Flight surgeon threatens to refuse deployment over Obama birth certificate flap

By LEO SHANE III | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 3, 2010

WASHINGTON — An Army flight surgeon could face reprimand or dismissal from the service after stating in an online video that he’ll refuse deployment to Afghanistan because of concerns he has about President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, chief of primary care for the Pentagon’s health clinic, released a statement through the American Patriot Foundation saying his decision is based on “pursuit of the truth about the president’s eligibility under the constitution to hold office.”

Army officials said Lakin has not yet violated any direct orders, but his statements have been brought to commanders’ attention for review.

“They have a wide range of options to consider — no action, administrative action, or even recommendation of dismissal,” Army spokesman George Wright said. “It’s for his command to determine.”

Lakin, an 18-year soldier, last served overseas in 2005 during a tour with the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Squadron, 25th Infantry Division in Afghanistan.

Questions surrounding Obama’s birth certificate surfaced during the 2008 election, but were largely put to rest after Hawaii officials confirmed his American citizenship and the campaign released a copy of the document.

But over the last two years fringe groups have maintained public campaigns and court challenges in an attempt to prove Obama’s ineligibility to hold the presidency. Last summer, a Georgia court dismissed such arguments in a similar case by an Army major refusing deployment.