(CNN) — Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin is a poster soldier for the
so-called birther movement, but for 17 years prior to his court-martial
proceedings, the flight surgeon served around the globe, racking up a
chest full of medals.

Military prosecutors allege that the
Colorado native intentionally missed a plane in April after disobeying
four lawful orders from superiors. Lakin has said he refused to deploy
to Afghanistan until he sees proof that President Obama was born in the
U.S.

In a YouTube explanation posted before he was charged, Lakin
said he had no choice but the "distasteful one of inviting my own
court-martial."

"If [Obama] is ineligible, then indeed, all
orders are illegal because all orders have the origin with the commander
in chief," he said.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice says
the maximum punishment for both offenses — missing his plane and
disobeying lawful orders — is a dishonorable discharge and up to two
years in confinement. A guilty verdict could also result in forfeiture
of his pay, which totals $7,959 a month, according to a charge sheet
provided by a group sponsoring his defense.

Lakin is among 27
percent of Americans who doubt or deny that Obama is American-born,
according to a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll. They compose the
birther movement, which demands that Obama present a birth certificate
signed by the doctor who delivered him in 1961.

Obama has made
public an unsigned "certification of live birth," which birthers claim
is not the same as a birth certificate. However, two Honolulu, Hawaii,
newspapers have presented birth announcements for Obama, and the state's
Republican governor has confirmed that the president was born in the
Aloha State.

In December, Col. Robin Swope, chief of the Army's
administrative law division, told Lakin in a letter that his Article 138
complaint, the avenue by which troops report perceived wrongs by their
commanding officers, was "deficient."

The complaint incorrectly
targeted Gen. George Casey, Army chief of staff, Swope wrote. Not only
was Casey not Lakin's commanding officer, Swope wrote, but "the wrongs
you complain of relate to matters of law and not the discretionary acts
or omissions of a commanding officer."

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Lakin wrote Obama in March, saying
presidential contender Sen. John McCain willingly provided his own birth
certificate and accusing the president of failing to do the same. Lakin
alleges in the letter that Kenyan citizens claim Obama was born in
Mombasa, Kenya's second-largest city.

He further wrote that the
birth certification provided by Obama is merely a 2007
computer-generated testament that the original birth certificate is on
file.

"An original birth certificate is the underlying document
that presumably includes a hospital and attending physician's or
midwife's name that should lay to rest the 'natural born' dispute,"
Lakin wrote.

Until such a document is provided, the letter said,
"I cannot in good conscience obey ANY military orders."

In his
YouTube statement, Lakin called the privacy invasion inherent in
producing the birth certificate "minimal."

Addressing Obama
directly in the video, he said that providing such a document is the
only means by which "I and all other servicemembers may then continue to
serve our country at risk of injury or the ultimate sacrifice, knowing
we do so for our country, the Constitution and a legitimate leader of
the greatest free republic ever."

On the campaign trail this
year, politicians have used the issue of Obama's birth when it resonates
with their constituents. It has backfired regularly, as many of their
opponents have used it against them.

One group that has not
wavered in its insistence that Obama was born abroad is the American
Patriot Foundation, which is collecting donations for Lakin's legal
defense.

The group has devoted significant space on its
"Safeguard our Constitution" website to Lakin's case. Under a banner
proclaiming, "The Truth Matters," the group says Lakin is being targeted
unfairly for making a legitimate request.

Lakin, according to
the foundation, was a model soldier before he began questioning Obama's
birthplace in October 2008.

He served in Afghanistan (under
President George W. Bush), Korea, Bosnia, Germany, Honduras and El
Salvador before taking up an occupational and environmental medicine
residency in Maryland, according to a service record provided by the
Army and a résumé posted on the foundation website.

In June 2009,
he became the chief of primary care at the Army's DiLorenzo TRICARE
Health Clinic at the Pentagon. Eight doctors served under him, handling
about 180 patients a day, the résumé said.

A biology major who
graduated from Colorado College in 1989, Lakin earned his doctorate in
osteopathic medicine at the University of Health Sciences in Kansas
City, Missouri. He finished a masters in public health from the
Uniformed University of the Health Sciences in Maryland in 2006.

Bottom line is,
that's obviously going to be his defense, but I don't know that it's
going to go anywhere in the court-martial.
–Military law
expert Jonathan Tracy, on Lakin challenging President Obama's legitimacy

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His training includes courses or
certifications in acupuncture, family medicine, toxic chemicals and
combat casualty care, and he holds medical licenses in Maryland and
Colorado, according to the résumé.

The CV states that he was
selected for promotion to full colonel in 2011, and his service record
states that he received more than 20 medals and commendations, including
a Bronze Star, a meritorious service medal and three Army commendation
medals.

Before joining the Army as an intern at the now-closed
Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado, Lakin served as a
911 dispatcher, paramedic and volunteer firefighter in Greeley, about 50
miles north of Aurora.

It is "rather rare" for someone of
Lakin's stature (lieutenant colonel is two ranks below general) to be
court-martialed, said Jonathan Tracy, assistant director of the National
Institute of Military Justice at American University in Washington.

Though Lakin has repeatedly stated he is not beholden to any orders
because he believes Obama's presidency is illegitimate, Tracy said it's
unlikely the court will address the matter.

The prosecutors have
to prove only that he missed his plane intentionally or through neglect
and that he disobeyed lawful orders from superiors, said Tracy, a former
Army judge advocate who served in Iraq.

"He'll
have to prove he didn't violate these things," Tracy said. As for the
issue of Obama's birthplace, the "bottom line is, that's obviously going
to be his defense, but I don't know that it's going to go anywhere in
the court-martial."

Original article here:http://edition.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/08/06/terrence.lakin.birther.bio/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn#fbid=Dtqz7Ub0vKt&wom=false

Comments

  1. While I understand the Colonel’s concern, I also hate to see him toss his career out the window, falling on his sword for the birther movement. Probably won’t see this happen with a “truther”.

  2. If I were in Obama’s position, I would be damn quick to produce the proper ‘Birth Certificate’, with all of the info relative to the medical staff present, and quell of these rumors.
    LC Lakin should be given another medal for his courage in this issue.
    We just lost another fine General recently for questioning Obama’s military decisions.

  3. I’ll poke the bear.It has been troubling to me that this president has not been able to clearly show his place of birth.His educational back ground also in deep question.Rumors he worked for the CIA in question.I will tread lightly here not because I do not want Black SUV’s in my driveway.But because my wife likes Mr.Obama.HeHe.A peace in the family thing.Lt Col Lakin on the other hand has a resume of unquestionable brass ball’s.He has served his country with honor.He has served under numerous presidents.Being a VET I understand the UCMJ has no grey areas and my fear is Col. Lakin may loose all for what he truly believes.God Bless Him.I would like to plea for Gen. Petreus to step in and talk to Lt Col Lakin.Brother to Brother..I know chain of command issues but we cannot afford to loose anymore good men.Good Luck Lt Col Lakin.

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