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Brandon Raub is a former Marine who had long been posting on Facebook his belief in a 9/11 conspiracy, chemtrails, that our government is communist, and his distrust of the Illuminati.  He likes rap groups and conspiracy theories.  He considers himself a Christian and expressed disgust at the TSA pat down of a child last year.  Some of his posts, although violent in nature, do not target specific people or groups.

Friends,

You deserve to kow[sic] the truth. There has been an overwhelming amount of evil enacted and planned against you, your children, and your countrymen. It is great in scope. Your government evil. It is as simple as that.

And the calvary is coming.

(August 12 at 10:02am)

and
I'm starting the Revolution. I'm done waiting.

(August 10 at 12:11am)

and
Sharpen up my axe; I'm here to sever heads.

(August 13 at 10:38am)

According to Business Insider, the former Marine was taken into custody by members of the FBI, Secret Service and Chesterfield County Police Department this weekend and continues to be held in a psychiatric hospital in Hopewell, Virginia.  

Raub told the Times-Dispatch that he served as a Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2005 to 2011, was a combat engineer sergeant and does not own a gun. His mother said he returned from Afghanistan about a year ago and does not have PTSD.
Why then was it so important for the law enforcement authorities to take him into custody?  According to online news outlets, Raub was taken into custody stemming from complaints arising from his posts on Facebook.  We already know that Big Brother is constantly monitoring social media.  Not surprisingly, one of my acquaintances had his Facebook posts used against him in his court case that was related to his activism.

Despite the violent nature of some his Facebook posts, Raub is well-spoken and articulate when writing for Don't Tread on Me, a blog with obvious conservative/libertarian leanings that appears (after a cursory examination) to be more geared towards the preparation for socio/economic collapse and as advocates for change by the implementation of more conservative policies. From what I did see, the site surprisingly lacks the more gratuitous expressions of violence sometimes used by other conservative websites.

An excerpt from one of his writings:

The Constitution was constructed to restrict a government from encroaching on their (and our) economic liberty as given to us by the Creator.  Many of them favored state power because they rationalized that you could restrict a states government from encroaching on liberty more easily than a large federal government.  The civil war was fought because a group of states took issue with the growing power of the federal government because they recognized that their liberty was at stake.  It is the epitome of irony, because those states were predominantly slave owning states.  They were restricting the hearts and minds and economic liberty of blacks.  Slavery was and is an affront against nature and the heart of God, because in order to keep someone enslaved you must keep their minds enslaved and their minds cannot grow as god intended.
I could not find any references on his Facebook wall endorsing or demonstrating his involvement with groups advocating violence or having a connection to U.S. hate groups. The same goes for his posts at Don't Tread on Me.

More important, I think, than Raub's postings about the revolution on Facebook, was a recent and violent incident that occurred on August 16, in Louisiana. No doubt law enforcement in Virginia were hyper-aware of the ambush that took place in Louisiana that killed two deputies and wounded two more.  According to the Daily Reporter, the suspects in the Louisiana shootings had ties to the "sovereign citizens" movement.  

Raub, I think, stumbled into the perfect storm of saying something stupid online at the exact moment that law enforcement became aware of just how dangerous home-grown hate groups have become.  The fact that he was former military didn't help either, as there has been much discussion regarding the recruitment of veterans who may be more vulnerable by internal terrorism groups.  It also didn't help Raub, that Wade Michael Page, whose shooting spree at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin killing five earlier this month, was a former veteran with ties to the Neo-Nazi movement.

As a lifelong progressive, there is lots about Raub I disagree with, but I don't know that I can say that his posts were an example of a clear and present danger.  To me, he seems a bit deluded, but didn't appear to be so deluded that he could present a danger to himself or others.  

With my Marxist tendencies, I have often said "eat the rich," and made allusions to revolution myself on Facebook.  My blog is even called "So You Want to Start a Revolution."  But it would appear for some, the government feels there is no difference now between talking about revolution or violence and going on a shooting spree.  

I have said stupid things on Facebook and online (and in person, too), but I would hope that no one would look to me as a terrorist.  And I am positive I am not the only one.  And I will vociferously defend Raub's right to say stupid things anywhere as well, even though I think he may be a complete twit.  

But this is chilling, that any person, anyone of us, could be labelled a terrorist because we said something ill-conceived on Facebook or on our blogs, or on twitter.  There is a huge difference between words and actions.  But to the authorities, that would appear to no longer matter.   I hope that Raub, although unfortunate, was the isolated overreaction of law enforcement made extremely paranoid from two other terrorist acts committed earlier this month and that Raub gets the opportunity to clear his name and is able to obtain some sort of compensation.

If not, then it could mean that our government means to silence us all.  And permanently.

References:
Facebook - Brandon Raub
Business Insider, Former Marine Brandon Raub Is Locked In A Psych Ward Over His 9/11 Facebook Posts
Network World, Facebook Terrorism? Ex-Marine arrested, 9-11 conspiracy posts ruled 'terrorist in nature'
Brandon Raub - What God Tried to Do (Don't Tread on Me)
Brandon Raub - The Richmond Liberty Movement (Don't Tread on Me)
Brandon Raub - Property, Liberty, Jesus, and Our Country (Don't Tread on Me)
Brandon Raub - Economics 101 (Don't Tread on Me)
Brandon Raub - The Richmond Liberty March (Don't Tread on Me)
Daily Reporter, Sheriff: Suspects in killings of 2 Louisiana deputies linked to anti-government extremists
Think Progress, Republicans Blasted Obama Administration For Warning About Right-Wing Domestic Terrorism
Democracy Now, Academic Who Knew Sikh Shooter Wade Michael Page Says Neo-Nazi Soldiers, Musicians Shaped His Hatred
Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment

4:59 PM PT: I had mistakenly stated the Sikh temple shooting occurred in Minnesota.  Many thanks to percypersimmon for catching my error.

Thu Aug 23, 2012 at  8:17 PM PT: 8/23/2012

A judge has ordered Brandon Raub's release from detention.  Thanks to fellow Kossack jpmassar for posting it here: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Additional information is here: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/...


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Comment Preferences

  •  Molehills and mountains (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, Larsstephens, denig

    If saying stupid things was a crime about 95% of folks on the internet (myself included) would be in jail. No, I think we've got some overt action connected to the arrest. That we don't know what those actions are might fuel some speculation but I'm not going down the "gubbermint is cummin' ta get me" route.

    Romney's religion is only an issue because he's a high priest in the Church of Mammon.

    by ontheleftcoast on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 02:13:04 PM PDT

  •  Sending someone for psychiatric evaluation (4+ / 0-)

    is usually done under the supervision of a court order.  The evaluative period is usually specified. If multiple agencies are involved and it's not just a case of relatives wanting to get someone declared incompetent, the fellow should be OK.

    Willard's forte = "catch 'n' cage". He's not into "catch and release."

    by hannah on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 02:16:18 PM PDT

  •  You appear to be missing important information (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, lgmcp, MKSinSA, JTinDC, Larsstephens
    FBI Richmond spokeswoman told us that the FBI "had nothing to do with that" and that the FBI typically doesn't "make determinations such as that."

    "We went out to interview him because of complaints that our office had received about people coming across his posts and perceiving them as threatening so our office along with Chesterfield County Police Department on Thursday," Rybiski told us. "When we left we had not arrested him, we had not placed our hands on him, we did not detain him and we did not charge him."

    Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said: "The Secret Service assisted the FBI with the interview. He was not arrested by the Secret Service. The Secret Service will continue to monitor the situation. We have no further comment at this time."

    Chesterfield Police assisted federal authorities in their efforts to interview Brandon J. Raub on Thursday, Aug. 16. After speaking to Raub, officers believed him to be in need of further evaluation.

    Chesterfield officers at the scene contacted Chesterfield Mental Health Crisis Intervention. Crisis workers recommended that police take Raub into custody and bring him in for evaluation.

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 02:40:13 PM PDT

    •  If multiple persons were motivated to complain (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JTinDC, Catte Nappe, Larsstephens

      to the FBI about potential danger in his posts, then I'm very glad the FBI investigated.  A lot of whacky people say a lot of whacky things without meeting that bar -- it must have been pretty bad to get multiple people complaining.     And if the Secret Service assisted at the interview, chances are that some of the disturbing posts appeared to threaten the President's personal safety. So I'm GLAD the Feds interviewed him.  I don't want those threats ignored.

      But it sounds like it's the clinicians at the county Mental Health facility who determined that an inpatient admittance was justified.  Not that the healthcare system can't be used oppressively -- it can.  But the impetus for the decision appears to have been a medical one, not a law enforcement one.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 02:57:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know about Virginia but in Iowa (0+ / 0-)

      it only takes two people to sign to have you submitted for in-patient psychiatric evaluation and they don't have to be related to you.  It doesn't take much at all.    

      I very much realize there may be a lot more to the story, and he could be suffering from some sort of mental disorder, but I went through his facebook page and his writings.  There were no specific threats to any groups or persons.  He supports Ron Paul, but I couldn't find any affiliation to existing U.S. hate groups in the stuff I dug up.  I read his blog posts on Don't Tread on Me, and could find no reference to violence.  

      Some of the Occupy groups on facebook post stuff similar in nature to what Raub did.  I personally know one guy who thinks it is going to take a bloody and violent revolution for things to change and he's not a conservative.  

      Maybe I am being a bit premature coming to his defense, but have we become so fearful that we would willingly condemn one man before all the facts are known?  Or are we all willing to condemn him just because he just also happens to be a conservative.  

      He may turn out to be a complete mental case, but I don't feel comfortable conceding to that without all the facts.

      •  Seems like the FBI might be a little busy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe

        to harass every random libertarian.  

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 04:15:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would hope, but they might be so busy trying to (0+ / 0-)

          entrap people, they are missing the real bad guys.  Entrapment is so much easier and safer if you are an FBI field operative.
          http://www.rollingstone.com/...

        •  Tell it (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SYWTSAR, lgmcp

          to the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, whose homes were raided in fishing expeditions two years ago that STILL haven't produced any cases.  But their computers, papers, personal effects and even cash were carted off as "evidence".  In the house in Minnesota, the FBI agents smashed an aquarium and left the fish flopping on the floor to die while forcing the residents to watch their fish going through this while the FBI ransacked their house.

          Oh, and should I mention that there are longtime participants at dailykos (not myself) that are FRSO members?

          Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

          by ActivistGuy on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:53:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Historically, there are a lot more problems (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SYWTSAR

            with the Feds harassing leftist groups:  Quakers, environmentalists, peace vets, little old ladies in tennis shoes, and young parents pushing strollers.

            Groups of far-right males who share an interest in violence, the means with which to carry it out, and a clear ideology of hatred for those different than themselves -- not so much.

            If there is government surveillance to go around, I would like ACTUAL domestic terror cells to bear the brunt of it.

            "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

            by lgmcp on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:25:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You weren't there (0+ / 0-)

        Folks who were there apparently had reason for concern
         

        After speaking to Raub, officers believed him to be in need of further evaluation.
        Chesterfield officers at the scene contacted Chesterfield Mental Health Crisis Intervention. Crisis workers recommended that police take Raub into custody and bring him in for evaluation.
        Their level of concern was apparently due to actual interaction with the man, in real time.  No indication that it was his politics, or his FB posting.

        from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

        by Catte Nappe on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 05:24:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  These are exactly the kind of posts that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, JTinDC, Catte Nappe, Larsstephens

    were left by all these shooters. Somehow I'm not surprised. maybe they prevented another mass murder.

  •  Sikh temple shooting. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SYWTSAR, antirove
    shooting spree at a Sikh temple in Minnesota killing five earlier this month
    The shooting actually occurred in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

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