A decorated Army doctor who publicly announced last month that he is refusing to follow orders because he believes Barack Obama may be ineligible to be president is now under investigation after failing to report for duty at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, a military spokesman tells TPMmuckraker.
NBC is reporting, citing unnamed military officials, that the Army will court martial Lt. Col Terrence Lakin.
Lakin’s case has become an instant cause célèbre for Birthers since he declared in a YouTube video and press release late last month that he would refuse orders to deploy for a second tour in Afghanistan until Obama produces his birth certificate.
According to his bio on the site of the American Patriot Foundation, a Washington based-group that is promoting Lakin, the 18-year Army vet is chief of primary care and flight surgeon for the Pentagon’s DiLorenzo Health Clinic and has received the Combat Medical Badge and the Bronze Star.
The case could become a rallying cry for Birther adherents, who are already talking up Lakin as a “martyr” for the cause.
The Patriot Foundation put out a press release today claiming that Lakin met Monday with his commander, Col. Gordon Roberts, and was read his Miranda rights and told he “is about to be charged with serious crimes.”
Asked about the matter by TPMmuckraker, Chuck Dasey, a spokesman for Walter Reed, where Lakin’s commander is based, said in an email:
“Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin reported to the commander, Medical Center Brigade, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, yesterday, after failing to report for duty at Fort Campbell, KY. Lt. Col. Lakin will be assigned to duty at Walter Reed pending investigation.”
Dasey would not comment on whether Lakin had been read his rights or any other aspect of the story.
The Patriot Foundation, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, also claimed that Lakin’s Pentagon access pass was revoked and that his laptop would be seized. Those details could not be confirmed.
The group is also soliciting donations for Lakin’s “legal defense.”
There have been several cases of Birthers in the military questioning the legitimacy of orders, with perhaps the most famous being Army Capt. Connie Rhodes, a client of Orly Taitz.
Lakin’s YouTube manifesto, which you can watch below, has been viewed over 100,000 times. He begins: “I am today compelled to make the distasteful choice to invite my own court martial, in pursuit of the truth about the president’s eligibility under the constitution to hold office.”
Late Update: We take a closer look at the former GOP Hill staffer who is helping Lakin and the background of the American Patriot Foundation.