Jerome R. Corsi, a Harvard Ph.D., is a WND senior staff reporter. He has authored many books, including No. 1 N.Y. Times best-sellers "The Obama Nation" and "Unfit for Command." Corsi's latest book is "Who Really Killed Kennedy?"More ↓Less ↑
One of the most prolific figures among the radical Obama supporters known as OBOTs – short for “Obama Robots” – has close ties to Gen. Karl Horst, who was the commanding officer of Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, the Army officer court-martialed for refusing to deploy because he believed President Obama had not verified his eligibility for office.
OBOT Frank Arduini’s relationship with Horst goes back to their days as West Point cadets, raising questions whether the Lakin trial was politically influenced.
Lakin was convicted by court-martial last December of missing movement and served five months of a six-month sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He was released in May.
When questioned Wednesday about whether or not he communicated with Horst to prejudice the general against Lakin, Arduini denied he ever spoke with the general on the subject.
In a post on the OBOT website TheFogbow.com, dated Dec. 26, 2010, Arduini bragged that he was a classmate of Horst’s, as seen in Exhibit 1.
Exhibit 1: Frank Arduini brags of West Point ties to Lakin commanding officer, Dec. 26, 2010
In the Internet post, Arduini, posting under the username “Epectitus”, wrote, “Karl Horst is my West Point Classmate. He kicked my ass in Plebe Boxing … and I was a good boxer. I may drop him a line to see how he’s dealing with the Birther mail campaign.”
Arduini’s post was made toward the end of Lakin’s court martial, which took place from September through December 2010.
The “Birther mail campaign” was an effort by Lakin supporters to get Horst to reverse the conviction and demand a retrial or to reduce the sentence.
A retired military officer who challenged Obama’s eligibility in court, Cmdr. Charles Kerchner, said he wrote to Horst on Lakin’s behalf.
Kerchner argued that Horst “had complete authority over the case and could have thrown out the charges and demanded a new trial.”
“Lakin did not get a fair trial,” Kerchner said. “Lakin was denied discovery. and his ability to question witnesses was limited.”
Kerchner said Lakin “got hammered at his court-martial and I wanted to see if Horst would intervene to help him.”
Horst did not respond to Kerchner.
Arduini denies speaking with Horst
In an email to WND, Arduini denied he spoke with Horst about the Lakin case. He stated emphatically that he did not attend the trial.
“I have never spoken with Karl Horst or anybody associated with the Lakin trial about Lakin, Birthism, President Obama or even politics,” Arduini said.
“The last time I had the opportunity to speak with Karl Horst would have been our 30th Reunion of April of 2008. And in fact, I am not even certain how Karl attended. It would have been absurd to try an influence the outcome of a trial in which the defendant had already pleaded guilty to three of the four charges.”
In a telephone conversation with WND, Arduini acknowledged that he was a West Point cadet who graduated the same year as Horst and that the photo in his avatar on TheFogbow.com is of him at West Point. Arduini and Horst graduated from West Point in 1978.
Arduini also said his username “Epectitus” was a fictitious Latin name designed to be a variation of the name of an ancient Roman philosopher, such as Epictetus, a stoic philosopher who lived from A.D. 50-138.
Kerchner doesn’t believe Arduini.
“I don’t know whether to believe Arduini then, during the Lakin trial, when he was bragging about how well he knew Horst from West Point, or now, that the trial is over and Arduini is denying talking to Horst about the subject,” Kerchner told WND.
“I don’t know whether Arduini is lying then, or whether he is lying now, but claiming both as he does, Arduini is lying one way or the other,” Kerchner said.
An Internet video posted on LiveLeak.com focuses on Arduini, claiming “Frank is running all over and bragging that he is good friends with Lakin’s commanding general, who had the decision of approving Lakin’s sentence or not approving it!”
Horst promotions raise eyebrows
The public record shows Horst received numerous promotions from 2009, when Lakin began expressing concerns over Obama’s eligibility, through the end of the trial, with more than one in-person discussion with Obama documented during that period.
Lyonne Horst, the general’s mother, told the Wenatchee World newspaper in Washington state that her son took the president to the gravesite of a female soldier who had died in Iraq before her 19th birthday.
“[Karl] wanted to show [the president] people who had given their lives,” Lyonne Horst explained to the local newspaper.
“They put [Karl Horst] on a list that comes out about once a year (in October),” his mother explained to the paper. “This is something he’s worked for. He wants to be in a position where he can make changes. He wants to make a difference. … It’s more than a job to him.”
On Dec. 11, 2010, Lakin was convicted of the charge of missing movement by design. Four days earlier, Lakin had entered a guilty plea to the charge of disobeying orders by not reporting for deployment to Afghanistan.
U.S. Central Command, or CENTCOM, is one of 10 combatant commands in the U.S. military.
On May 30, Horst again greeted Obama at Arlington National Cemetery, as documented in Exhibit 6, a photo taken on May 30before the Memorial Day Commemoration ceremonies at the cemetery began, as documented in Exhibit 6.
Exhibit 3: Obama greets Horst at Arlington National Cemetary, Memorial Day, May 30, 2011 (Department of Defense photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley)
“I don’t know if the Lakin trial was rigged from the top down,” Kerchner said, “but those photos of Obama shaking Horst’s hand look very cordial. Who knows what they said to one another when they were together.”
Arduini claims WND trying to get him fired
A WND article published Aug. 2 included a post Arduini made on a WND forum using his own name and stating that he worked at the San Diego-based health services company CareFusion.
On Aug. 4, reporter Jack Minor wrote an article in the Greeley Gazette entitled “Was Lakin conviction influenced by radical Obama supporter?” In the story, Minor also stated that Arduini works with CareFusion.
Both WND and Minor contacted CareFusion for comment.
CareFusion did not respond to WND, but Suzanne Hatcher, public relations director at CareFusion, responded to Minor by email saying, “The company takes no position on personal views that (are expressed by) employees using the company name in internet postings.”
On Aug. 5, Arduini posted on TheFogbow.com the accusation that WND had colluded with the Greeley Gazette in an attempt to get him fired at CareFusion, as seen in Exhibit 7.
Exhibit 4: Arduini claims in post on TheFogbow.com that WND is trying to get him fired, Aug. 5
In a long response posted internal to the Aug. 5 comment on TheFogbow.com, Arduini again denied speaking with Horst about the Lakin trial.
“The last time I had any opportunity to speak with Karl was at his 30th Class Reunion in April of 2008 … before there was any such thing as ‘Birthers,’” he wrote. “If we even spoke at all I do not recall, but if we did it would have been about the sad state of Army football, and not politics. I have had no contact of any kind with Karl Horst for more than three years.”
In an email to WND, Arduini further claimed that he never intended to post his employment information. He said he posted on the WND Forum through Facebook, and he did not realize that “the Facebook widget for its comments section automatically pulled that information [about CareFusion] without any volition on my part.”
Arduini attacks on WND forums
In recent weeks, Arduini has posted multiple times in WND forum threads on WND articles published on Obama eligibility issues.
As illustrated in Exhibit 8, Arduini posts on WND forums in confrontational tones, typically ridiculing software experts cited in WND stories who Arduini claims have ignored “proofs” the Obama birth certificate is an authentic document.
Exhibit 5, Arduini post on WND forum, attacking software experts
He argues that the Obama birth certificate PDF file was created using “Preview” on a Mac computer using the OSX operating system. He then concludes Zebest was wrong in contending the Obama birth certificate PDF was created using Adobe software.
In his analysis, however, Arduini did not demonstrate that a file create in Adobe software could not be imported into “Preview” prior to using “Preview” to create the PDF.
WND has reported not only that an Adobe-created file can be imported into “Preview,” but that the resulting PDF created by “Preview” erases metadata traces that the file was originally created in Adobe software.
Zebest has served as contributing author and technical editor on more than 100 books on Adobe and Microsoft software.
At the end of his critique of Zebest’s analysis, Arduini described his credentials as follows:
Frank Arduini grew up in Los Angeles, CA, where his parents cultivated his life-long love of gnocci al forno.
He knows the difference between being a software developer and a software power user.
He has done a lot of really neat stuff, much of which is directly relevant to this subject. But since he does not consider an “argument from authority” to matter for much, he prefers to allow his arguments and reasoning to stand on their own merits rather than because he helped someone else write books.
Arduini’s self-published critique of Zebest’s analysis appears to be his first and only authored publication on computer software.
Exhibit 6: Arduini posing outdoors in photo used as avatar on Facebook and when posting on WND forums
Exhibit 10 is a portrait of Arduini included in a brochure published by Cardinal Health in 2003, a health services company that employed him as a vice president for corporate solutions, from April 2004 through September 2007.
Exhibit 7, Frank Arduini, professional photograph, 2003
Arduini also posts on PoliticalForum.com under the username “WongKimArk,” where he frequently presents himself as sufficiently knowledgeable on issues of constitutional law to argue that Obama is a natural born citizen under Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution.
United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, is a 1898 Supreme Court case that Obama supporters like to cite to support the argument Obama is eligible to be president. While the ruling in the case does not address Article 2, Section 1, they contend that there is much in “dicta” – the general discussion of the case – that suggests English common law and/or the 14th Amendment extend the concept “native born citizen” to be equivalent to “natural born citizen.”
Nothing posted in Arduini’s various biographies available on the Internet suggest he had any formal legal training. He is not a graduate of a law school, and he does not hold a law degree.
Arduini has also posted on various websites under the username “Historian Dude.”
He attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from 1974-1978 and received a BS degree in engineering.
Arduini was an early participant in TheFogbow.com, signing up under the username “Epectitus” on Dec. 11, 2008, at 6:19 p.m., according to the website’s administration registry.