Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Open Letter to Joseph Farah on LTC Lakin

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Dear Sir:

I read your most recent column concerning the sad fate of former LTC Terry Lakin. Excised from his rank, thrown from the Army, confined for six months, and stripped of all pay and pension, he will assuredly be a sad man this Christmas.

In it, you rightly describe Lakin as "an innocent lamb led willingly to slaughter." But nowhere in your stirring indictment of his trial and his woes do I see you truly name the ones who did the leading. Nowhere do I see you identify the truly guilty party, here

That, sir, would be you.

You, and those like you, who have continued to hype the non-issue of our President's Birth Certificate and eligibility.

You, and those like you, who have turned what should have been an amusing human interest story into a cause celebre for far too many otherwise-intelligent people (and, admittedly, no few genuine fools).

You, and those like you, who, either unable or unwilling to admit that a Democrat now sits in the White House, have cobbled together a barely-coherent mythology of lies, half-truths, innuendos, and wishful reading of the law that simultaneously confirms your worst fears and gives your cause a name.

Birtherism, in other words. A state of mind you claim not to share, but an issue you don't mind taking clear credit for having created, via World Net Daily.

And it is Birtherism -- your misshapen by-blow from dallying with certain pustular political philosophies -- that has gotten Terry Lakin where he is, tonight.

There are others who share some of the blame, of course. Phil Berg comes to mind, as do Orly Taitz, Alan Keyes, and the like.

But you have a news site that reaches millions, and therefore have an obligation to report on facts and truth, or at least legitimate speculation. I'm sorry to say that you have failed in this obligation -- and badly.

In doing so, you have succeeded only in creating an atmosphere where poisoned fruit, fattened on lies and innuendo, has waxed full and evil under a gangrenous sun.

An atmosphere that encouraged one of those otherwise-intelligent people to follow a fool's errand. An atmosphere that encouraged him to disobey his chain of command, and put his exemplary career, current service to our country, and future livelihood in jeopardy.

Sir, Terry Lakin is in jail tonight because of you.

He will be in jail for Christmas, because of you. He will be in jail for up to six months because of you.

And if someone chooses to remove his license to practice private medicine because of his criminal record, that will also be on your head.

And all for what, sir? All for what?

To use the power of journalism to effect responsible change in a free society? ... No.

To call people's attention to injustice and see that the guilty are shamed and punished? ... No.

To get at the truth? Oh please - don't make me laugh. At this point I don't know if you'd know the truth if it reared up and shaved your mustache right off your face.

To get eyeballs to your site, increase your standing in conservative circles, and sell crisis cookers to people who think The End is nigh, and Tea Party manifestos to the rest...?

Well, NOW I think we're getting somewhere.

You, sir, say you aren't a Birther. You demand retractions from people when they call you one. But why else would you follow this white whale round and round these darkest of oceans if you didn't have some reason for doing so?

Why would you go into the marshes if you didn't have a dog in the hunt?

Either you're being untruthful about your beliefs, or you're trying to make a buck or two. Maybe a few million while you're at it.

It's the American way, right?

I don't know. Mindreading over long distances isn't one of my specialties. And I care only insomuch as, if you're making enough to engage in this crazy snipe hunt -- a hunt that has now created its first genuine martyr -- you can well afford to put some money where your mouth is.

I was going to write this letter and challenge you to create a fund for Terry Lakin: one that would see that his current legal fees are met, and his livelihood after prison secured. You keep wanting to send people to Paul Rolf "Otis" Jensen and his site, but they aren't giving money to Lakin, anymore. They're just asking for dough for their own "communications efforts."

I see, as of this writing, that another site, the Terry Lakin Action Fund, is claiming to represent his interests. You have not personally mentioned them in a column, yet, however.

I ask you - what are you waiting for?

I ask you - how much of your site's intake are you willing to donate to Lakin's cause, seeing as how you remain one of his loudest cheerleaders?

I challenge you - how much of your own income will you publicly donate to this man's future, seeing as how he bit down on the poisoned fruit from your garden?

Straight up - I'm sure you're not familiar with my work, but in case you couldn't tell from the tone of this letter I don't hold you or your work in high esteem. But I'm writing to you directly, anyway, because I think you have an opportunity to avert a true tragedy.

Please see to it that this man is looked after, and his family is taken care of. You owe him that, at least.

You owe much more to far too many to count for your role in their own, personal debacles while chasing fools gold at your urging, but so far as I know no one else is in military prison for it.

(You also owe an honest and heartfelt apology to our President for dragging the name of him and his parents through the mud, but I won't hold my breath on that one.)

Happy Holidays to you, sir. Appreciate your freedom to celebrate them with your family. Lakin doesn't have that option, anymore. And you know why.


J. Edward Tremlett


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo, Edward.

LTC Lakin is an educated and presumably intelligent man, and his position as an Army officer only reinforces the principal that he is to be held fully responsible for his own actions.

Still, it is hard not to feel some degree of sympathy, especially for his children, as we observe those who continue to profit at his expense.

They are the coat holders, the ones whose motto is "Let's you and him fight." They have encouraged his despicable folly at no risk to themselves -- and made a pretty penny by it too.

1:15 PM  

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