The Marine veteran who was detained over anti-government Facebook posts is headed home after a circuit court judge ordered he be released from a psychiatric facility on Thursday, WWBT in Richmond reports.
The judge ruled that the government had no legal grounds to detain Brandon J. Raub, a 26-year-old former U.S. Marine, and Virginia resident.
On August 20, Raub was sentenced to up to 30 days in a psychiatric facility after he was detained by federal law enforcement on August 16 over some Facebook posts that criticized the U.S. government and questioned the official story behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He also referred to “starting a revolution.”
John Whitehead, Raub’s lead attorney, will appear on Glenn Beck’s show tonight on GBTV, soon-to-become TheBlazeTV — watch it LIVE tonight at 5:15 ET or stream it later here.
Whitehead told Business Insider that the August 20 detention order was “rubber-stamped” and represents the corrupt system in Virginia.
“The special justice is very old,” Whitehead said. “He had trouble hearing Brandon. He brought into the courtroom a personal cassette player – we tried to listen to it and you can hardly hear what’s being said. This is the so-called judge – he’s a lawyer, not a real judge – it’s like what you would see in a bad movie.”
So, as many of you are probably wondering, under what grounds could you be detained by the federal government without a warrant or probable cause?
Well, according to Whitehead, more than 20,000 people are “committed” under similar circumstances each year — in Virginia alone. “That means a lot of people are disappearing,” accused of having a so-called mental illness.
“I’m friends with the local police; I could call them right now and probably get you committed if you were in Virginia,” Whitehead added. “They can arrive at your door based on somebody’s testimony or your Facebook page and take you away to a mental hospital… There’s a system here that is corrupt. And this guy is caught in it.”
In his defense motion, Raub’s lawyers argued that the initial detention orders did not follow Virginia state law that the Chesterfield Police Department cited, making Raub’s indefinite detention illegal.
Chesterfield police claimed they “took Raub into custody for evaluation in accordance with Virginia State Code § 37.2-808 Emergency custody.”
But as Business Insider points out, “Va. Code § 37.2-808 states that a person in emergency custody may only be held for four hours unless a magistrate enters a temporary detention order (TDO).” Raub was held for days.
“The government’s power to involuntarily admit an individual for evaluation of a mental illness is a creation of statute. Because an order providing for such admission deprives a citizen of his liberty, to protect citizens from an overreaching government the Virginia legislature has created a specific, detailed procedure, set forth in Virginia Code § 37.2-800, that must be followed before an individual can be involuntarily admitted. In the present case, that procedure was not followed. As such, the District Court’s August 20, 2012 order is void.”
“The best thing they can do now is say ‘We’re not going to charge this guy, we’re going away.’ But we’re not going to let this go away,” Whitehead said.
This is from Raub’s Facebook page:
America has lost itself. We have lost who we truly are. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave. This is the land of Thomas Jefferson. This is the land of Benjamin Franklin. This is the land of Fredrick Douglas. This is the land of Smedley Butler. This is the land John F. Kennedy. This is the land of Martin Luther King. This is the land where the cowboy wins. This is the land where you can start from the bottom and get to the top. This is the land where regardless of you race and ethnicity you can suceed and build a better life for you and your family. This is the land where every race coexists peacefully. This is the land where justice wins. This is the land where liberty dwells. This is the land where freedom reigns. This is the land where we help the poor, and people help eachother. This is land where people beat racism.
The incident raises the possibility that the government may be monitoring what you say via social media. It is already compiling your tweets and this shows it could be monitoring your Facebook posts as well.
FBI spokeswoman Dee Rybiski argues federal agents did not monitor Raub’s Facebook page, but were sent “a few complaints about what were perceived as threatening posts.” But Whitehead argues the Facebook page in question was recently created and set to private and that he doubts the FBI’s official story. What may be more alarming is that “a few complaints” could result in an American citizen being placed in a psych ward.
That brings us to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, signed into law by President Obama on New Years Eve, which civil rights activists argue allows the federal government to “indefinitely detain” American citizens considered to be “terrorists.”
The Washington Times provides commentary from a Dallas lawyer who explains his concerns with the case and the new powers granted to the federal government under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012:
“In May, a U.S. Judge Forrest suspended the federal government’s new unconstitutional power to indefinitely detain United States citizens based on mere suspicion of being ‘terror-linked.’ Last week, Obama’s attorneys refused to define any terms, including what constituted as ‘linked’ to a ‘terrorist.’”
“They also refused to testify they were not in contempt of court for denying due process for Americans even after the judge’s restriction. This is a reckless abandonment of the American system and a violation of every American principle.”
“Arresting dissidents without calling it ‘arrest,’ which is in complete violation of Raub’s civil liberties, combined with the insistence that the federal government has a right to imprison anyone based on suspicion, should scare every American. We are losing this republic and fast.”
To be sure, President Obama has promised he will not use the indefinite detention power on U.S. citizens, but he can’t speak for all of America’s future presidents.
As the Washington Times explains, “the language of the NDAA is so vague that Raub’s entire family, friends or anyone who ‘substantially supported’ him or ‘associated forces’ could also be indefinitely detained without trial. According to Obama’s lawyers, it is possible.”
TheBlaze reached out to Whitehead for additional comment but did not hear back in time for this report.
While more details are likely to come out, so far it seems the FBI, Secret Service, and local law enforcement used a controversial state statute to detained a military veteran with no warrant and ordered he be committed to an insane asylum.
If a Facebook post, titled “The Truth,” can land Raub in a psych ward and likely on the government’s “watch list” for years to come, it may be reasonable to ask: What stops federal agents from busting down your door if you happen to be a 9/11 “truther” or an anti-government liberty activist?
Also keep in mind, people who are “reverent of individual liberty” are already potential “right-wing terrorists,” according to the Department of Homeland Security.