by Jack Minor
Lt. Col. Lakin, an Army Physician convicted for disobeying orders after being rebuffed by his chain of command regarding questions concerning President Obama’s eligibility to be commander-in-chief, has not had his sentence formally certified by his commanding general despite having served over half of his sentence.
Lakin, whose family has longstanding ties in Greeley, expressed concern that Obama may not have met the constitutional requirement to be a “natural born citizen.” The term is considered by some legal scholars to mean a citizen born of two American parents as opposed to a citizen who is born in America.
In December, Lakin was court-martialed and convicted of disobeying orders and missing a movement. The eligibility issue was not permitted to be discussed during the court martial. Lakin was also forbidden from presenting any witnesses regarding the eligibility issue; including MGen McInerney, who stated that Lakin was acting exactly as training dictates by refusing to obey orders if he doubted their constitutionality.
The conviction resulted in a six-month confinement at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas; discharge from the Army, and forfeiture of all pay and allowances.
Maj. Matthew Kemkes, Lakin’s military attorney, stated that, following the sentencing, MGen Horst, Lakin’s commanding general, will approve or disapprove the court’s findings and sentence. Horst “has broad discretion and can approve or disapprove the findings or sentence in part or in their entirety.”
Kemkes stated that the clemency request had not been submitted to MGen Horst even though Lakin’s three months into his sentence. Kemkes stated the reason for the delay was they had not received the authenticated record of trial, similar to a trial transcript until recently.
Former JAG Col., John Eidsmoe, said, based on his experience it “seemed a little long to get the record of trial, but not unusually long.” Eidsmoe said factors regarding the length of time to get the record of trial include the length of the court martial and other transcripts waiting to be published.
Maj. Kemkes has asked for current, retired military or veterans to submit a short letter for Lakin’s clemency request. Kemkes said those submitting letters should keep it to one page or three paragraphs in a person’s own words and focusing on Lakin’s actions in defense of the Constitution rather than reciting eligibility issues. Rank and service of the letter writer should also be included.
The letters can be e-mailed to email@example.com or mailed to US Army Trial Defense Service, ATTN: Maj Matthew Kemkes, 204 Lee Avenue, Suite B12, Ft. Myer, VA 22211-1199
The deadline for the letters is March 30.