I guess every one knows that Lt. Col. Terry Lakin is appealing his court martial. While it’s a slim chance that he will be able to restore any of the benefits he will lose at his upcoming discharge from the army, he’s trying to salvage something. What is news is that in this time of zero media coverage about anything birther, Lakin got a major article, “Birther Doc Wants Some Benefits”, at the Military.com website. Quoting Lakin:
“As an officer, I certainly understand I don’t have the right to ask for somebody’s qualifications, the GPA or the level of training of an elected official,” he said. “But I believe my oath as an officer allowed me to ask the question” about the president’s eligibility.
For details and more quotes from Terry Lakin, check out the link above. Equally interesting, I think, are the comments left on military.com that may give some insight about how those in the military feel about Lakin. And what is a POG POS?
“And what is a POG POS?” rhetorical question, right, Doc? That was beautiful. This is really something, He’ll get no mercy, having tried to weasel out of a deployment, from people who suck it up and put up with deployments as a profession. Just offensive.
POG, Person Other than Grunt, sometimes also a REMF, frequently a FOBBIT
Beat me to it.
Here’s a good reference as well:
It is clearly a derogatory term within the serving military.
Is REMF still in use? I always did like that one.
I’ll say this for Lakin: the man was straddling two professional worlds, military and medical, and found a way to betray the ethics of both at the same time. Wrecking two careers. Quite a feat. And, from what I have seen, he had a great service record, including multiple deployments, even Afghanistan. Where did he go wrong? Have a history of thinking he was above the system?
At least he has Terry Lakin Action Fund. The whole bit was a stunt to launch a new career as a rightwing martyr, like a new Ollie North?
Weird, and ick.
Sorry to disappoint you. I really didn’t know. But I can see that the comments at Military.com carry the definite theme of enlisted men thinking that Lakin got off easy because he was an officer.
Ah, I thought you were cleverly highlighting that comment!
Bovril and G contributed a few, my ex’s USAF pals had a slightly different version for when combined with POS, which was “Pure, Officer-Grade” … POS is the same everywhere, and this is a polite blog.
Well I knew what it meant from the context, just not the what the letters stood for, so yes, I’ll take credit for cleverly highlighting the comment, while ignorant of the details. And of course I knew the POS part.
“Equally interesting, I think, are the comments left on military.com that may give some insight about how those in the military feel about Lakin.”
Based on a profile study I remember reading (on Fogbow?), I’d be curious to know if the birther commenters are primarily male, white, over 60 and from the South.
I’ve also noticed no comments so far have refuted or debunked any of the standard birther lies.
That certainly comes to mind, although I haven’t seen movement in that direction (not that I’m all that close to Lakin). Oliver North had his conviction overturned on a technicality on appeal. It always made my skin crawl when I saw North on TV.
I don’t know what the law is, but revoking Lakin’s medical license would seem to be an intensely stupid outcome. Conspiracy theorists can lead otherwise normal lives.
Perhaps, but in my mind there’s two necessary qualities, skill and judgment.
Lakin may well possess the skills necessary for medical work, but I personally don’t think he has terribly good judgment.
The debunkers have started to show up- including those who aren’t experts or regulars but who know the “two-citizen parent” stuff is pure horsesh*t.
Many of the birthers who posted there are low-grade, repeating all the classics and some new ones too, such as “why did Kenya seal his birth records if he wasn’t born there?”, “The KGB says he was born in Kenya”, “Obama lost his law license in 2007 for lying”, and “Obama’s dad was Nigerian”.
Blind hatred makes you believe stupid things.
Absolutely, if he’s a good doctor, his skills are needed in the civilian world … of course they were also needed in the war zone, which he had already served in. Is his court martial the equivalent of a felony? There was a lot of presumption in the comments on the article that a felony conviction was an automatic disqualifier in some/many/all states (varied by commenter). I may be going out on a limb, but isn’t that up to the medical board of each state? None of his licenses have been revoked have they?
I never understood the point of his stand, particularly on Afghanistan, unless it was for martyrdom, or simply to avoid a deployment. Obama did not order the initial invasion, and certainly did not personally order Lakin to deploy. Lakin already served in the theater, he did not object to our being there(apparently) … so if the sitting president happens to be ineligible, the entire military should pack up and go home? or sit on its hands? or what? I know there were other service members who took similar actions, and that trying to parse birther logic is an illogical act, but really …. what was the point?
If he does lose his licenses and/or have trouble securing new ones, I predict that a’martyring he will go, whether that was his goal or not. He’ll have to pay the mortgage somehow. And he will get offers. Already made/making conservative media appearances, already some “vote for Lakin” hits out there!
I noticed the debunkers have appeared but as we know all too well metal posts supporting a crossbar used for measuring scoring units are now rising from the ground and will inevitably settle somewhere else.
I have no doubt WND and a few similar fright wing crap piles are responsible for spreading so many of these ridiculous lies.
And apparently, he had no problem giving and receiving many other orders as well as receiving pay.
Yep … it just boggles the mind …. the silliness / tragedy of this particular individual, unless he is indeed angling for personal gain (fame/notoriety/political inroads) out of this. If that isn’t it, then the logic behind is actions simply escapes me. If the President is somehow ineligible, the entire military structure is invalid? Maybe back in feudal societies, when service was based on personal oaths, I could follow this thinking, should your liege lord be invalidated somehow.
Some of the claims on Terry Lakin Action Fund are creepy/laughable too. Supposedly his wife contributed: “My husband went to prison and lost his pay and pension because of Barack Obama’s birth certificate.” More tortured wording and logic!
I said I would give this up. Maybe I now need an intervention. I have so much else I “should” be doing. I don’t see how Doc does it!
The blog had an unusual memory spike around 10 PM tonight (Eastern). I’m wondering if the Lakinistas got word of the article and came to read it. I’ll find out tomorrow when the analytics are computed.
Wow! I didn’t read through all the comments, but what I read was pretty much universally against him. I’m shocked! Even the ones that seemed to be sympathetic to the Birfers say “But he shouldn’t have been such an ass”…
The funny posts are the ones done in all caps calling Lakin a patriot.
I didn’t mean in terms of time, but rather mental stamina. The stupid gets to be so …. uh …. stupefying. Yet also addicting. I appreciate your blog, the patient effort, varied research, and the restraint you handle the main subject and its victims with. The blog’s popularity is well-deserved.
i don´t know how in the hell he´s going to get any result on appeal.
he claimed that he had doubts as to obie´s birthplace and wanted to see a birth cert.
the thing that puts a spanner in the works there is the bottom line on the short form released before his case.
so what else could he concievably use for his appeal ?
Most of the comments seen to center on Lakin’s disobeying ordering, and missing a movement. The consensus seems to be that he should forfeit his pension, and other benefits. Lakin refused to understand why he got punished.
Here’s why he should lose his medical license – based on his lack of judgement in this case, when he was given a very wide berth by his superiors to come to his senses and do what he was ordered to do, he doubled down on the fail. I don’t believe he’s really a birther. I think he’s an opportunist who thought he’d found a clever way to get shipped to Afghanistan. He chose to risk his career and his pension to try to get out of doctoring in a war zone, and he lost. He continues his opportunism by whining and getting the birther faithful to punch the paypal button and support his DC lifestyle. You want that guy making medical decisions about you or your child? His wife has a medical degree too. There’s no reason why she can’t brush up her knowledge, renew her licenses and get back to work. They can both go to work at the family weight loss clinics in Colorado – her doctoring, him administrating – and make a mint from the gold mine that is fat America desperate to lose weight. I don’t feel sorry for him, or his wife, for a second.
…a clever way to NOT get shipped to Afghanistan….
TerryLakinActionFund (Marco Ciavolino) left a comment on the article that is ridiculous. Among other nonsense he states:
“The facts are clear. In spite of ongoing media statements like, “In spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary birthers still question Obama’s eligibility,” we really have no evidence to prove he is eligible. The total sum of the evidence is two scanned documents. The authenticity of both has been called into question by many experts.”
Really, two scanned documents are all the evidence that is out there? Gee, I guess a bunch of Hawaiian officials just wasted their breath issuing statements vouching for their documents for three years.
All I’d say to Mr. Action Fund is “Where were you when you didn’t even have ONE scanned document to prove for you President George W. Bush’s eligibility?”
A poster asked the question about Lakin holding on to his medical certificate on another thread.
Here is an answer from Maj D in a comment to the military.com article linked to by Doc:
Yes, for example, this one:
“.IN ADDITION IT CLEARLY STATES THAT HIS FATHER WAS AFRICAN NOT AMERICAN…HE IS THEREFORE DISQUALIFIED TO SIT IN THE WHITE HOUSE AS HE IS NOT A NATURAL BORN CITIZEN…. A REQUIREMENT STATED IN THE CONSTITUTION..WHY IS BARRY USING THE SSN OF A DEAD MAN FROM CONNETICUT??? BARRY IS THE ULTIMATE USURPER.. STAY AWAKE NOW… NEVER MIND GO BURY YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND BECAUSE HE IS BLACK… IF WE EVEN ASK A QUESTION ABOUT WHO IN THE HELL THIS GUY IS WHO IS FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGING AMERICA FOR THE WORSE, WE ARE CALLED RACISTS..”
The poster concludes by offering:
“I GUESSS IM A RACIST”
Yeah, probably; but two things are undeniable: he’s terribly misinformed and he’s a terrible writer. Put ’em together and what have you got? A birther.
Perhaps most of them believe there are better things to do with one’s time than study crackpot theories. (Or so my wife keeps reminding me.)
Dr. Lakin has licenses in two states, CO and MD. His conviction and subsequent confinement are not a felony under any definition (the military does not have felonies and the federal definition is over six months of confinement which he did not have.)
Each state has a sligtly different take on how a conviction affects licensure. A similar case, that of Capt.Yolanda Huet-Vaughn during Desert Storm, resulted in a fine from the KS Board of Medical Examiners. She was convicted of the same UCMJ Articles as Dr. Lakin and the board felt that this was not a justification for taking her license away since in the civilian world she would probably only get fired. (The Kansas board is/was very conservative politically, I might add.)
Dr. Lakin will lose substantially, however. He loses his pension, for which he would have been eligible in a few years, he loses all of his VA benefits and medical care for him and his family, he loses the respect of his fellow military members, and he loses 17 years of his life which he cannot point to as an accomplishment due to his dismissal.
The dollar figures alone reach into the multi-millions.
It is unlikely that either of the medical boards will take away his licenses because his actions don’t meet the definintion of “moral terpitude” nor do they reflect on his abilities as a physician. He will probably have a difficult time getting on a hospital staff, however, as they will do a thorough vetting of his carreer and will find the poor OERs (officer evaluation reports) and lack of recommendations daunting.
It is easy to keep track of his licensure, just check out the two boards to see if any action has occurred. These often take a long time. Yolanda Huet-Vaughn did not recieve her final disposition until 1995, four years after the fact.
It could be reasonably argued that Lakins actions where in direct violation to his Hippocratic oath and professional requirements.
He was FULLY aware that his actions would mean he would not deploy and he was fully aware that his actions meant that he would have to be replaced at the last moment by an inadequately briefed, trained and integrated other doctor.
His actions led directly to materially impaired care for patients as stated under oath by the Major who had to stand in his place.
The comment by TerryLakinActionFund appears to have been removed.
I agree that such a case (violation of professional requirements to treat) could be made, but I asked a member of the WI board about his case as a hypothetical and the answer was that loss of licensure was so severe that the board might be reluctant to pull the license based on that issue alone.
There are other less drastic steps that could be taken. Any such step would have to be reported to the national data base and they would follow him around the rest of his career. In fact his CM may be reportable but his removal of privileges from the Army will certainly be reported. In addition he could never work at a VA hospital or other federal facility.
He does not get off scot free on the practice issue either.
I see what happened now. The comment is still there but the author has been changed to someone named “jsolaby”. I suppose Mario Ciavolino didn’t want his name associated with such tripe.
One other thing, the Maryland Medical Practice Act states, in part, that grounds for the various punishments include:
“(21) Is disciplined by a licensing or disciplinary authority or convicted or disciplined by a court of any state or country or disciplined by any branch of the United States uniformed services or the Veterans’ Administration for an act that would be grounds for disciplinary action under this section; ”
Dr. Lakin was not court-martialed for any of the other grounds outlined in the law (you can read them here http://www.aneustadter.com/14-404_maryland_code_grounds_for_discipline.htm) and the cases that have been adjudicated for loss of license on their web site are either for sexual misconduct or criminal or incompetent practice of medicine. In other words some pretty bad stuff.
The closest that these grounds come is abandonment but you have to have a relationship with a patient for that to happen and even though you and I probably think he abandoned his comrades in arms, it won’t fit the medical board definition.
I agree he will probably semi-skate on this, no real justice for the patients who needed his care in the ‘Stan, but that’s the way it goes alas.
Having said that, the reality is he will probably only be able to either work in his brothers practice, set up his own or work with a small independant practice.
I imagine any larger organization will have understandable concerns about his discipline, subordination and their potential liability.
“When any of us are born in any area, other than the Contentinetal USA, it is up to that person to prove his/her legal birth area, to be accepted as a Natural Born Citizen of the USA.”
Regarding Lakin’s future as a doctor, I wouldn’t count him out. If the doctor in the this story from This American Life can continue practicing after colossal screwups in the medical field, I think Lakin can get by.