The American Patriot Foundation, which set up a legal defense fund for birther Army doctor Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, is claiming that lead prosecutor LTC Steven Brodsky “threatened” Lakin, suggesting it would be easier to “just taser [Lakin] and throw him in the van” to avoid having him speak to the press.
In response, Lakin apparently had this message for Brodsky: “Don’t tase me, bro.”
That account is according to the American Patriot Foundation, and has not been independently confirmed. Calls to the APF, Brodsky and Walter Reed Army Medical Center were not returned.
Lakin faces a General Court Martial for refusing orders to deploy to Afghanistan, citing his uncertainties about President Obama’s place of birth and eligibility to be Commander-in-Chief.
According to an APF press release, at last Friday’s arraignment:
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.
In response, Lakin reportedly told the APF today that:
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.
The press release added: “Lakin concluded his remarks today with: ‘DON’T TASE ME ‘BRO’!’”
Lakin’s court martial is scheduled to begin October 13. If convicted, he faces up to four years in federal prison.
Full coverage of the court martial is here.
Late Update: Margaret Hemenway of the American Patriot Foundation told TPM that the account of Brodsky’s comment and Lakin’s response came from Lakin himself. “It’s bizarre,” she added of Brodsky’s “threat,” and “looks very bad.” Hemenway continued that they’re “going to have to wait and see how they deal with this,” and suggested that the APF is anticipating some kind of disciplinary action against Brodsky. “What was he thinking?” she wondered repeatedly.
Late, Late Update Army Public Affairs Officer LTC Robert Manning told TPM that he was “there at the arraignment and I did not hear” LTC Brodsky’s alleged comments. “I was there at the proceedings the entire time,” he said, adding that the Army is “committed to ensuring that Lt. Col. Lakin receives fair treatment and due process.”
“Protecting his rights is paramount to the command,” Manning said, but “I did not witness or see any of that.”