DOWNSIDE LEGACY AT TWO DEGREES OF PRESIDENT CLINTON
SECTION: THE STORY OF A CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE
SUBSECTION: TAINTED BLOOD
TAINTED BLOOD SCANDAL
Freeper Summary: ". Briefly stated, Bill Clinton, while governor, knowingly authorized, protected, and was in some manner paid off by, an appalling scheme by "Friends of Bill" to harvest and sell contaminated blood and plasma from Cummins prison farm near Grady, Arkansas. The scheme continued throughout his governorship in defiance of sound medical practice, numerous warnings and flagrant violations of FDA regulations. Tainted blood from Cummins infected literally millions of people with HIV (the AIDS virus) and potentially lethal Hepatitis C (20%-25% fatality rate) all over the world -- Canada, Japan, England, Ireland, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Africa and not least, the United States. Clinton and his partners netted millions from it annually. Vincent W. Foster is thought to have been the Clintons' "bagman," and there is evidence that the tainted blood disaster played a direct role in his still mysterious death. Free Republic broke this story world-wide, in August, and maintains a complete archive of the now-mountainous, and damning, evidence at: Budge's Tainted Blood Scandal links ."
New York Post 9/25/98 Maggie Gallagher "Can I tell you a little story? I warn you, I don't know how it ends yet. Maybe I never will. Once upon a time - in fact a day or two after Vince Foster died - a man called the White House Counsel's Office. "This was not a line that kooks typically rang us up on," my source told me. Lunatics call the main office number. This guy called one of Vince's assistants directly. The man said he had some information that might be important. Something had upset Vince Foster greatly just days before he died. Some thing about "tainted blood" that both Vince Foster and President Clinton knew about, this man said. "I'm only telling you this now because Vince Foster was very distressed about this only days before his death," the mysterious caller (whose name I am withholding) said. "I'm not saying this caused his suicide. I'm only saying it might have contributed to his distress and I thought someone should know." The White House Counsel's office didn't pay much attention. "Probably a kook', they agreed around the office. Probably. Except that when his computer name was typed into the computer log of phone calls for Vince, something strange happened. The computer flashed "password required" or some such phrase indicating a special code was needed to open that file. "Aw, probably just a computer glitch, "Bernie Nussbam, then chief White House Counsel, said at the time. And so the matter, as far as I know, was dropped. A strange little memory fragment, meaningless in itself, no? Until last week, when a story published in The Ottawa Citizen suddenly jogged it front and center. "HIV BLOOD CAME FROM ARKANSAS JAIL," the head line screamed. Then, The Ottawa Citizen reports, "A U.S. firm with links to President Clinton collected HIV-tainted blood from Arkansas prison inmates in the 1980's and shipped it to Canada, newly uncovered documents reveal... It is like several hundred, perhaps thousands, were infected by the tainted products."."
The Ottawa Citizen 10/4/98 Mark Kennedy ".The controversy over how a U.S. firm collected tainted blood from Arkansas prison inmates and shipped it to Canada has spread to Vince Foster -- U.S. President Bill Clinton's personal confidant who committed suicide in 1993..Now, five years after his mysterious death, two developments have prompted questions about Mr. Foster's knowledge of the U.S. company's prison-blood collection scheme: - There are signs that Mr. Foster tried to protect the company called Health Management Associates (HMA) more than a decade ago in a lawsuit. - And a major U.S. daily newspaper recently reported that Mr. Foster may have been worried about the tainted-blood scandal, which was just emerging as a contentious issue in Canada, when he killed himself in July 1993..Indeed, on Sept. 16 -- eight weeks after Foster's death -- the federal government announced the public inquiry, to be headed by Justice Horace Krever. During the course of his work, Justice Krever unearthed the Arkansas prison- blood collection scheme and wrote about it in his final report last year. However, no mention was made of Mr. Clinton until last month's story in the Citizen, which drew on documents obtained from Arkansas State Police files."
WorldNetdaily 9/29/98 Joseph Farah ".Here's the story: In the early 1980s, while Bill Clinton was serving as governor of Arkansas, his administration awarded a contract to Health Management Associates to provide medical care to the state's prisoners. The president of the company was, naturally, a long-time friend and political ally of Clinton and was later appointed by him to the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission. Later, he was among the senior members of Clinton's 1990 gubernatorial re- election team. As part of the deal HMA struck with Arkansas, in addition to treating the prisoners, the company collected their blood and sold it. Because of the exploding AIDS crisis, U.S. regulations didn't permit the sale of prisoners' blood within the country. But HMA found a willing buyer in Montreal, which brokered a deal with Connaught, a Toronto blood-fractionator, which didn't know the source of the supplies. The blood was distributed throughout Canada by the Red Cross. Sales continued until 1983, when HMA revealed that some of the plasma might be contaminated with the AIDS virus and hepatitis. The blood was also peddled overseas. .Galster charges HMA officials knew the blood was tainted as they sold it to Canada and a half-dozen other foreign countries. He also alleges that Clinton knew of the scheme and likely benefited from it financially. "We now have solid evidence he not only knew about it, but he signed off on it," Galster told the Calgary Sun.."
Ottawa Citizen 9/25/98 Mark Kennedy "His name is not Michael Sullivan, as it says on the book's cover. For months, he has feared for his life and the well-being of his wife and five children if his real name were revealed. But now, Michael Galster has decided to shed his pseudonym in an interview with the Citizen and take his chances. All because, he says, he believes Canadians and Americans must learn who's responsible for one of the worst public-health disasters of the century. Even if it implicates the president of the United States, Bill Clinton. Mr. Galster's book is a fictionalized account of how tainted blood was collected from Arkansas prison inmates in the 1980s and shipped to Canada. He conducted orthopedic clinics in Arkansas state prisons during the era when the blood -- believed to be contaminated with HIV and hepatitis C -- was collected. Today, at age 44, he has a successful private practice, but he still does occasional work for the Arkansas prison system. And he can't shake the memories that keep him up at night.. Mr. Clinton was governor of Arkansas when the Canadian blood supply was contaminated in the mid-'80s. He was familiar with the operations of now-defunct Health Management Associates, the Arkansas firm that was given a contract by Mr. Clinton's administration to provide medical care to prisoners. In the process, HMA was also permitted to collect prisoners' blood and sell it elsewhere. HMA's president in the mid-1980s was Leonard Dunn, a friend and political ally of Mr. Clinton. 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. It's not known how many Canadians contracted HIV from the plasma of Arkansas prisoners, who were paid $ 7 for each unit of blood, although it's likely that several hundred, perhaps several thousand, were infected by the tainted products..Two weeks ago, just as the Citizen was about to publish a report on the prison-blood scheme, Mr. Galster was sticking to the safety of his pseudonym because he felt vulnerable until the media had reported details of the prison-blood story. "Knowing the nature of politics in Arkansas, I felt unsafely exposed. "Anyone reading this will probably think that's a little fantastic. But you have to have lived in the state and in the South to understand what I'm talking about. A lot of things happen to people that try to step outside of the system, which, in this case, I was absolutely doing. ."
WorldNetDaily 10/5/98 Joseph Farah "That's the slogan of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Let's hope it's so. Because this is the one law enforcement agency in the world conducting a criminal investigation into a scandal that could lead them right to the president of the United States. Let's call it "Bloodgate." It's a scandal that threatens to connect the dots between some other "gates" -- including Whitewater and Vincent Foster. To recap what we've already covered, in the early 1980s, HMA, a company headed by Leonard K. Dunn, won a contract to provide medical services to Arkansas state prison inmates. As part of the $3 million deal, HMA was also allowed to collect blood from the prisoners and sell it. That tainted blood, Canadian officials believe, was later responsible for a nationwide outbreak of AIDS and other diseases..It only takes a little probing to see the political connections at play. Dunn was one of Clinton's key political supporters who was awarded not only with a contract for his company, but an appointment to a state business council as well. He also turns out to be the guy who wound up with the assets of Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan following the Whitewater scandal. Small world, huh? Don't be surprised, it gets even smaller. Syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher last week reported that the late White House deputy counsel Vincent Foster may have been connected with the blood scandal. "Once upon a time -- in fact a day or two after Vince Foster died -- a man called the White House counsel's office," she wrote. "'This was not a line that kooks typically rang us up on,' my source told me. Lunatics call the main office number. This guy called one of Vince's assistants directly. "The man said he had some information that might be important. 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.."
Health Canada Web Site 11/26/97 Krever Report on Canadian Blood Scandal ". 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 centres regularly collected from two groups of persons who were at high risk of contracting AIDS: homosexual men and prison inmates. Plasma was collected at centres, 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. (Vol II, pp371- 372) .In 1978, Connaught had made plans to obtain plasma from U.S. plasma centres. It intended to buy the plasma directly from the centres, with its own staff members inspecting each centre before it was approved as a supplier. Beginning in 1980, it inspected the U.S. centres from which it was to receive plasma.. All the plasma was to come from centres licensed by the Food and Drug Administration.One of the centres used by Connaught was in Grady, Arkansas, where the state Department of Corrections had a prison. Aplasma centre, licensed by the Food and Drug Administration, had for several years been operating within the prison, collecting plasma from inmates. In the early 1980s, the Department of Corrections employed Health Management Associates Inc. of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, to manage its centre. In mid-June 1983, Health Management Associates told the Food and Drug Administration that thirty-eight units of plasma, taken from four inmates of the Grady prison, should not have been collected.. 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 thirty-eight units of plasma from the four inmates could transmit AIDS..Health Management Associates eventually decided that it should volun-tarily withdraw the thirty-eight units of plasma, and on 11 August 1983 the Food and Drug Administration concurred.. On 18 August, the Health Protection Branch told Connaught about the problem. This was the first time that Connaught was aware of it.Until this conversation, Connaught had not been aware of the fact that it had been processing plasma collected from prison inmates. The shipping papers accompanying the plasma had not revealed that the centre was located in a prison. They had simply referred to the source as the "ADC Plasma Center, Grady, Arkansas," without any indication that "ADC" stood for "Arkansas Department of Corrections." An inspection report of the Food and Drug Administration that Connaught had received in February 1983 revealed that the centre was in a prison, but it had not been reviewed..In late August 1983, Health Management Associates told the Food and Drug Administration that it had discovered that plasma had been collected from a fifth inmate of the Grady prison who had previously tested positive for hepatitis B. Thirty-four units had been collected from him between July 1982 and May 1983; all had been consigned to Continental Pharma.."
The Village Voice 11/17/98 James Ridgeway regarding Health Management Associates in Arkansas ".As part of the deal, the company was permitted to collect blood at $7 a unit from convicts. Through an unsuspecting Canadian broker, this blood, some of which proved to be HIV-tainted, entered the Canadian blood supply. By that time, the U.S. had ceased using blood from prisons because of reports of widespread drug use and unsafe sex. Leonard Dunn, a close friend and chair of Clinton's gubernatorial reelection finance committee and a Clinton appointee to the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission, was the president of Health Management. According to an article in the Ottawa Citizen, which broke the story last month, internal Arkansas State Police documents describe investigations into charges that the firm provided inadequate treatment to prisoners, along with rumors that Clinton appointees to the prison board demanded a kickback in return for renewing HMA's $3 million health care contract in 1985. Research: Bob Frederick"
Press Journal (Vero Beach, FL) 12/12/98 Paul Craig Roberts ".If news stories trickling out of Canada are true, impeachment is too good for Bill Clinton. Drawing and quartering would be more appropriate. According to these reports, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are conducting a criminal investigation of an illegal blood collection scheme with links to then Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton. During the 1980s, "hot blood" contaminated with hepatitis C and HIV was taken from Arkansas prisoners and sold to Canada, where the plasma ended up in blood products for hemophiliacs. According to Mark Kennedy, an investigative reporter for the Ottawa Citizen, the prisoners' plasma was sold to Canada for about $ 50 a unit, and the revenues were split between Health Management Associates, the private firm that ran the blood program for Cummins State Prison in Grady, Arkansas, and the Arkansas Department of Corrections. Allegations of Gov. Clinton's involvement surfaced on the Canadian TV program "Bynon" on Oct. 15. According to Dr. Michael Galster, a doctor in private practice who treated Cummins' prisoners for the state, the Federal Drug Administration shut down Health Management Associates three times during the 1980s for its improper practices. The blood program, however, was too profitable to stay shut. Each time, HMA was able to regroup and continue the blood program. According to Galster, a 1986 public inquiry into HMA's operations produced a deposition that HMA was kept in business by Gov. Clinton's intervention in its behalf. According to Galster, one deposition alleges that Clinton told HMA officials, who boasted of their contacts to him, that if they would pay $ 100,000 to a designated judge, "he would see to it that their contract would be renewed for the next two years." Galster said news reports show that Clinton defended HMA on dozens of occasions from media attacks on its practices...At any rate, Galster's evidence has reinvigorated a debate and an investigation that the Canadian government had hoped was over. Ottawa reporter Mark Kennedy shows no signs of letting go of the story. Recently, he interviewed two of the Arkansas officials who ran the prison plasma business. He was stunned when they defended the business as a way of providing prisoners with "pocket money." Galster said prisoners have told him, and are willing to testify, that they were paid in narcotics for their blood. Some prisoners were so drained of plasma that they were left on the point of death, a condition that Galster says is cited in the FDA reports. Canadian reporters are amazed that their U.S. counterparts have ignored this story.."
SALON 12/24/98 Suzi Parker ". Even the residents of Grady, Ark., call it "godforsaken." It's an enclave of poverty where rampant drug dealing contributes at least as much to the bleak economy as the main legitimate business -- farming -- does. But looming among the rows of cotton outside this dismal Arkansas River Delta town, there used to be a more profitable form of agriculture: human plasma farming. 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 prison orderly to puncture a vein and watch the clear bags fill with blood. Administrators then sold the blood to brokers, who in turn shipped it to other states, 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. In a year when Arkansas scandals dating back to his governorship have returned to haunt Clinton, this one nearly toppled the government -- of Canada. Arkansas' prison-blood business created a health crisis in Canada that nearly brought down the Liberal Party government last spring. At least 42,000 Canadians have been infected with hepatitis C, and thousands more with AIDS, thanks to poorly screened plasma. Some of it has been traced back to the Cummins prison in Arkansas. More than 7,000 Canadians are expected to die as a result of the blood scandal. .."
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and various 8/8/96 "..In 1986, the Arkansas State Police conducted a review of Health Management Associates (HMA) of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The review was ordered as part of a larger review of the Arkansas prison system by then Governor Bill Clinton after State Representative Bobby Glover of Carlisle reported charges made to him in interviews with prison inmates. The prisoners alleged homosexual rape among the inmates and widespread corruption -- bid rigging, theft, gambling and the misappropriation of state equipment -- among prison officials. Since 1980, HMA had held a contract to provide medical services to the prison system. HMA had also been in charge of a program of harvesting blood plasma from inmates. By any objective measure, their record had been troubling. In 1984, the Food and Drug Administration suspended the plasma program at the Grady prison, citing many egregious health violations, including overbleeding, use of donors infected with hepatitis, and inadequate procedures of storage and record-keeping. Nonetheless, HMA had its $3- million contract renewed that same year. .We now know that the actions of HMA, the company Mays was purportedly monitoring, were more sinister still. As those who have followed the story of the Blood Trail know, in 1997 a report was issued by a Canadian national commission headed by Justice Horace Krever. The Krever commission reported that thirty-eight units of blood had been collected by HMA from four inmates who had previously tested positive for hepatitis B. By 1983, an association had been confirmed between hepatitis B and AIDS. Four of the thirty-eight units had been shipped to Connaught in Canada. The other thirty-four units were sold to companies in Japan, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland. As a result of tainted blood sales, hemophiliacs and transfusion recipients around the world were infected with HIV and hepatitis C.."Details and Links
Investor's Business Daily 12/29/98 ".Clinton allies tied to Arkansas Inmate scandal (their title) This scandal begins in Canada, where thousands have been infected with HIV or hepatitis C from donated blood. Online magazine Salon says some donations came from Arkansas inmates under an '80's-era program administered by, among others, two Bill Clinton allies - Leonard Dunn an Richard Mays. Ex-con John Schock told Salon even ill inmates gave blood. The prison system used blood proceeds to buy medical equipment. Also, while Clinton was governor, the FDA cracked down on the program and shut it down for a year over safety violations.."
Progressive Review 1/15/99 Sam Smith from Linda Tripp Deposition ".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.."
Washington Weekly 1/18/99 Timothy Wheeler ".The crucial question in the Vincent Foster case, as the Wall Street Journal observed almost immediately, is not murder versus suicide, but WHY Foster died. What issue could be so important? Why was Foster getting a full-court press from the Arkansas inner circle -- Webster Hubbell, Bruce Lindsey, Patsy Thomasson, Marsha Scott, Bill Clinton himself -- at the White House just before he died? In August, 1998, five years after his death, information began to come to light that gives us a completely new and I believe correct answer to that vexing question, why? The story is known in broad outline if not in every last detail. It is richly documented from criminal investigations, news stories and eyewitness accounts. It is an Arkansas story of plain motive and ordinary human dimension. Unlike hard-to-believe spy stories, it "fits," and Foster is known to have been involved -- for years. None of this information was known to the Fiske or Starr investigations. One tantalizing clue emerged just days ago, in a deposition by Linda Tripp. Here are two recent pieces of the puzzle. Note the reference to "tainted blood" in both. From a column by Maggie Gallagher in the New York Post, September 25, 1998:.[details and background]"
Washington Weekly 1/24/99 Ricki Magnussen Marvin Lee by Freeper Brian Mosely ".Few Americans took note of the small 1995 Associated Press story that linked tainted blood responsible for the death of hundreds of Canadians to Arkansas prisons. In Arkansas, however, a medical practitioner who had worked inside the prison system for years realized the horrible implications. The only way he could tell the story was to write a fictionalized account under a pseudonym. When it was published last year, the story still did not make much of an impact. It was not until he revealed his name and his first-hand knowledge of what had happened in Arkansas prisons more than a decade ago that the story hit the Internet in full force..."
Washington Weekly 1/25/99 Ricki Magnussen and Marvin Lee ".Few Americans took note of the small 1995 Associated Press story that linked tainted blood responsible for the death of hundreds of Canadians to Arkansas prisons. In Arkansas, however, a medical practitioner who had worked inside the prison system for years realized the horrible implications. The only way he could tell the story was to write a fictionalized account under a pseudonym. When it was published last year, the story still did not make much of an impact. It was not until he revealed his name and his first-hand knowledge of what had happened in Arkansas prisons more than a decade ago that the story hit the Internet in full force. What has led the recent interest is the potential involvement of then-Governor Bill Clinton. "His name will come into it and the truth is that without his support this group would have been shut down in 1982 when the FDA first came down on them," Michael Galster, author of "Blood Trail " says on Clinton's involvement. "And if that had happened, if they had ceased cooperation in '82 thousands and thousands of people would have been spared. Now that is the truth. So is he responsible? Yes. Yes he's responsible and so are a lot of other people." Why hasn't this story been investigated long ago? Galster offers a possible explanation: "There are just as many Republicans involved in it as Democrats and that's one of the reasons why the Republicans haven't picked up the story because they don't know what their involvement might be." ."
Media Release 1/27/99 Michael McCarthy (group spokesman) Freeper T'wit ".This is major news. Canadian tainted blood victims are suing the blood processing companies that bought diseased blood from Cummins prison farm in Bill Clinton's Arkansas. The struggle to expose the Arkansas tainted blood scheme and to seek justice for thousands of victims has reached the courts in Canada. And Bill Clinton is in the crosshairs. Let's hope a similar suit is launched in this country soon, to compel Clinton and his cronies to face the consequences of this appalling crime.."
AP David Crary 1/28/99 Freeper Brian Mosely ".Canadian hemophiliacs launched a class- action lawsuit Thursday against the federal government and two companies for using tainted plasma from U.S. prisoners in Canadian blood products. The lawsuit, seeking $655 million, contends that the high-risk plasma collected at prisons in Louisiana and Arkansas was used in Canada even after U.S. blood-product companies stopped buying prison plasma in early 1983. David Harvey, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, estimated that 1,000 Canadian hemophiliacs contracted hepatitis C between 1980 and 1985 from tainted blood imported from the United States. "This was blood the Americans refused to use themselves, but which Canada somehow deemed acceptable,'' Harvey said..."
Ottawa Citizen 1/31/99 Mark Kennedy ".The web of intrigue in the Arkansas prison blood scandal has grown to include a more famous name: Linda Tripp. Tantalizing new evidence that has surfaced on the story --now dubbed "Bloodgate" by Americans who regularly discuss it through Internet chat groups -- has sparked even more questions about what U.S. President Bill Clinton knew about tainted blood shipped to Canada in the early 1980s. Mrs. Tripp, a key figure in the Monica Lewinsky affair, said in a sworn deposition this month that in the course of her duties in the White House several years ago, she once took a phone call from someone about a "tainted blood issue." When Mrs. Tripp tried to obtain more information on the subject from a White House computer data base, she was denied access to the files. The latest information stems from a sworn deposition Mrs. Tripp gave Jan. 13 in a civil lawsuit.Working in the same office at the time was deputy counsel Vince Foster who committed suicide in 1993. Mr. Foster, a boyhood friend of Mr. Clinton's, was one of the president's most trusted advisers. As a corporate lawyer in Arkansas, he worked in the same firm as Hillary Rodham Clinton and they became close colleagues.. Last fall, as part of a series of investigative stories, the Citizen revealed two developments that prompted new questions about Mr. Foster's knowledge of how a private firm, with the consent of the Arkansas government, collected inmates' plasma and shipped it to Canada.."
The Wanderer 2/11/99 Paul Likoudis ". On Feb. 12th - the day that the U.S. Senate is expected to wrap up its impeachment trial of William Jefferson Clinton - lawyers representing thousands of Canadian "tainted-blood" victims will hold a press conference at the National Press Club to demand a U.S. Justice Department investigation into how their clients contracted AIDS or hepatitis C... At the same time, Canada's national police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, is pleading for any information from Canadians, Americans, and Europeans which will assist it in its "full-scale criminal investigation" to determine why and how contaminated blood purchased from Arkansas prisoners was sold to Canadian blood companies after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had ordered U.S. blood companies not to purchase blood donated by prisoners because of the high risk of AIDS and hepatitis C. For almost the entire term of Clinton's presidency, the tainted blood issue has been a major political and health story in Canada, leading to a federally chartered investigation led by Justice Horace Krever to determine how and why the contaminated blood entered the country... What Justice Krever discovered during his three-year investigation was that officials of Health Management Associates in Arkansas - all Clinton cronies - unable to unload their contaminated blood anywhere in the world, found a Montreal-based broker, Continental Pharma, to accept thousands of liters of the prisoners' plasma... The Washington Times brought the story to its limited national audience on Dec. 11th with an editorial by Paul Craig Roberts, who led off with this incendiary line: "If news stories trickling out of Canada are true, impeachment is too good for Bill Clinton. Drawing and quartering would be more appropriate." He mentioned that the Canadian police are "conducting a criminal investigation of an illegal blood collection scheme with links to then Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton. During the 1980s, `hot blood' contaminated with hepatitis C and HIV was taken from Arkansas prisoners and sold to Canada, where the plasma ended in blood products for hemophiliacs." .."
The Canadian Press 2/12/99 Dennis Bueckert ".U.S. prisoners were permitted to donate high-risk blood plasma for export partly because it was felt this would help in their rehabilitation, says a spokeswoman for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Business factors may also have played a role in the decision to permit the shipment of prison blood to Canada after its use within the United States was halted in 1982, the official said in an interview Thursday from Washington. "During that time . . . it was seen as a way for prisoners to rehabilitate themselves, they were giving something back to the community by donating their blood," said the official who asked not to be named... There have been numerous reports about irregularities in the blood collection program at the Arkansas Department of Corrections Cummins Unit, in Grady, Ark.. "The FDA found these guys (at the Grady prison) were destroying records and committing serious violations and somehow they got relicensed every time," says Mike McCarthy, an Ontario hemophiliac infected with hepatitis C. "Everybody knew -- the FDA knew these were not good areas for production of fractionated products. They turned a blind eye to repeated violations.".. "
The Washington Weekly 2/15/99 RICKI MAGNUSSEN MARVIN LEE "."Health Management Associates was selling blood from the Arkansas prison system until 1994. Connaught in Canada stopped buying blood and blood plasma from them in 1990. Where did they sell their blood from 1990 to 1994?" asks Steve Grissom, President of the U.S. National Association for Victims of Transfusion- Acquired AIDS (NAVTA). The organization is now trying to establish a direct link between AIDS acquired by its members in the U.S. and tainted blood collected in Arkansas prisons. Because HIV strains can be distinguished by genetic fingerprinting and because blood samples can be stored for many years, it is possible to establish evidence of the origin of an HIV infection.."
Washington Weekly 2/15/99 Ricki Magnussen ".White House National Security Spokesman P. J. Crowley last week responded to allegations that President Clinton had some responsibility for the collection and distribution of tainted blood from Arkansas prisons. "In the early '80s there was no testing for hepatitis C or AIDS, those kind of testing methods came into being much later, so there was no way that the President could have known that the blood was tainted," Crowley told TalkSpot Online. "Whatever the arrangement was between the Arkansas prison system [and] HMA, I would defer to the State of Arkansas to comment." HMA is Health Management Associates, the company that received the lucrative state prison blood collection contracts and helped Clinton's gubernatorial election efforts. Blood Trail  author Michael Galster, who originally brought the focus on President Clinton's role in the unfolding scandal, disagrees. When asked by the Washington Weekly about the White House statement, he said: "It was a stupid statement. Everyone knows that there wasn't a test for AIDS in '83. The question is this: Did Bill Clinton interfere in a corrupt operation? Yes. The only way he can get out of this is to convince the Canadian and American people that he never was Governor of Arkansas. As I see it, he could be guilty in one of two things. 1) It either occurred under his jurisdiction and he didn't care to make the changes to protect his own people and other people or, 2) he was totally involved. And of course we have proof that he was totally involved. That's kind of where we are." .."
Bourque Newswatch 2/14/99 Pierre Bourque Freeper Wallaby ".BOURQUE has also learned that a Press Conference will be held on February 24 at the National Press Club in Washington to demand a federal investigation into the Arkansas-Canada tainted blood scandal. In related news, the White House is now denying Bill Clinton responsibility in what is known south of the border as Bloodgate. And tomorrow's edition of The Washington Weekly will report that as many as 2,000 Americans may also have become infected with tainted Arkansas prison blood, distributed when Bill Clinton was Governor.."
The Ottawa Citizen Mark Kennedy 2/15/99 ".The RCMP and FBI have held discussions about how contaminated plasma from American prisons was shipped to Canada in the 1980s, says a spokesman for Canadian tainted-blood victims. Erma Chapman, president of the Canadian Hemophilia Society, said she was given this information last month by a member of a special task force of Mounties conducting a criminal investigation into the tainted-blood scandal. Ms. Chapman said she was informed by the task force's "victim liaison officer" that Mounties had travelled to the United States and met with representatives of the FBI. She says she was told they discussed a variety of matters, including how plasma was collected from inmates in Arkansas and Louisiana prisons in the early '80s and sold to a blood broker in Montreal.. Next week, Canadian tainted-blood victims will travel to Washington to hold a news conference. They will demand a special investigation by the U.S. Justice Department into how they got bad blood from American prisons.. The Citizen revealed that the firm that collected the plasma from inmates in the Arkansas prison had links to U.S. President Bill Clinton, who was governor of the state in the 1980s.."
Bourque HotNews 2/17/99 Pierre Bourque ".By this time next week, if not sooner, all Hell may break loose on the growing controversy surrounding the drip-drip-drip sale of tainted Arkansas prison blood, a rather innocuous activity undertaken during the heady days of Bill Clinton's Governorship of that saintly state. . That all of this may or not have been condoned by the highest of authorities in Canada and Arkansas will soon come to light. Only now is the issue of tainted prison blood beginning to cause the barest essence of sensation stateside, but one who some in Ottawa suggest may be just the ticket to launch a serious bid for the Leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada and a powerful play for the Prime Ministership of this country. . There is also breaking news that none other than Reform MP Grant Hill, recently back from a spectacular trip to Jordan where he attended the funeral of King Hussein, will be in Washington next Wednesday, February 24, for a press conference at the National Press Club at 1:00 p.m where "representatives for tainted blood victims from Canada will explain in detail how they contracted Hepatitis C and AIDS through blood plasma obtained from U.S. prisons and sold across borders and overseas". . It goes on to explain that "In 1982 the FDA deemed US prison plasma to be too risky for domestic production of hemophilia product. Yet this high-risk prison plasma was sent to Canada and overseas to be used by unsuspecting hemophiliacs. Even AFTER tests were available to detect AIDS and hepatitis in blood plasma, entities in the United States continued the practice of selling high-risk prison blood. The victims of this unsavory activity will plead for a final accounting and restitution from those responsible."."
Washington Weekly 2/21/99 Ricki Magnussen "...By the end of 1982 the Federal Drug Administration recommended that U.S. manufacturers of blood products cease collection and use of prison plasma. In public, American companies agreed to follow the recommendation. Evidence now shows that in private, the policy of these companies was very different. The Washington Weekly has obtained an internal memorandum from a meeting in the Cutter corporation, owned by the German Bayer corporation, which obtained blood from prison collection centers in Arkansas and Louisiana. The memorandum is written by John Hink, one of the directors of research at Cutter and is a recommendation on future collection of donor plasma. In the memo, dated June 6, 1983, John Hink describes a January 4, 1983 meeting which was held to discuss AIDS in relation to the American blood donor system. The meeting was attended by 80 to 100 people from the blood banks, gay rights groups, the Centers for Disease Control, and the FDA. John Hink ends the memorandum with a recommendation for the future collection of plasma for manufacturing blood products: "Take no extraordinary actions (other than #1 above [educational--voluntary exclusion program]) at our two prison centers which supply about 3000 liters/mo. (there are no data to support the emotional arguments that prison plasma collected from adequately screened prisoners is "bad." To exclude such plasma from manufacture of our coagulation product would only be a sop of gratuity to the gay rights and would presage further pressure to exclude plasma collected from the Mexican border and the paid donor)." The memo does not mention the 1982 FDA recommendation to ban collection from prisons...."
Reuters 2/24/99 Maggie Fox "…A group of Canadians who say they were infected with the AIDS virus and hepatitis C from imported U.S. blood in the early 1980s said Wednesday they plan to sue the United States, and perhaps even President Clinton. They say the blood was taken from inmates at prisons in Louisiana and Arkansas during the time that Clinton was Arkansas governor and sold not just to Canada but to other countries. They are also asking the Justice Department to investigate whether prison and health officials acted criminally in failing to screen the blood and warn of its source…."
The Canadian Press 2/24/99 Robert Russo "... U.S. president Bill Clinton will soon be receiving a subpoena from Canadians infected by HIV-tainted blood donated by Arkansas prisoners...."
Reuters 2/25/99 Maggie Fox "...It was March 1983 when Dana Kuhn first started to bleed. He knew he was a haemophiliac but had not needed the donated blood proteins that others with his condition depend on. But in 1983 his luck ran out, and he rushed to the emergency room for an infusion of Factor VIII, one of the blood proteins that can treat haemophilia. "Little to my knowledge, it was infected with both HIV and hepatitis C," Kuhn told a news conference on Wednesday.... On Wednesday, Kuhn's group joined with Canadian haemophiliacs who say they are going to sue U.S. government agencies over contaminated blood that was exported to Canada and given to haemophiliacs there. They plan to target the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and officials in Arkansas and Louisiana who they say should have known that tainted blood was being collected in prisons there for use in blood products. Such officials, they say, may include President Bill Clinton, who was then governor of Arkansas and a friend of the owner of the company that collected the prison plasma...."
Washington Weekley 3/1/99 Ricki Magnussen "...Asked at a press conference whether President Clinton would be named as a defendant in the Bloodgate lawsuit to be filed in U.S. courts, David Harvey, lead attorney for the plaintiffs said: "At this point we intend to seek a deposition from the president. If, as a result of that deposition and other investigations that we make, we find evidence to show that he personally, as opposed to in his capacity as governor of the state, was involved in action that is liable, we will consider naming him as a defendant." ...Author Michael Galster, who spoke at the press conference as well, implied that the President could be hiding key documentary evidence of the blood trail: "He 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 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 implicit information between then-governor Clinton, the director of HMA, and the director of the state prison, Art Lockhart," said Galster. "These [documents] are not available to us. I've tried. That's one of my my pleas that we get access to those documents and that we have his full cooperation in these matters."..."
The Progressive Review UNDERNEWS 2/22/99 Sam Smith Freeper Wallaby "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…."
Washington Weekly 3/8/99 Ricki Magnussen "…Governor Clinton in the early 1980s attended parties at the residence of Arkansas State Prison Director Art Lockhart, says a former official who worked at the prison at the time. The parties were also attended by Bud Henderson, founder and medical director of Health Management Associates, the company that received the lucrative prison blood collection contract from the Arkansas State Prisons. Tainted blood collected on those contracts was shipped to Canada where it infected thousands with hepatitis C and AIDS. Americans may have been infected as well. The account by the prison officer confirms an account given by a former inmate to the Washington Weekly a few weeks ago. He saw Clinton visiting the unsanitary prison plasma collection facility several times. Leonard Dunn of Health Management Associates helped collect money for Clinton's election campaigns. There are allegations that Clinton benefited economically from the collection of the tainted prison blood. The former prison official is afraid for his safety and has spoken to the Washington Weekly on condition of anonymity:…"
HIVNET / USA Today 3/19/99 "...Some 300,000 Americans received hepatitis C-tainted blood transfusions between 1988 and 1992, yet up to 100,000 of those individuals who are still living are unaware of their infection. The editors of USA Today note that "the nation's public health establishment--including the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration, and the surgeon general--has proceeded at a ponderous institutional pace" with regards to notifying these people. The editors condemn public health officials' failure to launch an aggressive public education effort, pointing out that an estimated 4 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C. Only now, they note, is the first coordinated notification effort being started, and that will not be done until 2001 at the least....."
Washington Weekly 4/11/99 Ricki Magnussen "...How could the Arkansas company Health Management Associates (HMA) regain its license to collect blood from Arkansas prisons in 1984 after it had been revoked several months before because of gross medical negligence and mismanagement? That question has attracted renewed interest after Canadians infected by the Arkansas prison blood collected under sub-standard conditions have announced plans for a lawsuit against responsible parties in the U.S. A document obtained by the Washington Weekly may have a bearing on the question. In a 1986 letter responding to questions from the Institute for Law and Policy Planning, HMA chairman Francis 'Bud' Henderson wrote that at the time he operated the Arkansas prison contract, "I was also Medical Director for the National Center for Toxicological Research." .... In July of 1982 the FDA did an inspection of HMA-collected plasma, and reported that prisoners were 'overbled' and that records of hepatitis B testing results of several units of plasma were missing. In 1983 the center was shut down for several months by FDA after a recall of hepatitis B tainted products that had been shipped to Canada. In early 1984 the center's license to operate was revoked by FDA because of several deficiencies in the safety conditions at the center. After a few months FDA relicensed the center and the bleeding of inmates could continue. ....."The big question here is why the HMA plasma facility was allowed to be relicensed. This evidence of Henderson's relationship with the FDA requires serious investigation and draws attention to a contract that might have been unduly influenced by Henderson's relationship with the FDA." "With indications of such a severe conflict of interest there should be a criminal investigation," McCarthy says...."
The Ottawa Citizen 5/11/95 DEBORAH MCDOUGALL; THE CANADIAN PRESS ".... The Red Cross tore up a contract with Connaught Laboratories on Sept. 7, 1983, the same day it found out some of the blood products it distributed came from a state prison in Arkansas, said the former assistant national director of the Red Cross blood transfusion service..... "We've always wondered why so many were getting infected (with the AIDS virus) since we thought our blood was safer because it came from volunteers," said society president Durhane Wong-Rieger, her face flush red with anger. "We feel so betrayed to find out some of the blood that was supposed to be saving lives came from American prisoners who were getting paid to donate." ..."
Freeper reports 5/19/99 "...Mike Galster's Pine Bluff prosthetic clinic is burning tonight. My husband and I just returned from the scene, and it appears to be a major fire, located in the center of the building, and shooting flames high into the air. Neighbors of the clinic said that they were awakened by the sounds of explosions. A policeman on the scene said that a young man who stays overnight at the clinic had to be awakened by police, otherwise, he would not have made it out. Mike was reportedly on his way to the scene...." And "...I talked to Mike Galster. He calls this a "disaster." His immediate concern is to try to get a place set up in a hurry to take care of his patients. "
Pine Bluff Commercial OnLine 5/20/99 George Talbot III "...The Pine Bluff Fire Department is investigating a suspicious fire that caused more than $100,000 in damage to a Pine Bluff business early Wednesday. The department was notified of a fire at Galster's Orthopedic Laboratories Inc., located at 2407 South Cherry Street, just after 12 a.m. Wednesday and arrived at the scene within two minutes, said Fire Chief Eddie Lunsford..... Lunsford said the fire is considered suspicious because it burned so quickly and because of burn patterns identified by firemen. The department has requested the use of a State Police arson dog to determine if an accelerant contributed to the fire, Lunsford said. The dog is scheduled to arrive this morning. If the department's suspicions are confirmed, the investigation will be turned over to the Pine Bluff Police Department, Lunsford said..... The building's owner is listed as Robert Galster of Pine Bluff, Lunsford said. Galster's son, Mike, who lives near Hot Springs, operated the business. Mike Galster is the author of the controversial 1998 novel Blood Trail, a fictionalized account of how tainted blood was collected from Arkansas prison inmates and sold to Canada in the 1980s under then-Gov. Bill Clinton...."
The Ottawa Citizen 5/20/99 Mark Kennedy "...The controversial story involving tainted plasma from Arkansas prisoners that was shipped to Canada in the 1980s while Bill Clinton was state governor has taken a mysterious and chilling new turn. Two crimes that occurred within hours of each other Tuesday night, hundreds of kilometres apart, have raised questions about whether someone is trying to intimidate or silence those who are asking questions about the prison-blood fiasco. In Pine Bluff, Arkansas, someone firebombed a prosthetics clinic owned by Michael Galster, who has been pushing hard for a U.S. government investigation. The clinic was burned to its shell and fire officials, who found a gas container in Mr. Galster's attic -- where he kept his documents -- say they're ''90-per-cent sure'' the fire was arson. In Montreal, someone broke into the offices of the Quebec chapter of the Canadian Hemophilia Society, which recently unearthed documents that showed Finance Minister Paul Martin was a board member of the corporation that owned Connaught Laboratories, the company that fractionated and distributed the Arkansas prison plasma in Canada. Hemophilia Society officials say thieves stole a computer and three telephones. They also stole documents from a box labeled ''Hepatitis C, Krever Commission, Reform of the blood system, HIV-AIDS.'' Police are investigating both incidents..... ''It's too much of a coincidence,'' he said, adding that someone is worried Mr. Galster and the victims are probing too close to the truth. ''They're trying to find out what we know and erase the trail if they can.'' ''I think they're also sending a message. They're trying to scare us into backing off. They're trying to put the fear of God into us, that if we pursue the truth it can get worse. That the next action might not just be buildings and records.''....Mr. Desmarais said that because the thieves stole documents -- not just computer equipment -- it appears they were looking for information, not goods. ''It's really frightening. This is the kind of thing you see in movies.'' ..."
WorldNetDaily 5/26/99 Joseph Farah "...Imagine if the nation suddenly learned that, as governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton knowingly oversaw the illicit sale of state prison blood to Canadian hemophiliacs and others -- spreading AIDS and other deadly diseases to hundreds, perhaps thousands, in the 1980s. My guess is that a scandal like that could potentially do more than destroy President Clinton's historical legacy. It could ruin Al Gore's chances for succession. It could set back the Democratic Party nationally for a decade. It could help Americans regain their senses and reconstitute their naturally healthy skepticism of government benevolence. It seems someone is trying very hard to make sure Americans never reach such conclusions. Last week, as reported exclusively in the Ottawa Citizen and WorldNetDaily, two crimes occurred within hours of each other hundreds of miles apart that raise questions as to whether someone is attempting to silence those who have tried to expose just such a real-life scandal. In Pine Bluff, Ark., someone firebombed a prosthetics clinic owned by Michael Galster, the author, under the nom de plume Michael Sullivan, of "Blood Trail," a fictional account of the prison-blood scandal.... Meanwhile, in Montreal, someone broke into the offices of the Quebec chapter of the Canadian Hemophilia Society, which recently unearthed documents that showed Finance Minister Paul Martin was a board member of the corporation that owned Connaught Laboratories, the company that fractionated and distributed the Arkansas prison plasma in Canada. Officials at the Hemophilia Society said thieves stole a computer, telephones and documents from a box labeled "Hepatitis C, Krever Commission, Reform of the blood system, HIV-AIDS." Executive Director Pierre Desmarais said it appears the thieves were looking for information rather than goods. ....."It's too much of a coincidence," he said. "They're trying to find out what we know and erase the trail if they can. I think they're also sending a message. They're trying to scare us into backing off. They're trying to put the fear of God into us, that if we pursue the truth it can get worse. That the next action might not just be buildings and records." ..."I'm trying not to get too paranoid about it," says Galster. "I pray to God that it was just a coincidence." While he's praying to God that it was a coincidence, I prefer to pray to God that the guilty parties -- those responsible for these recent acts as well as the bigger and more deadly prison blood scandal, whomever they may be -- are caught and held accountable for their despicable crimes....."
Agence France Presse 6/7/99 "...The head of Iran's blood transfusion body Monday played down fears over the possibility that his organisation provided HIV contaminated blood, as several of his former colleagues face trial over the issue....The trial, due to start on Wednesday, has been instigated by the families of children -- most of them haemophiliacs -- who contracted AIDS after receiving blood contaminated with HIV....."
CONNAUGHT LABORATORIES LIMITED INTER-OFFICE MEMORANDUM Memo to: Mr. A. Gilani 22 September 1983 From: A. M. Tabbara Subject: International sales of Factor VIII "...In view of the current situation and the cancellation of the CRC supplemental contract we are exploring all avenues to dispose of available inventory of Factor VIII. Since Connaught's AHF is not yet registered in most countries nor do we have the heat-treated product, opportunities for AHF are, therefore, limited internationally and it is essential that we capitalize on every enquiry that we may receive. For this reason we need your urgent confirmation of quantities which will become available for export (and when) as we have to respond on September 27 to a request for 400,000 units for Iran and another for Spain. Thanks. A.M. Tabbara cc: Pcampbell Kreilly"
Krever Commission Report, ((c) 1997 Public Works and Government Services Canada) Vol. 2, Part III, chapter 14, "The Risk in Factor Concentrates," pp. 391-2: "...Health Management Associates took the position with the Food and Drug Admistration that, because the four inmates had tested negative for the surface antigen when the units in question were collected, "the health hazard is very remote," and there should therefore be no need to recall the units.... On 17 June 1983, within days of learning of the problem, Health Management Associates told Continental Pharma about the previous test results. Four of the thirty-eight units had been shipped to Connaught, one on 26 February and the other three on 17 March 1983. (The other thirty-four units had been sold to corporations in Switzerland, Spain, Japan, and Italy.) Continental Pharma did not, in turn, tell Connaught about the problem because it believed that the risk of transmission of hepatitis B from the plasma in question was no greater than the risk from any unit that tested negative for the surface antigen at the time of collection. ..."
AP 11/10/91 "...Iran's Mujahedeen Khalq insurgents Tuesday accused Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's regime of extracting blood from condemned prisoners before executing them.... The statement asserted that "undeniable documents" proving murder and torture in Iranian jails have already been forwarded to Red Cross headquarters in Geneva. "One of the issues is the extraction of the prisoners' blood before their execution to provide enough plasma which is needed by the Revolutionary Guards,"..."
11/6/98 Beijing "...Confirmed cases of HIV, the virus which can lead to AIDS, have risen past 11,000 across China as the deadly disease deepens its grip on the world's largest population, official reports said Friday. Half of China's clinical blood supplies and all its plasma for blood products come from paid donors, who are considered at high risk of disease, the Worker's Daily said. The proposed law, which would ban paid donations and seriously punish blood dealers, was sent to the standing committee of China's parliament this week. It is expected to be approved and take effect in October....."
Wallaby reports 6/7/99 "...The allegation is that throughout his years as Governor of Arkansas, Clinton sustained a prison plasma program, run by his close friends and political contributors, that poisoned hemophiliacs and recipients of blood transfusions around the world. Here's some of the case in support of that allegation: (1) The Arkansas Department of Correction was under the Governor's jurisdiction. He appointed the members of the Board of Prisons. (2) The news stories we've posted on FR tie him and his predecessors into the daily affairs at the prison and the controversies surrounding the medical care provided by HMA. (3) Clinton read a copy of his own state police report on the prisons. In that report, there was evidence of corruption in the prisons and in the plasma program that would have justified firing Art Lockhart, Director of Prisons. (3a) The state police uncovered evidence that Lockhart was scimming about $200,000 a year in cash out of some of the prison operations. (3b) The state police also show that Lockhart was in several business operations with the owners of the plasma operation. (3c) The police depositions also show that Lockhart would regularly demand that his guards force reluctant inmates to participate in the bleeding program. Some of these inmates reported that they were afraid to go because the rumor getting around inside the farm was that you could get contaminated from the needles. Yet, Clinton continued to defend Lockhart and resisted demands that he be ousted. (4) Clinton received campaign contributions from the pharmaceuticals that were buying the prison plasma. (5) Clinton's friend, Richard Mays, was given at least $25,000 in a shadowy deal, supposedly to serve as ombudsman over HMA's operations. (6) Clinton's friend, Leonard Dunn, was the President of HMA. Dunn bragged to state police investigators that he was a close friend of the Governor.(7) A mysterious caller phoned a White House private number, soon after Vince Foster's death, to report that Foster had been greatly upset about a "tainted blood" matter: something that both he and Clinton knew about. (8) Clinton was the first governor of the State of Arkansas to take take personal possession of 400 cases of official state documents -- including those that describe the Arkansas blood program. (9)Prisoners were bled throughout Clinton's years as Governor, long after the international recall of 1983...."
UPI 10/21/86 James Mils "...The Health Ministry said Tuesday that four Chinese who tested positive for AIDS antibodies received transfusions of U.S. blood products and a World Health Organization official warned that more may have been affected. ....The official estimated that hundreds of people received transfusions of imported blood before the ban was imposed. He said many of those would have received American blood, which was until a year ago believed to be particularly dangerous because many U.S. donors were from high-risk groups, such as male homosexuals...."
World Net Daily 6/9/99 Joseph Farah "...The news hounds at CNN/Time sniffed at the blood trail leading from Arkansas state prisons to the hemophiliac AIDS killing fields of Canada and found no reason to inquire about the role of former Gov. Bill Clinton. Surprised? You shouldn't be. CNN is becoming known as the Clinton News Network. And this latest report -- full of errors of omission, rather than commission -- is a perfect illustration of why. The CNN report was not without some interesting details that help us sort out the jigsaw puzzle of corruption that permitted the contaminated prison blood to be sold on the open market in Canada and overseas. It reported, for instance, that the Arkansas state prison system was considered so bad through the 1970s that it was actually declared unconstitutional by federal courts..... What the Time-CNN report failed to mention even one time was the very thing that makes the Blood Trail story so volatile -- the governor of Arkansas at the time of this scandal was a man named Bill Clinton. Believe it or not, his name was never mentioned in the report. And Clinton's links with the blood scandal go deeper than just his role as chief executive of the state and overseer of the prison system...."
World Net Daily 6/9/99 Joseph Farah "...It was Bill Clinton's administration that awarded the contract to Health Management Associates to provide medical care to the state's prisoners. The president of the company was, naturally, a long-time friend and political ally of Clinton and was later appointed by him to the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission. Later, he was among the senior members of Clinton's 1990 gubernatorial re-election team. As part of the deal HMA struck with Arkansas, in addition to treating the prisoners, the company collected their blood and sold it. Because of the exploding AIDS crisis, U.S. regulations didn't permit the sale of prisoners' blood within the country. But HMA found a willing buyer in Montreal, which brokered a deal with Connaught, a Toronto blood-fractionator, which didn't know the source of the supplies. The Red Cross distributed the blood throughout Canada. Sales continued until 1983, when HMA revealed that some of the plasma might be contaminated with the AIDS virus and hepatitis. The blood was also peddled overseas. In fact, the Arkansas prison blood continued to be sold until 1994, according to the CNN report, more than a decade after it was discovered to be a dangerous -- often lethal -- practice. Arkansas, that bastion of progressive thinking that gave us Bill Clinton, was indeed the last state in the union to stop selling prison blood....."
World Net Daily 6/9/99 Joseph Farah "...Also missing from the CNN report was any mention of Michael Galster, the medical professional and author who blew the lid off this story with his novel, "Blood Trail." He charges HMA officials knew the blood was tainted as they sold it to Canada and a half-dozen other foreign countries. He also alleges that Clinton knew of the scheme and thinks he can prove the president benefited from it financially. Galster says Clinton organized a payoff plan to various officials, including a judge, to make sure the blood sales continued. He claims millions were made from the conspiracy because between 5,000 and 8,000 units of blood were shipped every week from one prison alone. He has eyewitness reports that inmates were even drawing blood from each other with dirty needles...."
10/3/83 J C W Weber "…CONFIDENTIAL CONNAUGHT LABORATORIES LIMITED INTER-OFFICE MEMORANDUM October 3, 1983 Memo to: FILE NOTE From: J. C. W. Weber Subject: Meeting with Dr. Louis Greenberg re Cryosan Plasma We met in Dr. Greenberg's hotel room and he outlined the sequences of events as he saw them: Dr. Henderson of the Health Management Associates (HMA) and Medical Director of Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC) had explained to him that Cutter use to run these centres, but got out of it and Dr. Henderson then started with a new group of people who reviewed the old records. In doing so they found some donors who had been positive on the old (first generation) HAA test. These had been cut out of the group of donors, but subsequently been put back in to the bleeding schedules. As this was discovered the donors were removed from the schedule and existing plasma samples were isolated and destroyed. They notified Cryosan by telephone and letter and said that this did not constitute a recall. The FDA suspension of their license was due to sloppy records from the past. HMA never agreed to recall, but they received a letter from the FDA saying, "We agree with your voluntary recall, please proceed." To this they said no and started the arguments with the FDA. In the meantime, the Montreal group of Continental Pharma had a visit from the Health Protection Branch in Montreal who said "recall everything". "It is considered a class A, grade A pasteurized recall". (This means that even material that has been subject to pasteurization, such as NSA, would have to be recalled.)…"
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT 8/25/88 William Hanson, Senior US District Judge "...No. 87-2376...855 F.2d 536; 1988 U.S. App. LEXIS 11592 .....Appellant Glick and two other inmates filed this action on November 13, 1985 alleging that the sampling of blood from blood plasma donors had revealed that at least five inmates of the A.D.C. tested seropositive for the virus which causes AIDS. A seropositive test shows that a person has been exposed to the AIDS virus [**2] but does not indicate whether the person has or will acquire AIDS or AIDS-Related Complex. The inmates also alleged that the A.D.C. was neither testing all inmates and personnel for exposure to the AIDS virus, nor segregating all those who did test seropositive. According to the complaint, the combination of these factors, along with the presence of practicing homosexuals within the A.D.C., placed the inmates in immediate danger of contracting AIDS because of the daily interactions which take place among inmates and A.D.C. officials at the A.D.C....Named as defendants in the suit were: A. L. Lockhart, A.D.C. Director; Woodson D. Walker, chairman of the Arkansas Board of Corrections; Larry B. Norris, Warden of the Maximum Security Unit of the A.D.C.; Dr. F. M. Henderson, of Health Management Associates; and the Arkansas Board of Corrections...."
7/80 US Appeal Federal Reporter "...The appellant, Preston Broughton, is a state prisoner. Appellant filed this civil rights action in district court, joining Cutter Laboratories and the Arizona State Prison Hospital staff as defendants and alleging that he had contracted infectious hepatitis while participating in Cutter Laboratories' blood plasma purchasing program. Cutter, with the apparent consent and cooperation of the prison, bought blood plasma from the prisoners, [**2] including appellant. Appellant alleged in his complaint that he contracted hepatitis as a result of Cutter's blood drawing procedures. Appellant further alleged that upon diagnosis of his disease he was admitted to the prison hospital for treatment, but that he received no medical care at all for the first six days after his admission. Appellant charges that this was entirely inadequate treatment...."
The Hill Daily Republican 7/1/99 Amy Williams "...The Canadian government has for the first time acknowledged that U.S. prison blood sold to Canada in the early 1980s Arkansas Governor, William Jefferson Clinton directly led to more Canadians being infected with hepatitus C infections. The BulldogNews.Net at Fresno State University was the first U. S. newspaper to break this story on Sunday November 15, 1998. The statement is in a briefing note prepared for Health Minister Allan Rock and obtained by The Daily Republican Newspaper on Wednesday under a freedon of information request. It is on the subject of blood imported into Canada in the early 1980s from an Arkansas prison and made into products that were used by hemophiliacs...... The controversy came to public attention in 1998 as questions were raised about how a U.S. firm collected tainted blood from Arkansas prison inmates and shipped it to Canada has spread to Vince Foster - U.S. President Bill Clinton's personal confidant who committed suicide in 1993. Vincent Foster, a boyhood friend of Mr. Clinton's, was one of the president's most trusted advisers. As a corporate lawyer in Arkansas, he worked in the same law office as Hillary Rodham Clinton and became a close colleague of hers. Back then, Mr. Clinton was governor of Arkansas, and the state contracted with Health Management Associates, to provide medical care for prisoners. Mr. Clinton permitted the Health Maganeement company to collect blood and to pay the Clinton administration in Arkanas $7 for every unit of blood obtained from Arkansas prison convicts..... "
The Ottawa Citizen 8/8/99 Mark Kennedy "...The RCMP is conducting a criminal investigation into how a U.S. company suppressed an internal study in 1985 that revealed the firm's method of killing the AIDS virus in blood products didn't work well. The probe is a key part of the Mounties' broad-based investigation into the Canadian tainted-blood tragedy of the 1980s. The so-called "Armour incident" -- that featured a muzzled scientist, corporate foot-dragging and regulatory carelessness -- stands as one of the most disturbing, yet least-known chapters of the tainted-blood scandal. It's not known how many people were infected by the blood-clotting product made for hemophiliacs by the Philadelphia-based Armour Pharmaceutical Company. But at least seven Canadians -- perhaps nearly a dozen -- were apparently infected with AIDS from the Armour product in 1987. Most were children. Some have since died...."
Alberta Report 8/16/99 Will Gibson "…It is perhaps fitting that Canada's tainted-blood scandal should be painful and lingering, like a chronic disease. Almost 22 months after Justice Horace Krever's official report brought an appearance of closure to the affair, Canadian hemophiliacs are suggesting that the federal government may have destroyed evidence that could outline Finance Minister Paul Martin's role in the disaster. The RCMP is now investigating a sequence of events that is either an outrageous set of coincidences -- or a sign of something even more outrageous. On May 15, the Ottawa Citizen revealed that Mr. Martin had served as a director of a government-controlled company that owned Connaught Laboratories, a Toronto-based firm that bought blood plasma drawn from Arkansas prisoners at risk of carrying AIDS and hepatitis C. Connaught's products infected up to 1,000 Canadian hemophiliacs with these diseases. Three days after the Citizen story, arsonists fire-bombed a prosthetics clinic in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, owned by Michael Galster, who had written the book Blood Trail under the pseudonym Michael Sullivan. This novel is a lively account of how contaminated plasma from Arkansas prisoners infected Canadians; one character in the book was a thinly-disguised Bill Clinton, who was Arkansas's governor when the blood was sold. While flames consumed more than 2,000 documents related to the Arkansas prison blood program at Mr. Galster's clinic, a break-in was taking place 1,500 miles northeast, at the Montreal office of the Canadian Hemophilia Society's (CHS) Quebec chapter. There, burglars stole a computer, three telephones and documents relating to the Krever Inquiry. Pierre Desmarais, the CHS's Quebec executive director, says the thieves appeared to be hunting for information. "It is a series of strange happenings that is hard to explain," Mr. Desmarais says. "When you put it all together, it is really bizarre." No arrests have been made in either case, although arson investigators in Pine Bluff confirm the fire was deliberately set in the records room of Mr. Galster's clinic. Mr. Galster postulates a connection between the citizen's revelations and the subsequent firebombing of his clinic. "We had been sharing documents with the Canadian Hemophilia Society," he says. "If the purpose was to slow me down, they certainly did that. I've had no time to pursue this." Mr. Galster says the fire forced reporters to acknowledge a story in which they previously showed little interest. Three months later, however, the media's hot pursuit has cooled again, something Mr. Galster finds inexplicable. "We are not talking about sex in the Oval Office. We are talking about negligent homicide," he says. "The media have refused to make the Clinton connection or consider the import of what has happened--that this is the largest medical tragedy in North American history." The RCMP's probe into the blood fiasco continues to grind away with no arrests. The police have expanded their investigation to cover allegations that Canadian bureaucrats destroyed evidence in the case. RCMP Sergeant Andre Guerrin said that the Mounties would also follow clues picked up by police in Arkansas and Montreal. "We will absolutely look at any leads, wherever it takes us," Sgt. Guerrin said. …"
CBN News 9/1/99 "…CBN will broadcast a two part series beginning September 8th and continue the following day. To this day many people are unaware of the tainted blood trail that began in Arkansas where blood from prisoners was sold to the Canadian firm Connaught Laboratories, Ltd., where it was used to manufacture vials of concentrated clotting factor for use by hemophiliacs. "The bleeding of prisoners began in the 1960's as a way for inmates and the prison system to make money (a necessity also cited by BUD HENDERSON.) In 1978, when HMA won both the medical and plasma licenses, Arkansas became the only prison whose medical system was run by a private agency. it was already the only prison that did not pay prisoners for labor performed. The prison plasma program "provided prisoners with pocket money (and Percodan). Prisoners were "paid" $5-7 in prison "scrip" and HMA received a minimum of $50 for each unit of plasma. Thousands of units were harvested weekly. Many prisoners would stand in line, often more than once a week to undergo the painful and time-consuming plasmapheresis." …."
CBN 9/8/99 Dale Hurd "….Dale Hurd: On May 19th this year, on the same night this office in Montreal was broken into and files and a computer were stolen, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, a clinic was fire bombed. How could seemingly separate incidents in Quebec and Arkansas be related? A message was delivered...the same message. Someone, somewhere is very concerned about an incredible scandal that most Americans know nothing about, but about which Canadians know only too well. This is about tainted blood collected from Arkansas inmates and sold to make a profit. It's about hundreds of dead and dying Canadian hemophiliacs who used it, and a former governor who could be held legally responsible for it. This is the Blood Trail. The blood trail starts here, at Cummins prison. This was one of several prisons where blood products were collected from thousands of infected prisoners, sold on the spot market at a huge profit, and then shipped all around the world. The federal courts once condemned the Arkansas prison system as "a dark and evil world completely alien to the free world." In 1978, its conditions were declared unconstitutional. Inmates used to be murdered inside Cummins prison; their bodies thrown into unmarked graves. Arkansas was one of the last prison systems to use slave labor. And in the 1960's it concocted a scheme to sell inmates' blood for profit. …."
CBN 9/8/99 Dale Hurd "….Michael Galster: I would try to look on their charts and see if they had had a blood test, because they'd have a Band- Aid at their elbow, and they'd tell me, 'No, they hadn't had a blood test; they'd just sold their blood the day before.' Hurd: Michael Galster is a board certified prosthetist/orthotist. He worked at Cummins fitting amputees with artificial limbs. He says some of his patients, who were also in the plasma program, had no business giving blood. Galster: Some of them were just too ill to walk, if they could walk in the first place. They'd come in in a wheelchair, they'd have distended abdomens, they'd be yellow, the whites of their eyes would be yellow -- all the obvious signs of hepatitic infections….."
CBN 9/8/99 Dale Hurd "….Hurd: What Galster eventually uncovered about the prison plasma program was turned into a book: Blood Trail. It's not a book for everyone because it contains adult language and adult situations. Galster chose to write his account as a novel under a pen name, Michael Sullivan, because he was afraid for his family's safety. He would later find out he had reason to be. But back in the 1980s, Galster assumed prison officials must have known what they were doing. Galster: I assumed that the people in the prison who were buying this blood and selling it had some technique of cleaning it up or running it through a filter. Hurd: They didn't. John Schock: "I've never seen them tear open a needle, a clean needle, and stick it in you. Hurd: John Shock was an inmate at Cummins in the '80s. He donated blood so that he could get a few dollars in paper scrip to spend at the prison canteen. But he paid dearly for it. It was through the blood program that he contracted the incurable Hepatitis C that wrecked his first liver….."
CBN 9/8/99 Dale Hurd "….McCarthy: Somebody in the States decided that for me, it was okay to get this stuff; that the money was important to provide prisoners with some cigarette money and millions of dollars left over to go into the coffers of the state of Arkansas." Hurd: The question is what did Bill Clinton know about the bleeding program? The program was operated by Health Management Associates, a private company. HMA, which provided all medical services for the prison system, was headed up by a close friend of then Governor Clinton. Copies of reports obtained by CBN news and press clippings suggest that then- Clinton was fully aware of the medical problems at the prison. To say HMA had some problems would be putting it mildly. An outside audit found HMA had a large number of doctors on staff who had had their licenses revoked, and that HMA had "consistently failed to live up to its contract." In 1982 and '83, the FDA cited the plasma program for shipping contaminated blood, poor storage of blood components, and over bleeding of inmates. But rather than terminate the blood program, Galster says, the Board of Corrections voted to change the name and open under a different charter. It appears that whenever there was a problem with the FDA or other authority, the name was changed from ADC Plasma to ABC (Arkansas Blood Components) to Pine Bluff Biological. HMA was finally dissolved in 1986, but another business took over the blood program and expanded it. Arkansas prison plasma was collected and sold until 1994. Galster: This program was so successful, it made so much money for the prison and for the people that were running the show, that they not only opened it up in the prison itself, but they went to the prison hospital , the diagnostic unit where I worked most of the time, and set up a bleeding center there so that inmates that were sick in the hospital could go down twice a week and sell their blood. It's just incredible.
. CBN News 9/9/99 Dale Hurd ".... Hurd: HMA was investigated in 1981, '82, '83, and '86. In 1982 the Food and Drug Administration cited HMA for overbleeding inmates, bad record-keeping, and allowing medically unqualified inmates to bleed. It shut down the bleeding center at Cummins prison after plasma infected with hepatitis B was shipped to Canada and given to hemophiliacs. It was shut down again in 1986. But that wasn't the end of the bleeding program, thanks to the intervention of the Arkansas Governor. And more tainted prison plasma from Arkansas was distributed in Canada, the U.S., and other nations. Some believe Bill Clinton organized a payoff scheme to keep a plasma operation in business that will cause the deaths of an estimated 1000 Canadians. It's part of a larger public health catastrophe in which 42,000 Canadians are believed to be infected with hepatitis C, and thousands more with HIV, thanks to poorly-screened plasma in Canada. The White House dismisses allegations that then-Governor Clinton knew about the tainted blood. Yet there's one indication that someone in the White House did. In January Linda Tripp was giving her sworn deposition about FBI files in the White House, when she was asked about encrypted files on the computer of Deborah Gorham, secretary of the late-Deputy White House Counsel, Vincent Foster. In her answer she mentioned something that she obviously thought was strange.
Linda Tripp: 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. And, what I had told Ruthann 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, 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. [note: see p. 662 of Tripp's deposition to Judicial Watch, January 13, 1999. Available at Judicial Watch web site.
Hurd: It could mean White House officials were tracking the tainted blood scandal, because they knew it could seriously damage Bill Clinton. It is what some call the Blood Trail. The blood trail leads from Arkansas all the way to Canada, where a story most Americans have never heard of has dominated the front pages. Because here it involves billions of dollars in lawsuits and political fortunes as well. The scandal threatens to ruin the political career of the man dubbed as the next Prime Minister of Canada - liberal Finance Minister Paul Martin.
Paul Martin served on the board of directors for a company that helped to distribute the prison plasma. His problems only worsened when it was alleged the Canadian government shredded documents and erased tapes to hide his role.
Canada's Krever Commission has documented the Arkansas blood connection, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have launched a massive investigation in Canada and the U.S., into what caused a national health catastrophe. But in Washington it's a different story. The Justice department, which did not return our calls, is not believed to have shown any interest in the Arkansas prison plasma scandal.
The man who blew the whistle on the blood program is Michael Galster. Galster worked at Cummins prison, and discovered that sick inmates were giving blood without being tested.
Interviewer: At your February press conference you called on the Justice Department to look into this, did you not?
Interviewer: Have you heard from them?
Galster: Absolutely not. We've been totally ignored. ...."
CBN News 9/9/99 Dale Hurd "...Galster: This that is the parking lot now, was about 4000 sq. ft. of our laboratory space, our offices and exams rooms, and computers. It was all completely engulfed in flames when I got here on the evening of the 19th, or the early morning of the 20th. The fire trucks were pumping water into it, and by early the next morning we only had a brick shell of what had originally been our business for 22 years. Hurd: Then, in July a laptop computer was stolen. It belonged to the lawyer who was investigating Bill Clinton's role in the tainted blood scandal. Linda Tripp said there were encrypted blood files on the computer of Vince Foster's secretary. In July of 1993, Foster's body was found in Fort Marcy Park, Virginia, just outside of Washington, in what was officially ruled a suicide. During the time that Foster died (sic), a commons committee in the Canadian Parliament had called for a major public inquiry into how Canada's blood supply became so contaminated. And Foster was reported to be very upset about the issue. Galster says that when Foster worked in Arkansas, he approached Galster in the legal role of defending Health Management Associates, the company that ran the prison blood program. Foster asked Galster to help bail HMA out of a malpractice suit. Galster thinks Foster was still cleaning up HMA's messes after he went to the White House. When the scandal exploded in Canada, Galster believes the blood trail caught up with Foster. Tainted blood scandals have rocked several nations. Some have forced official to apologize. Others have sent officials to jail. Now it could be America's turn. The surviving Canadian hemophiliacs are preparing a $5 billion lawsuit against those responsible in the United States. That would most certainly include the states of Arkansas and Louisiana, which had a similar blood program. The FDA may also be sued. And the lead counsel for the hemophiliacs, Steven Harvey, will seek a deposition from Bill Clinton on his role in the program. Steven Harvey: We want to know from Bill Clinton on down, who was involved in these decisions, how decisions were made, what information they had, and why it is that Cummins was allowed to continue as a blood source, even after all the dangers became obvious...."
CBN News 9/9/99 Dale Hurd "...Webb: Dale, why aren't journalists covering this story? Hurd: Well, as a matter of fact, CNN did do this story in an investigative piece - CNN and Time - on that program. And they managed to do it without a single mention of Bill Clinton, which I found interesting. Michael Galster tells me that Dateline NBC sent a week with him, filming, preparing a big piece on this. Galster says NBC told him they killed the story after they were paid a visit by a committee from the FDA. We decided to do this story in May, after the break-in and the arson fire, because at that point it was clear that there was something to this story - someone was trying to hide something. If there's nothing to this story, why did Michael Galster get death threats for weeks and months before his business was finally burned down? Webb: Important questions. Thank you, Dale, for this incredible story. As Dale mentioned, this is not a big story in terms of journalism here, Pat, but it is a huge story in Canada. ...."
Toronto Star 9/24/99 Tim Harper "…On a day when James Kreppner should have been celebrating the end of a long, emotional struggle, his thoughts were with those left behind….`There was an injustice done to me and others,'' the 37-year-old Toronto lawyer and hemophiliac said yesterday. ``And while I appreciate the effort to right the wrong done to me, my thoughts are with those who have been ignored. ``My conscience bothers me.'' As courts in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia approved a compensation package for hepatitis C victims infected between 1986-90, an estimated 3,300 to 3,500 Canadians infected before 1986 and after 1990 were on the minds of all victims. They have so far received nothing. …."
The New Australian 5/31-6/6/99 Gerald Jackson "…When Clinton was governor of Arkansas in the 1980s he allowed the selling of HIV-tainted plasma that had been taken from convicts. Since the early 1980s the sale of convict blood in the US has been illegal. Nevertheless, exports to Canada continued for years. To make sure of sales the origin of the contaminated plasma was withheld from the unsuspecting Canadians. Once they discovered the source of the contamination they demanded that the U.S. Justice Department investigate Clinton's role in a prison program that clearly violated a 1983 FDA ban on the use of blood from convicts. Last January 1000 victims of this murderous scheme sued Canadian officials for $US1.1 billion. They plan to file a similar suit will against the FDA and the state of Arkansas, another of Clinton's victims. The main inspiration for the bloodgate inquiry came from Dr Michael Galster, a former employee of Health Management Associates, the Arkansas company contracted by Arkansas to collect and sell prison blood. By pure coincidence this company was also run by the chair of Clinton's re-election finance committee. Moreover, when the company's licence was revoked by the state's medical authorities because of its poor medical practices, Clinton abused his power as governor and ordered the licence to be renewed. Outraged at what Clinton did to them, those Canadian haemophiliacs who have been infected with hepatitis C and HIV are demanding justice. Last February hundreds of these victims of Arkansas political corruption gathered in Washington to condemn the man they hold responsible for their tragic plight. Dr Galster addressed the protestors and publicly accused Clinton of "personally withholding 400 cases of documents" that described HMA's shipping schemes…."
The New Australian 5/31-6/6/99 Gerald Jackson "…This is when another of Clinton's remarkable coincidences occurred. On Tuesday night the 18 May Dr Galster's Clinic in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, was firebombed leaving only a burnt out shell. Dr Galster has yet to say whether documents on Clinton's bloodgate scandal were stored in the Clinic. At the same time, again by pure coincidence, someone broke into the Quebec chapter of the Canadian Haemophilia Society. The society had recently discovered documents showing that Finance Minister Paul Martin was a board member of the corporation that owned Connaught Laboratories, the company that distributed the Arkansas contaminated plasma in Canada. Like I said, just another Clinton coincidence….."
Canadian Press Newswire (CP) 2/25/99 Robert Russo "… U.S. president Bill Clinton will soon be receiving a subpoena from Canadians infected by HIV-tainted blood donated by Arkansas prisoners. Canadian hemophiliacs who contracted AIDS and hepatitis C from blood donated by prisoners at the Cummins prison in Arkansas while Clinton was governor of the state want to interview him under oath as part of a $5-billion US lawsuit, victims lawyer David Harvey said Wednesday. "We intend to seek a deposition from the president," said Harvey. "At that point, we will consider naming him as a defendant." About 1,000 Canadians now suffering from deadly diseases from the tainted blood are demanding to know why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration continued to license prison blood centres despite evidence that prisons were hotbeds of HIV and hepatitis C infection. Some of the convicts - many of whom were already diagnosed with hepatitis C - were bled as many as 60 times a year and given $7 for each donation. …."
Reuters 11/9/99 David Morgan ".....The Wistar Institute, which developed an attenuated live polio vaccine in the 1950s, said Monday it would allow two independent laboratories to test lab specimens to prove that its research in Africa was not responsible for initiating the transfer of SIV from chimpanzees to humans, where it mutated into HIV. The decision came after the release of a new book by British journalist Edward Hooper, titled "The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS," which argues the vaccine was produced with tissue from chimpanzees infected with SIV and then tested on children....."
National Post (Canada) 11/18/99 Campbell Clark "….The RCMP is searching the headquarters of the Canadian Hemophilia Society for documents related to Canada's tainted-blood scandal. The search was aimed not at charging society officials, but collecting documents for possible prosecutions. Officers began poring over documents in the society's headquarters in Montreal on Tuesday and are expected to continue today. Officials with the society said they had volunteered to turn the documents over to the RCMP. Mounties had known about the contents of the documents in question for two years, but sources said investigators had chosen to execute a search warrant now to protect against possible legal challenges as they prepare for a court case……"
Sunday Times South Africa 11/14/99 Andrew Donaldson "…. Heart of darkness revisited: 'Every one of all known HIV-1 cases in Africa before 1981 came from places within 160km of those CHAT vaccination sites.' Could the AIDS pandemic have been sparked off by polio researchers in Belgium's former African colonies? ….. What's disturbing about these cases is that 87 percent of them - that is, of all known samples of HIV-1 from Africa from 1980 or earlier - come from those towns where an oral polio vaccine, known as CHAT, was fed to Africans between 1957 and 1960. Put another way, every one of all known HIV-1 cases in Africa before 1981 came from places within 160km of those CHAT vaccination sites. AIDS and the polio vaccine - is there a link? Author Edward Hooper suggests there is, and, in his staggering work The River: A Journey Back to the Source of HIV and AIDS , he offers a powerful and exhaustively researched argument.….But this hypothesis is not new. At least three different researchers around the world, working independently of one another, offered up slightly differing versions of the theory in the late '80s….."
Associated Press 1/5/00 "….Two U.S. medical firms and a Dutch organization have offered to pay up to $2.36 million to Dutch hemophiliacs infected with the AIDS virus during blood transfusions in the 1980s, officials said Wednesday. The offer is intended to help the remaining survivors of the 130 people infected with HIV by tainted blood, said Jose Willemsen, spokeswoman for the Organization for Hemophilia Patients, or CLB. The settlement was negotiated by the CLB and U.S. medical companies Baxter International Inc. and Aventius Bhering, formerly known as Centeon….."
Chicago Tribune 1/31/2000 Jeremy Manier "…. In a finding that could help vaccine researchers anticipate future changes in the virus that causes AIDS, scientists now believe the global pandemic took root in central west Africa roughly around 1930, decades earlier than many experts had thought. The new estimate, calculated by a team that includes Northwestern University researchers, already is spurring a fresh historical inquiry into the mystery of how a form of HIV jumped the species barrier from chimpanzees to kill more than 16 million people worldwide. The question is expected to be a prime point of interest Tuesday at a meeting in San Francisco of the world's top AIDS researchers. In an attempt to explain the early routes of human contact with virus-infected chimps, some researchers are looking at events long seen as unconnected to the spread of HIV, such as African railway construction in the first decades of the 20th Century. The findings were aired publicly Friday in the journal Science, within an HIV research review article by Dr. Beatrice Hahn of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Hahn's paper included a description of a still-unpublished study on the date estimate, performed by researchers at Northwestern, Alabama and the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. ….."
Arkansas Democrat Gazette 1/14/2000 Cathy Frye "….Two correctional officers were fired early this week because they didn't follow policies that would have kept murderer Kenneth Williams from sneaking out of the Cummins Unit in October, prison officials said Thursday. And two other officers have been put on a year's probation because they didn't tell their supervisors that someone had called the unit at 3 p.m. on the day of Williams' escape to report that the killer had been seen in Pine Bluff. His disappearance wasn't noticed until 6 p.m. during the evening head count……. Williams is accused of shooting a 57-year-old Grady farmer to death shortly after fleeing the Cummins Unit. Authorities say Williams crept down irrigation canals to Cecil Boren's farm, where he shot Boren several times, stole some of his clothes and took off in his truck. The next day, Williams was arrested in Missouri after a high-speed chase that left an innocent motorist dead. Williams, who was still driving Boren's truck, had several of the farmer's guns, food and other smaller items, police say. Williams had been at the Cummins Unit less than a month, having just been sentenced to life without parole for the kidnapping and murder of a university cheerleader.. .. Boren's relatives didn't want to comment on this week's firings and reprimands at the prison. They said they don't want to say too much before Williams' capital murder trial……McLemore also said she finds it strange that Williams didn't bother to stop at any houses he might have passed before reaching the Borens' and no motorists noticed him creeping across open farmland. She strongly implied that Boren's death result from his discussing with a reporter the problems that the Department of Correction once had with its plasma unit. Canadian hemophiliacs have long contended that they contracted hepatitis C from tainted plasma taken from Arkansas and Louisiana prisons during the mid-1980s. Boren, who once worked at the Cummins Unit as an assistant warden, referred the reporter to Correction Department Director Larry Norris in the summer of 1999, McLemore said. "We're not accusing anyone of retaliation," she said. "He was contacted.He referred them to Larry Norris." ….."
Arkansas Democrat Gazzette 1/14/00 Cathy Frye "…..VARNER Two correctional officers were fired early this week because they didn t follow policies that would have kept murderer Kenneth Williams from sneaking out of the Cummins Unit in October, prison officials said Thursday. And two other officers have been put on a year s probation because they didn t tell their supervisors that someone had called the unit at 3 p.m. on the day of Williams escape to report that the killer had been seen in Pine Bluff. His disappearance wasn t noticed until 6 p.m. during the evening head count. ……. But the neighbor who found Boren s body that Sunday morning was indignant. Kay McLemore, daughter of a former Cummins Unit officer, discovered Boren after his wife came home from church and found that her home appeared to have been broken into and her husband was missing. Boren s body was outside, near where his truck was normally parked. McLemore said Thursday that the firings were a good decision, but more people should be held accountable for Williams escape.. …… McLemore also said she finds it strange that Williams didn t bother to stop at any houses he might have passed before reaching the Borens and no motorists noticed him creeping across open farmland. She strongly implied that Boren s death result from his discussing with a reporter the problems that the Department of Correction once had with its plasma unit. Canadian hemophiliacs have long contended that they contracted hepatitis C from tainted plasma taken from Arkansas and Louisiana prisons during the mid-1980s. Boren, who once worked at the Cummins Unit as an assistant warden, referred the reporter to Correction Department Director Larry Norris in the summer of 1999, McLemore said. We re not accusing anyone of retaliation, she said. He was contacted. He referred them to Larry Norris. But McLemore also implied that Williams was let out on purpose and his selection of Boren s home was no accident. Denouncing this theory, Tyler said, The thought of this being a deliberate and planned conspiracy is not only ridiculous, it s absolutely nauseating. Absolutely nauseating. ……"
Canadian Press (CP) 2/23/00 "…..A Health Department memo says use of U.S. prison blood products continued in Canada after being halted in the United States because U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S.," says the memo addressed to John Dossetor, who was and remains a senior adviser to Health Minister Allan Rock……."
Electronic Telegraph 4/14/00 "…….FRANCE is facing a new health scandal following allegations that the prestigious Pasteur Institute wilfully ignored warnings that up to 600 children were being injected with cancerous hormones. The disclosures that children may have been put at risk emerged during a new investigation into the link between the growth hormones and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), which caused a major scandal when acknowledged in the Nineties. So far, 74 children have died of CJD after being treated with growth hormones extracted from the bodies of victims of neurological illnesses in the Eighties. ……That scandal and the contaminated blood affair in which 4,000 people were infected with HIV through unscreened blood transfusions - despite the availability of an American test for the virus - have contributed to France's acute sensitivity on health issues. When the contaminated blood affair came to trial in 1998, it was alleged that authorisation for the American test was withheld to give the institute time to develop a rival French test. …."
THE KANSAS CITY STAR 5/12/00 Scott Canon "…….The license of an Independence chiropractor has been suspended for two years because of accusations he convinced a Mennonite farmer with AIDS that he was cured of the incurable disease and could safely start a family. Troyer, a member of a Mennonite sect from north-central Missouri, had hemophilia and contracted the AIDS virus in the 1980s from tainted blood products designed to offset his blood's inability to clot. ......The patient eventually died, leaving behind a wife and daughter with HIV infections. ……."
Scottish Daily Record & Sunday Mail Ltd. 6/22/00 "……. Scottish Nationalist MSP Dorothy-Grace Elder yesterday told fellow MSPs that the problems were caused by imported American blood known as "Skid Row Blood". Health Minister Susan Deacon has ordered a report into how people contracted Hepatitis C after blood transfusions. Scottish Nationalist MSP Dorothy-Grace Elder yesterday told fellow MSPs that the problems were caused by imported American blood known as "Skid Row Blood". ….."
Reuters (via Yahoo) 9/6/00 Sanjay Kumar "…..Police and health authorities in Austria, Switzerland and the UK are on the trail of blood plasma contaminated with HIV, hepatitis C and syphilis that was reportedly sold by South African companies and blood banks to brokers in Switzerland and the UK. It is feared that unscrupulous brokers may have relabeled contaminated products and sold them in various countries, notably China and India, for more than a decade. A confidential investigation by the South African Department of Health, which concluded this May, confirmed that exports of infected blood plasma "unfit for human use" had indeed taken place in the past 10 years. Although a recent report published in the London Times stated that the racket has been exposed in a World Health Organization report, the WHO has denied any such link. WHO confirmed that the author of the report, who conducted the investigation for the South African government, is a WHO employee. …….Although the investigation analyzed export permits from 1990 to 2000 only, South Africa has been exporting plasma since 1975. Between 1983 and 1986, South African human plasma was mislabeled as "animal plasma" and illegally exported to Europe. Court cases followed in Belgium and one person was convicted……."
Daily Record Scotland 8/14/00 Vivienne Aitken "…… Doctors were yesterday accused of giving a boy of seven HIV after he came to Scotland on holiday. Ian Reddie's father has spent 15 years trying to find out how his son was infected with AIDS. Now he believes his painful searching has produced an answer- contaminated blood products given to the boy at Glasgow's Yorkhill Sick Childrens Hospital. He says he has traced the batch to a U.S. drug company understood to have harvested blood from prisoners in Arkansas and Arizona. The family are now preparing to fly from New Zealand to fight a court case against the hospital that could change the lives of hundreds of other victims. Ian's gather, also Ian, said yesterday: "You have no idea the pain and anger and hatred I feel for the people who did this to my son."….."
The Sunday Times (UK) 8/27/00 Karen MacGregor and Fiona Fleck "….. BLOOD contaminated with the HIV virus and hepatitis has been shipped into Britain from South Africa for 20 years, an investigation has revealed. The multi-million-dollar racket has been exposed in a World Health Organisation (WHO) report. The blood, coming from one of the nations most seriously affected by Aids, was often labelled as "animal plasma" to avoid the strict checks designed to ensure that only healthy blood gets through. Investigations so far show that the blood has mainly been moved on to China and India, where thousands faced contamination from it. There is no evidence that any of it found its way into British hospitals. …….."
Prison Reform Unity Project 1/2/01 Linda Tant Miller Rolf Kaestel ".....I learned from a source whom he contacted on the evening of December 10 that he had left the Cummins Unit at about 8:00 a.m. that morning and was in Oklahoma, expecting to be in Utah in about a week. He was wearing "street clothes" for the first time in 19 years and eating for the first time foods he'd only seen in TV commercials. He was in good spirits...... He is traveling with a group of other prisoners bound for various destinations and some of them have done time in Utah. It's rumored that Utah prisons are humane and decent, so we all hope that this will prove a positive change for Rolf........ This un-requested and unexpected transfer was possible because in 1981, shortly after his incarceration in Arkansas Rolf applied for transfer to several western states, including Utah. In 1992 he formally withdrew this request. We feel sure that the ADC assumed that Rolf's copy of his withdrawal letter was lost forever, so that he cannot prove that he submitted it and believed that they could act upon his ancient transfer request with impunity. Not so, ADC; a copy of the letter of withdrawal of his request to transfer still exists and it's on its way to me as I write this. I will post it onto the site within a few days.......If anyone ever had any doubts that we are on the right track in our exposure of the Arkansas Department of Correction or that everything Rolf has written is the absolute truth, the ADC has provided us tacit proof of the integrity of and need for our mission in its unprecedented transfer of Rolf to another state, where they hope he will forget about them and their crimes........"
UPDATE: Rolf arrived in Utah on December 17, 1999. ..... Rolf has been classified and sent to his permanent housing assignment in Utah. Although his background and prison record should have entitled him to housing in general population where he would have been able to participate in work and recreational activities, Rolf was assigned to Maximum Security due to the fact that he is serving a life sentence and Arkansas' laws do not permit him parole. Rolf is living in a small cell with one other inmate where is locked up 21 hours a day and permitted no work nor activities such as softball and other athletic activities he's accustomed to being involved in. ..... This assignment is unwarranted and wholly arbitrary on the part of Utah and represents the continuation of the harsh injustice imposed on him by Arkansas........."
PRISON REFORM UNITY PROJECT prup.net "...... I'm a condemned criminal; condemned not to Death, but to Life. I don't expect your sympathy, compassion or understanding. I don't expect you to believe what I say. However, this web site is not about me but about you, in whose name it is all done........ MY ARKANSAS JOURNAL
AUGUST 10, 1999 "....... Yet another inmate of the Cummins Unit died in the now infamous custody of "The Cemetery" after final transfer to Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff. "Doctor" Michael Young, the callous and incompetent "doctor" at the Cummins Unit Infirmary, employed by Correctional Medical Services (CMS), had indicated that Warren had a mental problem when he began to complain of severe pain in his head, despite the fact that Warren had been obtaining medical treatment for other valid chronic maladies for several years. ...."
AUGUST 27, 1999 "......Yet another ADC inmate was found strangled to death after being found hanging in his cell, this time at the Tucker Unit. Of course, the good ol' boys' story is again, as always, that his body was found hanging from the end of a sheet in between the "thirty minute" checks of all cells that the officer on duty there allegedly make. In all my 18 years of confinement I have yet to observe officers of the ADC make rounds every 30 minutes, or every hour, or even every two or three hours for that matter. They simply sign the logs when they feel like it and "adjust" the entries to reflect routine checks.........."
Update 01-02-01 Thank you, for re-opening this topic. ".......For those who don't know, Rolf Kaestel, the literal poster boy for rehabilitation, serving life for the robbery of a taco stand with a water pistol, is one of the primary sources for information about the Arkansas Department of Correction's Cummins Unit's corrupt plasma program and has worked to expose the other crimes and abuses of the ADC via the Dark and Evil World web site I created and maintain for him. ......... "
Agence France-Presse 1/3/01 "..... After stealing a car at the Porto Velho airport, two inebriated thieves mistook containers of AIDS-infected blood found inside the vehicle for yogurt and drank them completely, local press reported Tuesday. Biochemist Altyne Gomes de Souza had packed the blood samples in a styrofoam cooler in her car in order to send them by plane to a laboratory nearly 3,000 kilometers (1,860 miles) away in Belo Horizonte.
The thieves, one of whom is 16 years old, were stopped at a police barricade as they tried to leave Porto Velho.
Police said the pair immediately asked for medicine to induce vomiting once they were told what they had done......"
ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE 12/29/00 Emmett George ".....Two southeast Arkansas men who failed to return home from a rabbit hunt Tuesday were found dead Wednesday, and Desha County authorities don't know what killed them......The bodies of Keith Baker, 42, of Grady and Cleodis McCuen, 62, of Pine Bluff were found by Baker's brother, Gavin Baker of Dumas, about 10:45 a.m. Wednesday in Oakwood Bayou....."I didn't find a thing on them," Sheriff Don Smith said of the bodies, which were found about 61/2 miles east of Dumas, near Arkansas 212. "There were no signs of foul play -- no gunshot wounds, nothing."..... McCuen's body was found face down in the bayou. Baker's body was found on the water's edge a short distance away, with his feet partially in the water.......Baker was a captain at the Cummins prison unit near Grady, operated by the state Department of Correction. McCuen was a self-employed plumber...."
EMMETT GEORGE ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE "......A 30-foot section of aluminum pipe and overhead power lines offered a clue to what killed two men who went rabbit hunting Tuesday in a wooded area east of Dumas......."I thought about it and thought about it," Desha County Sheriff Don Smith said Friday. "Then I got a call from the medical examiner's office this morning. They said they were electrocuted." The early morning call ended speculation about what caused the deaths of Keith Baker, 42, of Grady and Clodis McCuien, 62, of Pine Bluff....... "I don't know if they were trying to shake out a rabbit or what, but they got into some wires," Smith said, explaining that the wires led to a water pump in a well on a nearby farm. Jodie Wilkin, the deputy county coroner, said he and sheriff's investigator Ronnie Mankin found evidence of burns on the pole......."
Reuters Health 11/3/00 Keith Mulvihill ".....For the first time, researchers have discovered that HIV is able to directly infect human kidney cells, and the kidneys may act as a reservoir for the virus. Previously, the virus was only found to infect immune system cells--known as T-helper cells--and a type of brain cell, according to Dr. Paul E. Klotman of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and colleagues. Klotman's team found the HIV-infected kidney cells in HIV-positive African Americans who had kidney disease associated with their immune compromised condition. ..."
The Northern Echo 11/3/00 Nick Morrison "......A HAEMOPHILIAC campaigning for a public inquiry into contaminated blood has won legal aid to consult a barrister in an attempt to bring the Government to court. Solicitors acting for the 42-year-old have concluded that there is evidence that haemophiliacs were deliberately misled when they accepted a compensation pay-out after being infected with HIV. Now they are to consult a leading QC within the next few weeks over taking legal action to overturn a waiver signed at the time of the settlement. ..."
MSNBC 10/21/00 "…… ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Oct. 20 - Robert Ray, one of three hemophiliac brothers who were barred from attending a Florida school after contracting AIDS through treatment of their blood disorder, died of complications from AIDS Friday at age 22, his doctor said. RAY died at All Children's Hospital, where he had been treated since Sept. 23. Ray had become engaged earlier this year, and he and his fiancée had postponed nuptials that had been planned for December. "He just wanted to be a husband and a father. It wasn't like he wanted something great out of life...."