Even without entering into evidence any necessary documentation regarding Obama's birth, and even in a military trial, the principle of
As an element of criminal responsibility, a guilty mind; a guilty or wrongful purpose; a criminal intent. Guilty knowledge and wilfulness.
Right or wrong, Lt. Col. Larkin is clearly acting upon the dictates of his own conscience, and it seems to be his argument that he is acting upon the
oath he took to uphold and defend the Constitution. It is incumbent upon the prosecution to prove mens rea, that is to say, they must prove that Lt.
Col. Larkin acted knowing that he was committing a crime.
In 1474 Peter von Hagenbach, a Bourguignon knight, was put on trial for atrocities and war crimes, and was found guilty, becoming the first instance
of an international acceptance that military commanders act lawfully. Of course, mens rea is normally spoken of in terms of military commanders who
allowed atrocities to happen by their rank and file even when knowing it was unlawful, but the inverse of that thought is that when a commander acts
lawfully, or believes they are acting lawfully, then there is no criminal intent.
Under this principle, it seems it would be difficult to find Lt. Col. Larkin guilty of any crime. If the belief is that all commanders act lawfully,
and part of that lawfulness is that the Commander and Chief be a natural born citizen of the United States, and Larkin believes the Commander in Chief
is not a lawful officer of the Executive Branch, and given no evidence can be admitted into trial regarding the veracity of this belief, then it seems
it will come down to mens rea, or the mindset of Lt. Col. Larkin.
ETA: Conversely, if Larkin believes he is commissioned in the military under an unlawful Commander in Chief, the honorable thing to do may very well
be to resign his commission and leave the military, rather than stay and defy orders. If the belief is that the Commander in Chief is not the lawful
Executive mandated by Constitution, the arguably all orders made, and even the military trial itself is suspect, and Larkin is in the untenable
position of either staying and accepting the situation as is, or leaving and truly acting under the dictates of his own conscience.
[edit on 3-9-2010 by Jean Paul Zodeaux]