March 31, 2010
A decorated active duty Army medical officer, Lieutenant Colonel Terry Lakin (selected for promotion to Colonel), is calling upon his chain of command and his Congressional delegation to force President Obama to release his original birth certificate. He is the highest ranking officer to go public over this controversy and in late February, was notified that he is subject to near-term deployment to Afghanistan.
His military orders include a requirement that he provide “copies of his birth certificate.” LTC Lakin is prepared to provide a certified copy of his certification of vital record that lists his birth hospital, physician’s name and other key information. He has provided this document for many other required processes, such as his commissioning into the military as an officer, and his marriage license.
Lakin has earned the distinction of taking care of many Admirals and Generals since working at the Pentagon, where he serves as Chief of Primary Care and Flight Surgeon for the DiLorenzo TRICARE Health Clinic and is the lead Flight Surgeon charged with caring for Army Chief of Staff General Casey’s pilots and air crew. LTC Lakin’s numerous awards and decorations include the Army Flight Surgeon Badge, Combat Medical Badge, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Armed Forces Expedition Medal, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon sixth award and the NATO service medal. He has served previously in Honduras, Bosnia, Korea, and Afghanistan.
LTC Lakin, a native of Colorado whose residency is Tennessee, has explained to his superiors that he cannot understand how his Oath of Office to protect and defend the Constitution does not allow military officers to pursue proof of eligibility from the Commander-in-Chief. In fact, efforts on his part to seek affirmation of the President’s constitutional eligibility have been met with legal evasions. Yet in an open and free society, and especially given Obama’s governmental “transparency” initiative, many American citizens are demanding to know the truth. So when the White House launched its transparency initiative online last year, and the website was instantly swamped with emails demanding release of Obama’s original birth certificate, it was significant that the website’s assurance to answer any question was quickly removed.
LTC Lakin’s refusal to obey orders (including his deployment orders) puts him at risk of court-martial. A website, SafeguardourConstitution.com, outlines his efforts to seek the truth and prepare for his legal defense. It would be wrong for an officer to be punished for asking a straightforward question merely because no one in the military hierarchy or on Capitol Hill is willing to provide a substantive answer (members of Congress have the obligation of representing constituents and also are sworn to uphold the Constitution). At least one Tennessee Congressional office (Congressman Zach Wamp) forwarded LTC Lakin’s inquiry to the Department of Defense; the Army responded by letter to Rep. Wamp indicating that LTC Lakin’s Article 138 complaint (a legal avenue for redress allowed service members for grievances against commanding officers) was deficient and that “the President as Commander-in-Chief is not a commanding officer for the purposes of Article 138 and therefore, no complaint against him may be addressed through this procedure.” Yet another representative from the Volunteer State (Tennessee) Marsha Blackburn, co-sponsored legislation introduced by Congressman Bill Posey to require candidates to fix the problem of the lack of a formal process for vetting candidates for “natural born” eligibility.
The Western Journalism Center released an authoritative explanation of the Obama birth controversy that helps to explain the confusion on Capitol Hill which revolves mostly around Obama’s online Certification of Live Birth (COLB):
“The Certification of Live Birth is not a copy of the original birth certificate. It is a computer-generated document that the state of Hawaii issues on request to indicate that a birth certificate of some type is ‘on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.’ And there is the problem. Given the statutes in force in 1961, the Certification of Live Birth proves nothing unless we know what is on the original birth certificate. There are several legal areas (involving ethnic quotas and subsidy) for which the state of Hawaii up until June 2009 did not accept its computer-generated Certification of Live Birth as sufficient proof of birth – or parentage – in Hawaii. Why should the citizens of the United States be content with lower standards for ascertaining the qualifications of their President?”
The Obama campaign is to a large degree responsible for the birthplace controversy by at first claiming that Obama was born at Queens Hospital and, at another time, claiming that he was born at Kapioliani Hospital. These conflicting assertions, combined with reports of his paternal grandmother’s insistence to an interviewer that he was born in Kenya; and the break-in to the Obama passport file at the State Department (at least one news report alleged the file was cauterized) by an employee of The Analysis Corp., a firm headed by one of Obama’s top advisers (John Brennan) have all contributed to escalating demands for Obama to document his “natural born” citizenship status.
Additionally, the Ambassador to the US from Kenya (Peter Ogego) asserted in a radio interview in November 2008 that the President was born in Kenya. A Kenyan Anabaptist minister also provided an affidavit, attesting to a conversation with a civil employee of the Kenyan Government, a Principal Registrar, who confirmed Obama’s birth in Kenya on August 4, 1961, but said his file was classified.
Obama should release his original birth certificate and put an end to relentless speculation over whether he meets the Constitutional fitness test for the nation’s highest office. Original documentation for 1961 from the hospital or Department of Health can resolve this point without in any way compromising Obama’s privacy or subjecting him to the danger of identity theft.
Patriotic citizens serving in uniform preparing to go into harm’s way deserve to be treated with respect and forthrightness – and they need to know whether the Commander in Chief is lawfully entitled to serve in this capacity, or not.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Margaret Calhoun Hemenway spent 15 years on Capitol Hill, in the House and Senate, and five years as a White House appointee serving President Bush at both DoD and NASA. For further information, contact: Margaret Hemenway at (202) 448-9015