Just because Jerome Corsi is leaving WorldNetDaily doesn't it has stopped being birther. In fact, WND has a new birther-related crusade going.
Jack Cashill launched it in his Jan. 25 column: a petition campaign to get President Trump to reinstate birther ex-military officer Terrence Lakin. Cashill -- who just so happened to have co-written a book with Lakin spinning his side of the story -- claims:
“Court-martialed, imprisoned, expelled from the Army and denied pay, pension and benefits,” declares the petition accurately, “Terry was merely following his officer’s oath and constitutional duty.”
For the record, Lakin spent five months in prison at Fort Leavenworth before his release in May of 2011. Lakin’s crime – his real crime, that is – was to challenge Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility to be president.
Wrong. Lakin's real crime was his refusal to follow an order to deploy to Afghanistan, as well as his stupidity for becoming a birther martyr in the first place.
Lakin has only himself to blame for ruining his life and throwing away his military career and pension -- with a big assist from WND for pushing the birther conspiracies he swallowed. He seemed to finally figure it out near the end of his court-martial, when he conceded that perhaps his own court martial was the wrong venue to push birther conspiracy theories and that maybe he should follow orders. That didn't save him, though; he was convicted and sentenced to six months at Leavenworth.
But since Lakin couldn't save himself, he has enlisted Cashill to polish the martyr act again. Cashill dramatically writes about Lakin's "ultimate humiliation, a seemingly endless perp walk, a shuffle really, through a concourse filled with flags and patriotic bunting and the happy sight of returning soldiers." He declared that "Lakin manfully survived the ordeal and emerged a stronger person for it. That he gave up $2 million in benefits and left his lovely family behind for prison should have further endeared him to our generally weepy progressive friends, but, of course, it did no such thing."
Cashill also complained that Lakin couldn't get a medical license in Kansas upon his release from Leavenworth: "The Kansas Board [of Healing Arts] may have indulged outlaw abortionist George Tiller for 30 years, but this timid crew was unnerved by the thought of this veteran flight surgeon practicing medicine in this doctor-short state, impeccable record notwithstanding."
Of course, Cashill is lying about that too. The Kansas board rejected Lakin's application for a license because his "refusal to deploy to Afghanistan to provide medical services in support of Operation Enduring Freedom due to his own personal beliefs represents a disregard for his professional duties and undermines the integrity of the medical profession.Of even more significance, [Lakin's] action's potentially jeopardized the health, safety and welfare of the military troops for which [Lakin] was employed to provide medical care."
Naturally, this was all newsworthy enough for WND to do a "news" article on Lakin (it is safe to be birther in public again not that Trump is president, after all). A Jan. 29 article by Jack Minor sympathetically fleshes things out -- the fact that Minor devotes the second paragraph of his article to all the medals and ribbons Lakin received in the military tells you how hagiographic this article is -- and repeats a lot of the distortions and falsehoods Cashill did.
Minor adds an "exclusive interview" with Lakin, who's now working in Colorado, and it's clear he's in martyr mode; he baselessly claims his application for a Kansas medical license was rejected over Obamacare, since "The former governor was the HHS secretary and many of the board members were supporters of Obamacare so they took it out on me." Minor also writes that Lakin claim "there was an attempt by Obama supporters and others on the left to destroy him by stripping him of his medical license."
Minor also quotes Lakin's brother who also baselessly accused the Kansas board of "serious corruption." He also repeats WND's standard line that Obama merely "released what he claimed was his long form birth certificate" (italics ours) which "the only official law enforcement investigation, done on the orders of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, found to be fraudulent. Like the rest of WND, Minor didn't admit that Arpaio's investigation was incompetent and driven by hatred for Obama.
Because WND never reported how its birther conspiracies have been completely discredited, its readers have been deluded into thinking there's merit to the story. One of those readers, presumably, was Lakin. So we can assume that WND played a key role in deluding Lakin into throwing away his military career for a conspiracy theory at a time when WND needed a martyr for its cause.
Which makes its new campaign to try and fix Lakin's life -- which it played a major role in screwing up -- not just ironic but pathetic as well. If WND was truly sorry for ruining Lakin's life, it would simply pay him the $2 million in benefits he threw away.
P.S. As of this writing, Lakin's petition has a paltry 537 signatures.