Lt. Col. Terry Lakin is the highest-ranking and first active-duty officer to refuse to obey orders based on President Obama’s eligibility.
The defense attorney for an officer refusing Army orders until Barack Obama documents his eligibility to be commander in chief has hinted that the president’s proof of eligibility could come up during the course of the government’s prosecution of his client.
“In the (Uniform Code of Military Justice), just as you would expect, criminal defendants have the process of the court, for subpoenas and depositions under the rules that are prescribed,” attorney Paul Jensen said during an interview today on G. Gordon Liddy’s nationally syndicated radio show.
Jensen was on the program with his client, Lt. Col. Terry Lakin, who posted a YouTube video inviting his own court-martial because he believes military orders under an ineligible president are illegal. He then posted a letter telling Obama it’s up to him to provide the proof.
“I’m not going to say what we are going to do other than we are going to do what you would want us to do,” Jensen said.
The attorney avoided broadcasting any specific defense strategy for the case developing against Lakin. He confirmed the officer was told in writing Monday that he now has been “flagged” by the military and charges are expected to be filed soon.
But he expressed confidence there will be an aggressive discovery phase in preparation for a defense of any charges that could be filed.
“Every criminal defendant has to be allowed the benefit of doubt to discover information relevant or which may even lead to the discovery of relevant information that could support his case,” he said.
“It would be shocking to me that a defendant … would not be permitted to discover information that would lend itself to proving his [case],” he said.
The discovery issue previously was raised in court by attorney John Hemenway, who was threatened by a federal judge with sanctions for bringing a court challenge to Obama’s presidency.
Hemenway is serving in emeritus status with the Safeguard Our Constitution website, which is working to raise support for Lakin.
G. Gordon Liddy with Lt. Col. Terry Lakin
Hemenway brought the court challenge on behalf of a retired military officer, Gregory S. Hollister, who questioned Obama’s eligibility.
The Hollister case ultimately was dismissed by Judge James Robertson – who notably ruled that the federal legal dispute had been “twittered” – and therefore resolved – during the 2008 election campaign.
Robertson sarcastically wrote: “The plaintiff says that he is a retired Air Force colonel who continues to owe fealty to his commander in chief (because he might possibly be recalled to duty) and who is tortured by uncertainty as to whether he would have to obey orders from Barack Obama because it has not been proven – to the colonel’s satisfaction – that Mr. Obama is a native-born American citizen, qualified under the Constitution to be president.
“The issue of the president’s citizenship was raised, vetted, blogged, texted, twittered, and otherwise massaged by America’s vigilant citizenry during Mr. Obama’s two-year campaign for the presidency, but this plaintiff wants it resolved by a court,” Robertson wrote.
Then the judge suggested sanctions against Hemenway for bringing the case, and Hemenway responded that the process then would provide him with a right to a discovery hearing to see documentation regarding the judge’s statements – not supported by any evidence introduced into the case – that Obama was properly “vetted.”
Hemenway warned at the time, “If the court persists in pressing Rule 11 procedures against Hemenway, then Hemenway should be allowed all of the discovery pertinent to the procedures as court precedents have permitted in the past.
“The court has referred to a number of facts outside of the record of this particular case and, therefore, the undersigned is particularly entitled to a hearing to get the truth of those matters into the record. This may require the court to authorize some discovery,” Hemenway said.
The court ultimately backed off its threat of sanctions.
WND columnist Vox Day earlier wrote about this very scenario, calling it a “get out of war free” card.
The comments followed the case of a reservist who challenged the legality of his deployment orders under Obama. The orders later were canceled by the government.
“Rather than contesting the suit,” Day wrote, “the Army took the highly peculiar step of revoking the major’s deployment order, suggesting that the Pentagon generals are not entirely confident that they can demonstrate the legitimacy of their purported commander in chief.
“The Pentagon’s decision to back down rather than risk exposing Obama’s birth records to the public means that every single American soldier, sailor, pilot and Marine now holds a ‘get out of war free’ card.”
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.
During the interview on the Liddy show, a caller from Texas noted, “We don’t buy bird dogs and we don’t buy horses without papers,” suggesting Americans should expect documentation from the president.
While Jensen declined several opportunities to outline strategies, he said, “We are going to zealously pursue every opportunity and every avenue that Lt. Col. Lakin is not guilty of the charges brought against him.”
The interview briefly touched on a series of related issues: what would be the impact of Obama’s signatures on legislation should he be ineligible? What about the “Certification of Live Birth” computer image Obama posted on the Internet during his campaign, and what about the curious use of “African” on that document, a term out of sync with its purported 1961 production?
Jensen said he would like to cross-examine the person who produced the document.
Responding to one radio-program caller’s instructions to “Give ’em hell,” Jensen responded, “You can count on it.”
He also asserted the information obtained in any trial should be public record.
“There is no reason that I can foresee that classified information would come out [during a prosecution and trial],” he said. “These are public proceedings. I rather think the press will cover any trial and the evidence will be public.”
Jensen said the charges against Lakin could include “missing movement,” which is more serious than being AWOL but not to the level of desertion.
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.”
WND has covered a multitude of challenges and lawsuits over the issue. Some have alleged that he was not born in Hawaii in 1961 as he has written, or that 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.
Lakin and his private counsel told Liddy today they are addressing this “important question about the Constitution.”
“It’s by far the most difficult thing I’ve ever done,” Lakin said. “The Lord blessed me with a great family, wife and good upbringing. I’ve tried to uphold the principles espoused by my parents and do the right thing and not take the easy way out. I just seek the truth.”
“My motivation stems from my oath of office to defend and uphold the Constitution,” Lakin said. “It’s the Constitution. That needs to be upheld.”
“We look forward to defending his case as events arise,” Jensen said.
He suggested that the president’s continuing efforts to withhold documentation that could resolve the question is, in itself, suggestive of a lack of evidence.
He also said that the failing of many of the cases that have been brought – standing or the issue of political question – “do not come into play in any way in Lt. Col. Lakin’s defense.”
Lakin told Liddy he tried to resolve the questions through formal channels.
“I did seek out … friends and my chain of command in how to address this issue and hopefully get answers. … Really there was no forthcoming help from legal resources in the military and I did what I could on my own – essentially researching and finding out about (Uniform Code of Military Justice) Article 138 complaint I attempted to file over a year ago.”
But he said he was told his complaint didn’t have to be addressed.
WND founder and CEO Joseph Farah and WND senior investigative reporter Jerome Corsi also appeared on the program to offer questions to Lakin, with Farah pointing out a new CBS–New York Times poll revealed only 58 percent of Americans even “think” Obama was born in America.
WND reported last week when the Army confirmed Lakin would be assigned to Walter Reed Army Hospital during an investigation.
At that point, Army spokesman Chuck Dasey told WND Lakin is only “under investigation.”
“Lakin reported to the commander, Medical Center Brigade, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, on Monday, 12 April, after failing to report for duty at Fort Campbell, Ky.,” a statement sent by Dasey to WND said.
“Lakin will be assigned to duty at Walter Reed pending investigation.”
A spokeswoman for Lakin, Margaret Calhoun Hemenway, told WND that whatever the “assignment” amounts to, Lakin’s access privileges were revoked, his computer was confiscated and he “is not permitted to support his Hippocratic oath … and take care of the troops as a doctor and a surgeon.”
On the day he was supposed to have reported for deployment, Lakin was read his rights by Col. Gordon Roberts, his brigade commander, who discussed the situation with him and told him he had the “right to remain silent” because he was about to be charged with “serious crimes.”
Hemenway said the message was that “he will shortly be court-martialed for crimes (specifically, missing movement and conduct unbecoming an officer) that for others has led to lengthy imprisonment at hard labor.”
Lakin earlier released a copy of a letter he sent to Obama saying, “The burden of proof must rest with you.”
The letter, posted at the Safeguard Our Constitution website, which is assembling support for the officer, describes how Lakin tried through his chain of command and his congressional office to get answers to questions about Obama’s eligibility.
Lakin originally announced his position with a video stating he would not follow orders because he was not sure of their legality under Obama, who has concealed personal information that could confirm he meets the constitutional requirement that a president be a “natural born citizen.”
The Army earlier informally recommended a mental evaluation and then threatened Lakin with punishment.
Lakin is not the first officer to raise questions. Others have included Army doctor Capt. Connie Rhodes and Army reservist Maj. Stefan Cook. But Lakin is the highest-ranking officer to raise the question.
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.
“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 500,000 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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Note: A legal-defense fund has been set up for Lt. Col. Terry Lakin.