CIA defends running vaccine program to find bin Laden
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Washington Post
Posted: September 20th, 2011
U.S. officials ... defended a tactic used by the CIA to attempt to verify the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden the covert creation of a vaccine program in Abbottabad, the town in Pakistan where he was later killed in a U.S. raid. The vaccine drive was conducted shortly before the raid in early May ... and was overseen by a Pakistani doctor who traveled to Abbottabad. A senior U.S. official said the campaign involved actual hepatitis vaccine and should not be construed as a fake public health effort. The vaccination campaign was part of the hunt for the worlds top terrorist, and nothing else. The doctor who oversaw the effort has since been arrested by Pakistans Inter-Services Intelligence agency for cooperating with the CIA. U.S. officials have said they are seeking to have him released. The senior U.S. official declined to say whether DNA from bin Ladens relatives was collected as part of the vaccine program. Officials have previously said, however, that they used DNA analysis to confirm bin Ladens identify after he was killed. In doing so, they used samples taken from known relatives.
Note: For information about a disturbing Pentagon program using vaccinations to combat religious fundamentalism, click here.