By Martin Gottesfeld
Note: Martin Gottesfeld defended former figure skater Justina Pelletier when she was maimed in the custody of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at Harvard-affiliated Boston Children’s Hospital. The Obama administration arrested him in February 2016 and held him without bail on charges he knocked the hospital off the Internet during an online fundraiser.
The following is on open letter for former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates:
Dear Ms. Yates:
I’ve been noticing the recent headlines regarding your upcoming testimony in the House. Like Trump press secretary Spicer, I look forward to it.
However, the House committee probably won’t ask you all of the things I’m curious about. So, I hope you won’t mind if I pose a few inquiries here.
First, did you get my letter in January before you left the Justice Department? I sent it via the Huffington Post and Shadowproof. In case you didn’t, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Martin Gottesfeld, and I defend children like Justina Pelletier from abuse and torture like that described in the following video. Justina’s father, Lou, says his daughter “was in severe pain, non-stop, for 24 hours a day for 13 months.”
Have you heard of the Pelletier case? If not, please let me provide some quick background.
Doctors at Harvard-affiliated Boston Children’s Hospital disagreed with 14-year-old Justina Pelletier’s diagnosis. They were so sure her physical symptoms had psychological causes that they stopped her pain killers, heart meds and other treatments, leaving her in constant agony with a dangerous heart rhythm and locked her in a notorious psych ward. When her parents objected to this course of action, the hospital and state put misleading information on a sworn affidavit and stripped them of custody under false pretenses. When the Pelletier’s went to the media, the hospital and Commonwealth of Massachusetts had the court issue an unconstitutional gag order, threatening to imprison them if they spoke out. Even if Boston Children’s Hospital had been right, which they weren’t, what they did to the Pelletiers still violated the Convention Against Torture, which the Justice Department is obligated to enforce.
Further, as Justina’s condition deteriorated over more than a year, it seems obvious even the hospital at some point during that period had to realize that their psychological diagnosis was wrong. Yet, they still continued to accept federal Medicaid money for providing unwanted and unneeded psychological treatments. Wouldn’t that be health-care fraud? Under federal law, wouldn’t it be the job of the Justice Department to investigate that?
Justina endured over a year of round-the-clock physical agony. The emotional toll of being separated from her parents, church and school traumatized her. All the while she, her family and their attorneys publicly expressed fears she would die. With her life on the line, somebody had to take action to defend her. It is legally justifiable to use force to defend a child from grievous bodily harm. In this case, that child is learning and physically disabled, no less. I managed to defend her without hurting anyone.
My question for you, Ms. Yates, is: Where is the DOJ investigation into what happened to this poor child? Where was the investigation into the misleading affidavit that allowed the state to seize her from her loving family? Where was the investigation into the court’s unconstitutional gag order on her parents? Or how about into the civil rights violations like the unnecessarily restrictive setting that kept her away from her family, faith and education?
Where was the investigation into the state and Boston Children’s Hospital’s torture of her? Are you concerned with how much federal funding they collected by holding her against her will for a disease she doesn’t have? What I would really like to know is why the only action your DOJ could muster was to arrest me in 2016.
Please explain why no one in the Obama administration did anything to save Justina as the hospital permanently paralyzed her and the the only action you took was to imprison and silence the whistleblower. Were you aware of your previous administration’s obligations, under the Convention Against Torture, to investigate and prosecute the perpetrator, Boston Children’s Hospital?
Given that Boston Children’s is a Harvard-affiliated teaching hospital that comprises the bulk of Harvard Medical School’s pediatric practice, and that it receives more federal funding than any other pediatric research facility, what were the former DOJ’s connection to Harvard and the hospital, other than President Obama’s law degree? Did Boston’s U.S. attorney’s office intentionally “magistrate shop” for a judge currently married to a Harvard Medical School professor and who previously worked at Harvard Medical School herself? Why did you, personally, ignore my 100-day hunger strike on behalf of children like Justina and victims of political prosecutions? Did you know that force-feeding, as practiced by your administration, is a violation of human rights and medical ethics?
Had you heard of Aaron Swartz, the last activist the previous administration pursued on hacking charges in Boston? Did you know the Boston U.S. attorney’s office brutally persecuted him until he took his own life in 2013, and that the two main people in charge of that travesty, Carmen Ortiz and Steve Heymann, are now considered notorious, as over 61,000 people signed whitehouse.gov petitions to have them fired? Did you know they dishonestly compared Aaron to a rapist? Did you watch the congressional oversight hearings that resulted? Did you know Carmen Ortiz and Adam J. Bookbinder, another prosecutor who was around during the Swartz tragedy, were the ones to indict me under the same law, and there are untruths in sworn paperwork used against me as well?
Is it true that the real reason you pursued Swartz was political payback for his work for WikiLeaks and PACER alternatives?
When your prosecutors told my attorneys they planned to move to block me from even arguing that I acted “in the defense of others,” was that in the interest of justice? Is justice really what the Obama administration was pursuing in my case and Aaron’s, or were they simply furthering the goals of political allies? Are you aware of the implications for the Second Amendment of stopping juries from considering “the defense of others”?
Given that you and your administration seemed so willing to lie and misappropriate to protect political allies and achieve political goals, how can the American people be expected to believe a single word you or your colleagues say in the upcoming hearings?
Finally, I must ask, what’s it like to be fired by Donald Trump?
Martin “MartyG” Gottesfeld
Please note my change of address since my last letter:
Martin Gottesfeld #71225
26 Long Pond Road
Plymouth, MA 02360