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December 16, 2010

Update: Birther colonel gets six months

Sun colleague Andrea Siegel reports:

An Army doctor convicted of disobeying orders to deploy to Afghanistan because he questioned whether Barack Obama was eligible to be president was sentenced today to six months in a military prison.

He also will be dismissed from the military, meaning he will forfeit a nearly $90,000 annual salary and a pension.

In closing arguments at the court-martial at Ft. George G. Meade, government prosecutors said Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin had created "a spectacle that has embarrassed the Army" with his website and YouTube video. In both, Lakin said he wouldn't deploy until his questions about whether the president is a natural born U.S. citizen were answered.

Capt. Philip J. O'Beirne asked the eight-member panel to sentence Lakin to between 24 and 36 months in a military jail and dismiss him from the army after almost 18 years of service. The maximum sentence was reduced from 3 1/2 years to 3 years this morning.

Lakin's civilian lawyer argued against jail time.

"Does the Army or society need protection against Dr. Lakin?" attorney Neal Puckett asked the panel.

He suggested that the panel "make [Lakin] work his debt off" and reprimand Lakin.

He described his client as obsessed and remorseful, and said he had followed bad advice from an outside lawyer on pushing his issue within the army.

Lakin's stance, first made public when he refused to report to Ft. Campbell, Ky., in April, has made him a hero to the "birther" movement. Supporters say Obama, the first black president, was not born in Honolulu in August 1961, and so fails to meet the constitutional requirement that the president be a "natural born citizen."

While such conspiracy theories have largely been squelched, Lakin's refusal of a deployment earlier this year generated fresh attention for the cause.

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 4:10 PM | | Comments (17)


This is a great example of how the military system worked in spite of any potential political bias or outside pressure. It sounds as though both the procesutors and jury focused on keys facts and didn't fall into the rabbit hole of the birth certificate issue. The military does not have the luxury of weighing personal political opinions when considering which orders to follow, and Lt. Col. Lakin's sentence proves that this is the case.

Since when is the officer's duty to uphold the Constitution "personal"? The chain of command is supposed to be unbroken- extending to the Commander-in-Chief who refuses to produce an original birth certificate to prove he's Constitutionally eligible to command the US Armed Forces. Soldiers deploying to Afghanistan must produce that document- but the man sending them into harm's way does not? Is Obama above the law? The issue is escalating- because now a decorated officer who did his duty is being punished because Obama is hiding his original 1961 birth record- perhaps because it will prove he was not born in Hawaii as claimed- many Kenyans, including his paternal step-grandmother- declare him born in Kenya. Americans deserve to know the truth.

"Public Servant"- You're just like the rest of the "birthers"- racists who refuse to accept that a black man was elected President (by a significant margin, I might add). Obama's birth certificate has been displayed on-line for all to see, and there are 2 contemporaneous birth announsements in Honolulu newspapers, but you guys just can't accept the truth. I didn't hear you questioning McCain's qualifications to serve if elected, and he in fact wasn't born in the US! Gee, I wonder why that doesn't bother you guys . . .

Presidents are certified by Congress, per the constitution. Obama was unanimously declared president by congress. We have a representative government. Lakin's congressman certified Obama as president. (so did mine, and yours, frankly).
Lakin isn't questioning Obama.. He's questioning our system of government, which isn't upholding the constitution.
To me, it's bordering on sedition.

Mr. Lakin's orders to deploy were not issued by the President; they were issued by a lawful superior in the chain-of-command. Mr. Lakin's duty was to salute and carry out the order in the best manner available to him. Failure to do so, for any reason, is a violation of military justice and offends good order and military discipline. In my opinion, he should be reduced in grade, forfeit all pay and privileges, and be dishonorably discharged. His political views are of no consequence to the question.

Good riddance, coward.

Re: "The Commander-in-Chief who refuses to produce an original birth certificate to prove he's Constitutionally eligible to command the US Armed Forces."

Obama has already shown the official birth certificate of Hawaii, and the fact on it were confirmed twice by the heads of the department of health and department of vital records of Hawaii, and most recently by the Republican governor of Hawaii.

Obama cannot show the original birth certificate because he does not have it. Hawaii does not send out copies of the original anymore. It only sends out the new, short-form birth certificate, the Certification of Live Birth. That is the official birth certificate, and it is used every year by thousands of people in Hawaii to get US passports.

Let's just say that we assume Terrence Lakin is right, and that Barack Obama is not the true president. Does he think that Obama's "successor" - Biden, McCain, Pelosi, Boehner, whoever - would not have had him deployed to Afghanistan?

He may have taken his stand on principle, but it's unlikely that any other commander-in-chief was going to have a military policy that would not have deployed him.

The United States Supreme Court has refused to hear this argument by the birthers because it is obsurd. The state of Hawaii has verified his birth in that state. Case closed. Get over it!

Suggest the author of the blog study the numerous Supreme Court cases that stated a natural born citizen is born from two citizen parents.

The birth certificate is a ruse to distract from Obama not being a natural born citizen as required by the Constitution to be president.

It matters not where obama was born he can never be a natural born citizen based on the citizenship of his father.

A citizen and a natural born citizen are not the same thing.

This is the biggest fraud imposed on the American people since the Founding.

Re: "It matters not where obama was born he can never be a natural born citizen based on the citizenship of his father.'

Who told you that? It is WRONG. Every US citizen who was born in the USA is a natural born citizen. The original meaning of Natural Born, the one used at the time of the writing of the Constitution, referred only to the place of birth--not to the parents of the citizen.

"Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen in the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity."---William Rawle, A VIEW OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 2d ed. (1829)

“Under the longstanding English common-law principle of jus soli, persons born within the territory of the sovereign (other than children of enemy aliens or foreign diplomats) are citizens from birth. Thus, those persons born within the United States are "natural born citizens" and eligible to be President. Much less certain, however, is whether children born abroad of United States citizens are "natural born citizens" eligible to serve as President ..."---- Edwin Meese, et al, THE HERITAGE GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION (2005) [Edwin Meese was Ronald Reagan’st attorney general, and the Heritage Foundation is a well-known Conservative organization.]

“Natural born citizen. Persons who are born within the jurisdiction of a national government, i.e. in its territorial limits, or those born of citizens temporarily residing abroad.” — Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition

“What is a natural born citizen? Clearly, someone born within the United States or one of its territories is a natural born citizen.” (Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on OCTOBER 5, 2004)--Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT).

Re: "A citizen and a natural born citizen are not the same thing."

Answer: Absolutely true. The category of citizen includes naturalized citizens. The category of Natural Born Citizen excludes naturalized citizens. But that is all that it excludes. It includes every US citizen who was born in the USA regardless of what country a parent or even two parents were citizens of.

Mustata v. US Dept. of Justice, 179 F.3d 1017 (6th Cir. 1999) (children born in US to two Romanian citizens described as “natural born citizens” of the US):

"Petitioners Marian and Lenuta Mustata are citizens of Romania. At the time of their petition, they resided in Michigan with their two minor children, who are natural born citizens of the United States."

Diaz-Salazar v. INS, 700 F.2d 1156 (7th Cir. 1983) (child born in US to Mexican citizen is “natural born citizen” of US):

"Petitioner, Sebastian Diaz-Salazar, entered the United States illegally [from Mexico] in 1974 and has been living and working in Chicago since that time. *** The relevant facts which have been placed before the INS, BIA, and this court can be summarized as follows: The petitioner has a wife and two children under the age of three in Chicago; the children are natural-born citizens of the United States."

Nwankpa v. Kissinger, 376 F. Supp. 122 (M.D. Ala. 1974) (child born in US to two Biafra citizens described as “natural born citizen” of the US):

"The Plaintiff was a native of Biafra, now a part of the Republic of Nigeria. His wife and two older children are also natives of that country, but his third child, a daughter, is a natural-born citizen of the United States."

What makes the third child different from her siblings? She was born in the USA.

I am going to prison next month too for 6 yrs, for being a ringleader, mastermind in the foreclosure industry according to the US Secret Service. I did about 70 deals 6 years ago and was one of the only people who kept homeowners in their homes. Now there are 8 million vacant homes and will be 20 million soon. I don't understand this world anymore.


Bobby Jindal not only has 2 Indian born parents, he himself wasn't even conceived in this country (he was in the womb when his parents immigrated). Yet at one time hardcore conservative Republicans, including Rush Limbaugh, were promoting Jindal as a possible Republican candidate for President. So, birthers, even your rightwing heroes don't agree with your rather weird reading of the Constitution. If Jindal can become President with 2 foreign born parents, certainly Obama can be President with only 1 foreign born parent.

So many opinions, only one truth. The truth matters, the Constitution matters. One day the truth will come out. There are many lies being told and repeated here. The B/C is a fake, never ever acknowleged by Hawaiian officials that it came from Hawaii. Another lie, Hawaii no longer sends out copies of long form birth certificates. There are people who were born in Hawaii that have tested that and received a copy of their long form B/C. Factcheck. org was created by Obama to verify the online copy. Fact a division of the Annenberg Foundation which Obama was a sitting board member. No hospital or Dr in Hawaii will confirm that he was born there. In 1961 anybody born in any country could get a certification of live birth like the one shown online. No verfication was even necessary. Grandma could have filed for it. Once filed it automatically generated the notices in the newpapers. You people don't want to do your homework, just repeat lies you have been told.

Chamberjac so many lies so little time. How do you fall so easily for stuff that is so easy to disprove?

First off your claim that the certificate Obama posted wasn't vouched for by an Hawaiian official is incorrect. Dr Fukino multiple times stated that she has viewed and verified Obama's records and has said he was born in Hawaii. She even did so before the Hawaiian Senate.

Her statement is as follows: "For more than a year, the Department of Health has continued to receive approximately 50 e-mail inquiries a month seeking access to President Barack Obama’s birth certificate in spite of the fact that President Obama has posted a copy of the certificate on his former campaign website. Hawaii is a “closed records” state, meaning that vital records are available on ly to those with a direct and tangible interest as defined by statute; hence they are not subject to disclosure under public records requests."

See that part where she says that President Obama posted a copy of the certificate on his former campaign website. That is her vouching in her official capacity as the Director of the Department of Health.

Hawaii does not send out official copies of long form certificates anymore. This is a true statement. The person you speak of, Danae, never received an official long form but rather photocopied information from a certificate she had years ago. It does not have a seal on it, it is not certified.

No Obama was a board member of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge this entity received a grant from the Annenberg Foundation. They had no power to make decisions over entities that Annenberg owned. You also forget that factcheck wasn't the only one who took pictures.

No hospital claims him? Really? Why is it that Kapiolani Hospital in Honolulu, HI during their Centennial Celebration released this magazine:

On page 2 it talks about Obama being born there so apparently a hospital claims him.

Do you really think a Doctor who delivers multiple babies a day around 40 babies a week over 40 years would be able to pick out and remember one specific baby he delivered?

No, no babies overseas could get a Hawaii birth certificate. This is another lie by you. The law you speak of didn't exist until 1982, 21 years after Obama was born. Also the certificate wouldn't say they were born in Honolulu Hawaii on it and it would still say the country of their birth.

And no that's not how newspaper announcements occur. They do not get automatically generated. Also you haven't explained how his birth appears in the Birth Index for Hawaii.


Stop arguing with racists. Racists will believe what they want to believe.

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Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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