LTC Terrance Lakin refused to deploy with his unit to Afghanistan. He explained that his actions resulted from his doubts about the place of President Obama’s birth. His defense claims that what Lakin did was simply his duty: to make sure his orders were legal. Lakin has had competent military counsel who no doubt have told him otherwise. This is from the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in the case of United States v New:
In Huet-Vaughn, we reaffirmed the idea that personal belief that an order is unlawful cannot be a defense to a disobedience charge, holding: “The duty to disobey an unlawful order applies only to a positive act that constitutes a crime that is so manifestly beyond the legal power or discretion of the commander as to admit of no rational doubt of their unlawfulness.”
This is the precedent cited by Judge Link in the Lakin case when denying LTC Lakin’s fishing expedition defense.
H/t to Phil Cave.