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‘Detainees’ To Get Swine Flu Vaccine

From the Miami Herald:

Some of the 1,200 people who braved rain and 39 degree temperatures queue to receive a free H1N1 flu vaccine at Richard J. Daley College in Chicago October 24, 2009.

Pentagon to offer swine flu vaccine to terror suspects

BY CAROL ROSENBERG

Oct. 28, 2009

Even as some Americans await the arrival of their swine flu vaccines, the Pentagon has decided to vaccinate both soldiers and terror suspects at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

There was no word Wednesday on when the the first vaccines would reach the remote base in southeast Cuba.

But U.S. military there were notified late last week that service members would get their H1N1 virus vaccinations first. Private contractors and sailors’ wives and children could get theirs afterward “as the supply permits.”

And that means the 221 war on terror captives would also be vaccinated first, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brook DeWalt, a Guantánamo spokesman.

“They get all the same quality medical care and treatment options that are provided to service members,” he said by telephone. “But they don’t have to wait for appointments.”

Each detainee would be given the vaccine on a voluntary basis, just like “with our seasonal flu vaccination program,” said Army Maj. Diana R. Haynie, a prison camps public affairs officer.

Guantánamo senior staff also had no plans to address the overarching question of whether a vaccine named colloquially for a pig would present particular challenges.

Instead, Haynie said, a detainee could raise any concerns when he is offered it in person.

Haynie added that the detention center’s Muslim American “cultural affairs advisor" said “there is no religious reason for detainees not to receive the H1N1 vaccine.”

But a former U.S. Army Muslim chaplain predicted there might be some objections among a captive population long characterized by the Pentagon as devotees of a radical fringe of Islam.

“There was huge resistance back in 2003 when just the regular flu shots were administered,” said James “Yusef” Yee, who left the Army as a captain after being cleared of wrongdoing during his Guantánamo duty.

“Many prisoners feared they were being experimented on with some sort of truth serum or other drugs,” and refused, he said.

Instead, they were tackled and shackled so prison camp staff could “forcefully” administer the shots — something DeWalt said could not happen today.

“Immunizations and all that kind of stuff are always voluntary for them,” added DeWalt. “I’m sure there’ll be a percentage who will be accept, and I’m sure there’ll be another percentage that declines.”

Similar plans are underway to give the vaccine to federal inmates at the Bureau of Prisons, where some Guantánamo detainees may be headed as part of President Barack Obama’s Guantánamo closure order.

A spokeswoman said Wednesday that the BOP had ordered enough H1N1 vaccines for all of its prisoners but “we just don’t know when we’re going to receive it.”

U.S. military at Guantánamo have long engaged in an uneasy balancing act between the captives’ rights to practice mainstream Islam and security concerns.

During the 2003 showdown over run-of-the-mill flu shots, Yee recalled, the detention center command staff waited until after dark to administer “the shots during Ramadan — as some prisoners believed the injections would break their fasts.”

Either way, Yee predicted: “I would anticipate prisoners objecting to the vaccinations” among a captive population that includes 17 men whom federal courts have ordered set free.

Ah, yes. Nothing is too good for these wonderful little cherubs.

They don’t even have to wait for an appointment.

Haynie added that the detention center’s Muslim American “cultural affairs advisor” said “there is no religious reason for detainees not to receive the H1N1 vaccine.”

Are they sure? Have we gotten a fatwa on this?

After all, there might be something from a pig in this somewhere.

(Thanks to Melly for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, October 29th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “‘Detainees’ To Get Swine Flu Vaccine”

  1. Confucius

    Next, the National Guard will be at the border vaccinating illegals.

  2. Reality Bytes

    How fitting – a anti viral that came from pigs.

  3. Right of the People

    Someone should start the rumor that the vaccine is produced from the blood of pigs. Think the jihadis would want it then?

  4. Reality Bytes

    Too Late! I just Did! Actually, there may be a biological link from swine to the vacine – but “DAMN IT JIM I’M NOT A DOCTOR!” What say you SG?

  5. TwilightZoned

    First, inject a GPS device with the vaccine solution. Next, release
    all the detainees…abroad of course. We’d find most of whom we need
    when these idiots go back to being terrorists. (i.e. Ben Laden)
    Then…declare hunting season open.

  6. VMAN

    I don’t have a problem at all with them getting a “Swine Flu” shot. Make it mandatory. Hog tie them and give them a big honking dose of the stuff.

  7. Chuckk

    It’s too bad the detainees weren’t used to test the vaccine.

  8. canary

    Ouch. It’s torture to give Gitmo prisoners shots. Think how many will freak out and think it’s Obama’s health care death shot. There’ll be more lawsuits of mistreatment now.

    • canary

      The Gitmo terrorists will sue saying the U.S. injected untested chemical into their sacred bodies. Their Crayon books should be taken away as part of their rehabilitation. They make American prisoners do rehabilitaion.


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