You Can Thank The CIA For The Return Of Polio, Even Though The Media Conveniently Ignores This

from the seems-important dept

Oh, vaccines. Sure, here in the US we’re dealing with the return of diseases like measles, mumps and whooping cough due to people who are very confused about how vaccines work. But the big news last week on the vaccine front has to be the return of polio, which has freaked out the World Health Organization, who declared it a public health emergency.

The return of polio is also due to an ill-informed anti-vaccine campaign — not one driven by people confused by a fraudulent study, but rather by the Taliban. Many of the new cases are in Pakistan and a variety of nearby countries. The Taliban has been arguing for a while that vaccinations and vaccination drives are really efforts by western intelligence and/or imperialism.

The problem is: the CIA basically confirmed that for them by using a fake vaccination campaign to find Osama bin Laden a few years ago. Suddenly, crazy rumors about vaccination programs simply being fronts for the US intelligence community weren’t just more reasonable, they were flat out confirmed. And, soon after that was all revealed, suddenly the rates of polio shot up? Right around the same time that polio vaccination workers started getting killed in Pakistan?

And yet… almost none of the media coverage of the WHO’s new emergency warning mentions the CIA connection. The two NY Times articles above don’t mention it at all.

We see this same sort of thing from the US intelligence community all the time. It never seems to do any sort of realistic cost-benefit analysis, assuming that it needs to “find the bad guys at all costs.” But some of those “costs” can be immense. Bringing back the threat of polio around the globe is a massive cost. Yes, bin Laden was a very bad person, but was it worth bringing back a polio epidemic?

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Comments on “You Can Thank The CIA For The Return Of Polio, Even Though The Media Conveniently Ignores This”

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Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: CIA Achievements

I hear you.

One would think though, in light of current public opinion, they would want to highlight some successes or maybe reason for existence via their public relations arm, the State Department. Could be critical down the road and things brought out at the last moment might be suspect.

And changes are coming. Actual form remains to be seen, but change is inevitable.

Michael (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: CIA Achievements

I’m not in disagreement, but I’m not sure how you would go about doing that?

If the CIA published a bunch of documents showing their latest successful assassinations or how well they did destabilizing a regime, would you believe what you were looking at?

Do they leak the documents and hope people don’t think they are conspiracy theories?

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 CIA Achievements

Think third party.

Assuming there is an operation or two they might actually be proud of, they get a third party to ‘disclose’ it to an appropriate news agency as a source under the guise of a ‘leak’. Leave corroborating evidence spread around. The State Department gets to reply, well, we didn’t do that (wink, wink) but didn’t it turn out great?

Everybody wins, except those parties extremely sanctioned during the op, along with their friends and family, and maybe whole tribe.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 CIA Achievements

The British Security Service, Special Branch, and RUC revealed what they did to the IRA splinter groups (and caused a certain amount of moral outrage in the process). That not only made them look less ineffective, it made any successful terrorist a figure of suspicion within his own organisation.

(It was also later revealed that the tactics were used with less success in the Mandate of Palestine, against Zionist Terrorists (as they were then called).)

The CIA could also leak their excuses for things like the Laos campaign, their involvement in the drugs trade, and so on. Everyone knows they did it, and it seems unlikely that their excuses would make them look any worse.

Erik Grant says:

Not to put a dent in anybody’s tinfoil cap here, but it’s worth considering that the assassination of Osama bin Laden and the rise of polio in that region might be related, but not causatively. Rather, I’d say they are probably both symptoms of a region that has been increasingly destabilized for some time now. Any time you see a region destabilized by war, conflict, and terrorism, I would expect basic services to begin breaking down, such as distribution of vaccines for children.

Paul Renault (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Actually, that only makes a lot of sense if your only source of information is mainstream US media (and anything else that one’s NSA/CIA/Military overlords allow one to absorb.

Quoting Heidi Larson, senior lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in a commentary published by The Guardian, “There must have been a better, more ethical, way. This choice of action has jeopardised people’s trust in vaccines, and in particular the polio-eradication campaign, now so close to success ? broken trust that will take years to restore.”

But then again, expecting government agencies and for politicians to actually bear the costs of their decisions. Nope, that’s for little people. In this case, little brown people…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“not causatively”? Let’s review:–Spread-of-polio-now-a-world-health-emergency.html?isap=1&nav=5041

I’d say that there is global consensus that they ARE causatively related. Moreover, the underlying instability of region does not explain the timing: wouldn’t it be an amazing coincidence if that instability, which has been around for a LONG time, triggered a backlash against polio vaccinations that just happened to coincide with the CIA’s ruse?

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I was thinking something else. Yeah, the Taliban may have been claiming the vaccinations are a plot. And yes, the CIA may have confirmed that. But it’s the Taliban who took that information and ran with it. They’re the ones killing innocents, they’re the ones pushing anti-vaccine at gunpoint.

In this situation, I would not blame the CIA for the sudden spread of polio. The nutters in the Taliban would use any excuse, whether it be vaccines or little puppy dogs. They are the blame for the spread of Polio.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Biased much?

When the CIA confirms that they are doing this the average man on the street can point to that and say “see, these vaccines are fake!”

It does not take terrorists to spread the truth, news does a good job of that.

So are news reporters also to blame for reporting the facts? or are only Taliban responsible for spreading facts?

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The CIA used what was available and the Taliban decided to start killing innocent people over it. If the CIA was giving away puppies the Taliban would have started blowing up all dogs. They are the ones killing people, they are the ones spreading the anti-vaccine via gunpoint.

If you want to shift the blame away from those who are truly guilty, go right ahead, but I’m going to put the blame squarely where it’s due.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

@ chronny-
…and so, IF taliban ‘doctors’ came into your neighborhood offering free medical services of some type, AND it subsequently turned out it was all a hoax to entrap someone you never dealt with, WHAT would be YOUR reaction THE NEXT TIME someone/anyone came into your village claiming to be doctors there to help ? ? ?
um, the smart and prudent thing to do, would be to kill them…
THAT is the evil the spooks have sown (and don’t think for ONE SECOND they give a shit…)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Perspective is important here. The CIA has admitted undertaking certain actions, the Taliban has (from its own perspective) defended itself from an attack from its known enemy, hence the CIA is to blame for the consequences.

Put into a more complete perspective, the CIA and the Taliban are cut from the same cloth. The both have culpability in the consequences of those affected.

When you attack others using what is available, particularly when you use what should be of benefit to others to take out an enemy, then you are responsible for the consequences. If you build distrust in something, you cannot then say that that something is useful and good.

Eating your cake and having it too.

Don’t forget that the CIA, NSA, FBI, etc are all guilty of killing innocents (or at least destroying their lives). It, unfortunately, is the nature of all such organisations to fall to this level, irrespective of how noble they may have started out as.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

What about killing medical workers associated with vaccine programs prior to the CIA-backed fake vaccinations? What about the fact that polio has never been eradicated in Pakistan? What about the fact that the three regions in Pakistan with the highest rates of polio are also Taliban controlled, and the region with the highest rate of polio has had vaccinations banned off and on for more than a decade?

The Taliban is not “defending” itself, at least, not from attack. The Taliban is using polio as a political pawn in its games. To the extent that the Taliban is defending itself, it is not a physical defense, but ideological defense (i.e., we don’t like what you are doing, we are going to stop this program).

Question: Are you defending yourself when the majority of your victims (medical workers and patients) are your own people? We are defending ourselves by killing our own people, so there, take that!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I didn’t say they were justified, I said from their perspective, ….

Put it this way, cognitive dissonance is not just the problem of the west but affects all kinds of people around the world. The way they see things has all the appearance of “defending themselves” irrespective of whether the attacks are physical or ideological or other.

I cannot say that there is any reasonableness to their actions. Just that their actions are a result of their perspective. Remember, that Sunni and Shi’ite don’t really mix and there is a lot of bad blood between the two major groups of Islam. Also don’t forget that the Taliban are (from their perspective) the “good guys” here fighting against the “devil” that is the USA. Whether they are justifiable viewpoints is another matter.

If you look at the “right wing” and “left wing” political spectrum, I have come across many at both ends that would (if they had the power) quite simply terminate their opposition. In the Taliban case, they have the power at this point in time and are quite willing to use it. Their opposition (the CIA, NSA, and other spooks) do likewise, except they try hard to keep it from the light of day.

The answer to your question is a resounding “Yes” as demonstrated by the mindset of the USA government and LEO’s and other security forces. The reality, however, is “No”, it is in effect cutting your nose off to spite your face.

Cognitive dissonance is a problem with people, and it seems to be a bigger problem with the more power one obtains.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

But how do the Taliban know if the health workers are not CIA agents? From their perspective, they have “proof” of their enemies attacking them by one vector, so they are attempting to remove that vector from existence.

Am I supporting them, no. Killing indiscriminately serve no purpose other than create control by terror. This is the actions of the Taliban, and all of their ilk, as well as the actions of CIA, NSA and their ilk..

As I said before, they are cut from the same cloth, just different sides for whom they are working.

Anonymous Coward says:

This Is Icke-y

First, the Cuban social network and now this. It’s almost as if the government is getting its ideas from conspiracy theory literature: “Say, that’s actually not a bad idea!” The next step is for the government to hire geneticists to create actual lizard men and then hand the reigns of power over to them. Can’t wait!

Anonymous Coward says:

Give me a break

I am not anti-vaccine, but do you guys really think a bunch of kooks that hate medicine that much are responsible for ALL of it?

I would like to see the real damn demographics.

Google CDC Polio Map and find out where this is all happening.

We are receiving MORE diseases from the influx of illegals AND people just visiting USA while they are sick as shit. The Hotspots for this stuff is near border airports and cities.

No noes we have to blame more whackos.
At the end of the day EVERYONE is confused about how medicine works EVEN THE DAMN DOCTORS!!!

Its simple, these vaccines work, if people don’t want them let them do as they freaking please! We are a Nation of Liberty, this includes people freely making STUPID DECISIONs just like the stupid slant in the first paragraph of this article.

The involvement of any alphabet soup agency does not surprise PERIOD!

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Give me a break

Vaccines are fairly easy to understand actually. I learned how they work in elementary school. Making them in a way that doesn’t just spread the virus is complicated as f**k, but how they work once they’re made is easy. They basically trick your body into building up an immunity to the virus so it can defend against the real virus.

Now, there is a reason why as many people as possible should get vaccinated. It’s called herd immunity. The general idea is that if one person cannot get the vaccine (allergic reaction or too young) they cannot get sick because no one else can carry the disease.

That’s the idea anyways and that’s why lots of people fight so hard against the fraudulent misinformation being spread around.

It’s their fault if they’re stupid, but if they’re willing to learn, then it’s your fault if you don’t tell them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Give me a break

Reading the post, it looks like the main complaint is about tossing useless and more importantly near incorrect statements around.

The anti-vac folks are no where near ‘at risk’ comparted to the other countries actually listed in the WHO article itself. Just want to point out that the one-sided swipe against the anti-vac people is leaving out other people that need good blaming too.

I don’t think anyone is against informing people of anything.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Give me a break

O yea, Medicine is still barely understood. A specific vaccine may be fairly well known, but it is not always well understood exactly how a medication does what it does either. There is a reason why people must be monitored when taking these drugs by a physician, because most effects of drugs are not well known. Which means… barely understood.

Just because we know a lot compared to several years ago still does not make up for what we do not know. I have worked in too many clinics and pharmacies and read too much medical documentation to believe so ignorantly.

Doctors are not special, they have a wealth of knowledge that can really help people, but people respect physicians far more than they deserve sometimes.

Anonymous Coward says:

Probably not a result of the CIA

I love paranoia theories. They are almost invariably wrong.

As the article in the link below explains, the Taliban was refusing vaccination in Pakistan long before the CIA ever showed up, and polio was never eliminated in Pakistan. While the CIA link MAY have enhanced the Taliban’s existing position, it does not appear to have been the cause of polio expanding in multiple countries (unless the CIA has been running bogus vaccination campaigns in all the listed countries longer than we thought).

Deimal says:

Re: Probably not a result of the CIA

The “vaccinations are western plots” nutjob theories have a long and inglorious history around the world actually. This is nothing new. I agree that while the CIA may have been stupid enough to slightly confirm the paranoia, that paranoia has been around a long long long time. Hell, vaccines, condoms, AIDS medication, it’s all western plot to subvert and control pretty every nation not American/European for a large portion of the world.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“As part of extensive preparations for the raid that killed Bin Laden in May, CIA agents recruited a senior Pakistani doctor to organise the vaccine drive in Abbottabad, even starting the “project” in a poorer part of town to make it look more authentic, according to Pakistani and US officials and local residents.”

Anonymous Coward says:

New Day, New Blame

The last time the blame went to the US for drone attacks.

And here is an article where a chief who banned the vaccines blames the ban on drone strikes, and then throws in an off-hand way that maybe vaccines are a CIA plot.

Let’s not forget that in 2001 a story was going around in Pakistan that the US was using immunizations to sterilize people.

In 2007, long before the CIA activity, physician Abdul Ghani, who was in charge of polio immunizations in one of the areas with high numbers of cases, was killed in a terrorist bombing. What? Terrorists were targeting people associated with immunizations before the CIA? Say it ain’t so!

Apparently, while some places in Pakistan like to blame drones, maybe a CIA plot, 9/11, and green men from Mars, the number of refusals for religious reasons in Pakistan is down:

Next time it will be yet another excuse. The reality is that the Taliban are in control, and they are not permitting vaccination. The reasons are merely for their convenience, and blaming the CIA, while amusing and great fodder for blogs like TechDirt, is just one in a series of scapegoats for the Taliban to keep doing what they have been doing.

The excuses of the Taliban alternative between amusing, ironic, and sad. Stop doing something or we will kill more of our people. Yeah, that’s a winning strategy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: New Day, New Blame

I think your statements are correct. I think “contributed” is an accurate word, though, based on Taliban comments, it was a minor, almost negligible contribution. Indeed, when discussing the issue at the time it happened, few Taliban members mentioned it at all, focusing on drone attacks, and to the extent it was mentioned, it was a tack-on, almost offhand remark.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: New Day, New Blame

Soylentnews posted a link to this story and I found one comment interesting.

Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, @02:08PM (#43839)
“This was covered last year in Scientific American. Leslie F. Roberts of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health estimates 100,000 more polio cases will occur in Pakistan alone over the next 20 years due to the CIA and Obama’s actions in killing their White Whale.

The CIA, Obama, and the American people should be ashamed.

This is the article: fake-vaccination-campaign-endangers-us-all/ []”

The scientific American article says

“Taliban commanders banned polio vaccinations in parts of Pakistan, specifically citing the bin Laden ruse as justification.

The distrust sowed by the sham campaign in Pakistan could conceivably postpone polio eradication for 20 years, leading to 100,000 more cases that might otherwise not have occurred, says Leslie F. Roberts of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. ?Forevermore, people would say this disease, this crippled child is because the U.S. was so crazy to get Osama bin Laden,? he argues.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Why not use real vaccines?

If ‘fake vaccines’ were given out to people who thought they were real and many of those people who would have otherwise gotten real vaccines didn’t get any real vaccines this could contribute to the problem. When a certain percentage of a population is vaccinated this supposedly protects those that aren’t (it’s called herd immunity).

While I doubt this operation, by itself, is single handedly responsible for the return of polio it certainly didn’t help and possibly even contributed to the problem.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Why not use real vaccines?

The vaccines were real, but they were for hepatitis B rather than polio. The program was clearly a sham, as it spent a short amount of time in a poor community before moving to the wealthier area that included bin Laden’s house.

While the operation certainly was not helpful with respect to the vaccination effort, it is important to remember that the vaccination programs were already distrusted in several Islamic countries for other, previous (and probably false) rumors, and vaccination workers were killed before the present CIA story came to light (which it did as early as 2012, and possibly earlier). It is also important to note that Taliban in Pakistan did not make that much of a deal of the fake vaccination program, pointing to drone strikes as being the reason for stopping the vaccination program, and, oh yeah, that fake vaccination program for good measure.

Fundamentally, while the activity was abhorrent because the medical effort was fake (though the medicine was real), and a fake medical effort potentially makes targets of medical workers, the reality is that not only was the story given little attention in the West when it first popped a couple of years ago, apparently the Taliban and Al Quaeda did not consider it a very big deal either.

It would be [not so] amusing if the next round of attacks on medical workers in Pakistan blamed the deaths on reports of fake vaccination programs reported on TechDirt, and pointed to this particular post as evidence that the problem was clearly pervasive and ongoing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Why not use real vaccines?

Don’t blame the messenger. It’s not Techdirt’s fault that the CIA did something wrong. The solution is not for journalists to ignore it and it’s abhorrent that the mainstream media didn’t give it the attention it deserves.

and if any harm was/is caused by this it’s not a result of Techdirt’s reporting it’s a result of the CIA’s actions. The solution is for the media to report it so that the public can put pressure on the government to stop doing this and hopefully put pressure on the government to potentially punish the decision makers responsible for this misconduct (ha ha ha).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Why not use real vaccines?

The solution is not to just let the government get away with whatever the heck it wants to do without anyone noticing. Techdirt reporting on it is not the cause of harm, the CIA’s actions and misconduct is the cause (even if some shooter does hypothetically react to this article or if some dishonest reporter falsely reports that the next round of deaths was a result of someone reacting to this article, the later being much more likely).

and your hypothetical about someone seeing this article and reacting by killing medical workers is far less likely than the potential harm the CIA may have caused by deploying this program (even if it went unreported on Techdirt). Your rant against what’s most likely to cause harm, the CIA’s actions or Techdirt’s reporting, is backwards.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Why not use real vaccines?

Yeah, media reporting has never led to a negative outcome (i.e., reporting on someone else’s harm, if done irresponsibly, can be bad):

Okay, enough examples. I can see reporting the story when it happened, as it was, in multiple places. I can even see doing a retrospective (i.e., here’s a story that I missed when it was covered by a hundred other news organizations). But Masnick reported it like no one else did when it happened two years ago. Lots of organizations and blogs reported it.

Maybe Mike was on vacation, but the reporting happened. Reading the post above, I initially thought he was revealing something no one knew about, and he was revealing some super secret. Nope, EVERYONE knew, and it was WIDELY reported. Mike is just reporting it two years late. Nothing like being Johnny on the spot, or reporting a fire after the barn is gone.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Why not use real vaccines?

No one said that media reporting has never had a negative effect, just that this Techdirt article is very unlikely to cause the effect you describe. But I suppose the next thing you will try to argue is that if no one does respond to this post by going after medical workers it’s only because those that were going to go after them changed their minds after reading your comments. You are such the hero;)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Why not use real vaccines?

I am not blaming the messenger of a two-year-old story. I am not blaming anyone. I suggested that it would be [not so] amusing if Islamic extremists pointed to the current TechDirt story on a two-year-old incident as evidence that it was still happening, rather than something that happened a long time ago:

Interestingly, there was a TON of media coverage when this incident happened. Here are a few of the dozens of stories on this issue when it popped up:

Media did report it, in a TON of places. Media is unable to help when no one bothers to read a story.

I remember a story from a long time ago where a huge ruckus was caused in a company from a reported incident. Everyone was running around gathering information to figure out how to respond. Teams were formed, calls were made, and contingencies were mapped. The only problem is, the incident happened several years earlier, and the response was for a problem that had already gone away. In the aftermath of the needless debacle, the question was asked as to how we were trying to address an issue that happened years earlier. Apparently, someone did not do their homework, and the date associated with the reporting on the original incident was somehow “lost” (the blame fell on a document with automatic dating; it looked like the report was brand new, when in reality it was relatively old).

Could the same thing happen here? Given that TechDirt is highly popular in Pakistan and India, I would say, maybe. However, the reactions would be for something that has already been considered in Taliban politics. On the other hand, they may decide to hold up recent news stories as evidence that those damn Americans are doing it again, even if they are not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Why not use real vaccines?

While I still disagree with the argument that this Techdirt article would cause any harm or confusion over the recency of the article, I concede that this was well reported at the relevant time. In fact maybe I vaguely remember something about it at the time (my memory has been somewhat poor lately).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Why not use real vaccines?

No one one will ever be confused and no harm will ever come of something when taken in its proper context with appropriate disclaimers. Yeah, right, Mr. Orson Wells. Just how many people were hurt the night of your radio broadcast? Never underestimate the ability of people to misunderstand information, and worse, to taken action based on that false information. Several frightening episodes of the original Twilight Zone made this point quite well, and real life has supported it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Why not use real vaccines?

I would love to see you prove that.

People report on stuff all the time. The vast majority of the time, the reporting does not harm. However, reporting on certain issues has led to riots, burning of cities, murders, you know, generally undesirable stuff. When the reporting neglects to point out the limitations of the reporting clearly and abundantly (hey, we know the entire world already knew about this issue, but we didn’t, so we are going to discuss it two years later – just remember, this is an OLD issue, so don’t get your boxers in a bunch), then the results can be even more disastrous.

No one has said, even once, that the reporting should not be done, only that care be taken to point out clearly that a story is not different from the dozens of other, previously issued stories on the same issue. Otherwise, there is a risk that readers leap to the unfounded conclusion that an issue that happened several years ago is happening again, which leads to the murders of more medical workers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Why not use real vaccines?

“When the reporting neglects to point out the limitations of the reporting clearly and abundantly (hey, we know the entire world already knew about this issue, but we didn’t, so we are going to discuss it two years later – just remember, this is an OLD issue”

You apparently didn’t even read the article

“the CIA basically confirmed that for them by using a fake vaccination campaign to find Osama bin Laden a few years ago. “

It’s not the fault of techdirt that you can’t be bothered to read.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Why not use real vaccines?

“I would love to see you prove that.”

You missed the point. You were trying to argue that there is always a potential that harm could come from someone misinterpreting something.

“No one one will ever be confused and no harm will ever come of something when taken in its proper context with appropriate disclaimers. Yeah, right, Mr. Orson Wells. … Never underestimate the ability of people to misunderstand information, and worse, to taken action based on that false information.”

My point is that this is no excuse to not report on something (otherwise why are you even bringing it up and what is it that you are trying to argue/prove?).

and I would like to see you prove any harm coming from this Techdirt article. But I can’t ever expect any proof for your baseless speculation because you expect everyone to take your nonsense seriously on face value.

Or I suppose you could bang your head against a wall and harm yourself do to the fact that no one cares about your dumb opinion and that could ultimately be considered ‘harm’ caused by this article.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Why not use real vaccines?

I think you are blowing this way out of proportion. Do I seriously think that someone will take action strictly on the basis of TechDirt reporting it? No. Do I think a renewed round of reporting of old news by multiple news sources has a chance of causing the Taliban to take action? Yes, particularly if they follow the “if there’s smoke, there’s fire,” philosophy.

So, if the Taliban go on a renewed round of killing medical workers, I would say that dredging up the old stories helped lead the Taliban to do that, as much as the CIA creating a fake vaccination program every did.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Why not use real vaccines?

err … the OP doesn’t say that it wasn’t covered by the media at the time it happened. The OP says that

“And yet… almost none of the media coverage of the WHO’s new emergency warning mentions the CIA connection.”

That is, almost none of the current media coverage of the WHO’s new emergency warning mentions the CIA connection.

My mistake (again). So I’m retracting my concession since my concession was that Techdirt got something wrong here and they didn’t (wow … I’ve really been slow lately).

Anyways, the media coverage over the WHO’s new emergency warning not mentioning this is probably because it’s kinda off topic. That doesn’t excuse what the CIA did and the possibility that they did cause real harm (certainly much more harm than anything Techdirt’s reporting may have caused). That you seem to marginalize any potential harm caused by the CIA and instead focus on your imaginary harm caused by Techdirt probably shows what kinda evil person you are and how you hate Techdirt because they do a good job defending a true position that you don’t want to see defended since you personally benefit from having others hold an opposing position. You would rather us be fed nothing but the mainstream media propaganda.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Why not use real vaccines?

I do not hate Techdirt. If I did, why do I spend so dang much time reading it?

I marginalize the harm by the CIA only because the people halting polio vaccines and killing medical workers (you know, like the Taliban), marginalized CIA activities. If the Taliban really wanted to raise a stink about the fake CIA vaccination program, they would have done it three years ago. Oh, they were too busy halting the vaccination program for drones to make fake vaccination programs a scapegoat at the time…my bad. Now the Taliban is a little thin on scapegoats, so maybe fake CIA programs, which are clearly ongoing based on recent reporting, is a good scapegoat this time.

Oh, and I rarely listen, read, or watch, mainstream media.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Why not use real vaccines?

“Media did report it, in a TON of places. Media is unable to help when no one bothers to read a story.”

It was “Anonymous Coward, May 12th, 2014 @ 3:52pm” that said “the reality is that not only was the story given little attention in the West”

which, if true, would suggest that it didn’t get the attention it deserved. Then again, one should always fact check before taking the word of a shill railing against techdirt and responding since nothing you shills say is any reliable and you’re always contradicting yourselves and one another.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Why not use real vaccines?

It seems like the story was given a great deal of attention by mainstream media when it popped, but it is possible that because the Taliban seemed to mostly blow the event off, led mainstream media to eventually stop reporting the issue. Mainstream media is only interested if there are bodies and blood, or if they can stir some up.

As for WHO, given that Pakistan has more than a decade of resistance to vaccination programs, and a history of killing medical workers associated with vaccinations prior to 2011, I doubt they consider the fake vaccination program a relatively minor incentive to the Taliban to resist vaccination that they have been resisting for a very long time already.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Why not use real vaccines?

“the reality is that not only was the story given little attention in the West when it first popped a couple of years ago”

Which, if true, it wasn’t given the attention it deserves. This deserves attention and the mainstream media ignoring this is consistent with their nature as an entity not interested in reporting but as one interested in feeding us propaganda.

You really don’t know how inept and morally lacking you sound with your post. Beyond just marginalizing what the CIA did (or at least marginalizing their effects, despite your disclaimer claiming that their activity was abhorrent) you then misdirect by turning your focus on speculating imaginative harm that maybe caused by Techdirt’s reporting. This, fundamentally, shows a hatred for Techdirt.

You could have much more reasonably argued that the WHO and the media covering the WHO didn’t mention this in recent polio discussions because it’s past and off topic to the discussion (what should we do going forward) but instead you found some crazy way to distract from the issue and claim that Techdirt maybe causing harm. No evidence required, just the speculative possibility that they maybe causing harm is enough for you to marginalize any harm caused by the CIA and point out the potential harm caused by Techdirt and claim they are possibly the true villains.

If you really don’t see how this post looks to a normal reader and how it really makes you and those that oppose Techdirt look bad then you are really living in your own world.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Why not use real vaccines?

Mainstream media covered this a TON three years ago. Whoe covered the story?

New York Times

For goodness sake, even SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN covered the story. The story was apparently a big deal back in 2011 and 2012, because just about all the big news outlets covered it.

As for TechDirt, I could just as easily have said renewed reporting by multiple sources, because I doubt that reporting on one blog would generate much of anything. It is called being slightly facetious.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Why not use real vaccines?

I am much more concerned with the possibility of the CIA doing something like this again than with the remote unlikelihood of a repeat media coverage causing any harm. Otherwise we should ban history class from discussing past events that could lead someone to react badly. Sounds like an excuse used by an authoritarian government to ban potentially harmful speech. Those who don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Why not use real vaccines?

I think people underestimate the power of media coverage and how erroneous or erroneously perceived media coverage often gets translated into murder and other actions. Does that mean we should not have media coverage? Of course not. However, media coverage of all types needs to be responsible and, not just accurate, but precise. Media of all types in their zeal to rush a story out has gotten facts wrong so many times as to make the coverage less than worthless.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Why not use real vaccines?

I respectfully disagree. There have been plenty of mainstream news debacles that had little, if anything, to do with the government.

Let’s take a simple example, that of the New Town school shooting. As I flipped channels, I saw all sorts of stuff presented as fact by each of the major outlets, including CNN. There were only two, somewhat major, problems.

First, none of the so-called facts were provided by the police spokesperson, because the police were trying to figure out the details before they gave a press conference. So, second, the media made stuff up to fill the vacuum, based on what, I am unsure.

Sadly, the New Town story is hardly isolated. Officials typically like to get their facts straight before holding some sort of news conference, but media is pushing, pushing, pushing for information, whether it exists or not. It seems that if the media can’t find facts, it will substitute rumor and speculation, even if such cannot be corroborated.

Is it any wonder that trust of the media is pretty much at an all time low?

stop being blind! says:


Vaccinations are right out of the Vatican and were always designed for control of the popular like anything else. The Rothschild’s, Rockefeller’s etc etc all take their orders from the Jesuits at the Vatican who are the HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE!

The ww1, ww2 the coming WW3 as documented in 1798 are all constructs of the Vatican. Israel was given to the Rothschild’s after ww1 for funding the british on the Vatican’s say so. Washington, London, Israel and Vatican are all crown states and the Vatican uses the swiss guard for protection and in return switziland doesn’t get attacked, ever!

Jews are been set up to be killed by Jesuits and that’s the truth! Stop being sheep and following the properganda and use that decoder in your head for what its for! Thinking! Use your brain you zombies ad its fucking obvious!

The roman empire never died and this as been going on for 1000’s of years butnyou all live in fear! Fictional events actually realised! I.e, false and not true! You make it true in your head and believe it! Phy ops!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Actually the cure exists, but its not for public use. First of all, you have to realize that the secret behind cancer’s longevity as a disease is that its a fungal infection, like a wart or mole, only internal. Then you can see just how easy it would be to cure cancer if this was widely known. However, at approximately $150,000.00 per cancer case in pure profits, the cause of cancer is still an industrial secret and will remain so indefinitely. 🙂

GEMont (profile) says:

bad bad boy

“Yes, bin Laden was a very bad person, but was it worth bringing back a polio epidemic?”

errr…. just a reminder here.
Bin Laden was not a “very bad person”.
He was a CIA asset, taking orders from Washington.
The very bad deeds he did were in the line of duty to the American Government.

He did not get the “bad guy” label until after he refused to follow CIA orders. Then he became a scapegoat, but escaped.

In case you also forgot, the Bin Ladens were such good friends of the Bush family that George and the younger Bin Laden would often hold hands while walking. The Bin Ladens who were in America were escorted out of America by the Fed after 9/11, for their safety.

Amazing how quickly we forget the little details when in need of material to shore up the national fantasy.

Guest Opinion says:

Return of polio.

IMHO, the real culprit here is an extreme religious conservatism which seeks to return to the “golden age,” through Al Quaeda/Wahabism/Taliban who use the ignorant masses as tools for their ideology.
Most of those who think of NGOs and Western ways as agents of evil are utterly ignorant of the world beyond the range of their sight, and are the real reason for the backwardness of those parts of the world.
Also, it doesn’t help that Pakistan has a poisonously bitter nationalism rooted in its founding, tenaciously held onto by its military and intelligence services.

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