It wouldn’t be Monday without more birther news.

According to the website supporting LTC Terrence Lakin, the convening authority has referred the charges to a general court-martial. The detailed military judge is Army COL Denise R. Lind. Arraignment is set for this Friday.

The press release contains little new, but it does feature a quote from LTC Lakin that sums up his defense more succinctly than before:

If President Obama is a natural born citizen then the American people deserve to see proof, and if he is not, then I believe the orders in this case were illegal.

Regrettably, there is still no explanation regarding why the specific orders issued to LTC Lakin in this case were illegal.  The oft-repeated birther argument that all military orders must be invalid if the President is not a natural-born citizen appears to be the only theory on which the defense relies. 

Thanks to commenter Reality Check for providing a heads-up on this story in the comment threads below.

35 Responses to “United States v. Lakin arraignment set 6 Aug 2010”

  1. Anonymous says:

    this isn’t about winning, it’s about martyrdom.

  2. Cheap Seats says:

    So what are the odds that the CDC, in order to get the press desired, enters a plea of “NOT GUILTY” at the arraignment? RCM 905(b)(4) anyone? I’m sure TDC will warn the CDC, but I can see it happening. I mean, why not just waive the motion by running gangbuster into the NOT GUILTY plea?

  3. Reality Check says:

    this isn’t about winning, it’s about martyrdom.

    If that is true the plan certainly seems to be working well. However, just because LTC Lakin may have made a choice to become a martyr is no guarantee that anyone will notice or care.

    On another note, recently released State Department documents obtained under a FOIA request by birther Kenneth Allen indicate that the State Department in 1967 ruled that child Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and was a citizen from birth. Could this possibly be an opening for LTC Lakin to plead guilty and ask for mercy? That would certainly be the wise thing to do and that is one of several reasons that he probably will not.


  4. Christopher Mathews says:

    Reality Check: I don’t see why a 1967 determination by the State Department would satisfy LTC Lakin any more than a pair of 1961 birth announcements in the local papers, a current official Hawaiian state document, or the pronouncements of various currently-serving Hawaiian officials.

    As you suggested, I suspect LTC Lakin has decided to ride this one into the deck. Perhaps he will come out of it relatively well, a la G. Gordon Liddy and Oliver North, rather than following Paula Jones’ path to obscurity.

  5. soonergrunt says:

    The popcorn is fresh, the beer is cold. I think I can find room for some of those Cruz Campos that Mr. Cave requested.
    My issue with this guy is that he seems to think that he gets to pass judgement on the CinC, as if his judgement has any more worth than anyone else’s.
    I wonder how he feels about GEN Casey, or the CCA, and their respective qualifications to hold office. How does he feel about the qualifications of the people in the Officer Pay section of the Finance office? I’l bet he feels just cool with that last group.

  6. Norbrook says:

    The really important question: Who’s turn is it to bring the popcorn and beer this time?

  7. Christopher Mathews says:

    Anon 1557: a military accused is not ordinarily confined pending trial.

    Persons accused of unauthorized absence type offenses are more likely to be subject to some form of restriction, but this is a case where the accused doesn’t seem likely to flee to avoid trial.

  8. Norbrook says:

    Having worked with a lot of doctors, both in and out of the military, there’s an affliction called the “god complex” – they think M.D. stands for “me deity.” When they get it, they think their “judgment” – or expertise in medicine – applies to everything. It makes them prone to believe all sorts of unlikely things, and they’re often victims of various scams because of it. From appearances, LTC Lakin has a bad case of it. I really doubt that he sees the paradoxes in what he’s doing.

  9. Ama Goste says:

    Friday marks the beginning of Lakin’s court-martial. Arraignment is part of the trial.

  10. Reality Check says:

    So Lakin will be happily sitting in his office drawing his paycheck signed by someone in the illegal command structure until October when his trial begins? He can even give some illegal orders himself if he wants to do that.

  11. Christopher Mathews says:

    Like most servicemembers, LTC Lakin will almost certainly receive his pay by direct deposit.

    You raise an interesting question, though: ordinarily, a non-confined accused remains obligated to perform military duties. It would be interesting to know what LTC Lakin has been detailed to do and whether he’s actually doing it.

  12. anonymous says:

    Agreed, but even so, what are the odds the military judge will still let the defense raise whatever motions would have otherwise been waived by the entry of pleas? (Although enforcing waiver would be a quick way to avoid the discovery circus.)

  13. yguy says:

    So Lakin will be happily sitting in his office drawing his paycheck signed by someone in the illegal command structure until October when his trial begins?

    I’d say he’s at least as entitled to it as Nidal Hasan is. Wouldn’t you?

  14. Anonymous says:

    wow, when you have to compare your guy to Hasan, you aren’t exactly winning the argument.

  15. John Harwood says:

    Is this a motion hearing, or simply an entry of pleas?

  16. yguy says:

    wow, when you have to compare your guy

    And just who would that be?

  17. Anonymous says:


  18. soonergrunt says:

    What? You have a problem with quality or quantity from the last time?

  19. Greg says:

    The question is why Lakin feels that he is entitled to be paid. Soldiers are paid to follow orders – so a soldier who decides not to obey orders is someone who is not keeping up their end of the bargain – and is someone who is ripping the government off with each paycheck they deposit.

    Clearly, the salary – currently being paid to Lakin to do nothing – would be better spent paying another doctor who would deploy to Afghanistan and who would treat the wounded soldiers there.

    I would also observe that the first order Lakin decided to disobey just happened to be an order to deploy. The timing of Lakin’s epiphany regarding the “lawfulness” of his orders was highly fortuitous for him – after all, who would want to be court-martialed in Afghanistan?

  20. Norbrook says:

    What? You have a problem with quality or quantity from the last time?

    No, just that we should share the burden. Given my past experiences with birthers, purchasing the beer and popcorn is going to get expensive.

  21. DC Steve says:

    For those actually planning on attending, arrive early. If the hearing is at Ft McNair, seating is very, very limited.

  22. King Jorge III says:

    We’ve got the whine, now where is the cheese?

  23. Anonymous says:

    I would assume it’s both, since they’ve had plenty of time to prepare their motions and should be ready at arraignment to argue them.

  24. Trevor says:

    Oh lets see, since this is a thread about Lakin, even a Birfer shouild get that the person being alluded to is in fact Lakin.

    Of course in Birferstan, logic and simple comprehension tend to be very thin on the fround, don’t you agree Yguy?

    Now, are we goimg to hear any more irrelevant twaddle about “Discovery”, how “Short Form” BC’s are not actually sufficient to legally demonstrate a persons place of birth, how Lakin, in your mind, apparently gets his orders directly from the POTUS and how Lakins staunch and steadfast refusal to follow such illegitimate orders doesn’t seem to stretch to his pay….?

  25. Ama Goste says:

    In the military world, arraignment ends when the judge asks, “How do you plead?” (no answer necessary) The next sentence out of the judge’s mouth is “Before pleading, you should know that any motions you wish to make must be made at this time.” Then the defense raises any motions, and the motion hearing is usually held immediately after arraignment. It’s not uncommon for the rest of the court-martial itself to follow right after the end of the motion hearing. The sentencing phase starts immediately after the findings (guilty/not guilty) phase ends, if there’s a conviction.

  26. BigGuy says:

    @Ama Goste —

    When you say that “the motion hearing is usually held immediately after arraignment” and “[i]t’s not uncommon for the rest of the court-martial itself to follow right after the end of the motion hearing” and “[t]he sentencing phase starts immediately after the findings,” just what do you mean — might they all happen on the same day?

  27. Ama Goste says:

    In many cases, all these phases of trial occur on the same day or on consecutive days, depending how much evidence there is to put on and how long the deliberations are.

    My understanding from news reports is that Lakin’s court-martial won’t begin the findings phase this week.

  28. soonergrunt says:

    No, just that we should share the burden. Given my past experiences with birthers, purchasing the beer and popcorn is going to get expensive.

    You bring the cheese ball, Col. Sullivan can bring the tiny hot dogs and that sterno thing you heat them in (I figure a lawyer and FGO would have that or know where to get it) and we’re there.

  29. muldrake says:

    I wonder if Jensen will ask for a continuance so he can go to military law school?

    He would be better advised spending his time and money retaining experienced malpractice counsel.

  30. Reality Check says:

    I am confused (as is often the case) on what will happen Friday. Is this hearing the equivalent of a civilian arraignment hearing or will they proceed directly to the “meat” of the GCM such as defense motions and even the trial itself? Lakin’s attorney said the trial itself will be in October but pardon me for not taken what he said as accurate.

  31. Christopher Mathews says:

    It’s not uncommon for the trial to proceed directly to motions, rulings on motions, and entry of pleas; but the military judge has considerable discretion to control the pace and timing of events. That’s a roundabout way of saying we’ll have to wait and see.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if he will request a continuance so he can go to law school.

  33. Reality Check says:

    According to the previously referenced web site the hearing is now to be held at Ft. Belvoir at 1100 on Friday.

    SJA/ Legal Assistance Office
    9910 Lowen Rd.
    Building 702 (Warehouse)
    Ft. Belvoir, VA 22060

  34. BigGuy says:

    Would such a proceeding normally be open to the public?

  35. Ama Goste says: