Terry Lakin: Court Martial for Birther Colonel

terry-lakinTerry Lakin, the army lieutenant colonel who refuses to deploy to Afghanistan on account of President Obama not really being an American and thus not authorized to make him will instead be deployed to Fort Leavenworth as a private.

U.S. military officials tell NBC News that the U.S. Army will court martial a lieutenant colonel who refuses to deploy to Afghanistan because he considers orders from President Obama to be “illegal.”

Army doctor Lt. Col. Terry Lakin believes Obama does not meet the constitutional requirements to be president and commander-in-chief, because he believes (incorrectly) that Obama wasn’t born in the United States.

Lakin refused this week to report to Fort Campbell, KY for deployment to Afghanistan, but instead showed up at the Pentagon, where he was confronted by his brigade Commander Col. Gordon Roberts, a Vietnam Medal of Honor recipient.

Lakin was informed by Roberts that he would face court martial, and his Pentagon building pass and government laptop computer were seized.

There have been sporadic cases over the years of soldiers challenging the legitimacy of wars and refusing to go.   Some challenged the legality of serving under UN command in the Balkans.  Some questioned the legality of the Iraq War.   It seldom ends well.

Then again, there is recent precedent for letting soldiers off the hook.  1LT Ehren Watada was allowed to resign and accept a less-than-Honorable discharge in lieu of a court martial after challenging the Iraq War’s legality.   Sergeant Mattis Chiroux was similarly allowed to skip court martial; then again, he was an inactive reservist who was being recalled to active duty.   There have been others.

The fact that Lakin is a lieutenant colonel (and on the promotion list for colonel) is likely a big factor in the decision to seek criminal punishment in this case.  Indeed, as the various propaganda sites surrounding him note, “He is the highest ranking officer to go public over this controversy and the first active duty officer to do so.”  There’s not much choice but to come down hard.

Military officers take an oath to defend the Constitution.   That is not, however, a license to interpret it.

Two asides struck me as interesting:

  • Roberts is a Vietnam Medal of Honor recipient but he left active service after his initial tour (1968 to 1971).  He returned to active duty in 1989.  That explains why he’s still serving and still a colonel after all these years. At 60, he’s both the youngest living Medal recipient and the only one still on active duty.  Alas, recent awardees have been posthumous.
  • Chiroux is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War despite not being an Iraq veteran.  Apparently, anyone who served in the military in any capacity since 9/11 is eligible.   Which is fine, I guess, but renders the name misleading.
FILED UNDER: James Joyner, Law and the Courts, Military Affairs, US Politics, , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Command and Staff College, Marine Corps University, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Triumph says:

    Terry Lakin, the army lieutenant colonel who refuses to deploy to Afghanistan on account of President Obama not really being an American and thus not authorized to make him will instead be deployed to Fort Leavenworth as a private.

    This guy is an American hero. Obama was not eligible to become president and the “election” was stolen so he is well within his rights to object to the deployment.




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  2. Fog says:

    Since Lt.Col. Lakin is obviously an intelligent man, I’ll go out on a limb and guess he knows he’s wrong on the facts, but has calculated that anything the Army will do to him will pale in comparison to the benefits he’ll gain as hero-martyr to a certain segment of society known for their deep pockets. See Palin, Sarah.




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  3. Boyd says:

    The benefits for a “hero-martyr” while incarcerated in a military prison don’t strike me as scoring very high on the cost-benefit evaluation.

    While those above you in the military hierarchy inevitably contain a significant number of lamebrain yes-men, that’s the organization you chose to join. You don’t get to make these kinds of decisions, Colonel.

    Lock his ass up for a good, long time.




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  4. Steve Plunk says:

    “Military officers take an oath to defend the Constitution. That is not, however, a license to interpret it.”

    I would strongly disagree with this statement. Every citizen has a right to interpret the constitution and many do so through their attorneys. This will now go through the process of facts and legal arguments being presented and judged. If any person feels a wrong is being committed they have a right to test their beliefs in court.

    Sacrificial lambs have been used to test legal theories for years. Rosa Parks was put on that bus to test the law, Roe of Roe v. Wade was the same thing. This is a test case set up by those who want to bring the issue to court. Even though they will likely not prevail they have a right to do what they are doing. They also understand the consequences.




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  5. The Q says:

    Triumph wrote:

    “This guy is an American hero. Obama was not eligible to become president and the “election” was stolen so he is well within his rights to object to the deployment.”

    The Colonel is a loon….and so is anybody still quibbling over Obama’s birth certificate.

    With comments such as Triumph’s, is there any wonder why this once incredible country will be seriously challenged in the future, as we try to recoup for all the right wing lunacy of the last 20 years?




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  6. Boyd says:

    Q, Triumph doesn’t believe anything he writes that is from a non-Liberal viewpoint. He thinks it’s satire, but he’s not skilled enough to pull it off. I only know it because I’ve been reading his drivel for years here.




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  7. Franklin says:

    I think what Triumph is doing is the modern art of trolling, not the age-old art of satire.




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  8. Boyd says:

    The difference is what Triumph is actually doing vs. what he thinks he’s doing.

    Anyway, that’s a digression from the point of the post.

    While we can quibble over whether military folks have “license” to interpret the Constitution, the reality is that this approach is inevitably doomed to failure.

    As one of my former Commanding Officers once said, “We just defend the Constitution. We don’t actually *believe* in it.”




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  9. I believe LTC Lakin is flat out wrong and he will pay heavily for his transgressions. Even if President Obama were not legitimate, and he is — just to be clear, this still would not be LTC Lakin’s decision to make.

    I don’t know the full answer to this, but I do believe we expect our warriors to interpret the US Constitution and other documents and orders since the “just following orders” defense has been deemed to be insufficient justification for committing crimes.




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  10. Boyd says:

    The “lawful order” aspect of military obligations has to do with the nature of the order rather than the authenticity of the order “issuer.” To my mind, his position is congruent to saying that a selection board didn’t have the authority to promote his boss to his current position. And that just ain’t gonna fly, shouldn’t fly, and should be resoundingly punished.




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  11. PD Shaw says:

    “If any person feels a wrong is being committed they have a right to test their beliefs in court.”

    I disagree with the general proposition, but Lakin should have the opportunity to defend his clear act of insubordination with evidence that Obama was not born in this country. I believe he has none, so his defense will fail. The vagaries of the “natural born citizens” clause will not be touched.




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  12. floyd says:

    James;
    Surely you are aware that you can be “really American” without being born here, and without being eligible to hold the office of President.
    The governors of Michigan or “Caulefornya” for instance.
    Whether Obama was “born here” is still in question by many people whose credibility and credentials are equal to yours.
    Whether he is legally President or not, I for one, would resign my commission rather than serve under Obama as commander-in-chief.
    Why is that not an option for Larkin?

    So you must swear to uphold the Constitution but not what it says? [lol]
    Larkin is not interpreting the Constitution anyway, if Obama was not a natural born citizen, there wouldn’t be much interpretation to do, now would there?




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  13. JKB says:

    Well, everyone can interpret the Constitution but the only interpretation that matters is that of the nine members of the SCOTUS. In this situation, a mid-ranking officer of the Medical Corps has chose to challenge the hundreds of individuals involved in ensuring the proper Presidential qualifications, not discounting the Chief Justice who swore Obama in or the Congress that signed off on the election. Not to mention the senior officers who are responsible to ensure that any orders they issue or relay down the chain of command are lawful.

    Let’s say incontrovertible proof that Obama was not qualified to be president was found. Having been sworn in, he would still be President until the Congress and SCOTUS took action to remove him. Were they to refuse, the only recourse would be for the citizenry to overthrow the now illegitimate government and reconstitute one with the faith of the American people.

    In any case, the colonel was ordered to Iraq by a chain of command empowered by properly enacted Congressional acts that will remain legitimate regardless of whether Obama is nor not, i.e., the deployment is not the result of any specific act or order from Obama but rather a continuation of prior legitimate national policy.




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  14. floyd says:

    “Larkin” should read “Lakin”,Please pardon the typo!




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  15. The Q says:

    Mr. Shaw and Mr. Austin, my God, hell must have froze over.

    I agree with both of you at the same time!

    What is this world coming to?




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  16. Mike A says:

    As usual, when a Democrat decides not to play by the rules, then he or she is defended to the hilt.

    Regardless of where you fall on the validity of Obama’s certificate of live birth from Hawaii, Obama has spent millions of dollars in legal fees ensuring that most of his history remains cloaked. He has refused to present any key documents that back up his claims of what he did in college and his transcripts.

    Don’t really care about the “birther” issue because it has no chance of getting a hearing in court. But the international man of mystery that is Obama sure is spending a lot of money to hide something. Otherwise, why not just say,” Here you go, knock yourself out..?”




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  17. Mike A says:

    Hey all of you folks on here that are saying the Colonel really has no choice and is doing the wrong thing – obviously you took the same position against the soldiers that refused to be deployed when Bush was president, right? Will you state here that all of those conscientious objectors were completely in the wrong too?

    And of course, you will now admit freely that all of the draft dodgers in the Vietnam war were wrong as well, right?




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  18. Mike A says:

    The Q:

    With comments such as Triumph’s, is there any wonder why this once incredible country will be seriously challenged in the future, as we try to recoup for all the right wing lunacy of the last 20 years?

    What a joke. Sure, it’s the right that’s bringing the country down. It has nothing at all to do with the president who just wants to have a big group hug with dictators and ruling thugs, while insulting and abandoning our traditional allies.

    all the right wing lunacy of the last 20 years

    On the contrary, it’s the left wing poison that is rotting the guts of the country out. The left wouldn’t know what to do if they didn’t have someone to take from, and someone to give what they have taken, to. This country wouldn’t even have a viable military if liberals were left to their own devices.

    Go back to smoking your crack pipe, sitting on your butt and caring deeply for the world.




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  19. just me says:

    Personally I hope the man enjoys his stay in Leavenworth. The man has a right to the opinion that Obama isn’t a citizen, but I don’t think that belief is an excuse to avoid being sent to war. And for me, I think his rank should influence the consequence.

    Chiroux is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War despite not being an Iraq veteran. Apparently, anyone who served in the military in any capacity since 9/11 is eligible. Which is fine, I guess, but renders the name misleading.

    My husband was in the Navy during the first Gulf War. He would never consider calling himself a veteran of the war-although he does have a defense service medal (he refers to it as his “I watched it on CNN” medal.




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  20. legion says:

    Well, I think fog and Boyd both have it right – he’s hoping for post-martyr talking-head action on Fox, and he didn’t think they’d really court-martial him – just give him the same LTH discharge they gave the other examples. Unfortunately (for him), as an O-6 select, he’s a pretty senior dude. When those types go down, they tend to go down hard.

    He’s also high as a kite if he thinks this will turn out well for him, in any sense of the word. As Steve Plunk mentioned, he’s got a right to say ‘no’ and face the music, but if Lakin really thinks he’s got real evidence he can bring in open court to prove his point, when the best the birther crowd has been able to put up in the last few years is Orly friggin’ Taitz, I simply have to question the man’s basic sanity.




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  21. sam says:

    @Mike A

    Obama has spent millions of dollars in legal fees ensuring that most of his history remains cloaked

    I hadn’t heard this about him have spent millions. Could you supply us with cite so we can read the evidence? TIA




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  22. Mike A says:

    Sam:
    Keep in mind the following is for totals as of almost a year ago, not counting, among other things, the last year fighting Orly Taitz.

    This is just up to June, 2009.

    President Obama may be using his political action committee funds to stomp out eligibility lawsuits brought by Americans, as he has paid more than $1.35 million to his top lawyer since the election.

    Obama for America, Obama’s 2008 political campaign, merged with the Democratic National Committee in January and is now known as Organizing for America. The grass-roots army that some refer to as “Obama 2.0” is still collecting financial contributions.

    Federal Election Commission records for “Obama for America” show that the lobby organization has paid international law firm Perkins Coie exactly $1,352,378.95 since the 2008 election.

    FEC records show the following payments made to the law firm from Oct. 16, 2008, to June 30, 2009:

    In total, Obama has paid Perkins Coie, a single law firm, $2.3 million since he announced his campaign for presidency.

    From an article in the Tampa Bay Tribune, July 22, 2009:

    A study from the United States Justice Foundation has released information showing that Obama has spent upwards of $950,000 in campaign funds with 11 law firms in 12 states for legal resources to block disclosure of any of his personal records.

    A simple Google search will give you more sources as well..




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  23. Boyd says:

    Hey all of you folks on here that are saying the Colonel really has no choice and is doing the wrong thing – obviously you took the same position against the soldiers that refused to be deployed when Bush was president, right?

    Ayup, sure did. James even linked to my blog post on it back at the start of the Iraq war, but I unfortunately I can’t find the post these many years later.

    Will you state here that all of those conscientious objectors were completely in the wrong too?

    Right again (except I’ll use scare quotes): All of those “conscientious objectors” were completely in the wrong under Bush, too.

    And of course, you will now admit freely that all of the draft dodgers in the Vietnam war were wrong as well, right?

    Damn straight. While they were roughing it in Canadia, I was a volunteer in the US Navy.




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  24. steve says:

    Boyd has it pretty well. I would also add that if he really thought Obama was not legit, he should have resigned his commission before now. By waiting until he had orders to go to Afghanistan, he is making a statement for some reason other than just acting on principles.

    Steve




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  25. Mike A says:

    Boyd:

    Thank you for your service , Sir. Very Sincerely.

    And also, thank you for your consistency. It is a rare and admirable trait. My son volunteered for the Marine Corp and is scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan this fall..




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  26. sam says:

    Mike, there’s a link button in the comment code–could you use that in future? It would save a lot of running around. I’ll just note that your first bit says:

    President Obama may be using his political action committee funds to stomp out eligibility lawsuits brought by Americans, as he has paid more than $1.35 million to his top lawyer since the election.

    May. Would you supply a link to this report or newsstory for us?

    Secondly, the cite to the Tampa Bay Trib is to a column registering someone’s opinions, not a newsstory: Who really is Barack Obama?. That column, which is simply a regurgitation of charges made by others, says:

    [A] study from the United States Justice Foundation has released information showing that Obama has spent upwards of $950,000 in campaign funds with 11 law firms in 12 states for legal resources to block disclosure of any of his personal records. Gary Kreep of that foundation stated that the investigation is still going on and the final report will be provided to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

    No cite for that study is given. When I went to the USJF site, a search for the report came up empty. Do you have a link to the study you could supply? I know that a lot of us would like to see the study for ourselves. Thanks.




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  27. steve says:

    “And of course, you will now admit freely that all of the draft dodgers in the Vietnam war were wrong as well, right?”

    Missed this. Again, Boyd is mostly correct. I did have a friend who had a sincere, and he is still a minister last I heard, religious conversion while we were serving. He applied for and received CO status and was D/C’d. Of course, that was in 1975 and we were not getting deployed to Vietnam. So, I would allow for religious based CO status.

    Steve




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  28. just me says:

    One difference I see between Vietnam era service members and all current and slightly past service members is that at least with Vietnam there was a draft, but there isn’t a single person currently serving in the US military who didn’t volunteer for it.

    So I have a little empathy for Vietnam era soldiers who didn’t want to fight in a war they didn’t believe in but were told they had to enlist, but not really any for current soldiers who don’t want to go.




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  29. Francis says:

    Blaming Obama for this nonsense is really quite silly. He doesn’t have any more idea where (or, for that matter, when) he was born than any of you do. After all, as the Bugs Bunny skit notes, he was kind of young then.

    But his parents told him he was born in Hawaii, and the State of Hawaii agrees. If someone wants to make an issue of it, then their beef is with the State, not with BHO.




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  30. anjin-san says:

    I think if the joint chiefs are satisfied about Obama’s legitimacy as commander in chief, that ought to satisfy everyone in the service. You don’t get to pick and choose what orders you follow, and yea, that goes for anyone who refused to be deployed in Iraq under Bush. The Iraq war was wrong, but if you are going into the service, you had better be prepared to follow orders you don’t like. No one was drafted. ‘Nam was a little different due to the draft.

    A nice cell in Leavenworth for Larkin? You betcha.




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  31. mattt says:

    re: Charles

    The proper term is “soldier,” and it is a title of great honor. Not “warrior.”

    Somewhat along these lines….what about this?
    Link to TPM

    Active duty military “vowing” to stand up “on the very soil we defended” (that is, on US soil), to “preserve….conservatism…” (that is, a particular political ideology)?

    Maybe it’s just a poor choice of words by well-meaning patriots. But as someone who has read a little history, not just US, this is a frightening direction to be moving in. Even if in baby steps.

    A little scarier, I think, than hippies waving signs vs. the invasion of Iraq.




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  32. floyd says:

    James;
    I’ll bet you know…. Why can’t he just resign his commission?




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  33. Mike A says:

    Mattt:

    A little scarier, I think, than hippies waving signs vs. the invasion of Iraq.

    You conveniently forget the roots of this protesting and the organizations that support and encourage it – does the name Weather Underground mean anything to you? Or the name Bill Ayers? Bombs at the Pentagon? A dead police officer?

    Despite all the propaganda of the left’s media, it is still the left that has incited and engaged in violence, NOT the conservatives.

    Consider: a man’s finger bitten off by an anti-tea party protester, Ken Gladney ( a man in a wheelchair) beaten for selling pins and bumberstickers at a T.E.A. party rally, the couple beaten and hospitalized in New Orleans yesterday for wearing Sarah Palin lapel pins.

    This “worry ” about the right being violent will only be realized (heaven forbid) if the type of attacks above don’t cease. Everyone has a right to defend themselves…

    The roots of the militant left still nurture the movement today. Hell. these murderous and subversive ancestors are hailed as celebrities and given Professorships at our Universities!




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  34. Mike A says:

    Correction – not bumberstickers – bumperstickers…




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  35. anjin-san says:

    Correction – not bumberstickers

    If it was your car I guess it would be a “dumbersticker”…




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  36. Mike A says:

    Sam:

    Sorry, I didn’t see your earlier post asking for a direct link.

    The link below takes you directly to the FEC page referenced. When you get the chart up, go down to the “P” section and look at payments Obama made to Perkins Coie. That is just one of the law firms helping him keep his personal documents from public view.
    href=”http://query.nictusa.com/pres/2009/Q1/C00431445/B_PAYEE_C00431445.html”>

    Again – you won’t find any problem researching this on Google, Bing, etc.




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  37. anjin-san says:

    the couple beaten and hospitalized in New Orleans yesterday for wearing Sarah Palin lapel pins.

    Even far left MSM stooge Michell Malkin says there is no evidence Palin pins were worn by the victims.

    http://michellemalkin.com/2010/04/13/a-cautionary-note-about-the-beating-in-new-orleans/.

    Keep it up twink, you are giving stupidity a bad name…




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  38. Mike A says:

    Hey Anjin! Wow! ANOTHER great one-liner from your favorite child star! Let’s give a big hand to… Anjin-san! He’s here through Thursday folks! Don’t forget to put a little extra in the cup when it gets passed around – he has high hopes of going back to get his GED and could sure use your help…




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  39. anjin-san says:

    Ummm, Mikey? I know the internets are complicated, but that thar is what we Democrats call bad code. Jeeze dude, you can’t even cut and past properly.

    By the way, you should not attempt sarcasm, you just don’t have any talent for it 🙂 A snark should be, you know, funny.




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  40. anjin-san says:
  41. Mike A says:

    Hey Anjin…Been busy all day and didn’t see the update..You know what buddy – you’re right! Congratulations, this is the first time in our short relationship that this has happened….we’re making progress!

    If my understanding of the circumstances has been overcome by more knowledge, so be it and I stand corrected. But heck, even throw the New orleans thing out. Are you going to say that the missing finger and beating of Ken Gladney didn’t take place?




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  42. Mike A says:

    Anjin: Tsk! Tsk! You are misleading Sir…

    Link to page which does not prove what twink says it does. All it proves is that the Obama campaign paid a law firm to do something

    These expenditures were after the campaign was over – look at the date on the bottom friend. This has absolutely nothing to do with Obama’s campaign. Or are you aware of other legal actions taking place against Obama that would explain these charges?




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  43. anjin-san says:

    If my understanding of the circumstances has been overcome by more knowledge

    All it took was a single fact for me to have more knowledge that you.

    Anjin: Tsk! Tsk! You are misleading Sir…

    Link to page which does not prove what twink says it does. All it proves is that the Obama campaign paid a law firm to do something

    Actually, you are doing the misleading. Apparently, your stock in trade.

    Kindly prove that this expenditure was for what you say it was. Otherwise, you are just speculating – probably regurgitating crap from some fact free right wing blog, just as you were in the case of the phantom Palin lapel pins.

    Now, let us extend your “reasoning”. There are quite a few items in this report. All filed after the election was over. Are you saying NONE of this was for campaign related expenditure? The FEC might have something to say if that were the case.

    And are there dates for when said services were actually rendered or when the bills were actually paid? Nope. This is just a filing. So basically, you have noting but unfounded speculation. Well, that is after all the life blood of the nutjob far right…




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  44. Mike A says:

    For those on this blog that are reading the exchange between Anjin and I, some explanation is in order. My first introduction to him was several days ago when, in response to a post I had put up Anjin-san revealed in one of his trade mark comments that he had a certain fascination with my sex life.

    Since this immediately conjured up an image in my mind somewhat akin to the old “Beavis and Butthead” characters on MTV, ( Anjin, I think you were acting like Butthead, but it may have been Beavis. It’s hard to remember which is which) I thought I should address him accordingly.

    Anjin, while I see that your propensity for base sexual references in your replies has not changed, I would be happy to treat you like an adult if you ever decide you want to have a conversation like one.

    I’m sure other readers would be relieved…




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  45. Mike A says:

    Anjin:

    Please, give me one legitimate possibility for almost $700,000 dollars paid in legal fees by a campaign of any kind after the conclusion of an election. And that was only between January and March of 2009. This is just one of a number of ongoing payments to Perkins since he got elected. Please see the link below, which contains excerpts from different FEC reports, progressing over time:

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=106138

    Again- everyone is aware of the legal battles Obama has gone through to protect not just the birth certificate issue, but also his college transcripts, his thesis, his university tuition records, and a host of other documents. What other legal fees has he incurred, and why? It has to be a personal issue, otherwise he would be defended by the White House Counsel at no cost, Yes?




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  46. sam says:

    Mike, you’re obviously very passionate in your opposition to Obama, and that’s fine. But all this birther, citizenship, college transcript stuff is just making you look like a crazy person. None of that crap has ever been shown to have a scintilla of evidence supporting it, Joseph Farah notwithstanding. I don’t think you want to end up around here as Orly Taitz with a dick, do you? There’s plenty of stuff to criticize the president on without engaging in some quixotic crusade to delegitimze him as not being really an American. Turn some of that passion on substantive issues, ok?




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  47. James Joyner says:

    James;
    I’ll bet you know…. Why can’t he just resign his commission?

    Officers are generally free to resign their commissions once their service obligation has been meet. Once they receive orders to deploy to war, however, they’re generally not allowed to resign until that tour is over. Bad precedent.




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  48. Boyd says:

    And the last eleventy-seven comments (aside from James’s most recent one immediately above) have no bearing on the issue at hand. Barack Obama’s citizenship has approximately zero impact on whether an Army doctor’s orders to Afghanistan are lawful.




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  49. steve says:

    Military physicians are just a little bit different. They usually get a bonus each year. If he had already accepted his bonus, he may have been obligated to finish his year. If he had recently done a fellowship on military time, he would have been obligated to pay that back in time worked. If he was up for O-6, that seems unlikely. I do not know if the Army gives out its bonuses in a limp sum or if it could be paid back, but they were, back when I was in, a yearly thing, so he had time to resign after Obama was sworn in.

    Steve




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  50. anjin-san says:

    Anjin, while I see that your propensity for base sexual references in your replies has not changed, I would be happy to treat you like an adult if you ever decide you want to have a conversation like one.

    I see. Let us review one of your own recent comments:

    Mike A at April 11, 2010 01:22 Permalink
    Pay no attention to Mr. Reynolds – he is wearing his “weird science” underwear on his head today.

    So… please. Look Mike, you got into a cutting contest, and you got cut. Accept it and move on. As I said, you should not try to be clever, you have no gift for it. You ramble incessantly about twinkies, so now your Delta Tau Chi name is Twink. Again, accept it and move on. Well wait, you seem more like an Omega man, (and not the one Charlton Heston played).

    So quite whining. I’m sure other readers would be relieved.

    Please, give me one legitimate possibility for almost $700,000 dollars paid in legal fees by a campaign of any kind after the conclusion of an election.

    You have not shown that the fees were paid after the conclusion of the election, simply that the FEC filing was after the election. Look, this is not complicated. When were the legal services rendered? When was the bill actually paid? What were said legal services? These are slippery little things called facts. You should look “fact” up on the Googles.

    It’s not my job to disprove your groundless speculation. Its your job to substantiate it. I do see you managed to post a valid link, so that is something. Obama has had to deal with nuisance lawsuits from birther nutjobs such as yourself. It costs money.

    Come back when you are ready to move up from single A ball…




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  51. Mattt, no offense intended, just using warriors as shorthand for soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines.




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  52. anjin-san says:

    I do believe we expect our warriors to interpret the US Constitution and other documents and orders since the “just following orders” defense has been deemed to be insufficient justification for committing crimes.

    What crime was Larkin ordered to commit? If he was in a combat situation, and was ordered to fire on non-combatants, you might have an argument. If Bush were still President, and Larkin was being ordered to bring an unconscious prisoner around for more torture, you might have an argument.

    Larkin is a man who is putting his personal political views above his sworn duty. Period.

    Or do you propose a military where every member subjects every order to his own interpretation, then decides if he feels like following it or not?




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  53. The Q says:

    Mike A,

    Is that A for As#%hole?

    You wrote in rebuttal the typical wingnut drivel, to wit:

    “The left wouldn’t know what to do if they didn’t have someone to take from, and someone to give what they have taken, to. This country wouldn’t even have a viable military if liberals were left to their own devices.”

    Ok Mr. Ahole, I guess you have never picked up a history book,(since you are too busy driving your truck listening to right wing radio), that we won two world wars with democratic presidents, fought the commie pinkos twice in Asia in wars started/escalated by Dem presidents, negotiated under Carter the end of war between Israel, Egypt and Jordan, devised the containment policy, engineered the Berlin Airlift, etc.

    Please go back to your meth lab and escape into your moronic fog of reality.




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  54. Houston says:

    This website needs moderators, and some posters need to be banned. It’s ruining the experience for the rest of us.

    JMO




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  55. Mike A says:

    Sam: Look back – I’ve never said I supported the “birthers” position.

    The Q: Whatever…

    Anjin: I didn’t realize it was a contest – yet another sign of your mentality

    Houston: You’re right.

    Boyd; Thanks again, for your service

    Good day, all.




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  56. Eric Florack says:

    Military officers take an oath to defend the Constitution. That is not, however, a license to interpret it.

    To the contrary, James, with all respect to you; it’s a requirement. One, after all, must needs understand… on a very personal level, what one is defending.




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  57. David says:

    Exactly what Eric Florack said. How on earth could you defend something without interpreting it to the facts as you see them? You’re required to defend it but not licensed to understand it? That’s seriously one of the strangest takes on what it means to defend something I’ve ever seen. What’s a soldier to do when ordered to quarter in some non-consenting homeowner’s home during peace time? Defend the third amendment from the person’s living room?




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  58. David says:

    Exactly what Eric Florack said. How on earth could you defend something without interpreting it to the facts as you see them? You’re required to defend it but not licensed to understand it? That’s seriously one of the strangest takes on what it means to defend something I’ve ever seen. What’s a soldier to do when ordered to quarter in some non-consenting homeowner’s home during peace time? Defend the third amendment from the person’s living room?

    While I’m sure this guy is wrong on his facts, and probably deserves dishonorable discharge, I don’t really know we can be the same country that lead the prosecution of the Nurenburg Trials and come down heavily on people who think our constitution is being abridged by the chain of command. Maybe we can follow Boyd’s suggestion and distinguish b/t content of the order and originator of the order; but in general I’d think that relatively mild punishments for good faith (Im in law school so my understanding of that term may be a little broader than most peoples’: I’d just say “possibly honestly held”) constitutional objection to service members’ orders.




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  59. Wizbang says:

    Birther Blues…

    Ah, the inevitability of some issues. They keep coming back over and over, no matter how stupid they are. For example: the circumstances of President Obama’s birth. Fortunately, both stories……




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