CAAFlog » Court-Martial News » LTC Lakin

Here and here are results of former LTC Terrence Lakin’s application for a Kansas medical license.  The KS Board in denying his medical license stated:

Applicant’s refusal to deploy to Afghanistan to provide medical services in support of Operation Enduring Freedom due to his own personal beliefs represents a disregard for his professional duties and undermines the integrity of the medical profession. Of even more significance, Applicant’s actions potentially jeopardized the health, safety and welfare of the military troops for which Applicant was employed to provide medical care. . . . .

After seeking modification based on misstatements about the nature of the conviction, the Board denied reconsideration, stating.

The Board also found that Petitioner’s actions and conduct underlying his court-martial convictions constituted dishonorable conduct and that denial of his application for licensure was warranted due to the egregiousness of his conduct. . . .

Comments surely to follow. H/t RC (via DHS)

“Five days in December at Ft. Meade,” that appears to be the schedule for bringing out the crazies to MilJus events, see LTC Lakin trial here, and now the PFC Bradley manning Art. 32 hearing schedule here. (See PC post below).  His attorney, David Coombs writes on his blog, here, that “[t]he Article 32 hearing for PFC Bradley Manning will begin on December 16, 2011 at Fort Meade, Maryland. The hearing is expected to last approximately five days. With the exception of those limited times where classified information is being discussed, the hearing will be open to the public.”  He also states that his office will issue regular public releases during the hearing.   I wonder if some of the wingnuts we saw for earlier iterations of the PFC Manning case will come up with their own pre-planned language for protests signs for this event?

In other wingnut news, apparently LTC Terry Lakin’s appeals are final, because the post, here, indicates that because the appeals are final they will have a live conversation with LTC Lakin.  The conversation is scheduled for 3 pm today, webcast here.  Absolutely no endorsement of the veracity of anything provided by the show is made by providing the link.

Here is a copy of ACCA’s 28 July order granting LTC Lakin’s motion to withdraw his case from appellate review.  A review of the court-martial now must be conducted by a judge advocate pursuant to Rule for Courts-Martial 1112.  And pursuant to Article 71(b) of the UCMJ, LTC Lakin’s dismissal can’t be executed until approved by the Secretary of the Army or his designee.  So while the case of United States v. Lakin is now over, execution of his dismissal is probably not imminent.

UPDATE:  A copy of the transcript of LTC Lakin’s court-martial that CAAFlog obtained under the Freedom of Information Act is available here.  The good folks at ACCA were incredibly helpful and swift in responding to our FOIA request.  On the off chance that anyone there sometimes visits our little gab fest, thanks ACCA!

p.s. thanks to the good folks at The Fogbow for uploading the transcript onto the web.

p.p.s.  The Terry Lakin Action Fund’s website includes an update from 31 July explaining the withdrawal of the case from appellate review:  “Concerning Appeals: The process has begun to accelerate Terry’s discharge and skip the appeals for now (there is a secondary process that can optionally be pursued at a later date). His charges remain. Terry will recieve a formal dismissal which is customary for officers involved in a court martial.”

I’m not sure what that “secondary process” might be. By choosing to forgo his military appeals, LTC Lakin has declined to exhaust his remedies. That will almost certainly result in the foreclosure of any collateral attack on his court-martial conviction. However, that’s not an enormous sacrifice; there would have been no viable grounds for a successful collateral attack.

UPDATE:  The TLAF website also provides this information about LTC Lakin’s forthcoming book, which sheds more light on his decision to withdraw his case from appellate review:

Books and Media: Terry’s book is well underway with twelve completed chapters completed, all the vignettes written, and about 1/3 of the essays submitted. We have a great cover as well. The publication date will be adjusted to reflect Terry’s formal dismissal. Why? Since he is still “in the army” he cannot publish a book under military guidelines. The same is true of media. Terry will continue to appear on select radio shows to discuss his experiences and interest in the Constitution.

We have it on good information that LTC Lakin has apparently withdrawn his appeal from review by the Army Court of Criminal Appeals.   LTC Lakin hinted at waiving his appeal when released from confinement (prior post here).  So this isn’t shocking news, but strange timing.  Anyone heard similar information?

On Tuesday, bookstores received copies of Jerome Corsi’s book with the OBE title, “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” 

The book has a 3/4 page synopsis of LTC Lakin’s case, which appears on page 289.  That 3/4 of a page includes three glaring errors.

First, the book repeats the falsehood that Judge Lind said she denied discovery of evidence concerning the President’s birth to avoid embarrassment to the President.  I know that the book’s author, Jerome Corsi, knows that claim is untrue because he and I engaged in an email exchange about that claim when he referred to it in a WorldNetDaily article in November 2010.  Yet Corsi lies by repeating that false claim in his book.

A second error could be a deliberate falsehood or the result of negligence; either of those possibilities is probative of the accuracy of Corsi and his book.  The book states that a military jury convicted LTC Lakin of orders violations.  Not so.  LTC Lakin pleaded guilty to three orders violations; the only contested charge — of which LTC Lakin was convicted — was missing movement by design.  Corsi must not have made the slightest effort to get the facts right, since merely the slightest effort would have been required to discover that LTC Lakin pled guilty to the three orders offenses on the charge sheet.

The third error is a typo.  The book refers to laws “allegedly violated by Lind.”  That sentence should have referred to laws allegedly violated by Lakin.

Three obvious errors in 3/4 of a page.

I understand that some in the Birther camp are willing to say just about anything — regardless of the truth– in an attempt to discredit the President.  But I’m particularly repulsed that Birthers like Corsi are so willing to make false claims about a dedicated, honorable military officer like Colonel Lind. 

In an interview from Friday posted on the Terry Lakin Action Fund’s website, LTC Lakin says he received a signed copy of Corsi’s book — one of three provided to him by “several nice people.”  TLAF Trustee Marco Ciavolino then states, “We’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on that book.”  So will I.  Will a man whose mantra was “The Truth Matters” allow Corsi’s lie about Judge Lind’s ruling to go uncorrected?  Or will LTC Lakin let his followers know that Corsi made a false allegation concerning Judge Lind’s ruling — and made a couple of additional mistakes about his case as well?

LTC Lakin was released from confinement on Friday.  He has since given at least two interviews, this one with KMBC and this one with the Terry Lakin Action Fund Radio Hour.

In the Terry Lakin Action Fund Radio Hour interview, LTC Lakin indicates he’s considering waiving his appeal.  (I understand that his appeal has already been docketed with ACCA, so he would actually have to withdraw his appeal.)  He says the military appellate process takes 6 to 18 months (which is actually a conservative estimate).  He indicates he’s considering the pros and cons of waiving his appeal, getting his DD-214, and moving on:

Right now, I’m on appellate leave, which means I’m still on active duty but not receiving pay and just no, no duties other than preparing for possible appeals.  And the appellate process can take up to, you know, 6 months to 18 months.  The other option would be to waive the appeal process and receive my DD 214, or discharge papers, and I would be separated immediately from the military and go on with my life with no other ties with the military.

In the KMBC interview, when asked about President Obama’s release of an additional birth record on 27 April 2011, LTC Lakin responds, “Had that been done sooner, I wouldn’t have — this whole ordeal would not have happened for me.”  Yet he declares himself “at peace with what I did.”  He adds, “I don’t know what else I could have done differently.”   Hhhmmm, I can think of something.

There was a welcome home rally for LTC Lakin at BWI Airport Saturday morning to greet him upon his return from Kansas City, as described by the Terry Lakin Action Fund here.  [Note, the TLAF’s estimate of 80 supporters appears to be roughly double the actual number.]

On the TLAF interview, which was aired on Friday, LTC Lakin also discusses his future plans:

When I get back to the family tomorrow, I want to spend some missed time with them and, you know, after, after a little while I do need t0 — or in the next few weeks, I need to look into reestablishing my medical license and, and seeking employment.  I need to find a way to provide for my family and then I want to continue with some type of service to our country or to some faith-based organization or do what I can to still enjoy helping others.  Certainly, certainly that’s a driving desire in myself.

LTC Lakin then discusses his desire to assist military prisoners:

I think there’s a population of valued Soldiers who are incarcerated and more needs to be done for them.  I believe there’s a lot of talent and training that could have more productive means of  — you know, a more productive outcome from them rather than just incarceration.

When asked about possible programs to assist military prisoners, he responds, “I read a little bit about what Charles Colson does and that just sounds like incredible work that needs to be done for our troops.”

Near the end of the interview, LTC Lakin said:

I enjoyed deployments.  They were some of the best times of my life, too.  I’m sorry I didn’t go on this one. I wished I could or I with I could go in the future, but –.

Here is a Fayetteville Observer report about a delay in the court-martial of SPC Nicholas Bailey to enable defense co0unsel to prepare their experts.  SPC Bailey was charged with murder after allegedly stabbing a fellow soldier in his tent in Iraq.  The death was initially reported as an accidental stabbing–you don’t see those often.

Sentencing in the SPC Eric Mead court-martial resumes today at 0900.  Fayetteville Observer story here.  UPDATE:  As Ama reports, the members gave SPC Mead life without parole, see NIMJBlog here

Is it just me, or does the Bozicevich court-martial just drop off the media radar every once in a while?  Anyone know what’s happenin’?

And, finally, Salon helpfully updates us (with some editorial comments) on the Southwest baggage claim area welcome home celebration for LTC Lakin this weekend.

Thanks to Rob M for calling our attention to the Terry Lakin Action Fund’s response to President Obama’s release of another birth record today. 

The Action Fund’s response, however, advances a faulty line of reasoning. As soon as LTC Lakin refused orders — including an order to report to his Medal of Honor awardee commanding officer — he violated the UCMJ. Had the record that President Obama released today been produced during an Article 32 investigation (which LTC Lakin waived) or during an Article 39(a) session, nothing would have changed regarding LTC Lakin’s criminality. He had already committed the offenses of which he was convicted.   Oblivious to that reality, here’s the Terry Lakin Action Fund’s spin:

Had the Obama administration agreed to allow the document unveiled today and other related documents as requested for discovery in Terry Lakin’s first pre-trial hearing, the matter would have been resolved and soldiers assured their military orders were lawful, given by a lawful Commander-in-Chief.

A good soldier, having played his part in this issue, would have returned enthusiastically to the service for which he is so ably trained.

Instead, all discovery was denied for two pre-trials and the court martial itself. This document which was so casually dropped on the news corps could just have easily been provided twelve months ago or two years ago. Even six months ago, it would have prevented LTC Lakin being manacled and hauled away to Fort Leavenworth prison for standing up for the Constitution, consistent with the oath he took as an officer, and the rule of law.

Oh, and the Terry Lakin Action Fund wants the President to pardon LTC Lakin:

The Terry Lakin Action Fund is calling for a full and complete presidential pardon for LTC Terry Lakin including restoration of pay, benefits, and service. Terry holds no malice towards Barack Obama nor did he when he chose to bring the issue to a court martial. Terry simply wanted confirmation of Obama’s eligibility, a process that has finally begun in earnest.

For all those offering to pay us to stop covering the Lakin and birther issue, I give you these stats:

  • We have 1,750 visits by 1:00 pm–only happened 5 times before, all during the Lakin trial.
  • My post that included the news about Pres. Obama’s birth certificate with real military justice news has a quarter as much traffic as JMTG’s post on just the birth certificate news.
  • Other Lakin posts have nearly as many hits as posts from earlier this week.

Someone please explain, why again would we want to stop talking about the LTC Lakin case?

Per CNN, newly released documents confirm what every other document has already shown — that President Barack Obama was born in the United States on August 4, 1961.

The Terry Lakin Action Fund has posted a notice here indicating that LTC Lakin will be flying into BWI airport the morning of Saturday, 14 May.  A rally in support of him is planned at the airport.

I’m informed that the CA acted on LTC Lakin’s case, approving the court-martial’s results, on 7 April.  Michelle McCluer provides this Army Times link to an AP story quoting an Army spokesperson confirming that the CA–Major General Karl Horst–has acted and approved the court-martial’s results.

7 April woud be 112 days after the conclusion of the court-martial, which is within the Moreno post-trial processing standard.  I’m informed that the case has not yet been docketed with the Army Court of Criminal Appeals.  Under the Moreno standards, the government has 30 days from the CA’s action to docket the case.

Curiously, none of the Lakinista websites seem to have noted the CA’s action.  And the Terry Lakin Action Fund website continues to exort readers to “HELP PLEAD FOR CLEMENCY,” even providing the CA’s email address.

It will be interesting to see who represents LTC Lakin on appeal.  I imagine that all the prominent birther lawyers will offer their services pro bono.  We could be in for a guano-fest at ACCA.

I’m informed that the CA acted on LTC Lakin’s case, approving the court-martial’s results as adjudged.  I’ll post more info as it becomes available.

The Terry Lakin Action Fund has posted a number of “prison diaries” in which LTC Lakin tracks his day-to-day activities and attitudes during his confinement at Fort Leavenworth’s brand-new new Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility.  The diaries are available here, here, and here.

LTC Lakin is convinced that his cellmate is innocent and he’s committed to winning him a new trial.  He writes that his cellmate “would be a great teammate in fixing the UCMJ system.”  LTC Lakin also devoted some of his time to marking up a copy of the prisoner’s manual to point out typos and other errors for the facility’s administrators’ edification:  “This morning I submitted eight pages of suggested improvements and typo corrections to the ‘manual guidelines of inmates’. It was a good exercise to find all typos and there were three to four significant errors, wrong references or similar mistakes. I submitted them with notations of this being respectful and humble submission to help them improve their manual.”  Humble is not the word that comes to my mind when reading LTC Lakin’s diaries.

An entry dated 5 January suggests that LTC Lakin hadn’t yet received his ROT as of that date.  He mentions that on 2 January, he discussed appellate and clemency issues, as well as the birther publicity campaign, with his brother Greg, who’s both a lawyer and a doctor:  “Greg and I covered a lot of family thoughts, appeal, clemency, etc. sounds like the good CMD Kerchner is doing an ad in Washington Times.”

He also writes about how his actions have inspired others.  In an entry dated 29 December, he wrote: 

Received 105 letters and cards today. Wow. Many make me cry, many inspirational, many inspired by my actions. Pretty profound – chapter in Dyer’s book inspiration I read tonight – chapter 13 “inspiration in action”. It is so on target: prayer of St. Francis: it is in giving that we receive, in order to receive inspiration we must be willing to give it away, and vice versa. Fits with so many letters I receive, inspired by them, yet the writers were inspired by me. Dyer also talks of taking action to inspire or receive inspiration. I think I have truly tried to always help others. I always stop to help people on the side of the road, pick up walkers or hitchhikers, try and repair flats, jumpstart, stop at accidents and render aid when others don’t. all part of being “in spirit” with God.

He also writes about sharing his doubts concerning President Obama’s constitutional eligibility with others, including his cellmate.  On New Year’s Day, he and another inmate “talked about Obama’s birth issue for about thirty minutes.”  The following day, he and his cellmate had a discussion during which LTC Lakin told his cellmate,”I hope you can see I’m not racist – but the issue is totally constitutional.”  LTC Lakin reports that his cellmate replied that “he can see I’m not racist at all.”

One of the challenges faced by the defense trial team in United States v. Lakin was dealing with the accused’s motivation: an explicit, overt, and protracted public challenge to the eligibility of the President of the United States.

LTC Lakin, of course, pled guilty, acknowledging that regardless of his personal beliefs, the orders which he chose to disobey were lawful orders.  In sentencing, lead counsel Neal Puckett chose to portray his client as a well-meaning but fundamentally naive man who got bad advice from his former counsel.  This decision probably helped limit his client’s sentence, but it did not sit well with the band of birthers who had for months been cheering LTC Lakin on from the sidelines.  One in particular, Theresa Cao, took personal offense, according to this article from Baltimore Sun reporter Andrea Siegel:

Others were upset with the way Lakin’s civilian defense attorney, Neal A. Puckett, a retired Marine Corps lawyer and lieutenant colonel, spoke about them when he depicted Lakin as a naive man who now realizes that he followed the wrong advice by pressing his questions about Obama with the Army.

“He essentially called us crazy. The audacity of him to call us crazy,” said Theresa Cao … 

Today, according to Slate’s David Weigel, Ms. Cao disrupted the reading of the Constitution on the floor of the House of Representatives, shouting out during the reading of Article II, Section 1’s “natural born citizen” clause, “Except Obama!  Except Obama!  Help us, Jesus!”