The Birther Army doctor who is reportedly facing a court martial for refusing orders is getting crucial assistance from an ex-congressional staffer and Bush Administration vet with a colorful past as well as from a charitable foundation that was founded in 2003 by a Republican senator, originally to aid the families of slain soldiers.
When Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin announced in a YouTube video late last month that he would refuse to deploy to Afghanistan until President Obama produced a birth certificate, the news spread thanks to a PR operation by a virtually unknown group called the American Patriot Foundation.
The Patriot Foundation created a flashy Web site to promote Lakin’s story, www.safeguardourconstitution.com, started a legal defense fund, and posted documents from Lakin’s Birther quest like a letter to Obama asking the president to “assure the American people that you are indeed Constitutionally eligible to serve as Commander-in-Chief.” A spokeswoman, Margaret Hemenway, was on hand to respond to media inquires.
It turns out that Hemenway is a former longtime GOP Hill staffer with a colorful past that includes an episode in which she filed a complaint because her daughter’s 1st grade teacher announced she was marrying a woman. (“Since homosexual activists cannot reproduce their own children, recruitment to their cause … is essential to the political agenda of promoting homosexuality and ‘gay’ marriage,” Hemenway reportedly wrote at the time.)
Hemenway spent 15 years on the Hill working for prominent conservative members including Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ), Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH), and as a policy analyst for the House Republican Study Committee, according to Hemenway’s bios at various conservative publications. She also spent five years at the Defense Department and NASA “as a White House appointee” during the Bush Administration.
She penned an op-ed in the Washington Times in February slamming the ascendancy of “climate change theoreticians” at Obama’s NASA. And her father-in-law, octogenarian attorney and World War II vet John Hemenway, was himself involved in a well-known Birther lawsuit brought by Philadelphia activist Philip Berg.
In an email to TPMmuckraker Hemenway said she is new to the American Patriot Foundation “as of a couple of weeks ago.”
The group was founded back in 2003 by Hemenway’s former boss, ex-senator Bob Smith of New Hampshire, who is listed as its president on the group’s ‘03 tax forms. Smith lost the GOP primary in 2002 to John Sununu, and he founded the Patriot Foundation a few months after his Senate term ended in 2003. The AP reported at the time that the group would support “the families of soldiers lost in war.”
After years of dormancy, the Patriot Foundation has been repurposed.
“Sen. Smith was gracious enough to turn it over to be put to a good public purpose — the immediate purpose is helping a brave officer who has not been able to get anyone in officialdom to answer his question about the President’s compliance with Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution — whether Obama is ‘natural born,’” Hemenway said in the email.
The Patriot Foundation’s address is of a DC company in Georgetown that provides organizations with fully-equipped offices.
Smith told Salon last week that he is not involved in the Lakin case, but “when an officer has a constitutional question I don’t have a problem with that being answered, that’s his legal right to have that answered.”