But then came the actual legal wrangling, and it all came apart. Lakin's Birther-centric plan of attack was shot out from under him: star witnesses were turned away, discovery denied, and all attempts to turn it from a case of disobeying orders into a referendum on the President's legitimacy were hog-tied, black-sacked, and tossed into a river to drown.
In the end -- no longer encumbered by the aforementioned dogbite lawyer -- Lakin got sensible legal counsel, but too late to do anything but duck and cover. He pleaded guilty to one charge, was found guilty of another, and was sentenced.
Six months in prison. Stripped of his rank. Thrown out of the Army.
Worst of all, his pay and pensions were taken from him.
As of this writing, Lakin is in prison. His wife and child are going to spend the holidays without him. The next six months are going to be tough on them, and, with the possibility of his license to practice medicine being stripped from him -- if some crusading jackass with no heart decides to get uppity -- his future looks pretty grim, too.
Am I excusing his stupidity because it came to a disastrous end? No I am not. His foolhardy mutiny affected the lives, livelihood, and safety of others. His naïvete' forced another soldier to deploy in his place, disrupting that man's well-deserved time away from the front.
His was not a victimless crime, and he has been accordingly punished. Maybe too lightly, given its severity, but I defer to the judgment of those more qualified in such matters.
But I am angry -- very !&*#ing angry -- at a number of people who created the atmosphere of incredulity that clearly poisoned this otherwise-intelligent man's ability to tell fact from fantasy. While the decision to act on what he "learned" from them was his own, and therefore his own fault, these people bear no small responsibility to having helped turn him into a victim of his own gullibility.
Birthers, I accuse you.
Terry Lakin is in jail tonight because of you .
A mother and child are going to spend this Christmas apart from the man they love because of you.
His personal and economic future is in jeopardy because of you.
And what, pray tell, are you doing about it? Blogging or writing "news" articles isn't enough. Making speeches and using him as a martyr figure aren't enough. Telling people to donate to Lakin's "defense fund" at Jensen's web page (now just going to support "the foundation's communication efforts") are clearly not enough.
I challenge you Birthers, one and all -- put your money where your mouth is.
Terry Lakin just lost out on a massive amount of money -- namely, his lost pensions -- to go be the canary in your coalmine. If you have ANY decency, even a minuscule shred, I challenge you to donate money to help make up for what he lost.
But don't give it to Paul Rolf "Otis" Jensen, the way Joseph Farah -- and Jensen -- want you to. Find a way to give it directly to Lakin's family, to help with court costs and living expenses.