Video: Army birther refuses orders

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    >>> in another story . nbc news has learned the army plans to take action against an army doctor for refusing his orders. lieutenant colonel terry lackin is refusing to deploy to afghanistan because he does not believe the president was born in the united states and therefore does not meet in his thoughts the constitutional requirement to be the commander in chief. nbc 's jim miklaszewski is at the pentagon. what does the military plan to do next?

    >> reporter: just when you thought this issue was laid to rest this pops up. i've been talking to army officials and they would prefer this just go away but it appears this lieutenant colonel may in fact force the army to court -martial him, perhaps, in an effort by him to bring this back into the public view so to speak. now, according to u.s. military officials, it is true that lieutenant colonel lackin refused to report for deployment to afghanistan at fort campbell , kentucky on monday when he was supposed to, so technically he could be brought up on charges for that. but they also say that in article 88 of the uniform code of military justice it says that any person in uniform who makes contemptuous remarks or charges or challenges against the president of the united states could be charged under that article as well. so far, lieutenant colonel lackin has only been read his rights. he has not been formally charged by the army but those options still do exist unless of course lieutenant colonel lackin decides to change his mind and/or position and agrees now to report for duty to afghanistan but right now that appears unlikely and, again, the army may be forced actually to court -martial him.

    >> we have more of what the lieutenant colonel is saying. let's play it.

    >> any reasonable person looking critically at the evidence currently in the public domain would have questions about president obama 's claim to be a natural born citizen .

    >> mick, what can you tell me about the report that he showed up at the pentagon and was confronted by a brigade commander colonel gordon roberts ?

    >> reporter: well, that happened earlier this week. instead of reporting for duty as he was supposed to at fort campbell , kentucky he showed up at the pentagon. colonel gordon roberts is the only active duty medal of honor winner, recipient, rather. he received the medal of honor when he was 19 years old for heroic actions in vietnam. he sat down with lackin and said, look. here i'm going to read you your miranda rights . here are your choices going forward. and we'll see where it proceeds from there. he had his pentagon pass and apparently his government issued laptop computer seized at the same time but, again, the army has yet to formally charge lakin with any crime but it appears headed toward a court -martial.

    >> nbc 's jim miklaszewski at the pentagon, thanks, mick.

NBC News and news services
updated 4/13/2010 6:30:04 PM ET 2010-04-13T22:30:04

The Army may be forced to court-martial a lieutenant colonel who refused to deploy to Afghanistan because he considers orders from President Barack Obama to be illegal, military officials told NBC News on Tuesday.

Army doctor Lt. Col. Terry Lakin believes Obama does not meet the constitutional requirements to be president and commander-in-chief because Lakin believes the president was not born in the United States. A video with statements from Lakin on the subject was released by the right-wing American Patriot Foundation.

Lakin refused to report to Fort Campbell, Ky., for deployment to Afghanistan, but instead went to the Pentagon. There on Monday he was confronted by his brigade commander, Col. Gordon Roberts, and informed he could face court martial, and his Pentagon building pass and government laptop computer were seized.

Roberts is the commander of the medical brigade out of Walter Reed. He is the only active-duty Medal of Honor winner in the military. He received the honor for action in Vietnam.

According to Lakin, he was read the military equivalent of his Miranda rights. No charges have been filed, but military officials believe they could include "missing a movement" or failure to report for duty, and "conduct unbecoming an officer."

One military official complained that Lakin, whom the Army describes as a "birther" because he's challenging Obama's birthplace, is being so persistent in his protest that the Army may have no choice but to order a court martial.

The Constitution states that a person must be a "natural-born citizen" to be eligible for the presidency. Birthers have contended that Obama's birth certificate is a fake, and many of them say he was actually born in Kenya, his father's homeland. They challenged his citizenship in court, and the issue became a staple of radio talk shows and conservative blogs.

Obama was born in Hawaii, and Hawaii Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino issued statements last year and in October 2008 saying that she's seen vital records that prove Obama is a natural-born American citizen.

The state registrar of vital statistics also has verified that the Health Department holds Obama's original birth certificate, copies of which were released by the Obama presidential campaign in 2008.

But that hasn't stopped the birther movement.

Last summer, an Army Reserve major volunteered to serve in Afghanistan, then filed suit to keep from being deployed, arguing that Obama was not a natural-born citizen. But a federal judge rejected the case, saying it was moot because the Army had already said that under rules for reserve volunteers, he didn't have to go.

This report from NBC News Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski includes information from The Associated Press.


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