Mark Goldberg has an excellent column in UN Dispatch “Eradicating a Disease vs. Eradicating a Terrorist.”
I have no problem with the CIA mounting devious black ops to find Bin Laden. Yet anyone who knows the difficult history of global immunization knows that such public health activities pose a special challenge, and mark special points of sensitivity, in many Muslim areas that most require help.
These challenges aren’t lessened by the news that CIA operatives mounted a fake vaccination campaign to gather intelligence. This plays into many damaging conspiracy theories that have hindered efforts to eradicate polio and other deadly diseases. Had the CIA impersonated journalists, there would have been much greater outcry over something that would cause much less harm in the world.