BULLETIN: Andy Martin’s schedule is running late. His news conference will be at 4:00 P.M., not 2:00 P.M. as originally scheduled. Same location: Third Avenue
Legal scholar and Obama author/film producer Andy Martin today presented the U. S. Army with a simple and direct explanation of why Barack Obama is ineligible to serve as President, and why Lt. Col. Terry Lakin lacks criminal intent in challenging Obama’s authority as Commander in Chief.
Martin’s letter to General George Casey provides unique insight into earlier unsuccessful lawsuits challenging Obama’s eligibility, and explains why the current military court martial of Lakin is based on a different legal foundation: Lakin is in the direct chain of command and has the right to question Obama’s legitimacy as a commander in chief. Martin’s views were delivered at a New York City news conference. Martin called Obama the type of “drive-by president” that the founders wished to preclude from holding the office.
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Anthony R. Martin, J. D.
May 26, 2010
General George W. Casey, Jr.
Chief of Staff
United States Army
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400
Re: Lt. Col. Terry Lakin
Dear General Casey:
As the person whom left-wing media call the “King of the Birthers,” and as the writer who originally raised questions about President Barack Obama’s missing birth certificate and legal status, I would like to provide some independent information concerning the potential court martial of Lt. Col. Terry Lakin.
I am completely independent and impartial in so far as the Lakin matter is concerned. So far as I am aware I have not had any contact with anyone involved in Lakin’s specific case. I am the author of the Obama book “Obama: The Man Behind The Mask” which first raised questions about Obama’s citizenship.
The concepts which follow are complex. This letter is a summary or distillation of the issues and questions raised, and should not be considered an exhaustive discussion.
1. What is a “birther?”
The left-wing media have grouped together everyone who questions the circumstances concerning Barack Obama’s birth and citizenship as a “birther.” Obama’s original 1961 birth certificate is missing; Obama has refused to release it. I have a lawsuit pending in Hawai’i to open the state’s records. That’s why I am called the original or “King” birther.
Hawai’i officials are hiding something but I don’t quite know what.
Thus, because I believe Obama was actually born in Hawai’i, strictly speaking I am not a “birther.” Despite some criticism because I accept the birther term created by Obama’s media mujahideen, I think it is fair to say I triggered and created doubts about Obama’s birth and citizenship. As a form of shorthand I am a birther. Birther is a convenient way of expressing an uneasiness that concerns tens of millions of Americans.
In the absence of Obama’s real documentation, a large universe of fanciful argumentation has been created by some of Obama’s critics (not including me). There are persistent claims Obama was born in Kenya (fostered in part by Michelle Obama). I am constantly bombarded by persons who believe there is “evidence” for this assertion. I have seen no credible evidence Obama was born in Kenya.
2. Why you should proceed cautiously
You might be tempted to consider the “birther” controversy a diversion. As commander of the Army, you should not do so. Birther sentiments are concentrated in the states and communities where the Army receives most of its volunteers. In other words, you don't find a lot of Army people from Manhattan who are birthers, but then you don’t get a lot of soldiers from Manhattan either.
But birther sentiments are extremely strong across the south and west, where the bulk of the Army comes from. Thus, I would tread cautiously in wading into the birther brouhaha generated by Colonel Lakin. Making fun of the beliefs of families who provide the bulk of your soldiers is not a good idea.
3. Is Obama’s birth certificate really germane to Lakin’s claim?
While Obama’s 1961 birth certificate is of immense historical importance, that document is only peripherally necessary to a determination of Col. Lakin’s claim that the Commander in Chief needs to establish his legitimacy. (Obama’s document could potentially reflect a Kenyan or other foreign birth that was merely “certified” in Hawai’i. We don’t know.)
Nevertheless, by his own admission, President Obama is not eligible to hold the office of president.
While Obama did receive more votes than John McCain, Americans were slow to realize that Obama simply lacked the constitutional qualifications to serve as president. Please allow me to explain.
4. Why Obama is ineligible/the “natural born citizen” issue
A. Who is eligible to serve as president?
The Constitution has one additional and specific term
among the qualifications to serve as president. A president must be a “natural born citizen.” The term “natural born citizen” (“NBC”) is not defined in the Constitution itself, or anywhere else in contemporaneous American law at the time Constitution was adopted.
There seems to be agreement among legal scholars where the NBC term originated. John Jay sent George Washington a letter asking that a future commander in chief (“CIC”) be an NBC. That’s as far as scholarly agreement extends. It is important to note that no federal court has ever squarely confronted or clearly defined what NBC means. As one federal judge has stated, “the question is not completely free from doubt.” It is also a truism that most of the commentary on the NBC issue has come from “liberal,” not conservative, scholars and so we have not really had a full-throated debate on what NBC really means.
B. Does the term “NBC” have independent meaning?
While the term NBC did not have independent American meaning at the time of the Constitution itself, there was significant existing European literature that discussed and refined the term. Jay was a scholar and was probably aware of that writing. Thus, the founders can reasonably be presumed to have been aware of the significance of NBC term Jay requested be placed in the Constitution. That is why the “legislative history” is so sparse. They knew what they were talking about.
In a sort-of “search and avoid” mission we knew in Viet-Nam, liberal scholars recently have sought to “search” for the NBC term’s origins but “avert” their eyes from use of the term NBC in European literature during the second half of the eighteenth century. I believe they are “avoiding” European writings because these writing explain the term NBC in a way that liberal scholars do not want to concede.
The term NBC meant, and still means, someone who was not only born in a country but someone who had both of his parents as citizens of the country at the time of his or her birth. In other words, someone could not just come to this country and have a baby and have that person “grow up to be president” unless both of the parents of the future president were also citizens at the time of his or her birth. This heightened “test” explains why the special NBC words were inserted in the Constitution.
C. What were they afraid of?
There is scholarly agreement that at the time the Constitution was adopted, the founders were afraid of potential future Anglo-Germanic usurpation. In other words, they had a real fear which motivated them to ensure that the CIC met a much higher standard of qualification than mere citizenship. They wanted a CIC to have greater ties to this nation than mere presence on the land.
D. Why is Obama ineligible?
Obama is a U. S. Citizen and became one at birth. He is not and could not become an NBC. Why? What is the distinction? For over hundred years, U. S. Supreme Court precedent has accepted that anyone physically born in the United States is a citizen. But remember that the NBC requirement was obviously more than “mere citizenship,” because the term was inserted in the qualifications for only one office (president) while lesser offices (Senator and Representative) required only “citizenship.”
It is axiomatic that in using a specific and special term for the president, the founders meant to imbue the office with a greater test for qualification to serve.
Obama is ineligible by his own admission. He claims his father was Barack Hussein Obama (“BHO”) from Kenya. Ironically, Obama’s case illustrates exactly what the founders were trying to prevent: a drive-by president.
BHO had no ties to this country. He came here presumably on a student visa and very likely never even became a permanent resident. He left behind a Kenyan wife and children, and returned to them. Today we would call our president a “non-martial” offspring of BHO in preference to a harsher term in use at the time of Obama’s birth.
BHO had no ties to this country, yet through some process he deposited a “president” on our soil. That is exactly the type of tenuous connection to America that the founders thought should not permit someone to become president. They wanted to require a multi-generational presence as eligibility to serve as president.
So, by his own admission that his father was someone with no ties and no citizenship claims to this nation, Obama is ineligible to serve as president. He is the example that proves the rule and proves precisely what the founders were trying to prevent. BHO created the very “drive-by president” that the founders feared in adopting the NBC clause.
Ironically, I have advanced the theory that Obama’s real, or biological, father is Frank Marshall Davis. If my theory is correct, and only if my theory is correct, is Obama actually an NBC. Davis was indisputably an American citizen.
5. Prior litigation
There have been many lawsuits exploring the NBC issue. I predicted they would fail, and I was correct. I have over forty years of successful federal court litigation experience. But none of the cases involved a determination on the merits of the definition of NBC. Instead, judges dismissed lawsuits because the plaintiffs lacked “standing.” Standing is an artificial concept created by the judiciary to ensure that people litigate real claims instead of hypothetical disputes. Judges held that ordinary citizens could not challenge presidential election issues due to a lack of particularized injury, or standing.
However, Col. Lakin’s challenge to his commander in chief falls in an entirely different legal category, a fact hitherto ignored by both the media and the military. I think this is why you should proceed cautiously with Col. Lakin’s claims.
6. What makes Lakin’s claim unique, and substantial
Unlike a civilian court where an individual plaintiff may lack standing to challenge a government official’s eligibility to hold office, a military court martial is not a civilian court. Historically, a court martial is part of the military chain of command. Military discipline culminating in a court martial flows through the military system, not through an independent system of civil justice. Courts martial are the military.
Thus, while ordinary civilians may lack standing to challenge a commander’s qualifications, that is not true in the case of a military officer.
Col. Lakin is challenging the constitutional qualifications of his commanding officer. (Military law also allows an officer to challenge what may be invalid orders under the “Nuremberg" doctrine and similar modern concepts of military restraint and responsibility.) In my legal opinion, Lakin’s case lacks any indicia of criminal intent. In my legal opinion, Lakin clearly has standing to raise and proffer his concerns because unlike an ordinary civilian in a civil court, Lakin is an officer by Act of Congress. Lakin is in the direct chain of command with the president/commander.
Thus, while civilian judges could bar ordinary litigants, I don’t think that the military chain of command which culminates in President Obama can make a claim that an officer lacks standing to “stand up” to his commander.
In my legal opinion, the fact that Lakin is in the chain of command and is raising issues related to the legitimacy of the chain of command takes this case out of the prior legal cases that were unsuccessfully raised in the civil courts.
7. Where do we go from here?
A. Where do you go?
Because I am not part of the Lakin case I will refrain
from making specific recommendations. Nevertheless, because of the unique fact that Lakin's claim arises in the chain of command, his argument or demand cannot be dismissed as mere posturing. You have a real problem even if it is not the one which is framed by the media (the “missing birth certificate”).
Just as an aside, you might suggest to the president that he authorize me and other scholars to receive a copy of the 1961 Hawai'i birth certificate. That would help lift the cloud on his origins though not on his NBC status. Every little bit helps.
B. Where do we as a nation go?
The longer President Obama plays games with his origins and refuses to address the very serious questions that exist about his citizenship and eligibility, the greater will be the eventual reaction to his legerdemain.
The left-wing mainstream media have tried to make a joke of Obama’s missing birth certificate.
But the American public does not take the matter lightly.
There is a vast disconnect between media sentiment and public sentiment on this issue.
I will have more to say on how Obama can be removed in a future discussion. For now, I think it is essential that you adopt the public’s view, and not the media’s view, and treat Lakin’s issue of NBC status as a serious issue and not a joke for late-night comedians.