Bloodgate Thicker
Than Watergate
By Joseph Farah
"We always get our man."
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. HMA admitted to selling some contaminated blood -- unknowingly.
But there seems to be more to this story -- much more. Michael Galster, who worked in the prison system during the time the blood was collected, has written a novel called "Blood Trail" that suggests then-Gov. Bill Clinton knew about the shady blood deal. Now, emboldened by the imminent House impeachment inquiry, the author has cast aside his pseudonym and is promising to provide the evidence linking Clinton to a health scandal that has killed hundreds, if not thousands.
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.
"'I'm telling you this now because Vince Foster was very distressed about this only days before his death,' the mysterious caller 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.
"Except that when his 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 Nussbaum, then chief White House counsel, said at the time. And so the matter, as far as I know, was dropped."
That account coincides perfectly with Galster's "Blood Trail." His book describes a fictional confrontation between the president and his chief counsel over the blood scandal. The counsel expresses regrets about their involvement in a scandal that killed "over a thousand people."
"This could be the biggest scandal ever associated with the American presidency," he says.
"Shut up," the president says. "Our discussion is over and you are out of here."
Did Clinton have knowledge of this contaminated blood sale? Was he involved, as Galster suggests, in making the deal? Was it gross negligence? Or was it worse? Did he try to cover it up? Did he actually benefit financially from the spreading of AIDS?
This could, indeed, turn out to be the biggest scandal ever to hit the U.S. presidency -- if indeed Galster's got the goods. This one, if proven true, will make Clinton wish he had resigned over the Monica Lewinsky affair.
Remember where you read it first, folks.