Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What TV-20 Left Out

     Yesterday,TV-20 aired another two-minute news report about my clinic.  Here's the link:

     It takes deftness and a keen appreciation for the attention span of American viewers to put together a semi-coherent story about anything, in a mere two minutes.   The reporter insisted on putting a positive spin on the padlocking of my clinic's doors.  I gave him my side of the story, but it included facts he didn't think would appeal to the public--too negative.
     It's a good thing I have my blog as a way of letting off steam!
     I realize that the reporter has to do a job which is less about news and more about marketing, and I forgive him.  He had to leave room for a murder case in the same ten-minute segment, didn't he?  Moreover, he's straight out of school, and has to make a good impression with the guardians of the TV-20 studio, in these two years neophytes are hired to gain experience in exchange for low wages.  It's a pretty good deal, given the competition for media jobs.  Then, they're shoved out of the hatchery like fattened turkeys to find their own way in the world.
      My story isn't lurid, so it has to be heartfelt for people to watch.  Therefore, the reporter acted as though donating all the clinic's equipment to Guatemala sort of makes it worthwhile to shut the whole place down.  Not exactly tearjerker material, but a hook for viewers' attention.  For my part, giving away the equipment is better than posting it, item by item, on Ebay.  And I liked the people who were running the rural and inner-city clinics when I went to Guatemala seven years ago, after a series of mudslides destroyed whole towns and they really needed doctors.

     Here's what the TV-20 reporter didn't say: 

     1.  I haven't done anything wrong.
     2.  It's the government's fault, at least indirectly, that I'm closing my clinic.
     3.  It's been a walloping two and a half years since the federal government filed a case against me.
     4.  It's been nineteen months since the FBI raided my clinic at gunpoint, taking all the patients' medical records, and lots of other stuff.
     5.  No reason has been given for the raid, not then, and not now.
     6.  At a court hearing (initiated by me, sixteen months ago) a local judge gave the federal prosecutors permission to keep every bit of information about what I might be doing wrong, as a doctor and as a business owner, top secret.  It didn't matter that I might continue to do whatever it is they thought I was doing wrong, thereby harming the American people, if they didn't at least give me a clue.  The judge also said the feds could keep my patients' medical files, all 3,000 of them.
     7.  I don't really want to close my clinic.
     8.  Without the ability to hire another doctor or two, or mid-level providers, I can't run a clinic that I can vouch for, a place with the broad range of services and expanded hours I've always offered, and which meets the needs of patients in eastern Alachua County. 
     9.  Medical professionals, including doctors, are not willing to take a chance working for someone who is under investigation by the federal government (I don't blame them).  Therefore, I can't hire physicians, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants to help me take care of patients--not since the raid.
    10. I feel ashamed, oddly, even though I have nothing to feel ashamed about.  This is something that happens to people who are abused, or whose rights have been violated by over-powerful, overreaching "protectors."  It's a form of Stockholm Syndrome. 
    11. I have two lawyers, but they tell me that federal prosecutors have big vats of protection, in the form of statutes giving them permission to violate our Bill of Rights rights during times of national emergency.  Are we in a "national emergency"?  These prosecutors are unlikely ever to be held accountable for ruining my career, even if their actions were wrongheaded, which they were.
    12. I am told that if federal prosecutors make a mistake, and raid or ruin a citizen in the process, they never apologize.  Instead, they find ways to trump up charges, however ambiguous or vague, and slap huge fines on the people they have attacked, so that those people, their victims, will be amenable to plea bargaining and will consent to gag rules.  That way, federal agents can keep up their shiny images for the rest of us.
    13. Thomas Jefferson said that when the government fears the people, there is liberty; but when the people fear the government, there is tyranny.
    14. I am afraid of the judicial branch of our government, and the overreaching power of its many single-minded, power-bloated, politically-motivated prosecutors and their posses.  You should be, too.


  1. "...raided my clinic at gunpoint.."

    Do you mean that the law enforcement officers were armed?

  2. Yes, the FBI agents were armed, and there were dozens of them, whose sole purpose seemed to be intimidation. FBI agents are issued Glock 23's--this is a semi-automatic compact handgun. One employee, a medical assistant, reports that an FBI agent put a gun to her head when she asked a question. No one could record what happened, because everyone's cell phone was taken, as per standard procedure during FBI raids. Watch the youtube video, Rampant InJustice (posted in my blog margin) for a reenactment of a raid on Pure Mountain Water in Arkansas if you want a window into what happened at my clinic on June 16, 2011.

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