Thanks to “Glenn” for calling our attention to the charges preferred against LTC Lakin, available here. (I wonder if Glenn is who I think it might be.)

The charges were preferred today and LTC Lakin was informed of them today.

Two charges were preferred.  First was a missing movement charge with one spec for missing a flight from BWI to Charlotte, North Carolina to deploy “in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the 32nd Calvary Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky, with which he was required in the course of duty to move.  Second was an Article 92 charge with four specs.  The first spec alleges violation of a lawful order issued by a lieutenant colonel to report to the Brigade Commander’s office (that would be the office of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Gordon R. Roberts) at 1345 on 31 March 2010 by wrongfully not reporting as directed.  The second spec alleges violation of a lawful order by failing to obey  a memorandum signed by COL Roberts ordering him to report as directed.  (Based on the spec, I’m not sure where the memo ordered LTC Lakin to report.)  The third spec alleges violation of a lawful order by COL McHugh requiring LTC Lakin to report to Fort Campbell on Temporary Change of Station orders not later than 1500 on 12 April 2010.  The fourth spec alleges willful dereliction of duty by failing to report to Fort Campell in accordance with his Temporary Change of Station orders.  (Specs 3 and 4 may reflect a Jones-inspired pleading in the alternative.)

The spec under Charge I is punishable by total FF and up to two years of confinement.  Specs 1 through 3 of Charge II are each punishable by up to six months of confinement.  Spec 4 of Charge II is punishable by up to six months of confinement.  But if, as appears to be the case, there’s some pleading in the alternative for contingencies of proof purposes, it looks like the max confinement under Charge II will be either 18 months or 12 months.  So the max authorized punishment for the offenses as charged is between three years and four years.  And, of course, an officer can be dismissed for a finding of guilty of any offense tried by a GCM.

23 Responses to “Charges preferred against LTC Lakin”

  1. Christopher Mathews says:

    I especially like how the folks running the website redacted LTC Lakin’s SSN from the first page of the DD Form 458, but left it unredacted on the continuation page for all the world to see.

    A veritable bunch of Clarence Darrows, that’s what they are. Nothing gets past these guys.

  2. IAC says:

    if encouraging and broadcasting your client’s criminality on talk radio isn’t IAC, what is?

  3. Socrates says:

    Is “Glenn,” Glenn Beck?

    Is Glenn Beck advising LTC Lakin?

  4. Dwight Sullivan says:

    So-Crates — Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly have both been dismissive toward the birthers. Bill O’Reilly actually called the foreign birth theory “bogus.” And Glenn Beck has called the birthers’ theories “the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.” That drives the birthers crazy . . . or crazier.

    The Glenn I was thinking of rhymes with Zen Herding.

  5. NivenFan says:

    Do multiple specifications count as separate offenses for sentencing?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Assuming for the sake of argument that President Obama is constitutionally ineligible to hold office, I can’t figure out how that translates into a defense for the orders violations. Has anyone heard a decent argument?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Judge, I have seen worse in ROT’s that were not redacted – whole list of Airman, NCO’s, and Officers of those who were tested for drugs with the accused on that day – totally unredacted.

  8. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    Apologies for picking nits, but it’s just the Medal of Honor. It is awarded in the name of the U.S. Congress, but the award itself is the Medal of Honor.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Nope, there is none.

    All orders are presumingly valid – her is an interesting though. Perhaps LTC Lakin WANTS to be court martialed – because now he can subpoena for records, witnesses, etc., that IN HIS mind would prove the President is not a citizen.

    For example, maybe he can get the President’s transcripts that may show his family had registered him a native of Indonesia or a Muslim to attend school there – or get his college stuff to show he registered for foreign aid.

    The President may have done all the above just to go to school (i.e. lied to get financial aid and go to a school where immigrants are not allowed) – but if such records exist they can be very damning. But I am sure any such records have been taken care of already :)

  10. Anonymous II says:

    What are the rules for discovery in a courts-martial? Can the court limit the scope of discovery? Would LTC Larkin be able to go on a fishing expedition to get what whatever evidence he feels might help his case? How likely is it that the the LTC’d defense team will even be allowed to bring up Presidential eligiblity as a defense?

  11. Christopher Mathews says:

    The problem, Anon 2039, is discerning how any of those things would amount to a defense.

    Let’s suppose, for example, that the prior occupant of the White House was a cocaine user who went AWOL from his post in the Air National Guard. Those facts, which would be politically damning if proven, would not have amounted to a defense even in a cocaine or absence case, and the accused would not have been entitled to discovery to prove them.

    Lakin may be firmly convinced that President Obama is not a U.S. citizen, but he would still need to demonstrate how even if true that fact would amount to a defense in order to take discovery.

  12. Nancy Truax says:

    Yes. The maximum punishment is calculated by combining all of the maximum punishments for each specification. The max in this case is as Col. Sullivan described.

  13. TG says:

    Chris:

    I think the legal theory is actually pretty sound, if you make some basic assumptions which really are not that far out of reach. A good analogy would be the acts of someone who acted as counsel in a court, but it turned out actually did not hold a valid law license. Precedent is clear: EVERYTHING from the trial is void ab initio. Total do-over.

    Assuming, for the sake of the argument, the President really is not validly in office, wouldn’t it be possible a court could find the same rationale applies? Because the person in office would not actually BE the President lawfully, the acts of that person would be void without any recourse to revive them.

    I don’t approve of the methods used to advance this theory, and I don’t even think it has a snowball’s chance, but on the other hand, it does make for one heck of a legal nightmare. I wonder if anyone who is advancing this REALLY understands the consitutional chaos that will ensue if they ever actually are, somehow, in some twilight zone universe, proven correct.

  14. Christopher Mathews says:

    TG, I don’t think your analogy is actually all that good. An accused has an individual right to the assistance of qualified and competent counsel. There is no individual right to have all the positions in the chain of command filled by eligible persons.

    Let me pose a question: what do you think would be the effect of an appellant proving that his court-martial was convened by an officer ineligible to hold his command?

    The answer is that there would be no effect at all. See, e.g., United States v. Jette, 25 M.J. 16 (C.M.A. 1987); United States v. Watson, 37 M.J. 166, 168 (C.M.A. 1993); and United States v. Brown, 39 M.J. 114 (C.M.A. 1994).

  15. Christopher Mathews says:

    One more thought: even assuming the President was ineligible and the office could thus be considered to be “vacant” (as arguably occurred between the time President Kennedy was declared dead and the time President Johnson took the oath of office), how does that render the orders of LTC Lakin’s superiors invalid?

    Is there some authority for the proposition that all military authority derives, not from the power of Congress to make rules for the regulation of the armed forces, but rather from the person of the President himself?

  16. Anon@2039 says:

    Totally agree with you Judge….But you know Lakin is going to pull a Blago and try to get his hands on every little detail he will claim as a defense….I agree that he still would have to be able to prove that, assuming arguendo his wacked out theories are correct – how that would delegitimize his orders, or the orders of his superiors. The orders just need to be “properly published”.

    Another analogy is a commissioned officer who really did not go to college but was let into OTS, or a lawyer who was disbarred years ago but somehow still made it to AFLOA (just a hypo!!!) their actions would presumingly be lawful “…and is disobeyed at the subordinate’s peril. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States & United States v. Nieves, 44 M.J. 96, 98 (C.A.A.F. 1996).

  17. John O'Connor says:

    Subpoenas can be issued only by the TC. The TC will refuse to subpoena such records as not relevant to the case. The DC will seek an order from the MJ compelling issuance of the subpoena. The MJ will say the TC was right and deny the motion.

  18. Jack Grogan says:

    U.S. Justice Foundation reports Obama has paid several agent law firms about 1.7 million to continue repressing information alleged to be at Occidental College, State of Hawaii Vital Records, and DOS passport history on Barack and family. All this after alleged admission of dual citizenship in his “Dreams from My Father”. Too bad the subject of inquiry can’t step forward to unravel his current status as alleged imposter. Very simple matter? Will the DNC give him a pass as Constitutionally qualified candidate in 2012?

  19. Jack Grogan says:

    It’s progress that one respondent can imagine a genuine conspiracy. There is no valid long form birth record, either from the DNC, to whom I have written about their vetting process,or from the State of Hawaii Vital Records – just the runaround, in both cases. Endemic non-transparency, rhetorical and legislative dissembling, and 34 actors in the Czarist cadre from the fringe should create a major questionmark. Yes, I can imagine the constitutional crisis. So far, however, an ordinary citizen has gained no judicial standing and the Judiciary is apparently waiting for the isssue to “ripen.

  20. TG says:

    Chris:

    Before I say anything else, I want to confirm I don’t subscribe to what I am going to say. This is more in the nature of playing devil’s advocate. I guess every counsel does that from time to time.

    Here’s the issue: as a constitutional matter, there is only one single power of the executive branch – that of the President. All other officers of the United States – which all military officers are – act by a delegation of the powers of the President. Now normally, that’s not an issue. After all, there is a clearly defined chain of command and chain of succession. So, for example, to borrow a Tom Clancy scenario, even if something would happen during the State of the Union, the powers would immediately devolve pursuant to the 25th Amendment. There would be no “gap” as you described.

    Its quite a different matter if, again for the sake of argument, the person holding the office does not do so legally. If that is the case, then there is way for the power to devolve. That would change – instantaneously – as soon as the proper holder of the office was identified. Fortunately, that really would be only a matter of determining if the VP could immediately succeed (I suspect so), which would end the devolution question. But the analogy of the nonqualified defense counsel still applies. After all, why else would it be necessary to put everyone’s qualifications on the record for every trial? Answer: because without it, the trial is a nullity.

    So far as I am aware, there is no law that allows lesser officers to function legally without the authority of the President. We have no inherent power of our own; it all is delegated from the unitary executive.

    I will also admit I know of no time this situation has actually be considered. The closest we ever came in history was the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson (no VP, no 25th Amendment).

    Sticky. Something to be avoided.

  21. Bill Wilks says:

    Don’t know a lot about all this legal mumbo jumbo on here but I do know this. That long legged mac daddy is as crooked as a dogs hind leg and he is hiding something. Now for any one not to believe that then they are a lot crazier than I am.

  22. Brian G. says:

    My thanks to both TG and Christopher Mathews for their positions and explanations regarding a very interesting matter. Being a former Army legal clerk for 8 years it’s going to be just as interesting at how this trial really pans out.

  23. BlackSunshine84 says:

    The judge said discovery would embarrass Obama and it is for Congress to impeach Obama, not the army. Who asked for Obama to be impeached? How does she know there is there is something embarrassing in Obama’s records unless she has been collaborating her rulings with Obama? Another crooked judge…