Lt. Col. Terry Lakin is the author of Officer’s Oath: Why my Vow to Defend the Constitution Demanded that I Sacrifice my Career, a tell all first hand account of his faith and patriotism which ended up resulting in a court-martial, imprisonment and the stripping of all military rank and privileges, including his Army pension. All of this happened because he challenged Barack Obama’s eligibility. In reading this, one has to ask the question why would Barack Obama allow a fine military man like this to go to jail when he could have simply provided the documentation and that soldier would have done his duty.
Lakin refused to obey deployment orders, arguing that Obama had not documented his eligibility for the presidency under Article 2, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution.
“What I do not understand and still don’t,” he writes, “is why Obama did not just come forward with his key documents and be done with it. Instead, he ordered all of his important records to be kept under seal.”
He also pointed out that the documents released by the White House were digital scans and not official documents that would be acceptable as evidence in a court proceeding.
“So tell me: Who has something to hide?” Lakin asks. “It would seem to be President Obama, and sooner or later the voters of this country are going to make it clear that his stonewalling cannot continue.”
Lakin has explained that he was compelled by his officer’s oath to uphold and defend the Constitution when he was ordered to deploy to Afghanistan. Along with questions about the authenticity of the Obama birth documents, some constitutional scholars argue Obama is not a natural born citizen because his father was not an American citizen.
Ironically, Lakin’s deployment orders required him to bring five copies of his birth certificate.
“I had read the orders several times and had glossed over a detail that had previously seemed routine, but this time I felt like Wile E. Coyote getting smacked by an anvil,” he writes. “I needed a birth certificate to deploy, but the president did not need one to order my deployment. This was nuts.”
Lakin’s day of decision was April 12, 2010.
Though he was ready to be deployed, even taking a photo of himself at the Pentagon with his bags, should Obama validate his eligibility, Lakin could not bring himself to follow the orders without validation.
Thus he was court-martialed. He writes of the event of being there in the court-martial as he stared at the portraits of men who have gone before him:
As fate would have it, these were portraits of various Founding Fathers, and I wondered what they would be thinking. I strongly suspected they would be seeking the truth, about Obama’s citizenship status, about his Connecticut Social Security number (there is no reason why Obama would have a Connecticut number), about the multitude of unanswered questions surrounding this man. Here, however, to emphasize the real issues would likely have resulted in a reprimand from the judge and a harsher sentence from the jury. How, I wondered, had our country descended to this level of apathy?
Some will laugh and mock him for trying to take a stand and say he should have just followed orders. Yet many of those same people would berate soldiers of Nazi Germany for obeying orders. One must do what is right without violating their conscience. Martin Luther is one that comes to mind in this regard as he stood at the Diet of Worms upon his belief that faith alone in Jesus Christ alone is what justifies sinners before God and declared:
“I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.”
Jack Cashill writes of his arrival at Ft. Leavenworth’s Joint Regional Correctional Facility:
Now, Lakin was on his way to Fort Leavenworth’s Joint Regional Correctional Facility. Of all his hardship deployments, Bosnia included, this would be the hardest. After he bid a tearful farewell to his wife and three young children, his military minders chained his hands together and attached those chains to a band around his waist. They chained his legs and attached those, too. They then loaded him into a van and drove him to Reagan National.
There, Lakin endured his ultimate humiliation: a seemingly endless perp walk — a shuffle really — through a concourse filled with flags and patriotic bunting and the happy sight of returning soldiers. None of the display had lost its appeal, but Lakin could not overlook the irony of his being chained and bound amidst it all.
The civilian psychologist who did intake assessments at Fort Leavenworth claimed to know why the soft-spoken doctor refused deployment, or at least he thought he did. As he put it, Lakin did not believe Obama to have been born in the United States or to be constitutionally eligible to be president.
Lakin corrected him. As he explained, he did not know where the president was born or whether the president was eligible. The problem was that no one did. As Lakin saw it, the oath that he took as an officer in the U.S. Army — “I, Terrence Lee Lakin, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” — all but dictated that he seek the truth.
Ironically, Lakin was bound and incarcerated all for seeking the truth, remembering his oath, “I, Terrence Lee Lakin, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
May there be others in position of leadership that will count the cost and stand up as Lt. Col. Terry Lakin did.
Lt. Col. Lakin, I salute you!