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Clinton & the killer blood
Articles from the Progressive Review

FEBRUARY 2008

CLINTON'S ARKANSAS BLOOD SCANDAL STILL DRIPPING

MARCH 2006

WASHINGTON POST ADMITS PRISON-AIDS TIE

ONE OF THE BEST kept secrets of the American elite has been that its prison policies have not been tough love but, at best, massive negligent manslaughter. Not only has the war on drugs killed more young black American men on the streets than were killed in Vietnam, but the prison system is a primary incubator for AIDS. This has been ignored and denied by the mainstream media so for the Post to headline "Answer to AIDS Mystery Found Behind Bars" is a bit of a step forward. Writes Richard Morin misleadingly, "It is one of the most puzzling mysteries of the AIDS epidemic: Why did blacks, in little more than a dozen years, become nine times as likely as whites to contract a disease once associated almost exclusively with gay white men? Two researchers say they found the answer in an unlikely place: prison."

In fact, there's little puzzling about it. We have repeatedly pointed to the tie between AIDS and prisons not only because of the amount of unprotected sex behind bars but because prisons have served as an incubator in black neighborhoods after AIDS-infected prisoners are released and resume heterosexual sex.

Here is just one example of the damage that has occurred, again something the archaic media largely failed to report:

PROGRESSIVE REVIEW, 1999 - In the mid-1980s, as contaminated blood flowed from Arkansas inmates to other countries, then-Governor W.J. Clinton sat on his hands despite evidence of severe mismanagement in his prison system and its medical operations. . .

Some of the killer blood ended up in Canada where it contributed to the deaths of an unknown number of blood and plasma recipients. An estimated 2,000 Canadian recipients of blood and related products got the AIDS virus between 1980 and 1985. At least 60,000 Canadians were infected with the hepatitis C virus between 1980 and 1990. Arkansas was one of the few sources of bad blood during this period. . .

Other Arkansas plasma was sent to Switzerland, Spain, Japan, and Italy. In a case with strong echoes of the Arkansas scandal, a former premier of France and two of his cabinet colleagues are currently on trial stemming from the wrongful handling of blood supplies. Some of the blood in the French controversy may have come from Arkansas.

A 1992 Newsday report on the French scandal noted that three persons had been convicted for their role in distributing blood they knew was contaminated: "Throughout the 1980s and later, blood was taken from prison donors for use in blood banks despite a series of directives warning against such a practice. According to the report, donations from prisoners accounted for 25 percent of all the contaminated blood products in France. Blood from prisons was 69 times more contaminated that that of the general population of donors."

The Arkansas blood program was also grossly mishandled by the Food and Drug Administration. And the scandal provides yet another insight into how the American media misled the public about Clinton during the 1992 campaign. The media ignored a major Clinton scandal despite, for example, 80 articles about it in the Arkansas Democrat in just one four-month period of the mid-80s.

Here's how Canada's Krever Commissioner report describes the beginnings of the problem:

"During 1981-2, the number of AIDS cases in the United States reported to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta grew at an alarming rate. The vast majority of the reported cases were of homosexual men and intravenous drug abusers. During 1982, cases of AIDS transmitted through the use of blood and blood products began to be reported. The U.S. blood and plasma centers regularly collected from two groups of persons who were at high risk of contracting AIDS: homosexual men and prison inmates. Plasma was collected at centers, licensed by the Food and Drug Administration, in prisons in Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. By way of contrast, because of the high prevalence of hepatitis B in prisons, the Canadian Red Cross Society had stopped collecting donations from prison inmates in 1971."

Suzi Parker, writing in the Arkansas Times, described the scene: "At the Cummins Unit of the Arkansas penal system during the 1980s, while President Clinton was still governor, inmates would regularly cross the prison hospital's threshold to give blood, lured by the prospect of receiving $7 a pint. The ritual was creepy to behold: Platoons of prisoners lying supine on rows of cots, waiting for the needle-wielding prisoner orderly to puncture a vein and watch the clear bags fill with blood. Administrators than sold the blood to brokers, who in turned shipped it to other sates and to Japan, Italy, Spain and Canada. Despite repeated warnings from the Food and Drug Administration, Arkansas kept its prison plasma program running until 1994 when it became the very last state to cease selling its prisoners' plasma."

OCTOBER 2005

CLINTON BLOOD SCANDAL ERUPTS IN SCOTLAND

DAILY RECORD, SCOTLAND - Former US President Bill Clinton may be forced to appear in court over a medical scandal which claimed the lives of innocent Scots. Many hemophiliacs were infected with hepatitis C after tainted blood from American prisoners was imported into the UK. Glasgow firm Thomsons are representing the families of Scots sufferers who died after contracting the disease. They allege inmates in an Arkansas jail were paid to donate blood despite the authorities knowing they had AIDS and hepatitis.

They are threatening to call the ex-president, who was state governor at the time, to the witness stand. The infected blood was used to make clotting agents for hemophiliacs who require regular blood transfusions Frank Maguire, of Thomsons, said "These allegations are extremely serious and I am now more sure than ever that there should be a full public inquiry into why so many Scots contracted hepatitis C from infected blood products.

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=16314330&method=full&siteid=66633&headline=clinton-s-scottish-court-warning--name_page.html

NEW DOCUMENTARY EXAMINES BLOOD SCANDAL

LIAM MCDOUGALL, SUNDAY HERALD UK - A major new documentary that uncovers fresh evidence about how thousands of Scots contracted Aids and hepatitis through infected blood is to be given its world premiere at a prestigious US film festival.

The film, Factor 8: The Arkansas Prison Blood Scandal, made by the US film-maker Kelly Duda, will reveal new details about how inmates at a US jail were paid to donate blood despite the authorities knowing they had Aids and hepatitis.

It shows how the US state of Arkansas, under former president and then-governor Bill Clinton, allowed contaminated blood from Aids and hepatitis-infected prisoners to be exported around the world during the 1980s and 1990s to be used in the manufacture of clotting agents for hemophiliacs.

The documentary also reveals for the first time how senior figures in the prison system doctored prisoners' medical records to make it look like they were not carrying the deadly diseases. Even after it was known there was a problem, the film reveals, blood products were allowed to be supplied to Europe, including to the UK, where thousands of patients were infected with HIV and the potentially fatal liver virus, hepatitis. . .

Last night, the revelations caused outrage among hemophiliacs who contracted Aids and other diseases through the blood products. They branded the findings "unbelievable" and "shocking", and demanded that the government launch a judicial inquiry into the so-called "tainted blood scandal". . .

MAY 2005. . .

BURIED IN OUR ARCHIVES is one of the sadder of the many scandals of the Clinton machine: the bad blood that was shipped from Arkansas prisons to Canada that contributed to the loss of thousands of lives. The story was a big one in Canada but the heavily pro-Clinton media in the states steadfastly pushed it to one side with a few exceptions such as Salon. As we moved from the rampant corruption of Clinton to the maniacal machinations of Bush, we also pushed it aside. . . until yesterday when a former Arkansas prison guard wrote us:

"I ran across this article [about tainted blood] and it brought back old memories. I worked the plasma center several times as a guard during this period and saw some pretty bad things.

"I had that same conversation with Jackie before he went to the governor. [See last item below] He left Arkansas after that to lay low. He was my best friend at the time.

"Later after a promotion, an inmate who became my clerk told stories of events that took place when he was assigned to the plasma center, including things like the refrigeration going out for hours and the plasma being refrozen later and shipped.

"I've seen the thugs they brought in with no medical training thrust a needle several times through the veins of the donors to teach them a lesson. For some this was their only means of getting money, and with their arm black and swelled up as big as a watermelon it would be weeks before they could return.

"I saw 3 inmates die in 18 months between fall '82 and spring '84.

"You can't fight organized crime if there's no one higher to pass judgment. Not counting regular people and inmates I know of one other friend of Bill's who went down and never made your death list.

"Anyway, old memories. . . Thanks for the reporting,"

THEN TODAY comes this story from Sky News:

SKY NEWS - The Canadian Red Cross has been fined more than L2,000 after pleading guilty to distributing blood tainted with HIV and hepatitis C in the 1980s. The charity will also put aside L1.5 million to pay for post-secondary scholarships for family members of those affected as well as a medical research project.

The decades-old tainted blood scandal is considered one of the worst public health disasters in Canadian history. More than 1,000 Canadians became infected with blood-borne HIV and up to 20,000 others contracted hepatitis C after receiving tainted blood products in the 1980s and early 1990s. About 3,000 people had died by 1997 and the death toll has grown, but recent estimates were not available.

NATIONAL POST - In exchange for a guilty plea under the federal Food and Drugs Act, the Crown withdrew charges of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and common nuisance.

DENNIS BUECKERT, CANADIAN PRESS, NOV 21, 2003 - Canada continued to receive blood from an Arkansas prison in the 1980s long after serious safety problems at the facility had been exposed, new evidence indicates. Material gathered by Arkansas filmmaker Kelly Duda shows that, after evidence of contamination emerged in 1983, the prison blood centre simply set up a new subsidiary, with a different name, and continued shipping blood to Canada.

The Canadian Hemophilia Society is asking the RCMP to consider the documentary as new evidence in the ongoing police investigation into the tainted-blood scandal. . . The lucrative blood centre at Grady, Ark., was originally run by a company called Health Management Associates, but many operations were run by prisoners themselves, according to Duda's 90-minute documentary. Prisoners drew blood and collected bribes from fellow inmates for the privilege of "bleeding," according to inmates interviewed for the documentary. . .

MURRAY DOBBIN, GLOBE AND MAIL, 2003 - It is a story that will not - and should not - die. The tainted-blood scandal is tale of bureaucratic indifference, corporate greed and regulatory failure resulting in hundreds of needless deaths from AIDS and the equally preventable infection of thousands with hepatitis C. An investigation by The Kansas City Star newspaper has jolted the story back to life in North America. Ironic that the reports coincide with the coronation of Paul Martin as Liberal leader, because Mr. Martin has a connection to this story.

Blame for the suffering of innocent Canadians spreads far and wide, to virtually every government agency involved, as well as the private companies providing blood and blood products. The Kansas City Star report included Canadian documentation showing that the Red Cross, as early as 1981, knew that a test was available to screen blood for hepatitis C - but while the U.S. began using the test in 1986, it wasn't used here until 1990.

TANYA TALAGA, STAR, CANADA, 2002 - Four doctors, the Canadian Red Cross Society and an American drug company have been criminally charged in what has been called the worst public health disaster in Canada. More charges may be on the way as the massive criminal investigation led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's blood task force continues. Two of the four men charged were senior federal health officials in the 1980s, when thousands of Canadians received blood transfusions and blood products that were contaminated with HIV and hepatitis C.

JANUARY 2001

DENNIS BUECKERT, CANADA PRESS: The RCMP has opened an investigation into the importing of contaminated prison blood from Arkansas during the 1980s, The Canadian Press has learned . . . RCMP Staff Sgt. Bill McAlpine said two officers based in Montreal will be assigned exclusively to pursue the Arkansas prison blood issue. "We just thought that we, out of Toronto, just couldn't handle the issue properly, and that therefore additional resources would be required," he McAlpine said. Continental Pharma, the now-defunct company that imported the prison blood, had its headquarters in Montreal, McAlpine noted . . . McAlpine said the task force, involving about 12 officers in Toronto and a couple in Ottawa, is highly active. But he could not say when its work will be complete or whether charges will be laid.

FEBRUARY 2000

OTTAWA NEWS: A Health Department memo says use of US prison blood products continued in Canada after being halted in the US because American authorities did not tell a Canadian broker the products were unsafe. The 1988 memo, obtained under Access-to-Information legislation, sheds new light on one of the most shocking episodes of the tainted-blood scandal. The memo, written by Health Department officials Andre Juneau and Robert Pinker, blames US authorities for use in Canada of blood products it says had a "high probability" of being infected with both HIV and hepatitis C. "The use of these blood products in Canada can be attributed to a failure by US blood and regulatory authorities to inform a Canadian blood broker that blood collected at prisons was no longer safe and as a result was no longer being used in the US," says the memo addressed to John Dossetor, who was and remains a senior adviser to Health Minister Allan Rock.

OTTAWA NEWS

NOVEMBER 1999

OTTAWA CITIZEN: An Ontario Superior Court judge approved a $1.2-billion federal-provincial compensation package for hepatitis C victims of tainted blood yesterday, following a judge in Quebec's approval earlier this week. That leaves only the province of British Columbia to rule on the package. Ontario Justice Warren Winkler voiced concerns at a hearing last month whether the proposed package would be enough to compensate about 10,000 tainted-blood victims, who contracted hepatitis C through transfusions between 1986 and 1990.

JUNE 1999

KILLER BLOOD: While the American media continues to shut its eyes to the 1980s flow of deadly blood from Clinton's Arkansas prisons to Canadian patients, the story remains big up north. Latest development: Liberal leadership contender Paul Martin was on the board of a corporation involved in the distribution of tainted blood.

INTIMIDATION TACTICS
IN KILLER BLOOD SCANDAL

Somebody doesn't want the truth to come out about how deadly blood sold from then Governor Clinton's Arkansas prisons made its way into the Canadian plasma supply. Mark Kennedy in the Ottawa Citizen reports two incidents within hours of each other Tuesday night: the Arkansas prosthetics clinic owned by tainted blood whistleblower Michael Galster was fire-bombed and the Quebec offices of the Canadian Hemophilia Society were broken into.

The clinic was burned to its shell and fire officials say they're "90 percent sure" it was arson. In the Canadian break-in, a computer and three telephones were stolen along with documents from a box labeled, "Hepatitis C, Krever Commission, Reform of the blood system, HIV-AIDS."

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been looking into the scandal which involved the sale of tainted blood from Arkansas prisoners by a company closely linked to the Clinton machine. Galster worked in the prison system in the 1980s and has written a fictionalized account of what happened in a book, Blood Trail, which he wrote under a pseudonym to avoid reprisals.

Says Hemophilia Society executive director Pierre Desmarais, "It's really frightening. This is the kind of thing you see in movies."

TPR KILLER BLOOD ARCHIVES http://prorev.com/blood.htm

BLOOD

The Washington Weekly reports that as far back as 1974 the FBI knew that a Montreal-based blood plasma middleman "violated the law" in shipping tainted blood from the US. The FDA was also aware that the plasma broker might be involved in "criminal activity." The article quotes a 1974 memo from John Furesz, the director of the Canadian Bureau of Biologics: "FDA is keeping a close eye on their plasma, they have tested so far about 20 lots, of the last six lots four were found to be HB [hepatitis B] antigen positive." The FDA is denying any knowledge of the document. Bad blood from Arkansas prisons during the tenure of Governor W.J. Clinton was a major source of the plasma that resulted in a major Canadian HIV and hepatitis outbreak.

MARCH 1999

Author Michael Galster, whose fictionalized account brought American attention to the Arkansas killer blood scandals, says that the president "is in the unusual position of having in his private possession roughly 400 cases of documents concerning the administration of the prison by Health Management Associates [the firm involved in the blood sales] during these years. These cases of information are essentially every piece of documentation that was generated during 12 years of Clinton's gubernatorial administration. We know from other documents that these cases contain [information involving] then-governor Clinton, the director of HMA, and the director of the state prison, Art Lockhart."

FEBRUARY 1999

CLINTON & THE KILLER BLOOD

In the mid-1980s, as contaminated blood flowed from Arkansas inmates to other countries, then-Governor W.J. Clinton sat on his hands despite evidence of severe mismanagement in his prison system and its medical operations. The prison medical program was being run by Health Management Associates, which was headed by Leonard Dunn, a man who would brag to state police of his close ties to Clinton.

Some of the killer blood ended up in Canada where it contributed to the deaths of an unknown number of blood and plasma recipients. An estimated 2,000 Canadian recipients of blood and related products got the AIDS virus between 1980 and 1985. At least 60,000 Canadians were infected with the hepatitis C virus between 1980 and 1990. Arkansas was one of the few sources of bad blood during this period.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has a staff of 24 working on the case. So far, investigators have interviewed about 600 people including in the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands. According to the Ottawa Citizen, the team has more than 30,000 documents.

Other Arkansas plasma was sent to Switzerland, Spain, Japan, and Italy. In a case with strong echoes of the Arkansas scandal, a former premier of France and two of his cabinet colleagues are currently on trial stemming from the wrongful handling of blood supplies. Some of the blood in the French controversy may have come from Arkansas.

A 1992 Newsday report on the French scandal noted that three persons had been convicted for their role in distributing blood they knew was contaminated: "Throughout the 1980s and later, blood was taken from prison donors for use in blood banks despite a series of directives warning against such a practice. According to the report, donations from prisoners accounted for 25 percent of all the contaminated blood products in France. Blood from prisons was 69 times more contaminated that that of the general population of donors."

The Arkansas blood program was also grossly mishandled by the Food and Drug Administration. And the scandal provides yet another insight into how the American media misled the public about Clinton during the 1992 campaign. The media ignored a major Clinton scandal despite, for example, 80 articles about it in the Arkansas Democrat in just one four-month period of the mid-80s.

Here's how Canada's Krever Commissioner report describes the beginnings of the problem:

"During 1981-2, the number of AIDS cases in the United States reported to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta grew at an alarming rate. The vast majority of the reported cases were of homosexual men and intravenous drug abusers. During 1982, cases of AIDS transmitted through the use of blood and blood products began to be reported.


The U.S. blood and plasma centers regularly collected from two groups of persons who were at high risk of contracting AIDS: homosexual men and prison inmates. Plasma was collected at centers, licensed by the Food and Drug Administration, in prisons in Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. By way of contrast, because of the high prevalence of hepatitis B in prisons, the Canadian Red Cross Society had stopped collecting donations from prison inmates in 1971."

Suzi Parker, writing in the Arkansas Times, described the scene: "At the Cummins Unit of the Arkansas penal system during the 1980s, while President Clinton was still governor, inmates would regularly cross the prison hospital's threshold to give blood, lured by the prospect of receiving $7 a pint. The ritual was creepy to behold: Platoons of prisoners lying supine on rows of cots, waiting for the needle-wielding prisoner orderly to puncture a vein and watch the clear bags fill with blood. Administrators than sold the blood to brokers, who in turned shipped it to other sates and to Japan, Italy, Spain and Canada. Despite repeated warnings from the Food and Drug Administration, Arkansas kept its prison plasma program running until 1994 when it became the very last state to cease selling its prisoners' plasma.

Mike Galster, a medical practitioner whose fictionalized account dramatically raised interest in the blood scandal, recalls that at the Pine Bluff unit's hospital they also took blood from prisoners. When he raised questions about the wisdom of bleeding sick people, he was told that even the ill had the right to sell their blood.

Here is a time-line of this as yet too known Arkansas horror story:

1981

The Arkansas Board of Corrections puts A.L. "Art" Lockhart in charge of the state's troubled prisons. An Arkansas Gazette front page feature on Lockhart begins by noting that he is "dogged by a public reputation as a man who runs roughshod over the constitutionally guaranteed rights and welfare of inmates. 'I don't why,' he said in an interview with the Gazette. 'I don't deserve it.'"

The state's prisons are already a mess. Ten years earlier Lockhart had taken over the notorious Cummins facility which, according to a member of the corrections board, was "still controlled by inmate trusties with guns. The inmates called the shots. A lot of experts said there was no way to take the guns away from them without a riot. But Art did it without spilling any blood."

But the Gazette also notes: "The prison system, and Cummins, in particular, still is in the transition from an institution controlled by the inmates to one controlled by guards. On many nights at Cummins, there are as few as half a dozen guards to watch about 1,650 inmates."

Two years earlier, a prison monitor hired under a federal court order, released a report saying there was "clear and convincing evidence" that Lockhart and other employees beat and kicked inmates needlessly after an attempted escape from Cummins. Another prison mediator charged that the abuse of inmates had increased under Lockhart and that he had obstructed efforts at prison reform.

Health Management Associates wins a contract to provide health services to state inmates, including running a blood plasma donor program.

The Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization establish that AIDS is a blood-borne disease. CDC recommends testing and sterilization of donor blood. The warning is widely ignored and, as a result, according to WHO, some one million people become infected. Twenty-two countries will eventually have to pay compensation as a result.

FDA asks US companies not to buy prison plasma since, due to unsafe sexual and drug practices by many inmates, the blood has a high risk of carrying the AIDS virus.

JUNE 1983

HMA tells FDA that 38 units of plasma from four inmates of the Grady prison should not have been collected because the prisoners had once tested positive for hepatitis B despite a test at the time of collection being negative. HMA sees the hazard as slight and thinks there is no need to recall the plasma. The Canadian Krever Commission will later report that "by 1983, however, an association had been identified between hepatitis B and AIDS; most persons with AIDS had also been infected with hepatitis B. There was a greater than average risk that the 38 units of plasma from the four inmates could transmit AIDS. Four of the units ended up in Canada, the others were sold to corporations in Switzerland, Spain, Japan, and Italy."

AUGUST 1983

HMA decides to withdraw the 38 units from circulation and FDA concurs. This is the first time that Connaught, the Canadian blood firm, has heard of any problems. The shipping papers had only shown that the blood came from "ADC Plasma Center, Grady, Arkansas."

By this time, however, the blood is already in circulation and only 417 of 2409 vials are retrieved.

The same month HMA tells the FDA of a fifth inmate with similar problems. He had given 34 units in less than a year.

SEPTEMBER 1983

Connaught reviews its approvals for receipt of plasma from US centers and finds that twelve have never been properly approved. One is the prison center in Grady, Arkansas. Other questionable blood has come from four prisons in Louisiana. Canadian Red Cross nullifies its contract for the blood the same day it finds this out.

FEBRUARY 1984

FDA suspends plasma production at the Grady facility where an average of 550-600 inmates have been giving blood since 1967. UPI regional wire reports that FDA finds overbleeding of inmate donors, disqualified donors, lack of documentation of testing, and inadequate storage. It also notes inaccurate and incomplete storage, instances of intentional and willful disregard for proposed standards, alteration of records and files to conceal violations, as well as inadequate training and ineffective supervision of the plasma center staff. Within months, however, HMA successfully applies for a new license after blaming the problems on a corrupt clerk.

1985

A UPI story recounts how the largest inmate donor program in the country -- in the Louisiana state prison -- is coming under increased federal scrutiny because of what is dubbed the "AIDS scare." Says the state's secretary of corrections: "We have no intention of shutting it down. It would have the same impact as a major industry shutting down in a small town: economic chaos." The president of a plasma company is quoted as saying, "There is no scientific evidence that prisoner plasma is worse than street plasma." The programs had, in fact, been shut down for six months but were reinstated after the prison discovered foreign markets to replace a dwindling US demand. Says the plasma company president, "I'd say 70 to 80 percent is going overseas. There's a good market for it over there, and they don't ask where it came from."

FDA finally requires testing of donor blood. Tainted blood distribution will continue inside the US until 1986. Thereafter, contaminated blood stocks will still be shipped from US companies to other countries.

Prosecuting attorney Wayne Matthews, after a two month state police probe, finds no evidence of drug trafficking in the Arkansas prison system. The allegation is that HMA employees are diverting drugs from the department's pharmacy and selling them to inmates, and that prisoners who 'knew too much' about drug trafficking were killed or allowed to die. "There's just absolutely no evidence whatsoever," says Matthews.

JANUARY 1986

The Corrections board agrees to have HMA's contract reviewed by outside parties. A media account notes that "HMA has been frequently in the news lately because of allegations by inmates of improper medical treatment." Among the charges: HMA hired a Mississippi doctor who was refused a permanent license in Arkansas. The doctor had lost his Mississippi license for "habitual personal use of narcotic drugs."

The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports: "Governor Bill Clinton recently asked the Department to review health care services provided by HMA after allegations were raised that several inmates died because of a lack of medical care and that the leg of at least one inmate was amputated as a result of improper care. Department Director A. L. (Art) Lockhart, who earlier said HMA was doing a 'satisfactory' job, said Thursday a review of HMA could reveal some problems. ~~~ During the discussion of HMA and the allegations that have been made against it, [Corrections] Board member Don Smith of Pine Bluff excused himself because his law firm represents HMA."

MARCH 1986

Clinton tells a radio audience that there is no solution to problems with running a prison, only the process of dealing with the problems as they arise. He also says that "there is no evidence of systematic abuse for which the administration is responsible that I can see. If I did, I'd try to do something about it."

State Representative Bobby Glover charges that inmates are forced to participate in homosexual activities, that there have been gang rapes, that marijuana is openly smoked and that "home brew" is being sold for $7 to $10 a gallon. He disputes a recent prison department report that claimed only 6 per cent of the inmate population was participating in illicit drug use. Glover says he also is looking into reports of gambling, the theft and personal use of department property by employees, bid rigging, three questionable deaths, the lack of medical services, the physical abuse of inmates by guards and other prison officials, and bribes to obtain work release assignments or favorable classification.

Sandra Kurjiaka, director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Arkansas, says that there is a "real slavery problem" in the state correction department and that changes need to be made. Kurjiaka says an attitude exists that allows inmates to be raped and brutalized and that it exists with the consent of the governor, the correction board and the public.

APRIL 86

Clinton tells State Police chief Tommy Goodwin to begin a full scale investigation into reports of criminal conduct within the prison system. Says he finds them "very disturbing." Clinton makes his announcement after meeting for an hour with Goodwin and Rep. Glover. "Rep. Glover has communicated to me and Col. Goodwin some very serious allegations." Clinton says the state police "has resources" to investigate and Goodwin promises to assign at least eight investigators.

MAY 1986

Stories circulate about an alleged $25,000 bribe being paid to a prison board official to obtain a new contract for HMA. One witness tells the state police that the HMA board was angry about the extortion. This is all denied in a series of state police interviews with HMA and prison officials. It is claimed that the story arose from the attorney Richard Mays being hired for that same amount to serve for two years as an ombudsman for HMA. No contract or other written evidence of this agreement is ever produced.

What did Mays do in this job? According to HMA medical director Francis Henderson in a state police interview, "Mr Mays has thus far performed his duties in a very capable manner. He has met with us on three or four occasions and has mediated in some problem areas we have had. He has met with inmates and worked out some difficulties they had in the form of grievances with medical treatment services."

Henderson also describes his efforts to obtain a buyer for the plasma: "Historically this [was] the worst possible time to do it. I called all over the world and finally got one group in Canada that would take the contract."

Corrections board chair Woodson Walker is also interviewed by state police. According to the interview notes, he states that "he had had direct contacts with Governor Clinton throughout the selection process and that the Governor was deeply concerned with HMA's past performance and the deficiencies found by both the State Health Department and the Arkansas State Police Investigator of [sic] late 1984." Asked by Clinton for his recommendation, Walker states that after "taking everything into prospective [sic] he advised the Governor that he had decided to go with HMA ~~~ but only if a safeguard in the form of an ombudsman was included. The ombudsman was completely my idea and Governor Clinton advised me that he definitely approved. I was asked to make several suggestions as to who this ombudsman might be and among others recommended Judge Richard Mays and Judge David Hale, both of Little Rock. Hale was white and Mays was black but races was not a major consideration in these recommendations. As it turned out, Judge Hale declined. . . "

Hale would later become famous in the Whitewater scandal. Mays would also crop up again several times in the Clinton saga. A long-time Clinton supporter, he would gain posts both on the state supreme court and on the prison board. More curiously, he would show up as David Hale's attorney when the FBI got a subpoena to raid Hale's files for Whitewater documents -- issued on July 20, 1993, the day Vincent Foster died. [For yet another Mays link to Clinton, jump to 1994]

From state police notes of an interview with former Cummins guard Jackie Cummings:

"Jackie Cummings further stated that he had been dismissed from his job at the Cummins Unit because he had not been a 'team player.' When asked to provide additional information that would help investigators look into a situation such as his, Cummings stated that he would say no further, but that he only wants to 'get my job back.' Cummings advised both investigators that he had gone to the Office of Governor Bill Clinton and had met with him personally and was told by Clinton that he could do nothing about the situation at the Cummins Unit because it would cause him political harm."

Leonard Dunn, president of HMA, is interviewed by state police. Investigator S. R. Probasco notes that Dunn explained that he "was the financial portion of the corporation as well as the political arm. Dunn advised that he had been a former member of the State Claims commission under Governor Pryor and that he was close to Governor Clinton as well as the majority of state politicians presently in office. Mr. Dunn explained that he was very fond of politics and that he was very active.

"Dunn stated to these investigators that the entire matter of trying to obtain a contact for HMA was considered to him to be part of negotiation and not in any form of pressure by the State Corrections Board or the Governor's Office. When asked specifically about contacts from the Governor's Office, Mr. Dunn stated that he did have conversations with both Governor Clinton and Mrs. Betsey Wright to assure them that HMA wanted to what was right. ~~~ Dunn stated that he was advised that the Governor's office was very concerned about problems HMA was having but was told to compete like anyone else if they wanted the penitentiary contract."

Incidentally, Dunn is chair of a holding company that will later purchase two branches of Jim McDougal's failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan Association. He will also be named to the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission.

JUNE 27, 1986

The Institute for Law and Policy Planning, asked by the corrections board in March to study allegations of malfeasance in the prison system, presents its report to Governor Clinton and the board. The report states that that HMA has "consistently failed to provide the management system and medical services specifically called for in the contract." It also states that HMA and ADC "have only recently developed protocol and procedures for handling AIDS cases, and are currently developing a refined approach to AIDS screening and testing." Among numerous deficiencies, ILLP finds HMA has failed to provide the required number of doctor hours, the head of HMA is too overcommitted to give proper medical supervision, the enforcement of the medical contract has been inadequate, the program "fails to meet many significant professional standards," HMA has not followed state requirements, it has used inmates in prohibited medical jobs, and its record-keeping has been lacking."

JULY 30 1986

HMA is cleared of wrong-dong by the State Police. Prison officials are charged with just two misdemeanors and one felony.

JULY 31, 1986

The corrections board finds HMA in violation of its two year contract and placed on 90-day probation. The contract will eventually be taken over by Pine Bluffs Biologicals.

AUGUST 1986

Clinton decides not to ask A.L. "Art" Lockhart -- director of the state prison system -- to resign. He also denies being directly involved in the renewal of the contract for HMA. He says he didn't talk with Dunn until after the decision was made to give HMA the contract again. All he told Dunn, Clinton claims, is that HMA should be willing to accept an outside monitor and should work to improve patient care.

Rep. Glover, who has asked for Lockhart's resignation, says he has shown "a complete lack of administrative abilities." Clinton refuses to respond to Glover saying he should have taken the matter up with the Board of Corrections. He said he had "bent over backwards to try accommodate" Glover and accuses him of refusing to accept the state police investigation because "he had decided how it was suppose to come out before it was done."

1987

The last year improperly treated blood and plasma is distributed in Canada. The government provides compensation for harmed patients.

1989

The Committee of Ten Thousand -- named for the estimated 10,000 Americans infected with HIV by the blood industry -- is formed. Writing in POZ seven years later, COTT's president Corey Dubin says, "For years the manufacturers of blood products and the regulators at the FDA persuaded the hemophilia community as well as the general public that their infections were a 'tragic yet unavoidable mistake.' We now know that this is absolutely not the case and that doing business as usual from 1982 to 1985 consigned thousands of people with hemophilia to the ravages of AIDS. ~~~ Internal drug company memos demonstrate that officials understood the impact that blood tainted by this pathogen could have on people with hemophilia as early as mid-1982, but they failed to warn either our doctors or us. The industry was also targeting for plasma collection groups with a high incidence of hepatitis B -- gay men and prisoners -- that the CDC had by then identified as likely to have AIDS."

MAY 1993

Two separate tainted blood probes -- one by a California investigator and another by the Canadian government -- lead to the door of the Arkansas governor's office, now occupied by Jim Guy Tucker. Both are informed that all the governor's papers were removed when he left office and that they should contact the White House legal counsel's office. What happens next is not known but presumably they make contact with Vince Foster, the man in the legal counsel's office who knew Arkansas and who had been involved in the prison system and who may, at one point, have represented HMA.

JULY 1993

Vince Foster dies under mysterious circumstances.

A day or two after Foster's death, the New York Post will report much later, someone calls a little-known phone number at the White House counsel's office where Mr. Foster worked. "The man said he had some information that might be important," writes columnist Maggie Gallagher, who did not name her source or identify the official who took the call. "Something had upset Vince Foster greatly just days before he died. Something about 'tainted blood' that both Vince Foster and President Clinton knew about, this man said."

1994

Richard Mays, the "ombudsman" in the 1980s prison health scandal, crops up again, as described in a report from the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee:

"Charlie Trie was first solicited to contribute to the DNC in connection with the June 22, 1994, Presidential Gala in Washington, D.C. Trie was solicited to give $100,000 to the DNC, even though he had never made any significant political contributions previously. No one at the DNC demonstrated any concern about taking $100,000 from an obscure Arkansas restaurateur with little apparent wealth. Trie was rewarded with an immediate entree into the world of Washington insiders and presidential intimates, and the DNC was rewarded with badly-needed campaign cash.

"Trie was solicited to make his first contributions to the DNC by Richard Mays, a close friend of the President from Arkansas. Mays had been appointed to the Arkansas bench by Governor Clinton, and was also a longtime major DNC donor and fundraiser. Mays claims that he knew Trie from patronizing his restaurant in Little Rock. Mays claimed not to recall the exact circumstances of his solicitation of Trie, but did state that he 'had the distinct impression that [Trie] was in a position to contribute, and wanted to make a contribution.' Mays says he based his conclusion that Trie was in a 'position to contribute' to the DNC on the fact that Trie was traveling between Little Rock and Washington, D.C.:

"Question: When you say "in a position to contribute," do you mean he had sufficient money to contribute?

"Mays: I felt he did.

"Question: And how did you get that impression?

"Mays: I don't know how I got that impression, but frequently, he seemed like he was traveling extensively, you know, I knew he owned that Chinese restaurant down there, and he apparently had engaged in some business, other business interests. I really didn't have a specific judgment that, in fact, he could, but I certainly thought it was worth talking to him about it.

***

"Question: Would you ever see him anywhere other than D.C. or Little Rock?
"Mays: I don't recall that I have. I mean, I am not saying I haven't, but I don't recall."

"Mays asked Trie what he could contribute, and Trie told him $100,000. Mays claims that he was not surprised by Trie's offer of $100,000, even though this was the largest contribution he had ever solicited. Trie's $100,000 contribution was used for the DNC's Health Care Campaign, which was a public campaign to promote the President's health care legislative proposal.

"At this point, Mays claimed he still had no concern that a political novice with little apparent wealth had pledged $100,000 to the DNC. Rather than conducting any background research of Trie, or looking into the source of Trie's funds, he introduced Trie to Terry McAuliffe, then the Finance Chairman of the DNC. Mays set up a breakfast meeting between McAuliffe and Trie. At this meeting, Trie confirmed that he would make a $100,000 contribution to the DNC, and asked only that he be prominently seated at the June 22 gala. When asked if he ever had a concern about the source of Trie's contributions, Mays responded, 'Why would I have some concern?'"

1994

Arkansas finally stops selling prisoner's plasma.

1995

Four blood company officials are convicted in Germany of distributing HIV tainted blood and derivatives. The government admits a cover-up. The former owner of a plasma testing lab goes on trial for murder in the deaths of three people treated with AIDS-tainted blood products.

1996

Japan, which has never discarded its contaminated blood and plasma, criminally charges a pharmaceutical company and a government adviser for the distribution of tainted blood matter.

1999

"This I know. Without the governor's support and protection, this disease-ridden system would have been shut down by 1982" -- Mike Galster to Suzi Parker

TAINTED BLOOD

While the US media continues to ignore the 1980s blood scandal involving Clinton's Arkansas prison system, at least four countries -- France, Japan, Germany and Switzerland -- have engaged in high profile prosecution of public and private figures responsible for similar deadly practices. A former prime minister and two members of his cabinet are currently on trial in France on charges of manslaughter for the mishandling of blood supplies. It is believed that possibly 4,500 persons died there because of contaminated blood.

In Canada, where the Arkansas blood wound up, an estimated 2,000 recipients of blood and related products got the AIDS virus between 1980 and 1985. At least 60,000 Canadians were infected with the hepatitis C virus between 1980 and 1990.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has a staff of 24 working on the case. So far, investigators have interviewed about 600 people including in the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands. According to the Ottawa Citizen, the team has more than 30,000 documents

TAINTED BLOOD

While working at the White House, the ubiquitous Linda Tripp stumbled on something she wasn't meant to know anything about. She received a phone call from someone who mentioned the "tainted blood issue." The phrase meant nothing to Tripp and when she tried to find out more from a White House computer, the database denied her access. Testifying in a Judicial Watch deposition recently, Tripp said, "It had been alarming to me that when I tried to enter data from a caller that I was working with on a tainted blood issue, that every time I entered a word that had to do with this particular issue, it would flash up either the word 'encrypted' or 'password required' or something to indicate the file was locked."

At the time, Tripp was working as executive assistant to Bernard Nussbaum, chief White House counsel. Also on the staff: deputy counsel Vince Foster. The Ottawa Citizen has since learned that Foster had tried to protect the Arkansas firm shipping tainted blood from prison inmates in a lawsuit. The New York Post has also reported that Foster may have been worried about the tainted-blood scandal at the time of his death, citing a mysterious phone call about the matter shortly after Foster died.

The Citizen notes that W. J. Clinton was governor of Arkansas "when the Canadian blood supply was contaminated in the mid-'80s. He was generally familiar with the operations of now-defunct Health Management Associates, the Arkansas firm that was given a contract by Mr. Clinton's own state administration to provide medical care to prisoners. In the process, HMA was also permitted by the state to collect prisoners' blood and sell it elsewhere.

"HMA's president in the mid-1980s, Leonard Dunn, was a personal friend of Mr. Clinton's and a political ally. Later, Mr. Dunn was a Clinton appointee to the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission and he was among the senior members of Mr. Clinton's 1990 gubernatorial re-election team.

"The contaminated prisoners' plasma is believed to have been infected with HIV and hepatitis C. Any information linking Mr. Foster to HMA and its blood program is bound to raise more questions about how much Mr. Clinton knew."

OTTAWA CITIZEN

FRENCH OFFICIALS HIT WITH CHARGES
IN CASE ECHOING ARKANSAS BLOOD SCANDAL

In a case with strong echoes of the Arkansas deadly blood scandal, a former French prime minister (now speaker of the lower house) and two other former cabinet members are on trial for manslaughter and criminal negligence. The case, like the Arkansas one, stems from the handling of government blood supplies in the mid-1980s, permitting HIV-tainted blood to be used. Former Prime Minister Laurent Fabius and the others are accused of letting unsterilized blood remain in supplies used to treat hemophiliacs for several months and negligence in enforcing screening regulations. About 4,000 persons became infected with virus and some 40% have since died.

The seriousness of the French action is in stunning contrast to the blasé reaction in this country to accounts of deadly blood being shipped out of the Arkansas prison system during the Clinton regime in the mid-80s. Although the story has gotten a lot of attention in Canada -- where the blood ended up -- and while about 1,000 hemophiliacs have filed a $660 million class action suit in Toronto over the shipments, American corporate media have suppressed the story.

Those involved in the commercial operation that sold deadly blood from Arkansas prisoners had close ties to the Clinton machine.

JANUARY 1999

HMM. . .
[From the Judicial Watch deposition of Linda Tripp]

Q Now the bit about the screen flashing up encrypted, Mr. Klayman asked you, again this is on page 139, is that an accurate recitation of what you told Lucianne Goldberg and you responded no.

A No, it's not. Let me just clarify, it's not that, it appears to be a compilation of two different issues confused in the recitation. The word encrypted, if I used it at all, did not have to do with FBI files. It had to do with another issue on Deb Gorham's machine when it was located in the West Wing prior to its being moved. What I had told Lucianne Goldberg at the time was that it had been alarming to me that when I tried to enter data from a caller that I was working with on a tainted blood issue, that every time I entered a word that had to do with this particular issue, it would flash up either the word encrypted or password required or something to indicate the file was locked.

BLOOD VICTIMS COMING TO DC

Canadian tainted-blood victims, so far ignored by the American media, are coming to Washington next month to demand an investigation into how contaminated blood from Arkansas and Louisiana got into their country's supply. The Ottawa Citizen reports:

"As well, they will announce they are exploring the possibility of suing
those in the U.S. who played a role -- including the companies that
collected the blood and the state governments that allowed it to happen.

"Their actions come in the wake of a series of investigative stories by the
Citizen last fall that revealed how a U.S. firm with links to President
Bill Clinton collected tainted blood from Arkansas prison inmates and sold
it abroad."

DECEMBER 1998

THE ARKANSAS BLOOD SCANDAL

Among blacked-out stories about Clinton is the tale of how his Arkansas prison system sold tainted blood to Canadian sources well after inmate-originated blood was banned by American blood companies. Some 7,000 Canadians have died or are expected to as a result of contaminated blood, some of it from the Arkansas prison system.

According to Mara Leveritt in the Arkansas Times, in 1984, "the U.S. FDA revoked the [Arkansas Department of Corrections'] license for manufacturing source plasma, citing a litany of potential hazards. Among other things, the FDA said that HMA, the Arkansas company administering the program, was using inmates who had been previously disqualified because of a history of hepatitis; had failed to note on the plasma whether testing had been done for signs of hepatitis and syphilis; kept inaccurate and incomplete records; altered records; and had shown willful disregard of standards. The license was quickly reinstated, however, and the bleeding of inmates continued.

"By the end of the 1980s, all U.S. prison systems had quit drawing inmate plasma-- all, that is, except Arkansas's. When I interviewed John Byus, the ADC's medical director, in February 1991, I asked him how long the department intended to continue the practice, in light of the fact that the National Hemophilia Foundation, the International Red Cross, and the World Health Organization all considered the risks inherent in it too great. Byus replied, 'We plan to stick with it to the last day, to the last drop we're able to sell.' Our state ended the program later that year, but not from any sense of responsibility. The scandal had left its mark. There was simply no one left on earth willing to buy what we had to sell."

One year later, Bill Clinton, then governor of a state with the greatest number of inmate complaints in the country, began running for president. Clinton had shown far more impatience than concern with inquiries into prison conditions, claiming that they had been "studied to death." He also tried to bring a state police investigation of the prison system to a quick end saying in words whose spirit would become familiar in another context, "I told them to get it done and get it over with." Further, a couple of those most closely connected to the prison scandal were close to Clinton including Leonard Dunn, who served as president of the blood company with the prison contract. Dunn was a senior member of Clinton's 1990 gubernatorial campaign and bought Jim McDougal's Guaranty Savings and Loan that same year.

Proving the persistence of redemption, by far the best American media story we've seen is in the heretofore heavily pro-Clinton Salon Magazine.

SALON MAGAZINE ARTICLE
http://www.salon1999.com/news/

NOVEMBER 1998

TAINTED BLOOD FOR "POCKET MONEY"

The men who ran the 1980s tainted blood program in Arkansas have told the Ottawa Citizen that the program was justified because the inmate-donors needed "pocket money."

Writes Mark Kennedy: "That excuse has sparked outrage from Canadian victims who received the prison plasma which is believed to have been infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and with hepatitis C."

"I don't really feel that we did anything wrong," said John Byus, medical director for the Arkansas Department of Corrections. "Does our conscience bother us? I'm sorry, I think our conscience was led by the reality of what we were trying to do. The reality was trying to maintain a program."

Dr. Francis "Bud" Henderson, medical director of Health Management Associates (HMA), the private firm that ran the blood program for the state, told Kennedy there were concerns prisoners' morale would be harmed if they couldn't donate.

Although the tainted blood story has been ignored in the US, it is a major scandal in Canada and the target of an investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned in the early 80s that prison plasma carried a high risk of being contaminated. Says Kennedy, "At the request of the FDA, U.S. companies that fractionate blood products stopped buying prison blood in late 1982. But HMA found a willing buyer in a Montreal blood broker which resold it to Toronto-based Connaught Laboratories. From there, the plasma was pooled and turned into a special blood product and then sent to the Canadian Red Cross, which distributed it to hundreds of hemophiliacs.

"The prison-plasma pipeline was suddenly capped in the summer of 1983 when
it was discovered that plasma from several Arkansas prisoners should not
have been collected. .... The products were recalled, but not quickly enough, leaving 3,933 vials to be injected into the arms of unsuspecting hemophiliacs. The Red Cross immediately cancelled the Connaught contract."

Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas at the time the tainted blood was being collected from the state's inmates.

OTTAWA CITIZEN
http://www.ottawacitizen.com

OCTOBER 1998

BAD BLOOD

Canadian media, including the Calgary Sun and Ottawa Citizen, are reporting that tainted blood from Arkansas prisons made its way to a Montreal blood broker in the 1980s when Bill Clinton was governor. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating. At the time, American sources were not accepting prisoners' blood because of possible HIV contamination.

OTTAWA CITIZEN
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/national/980911/1996882.html

The tale of how contaminated blood got from Arkansas prisons to Canada in the mid-1980s continues to stir interest north of us . . . . Latest from the Ottawa Citizen: Vince Foster apparently represented the company involved in the blood operation in at least one matter. . . And the New York Post's Maggie Gallagher, says a source who asked not to be identified informed her that a day or two after Foster died someone had called a little-known phone number at the White House and said something had upset Vince Foster greatly just days earlier: "Something about 'tainted blood' that both Vince Foster and President Clinton knew about, this man said.'" The story meant nothing to Gallagher until the Canadian blood saga broke.