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News Army Doctor Birther?

  1. May 7, 2010 #1
    I am a bit baffled by this, but there is a doctor in the US Army who refuses to complete his duties without "proof" that Barak Obama was born in the USA. This man is a colonel. Isn't this madness?

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20002577-503544.html

    Can anyone explain this to me? Is it just a manifestation of xenophobia?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2010 #2

    DaveC426913

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    Where was this guy's righteous indignation when Bush got placed in office?
     
  4. May 7, 2010 #3
    What is this publicity for?! An army colonel refusing a lawful order is a traitor, and in many other countries he would be executed for refusal to deploy. What is the method to this madness? I don't understand.
     
  5. May 7, 2010 #4

    DaveC426913

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    Are you mad? I never said that.


    :wink:

    After having read the article through, I decided that they don't have a hidden agenda, their agenda is quite plain.
     
  6. May 7, 2010 #5

    CRGreathouse

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    I think that's insubordination, not treason -- grounds for dishonorable discharge, at worst, rather than execution.

    As to why this merits publicity, I have no idea.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2010
  7. May 7, 2010 #6

    BobG

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    He wouldn't be a traitor. He'd be convicted of failure to go, a lesser charge than AWOL, desertion, or treason.

    None the less, doing this with 18 years of service is pretty risky. If he's courtmartialed and kicked out before completing 20 years, he's flushing over $4000 a month down the toilet. (My first thought was that he was probably already eligible for retirement, meaning, after making a show, he could quietly get out and still collect his retirement, plus set himself up as a hero, thereby setting up a possibility of a second career in politics).
     
  8. May 7, 2010 #7
    He is just trying to get attention for his fellow "birther" nutbags. He is an 18 year career military officer. Most likely he was planning to retire soon any way and will not be severely hurt by a dishonourable discharge, except that he has publicly made an *** of himself but he does not really seem to care about that.
     
  9. May 7, 2010 #8
    A man I know was never even an officer when he was in the military and is currently a millionaire. If one knows what they are doing with their money they can likely live without a pension.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2010
  10. May 7, 2010 #9

    lisab

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    Good question. I've wondered about the intense passion felt by the birthers, tea partiers, etc. They don't seem to have any concrete problem to complain about, just vague notions such as "socialism" and "government out of control". Their emotions seem tinged with real hate - so what is causing that? Is it Obama's "funny" name? His unusual upbringing (the years spent in a predominantly Muslim country)? Is it his race?

    Maybe all those.

    But as far as an officer refusing to deploy - we had that happen here locally, a guy who believed the Iraq war to be illegal. He faced court martial. I'll look for a link.

    Edit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ehren_Watada" [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  11. May 8, 2010 #10
    meh, he's an officer. if he's really indignant, then he should just resign his commission, right?


    also, if McCain had been elected, i think we'd be seeing the same kind of "birther" movement from leftie loons, since McCain wasn't born in the US, "either" (Panama).
     
  12. May 8, 2010 #11

    mheslep

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    No, just a criminal.
     
  13. May 8, 2010 #12
    Ok, he's not a traitor, but a criminal who is trying to get publicity for other of these "birthers". I understand the facts, but it still seems like a kind of xenophobic hysteria. Lisab, interesting thank you!

    Thanks for all of the information to everyone who has posted.
     
  14. May 8, 2010 #13

    DaveC426913

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    What is the core argument? What consequences are there to the possibility that he is not born in America?
     
  15. May 8, 2010 #14

    arildno

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    Hmm..ineligibility as President, perhaps?
     
  16. May 8, 2010 #15
    Beyond that, it implies there would have to be a massive conspiracy, and that the US was under de facto foreign control, both of which are mad.
     
  17. May 8, 2010 #16

    DaveC426913

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    Clearly, but why does he not feel Obama should be running the country? I guess my question is: is his a selfish position to improve his own faction's power (i.e. he's a republican) or does he feel he's standing up for a principle on behalf of all Americans?
     
  18. May 8, 2010 #17
    Given the level of the risk he is taking, it is likely he believes it to be the second, but also that his judgment is impaired.
     
  19. May 8, 2010 #18

    arildno

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    Why does it imply that?

    Why would a "massive conspiracy" be necessary to forge a birth certificate??


    Not that I think that happened at all, but really, I don't see the need for any massive conspiracy to be pulled off in order to get the result.
     
  20. May 8, 2010 #19
    Why would there need to be a conspiracy to forge a birth certificate, and shut all the people up who had knowledge of this, all well in advance of when this man could have run for president? Given the ability of intelligence services to perform background checks on a president, I believe it would require a massive conspiracy, which makes it all the more unbelievable.
     
  21. May 8, 2010 #20

    arildno

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    Well, if he doesn't think Obama was eligible in the first place, then it is principled thinking that Obama should not run the country at all, whether his politics is to the colonel's liking or not.
    Whether this Colonel suffers from principled thinking or something else entirely, is rather beside the point.

    There are lots of immigrants in the US, ineligible for presidenthood, but with shrewd political sense and admirable goals.

    Should they be allowed to become President, in violation of constitutional rules?
     
  22. May 8, 2010 #21

    arildno

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    Why?

    What do you know about the sloppiness or unsloppiness of Hawaiian record-keeping 50 years back in time?



    For example:
    I'm sure some benefits, like automatic inclusion in school registries, will accrue to newborn US children.

    What are the rules for homeborn children said to be born "at home" IN the US (rather than at, say, a hospital), and then brought to the registry as "born in the US", while they might have been born elsewhere (for example, across the Canadian or Mexican border)?
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2010
  23. May 8, 2010 #22
    No more than has been discussed in various media, but again, anyone with knowledge that could reliably contradict his proof of birth would have massive incentive to speak for money, or power, or morality if they felt so inclined. That is the birth of the need to conspire, including people who knew him as a baby, child, and so forth. Only if you posit that he was born outside the USA, then rushed into the country for the rest of his life does this even begin to be believable. I find that absurd.
     
  24. May 8, 2010 #23

    Evo

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    The issue isn't over the birth certificate being forged, the certificate is real. The issue is that there is no "birth record" of Obama being born in the US. His mother claims he was born in a hospital, but the hospital has no record of him being born. She went to the county clerk several days after he was born and requested a birth certificate. The birthers are claiming she lied about where he was born when she requested the birth certificate.

    When a child is born in a hospital, they create a "birth record" and it is signed by the doctor that performed/witnessed the birth. then the hospital files the birth record with the court clerk and a "birth certifcate" is issued.

    And NO, I am not a birther, I am simply clarifying the difference between a birth record of witness of birth at a hospital and a sworn requested birth certificate without witnesses, other than the mother.
     
  25. May 8, 2010 #24

    arildno

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    Well, I don't see the absurdity at all, as long as there were, 40-50 years ago distinct advantages for parents to have children registered as US citizens, rather than foreign born, for no more sinister reasons than to be able to claim a school place for their children, for example.

    Furthermore, who would sit with "reliable knowledge"?

    A retired bureaucrat who worked at an understaffed, over-worked register office trying to make the mess of life into some semblance of bureaucratic order?

    Would such a person distinctly remember any one baby in particular, 40-50 years after the event?

    Would retired nurses or doctors do?



    Again, I don't see the necessity for a "massive" conspiracy having taken place, but then again, I don't think one should doubt a person's registered birth country unless there is positive proof of such deception having taken place.

    And THAT is, I think, the flaw in the Colonel's position, rather than that he needs to postulate the existence of some vast conspiracy.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2010
  26. May 8, 2010 #25

    BobG

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    A court martial is a trial, not a punishment. In Watada's case, he was facing a possible 2 year prison sentence for failing to go, plus being dismissed from the military (at his point in his career, losing a chance to collect retirement is less an issue than it is for someone only two years from retirement).

    He was also facing additional punishment for the public statements he made.

    I'm surprised things turned out as well as they did for Watada.

    You can't fail to deploy based on the rationale that the entire war is illegal. He could have refused to take part in specific actions that he felt were illegal. The latter would raise a lot of flak for him, but his actions would have to be really out there for them to result in a court martial (there were some rather courageous military members that refused to participate in "aggressive" interrogation practices and there was no way anyone would have wanted to take that to court martial).

    None the less, if Watada felt strongly enough about it, I'd say the possibility of winning his case and setting a precedent that the war was illegal might be worth two years of prison. Others have endured longer imprisonment for causes they believed in.

    And I agree his statements were conduct unbecoming of an officer because he linked his comments directly to his military status in an attempt to incite discipline problems in the military. That was a slam dunk offense regardless of how his failure to deploy charge turned out. For Watada, that was apparently the cost of making a stand (which makes me believe he considered the publicity of a court martial to outweigh a potential two year prison sentence, plus whatever sentence he got for his public statements).

    His First Amendment rights protect his right to say whatever he wants about the war and he could even take part in war protests. He just can't directly link his statements to his role as a military officer, nor can he make those statements to his troops while performing in his role as a military officer. He has to make those kind of statements on his own time as an average citizen.

    Lakin could be looking at the same type of punishment for his statements, but probably not since his statements have seemed to be more an explanation of his own personal actions vs statements encouraging others to take the same action. Plus he's looking at similar punishment for the actual offense of failing to deploy. His cause is a little too bizarre for him to expect the military to accept some sort of settlement that results in the publicity going away, so I don't think his prospects are very good.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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