Be Very Afraid If You Bash Obama On Facebook

Brandon Raub

Arrested without charges, detained for mental evaluation.

Rejecting concerns over government suppression of dissident speech as “far-fetched,” a federal court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by The Rutherford Institute on behalf of a decorated Marine who was arrested by a swarm of FBI, Secret Service agents and local police and forcibly detained in a psychiatric ward for a week because of controversial song lyrics and political views posted on his Facebook page.

Advocating for free speech and the right to be free from wrongful arrest, Institute attorneys had filed the civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Marine veteran Brandon Raub, alleging that his seizure and detention were the result of a federal government program code-named “Operation Vigilant Eagle” that involves the systematic surveillance of military veterans who express views critical of the government. The complaint alleged that the attempt to label Raub as “mentally ill” and his subsequent involuntary commitment, clear violations of his rights under the U.S. Constitution’s First and Fourth Amendments, was a pretext designed to silence speech critical of the government. No decision has yet been made about an appeal.

“What may sound far-fetched to the courts is a grim reality to Americans who are daily being targeted for daring to exercise their constitutional rights to speak their minds, worship as they please, criticize the government, defend themselves and their families against over-reaching government surveillance and heavy-handed police tactics,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State. “Ultimately, Brandon Raub’s case tests our tolerance for free speech and those dissidents who keep the First Amendment relevant, because if we cannot proclaim our feelings about the government, no matter how controversial–on our clothing, or to passersby, or to the users of the world wide web–then the First Amendment really has become an exercise in futility.”

On August 16, 2012, Chesterfield police, Secret Service and FBI agents arrived at Brandon Raub’s home, asking to speak with him about his Facebook posts. Like many Facebook users, Raub, a Marine who has served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, uses his Facebook page to post song lyrics and air his political opinions. Without providing any explanation, levying any charges against Raub or reading him his rights, law enforcement officials handcuffed Raub and transported him to police headquarters, then to John Randolph Medical Center, where he was held against his will. In a hearing on Aug. 20, government officials pointed to Raub’s Facebook posts as the reason for his incarceration. While Raub stated that the Facebook posts were being read out of context, a Special Justice ordered Raub be held up to 30 more days for psychological evaluation and treatment. In coming to Raub’s aid, Institute attorneys challenged the government’s actions as procedurally improper, legally unjustified, and in violation of Raub’s First Amendment rights.

On Aug. 23, Circuit Court Judge Allan Sharrett ordered Raub’s immediate release, stating that the government’s case was “so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy.” Rutherford Institute attorneys filed suit in May 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to acknowledge the harm done to Raub and to rectify the violation of his First, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Attorneys Anthony Troy of Eckert Seamens and William H. Hurd and Stephen C. Piepgrass of Troutman Sanders LLP in Richmond are assisting The Rutherford Institute in bringing the lawsuit.


UPDATE: March 11, 2014

A federal court has dismissed a civil rights lawsuit filed by The Rutherford Institute on behalf of a decorated Marine veteran from Virginia. U.S District Judge Henry Hudson called Brandon Raub’s assertion that police, the FBI and the Secret Service were involved in suppressing his dissident speech “far-fetched.”

In August, 2012 uniformed county police officers showed up at Brandon Raub’s front door. They introduced Raub to several unidentified agents of the Secret Service and FBI who spoke with him concerning his anti-government Facebook posts. A few minutes later, according to the August, 2013 complaint, one of the federal agents telephoned a Chesterfield County licensed psychotherapist to discuss the situation. The therapist, without observing, meeting or evaluating Raub, recommended that he be taken into custody. Raub was subsequently handcuffed, arrested and medically cleared before being driven to a psych hospital over a hundred miles away from his home.

A circuit court judge later dismissed the petition for involuntary commitment on the grounds that it was “so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case of controversy.”

But on February 28, 2014 Judge Hudson effectively negated the allegations in the civil complaint that Raub had been a target of systematic surveillance under a Department of Homeland Security program named Operation Vigilant Eagle. What about the therapist who gave statements that prompted Raub’s arrest? Also let off the hook.

Interesting to note that Brandon Raub’s week long detention at a mental health facility in August 2012 happened at the same time one of the Boston marathon bombers was posting jihadist videos on his YouTube page. Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been interviewed by the FBI in 2011 and was definitely on their radar, but somehow law enforcement officers never made it to Tamerlan’s apartment to charge him and take him into custody for his political viewpoints.

The feds must have overlooked the multiple jihadi videos Tamerlan had posted and endorsed in the months leading up to the murders. One video features the preaching of Abd al-Hamid al-Juhani, who was an assistant to an al Qaeda scholar in Chechnya, and another features Feiz Mohammad, an extremist Salafi Lebanese preacher based in Australia. Four months ago, Tamerlan also “liked” a well-produced video featuring the black flags of Khorasan, a significant jihadist theme, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Neither Tamerlan nor his Jihadist brother were ever handcuffed, arrested or detained in a psychiatric hospital prior to the bombing.

Ditto for Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, aka Carlos Bledsoe. On April 9, 2009 the “practicing Muslim” shot up a an Army-navy recruiting station in Little Rock, Arkansas killing Private William Long and severely injuring Private Quinton Ezeagwula. Bledsoe had a history of brushes with the law before he converted to Islam in 2004 at the age of nineteen. In 2007, he went to Yemen where he “embraced the need for religiously-inspired violence.”

Deported back to the United States in 2009, Bledsoe moved to Little Rock. Later, after his arrest for the terrorist attack at the recruiting station, Bledsoe corroborated other accounts that he had been interviewed by the FBI while in Yemen. Again, Bledsoe was not arrested, handcuffed or taken into custody under issue of a Temporary Detention Order to determine whether he was “mentally ill” or a danger to himself or others, as was Brandon Raub.

In an online investigative analysis of Bledsoe’s case, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross explains why Muhammad was not arrested.

It’s difficult to take preventive action against a potential attacker like Muhammad even if authorities have strong information that he has been radicalized and poses a danger. Here, Muhammad had already come across the FBI’s radar, yet if they had moved to arrest him prior to the attack, federal authorities most likely would have lacked a compelling criminal case.

Ross’s observation is interesting, knowing that the government clearly overstepped its bounds and violated Raub’s rights in order “to take preventive action” but allowed Muhammad to go scot free.

In a third incident of a radical extremist whose speech did not lead to a knock at the front door of his home by federal agents and the police is a Department of Homeland Security employee. Ayo Kimathi, a Black Nationalist making over $100,000 a year, who called for the mass killing of whites and the “ethnic cleaning” of “black-skinned Uncle Tom race traitors” on his website. “The latter group includes President Obama (“a treasonous mulatto scum dweller”), Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Rev. Al Sharpton, Lil Wayne, among others.”

When Ayo’s direct threats against Obama, white people and other public figures came to light, he was put on paid administrative leave. But not until December 6, 2013, four months later, was Ayo fired from his job at Immigration and Customs Enforcement. To date, he has not been arrested, handcuffed or hauled off to a mental health facility.

If Brandon Raub were a black militant and/or Muslim and had added a few “Allahu Akbar’s” on his Facebook posts, government officials evidently would have left him alone. If he were liberal, progressive, socialist and Democrat he apparently would have been protected under the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

So the lesson from the Raub case is that conservatives of all colors, right-wing veterans, gun-rights advocates, traditional family supporters, tea party organizations and schoolchildren wearing pro-America T-shirts, to name a few, no longer enjoy the guaranteed rights to speak, assemble, or post views critical of their government on social media without fear of retribution.

Written by M. Catharine Evans.

16 Responses to Be Very Afraid If You Bash Obama On Facebook

  1. America the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

  2. ben mig says:

    “Raising the debt ceiling doesn’t raise the debt” — Barrack Hussien Obama 2013

    “Vote to pass the bill so you can see whats in it” — Nancy Pelosi 2012

    “Home schooling is unconstitutional” — Eric Holder 2012

    “I have a plan that will lower the debt in half before the end of my 4 year term” — Barack Obama 2008

    “Our men and women in prison should be able to vote” — Eric Holder 2014

    “I will cut government spending and big government” — Barrack Hussien Obama 2009

    “4 Americans in Benghazi were killed, what difference does it make” —Hillary Clinton 2013

    “I will not introduce new taxes while I am president” — Barrack Hussien Obama 2009

    “Everyone will spend less on healthcare with my plan” — Barrack Hussien Obama 2010

    “If you want to keep your healthcare plan, you can keep it” —Barrack Hussien Obama 2012

    “I did not know about Fast and Furious” — Eric Holder 2012

    ” The attack in Benghazi was over a video” —Susan Rice 2012

    ” The attack in Benghazi was over a video” —Hillary Clinton 2012

    ” The attack in Benghazi was over a video” —Barrack Hussien Obama 2012

    “There is no IRS scandal, just some bone headed decisions” — Barrack Hussien Obama 2014

    “At no time was the president aware of what his administration was doing” — Jay Carney 2012

  3. brian hunter says:

    The land of the enslaved… Russian people have more FREEDOM than the American people it has gone full circle with roles reversed… The U.S is a weak nation now and its enemies know it.. The President has lost all respect respect from other leaders its laughable.. This once great nation has no power left.. You can see this when Iran can sail their navy ships close to the U.S waters… It seems Putin is the leader of the free world now..

    • brian hunter says:

      The C.I.A and F.B.I have become the *GESTAPO* of the 21st century.. The President is also un-Godly with his administration liking the M.B.H instead of its only ally at one time in the Middle East Israel… If America is against Israel its against GOD himself… GOD will have his vengence.. GOD Bless America if he still can..

      • sickasso72 says:

        Along with the i.r.s.!!! It makes me laugh, to know how gullible americans are to think giving away your hard earned money to these pricks is “lawful” And these “tax” services built off that scam to take more of your money!!! Haha what a joke!!!! They all scream “its the law”! “look at amendment 16, look irs usc code subsection $h!t”!!!! “you must follow or go to jail!!!” Take your irs code book and the 16th bull$h!t and shove it down your moms throat!!! GDAMN CARPETBAGGER YANKEES!!! Haha I go to sleep laughing!!!!!

  4. richard wooten says:

    Ben mig…you nailed that shit right on the head….we need to be done with tjis entire circus that calls itself our government….well said.

  5. Jimbo says:

    They say President. He is a Fuhrer and should be dealt with accordingly!

  6. Margie says:

    Obama can tell us lies over and over and that is acceptable but if we tell the truth about “the lier” then we can be arrested? That makes about as much sense as insuring the uninsured which makes the insured uninsured.

  7. Cherunda says:

    When I went to the Supreme Court repeatedly complaining of violations of my 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th,11th 13th, 14th am rights violations, everybody laughed and said, “they are just burning her.” No they burned every American, as you see now. The way our Constitution and federal courts are situated, you can’t hurt one American without hurting every American. All foreigners know that. I see them ignoring me with you laying on the ground, half naked. Shameful, the refused to listen to me. These violations won’t go away.

  8. Steve McNamara says:

    Where in Hell is the ACLU? This is such a travesty of justice. I’m surprised the ACLU didn’t jump on this clear violation of constitutionally protected rights.

  9. Jay Rasmussen says:

    Land of the caged and home of the scared since when is it right that a 5yr old kid be afraid of the police???I thought they were there to serve and protect I’m staring to think more like to to ignore and arrest the constitution states you are innocent until proven guilty and everyone is to view you that way until they prove your guilt..then why do they hold people in jails on excessive bond for months on a crime they didn’t commit.. a$25,000.00bond for aDUI Seems pretty extreme when the other guy with aDUI gets a $500.dollar fine no jail time…and he sent 5-people to the hospitals and 2 died..our what about the lady that side swiped a highway patrol car and walked away with a citation…justice I think not money in public defenders pocket to get you to plead guilty cause they don’t want to investigate what really happened and are more concerned with sleeping with the prosecutor and getting paid to look pretty In court while there colleagues talk shit about the inmates during stuff like look it’s our next group of jurors e while they sitting in the jury box e waiting to get shafted by the court system cause they can’t afford aREAL BOY(ATTORNEY) and are stuck with what the court gives them…I no going into court is not like going into a fight where the combatants have a neat match in skills but neither should it be like an unnamed man to gladiators…this country has truly lost what our for e fathers stated in the constitution I will and have always spoke the truth and it has probably been my biggest down fall but I will continue to fight for freedom of our rights as stated in the constitution…I am not mentally ill but to shut me up you’ll have to see my lips together Mr Lincoln I wish you were here the republic’s changed a lot in a hundred years, and I don’t think it’s working out like you planned Mr Lincoln we sure could use a hand…AMEN. SEMPER FI…

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