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 ↑
Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin
There’s a new lawyer and a new, still-unreleased strategy being developed for a career doctor in the Army who is challenging the president to prove his eligibility to be commander in chief and, therefore, document the validity of his orders.
The challenge is being made by Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, whose most recent hearing in the military judiciary found the judge essentially concluding that he would be allowed to argue only two points at a court-martial: whether he was issued orders and whether he followed them.
According to the American Patriot Foundation, which has been running the Safeguard our Constitution website and working in support of Lakin, that work will continue with minor modifications.
Neither Lakin nor his new attorney, who according to online reports is Neal Puckett, could be reached immediately for details.
But the firm’s website said Puckett served as a ground combat officer for the U.S. Marine Corps and for some time, the firm’s sole focus was military law.
Note: A legal-defense fund has been set up for Lt. Col. Terry Lakin. Click for information.
The American Patriot Foundation, in its announcement, said Lakin is repositioning his forces and will be focusing for the next several weeks on the court-martial, scheduled now for Nov. 3-5.
“LTC Lakin is consistent in continuing on the same path that he announced publicly six months ago when he released his first YouTube video – and consistent with his military training, to continue to request assurance from Pentagon leadership that his military orders, including his deployment orders to Afghanistan, are legal – authorized at the highest level by a commander-in-chief who is constitutionally eligible, per Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution,” the foundation said.
“As a medical officer and not a lawyer or constitutional scholar, LTC Lakin is not laying claim to be the sole arbiter of the president’s constitutionality in attempting to determine, without any genuine evidence to make such a determination, the president’s ‘natural born’ citizen status,” the organization said.
“The burden of proof rests solely on Barack Obama to demonstrate to the American people and to the U.S. armed forces that he commands, that he is lawfully serving in his current capacity as head of the executive branch of the federal government,” the foundation said.
The foundation said Army prosecutors, along with the acting judge in the case, Denise Lind, have “made this determination of the commander in chief’s eligibility under the Constitution impossible – by denying discovery – and essentially denying LTC Lakin the customary due process rights that defendants in American courts enjoy when facing criminal charges.”
Lind, at the last hearing in Lakin’s case, censored the last remaining arguments Lakin’s original counsel had planned for the case: motive and duty. Lakin had intended to explain his motive for disobeying a deployment order and contend it was his duty as a good soldier to disobey orders he believes illegal.
Earlier, Lind ruled that nothing regarding the president could be discussed during the trial. She noted at that time providing documentation on the president might prove “embarrassing” for him.
When Lind made her earlier rulings, denying Lakin access to potentially exculpatory evidence in his case, Judge Roy Moore, who battled political correctness as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court a decade ago, said Lind has forgotten the Constitution.
Judge Moore, who now operates through the Foundation for Moral Law, has personal experience with challenging the powers-that-be to follow the Constitution. His dispute centered on a Ten Commandments display he put in a state building to recognize the God who inspired the Founders of America. He ultimately was removed from office by those who followed a federal judge’s order that the Ten Commandments be removed without questioning whether it was right.
“The highest law in this country is not the order of the Supreme Court of the U.S., not the order of the commander in chief, or any subordinate officer,” Moore told WND in an earlier interview.
Instead, it is the Constitution, Moore explained, which in Lakin’s case demands that the president be a “natural born citizen.”
There have been dozens of lawsuits and challenges over the fact that Obama’s eligibility never has been documented. The “Certification of Live Birth” his campaign posted online is a document that Hawaii has made available to those not born in the state.
“Lt. Col. Lakin has every right to question the lawfulness of the orders of the commander in chief,” Moore has said.
It doesn’t matter, he said, that orders come from a colonel, or a general or even the Pentagon.
“The same thing applies in the military as in the judicial system,” he explained. “The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, it’s not the order of a higher officer, not the order of a judge.”
Lakin has been charged by the Army with missing a movement, disobeying a lawful order and dereliction of duty.
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.
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.