He was never allowed to defend himself. He wanted to plead that the orders he received were unlawful because they were not authorized in accordance with the Constitution and the Authorization to Use Force, which required someone acting as CINC to be the sole decision-maker on the use of force against terrorism abroad. The 20th Amendment prohibits someone who had “failed to qualify” from acting as President.
Denise Lind ruled that Lt Col Terry Lakin could not use that defense because the President doesn’t issue orders and the lawfulness of combat orders doesn’t require a President’s authorization, even though Congress’ Authorization to Use Force says it does.
Look at that ruling within this Syrian context and tell me whether you think anybody in Congress or the military really believes what Denise Lind foisted onto Terry Lakin. What do you think would happen if Obama wouldn’t authorize a strike on Syria but some military LTC ordered his men to do it anyway.
If what Lind says is true, no problem. It’s a lawful order and anybody who refused to obey it would be court-martialed, refused an opportunity to defend him/herself, and spend 6 months in jail and lose all their retirement benefits - as well as have the civilian authorities seek to refuse them a license to practice whatever skill they had been using in the military - just like was done to Lt Col Terry Lakin.
And lots of folks here on FR would be cheering it along saying it was right.
To truly mimic the Lakin situation, the LTC’s in the field would have to order their men to go to Syria AGAINST the decision of the Constitutionally-authorized CINC. Since Obama failed to qualify by Jan 20, 2009, the one authorized by the Constitution to “act as President” is Joe Biden, and Biden was expressly AGAINST the surge in Afghanistan.
So if the field commanders can lawfully contradict the orders of the person acting as CINC, then everybody in the military who is in the chain of command giving the orders necessary to carry out a Syria attack could just change the orders - send the planes, troops, etc someplace else - and nobody could do a darn thing about it. Without admitting that the Lakin ruling was doo-doo, that is....
Don’t be surprised if obama orders the attack then ACCUSED some rogue officer.