Please Pardon Lieutenant Colonel Lakin

Whatever surreptitious scheming lay behind President Obama's obfuscation of his birthplace, he should sympathize with those who were injured by his actions, such as Lieutenant Colonel Terry Lakin. Court-martialed and imprisoned for refusing to obey a command from a president he did not consider legitimate, Lieutenant Colonel Lakin will be released from the brig this Saturday, May 14, 2011. 

Now that the President has made public the long form of his birth certificate and Lieutenant Colonel Larkin's main issue, will he permit Lieutenant Colonel Lakin to live with the ignominy of a dishonorable discharge? Hopefully not!  No juvenile juggling of background information can justify the imprisonment of a person.

Since the President has expressed great concern for the oppressed, will he help Lieutenant Colonel Lakin?  If he does not, then he would be articulating noble principles yet not applying them.

Mr. President, how about inviting Lieutenant Colonel Lakin for a beer at the White House?  As an inducement, you could offer to reinstate the Lieutenant Colonel's back pay and benefits. The press might then compare you to Abraham Lincoln, who truly did spend many hours meeting with individuals to help correct bureaucratic errors.   Your public display of compassion, Mr. President, will make you seem generous and humane to those independents who have questioned your integrity.

Peter Landesman ( is a teacher, a mathematician and an author of the 3D-maze book Spacemazes, with which children can have fun while learning mathematics.

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