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Dec 19

Written by: Diana West
Sunday, December 19, 2010 8:02 AM 

This week's Washington Examiner column:

Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin didn't rush onto a battleground this week; he walked into a military courtroom. He didn't fire a weapon; he pleaded guilty to disobeying orders related to deployment, and not guilty to the more serious charge of "missing movement."

But Lakin put his life, in the sense of his distinguished 17-year career as an Army surgeon, his income, his pension, and his personal freedom, on the line because of his sworn duty to the U.S. Constitution.

All members of the US military take the following oath:

"I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. ..."

To Lakin, the words "true faith and allegiance" were a call to action. And so, because the current president of the United States has never released the paperwork necessary to establish his legitimacy as a "natural-born citizen," Lakin took action.

For a year, he sought assurances of the president's eligibility from the military and his congressional delegation. Receiving none, Lakin questioned his 2010 redeployment orders, believing that as a senior officer ordered back into a war zone -- and, not incidentally, ordered to bring along copies of his own birth certificate -- he had every right to ask his commander in chief to prove his bona fides.

Hoping to force the issue into the open, if necessary in a military court, the Bronze Star recipient stopped following his redeployment order.

Here's the rub, as I understand it: The military justice system isn't empowered to consider whether a president, duly elected, certified and inaugurated, is anything other than what the civilian leadership says he is.

What this means is that Lakin's beau geste may originate within the military order but it falls into the category of civil disobedience, breaking the law to uphold higher principle.

It is a higher principle no one else is upholding. Indeed, Lakin's disobedience highlights the existence of a vacuum of "true faith and allegiance" in the land -- a gross abdication of civilian responsibility to ensure the lawful transfer of presidential powers took place long before Lakin received orders to return to Afghanistan.

Indeed, through peaceful disobedience, Lakin has directed our attention to the moral corruption of our most trusted public servants who, rather than expose themselves to political inconvenience, permitted the secrecy of President Obama to fester in the first place.

As a presidential candidate born in the Panama Canal Zone, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was himself challenged in 2008 to prove his bona fides. He, of course, complied. Who wouldn't?

But then he shirked his political duty. As GOP party leader, as scion of a military family, as a U.S. senator, McCain failed at this crucial point to invite his opponent, then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., to do exactly the same.

Like a house of cards that was never built, the rest of the Senate, the House of Representatives, the White House, the judiciary, the nation's political parties, the Electoral College, and, of course, the Obama-enthralled media all followed suit. And the rest is history.

Or would be, if it weren't for the heroic Lakin. This week's guilty verdict settles nothing.

On the contrary, it leaves the question in boldface: What could possibly prevent the president from showing the American people his original, 1961 birth certificate?

What remains to be seen is whether there exists any authority, any leader in this whole country with the courage of a Terry Lakin to ask.

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