When Army LTC Terrence Lakin, better known as the “birther doc” for his refusal to comply with orders related to his impending deployment to Afghanistan because he wasn’t personally satisfied that the commander-in-chief was qualified to serve in the office, recently fired his civilian attorney who didn’t appear to have any military justice experience or knowledge, speculation was rampant as to how Lakin’s new civilian attorney, retired Marine Corps JAG Neal Puckett, would approach the case, in light of the previous trajectory taken. The biggest unknown was whether bringing in Puckett, a respected and experienced military justice practitioner, signalled a significant change in strategy, or if this was simply a change in personnel with the same end goal
of verifying President Obama’s eligibility to be the commander-in-chief.
Of course, those who know LTC Lakin’s new civilian counsel immediately suspected the former–that the investigating officer’s and military judge’s rulings against Lakin had finally sunk in, and Puckett was brought in to attempt to salvage any hope of mercy being meted out to Lakin. A recent post
seems to confirm the belief that the trial spectacle previously promised will fizzle into a guilty plea. It remains to be seen whether the government has any incentive to offer or accept a pretrial agreement in this case.
Trial resumes in mid-December.
H/T to Phil Cave for bringing the latest on this case to our attention.