By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, internal Netscape documents that came to light during the Justice Department's probe of Microsoft provide details of the charges being made about Gates's worldwide reach into every nook and cranny of the computer business as he attempted to persuade his "competitors" to adopt Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser rather than Netscape's Navigator. Presumably written in response to a discovery request, they have not been introduced at the trial.
The documents were dumped at the Consumer Project on Technology in Washington "in an unmarked envelope this past spring," according to director Jamie Love. ("We didn't release the documents," said a Netscape spokeswoman.)
According to the documents, Microsoft employed aggressive though not necessarily illegal tactics in making deals with computer and software manufacturers in more than 50 alleged incidents between 1995 and 1997. Potential deals involved Sprint, Bell Atlantic, Pacific Bell, Xerox, IBM, Apple, and Packard Bell in this country, with other approaches in Finland, Japan, Chile, Canada, Taiwan, New Zea- land, Germany, and Norway.
Gates's management team, the documents assert, ran a rough sales campaign, in one instance allegedly offering Toys "R" Us "several hundred thousand dollars of free consulting if MS technology is chosen for web site." Another entry reports an offer "to compensate BellSouth for any Navigators they do not ship."
Most insulting of all was a claim that "MS internet engineer . . . reports that MS engineers are getting bonuses based on decline of NS stock; stated goal is to put NS out of business."
Microsoft did not return calls for comment.
Clinton Aide Linked to Prison Blood Scandal
With the public gorging on Monicagate, other Clinton conspiracy "scandals" continue to absorb the Internet. One of the most diverting tracks back to when Clinton was governor of Arkansas, and the state contracted with a now-defunct company, Health Management Associates, to provide medical care for prisoners.
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.
King of the Hill
The award for Boondoggle King of the 105th Congress goes to Republican Ted Stevens of Alaska, the mighty chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Near the end of the last session, the 74-year-old budget whiz rammed through $50 million in aid for Alaska's fisheries, $95 million for fish factory ships, $20 million for a new commission to study the state's infrastructure, as well as subsidies to speed up logging in the Tongass National Forest. Stevens crammed all this through as he cobbled together the big budget bill with Clinton's representatives. And he capped it all with a scarcely believable $28 million appropriation to build a train terminal in Anchorage to carry cruise ship tourists from the docks to the airport for flights home. Gulped Robert S. Juettner, administrator of the Aleutians East Borough, when he heard about one of Stevens's road deals: "We didn't even ask for that." Research: Bob Frederick