We have fresh information from Colonel Sullivan, on site at the Lakin court-martial at Fort Meade, Maryland.

LTC Lakin pled guilty to all four of the Article 92 specifications alleged in Charge II (media reports had suggested mixed pleas to these offenses). The accused pled not guilty to Charge I and its Specification, which allege the offense of missing movement.

During the hour-and-a-half long Care inquiry, LTC Lakin acknowledged no less than half a dozen times that the orders he received were lawful, and that he in fact had a duty to obey them. Judge Lind found his guilty pleas to be provident and accepted them. The defense then moved to dismiss the dereliction of duty spec as an unreasonable multiplication of charges in light of the accused’s guilty plea to Specification 3. The prosecution did not oppose the motion, and Judge Lind granted it. She then entered guilty findings on Specifications 1-3 of Charge II and on Charge II itself.

LTC Lakin elected to be tried by a panel of officers. The defense asked the judge to advise the members that LTC Lakin had pled guilty to violating lawful orders, and that his pleas were accepted. Neither side attempted to use voir dire to explore their theory of the case.  Of the ten officers named to the court by the convening authority, nine had heard about the case; one expressed an opinion negative to the accused, and the judge granted a challenge for cause for that member.  The prosecution did not exercise any peremptory challenges; the defense challenged one member, leaving eight. All are O-6s. 

The state of play now is as follows: trial will begin at 1500 hours with opening statements on the missing movement offense. Regardless of how the members find on that offense, LTC Lakin will proceed to sentencing. He is, on the evidence and by his own admission under oath, a criminal to be sentenced in accordance with the UCMJ.

Update: Many folks had wondered whether there would be a deal in the case. There was no deal.

Some additional comments from the colonel: there were no signs of protest outside Fort Meade, but many luminaries of the birther movement are present in the courtroom, including Orly Taitz and Charles Kerchner. Decorum in the court has generally been good.

74 Responses to “United States v. Lakin liveblog II”

  1. Christopher Mathews says:

    Anon 1432, the members will sentence LTC Lakin as to all offenses for which there are findings of guilt, whether or not they were contested.

    There will be a single sentence for all the offenses, rather than sentences for each offense.

  2. sg says:

    Not with a bang, but a whimper.

  3. verbalobe says:

    Thank you Christopher. I especially appreciate that you ‘cleaned up’ Col Sullivan’s probably extreme and biased report, which was probably filled with invective, false and misleading information, missing facts advantageous to the accused, and insults aimed at the Birther luminaries… The liveblog entry as published is a model of objectivity.

    /snark

  4. John O'Connor says:

    Let me preface this by saying that I think this procedure is perfectly constitutional, but I think it would be better policy to allow an accused to elect members for findings but judge for sentencing, and the Lakin case presents a compelling reason why.

    Let’s say that Lakin is acquitted of missing movement. All that would be left are offenses to which Lakin pleaded guilty, for which he did not elect members. Basically, in order to preserve his right to have members for findings on Count II, Lakin has to forgo his right to judge-alone sentencing for the offenses to which he chose to plead guilty.

    Given the military’s interests in expeditious proceedings that do not cause unwarranted distractions from regular duties, I would think it a good policy to create an option where members are excused after announcing findings.

  5. jay says:

    The defense asked the judge to advise the members that LTC Lakin had pled guilty to violating lawful orders, and that his pleas were accepted. Neither side attempted to use voir dire to explore their theory of the case.

    While the panel be told this before or after deciding if he is guilty of missing movement? It seems to me that informing the panel before taints their decision making on the charge they will decide on.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Orly Taitz, goodness gracious COL Sullivan should get hazardous duty pay for having to sit in a room with her.

  7. Ama Goste says:

    Jay, with this election (pun intended), the members get told of the guilty plea before deciding whether LTC Lakin is guilty of the other charge. The defense strategy is that “he took responsibility for the crimes he committed; he just didn’t do the crime(s) that they have to decide on findings.”

  8. Christopher Mathews says:

    Thank you Christopher. I especially appreciate that you ‘cleaned up’ Col Sullivan’s probably extreme and biased report, which was probably filled with invective, false and misleading information, missing facts advantageous to the accused, and insults aimed at the Birther luminaries… The liveblog entry as published is a model of objectivity.

    /snark

    You’re welcome, but really, there was nothing biased about Colonel Sullivan’s reporting.

    Actually, a providency inquiry doesn’t ordinarily contain any “facts advantageous to the accused,” except insofar as the guilty pleas themselves are matters in extentuation and mitigation. If it were otherwise, the judge would have to reject the pleas.

  9. Nbc says:

    Maybe someone can ask Orly if she is ready for the “Medical Dental Development LLC v Pierson” Conference on Friday.

    And did she file the proper response and documentation, last friday?

  10. Greg says:

    I wonder if there was any suggestion about how long it would take each side to present their cases. If I had to guess, I’d wager tomorrow mid-day for prosecution and the rest of the day for defense.

  11. Capt. Obvious says:

    Excerpt from Stars and Stripes:

    “Questions surrounding Obama’s citizenship were first raised during his presidential campaign, but put to rest shortly thereafter for all but a small fringe group that insists Hawaiian officials and Obama’s own people have covered up proof he was born in another country.

    For these “birthers,” Lakin’s legal case has become their latest crusade. Supporters have raised money for his defense costs for months, and released numerous online videos featuring him which question whether Obama is a natural-born citizen, as the U.S. Constitution requires.

    A group of about 30 birthers attended Tuesday’s hearing, handing out leaflets with a picture of Obama labeled “usurper” and “ineligible.”

    At the hearing, Lakin told the court that he still believes that questions surround Obama’s presidency but that he should not have refused to meet with his superiors and report to Fort Campbell, Ky., while making his protest.

    “I was praying and soul searching,” he said. “I believed there was a question that needs to be answered to ensure a valid chain of command. But I had asked every question, done everything else I could short of disobeying orders, without success.”

    If convicted of the remaining charges, Lakin could face up to three years in prison.

    http://www.stripes.com/news/lakin-facing-jail-time-for-guilty-plea-at-start-of-birther-court-martial-1.128735

  12. WorldWatcher says:

    >

    A couple of questions:

    1. Once LTC Lakin is sentenced, what will his status be? Does this make him a felon under the law?

    2. Will this have any impact on his ability to practice medicine as a livelihood?

    The reason I ask is that some of us on a message board have been following this case very closely (thanks CAAFLog and Col. Sullivan for all the great info). My thought some months ago was that when(if) convicted, that after a few years in jail Lakin would be “taken care of” through book deals and speaking tours. But with the guilty plea and admission the orders were lawful I find that harder to believe.

    >>>>

  13. Nbc says:

    I understand that anything that has a max penalty of one year or more would be considered a felony conviction, even if the sentence is less than that. But there are real lawyers on this forum who could probably give a better answer

  14. verbalobe says:

    You’re welcome, but really, there was nothing biased about Colonel Sullivan’s reporting….

    For the record, I was really only being sarcastic for the benefit of some of the folks who have tried to label Dwight a Obamabot (or worse).

    I do appreciate all your (plural) reporting and analysis very, very much. Believe me, I know it is not biased, except insofar as the facts and evidence themselves lead to certain legal conclusions.

  15. Nbc says:

    This would be for a general court martial

  16. Anonymous says:

    >A couple of questions:1.Once LTC Lakin is sentenced, what will his status be?Does this make him a felon under the law?2.Will this have any impact on his ability to practice medicine as a livelihood?
    The reason I ask is that some of us on a message board have been following this case very closely (thanks CAAFLog and Col. Sullivan for all the great info).My thought some months ago was that when(if) convicted, that after a few years in jail Lakin would be “taken care of” through book deals and speaking tours.But with the guilty plea and admission the orders were lawful I find that harder to believe.>>>>

    To answer the question about a felony, the military does not distinguish between a felony or misdemeanor for court-martial charges, only that it is a federal conviction. As a defense counsel, I often advised clients to seek a determination from the state on whether they would consider it a felony or misdemeanor. Sometimes the straight charge sheet with no facts benefited them, especially if it was purely military offenses.

  17. Christopher Mathews says:

    For the record, I was really only being sarcastic for the benefit of some of the folks who have tried to label Dwight a Obamabot (or worse).

    I have to replace the batteries in my snarkometer, it seems …

  18. sus says:

    military.com has an update:

    http://www.military.com/news/article/army-birther-pleads-guilty-at-trial.html

  19. Anonymous says:

    “He is, on the evidence and by his own admission under oath, a criminal to be sentenced in accordance with the UCMJ.” I find all this obssession against this accused to be very ironic on this website. Where was all this obssession against all the accuseds who refused to take the anthrax vaccine a few years ago?????? Someone please explain it to me. You guys always have an answer.

  20. BigGuy says:

    …and it includes this shocker:
    __

    Lakin admitted he disobeyed orders to report to superior officers.

    “But my orders to Fort Campbell were for the purposes of deployment,” he said, arguing since those deployment orders were illegitimate, he was justified in not following them.

  21. Greg says:

    From the military.com article:

    Whether or not Lakin is convicted on the one remaining charge, he still faces a maximum of 18 months in jail, separation from the Army, and loss of all pay and allowances.

    Is that the correct calculation for maximum confinement?

  22. Maybe, Maybe Not says:

    WorldWatcher, to answer #2 – In the military, probably unless he gets a super light punishment, like hard labor without confinement (extra duties) and no kick…in his state – well that depends on his state’s licensing authority. Does the fact that he makes bad decisions re military orders impact his ability to make rational decisions regarding the practice of medicine? Some might say yes, others won’t care as long as he is good…

  23. Christopher Mathews says:

    I find all this obssession against this accused to be very ironic on this website. Where was all this obssession against all the accuseds who refused to take the anthrax vaccine a few years ago?????? Someone please explain it to me. You guys always have an answer.

    Anon 1534, this site didn’t exist at that time.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Matthews- Noted; explain the many pleadings filed by 45 in favor of accused’s refusing to take the vaccine. Same question.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Actually, this website existed back in 2005 and I am quite certain several of the anthrax cases were still in the system.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Anon 1541-Gee, I dunno, maybe it’s the difference between zealous representation of a client versus expressing an opinion on a blog.

  27. Nbc says:

    “He is, on the evidence and by his own admission under oath, a criminal to be sentenced in accordance with the UCMJ.” I find all this obssession against this accused to be very ironic on this website. Where was all this obssession against all the accuseds who refused to take the anthrax vaccine a few years ago?????? Someone please explain it to me. You guys always have an answer.

    I am not sure what your argument is. People refuse to obey lawful orders and they get what the system provided for to maintain order in the ranks.

    People who were found guilty in the Antrax vaccine instance were often relying on information found on the internet. It’s unfortunate that people sometimes rely on myths or rumors when taking steps that can significantly affect their future.

  28. verbalobe says:

    Actually, this website existed back in 2005 and I am quite certain several of the anthrax cases were still in the system.

    Maybe there’s just a perceived qualitative difference, in that someone refusing a vaccine (for whatever reason — even a wacky conspiracy theory) is simply defying orders, an everyday sort of defiance. Whereas LTC Lakin’s disobedience is based in a “principle” (if you want to call it that) which would, if tolerated and promulgated, would bring the entire military and possibly even the country to a chaotic halt. Some of Lakin’s supporter’s have even said as much.

    As foolish and groundless as the birther claims are, at their root they deligitimize our entire system and society, giving license to every sort of lawlessness. That it is promoted under the guise of patriotism is repulsive, and may explain some degree of the difference in tone you are alleging.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Anon 1547: Then why can’t I call you an idiot for zealously representing your client when his basis for disobeying an order is idiotic?

  30. Ama Goste says:

    Greg, the max punishment for missing movement includes 2 years in confinement, so, unless the missing movement charge is somehow combined for sentencing purposes with the failures to obey lawful orders specs (6 months apiece in confinement as max punishments), the max punishment would be 3.5 years if Lakin’s convicted of the missing movement too.

  31. Christopher Mathews says:

    From the military.com article:

    Is that the correct calculation for maximum confinement?

    Based on the charges to which he’s pled guilty, yes. If he’s also convicted of the missing movement offense, it would probably increase — the offense carries a max confinement of two years for missing movement by design (as opposed to negligence, which I really don’t see as a player here).

    The net increase would depend on whether the judge found the missing movement offense to be multiplicious for sentencing with any other offenses. Spec 3 of Charge II would appear to be a likely contender.

  32. mikeyes says:

    I’m not a lawyer but I have worked with the TN medical board and my current partner was the chairman of the WI board. Each state has a separate set of rules regarding legal issues and licensure. There is no civilian felony that reflects the Article 92 specifications so a good lawyer could say that he has not comitted a crime covered by the rules and laws of each state. He could be guilty of ethical peccadillos but that would be a decision of each board.

    I suspect he will retain at least one license.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Verbalobe- Thank you for a well-thought out explanation, but I think your explanation basically reveals the double standard I am talking about.

  34. Anonymous says:

    1551-Feel free, who’s stopping you? But as it would be my job to do represent him, even if his case was idiotic, your argument would seem kind of silly.

    -1547

  35. Reality Check says:

    Judge Matthews, thank you for passing along the reports from Col. Sullivan. These are the most informative reports I have read today.

  36. Nbc says:

    Matthews- Noted; explain the many pleadings filed by 45 in favor of accused’s refusing to take the vaccine. Same question.

    I quote: “The defense was precluded by the Court from introducing evidence regarding the safety, efficacy or necessity of the anthrax vaccine as it was ruled a nonjusticiable policy issue. “

  37. Nbc says:

    Verbalobe- Thank you for a well-thought out explanation, but I think your explanation basically reveals the double standard I am talking about.

    What double standard?

  38. verbalobe says:

    Verbalobe-Thank you for a well-thought out explanation, but I think your explanation basically reveals the double standard I am talking about.

    Okay… further:
    – I speak only for myself
    – I know nothing about the anthrax cases, so in that regard I was only speculating
    – I happen to believe a “double-standard” accusation only applies when a person commits himself to distinct and varying judgments over *identical* situations. I admit to (a theory) of distinct judgments, but argue that the situations themselves are likewise distinct. That is not a double standard, IMO.

  39. Ama Goste says:

    I’m fairly certain the Code 45ers on the anthrax cases didn’t set up websites soliciting donations for themselves, I mean, their clients. I also don’t remember any of the attorneys spouting off about a vast conspiracy in the anthrax refusals.

  40. farleftliberalnutjob says:

    can anyone say this was a obot kangaroo court?

    no defense allowed

    puhlease……….the whole prosecution should be hung for treason

  41. A Defense Counsel says:

    Under federal law, a “felony” is defined as any offense for which the maximum punishment is confinement for more than one year or death. So, it is the offense for which convicted that determines the status, not the punishment received. As an example of how this operates, under 18 USC 922, LTC Lakin could not lawfully possess a firearm because he is a convicted felon, assuming of course, his conviction is upheld after the appellate process. This is true without respect to the punishment adjudged.

  42. Nbc says:

    no defense allowed

    Lakin had various options for defense such as 1) I was nuts when I did this 2) I got poor legal advice. What Lakin could not do is challenge the lawfulness of the order.

    Lakin got himself into this situation, let’s not blame the prosecution or the Courts for applying the rules.

  43. Christopher Mathews says:

    Actually, this website existed back in 2005 and I am quite certain several of the anthrax cases were still in the system.

    Fair enough. I recall the anthrax cases as being a phenomenon of the nineties, but that’s probably just because that’s when they were on my radar as a JAG at Travis AFB.

    Looking back through the archives, CAAFlog did cover some of the anthrax appeals in 2006-07; but I think by then they were old news.

  44. Christopher Mathews says:

    can anyone say this was a obot kangaroo court?

    No, not if they have any knowledge of military law.

  45. John O'Connor says:

    I had equal derision for the Anthrax refuseniks. Their supporters just didn;t really come here, so I had no opportunity to interact with them (I was never invited to the Anthrax refusenik mixers).

  46. Spike says:

    No, not if they have any knowledge of military

    Who needs actual law, they have truthiness and Orly!

  47. Dave says:

    It strikes me as odd that we’re in the middle of a birther case, and all the birthers want to talk about is anthrax vaccine cases.

  48. Christopher Mathews says:

    Judge Matthews, thank you for passing along the reports from Col. Sullivan. These are the most informative reports I have read today.

    Glad to have been of service. Colonel Sullivan is scheduled to appear on BlogTalk Radio tonight, schedule permitting, along with civilian attorney (and military justice maven) Phil Cave.

    I’m sure they’ll have lots of interesting insights and observations from the first day of the trial.

  49. Nbc says:

    It strikes me as odd that we’re in the middle of a birther case, and all the birthers want to talk about is anthrax vaccine cases.

    In both cases the legality of the order could not be challenged because of the political question. So what am I missing here?

  50. verbalobe says:

    What Lakin could not do is challenge the lawfulness of the order.

    Slight correction — he certainly could have challenged the lawfulness of the order. Unfortunately for him, “go get on this plane” and “report to Officer X” are facially lawful orders — unlike “murder this civilian” or “steal this money” would be.

    What Lind made crystal clear, was that the military justice system, under law and the Constitution, would have NO BUSINESS even attempting to arrive at a conclusion as the legitimacy of one of the branches of government, and that even if there were true doubts (there aren’t), they would have NO BEARING on the lawfulness of Lakin’s orders. Neither Lakin, nor the Court, had the authority to go there.

    That’s what these hatriots don’t get: Lind didn’t just bar *Lakin* from that line of defense, she barred the *Court* from that line of inquiry. That line of inquiry would have been deeply improper and unconstitutional.

    We have and respect the Constitution for a reason, and each day brings new surprises as people who claim to love it show that they either don’t understand it at all, or are really willing to throw it all away, just to get rid of a President that irks them.

  51. Brian le chien says:

    Sound and fury… signifying nothing.

    Well not much anyway. I left the court about 45 minutes ago after opening arguements. It seems the birther issue died when LTC Lakin admitted that 1) he disobeyed an order; and 2) the orders were lawful.

    To the one remaining charge (missing movement) defense counsel admitted in opening that he agreed with “98%” of the trial counsel’s opening arguement. His whole defense is that while LTC Lakin had a duty to go to Afghanistan, he had no duty to be on that speciffic flight, and therfore is not guilty of missing movement (i.e. no one said thou shall be on that flight). We will see what the evidence is.

  52. Anonymous says:

    From the linked above military.com article:

    “During a break in the proceedings this morning, Taitz told reporters that trials in the old Soviet Union were more just than what was happening in Lakin’s case. She accused the judge of trying to “put words in [Lakin’s] mouth” and get him to acknowledge that his deployment orders were lawful.”

    Besides being silly, we now know how the birthers will rationalize the guilty plea colloquy.

  53. A Defense Counsel says:

    whoops the Blog engine here is filling in the fields with other folks email and psuedonyms again!! Help!

  54. BigGuy says:

    @Brian le chien —
    __

    Were your observations consistent with this quote (posted at 13:34)?:

    “But my orders to Fort Campbell were for the purposes of deployment,” he said, arguing since those deployment orders were illegitimate, he was justified in not following them.

  55. Bill B says:

    Meanwhile, Lakin is getting some pretty rough treatment by his “peers” commenting on the military.com story ..

  56. Anonymous says:

    verbalobe said “As foolish and groundless as the birther claims are, at their root they deligitimize our entire system and society, giving license to every sort of lawlessness. ”

    The impact would be minimal, since Obama could just produce his records and solve the entire problem before trouble of any significance got started.

    Now, how would the officers of the military uphold their oath to defend the Constitution against a domestic enemy if a Manchurian candidate actually got into the oval office and they became aware of some facts that convinced them this was the case? Should they remain silent and follow their orders like good little soldiers?

  57. realist says:

    verbalobe said “As foolish and groundless as the birther claims are, at their root they deligitimize our entire system and society, giving license to every sort of lawlessness. ”The impact would be minimal, since Obama could just produce his records and solve the entire problem before trouble of any significance got started.Now, how would the officers of the military uphold their oath to defend the Constitution against a domestic enemy if a Manchurian candidate actually got into the oval office and they became aware of some facts that convinced them this was the case?Should they remain silent and follow their orders like good little soldiers?

    If there were any facts showing evidence of ineligibility, it would be a different situation… there’s not.

    And even if there were, until the time it was proven and/or he was removed, either temporarily or permanently, his orders are still lawful and should be followed.

  58. BigGuy says:

    “Should they remain silent and follow their orders like good little soldiers?”
    __

    They should not remain silent — they should take their evidence to Congress and hope for impeachment. And, in the mean time, they should follow their orders like good little soldiers.

    At least, that’s what the Constitution says. Those who don’t believe in the Constitution may choose other options, but at their own peril — much as LTC Lakin has done.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous 1648 – that is exactly what they should do, after they have petitioned Congress for redress (a right reserved for all military members). There is one, and only one, way to challenge POTUS, and that is through the impeachment proceedings. If Congress chooses not to impeach, the military officer must obey the orders of those above him unless they are illegal or resign his or her commission. Illegal orders are orders to do something that an Officer is not allowed to do (murder, pillage, etc) not orders that come from someone that the officer believes is ineligible to hold office.

    The problem with the birthers is that they cannot get over the fact that they lost, and Congress does not agree with them. Lakin had one option he chose not to pursue – resignation. Instead, he chose to obey every order except a deployment order, take every paycheck, etc. His “principled stand” is a disgusting joke.

  60. Trevor says:

    Anon 16:48

    You seem to have a substantial blind spot.

    The legitimacy or otherwise of the POTUS is NOT in question nor could or would it ever be a question in a court-martial for refusal to follow orders.

    The President could have wandered in, dumped a box filled with the Birfoon wet dream (and ever expanding) list of irrelevant documentation on the desk of the judge to no avail.

    Lakin defiantly and deliberately refused to follow the orders of his chain of command, full stop, end of story.

    So do tell, what’s in it for the President..?

  61. verbalobe says:

    The impact would be minimal, since Obama could just produce his records and solve the entire problem before trouble of any significance got started.

    Like he already did. Well I guess you’re right about one thing — no trouble of any significance has started. (But dive into some of the forums — there are plenty of keyboard warriors who seem to be emboldened by their — completely unfounded — conviction that Obama is a usurper. I just hope none of them pull a Joe Stack, Timothy McVeigh, or James von Brunn any time soon.)

    Now, how would the officers of the military uphold their oath to defend the Constitution against a domestic enemy if a Manchurian candidate actually got into the oval office and they became aware of some facts that convinced them this was the case?Should they remain silent and follow their orders like good little soldiers?

    It seems a bit far-fetched, but assuming the election itself was lawful, as in this case, it would probably have to wait until the “Manchurian” tipped his hand by ordering something actually unlawful, like inviting the French army to occupy Staten Island or something.

  62. nbc says:

    The impact would be minimal, since Obama could just produce his records and solve the entire problem before trouble of any significance got started.

    He did and yet it continued

  63. sg says:

    @Anon 1648–

    The impact would be minimal, since Obama could just produce his records and solve the entire problem before trouble of any significance got started.

    Why should the President prove anything? He’s already passed all the constitutional hurdles. He was elected by a majority of electors, the election was certified by the Congress with Vice President Cheney presiding, he was duly sworn in by the Chief Justice of the United States.
    Just because you and a relatively lowly O-5 don’t want him in office and are desperately grasping for anything to make the last two years go away doesn’t require him to do anything. He’s already shown the legal copy of the documentation of his birth on US soil. You (and Lakin) just don’t want to believe it. The problem here is yours (and LTC Lakin’s) not the President’s.

  64. sg says:

    @Verbalobe, 1705,

    like inviting the French army to occupy Staten Island or something.

    I’ve been to Staten Island. They can have it.

  65. juniper55 says:

    That’s the whole point – just because BHO was elected doesn’t mean he was electable! With a Kenyan British citizen father who never even sought legal US alien status, a mother barely the age of majority who couldn’t convey citizenship due to the laws at the time, a birth at no place anyone has can verify from any public record, with a COLB that was given to anyone who asked regardless of birthplace to boost Hawaiian statehood rosters (and didn’t state what country his father was from), and even a SS number that apparently matched a Conneticutt resident born in 1890 (why no Hawaii prefix, pray?), plus a Majority Leader of Congress whose documentation regarding certification of candidate Obama as eligible is inconsistent, and myriad states attorneys and election boards who didn’t bother to even ask, there are still questions regarding his eligibility! No one will touch this – not the military, not Congress, not the courts – all of whom swore to uphold the Constitution – chief of which is to have a leader of the country who is eligible to be one! Lakin (and others) may have been crazy to go down this path but what are we trying to prevent from even asking the question? BHO has already apparently spent $2M at least to fend off these inquiries. WHY, if the man has nothing to hide, is he hiding so darn much?

  66. John Harwood says:

    Mr. O’Connor, I have argued twice, as trial defense counsel in a C-M, for just what you suggest. There is nothing in either the UCMJ, the Rules for Courts-Martial or military jurisprudence that would act as a legal bar to an accused choosing a panel of members for findings and then choosing judge alone for sentencing. Both times the trial judge denied my client’s request.

    Many times, and for many cases, I loved member sentencing at a trial defense counsel. But once in a while (child victim cases, in particular), I’d have preferred to roll the dice with members on findings and then be sentenced by a judge if the case went south.

  67. realist says:

    juniper 55 You certainly have the birther talking points down pat (though you left out is Indonesian adoption and citizenship, for some reason, and his trip to Pakistan when travel was banned)all of which have no basis in fact or law.

  68. sg says:

    How many irrelevancies, mis-assumptions, and flat out lies can one person put into one post? I think juniper55 has the lead.
    What is it like to be so full of fail that even other birfers must be looking at you and going “Dude! really?!”

  69. Greg says:

    A more realistic number is that Obama has spent more than $2,000 defending these claims!

  70. Frank Arduini says:

    @ Juniper55

    You have been badly misinformed. Just look at your second sentence. It contains at least five falsehoods.

    1. His mother’s age at his birth is relevant only if he was not born on US soil.

    2. If by “public record” you include private records that have been made public, then his COLB verifies his place of birth.

    3. COLBs have never been shown to have ever been given to anybody “regardless of birthplace.” And what the hell is a “statehood roster” anyway?

    4. His SSN has never been matched by anybody to somebody resident in Connecticut, nor somebody born in 1890.

    5. Pelosi doesn’t get to pick what different states demand for candidate certification. Any inconsistency is the fault of those states.

    So… if we can’t get past two sentences without the recitation of 5 long discredited Birther lies, you can understand the post’s dismissal as thoughtless pap.

    Have a good day.

  71. nbc says:

    That’s the whole point – just because BHO was elected doesn’t mean he was electable! With a Kenyan British citizen father who never even sought legal US alien status, a mother barely the age of majority who couldn’t convey citizenship due to the laws at the time

    Only if born abroad would the mother’s age be relevant. Since Obama was by all credible sources, born on US soil, he is under our Constitution a natural born citizen.

  72. obsolete says:

    juniper55 says:
    “No one will touch this – not the military, not Congress, not the courts”
    Occam’s razor will tell you that there is nothing “there” to touch.
    Or, you have to believe in the single biggest conspiracy in history, stretching across several continents & 50 years, involving both political parties, Congress, The Senate, the Supreme Court, various Federal and State courts, all branches of the military, the civilian leaders of the military, The Clinton’s, McCain, Palin, Bush, Cheney, Hawaii and its Republican leaders, Social Security, the IRS, many US Libraries, Harvard, Columbia, & all of the major media.
    But yeah, the conspiracy makes more sense.

  73. nbc says:

    4. His SSN has never been matched by anybody to somebody resident in Connecticut, nor somebody born in 1890.

    In fact the 1890 birthdate was attached to Barack Obama’s name, as much as a mistake as the one which reversed the month and day of his birth.

    All because of public data sources which are notoriously unreliable.

    Fools

  74. Christopher Mathews says:

    The day’s wrap is now up here. Comments on this thread are closed.