Saturday, May 26, 2012

Imperial Mindset

Glenn Greenwald (he discusses this from a number of angles - I recommend you read the whole thing):
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?

There are numerous examples that make the point. As’ad AbuKhalil poses this one:“Imagine if China were to hire an American physician who would innocently inject unsuspecting Americans with a chemical to obtain information for China. I am sure that his prison term would be even longer.” Or what if an American doctor of Iranian descent had done this on behalf of the Quds Force, in order to find a member of the designated Iranian Terror group MeK who was living in the United States (one who, say, has been working with Israel to help assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists and wound their wives, or one who was trained by the U.S.), after which Iranian agents invaded his American home, pumped bullets in his skull and shot a few others (his wife and a child) and then dumped his corpse into the Atlantic Ocean? Or take the case of Orlando Bosch, the CIA-backed anti-Cuban Terrorist long harbored by the U.S.; suppose a Cuban-American doctor sympathetic to Castro had injected American children as part of a fake vaccination program in order to help Cuba find and kill Bosch on U.S. soil; he’d be lucky to get 33 years in prison.
I am emphatically not saying that the CIA shouldn't subvert recruit people in other countries. I am saying that just because the CIA did so doesn't mean we should expect those other countries to be pleased.

And that's not even going into the massive public health dangers created by a fake vaccination program. Third Worlders have been, justifiably, suspicious in the past - Pfizer in Nigeria, anyone? - and now here we are admitting to everyone that the CIA was in fact behind a "vaccination program".

We really have to stop acting and talking as if the whole world were part of our empire. It isn't. Treating it as if it were only enrages people.

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At 11:22 AM, May 26, 2012 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Without even addressing the rightness or wrongness of the fake vaccination program in Abbotabad: Why didn't the CIA get the doctor out of Pakistan before he could be apprehended by authorities?

At 12:17 PM, May 26, 2012 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Because he'd served his purpose? After all, he never got into the compound in Abottabad; maybe they figured he hadn't earned it? Or wouldn't be caught? I don't know. We're not that good at taking care of the people who help us (look at Iraqi interpreters, for instance).


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