Was Getting Bin Laden Worth It?

The price has been in lives.  The capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden occurred without loss of any U.S. military lives.  It was hailed as a hugely successful special forces and intelligence operation. Still to believe that the operation was accomplished without the loss of life is both incorrect and naive. The lives lost have been those of polio vaccination workers murdered in the backlash against the use of CIA operatives masquerading as immunization workers to gather intelligence in Pakistan.  Other lives changed forever are those of children who have been and will be paralyzed by polio who will not receive vaccination against polio in the aftermath of this intelligence gathering deception.

Since it became known that the CIA used a Pakistani physician to obtain DNA from a child while administering a hepatitis vaccine to children in the compound where Bin Laden was hiding the Muslim violence against polio vaccine workers has intensified and far more children are not receiving polio vaccine.  More than 20 vaccination workers have been killed by Taliban and other fundamentalist Muslim factions since then.  This is a big change in the level of danger of this already difficult mission.  Many more areas of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria have become unreachable to vaccination workers.  The cost of the fight on Polio is over $1 billion annually, and in the last 25 years has been incredibly successful.  Prior to the start of the global push to eradicate polio over 350,000 children annually were paralyzed.  The Rotary International led Polio Plus campaign, working with governments and recently the Gates Foundation has been extraordinarily successful.   Last year only 250 cases of paralytic polio were diagnosed, and only in 3 nations, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.  India was the last country declared to have gone a full year without a case of wild strain polio, joining most of the rest of the world as polio free.  Now reaching these remaining areas, all in Muslim controlled regions, is increasingly difficult and dangerous.  See this NYT article for an excellent review of the current dilemma. 

I’m not a military analyst, and I consider myself very pro-American, but I am very skeptical that the decision to use a CIA operative posing as an immunization worker in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden was worth the relatively easy to anticipate consequences on the war on Polio.  What do you think?  Was getting Bin Laden worth it?  Was the information gathered so valuable as to endanger this effort to eradicate polio, put vaccination workers at risk for their lives, and prevent children from getting vaccinated and at higher risk of a life of paralysis from polio?  You can tell how I feel, but I’d like your opinion.  Please let me know by leaving a comment.


7 Responses to Was Getting Bin Laden Worth It?

  1. My firm belief is that 9-11 was planned and carried out by the military-industrial complex,the Bush administration,AIPAC,The Bilderberg Group and rogue CIA agents..all for the benefit of Israel.
    Motive..destroy Iraq,Afghanistan etc. and have American companies rebuild it.
    America gives Israel $8 million dollars {PER DAY}
    in aid.

  2. Dear Dr. Pullen, The people of the United States of America have every right to pursue the mastermind of the mass murder of Americans and other nationals, in every way possible. Radical Islam bases if cry on blaming everyone for their problems. You refer to vaccination being used to help identify OBL, who was being hidden by the Pakistani military and government. This “culture” uses its children as a weapon, or sorts, expecting the world to feel sorry for them. I am only sorry that the religious and government leaders would stoop so low as to use their own children to advance their war on humanity.

  3. Using the guise of health workers to get to bin laden might be alright to me. But the fact that it was revealed to the public was not right. If this fact was not revealed then the lives of the health workers would not have been in danger. Maybe the CIA need to be educated on this fact.

  4. Your post failed to acknowledge that blame for increased violence towards vaccination workers in muslim countries lies squarely at the feet of the OBAMA Administration.
    They spilled the beans on Dr Afridi’s role in the capture and killing of Bin Laden.
    Having said that, in a horrible part of the world, with overwhelming oppression and atrocity, decreased polio vaccinations is not the biggest problem they’ve got.
    Maybe we need to solve some other issues for this generation first. If you really are Pro-American as you claim, and you want to help keep vaccination workers safe and eradicate polio, direct your wrath more appropriately and vote REPUBLICAN in 2014 & 2016.

  5. Good day Dr Pullen, hard to say “was it worth it” because in some way we have to compare lives destroyed by Bin Laden vs lives destroyed by his death. I cannot imagine how devasted health workers are, people who give their lives , apolitically , for the sake pf others. I understand the challenge goes on , but I cannot say that I beleive it to have been inapporpriate for CIA to go in as they did . No matter who they would have posed as, it would have caused repercussions. Many times they pose as missionaries, many missionaries have paid the price with their lives, lives of their families, lives of the innocent people they serve. This is how the world is, so maybe we can find ways to support those workers in some way ,even just to communicate to them that they are not forgotten , as for my part I will keep them in prayer for the moment it is all I can do and I know no greater way to touch lives.

  6. Hi, I like your interest on this subject.
    I`m far from convinced of reality the official story tells us. ” Why would Obama claim to have ordered a kill on Osama, and then dispose of his body at sea? Does that sound like the American way of justice?”

  7. I wholeheartedly agree with you. It was cynical and shortsighted to use vaccination workers in this way – and who suffers? Children, as usual.

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