Source: Rutherford Institute – Editorial by Hayden
Update: “A judge said today [08.23.12] he will order the release of a Marine Corps veteran…Circuit Judge W. Allan Sharrett said an involuntary commitment order issued against Brandon J. Raub was invalid because it contained no allegation or basis to holding him.”
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 with committing any crime, they arrested him on Thursday, August 16, 2012, and transported him to John Randolph Medical Center, where he is being held against his will due to concerns that his Facebook posts were controversial and terrorist in nature.
While I understand their reasoning for using the defense that his Facebook comments were taken out of context, or were merely song lyrics, I am dismayed that it is likely their focal point in his defense. I read over quite a few of his comments, and to be honest, they did sound as if he was getting a bit high-strung, perhaps a bit overly agitated, etc. While that is no crime, and I certainly do not advocate pre-crime arrests, if that is how he felt – that he was about to go to war with the shadowy forces within our government, or that he was about to bring about a revolution, they should fight it for what it truly is; free speech.
Don’t try to hide it, or downplay it as song lyrics. I feel very strongly about a lot of topics similar to those, and I voice my dismay both here on the website and on the site’s Facebook Fan Page. I voice my opinions on Twitter and YouTube, and if ever challenged on my beliefs, I would not back down and suggest they were merely quotes or verses.
If the FBI knocked on my door asking about this website, I would offer them a free bumper sticker and then tell them to kick rocks. Our freedoms are a vestige of a bygone era, and those few fragments that remain are quickly being eroded, shattered, covered up, and “amended.” They are being trampled upon by executive orders and secret war powers. They are drowned behind closed doors, and if we do not speak up when those forces are strangling one group’s rights, how are we to argue when they ask for ours? The United States Constitution is literally the framework upon which our civilization is built, and if we ignore it, if we ignore those wise warnings from the Founders regarding tyranny, banking, and human rights, we can expect to wake up destitute and in shackles.
I support Raub, his family, and their upcoming legal battle. This case could very well have grand implications should it rise to the Supreme Court, eventually.
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 Raubs 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 Raubs 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 youre being held against your will, that qualifies as an arrest. In a hearing before a judge on August 20, government officials again pointed to Raubs Facebook posts as the sole reason for their concern and for his continued incarceration. Ignoring Raubs explanations about the fact that the FB posts were being read out of context and his attorneys 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 Raubs detention and the highly unconstitutional nature of the governments actions.
The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties organization, provides legal assistance at no charge to individuals whose constitutional rights have been threatened or violated.”
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