Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
A retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant general who commanded forces armed with nuclear weapons says the disclosure of Barack Obama’s documentation proving his eligibility to be commander in chief is critical not just to the defense of an officer challenging the president’s status, but to the preservation of the nation itself.
The vehement statements came in an affidavit from retired Lt. Gen. Thomas G. McInerney, a Fox News military analyst, that was disclosed today by an organization generating support for Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin.
A hearing is scheduled in Lakin’s court-martial case Thursday at which a ruling is expected on defense requests for the very evidence that McInerney is citing.
The general, who retired in 1994 after serving as vice commander in chief of USAF forces in Europe, commander of the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing and assistant vice chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, among other positions, said the chain of command issue is critical, since officers are obligated both to follow orders and to disobey illegal orders.
“Officers in the United States military service are – and must be – trained that they owe their highest allegiance to the United States Constitution,” he said in the affidavit.
“There can be no question that it is absolutely essential to good order and discipline in the military that there be no break in the unified chain of command, from the lowliest E-1 up to and including the commander in chief who is under the Constitution, the president of the United States. As military officers, we owe our ultimate loyalty not to superior officers or even to the president, but rather, to the Constitution.”
He continued, explaining, “good order and disipline requires not blind obedience to all orders but instead requires officers to judge – sometimes under great adversity – whether an order is illegal.”
“The president of the United States, as the commander in chief, is the source of all military authority,” he said. “The Constitution requires the president to be a natural born citizen in order to be eligible to hold office. If he is ineligible under the Constitution to serve in that office that creates a break in the chain of command of such magnitude that its significance can scarcely be imagined.”
Lakin is being supported by the American Patriot Foundation, which said the affidavit is for use in Lakin’s trial, scheduled Oct. 13-15, as well as Thursday’s hearing on the evidence to be allowed in the case.
The group said McInerney is the highest-ranking officer yet to lend public support to Lakin.
A recent poll showed that only about 4 in 10 Americans believe Obama’s story of being born in Hawaii.
McInerney’s affidavit “acknowledges widespread concerns over the president’s constitutional eligibility and demands the president release his birth records or the court authorize discovery,” the foundation said.
Lakin’s defense counsel has asked for the president’s school records as well as a deposition from the custodian of Obama’s birth records that may exist in Hawaii.
The hearing is scheduled at 11 a.m. Thursday at Ft. Meade, Md., at the courthouse at 4432 Llewellyn Ave., inside the military base. The court is open to the public.
He is board certified in family medicine and occupational and environmental medicine. He has been recognized for his outstanding service as a flight surgeon for year-long tours in Honduras, Bosnia and Afghanistan. He was also awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Afghanistan and recognized in 2005 as one of the Army Medical Department’s outstanding flight surgeons.
“In my command capacity I was responsible that the personnel with access to these weapons had an unwavering and absolute confidence in the unified chain of command, because such confidence was absolutely essential – vital – in the event the use of those weapons were authorized,” the general wrote.
“I cannot overstate how imperative it is to train such personnel to have confidence in the unified chain of command. Today, because of the widespread and legitimate concerns that the president is constitutionally ineligible to hold office, I fear what would happen should such a crisis occur today.”
He said Lakin is acting “exactly” as “proper training dictates.”
“It is my opinion that LTC Lakin’s request for discovery relating to the president’s birth records in Hawaii is absolutely essential to determining not merely his guilt or innocence but to reassuring all military personnel once and for all for this president whether his service as commander in chief is constitutionally proper.
“He is the one single person in the chain of command that the Constitution demands proof of natural born citizenship,” he continued. “This determination is fundamental to our republic.
“According to the Constitution, the commander in chief must now, in the face of serious – and widely-held – concerns that he is ineligible, either voluntarily establish his eligibility by authorizing release of his birth records or this court must authorize their discovery. The invasion of his privacy in these records is utterly trivial compared to the issues at stake here,” McInerney wrote.
Lakin is represented by military counsel and by Paul Rolf Jensen, a civilian attorney from California who has been provided to him by the American Patriot Foundation, a non-profit group incorporated in 2003 to foster appreciation and respect for the U.S. Constitution.
The foundation says the Army’s opinion of Lakin was made clear in an evaluation just before Lakin raised the issue of eligibility.
From Col. Dale Block: “Dr. Lakin is an extremely talented, highly knowledgeable senior Army clinician … he can always be counted on to provide me with expert advice. … 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. … Terry is the best choice for tough assignments. … Already on the promotion list to colonel, he should be groomed for positions of greater responsibility.”
But Lakin, the foundation says, has been compelled to act because he swore an oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution. Obama’s eligibility to be president has been questioned, he argues, and Obama has refused all efforts to obtain documents that could determine his eligibility.
The controversy stems from the Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, which 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.”
A number of challenges and lawsuits have been based on the constitutional requirement, some alleging Obama does not qualify because he was not born in Hawaii in 1961 as he claims. Others say he fails to qualify because he was a dual citizen of the U.S. and the United Kingdom when he was born, and the framers of the Constitution specifically excluded dual citizens from eligibility.
Complicating the issue is the fact that besides Obama’s actual birth documentation, he has kept from the public documentation including his 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, files from his years as an Illinois state senator, Illinois State Bar Association records, baptism records and his adoption records.
Lakin declined to follow deployment orders after he tried through military channels to affirm the validity of orders under Obama’s command and was rebuffed. He had been scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan again.
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’s attorneys have said they now are demanding “discovery” of Obama’s records, and that in such a dispute that information is critical. The multitude of civil cases that have been brought over the Obama eligibility dispute all have failed to reach that process because of federal judges who have ruled on issues generally involving “standing.” The judges have concluded that damages from an ineligible president suffered by the plaintiffs would not be more for them than any other member of the public, so there is not a specific damage or danger.
Lakin’s counsel, Jensen, has explained that the Lakin case is different, since his client is being processed on criminal charges over the issue – a status that puts him in imminent danger of specific and personal “damages.”
The courts already have shown a weakness on the subject of Obama’s records. 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. Hemenway brought a previous court challenge, now on appeal, on behalf of a retired military officer, Gregory S. Hollister, who questioned Obama’s eligibility.
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.
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.
In a separate case, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threatened sanctions against attorney Mario Apuzzo. The court quickly backed off, however, when Apuzzo noted that under the rules of court procedure, being subjected to sanctions and penalties would give him the right to discovery in the case, possibly including Obama’s birth certificate.
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.