Obama and the Military’s Moral Dilemma By Robert Klein Engler | Published 06/18/2009

Obama and the Military’s Moral Dilemma

By Robert Klein Engler | Published  06/18/2009

There is now reasonable doubt that Mr. Obama meets the U.S. Constitution’s requirement of “natural born” citizenship.  This means that there is also reasonable doubt that he is qualified to be President of the United Sates and commander in chief.

The Kenyan citizenship of his father, the age of his mother, the lack of a birth certificate, the ambiguous nature of a Certification of Live Birth, the possible forgery of birth documents, the inability of the press to view passport and college records, and even his own statements, all add to the uncertainty many have about Mr. Obama’s qualifications to be President.

Even the often quoted “proof” by Janice Okubo only adds more gasoline to the fire of doubt. She said:  “Therefore, I as director of health for the State of Hawaii, along with the registrar of vital statistics …have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record…”  Notice that she does not say that this document proves that Mr. Obama was BORN in “Hawaii.”

Until proof of U.S. citizenship is presented beyond a reasonable doubt, it is reasonable to say that Mr. Obama is probably a usurper to the office of President.  Yet, for many Americans, this is irrelevant.  They believe that holding the office is proof that one is qualified for the office.

Even if the Supreme Court declared upon the examination of the evidence that Obama does not meet the Constitution’s qualifications to be President, what can be done?  The chief justice of the court is not going to the Oval Office with a broom and sweep it clean.

The same can be said for many other American institutions.  The people have voted.  The man is popular.  What Constitution?  We prefer the thrill up our leg.  These are some of the arguments put forward to support the current regime.

The Military and the Constitution

There is one American institution, however, that has a moral responsibility to support the U.S. Constitution.  That institution is the U.S. military.  The Constitution is the bedrock upon which military order and discipline is founded.

Colonel Anthony E. Hartle claims in his book ”Moral Issues in Military Decision Making,” that “When military members pledge to the support and defense of the Constitution, they commit themselves, by logical extension, to the principles and values that form the basis of its provisions.”

In their paper, ”Divided Loyalties: Civil-Military Relations at Risk,” DiSilverio and Laushine write: “The commissioning of military officers is another source of legal support for the Constitution as the primary legitimate authority.”

“The commission from the Commander-in-Chief states, ‘this officer is to observe and follow such orders and directions, from time to time, as may be given by me, or by the future President of the United States of America.'”

DiSilverio and Laushine continue: “The requirement to follow orders also applies to those officers appointed over the subject officer.  As Anthony Hartle contends, the fundamental law of the United States is the Constitution, and the commission confirms the supremacy of the Constitution…”

“Hartle goes on to say that if a President were to issue an unlawful order, military officers would be obligated to disobey it, and that this obligation derives its moral basis in the commissioning oath.”  This same obligation to disobey also holds against an order issued by an unlawful or usurper President.

Add to this, all entering the U.S. military take the following oath: “I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States…”

The writer of the ”Natural Born Presidency Blog” reminds us that, “Military personnel are subject to a world unlike anything a CIVILIAN would ever understand.  It is an anachronistic, rule oriented, self contained society which doesn’t react amiably when confronted with a breakdown of good order and discipline.”

Then he cautions us. “It should be noted…a significant gray area exists regarding whether an ineligible President can render a ‘lawful order.’  There exists a strong probability the court will reinterpret the Constitution to allow Mr. Obama to hold the office.  If such occurs, the military, as a WHOLE, will nod affirmative…”

If a person is clearly not a natural born citizen, then it is hard to imagine how Congress or the Supreme Court can make him one.  Furthermore, members of the U.S. military have a moral obligation NOT to follow his orders.  As Hartle states, “this obligation derives its moral basis in the commissioning oath.”

If Obama is not qualified to be President from the start, then he simply is not President.  The only gray area is in the hearts of his supporters.  He cannot even resign.  He can only be removed.

To complicate matters even further, The Uniform Code of Military Justice may be invoked to get at the truth.  Writing in the Huffington Post, Martin Lewis wanted to use this Code to remove George W. Bush from office.  If he is right, we can turn the tables and use his argument against Mr. Obama.

Lewis writes, “Article 7 of the Uniform Code Of Military Justice specifically says…’Any person authorized under regulations governing the armed forces to apprehend persons subject to this Code may do so upon reasonable belief that an offense has been committed and that the person apprehended committed it.'”

Removing Obama from office, in Lewis’ words, “would not be an action to undertake lightly…However, given the current imperilment of U.S. troops…you have a greater responsibility to your nation, your code of honor, and to the U.S. Constitution.”

The Constitution is a document with some flexibility.  However, the military is an institution that abhors flexibility.  Discipline, order, and the chain of command are not flexible.  Neither is the line between life and death, honor, and victory.

The Chicago Connection

Barack Obama claims to be a Chicagoan.  He is no more a native Chicagoan than Sammy Sosa, who allegedly took illegal performance-enhancing drugs to play baseball.  In spite of this, there is a Chicago connection to the moral issues raised by Obama’s uncertain natural born status.

In 1815 the land that was to become Chicago was Federal Territory.  Fort Dearborn, located by what is now Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River, was commanded by Captain Heald.  Captain Heald was ordered to evacuate the fort by General Hull, who commanded Fort Detroit.

What documents we have about Chicago’s early history tell us that Lieutenant Helm and Captain Wells, who came up from Fort Wayne, tried to discourage the evacuation.  Some historians believe that the order itself was vague and allowed for mitigating circumstances.

It seems that there were enough supplies at the fort to outlast a siege.  The native forces outnumbered the U.S. forces almost ten to one.  What to do?  Question a vague order and save your command, or have a drink and press forward to Ft. Wayne?

Opinions differ as to the character of Captain Heald.  Some argue that he was a conservative yet inept a career officer.  Regardless of his character, he chose to follow orders, and evacuated the fort on the morning of August 15, 1812.

The result of the evacuation was the Fort Dearborn Massacre.  It occurred on the shore of Lake Michigan about a mile and a half from the fort.

The moral dilemma faced by these Ft. Dearborn officers, at what was then a relatively unknown outpost, is no different from the moral dilemma faced by U.S. military officers today.  In light of the reasonable doubts concerning Obama’s status as Commander-in-Chief, what to do?

Captain Heald and Lieutenant Helm survived the massacre, but Captain Wells did not.  Nor did Ensign Rohan, a young officer stationed at Ft. Dearborn.  Ensign Rohan was the first graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point to die in battle.

Duty, Honor, Country

The motto of the U.S. Military Academy is “Duty, Honor, Country.”  These words are imbedded in the academy’s coat of arms.  It is the duty of an officer to be a moral agent and to support the Constitution. Honor and country mean nothing if duty is ignored.

The crisis in military discipline and order created by the doubts that swirl around Barack Obama’s status as a natural born citizen can be easily resolved.  A simple birth certificate showing birth in Hawaii, along with college and passport documents released to the public, is all it takes.

Up to now, Obama has done little to dispel once and for all the reasonable doubts about his status.  He has created, instead, the greatest “moral issue in military decision making” in the country’s history.

Given doubts about Obama’s natural born citizen status, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have a moral duty to investigate Obama’s qualifications to be President.  They must then report their findings to those under their command and the American people.

Anything less looks like a violation of their oath and a disregard for the Constitution they swore to defend.  If we expect a soldier to die for the Constitution, then he must expect his officers to live by the Constitution.

This is not an issue of legitimate succession to office of Commander-in-Chief, but an issue of usurpation.  The moral duty here for military officers is clear: Demand proof, or serve without honor, or resign.

Citizens and servicemen alike should be mindful that once the Constitution is made void, the United States disappears.  Who wants to fight and die for nothing?  Ensign Rohan did not die for nothing.

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3 Responses to “Obama and the Military’s Moral Dilemma By Robert Klein Engler | Published 06/18/2009”

  1. smrstrauss Says:

    Re: ‘the ambiguous nature of a Certification of Live Birth.”

    It’s NOT ambiguous. It is the official birth certificate that Hawaii sends out, and it is the same birth certificate that everyone gets.

    This fellow says it well:

    Barack Obama: Born in Hawaii
    Front Page Magazine ^ | 4/1/2009 | Andrew Walden

    A fairly impressive internet industry has sprung up claiming that Obama was born in either Kenya or Indonesia. This is nonsense which distracts from the broadly unexplored story of Obama’s upbringing. This kind of nonsense has emerged because the McCain campaign chose not to raise the many questions about Barack Obama’s numerous hard-left alliances. Barack Obama was born in Hawai’i, August 4, 1961 at Kapiolani Medical Center in Honolulu.

    Obama’s birth certificate posted online is exactly the same birth certificate everybody in Hawaii gets from the State Department of Health. It is not forged. There is nothing unusual about the design or the texture. In addition to the birth certificate, the August 13, 1961 Honolulu Advertiser also carries an announcement of Obama’s birth. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin also carries the same announcement. Both papers printed an identical list of birth announcements supplied to them by the Hawaii State Department of Health. Conspiracists have made much of the fact that the Territory of Hawaii gave a phony birth certificate in 1904 to Chinese republican leader Sun Yat Sen for diplomatic reasons. But the modern State of Hawaii has never supplied Certification of Live Birth indicating US birth for foreign-born children.

    End quote

    And the birth certificate was confirmed by two officials of the state of Hawaii who looked into the file and said that there was an original birth certificate in the file, and at that time Hawaii did not accept foreign birth certificates.

  2. Robert Klein Engler (author) Says:

    Two corrections: “In 1812 the land that was to become Chicago was Federal Territory, ” and the correct spelling of the name is “Ensign Ronan.”

  3. Robert Klein Engler Says:

    UPDATE:

    Birthers and the US Military

    — Robert Klein Engler

    Let’s imagine that in the coming months the Birthers prevail. They show the American people that Barack Hussein Obama is not a natural born citizen and therefore is not eligible to be President of the United States. What will be done about it?

    The Kenyan citizenship of Obama’s father, the ambiguous nature of his Certification of Live Birth, the inability of the press to view Obama’s passport and college records, his questionable Social Security number all add to the uncertainty many have about Obama’s qualifications to be President.

    Add to the above the conclusion of Nick Chase. Writing in the American Thinker, Chase asks and answers the most important question about Obama’s eligibility to date. “Is Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate a forgery? Definitely yes, for those of us who have spent a lifetime writing and producing technical documents…”
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/04/oblivious_to_the_obvious.html

    This being the case, the three branches of our government may be unable to act during the Constitutional crisis that would stem from Obama not being eligible. It is unlikely that the US Congress, torn by bipartisan politics, will do anything about a usurper in the White House.

    It would be foolish to expect the man who claims to be president to remove himself from that office. The executive branch of government will not execute itself.

    Given the recent ruling of the US Supreme Court on Obamacare, it is also unlikely that the Court will remove Obama from the White House. The Court may interpret the “natural-born citizen” clause to mean what Obama wants it to mean. Furthermore, the Chief Justice of the Court is not going to the Oval Office with a broom and sweep the office clean.

    The same can be said for many other American institutions. The people have voted. The man is popular. What Constitution? Many prefer the thrill up their leg to a legitimate president. For many Americans, natural born citizenship is irrelevant. They believe holding the office is proof you are qualified for the office.

    the military and the constitution

    If it can be shown that there is reasonable doubt Mr. Obama does not meet the US Constitution’s requirement of “natural born” citizenship, then that means there is also reasonable doubt he is not qualified to be Commander-in-Chief of US military forces.

    If Obama is not eligible to be Commander-in-Chief, then members of the US military face a grave moral dilemma. The Constitution is the bedrock upon which military order and discipline is founded. Members of the US military take an oath to support the Constitution and its requirement that any US President be a natural born citizen.

    Colonel Anthony E. Hartle claims in his book Moral Issues in Military Decision Making, that “When military members pledge to the support and defense of the Constitution, they commit themselves, by logical extension, to the principles and values that form the basis of its provisions.”
    http://www.amazon.com/Moral-Issues-Military-Decision-Making/dp/0700603972

    In their paper, Divided Loyalties: Civil-Military Relations at Risk, DiSilverio and Laushine write, “The commissioning of military officers is another source of legal support for the Constitution as the primary legitimate authority.”
    http://www.worldcat.org/title/divided-loyalties-civil-military-relations-at-risk/oclc/74261142

    “The commission from the Commander-in-Chief states, ‘this officer is to observe and follow such orders and directions, from time to time, as may be given by me, or by the future President of the United States of America.'”

    DiSilverio and Laushine continue, “The requirement to follow orders also applies to those officers appointed over the subject officer. As Anthony Hartle contends, the fundamental law of the United States is the Constitution, and the commission confirms the supremacy of the Constitution…”

    “Hartle goes on to say that if a President were to issue an unlawful order, military officers would be obligated to disobey it, and that this obligation derives its moral basis in the commissioning oath.” This same obligation to disobey also holds against an order issued by an unlawful or usurper President.

    Add to this, all entering the US military take the following oath: “I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States…”

    If a person is clearly not a natural born citizen, then it is hard to imagine how Congress or the Supreme Court can make him one. Furthermore, members of the US military have a moral obligation NOT to follow his orders. As Hartle states, “this obligation derives its moral basis in the commissioning oath.”

    If Mr. Obama is not qualified to be President from the start, then he simply is not President. The only gray area is in the hearts of his supporters. He cannot even resign. He can only be removed.

    To complicate matters even further, The Uniform Code of Military Justice may be invoked to get at the truth. Writing in the Huffington Post, Martin Lewis wanted to use this Code to remove George W. Bush from office. If he is right, we can turn the tables and use his argument against Mr. Obama.

    Lewis writes, “Article 7 of the Uniform Code Of Military Justice specifically says…’Any person authorized under regulations governing the armed forces to apprehend persons subject to this Code may do so upon reasonable belief that an offense has been committed and that the person apprehended committed it.'”

    Removing Mr. Obama from office, in Lewis’ words, “would not be an action to undertake lightly…However, given the current imperilment of US troops…you have a greater responsibility to your nation, your code of honor and to the US Constitution.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/martin-lewis/general-pace-you-can-save_b_61785.html

    The Constitution is a document with some flexibility. However, the military is an institution that abhors flexibility. Discipline, order and the chain of command are not flexible. Neither is the line between life and death, honor and victory.

    the Chicago connection

    Mr. Obama claims to be a Chicagoan. Yet, he is no more a native Chicagoan than Sammy Sosa, who spent time in Chicago playing baseball. Nevertheless, there is a Chicago connection to the moral issues raised by Mr. Obama’s questionable natural born status.

    In 1812 the land that was to become Chicago was United States territory. Fort Dearborn, located by what is now Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River, was commanded by Captain Heald. Captain Heald was ordered to evacuate the fort by General Hull, who commanded Fort Detroit.

    What documents we have about Chicago’s early history tell us that Lieutenant Helm and Captain Wells, who came up from Fort Wayne, tried to discourage the evacuation. Some historians once believed the order itself was vague and allowed for mitigating circumstances.

    It seems there was enough supplies at the fort to outlast a siege. The native forces outnumbered the US forces almost ten to one. What to do? Question an order and save your command, or have a drink and press forward to Ft. Wayne and almost certain death?

    Opinions differ as to the character of Captain Heald. Some argue he was a conservative yet inept career officer. Regardless of his character, he chose to follow orders, and evacuated the fort on the morning of August 15, 1812. The result of the evacuation was the Fort Dearborn Massacre.

    Overlooking the wisdom of Hull’s order to evacuate Ft. Dearborn, we must ask if General Hull was worthy of giving such an order. “General Hull was tried by court martial and was sentenced to death for his conduct at Detroit.”

    Later, President Madison changed Hull’s sentence to dismissal from the Army, in recognition of Hull’s honorable service in the American Revolution.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Detroit

    The moral dilemma faced by the officers of Ft. Dearborn, at what was then a relatively unknown outpost, is hardly different from the moral dilemma faced by some US military officers, today. In light of the growing and reasonable doubts concerning Mr. Obama’s status as Commander-in-Chief, what are they to do?

    Captain Heald and Lieutenant Helm survived the massacre, but Captain Wells did not. Nor did Ensign Ronan, a young officer stationed at Ft. Dearborn. Ensign Ronan was the first graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point to die in battle.

    duty, honor, country

    The motto of the US Military Academy is “Duty, Honor, Country.” These words are imbedded in the academy’s coat of arms. It is the duty of an officer to be a moral agent and to support the Constitution. Honor and country mean nothing if duty is ignored.

    The crisis in military discipline and order created by the doubts that swirl around Mr. Obama’s status as a natural born citizen can be easily resolved. An original long-form birth certificate showing birth in Hawaii, along with college and passport documents released to the public is a first step.

    Then there has to be a decision as to the clear meaning of natural born citizen. If a natural born US citizen is one who is born to both parents who are also US citizens, then Mr. Obama clearly is unqualified to be President of the United States,

    Up to now, Mr. Obama has done little to dispel once and for all the reasonable doubts about his status. He has created, instead, the greatest “moral issue in military decision making” in the country’s history.

    The Washington Times reports, “Armed with a new 10-page report he commissioned, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Thursday he suspects the birth certificate President Obama released last year is a “computer-generated forgery.”
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/mar/1/sheriff-arpaio-obama-birth-certificate-forgery/

    Given this evidence, the Joint Chiefs of Staff should have a moral duty to investigate Mr. Obama’s qualifications to be President. They then ought to report their findings to those under their command and the American people.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57474406/arpaio-obama-birth-record-definitely-forged/

    It is not unlikely that US politics may soon resemble the politics of Honduras. In 2009 “President Zelaya attempted a bid to rewrite the (Honduran) Constitution making it possible for him to run for a second term. Just before the coup the Supreme Court ordered Zelaya arrested for trying to illegally extend his stay in power.
    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/features/world/july-dec09/honduras_09-29.html

    If members of the US military know that Obama is not eligible to be President of the United States and do nothing about it, then it could be argued that their silence has already suspended the US Constitution.

    This being the case, there would be no longer a Constitutional ground for military authority. The military would be its own source of authority, something the founders never intended.

    It would be the generals who keep Obama in power, not the people The United States will have passed from being a federal republic to being a banana republic.

    Indeed, one may wonder to what degree the US military is already propping up a usurper. Writing in World Net Daily, Monte Kuligowski claims, “Mr. Obama dithered over the order to take out Osama for the same reason he dithered over sending troop reinforcements to Afghanistan. Obama is fundamentally an anti-military leftist who oddly must role-play a commander in chief.”
    http://www.wnd.com/2012/05/obama-no-gutsy-terrorist-killer/

    If doubts still linger about Obama’s qualifications after the election in November, then the Joint Chiefs of Staff may do nothing to remove those doubts. After a time, everyone in power has a vested interest in promoting a lie.

    Beyond November, it may be up to the junior military officers, many of them returning from service overseas, who will decide the fate of the US Constitution and the nation.

    Anything less will look like a violation of an oath and a disregard for the Constitution members of the military sware to defend. If we expect a soldier to die for the Constitution, then we must expect his officers to live by the Constitution.

    This is not an issue of legitimate succession to office of Commander-in-Chief, but an issue of usurpation. The moral duty here for military officers should be clear: Demand conclusive proof of natural born citizenship, or serve without honor, or resign.

    Like it or not, the Birther argument may be the only argument that remains to prevent the fundamental transformation of the United States. Citizens and servicemen alike should be mindful once the Constitution is made void, the United States disappears and is nothing.

    Robert Klein Engler lives in Des Plaines, Illinois, a city northwest of Chicago, first settled in 1837.


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