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Dentist awaiting trial claims government conspiracy
KSDK - St. Louis Channel 5 ^ | 9/10/01 | No tellin' (KSDK reporter)

Posted on 09/10/2001 9:44:43 PM PDT by the808bass

(KSDK) -- It's been four years since Doctor Tom Sell, a Town and Country Dentist, was arrested for Medicaid Fraud. Since then, no trial, only long periods of solitary confinement at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri.

Sell was a successful dentist for more than 20 years. But in May of 1997, his world came crashing down outside his Town and Country office.

FBI agents forcibly arrested Sell in the parking lot and records show he had to be treated at St. John's Mercy Medical Center before being locked up.

Sell has been indicted by a Grand Jury for Medicaid Fraud. The Government claims he was charging to fix damaged teeth rather than pulling them. "While it may be true it would have saved money by pulling the teeth," said Sell, "in the long run, it would have cost the government more money to replace the teeth instead of saving the teeth."

Sell says, the charges are a cover for the real reason the Federal Government wants him off the streets. "I know that they cremated alive, innocent children, at that Mt. Carmel, 19th April, 1993."

Sell is referring to the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, Texas that burned to the ground during an FBI raid. Sell watched the tragedy unfold on closed circuit television at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, where he was called to active duty as a Major in the Army reserves.

Sell says his commanding officer told him to report to the Medical Center's burn unit the morning of the raid. "He advised me it was a high security alert and that under no circumstance was I to travel in uniform and to use a different air carrier than normal."

Sell's conclusion - he would use his background in forensic dentistry to identify possible casualties from the raid.

Government officials dispute the story, and government doctors say he's delusional. "I'm not delusional, and I'm certainly not incompetent to stand trial."

Assistant US Attorney Howard Markus disagrees, saying, "He has been examined by two sets of experts. The government expert and his own experts and they all conclude, they have a remarkably similar conclusion that he is not competent to proceed."

What the two sides don't agree on, is how Sell should be treated. The government wants to forcibly medicate Sell and two Federal judges have agreed. But Sell and his attorneys say the drugs are dangerous and have appealed the rulings to the 8th Circuit Court of appeals in St. Louis.

"Why should I take the drugs and risk going into a comma or death or totally incapacitated for the rest of my life."

Sell's attorneys argue he should be treated by therapy in a nurturing environment. They also maintain, that being locked up in solitary confinement for long periods of time is aggravating his condition. A claim backed up by Dr. Gary Vickar, who has no ties to the case. "If one is prone to develop a delusion disorder, certain extreme stresses, one of which could be isolation, one of which could be depression from food or shelter could all lead to this disorder."

Sell says, if it's a choice between prison and the drugs, he'll stay where he is. "My own conscious comes first so that I can not plead guilty to crimes I did not commit or take drugs that I know would damage by brain. Just because I think it would get me out of this dilemma quicker."

A Federal Appeals Court Judge could decide this month whether Sell will be forcibly medicated. A grand jury has also indicted sell for conspiracy to commit murder, relating to a witness and FBI agent involved in the case. Sell maintains, it's part of the government's conspiracy.


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:
FWIW. I'm not the best at searching, but in my own incompetent way I attempted. Saw this story tonight on the news and thought it might interest some. Could be nothing. Could be everything. You know the drill...
1 posted on 09/10/2001 9:44:43 PM PDT by the808bass (the808kik@juno.com)
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To: the808bass, Alamo-Girl
Waco bump!

Interesting...

2 posted on 09/10/2001 9:51:12 PM PDT by abner
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To: the808bass
Reply to post #1: I can't help asking myself, did the soviet union really disinegrate, or did the commisars set up shop over here?
3 posted on 09/10/2001 9:52:54 PM PDT by A6M3
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To: A6M3
Reply to post #1: I can't help asking myself, did the soviet union really disinegrate, or did the commisars set up shop over here?

Yeah, I used to be a big law and order guy. Now, just not really sure.

4 posted on 09/10/2001 9:57:22 PM PDT by the808bass
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To: the808bass
Sell has been indicted by a Grand Jury for Medicaid Fraud.

As a side note, the prison where he's serving time is no Club Fed. Lots and lots o' bad dudes. I'm not sure many others are there for Medicaid fraud. I'm sure that's related to the alleged plot against a Feeb.

5 posted on 09/10/2001 10:00:16 PM PDT by the808bass
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To: the808bass
Research bump.

L

6 posted on 09/10/2001 10:02:51 PM PDT by Lurker
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To: abner
Thanks for the heads up!
7 posted on 09/10/2001 10:04:47 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: Nita Nupress, independentmind, Patriot76
Somethin' to get your teeth in.

Medicaid fraud for fixing teeth rather than pulling them
No trial
Solitary confinement
Court orders to force the taking of psychotropic drugs
Claims insider knowledge of USG forewarning of likely/possible burn victims at Waco
Now charged with conspiracy to commit murder (an afterthought?)

Hmmmmmm

9 posted on 09/10/2001 10:21:38 PM PDT by LSJohn
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To: the808bass
no trial, only long periods of solitary confinement...
records show he had to be treated at St. John's Mercy Medical Center before being locked up.

For a fraud charge?
Where's Babs Walters? I want to hear this guy interviewed.

10 posted on 09/10/2001 10:27:40 PM PDT by PRND21
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To: the808bass
This is the most bizarre story I've read in a while. But let me see if I get this straight, eh?

The feds say he was illegally "fixing" teeth rather than simply pulling them? So... it's official Medicaid policy to pull teeth but not to repair them? And it's illegal - and deserving of solitary confinment in a federal prison - if the doctor chooses, say, to repair them? Is that it?

And the doctor says he examined the torched remains of the Davidians and that they were incinerated by the same government that's now put him in solitary confinement for illegally *fixing* teeth?

What's next? Will the government decide that Medicaid doctors should be put in solitary confinement for fixing broken bones or repairing fractured skulls? Maybe they'll issue a pogrom against Medicaid doctors who scrub up! Maybe they'll throw them into gulags so the Soviet doctors can work their magic.

11 posted on 09/10/2001 10:29:54 PM PDT by Reactionary
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To: PRND21
Where's Babs Walters? I want to hear this guy interviewed.

I don't think the web site it too high tech so a streaming bit with him is probably out of the question, but he was on camera tonight on the evening news. Didn't come off as a nut job. It wasn't given a lot of time or priority, but it was interesting.

12 posted on 09/10/2001 10:31:16 PM PDT by the808bass
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To: the808bass
In May 1997, the dentist was arrested in his office by FBI agents on charges of Medicaid fraud. Later that year, the FBI was approached by a St. Louis couple who made a stunning accusation against Sell and his wife Mary. They claimed that the Sells had tried to hire them to murder both the FBI agent who had arrested Dr. Sell and a former employee of the dentist who was the chief witness against him in the fraud case.

Expanding its investigation, the FBI secretly taped six hours of conversations between the Sells and the other couple that winter. A St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter who later listened to those tapes described them as "incriminating." The Sells were indicted for murder conspiracy in April 1998, and Mary Sell later pled guilty and implicated her husband in the alleged plot.

More than two years after his indictment, however, Tom Sell has yet to come to trial. During most of that time he has been held in a federal prison hospital in Springfield, Mo. The U.S. attorney in St. Louis says that psychiatric examinations of the dentist show that he is mentally ill and therefore unfit to stand trial.

But Dr. Sell, who insists he is both innocent and sane, has refused medication with anti-psychotic drugs that the government believes would make him fit for trial. During this lengthy legal standoff, Dr. Sell and his supporters have accused prison guards of "torturing" him with beatings, scalding water and long periods of shackling.

13 posted on 09/10/2001 10:42:42 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: the808bass
bump
14 posted on 09/10/2001 10:42:54 PM PDT by PRND21
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To: kcvl
Source? Thanx for the info.
15 posted on 09/10/2001 10:47:28 PM PDT by the808bass
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To: the808bass
Bump. Yikes.
16 posted on 09/10/2001 11:05:51 PM PDT by GluteusMax
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To: the808bass
FBI agents forcibly arrested Sell in the parking lot and records show he had to be treated at St. John's Mercy Medical Center before being locked up.

Oh!? Hmmmmm....

17 posted on 09/11/2001 12:04:39 AM PDT by RGVTx
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To: LSJohn
With my humble thanks to Wallaby for the template...


Not for commercial use. Solely to be used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 15, 2000, Friday, FIVE STAR LIFT EDITION
NEWS, Pg. A1

DENTIST ACCUSED OF MURDER PLOT WANTS TRIAL AFTER 3 YEARS IN JAIL;
BUT PROSECUTORS ARGUE
HE IS TOO MENTALLY ILL

Carolyn Tuft

A Town and Country dentist has been behind bars for three years -- one in solitary confinement -- even though he has never been convicted of a crime.

The dentist, Dr. Charles "Tom" Sell, stands accused of Medicaid fraud and plotting to kill an FBI agent. Sell maintains his innocence and is pleading for his day in court.

"I'm not guilty," Sell said from the St. Clair County Jail in Belleville last week in his first interview since his arrest in May 1997. He's there awaiting another mental evaluation to determine whether he's fit to stand trial -- the issue that has continually delayed his trial. "I want a trial," he said. "They don't want to give me a trial, so there is no way I can prove I'm not guilty, get out of prison and restore my dignity."

Sell says that being in jail has cost him his dental practice, $ 250,000 in equipment, his $ 250,000 Creve Coeur home and $ 200,000 in retirement funds.

He has spent most of his three years at the federal prison hospital in Springfield, Mo., where he will return to solitary confinement after he leaves the Belleville jail. The Springfield facility has had its own share of controversy. A "60 Minutes" report nine years ago alleged that the hospital's treatment of inmates caused "unnecessary death and disfigurement."

Federal authorities moved Sell to Springfield after they tagged him mentally ill. That status has kept Sell from being tried.

The government's contention that Sell suffers from a "delusional disorder" stems in large part from Sell telling a prison psychiatrist that Sell was a major in the Army Reserve and was called to active duty on April 19, 1993 - the day of the deadly fire at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.

But a review of military records shows that Sell was activated as a major that day.


Over time, Sell's family and friends began to seek news media attention. By Dec. 27, Sell's commitment had expired, yet Sell was held anyway. On Jan. 31, Sell's lawyers filed papers seeking to have Sell released from jail. There have been no court hearings since then.

Howard Marcus, the assistant U.S. attorney handling the charges that Sell plotted to kill the agent, would not say whether the government is ready to try Sell. "Since this is pending . . . it is not right for me to go into the specific details of the case," Marcus said.

He said he was obligated to bring up the issue of whether Sell is competent to stand trial. And Sell's federal public defender, Lee Lawless, said it's the issue that could keep Sell from ever getting his day in court.

Sell has been fighting the government's attempt to forcibly medicate him. If a judge says the government cannot medicate Sell, the government will argue that Sell cannot be restored to competency. Sell then might be committed in a civil court proceeding and the charges dropped, Lawless said. The dentist only would be released if he shows he is not a danger to himself or others.

Yet if Sell is forcibly medicated and found competent, he may not be able to stand trial because a judge could say he could not be medicated during the trial, Lawless said.

Accused of plotting murder

FBI agents entered Sell's office in Town and Country on May 16, 1997, when he was seeing his Medicaid patients. The agents arrested him on charges of Medicaid fraud.

Sell says the charges came from a misunderstanding. He said he had refused to pull patients' front teeth when they became weak, as the insurance carriers asked. Instead he would bond them with a filling and charge for the service.

"What's wrong with that?" Sell asked.

Sell was sent to the Springfield prison hospital and labeled mentally ill. By August 1997, he made bail and returned to St. Louis. He was back in jail by January 1998 after a witness told the FBI that Sell had pointed a finger at her as if to be shooting her with a gun.

Three months later, the government charged him with plotting to kill an FBI agent after two of Sell's acquaintances provided a six-hour audio tape that authorities say implicates Sell in a murder-for-hire plot.

A judge ruled in April last year that Sell was incompetent to stand trial and committed him to Springfield for 120 days. A second 120-day commitment order was issued in August last year.

Shortly after Sell arrived at Springfield, a prison psychiatrist diagnosed him with a delusional disorder when Sell told him he was a major in the Army Reserve. He said he had been called up for active duty on April 19, 1993, to an Army burn center in Texas. He said he had gone there to help identify possible Army casualties from Waco.

Army records don't specify a reason for Sell's activation to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.

The psychiatrist felt Sell's account was delusional, and he asked that he be forcibly medicated. Sell has adamantly refused. Despite an order from a judge this summer, Sell won't allow the government to inject him with anti-psychotic drugs.

"They completely alter your mind," Sell said. "I won't be able to think. I will never be able to practice dentistry again."

He was sent to solitary confinement on July 21 last year, after he called a nurse by her first name. The nurse said that Sell had gotten too familiar.

For 24 hours a day, Sell said he sat in a 6-by-10-foot cell with only a bunk and a toilet. On Sept. 29, Sell appeared at a competency hearing to decide whether he could be forcibly medicated. Sell said that by that time, the solitary confinement had already began to make him "lose it." He testified for more than hour.

At the hearing, a psychiatrist hired by Sell testified that Sell needed to be in a nurturing environment. It was his opinion that drugs would be of no use. The prison doctor, however, testified that the only way to treat Sell was through medication.

Over time, Sell's family and friends began to seek news media attention. By Dec. 27, Sell's commitment had expired, yet Sell was held anyway. On Jan. 31, Sell's lawyers filed papers seeking to have Sell released from jail. There have been no court hearings since then.

Allegations of mistreatment

The government also is defending itself against allegations that Sell has been mistreated. Court records show that two videotapes exist that could show Sell was abused at the Springfield prison hospital.

A federal judge this week denied Sell's lawyers the rights to see the tapes.

The lawyers claim that guards drugged Sell and chained him to a concrete slab for 19 hours in November - less than a week after Sell had been denied permission to talk to a reporter. In a separate allegation, the lawyers say the guards scalded Sell with hot water, handcuffed him behind his back, threw him down and dragged him to his cell in February.

U.S. Rep. Jim Talent, R-Mo., wrote to Sell's brother on Feb. 3 saying he had asked for the Justice Department to investigate alleged mistreatment of Sell.

Since February, a flurry of letters have gone from Talent and Sens. Christopher Bond, R-Mo., and John Ashcroft, R-Mo., asking for federal investigations. While Springfield Prison Warden Bill Hedrick insists Sell "has not been subjected to inhumane treatment," he states that both incidents are under internal investigation.

Hedrick and other officials at the facility have refused to respond to a reporter's questions outlined in two letters in June.

Sell calls himself "a broken man."

"I don't know what I'd do if they threw me out on the streets right now," said Sell, a 1976 University of Missouri School of Medicine graduate. "I don't know how to even start earning a living again."    


18 posted on 09/11/2001 4:25:22 AM PDT by Nita Nupress
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To: Nita Nupress
Not for commercial use. Solely to be used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion.


St. Louis Post-Dispatch
January 12, 2001, Friday, FIVE STAR LIFT EDITION
NEWS, Pg. A9

ASHCROFT IS ASSAILED FOR MEETING WITH BACKERS OF JAILED DENTIST; MAN HAD TIES TO GROUP FOR WHITE RIGHTS; IT SAYS THEN-SENATOR DIDN'T KNOW IT
Jo Mannies; Post-Dispatch Political Correspondent

On Sept. 22 at Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield, then-Sen. John Ashcroft met for 10 minutes with two local supporters of Dr. Charles "Tom" Sell, a dentist from Creve Coeur who has been in federal custody for three years.

The session was prompted, in part, by a front-page story in the Post-Dispatch a week earlier that chronicled the troubles of Sell. He has yet to be tried on charges of Medicaid fraud and of plotting to kill an FBI agent. He says he's innocent. Ashcroft was among several Missouri members of Congress, all Republicans, who made written requests last year for federal investigations into Sell's case.

Ashcroft's role now is coming under heightened scrutiny by those opposed to his nomination to be the nation's next attorney general. His allies, and Sell's backers, say Ashcroft's opponents are unfairly misinterpreting routine action on behalf of constituents.

"There's a coordinated effort on behalf of people who disagree with Sen. Ashcroft on the issues to distort his views," said Mindy Tucker, spokeswoman for President-elect George W. Bush's transition team.

What's fired up Ashcroft's critics are the ties of Sell and many of his supporters to the Council of Conservative Citizens, a Bridgeton-based group that long has been accused of advocating white rights. The group denies being racist.

A commentator in the latest issue of the New York Observer points out the council link as he questions why Ashcroft would be interested in Sell's case. In recent days, the council has signed a nationally distributed petition that supports Ashcroft's nomination.

Gordon Baum, the council's chief executive, and others say Ashcroft was unaware of the council ties because it has nothing to do with their effort to free Sell. "It's irrelevant," Baum said. "I don't think he even knows about our group."

Local pro-Sell activist Tom Bugel and Mark Sell, Sell's brother, had sought the meeting with Ashcroft at the airport. They sought the senator's help in obtaining videotapes that they believe exist and that they say document Sell's allegations of mistreatment while in custody at a federal prison hospital in Springfield, Mo.

Tucker, who was speaking on behalf of Ashcroft, said Thursday: "The meeting lasted approximately 10 minutes. The people he met with were insisting that he take action. He had his staff look into it. No action was taken."

19 posted on 09/11/2001 4:40:10 AM PDT by Nita Nupress
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To: the808bass
The government wants to forcibly medicate Sell and two Federal judges have agreed.

If he's locked up he's not a threat. So why does the government need to medicate him into silence?
Answer - TO SHUT HIM UP!

20 posted on 09/11/2001 4:49:50 AM PDT by patriot_wes
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: Nita Nupress
We have become the beast, the Communist killer beast! This man should be set free. Now.
22 posted on 09/11/2001 5:05:55 AM PDT by Freedom'sWorthIt
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To: LSJohn
Okay, up until this next one, I was highly skeptical. People who suffer from delusional disorders can be unbelievably believable. I've sat one-on-one with several people who made me feel compelled to go triple-check their chart after talking to them, just to "make sure."

Some of them can appear perfectly "normal" and spin elaborate and grandiose stories of being FBI ops or DEA plants, complete with factual but very obscure information that you know to be true. The more intelligent of these people can spin very believable stories based on fact and research they've gleaned from their voracious reading habits, usually from the internet.

But with all that said, this next one got my attention...



Not for commercial use. Solely to be used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
April 27, 2001, Friday, FIVE STAR LIFT EDITION
Correction Appended
METRO, Pg. C3

COURT RULES THAT U.S. MAY DRUG IMPRISONED DENTIST AGAINST HIS WILL; COUNTY MAN, HELD FOR NEARLY 4 YEARS, HAS YET TO BE TRIED
Carolyn Tuft

A federal judge has ruled that the government can forcibly drug Dr. Charles "Tom" Sell so that he's fit to stand trial for charges of fraud and conspiracy to commit murder.

But Sell's lawyer appealed the ruling and won a stay last week. The lawyer, Lee Lawless, said Sell was terrified of being drugged.

Sell is a dentist from Town and Country who has been imprisoned for nearly four years without being tried on the charges of conspiracy to kill a witness and Medicaid fraud. U.S. District Judge Donald J. Stohr had ruled that Sell was "delusional" because he had said he was sent to San Antonio days before April 19, 1993 - when the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, burned and Sell was to identify the possible charred remains of Army personnel.

Stohr also ruled that contrary to what the federal government believes, Sell is not dangerous.

But the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stayed Stohr's ruling.

Sell also has said that his civil attorney, Gordon Baum, was roughed up at his home by an FBI agent. That statement was backed up by Baum, who testified in 1999 that he was attacked by FBI agents on April 30, 1998.

Sell also has provided Army records that show that he was called as a forensic dentist to identify remains at an Army burn center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. That happened the same day that the Waco compound burned.

Sell has maintained his innocence in the fraud and conspiracy charges. He also has claimed that the government is angry with him because he has said federal authorities plotted to blow up the Branch Davidian compound.

Sell said last week from his solitary confinement cell that he would retract all statements he has made about the government's role at Waco and Baum, his civil attorney, if the government would not medicate him forcibly.

"If I have to publicly denounce any of that, I will," Sell said. "I just want to be tried."

Sell has been held at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Mo., since 1999, when his bond was revoked after he allegedly threatened a potential witness who worked in his dental office by pointing his finger at her. He had been free for several months after posting bond. Prior to bond, Sell was held in county jails around the area on the charges.

Sell also faces the conspiracy to commit murder charge on allegations that he and his wife, Mary, tried to hire a hit man to kill a former dental office employee, Jane Alderman, and FBI Special Agent Anthony Box.

Mary Sell pleaded guilty to conspiracy on Sept. 24, 1998, and in January last year was sentenced to two years in prison. [see correction below; this is wrong]

Documents obtained by the Post-Dispatch show that the FBI placed Alderman in Sell's office. Alderman cooperated with authorities in hopes the government would go easier on her for allegedly lying at a workers' compensation hearing and allegedly obtaining controlled drugs.

Alderman said that Sell threatened her while he was out on bond by pointing his finger at her. Sell says he never saw Alderman while he was out on bond.

Federal prosecutors Howard Marcus and Dorothy McMurty were unavailable for comment. They have argued that Sell is incompetent to stand trial and that he is dangerous.

Lawless, Sell's public defender, said that it was usually the defense lawyers who try to argue incompetence. His argument is that the government has no right to forcibly medicate Sell.

"It's highly unusual" that the government would continue delays by arguing for incompetency, Lawless said. "Usually, they are the ones fighting that."

CORRECTION DATE: April 30, 2001

CORRECTION:
This story about Dr. Charles "Tom" Sell incorrectly characterized the disposition of the criminal case against his wife, Mary. In a plea bargain, Mary Sell pleaded guilty to 10 counts of mail fraud, and all other counts against her were dropped.


23 posted on 09/11/2001 5:07:41 AM PDT by Nita Nupress
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To: patriot_wes
A little tin foil here folks,isn't the medical hospital in springfield the same one the sr 71 pilot was also held in.Wasn't ashcroft implicated in that also.My meaning is this,is this a medical hospital prison or is it a political prisoner hotel?
24 posted on 09/11/2001 5:07:55 AM PDT by eastforker
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To: Wallaby
fyi
25 posted on 09/11/2001 5:09:47 AM PDT by Nita Nupress
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To: one_particular_harbour
Was he in fact in the reserves? Was he called up? And more importantly, why deny access to the tapes of his treatment in confinement?

All very good questions that need answering.

I'm out of time right now. Later, gator!

26 posted on 09/11/2001 5:12:59 AM PDT by Nita Nupress
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To: Nita Nupress
Now it's mail fraud, this case has more turns than...

May I ask how you get someone who is not now able to stand trial, ready to stand trial?

Does this mean the facility at Springfield is able to cure folks of their mental illness even if it takes a lifetime?

27 posted on 09/11/2001 5:37:11 AM PDT by wita
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To: Nita Nupress, OutSpot, Nov3, Ol' Dan Tucker, Judge Parker, Boyd, aristeides
Army records don't specify a reason for Sell's activation to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.

Well, Duh, of course they don't specify the reason for his activation. But, his Army records appear to support his 'delusional' story.

28 posted on 09/11/2001 5:42:22 AM PDT by Fred Mertz
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To: all
Charles Hanson bump.
29 posted on 09/11/2001 6:00:38 AM PDT by LadyJD
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To: Fred Mertz
Thanks for the ping, Fred. Well, Duh, of course they don't specify the reason for his activation. But, his Army records appear to support his 'delusional' story. And people wonder why I doubt the so-called "evidence" the FIB's are bandying about lately. dan
30 posted on 09/15/2001 12:49:13 AM PDT by Ol' Dan Tucker
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
A case like this and "The Trails End Ranch" are usually so blatant; we find ourselves thinking ... if these stories are true then we are in a police state ...... not many dare to make waves, for fear they will be next.

Too true.

31 posted on 09/16/2001 10:29:13 AM PDT by Countyline
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