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Birther Colonel returns home Saturday

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Lt. Col. Terry Lakin, who refused to obey lawful orders on the belief that President Obama had taken office illegitimately, will be returning to Baltimore on Saturday from his incarceration in military prison. For refusing to obey orders, Lakin lost his pay and benefits, and was given a punitive dismissal from the service — the officer's equivalent of a dishonorable discharge.

Some people, even non-birthers, have blamed President Obama for Lakin's incarceration. The president, they argue, did not release his “long-form” birth certificate in a fashion timely enough to convince Lakin not to flush his career down the toilet.

This is nonsense. What would we do if large numbers of our military followed Lakin's example — decided that orders are optional, until and unless the government produces evidence debunking whatever conspiracy theory they happen to believe? To begin with, we would have already lost all of the wars we are currently involved in. We couldn't even have a military if enough people behaved like Lakin.

His story is a very sad one, of a man who is probably quite decent being ruined by his own gullibility. I hope his family isn't ruined. But don't make him into some kind of hero. You can blame president Obama for a lot of things, but not for this man's voluntary failure to do his duty.

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