UPDATED 01.04.10: Please see my Comment on 01.04.10, at 11:58.
© 2010 jbjd
There are plenty of villains to go around in the pitiful saga of U.S. v. LTC Terrence Lakin, the physician convicted in a military court martial of violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice (“UCMJ”) for refusing to obey orders to deploy to Afghanistan. I would start with the numerous blogs which encouraged Mr. Lakin to disobey a direct order to report for duty and then hyperbolically deified him for heeding their advice. Equally reprehensible is their simultaneous vilification of the military court for prosecuting their sacrificial lamb.
Ostensibly, their positions derive from a good faith belief that Lakin predicated his refusal to obey a direct order, on their shared understanding that Barack Obama, elected President in 2008, is nonetheless Constitutionally ineligible to be his Commander in Chief. Even so, the blind zealous demonstration of support they publicly maintain for Mr. Lakin’s case, if real, only makes sense if they failed to subject his conduct to a reasonable analysis under the applicable law. But they also aimed vituperative darts at the military tribunal, which only makes sense if they blindly ignored the court’s enumerated invitations to Defendant to perfect his case. Only, as usual in these situations, that is, whenever someone publicly questions Obama’s Article II, section 1 eligibility to be President in a forum not designed to entertain such fancy; they adopted the demeanor of spoiled children who in effect supplant reason with holding their collective breath.
Adding insult to injury, these bloggers fail throughout their insufferable pseudo ‘patriotic’ rants to even acknowledge the potentially lethal impact to cause or country which could result from such unilateral decisions by other troops not to serve.
To all of you, again, I highly recommend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letters from a Birmingham Jail.” Here is my oft-posted favorite excerpt:
I hope you are able to see the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust. and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.
Judging by this rubric, outward appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, LTC Lakin looks to be getting exactly what he asked for. But, unfortunately, his battle utterly fails “to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice.” On the contrary, his inability to clearly and consistently articulate the rationale for his conduct, or reconcile his out-of-court utterances to enthralled supporters, with his statements to the tribunal; coupled with the theatrical antics from supporters as expressed both on these blogs and, at his legal appearances; only manage to further discredit the legitimate ’cause’ of Mr. Obama’s Constitutional ineligibility.
That, along with some real incompetent ‘lawyering.’
Because even if LTC Lakin had asserted a firmly held belief, Obama is not a NBC; it still would have been virtually impossible to successfully defend against a charge he disobeyed military orders by claiming Barack Obama is not Constitutionally eligible to be POTUS, when he failed to assert that the President’s Constitutional eligibility materially relates to the legality of the orders issued by his direct superiors, which he disobeyed. (From the web site of Attorney Philip D. Cave, “Military Law & Justice,” here is a detailed explanation of the specific supporting legal analysis the court asked him to provide, but which he failed to present. http://court-martial-ucmj.com/lakin/ltc-lakin-update-7/ )
This is the one thing these armchair blog pundits keep leaving out when it comes to promoting their slant on the Lakin case: soldiers must obey all legal orders; and all orders are presumed legal.
Long ago this Court recognized the foundational principle of military discipline: “Fundamental to an effective armed force is the obligation of obedience to lawful orders.”
Reflecting the authority of this principle, an order is presumed to be lawful, and a subordinate disobeys an order at his own peril.
In other words, under law, where a subordinate is prosecuted for disobeying an order; the burden is never on the People to establish that order was lawful but on the Accused to establish, it was not. AT THE TIME HE CHOSE TO DISOBEY THE ORDER. Not in retrospect. So, to all of you angry ‘birthers’ decrying the inability of Defendant to confirm through “Discovery” whether Obama is a NBC, listen up.
Any request for an Order of Discovery of materials to be produced by the state relevant to an inquiry as to whether Obama is a NBC evidences an equivocation by Defendant that Obama is not a NBC. In other words, if the public record contains evidence that BO is not a NBC sufficient that Lt. Col. Lakin based his refusal to obey an order on that public record then, why does he need any additional evidence, anyway? If the Accused needs evidence after the fact that the order s/he disobeyed was illegal; s/he concedes or admits to uncertainty as to the legality of that order at the time s/he refused to obey. Uncertainty as to the legality of an order fails to meet the legal standard required to successfully rebut a charge of disobeying that presumptively lawful order.
Sacrificing an impartial analysis of the Lakin case in order to fan the cynical flames that foment in their readers disgust toward the courts, disdain for the military, or declarations the Constitution is dead; makes these internet pundits the villains in the Lakin morality play. Of course, they would stop running around like chickens with their heads cut off if their public literally and figuratively stopped buying into the commercial hype.
As for their willingness to sacrifice Terrence Lakin to their ’cause,’ well, this makes them something else altogether.