a new epidemic increases as time goes on. If the CIA's actions lead to the failure of the eradication program it will be one of the greatest tragedies the world has ever seen.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:16 PM on February 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Certainly, I think everybody's a jackass in this situation, save the aid workers and the kids who are going to get polio because of this. I'm just reacting to the framing that seems to lay the blame at the feet of the CIA for the killings without much regard for the people actually doing the killing.

People say the same thing about Americans' focus on Israel's behavior instead of Hamas's. We focus on the organizations that, rightly or wrongly, we feel we can have some influence on. Yes, the Taliban are murderous thugs. We know that. We can't publish an op-ed in the New York Times or sign a petition that's going to possibly change their behavior, though. We can possibly create change in our own government's behavior by protesting loudly enough.

Pointing at the other guys and saying 'But they're worse!" isn't actually a defense.
posted by empath at 10:54 PM on February 11, 2013


Amanojaku: A ... crime against humanity. Like apartheid? Because I really can't tell whether this is tremendous hyperbole, or whether you're just using the term "crimes against humanity" incorrectly.

I think it's a lot more accurate to consider it a war crime than a crime against humanity. The closest analogy, I think, would be disguising soldiers as medical personnel.
posted by Mitrovarr at 12:39 AM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Actually that's a good point: if the US's actions are justified by the presumption that it's engaged in a war, it should also be held accountable to the laws of war - including the ones about medical personnel.

Mind you, I think we passed this sort of thing a long time ago: at this point I'd be very pleased to learn that the US has stopped torturing people.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:45 AM on February 12, 2013


I'm fairly sure that the US has stopped torturing people.

Except Bradley Manning, i guess.
posted by empath at 12:59 AM on February 12, 2013


You didn't know when they started torturing people; how would you know if they stopped doing it? In any event, they have defined torture downwards so that what they do isn't torture. E.g.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:39 AM on February 12, 2013


Here's a pretty cogent analysis of why many Nigerians are wary of vaccination campaigns.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:45 AM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


let me just say that there is absolutely no conflict between blaming extremists for the twisted logic of killing aid workers that have a very, very, very tiny possibility of being Western spies and wanting to kick the CIA in the teeth for putting us in that freakin' situation.

This.

If China had bribed doctors to give American children fake, totally ineffective vaccines as part of a plot to actually get blood samples for DNA testing in order to hunt down a sole Falun Gong leader/parent, what do you think our response would be?

We seem pretty cool with buying stuff from China that kills our children. So...

But why did Hezbi Islami and the Taliban kill eye doctors who could not have been involved in spying (people came to them)? Why did they blow up two Indian doctors and kill people at the hotel where the peace talks after the Mumbai attacks occurred? Why did they take South Koreans hostage if CIA spies were their target?
Why did they take Linda Norgrove hostage? She was Scottish.
Why, just recently did they kill five Pakistani teachers and two Pakistani healthcare workers in a motorcycle drive by? They had nothing to do with the polio teams.
Why bomb the house of a local anti-polio worker in Ashfaq? You know they're local - their friggin home is there.
Naseema Akhta's family look like they're from Langley, Virginia?

If this were in isolation - if there was a violent response to just aid workers from the U.S. or even just American-looking, I can see the above justifications "well, there's a logic to it..."

But no, there's no logic to it because it's not in isolation. They bomb embassies. They strap explosive belts to women they think show too much leg. The narrative on this - that the CIA is spying through polio workers - is convenient whether it's true or not.

We forget the plethora of other reasons people like this have to kill aid workers - in this particular case religious extremism calling the polio vaccine un-Islamic and full of evil Western influence - which was going on well before there was any hint the CIA had anything to do with any NGO.

Maulana Fazlullah (head of the Tehreek Taliban) is running an anti-vaccination propaganda campaign saying it's a conspiracy (by the Jews naturally) to make Muslims infertile and impotent.

(Feel free to pick him on the FM rush hour drive in Pakhtunkhwa's Swat Valley with wacky kike-kicking sidekick "Boner!" only on Maulana Radio, the radio that urges you to beat aid workers.*voice drop* *animal sounds* *Cut to commercial: "Friends, are you worried about the economy in Pakistan? I'm Maulana Fazlullah, and as a your friend and a cleric, I can tell you that you should buy gold....*)

So "logical" is relative in the face of a fatwa.

This has been going on since '94, and it's always been a problem. Two problems actually, the first is the religious nuts, and you can guess the second one.

Back in 2008 the Tehrik-i-Taliban was neutral and the Swat valley Taliban was happy to actually send security for health workers after they reached a deal with the North West Frontier Province government.
The U.N. was pouring money into the place.

....see where the problem is now? Yeah, someone isn't getting greased. There's your logical resistance. The Jew-hating, impotency fear mongering, woman hating and conspiracy theorizing seems to garnish everything though.

People have resisted aid of any kind for centuries before this. They want their local population to rely on them, not any outside agency. It's that simple. And that logical.
From there though it spins off into bizarro world as far as Pakistan goes. The government is already fractured, there is religious schism and everyone is bidding for power through a number of non-government methods, apart from the people in the government with their own agenda.

Even if the CIA didn't do this, it would be necessary to invent the story. Not a la carte of course, got to have the Jews, Christian protestation, female licentiousness, etc. etc. Unless you write a good sized check first.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:44 AM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Whew! For a second there I was afraid they were gonna blame the people actually gunning down the polio workers and not the CIA.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:50 AM on February 12, 2013


If China had bribed doctors to give American children fake, totally ineffective vaccines as part of a plot to actually get blood samples for DNA testing in order to hunt down a sole Falun Gong leader/parent, what do you think our response would be?

Falun Gong is not the greatest, deadliest terrorist organization of all time, responsible for 3000 deaths in 2 hours.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:34 AM on February 12, 2013


Well, people invest their entire careers and big chunks of US taxpayer dollars to build public health infrastructure in countries where CHILDREN simply don't benefit from the kind of modern medicine we get in N. America.

Cynically discarding those efforts as collateral damage in the war on terrorism, while using 9/11 as an excuse, is reprehensible.
posted by sneebler at 11:42 AM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Falun Gong is not the greatest, deadliest terrorist organization of all time, responsible for 3000 deaths in 2 hours.

Seriously? You genuinely think their motive matters to the victims or changes the legality? You believe that false vaccinations of American kids would cease to be criminal if instead of Falun Gong, they assured you the target was instead someone with a nice fat bodycount, such as Cheney for his part in what is widely (outside the US) seen as an illegal war resulting in 100,000+ civilian deaths?

Pro tip: the criminal action would remain criminal.
posted by anonymisc at 1:20 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


He had to go and Guliani the thread.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:21 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's kind of remarkable to me how easily people can still be bludgeoned with that "But, 9/11" argument. I hope the people who employ it can see how truly shitty it is.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:31 PM on February 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


My point is simple. Those shooting aid workers having nothing to do with bin Laden are solely morally responsible for shooting the aid workers. I doubt anyone here would disagree with that.

Falun Gong is not the greatest, deadliest terrorist organization of all time, responsible for 3000 deaths in 2 hours.

Seriously? You genuinely think their motive matters to the victims or changes the legality? You believe that false vaccinations of American kids would cease to be criminal if instead of Falun Gong, they assured you the target was instead someone with a nice fat bodycount, such as Cheney for his part in what is widely (outside the US) seen as an illegal war resulting in 100,000+ civilian deaths?


I didn't make that argument. Its quite simple. Those persons shooting aid workers are fully responsible for shooting the aid workers.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:37 PM on February 12, 2013


It's plain that you did make that argument. Glad that it's retracted though.
posted by anonymisc at 3:00 PM on February 12, 2013


Polio must be eradicated. It's a crippling disease but it can be beaten. I know
posted by homunculus at 5:48 PM on February 23, 2013


Nigeria pulls radio station's license after polio attacks
posted by homunculus at 11:54 AM on February 24, 2013


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