Clinton AIDS Trail
Thanks to Brian Redman of Conspiracy Nation for passing on this story.
Saturday 12 September 1998
RCMP tracks HIV-tainted prison blood
Criminal probe traces trail of plasma from Arkansas inmates
The Ottawa Citizen
The RCMP's criminal investigation into the tainted-blood affair will
examine how HIV-contaminated plasma was collected from Arkansas prison
inmates and shipped to Canada by a U.S. firm with links to President
"The RCMP is looking at all aspects of the blood distribution system,"
Cpl. Gilles Moreau said yesterday. "It's one of the many aspects."
Meanwhile, tainted-blood victims angrily said the prison
blood-collection scheme was a scandal on its own that proved the
federal government neglected its regulatory duties to keep the blood
They said the story lends credence to their continuing calls for the
federal and provincial governments to compensate all tainted-blood
victims, no matter when they were infected. Durhane Wong-Rieger, past
president of the Canadian Hemophilia Society, said federal regulators
were supposed to keep an eye on imported blood products and ensure
they were not high risk. "They are responsible for this," she said of
the federal government. "They are liable."
The tainted plasma -- used to create special blood products for
hemophiliacs -- is believed to have been infected with HIV, the virus
that causes AIDS. As well, it's likely the prisoners' blood was
contaminated with hepatitis C.
Mr. Clinton was governor of Arkansas when the Canadian blood supply
was contaminated in the mid-'80s.
He was generally familiar with the operations of now-defunct Health
Management Associates, the Arkansas firm that was given a contract by
Mr. Clinton's state administration to provide medical care to
In the process, HMA was also permitted by the state to collect
prisoners' blood and sell it elsewhere.
Mr. Clinton was a friend of HMA president Leonard Dunn, who boasted of
the friendship in 1986 to Arkansas police who conducted a probe of the
firm following allegations it was providing poor medical care to
In the early 1980s, U.S. companies that fractionate blood products had
stopped buying prison blood because it was widely understood that
since many prisoners practised unsafe sex or were intravenous drug
users, they posed a high risk of carrying the AIDS virus.
However, HMA found a willing buyer in Continental Pharma, a Montreal
blood broker, which in turn sold the plasma to Toronto-based blood
fractionator Connaught Laboratories. Connaught apparently didn't
realize the plasma had come from prisoners.
Details of HMA's links to Mr. Clinton were reported Thursday after the
Citizen obtained copies of internal reports from the Arkansas State
Police dating back to the mid-'80s.
Cpl. Moreau, spokesman for the special task force of Mounties
investigating the blood scandal, cautiously responded to queries
yesterday about the investigators' work.
He said that, as a matter of policy, the RCMP cannot reveal specifics
about what is being investigated because that might jeopardize the
However, Cpl. Moreau did note that Mr. Justice Horace Krever
chronicled -- without mentioning Mr. Clinton -- what he knew about the
The Mounties began their criminal investigation last February and
established a toll-free number (1-888-530-1111) that Canadians can
call with tips. So far, the RCMP investigators have interviewed more
than 500 people and have travelled to the United States, Germany and
Here at home, they have interviewed people in every province. Some are
victims and others are so-called "witnesses" who were involved in the
blood system -- either in the Red Cross or in governments --when it
"I can assure you that we are doing everything we can -- and that is
in our power -- to get to the bottom of the blood distribution system
and to look at it from the criminal aspect," said Moreau.
The contaminated plasma collected by HMA in the early '80s came from
Cummins prison in Grady, Arkansas. As well, HMA bought prisoners'
plasma from four Louisiana prisons and sent it to the Montreal blood
broker, which sold it to Connaught Laboratories. Connaught
fractionated it into blood products for use by hemophiliacs.