If the commander in chief is really the alien in chief, must soldiers obey his orders?
in the U.S. Army Reserve, Stefan Frederick Cook, is refusing
an order to deploy to Afghanistan, on the basis that Barack Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen, and therefore is not the legitimate U.S. president and has no authority to order Cook to do anything, least of all to go to war.
Bravo for Cook. I hope the case goes all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. I want to see Obama’s damned birth certificate.
- end of initial entry -
John D. writes:
Here’s an update on U.S. Army Reserve Major Stefan Frederick Cook. It seems that his orders to deploy to Afghanistan have been revoked. This is a very interesting situation. The military may have just conceded Obama’s illegitimacy.
Prakhar G. writes:
LA, is that really a standard that you want to set? A soldier can disobey his commander in chief if he has (questionable) doubts about the legitimacy of his commander in chief?
I will grant that in any government system, there has to be some method of questioning legitimacy (of people in position of trust, not the sovereign power itself) but if soldiers can question their commander’s authority, that is coming dangerously close to I-don’t-like-my-sovereign-so-I-can-rebel. There may well be a reasonable question of Obama’s legitimacy but a member of the army should not be the one to bring it up and said member is certainly not justified in ignoring his orders for this reason.
Obama may not be an ideal (or competent) commander in chief but allowing this kind of behavior undermines the stability of this country as well as its ability to protect itself against its enemies.
You make good points, which generally would be applicable. But here we have an extraordinary situation, a president who, in an act of supreme contempt for the public, or an act of guilty evasiveness, has concealed the basic information pertaining to his birth and citizenship status. The political system did nothing to determine if he was indeed eligible to be president. The hospital in Hawaii during the campaign issued a misleading, fake statement, did not answer the fundamental question, and did not provide the actual birth certificate. Extraordinary measures are therefore justified to force this president to provide the truth of his birth. I applaud Cook, but, as we now see, the military, in order to avoid the issue coming to a head, simply rescinded the order to Cook to go to Afghanistan. I call on other military personnel to do what Cook did.
I believe we have an illegitimate president, who stands outside our laws and constitution, and is hostile to out society. We need to treat him accordingly.
For more information on this, see these entries:
Obama citizenship issue finally gets noticed by mainstream media; and my doubts about Philip Berg [I say the issue is valid, but Thomas Lifson’s and Philip Berg’s approach is suspect.]
Knowing what we don’t know about Obama’s birth certificate[quotes and discusses the evasive and misleading statement from the Hawaii hospital.]
Trying to clarify the imponderables of the natural born citizen issue [Dec. 10, 2008. VFR’s fullest consideration of this issue. I initially take position that even if Obama was born in Kenya, he would have nothing to fear because of the complexity and indeterminacy of the law; then Clark Coleman shows that Obama really does have a problem and compelling reasons not to let the truth come out.]
Terry Morris writes:
I read about this case early this morning. My understanding is that the military changed his orders at the last minute. I don’t know quite what to make of that, but it does seem kind of odd. Anyway, we had to know it would eventually come to something like this. The precedent established creates a potentially disastrous national security situation. Obama’s refusal to release his birth certificate (assuming he has one) has undermined the entire command structure of the U.S. military. It has begun.
Prakhar G. replies:
I already addressed that when I said:
“I will grant that in any government system, there has to be some method of questioning legitimacy (of people in position of trust, not the sovereign power itself) but if soldiers can question their commander’s authority, that is coming dangerously close to I-don’t-like-my-sovereign-so-I-can-rebel. There may well be a reasonable question of Obama’s legitimacy but a member of the army should not be the one to bring it up and said member is certainly not justified in ignoring his orders for this reason.”
Perhaps we have a difference in value judgment here. I think the negative of a loss of military discipline outweighs whatever possibility there is of Obama’s illegitimacy (and as I mentioned, I wouldn’t have a problem with Cook if he wasn’t in the military). I doubt that there is much I can do to convince you of this, but consider that the U.S. could be attacked anytime (and arguably is already under attack), and thus it is absolutely crucial that the military be maintained as an effective cohesive force. History demonstrates that the military works best when is has a commander with unquestioned authority, at least in the sphere of the members of said military force. Furthermore, we cannot control the time when this military force may be called into question. In comparison, the question of Obama’s birth can be sorted out in court at the court’s own pace and having a officer of the military won’t likely speed up the process by much.
Again, you’re making a good argument, and in the instance of an immediate military threat I would agree with you. But we have had our forces in Afghanistan for almost eight years, and will have them there for an indeterminate number of years to come. Your argument is similar to the constantly repeated argument from Bush supporters that “during time of war” certain things should not be done to question or oppose the president. There’s something to that. But when the “time of war” is essentially endless, the argument adds up to never being able to oppose or question the president. You say the U.S. could be attacked at any time. That adds up to saying that a military man can never question the legitimate authority of the president. But if there is a president whose authority is truly questionable, who better to question him than a person serving under him as the person’s commander in chief, a person who can ordered by him to go to foreign battle fields?
I think Obama’s legitimacy is indeed questionable, and that his legitimacy has been put into question by his own behavior in concealing the information about his birth, and that there is no one more appropriately situated to challenge his legitimacy than a member of the armed forces whom he, the president, has the authority to order to battle. If we were facing an immediate national emergency, that would be different; but we are not.
David B. writes:
Major Stefan Cook was ordered to deploy to Afghanistan and refused on the grounds of Obama’s illegitimacy. This is something you are not supposed to be able to do. Namely, defy the U.S. Army.
The news is that the Army has rescinded the deployment. Major Cook has made the U.S. Army back down. When has a soldier ever done this so easily, if at all? Once upon a time someone trying this would end up in the stockade being whacked by ax handles. Read “From Here To Eternity” by James Jones.
Prakhar G. replies:
“the argument adds up to never being able to oppose or question the president. You say the U.S. could be attacked at any time. That adds up to saying that a military man can never question the legitimate authority of the president.”
“But if there is a president whose authority is truly questionable, who better to question him than a person serving under him as the person’s commander in chief, a person who can ordered by him to go to foreign battle fields?”
I can think of several. The press (I know … liberal bias and all that), professors, justices on the court, the legislatures, vigilant citizens like you, etc. I personally cannot imagine who worse to question the authority of the president than a member of the military, as the military is in a unique position with respect to the president. At any time, they may be ordered into a deadly and life-threatening situation on his authority. At that time, for the safety of the country, they cannot doubt the order or whether their fellow soldiers will disobey. For the military to be an effective force, the military chain-of-command must be preserved and doubts about the commander in chief undermine this structure like nothing else. My reservations are only because of this. If the president was not directly the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, I would have no problems with Cook’s actions.
Terry Morris writes:
Prakhar G. wrote:
… and having a officer of the military won’t likely speed up the process by much.
I actually think that the opposite is the case. Orly Taitz, who is representing Major Cook in this matter, has said that there are several other military members looking to file similar suits on the same basis of Obama’s illegitimacy whom she’s prepared to represent also. We all seem to agree that this puts the United States in a very precarious and potentially disastrous national security predicament. The courts also must recognize the danger here, and will likely act accordingly.
Also, I support Major Cook’s decision to go forward with this. Obama’s legitimacy as the Commander in Chief of the U.S. military hinges on his legitimacy as the president. If his presidency is illegitimate, then he cannot be a legitimate CiC. And let’s face it, this whole crisis with the military command structure could be put to an end by the simple act of Obama, showing the birth certificate. Indeed, had Obama done so at any time in the past, neither Maj. Cook nor any other military member could have any legitimate reason to question his authority. This entire situation has been created by Obama himself, not Maj. Cook.
Mr. Morris I think provides support to my previous point when I said, who better to challenge the president on this than a member of the military? All kinds of people can try to bring the president to court, and their suits will be thrown out or dismissed, as had already happened. But suppose a significant number of military personnel do what Cook has done? The U.S. cannot afford to have mass disrespect for the commander in chief in the military ranks. Thus a Cook type challenge, multiplied many times over, will either force Obama to come clean and provide his birth certificate, or push him deeper into cover-up. And if it does the latter, then the conclusion will be inescapable that he is not a natural born citizen and was elected under fraudulent pretenses.
Terry Morris replies:
Have you been following this closely? Read this article when you get the chance. This is getting really interesting. Apparently since Cook’s orders have been revoked, a judge has ruled that he lacks standing to pursue the case:
“This case no longer presents a live case or controversy, nor does Major Cook have standing to pursue his claim,” it states, “therefore, the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over his claims and they should be dismissed.”
Come to think of it, by saying that plaintiff has no standing based on the revocation of his orders to deploy, it is actually refuting what Prakhar has written, no? The court is saying that deployment orders establish standing for a military member to challenge the president’s authority. Isn’t that the implication of the ruling?
It continued, “The Commanding General of SOCCENT has determined that he does not want the services of Major Cook, and has revoked his deployment orders. .. Without mobilization orders, Major Cook lacks standing to pursue his claims.”
Terry Morris continues:
Actually I misread that quotation earlier. It wasn’t a ruling of the court, but a motion to dismiss filed by the defense. Nonetheless, it doesn’t appear that the military is questioning Cook’s standing in the case as long as he has active deployment orders.
Charles T. writes:
I believe it was Napoleon who said that every soldier carries a field marshal’s baton in his pack—meaning that leaders will arise from humble positions in times of crisis. Seems to me that Major Cook is rising to the occasion. Major Cook has balls to do this. Disobeying a deployment order is a serious matter. In times past, he would have been court-martialed and imprisoned immediately. For the Army to rescind his orders is amazing. It remains to be seen if there will be any type of retribution from the Army judicial system or the civilian managers in the DoD. If there is not, then we have a very interesting situation on our hands. It is essentially the birth pangs of a rebellion due to a president who refuses to validate his citizenship. And if Obama persists in refusing to show his birth certificate, then the number of people who believe him to be an illegitimate president will only grow.
Mr. Morris’ statement above about Obama being the source of this problem nails it.
But here is a less happy interpretation. Obama as a leftist wants to undermine all authority, including his own. Or, rather, he wants to undermine his own authority in his capacity as commander in chief responsible for the defense of the United States. If he becomes weaker as commander in chief, then America becomes weaker. And isn’t that what he and the entire left have always wanted?
Wasn’t that a main theme of the previous Democratic administration? Every time there was a terrorist attack or some other situation requiring a U.S. response, Clinton and his top foreign policy people would make these statements in which they would use what sounded like traditional, strong language (“We will not tolerate…”, “We will hunt down the people who committed this cowardly act…”), while they were actually parodying such language, showing by their tone that they didn’t mean it. They were deliberately subverting and weakening the U.S., even while formally speaking as its defenders.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 15, 2009 11:15 AM | Send