Law enforcement officials said they did not arrest Brandon Raub for his anti-government Facebook postings, even though they slapped handcuffs on him and forced him into a car before transporting him to a psychiatric hospital where he will remain for at least 30 days.
No, they merely went to “interview” him last Thursday, the FBI told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
“Our office had received a complaint about threatening posts,” said Dee Rybiski, spokeswoman for the Richmond FBI office. “As we would do in any circumstance such as this, our office along with Chesterfield Police (Department) officers went to interview Mr. Raub.
“The FBI did not arrest him,” Rybiski said. “We are not commenting any further.”
Meanwhile, Raub is locked away in a psychiatric ward in John Randolph Medical Center outside Richmond, Virginia where he was allowed to be interviewed by the Richmond Times-Dispatch via telephone.
“I’m currently in John Randolph in the psychiatric ward being held against my will,” Raub said in a telephone interview.
Raub said Secret Service, FBI and Chesterfield police officers came to his home Thursday. “They were concerned about me calling for the arrest of government officials,” he said.
He was taken to the Chesterfield police station and then to the hospital, he said.
“I talked to a Secret Service gentleman for 20, 30 minutes,” Raub said. “I was very cooperative and answered everything honestly.
“I really love America, and I think that idea that you can be detained and sent somewhere without due process and a lawyer … is crazy.”
Raub said he has been raising questions about 9/11 and signed a petition to reopen investigation of the terrorist attacks.
The Rutherford Institute, a Virginia-based civil rights organization, has come to the defense of Raub, a retired U.S. Marine who served from 2005 to 2011, including stints in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to a statement the Rutherford Institute sent to Cop Block:
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.
Raub’s statements might seem far-fetched to many people, even to those who don’t normally buy into government rhetoric.
But they’re not much different than what many people have been posting on the internet, especially after 9/11 when a small but vocal movement began spreading their views that the government somehow played a role in the terrorists attacks.
However, the government has usually just ignored this movement, which allowed it to maintain plausibility deniability while respecting the First Amendment rights of citizens to spew their opinions.
And speaking of plausibility deniability, neither the Secret Service, the FBI or the Chesterfield County Police Department are accepting responsibility for Raub’s detainment, claiming they were just assisting each other, according to Business Insider.
Whoever was responsible for his kidnapping, which that is what it is if they can’t even admit to legally arresting him, it puts a chilling effect on free speech, especially when it comes to personal opinions on the internet.
Knowing that I am already monitored by my local homeland security bureau, all I can say is be careful with what you write. I don’t want to have to write about you next.
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