The court martial of Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, who disobeyed orders because he believes Barack Obama is not the legal President of the United States, begins today at Fort Meade in Maryland.
Lakin, an 18-year Army veteran, refused orders to report to a military base in Kentucky as prelude to his second tour of duty in Afghanistan because, Lakin said, he questions whether Obama is a natural-born citizen of the United States, saying that a valid birth certificate for Obama has yet to be made public.
No one can be President of the U.S. who is not a natural-born citizen.
In a YouTube video, Lakin said that if Obama is ineligible to be President then my orders and indeed all orders are illegal because all orders have their origin with the Commander-in-Chief.
Lakin served in Afghanistan, Korea, Bosnia, Germany, Honduras and El Salvador before taking up an occupational and environmental medicine residency in Maryland. If Lakin is found guilty, he faces a dishonorable discharge, a prison term and forfeiture of his pay.
Lakin has aligned himself with the birthers, people who believe that Obama is not a natural-born citizen and has not produced a valid birth certificate to show them wrong.
State officials in Hawaii, upon requests, have checked their records numerous times and confirmed that Obama was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961.
FactCheck.org, a non-partisan website for voters, posted photographs of Obama's birth certificate on their website in 2008, which you can view here.
The birther controversy bubbled up during the Presidential election campaign of 2008, when Orly Taitz, a dentist and a lawyer, claimed that Obama was born in Kenya, the country of his father, and that he falsified his Selective Service papers and his application to the Illinois bar.
Taitz also produced a Kenyan birth certificate for Obama, a document which was afterwards exposed as a forgery.
Taitz's claims were taken up by various conservative groups and individuals, and began appearing on Internet sites. The controversy caused the Obama campaign, in June 2008, to make the President's actual birth certificate public.
But that did not stop birthers from filing several lawsuits following the election, often with Orly Taitz as the attorney, trying to invalidate presidential actions because the President was not legally the President.
In Sept. 2009, Taitz brought a case for a U.S. Army Reserve doctor, who alleged that Obama did not have the authority to send her to Afghanistan. Federal Judge Clay Land dismissed it.
Congress is apparently satisfied that the President is qualified to serve, Land said. Congress has not instituted impeachment proceedings, and in fact, the House of Representatives in a broad bipartisan manner, has rejected the suggestion that the President is not eligible for office.
The judge was referring to a resolution passed on July 27, 2009 by the House, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Hawaii's statehood. Speaking of the state's history, the resolution said, the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961.
The resolution passed 378-0.
In September of this year, a military judge ruled the president's birth certificate is irrelevant in Lakin's case, so that Lakin's attorney will not be allowed to raise the issue as a defense. Lakin's attorney said he is not optimistic.
Lakin's court martial is expected to last two or three days.