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Why is Lt. Col. Terry Lakin willing to risk court martial and prison?

Updated on July 23, 2012
Lt. Col. Terry Lakin
Lt. Col. Terry Lakin

Lt. Col. Terry Lakin has stated that for the first time during his 18 years in the Army that he has chosen to disobey "what I believe are illegal orders." Why would a decorated Military officer choose suck a risky course?

According to Attorney Paul Jensen who is representing Lt.Col.Terry Lakin, "Every criminal defendant has to be allowed the benefit of doubt to discover information relevant or which may even lead to the discovery of relevant information that could support his case," Could this be the real reason the decorated officer is willing to risk his career and freedom?

The U.S. Army has filed two charges against Lt. Col. Terry Lakin over his refusal to follow orders until Barack Obama documents his constitutional eligibility to be commander-in-chief.

Charges filed against Lt. Col. Lakin allege violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice Articles 87 and 92.

The charges are as follows:

The first is "Missing Movement" a serious crime in the nature of a felony for failing to deploy to Afghanistan. The second charge is "disobeying a direct order", and there are four specifications (separate instances) of this charge. Any soldier convicted on all charges and specifications would expect to be sentenced to years at "hard labor" in the penitentiary.

the U.S. military is an instrument of the U.S. government's executive power. The Constitution vests the whole of that power in the President of the United States. To avoid all possibility of misunderstanding, it explicitly states that the President is the Commander in Chief of the all the Armed Forces of the United States.

Commissions of officers in the U.S. Armed Forces are issued in the name of the President, although officers at and below the rank of captain (lieutenant in the Navy and Coast Guard) are actually appointed by the Secretary of Defense or, for the Coast Guard, the Secretary of Homeland Security. The commission of a newly commissioned officer would read:

The President of the United States of AmericaTo all who shall see these presents, greeting:

Know Ye, that reposing special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, fidelity and abilities of .................., I do appoint ["him" or "her"] a ["Second Lieutenant" or "Ensign'] in the [name of service] to rank as such from the .... day of ........ ...... This Officer will therefore carefully and diligently discharge the duties of the office to which appointed by doing and performing all manner of things thereunto belonging.And I do strictly charge and require those Officers and other personnel of lesser rank to render such obedience as is due an officer of this grade and position. And this Officer is to observe and follow such orders and directives, from time to time, as may be given by me, or the future President of the United States of America, or other Superior Officers acting in accordance with the laws of the United States of America.This commission is to continue in force during the pleasure of the President of the United States of America for the time being, under the provisions of those Public Laws relating to Officers of the Armed Forces of the United States of America and the component thereof in which this appointment is made.Done at the City of Washington, this .... day of ........ in the year of our Lord ................ and of the Independence of the United States of America the ..........By the President:

The certificate is signed by the secretary of the relevant military department (or of Homeland Security for the Coast Guard) and attested by the officer in charge of personnel of the service concerned (e.g., Adjutant General of the Army, Chief of Naval Personnel, etc.)

The authority of any and all military commission's and orders is dependent on the lawful constitutional authority of the president. Military officers swear an oath to uphold the Constitution, and pursuant to that oath they swear to "observe and follow such orders and directives, from time to time, as may be given by me, or the future President of the United States of America, or other Superior Officers acting in accordance with the laws of the United States of America." The question here is If a Superior Officer issues a command relying on the authority of an individual claiming to be President of the United States, but not in fact Constitutionally eligible for the office, is obedience to that questionably lawful order consistent with the sworn duty to uphold the Constitution, and the laws of the United States made pursuant thereto? Now if the president is not not constitutionally qualified to be President, the Constitution plainly states that the executive power passes to the Vice-President. With that information at hand, Does someone who believes that the law of the land ie; the Constitution is being violated have the right to ask for proof that it is in fact not being violated? Does a decorated officer in the United States Army who has sworn to uphold the Constitution have the right to seek a constitutionally authoritative resolution of an issue where doubt may be fatal to the integrity of his oath bound conscience, as well as the democratic, civilian form of republican government established by the U.S. Constitution?

When the question of the Presidents constitutional eligibility is being taken so lightly by those in Congress and on the Supreme Court who refuse to find out why millions of dollars are being spent to keep the public from having access to the original documents that would once and for all put the matter to rest. Then maybe Lt. Col. Terry Lakin has decided that this is the only way to force full disclosure of the truth one way or another.

I for one will be glad to see the matter put to rest. If in fact, through the discovery process of the court marshal The eligibility of Barack Obama to be the president of the United States of America can finally one way be proven or disproved. We will all be able to finally get past this issue. The simple way to resolve this is for the president to just produce the original long form document issued by the State of Hawaii and put a stop to whole question. But for whatever reason he has, The president has chosen not to do this.

Will The Discovery process of a Court Martial finally put the matter of the constitutional eligibility of Barack Obama to hold the office of President to rest?

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      Old Empresario 6 years ago

      President Obama should simply fire the colonel and let that be the end of it. Officers serve at the pleasure of the president, just like an ambassador or other appointed official. Military officers hold commissions issued by the president, which means officers have more rights than enlisted soldiers or NCOs (the US army doesn't like to advertise this fact). Officers technically cannot even receive dishonorable discharges. They can only be dismissed from service. Although officers are held accountable to the UCMJ, the president can protect his commission-holders by overruling any sort of internal law code his defense department invents. A military officer's oath of office is identical to an enlisted soldier's, except for the fact that the following portion is omitted: "...and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice." So although an officer is legally bound to follow orders, he is not morally bound to follow orders. This is because if the officer chose not to follow orders, he would not be breaking his oath. He may go to jail, but he would still keep his honor. It's worth noting that Col Lakin is a member of the US Army Medical Service Corps, which is famous for being staffed with lunatics who think they are clever. Also, I just need to mention that it's "Court Martial", not "Marshal". You might want to change that.

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Great hub, though I have to say that while I do not support Barack Obama nor his policies, the actions of this Army officer is something I do not support. The same things were tried by certain individuals who felt that Bush was not the president either.

      Until proven otherwise, orders must be followed. If the upper echelon of the military apparatus determines we've got something sinister in play that invalidates the presidency, fine. That's not the case as we speak. So, this Army officer IMO disgraces the uniform and is a disgrace to the American people he has vowed to protect.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 8 years ago from United States

      Obama is the first president that I am aware of that hides all his records, birth certificate, even college transcripts, or papers he has written. You have to wonder why all the secrecy? Good hub

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