Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin
An Army officer who invited his own court-martial to resolve for the nation questions about Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president has waived a preliminary hearing in his case.
Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, who refused orders from a chain of command led by Obama, also today released a new video explaining why documentation needs to be released by Obama that could confirm that he qualifies to be president under the Constitution’s demand that the office by held only by a “natural born citizen.”
Lakin was scheduled for an Article 32 military hearing tomorrow, the equivalent of a civilian preliminary hearing in a court case. But Daniel J. Driscoll, an Army hearing officer, had banned Lakin from bringing in evidence about Obama’s birth as well as testimony from Hawaii officials who may have information on the subject.
“In my view our constitutional jurisprudence allows Congress alone, and not a military judicial body, to put the president’s credentials on trial,” Driscoll wrote in a memorandum determining what evidence the defense for Lakin would have been allowed.
But in a new video, Lakin said the issue is important:
Lakin said Driscoll’s decision made it impossible for him to present a defense at the hearing, so he is waiving the hearing and instead will use the time to prepare for a trial, where he will renew his request for the documentation.
He cited a long list of “reasonable arguments” raising questions about whether Obama was born on American soil. He also pointed out how the “documentation” provided by Obama during his campaign, a computer-generated Certification of Live Birth, until last year wasn’t even recognized by the state of Hawaii itself for a number of uses. Also, officials in the state have refused to confirm its authenticity.
He also noted no hospital has claimed credit for being the place of Obama’s birth.
“The Constitution matters,” Lakin said. “So does the truth. Americans deserve answers, not a coverup.”
Lakin expects his court-martial to be sometime this fall, but it has not been scheduled. According to the SafeguardOurConstitution website, which is run by the American Patriot Foundation, a nonprofit group incorporated in 2003 to foster appreciation and respect for the U.S. Constitution, since Lakin has waived the Article 32 “preliminary hearing,” the next step will be the formal referral of charges by Lakin’s commander, Maj. Gen. Carla Hawley-Bowland, followed by an arraignment. Both are expected this month.
Lakin had sought the documentation on Obama’s birth as well as the testimony of Chiyome Fukino of the Hawaii Department of Health and that agency’s records on Obama.
Lakin also wanted the records and testimony from custodians of records of Obama’s college financial aid, Punahou school attendance, Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law School.
Driscoll summarily rejected those requests.
Lakin’s attorney, Paul Rolf Jensen, told WND that of all the dozens of cases that have been brought to various courts over the issue of Obama’s eligibility, Lakin’s probably is the strongest yet.
He said that after the preliminary procedures but before the actual trial, there will be a time for the discovery of evidence.
Jensen expressed confidence that the necessary information will be obtained.
“This is a criminal case,” he noted, with a possible punishment of several years in jail. “In order for a criminal defendant to defend himself in a criminal court he has to be given the opportunity to put on a defense.”
“The records are relevant.”
He said Driscoll’s order would have allowed a “defense” but only the defense that would have been approved by prosecutors.
The records and testimony requests will be renewed before a military judge who, Jensen believes, should see “there is an issue of allowing a criminal defendant an opportunity to prove his innocence.”
Issues of loss of privacy for the president would be “minimal” compared to the prison time possible for a defendant who would be refused the opportunity to access all the relevant evidence available, he suggested.
Jensen, in an earlier interview on the G. Gordon Liddy radio program, confirmed, “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.
“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 at the time.
The discovery-of-evidence 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 SafeguardOurConstitution website. He 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.
The Constitution requires a president to be a “natural born citizen,” and while the term is not defined in the Constitution, many legal analysts believe at the time it was written it meant a person born in the U.S. of two U.S. citizen parents. Critics say Obama clearly does not qualify under that definition, since he has admitted in his book his father never was a U.S. citizen. Some legal challenges have argued he wasn’t even born in Hawaii.
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.
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.
And in at least one of the earlier disputes, the Army simply canceled the orders rather than allow the argument to come to a head.
Lakin, who previously has served in Afghanistan, refused orders this spring to go again, “because the president refuses – even in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary – to prove his eligibility under the Constitution to hold office.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Note: A legal-defense fund has been set up for Lt. Col. Terry Lakin.