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Army 'showdown' at eligibility corral
Posted By Joe Kovacs On 03/31/2010 @ 6:13 pm In Front Page | Comments Disabled
Lt. Col. Terry Lakin is the highest-ranking and first active-duty officer to refuse to obey orders based on President Obama’s eligibility.
A top-ranking, highly decorated officer in the U.S. Army says he’s now refusing all orders until President Barack Obama finally releases his long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate to prove his eligibility to serve as commander in chief.
“I feel I have no choice but the distasteful one of inviting my own court martial,” said Lt. Col. Terry Lakin, an active-duty flight surgeon charged with caring for Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey’s pilots and air crew. “The Constitution matters. The truth matters.”
“For the first time in all my years of service to our great nation, and at great peril to my career and future, I am choosing to disobey what I believe are illegal orders, including an order to deploy to Afghanistan for my second tour of duty there. I will disobey my orders to deploy because I – and I believe all servicemen and women and the American people – deserve the truth about President Obama’s constitutional eligibility to the office of the presidency and the commander in chief.
“If he is ineligible, then my orders – and indeed all orders – are illegal because all orders have their origin with the commander in chief as handed down through the chain of command.”
In his video message now posted on YouTube, the 18-year veteran personally pleads with the president to stop withholding the key document which would put to rest many of the doubts that continue to linger more than a year into Obama’s term.
“President Obama, I ask you to respect and uphold the Constitution. Be transparent and show your honesty and integrity. Release your original, signed birth certificate, if you have one, thus proving your birth on American soil, and thus assure the American people that you are lawfully eligible to hold the office of the presidency and serve as commander in chief of the Armed Forces.”
“Any reasonable person looking critically at the evidence currently in the public domain would have questions about President Obama’s claim to be a natural-born citizen,” Lakin continued, stating this “troubling” information has gone unanswered “because he refuses to release his original birth certificate dating from 1961 and bearing the signature of the doctor who delivered him. This burden of proof must fall upon the president.”
TheBirthers.org website was thrilled with Lakin’s refusal to obey orders, stating, “This is a game changer.”
Lakin is the highest-ranking officer to go public over Obama’s legitimacy and the first active-duty officer to do so. Others in the military who have challenged the president to no avail thus far include Army doctor Capt. Connie Rhodes and Army reservist Maj. Stefan Cook.
A website called SafeguardOurConstitution.com has set up a legal defense fund for Lakin, and has posted a long list of the doctor’s awards, including the Army Flight Surgeon’s Badge, Combat Medical Badge, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Armed Forced Expedition Medal, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon and the NATO service medal.
Army Dr. Terry Lakin, the flight surgeon for 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, examines the partially amputated finger of an Afghan man who assists in collecting unexploded ordnance at Kandahar Airfield. Lakin was selected as the Army Medical Department’s Flight Surgeon of the Year for 2004.
Reaction online reveals both support and dismissal of Lakin’s effort:
Just this week, Obama himself made note of the eligibility issue, saying the tea-party movement is based on those who doubt his legitimacy.
Asked on NBC’s “Today” show about the tea-party opposition to
his plans in Washington, Obama said, “I think that it is still a loose amalgam
of forces. There is a part of the tea-party movement that actually did exist
before I was elected. We saw some of it leading up to my election.
“There are some folks who just aren’t sure I was born in the United States,
whether I was a socialist,” he said.
“That’s segment of it which I think is just dug in ideologically. That strain
has existed in American politics for a long time,” he said.
Obama’s actual response to those who question his eligibility to be president under the Constitution’s requirement that the U.S. president be a “natural born citizen” has been to dispatch both private and tax-funded attorneys to prevent anyone from gaining access to his documentation.
Besides Obama’s actual birth documentation, the still-concealed documentation for him includes kindergarten records, Punahou school records, Occidental College records, Columbia University records, Columbia thesis, Harvard Law School records, Harvard Law Review articles, scholarly articles from the University of Chicago, passport, medical records, his files from his years as an Illinois state senator, his Illinois State Bar Association records, any baptism records, and his adoption records.
WND has reported on a multitude of cases that have been brought over the issue of Obama’s eligibility. Some are by critics who have doubts about whether he was born in Hawaii in 1961 as he has written, and others are from those who question whether the framers of the Constitution specifically excluded dual citizens – Obama’s father was a subject of the British crown at Obama’s birth – from being eligible for the office.
The issue has prompted a number of state legislatures to work on proposals that would require presidential candidates to submit proof of their eligibility. And a similar proposal has been introduced in Congress by Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla.
The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”
However, none of the cases filed to date has been successful in reaching the plateau of legal discovery, so that information about Obama’s birth could be obtained.
The White House has not replied to numerous requests for comment.
“Where’s The Birth Certificate?” billboard helps light up the night at the Mandalay Bay resort on the Las Vegas Strip.
Because of the dearth of information about Obama’s eligibility, WND founder Joseph Farah has launched a campaign to raise contributions to post billboards asking a simple question: “Where’s the birth certificate?”
The campaign followed a petition that has collected more than 495,000 signatures demanding proof of his eligibility, the availability of yard signs raising the question and the production of permanent, detachable magnetic bumper stickers asking the question.
The “certification of live birth” posted online and widely touted as “Obama’s birth certificate” does not in any way prove he was born in Hawaii, since the same “short-form” document is easily obtainable for children not born in Hawaii. The true “long-form” birth certificate – which includes information such as the name of the birth hospital and attending physician – is the only document that can prove Obama was born in Hawaii, but to date he has not permitted its release for public or press scrutiny.
Oddly, though congressional hearings were held to determine whether Sen. John McCain was constitutionally eligible to be president as a “natural born citizen,” no controlling legal authority ever sought to verify Obama’s claim to a Hawaiian birth.
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