The shoe has dropped. Lt. Colonel Terrence Lakin has been officially charged with violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) for not deploying to Afghanistan as he was ordered to do. And with that, his goal of being Court Martialed for that offense comes that much closer to reality.
LTC Lakin says that he regrets having to do this. If only President Obama would just cough up the Birth Certificate, thus proving that he is a Natural Born Citizen, and therefore eligible to be the Commander In Chief, then Lakin would be happy to call the whole thing off and deploy - a proud member of America's armed forces, once again. Why, oh why, won't that mean President just budge?
The obvious answer is because he already did. His Certificate of Live Birth - which, contrary to Birther statements, is just as good as that elusive "long form" they seem to have fixated on - has been seen by who knows how many people since it went up on his website. The announcements of his birth in Hawai'i have also been shown. The statements from various persons from the State of Hawai'i, most notably Dr. Chiyome Fukino and Janice Okubo, have been clear on his having been born there. What more could any reasonable person really want?
Thus Lakin's invitation of a Court Martial, it would seem.
Unless LTC Lakin really just wants to become a martyr for the Birther movement, it appears that his strategy is to have his defense press for the even-more-elusive "full discovery," which Birthers have been trying to get since the start of their legal odyssey. The idea is that, in order to present a proper defense, they will need to request certain documents in order to present that defense - most notably the "long form" Birth Certificate of one Barack Obama, President of the United States of America.
And thus will the Birther dream will be realized: they will have the evidence that there is something fishy about our President's eligibility, and at long last be able to say "I told you so" to the legion of doubters who've been ridiculing their long and arduous windmill-tilt.
All well and good, provided the Birth Certificate doesn't prove what Obama's been saying all along. But there are two problems with that strategy.
The first problem, which many Birthers seem not to realize, is that they will not get a "long form." According to Hawai'i:
Asked for more information about the short-form versus long-form birth documents, Okubo said the Health Department "does not have a short-form or long-form certificate."
"The birth certificate form has been modified over the years and decades to conform to national standards and models," she said.
Okubo also emphasized the certification form "contains all the information needed by all federal government agencies for transactions requiring a birth certificate."
The second problem, which is more pressing for LTC Lakin, is that his defense is highly unlikely to get full discovery, much less be able to present the Birth Certificate issue as part of their defense.
Why? It's a matter of how military orders work. When a superior officer gives you an order, you are supposed to follow it, so long as it is a legal one. And whether the Commander In Chief is eligible to be President or not does not factor into the equation.
Some have said that, logically, if the Commander In Chief is not eligible, then all orders given are not legal. This is not true. What makes an order legal or not depends on the UCMJ, itself, and whether the order is, itself, a crime. For example, "Kill these unarmed civilians and bring me their ears" is not a legal order. "Report for deployment to the war zone," on the other hand, is clearly a legal order.
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