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Archive for July 7th, 2015

Lengel: Dr. Farid Fata, the Dr. Mengele of Michigan

Featured_screen_shot_2015-07-05_at_10.07.04_pm_17551
Dr. Josef Mengele (left) and Dr. Farid Fata.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — It’s not always fair to compare someone to an evil figure in history. But when I saw the Metro Detroit oncologist Dr. Farid Fata sitting in federal court in Detroit Monday,  I couldn’t help but think of Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi SS officer and evil physician at Auschwitz during World War II, who conducted genetic experiments with no regard for human life.

Perhaps Mengele, who died in 1979, did it for science. Or out of hatred for the Jews. Or out of loyalty for the Nazi party.

Dr. Fata did it for money.

Dr. Fata, who will be sentenced this week, is accused of administering unnecessary treatments, including chemo for terminally ill patients, and for some who didn’t even have cancer. Some people are suffering the ill effects of the unnecessary treatments. Some possibly died sooner than they should have as a result of his treatments. In one instance, prosecutors have alleged that Dr. Fata gave 155 chemo treatments to a patient who was cancer free.

He has pleaded guilty to defrauding Medicare of millions of dollars for unnecessary treatments to more than 500 patients.

Dr. Fata got rich being Dr. Evil. He didn’t do it for some ideological reason.

And he, like  Dr. Mengele, carried out the medical acts with no regard for human life.

This week, starting on Tuesday, in a seventh floor courtroom occupied by U.S. District Judge Paul Borman, about two dozen people — family members of victims of Dr. Fata —  will give brief statements about the horrors they experienced, having trusted Dr. Fata.  At the end of all that, the judge will sentence Fata, likely on Thursday. The prosecution is asking for 175 years. Fata’s attorneys are asking for no more than 25 years.

It’s hard to imagine he’ll get anything short of a life sentence. The cruelty involved is beyond comprehension.

On Monday, as part of the sentencing hearing, the government called to the witness stand Dr. Dan Longo, a Harvard Medical School professor, who testified about the unnecessary and puzzling treatments Dr. Fata meted out to various patients.

Longo concluded that treatment in cases he was asked about were beyond aggressive and over the top.

Dr. Fata, clad in a black suit and an open collared, white shirt, sat stoically, next to his two attorneys and two medical experts. He often just stared at the witness, expressionless, and occasionally jotted down something on paper and passed it on to someone at the table. Some of the victims’ family members sat in the gallery, having come traveled aboard a charter bus parked across from the courthouse on Lafayette Blvd.

Dr. Longo testified that the unnecessary treatments exposed patients to severe side effects, including lowering immunity systems.

He testified that patients received a “stunning” number of injections of a drug called Rituximab, which is used to treat aggressive lymphoma. One patient got 112 doses when the max is 24.

The prosecutor, John Neal, brought up a Fox 2 report about a patient who was operated on for pancreatic cancer. After the surgery, he went to Dr. Fata, who followed up with five years of chemo. Dr. Longo said six months of chemo was more appropriate under the circumstances. The patient told the station that he has suffered from a series of ailments from the chemo.

Dr. Fata is a scary reminder why we need second opinions when confronted by serious medical issues,  and that the bad doctor must pay dearly for the Dr. Mengele that lurks inside of him.

DEA, FBI Accused of Long Relationship with Controversial Italian Firm for Surveillance

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Italian company with suspected ties to repressive regimes has been selling surveillance and spyware to the FBI and DEA, The Hill reports. 

The discovery comes after the firm, Hacking Team, was hacked. The hacker revealed company documents that suggest countries the company does business with countries like Sudan.

Among the discoveries was a multi-year relationship with the FBI and DEA.

“The more I read, the more I think the term ‘merchants of death’ accurately applies to @HackingTeam,” tweeted Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The company also has been accused of selling its surveillance to help governments monitor and surprises journalists and political opponents.

FBI Director Comey Makes Case for Position on Encryption

James ComeyBy FBI Director James Comey
Lawfare

I am worried we are talking past each other with respect to “Going Dark,” so let me try to frame it in a way that I hope is fair-minded and provides a basis for healthy discussion:
These are things I believe to be true:
1. The logic of encryption will bring us, in the not-to-distant future, to a place where devices and data in motion are protected by universal strong encryption. That is, our conversations and our “papers and effects” will be locked in such a way that permits access only by participants to a conversation or the owner of the device holding the data.
2. There are many benefits to this. Universal strong encryption will protect all of us—our innovation, our private thoughts, and so many other things of value—from thieves of all kinds. We will all have lock-boxes in our lives that only we can open and in which we can store all that is valuable to us. There are lots of good things about this.
3. There are many costs to this. Public safety in the United States has relied for a couple centuries on the ability of the government, with predication, to obtain permission from a court to access the “papers and effects” and communications of Americans. The Fourth Amendment reflects a trade-off inherent in ordered liberty: To protect the public, the government sometimes needs to be able to see an individual’s stuff, but only under appropriate circumstances and with appropriate oversight.
To read more click here. 

FBI Seeks Help with Disturbing ‘Sextortion’ Case Involving Hundreds of Girls

computer-photo1By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI may be handling its biggest case yet of “sextortion.”

The bureau is asking for the public’s help finding hundreds of teenage victims who sent sexually explicit photos to a Florida man after he threatened them, WJXT reports. 

Lucas Chansler, 31, was sentenced to 105 years in federal prison last year, but hundreds of his victims have never been identified.

The bureau said he pretended to be a 15-year-old boy. After convincing a teenage girl to send a sexually explicit photo, he threatened to post the picture online unless the girl sent more photos.

This happened hundreds of time in the U.S., Canada and the UK, according to the FBI.

Eric Holder: Plea Deal Possible to Bring Back NSA Leaker Snowden

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department could make a deal to convince NSA leaker Edward Snowden to return to the U.S. after he fled in 2013 following the shocking release of secret surveillance documents.

That’s according to former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who spoke to Yahoo News about the issue.

Holder said the U.S. likely would be interested in striking a deal with the whistleblower and even conceded that Snowden’s document leak “spurred a necessary debate” on surveillance.

“I certainly think there could be a basis for a resolution that everybody could ultimately be satisfied with. I think the possibility exists.”

But current AG Loretta Lynch didn’t seem as open to a deal.

“This is an ongoing case so I am not going to get into specific details but I can say our position regarding bringing Edward Snowden back to the United States to face charges has not changed,” Lynch spokeswoman Melanie Newman said in an email.

Child Pornography Investigation Leads FBI to Subway’s Jared Fogle

Jared Fogle

Jared Fogle

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Popular Subway spokesman Jared Fogle, who purportedly lost more than 200 pounds eating sandwiches from the restaurant, has been raided by the FBI this morning.

Fox50 reports that the investigation involves child pornography.

The FBI declined to divulge any details.

The director of Fogle’s charitable foundation, the Jared Foundatoin, was arrested in a child pornography case earlier this year.

Neither Subway nor Fogle could be reached for comment.

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