Why would the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) run a drug sting operation on a small town country doctor with an irreproachable reputation for honesty and community service; a doctor who frequently accepts homegrown garden produce in lieu of payment from his poorer patients; a doctor whose character and integrity are testified to by local judges, former county sheriffs, the city's mayor and a host of individuals with personal and professional contact over the thirty-five years he has been in practice--twenty of which as the only doctor in the county; a doctor who still lives in a small house trailer with none of the trappings or luxury of a physician who has any regard for money or position?
These are the questions being asked by the residents of the rural Georgia town of Mount Vernon when their venerated physician, 67-year-old Luther McRae, was indicted by a grand jury and arrested for allegedly prescribing painkilling medication illegally for a GBI undercover agent.
Dr. McRae, not a man given to "conspiracy dilutions", according to his acquaintances and friends, claims that the sting was ordered by federal officials all the way from the White House. Why, one could ask, would the White House have any concern over the disposition of a doctor in a rural Georgia town of less than 2,000 people? The reason, Dr. McRae believes, is that in 1995 he gained nationwide notoriety when the national news reported his claim that Dr. Henry Foster Jr., President Clinton's nomination for Surgeon General, had lied when testifying that he had no knowledge of the infamous Tuskegee experiments. Those were the medical studies in which four hundred black sharecroppers were intentionally denied treatment and drugs that would have cured their syphilis, instead allowing the disease to progress to horrible physical deformity and, in most cases, to death.
In Mount Vernon, a town with an official population of 1,900, there is virtually no one who does not know and highly esteem Dr. McRae, including city mayor, J.M. Fountain. "He's an easygoing fellow," the mayor told The WINDS, "and he's always tried to help people."
An Associated Press account of the incident quotes James Thompson, "a 70-year-old patient of McRae" as claiming, "I think it was entrapment. I've never seen any indication of anything like that at all." Mr. Thompson also expressed the opinion, " I know there has to be some politics behind it someplace." What AP didn't report is that Thompson is the former sheriff of Montgomery County.
McRae's license to prescribe controlled substances has been suspended and on conviction would be followed by the revocation of his medical license. Additionally, the doctor could face up to thirty years in a Georgia penitentiary. At sixty-seven that would be the realistic equivalent of a life sentence for the esteemed physician.
Dr. McRae told this office that he would routinely purchase drugs from pharmaceutical companies in order to give some of his patients what he knew they couldn't afford to buy for themselves. "That's what they got me on," he said. Then they ran the sting operation in which, McRae said, a female GBI undercover agent came to his small trailer house out in the country relating her "symptoms" and claiming to be in pain. When The WINDS asked GBI supervising agent, Lee Sweat, if the undercover agent indeed had gone to McRae with false claims of physical pain and other "symptoms" he replied only that, "I'm not saying that the patient complained. Those things will have to come out in court, what was actually said or done." This same reply, incidentally, Sweat made in response to a question as to whether an undercover agent would not be engaging in entrapment by making such a complaint and then asking for prescription pain relievers.
"We were conducting an undercover drug investigation." Agent Sweat told The WINDS, "At the time that information started being developed by our agents that prescriptions could be obtained from Dr. McRae for a price." This reporter asked if the meaning of "for a price" was a charge over and above the cost of an office call, such as a bribe or "surcharge" that would constitute criminal activity. Agent Sweat replied, "No, the allegation was that you could just go see him and get a prescription...without any physical examination," for the standard cost of an office call.
It was this lack of a physical examination, the GBI agent said, that was the primary factor in making illegal the act of prescribing medication for the undercover officer (in others words, McRae took her word for it). "LC," as many of his friends call him, "couldn't examine [the agent] at his house--that wouldn't do", said Mount Vernon Mayor, J.M. Fountain. It would have been improper and out of character for him to examine a female patient alone in his home, according to the mayor, a long time friend. Fountain expressed the belief that the doctor's only purpose was to help the phony patient find relief from her physical pain. "I don't see that as being in the dope business," he said, disgustedly.
"They had me charged with sixteen counts of illegal prescriptions," McRae told The WINDS, "but it was really only eight counts. They corrected that," he continued, "but when they went before the grand jury they presented sixteen counts." McRae also claimed, "They falsified documents to get the other eight,"those erroneous counts that the District Attorney had mistakenly cited to the grand jury.
As to why McRae would be so willing to help the GBI undercover "patient", "He's just the kind of fellow that wouldn't want to see anybody hurting," said Montgomery County Judge, Gary Braddy. In the years he's known the doctor and received his weekly allergy shots from him, Judge Braddy states that he has "never seen anything to make [him] suspicious of any wrong doing," and "if there were anybody in the world against drugs and illegal prescriptions," it's Luther McRae.
According to Dr. McRae, he was arrested and jailed on October 31, 1996. This elderly country doctor was then made to sleep on the floor of the jail due to overcrowding. When released, the stated conditions of his bond were that any law enforcement officer could at any time conduct, without a warrant, a house search and seizure, automobile search and seizure, personal body search and seizure, including power to require bodily drug screening. How, it could be asked, does this fit the constitutional doctrine of presumption of innocence?
His problems began, McRae said, "When the White House called me about the Foster nomination--I didn't call them, they called me," he asserted, "and asked me if Dr. Foster was at this meeting in 1969. I was president and he was vice-president of the Macon County Medical Society in Macon County, Tuskegee, Alabama. In 1972 Associated Press broke the story about the syphilis study. Dr. Foster denied knowing anything about it and he was at the meeting in '69" when it was discussed.
At that meeting in May, 1969 "federal officials," according to the Washington Times, "briefed the Macon County, Alabama medical society [about the Tuskegee Experiments]. Dr. Foster claims he missed that meeting and objected to the study years later. Dr. Luther McRae, the medical society's president, is willing to testify under oath that Dr. Foster did attend the meeting but raised no objection to the syphilis study."
McRae was subsequently catapulted into national media attention when Republican Senator, Nancy Kassebaum, contacted him because of her opposition to Dr. Foster's nomination. President Clinton's anger, as a result of Foster's rejection as Surgeon General, was widely reported. It does not seem at all illogical that the wrath of the Chief Executive could easily extend to those directly involved with the failed nomination of his choice of Surgeon General.
It is traditionally the norm for such cases against first-time "offenders" to be handled by medical ethics boards or other equivalent self-policing organs of the medical community--not by grand jury indictment without previous lesser action aimed at correcting undesirable behavior.
Does this incident stretch the bounds of credibility, not to mention probability, that agents of a state's drug enforcement authority would coincidentally target a doctor like McRae in a small town like Mount Vernon? Is every community under such intense scrutiny by law enforcement to curtail the extreme national threat of the uncontrolled proliferation of painkilling drugs? Does the fact that the GBI sent a female agent to the personal residence of a bachelor country doctor, who appears to be the quintessential "country gentleman", knowing he would decline physical examination at that time for reasons of propriety, appear somewhat contrived if not ingeniously crafted, for the purpose of White House retribution?
In the document established over a hundred years ago as the primary driving force of the New World Order, there is stated: "We must be in a position to respond to every act of opposition...." Dr. McRae, by all appearances, has felt the sting of that response from those of this world's shadow government who will tolerate no opposition.
When questioned on his personal perspective, if it were not overwhelming to have one's own government pursue him in such a manner, Dr. Luther McRae, Jr. of Mount Vernon, Georgia, population 1,900, simply replied, "No sir. The faith that I have in the Lord has kept me."
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