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Marty Gottesfeld, 37, is a political prisoner in the United States. There’s no other way to characterize the self-taught, nonviolent techie/medical freedom fighter being held in solitary confinement at a secret federal prison camp in Marion, Illinois, after being relocated from another secret facility in Terre Haute, Indiana, earlier this month. In prison industrial complex jargon, both are referred to as “communications management units” (CMUs).
Alternatively, they may be referred to as “un-American prison black holes.”
I’ve asked the federal Bureau of Prisons twice, first in June and again this week, why Marty is being detained in solitary confinement, how long he’s been there, and why he was transferred. “The BOP does not reveal any individual inmate’s terms of detention, including living quarters or grounds for transfer,” Michelle Malkinwas was told, “for privacy, safety, and security concerns.” Marty has been in solitary confinement for four months and is unable to communicate with his loved ones or the media.
Marty’s predicament — and courage — was first brought to my attention five years ago by his devoted and alert wife, Dana, whose remarks in support of his dissident action, which garnered him a 10-year federal sentence, have stayed with me to this day: “It was the right thing to do.”
For those who haven’t heard about or forgotten about the “Free Marty G” horror, here’s a short rundown. Boston Children’s Hospital took Justina Pelletier, a little child, from her parents’ care in 2013. The kid, who suffers from mitochondrial disease and postural orthostatic
tachycardia syndrome, was admitted to BCH following a severe flu infection. Justina was medically abducted and carelessly re-diagnosed with a psychiatric disease called “somatoform disorder” instead of receiving top-notch treatment and attention at BCH.
Justina was carried from BCH’s neurology department to the hospital’s notorious mental unit, where she was chastised for being unable to evacuate her bowels or walk alone in her frail state. She was harassed by a staffer while taking a shower at the Wayside Youth and Family Support Network residential treatment center where she was imprisoned, as she and her family told me in my 2018 documentary on the case. The emotional and physical torment lasted 16 months.
Then there’s Marty G.
In April 2014, he was part of a social media army that launched DDoS assaults against Boston Children’s Hospital and the adjoining Wayside Youth and Family Support Network residential treatment facility. To protest Pelletier’s medical abduction, Marty has formed a social media army to take down both institutions’ computer networks. Anonymous, a loose-knit hacker collective, is said to have been involved in the campaign.
Marty was charged with cybercrime and found guilty, and he was sentenced to ten years in federal prison. At the time of his sentencing, he had already spent more than a year in prison without bail (including 80 days in solitary confinement and a spell in the same detention cell as Mexico’s famed drug cartel chief “El Chapo”). He had no regrets about defending Pelletier, and with Dana’s support, he continued his whistle-blowing investigative journalism after his incarceration — until the government sought to silence him after he reported on the condition of other CMU inmates.
Dana last spoke with Marty in September of last year. The last time she saw him in person was during his sentencing three years ago this month – yep, three years ago. Marty was recommended to be released from the Terre Haute CMU by BOP officials last summer. He was instead transferred from one American Gitmo to another.
Dana informed me last week, “We were heartbroken to learn that Marty’s placement at the CMU will continue.” “There was never any good — or even understandable — justification to put him in the ultra-restrictive section formed after 9/11. The BOP’s decision to keep Marty in the CMU demonstrates that the pattern of harassment and retribution that Marty experienced when he began speaking out about conditions in BOP facilities has continued.”
“Less than two-tenths of one percent of federal inmates are housed in the CMUs,” Dana continued. Many of them are terrorists affiliated with extremist Islamist groups. The BOP has never provided a logical explanation for why Marty, a peaceful individual who has never been convicted of a crime, is being held in these specialized prison units. Marty’s choice to speak publicly about circumstances in BOP facilities, ranging from wet and cold cells to nonpotable water to misbehavior by a BOP unit manager,I feel the BOP is still retaliating against him.”
Marty’s case was turned up to the Bureau of Prisons’ Office of Internal Affairs by the Justice Department’s inspector general. Marty’s complaint has disappeared into yet another abyss.
Visit https://www.freemartyg.com/ for additional information if you’re angry that this is occurring in America and want to assist. Combating human rights violations begins at home, within our borders, and for our fellow citizens.