By Jack Minor
A former Captain in the Judge Advocate General’s office sent a letter to Lt. Col. Lakin’s Commanding Officer calling for an investigation after the Army threatened to taser him once the hearing was over.
According to the American Patriot Foundation, LTC Steven Brodsky, a judge advocate, told LTC Lakin’s counsel that Lakin must report hours before the hearing to his duty post at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in order for him to be “transported under escort” to make sure he showed up at the arraignment “to avoid embarrassing his unit.”
Lakin’s counsel protested saying, “this was not merely highly unusual that an enlisted man facing similar charges would not suffer such indignity, but that there was zero chance that Lakin would not attend a hearing when he had, quite literally, “invited [his] own court martial.”
The report went on to explain, “Brodsky is a judge advocate and as such his job is to prosecute LTC Lakin. He has no role –or at least should have no role—in deciding the manner in which Lakin relates to his commanders, and vice versa.”
Lakin reported that at the courtroom offices he was waiting in a lobby-type of room with Col. Craig and SFC Laird, who were his escort and driver. He said Brodsky called Craig and Laird over telling them “that the escort purpose was to get me into the van after it was over” and “he did not know if I had plans on signing autographs and kissing babies, but that would not happen and it would not become a circus. He used the words ‘taser him and throw him in the van’ …COL Craig walked back in and said, ‘you probably heard all that, didn’t you?’ And my reply was yes, it would have been hard not to.”
In the foundation report Lakin said, “After the hearing, my lawyers asked COL Craig for permission for me to speak to the press, since both CNN and NBC had sent camera crews, but she rudely refused and ordered me back into her vehicle to be transported back to Walter Reed.” Lakin concluded his remarks saying, “Don’t tase me ’Bro.”
Lakin described how he was not permitted to talk to his counsel, Paul Rolf Jensen, saying, “I heard Mr. Jensen asking for two minutes and COL Craig denied the request, asking him to get into the van immediately. It was obvious to me, especially from the direction that LTC Brodsky had given earlier, that any other interactions would likely be met with further charges, security intervention or other unwarranted escalation.”
These actions by prosecutors have caused individuals to protest their handling of Lakin. Vincent Averna, a former Navy Captain in the JAG Corps, sent a letter to Major General Carla Hawley-Bowland, who has authority over Lakin’s superiors. In the letter regarding Brodsky he stated, “His threat to have LTC Lakin tasered to insure his silence is also a blatant violation of the American principle of innocent until proven guilty. This prosecutor is not following normal procedures in LTC Lakin’s court martial. He is violating LTC’s Constitutional Rights by prohibiting his freedom of speech, equal protection under the law and Constitutional Procedural Due Process by failure to follow the UCMJ procedures.” He warned that a failure to investigate the veracity of the claims would be “tantamount to Command Influence, since it can legitimately be said your inaction gives consent to this prosecutor’s misconduct.”
Regarding the admissibility of evidence, including the President’s long form birth certificate showing the name of the attending physician and hospital, Averna said, “The judge’s rulings on admissibility of evidence and conduct of the actual trial can be reviewed by COMA and their ruling can be brought directly to the Supreme Court without any other federal court review. Sooner or later everyone’s actions (or lack thereof) will come under an objective review at the highest level, which not even the President of the U.S. can stop.”
Margaret Hemenway, the spokeswoman for Lt. Col. Lakin appeared on the Peter Boyles show in Denver with guest host George Brauchler who is a JAG reservist. During the interview, Brauchler said he met Lakin a year ago in an intermediate level course required in order to be promoted to the next level. He said, “my experience with Col. Lakin is that he is as principled a person as you would want to be in uniform.” He went on to say Lakin “has never said ‘no’ to the Army for anything it’s ever asked of him for 18 years” except for this.
Hemenway told the Gazette “We posted on our website rules for proper decorum in the courtroom for supporters of Lt. Col. Lakin to observe; apparently we should have sent a copy of the rules to the prosecution as well.”
The American Patriot Foundation has said those concerned about the situation should contact MGen Hawley-Bowland at 202-782-1104.
- Fair and 45 F at Greeley, Greeley-Weld County Airport, COWinds are South at 9.2 MPH (8 KT). The pressure is 1025.1 mb and the humidity is 31%. The wind chill is 40. Last Updated on Nov 18 2017, 11:56 am MST.
- Fair and 45 F at Greeley, Greeley-Weld County Airport, CO