Breaking the law in service of a greater good has proven very costly for Lt. Col. Terrence L. Lakin.
The Army flight surgeon lost his career and his freedom today after exposing himself to court martial, in an effort to validate the military chain of command by determining whether President Barack Obama is constitutionally eligible to serve as commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
After deliberating four hours, an Army court-martial panel sentenced Lakin to six months in prison, forfeiture of pay and dismissal from the service.
On Wednesday, the panel had convicted Lakin of “missing movement” of an airplane scheduled to fly him to his new unit. On Tuesday, the first day of the trial, Lakin pleaded guilty to three counts of disobeying orders. All of the charges were felonies.
Lakin’s confinement began this evening and will continue for six months unless Major General Karl R. Horst, the general in command of Army troops in the Washington, D.C. area, decides to grant clemency or reduce the sentence. As the “court-martial convening authority,” Horst has the power to review the sentence handed down by the panel.
Because dismissal, the officer’s equivalent of an enlisted man’s dishonorable discharge, is considered a “punitive discharge,” Lakin is automatically entitled to appeal the sentence to the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals. Lakin’s defense counsel has not yet commented about plans to appeal.
“The accused refused to deploy as a tool to score points for a political cause,” prosecutor Capt. Philip J. O’Beirne told the court martial panel before their sentencing deliberations. O’Beirne asked the panel to imprison Lakin for 24 months and dismiss him from the service.
Read More: By Brian Fitzpatrick, WND
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