In the wake of this month’s historic GOP electoral gains, supporters of “Colonel Birther” Terry Lakin are launching a national drive to demand lawmakers intervene on behalf of the Greeley, Colorado, native. Lakin is scheduled to appear before a military court on December 14 for willfully failing to deploy to Afghanistan because he believes Pres. Obama may not have been born in the Unites States and is therefore ineligible to be president and commander in chief.
The American Patriot Foundation, which has served as Lakin’s press office over the last seven months, sent out a release today that includes talking points to use in communication with lawmakers and that frames Lakin’s refusal to deploy as the kind of principled stance demanded of members of the military at the Nuremberg trials of Nazi officers after the Second World War.
Since Nuremberg, servicemembers are trained to question illegal orders, yet for more than a year, no one in the Pentagon could answer LTC Lakin’s simple question– is there proof that [the President] is legally, Constitutionally eligible to be in charge of the U.S. Armed Forces? LTC Lakin would have been part of Barack Obama’s surge forces to Afghanistan– but now he faces up to four years of hard labor at Fort Leavenworth prison– if convicted at court-martial on December 14th.
Lakin, an Army doctor, made a splash in April when he said he would refuse all military orders until he sees convincing evidence, including the alleged missing “long form” birth certificate, documenting that Obama was born in Hawaii. Lakin is the highest ranking member of the active-duty military to subscribe to the so-called birther conspiracy, which holds that the birth records of the president are illegitimate or have been falsified.
Shortly after he declared his intentions to the press, Lakin was met at the Pentagon clinic where he he works by officers who read him his rights and revoked his access to the building. Military investigators also reportedly seized his computer.
Monday’s Patriot Foundation press release encouraged supporters to also call newly elected members of Congress. The release included contact information for new Colorado GOP Reps. Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton. Gardner drew heat last year for supporting birther sentiment on the stump in his campaign against Democratic incumbent Betsy Markey. Gardner later told the Denver Post that he didn’t endorse the birther conspiracy.
Margaret Hemenway, a spokesperson at the American Patriot Foundation, has appeared on Colorado talk radio to plead Lakin’s case. She told Denver radio host Peter Boyles in April that Lakin was merely searching for the truth and that he looked forward to the coming “showdown” with the military, which Boyles called a “reckoning” for the president.
Others see the Lakin story as an American tragedy, where a military medal winner has thrown away a distinguished career, hypnotized by the anti-Obama theories that have cropped up and been repeated endlessly on the right since Obama took office, including that the president is a closet Muslim and that he was born in Kenya.
There have been a handful of soldiers in the last year who have refused to deploy for the same reason cited by Lakin. Their cases suggest Lakin’s attorneys have their work cut out for them.
In September, for example, U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land tossed a similar claim placed by Capt. Connie Rhodes, another military doctor who was represented by infamous birther lawyer Orly Taitz.
“In a remarkable shifting of the traditional legal burden of proof, the plaintiff in this case unashamedly alleges that defendant has the burden to prove his ‘natural born’ status,” Land wrote at the time. “Any middle school civics student would readily recognize the irony of abandoning fundamental principles upon which our country was founded in order to purportedly ‘protect and preserve’ those very principles.”
Land said that Americans and their political parties had spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the presidential campaign in 2008 when great teams of opposition researchers combed through Obama’s records and found nothing to substantiate these claims. Land was disgusted by the thinness of the case brought by Taitz and said he would sanction her if she were to ever again bring a similarly frivolous complaint to his court.[Image: Terry Lakin on YouTube ]