Follow-up on the story of the ex-marine held in psychiatric ward for Facebook comments.
Marine detained for Facebook posts: 'It made me scared for my country'
Nearly two weeks after he was hauled off by authorities and admitted to a psych ward over his own Facebook postings, retired Marine Brandon Raub is speaking out about his detainment and what Americans should know about their right to free speech.
29 August, 2012
Raub, a 26-year-old decorated military vet that served two tours overseas, was visited by agents with the US Secret Service, the FBI and local law enforcement on August 16 after statements he made on his personal Facebook page raised the eyebrows of authorities. Posts calling for a political revolution and even lyrical excerpts from rap songs placed his social networking profile on the government’s radar, and after briefly questioning him at his house two weeks ago, Raub was handcuffed and hauled off.
One week later he was released from custody, but Raub and his attorney say that not only was no crime committed, but that the Marine still has yet to be charged with a crime.
“The idea that a man can be snatched out of his property without being read his rights, I think should be very alarming to all Americans,” Raub says in an interview this week conducted by his attorney, the Rutherford Institute’s John Whitehead (YouTube link).
Raub claims that he handled the entire incident pretty well, even though authorities never read him his rights or charged him with a crime; instead he was detained under a civil commitment statute that his attorney says whisks away hundreds of thousands of Americans every year in episodes just like this one that rarely go recognized in the media.
“I’m pretty tough so I roll with the punches,” Raub insists. Others, however, might not be so understanding if they’re put in his shoes, he says.
“It made me scared for my country,” Raub says to Whitehead, adding that only a few years after volunteering himself to protect the United States, recent events like the one he had to encounter himself have made him question a government he gave his life too.
“It’s a government that I loved,” Raub says. Now, though, he equates it to more of a mirror image of what George Orwell wrote about in 1984 than what the framers of the Constitution had hoped for.
“Originally I never imagined that the there’d be problems to the degree that we have or things going on that are easy to find if you’re told to go look for them,” Raub tells Whitehead, specifically calling “the rampant abuse of Executive Orders” one of the biggest issues occurring in the country today.
“I think that if the average American were to sit down and be told, ‘Hey, do you know that the federal government is saying that they have the power to take your property, to seize control of industry in this country, to seize control of communications, of media [and] now the internet--It reeks of 1984,” Raub says.
Speaking to RT this week, Whitehead says that the parallels between the current conditions in America and Orwell’s 1984 are indeed rampant, especially as the government commits questionably unconstitutional actions by monitoring the Internet activity of its own citizens.
“What it says is that the authorities are watching Facebook. They are conducting surveillance. It is a very dangerous trend,” Whitehead says.
Raub’s attorney adds to RT that some of his clients Facebook posts “do raise eyebrows,” but says that it doesn’t make him a criminal.
“The First Amendment is written as James Madison wrote it. To protect minority against majority, and what he was talking about is people who speak out,” Whitehead says.
“Conducting surveillance violates the Fourth Amendment if you don’t have a search warrant,” he continues. “If this is a real threat, sure, the authorities should arrive, discuss this. But here, again, they have not charged them with a crime.”
“He doesn’t even own a weapon. What’s he going to do? Poke somebody in the eye?” he asks.
Raub says he does know what his fellow Americans can do, though, and the key to eliminating the alarming watchful eye of the government is to embrace the positive aspects still in existence before they are erased as well.
“The first logical step is to educate yourself, and at this point in your game, if you’re not then it’s probably very dangerous,” Raub says. “I would say peruse all peaceful methods of disseminating that information and keeping your rights. Take the systems that are in place that are still available to us, congress, the senate, obviously, our school systems, take the things that are in front of us that we have control over still”