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Lt. Col. Terry Lakin is the highest-ranking active-duty officer to refuse to obey orders based on President Obama’s eligibility.
A U.S. Army officer challenging President Obama to document his eligibility to occupy to Oval Office will be telling his story to Anderson Cooper on his “360” program on CNN.
The SafeguardOurConstitution website, which is generating support for Lt. Col. Terry Lakin, announced he will appear Friday. The appearance earlier had been announced for Thursday, but was rescheduled.
The interview is scheduled to be broadcast from CNN’s New York studios at 10 p.m. Eastern. Lakin will appear with his attorney, Paul Rolf Jensen.
The website also announced the Army had scheduled the start of the court-martial process with an Article 32 hearing Thursday, but Jensen immediately asked for a postponement and it now is expected in a few weeks.
“My immediate request for a continuance was granted within hours. A new date will be set soon, most likely in the first two weeks in June,” Jensen said in a prepared statement.
Assisting Jensen in his defense of Lakin is a very experienced senior member of the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s corps.
The charges against Lakin were filed earlier without comment by the Army. The counts allege violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice Articles 87 and 92.
Lakin publicly had asked the president to document his eligibility and expressed a willingness to deploy with the 32nd Cavalry Regiment to Afghanistan. He said he would refuse all orders until that happened. But he received no response from the White House.
The filing of charges, however, may be part of the still-unrevealed strategy Lakin and his legal counselors are pursuing.
Formally, Lakin is accused of “through design” missing “the movement of US Airways Flight Number 1123, departing from Baltimore/Washington International Airport arriving in Charlotte, North Carolina, in order to deploy for a Temporary Change of Station in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the 32nd Calvary (sic) Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky, with which he was required in the course of duty to move.”
The second charge accuses Lakin of failing to report “to the office of his Brigade Commander, Colonel Gordon R. Roberts, at 1345 hours, or words to that effect, an order which it was his duty to obey.”
The SafeguardOurConstitution website explained the first charge, “missing movement,” is a serious crime in the nature of a felony. The second is “disobeying a direct order” and includes four specifications.
“Any soldier convicted on all charges and specifications would expect to be sentenced to years at ‘hard labor’ in the penitentiary,” the site said.
The charges against Lt. Col. Terry Lakin, the highest-ranking and first active-duty officer to refuse to obey orders based on President Obama’s eligibility.
Jensen in an earlier interview on the G. Gordon Liddy radio program gave hints about what he expects.
“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,” Jensen said.
Lakin had 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 on the Liddy program.
The attorney avoided broadcasting any specific defense strategy for the case. But he expressed confidence there will be an aggressive discovery phase in preparation for a defense of the charges.
“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.
Hemenway brought the previous 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 during the 2008 election campaign that the federal legal dispute had been “twittered” and, therefore, resolved.
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. 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.
Jensen 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.”
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.
“It’s by far the most difficult thing I’ve ever done,” Lakin said during the interview. “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.”
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, 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.”
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 first active-duty 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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If you are a member of the media and would like to interview Joseph Farah about this campaign, e-mail WND.
Note: A legal-defense fund has been set up for Lt. Col. Terry Lakin.