Here is a link to the S.O.C. press release announcing that LTC Lakin’s motions for deposition of various Hawaiian officials will be heard of Sep 2 at Ft. Meade. It also provides excerpts for a declaration for a Retired Air Force–Air Force, not Army–Lieutenant General supporting LTC Lakin’s request for President Obama’s birth records. Some of the declaration is reprinted on the website, but here is the gist:

If [Pres. Obama] is ineligible under the Constitution to serve in that office that creates a break in the chain of command of such magnitude that its significance can scarcely be imagined.
 
As a practical example from my background I recall commanding forces
that were equipped with nuclear weapons. In my command capacity I was responsible that personnel with access to these weapons had an unwavering and absolute confidence in the unified chain of command, because such confidence was absolutely essential–vital– in the event the use of those weapons was authorized. I cannot overstate how imperative it is to train such personnel to have confidence in the unified chain of command.

I couldn’t agree more. As to relevance . . .

51 Responses to “Non-Judge Advocate Retired Lt. General Submits Amicus Lakin Declaration”

  1. John O'Connor says:

    This case has become beyond stupid (if it didn’t start that way). They really need to shut down the sideshow.

  2. Ted says:

    As a civilian, I am frightened by the apparent agreement of several retired military officers with Lt. Col. Lakin’s position. I think it is fair to assume that if some retired officers share his views, then some active duty officers share his views, too. And if they do share his views, then they pose a danger to the principle of subordination of the military to civilian control. I can’t remember another time in my life when I have had the sense that we really need to worry about sedition, the potential for a military coup, etc. Shame on the Republicans for allowing these views to fester among them.

  3. Weirick says:

    Any more LTC Lakin news on CAAFLog, and we will start seeing comments like this:

    How do you live with yourself? A supposed Constitutional expert that doesn’t know what a Natural Born Citizen is? I would say that you probably do. You know, and are obfuscating the fact that Obama is not an eligible Natural Born Citizen, NO Matter if born in the White House, in JFK’s lap. Obama Sr. was not a citizen when Obama 2 was born. You and Obama both know that makes him ineligible. Destroying the Constitution for the benefit of your Leftist agenda. Fraud!!!

    http://volokh.com/2010/08/31/the-ultimate-legal-blog-comment/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+volokh/mainfeed+(The+Volokh+Conspiracy)

  4. Anonymous says:

    quite frankly, and folks might say this goes too far, but I wonder how far this country is from another civil war.

    I simply do not see how we continue to remain united when the right views the left as traitors and godless, and the left views the right in equally stark terms.

    There is no common ground anymore, and I suspect this is what the 1840s looked like.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m going to have to agree with Weirick. I’d say that the only news in the future that really belongs on CAAFlog re: Lakin is (a) the MJ’s rulings on motions in limine, and (b) the verdict. The rest is just rousing the rabble. I doubt that we’ll get much intelligent debate here. Just a bunch of “Good Grief” comments, sprinkled with a “Birther” here and there. This case is the Least Common Denominator for Military Justice.

  6. Anonymous Air Force Appellate Defense Lawyer says:

    The only thing that could make Birther posts more fun would be the return of the green/red “thumbs-up”/”thumbs-down” icons. Lets bring those back and see what visitors to this cite really think.

  7. Jen says:

    It weems to me the greater threat to a unified chain of command is officers at various levels demanding proof of eligibility from their higher-ups before deciding whether to obey commands. So maybe it is relevant.

  8. John O'Connor says:

    I can’t think of a single prominent Republican who has done anything other than treat the Birthers with derision.

    It’s basically the same as the relationship between the Democrats and the “Truthers” who claim 9/11 was a conspiracy created by the Bushies.

  9. Trevor says:

    Re Anon 6:56

    “This case is the Least Common Denominator for Military Justice”

    I would respectfully disagree as the case itself effectively involves the core tenet of the military subordination to lawful civilian authority.

    Lakin and his very limited number of cheerleaders have taken it upon themselves to decide what and whose orders they will obey based upon some arbitrary and ever moving set of personal beliefs.

    This is a stance that no disciplined organization of any sort never mind the military can accept without descent into the actions of the mob.

    People like Lakin seem to have forgotten what the phrase “military service” means.

    The individual serves with others to protect and defend society, to accomplish this they are given all the terrible tools of war with the understanding that they act at the behest of society as a whole and civilian leadership as a the control.

    Lakins’ view is simply the logical step towards a military that views itself as the rightful controller of society and not the servant.

  10. Friend says:

    OMG – Ted/Anon 1145/Trevor. Are you all serious. Civil war? Just like 1840? Military subordination to civilian authority?

    Anon and Trevor – I simply cannot understand how you reach these conclusory statements based on the issues (if there are issues indeed) at hand. Lakin and his supporter base aren’t questioning civilian leadership of the military – just one person’s ability to be that leader/NCA (National Command Authority). IOW – they maintain that Pres. Obama simply cannot be president due to his being constituionally “ineligible”. That’s all. Pretty simple and straightforward.

    Civil war/1840? I presume you refer to the American Civil War 1860-1865. Hyperbole unsupported by logic and fact, sir.

    “I have looked up and I don’t see the sky falling – yet.” Quote from Chicken Little’s friend Marvin.

  11. Trevor says:

    @Friend

    I would heartily recommend you reduce the caffeine intake before posting.

    Did you actually bother to read what was posted?

    For example my comments were in opposition to the “lowest common denominator” item. A GGC is NOT lowest common denominator in anyones view.

    The actions leading to this issue are NOT lowest common denomionator

    My view is, I quote, “Lakin and his very limited number of cheerleaders”

    Lakins’ actions are in direct violation of command authority and have bugger all to do with the POTUS outside of the inbred fetid swamp like mind of Birferstan

    So re-read, then feel free to comment intelligibly

  12. Trevor says:

    Ah fat finger syndrome GCM not GGC…apologies

  13. On this issue, the GOP is out front says:

    JOC at 0814,

    I would consider any member of Congress to be “prominent.” Here are your GOP members who have made statements or taken actions to support the birther movement:

    Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)
    Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
    Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA)
    Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ)
    Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC)
    Rep. Roy Blount (R-MO)
    Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-MN)

    This list does not include the VA Attorney General, also someone of prominence from the GOP.

    I challenge you to list the Dems who supported the movement that 9/11 was an inside job by the Bush Administration.

  14. Christopher Mathews says:

    JO’C, I think it’s an overstatement to say that all prominent Republicans treat birthers with “derision.”

    Many of those with further electoral ambitions recognize the need to appease their base, 41% of which believes that the President “definitely” or “probably” was born abroad, with the need not to look guano loco to the rest of the country. They wind up dancing a sort of birther two-step, first making encouraging noises about the “legitimate concerns” surrounding the issues and then backing away to say there are more important issues or that their original comments were misinterpreted. This group includes Senators, Congressmen, and Presidential aspirants.

    I don’t see anything wrong with them using the political system to espouse a particular point of view; that’s what it’s there for. The military, not so much.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Wow. Some people are really scared here. You know, it really doesn’t matter who the President is; it has been that way since January 1993. You just follow orders and keep your trap shut. Keep you opinions of the C in C, positive or negative, to yourself. It’s really pretty simple.

  16. John O'Connor says:

    You mean sort of like the Democrats with the “Truthers”? I honestly can’t see any difference between the way the two parties’ leadership has dealt with these fringe issues within their ranks. Pull up what some prominent Dems (Terry McAuliffe I can think of, but there were others) said, for example, after screening Fahrenheit 9/11. I assume that, upon reflection, they don’t give much credence to the Truthers and I wouldn’t try to tar their entire party with this lunatic fringe ideology.

  17. John O'Connor says:

    It seems that your standard is that anyone who says “questions should be asked” or “there are legitimate questions” before the facts have been developed is a supporter. Using that standard, you can find all sorts of Democrats who made such comments in the aftermath of 9/11. Off the top of my head, I can think of Cynthia McKinney, who was a member of Congress. There are others, but I’m not going to do the research.

    When your worldview is that one party is good and the other is evil, it is very easy to pick and choose snippets of quotes and say one party supports fringe movements loosely associated with its end of the ideological spectrum while the other does not.

  18. Christopher Mathews says:

    JO’C, I don’t think saying “it’s an overstatement to say that all prominent Republicans treat birthers with ‘derision'” is equivalent to trying “to tar their entire party with this lunatic fringe ideology.”

  19. Friend says:

    Trevor: Your statement – “I would respectfully disagree as the case itself effectively involves the core tenet of the military subordination to lawful civilian authority.”

    My statement: “Lakin and his supporter base aren’t questioning civilian leadership of the military – just one person’s ability to be that leader/NCA (National Command Authority). IOW – they maintain that Pres. Obama simply cannot be president due to his being constituionally “ineligible”. That’s all. Pretty simple and straightforward.”

    IOW – I wholly disagree with your premise that the/a core tenet of this case involves the supremecy of civilian control of the military.

    I believe, whether supported by others, that this case is not as complex or as far reaching in reality or in theory as you have characterized.

  20. Trevor says:

    “Lakin and his supporter base aren’t questioning civilian leadership of the military – just one person’s ability to be that leader/NCA (National Command Authority). IOW – they maintain that Pres. Obama simply cannot be president due to his being constituionally “ineligible”. That’s all. Pretty simple and straightforward.”

    Your “statement” which is an opinion, does not reflect the facts, which are that Lakins view of the eligibility of otherwise of the POTUS has no relevance to the charges laid.

    “Pretty simple and straightforward”

  21. Anonymous says:

    Same Anon you are replying to here. I don’t disagree that civilian control is essential. My point, along with Weirick’s, I think, is this: This case is not earth shattering. There are two distinct sides to the argument. One says, “It’s irrelevant what POTUS’s citizenship status is!” the other says “But his dad was Kenyan!”

    No insight of any kind has been gained through any of this discussion, and now two commenters whom many of us “regulars” respect are arguing over which political party is more stupid/treacherous/etc. The debate is devolving, and rapidly. That is what I mean by LCD.

  22. cgittins says:

    This is just ridiculous. I feel pity for Lakin. He is being so disserved by his lawyer and is going to flush his career over an issue that has no relevance to his case. The President is the President, regardles of how much he and his lawyer may wish it was not so. The officers who gave him the orders to deploy are superior officers. He’s going to be convicted and no MJ could possibly be stupid enough to entertain the discovery fishing expedition. Such a waste of oxygen . . . . .

  23. Birthin' for a livin' says:

    Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Furthermore, how do all you haters know what the defense has planned for trial? Perhaps they are laying a well-planned trap that will ensnare the government in its own bravado…and will also serve up some crow for all the haters to consume.

  24. BigGuy says:

    Sometimes I too am tempted to feel sorry for him.

    But LTC Lakin should know from his training that his proffered defense is irrelevant to the charges against him. If he does not remember what he was taught with regard to the legality of orders, he was reminded of it in his “Developmental Counseling Form” of 31 March, which stated (in part) that “your deployment orders are presumed to be valid and lawful orders issued by competent military authority. You are reminded of your duty to obey those lawful orders…”

    It is true that he is being badly advised by those who are using him as a poster boy for their fund-raising and rabble-rousing purposes. Still, we must expect Army officers to take responsibility for their own actions, and LTC Lakin ultimately has no one to blame but himself.

  25. cgittins says:

    C’mon, man! There are no Perry Mason moments in real courts. Well planned trap? That is a pile of. . . . Well, it rhymes with “trap.” Sheesh. Where’s the beef, man? “Soon, all will be revealed,” is getting pretty old and lame.

  26. Greg says:

    Sometimes I too am tempted to feel sorry for him. But LTC Lakin should know from his training that his proffered defense is irrelevant to the charges against him.

    There is really no reason to feel any sympathy toward Lakin. This is a man after all who sees himself as the final backstop to protect our constitutional republic. Despite the validation of the Registrars of Voters in all 50 states, despite the result of the popular election, despite the subsequent ratification by the Electoral College, certification by Congress and the Vice President, and swearing in by the Chief Justice – despite all of these safeguards and protections – it somehow falls to some random Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army to safeguard our constitutional republic?

    I mean – who is Lakin kidding? His ego and inflated sense of his own self-importance are breathtaking in their scope and, frankly, border on the delusional. In fact, this entire Court Martial would be almost comical if the charges against Lakin were not so serious.

  27. Christopher Mathews says:

    Anon 1627, on the off chance that you’re referring to my colloquy with JO’C above, I don’t know that it’s a dispute about which party is more stupid or treacherous. I think the Republicans have some difficult political concerns over how to respond to cases like this, and I gather that JO’C disagrees.

  28. Greg says:

    You would have to ask Lakin why he believes that the President is not entitled to the presumption of eligibility. And while you’re at it, you could also ask Lakin why he feels that his own “doubts” about the President’s eligibility provide sufficient cause for Lakin to disobey his orders.

    In this country, mere doubt about a defendant’s innocence is not enough for a conviction. In fact, it’s rather odd that someone like Lakin – who is supposedly “safeguarding” the U.S. Constitution – actually seems to know so little about it. But perhaps his upcoming court martial will provide Lakin with the opportunity to learn a few basic tenets of American jurisprudence.

  29. BigGuy says:

    @COSINE — “While I agree that IF the CC was not born in the US it would be a determent to military morale, I also agree that the courts would be powerless to do anything about it.”
    ___

    I’m not sure I agree. While being born outside the US is not in itself a crime, if Obama used his purported Hawaiian COLB fraudulently the courts might well be able to do something about it. It would of course involve the question of whether a sitting President can be indicted for crimes committed before taking office; and the court would probably not be able to remove him from office; but fraud is a serious crime, and if there were enough credible evidence for a prosecutor to go forward with a case, at least the possibility of impeachment would become very real.

    But none of that is relevant to the Lakin case, is it? From a legal point of view, his guilt or innocence is totally unrelated to the question of Presidential eligibility, even if the Birthers are 100% correct. Don’t you agree?

    And, by the way, since a prosecution for fraud would arguably present fewer legal obstacles than a civil suit in an Article III court, isn’t it curious that the Birthers haven’t been emphasizing that approach?

  30. soonergrunt says:

    I’d like to note that in this thread, I didn’t say anything, so I’m not in the middle of getting everybody all riled up.
    That said, the popcorn is fresh.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Looks like the master plan is slowly being revealed…

    http://www.kentucky.com/2010/09/02/1417333/army-birther-seeks-obama-school.html

  32. PaulG says:

    It’s ironic you have commenters with names like “Birthin’ for a livin'” and yet no one is mentioning that both Vallely and McInerney are right wing mouths for hire, Vallely most notably having been employed in defense of the Bush administration on the Valerie Plame case while McInerney was tring to claim the Russians had stolen the WMD’s. They previously came together to co-write a book for Regnery, “Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror” They are not just random retirees speaking out.

  33. reality says:

    Holy crap………over 250 years of case law, adjudicated by every court in the land, and U.S. laws on the books now say if you are born in the U.S., you are indeed a citizen at birth and a ‘natural born citizen.’ You cannot cite a single case in the history of the United States where a court has said you need to be born on U.S. soil to 2 citizen parents to be natural born…it only exist in your regressive brain….I can cite dozens…..the only place I know of that required you to have jus soli and jus sanguinus was NAZI GERMANY YOU FOOL…..the sole power to determine a sitting presidents credentials LIES WITH CONGRESS ACCORDING TO THE CONTSITUTION YOU CLAIM TO LOVE BUT KNOW NOTHING ABOUT WHATS IN IT…..that is why no real lawyer will touch these idiot racist cases and no judge in the land will rule on it……you are a regressive and have no facts to back your feeble case….just like all the birfoons who ignore fact and reality at all costs…..go away, you are the seed of humanity’s destruction fool

  34. Horus says:

    You are NEVER supposed to Question your Commanders eligibility to serve.
    You are ONLY allowed to question ORDERS that go beyond what a Military Commander can do legally.

    It’s that simply.

  35. Horus says:

    Exactly!
    Once the President took his Oath of Office he was/is President and the ONLY way to remove him from office is for Congress to Impeach him.

    And even if there were any question about his eligibility his orders STILL must be followed!
    He is President until he is out of office.

  36. yguy says:

    Your “statement” which is an opinion, does not reflect the facts, which are that Lakins view of the eligibility of otherwise of the POTUS has no relevance to the charges laid.

    However widely held that may be, it is an opinion, not a fact.

    To give it the most charitable interpretation.

  37. Horus says:

    NO Sitting President can be INDICTED, for anything. PERIOD!
    The ONLY recourse to remove a sitting president is Congress.
    ONLY Congress can remove a sitting president through Impeachment.
    ONLY after Impeachment can a President be Indicted, for anything.

  38. BigGuy says:

    @Horus —

    You are correct that only Congress can remove a sitting President. However, the question of whether a sitting President can be indicted for crimes committed before taking office has never fully been tested in the courts and is generally considered an open question.

    But my point was different. If a single prosecutor felt there was sufficient credible evidence to bring a charge of criminal fraud against Obama, it would unleash a storm of legal arguments over whether an indictment could take place; and, in the meantime, that evidence would surely prompt an impeachment investigation.

    The fact that not a single prosecutor has even hinted at that — not a single Democratic or Republican, state or federal prosecutor — should raise grave doubts as to whether such credible evidence exists.

  39. soonergrunt says:

    @ reality, 09022010, 1004hrs:
    Don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel.

  40. jamese777 says:

    @Horus –You are correct that only Congress can remove a sitting President. However, the question of whether a sitting President can be indicted for crimes committed before taking office has never fully been tested in the courts and is generally considered an open question.But my point was different. If a single prosecutor felt there was sufficient credible evidence to bring a charge of criminal fraud against Obama, it would unleash a storm of legal arguments over whether an indictment could take place; and, in the meantime, that evidence would surely prompt an impeachment investigation.The fact that not a single prosecutor has even hinted at that — not a single Democratic or Republican, state or federal prosecutor — should raise grave doubts as to whether such credible evidence exists.

    Richard Nixon earned the title of “unindicted co-conspirator” from the Watergate Grand Jury.
    Not only has no prosecutor in the nation indicted Obama, no prosecuting attorney has even bothered to launch a Grand Jury investigation and issue a subpoena for Obama’s birth records. Under Hawaii law, a birth record can be released without Obama’s permission to: “a person whose right to inspect or obtain a certified copy of the record is established by a court of competent jurisdiction.”
    The fact that no district attorney, state Attorney General, US Attorney or Special Counsel has launched such a Grand Jury investigation or sought to subpoena Obama’s birth records is the primary reason that I think the birther movement is a bunch of hooey.

  41. Reality Check says:

    Walter Fitzpatrick, retired Navy officer, tried to commandeer a sitting grand jury in Monroe County Tennessee. It hasn’t worked out well for Walter. He was arrested when he tried to make a citizens arrest of the grand jury foreman and goes to trial in November for inciting a riot an some other serious charges. LTC Lakin joins Fitzpatrick as only the second Birther who may actually go to jail for their birferism.

  42. Uncommonsense says:

    Really? You needed the absence of a grand jury investigation to convince you that the birther movement is a bunch of hooey?

  43. Trevor says:

    Oh happy happy, Yguy and the irrelevant comments have returned.

    Sorry Yguy but the “opinion” is supported by the UCMJ, case law, the legal system, the Constitution and English Common Law of the period of the Founding Fathers.

    In fact I see to remember various members here telling you this already.

    For those who have as yet to witness the full scale glorious flailing of Yguy in this area I heartily recommend the ongoing thread at Volkh where Yguy has been outed by various folks as the poster Mick. Classic examples of Birfer cut ‘n paste of legal arguments wholly out of context.

    Enjoy……

    http://volokh.com/2010/08/31/the-ultimate-legal-blog-comment/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+volokh/mainfeed+(The+Volokh+Conspiracy)

  44. Norbrook says:

    Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Furthermore, how do all you haters know what the defense has planned for trial?

    In this case, the defendant has admitted that he disobeyed orders. His defense is that he doesn’t think the President is “legitimately” the President. How do we know all this? Because LTC Lakin and his civilian lawyer keep telling us. They won’t shut up about it. The “right to remain silent” can also mean “please, for god’s sake, shut up!”

    We’re making fun of it because anyone who has been in the military, and in particular here on a military justice blog, can look at all sorts of relevant case law which say his “defense” is not going to fly.

  45. Anonymous says:

    and your legal precedent is???????

  46. Anonymous says:

    So let me get this straight. Say a President shoots someobody dead during the State of the Union. He has to be impeached and removed before he can be indicted?

  47. Trevor says:

    Sorta breaking news

    http://wjz.com/wireapnewsmd/Judge.weighs.Army.2.1892398.html

    A military judge in Maryland has refused to order the release of school records that could include a copy of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

    The documents were sought by an Army doctor, Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, who is being court-martialed for disobeying a deployment order because he doubts Obama’s qualifications to serve as commander in chief.

    The judge ruled Thursday that those records and any other evidence or witnesses pertaining to Obama’s birth are not relevant to the case and will not be admitted. Prosecutors have argued that Obama’s birth certificate shouldn’t be part of the case, especially since the order for Lakin to deploy to Afghanistan didn’t come directly from the president.

    Lakin’s lawyer has argued that if Obama isn’t a natural-born citizen, any military order given under his administration is unlawful.

  48. Trevor says:

    Ooops git lost in the middle

    Lakin has apparently been denied

    http://wjz.com/wireapnewsmd/Judge.weighs.Army.2.1892398.html

    Sep 2, 2010 2:52 pm US/Eastern Md. Judge Denies Request For Obama School RecordsFORT MEADE, Md. (AP) ― A military judge in Maryland has refused to order the release of school records that could include a copy of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

    The documents were sought by an Army doctor, Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, who is being court-martialed for disobeying a deployment order because he doubts Obama’s qualifications to serve as commander in chief.

    The judge ruled Thursday that those records and any other evidence or witnesses pertaining to Obama’s birth are not relevant to the case and will not be admitted. Prosecutors have argued that Obama’s birth certificate shouldn’t be part of the case, especially since the order for Lakin to deploy to Afghanistan didn’t come directly from the president.

    Lakin’s lawyer has argued that if Obama isn’t a natural-born citizen, any military order given under his administration is unlawful.

  49. yguy says:

    Sorry Yguy but the “opinion” is supported by the UCMJ, case law, the legal system, the Constitution and English Common Law of the period of the Founding Fathers.

    In fact I see to remember various members here telling you this already.

    Indeed I have. Unfortunately, those who are willing to subject their arguments to my scrutiny have invariably shown it to be fatally flawed by reasonably inferring from it conclusions which are patently insane.

    For those who have as yet to witness the full scale glorious flailing of Yguy in this area I heartily recommend the ongoing thread at Volkh where Yguy has been outed by various folks as the poster Mick.

    How very droll some of you people become in your desperation to find fault.

    For the other readers, I have yet to post anything at Volokh.

  50. yguy says:

    You would have to ask Lakin why he believes that the President is not entitled to the presumption of eligibility.

    No government official is entitled to that; and neither, per their oaths of office, are his or her subordinates required to grant that presumption where reasonable doubt exists.

  51. yguy says:

    The fact that no district attorney, state Attorney General, US Attorney or Special Counsel has launched such a Grand Jury investigation or sought to subpoena Obama’s birth records is the primary reason that I think the birther movement is a bunch of hooey.

    Then presumably, had you lived in 19th century Vienna or Budapest, the general refusal of doctors to wash their hands before doing gynecological exams would have led you to believe Semmelweis was a crackpot.