Remember this name: Brandon Raub.
Raub, a twenty-six-year-old former U.S. Marine, was arrested and sent to a mental institution for writing political comments on his Facebook page. He has remained in custody since his arrest last Thursday. He has not been charged with any crime.
Raub’s postings include conspiracy mongering and other fringe statements of an ultra-libertarian nature, but they reveal no direct threats of any sort. Furthermore, the statements the authorities claim to have found as most troubling were made on a Facebook page that is supposed to be limited only to members of that page, not outsiders.
Raub’s arrest and detainment are actions of a police state, reminiscent of the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Communist China, and other dictatorships around the world. The Virginia authorities have made Raub’s case for him.
Writing in the Washington Examiner, guest columnist Lolita Niklova explained it (in rather broken English but nonetheless eloquently) as follows:
It looks Brandon J Raub was enough smart to have done probably the shortest revolution ever –just 7 days after he wrote “I’m starting the Revolution” he was arrested (August 16, 2012) in way in which usually the progressive patriots has been treated by the government bodies all over the world. It is misfortune to learn, however, that Brandon J Raub had been treated like during the Cold War exactly in the USA – a country that has been trying through technology, culture and education to become a global leader in the world. . . .
There is no single voice in the media that supports the act of arresting and placing Raub in a mental facility. The reason is that it is missing at Raub’s Facebook evidence of anti-social behavior or mentally sick person, especially having in mind the author is a marine who is traditionally a segment of society with very sensitive response to the societal real life.
There is anger, while not any anger means danger of violence. Such anger exists in many Americans today who know the life in past and compare it with present. In contrast of the immigrants, who experience a type of a paradise life in the USA in compare to their home countries, Americans see many barriers of the American dream style of life and this fact makes many angry including obviously also those not very careful FBI or police clerks who signed for the arrest of Brandon J Raub. This case takes America back probably in the 1950s and is a really call for general reconsideration how to deal with the power today. It cannot be excluded that Obama will invite Raub in his office as a sign of apology on behalf of those who did this action.
Raub type of anger can be also witnessed in art, music, and mass communication means, etc. It looks like Raub is just a private failure case of professionals who miss-handled a typical case of using Facebook and media in general for willing of seeing America again the America of the American dream (“We MUST rise up and take our country back”, July 30, 2012, written by Raub on his Facebook website). Such sentence can successfully decorate even a speech of Obama in terms of past best ideals that had made America the dream of every human in the world.
In response to such willing for renaissance of the old ideals and styles of life, people need a fuel of optimism and positive energy, not police cars in front of their houses.
I cannot imagine that much further comment on this incident is needed beyond that released by the man’s legal defenders and quoted in full by WTVR CBS-6 in Richmond, Virginia:
The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of a former Marine, 26-year-old Brandon Raub, who was arrested, detained indefinitely in a psych ward and forced to undergo psychological evaluations based solely on the controversial nature of lines from song lyrics, political messages and virtual card games which he posted to his private Facebook page.
Although the FBI and Chesterfield County police have not charged Brandon Raub, a resident of Chesterfield County, Va., with committing any crime, they arrested Raub on Thursday, August 16, 2012, and transported him to John Randolph Medical Center, where he was held against his will due to alleged concerns that his Facebook (FB) posts were controversial and “terrorist in nature.”
In a hearing held at the hospital, government officials disregarded Raub’s explanation that the Facebook posts were being interpreted out of context, sentencing him up to 30 days’ further confinement in a VA psych ward.
In coming to Raub’s defense, Rutherford Institute attorneys are challenging Raub’s arrest and forcible detention, as well as the government’s overt Facebook surveillance and violation of Raub’s First Amendment rights.
“For government officials to not only arrest Brandon Raub for doing nothing more than exercising his First Amendment rights but to actually force him to undergo psychological evaluations and detain him against his will goes against every constitutional principle this country was founded upon. This should be a wake-up call to Americans that the police state is here,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “Brandon Raub is no different from the majority of Americans who use their private Facebook pages to post a variety of content, ranging from song lyrics and political hyperbole to trash talking their neighbors, friends and government leaders.”
Brandon Raub, a former Marine who has served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was detained by FBI agents and police officers at his home in Chesterfield County based upon the nature of content posted to his Facebook page in recent months.
Like many Facebook users, Raub uses his FB page to post songs lyrics and air his political opinions, as well as engage in virtual online games with other users.
On Thursday, August 16, police and FBI agents arrived at Raub’s home, asking to speak with him about his Facebook posts. They did not provide Raub with a search warrant. Raub was cooperative and agreed to speak with them. Without providing any explanation, levying any charges against Raub or reading him his rights, law enforcement officials then handcuffed Raub and transported him first to the police headquarters, then to John Randolph Medical Center, where he was held against his will.
Outraged onlookers filmed the arrest and posted the footage to YouTube. Law enforcement officials have stated in press reports that Raub was not arrested. However, as attorney John Whitehead points out, if the police have put handcuffs on you and you’re being held against your will, that qualifies as an arrest.
In a hearing before a judge on August 20, government officials again pointed to Raub’s Facebook posts as the sole reason for their concern and for his continued incarceration.
Ignoring Raub’s explanations about the fact that the FB posts were being read out of context and his attorney’s First Amendment defense, the judge agreed that Raub should be incarcerated at a VA hospital for up to 30 more days.
Rutherford Institute attorneys are working to challenge Raub’s detention and the highly unconstitutional nature of the government’s actions.
h/t Cheryl Parker