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Eligibility challenger: Army convicted me without trial
Posted By Bob Unruh On 07/17/2010 @ 9:55 pm In Front Page | Comments Disabled
Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin
An Army officer who has chosen to stake his career on a demand that Barack Obama document his eligibility to be president is charging that the Army has convicted him without a trial.
Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin earlier posted a video challenging the military to bring him to trial on charges he refused to deploy to the Middle East again in an effort to force the revelation of Obama’s birth documentation.
The Army responded by filing charges against him and rewriting a performance evaluation to condemn him for his efforts.
Lakin now is responding to the Army’s attack. In a statement released to WND, and also posted on the Safeguard our Constitution website supporting his case, he argues the Army’s criticism is based on still-unproven allegations.
“All derogatory remarks in this (Officer Evaluation Report) originate from (Uniform Code of Military Justice) charges that are still under investigation and for which I have yet to be arraigned or found guilty,” Lakin wrote in a recent response to the Department of the Army.
“I do not agree with my (report) containing derogatory information based upon my stance of upholding my Oath of Office, to protect and defend the Constitution, and refusal to obey orders until the legitimacy of the Commander in Chief is proven,” he said. “I attempted to question the legitimacy over one and one half years ago through the only official process I knew how, and I was not offered any command or legal assistance to resolve the issue – despite asking.”
The condemnation hasn’t been limited to the Army either. An editorial in his hometown Greeley, Colo., Tribune likened him to the Fort Collins, Colo., “balloon boy,” convicted transgender killer Allen Andrade, crop circles and UFOs.
“Is there some sort of bizarre force that causes Greeley to be a sort of vacuum that sucks in strange and disturbing behavior?” the newspaper asked.
In response, Margaret Hemenway, a spokeswoman for Lakin, told the Greeley Gazette the attack was “despicable.”
“He is a peaceful and honorable man,” she said.
The Army originally recommended Lakin be promoted to colonel and described him as “an extremely talented, highly knowledgeable senior Army clinician with significant field and consultant experience.” The comments came in an evaluation two weeks after he posted an online video declaring he would refuse orders until President Obama documents his eligibility to be president.
The military then changed the records, chastising Lakin for not having “the sound judgment required of a senior officer.”
As WND reported, Lakin posted the video of his challenge to Obama to document his eligibility March 30. Since then, the military has launched a court-martial against him for disobeying orders, and a trial is expected later this year.
Lakin’s Officer Evaluation Report for the period from June 15, 2009, to April 12, 2010, described him as “a mission-oriented, strong and skillful leader who is staunchly dedicated to improving standards of medical care and patient satisfaction within the clinic.”
“LTC Lakin’s patient skills are unsurpassed, his osteopathic manipulation and acupuncture training has made a major impact on the health of Pentagon personnel,” the report said.
According to an explanation on the Safeguard our Constitution site, the evaluation revision “failed to note Lakin’s reasons for his position and failed to indicate that all soldiers are trained that they must disobey illegal orders.”
“Article II, section 1 of the U.S. Constitution explicitly provides that only ‘natural born’ citizens can serve as president and commander-in-chief. Mr. Obama’s continuing refusal to release his original 1961 birth certificate has brought Lt. Col. Lakin to the point where he feels his orders are unlawful, and thus MUST be disobeyed,” the website said.
The Army’s original evaluation said, “LTC Lakin is clearly one of the top clinicians in the Northern Regional Medical Command. He has superb clinical skills, rapport with patients and staff. He prioritizes goals and objectives, and encourages creativity and productivity in those with whom he works. Terry is the best choice for tough assignments in Family Medicine, Aviation Medicine and Occupational Medicine. … During this rating period, he has proven himself an all-around performer and he just completed a Secondary Skill Identifier in Clinical Informatics.”
While it was signed March 25 – before the video was posted – by Col. Dale K. Block of the DiLorenzo TRICARE Health Clinic at the Pentagon, it also was signed and dated April 12 by Col. Norvell V. Coots, commander of Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
The second signature came nearly two weeks after the video was posted.
The evaluation also credited Lakin with the Army values of honor, integrity, courage, loyalty, respect, selfless service and duty asked of officers. It gave him positive ratings for mental, physical and emotional attributes, conceptual, interpersonal and technical skills as well as communicating, decision-making, motivating, planning, executing, assessing, developing, building and learning.
However, a revised evaluation obtained from 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, documents the changes.
The evaluation obtained from the website raising support for Lakin now includes the terse condemnation, “Does not possess potential for promotion to higher ranks.”
It also said his “exceptional” work as a physician was “overshadowed” by his questions about Obama’s eligibility.
Lakin confirmed he was waiving his Article 32 preliminary hearing in the case so it can proceed directly to trial.
The move came after Daniel J. Driscoll, an Army hearing officer, 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 was waiving the hearing and instead will use the time to prepare for a trial in which 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 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 and attendance at Punahou High School, Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law School.
Driscoll summarily rejected those requests.
Lakin’s attorney, Paul Rolf Jensen, told WND that of the dozens of cases that have been brought to various courts over the issue of Obama’s eligibility, Lakin’s probably is the strongest.
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 for the defense.
“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 a 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.”
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, now on appeal, 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.
Tim Adams, a former senior elections clerk for Honolulu, has said there “definitely” are problems with Obama’s Hawaii birth story.
“As of the time I was in Hawaii working in the elections office we had many people who were asking about the eligibility of Senator Obama to be president. I was told at the time there is no long-form birth record, which would have been the case if President Obama was born in [a] hospital in Honolulu. There is no such form in Hawaii,” he 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 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.
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