CDR Charles Kerchner Speaks out about the Court-Martial of Lt. Col. Terry Lakin

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by Sharon Rondeau

(Dec. 28, 2010) — Commander Charles F. Kerchner, Jr. (USNR, Retired) was an eyewitness at the trial of Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin which took place at Ft. Meade, MD on December 14-16.  Lakin was charged with disobeying orders and missing movement after he announced last March that he could no longer follow orders because of his doubts about, and the lack of evidence of, Obama’s constitutional eligibility to act as commander-in-chief of the U.S. military.

According to the U.S. Constitution, all military authority resides with the Commander-in-Chief, who is also the President.

Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution states that the president (and thus the commander-in-chief) must be a “natural born Citizen.”  Other sections of the Constitution relating to congressmen and senators state the requirement as simply “Citizen,” therefore implying a higher standard in the “natural born Citizen” requirement.

In 1787, John Jay, who became the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, wrote in a letter to General George Washington, the presiding officer of the Constitutional Convention:

Permit me to hint, whether it would not be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Command in chief of the american army shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.

In 2006, an attorney from a law firm with ties to Obama discussed the idea of a “takeover” of the U.S. government by a foreigner and possibly a Muslim, and strongly advocated abolishing the “natural born Citizen” requirement, calling it “outdated and undemocratic.”  Others have called the requirement “pernicious” and labeled the Founding Fathers’ “fear of undue foreign influence soon proved itself baseless.”

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear oral arguments in numerous cases brought before it on the question of Obama’s eligibility, and Associate Justice Clarence Thomas stated in a congressional hearing earlier this year that the Supreme Court is “evading the issue.”

As Commander Kerchner relates, Lakin, who is a medical doctor and served as flight surgeon to General George F. Casey’s unit, made extensive efforts before his announcement in March to determine whether or not Obama held office legally and constitutionally.  None of his inquiries were addressed.  Now Terry resides in Ft. Leavenworth prison for the next six months, unless a de facto officer in the chain of command reviews the sentence and amends it.  It appears that Maj. Gen. Karl Horst, who was the original point of contact for those concerned about Lakin’s sentence, has been promoted since Obama took office on January 20, 2009.  Horst had delegated calls and emails to Lt. Col. Robert Manning, who then directed all inquiries to go to Lakin’s former Army defense counsel, Maj. Matthew Kemkes.

Since the 2008 election,  questions of possible wire fraud, social security number fraud, voter fraud, illegal campaign contributions and failure to qualify as a “natural born Citizen” of the United States have all been raised by citizens but have either been ignored, answered with a form letter, or dismissed without a hearing from various courts.

Obama himself has stated that he was born a dual citizen of the U.S. and Great Britain due to a British citizen father. He has never shown the public any conclusive certified true and correct paper documentary proof of his alleged U.S. citizenship to any controlling legal authority such as Congress or a court of law, but evidence was presented early on in the presidential campaign that Obama might have become a citizen of Indonesia as a child.  Various accounts of his life differ as to when he was taken to Indonesia and when he might have returned to Hawaii, if he had ever lived there previously.  There are numerous statements by public officials and news outlets in Kenya stating that he was born in Kenya.

No hospital in Hawaii will confirm that Obama was born there, although the Hawaii Department of Health has stated that they “have Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.”  However, they will not state what kind of birth registration record it was and no name of the doctor, medical attendant, or midwife who assisted with the alleged birth in Hawaii has ever been provided. No witnesses to the birth have ever been named.

Later, the Director of Health stated that she could confirm that Obama was a “natural-born American citizen,” although she refused to expound on how she claimed that knowledge or the legal definition she utilized to make the determination.  The complete absence of any corroborating independently verifiable evidence that Obama was physically born in Hawaii and not just falsely registered as being born there by his maternal grandmother using a simple mail-in form available at the time gives Americans numerous reasons to be concerned about Obama’s true legal identity.

Commander Kerchner and Attorney William Baer did a radio interview following the court-martial on December 19 which can be heard here.

MRS. RONDEAU: Thank you for taking the time to speak with The Post & Email regarding the proceedings last week against Lt. Col. Lakin.  To begin, how many people would you say were in the room?

CDR KERCHNER: On the first day, Tuesday morning, I took the time to count the chairs, and there were 60 seats in the courtroom.  It was not a big courtroom.  The room was full; all the seats were taken, and the court bailiffs – they were soldiers in camos – announced that they were going to allow “standing room only.”  So at the start of the trial, it was declared “standing room only” admissions to the courtroom.  They also had a closed-circuit camera in there which was feeding into another room.  I never got to go over there to see how many people were there, so I don’t know if there any people there or if the room was full.  But on the first day, every seat in the main courtroom was full with the constitutionalists, news people, and there were a few bailiffs seated here and there and standing along the walls.  I guess they were there because the word was out that we could be “potentially dangerous;” the constitutionalists were pre-labeled as potentially violent.  So they had a contingent of these people in camo in the room all the time, and at some point I noticed there were always three of them sitting behind me.  Also Rev. Manning and the two members of his congregation who accompanied him to the court martial always had a couple of these bailiffs or constables wearing their camo military uniforms sitting to the left and right of them.  It appeared there were keeping an extra close eye on certain attendees because of the false information spread around amongst the bailiffs prior to the court martial that we constitutionalists were potentially violent. And nothing could be further from the truth with that kind of statement. We came and gathered peacefully to show our support for Lt. Col. Lakin and the Constitution and nothing more.

The second day, pretty much all the seats were filled, with a few more of the uniformed bailiffs than on the prior day that I noticed.

On the third day, Lt. Col. Lakin’s counsel, Neal Puckett, left before the court-martial was over.  That surprised me and in my opinion showed a lack of 100% dedication to LTC Lakin’s court martial.  He actually made a statement that he had to go to another trial somewhere, catch a plane or whatever.  And of course, he had to get the permission of Lt. Col. Lakin to leave early.  The court asked Terry also, but Terry was broken in spirit by that time, because Neal Puckett, his defense counsel, did more to destroy the self-esteem and morale of Terry Lakin on the stand than any member of the prosecution.  I think that Neal ambushed him.  If you read the statement released on Puckett’s website, he says he “surprised” Terry with his method of defense.

MRS. RONDEAU: Immediately afterward, I had read that Puckett sounded more like a prosecutor than a defense attorney at the trial.

CDR KERCHNER: Absolutely. I had driven down from Pennsylvania with a Vietnam combat veteran friend who had wanted to be there, too.  When we arrived at Ft. Meade, I went to the base to see if there was going to be lodging available on the base for me because it would have been considerably less cost, as a retired military officer, than staying outside in commercial lodging.  So we were driving around the base, not knowing exactly where the check-in building is, and after some time had elapsed, we found the right building.  We asked a fellow in the parking lot, and he said, “This is where you have to go in and check in there and see if they have a room.  I was just in, and they don’t have any, but if you want to check yourself that is where you do it.”  So he showed us where to go; we went in there, and he stood there while we inquired.  He was a Lt. Col., and I pulled my ID card out and said, “I’m CDR Kerchner; I had called down and asked to reserve a room, and you said I couldn’t do that, but if I got here around 16:00 (which is 4:00 in the afternoon for the civilians), if they had a last-minute cancellation on a room, they would provide it.  They said, “No, we don’t have any openings.”  So I said, “OK,” and I thanked the Lt. Col. who was there.  It turned out he was on Terry Lakin’s panel the next day; he was one of the jurors, so to speak.

Anyway, I turned around and was leaving, and I heard, “Commander Kerchner,” and it was Terry Lakin.  He was checking out at that facility while I was attempting to check in.  If I had arrived a minute or five minutes before or a minute or five minutes later, I would never have met the man.  Can you just imagine that…driving a couple hundred miles, and the timing to come down and be at his trial…just two people in motion in the universe, and we just crossed paths in that building at that instant in time.  Anyway, he said, “Commander Kerchner,” and I said, after looking at who was calling me, “Terry!” It was quite a surprise to meet him that way. We were chit-chatting for a few seconds there, and he said, “I’m pleased to meet you,” and I said, “I’m honored to meet you.  I’m here to support you.

As we were talking there, he said, “Why don’t we go out to my car because the fellow over here might be on the panel.”  He kind-of detected that.  He went out to the car and he put on the heat, and we were talking, and he was upbeat then.  He wasn’t defeated.  And then at some point, he said, “Why don’t you fellows come out to my house tonight?” and I said, “Are you sure?  This is the night before the trial.  Don’t you prefer to be with your family or consulting with your counsel?” and he said, “”No, I don’t have any scheduled meetings and my family would enjoy meeting you.  I’d be happy to have you out.  It’s such a great honor to finally meet you,” and I was saying the same thing to him.  I told him, “You’re the one who should be honored.  You’re risking everything.”

So we agreed, and he gave us the address and phone number in case we got lost on the way and we could call him.  We had a GPS system, so we went out there and met his family.  He has a nice home in the suburbs, nothing pretentious; just an ordinary middle American home, about 35 miles from Ft. Meade.  He has a beautiful wife and three lovely children, a Christian home, very nice kids who were very well-behaved.  They got pizza for us, and we had a little wine and pizza and talked.  He was not a beaten man.  He knew he was going to be punished, but he was not demoralized.

We left at about 8:45 that evening.  The next day, the trial started.  I just thought it was God’s hand at work there to put us two together, the two most recently prominent figures in the Obama eligibility saga, he as a defendant, and I as a plaintiff.  I thought it was really remarkable that this happened. When we talked, we both had a kindred soul and understanding that we were answering the call to do this.  We didn’t do it for any other reason but to stand up for our oaths to the Constitution, and we answered a higher call.  Both of us felt that way.  We were like two kindred souls there; we understood each other; we could look at each other face-to-face, and we knew we both were standing for the truth and for the Constitution, so help us, God. We both believe in God and that what we are doing is right.

The point is that Terry was not at all defeated or demoralized when I met him.  He knew he was going to be punished, but he wasn’t a broken man over it.  He believed he was standing tall for the Constitution.

The next day, at the court, he came in with his new lawyer, Neal Puckett.  In retrospect, I don’t believe that Neal even told Terry how he was going to approach defending him.  I don’t know how much time Lt. Col. Lakin actually had to meet with his lawyer and discuss strategy.  Based on what I saw happen, my opinion is:  very little.  I believe he knew that they were going to plead guilty to the charges of disobeying orders to report to Ft. Campbell and disobeying orders to report to his Commanding Officer for counseling.  Regarding those, Terry admits that he misunderstood the advice about not reporting for counseling.

MRS. RONDEAU: When you say “advice,” was that from his first attorney?

CDR KERCHNER: Yes.  Listening to the testimony and statements of Terry’s lawyer, it seemed as if his first civilian attorney, Paul Jensen, had said something to the effect of refusing to obey all orders was consistent, after Terry decided not to follow the order to deploy for the 30,000-man surge, which came directly from Obama.  Foreign deployments must be signed off by the President.  So Terry was looking at this as a direct order from the illegal President, and he was disobeying that. But when Terry apparently asked Paul Jensen whether or not he should obey the order to go to counseling, Paul Jensen said something to the effect of “Well, I can’t tell you not to go, but it would be consistent with your refusal to obey the first set of orders regarding overseas deployment.”  So Terry misunderstood that, and perhaps Paul Jensen doesn’t understand military law, but what he did was to set up numerous violations from each time he disobeyed an order.  The government piled all of those on to make additional charges to add on more potential jail time.

In retrospect, Terry understood that he made a mistake in that regard.  He should have obeyed all orders except the one that came down from Obama ordering him to be deployed overseas in combat.  Terry had been to Afghanistan and Bosnia before in a war situation, so it wasn’t a case of lack of courage to be deployed and go to combat.  He’s been there many times before.  It was strictly because he didn’t believe that Obama is eligible to issue any orders to any soldier to do anything, especially to deploy overseas in combat, because he’s a usurper.

So that was the whole first morning:  pleading out, and making sure he knew his rights to plead guilty to disobeying these orders.  Then in the afternoon, they had voir dire about the second charge of “missing movement,” which was missing the movement of a particular commercial airline flight to take him to Ft. Campbell, KY to join the unit, the 101st Airborne, which was being deployed in the near future to Afghanistan.  Terry had been told to go to Ft. Campbell to do pre-deployment training with the unit for several weeks or months.  So by missing that plane he did not miss the movement of the military unit which was “moving” as a unit several weeks or months later to Afghanistan. He just disobeyed orders to go to Ft Campbell, KY.

There were ten officers, and both sides’ lawyers were questioning them to make sure that they didn’t have preconceived bias one way or the other.  They were all senior to Lt. Col. Lakin. Most of them were full colonels, and I think one was a Lt. Col. who would have had an earlier date of rank, which would mean that he was commissioned to the same rank earlier than Lt. Col. Lakin, so he would be senior.

They eventually decided to dismiss two of the ten and were left with eight, and they proceeded with the government’s case.  By the end of the day, the government made Terry look like the worst officer who ever served in the military; you would expect that from them.

MRS. RONDEAU: Did the eligibility question come up at all on that first day?

CDR KERCHNER: Yes, I believe it was on the first day.  One of the witnesses for the government, when asked if she knew why the Lt. Colonel was doing this, said “Yes, because he questioned the eligibility of the president,” and of course, the government attorneys, who were all young captains, cut that line of testimony off by her and said, in effect, “Whoa…we don’t want to go there.”

MRS. RONDEAU: So the reason for Lakin doing what he did couldn’t even be mentioned?

CDR KERCHNER: That’s correct.  It couldn’t be mentioned in the trial phase, but during the sentencing phase on the third day, it was mentioned, not by the defense but by the prosecution.  The prosecution played the video where Lt. Col. Lakin was in Paul Jensen’s office and explained why he did it.  They played the whole thing, but they used it in a way that was detrimental to Terry Lakin to make Terry Lakin look bad and that he planned it all and was a pawn of the “birther” movement.

MRS. RONDEAU: It was planned to the extent that he had gone through about a year and a half of asking all of his elected representatives to verify that Obama was eligible.

CDR KERCHNER: It was even more than that.  I learned a lot there.  Terry had been questioning Obama’s eligibility for over two years, and not only did he go to his elected representatives; he used a formal path available to soldiers, filling out a form or writing a letter, to request a congressional inquiry.  If a soldier is having some issue with the military chain of command or for any reason feels that he has been unjustly treated, there is the Article 138 where you can directly ask your senior chain of command about it.  He also filed another form or letter to request a congressional inquiry; he requested more than once that an investigation be done about Obama’s eligibility because as an officer, he had sworn an oath to the U.S. Constitution.  He had great doubts that Obama was eligible, and he wanted them to investigate, and they didn’t even answer him.

It was the same story for me when I wrote to Congress to request inquiries, although under statutory law, I don’t have the right to one in the same sense that an active duty soldier does.  However, we both had constitutional rights to ask Congress to investigate the questions and fully vet Obama’s eligibility. The Congress did nothing.  Terry, as a soldier, had a further right to one, and he didn’t even get an answer.  For example, if you allege that your commanding officer is mistreating you, Congress  investigates those allegations.  Terry asked for a congressional inquiry because no one in his chain of command was answering his questions, and they didn’t answer him.  He felt he was being unjustly treated and ignored by his chain of command in their not addressing or answering his questions about the eligibility of Obama to be the Commander-in-Chief and President.  He brought that up in the sentencing phase of the trial.

It was the same story, absolutely no answers being provided to the questions being asked. His was within the military; mine was in civilian life.  They totally ignored us.  The Congress ignored hundreds of thousands of petitions and letters from people like me in civilian life and also from this soldier. Terry wrote personal letters to his elected representatives and a congressional inquiry request that were sent to the proper committee to request a formal congressional inquiry, and they were totally ignored.  They didn’t even answer him.

MRS. RONDEAU: What do you think this means, Commander, when the courts, the Congress, state legislators, the military and the media have closed off every avenue that “we the people” thought we had for redress of grievances?

CDR KERCHNER: It means we no longer have a rule of law and a constitutional republic subservient to the fundamental law of the land, the U.S. Constitution.  Not even statutory laws are being obeyed; not even regulations regarding congressional inquiries from soldiers are being obeyed.  It’s strictly to defend one man, a phony, a fraud, the usurper-in-chief, Obama.  Our whole system of government, our whole culture has been corrupted and turned upside-down and completely rotted from the inside out to protect this man.  All of our laws are being subverted and ignored because they know the answer:  he’s not eligible They know it. The media anointed him, covered for him,  plowed the way for him, and ridiculed anybody who stood up to ask questions about his eligibility during the election process.  They painted themselves in the corner by his getting the nomination.  When the electoral college questions came up, they continued again; in the joint session, again and again, to protect him, to plow the road ahead and cover for him and ridicule and put down anybody who questioned it.  I believe the Republican Party was complicit in this because they put up John McCain, who also had questionable natural born Citizenship, and they wanted to keep the lid on that.  John McCain should be ashamed of himself for his silence during the campaign on this matter and his continued silence on this matter.  It was a perfect storm for creating a constitutional crisis, and I believe that Obama and his backers played that perfect storm perfectly, with the media backing it 110%.

We know about the Journolist group of 400 mainstream media journalists in a secret forum, planning and plotting how to write favorable stories for Obama, their anointed one, to be the first black president in history, and coordinated attacks on anybody who stood up to Obama asking questions about his constitutional eligibility for the office he sought, labeling them as racist and other vicious names.

Going back to the Monday night when I met Lakin’s family, he is in a mixed-racial marriage. So for CNN to call him a racist was abominable.  It was terrible.

Terry Lakin and his wife, Pili

MRS. RONDEAU: I hadn’t known that at the time, but when I saw his wife’s photo on the new foundation’s website, I saw that she is Asian.

CDR KERCHNER: She’s Thai.  She came over here after the Vietnam War.  I don’t know under what program, but they did allow a lot of people who worked for the U.S. government during the war to come over to the United States for their own safety.  I don’t know if that was the exact reason for her.  She’s a very beautiful woman, and lovely children.

In the military, there are warriors, and we’re all trained, to a certain extent, to be warriors, but Terry Lakin is a doctor.  He’s a healer, a nurturing man.  There’s not a racist bone in his body.  I don’t even think he’s ever thought a racial thought.  I’m more of the Alpha Male Warrior type.  He’s a nurturer, a very quiet, calm man.  Race has nothing to do with this issue. It is a legal and constitutional question.

MRS. RONDEAU: I spoke to him once about two weeks before the trial.

CDR KERCHNER: Let me diverge for a minute. The officer’s sole oath is solely to support and defend the Constitution. The enlisted man’s oath is to support and defend the Constitution and obey all orders from the President, all officers appointed above you, and the UCMJ regulations. There’s a big difference. The officer’s oath obligates the commissioned officer to only be responsible to support and defend the Constitution, not a person or man or president. The first oath administered to commissioned officers under the new Constitution, like the current oath, required them only to support the Constitution.  Various oaths were tried in between the first oath enacted into law on June 1, 1789 and the modern version prescribed in the 1860s after the Civil War.  But the writers of the modern oath realized that the singular intent of the original oath was the best for the survival of the constitutional republic. Officers were and still are in general more educated, and they were envisioned to be able if need be to question the lawful constitutionality of orders and to be the last line of defense for the Constitution, which is why in their original commissioned officer’s oath and in the modern commissioned officer’s oath they are charged solely to support and/or defend the Constitution. By leaving out the word “President” and “officers appointed above you” and references to the “UCMJ” out of their oath  – when push gets to shove with the U.S. Constitution you are intended to defend the Constitution no matter what…even if it means going up against a President violating that Constitution. You are charged with defending only the Constitution in that oath – because the President is not in the commissioned officer’s oath. The writer’s of the oath, both the original one and modern one used since the Civil War, knew that someday a President could be subverting the Constitution to gain more personal power.

Another point:  in my opinion, they tried Lt. Col. Lakin on the enlisted man’s oath.  They didn’t explicitly say it, but anybody watching knew it, because they were saying he has to obey the orders of the President.  He has to obey the orders of the officers above him.  He has to obey the regulations of the UCMJ.  But to do so would have been violating the prime directive of protecting the Constitution.  That was the supreme order and the only oath to which he swore when he became a member of the military.  He didn’t swear an oath to the president, or a man.  People are forgetting this; they don’t understand why our Founding Fathers created this system of checks and balances.  They were so wise that they knew this day could come.  That’s why the oath is written the way it is.  Not enough people have studied this and know this, and it should never have had to happen.  Lt. Col. Lakin shouldn’t have been put in a position by our society and the U.S. government to have to stand up to the de facto putative president as being a usurper.  Our system of checks and balances should have taken care of that, but it didn’t.  They all failed us.  The Washington, DC establishment is a cesspool.  It’s a cesspool, and it’s controlled by social forces, alternative-lifestyle forces that are pushing objectives to move our government totally away from right and wrong and the Constitution, the fundamental law of our land.  They’re trying to twist it as in “What does the word ‘is’ mean?” and their contention that the Constitution is supposed to be saying “freedom from religion” when it provides for freedom “of religion.”  They twist words.

MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think the military is completely overtaken by these forces, whomever is driving them?

CDR KERCHNER: The military leadership in Washington is, yes.  The Washington, DC establishment military are all politicians and thinking of their own careers and personal advancement.  I would say most of them down there are like that.  But if you get away from Washington, DC, no, they are not.  They still believe in the Constitution.

When I was on active duty as an enlisted man, I didn’t get the opportunity to go down there, but when I was commissioned in the Reserves and was assigned for training in Washington, I couldn’t wait to get out of there.


CDR KERCHNER: Yes, that was my internal feeling, because it’s an entirely different environment down there.  It’s like big government in the military.  I like to be out on the ships, or at the operating bases; the closer to the troops, the better.  As a senior officer, my last training normally wouldn’t have allowed that, but I asked to be sent to sea again.  I wanted my last training duty after 33 years of service to be at sea.  I don’t like the desk jockey, Washington, DC political bureaucracy for personal career.  I was never a political officer; I just never could do that.

MRS. RONDEAU: Would you say that all of the upper-echelon officers have all caved in to politics?

CDR KERCHNER: Not all, but most, and the ones who are thinking the way I’m thinking, such as Lt. Col. Lakin, are afraid for their career to speak up.  They’ll be crushed by the system.

The military is not really the place to bring this up in the sense that they have the tools to crush you in that UCMJ on the basis of  “You just obey orders or you resign.”  You cannot fight this within the system and not have happen to you what happened to Lt. Col. Lakin unless a sufficient number of officers would stand up en masse.  If 100 commissioned officers had stood up simultaneously, within days of Lt. Col. Lakin having stood up, the press couldn’t have buried this.  The press couldn’t have crushed him.  In the court, they said that he was “obsessed” with the Constitution and only doing it for himself and that he was put up to it by the “birther” movement.  That was completely wrong.  And this was his own defense attorney saying this.  During the unsworn statement at end, after he was convicted of missing movement but before he was sentenced, he gave Lt. Col. Lakin a medical analogy:  that his vision of what was wrong was like a cancer on the Constitution, but there really was no cancer.  Puckett asked him, “Do you now understand that it was just a mirage, just your obsession about this?” and all the time he was doing this, between half an hour and an hour, he launched the most demoralizing attack on Lt. Col. Lakin on the stand.  He had a picture of his wife and three kids displayed on the wall, and he pointed at them, and he said, “Are you now ready to admit you were wrong and you were doing this for yourself and your obsession about the Constitution?  Are you now going to do something to help those three young kids of yours, those cherubs, and your wife, instead of thinking of yourself and this obsession with the Constitution and the mirage that you thought you saw something wrong?”

MRS. RONDEAU: Are you kidding?

CDR KERCHNER: No, I’m not kidding.  He broke that man with statements like that, one after another, and he called Obama a “native born citizen.”  Neal Puckett does not believe in the cause that Lt. Col. Lakin and we believe in.

MRS. RONDEAU: Then why was he hired to defend him?

CDR KERCHNER: I don’t know.  You could have defended Lt. Col. Lakin exactly the way I just described, as living up to his oath, which Neal Puckett didn’t even touch on other than just briefly, for a second, and he would have gotten the same punishment.  He would have been dismissed; maybe he would have gotten a year in jail instead of six months, but he still would have had his sacred honor intact, his self-esteem…honest to God, Sharon, did you ever see the prisoners who were caught by the Vietnamese and beaten and interrogated and then put on TV and had to say things you know they were being forced to say under the circumstances…or when Al Qaeda had some guy stand with a sword in the background, about to behead someone:  that’s what Terry looked like after Neal got done with him.  Terry’s parents and his brothers and sisters were sitting in the first row, and Terry’s father is in a wheelchair, and Neal was pointing at them and the pictures of his wife and kids projected on the wall and saying, “Are you done thinking of yourself and your obsession with the Constitution?”  Terry said in a low, subdued and beaten voice, “Yes.”  He was almost in tears.  Puckett broke him.

MRS. RONDEAU: Right after the sentence was pronounced, I wrote an article comparing it to George Orwell’s 1984.

CDR KERCHNER: Exactly.  That’s what’s going on.

MRS. RONDEAU: For me, it was a horrible, reminiscent experience of that book, which I read in junior high school.

CDR KERCHNER: Yes.  Rewriting history:  “He who controls history controls the present.”  It appeared that the whole purpose was to demoralize him in front of the world, in front of his parents, destroy his self-esteem and break his sacred honor before everybody in order to send a message to the other soldiers of “You don’t do this.”  And Neal Puckett left early at the end of the trial; he didn’t stay until the end.  He was too busy.  Gone.  That was terrible.

MRS. RONDEAU: At any point, did the question arise as to whether or not there was even the authority to hold the court-martial?

CDR KERCHNER: No, but that’s the approach I would have taken.  A judge could have gaveled me down.  I hate to say it, because you don’t know what you would do in a similar situation, but if Neal had ambushed me like that, I would not have taken it.  I would have exploded on the stand; I don’t care what they would have done to me.  In World War II, when some soldiers were overrun and most of their men were killed, and the Germans surrounded them and said, “Surrender, or you’ll be killed” – some people would surrender and some people would keep fighting with a bayonet and no bullets and they’d be shot down.  Lt. Col. Lakin was beaten down and forced to surrender, but do we hold the POWs with any less honor because they surrendered due to overwhelming force?  No, we don’t.  We actually consider them heroes.  Do we in the patriotic, constitutional movement now consider Lt. Col. Lakin any less of a hero because he was deprived of any means to defend himself by not allowing discovery and subpoena of documents or the calling of witnesses such as Lt. Gen. McInerney and Alan Keyes for his defense and was forced by overwhelming force from the prosecution and his own defense attorney to do and say things he didn’t in his heart want to do and say and then demoralized and broken on the stand by his own counsel?  No!  He’s a victim of ambushing.  If you read Neal Puckett’s blog, he says he “surprised” his own client.

MRS. RONDEAU: Is he proud of that, do you think?

CDR KERCHNER: Yes, he’s proud of it, because he did it to get him a lesser sentence.  Now is your sacred honor worth six months less time in prison?  If you had asked Lt. Col. Lakin ahead of time, I don’t think he would have said yes to that.  He would in my opinion have said, “Put me in jail another six months.”  Dismissal from the Army is what LTC Lakin feared the most since Terry loved the Army. And Neal Puckett did not save Terry from that punishment with his ambush and destroy-type defense.  Puckett destroyed this man to get him what he probably would have gotten anyway as excessive.  If they had sentenced him to the max, the commanding general or the judge likely would have lowered it anyway.  Regarding dismissal from the service, if Neal told him at all, he might have said that the only way to prevent it would be showing remorse from the stand and that you’d never do this again.  After half an hour or more of browbeating and demoralizing him, Neal got him to say, “Yes, I’d never do this again” and something like “Now I see I thought of only myself and my obsession with the Constitution and didn’t think of my family.” He got him to say that right in front of his family, his parents.  That’s why I say he was like a broken prisoner of war being forced to say things.  He was mentally tortured by his own counsel on the stand for almost an hour.

MRS. RONDEAU: And you believe that this was a complete surprise to Lakin?

CDR KERCHNER: Yes, it was, in my opinion.  I felt that way at the time, but when I read Neal Puckett’s blog, he said it was.  It was clear that Neal Puckett didn’t believe in the merits underlying this case.  So he was playing a chess game with Lt. Col. Lakin as one of the pawns, and the Constitution was thrown under the bus along with  Terry Lakin’s sacred honor.  It was all thrown under the bus. I cannot believe that any defense counsel who believed in his client could do what he did.

MRS. RONDEAU: I wondered what had happened when I read that he had pleaded guilty.

CDR KERCHNER: Well, he pleaded guilty to disobeying the orders regarding the counseling.  When I spoke with Lt. Col. Lakin the night before the trial, he knew that he had made a bad decision and was allowed to make it by his counsel when his counsel said, “It’s consistent with your prior refusal to take orders to be deployed.”  That’s where Paul Jensen didn’t understand military law.  He should have said, “No.  Stick to the fact that you are refusing to be deployed to Afghanistan because those orders came from Obama.”  Foreign deployments, during war, especially, have to be signed by the President.  But he should have advised Lakin to follow all other orders.  So Terry was telling the truth when he pleaded guilty to disobeying those orders; he’s a truthful man.

MRS. RONDEAU: I see.  And then he pleaded “not guilty” to the missing movement charge?

CDR KERCHNER: Yes, because they felt that was a trumped-up, piling-on charge, and it was.  Terry Lakin didn’t have to be on that specific airplane; he could have driven down to Ft. Campbell, KY.  It was a technical defense, but it was a true technical defense.  That missing movement charge was probably the worst one.  They were trying to keep him from getting dismissed from the Army, so they were trying to beat that charge for sure.

MRS. RONDEAU: But the defense counsel didn’t succeed with that, either.

CDR KERCHNER: The defense counsel failed to beat that charge and failed to keep LTC Lakin in the Army.  If I were going to court-martial, I would have made them convict me on all of the charges, and declaring in open court why I was forced to do what I did,  just out of principle.  That’s why he stood up and disobeyed those orders:  out of principle.  I would have made them go to the principle and underlying merits and the oath to the Constitution as to why I stood up.

MRS. RONDEAU: But they would allow no discussion of whether or not Obama is eligible to serve and give orders.

CDR KERCHNER: Nobody would for the defense side.  But interestingly, the prosecution did play the video from Safeguard Our Constitution, and the audience applauded when that was played.  That was the real Lt. Col. Lakin.  So we applauded, and the court gaveled us down; she called us “the gallery.”

I would have brought in the Nuremberg defense, too. First, for every witness the prosecution put up, I would have handed them a card with the enlisted man’s oath and the officer’s oath, and I would have asked each of those prosecuting witnesses who were there about obeying orders and said, “Now you read this oath to the Constitution.  Read the officer’s oath and the enlisted man’s oath and tell me which words are different and why they are different, in your opinion.  Why is the officer’s oath different from the enlisted man’s oath?  What differences are there and why?  Why did the Founders and Framers have different oaths for the officers and the enlisted men? Let them explain it and let the members of the panel listen to that.

Then I would have brought up the Nuremberg defense and cited the officer(s) tried at Nuremberg who told that court it was not his duty to question orders from the Supreme Commander, meaning Adolf Hitler, and that your duty is to obey orders, and that man was hanged for that:  for blindly accepting all orders from the Supreme Commander.  There was no defense.  All soldiers were trained on that, that even an unlawful order, even if it comes from the President, shall not be obeyed.  And what is a lawful order?  That is the officer’s decision to make and ask his superiors and a congressional inquiry to find out if he has a doubt, and he did that, and they ignored him.  The Constitution is not a piece of parchment paper down there on display in Washington.  It is the fundamental law of the land. The lawfulness of all orders issued by officers and the people above them shall be judged by that law, because his officer’s oath is to do just that, to support and defend the Constitution.  So they should not have court-martialed him for this; they should have held a congressional inquiry and answered the question.  If I had been the lawyer defending Terry, that’s the approach I would have taken.  The Constitution is the fundamental law of the land, and all orders from all officers shall be judged against that, and if the officer is charged with disobeying the order, there should be a congressional inquiry to see if that order was lawful, because it’s a question of fundamental constitutional law and lawfulness.

By the way, when that Obama supporter confronted me, that was the tone of my voice.  That was on the second day of the trial during a recess.  This Obot lawyer, Lt. Col. Dwight Sullivan, was debating with some people about the fact that the Fourteenth Amendment conveyed the ability of the President to be natural born and therefore eligible to be the president.

MRS. RONDEAU: I read on his own blog that he admitted that he lost control of himself during the confrontation.

Editor’s Note: To read Lt. Col. Sullivan’s account of the incident, scroll down almost to the bottom of the linked page.  Please be advised that many of the comments on the page contain profanity.

CDR KERCHNER: Let me tell you how it happened, according to my recollection.  He was talking to Mr. William Baer, who is also an attorney, at that time.  They and several others were debating it.  I was two rows away, and I leaned forward a little bit and said to Col. Sullivan, “The words “natural born” are not even in the Fourteenth Amendment, so how can you say that that creates a natural born Citizen?”  He said something back, and I said, “To argue that, you’re being intellectually dishonest,” and when I said “intellectually dishonest,” he flew off the handle.  His face got red, he got up, yelling “Sir! Sir! Sir!” as he was going down the aisle.  You know how in the movie theater you have to go around people’s legs?


CDR KERCHNER: He was going around their legs the fastest he could go, almost trampling on them to get by them, Dr. Kate and another lady, down to the end of the row towards the wall, and then he made an “L” and came up along the side.  My row was empty, and I just walked down to the end of my row, and he met me at the end of my row, and he got in my face like a Marine Corps drill instructor and shouted, “You will NOT call me dishonest!!” His nose was a quarter-inch away, we were eyeball-to-eyeball, toe-to-toe.  I just stood there, calm, cool and collected, and I said to myself, “This guy’s not pulling this with me.”  You know what I mean?  Thirty-three years in the military, Mustang officer, up through the ranks, chief petty officer, commissioned as an officer promoted up to full commander…I’ve led lots of men in the service and in civilian life, been a practitioner of the martial arts such as judo, Tai Kwan Do in many a one-on-one physical contest in tournaments …he’s not going to intimidate me!

So I was standing there calm, cool and collected, and I looked at him right back in the eye as if to say, “You’re not going to make me blink, buddy.”  I then said to him, “I did not call you dishonest; I called you intellectually dishonest.“  Then he said something, and we debated more about the Fourteenth Amendment, and I said, “You have it all the time in your blog; you say the Fourteenth Amendment makes a president natural born.  That’s intellectually dishonest.”  So I was throwing some facts back at him, and he says in his account that I didn’t give any facts.  I said, “The “natural born” phrase is not in the Fourteenth Amendment and you’re on the blogs saying that it conveys natural born status.  So you’re intellectually dishonest.”

At a certain point, I said to myself, “I have to take charge here,” so I started asking him questions.  I said, “Is he or is he not (meaning Obama) a natural born Citizen?” and he didn’t answer that question.  He stood there and didn’t say a word.  Then I saw him start to twitch a little bit; his facial muscles showed that he was starting to get nervous.  Then I said even louder in my booming Commander’s voice, “IS HE OR IS HE NOT A NATURAL BORN CITIZEN?  Answer the question.”  The military people in the room went, “Huh, huh, huh!!”  They did that the first time when Sullivan first ran up to me and started barking at me.  But within 30-60 seconds, I had turned it around, and I was barking at him.  So that last time when I said that really loud, he started shaking.  His body, his facial muscles, his knees started shaking, and he turned around and ran back to his chair with his tail between his legs as fast as he could go, backed down, and I stood where I was and observed him.  He picked up his book and his notepad, and his hand was shaking like a leaf. He tried to write and he couldn’t.  One of the people I know told me afterward that he had walked up to Sullivan and asked, “What happened?  What was the matter?” and he had said, “I’m so embarrassed that I did something like that.”

MRS. RONDEAU: He admitted in his blog that his behavior was inappropriate.

CDR KERCHNER: Yes, although he said he wasn’t shaking and that his knees didn’t buckle, and they did.  I looked into that man’s eyes, and despite the veneer of being a Marine Colonel, he’s a hollow man inside.  The truth was on my side, and he knew it, and he knew he was a bluff and a deceiver.  I looked into his eyes and I saw nothing.  He had nothing, and he buckled and ran.

MRS. RONDEAU: He could not prove that Obama is eligible to do what he’s doing.

CDR KERCHNER: He cannot prove it, and all his statements about the Fourteenth Amendment are a deception.  He knew it.  He knew he couldn’t bluff me, neither mentally nor physically, and he buckled and ran for his chair, shaking like a leaf.  Did you ever see the movie “Full Metal Jacket?”


CDR KERCHNER: Well, it shows the Marines Corps instructors getting in the faces of the recruits and destroying them.  They want to break them and then they build them back up in a different image.  That’s what he was trying to do to me.  He was trying to physically intimidate me and break my will to debate him in front of all the people in the courtroom during that recess, and it didn’t work.

I’ve been in physical combat, not in a war, but in judo and wrestling matches with dozens and dozens of men.  He didn’t scare me at all.  He’s maybe 15 years younger than me and probably in much better shape than I, and if it had come to a wrestling match, he could have won, but I certainly would have done my best to take care of that man if he had put his hands on me.  He knew I wasn’t scared of him and his threatening demeanor and behavior and he ran away.

MRS. RONDEAU: This appears to me to be a lesson to all of us.  Does this tell the average civilian who has never served in the military that we actually are tougher than we think?

CDR KERCHNER: Yes, because we have the truth on our side.

MRS. RONDEAU: We probably have strength that we didn’t know we had.

CDR KERCHNER: That’s right; we do.  If you are speaking the truth, you can feel it in your soul.  When you’re telling lies, you have to keep thinking of changing the story, but when you’re telling the truth, it comes out naturally.  The power of the truth just comes out.  You don’t need to be thinking about the truth; it’s the truth.

MRS. RONDEAU: What can be done now?

CDR KERCHNER: What we need to do immediately is to support Lt. Col Lakin financially for the next six months until he gets out of prison at the Terry Lakin Action Fund. As far as what we can do to fight the battle against the usurper?  We’ve tried every vehicle:  the executive branch with Bush and Cheney, who did nothing to vet Obama; Homeland Security did nothing to vet him; during the election, the media anointed him, pushed him and defended him, thereby failing us; the people were deceived by this man; the court system failed, and now the military system has failed us.  The only thing left is to go back to the political process which failed us the first time and hope that the new Congress, with a Republican-controlled House finally listens to the people and holds a congressional investigation with full subpoena power.  We need to force them to do that.  They can now justify it by saying, “The prior Congress made a mistake, but we’re not going to do it.”

MRS. RONDEAU: Do you have an expectation that they will do that?

CDR KERCHNER: I don’t know.  Darrell Issa has already said that they aren’t going to consider the birth certificate, which is a necessary but not sufficient part of this.  But they should at least start with it.  If they don’t, the only thing left is John F. Kennedy’s words and the Declaration of Independence:  “Those who make peaceful resolution (to paraphrase; he used the word “revolution”) impossible make violent resolution inevitable.”  This is not going to stand with the people forever.  It’s going to boil over at some point, and what they thought they were preventing – violence in the inner cities if he were properly vetted and revealed he was not eligible – will result in and cause far, far, far worse by what they have done by corrupting every institution and system of our government to protect an ineligible man, a phony, the usurper-in-chief, Mr. Zero.

MRS. RONDEAU: And you are by no means a “fringe lunatic conspiracy theorist.”

CDR KERCHNER: No, we’re not a fringe.  And who were the original birthers?  Jonathan Turley and the Democratic Party?  Were they a fringe when they put up the constitutional questions about John McCain?  They’re hypocrites.  They will use the Constitution to go after whomever they want to go after, and whether it’s false or true, they will point to the Constitution.  But if we point to the Constitution, then we are “nutcase, boneheaded constitutionalists…birthers, crazy, fringe.”  Well, Jonathan Turley, that’s you, then; you’re a “boneheaded constitutionalist nutcase birther fringe” yourself, then.  He’s the guy who was put up by the Democratic machine to go after McCain, and The New York Times piled on with it.  Do you remember all that?

MRS. RONDEAU: Yes, I do.

CDR KERCHNER: So what’s so different about them and us?  Except they consider us the enemy.  That bonehead constitutionalist birther Jonathan Turley wrote all these articles in his blog which were parroted in The New York Times, and there were a couple of lawsuits filed against McCain, and they had a congressional inquiry in the Judiciary Committee in the Senate as a result of a few thousand people asking questions.  Hundreds of thousands, even millions of people, were asking questions about Obama, and did they have a congressional inquiry?  No.  They just called us names and the mainstream media piled it on deeper.

MRS. RONDEAU: I noticed that Fox News is talking about his re-election bid for 2012.

CDR KERCHNER: Well, that’s another thing we can do.  House Bill 1503 introduced by Rep. Bill Posey in Florida will die at the end of this year because it didn’t get out of committee, but it could be reissued under a new number and in the new Congress and get more than 12 cosponsors and move that forward, mandating that the FEC, by law, must vet the presidential and vice presidential candidates be vetted and proven to be constitutionally eligible which includes being a natural born Citizen.  And even further, if they would put in that law the definition of a natural born Citizen which confirms what it really is.  They cannot change it, but if the Congress reaffirms that a natural born Citizen is one born in the country of two citizen parents, that’s confirming natural law, not trying to change natural law.  Even if it’s a resolution, they need to state it.  Now if they try to issue a resolution that says that a natural born Citizen is someone simply born in the United States, that would be a violation of natural law and international law.  International law is at play here, because natural born Citizenship becomes involved when parents of children are from different countries.  So they couldn’t define natural born Citizen as anything other than what it really is under natural law without violating international treaties and laws.  If Congress won’t produce a resolution or law, then it needs to get the FEC to force people to produce certified copies of all their original documents; at least that much, and not a data dump from a computer, but a copy of the contemporaneous original birth certificate and any other documents that are necessary to prove the qualifications that they are a natural born Citizen of the USA.

The Framers knew what a natural born Citizen was, and for the first 100 years, no one even tried to challenge it.  They knew what it was the way people know what a DUI is today.  You know what these terms mean; they don’t have to be explained.  For the last 100 years, the progressive movement has tried to change our language:  “What does ‘is’ mean?”  They changed the word “of” to “from” in the Constitution when it comes to religion.  They twist it, they turn it, they redefine everything; they use language against us to rewrite history as they did in the book 1984.

MRS. RONDEAU: And they brainwashed people to repeat that two plus two equals five.

CDR KERCHNER: So we’ve had 100 years of programming in the United States, and we no longer know what the Founders and Framers intended because they’ve changed the meaning of words.  I don’t believe that Vattel has been taught in constitutional law classes since 1920.  They’ve buried Vattel because his work codified natural law and stressed the importance of a written constitution as fundamental law.  He didn’t invent natural law; nature and nature’s Creator did that; he just codified it.  He was probably the most succinct and clear writer on natural law, which is why he became so popular.  They progressive movement wants to bury him because what he wrote in Volume I of that treatise disputes their view that the Constitution is malleable and living and fluid according to the progressives.  It needs to be amended when you want to amend it, using the process provided in the Constitution itself, but you don’t falsely interpret it or ignore it.

MRS. RONDEAU: Can the decision regarding Lt. Col. Lakin be reviewed?

CDR KERCHNER: Yes, the commanding general for that district could totally overrule the court or reduce the sentence.  He could grant Lt. Col. Lakin clemency, anything from reducing his sentence to time served, let him out; he could even reverse the dismissal by letting him serve the six months but not dismiss him from the Army and allow him to use his talent as a physician.  Any combination or permutation possibility, including completely annulling it, could be done.  When people call, they should say, “Look at the difference between the officer’s oath and the enlisted man’s oath, and why is Lt. Col. Lakin being punished when he didn’t swear an oath to the president?”  Let them know that you know.  He swore an oath to the defend the Constitution and only the Constitution, and the chain of command and the Congress failed him by not helping him get that answer on the constitutional legitimacy of the putative president Obama.  Tell that to the general and ask him to think about his own oath.

MRS. RONDEAU: People could also ask where the authority comes for convening Lakin’s court-martial or any other court-martial without a legitimate Commander-in-Chief.

CDR KERCHNER: It comes down from the executive authority of the president, and if Obama is illegal, the whole convening authority is also.  Above the major general, it goes back up to the president.  The president himself could annul the conviction.  So the president can not only pardon under the Constitution under the military chain of command; he can absolve any conviction and just erase it as if it never happened.  Of course, Obama will never do it; it would be up to a future president to do it.  Not only should Lakin have his conviction expunged; he should be given the Medal of Freedom.  He should be marched up to the new president, honored to the world, and given a Medal of Freedom for standing up for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and for the Constitution.  He will someday; he will be vindicated.  The truth always wins.  If the truth always comes out and Obama is proven to be a fraud, which we know he is, then justice mandates that Lt. Col. Lakin be vindicated, pardoned, and his kangaroo court conviction record expunged from history and a new history written that he did the right thing in the face of adversity.

MRS. RONDEAU: Many of the Founders died broke, maimed, their families murdered, their farms taken away…

Ft. Leavenworth consists of one military and one civilian prison four miles apart. Both were constructed in the early 1900s.

CDR KERCHNER: They stood alone, and many times, nobody would help them.  The word should be put out that what was done to Lakin in the court was a complete surprise to him and he was broken in front of his family with a picture of the children on the wall.  Even if he said some things, he was forced to say them, so let’s look at it as a strategic withdrawal in the face of overwhelming superior force that he could not stand up to.  He is still a hero; he has not betrayed us or given up the fight that I know of; he was just broken in a system stacked against him; the courtroom demoralized him and took his self-esteem and sacred honor away from him.  He’s a political prisoner of war now, and he’s a hero to us.  So we should not be disappointed in what happened, because he was overwhelmed, even by his own defense counsel.  If you read Neal Puckett’s blog, it says specifically that Terry had no idea of the way Puckett was going to approach the defense.  That was a sin.

MRS. RONDEAU: I always thought a defense attorney is supposed to brief his client on the strategy and support his client’s actions in court.

CDR KERCHNER: Neal admitted that he did not tell Terry what he was going to do, and it was disgraceful.  He drove Lt. Col. Lakin into the ground.

But this is not over. The eligibility issue with Obama is not going away. It is getting stronger. More and more people are aware of this issue every month. The truth will come out some day. The usurper-in-chief Obama and his Marxist/Socialist cronies out to destroy our constitution and country will be exposed some day. LTC Lakin will be vindicated and Obama will be totally exposed in history for the phony and fraud he is. And hopefully at that point Obama will be the one put in prison along with many, many of the people guilty of helping him perpetrate the fraud in the first place and of misprision of a felony in allowing this to go on this long.

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