Here’s a Colorado Independent story just posted to the Internet that indicates that instead of reporting to Fort Campbell, as ordered, birther Army LTC Terrence Lakin showed up today at the Pentagon’s medical clinic — the duty station from which he was supposed to detach.

Note two things about the statements by spokesperson Margaret Hemenway, who is reportedly the daughter-in-law of one of the leading birther lawyers, John D. Hemenway.  First, this exercise in logic:  “Obviously if you have questions whether the president and commander in chief legally has the job, then all orders become unlawful . . . .”  Obviously.  Rather than orders being presumed lawful or rather than the de facto officer doctrine kicking in, if a mere question is raised about a President’s qualifications for office, then the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard must all stand down, leaving our nation to be defended only by the National Guard and Air National Guard under control of the various governors.

Second, note this statement:  “of course no one has seen an original birth certificate.”  There’s probably about a zero percent chance that Ms. Hemenway is unaware that, as we discussed here, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, Hawaii’s Director of Health under Republican Governor Linda Lingle, has issued statements saying that she has seen President Obama’s “original birth certificate on record” and that the Hawaii Registrar of Vital Statistics has seen President Obama’s “original birth certificate on record.”  So, Ms. Hemenway, there are two people who have seen the original birth certificate.  The birthers usually concoct fanciful (or downright guano-crazy) rationales to avoid inconvenient facts — as they did in claiming that Dr. Fukino’s initial 31 October 2008 statement was carefully parsed and didn’t confirm that the official Hawaii birth certificate she saw indicated that President Obama was born in Hawaii.  But Dr. Fukino’s July 2009 statement, probably in reaction to the birthers’ parsing argument, expressly said that she saw “the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawai’i State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawai’i and is a natural-born American citizen.” Not only haven’t I seen a credible explanation for why Dr. Fukino’s July 2009 statement doesn’t drive a stake through the heart of the birthers’ conspiracy theories, I haven’t even seen an incredible explanation.  Rather, like Ms. Hemenway’s statement issued today, the birthers seem to simply ignore Dr. Fukino’s inconvenient July 2009 statement.

41 Responses to “Update on guano-crazy birther Army LTC”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Clearly, you do not understand…Dr. Fukino has been threatened by the One World Order to SAY that she saw the birth certificate.


  2. Anonymous says:

    With a name like “Fukina”, we can’t rule out the possibility that the good Doctor is a deep under-cover agent that Jemaah Islamiah infiltrated into Hawai’i government for this very purpose. Maybe not so guano after all . . . . . (cue Twilight Zone theme now, fade to Glenn Beck)

  3. Anonymous says:

    One has to wonder why he bothered showing up at all. If he’s disobeying all orders, as he claims, how can he justify complying with the half-dozen or more orders he’d have to comply with between the time he parks his car to the time he gets to his office. I wonder if he showed up in uniform.

  4. JTS says:

    A serious question. I don’t believe any of this birther hoopla, but does anyone know why the Hawaian legislature just doesn’t pass a law allowing the original to be released for a one time public verification of this one birth certificate? Is there something else in play here? I mean there has to be some reason and I somehow don’t think we as “mainlanders” have the full story about this state law and policy. I’m just curious a) if there is another part of the story and b) what it is.

    As for good LTC Larkin, putting matters of military justice aside, I learned a long time ago as a 2LT that officers should just stay out of politics. Me thinks that’s a wise philosophy since not following it tends to lead to messes like this one.

  5. Phil Cave says:

    It gets worse.

  6. Anonymous says:

    1 President, Current Commander-In-Chief Barack Obama
    2 Vice President Joe Biden
    3 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
    4 President pro tempore of the Senate Robert Byrd
    5 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
    6 Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner
    7 Secretary of Defense Robert Gates[2]
    8 Attorney General

    Now I believe this is an accurate Chain Of Command, Not Mention the long line of Generals, Admirals, and so on Appointed above This LTC.

    I know there is alot of Great Attorney’s here on this Website. In fact I’ve seen many of High Profile Articles listed with you in them, relating to the Military.

    Here is what I am trying to understand about this case. I guess he wouldn’t be AWOL if he’s currently assigned to A Military Command. But I also read where he is to report for Deployment, but hasn’t done so yet.

    I realize as Men we all have strong Convictions, and stand by our Decisions.

    But If this was A lower enlisted Soldier, would there be a different standard? (As Far As UCMJ)

    LTC is A very High Rank In The Military, why would someone risk there whole Career on missing movement?

    I mean with the world of the Internet, everyone can pretty much read anything. Not saying its all true, but there is a lot of Information out there to be read. I think this could open flood gates in future deployments.

    My Opion which means nothing, He is taking a big chance here, I mean it Appears The Military Has total Jurisdiction Here, and could enforce UCMJ Regardless if He ever see’s The President’s Birth Certificate Or Not.

    I realize I am one of the Non-Attorney’s as I seen posted on another comment. But I am Happy to Breathe the same Air you Men do.

  7. Christopher Mathews says:

    Anon 2329, I am happy that you breathe the same air we do, too.

    If I had to guess, though, I’d say the air LTC Lakin has been breathing is somewhat less rich in oxygen than it ought to be.

  8. manasa says:

    Chris, this Dude is from the REAL America, the one that includes Sarah Palin as president and they’ve all been breathing hyperich Alaskan air in Wasila!!

  9. Sunray Minor says:

    A serious question.I don’t believe any of this birther hoopla, but does anyone know why the Hawaian legislature just doesn’t pass a law allowing the original to be released for a one time public verification of this one birth certificate?Is there something else in play here? I mean there has to be some reason and I somehow don’t think we as “mainlanders” have the full story about this state law and policy. I’m just curious a) if there is another part of the story and b) what it is.As for good LTC Larkin, putting matters of military justice aside, I learned a long time ago as a 2LT that officers should just stay out of politics.Me thinks that’s a wise philosophy since not following it tends to lead to messes like this one.

    No not even close to a serious question.

    Lets see if I have your thesis right.

    The current POTUS is the only president in history who has publicly provided a copy of his birth certificate.

    Said BC is in the only form that the state of Hawai’i currently provides.

    Said BC’s released information has been further substantiated twice by the appropriate arm of the government of the state of issuance.

    Said document is a legally self authenticating document

    Said document is, as part of the Full Faith and Credit doctrine legally recognized by each and every other state in the USA as a whole and sufficient document

    Said document is accepted by the Federal Government as whole and sufficient for such items as a passport etc.

    So, pray tell, what logical, legal and justifiable cause is there to demand ANYTHING else, never mind having a state pass a law that breaches both the states and the Federal governments laws on privacy.

    Please, I’d love to hear the rationale.

  10. Anonymous says:

    That guy seems to be ill informed about what his oath actually is.

  11. thorswitch says:

    Just to be up front, I am not a lawyer (nor do I play one on TV.) I’m just an interested citizen, so please take my comments with that in mind.

    One big reason why it wouldn’t be appropriate for the legislature to release Obama’s certificate is that Hawaiian privacy laws (and, I think, the Federal HIPPA law as well) don’t allow anyone but the person themselves or a relative (as defined by state law) to request a copy of someone’s birth certificate. Even if they could pass an exception to the state law, I don’t believe the Hawaiian legislature could pass an exception to a federal law.

    Additionally, Hawaii does not allow anyone other than the appropriate people in the Vital Records department have access to the original paperwork that was submitted to the state. Not even Obama can get a copy of the original paperwork about his birth. Anyone requesting a copy of their birth certificate will get a piece of paper that in form and appearance is identical to the one Obama published on his website “” (with their own information on it, of course, not Obama’s.)

    Lastly, it should be noted that there were also questions about McCain’s place of birth and whether he was eligible to hold the Presidency or not. He was born in Panama, and there apparently was some question as to whether he was born in the American controlled part of the canal zone (which would be considered American soil) or if he was born in the Panamanian part. In any event, HE never had to provide a copy of his birth certificate to *anyone* to prove his eligibility. The question of his citizenship was put to rest by a vote in the Senate, IIRC.

    Why they did not do likewise for Obama prior to the election, I’m not sure, but when the House and Senate voted to confirm the Electoral College’s election of Obama as President, they were – by that very action – also confirming his eligibility.

  12. Some Army Guy says:

    That is *not* the chain of command — that is the order of succession of the POTUS if he were to become incapacitated.

    The chain of command goes from the POTUS to the SECDEF to the combatant commanders.

  13. JimmyMac says:

    Curious that there hasn’t been any observations here that the good “colonel” is a doctor. What “career” has he thrown away? Does anybody really think his future patients in his very lucrative medical practice are going to care that he has some “bad paper” in his military record? How/why would they know? My only “qulaification” here is that I have no idea whether he is licensed outside the military. If he holds a civilian license, his motives become very transparent. Proudly accept that Letter of Reprimand at NJP, tender his resignation, open his civilian practice, and go shopping for his first BMW. (Not so fast – some of you will protest that the Army may not accept his resignation and “let him go”. Army may want to “make an example” of him. Your naivete is refreshing! Army will want to wash their hands of this fungus as quickly and quietly as possible.)

  14. JTS says:

    Perhaps you have misinterpreted what I’m asking, and why I’m asking it. I agree that the form of this “certificate of live bith” should be enough–incidentally, I personally know that its enough because my state issues those as well, and that’s what I used to get my passport, but I digress. I am satisified by it, don’t believe any of the birther claims, and am perfectly happy with the President as Commander in Chief. I will gladly follow the orders of him or any other commander in chief that’s duely elected by the people. That’s the system, and most military officers don’t even bat an eye thinking about that. I want to make that clear from the start. My question was not trying to stir up this contravesy anymore, and I am sorry if I did not make that clear.

    What I was asking was this: from what I hear, there is a longer birth certificate that Hawaii maintains, that public officials have seen and have testified to, but isn’t released due to state law. For me and 99.9% of the population, that would have been more than enough, but there is still that fringe element that acts like zealots on this issue claiming conspiracy because Hawaii refuses to release the longer one. I was just curious if there was a reason why the state government didn’t just make a one time exception and either publish the thing or have reporters come in and photograph it. To me, that seems like something easy that can be done that would let logic and reason triumph over this craziness and kill this story once and for all. But I suspect that there was another, perfectly good reason why they wouldn’t want to do that, and I was just curious if someone knew it. Call it academic curiosity. And if basic privacy is the concern, fine, I can accept that but maybe someone can tell me what the difference is between “a certificate of live birth” and the “birth certificate” that triggers such a heightened privacy concern. Maybe then I can better explain why this is a non issue when I have crazy family members claim the President isn’t American.

  15. Not a Fan But in the Venn says:

    Don’t military docs have to be licensed by a state in order to practice?

  16. Cap'n Crunch says:

    Has anyone considered the notion that this guy probably WANTS a dismissal or OTH (and to pontificate about the ‘stand’ he took against Obama in the process), so he can go out and practice in civilian life making a ton of money?

    I have had the pleasure (or maybe it was not so pleasurable) of representing some military doctors. Generally, the ones who get in trouble have this notion that they are above the law and are untouchable. Rules and regulations and orders regarding moonlighting? Well, they don’t apply. Orders? Well, they’ll obey them if they feel like it.

    I am not casting so wide a net as to characterize all military doctors this way. But there are a handful that I have dealt with (and that, by definition, means that they are some sort of trouble maker), who fit the characterization I have just described. Lakin also seems to fit that description.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Don’t enlisted men/women explicitly swear to obey the orders of POTUS?

  18. JimmyMac says:

    Not a Fan But…
    You may want to sit down for this one but no. Graduates of the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences (USUHS – DoD’s “medical school”) need not be licensed by a state to practice medicine under the auspices of DoD. There may be other exceptions as well but I do know of the USUHS excpetion.

  19. Gene Fidell says:

    JimmyMac, under 10 USC 1094, DoD health-care professionals need an unrestricted state license in order to give direct patient care. Exemptions are possible only in unusual circumstances.

  20. soonergrunt says:

    Wasn’t that other birther case about a doctor? If I remember correctly one of Orly Taitz’ clients was an Army Medical Officer, female CPT, who finally got on the plane, such act rendering her legal challeng moot? Didn’t she end up suing to fire Taitz, or am I confused by all of the craziness surrounding this subject?

  21. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    This article:

    claims that Lt Colonel Lakin has been read his Art. 31b rights by none other than Colonel Gordon R. Roberts. Col Roberts was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on July 11, 1969, in Vietnam, shortly after his 19th birthday. Not only is he the youngest living MOH recipient, he is also the only one currently on active duty.

  22. soonergrunt says:
    That’s one hard core social worker.

  23. Anonymous says:

    The juxtaposition could not be more stark. MoH recipient > Birther LTC jackass. Good on the Army. As for the question of whether LTC Lakin is looking to be released to the civilian side to make more money, that is the reason that TC needs to go for brig time. A simple dismissal won’t do it for this quack.

  24. DC Steve says:

    Well, the one thing I will get out of this debacle (in addition to some good laughs at the LTC’s expense) is a great new term. “Guano-crazy.” Mr. Sullivan, not sure if you coined it, or are borrowing it, but I intend to incorporate into my lexicon shortly.

  25. Anonymous says:

    “Its better to Die on your Feet” (War),”Than to live on your Knees” (Fort Leavenworth )

  26. JimmyMac says:

    Thanks Gene….although very curious. I was at Bethesda a few weeks ago and my Doc had a young intern with him who graduated from USUHS last summer. The conversation turned to state boards and she said she was exempt because she graduated from USUHS and practiced “in the military”. Wonder who isn’t getting the word?

  27. Anonymous says:

    LTC Lakin’s CV claims he holds current active medical licenses in Colorado and Maryland. Either or both of those jurisdictions could initiate action based on the allegations and LTC Lakin would in all likelihood be required to report to them any criminal conviction (a good reason to accept any administrative disposition offered). His actions also could result in reporting to the National Practitioner/Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank.

    In addition to his medical license, LTC Lakin holds certain clinical privileges to practice issued by whomever his credentialing authority is. The credentialing authority could at any time initiate action which might adversely impact his ability to practice for the rest of life.

    That being said, in my experience most military-specific misconduct does not necessarily result in adverse credentialing/licensing action. I’m aware of courts-martial involving CAAF-affirmed findings and sentences (involving even “common law” offenses such as child sex abuse) where the accused has retained his medical license.

    Still, I personally would consider initiating some sort of action if I were the credentialing authority, depending on what the impact of his refusal was on the delivery of care/medical staffing.

    I would also be concerned by the apparent incoherency of his public statements, as to how his unwillingness to follow orders might affect his clinical judgment and the quality of care (Can he convince me he is willing to give assurances that he will follow all applicable HHS/DoD/Army regs governing his practice, notwithstanding his views of whether the President is eligible to hold the office, or will he feel as free to pick and choose which he will abide by?).

    As a gratutious aside, it figures a D.O. (vice an M.D.) trained in acupuncture would be involved in something like this.

  28. Christopher Mathews says:

    Anon 1417: as the spouse of an acupuncturist who has more common sense than nearly anyone I know, I think you’re somewhat off point on that last observation.

    I think you raise an interesting question in the main text of your post, however: if LTC Lakin doesn’t feel obliged to follow orders from the officers in his chain of command because he thinks the President does not legitimately hold his office, why should we assume that he would feel any more obliged — as a civilian — to follow regulations promulgated under the same President’s authority, or that of the Cabinet officers the President appointed?

    For that matter, why should we assume a civilian Dr. Lakin would obey even statutory authority, if the laws were signed by a President he feels ineligible to serve?

  29. Anonymous says:

    And, if he’s still being allowed to practice, does that mean his nurses and corpsmen no longer have to follow his orders? As a patient, can I refuse to turn my head and cough?

  30. Mary Adams says:

    maybe someone can tell me what the difference is between “a certificate of live birth” and the “birth certificate” that triggers such a heightened privacy concern.Maybe then I can better explain why this is a non issue when I have crazy family members claim the President isn’t American.

    The “birth certificate” on file with the state of Hawaii is the one filled out at the hospital.

    It contains sections with medical and social info that is for research and statistical purposes. VERY private and personal.

    Here’s the current standard CDC BC:

  31. Anonymous says:

    yes, thus my ill informed comment. ;)

  32. Dwight Sullivan says:

    Cap’n, LTC Lakin has 18 years in and has been selected for promotion to colonel. But let’s say he walked away at 20 at a lieutenant colonel. He would receive a lifetime stream of money, adjusted for inflation, starting somewhere around $55,0000 in today’s money. Now I know almost nothing about finance, so I don’t know the answer to this question: how much would it cost a roughly 45-year-old male to buy a lifetime annuity that would pay $55,000 a year, adjusted for inflation? My guess is quite a lot. So I doubt that LTC Lakin is motivated by a desire to be kicked out of the military somewhere between the 18- and 20-year mark — though perhaps he believes that his skills are sufficiently marketable that it lessens the weight that a potential (likely?) loss of retirement pay would otherwise assume in his calculus.

  33. Mike "No Man" Navarre says:

    All of which reaffirms the guano crazy description of this case.

  34. manasa says:

    Guys, anyone realize this guy might actually believe this?
    nothing else explains his actions.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Given his apparent birther/tea party leanings Id assume he believes that health care reform will destroy his ability as a doctor to make money.

    If so, then I agree this wouldn’t be about money, but some sort of misguided insanity/guano-martyrism where he believes some sort of epiphany by the masses will be reached by his noble sacrifice.

    He thinks he’s Jean Valjean from Les Miserables.

  36. Christopher Mathews says:

    Hmmm … time for a Rule 706 inquiry?

  37. Gene Fidell says:

    Perhaps there’s an exemption for interns, but if there is, I bet it requires that they function under supervision. Any NNMC/USUHS readers know the answer?

  38. JTS says:

    Thanks. Seeing that, it makes a lot of sense why privacy is such an issue. In NY, at least when I was born, the “Birth Certificate” I have from my date of birth looks a whole hell of a lot like the “Certificate of Live Birth” I got two decades later when I needed a spare copy to send to the military. But seeing the standard, I can guess what’s on the official one from Hawaii.

  39. thorswitch says:

    Ok, I understand you better now, JTS – sorry about that!

    I also understand why doing that sounds like an ideal solution, until you realize that for most birthers, there actually isn’t anything that will convince them that Obama is legitimately President. There’s already been a *long* history of “goalpost moving” on the part of birthers. There’s an EXCELLENT summary of this at, a site that’s been tracking the birther movement since not long after it’s start. (the birther-oriented sections require free registration to access.) It was written by a Conservative named Loren in response to a birther who was asking why Loren spent so much time trying to debunk birtherism. Here’s the most relevant portion of his reply:

    “Birtherism is an endless fount of fallacy, illogic, and unattainable standards of proof. After a blogger first fabricated the rumor that Obama was born in Kenya and not Hawaii, conspiracy theorists such as yourself demanded to see a birth certificate. When Obama’s campaign published the COLB online for anyone to see, conspiracy theorists such as yourself moved the goalpost further, fell back on the testimony of fake, lying “experts” and accused it of being forged, and asked that it be personally inspected. When FactCheck sent a couple of staff members to handle and photograph the document, conspiracy theorists such as yourself moved the goalpost further and accused FactCheck of being in on the conspiracy, and asked for external evidence of a Hawaiian birth. When contemporary birth announcements were found in the Honolulu newspapers, conspiracy theorists such as yourself moved the goalpost further and accused the Obama family of having been engaged in conspiratorial efforts to cover up a Kenyan birth for the last 50 years, and asked for the state of Hawaii to confirm his birth. When officials from the state of Hawaii publicly went on record as saying that his vital records confirm his birth in Hawaii, conspiracy theorists such as yourself moved the goalpost further and claimed that the Hawaiian officials were not credible. It’s a neverending game of creating new standards of proof, new conspiratorial relationships, and new reasons for denying a truth that you refuse to accept. These are the tools of denialists, and conservatism does not need to be riddled with or associated with denialists.”

    The full post can be found at:

    Also, there’s a sub-group of birthers – one that seems to be growing every day – that is pushing the idea that in order for someone to be a “real” Natural Born Citizen, that person must have had two citizen parents, or – at a minimum – that person’s father must have been an American citizen, since “citizenship by blood” descends solely from the father. Since Obama’s father was a Kenyan citizen, even a long form BC won’t solve the question, because they’ll say he’s still not legitimate since his father wasn’t American. This theory is drawn from a book called “The Law of Nations” written by the Swiss philosopher which describes the need for two citizen parents for a child to be natural born.

    The problems with this theory – at least as far as I understand it – are (1) the book was written originally in French, and the first English translation of the book to translate the passage in question as meaning “two citizen parents” wasn’t published until about 20 years after the Constitution was written and (2) US law is founded in British Common Law, which holds that birth within a nations boundaries grants natural born citizenship, meaning that Obama’s Hawaiian birth trumps his father’s Kenyan citizenship when it comes to determining Obama’s eligibility.

    As you can see, though, they’ve already got their next goalpost ready in case the long form actually is produced.

    And, of course, there’s one other problem with having the legislature establish a “one-off” law to allow Obama’s records to be released, and that is that if the government of Hawaii gives into these demands, it only tells the fringe that they have a certain level of power, which they will then continue to try and wield to force other governmental bodies to do what they want. It’s not all that dissimilar to why we don’t give into terrorists, though in this case, it’s not violence that we fear (at least not so far, and hopefully it’ll stay that way,) but rather letting a small group of very loud people on the fringe hold our government hostage to their demands.

    I hope that maybe is more helpful!

  40. thorswitch says:

    Capt. Rhodes didn’t end up suing Taitz. What basically happened in that case is that the court pointed out that she hadn’t had any problem following any orders at all until she was ordered to deploy overseas, and only then did she start to have a problem with questioning Obama’s citizenship. Her suit was dismissed.

    Apparently, at that point, she decided she wanted to drop the matter and just ship out, but Orly went ahead and filed a motion for reconsideration. Capt. Rhodes sent a letter to the Judge on the day that she did deploy saying that Orly had not had her permission to file the MfR and that Orly was no longer her attorney.

    Eventually, Orly was hit with $20,000 in sanctions which she is still fighting.

    This was one of Orly’s crazier cases, possibly the most insane part being when she submitted an affidavit from a guy who claimed he’d seen a man “of short stature” whom he said resembled Attorney General Eric Holder in a coffee shop across the street from the courthouse. Orly asserted that Holder *must* have been in town in order to pressure the Judge on the case to dismiss it, and as part of her motion for reconsideration, demanded that the Judge recuse himself on that basis. When the affiant was informed that AG Holder is over 6 feet tall, he said that maybe he was mistaken, but as far as I know, he had never formally withdrawn his affidavit.

    In any event, when the Judge refused to recuse himself and imposed sanctions – noting among many other problems with her motion the fact that he had never met with AG Holder. Orly appealed to the next higher court, and in that one attacked, of course, all of the Judges responses to her motion including basically claiming that the Judge couldn’t possibly know if he had met with AG Holder because he hadn’t held any hearings on the matter – as if he needed to ask someone else who he, himself, had met with. It was just bizarre – like most of her stuff! ::rolls eyes::

  41. thorswitch says:

    Many birth certificates that parents bring home from the hospital aren’t “real” birth certificates – somewhat like how the real pretty Marriage License certificate that many married couples have isn’t their “real” marriage license. In both cases, the certificate kept by the department of vital records had different information and, usually, a less “decorative” appearance, that what is kept by the parent/newlywed couple. Again, at least to the best of my non-lawyerly understanding :) That could, however, explain the difference between the birth certificate you have form when you were born and what info is actually required by the state.