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Birther staff sgt. not AWOL, leaving Air Force

Aug. 17, 2011 - 12:51PM   |   Last Updated: Aug. 17, 2011 - 12:51PM  |  
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A Germany-based noncommissioned officer who claimed he went absent without leave amid doubts about President Obama's citizenship isn't actually AWOL — but he is leaving the Air Force.

Staff Sgt. Daryn Moran had called for a citizen's arrest of Obama, taunted Air Force officials to arrest him for going AWOL and demanded the president provide "a birth certificate which stands up to professional examination" in an audio interview and in several emails that have been posted on websites aligned with the birther movement, which believes the president isn't a U.S. citizen.

There's just one hitch: Moran, an ophthalmology technician assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein Air Base, is actually on an approved leave status, according to a statement released by U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

"He is currently outprocessing for discharge from the Air Force which was previously approved by his commander on August 4th," the statement reads. "While we are aware of the comments that appear on various Web sites attributed to Staff Sgt. Moran, officials with United States Air Forces in Europe will not discuss nor characterize those comments."

A vocal minority has debated Obama's citizenship since before his election. Some argue that he was born outside the U.S., while others argue his Kenyan-born father should disqualify him to hold the nation's top office. Even when the president released a copy of his long-form birth certificate showing that he was born in Honolulu on Aug. 4, 1961, many argued it was a forgery.

Moran appeared to believe he was AWOL and thought arrest would be imminent.

"His birth certificate is a proven forgery. I will also not support any other military person who turns a blind eye to this fact," he wrote on The Blaze, a conservative website founded by former Fox News personality Glenn Beck. "It's simple. Arrest B. Obama or arrest me."

In an audio report posted on BirtherReport.com, Moran said he previously served in the Marine Corps, left on good terms and joined the Air Force in the months following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

In a follow-up email posted Tuesday on BirtherReport.com and attributed to Moran, the NCO wrote a discharge is imminent and "basically paperwork."

He wrote in a letter posted Aug. 15 on The Post & Email website that he was a "high priority" for being discharged after meeting with mental-health evaluators. Moran wrote on The Blaze that he would soon receive an "administrative and honorable discharge for a 'personality disorder'" because he told his leadership that homosexuality is a sin.

He wrote a letter to BirtherReport.com the following day that his discharge was "basically paperwork."

His first sergeant "passed on the advice to refrain from more internet activity," Moran wrote. "She knows I cannot do that, because I want to end this crisis. For my family, and for the Constitution and my country, and for B. Obama"

He said he tried to resign several times from the Air Force, but his first sergeant wouldn't allow it. Moran also said he was removed from his position after a coworker complained that he asked a doctor in his unit about her Muslim faith.

"My conscience is violated," he said. "I feel like I'm supporting the flag of whatever those Islamic countries are and the rainbow flag and not the red, white and blue. That's not the kind of people I want to be associated with."

Moran's case is reminiscent of Army Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, a decorated flight surgeon who refused to a 2010 deployment to Afghanistan because he rejected the legitimacy of Obama's citizenship. Lakin's lawyer argued that any military order given under Obama's administration wouldn't be lawful if Obama wasn't a natural-born citizen.

Lakin was court-martialed in December and sentenced to six months in prison and ordered discharged from the service. He acknowledged during the three-day trial that the Army was the wrong place to raise his concerns. He asked to keep his job and was willing to deploy. He was freed from Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in May after serving five months behind bars.

During a 22-minute long interview with Rev. James David Manning, Moran said he sympathized with Lakin. But he added, "I'm not in a big hurry to be handcuffed and given an orange suit and go to the brig, if you follow what I'm saying."

Moran's father, retired Air Force Master Sgt. Howard Moran, told the Omaha World-Herald that he supports his son.

"I think he thinks he's right, and so I'm behind him," Howard Moran told the newspaper. "I am concerned they are going to put him in jail, though."

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