Three members of the first CIA teams sent to Afghanistan to track down Osama bin Laden and overthrow the Taliban after 9/11 have been told to face disciplinary action for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID -19, DailyMail.com has learned.
Due to the clandestine role, they are unable to speak in public, but are believed to be furious that their careers are on the line because of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates.
Details emerged from a group chat shared with DailyMail.com, in which employees said they had been told they could face disciplinary action, including dismissal if they refuse.
It’s part of a wider unease about the mandate among paramilitary officers who are often encouraged to break rules in order to accomplish their missions, Toby Harnden said.
His new book, First Casualty: The Untold Story of the CIA Mission to Avenge 9/11, chronicles the story of the first teams sent to Afghanistan after the Al Qaeda attacks.
“I’ve heard some CIA agents express concern about vaccine mandates,” he said.
Some of these officers find it outrageous that some of those who have put their lives on the line now have to witness a catastrophic failure in Afghanistan and at the same time face the prospect of their careers being terminated because they feel they shouldn’t have the option. to have. to take a COVID vaccine.”
In this photo, taken eight days after 9/11, CIA agents can be seen aboard a flight that guards $3 million in cash in three cardboard boxes — money authorities hoped would aid anti-Taliban forces in Kabul. and wipe out Al Qaeda. Twenty years on, three members of the CIA’s early Afghanistan mission (not pictured) face disciplinary action for refusing COVID-19 vaccines
A Russian-built helicopter takes off from Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul, November 16, 2001 in Afghanistan. US special forces, CIA and other intelligence agencies were on the ground in Afghanistan to continue Washington’s declared war on terrorism
This photo, released by the CIA, was taken on September 20, 2001, and marked the first full day of travel for Team Jawbreaker, one of nine units sent to Afghanistan to avenge the 9/11 attacks. The Taliban fled the capital Kabul . within two months
In agreement with other agencies, the CIA had adopted a policy of requiring personnel and contractors to certify that they are fully vaccinated or undergo testing.
That changed last week when President Biden signed an executive order mandating vaccinations for federal personnel.
A CIA spokesman said compliance procedures were still under development.
“We are developing procedures to implement the recent executive orders requiring COVID-19 vaccination for federal employees and contractors,” he said.
But the result has been a wave of anger from government departments over the hesitant vaccines.
Opposition is split along party lines, with many Republicans furious at such an aggressive move.
In the intelligence community, contractors — who will simply lose their jobs if they don’t follow the rules — are the loudest on online forums, while the vast majority of CIA employees have already been vaccinated.
A former CIA intelligence official said: “I have heard anecdotally that some contractors and paramilitaries are resisting the vaccine.
“I also know that COVID is taken seriously at CIA headquarters and overseas stations and bases.”
The two agents and a contractor involved in the controversy were part of what Cofer Black, former director of the CIA Counter Terrorism Center, later called the agency’s “finest hour.”
Without a plan for military deployment in Afghanistan after 9/11, President Bush turned to the CIA to quickly crack down on Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Nine teams were sent to Afghanistan, along with green berets and air forces. And by early November, about 100 CIA officers and 300 US Special Forces were on the ground.
Last week, President Biden caused anger with an executive order mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for federal employees and companies with more than 100 employees. At the CIA, Director William Burns said in July that more than 95 percent of employees had already been vaccinated
They were ordered to work with anti-Taliban Northern Alliance resistance fighters to capture the capital, Kabul, and track down Al Qaeda.
It worked. By mid-November, the Taliban had been driven out of Kabul in a swift victory.
“I feel for these three individuals,” said a retired paramilitary officer.
“Every health decision is a personal one. I was able to delay the anthrax shots until they were no longer needed.
“However, with the politicization of this virus and the so-called vaccine, I fear that these three, along with countless others, will be forced to make a hard decision to either stand firm in their beliefs or accede to the dictates of government.’
But some agency veterans said there were good reasons for pushing for staff to be vaccinated.
“Vaccination is now mandatory for the military, and the CIA has important responsibilities to work closely with the military, so it’s reasonable for the agency to mandate vaccines as well,” said former investigating officer Kevin Carroll.
“Also, during a deadly pandemic that likely began in an adversary’s bioweapons lab, someone who is not trained and public enough to take a proven vaccine may not be fit for further service as a U.S. intelligence officer.”
The CIA is well ahead of national vaccination coverage.
In July, CIA Director William Burns told NPR: “Navigating the COVID pandemic — and we’re still navigating it, even though at the CIA we have fully vaccinated more than 95% of our officers, both at headquarters and in the field.” abroad.’