As reported here, the government’s own witness–Lt. Christine Edwards, kicked open the eligibility door when she testified before the Military Panel that she knew that LTC Lakin’s reason for refusing to deploy was the question of Obama’s eligibility. While that could have opened the door to further questioning on this issue in a
normal fair proceeding, recall that Judge Lind struck down any part of Lakin’s defense that would require proof of Obama’s eligibility. Further, during Judge Lind’s questioning of Lt. Col. Lakin on his previous guilty pleas, she reminded him that his conscience was not a reason to disobey an order.
The prosecution, upon that little ‘slip’, immediately shut down that part of her testimony and re-focused her attention on the ” Roberts-directed order” to Lt. Col. Lakin to get on a specific plane flight. Conveniently, Col. Roberts–the Medal of Honor winner–was recalled to “remember” that he had told Lt. Campbell to tell Lakin to get on ‘that’ plane.
How interesting that the defense did not
pick up on, challenge or pursue that discrepancy in testimony. This was one of many small signals that a script was in play.
The Defense Rests
On Wednesday, the defense rested its case without calling any witnesses. 😮
While this was a surprise to most in the
courtroom “gallery” except the family and certain individuals, it was a choice based on the work of the day before…and based on the fact that LTC Lakin had been denied the opportunity to present a full defense.
While we were picking up our jaws from off the floor, the Panel was given jury instructions by Judge Lind, which had been agreed to in advance by both prosecution and defense counsel. The Panel left the court room.
Guarded optimism that the military jurors understood the essence of Puckett’s argument was quickly dashed when the panel sent back a question to the Court as to the meaning of the word “require”. 🙄 If high ranking officers on a jury are asking that kind of question, it seemed that the fate of LTC Lakin was sealed.
The Script Emerges
scripted strange that the defense objected to one of the questions whose answer would have been helpful to Lakin. That was an inquiry as to when LTC Lakin’s replacement was in place at Ft. Campbell, and was presumably aimed at the ‘missing movement’ charge which Puckett had earlier argued was the Army’s ‘piling on’ of charges to get more jail time. Counsel disclosed that Lakin’s replacement was at Ft. Campbell on April 26, only 14 days after Lakin refused to deploy. The prosecution focused on the inconvenience to the replacement and his wife, and indirectly implied that the death of one of the men in Afghanistan and his replacement’s additional responsibility was the fault of Lt. Col. Lakin’s failure to follow orders. That statement went unchallenged as would have been a ‘fact not in evidence’ nor relevant to the inquiry.
The military had been adamant that Lakin’s actions were disruptive and caused the Army to scramble, but it looks like the replacement was found immediately….so…why wouldn’t the defense want the jurors to hear that?
Less than a half hour after those questions were presented, the jury returned with a verdict of ‘guilty’ on the single count of “missing movement,” the charge carrying the most jail time–36 months.
There were other signs…the statements and demeanor of some of the family members, and indeed, their collaboration with the obvious, unpatriotic obots in the room. The pressure on Lakin from all sides is more than most of us can imagine or would be able to bear.
The roughing up of Pastor Manning the day before; being locked into the courtroom for quite a while–known only to the smokers–with many police cars surrounding the area, the ‘dropped’ rumor that violence and disruption was expected from us…those also were signs.
Time stood still in that rarefied moment of courage and breathtaking betrayal.