CIA Thwarts Polio Vaccination Campaign


A polio vaccination campaign worker was shot to death in Pakistan on Tuesday, which The New York Times wasted no time in reporting. What the Times article neglected to mention was that the killing followed a CIA operation in which agents orchestrated a fake vaccination program in order to gain entry to Osama Bin Laden’s home. (The plot was based on knowledge that health workers had previously managed to enter Bin Laden’s home to administer polio drops to the children.)

The importance of such background information apparently eluded the Times, whose motto is ‘All the News That’s Fit to Print’. It’s easy to see why the details of the CIA operation were unfit for print: first, it’s embarrassing to the U.S., which the paper is greatly biased toward; and second, Pakistan is an official enemy of the U.S., so it’s an exercise in patriotism to imply that Pakistan is home to Muslim extremists who don’t believe in vaccines or science, and therefore murder polio vaccine volunteers for sport. The nearest the Times article gets to mentioning the CIA’s bogus vaccine program is a vague reference to “the Pakistani Taliban, who have criticized vaccination efforts as a cover for Western espionage.” Not only does the NYT lack the integrity to recognize that “vaccination efforts” were in fact cover for Western espionage; they also imply that such notions are the result of some kind of sinister Taliban disinformation campaign.

Like some kind of Billy Mays infomercial—‘But wait, there’s more!’—the Times’ shameful coverage doesn’t end there. They go on to say that, “Also [in addition to the Taliban], religious extremists claim that the real aim of vaccination campaigns is to sterilize Pakistan’s Muslim population.” The implication is again that Pakistan is populated with menacing religious zealots whose fundamentalism stands in the way of scientific progress. Characterizations such as these conform very nicely to the view that clashes between the West (i.e. NATO) and the Middle East are not rooted in any sort of real economic or political grievances (e.g., the U.S.’ installation of dictators like the Shah in Iran; or the U.S.’ theft of oil resources), but rather “a clash of civilizations”, as Foreign Affairs once put it. The view that there are irrevocable religious differences between the West and the Middle East is very useful to Western leaders seeking to justify acts of aggression, like the invasion of Iraq.

The Times can’t plead ignorance of the CIA’s false vaccination program. Just last year they published an article titled, “C.I.A. Vaccine Ruse May Have Harmed the War on Polio.” How NYT’s own coverage didn’t figure into another article on essentially the same topic is a fine illustration of the establishment media’s studied obliviousness. And it’s not as though they were oblivious to some marginal issue with the vaccine story. As a recent article in Scientific American states, “the CIA’s fake vaccination campaign endangers us all” by impeding the distribution of polio vaccines. Incidentally, Pakistan is one of the last few countries on the planet in which Polio persists.

I’ll be generous with the Times and not fault them for overlooking the West’s—particularly the U.S. and Germany’s—past experimentation with eugenics, which would help explain the apparent superstition that vaccination campaigns might be sterilization campaigns in disguise. In fact, the U.S. was such a leading pioneer in eugenics practices, including forced sterilization, that Nazi Germany derived many of its eugenics projects from the U.S. So it shouldn’t be surprising that, following CIA involvement in vaccination campaigns, Pakistanis would be suspicious.

The cowardice of The New York Times is at times difficult to fathom. Another recent example of the paper’s servility to power would be its coverage of Obama’s speech about his terrorism policies. As Glenn Greenwald’s helpful article about the speech points out, the NYT’s response to it was posted online literally minutes after the speech ended. This means, of course, that they received a copy of it in advance. Small surprise that they gave the oration such an embarrassingly glowing review: wouldn’t want to bite the hand that’s feeding you advanced copies. What does surprise me is that the speech the Times chose to gush over was one that was designed to justify Obama’s unprecedented prosecution of journalists. Obama is selling the NYT the noose they’ll be hanged from, and the Times is only too thrilled to be buying it from such a swell guy.

Ken Klippenstein lives in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, where he edits the left issues journal, whiterosereader.org He can be reached at Reader246@gmail.com

Ken Klippenstein is an American journalist who can be reached on Twitter @kenklippenstein or by email: kenneth.klippenstein@gmail.com

November 30, 2015
Henry Giroux
Trump’s Embrace of Totalitarianism is America’s Dirty Little Secret
Omur Sahin Keyif
An Assassination in Turkey: the Killing of Tahir Elci
Robert Fisk
70,000 Kalashnikovs: Cameron’s “Moderate” Rebels
Jamie Davidson
Distortion, Revisionism & the Liberal Media
Norman Pollack
Israel and ISIS: Needed, a Thorough Accounting
Robert Hunziker
The Looming Transnational Battlefield
Ahmed Gaya
Breaking the Climate Mold: Fighting for the Planet and Justice
Matt Peppe
Alan Gross’s Improbable Tales on 60 Minutes
Colin Todhunter
India – Procession of the Dead: Shopping Malls and Shit
Roger Annis
Canada’s New Climate-Denying National Government
Binoy Kampmark
Straining the Republic: France’s State of Emergency
Jack Rasmus
Japan’s 5th Recession in 7 Years
Charles R. Larson
Twofers for Carly Fiorina
John Dear
An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind
Weekend Edition
November 27-29, 2015
Andrew Levine
The Real Trouble With Bernie
Gary Leupp
Ben Carson, Joseph in Egypt, and the Attack on Rational Thought
John Whitbeck
Who’s Afraid of ISIS?
Michael Brenner
Europe’s Crisis: Terror, Refugees and Impotence
Ramzy Baroud
Forget ISIS: Humanity is at Stake
Pepe Escobar
Will Chess, Not Battleship, Be the Game of the Future in Eurasia?
Vijay Prashad
Showdown on the Syrian Border
Dave Lindorff
Gen. John Campbell, Commander in Afghanistan and Serial Liar
Colin Todhunter
Class, War and David Cameron
Jean Bricmont
The Ideology of Humanitarian Imperialism
Dan Glazebrook
Deadliest Terror in the World: the West’s Latest Gift to Africa
Mark Hand
Escape From New York: the Emancipation of Activist Cecily McMillan
Karl Grossman
Our Solar Bonanza!
Mats Svensson
Madness in Hebron: Hashem Had No Enemies, Yet Hashem Was Hated
Walter Brasch
Terrorism on American Soil
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Bears, Dreaming and the Frontier of Wonder
Michael Welton
Yahweh is Not Exactly Politically Correct
Joseph Natoli
A Politics of Stupid and How to Leave It Behind
John Cox
You Should Fear Racism and Xenophobia, Not Syrian Refugees or Muslims
Barrie Gilbert
Sacrificing the Grizzlies of Katmai Park: the Plan to Turn Brooks Camp Into a Theme
Rev. William Alberts
The Church of “Something Else” in “an Ecclesiastical Desert”
Andrew Gavin Marshall
Bank Crimes Pay
Elliot Murphy
Cameron’s Syrian Strategy
Thomas S. Harrington
Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe and the Death of Ezra Schwartz
Gareth Porter
How Terror in Paris Calls for Revising US Syria Policy
Michael Perino
The Arc of Instability
Yves Engler
Justin Trudeau and Canada’s Mining Industry
Tom H. Hastings
ISIS and Changing the Game
Lars Jørgensen
Vive la Résistance
John Halle
A Yale Education as a Tool of Power and Privilege
Norman Pollack
Syrian “Civil War”?: No, A Proxy War of Global Confrontation