Sunday, July 19, 2009

Wire: Soldier Refusing Deployment Over Obama's Citizenship Status Joined by Servicemembers

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, July 19, 2009 -- Newswire services Sunday reported that a lawsuit brought by a U.S. Army reservist refusing deployment to Afghanistan, questioning President Barack Obama's natural-born citizenship and eligibility to serve as commander-in-chief, has been joined by a retired Army two-star general and an active reserve Air Force lieutenant colonel.

Maj. Stefan Frederick Cook filed suit July 8 in federal court asking for a preliminary injunction and status as a conscientious objector.

Cook stated he "would be acting in violation of international law by engaging in military actions outside the United States under this President’s command. ... simultaneously subjecting himself to possible prosecution as a war criminal by the faithful execution of these duties."

However, before the issue got to court, Cook’s orders to deploy to Afghanistan were revoked.

Lt. Col. Maria Quon, a public affairs officer with the U.S. Army Human Resources Command-St. Louis, said Tuesday that Cook was no longer expected to report Wednesday to MacDill Air Force Base in Florida for mobilization to active duty.

Cook is an Individual Mobilization Augmentee. This means he’s a reserve soldier assigned to an active component unit consisting of active duty soldiers instead of a reserve unit, which is composed entirely of reserve soldiers. He is assigned to the U.S. Army Element of U.S. Southern Command, said the Ledger-Enquirer newspaper.

The government, in its response to the suit, claims that Cook’s suit is "moot" in that he already has been told he doesn’t have to go to Afghanistan, so the relief he is seeking has been granted.

The Ledger-Enquirer noted that in a pleading revised after the revocation of Cook’s orders, Cook's lawyer, California attorney Orly Taitz, argues that the application for preliminary injunction is not moot and that retired Maj. Gen. Carol Dean Childers and active U.S. Air Force reservist Lt. Col. David Earl Graeff have joined the suit "because it is a matter of unparalleled public interest and importance and because it is clearly a matter arising from issues of a recurring nature that will escape review unless the Court exercises its discretionary jurisdiction."

The military courts offer no option for raising the question, so Cook turned to civilian courts to consider "a question of paramount constitutional and legal importance: the validity of the chain of command under a president whose election, eligibility, and constitutional status appear open to serious question."

"Barack Hussein Obama, in order to prove his constitutional eligibility to serve as president, basically needs only produce a single unique historical document for the Plaintiff’s inspection and authentication: namely, the 'long-form' birth certificate which will confirm whether Barack Hussein Obama was in fact born to parents who were both citizens of the United States in Honolulu, Hawaii, in or about 1961," explains the complaint.

Taitz, who has challenged the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency in other courts, filed the original suit with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. Two similar suits have previously been thrown out of federal court.

(Report from newswire sources.)

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