An intellectual freedom blog with an emphasis on libraries and technology

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fake Healthcare for People Who Don't Matter Anyway

The Doctor who assisted the C.I.A. to find Bin Laden faces a 33 year prison sentence. Glenn Greenwald at pointed out that Dr. Afridi perpetrated a fake vaccination program as part of his work for the C.I.A. to hunt for Bin Laden. The vaccination injections did no harm in themselves, but did not really vaccinate anyone either.

You would never know this if you watch the mainstream news media.

Despite the harmlessness of the injections, the fake program has increased distrust by Moslems in developing countries of U.S. aid workers and set back Polio eradication efforts in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The President of Doctors without Borders commented:  “The potential consequence is that even basic healthcare, including vaccination, does not reach those who need it most.” 

That the C.I.A. has infiltrated do-gooder U.S. organizations before in order to spy in foreign countries at least since the founding of the Peace Corps. (For a hilarious satire of the Peace Corps including its infiltration by the C.I.A. see the movie Volunteers, an early Tom Hanks comedy). Even when U.S. citizens try to do something good, something poisons it.

Of most interest is Greenwald's re-framing of the matter. Hopefully this will give some people in the U.S. some perspective (if they ever read it):

In light of all the righteous American outrage over this prison sentence, let’s consider what the U.S. Government would do if the situation were reversed: namely, if an American citizen secretly cooperated with a foreign intelligence service to conduct clandestine operations on U.S. soil, all without the knowledge or consent of the U.S. Government, and let’s further consider what would happen if the American citizen’s role in those operations involved administering a fake vaccine program to unwitting American children. Might any serious punishment ensue? Does anyone view that as anything more than an obvious rhetorical question?
… American lives are inherently more valuable; foreign lives are expendable in pursuit of American interests; the U.S. has the inalienable right to take action in other countries that nobody is allowed to take in the U.S. (just imagine: “An Iranian drone fired two missiles at a bakery in the northwest U.S. Saturday and killed four suspected militants, Iranian officials said, as Iran pushed on with its drone campaign despite American demands to stop. This was the third such strike in the country in less than a week").

I suggest you read Greenwald's entire post: The Imperial Mind.

By the way, this "it's OK when the U.S. does it" mindset I find most disturbing where-ever I encounter it. Despite how much I like the Rachel Maddow Show I can barely contain my disgust with the liberal-hawk bias in her reporting: she ignores innocent civilians' deaths inflicted by drone attacks while celebrating victories by the Obama administration in the War on an abstract concept Terrorism. Both on the left as well as on the right in U.S. politics and political reporting American lives matter - others well not so much.

They hate us for our freedoms. Oh, and because they think we're weak.

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