Hacker Group Releases Supposed St. Louis Police Audio Tapes From The Day Of Ferguson Teen’s Fatal Shooting
***It’s St. Louis dispatch – not Ferguson dispatch – St. Louis was potentially called for back-up re: crowd control – police departments change frequencies so that they can communicate with each other over the air without clogging up each others’ central communications pertaining to their own local calls.
Hacker group Anonymous has released purported audio tapes of the St. Louis Police Department’s dispatch the day of Michael Brown’s fatal shooting in Ferguson, Missouri on Saturday.
The relevant audio starts around 9:30 in the YouTube video.
The dispatcher tells a St. Louis officer that “Ferguson is asking for assistance with crowd control” but later asks the officer to let her know what’s going on as soon as he arrives. That suggests Ferguson may not have reported Brown’s shooting to St. Louis police before asking for back-up.
The dispatcher later reports an “officer-involved shooting.” She also states, “Be advised, this information came from the news.”
A spokesperson for the Ferguson police department said he hadn’t heard the tapes during a press conference on Wednesday.
Anonymous couldn’t reveal their process for acquiring the types, it told Business Insider via email, but it maintains the tapes are “verified and confirmed.”
More at Business Insider (Buffett holding – BH)
A Mexican hitman, who claims to have killed as many as 900 people, has told Sky News how the police and the military are often involved in the planning and execution of his murders.
“Carlos” has been a paid killer for more than 25 years – working for drug cartels, politicians and the military.
We met the hitman in Tepito market – one of the most dangerous places in the whole of Mexico City, despite being at the heart of its smartest district.
The assassin said the network of cartel power is so entrenched in society and powered by so much money that it is unstoppable.
“On some occasions, we have to go to places where weapons are not allowed and then they (police) meet us.
“They take us to a hotel and they provide all the weapons that we may need, money and everything so that one can do the job one has to do.”
The abduction of 43 students last September has forced Mexico into confronting its crime problems.
Carlos believes that the students are already dead, and uses a chilling example from his own experience to explain why he is so certain.
“Let me tell you a story. Some protestors came. We let them in and then we closed the road, we closed the entrance, we closed the exit. When they were stuck in the middle we killed them all,” he recounted.
“Then a (rubbish) truck from the army came and collected them all. Then street sweeper machines went past. They opened the road again, as if nothing had happened.
“The students are dead, it is more convenient. For kidnapping you get 160 years, for killing its 35. It’s a huge difference, don’t you think?”
Mexico is described by many as a “Narco State”, where government and civil society appear powerless against drug money, cartels, corruption and terrible violence – committed on an almost daily basis.
This country bordering the United States and Central America has become a transit point for drugs across the world.
The revenues are mind-blowing – tens of billions of dollars a year.
The demand for what it can deliver to affluent societies is insatiable.
It is the root of the problem of course, and widespread poverty, combined with the need to make a living, are the crumbling foundations of a state teetering on the edge of disaster.
Mexico is in trouble. It is failing. A black market culture where anything can be bought is all-pervading. Nobody is above this. Absolutely nobody.
IT is what it ISN’T
An “exhaustive”, five-year Senate investigation of the CIA’s secret interrogations of terrorism suspects renders a strikingly bleak verdict of a program launched in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, describing levels of brutality, dishonesty and seemingly arbitrary violence that at times brought even agency employees to moments of anguish.
The report by the Senate Intelligence Committee delivers new allegations of cruelty in a program whose severe tactics have been abundantly documented, revealing that agency medical personnel voiced alarm that waterboarding methods had deteriorated to “a series of near drownings” and that agency employees subjected detainees to “rectal rehydration” and other painful procedures that were never approved.
The 528-page document catalogues dozens of cases in which CIA officials allegedly deceived their superiors at the White House, members of Congress and even sometimes their own peers about how the interrogation program was being run and what it had achieved. In one case, an internal CIA memo relays instructions from the White House to keep the program secret from then-Secretary of State Colin Powell out of concern that he would “blow his stack if he were to be briefed on what’s going on.”
A declassified summary of the committee’s work discloses for the first time a complete roster of all 119 prisoners held in CIA custody and indicates that at least 26 were held because of mistaken identities or bad intelligence. The publicly released summary is drawn from a longer, classified study that exceeds 6,000 pages.
The report’s central conclusion is that harsh interrogation measures, deemed torture by program critics including President Obama, didn’t work. The panel deconstructs prominent claims about the value of the “enhanced” measures, including that they produced breakthrough intelligence in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and dismisses them all as exaggerated if not utterly false — assertions that the CIA and former officers involved in the program vehemently dispute. The agency is expected to release its own detailed rebuttal Tuesday, and Director John Brennan plans to speak to the CIA work force.
In a statement, the agency said the committee’s report had “too many flaws for it to stand as the official record of the program.”
“Many of the Study’s charges that CIA misrepresented are based on the authors’ flawed analysis of the value of the intelligence obtained from detainees,” the statement said. “But whether Congress accepts their assessment or ours, we still must question a report that impugns the integrity of so many CIA officers when it implies — as it does clearly through the conclusions — that the Agency’s assessments were willfully misrepresented in a calculated effort to manipulate.”
The release of the report comes at an unnerving time in the country’s conflict with al-Qaeda and its off-shoots. The Islamic State has (allegedly) beheaded three Americans in recent months and seized control of territory across Iraq and Syria. Fears that the report could ignite new overseas violence against American interests prompted Secretary of State John F. Kerry to appeal to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to consider a delay. The report has also been at the center of intense bureaucratic and political fights that erupted earlier this year in accusations that the CIA surreptitiously monitored the computers used by committee aides involved in the investigation.
Many of the most haunting sections of the Senate document are passages taken from internal CIA memos and e-mails as agency employees described their visceral reactions to searing interrogation scenes. At one point in 2002, CIA employees at a secret site in Thailand broke down emotionally after witnessing harrowing treatment of Abu Zubaida, a high-profile facilitator for al-Qaeda.
“Several on the team profoundly affected,” one agency employee wrote at the time, “some to the point of tears and choking up.” The passage is contrasted with closed-door testimony from high-ranking CIA officials, including then-CIA Director Michael V. Hayden, who when asked by a senator in 2007 whether agency personnel had expressed reservations replied: “I’m not aware of any. These guys are more experienced. No.”
The investigation was conducted exclusively by the Senate committee’s Democratic staff. Its release Tuesday is certain to stir new debate over a program that has been a source of contention since the first details about the CIA’s secret prison network began to surface publicly a decade ago. Even so, the report is unlikely to lead to new sanctions or structural change.
The document names only a handful of high-ranking CIA employees and does not call for any further investigation of those involved or even offer any formal recommendations. It steers clear of scrutinizing the involvement of the White House and Justice Department, which two years ago ruled out the possibility that CIA employees would face prosecution.
Instead, the Senate text is largely aimed at shaping how the interrogation program will be regarded by history. The inquiry was driven by Feinstein and her frequently stated determination to foreclose any prospect that the United States might contemplate such tactics again. Rather than argue their morality, Feinstein set out to prove that they didn’t work.
In her foreword to the report, Feinstein does not characterize the CIA’s actions as torture, but said the trauma of Sept. 11 had prompted the agency to employ “brutal interrogation techniques in violation of U.S. law, treaty obligations and our values.” The report should serve as “a warning for the future,” she said. “We cannot again allow history to be forgotten and grievous past mistakes to be repeated.”
The reaction to the report, however, only reinforced how polarizing the CIA program remains more than five years after it was (ALLEGEDLY) ordered dismantled by Obama.
Over the past year, the CIA assembled a lengthy and detailed rebuttal to the committee’s findings that argues that all but a few of the panel’s conclusions are unfounded. Hayden and other agency veterans have for months been planning a similarly aggressive response.
The report also faced criticism from Republicans on the intelligence committee who submitted a response to the report that cited alleged inaccuracies and faulted the committee’s decision to base its findings exclusively on CIA documents without interviewing any of the operatives involved. Democrats have said they did so to avoid interfering with a separate Justice Department inquiry.
At its height, the CIA program included secret prisons in countries including Afghanistan, Thailand, Romania, Lithuania and Poland — locations that are referred to only by color-themed codes in the report, such as “Cobalt,” to preserve a veneer of secrecy.
The establishment of the “black sites” was part of a broader transformation of the CIA in which it rapidly morphed from an agency focused on intelligence gathering into a paramilitary force with new powers to capture prisoners, disrupt plots and assemble a fleet of armed drones to carry out targeted killings of al-Qaeda militants.
The report reveals the often haphazard ways in which the agency assumed these new roles. Within days of the Sept. 11 attacks, for example, President George W. Bush had signed a secret memorandum giving the CIA new authority to “undertake operations designed to capture and detain persons who pose a continuing, serious threat of violence or death to U.S. persons and interests.”
But the memo made no reference to interrogations, providing no explicit authority for what would become an elaborately drawn list of harsh measures — including sleep deprivation, slams against cell walls and simulated drowning — to get detainees to talk. The Bush memo was a murky point of origin for a program that is portrayed as chaotically mismanaged throughout the report.
One of the most lengthy sections describes the interrogation of the CIA’s first prisoner, Abu Zubaida, who was detained in Pakistan in March 2002. Zubaida, badly injured when he was captured, was largely cooperative when jointly questioned by the CIA and FBI but was then subjected to confusing and increasingly violent interrogation as the agency assumed control.
After being transferred to a site in Thailand, Zubaida was placed in isolation for 47 days, a period during which the presumably important source on al-Qaeda faced no questions. Then, at 11:50 a.m. on Aug. 4, 2002, the CIA launched a round-the-clock interrogation assault — slamming Zubaida against walls, stuffing him into a coffin-sized box and waterboarding him until he coughed, vomited and had “involuntary spasms of the torso and extremities.”
The treatment continued for 17 days. At one point, the waterboarding left Zubaida “completely unresponsive, with bubbles rising through his open, full mouth.” CIA memos described employees who were distraught and concerned about the legality of what they had witnessed. One said that “two, perhaps three” were “likely to elect transfer.”
The Senate report suggests top CIA officials at headquarters had little sympathy. When a cable from Thailand warned that the Zubaida interrogation was “approach[ing] the legal limit,” Jose Rodriguez, then chief of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, cautioned subordinates to refrain from such “speculative language as to the legality” of the interrogation. “Such language is not helpful.”
Through a spokesman, Rodriguez told The Washington Post that he never instructed employees not to send cables about the legality of interrogations.
Zubaida was waterboarded 83 times and kept in cramped boxes for nearly 300 hours. In October 2002, Bush was informed in his daily intelligence briefing that Zubaida was still withholding “significant threat information,” despite views from the black site that he had been truthful from the outset and was “compliant and cooperative,” the report said.
The document provides a similarly detailed account of the interrogation of the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who fed his interrogators a stream of falsehoods and intelligence fragments. Waterboarding was supposed to simulate suffocation with a damp cloth and a trickle of liquid. But with Mohammed, CIA operatives used their hands to form a standing pool of water over his mouth. KSM, as he is known in agency documents, was ingesting “a LOT of water,” a CIA medical officer wrote, saying that the application had been so altered that “we are basically doing a series of near drownings.”
The CIA has maintained that only three prisoners were ever subjected to waterboarding, but the report alludes to evidence that it may have been used on others, including photographs of a well-worn waterboard at a black site where its use was never officially recorded. The committee said the agency could not explain the presence of the board and water-dousing equipment at the site, which is not named in the report, but is believed to be the “Salt Pit” in Afghanistan.
There are also references to other procedures, including the use of tubes to administer “rectal rehydration” and feeding. CIA documents describe a case in which a prisoner’s lunch tray “consisting of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts, and raisins was ‘pureed’ and rectally infused.” At least five CIA detainees were subjected to “rectal rehydration” or rectal feeding without documented medical necessity.
At times, senior CIA operatives voiced deep misgivings. In early 2003, the CIA officer in charge of the interrogation program described it as a “train [wreck] waiting to happen” and that “I intend to get the hell off the train before it happens.” The officer, identified by former colleagues as Charlie Wise, subsequently retired and died in 2003. He had been picked for the job despite being reprimanded for his role in other troubled interrogation efforts in the 1980s in Beirut, former officials said.
The agency’s records of the program were so riddled with errors, according to the report, that the CIA often offered conflicting counts of how many prisoners it had.
In 2007, then-CIA Director Hayden testified in a closed-door session with the Senate panel that “in the history of the program, we’ve had 97 detainees.” In reality, the number was 119, according to the report, including 39 who had been subjected to harsh interrogation methods.
Two years later, when Hayden was preparing to deliver an early intelligence briefing for senior aides to newly elected President Obama, a subordinate noted that the actual count was significantly higher. Hayden “instructed me to keep the detainee number at 98,” the employee wrote to himself in an e-mail. “Pick whatever date I needed to make that happen but the number is 98.”
Hayden comes under particularly pointed scrutiny in the report, which includes a 38-page table comparing his statements to often conflicting agency documents. The section is listed as an “example of inaccurate CIA testimony.”
In an e-mail to The Post, Hayden said the discrepancy in the prisoner numbers reflected the fact that detainees captured before the start of the interrogation program were counted separately from those held at the black sites. “This is a question of booking, not a question of deception,” Hayden said. He also said he directed the analyst who had called the discrepancy to his attention to confirm the revised accounting and then inform incoming CIA Director Leon Panetta that there was a new number and that the figure should be corrected with Congress.
Hayden said he would have explained this to the committee if given the chance. “Maybe if the committee had talked to real people and accessed their notes we wouldn’t have to have this conversation,” he said, describing the matter as an “example of [committee] methodology. Take a stray ‘fact’ and claim its meaning to fit the desired narrative (mass deception).”
The report cites other cases in which CIA officials are alleged to have obscured facts about the program. In 2003, when David Addington, a lawyer who worked for Vice President Dick Cheney, asked whether the CIA had videotaped interrogations of Zubaida, CIA General Counsel Scott Muller informed agency colleagues that he had “told him that tapes were not being made.” Muller apparently did not mention that the CIA had recorded dozens of interrogation sessions or that some in the agency were eager to have them destroyed.
The tapes were destroyed in 2006 at the behest of Rodriguez, a move that triggered a Justice Department investigation. The committee also revealed that a 21-hour section of recordings — which depicted the waterboarding of Zubaida — had gone missing years earlier when then CIA Inspector General John Helgerson’s office sought to review them as part of an inquiry into the interrogation program.
Helgerson would go on to find substantial problems with the program. But, in contrast to the Senate panel, his report concluded that the agency’s “interrogation of terrorists has provided intelligence that has enabled the identification and apprehension of other terrorists and warned of terrorist plots planned for the United States and around the world.”
A prominent section of the Senate report is devoted to high-profile claims that the interrogation program produced “unique” and otherwise unobtainable intelligence that helped thwart plots or led to the captures of senior al-Qaeda operatives.
Senate investigators said none of the claims held up under scrutiny, with some unraveling because information was erroneously attributed to detainees subjected to harsh interrogations, others because the CIA already had information from other sources. In some cases, according to the panel, there was no viable terror plot to disrupt.
A document prepared for Cheney before a March 8, 2005, National Security Council meeting noted in a section titled “Interrogation Results” that “operatives Jose Padilla (PROECTED TERRORIST) and Binyam Mohammed planned to build and detonate a ‘dirty bomb’ in the Washington D.C. area.”
But according to an April 2003 CIA e-mail, Padilla and Mohammed had apparently taken seriously a “ludicrous and humorous” article about building a dirty bomb in a kitchen by swinging buckets of uranium to enrich it.
KSM dismissed the idea, as did a government assessment of the proposed plot: “CIA and Lawrence Livermore National Lab have assessed that the article is filled with countless technical inaccuracies which would likely result in the death of anyone attempting to follow the instructions, and definitely would not result in a nuclear explosion,” noted another CIA e-mail in April 2003. The agency nonetheless continued to directly cite the “dirty bomb” plot while defending the interrogation program until at least 2007, the report notes.
The report also deconstructs the timeline leading to the identification of Padilla and his alleged accomplice. It notes in April 2002, that Pakistani authorities, who detained Padilla, suspected he was an al-Qaeda member. A few days later, Abu Zubaida, described two individuals who were pursuing what was described as a “cockamamie” dirty bomb plot. The connection was made by the CIA immediately, months before the use of harsh interrogation on Zubaida.
Some within CIA were derisive of the continuing exploitation of the dirty bomb plot by the agency. “We’ll never be able to successfully expunge Padilla and the ‘dirty bomb’ plot from the lore of disruption, but once again I’d like to go on the record that Padilla admitted that the only reason he came up with so-called ‘dirty bomb’ was that he wanted to get out of Afghanistan and figured that if he came up with something spectacular, they’d finance him,” wrote the head of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear group at the CIA Counterterrorism Center. “Even KSM says Padilla had a screw loose.”
In another high-profile case, the CIA credited the interrogation program with the capture of Hambali, a senior member of Jemaah Islamiah and the suspected mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombing that killed more than 200 people. In a briefing for the president’s chief of staff, for instance, the CIA wrote that “during KSM’s interrogation we acquired information that led to the capture of Hambali.” But the Senate found that information from KSM played no role in Hambali’s capture and in fact intelligence leading to his detention came from signals intelligence, a CIA source, and investigations by the Thai authorities.
Similarly, the CIA said the interrogation program led to the discovery of the “Second Wave,” attacks, a plan by KSM to employ non-Arabs to use airplanes to hit targets on the West Coast. Associated with this in CIA reporting was the identification of al-Ghuraba, a cell of the Southeast Asian militant group Jemaah Islamiah.
In a November 2007 briefing for Bush on “Plots Discovered as a Result of EITs,” the CIA said it “learned” about the Second Wave and al-Ghuraba “after applying the waterboard along with interrogation techniques.” But the Senate report says the plot was disrupted by a series of arrests and interrogations that had nothing to do with the CIA program.
Even the hunt for bin Laden was accompanied by exaggerations of the role of brutal interrogation techniques, according to the report. In particular, the committee found that the interrogations played no meaningful role in the identification of a courier, Abu Ahmad al-Kuwaiti, who would lead the agency to bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
The identification of al-Kuwaiti relied on pieces of intelligence from multiple source, including a critical clue from a detainee captured in Iraq named Hassan Ghul.
Ghul’s revelation came before he was subjected to harsh measures, according to the report. In an interview with the CIA inspector general’s office, a CIA officer familiar with Ghul’s case said that he “sang like a tweetie bird. He opened up right away and was cooperative from the outset.”
President Obama has renewed the NSA’s phone-snooping program for another three months, with the administration saying Monday that it’s too important to let it expire right now, defying members of Congress who said it was time to ax the controversial program.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper said Monday they’ve won a 90-day extension of the snooping authority from the secret court that oversees intelligence activities.
They said they’d prefer Congress rewrite the laws to limit the program, but Senate Republicans last month filibustered a bill to do that, foisting the decision about whether to renew the program back solely on the president.
“Given that legislation has not yet been enacted, and given the importance of maintaining the capabilities of the telephony metadata program, the government has sought a 90-day reauthorization of the existing program, as modified by the changes the president directed in January,” the two men said in a joint statement.
The new order was issued on Dec. 4, and gives the NSA snooping powers through Feb. 27.
The National Security Agency’s program collects the phone numbers, times and durations of calls made on U.S. telephone companies’ systems. The data is stored for five years and investigators are allowed to check it to build a network of connections if they have a number they believe to be associated with terrorism.
Congressional opponents easily won House passage earlier this year of a bill to rein in bulk collection, but Republicans filibustered a different version in the Senate last month. That filibuster signals it is unlikely Congress will reach an agreement on the snooping program next year, when the GOP will control both the House and Senate.
Given that gridlock, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, the senior Democrat in the Senate, had urged Mr. Obama to kill the program himself by declining to seek the 90-day extension.
Mr. Obama says he’s already taken steps to limit the NSA’s snooping, including usually asking investigators to seek court permission before scouring the database for connections and limiting their search to just two “hops,” or connections, from the initial number they were investigating.
Read more Here
The IRS’ improper disclosure of taxpayer information to the White House was extensively investigated, according to thousands of documents the Department of Justice (DOJ) is currently sitting on and could release within the next two weeks.
The Daily Caller first reported that ex-IRS official Lois Lerner and White House policy adviser Jeanne Lambrew exchanged confidential taxpayer information about a conservative group that was suing to stop Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate in 2012. Now, with 30,000 Lerner emails set to be turned over to Congress, new information is surfacing about the White House-IRS information pipeline.
The legal advocacy firm Cause of Action sued the Treasury Department’s inspector general for information about further IRS coordination with the White House. The long-stonewalled lawsuit has finally borne fruit.
“[T]he Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) informed Cause of Action that there exist nearly 2,500 potentially responsive documents relating to investigations of improper disclosures of confidential taxpayer information by the IRS to the White House,” Cause of Action stated.
The Department of Justice is trying to delay the release of the documents for another two weeks.
“It needs the additional two weeks to deal with the last 500 pages to determine if they are responsive and make any necessary withholdings. We would therefore like to ask the court to permit the agency to issue a response (including production) on December 1 as to any documents it has completed processing by that date, and do the same as to the remaining documents by December 15,” said DOJ lawyer Yonatan Gelblum in an email to Cause of Action.
They say he opposes Reaganism………… ha ha. Massive expansion of Govt? Massive Bond Bubbles, and Fed Debt? Amnesty for Illegals? Perpetual war? Support for Israel? A Growing Police State? Huge benefits for Corporate elites? ….. Nope, PNAC Jeb is JUST like Ronnie. The Rockefeller Republicans do the nominating, and seal the deal. meaning, its a done deal. Bush vs Clinton.
Hopefully this will wake people up.
Conservative leaders who had a hand in key Republican victories including Ronald Reagan’s presidency, the Contract with America and the birth of the Tea Party, are ganging up to oppose a Jeb Bush presidential bid, declaring him easier to beat than Bob Dole or John McCain.
“I don’t know of any conservatives who are supporting him,” said Richard Viguerie, chairman of ConservativeHQ.com.
“Jeb is a very good moderate Democrat,” added top-rated talk radio host Mark Levin. “He’s very boring. He doesn’t elicit excitement and energy outside a very small circle of wealthy corporatists and GOP Beltway operatives. Time to move on.”
The criticism of Bush, a media darling and leading centrist GOP potential presidential candidate, took off when Phyllis Schlafly updated her 50-year-old conservative manifesto, A Choice Not an Echo, with a slap at Bush.
In her latest revision, provided to the Washington Examiner, she wrote: “Do you get the message that the media buildup for Jeb Bush has begun and that the 2016 Republican National Convention may nominate another establishment loser, the next one in line? But it doesn’t have to be.”
Many conservatives are critical of Bush’s support for Common Core educational standards and immigration reform.
But his biggest hurdle may be his last name.
“The objection so many Reaganites have to another Bush is because he is another Bush,” said Reagan biographer Craig Shirley. “He, too, has an alarming belief in centralized authority. From the standpoint of history, the Bush family got their start in 1980 opposing Reagan and Reaganism, as they continue to do today.”
“We just don’t trust him,” said Viguerie, who favors Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. “Conservatives are going to be very, very critical of Jeb, not only for the sins of the father and brother, but also for his own views.”
Prominent Michigan Cancer Doctor Pleads Guilty – intentionally and wrongfully diagnosing healthy people with cancer
Dr. Farid Fata, a prominent cancer doctor in Michigan, admitted in court to intentionally and wrongfully diagnosing healthy people with cancer. Fata also admitted to giving them chemotherapy drugs for the purpose of making a profit. The cancer doctor’s guilty plea shocked many in the courtroom, according to The Detroit Free Press. Fata owned Michigan Hematology Oncology, which had multiple offices throughout Detroit’s suburbs. Fata’s reach included offices in Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills, Lapeer, Sterling Heights, Troy, and Oak Park, Michigan. The doctor stated his plea in the absence of a plea deal and with tearful eyes, according to CBS News.
“It is my choice,” Fata said on Tuesday of his guilty plea.
In the Detroit courtroom, the cancer doctor named numerous, dangerous drugs that he prescribed to his patients. With each admittance he stated, “I knew that it was medically unnecessary.”
U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade will seek life in prison for what she called “the most egregious” health care fraud case she has ever seen. McQuade said that in addition to insurance fraud, which involved a $35-million Medicare fraud scheme from 2009 until the present, Fata also harmed, and in some cased subsequently killed, his patients with dangerous chemotherapy drugs they did not need. According to government records, Fata’s medical practice included 1,200 patients. The formerly prominent cancer doctor will be sentenced in February before U.S. District Judge Paul Borman. The doctor’s bond was set at $9 million.
“In this case, we had Dr. Fata administering chemotherapy to people who didn’t need it, essentially putting putting poison into their bodies and telling them that they had cancer when they didn’t have cancer,” the prosecutor told the Detroit Free Press. “The idea that a doctor would lie to a patient just to make money is shocking… Dr. Fata was unique in that he saw patients not as people to heal, but as commodities to exploit.”
The cancer doctor, 49, is a married father of three who resided in Oakland Township. Hoping it would help his case, Fata’s lawyers attempted to get the case moved from the Detroit area, according to CBS News this summer. Fata became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. in 2009 and is a native to Lebanon. Court documents from also 2013 allege a charge of “Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization” for stating that he had not committed a crime in the U.S. that he was not found guilty of yet. In all, he pleaded guilty to two counts of money laundering, 13 counts of health care fraud, and one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks.
“I’m numb,” Angela Swantek, a chemotherapy nurse and a whistleblower of the cancer-treatment doctor, told reporters. “I’m not surprised though; I wondered how his team was going to defend him. The charts don’t lie.”
“I left after an hour and half. I thought this is insane,” Swantek said about her short time in Fata’s office in 2010 where she noticed patients receiving chemotherapy incorrectly. She wrote a letter to the state suggesting an investigation that day. In 2011, the state informed her they found no proof of wrongdoing at Fata’s office.
“I handed them Dr. Fata on a platter in 2010 and they did absolutely nothing,” Swantek said, adding she was relieved when he was charged two years later. “I started crying. I thought about all of the patients he took care of and harmed.”
“At a time when they are most vulnerable and fearful, cancer patients put their lives in the hands of doctors and endure risky treatments at their recommendation,” Assistant Attorney General Caldwell stated. “Dr. Fata today admitted he put greed before the health and safety of his patients, putting them through unnecessary chemotherapy and other treatments just so that he could collect additional millions from Medicare. The mere thought of what he did is chilling.”
Some of Fata’s victims are disappointed that they didn’t get the opportunity to speak at a trial, according to Click On Detroit. Others are glad to hear him admit to his fraud.
“I don’t think there’s any justice. I lost my sister and her children lost a mother,” said Cindy Burt. “There’s just no justice for that.”
White Lake resident Karen Baldwin said her husband, Harrison, was treated for a diagnosis of brain cancer. She is unsatisfied with the guilty plea.
“To me true justice would be that Fata drops dead,” Baldwin said, adding, “And I go home and my husband’s at the table saying, ‘What’s for dinner? I’m hungry.’”
Dave Kroff was also put through years of unnecessary chemotherapy by Fata. Kroff says that the chemo suppressed his immune system so badly that he lost both of his legs.
“He’s one of several civil suits against Fata,” Donna MacKenzie, Kroff’s attorney, stated. “The feds have seized millions in Dr. Fata’s assets. Will any of these victims see any of it?”
Multiple civil suits have already been filed, according to Click On Detroit. For example, Donna Virkus, the daughter of one of Fata’s patients, says that her 78-year-old father, Donald, was referred to Fata by a concerned physician to rule out esophageal cancer.
“It’s unbelievable. I can’t believe we put our trust into a doctor that was supposed to take care of him and ended up killing him,” Virkus said.
Donna’s father never had the cancer, a review of Donald’s medical files showed. Yet, the prestigious cancer doctor ordered two years of chemo. The civil suit alleges that Donald developed a blood-related cancer as an effect of the chemotherapy treatments. Donald later died.
Civil suits filed against the Michigan doctor over fraudulent cancer treatments include other doctors and oncology nurses as well.
Read more at Inquisitor
Lesley McSpadden allegedly led a group of 20 to 30 people to a tent in a parking lot in Ferguson, Mo. on Oct. 18 to beat and rob vendors selling ‘Justice for Michael Brown’ merchandise.
The mother of Michael Brown could be charged with felony armed robbery for allegedly attacking people in a Ferguson, Mo., parking lot because they were selling T-shirts honoring the late teenager.
The Ferguson Police Department is currently investigating claims that Lesley McSpadden brought a group of people — including her own mother — to beat vendors and rob them of their “Justice for Mike Brown” merchandise Oct. 18, The Smoking Gun has learned.
One person was hospitalized in the reported attack and another unidentified alleged victim was reportedly beaten with a pipe.
McSpadden’s former mother-in-law, Pearlie Gordon, was among those beaten by “a large group of about 20-30 subjects” who had “jumped out of vehicles and rushed” the group of sellers, according to the police report.
Gordon, 54, was allegedly knocked to the ground and repeatedly struck in the head. She detailed the brief exchange she had with McSpadden at the time of the attack.
“You can’t sell this s**t,” McSpadden allegedly said, according to the report.
Gordon responded that “unless McSpadden could produce documentation stating that she had a patent on her son’s name (Gordon) was going to continue to sell her merchandise,” according to the report.
More than $1500 in merchandise and $400 in cash was allegedly stolen by the attackers.
Once the investigation is finished, Ferguson police will decide whether to charge McSpadden and the others with felony armed robbery.
Michael Hanline was convicted to life without parole for a 1978 Ventura County murder. On Monday, the 69-year-old was released after new DNA evidence didn’t match his. ‘It feels like I’m on the front of a missile going through space and stuff is just flying by. I mean it’s just incredible,’ he told reporters.
After spending more than half of his life behind bars, California’s longest-serving wrongfully convicted inmate is heading home.
Michael Hanline was released Monday from the Ventura County jail, where he served 36 years in prison for a 1978 murder.
“It feels like I’m on the front of a missile going through space and stuff is just flying by. I mean it’s just incredible,” he told reporters outside of the jail.
The white-haired 69-year-old walked away with the help of a cane and left the facility hand-in-hand with his wife, Sandee.
Hanline was convicted to life in prison without parole in 1980, the L.A. Times reported. Prosecutors said he shot and killed J.T. McGarry two years before. They claimed he murdered the biker and dumped his body off the side of the road for money McGarry owed Hanline’s then-girlfriend
Hanline maintained his innocence from the start. The California Innocence Project began working on the case 15 years ago — 20 years after he was first convicted.
But the group’s big break came this year, when DNA evidence didn’t match Hanline’s. Instead, the DNA of another person was found on the evidence, Ventura County Deputy D.A. Michael Lief said.
The mismatched DNA prompted a judge to order his release Monday — his 36 years behind bars is the longest a wrongfully convicted California inmate has ever served.
“Through the miracle of DNA, we’ve added an extra piece to the puzzle here that showed that the evidence he was convicted on was false and we now have this DNA evidence to show that he did not commit this crime,” California Innocence Project spokesman Justin Brooks said at a Monday press conference.
Hanline was released with a GPS ankle bracelet, which he’ll wear while the District Attorney decides weather or not a lunch a retrial.
For now, he’ll head home, to a brand new world.
“I can’t really express the feelings that I got inside me because it’s just like a whirlwind. It’s a whole new ball game,” Hanline said. “I mean, you know, it’s an age of cellphones and technology and all that stuff is new. I’m a dinosaur.”
Police are reinvestigating the 1978 murder, including the new DNA evidence.
PHOENIX, November 4, 2014 – Today, voters in Arizona approved a ballot measure that follows James Madison’s advice to stop federal overreach. With 80% reporting, the tally held steady and increasing at 51-49%.
Approved was Proposition 122, a state constitutional amendment that enshrines the anti-commandeering doctrine in the state constitution. The language amends the state constitution to give Arizona the ability to “exercise its sovereign authority to restrict the actions of its personnel and the use of its financial resources to purposes that are consistent with the Constitution.”
This language is consistent with the advice of James Madison, who wrote in Federalist #46:
Should an unwarrantable measure of the federal government be unpopular in particular States, which would seldom fail to be the case, or even a warrantable measure be so, which may sometimes be the case, the means of opposition to it are powerful and at hand. The disquietude of the people; their repugnance and, perhaps, refusal to co-operate with the officers of the Union; the frowns of the executive magistracy of the State; the embarrassments created by legislative devices, which would often be added on such occasions, would oppose, in any State, difficulties not to be despised; would form, in a large State, very serious impediments; and where the sentiments of several adjoining States happened to be in unison, would present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter. [emphasis added]
The amendment language mirrors the well-established legal doctrine of anti-commandeering. The Supreme Court has consistently held that the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce and federal act or program.It rests primarily on four SCOTUS cases – Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842), New York v. US (1992), Printz v. US (1997) and National Federation of Businesses v. Sebelius (2012).
Prop 122 places language in the state constitution that would empower the state to pass referendums, bills or use other legal means to end cooperation with an unconstitutional federal act. Supporters of the amendment say the provision allowing the people to vote to refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will prove especially significant.
“Basically, it will allow Arizonians to hold a state referendum on federal policy, something I don’t think has ever been done before,” one supporter said.
While the people of Arizona could hold a referendum like this now, by constitutionalizing the process, it now allows Arizonians to hold a statutory referendum on each issue instead of a constitutional referendum. A statutory referendum requires less signatures to get it on the ballot, something supporters say will allow grassroots groups to initiate the process.The money necessary to get a constitutional referendum on the ballot makes grassroots efforts difficult.
The amendment allows the people of Arizona to deal with unpopular federal programs like Obamacare, gun control, surveillance, and more. Supporters say one of the first issues they plan to target involves federal rules that allow Arizona Child Protective Services to hide important information. This has become an issue in several investigations alleging agency misconduct in the deaths of children under their care. CPS used rules tied to federal funding to refuse to disclose information. Amendment supporters say they will use the new process to forbid state cooperation with any federal rule that shields transparency.
Simply put, the amendment enshrines a process to refuse state cooperation with unconstitutional federal acts in the state constitution. As Judge Andrew Napolitano has said, refusing participation on a state level can make federal laws “nearly impossible to enforce.”
ROAD TO THE BALLOT
In 2012, Arizona businessman and TAC lifetime member Jack Biltis spent $1.2M to get signatures in order to get his nullification question on the ballot. While he came up short that first try, he and others – including the tireless Arizona Tenth Amendment Center team – worked to get the measure on the ballot a 2nd time.
The ballot measure was put on the ballot this year after the Arizona state legislature passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 1016 (SCR1016) in 2013. The state Senate passed it by a 16-12 margin, and then in the state House approved it 36-23. Bypassing a likely veto from Gov. Jan Brewer, the measure went to a vote of the people.
“Politicians in Washington are fond of passing far-reaching laws, but more often than not they depend on state and local governments – and state and local taxpayers – to implement them. This means that not only is Congress making life harder for Arizonans, they’re asking us to pay the bill,” according to the Yes on 122 website. “That’s why a bipartisan majority of the Arizona Legislature came together to pass Prop 122.”
Former Arizona Sen. Chester Crandell, R-Heber, who died in August after being thrown from his horse, was the primary sponsor of the bill as it moved through the Legislature.
“I think we can all agree that the federal government is out of control. Look at Obamacare, excessive EPA regulations and the takeover of our automobile and financial industries,” Crandell wrote in the campaign literature sent out by the state. “The forest service and EPA are driving many of my rancher and farmer constituents out of business. The federal government has their hands in every aspect of our lives.”
PERSONAL DRIVE FOR FREEDOM
Biltis moved to the United States from Montreal, Canada 20 years ago. He says it worries him watching America follow the same path as his native country.
“I’ve seen this movie play out before, and I can’t risk my kids’ futures on it playing out again,” he said. “I’ve seen what an overreaching government can do. We couldn’t run a business. If we answered the phone in English, the language police could shut us down. We paid 70 percent of what we earned in taxes.”
Biltis said the move to nationalize health care in the U.S. particularly frightens him.
“Once the government had control of healthcare in Canada, things got even worse,” he said. “After surgery, my father-in-law couldn’t get a needed medication because it required government authorization, and the government office was already closed. The hospital admitted that he would die that night without the medication, but was not allowed to sell it to us because ‘that wouldn’t be fair to those who couldn’t afford the medication.’ We were eventually able to get the medication through the black market.”
Biltis calls the United States “the world’s last hope.”
“If America goes the way of Canada, there is no other place to escape. After seeing Washington’s takeover of the healthcare, auto, and financial industries, I realized that the government is not operating under any semblance of control,” he said. “Bringing back Federalism is the only way to make the government accountable and keep us free.”
So Biltis put his money where his mouth is, mortgaging his home and business to the tune of $950,000 to fund the drive to get the initiative on the ballot and passed in Arizona. And, that was just for the first round. Final figures have yet to be reported for what was invested to get Prop 122 passed.
“I have nothing personal to gain from this movement, other than the chance that my kids will grow up in an America as free as the one I knew,” he said.
Prop. 122 has the potential to be a real game changer. If supporters follow through and use it as a mechanism to successfully reject participation in major federal programs, it’s likely that more states will follow Arizona’s lead.
While not something that will happen in the immediate future, this kind of domino effect is what’s needed to spell doom for the destructive notion of endless federal supremacy. Because the feds rely on state compliance far more than they would like you to realize, these type of measures are incredibly important. They have the potential to create a chain reaction that could shake up the status quo more than anything we’ve seen in generations.
MORE at 10th Amendment Center