by Sharon Rondeau
(Dec. 28, 2010) — Commander Charles F. Kerchner, Jr. (USNR, Retired) was an eyewitness at the trial of Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin which took place at Ft. Meade, MD on December 14-16. Lakin was charged with disobeying orders and missing movement after he announced last March that he could no longer follow orders because of his doubts about, and the lack of evidence of, Obama’s constitutional eligibility to act as commander-in-chief of the U.S. military.
According to the U.S. Constitution, all military authority resides with the Commander-in-Chief, who is also the President.
Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution states that the president (and thus the commander-in-chief) must be a “natural born Citizen.” Other sections of the Constitution relating to congressmen and senators state the requirement as simply “Citizen,” therefore implying a higher standard in the “natural born Citizen” requirement.
In 1787, John Jay, who became the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, wrote in a letter to General George Washington, the presiding officer of the Constitutional Convention:
Permit me to hint, whether it would not be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Command in chief of the american army shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.
In 2006, an attorney from a law firm with ties to Obama discussed the idea of a “takeover” of the U.S. government by a foreigner and possibly a Muslim, and strongly advocated abolishing the “natural born Citizen” requirement, calling it “outdated and undemocratic.” Others have called the requirement “pernicious” and labeled the Founding Fathers’ “fear of undue foreign influence soon proved itself baseless.”
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear oral arguments in numerous cases brought before it on the question of Obama’s eligibility, and Associate Justice Clarence Thomas stated in a congressional hearing earlier this year that the Supreme Court is “evading the issue.”
As Commander Kerchner relates, Lakin, who is a medical doctor and served as flight surgeon to General George F. Casey’s unit, made extensive efforts before his announcement in March to determine whether or not Obama held office legally and constitutionally. None of his inquiries were addressed. Now Terry resides in Ft. Leavenworth prison for the next six months, unless a de facto officer in the chain of command reviews the sentence and amends it. It appears that Maj. Gen. Karl Horst, who was the original point of contact for those concerned about Lakin’s sentence, has been promoted since Obama took office on January 20, 2009. Horst had delegated calls and emails to Lt. Col. Robert Manning, who then directed all inquiries to go to Lakin’s former Army defense counsel, Maj. Matthew Kemkes.
Since the 2008 election, questions of possible wire fraud, social security number fraud, voter fraud, illegal campaign contributions and failure to qualify as a “natural born Citizen” of the United States have all been raised by citizens but have either been ignored, answered with a form letter, or dismissed without a hearing from various courts.
Obama himself has stated that he was born a dual citizen of the U.S. and Great Britain due to a British citizen father. He has never shown the public any conclusive certified true and correct paper documentary proof of his alleged U.S. citizenship to any controlling legal authority such as Congress or a court of law, but evidence was presented early on in the presidential campaign that Obama might have become a citizen of Indonesia as a child. Various accounts of his life differ as to when he was taken to Indonesia and when he might have returned to Hawaii, if he had ever lived there previously. There are numerous statements by public officials and news outlets in Kenya stating that he was born in Kenya.
No hospital in Hawaii will confirm that Obama was born there, although the Hawaii Department of Health has stated that they “have Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.” However, they will not state what kind of birth registration record it was and no name of the doctor, medical attendant, or midwife who assisted with the alleged birth in Hawaii has ever been provided. No witnesses to the birth have ever been named.
Later, the Director of Health stated that she could confirm that Obama was a “natural-born American citizen,” although she refused to expound on how she claimed that knowledge or the legal definition she utilized to make the determination. The complete absence of any corroborating independently verifiable evidence that Obama was physically born in Hawaii and not just falsely registered as being born there by his maternal grandmother using a simple mail-in form available at the time gives Americans numerous reasons to be concerned about Obama’s true legal identity.
Commander Kerchner and Attorney William Baer did a radio interview following the court-martial on December 19 which can be heard here.
MRS. RONDEAU: Thank you for taking the time to speak with The Post & Email regarding the proceedings last week against Lt. Col. Lakin. To begin, how many people would you say were in the room?
CDR KERCHNER: On the first day, Tuesday morning, I took the time to count the chairs, and there were 60 seats in the courtroom. It was not a big courtroom. The room was full; all the seats were taken, and the court bailiffs – they were soldiers in camos – announced that they were going to allow “standing room only.” So at the start of the trial, it was declared “standing room only” admissions to the courtroom. They also had a closed-circuit camera in there which was feeding into another room. I never got to go over there to see how many people were there, so I don’t know if there any people there or if the room was full. But on the first day, every seat in the main courtroom was full with the constitutionalists, news people, and there were a few bailiffs seated here and there and standing along the walls. I guess they were there because the word was out that we could be “potentially dangerous;” the constitutionalists were pre-labeled as potentially violent. So they had a contingent of these people in camo in the room all the time, and at some point I noticed there were always three of them sitting behind me. Also Rev. Manning and the two members of his congregation who accompanied him to the court martial always had a couple of these bailiffs or constables wearing their camo military uniforms sitting to the left and right of them. It appeared there were keeping an extra close eye on certain attendees because of the false information spread around amongst the bailiffs prior to the court martial that we constitutionalists were potentially violent. And nothing could be further from the truth with that kind of statement. We came and gathered peacefully to show our support for Lt. Col. Lakin and the Constitution and nothing more.
The second day, pretty much all the seats were filled, with a few more of the uniformed bailiffs than on the prior day that I noticed.
On the third day, Lt. Col. Lakin’s counsel, Neal Puckett, left before the court-martial was over. That surprised me and in my opinion showed a lack of 100% dedication to LTC Lakin’s court martial. He actually made a statement that he had to go to another trial somewhere, catch a plane or whatever. And of course, he had to get the permission of Lt. Col. Lakin to leave early. The court asked Terry also, but Terry was broken in spirit by that time, because Neal Puckett, his defense counsel, did more to destroy the self-esteem and morale of Terry Lakin on the stand than any member of the prosecution. I think that Neal ambushed him. If you read the statement released on Puckett’s website, he says he “surprised” Terry with his method of defense.
MRS. RONDEAU: Immediately afterward, I had read that Puckett sounded more like a prosecutor than a defense attorney at the trial.
CDR KERCHNER: Absolutely. I had driven down from Pennsylvania with a Vietnam combat veteran friend who had wanted to be there, too. When we arrived at Ft. Meade, I went to the base to see if there was going to be lodging available on the base for me because it would have been considerably less cost, as a retired military officer, than staying outside in commercial lodging. So we were driving around the base, not knowing exactly where the check-in building is, and after some time had elapsed, we found the right building. We asked a fellow in the parking lot, and he said, “This is where you have to go in and check in there and see if they have a room. I was just in, and they don’t have any, but if you want to check yourself that is where you do it.” So he showed us where to go; we went in there, and he stood there while we inquired. He was a Lt. Col., and I pulled my ID card out and said, “I’m CDR Kerchner; I had called down and asked to reserve a room, and you said I couldn’t do that, but if I got here around 16:00 (which is 4:00 in the afternoon for the civilians), if they had a last-minute cancellation on a room, they would provide it. They said, “No, we don’t have any openings.” So I said, “OK,” and I thanked the Lt. Col. who was there. It turned out he was on Terry Lakin’s panel the next day; he was one of the jurors, so to speak.
Anyway, I turned around and was leaving, and I heard, “Commander Kerchner,” and it was Terry Lakin. He was checking out at that facility while I was attempting to check in. If I had arrived a minute or five minutes before or a minute or five minutes later, I would never have met the man. Can you just imagine that…driving a couple hundred miles, and the timing to come down and be at his trial…just two people in motion in the universe, and we just crossed paths in that building at that instant in time. Anyway, he said, “Commander Kerchner,” and I said, after looking at who was calling me, “Terry!” It was quite a surprise to meet him that way. We were chit-chatting for a few seconds there, and he said, “I’m pleased to meet you,” and I said, “I’m honored to meet you. I’m here to support you.“
As we were talking there, he said, “Why don’t we go out to my car because the fellow over here might be on the panel.” He kind-of detected that. He went out to the car and he put on the heat, and we were talking, and he was upbeat then. He wasn’t defeated. And then at some point, he said, “Why don’t you fellows come out to my house tonight?” and I said, “Are you sure? This is the night before the trial. Don’t you prefer to be with your family or consulting with your counsel?” and he said, “”No, I don’t have any scheduled meetings and my family would enjoy meeting you. I’d be happy to have you out. It’s such a great honor to finally meet you,” and I was saying the same thing to him. I told him, “You’re the one who should be honored. You’re risking everything.”
So we agreed, and he gave us the address and phone number in case we got lost on the way and we could call him. We had a GPS system, so we went out there and met his family. He has a nice home in the suburbs, nothing pretentious; just an ordinary middle American home, about 35 miles from Ft. Meade. He has a beautiful wife and three lovely children, a Christian home, very nice kids who were very well-behaved. They got pizza for us, and we had a little wine and pizza and talked. He was not a beaten man. He knew he was going to be punished, but he was not demoralized.
We left at about 8:45 that evening. The next day, the trial started. I just thought it was God’s hand at work there to put us two together, the two most recently prominent figures in the Obama eligibility saga, he as a defendant, and I as a plaintiff. I thought it was really remarkable that this happened. When we talked, we both had a kindred soul and understanding that we were answering the call to do this. We didn’t do it for any other reason but to stand up for our oaths to the Constitution, and we answered a higher call. Both of us felt that way. We were like two kindred souls there; we understood each other; we could look at each other face-to-face, and we knew we both were standing for the truth and for the Constitution, so help us, God. We both believe in God and that what we are doing is right.
The point is that Terry was not at all defeated or demoralized when I met him. He knew he was going to be punished, but he wasn’t a broken man over it. He believed he was standing tall for the Constitution.
The next day, at the court, he came in with his new lawyer, Neal Puckett. In retrospect, I don’t believe that Neal even told Terry how he was going to approach defending him. I don’t know how much time Lt. Col. Lakin actually had to meet with his lawyer and discuss strategy. Based on what I saw happen, my opinion is: very little. I believe he knew that they were going to plead guilty to the charges of disobeying orders to report to Ft. Campbell and disobeying orders to report to his Commanding Officer for counseling. Regarding those, Terry admits that he misunderstood the advice about not reporting for counseling.
MRS. RONDEAU: When you say “advice,” was that from his first attorney?
CDR KERCHNER: Yes. Listening to the testimony and statements of Terry’s lawyer, it seemed as if his first civilian attorney, Paul Jensen, had said something to the effect of refusing to obey all orders was consistent, after Terry decided not to follow the order to deploy for the 30,000-man surge, which came directly from Obama. Foreign deployments must be signed off by the President. So Terry was looking at this as a direct order from the illegal President, and he was disobeying that. But when Terry apparently asked Paul Jensen whether or not he should obey the order to go to counseling, Paul Jensen said something to the effect of “Well, I can’t tell you not to go, but it would be consistent with your refusal to obey the first set of orders regarding overseas deployment.” So Terry misunderstood that, and perhaps Paul Jensen doesn’t understand military law, but what he did was to set up numerous violations from each time he disobeyed an order. The government piled all of those on to make additional charges to add on more potential jail time.
In retrospect, Terry understood that he made a mistake in that regard. He should have obeyed all orders except the one that came down from Obama ordering him to be deployed overseas in combat. Terry had been to Afghanistan and Bosnia before in a war situation, so it wasn’t a case of lack of courage to be deployed and go to combat. He’s been there many times before. It was strictly because he didn’t believe that Obama is eligible to issue any orders to any soldier to do anything, especially to deploy overseas in combat, because he’s a usurper.
So that was the whole first morning: pleading out, and making sure he knew his rights to plead guilty to disobeying these orders. Then in the afternoon, they had voir dire about the second charge of “missing movement,” which was missing the movement of a particular commercial airline flight to take him to Ft. Campbell, KY to join the unit, the 101st Airborne, which was being deployed in the near future to Afghanistan. Terry had been told to go to Ft. Campbell to do pre-deployment training with the unit for several weeks or months. So by missing that plane he did not miss the movement of the military unit which was “moving” as a unit several weeks or months later to Afghanistan. He just disobeyed orders to go to Ft Campbell, KY.
There were ten officers, and both sides’ lawyers were questioning them to make sure that they didn’t have preconceived bias one way or the other. They were all senior to Lt. Col. Lakin. Most of them were full colonels, and I think one was a Lt. Col. who would have had an earlier date of rank, which would mean that he was commissioned to the same rank earlier than Lt. Col. Lakin, so he would be senior.
They eventually decided to dismiss two of the ten and were left with eight, and they proceeded with the government’s case. By the end of the day, the government made Terry look like the worst officer who ever served in the military; you would expect that from them.
MRS. RONDEAU: Did the eligibility question come up at all on that first day?
CDR KERCHNER: Yes, I believe it was on the first day. One of the witnesses for the government, when asked if she knew why the Lt. Colonel was doing this, said “Yes, because he questioned the eligibility of the president,” and of course, the government attorneys, who were all young captains, cut that line of testimony off by her and said, in effect, “Whoa…we don’t want to go there.”
MRS. RONDEAU: So the reason for Lakin doing what he did couldn’t even be mentioned?
CDR KERCHNER: That’s correct. It couldn’t be mentioned in the trial phase, but during the sentencing phase on the third day, it was mentioned, not by the defense but by the prosecution. The prosecution played the video where Lt. Col. Lakin was in Paul Jensen’s office and explained why he did it. They played the whole thing, but they used it in a way that was detrimental to Terry Lakin to make Terry Lakin look bad and that he planned it all and was a pawn of the “birther” movement.
MRS. RONDEAU: It was planned to the extent that he had gone through about a year and a half of asking all of his elected representatives to verify that Obama was eligible.
CDR KERCHNER: It was even more than that. I learned a lot there. Terry had been questioning Obama’s eligibility for over two years, and not only did he go to his elected representatives; he used a formal path available to soldiers, filling out a form or writing a letter, to request a congressional inquiry. If a soldier is having some issue with the military chain of command or for any reason feels that he has been unjustly treated, there is the Article 138 where you can directly ask your senior chain of command about it. He also filed another form or letter to request a congressional inquiry; he requested more than once that an investigation be done about Obama’s eligibility because as an officer, he had sworn an oath to the U.S. Constitution. He had great doubts that Obama was eligible, and he wanted them to investigate, and they didn’t even answer him.
It was the same story for me when I wrote to Congress to request inquiries, although under statutory law, I don’t have the right to one in the same sense that an active duty soldier does. However, we both had constitutional rights to ask Congress to investigate the questions and fully vet Obama’s eligibility. The Congress did nothing. Terry, as a soldier, had a further right to one, and he didn’t even get an answer. For example, if you allege that your commanding officer is mistreating you, Congress investigates those allegations. Terry asked for a congressional inquiry because no one in his chain of command was answering his questions, and they didn’t answer him. He felt he was being unjustly treated and ignored by his chain of command in their not addressing or answering his questions about the eligibility of Obama to be the Commander-in-Chief and President. He brought that up in the sentencing phase of the trial.
It was the same story, absolutely no answers being provided to the questions being asked. His was within the military; mine was in civilian life. They totally ignored us. The Congress ignored hundreds of thousands of petitions and letters from people like me in civilian life and also from this soldier. Terry wrote personal letters to his elected representatives and a congressional inquiry request that were sent to the proper committee to request a formal congressional inquiry, and they were totally ignored. They didn’t even answer him.
MRS. RONDEAU: What do you think this means, Commander, when the courts, the Congress, state legislators, the military and the media have closed off every avenue that “we the people” thought we had for redress of grievances?
CDR KERCHNER: It means we no longer have a rule of law and a constitutional republic subservient to the fundamental law of the land, the U.S. Constitution. Not even statutory laws are being obeyed; not even regulations regarding congressional inquiries from soldiers are being obeyed. It’s strictly to defend one man, a phony, a fraud, the usurper-in-chief, Obama. Our whole system of government, our whole culture has been corrupted and turned upside-down and completely rotted from the inside out to protect this man. All of our laws are being subverted and ignored because they know the answer: he’s not eligible. They know it. The media anointed him, covered for him, plowed the way for him, and ridiculed anybody who stood up to ask questions about his eligibility during the election process. They painted themselves in the corner by his getting the nomination. When the electoral college questions came up, they continued again; in the joint session, again and again, to protect him, to plow the road ahead and cover for him and ridicule and put down anybody who questioned it. I believe the Republican Party was complicit in this because they put up John McCain, who also had questionable natural born Citizenship, and they wanted to keep the lid on that. John McCain should be ashamed of himself for his silence during the campaign on this matter and his continued silence on this matter. It was a perfect storm for creating a constitutional crisis, and I believe that Obama and his backers played that perfect storm perfectly, with the media backing it 110%.
We know about the Journolist group of 400 mainstream media journalists in a secret forum, planning and plotting how to write favorable stories for Obama, their anointed one, to be the first black president in history, and coordinated attacks on anybody who stood up to Obama asking questions about his constitutional eligibility for the office he sought, labeling them as racist and other vicious names.
Going back to the Monday night when I met Lakin’s family, he is in a mixed-racial marriage. So for CNN to call him a racist was abominable. It was terrible.
MRS. RONDEAU: I hadn’t known that at the time, but when I saw his wife’s photo on the new foundation’s website, I saw that she is Asian.
CDR KERCHNER: She’s Thai. She came over here after the Vietnam War. I don’t know under what program, but they did allow a lot of people who worked for the U.S. government during the war to come over to the United States for their own safety. I don’t know if that was the exact reason for her. She’s a very beautiful woman, and lovely children.
In the military, there are warriors, and we’re all trained, to a certain extent, to be warriors, but Terry Lakin is a doctor. He’s a healer, a nurturing man. There’s not a racist bone in his body. I don’t even think he’s ever thought a racial thought. I’m more of the Alpha Male Warrior type. He’s a nurturer, a very quiet, calm man. Race has nothing to do with this issue. It is a legal and constitutional question......