News

White House vows CIA won’t use vaccines for covert ops

White House vows CIA won’t use vaccines for covert ops

CIA:The deans of 12 public health schools had complained about a reported vaccination program conducted by a Pakistani doctor, who used a hepatitis immunization survey in the Pakistani city where bin Laden was later killed in a secret U.S. mission. Photo: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House promised on Monday that the CIA will not use immunization programs for its operations following a complaint that the spy agency used such a campaign in its hunt for Osama bin Laden.

The deans of 12 public health schools had complained about a reported vaccination program conducted by a Pakistani doctor, who used a hepatitis immunization survey in the Pakistani city where bin Laden was later killed in a secret U.S. mission.

The CIA orchestrated the survey to try to obtain fluid containing DNA from relatives living near the bin Laden residence, the Washington Post reported. It said the effort failed and the surgeon, Shakil Afridi, was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said Obama homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco had assured the deans in a letter that CIA policy as of August 2013 makes clear “the CIA will make no operational use of vaccination programs, which includes vaccination workers.”

“Similarly, the agency will not seek to obtain or exploit DNA or other genetic material acquired through such programs. This policy applies worldwide, and to U.S. persons and non-U.S. persons alike,” she said.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Ken Wills)

Local Headlines

in Local

Storm Lake Abuser Arrested

News Jail1240

A Storm Lake man is charged with multiple abuse related felonies...

in Local

Storm Lake Suspicious Arrest

News Arrest1240 1

A Nebraska man is arrested after suspicious activity...

in Local

Law Enforcement Reports

lawenforcement1240

Law Enforcement Reports...

in Local

Spencer Hospital Ebola Preparedness

News Hospital1240

Staff has convened and been educated on what to do in the case of ebola showing up locally...

in Local

NWICC Pickup Parade World Record Attempt

pickup

Northwest Iowa Community College will attempt to break the world record for having the largest number of pickup trucks in a parade...