Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin
An attorney involved with Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign says he discussed removing from Wikipedia a listing about Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, the career Army doctor facing court martial for challenging President Obama’s eligibility to be commander in chief, but he did not make the decision to remove it.
“I am the poster under the username ‘THF’ on Wikipedia,” attorney Theodore “Ted” Frank told WND today. But, he said, “I was not responsible for making the decision to remove the Lakin articles from Wikipedia.”
The articles on Lakin, whose trial is scheduled in about two weeks, were posted in September and then again in November, but were removed each time.
An article posted on SafeGuardOurConstitution.com titled, “McCain 2008 lawyer is the culprit in Wikipedia Lakin deletion” said it was Frank.
“The culprit in the Wiki deletion was ID’d by a Wiki lawyer as Washington, D.C. lawyer, Theodore Frank, who worked on the McCain campaign in 2008,” Margaret Hemenway wrote in the article.
“Up until now, the focus has been largely on the Obama administration for its role in concealing all of the president’s citizenship-related records (and for misrepresenting the Obama online Certification of Live Birth as an original birth certificate) – but Frank’s involvement is a new twist and shifts the eligibility spotlight to Obama’s 2008 rival campaign.”
Frank acknowledged participating in the discussion the second time the Lakin article was removed and he admitted he agreed with enforcing a Wikipedia rule that articles on living persons should not be published if the person was notable for only one event, but he denied being responsible for the deletion.
“I made the comment and in five minutes I forgot about it,” Frank said. “I don’t have the authority on Wikipedia to remove articles and it was okay with me that the information about Lakin would be redirected to an article discussing challenges to Obama’s eligibility to be president.”
Frank said he participates in Wikipedia as an attempt to balance its openly leftist bias.
“I edit Wikipedia as a hobby, not for a former employer. There’s certainly a left-wing bias on Wikipedia, and I’ve worked against it by asking editors to conform to its policies on editing neutrally and avoiding double standards on biographies,” Frank said. “But that means that I have to avoid double-standards, too, and can’t use Wikipedia to promote particular political causes.”
Frank also told WND that he was involved in the McCain campaign, but only to vet vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
“I had nothing to do with vetting Obama for the … campaign,” he said, “and I was not involved in the eligibility issue, either when opponents challenged McCain’s eligibility, or when the McCain campaign decided not to attack Obama on the issue.”
As WND reported long before issues were raised about Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president, Democratic Party operatives and dedicated supporters of Obama in the press and on the Internet were the first “birthers,” raising questions that John McCain was not eligible to be president.
McCain was born in 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone, where his father was then stationed as an officer in the U.S. Navy.
On April 30, 2008, the Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 511, declaring that McCain was eligible under Section II, Article 1 because “there is no evidence of the intention of the Framers or any Congress to limit the constitutional rights of children born to American citizens serving in the military or to prevent those children from serving as their country’s president.”
Then-Sen. Barack Obama co-sponsored Senate Resolution 511, though he declined to present his own birth credentials to Congress for a comparable determination of his eligibility.
Frank said he was not sympathetic to Obama eligibility challenges because he believes it to be bad politics.
“I think it hurts the political right to press challenges to Obama’s eligibility,” he said. “It hurts the conservative movement to fight this issue, especially if our goal is to elect a Republican as president in 2012.”
Frank also told WND that he experienced the bias of the leftist press when he was working in Alaska to vet Palin for the McCain campaign.
“I was shocked by the liberal media bias I saw in Alaska,” he said. “When the mainstream media reporters could not dig up dirt about Palin, they made up charges. Palin was never a member of the American Independence Party, but still the liberal printed that she was.”
On Sept. 1, 2008, ABC News reporter Jake Tapper wrote an article under the headline “Members of ‘Fringe’ Alaskan Independence Party Incorrectly Say Palin Was a Member in the 90s; McCain Camp and Alaska Division of Elections Deny Charge.”
On Sept. 2, 2008,
Steve Benen of CBS News wrote asking whether “Palin’s association with the Alaskan Independence Party” might end up being “the single most damaging angle to Sarah Palin role on the Republican Party ticket.”
WND previously reported that a feature article on Lakin was posted and pulled on Wikipedia twice, with the first posting pulled on or about Sept. 20 and the second posting pulled on or about Nov. 12.
Here is a screen capture of the deletion discussion regarding the first attempt to post an article on Lakin, titled “Wikipedia: Articles for deletion/Terry Lakin,” dated “last modified” on Sept. 27, 2010, at 23:44:
Wikipedia administrator posting under the username “Sandstein” attributed the decision to pull the initial Lakin piece to Wikipedia rule WP:BLP1E, a rule regarding “Biographies of Live Persons” that specifies under the abbreviation “1E” that “subjects notable only for one event” should not be the subject of a Wikipedia article.
The decision to remove the article was made at 23:24 on Sept. 27 and was noted by Wikipedia user “Courcelles.”
Here is a screen capture of the deletion discussion regarding the second attempt to post an article on Lakin, titled, “Wikipedia: Articles for deletion/Terrence L. Lakin,” dated “last modified” on Nov. 12, 2010 at 18:07:
In this discussion thread, Frank entered a comment at 17:55 on Nov. 12, that the article should be “redirected” to be included in a Wikipedia discussion of Obama eligibility, not posted as a stand-alone article.
The decision to remove the second article was made at 18:07 on Nov. 12 and was noted by Wikipedia user “NawlinWiki.”
“The second time the article was removed, it was done very quickly, largely because the Wikipedia users were merely reaffirming a decision that had been made the first time,” Frank told WND.
The second posting remained on the Wikipedia website a total of about one hour and ten minutes.
In both instances, the key recommendation to delete and redirect the article appears to have been made by a Wikipedia administrator posting under the username “Sandstein.”
In an e-mail to WND, Hemenway explained her source for the information that Frank was responsible for deleting the Lakin articles on Wikipedia was an anonymous “wiki blogger.”
“If we can break the code of silence and start figuring out who [on the McCain campaign] actually did the research on the COLB [Certification of Live Birth], we’d makes some headway,” she told WND.
Although Frank says the focal point should be the next presidential election, he does not oppose a plan, such as that proposed by Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., to require presidential candidates to document their eligibility.
One such mechanism would be to require, through FEC or even state laws, the state secretary of state to examine a presidential candidate’s birth qualifications under Article II, Section 1, before the candidate is presented on that state’s presidential election ballot.
Note: A legal-defense fund has been set up for Lt. Col. Terry Lakin.