Lt. Col. Terry Lakin is the highest-ranking and first active-duty officer to refuse to obey orders based on President Obama’s eligibility.
An Army flight surgeon who is refusing further orders unless President Obama documents his eligibility to be commander in chief today released a copy of the letter he dispatched to the president in which he states “the burden of proof must rest with you.”
WND has reported the case of Lt. Col. Terry Lakin, including when he revealed Army threats to punish him for his stance.
Lakin had announced his position with a video stating he would not follow orders because he was not sure of their legality under Obama, who has concealed personal information that could confirm he meets the constitutional requirement that a president be a “natural born citizen.”
The letter, posted at the Safeguard Our Constitution website, which is assembling support for the officer, describes how Lakin tried through his chain of command and his congressional office to get answers to questions about Obama’s eligibility.
“You serve as my commander-in-chief. Given the fact that the certification that your campaign posted online was not a document that the Hawaiian Department of Homelands regarded as a sufficient substitute for the original birth certificate and given that it has been your personal decision that has prevented the Hawaiian Department of Health from releasing your original birth certificate or any Hawaiian hospital from releasing your records, the burden of proof must rest with you,” he wrote.
“Please assure the American people that you are indeed constitutionally eligible to serve as commander-in-chief and thereby may lawfully direct service members into harm’s way,” he continued. “I will be proud to deploy to Afghanistan to further serve my country and my fellow soldiers, but I should only do so with the knowledge that this important provision of our Constitution is respected and obeyed.”
He had noted that every soldier “learns what constitutes a lawful order and is encouraged to stand up and object to unlawful orders.” And he noted his orders to deploy include a demand for copies of his birth certificate.
But he said he was troubled by the president’s decision to conceal “from public view” records that could easily end questions about Obama’s place of birth and “natural born” status.
Lakin concludes: “Unless it is established (by this sufficient proof that should be easily within your power to provide) that you are constitutionally eligible to serve as president and my commander-in-chief, I, and all other military officers may be following illegal orders. Therefore, sir, until an original birth certificate is brought forward that validates your eligibility and puts to rest the other reasonable questions surrounding your unproven eligibility; I cannot in good conscience obey ANY military orders.”
The Army earlier informally recommended a mental evaluation and threatened Lakin with punishment.
“On 30 March 2010, this command became aware of your intentions to refuse to follow deployment orders. Your stated reason for refusal was your belief that the election of the President of the United States is invalid because you believe he is not ‘native born’ [sic]. This counseling is to inform you that your deployment orders are presumed to be valid and lawful orders issued by competent military authority,” said the document from the “counselor,” Lt. Col. William D. Judd.
The letter reminded Lakin of his April 12 due date at Fort Campbell, Ky.
“Failure to follow your reassignment and/or deployment orders may result in adverse action including court-martial,” the officer was warned.
The statement released by Margaret Hemenway, who is acting as spokeswoman for the case, noted Lakin is being supported by “hundreds” of people who have donated to his legal defense fund. He announced his refusal to obey orders after unsuccessfully following channels to get the same verification from the president that the officer has been required to provide throughout his 18-year military career.
The website also notes that the “counseling” document wasn’t completely accurate. It’s not “native-born” that is in question for Obama; it is the constitutionally mandated “natural born citizen.”
Although the term is not defined in the Constitution, legal scholars believe it is best understood to mean a U.S. child of U.S. citizen parents.
WND has reported that the controversy raises the prospect that the government ultimately may not want to pursue a prosecution because a defense attorney could demand in court proof that the orders are issued by an eligible president.
Lakin is not the first military officer to raise questions. Others have included Army doctor Capt. Connie Rhodes and Army reservist Maj. Stefan Cook. But Lakin is the highest-ranking officer to raise the question.
One of the organizers behind the Safeguard Our Constitution website, serving in emeritus status, is John Hemenway, an attorney who previously fought in the U.S. court system on behalf of a retired military officer, Gregory S. Hollister, who also questioned Obama’s eligibility.
The case ultimately was dismissed by Judge James Robertson who ruled that the dispute had been “twittered” during the 2008 election campaign.
In that opinion, 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.
The judge also suggested sanctions against Hemenway for bringing the case, and Hemenway responded that 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.
WND columnist Vox Day earlier wrote about this very scenario, calling it a “Get out of war” free card.
The comments followed the case of Cook, the reservist who challenged his deployment orders over questions about their legality under Obama.
“Rather than contesting the suit,” Day wrote, “the Army took the highly peculiar step of revoking the major’s deployment order, suggesting that the Pentagon generals are not entirely confident that they can demonstrate the legitimacy of their purported commander in chief.
“The Pentagon’s decision to back down rather than risk exposing Obama’s birth records to the public means that every single American soldier, sailor, pilot and Marine now holds a ‘get out of war free’ card.”
Obama’s actual 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.
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.
WND has reported on a multitude of cases that have been brought over the issue of Obama’s eligibility. Some are by critics who have doubts about whether he was born in Hawaii in 1961 as he has written, and others are from those who question whether 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.
The issue has prompted a number of state legislatures to work on proposals that would require presidential candidates to submit proof of their eligibility. And a similar proposal has been introduced in Congress by Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla.
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.”
However, none of the cases filed to date has been successful in reaching the plateau of legal discovery, so that information about Obama’s birth could be obtained.
The White House has not replied to numerous requests for comment.
“Where’s The Birth Certificate?” billboard helps light up the night at the Mandalay Bay resort on the Las Vegas Strip.
Because of the dearth of information about Obama’s eligibility, WND founder Joseph Farah has launched a campaign to raise contributions to post billboards asking a simple question: “Where’s the birth certificate?”
The campaign followed a petition that has collected more than 499,000 signatures demanding proof of his eligibility, the availability of yard signs raising the question and the production of permanent, detachable magnetic bumper stickers asking the question.
The “certification of live birth” posted online and widely touted as “Obama’s birth certificate” does not in any way prove he was born in Hawaii, since the same “short-form” document is easily obtainable for children not born in Hawaii. The true “long-form” birth certificate – which includes information such as the name of the birth hospital and attending physician – is the only document that can prove Obama was born in Hawaii, but to date he has not permitted its release for public or press scrutiny.
Oddly, though congressional hearings were held to determine whether Sen. John McCain was constitutionally eligible to be president as a “natural born citizen,” no controlling legal authority ever sought to verify Obama’s claim to a Hawaiian birth.
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Note: A legal defense fund has been set up for Lt. Col. Terry Lakin.