LTC Terry Lakin and his civilian counsel Paul Jensen took their lumps at the pre-trial hearing today on charges that Lakin refused to deploy with his unit to Afghanistan because he could not be sure his orders were legal because President Obama had not proved to his satisfaction that he was eligible to be President and Commander in Chief. The military judge stated as a matter of law, that Lakin would not be allowed to offer issues of Obama’s eligibility in his defense because Lakin is obliged to follow orders anyway. The judge reminded Lakin that the authority for the military chain of command derives from the power of Congress under the Constitution. This means no school records, no birth certificate and no depositions from Hawaii Department of Health officials.
Any competent military attorney could have told LTC Lakin that this was going to happen. One continues to ask, pondering the blank and impassive Lakin, WHY?
Dwight Sullivan wrote at the CAAFlog blog:
I hear very good things about LTC Lakin’s detailed [military] defense counsel, MAJ Kemkes. While obviously I have no way of knowing for sure, we can very safely assume that he advised LTC Lakin that there is no way his request for discovery would be successful and that he should explore available avenues to protect himself from the consequences of his deliberate decision to disobey orders on a basis that the law will not recognize as a defense.
Military attorney Phil Cave attended the proceeding and wrote a detailed report at the Military Law and Justice blog. Phil described attorney Jensen as “beaten down” following the Judge’s ruling about which Phil said:
The military judge’s findings and rulings seemed also to put a stake through the heart of LtGen McInerney’s affidavit and its relevance to the trial (by inference this would include MG Vallely and MG Curry).