Photo: 1930s Moscow show trial prosecutor Andrei Vyshinsky reading an "indictment"
If evidence in the court martial trial of Lieut. Col. Terry Lakin -- the Bronze-Star-decorated lead flight surgeon who has knowingly triggered his own court martial in his efforts to verify the Constitutional eligibility of President Obama -- might be an "embarrassment" to President Obama, the presiding judge Army Col. Denise R. Lind has in effect ruled, then there just won't be any evidence in the court martial trial of LTC Terry Lakin.
Is this really America 2010, or have we taken a time-warped detour to 1930s Soviet Union?
Army Col. Denise R. Lind today [September 2] ruled in a hearing regarding the evidence to be allowed in the scheduled October court-martial of Lakin that he will be denied access to any of Obama's records as well as any testimony from those who may have access to the records.
With her decision, Lind mirrored a number of federal judges who have ruled on civil lawsuits over Obama's eligibility. They have without exception denied the plaintiffs' access to any requested documentation regarding the president's eligibility.
Lind ruled that it was "not relevant" for the military to be considering such claims, that the laws allegedly violated by Lakin were legitimate on their face and that the chain of command led up to the Pentagon, and that should have been sufficient for Lakin.
Paul Rolf Jensen, Lakin's civilian attorney, said the case would continue. But he said the courts now have denied his client the opportunity to present his defense.
Jensen had argued that under U.S.C. Rule 46, a defendant put on court martial has the right to call any and all witnesses and obtain any evidence in his or her defense.
Lind, who took 40 minutes to read her decision to the court, disagreed.
She said opening up such evidence could be an "embarrassment" to the president, and it's up to Congress to call for impeachment of a sitting president.
So, presumably, just taser the canary-colonel and throw him in the back of a paddy wagon, right?
This, incredibly, is treatment literally recommended by one of the Army prosecutors in the Lakin case, LTC Steven Brodsky. As related on the website of the American Patriot Foundation, a foundation dedicated to the support of LTC Lakin, the following exchange occurred after LTC Lakin's August 2 hearing.
While Lakin was waiting near the courtroom, Brodsky and COL Melanie Craig (Lakin's "escort") stood around the corner in the main hallway and in voices easily audible to LTC Lakin, spoke about the need to prevent Lakin after the hearing from speaking to the media, "signing autographs or kissing babies". Brodsky then said to Craig "just taser him and throw him in the van."
Lakin says of the incident: "LTC Brodsky meant for me to hear those words, no question. When COL Craig returned to where I was, she said to me 'you probably heard all that, didn't you?' I replied it would have been hard not to. 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 she ordered me back into her vehicle to be transported back to Walter Reed."
I caught up on this in an article at WND.com, which last month also reported that a former Navy Captain in the JAG Corps has conveyed his extreme concern over the incident to Lakin's commander, Maj. General Carla Hawley-Bowland. As first reported in the Greeley (CO) Gazette, Lakin's hometown paper:
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.”
Following up, WND.com later reported:
A public affairs officer, Chuck Dasey, later commented to WND via e-mail on the alleged threat by denying that there was any intent to "use violence" against Lakin.
"LTC Terry Lakin is receiving fair treatment and due process under the law," Dasey wrote. "He is accused of failing to obey a lawful order to report for military duty, and will be tried in a court martial in October. A statement has been reported as a threat by the military prosecutor to use a taser on LTC Lakin. There was never an intention to use violence against LTC Lakin, and none of his escorts were carrying tasers or weapons of any kind. The Command regrets any misinterpretation of comments that were made and will continue to ensure LTC Lakin's rights are protected."
Lakin, who has almost 18 years of unblemished service to the Army, including six tours of Bosnia, Afghanistan and other overseas locations, has earned the Bronze Star.
This is precisely the kind of "inaction" Averna, the former JAG captain, is concerned about, fearing that it gives "consent to this prosecutor's misconduct."
Prosecutorial misconduct, no evidence for the defense -- what next for LTC Lakin?
Nothing good if the public, mostly cowed into acquiesence by a babyish fear of being mocked as a bad name ("birther") remains silent. Fortunately, senior military men such as retired three-star General Tom McInerney are starting to speak out on Lakin's behalf.
After all, all we're talking about here is just asking the president to show a little i.d.