May 10th, 2010
08:58 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Refusing to serve his country, birther triggers unprintable emails

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Tonight we revisit a story we brought to you Friday. It produced a flood of emails, most of them unprintable. Clearly, the story of Lieutenant Colonel Terrence Lakin struck a nerve. Lakin is a decorated Army doctor, an eighteen-year veteran, now facing court martial for disobeying orders to ship out for another tour of duty in Afghanistan. He says the orders are illegal because, he claims, President Obama, the commander-in-chief, has not proven he was born in this country. Lakin, in popular shorthand, is a birther, and Anderson’s interview with him and his lawyer stirred up a passionate debate on our blog. Keeping them honest, we’ll take a close look tonight at the birthers’ claims and how they’re playing in the court of public opinion and in legal circles.

It’s Day 21 of the Gulf oil spill disaster, and the oil is still gushing at an estimated rate of 210,000 gallons a day. That’s about 4 million gallons so far. At this rate, the spill is on track to exceed the Exxon Valdez spill by Father’s Day. That gigantic four-story dome that BP tried to use to cap the leak well this weekend failed to work. We’ll show you exactly what thwarted the plan. It involved ice-like hydrate crystals that clogged up everything. We’ll also look at other plans in the works to stop the leak, including a tophat and a junk shot. Yes, the actual ideas sound as strange as the names, at least to the uninitiated.

We’re excited to bring you an amazing and important report by Nic Robertson tonight. It’s the story of how a young American from Long Island, New York, became an al-Qaeda terrorist. Nic and his team spent almost a year uncovering how and why Bryant Neal Vinas went from a quiet teenager who grew up in suburbia to a jihadist. Our team has tracked Vinas’ story across three continents. It’s an important story to watch, especially when you consider this: According to a recent study, 146 American Muslims have been publicly accused of planning or carrying out extremist violence since 9/11. Most were born in America or were naturalized citizens or legal residents. The suspected Times Square bomber is a naturalized citizen. Nic’s report paints a disturbing portrait of the path to terrorism for the most seemingly unlikely candidates.

Plus, Alexis Neiers, the teenage reality television actress pleaded no contest to taking part in a burglary at the home of "Lord of the Rings" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" heart-throb Orlando Bloom. She will begin serving her sentence—six months in county jail–on June 24. Neiers was allegedly part of a gang of youthful thieves that targeted homes of Hollywood celebrities. In Crime and Punishment, we’ll take a closer look tonight at this so-called “bling ring” who stole from the stars.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern!

Filed under: 360° Radar • Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
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