Lt. Col. Lakin’s Journey – Living in Times that Try Men’s Souls
I rarely watch the Bill O’Reilly show on Fox because I’m not a fan of Mr. O’Reilly’s interview style. However, I received an email saying that Megyn Kelly would be looking into the allegations of Lt. Col. Terry Lakin concerning Obama’s eligibility. Ms. Kelly’s involvement tweaked my curiosity. Because of the tremendous amount of courage and commitment to principle that’s embodied in Lt. Col. Lakin’s refusal to obey orders he believes to be ‘unlawful’, I tuned in last week to see if fairness and objectivity in reporting could possibly emerge out of the morass of misinformation currently dominating the mainstream media.
Being aware that Bill O’Reilly has been consistently (mis) representing the ‘natural born citizen’ issue as merely a ‘citizenship’ issue and portraying everyone involved as a misguided group of nutcases, so I didn’t harbor any expectations that he would experience an ‘ah hah’ moment. (Mr. O’Reilly relies on the existence of birth announcements placed in local newspapers to prove his case but fails to mention that the birth announcements were most likely placed by the state, not Obama’s family.) However, I did have hopes that Megyn Kelly, an attorney, would at least frame the issue correctly. Once again, my hopes were misplaced.
I realize O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly are not journalists – they’re commentators/entertainers. And, the ‘natural born citizen’ issue and those attempting to peer behind the curtain have been effectively and maliciously recast by mainstream media misreporting and omission as something meriting ridicule, it’s not surprising to watch entertainers like O’Relly and Beck join in the piling on with the media herd. It’s sort of like a case of school bullying. Sometimes – once something or someone is portrayed as being a certain way, those with knowledge that could slow or reverse the momentum of attack fail to stand up. For whatever reason – they want to belong to the click, aren’t willing to risk criticism, want to keep a low profile, or they want to be popular (or at least not unpopular), etc. They fail to stand up and injustice continues.
I expect this of kids but not of national media figures or news organizations. Even though FOX does lead in the race towards Fair and Balanced reporting among the mainstream media, they have consistently failed regarding the ‘natural born citizen’ issue. In for a penny – in for a pound, I suppose.
I mention Glenn Beck only because of late he’s hammering away on a quote from Gandhi.
In any event, O’Reilly and Ms. Kelly portrayed Lt. Col. Lakin’s refusal to obey Obama’s orders as a mere attempt to attract attention to the issue. Ms. Kelly gave no information or opinion about the ongoing controversies regarding the definition of the term ‘natural born citizen’.
This is the issue. The issue that the media (including FOX) have been intentionally ignoring and misreporting is the abundance of legal opinion indicating that in order to be a ‘natural born citizen’ both of your parents must also have been U.S. citizens at the time of your birth. Regardless of where Obama was born, he fails to meet this part of the test to be a ‘natural born citizen’.
“Use truth as your anvil…” Anyone studying the eligibility issue is fully aware of this truth. There are in fact various contentions as to what ‘natural born citizen’ means, why it was included in the United States Constitution and how it should be interpreted.
So O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly are suggesting that Lt. Col. Lakin, facing a dishonorable discharge, loss of benefits and prison time is merely attempting to garner attention? Please!
“…and non-violence as your hammer” This decorated military officer with 18 years of service is being required to risk all because others have failed to do their jobs. The media, state election officials, the Electoral College, Congress, the courts, the Chain of Command and Sen. McCain have all failed to meet their responsibilities. It’s now suggested that maybe they were all waiting on each other.
How about Ms. Kelly at least entertaining the notion that Lt. Col. Lakin is living up to the Oath he took? How about at least understanding that there are in fact those among us who take such Oaths seriously? How about the possibility of losing one’s life, risking loss of limb, taking another’s life, subjecting oneself to charges of being a war criminal etc. vis-à-vis ‘unlawful orders’ originating at the very top of the Chain of Command? This seems more likely to be the motivation for Lt. Col. Lakin’s non-violent actions. Attempting to garner attention? Please!
“…anything that does not stand the test when it is brought to the anvil of truth and hammered with non-violence, REJECT IT.” Most reasonable people looking at the facts presented thus far and possible likely motivations cannot reject Lt. Col. Lakin’s actions without more information.
Why didn’t Ms. Kelly and Mr. O’Reilly point out how easily Obama could have resolved this issue for many that is undermining military cohesion and discipline? He could have long ago presented his long form birth certificate, college records, and etc. to establish conclusively that he was born in Hawaii and does not have dual citizenship. (But by Obama’s own admission his father was not an American citizen at the time of his birth.) Well, maybe he can’t.
“Use truth as your anvil…” Isn’t this the truth the media should be focusing on? Why won’t Obama release his long form birth certificate, college records, bar application, passport information, etc., etc., etc.? Weighed against the interest of soldiers in theater risking life and limb following ‘orders’ that could be ‘unlawful’ – doesn’t Obama’s small privacy concern pale in comparison? Weighed against the possibility that a Lt. Col. with 18 years of service is risking his career and liberty – doesn’t Obama’s small privacy concern pale in comparison?
“…and non-violence as your hammer” Let’s see. Lt. Col. Lakin, CMD Kerchner, Lt. Commander Walter Fitzpatrick, III, Captian Connie Rhodes, Maj. Stefan Cook and many other members of the military have been questioning the eligibility of Obama to serve as Commander In Chief and jeapadizing their own military careers. Is it reasonable to believe that they would not take such drastice actions without real concern over Obama’s eligibility. How do these military lives and careers weigh in the balance when compared to merely releasing documents that every other Presidential candidate has voluntarily released?
“These are the times that try men’s souls.” Thomas Paine
“…anything that does not stand the test when it is brought to the anvil of truth and hammered with non-violence, REJECT IT.” Without more, how could any reasonable person weighing the ‘known’ facts ‘reject’ the allegations and concerns Lt. Col. Lakin is raising?
“Use truth as your anvil…” Most estimates that I have seen indicate that Obama has spent around 1.7 million dollars trying to keep documents normally provided to the public by Presidential candidates hidden. Isn’t it true that under normal circumstances every media outlet in America would be turning over every stone to find out what Obama is hiding? Isn’t that one of the most important stories here?
“…and non-violence as your hammer” Let’s see. Philip Berg (Democrat), Steve Pidgeon, Leo C. Donofrio, Mario Apuzzo, Dr. Orly Taitz, and many other attorneys have taken up this issue knowing the ridicule they would face and the jeapardy they placed their careers in. Does anyone really believe that Obama would spend so much money hiding documents normally provided to the public without something major to hide? Would you?
“…anything that does not stand the test when it is brought to the anvil of truth and hammered with non-violence, REJECT IT.” Without more, how could any reasonable person weighing the ‘known’ facts ‘reject’ the allegations of Lt. Col. Lakin?
“Use truth as your anvil…” The truth is that Obama has admitted that he acquired British Citizenship through his Kenyan father. Some suggest that Obama continues to hold British citizenship. Obama’s grandmother said Obama was born in Kenya, Michelle Obama referred to Kenya as Obama’s home country, several Kenyan representatives have indicated Obama was born in Kenya. Several news organizations have reported prior to the election that Obama was born in Kenya, including NPR. There are also questions about a possible Indonesian citizenship arising out of Obama’s adoption.
“…and non-violence as your hammer” No one has stormed the White House to forcibly remove Obama. Everyone is attempting in good faith to go though the proper channels. Many court cases have been filed and not one has been addressed on the merits by the court. Judges have been finding every legal loophole possible to avoid discovery and making a determination about Obama’s possible lack of status as a ‘natural born citizen’.
The media would have you believe that the courts have rejected the allegations that Obama is not eligible to serve. That is simply not true. The courts are evading the issue.
Now members of our military such as Lt. Col. Lakin are being called upon to stand as the last line of defense for the Constitution. He has answered the call. Hopefully, many others will add their voices to Lt. Col. Lakin’s and make a noise so loud that it will rock the foundation of the military itself and have the Joint Chiefs begging for resolution.
Thus far, the Joint Chiefs of Staff appear to be quietly acquiescing to what is possibly the greatest case of fraud in American history. Actually, they’re acting like school kids.
It’s sort of like a case of school bullying. Sometimes – once something or someone is portrayed as being a certain way, those with knowledge that could slow or reverse the momentum of attack fail to stand up. For whatever reason – they want to belong to the click, aren’t willing to risk criticism, want to keep a low profile, or they want to be popular (or at least not unpopular), etc. They fail to stand up and injustice continues.
When those who are supposed to lead shirk their responsibilities, those who follow, those who have based their lives upon principles are left with few options other than to walk bravely into the batons of the oppressors as Gandhi and his followers. I’m sure Lt. Col. Lakin is aware of the obstacles and challenges that await him. With 18 years of exemplary service behind him, how can he not?
“…anything that does not stand the test when it is brought to the anvil of truth and hammered with non-violence, REJECT IT.” In light of the above statements and suggestions of a Kenyan birth, what do you think? Can anyone really reject out of hand Lt. Col. Lakin’s assertions and doubts?
Just a reminder, even if Obama were born in Hawaii, he still fails to meet the test for being a ‘natural born citizen’ because of the citizenship of his father. This is why Obama does not want the issue to be addressed on the merits. It’s why courts are falling over themselves to avoid addressing this political hot potato. This is why he continues to let military men and women sacrifice their careers and why Obama allows doubts to persist throughout the ranks. He knows he might not meet the test for being a ‘natural born citizen’.
“Use truth as your anvil…” Ms. Kelly seemed to want to leave viewers with the impression that Lt. Col. Lakin could not possibly present a valid defense in a court martial for refusing to obey orders of a superior officer. Admittedly it is a hard row to hoe but Lt. Col. Lakin does in fact have defenses. One defense is that given the known facts, every ‘reasonable serviceman’ or woman in the military could in fact have reasonable doubts about Obama’s Constitutional eligibility to serve as President and Commander In Chief.
Using the same logic present in Rule 916 (d).
“Obedience to orders. It is a defense to any offense that the accused was acting pursuant to orders unless the accused knew the orders to be unlawful or a person of ordinary sense and understanding would have known the orders to be unlawful.”
According to The Rules for Courts-Martial (R.C.M.) (2008 Edition), Lt. Col. Lakin will have the ability to use civilian defense counsel as long as it is at no expense to the military. Therefore, I urge people to support Lt. Col. Lakin’s legal defense fund.
Even though Lt. Col. Lakin’s chances of success at his court martial are not great. It is vitally important for Lt. Col. Lakin to have a highly experienced civilian attorney well versed Constitutional law, the UCMJ, and preserving rights on appeal. Preserving Lt. Col. Lakin’s appellate rights is critical, takes experience and is not inexpensive.
The main reasons I harbor doubts about victory at a possible court martial come from the past history of the eligibility issue in civilian courts and the Rules for Courts-Martial (R.C.M.) (2008 Edition) itself:
- ”An order requiring the performance of a military duty or act may be inferred to be lawful and it is disobeyed at the peril of the subordinate.”
- ”The lawfulness of an order is a question of law to be determined by a military judge.”
- “A general order or regulation is lawful unless it is contrary to the Constitution, the laws of the United States, or lawful superior orders or for some other reason is beyond the authority of the official issuing it.”
Therefore, no one should expect Lt. Col. Lakin at his own court martial to be able to force Obama to produce documents proving that he is a ‘natural born citizen’.
However, Lt. Col. Lakin may be able to introduce the newspaper articles indicating an Obama birth in Kenya and the citizenship of his father through an exception to the hearsay rule. (Or possibly in mitigation – see Rule 1001.)
Lt. Col. Lakin may also be able to introduce or have judicial notice taken of the 1961 Hawaii statutes and regulations concerning the evidentiary value the ‘birth certificate’ and ‘birth announcements’ that are currently in the public domain.
And, Lt. Col. Lakin should be able to introduce legal argument supporting the proposition that in order to be a ‘natural born citizen’ Obama must have been born in America to 2 parents who were both citizens at the time of his birth. “A general order…is lawful unless it is contrary to the Constitution.”
In any event, attempts to introduce such evidence should be made at every opportunity – taking care to properly preserve the denial/issue for appeal.
Another provision in the R.C.M that got my interest states: ”The order must not conflict with the statutory or constitutional rights of the person receiving the order.”
My first thoughts went to the oath Lt. Col. Lakin swore to uphold, due process, and rights flowing from the 5th Amendment.
Given the new global environment, what’s to stop a country like Afghanistan, Pakistan, N. Korea, or Iran etc. from claiming that any and all deaths at the hands of U.S. Service personnel are war crimes because they should have known that they were following ‘unlawful orders’?
Consider the following statement contained in a Congressional Research Service report for Congress:
…Although not immune from prosecution, U.S. personnel who could be charged with violating the War Crimes Act would have several possible defenses to criminal liability, so long as their activities were conducted with the authorization of the Administration and under the reasonable (though mistaken) belief that their actions were lawful…
Are those engaged in drone attacks in Pakistan in jeopardy? Will there come a point when there is so much information is in the public domain calling into question Obama’s eligibility that it would make it unreasonable to believe that Obama Administration’s authorizations are lawful?
I am not an expert in Military Law but for purposes of this article I wanted to make a couple of quick points related to the impression Ms. Kelly gave on the O’Rielly show. In any event, Lt. Col. Lakin’s court martial will require a skilled attorney, able to try the case in the court of public opinion as well and to cause the Military Times to report on it daily.
“…and non-violence as your hammer” Lt. Col. Lakin has apparently done everything he could through proper channels to have the military address this issue to no avail. Lt. Col. Lakin, being left with no recourse other than to abandon his Oath to protect and defend the Constitution, has knowingly and willingly placed himself in jeopardy of court martial.
“…anything that does not stand the test when it is brought to the anvil of truth and hammered with non-violence, REJECT IT.”
I have seen nothing that suggests that Lt. Col. Lakin’s concerns should be rejected. Have you?
However, it is entirely possible that Lt. Col. Lakin will be required to pay a high price for his fidelity to his Oath. He may be required to join the ranks of Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Martin Luther King and others who have been willing wait in jail while truth finds its way to the surface.
If sufficient numbers of military personal voice their support for Lt. Col. Lakin, there will come a point when the Joints Chiefs of Staff will be knocking on the door of the White House demanding that the deception and lack of transparency end for the sake of the military and its cohesion as a fighting force.
As I write this article, I have just learned that Supreme Court Justice Thomas has admitted that the nation’s highest court is “evading” the eligibility issue. What? It seems everyone involved is/was waiting for someone else to take the lead!
I think America needs a lot more anvils of truth being hammered with many, many more hammers of non-violence! Avoidance is not truth. Omission is not truth.
Honor is the one thing that makes our military special and right now it is in jeopardy from the top down through the Chain of Command. Like truth, honor in all matters must be maintained.
Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.
Are the Joint Chiefs really willing to live with such a result because of someone who has repeatedly demonstrated his lack of commitment to truth? Need I remind they of the back room deals to get health care passed, the unjust firing of Inspector General Walpin, the unjust treatment of Larry Sinclair, Rezko, Ayers, Rev. Wright, etc., etc., etc.
If the Joint Chiefs are not going to expect members of the military to live up to their oaths, the oath should be changed to something more appropriate.
I, _______, do solemnly swear to protect ME and I will try to defend the Constitution as long as it doesn’t adversely impact the aforementioned ‘ME’.
You have my respect and support Lt. Col. Lakin.