Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin was formally charged with four violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), Articles 87 and 92, for dereliction of duty.
Lakin believes that President Barack Obama is not a naturally-born US citizen, so he intentionally decided he would not comply with orders to go to Afghanistan. The doctor will now face a court martial. If found guilty, he could lose all his benefits accrued from his 20 plus years of service. It is possible he could even face some time behind bars, and be dishonourably charged. Lakin was to have reported for deployment at the end of March 2010, but after he failed to show, he was formally charged on April 22nd. Lakin explained his position on March 30th, saying“I am today compelled to make the distasteful choice to invite my own court martial, in pursuit of the truth about the president’s eligibility under the constitution to hold office."
The US Constitution only permits US citizens born in the United States to run for the office of President. Lakin is one of millions of Americans who believe President Obama was not born in the United States, even though proof of the President's birthplace in Hawaii had been provided. A Kos poll has found that 58% of the birthers are Republican. A Scientific American article notes that cognition research shows that most Americans associate "American-ness" with skin colour -- in particular, the lack of evidence of having melanin pigment.
Lakin is a decorated career military man. He is not the only American soldier to refuse to serve because of his belief that President Obama was not born in the United States.
Birthers claim that President Obama was born in Kenya. Those who truly believe lodge law suits against the President. One birther, Orly Taitz, has fired off at least a six law suits against President Obama, and all were dismissed. Oritz is described as the mother of the birther movement, because her unyielding belief that Obama was not born in the United States spawned the movement.
An American racism and hate crimes watchdog, the Southern Poverty Law Center, has categorized the birther movement as racist.
A recently passed Arizona anti-immigration law is said to be rooted in the birther movement. The new law has been condemned by President Obama.