[The Arkansas Prison Blood Scandal]

Factor 8: The Arkansas Prison Blood Scandal http://www.factor8movie.com/main.html

October 30, 2005 12:05 AM


A great friend of mine, Kelly Duda, has his film premiere in LA on November 8th at the AFI festival. His documentary is a big deal, and it should set off a massive investigation. From the Sunday Herald:

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

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

He has gone through so much to get this on the screen, you cannot even imagine. And I'm not talking the usual struggling filmmaker crap, I mean hardcore out-to-get-him powerful-people-do-not-want-this-story-out-there kind of struggle.

Months ago, I remember seeing Bill Clinton on TV talking about the AIDS crisis and everything he was doing for it, and all I could think about was why he didn't do something about the tainted blood in his prison system when he could have.

Back in the 90's, when the vast right wing conspiracy was out trying to get Clinton, there were all sorts of people sniffing around this story trying to pin it on him, and nothing ever quite stuck. When he was finally out of office, all the sniffing stopped, except for one guy... Kelly Duda, who felt deeply that someone had to stand up for the thousands of hemophiliacs still suffering and honor the thousands already dead because of rampant corruption in Arkansas -- corruption Clinton should have ended.

Andy Gunn, a hemophiliac who contracted AIDS and hepatitis from the tainted blood: “It’s a murderous cover-up. They have effectively murdered thousands of haemophiliacs and got away with it."

Read the Sunday Herald article, and check out the website. If you're near LA, come see the film, it's at the ArcLight on Nov. 8th at 9:45pm. You can get tickets here. And I'll be there too, the tall bald white guy with oxygen tubes up his nose getting pissed off at the pharmaceutical companies.