HIGHLY-DECORATED FLIGHT SURGEON HAS REFUSED ALL ORDERS UNTIL OBAMA PROVES HIS ELIGIBILITY
by Sharon Rondeau
(Apr. 19, 2010) — Margaret Calhoun Hemenway, spokeswoman for Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, an Army medical doctor who has challenged Obama’s eligibility to serve as Commander-in-Chief, very generously gave her time to The Post & Email last Friday to discuss Lt. Col. Lakin’s case.
For clarification purposes of Ms. Hemenway’s references to her father-in-law, John Hemenway, Mr. Hemenway represented a plaintiff in one of the lawsuits against Obama, Hollister v. Soetoro, which was dismissed by Judge John Robertson, who wrote in his opinion that Obama’s eligibility had been “blogged, texted, twittered and otherwise massaged” before the election.
MRS. RONDEAU: Thank you for agreeing to an interview at such short notice, Mrs. Hemenway. I’ve read the website set up for Lt. Col. Lakin, and I know he had contacted his senators and representative before deciding to stop following orders. What response did he get from his chain of command, and specifically, from General George Casey?
MRS. HEMENWAY: He made an Article 138 inquiry, and the letter that came back said something like “No one in the Department of Defense,” and this was to include General George Casey, “can answer this question, and you lack standing.” So that was obviously not a satisfactory answer. Lt. Col. Lakin did reach out often to coworkers and superiors struggling with this issue and tried to get help with it. I worked at the Pentagon for five years, and it is extremely disappointing that our military leadership knows that other officers have done this, that other officers have been involved in a lawsuit, and that after you’ve had more than one, you’ve had a few, and then it becomes more than a few…you would think it would dawn on someone that they needed to figure out how to talk to service members about this issue. Instead, everyone looks at the floor and averts their eyes; they can commiserate sometimes, but no one will say anything.
MRS. RONDEAU: Why do you think more military members, or all of them, don’t just stop what they’re doing and ask if Obama meets constitutional requirements? Why have so few come forward?
MRS. HEMENWAY: If you look back historically at some of the controversies the military has had to deal with, there is a lack of understanding about military orders. They all go through a lot of training, and these things do come up. My husband is in the Army Reserve in Light Infantry, and one of his training sessions was about the Mi Lai Massacre. So they are taught about these things and about rules, but of course, if they think “bigger,” and they’re really bright…and obviously, Lt. Col. Lakin is a decorated surgeon and very bright with a stellar military record, and his officer evaluation report puts him in the top 10% of medical officers, this is an exceptionally well-qualified man. Obviously, he’s a deep thinker and a serious man. So others are beginning to realize that when Lt. Col. Lakin took that oath to uphold the Constitution, just like you do your marriage oath, he meant it. But you have people say, well, unlawful orders – that’s just about not killing civilians. I have actually had people say that. And they don’t seem to understand that no, actually, it’s about obeying the law.
This dates back to Nuremberg, or whether we get wrapped around the axle on compliance with the Geneva Convention. And of course, the military has been through the ringer on some of these types of issues, but when it comes to the big one, and this is the big one: is the President and Commander-in-Chief lawfully in the job? I think it’s so big that they don’t want to confront it; it becomes terribly awkward. You’ve heard the expression “above my pay grade;” most people will immediately brush something off and say, “That’s above my pay grade.” And yet, don’t all orders flow from the lawful authority of the Commander-in-Chief? I don’t know how you tell the average person that that’s not true.
MRS. RONDEAU: How could they do what they’re doing and take the orders that are coming down the chain of command if the very top of that chain is in question?
MRS. HEMENWAY: Other officers have resisted deployment orders, but Lakin’s case was a bit different because he was going to refuse all orders and philosophically, if the Commander-in-Chief is not lawfully in the job and he was never a natural born Citizen, this is the premise some people are operating on, because they believe that he’s hiding those records because of something terribly politically damaging. The only thing that comes to mind is maybe he’s not natural born. Why else would he hide all of those records? So that’s a logical leap. But we don’t know his citizenship status, and we’re waiting to see if he’ll ever let go of these records so the people can know. But if you think that this man has the power to send service members into harm’s way and you’re asked to bring your birth certificate, even though you work around all these people every day who know who you are – they probably know your children’s names, your spouse’s name, where you went to school – but they still have to document their identity, and the man sitting at the top who can send them into harm’s way has never had to document himself, that is really outrageous.
MRS. RONDEAU: Why should they go anywhere into harm’s way if a Usurper is ordering it?
MRS. HEMENWAY: The other thing I realize about the military is that someone who hasn’t thought a lot about this issue or hasn’t had the opportunity to read the things that you and I have read may not know this is an issue. I have tested this on people whom I know don’t read a lot of the same things I read; they don’t have time to read blogs. They probably read The Washington Post that shows up on the doorstep in the morning. I tried this on a friend of mine who is a career civil servant, and she couldn’t believe it. Her first comment was, “I don’t know how did this happened. How did he never show a birth certificate?” and I explained it to her at some length, and then she said, “That makes me really mad, because I just jumped through hoops to get my son a passport.” And then they get angry because there is a basic American understanding that we are all equal under the law; no man is above the law, and they don’t know how he did this.
But that’ s part of it; in a lot of places, it’s really not widely known, or they may have heard something, but the automatic assumption is, “Oh, but I’m sure big, important, powerful people would have checked this out already.” Of course, they don’t know that could be 25-year-old people working on campaigns, and campaigns are fast and furious, and people expected Hillary to win…and McCain, of course, got boxed into a corner and was asked to produce his original birth certificate, so he’s busy defending his natural-born status, and the other candidate with the foreign parent and unknown birthplace flew under the radar. It was really amazing. That’s what happened; he flew under the radar and they were clever by getting Factcheck.org and Daily KOS to say, “Oh, here it is; here’s the birth certificate.” And people didn’t have time to analyze what a COLB is. How many people know that? A lot of people don’t know what a COLB is.
MRS. RONDEAU: And they don’t know that there are several different ways to obtain and COLB in Hawaii. From what I have read, in 1982, Hawaii added a fifth way for a person to obtain a “birth certificate,” and you could walk into the Health Department as an adult, present a little evidence of a birth there and get a COLB. You didn’t have to be born there to get the piece of paper.
MRS. HEMENWAY: I’ve thought about the logic of why Hawaii’s system might be the way it is. On an island, people move around a lot; they probably have friends and family on the Mainland. I think it’s easy to travel on and off. I think it feels restrictive being on an island and you want to get off…I think that with all that movement, they probably became lax about documents. I’m not excusing it, but I can see how that might have arisen like that.
MRS. RONDEAU: You mentioned something just a minute ago about the foreign parent. Have you or Lt. Col. Lakin read that the foreign parent alone, if we interpret “natural born Citizen” strictly, could disqualify Obama, even if he was born in Hawaii?
MRS. HEMENWAY: I’ve seen the disagreements among lawyers and looked at all the different positions myself…Gary Kreep, Donofrio, Apuzzo, and I asked my father-in-law as well. I’ve also asked the attorney, whose name is not public yet, who is going to be representing Lt. Col. Lakin. I know there’s disagreement and I’m always hoping that it doesn’t become a disagreement that divides us from the ultimate purpose of having Obama divulge his original birth certificate, but this is when I tell most people to not step on toes and don’t get people worked up over “he’s a dual citizen.” I just say, “Look, if he was born in Kenya, under the laws of the time, he could never be natural born, and she could not transmit U.S. citizenship to him.”
MRS. RONDEAU: I’ve read that, too, and I think almost everyone is agreed on that.
MRS. HEMENWAY: I stay away from the other theories because I don’t want, deliberately or otherwise, to alienate people whom I think really do believe these records should be in the public domain, and we’re entitled to see them. But Mr. Hemenway would say, “Because of the way the laws are written, we can debate whether they’re fair or not fair, if born on American soil to an American citizen, he would have been considered natural born.” However, I’m certain that my father-in-law believes that Obama wouldn’t be hiding all these records if there were any document to prove he was born in Hawaii. If that were the case, it would have been given up long ago.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you anticipate having to put together a team of attorneys, or do you think the one you have will be enough?
MRS. HEMENWAY: I think he’s going to be very good. I think he’s a bulldog; he’s very smart and politically-savvy as well, which I think is necessary. He hasn’t done any of these cases before, and I know there would be a temptation to try to run it in that way as if it’s some conspiracy as opposed to a voluntary eruption of a lot of people around the country who are upset about this and are tired of being deceived and having people misrepresent what has actually been presented.
I’ve said this on other interviews: having worked so many years on the Hill, it’s very discouraging when our elected membership doesn’t want to do anything about this and they point to the judges and say it’s their problem, and of course, the judges are telling the Congress that it’s their problem. So there’s a lot of finger-pointing and, sadly, evasion by people who were elected to lead, and it’s really sad when people who aren’t elected to lead are in the leadership.
MRS. RONDEAU: Why do you think Congress wouldn’t do anything?
MRS. HEMENWAY: I think partly, and I can understand this, many people will say this should have been caught and resolved during the campaign, and that would have been a better time for a lawsuit by someone like Alan Keyes who was hurt. But since that didn’t happen, revisiting it now is very embarrassing to people who should have caught it. And of course it leaves both parties open to attacks, because obviously the DNC is guilty for not properly insuring that his papers were in order, and the RNC is guilty of not researching the opposition candidate properly. And, given what J.B. Williams has uncovered, and if that’s accurate, that there were two certifications signed by Nancy Pelosi, that is an enormous scandal in and of itself. And sadly, you have no Woodwards and Bernsteins left; there are no mainstream investigative reporters who want to look into Obama’s past. That’s frightening to me. I’ve openly called them the “Palace Guard.” This has become a Palace Guard media; they’re protecting him because they agree with his left-wing agenda; and if it weren’t for you, and other people such as Joseph Farah at WorldNetDaily and all the other good people doing work on this issue, the American public wouldn’t even know what has happened.
MRS. RONDEAU: And it’s taken some time to get the word out.
MRS. HEMENWAY: Thank God for the internet and for talk radio, and thank God for these brave service members who have been willing to stand up and say, “Wait a minute. I’ve served my country; I’m willing to put my life at risk, but I think this question should be answered. And that’s what Lakin said: “I think I’m entitled to this answer.”
MRS. RONDEAU: What is the Lt. Col. doing right now? Is he still working?
MRS. HEMENWAY: I actually think that, all things considered, they’ve been civil to him in some respects. He was read his rights, and he’s a low-key guy, but when he described it to me, it didn’t sound heavy-handed, and they didn’t use the word “court martial.” They did say, “You’re under investigation, we’ll read you your rights, and charges are pending.” They knew it was coming, because he had told them he was going to do it; he gave them a heads-up. I thought he handled that extraordinarily well; it was a hard thing for him to do. But all things considered, I can’t complain except for the unsolicited phone call to him at home (this was after they had found out what he was going to do): “Maybe you need a brain scan; maybe there’s a brain tumor and maybe you need a medical evaluation.”
I look at that in two ways: there may actually be people working with him who have no idea what this issue is, and therefore, since they don’t know about it and they don’t read any conservative publications, they have said, “Wow, he must have flipped out!” So it’s possible that you really had someone just go, “What?!” or maybe it’s worse than that scenario, and this quickly wound its way up to the top and someone said, “Why don’t you offer him a brain scan?”
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think they did it to embarrass him?
MRS. HEMENWAY: I think if it was malevolent, maybe they’d hoped to get him to come back in, get a brain scan, and then he’d be found abnormal. It’s easy to find something abnormal or irregular, and then maybe they could have given him a medical discharge. I thought about the possibility of avoiding a court martial, because of course the concern is, and it should be on the minds of people in the Pentagon if it isn’t: Is that what do you do with the military morale when you take a fine officer with an outstanding reputation with 18 years in, and you threaten him with court martial and jail time at Ft. Leavenworth? How is that going to help your recruitment? And truly, some of the finest soldiers we have, and the bravest ones, are the ones who are religious, who have strong faith, who aren’t afraid to die for their country. You’ll lose people like that. If you don’t treat these people well, if you don’t respect your nation and your Constitution, you will lose those people.
MRS. RONDEAU: Is it true that they did threaten him with court martial?
MRS. HEMENWAY: I asked Lt. Col. Lakin if Col. Roberts even used the term “court martial,” and he didn’t say that he did. However, when you know that charges are pending, you know that it’s likely to lead to court martial. I don’t know how you go in any other direction than that.
MRS. RONDEAU: I read an MSNBC article that said that Lakin “incorrectly” believes that Obama was not born in Hawaii which stated that he would be court-martialed.
MRS. HEMENWAY: I think there’s probably some deliberate spin, and Keith Olbermann of MSNBC was the one who was so ugly to Congressman Posey, freshman from Florida, who dropped the eligibility bill, and he was being very nice about it. He wasn’t going to reopen ’08; he was just going to say, “We’ve got to fix this for 2012” so we can have a process in place that makes people feel that candidates have been credentialed. Well, they went after him like angry hornets, and Keith Olbermann said an obscenity. It wa really, really ugly. And frankly, my problem with a lot of conservatives is they don’t fight back. Instead, they hunker down, and they’re so stung by the vitriol pouring out of these left-wing liberals that they don’t handle it well, and they have this “pack” mentality. They all descend on Congressman Posey’s office, all calling him names…but the interesting thing is, his response was, “Wait a minute. You want to call me a ‘birther’? The original ‘birthers’ were the people who demanded John McCain’s birth certificate.” And it’s funny how all of a sudden that’s a pejorative. Well, they’re only criticizing themselves, because they were the ones who started raising “natural born Citizen” early on with McCain and his birth certificate.
MRS. RONDEAU: I believe the first eligibility case was filed by someone in New Hampshire against John McCain for not being a “natural born Citizen.”
MRS. HEMENWAY: If you Google “John McCain” and “natural born,” you’ll find all the articles. They even found a law professor from the University of Arizona to say he wasn’t natural born. I had friends emailing me, because they didn’t like McCain for a number of different reasons, but I was going, “Wait a minute…born to two U.S. citizens…are you telling me that two U.S. citizens can’t give a child their citizenship?” I couldn’t believe it, but I was getting it, too, and I said, “You’re wrong.” And as a result of that, Obama wasn’t even an undercurrent.
MRS. RONDEAU: Obama didn’t even have two U.S. citizen parents.
MRS. HEMENWAY: When I think through this, I think, “What a brilliant diversionary tactic.” And the question is, and I would love to know when the first articles appeared and which papers they were in, and ask if any of them colluded with the Obama campaign. You never know. And the other thing that you have to keep in mind, because we don’t know when the protection of documents began, is when did Obama actually hire attorneys to protect his records? Jerome Corsi wrote a piece early on, and he was bounced out of Kenya right before trying to hold a press conference. But they did have the Rev. Shehubia affidavit, and he did say they talked to a civil registrar, and the civil registrar said that the Obama file is classified. Corsi has also been told that Kenyan intelligence visited Coast Province Hospital in Mombasa and removed birth files from 1961 to 1963, and they were put back several months later in 2004.
Now, I think WorldNetDaily has done an amazing job covering such a rich and diverse story…you could write a fantastic best-seller book on this, there’s so much mystery here; I remember hearing something about that…but if you could ever uncover when the files started to be protected…and of course now the Kenyans are openly talking about him, obviously kind-of proud that one of theirs made it to U.S. President.
MRS. RONDEAU: The Post & Email recently wrote a story about James Orengo, Minister of Lands, whose statement in the “Hansard” of the Parliament meeting from March 25, 2010, openly says that Obama was born in Kenya.
MRS. HEMENWAY: In Africa, people underestimate the education and sophistication of a lot of the leaders. I’ve been in Africa, and I knew Jonas Savimbi of Angola, who was educated at the Sorbonne, and then of course, the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. They are highly intelligent; they understand international politics extraordinarily well; and in some cases, they understand freedom and liberty better because they’ve earned it more recently. And it’s interesting to listen to the debates in Parliament sometimes. I think the English colonies did better than a lot of the other colonies, as there was a lot of emphasis with the English colonies on civil servant sectors. So Orengo may or may not know that it’s a controversy here, or maybe he thinks, “Well, if it was a controversy, he’s been in this long, it’s not going to hurt him to bring it up.” And they’re really proud that he made it. And that’s why no one countered him; obviously if they thought it was a big controversy they could have said they weren’t sure where he was born.
MRS. RONDEAU: The Post & Email also published an analysis of the November 5, 2008 Hansard, and there are no fewer than a dozen references to Obama’s birth in Kenya there.
MRS. HEMENWAY: What amazes me is that I didn’t even know that. I follow a lot of the information, and WorldNetDaily has a long list of articles on this topic.
MRS. RONDEAU: I think it’s over 200.
MRS. HEMENWAY: I think it is that many. That just shows you that people continue to be enthralled by this. I love Agatha Christie, but this is really good!
MRS. RONDEAU: What is it like for the Lt. Col. to go through each day when his supposed commander-in-chief will not prove that he is eligible?
MRS. HEMENWAY: He (Obama) would rather have soldiers’ deployment orders rescinded than take a few seconds to produce his original birth certificate. He’s done this time and again, with other soldiers getting their deployment orders rescinded, and he’s sitting on that document and won’t make that phone call to Hawaii and say, “Release the record.” Obviously, he can’t…if he could, he would have done it long ago. I tell people, “Think about this: he admitted to using cocaine.” Now I know that he broke the law, so I don’t trust him. I have never used an illegal drug, and I had to get a security clearance. It wasn’t that I was thinking about that when I was young, but I’m glad I didn’t, because I might not have been able to do the work that I did. I’ve been in a position of public trust.
He now has the highest-level security clearances of anybody in the federal government, yet if he broke the law, why would I trust him about his birthplace? I don’t; I want to see the original birth certificate. Lt. Col. Lakin feels that he and every other American citizen are entitled to know whether or not Obama is in conformance with the U.S. Constitution. No excuses.
MRS. RONDEAU: If it should come out that somehow the original document is released and it shows that he was not born here, what does the Lt. Col. think should happen?
MRS. HEMENWAY: I’ve never asked him, “If this is the chain of events, what would you think?” But I will say this: I think he felt he didn’t have a choice in what he was doing. He felt disrespected of all those years of service, a person who has never gotten on the wrong side of the law, and then to be told that you have no right to ask this question, that no one will help you with this question, it hurts. And it makes you not want to stay in uniform. And the point you raised about why other people haven’t done this…I think they feel they are not in a position to get an answer.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think most members of the mainstream media know that Obama may have run for office knowing that he didn’t qualify?
MRS. HEMENWAY: I don’t think that Chris Matthews is not an intelligent man, but I do wonder why he would risk his reputation over it. Of course, if it never gets uncovered, then he got away with it. While it’s important to clear this up from the standpoint of the Constitution, I think it is also a lesson for the bootlickers in the media who don’t have any journalistic ethics or sense of objectivity, and that bothers me, because we rely on them. That’s how you know if your government is corrupt or not corrupt, unless you become part of the problem.
MRS. RONDEAU: How do you think this happened with the media?
MRS. HEMENWAY: Well, it’s sad; I think what’s happened is they’ve turned into partisan political hacks. In the old days, I used to know investigative journalists who might have had leanings, but they still followed the truth, and that’s the difference. Now it looks like a deliberate effort to protect all of these records from being disclosed. If it had been a different president, they would have been at your throat to get those records.
My political awakening was high school and Watergate where a history professor came in every day to talk about every new break in the Watergate case. And what I’ve learned from that is as a president, you don’t want to cover things up. You would pay a huge price for it. How is this permissible? We’re not asking what side of the bed he sleeps on, or things that Bill Clinton told us that we didn’t want to know such as boxers or briefs. What we want to know is whether or not he is in conformance with the Constitution. We need those records to be able to make that determination. It’s a separate issue. But to hide behind the privacy act and identity theft?
Back to your question, if it does come out because somehow something leaks and he deliberately kept this information from the American people, and he defrauded the voters because he wasn’t eligible and sought to cover it up, then he would have to resign. How do we have any faith or confidence in him after that?
MRS. RONDEAU: How can the Joint Chiefs be functioning knowing that there is a big cloud of doubt?
MRS. HEMENWAY: I think it’s a failure of leadership in our society; it’s so embarrassing, such a colossal mistake not to have settled this beforehand. And in hindsight, when McCain was pushed into a corner and accused of not being “natural born” and he produced his original birth certificate to show that he was, he should not have done it unless he said, “I’ve got mine, I’m showing up at the press club – set a date and time – and Candidate Obama is going to be there with me and bringing his.” Why did he not do that?
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think the Republicans knew that Obama had an eligibility problem and just didn’t want to say anything due to political correctness or some kind of collusion among everyone?
MRS. HEMENWAY: Like a lot of people, at the time, I was working full-time, but the thing that troubles me about it is that when the Senate bothered to hold a hearing and affirm McCain’s “natural born” status through Senate Resolution 511, not a person on that committee asked for Obama’s original birth certificate, even though as a senator he should have had an official bio. How could they not have?
MRS. RONDEAU: I understand that Obama and Hillary were cosponsors of Senate Res. 511.
MRS. HEMENWAY: I think that’s true. And she’s escaping a lot of scrutiny as well, but since Philip Berg was supposedly her ally, what was Hillary’s early hand in this? Were she and Berg talking about it? I don’t know what communication went on there, but I know that he was supposed to have been behind her and trying to help her. Also, most people thought she was going to win. It’s amazing how she doesn’t seem to have voiced any concern: she got her big job as Secretary of State; I assume she’s washed her hands of it. I think people are perfectly willing to let it be swept under the rug and not have everyone be embarrassed should something come out. And they’re just living with it, with the consequences of this election. It’s surreal. What I hate is the dishonesty.
I have been up to the Hill, and there are some honest staffers up there, and I did talk to a couple of them, and one of them told me just flat-out, “We have zero evidence that he’s even a citizen.”
MRS. RONDEAU: Really? A staffer?
MRS. HEMENWAY: Oh, yes. There are some very bright people up there, and some very patriotic people up there. But their bosses won’t do anything about it because they don’t want to go to their town hall or their next press event and have some left-wing reporter calling them a “birther.”
MRS. RONDEAU: But if they’ve said that to you, “We have zero evidence that he’s even a U.S. citizen,” what does that mean? Remember there was that State Department breach after which someone tragically lost his life? Does that mean that his State Department records really were sanitized, or that there’s nothing there?
MRS. HEMENWAY: Well, sometimes I worry about what people do with articles, because I went back and looked at Ken Timmerman’s Newsmax article, and that’s where the term “sanitize the file” came from. I think Ken is a very good writer, but there are things I don’t know, and it’s hard to read between the lines. It was said that Quarles Harris was a cooperating witness, and he had gotten some passport information, but it may have been for credit card fraud, and of course, it’s an unresolved murder…and you ask yourself and always wonder, has anyone followed up with the DC police to see whatever else they know? They may not be able to talk about it, as it’s an open case, but you know how reporters can get to cops that they know. And look how long it took to solve the Chandra Levy case. But it is worrisome that (John O.) Brennan got this big job after having been an unpaid advisor to the Obama campaign, and it had been an employee of Brennan’s firm who had looked in the passport file. Those are bad data points. And again, if this had been McCain’s staff and that had happened, it would have been front-page news for days; they would have been trying to get an answer out of it. It would have been story after story after story. And that’s the difference; there’s a double standard: McCain produces a birth certificate and Obama doesn’t. And no one cares, except for the handful of conservative activists who are looking into this type of stuff, but you don’t get the ripple effect of being in the larger media.
MRS. RONDEAU: What is your impression of the Fox News report from Thursday night?
MRS. HEMENWAY: It wasn’t as bad as I thought it could have been. He didn’t call Lt. Col. Lakin a pinhead. They had a little excerpt from the YouTube, which was good, because that gives him publicity, and by the way, the donations were way up in his Legal Defense Fund yesterday, so thank you, Bill O’Reilly! And he did say he had received the Bronze Star and is a medical doctor…but here’s where she went wrong. I don’t watch Megyn Kelly a lot; I don’t watch O’Reilly much, but she said, “When you’re in the military, you have to obey orders, and he could have just resigned, but he was trying to make a political statement.”
MRS. RONDEAU: She said that as if it were a fact?
MRS. HEMENWAY: Yes. And I thought, you know what? There is nothing that he has said that has been political. So she was dead wrong about that, and I actually need to call her office and ask her to make a retraction. It was totally wrong.
By the way, his parents are Obama supporters, so they immediately tried to find out about the family so they could say, “This is some right-wing, Republican family,” but they can’t say that. He had to think outside the family box. And the problem with the overall message was the fact that they used “birther” at least three times, saying the “birther” movement doesn’t have any traction.
MRS. RONDEAU: Did she really think that someone would risk his entire career and everything for this?
MRS. HEMENWAY: She said he should have just resigned. Sometimes she doesn’t speak very clearly because you don’t know what point she’s making, but then she said, and I thought this was odd, “We have a process to handle this.” I don’t even know if she even bothered to go to the website, to look at his timeline, to look at his Article 138, to see how many times he tried to get an answer out of officialdom and couldn’t, because that would have obviously shown her that he did try the internal remedies; he did work it internally for more than a year and got nowhere. OK, so he should just be a quitter…that was her answer.
MRS. RONDEAU: So she really didn’t do the research?
MRS. HEMENWAY: No. And the worst thing that O’Reilly said, and this again shows that he just doesn’t think deeply, or he’s slipshod in his research, which is possible, too – he basically offered up the birth announcement. Remember before, he said, “We’ve got the COLB.” This time we’ve got the birth announcement. And he used the left-wing line (and I’ve already been through this in many fights with these people earlier) – there was a plot to make him president from 1961. And it’s so silly…not even considering if this is how it works, what happens is that when Vital Statistics is informed of a birth, it generates a birth announcement. I’ve been told by my contacts in Hawaii that it’s automatic, that the newspapers automatically publish this information. The problem is, it’s the same document which none of us has seen. So whatever is on that document, whether it was one parent coming in with an affidavit – we don’t have a hospital, no attending physician – he still misses all those key points. No newspaper ad is evidence of anything.
MRS. RONDEAU: A grandparent could have placed that announcement even if the baby had been born overseas.
MRS. HEMENWAY: Yes, and they also brought up that Hawaii state officials had at one point said that paper records had been destroyed but then reversed themselves and said they still have the paper records. That’s what got Lou Dobbs off-track because Joe Klein had had his staff call Hawaii and was told the paper records were destroyed, and then they gave Lou Dobbs the impression that Obama couldn’t get a paper document, then they reversed themselves after the show aired.
MRS. RONDEAU: I have a paper document that someone mailed to me, and I’ll be doing a story about it soon. There are some differences between the document I have and the alleged Obama document.
MRS. HEMENWAY: You have to ask yourself, why are they doing such a slipshod job on this? It looks as if all O’Reilly cares about is being in the middle of the road, and he thinks that’s “fair and balanced.” “I’ll do some things as sort-of a moderate conservative, and some as a liberal, so I’m fair and balanced.” Speak the truth, pal!
MRS. RONDEAU: “Fair and balanced” is not the same as “I’m going after the truth, regardless of where it leads.”
MRS. HEMENWAY: Well, that’s right. That’s not what this is about. I think it’s all about his posturing and his image, and unfortunately, that destroys your journalistic objectivity.
MRS. RONDEAU: How did you become involved in the eligibility issue?
MRS. HEMENWAY: When I finally got involved in a serious way was when my husband came home and told me that his dad was facing financial sanctions from Judge Robertson, and I went through the roof. He’s 83, and I had thought he was doing research. I didn’t know know that he had actually filed the lawsuit. So we’re sitting there thinking, oh my gosh, on his income, with a sick wife, he doesn’t need this, and how dare they do that to him!
He’s a Renaissance man. You don’t meet people like that anymore: World War II, the Naval Academy, Rhodes Scholar, and they’re telling us we’re lunatic fringe and nut cases.
MRS. RONDEAU: What is the status of that case?
MRS. HEMENWAY: It was dismissed, and he didn’t get sanctioned, and I wrote a pretty succinct letter to Judge Robertson, and then I followed it up with another one. I don’t know if you remember this, but John McCaslin covered this, and there was a man living in DC who wrote a screecher of a letter…I actually saw the letter because WorldNetDaily ran it, and I could tell that the person who wrote it obviously has done some professional writing, but honestly, I think that may have had an influence on that judge. They sent marshals to his house, and McCaslin wrote this up, and the marshals were questioning this man about whether or not he had a relationship with John Hemenway. So this judge was trying to manhandle my father-in-law with the threat that that man made.
Actually, this is a smart man. If you’re threatening someone and you know you’re going to get in trouble, it’s when you make the specific, direct threat…when you say you ought to have something happen to you, guess what? He didn’t get arrested. And actually, this is a person who knows exactly what he’s saying and knows what line he can’t cross. But I think it had a chilling effect on the judge, and I think that’s maybe why he didn’t sanction Mr. Hemenway. The case was appealed and then dismissed.
MRS. RONDEAU: Is that where it’s staying?
MRS. HEMENWAY: Yes. I think at this point, Mr. Hemenway is thinking, “Pass the baton.” You can only do so much. I’m sure that there will be other people, and that’s going to be a problem for them. It’s also going to be the reason they’re going to have to figure out, “What do we do with Lakin?” If we don’t hammer him, we’ll keep getting more people. But if we hammer him, we’re going to get a lot of people angry.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think with Lt. Col. Lakin stepping forward, more military will do the same?
MRS. HEMENWAY: I think there’s a good chance of it, because you also have to look at people who already have 20 years in, and they aren’t going to throw away the million-dollar-plus pension. They might say, “OK, I’ve got my 20 in; I’m going to say something.” They’re counting on people being unwilling to put their country ahead of their personal financial situation, and for most people, that’s a risk that’s too high; it’s too high a price to pay. And the average person who is thinking about doing this is told, “Just call your congressman instead; write a letter, or letter to the editor, or call a reporter, but don’t put your neck on the line. ” Most people will tell you, “We can deal with this in a different way. Don’t put yourself at risk,” and that’s the advice that most people are given.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think most Americans are there? Are they willing to say something but not willing to do whatever it takes, which might mean the loss of everything? Many of our Founding Fathers lost everything; many of them died penniless. They were literally willing to risk everything. Are Americans today not willing to do that?
MRS. HEMENWAY: I do think that the difference is, and sadly, look at Washington, DC, where so many people are living directly or indirectly off the government, and that’s why a lot of people told Lakin, “Get your 20 in.” Well, guess what? You wouldn’t have said that in 1776! Because you didn’t live off the government. You were maybe risking your farm and the safety of your family. But sadly, I think people have become more selfish, and also because we generally are a peaceful, stable people, and we still have the option of, “Well, OK, if you’re angry, I understand your being angry, but just prepare for November.” That’s the solution. Don’t do something to yourself; just get involved, go to the tea parties, prepare for November. That’s the way you get your revenge. If you’re angry and upset, go and vote. So they try to suggest what they consider a more constructive path.
I did have a veteran write me, and he said, “He should just take care of his family; he should have let us retirees take care of this.” He was nice, but he didn’t want Lakin to do this, and he said, “He should just write an apology note and go back in there and tell them he’s going to Afghanistan, and just be done with it.” So I said, “Thank you, sir, very good to hear from you, and by the way, my family has been here since the 1700s. They were fighting the Cherokees, and they fought in every war, and my dad would have been very proud of Lt. Col. Lakin. My husband served, and in fact, he volunteered to quit his safe job on the Hill to go serve in Iraq, so this is my family’s history. But I will tell you this: I don’t see a line of military retirees standing up and doing what Lt. Col. Lakin has done. If there is such an initiative under way, would you please let me know about it?”
MRS. RONDEAU: A handful have come forward with the different lawsuits.
MRS. HEMENWAY: Yes, I told him about Col. Hollister and that my father-in-law represented him, and I did hear from a two-star retired general who would like to help Lt. Col. Lakin. And you know what? The next tone in the email completely shifted for him. I think he may have thought that no one was going to support this guy. But the attitude changes when you think, “Oh, a two-star, really?” who may have been, for example, a retired captain. So when I said what I said and added it to other people who think he did the right thing, quickly their attitude changes. And that’s interesting, and that’s just the dynamic of whether they think that someone has a chance of success or not.
MRS. RONDEAU: So is it sort-of a herd mentality, and not each man thinking for himself?
MRS. HEMENWAY: I often find myself having to bash people who think they are “fellow conservatives.” I love to be the person carrying the rod, but I have somebody who writes frequently for a liberal publication, and he was talking about the ugly side of the tea parties being these angry, negative people, as he described them. And I wrote him back and I said, “Peter! There were some people at the time commenting that Patrick Henry’s ‘Give me liberty or give me death!’ was an angry, negative thing!” You have to do that to them, because otherwise, I don’t like this mischaracterization. And I said, “Yes, you know what? I am upset over high taxes. I’m upset over the money that’s wasted by the government that I’d like to use for my children’s education and so that I can get braces for my kids. All of us are making sacrifices now because the government has gotten so big and greedy and insensitive. And yes, I’m not happy about it. But it doesn’t mean I’m a negative person. So don’t misrepresent people within the tea party. Don’t feel as if you have to throw a barb at them to keep your credentials up because you’re a liberal publication.” But there is that. Reagan was successful largely because he was optimistic. I wouldn’t be involved in politics if I weren’t optimistic. I don’t think Lt. Col. Lakin would have put his career and his family at risk if he weren’t optimistic. A lot of people think that he’s falling on his sword, but no, he’s standing up for his country, he’s standing up for America!
MRS. RONDEAU: So people are looking at what he has to lose instead of doing what’s right.
MRS. HEMENWAY: The best thing that John F. Kennedy ever said is, “Ask not what your country can do for you…” That’s exactly what we ought to be thinking: what he’s doing for his country.
MRS. RONDEAU: My last question is, have you raised the $50,000 that you initially said you needed on the website that you needed for his defense?
MRS. HEMENWAY: I think we just reached that hurdle. The reality is that he is under investigation facing charges. I don’t know how long it will take them to put the paperwork together to move forward. It could be days, and this is very unusual. This is not a typical court martial. This has very high political overtones, so this may be a little more difficult, and more eyes may look at it than at any other type of court martial. But I think he’ll be ready to go and well-fueled to defend himself properly. And the whole effort in public affairs is about making enough Americans aware of his situation that I don’t want the DOD to mistreat or manhandle him. He needs to be entitled to defend himself, and that ought to be with having the records he needs to make his case.
MRS. RONDEAU: Could he be arrested and incarcerated any day?
MRS. HEMENWAY: They could have tried to do pre-trial detention if they had wanted. That didn’t happen. He’s at Walter Reed. The disappointment is that he’s not in patient care and that’s what he excels at. He loves taking care of the troops; that’s his mission. Immediately my husband said, “They didn’t want troops saying, ‘Tell me about this birth certificate stuff!'” I think they quarantined him so there wouldn’t be more converts on the birth certificate!
MRS. RONDEAU: That was my impression, too, that they sequestered him.
MRS. HEMENWAY: However, he’s being treated civilly, and that’s important. The other thing that’s really interesting is that when you talk to reporters about this, and of course I’ve talked to a lot of them at this point, you don’t get any debate on the essence of the issue. Really, it takes just about ten minutes to explain the birth certificate issue and to make a strong case. They don’t argue with you on this. Only one was somewhat hostile, and the first thing he said to me was, “Can I interview this guy, because how do we know this guy is really saying these things?” That was the only negative comment made to me. The rest of them are interested in this story and don’t seem at all hostile, which is interesting and makes you think they know there’s something there, too.
I’m starting to get more people who have told me to get on talk radio and talk, because people listen. I had a caller in to the Denver station, and they sound so sullen, and that’s actually a good sign, because you’re getting to them. I had made the comment that there were no eyewitnesses for this birth. I said, “I don’t know about Obama’s mother, but when I had my babies, there were probably 40 people who knew that I had had my baby at Arlington Hospital. Someone bought a baby gift or threw a shower…”
This girl had called in and she was very sullen and defensive, but she said, “Well, racism is terrible in this country, and she was having a black child, and there wouldn’t have been a baby shower,” and I just said, “I’m sorry, but she was not a hermit. Are you telling me that no one saw her at the pharmacy or the drugstore, the shopping center, the grocery store, her neighbor?” So they’re getting nervous.
MRS. RONDEAU: Are you doing a lot of mainstream radio or internet radio?
MRS. HEMENWAY: I’ve done Peter Boyle’s station in Denver three times already; I’m doing a talk radio show in Phoenix on Tuesday, and I’ve done TruNews in Palm Beach. A lot of people are calling in to the website and asking for interviews.
MRS. RONDEAU: Is there anything else the Lt. Col. needs? Do you need more money for his defense?
MRS. HEMENWAY: We really don’t know how long the court martial will last, and it’s very high-profile, of course. So it’s possible that we will need more money. It’s hard to say. I’d love to be a fly on the wall during the trial, and so many people will be watching.
MRS. RONDEAU: It’s been a pleasure speaking with you. Thank you so much for your time.