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Censorship United States Your Rights Online

Ex-Marine Detained For Facebook Posts Deemed "Terrorist in Nature" 593

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the rumsfeld-aspic-jsofc3ip-Verisign-terrorism-Comirex dept.
colinneagle writes with news of a marine turned conspiracy theorist who was detained for psychological evaluation after posting rants on Facebook. He has since been ordered to remain in a mental facility for at least 30 days. From the article: "There are conspiracy theorists who believe 9/11 was an inside job. I don't really follow that news, but can people be arrested after saying so online, exercising their First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech? On August 16, the FBI, Secret Service and the Chesterfield Police arrested a decorated former U.S. Marine for 'airing his critical views of the U.S. government on Facebook.' On Facebook, Raub talked about the Illuminati, a shadow organization in which 'some of the leaders were involved with the bombing of the twin towers' and the 'great amount of evil perpetrated by the American Government.' He said people may think he was going crazy, but a 'civil war,' the 'Revolution' is coming. 'I'm starting the Revolution. I'm done waiting.' On July 24, he said he was at a 'great crossroads. As if a storm of destiny is about to pick me up and take me to fight a great battle.' On August 9 he talked about severing heads and told the generals he was coming for them. On August 13, he wrote, 'Sharpen up my axe; I'm here to sever heads.' On August 14, Raub wrote, 'The Revolution will come for me. Men will be at my door soon to pick me up to lead it.'" I suspect being a former marine and threatening to decapitate military officials might have had something to do with this (communicating specific threats?). But then again, his Facebook page was reportedly private, and according to the AP newswire: "The big concern, Whitehead said, is whether government officials are monitoring citizens' private Facebook pages and detaining people with whom they disagree."
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Ex-Marine Detained For Facebook Posts Deemed "Terrorist in Nature"

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  • by Kjella (173770) on Monday August 20, 2012 @07:50PM (#41062637) Homepage

    You're the one who said Facebook Page with a capital p, the quote didn't. The original sentence could refer to anywhere on Facebook's site. Now if the government was doing anything illegal, you wouldn't expect them to be blatant about it would you? They'd of course have some sort of excuse, some sort of explanation as to where the lead came from. We already know Facebook monitors all "private" communication, they've admitted as much when identifying a guy trying to groom girls. Of course that probably means a ton of other conversations gets flagged and looked at, without you ever knowing. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Facebook also has an agreement to look for possible terrorists, drug deals and whatever else the government might have an interest in knowing. Nothing you say there should be treated as private, ever.

  • A couple things... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cl1mh4224rd (265427) on Monday August 20, 2012 @08:01PM (#41062751)

    This link was presented on a message board I frequent: Update: Former Marine Arrested by FBI for Facebook Posts!! [ronpaultribune.com]

    The "threatening to decapitate military officials" in the summary seems, as far as I can tell, to be a conflation of two separate Facebook posts he made: 1) "Sharpen up my axe; I'm here to sever heads" (which are apparently lyrics from a song) and 2) "This is part where I tell the Federal Government to go fuck itself. This is the part where I tell Generals, training our young med to fight Americans, I am coming for you. The Veterans will be with me."

    The latter is probably what caught the government's attention.

    As to "his Facebook page was reportedly private", also from the summary, a number of his posts were shared by people on his Friends list. If it's true that his page was private, it's very likely that the word got out through this sharing.

  • by Darinbob (1142669) on Monday August 20, 2012 @08:11PM (#41062853)

    And he did say those things. No one physically prevented his free speech. He's being held after the fact for psychological evaluation. On the other hand they could have held him on criminal charges as most states have laws against credible threats of violence.

    The courts do not have a lot of historical precedent for freedom of speech clause of the US constitution until after WWI. Justice Oliver Wendel Holmes has the quote most relevant to this situation: "The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent." I think this legal basis is still mostly current, so law enforcement would need to only prove a "clear and present danger" even if the person is deemed to be sane.

    There's also the issue of what if the person is insane. I don't know the legal history here but certainly there has been a long history of of forced hospital commitments and evaluations for those who are judged to be insane, as they are said to be a danger to themselves and others, and very often the only evidence of mental illness is what the patient says. Is this a free speech issue or not?

  • by KhabaLox (1906148) on Monday August 20, 2012 @08:19PM (#41062941)

    p>

    Now, do the police have a right to investigate? Absolutely. Do they have any right to detain the man? Absolutely not.

    Actually, detention of suspects at the onset, during and after an investigation is common and not unconstitutional within limits. From TFS, this sounds like a pretty routine psych detention. I've had a friend detained on at least 2 occasions for psych evaluations, though in fairness he was committing trespassing crimes both times.

  • by Unkyjar (1148699) on Monday August 20, 2012 @08:28PM (#41063033)

    There didn't need to be any monitoring, his wall was left for anyone to read.

    http://www.facebook.com/brandon.raub?sk=wall [facebook.com]

  • by AdamWill (604569) on Monday August 20, 2012 @08:52PM (#41063231) Homepage

    " Then see how you can offer medical treatment "

    That's what they were doing. He wasn't arrested, he was detained for psychiatric treatment. In the U.K. there's a handy verbified noun for this - 'sectioned'. I dunno if there's something equivalent in U.S. English. I think most jurisdictions allow for the forcible confinement of people who clearly have dangerous mental problems but refuse to be treated voluntarily - there's a demonstrated need for this, after all.

  • Mental health issue (Score:5, Informative)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Monday August 20, 2012 @09:05PM (#41063339) Journal
    This is a mental health issue. He wasn't arrested, he was detained because he is crazy. In America, you can get someone locked up as insane. He doesn't need a trial. It is a serious problem.

    This has long been a problem in the western world. In Europe, if someone seemed crazy, in the 1800s it was a popular way to get rid of him if he was the only person in line ahead of you for inheritance (see for example, Prince Ludwig of Bavaria). In America, we had asylums with power to keep anyone who was deemed to be crazy. The administrators had a lot of power in these places, and eventually it was shown that doctors were incompetent at distinguishing sane people from insane people [wikipedia.org]. A lot of hospitals got closed at that point.

    In case anyone cares, here is the law [virginia.gov] that will allow him to be locked up, in case any lawyer wants to comment:
    a mental health professional can decide to issue a temporary detention order if "it appears ... that the person (i) has a mental illness and that there exists a substantial likelihood that, as a result of mental illness, the person will, in the near future, (a) cause serious physical harm to himself or others as evidenced by recent behavior causing, attempting, or threatening harm and other relevant information, if any, or (b) suffer serious harm due to his lack of capacity to protect himself from harm or to provide for his basic human needs, (ii) is in need of hospitalization or treatment, and (iii) is unwilling to volunteer or incapable of volunteering for hospitalization or treatment."

    He threatened harm, the law lets him be locked up.
  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday August 20, 2012 @09:34PM (#41063583) Homepage

    Quite a few: about 1800 during the 2004 Republican convention, for example. Many of those were cases where the cops arrested people and dropped the charges a few days later because they had no evidence whatsoever of any sort of crime, but others were charged and jailed. The Bush years also saw the introduction of sonic weapons, Total Information Awareness, and lots of other repression tactics. And yes, the Obama administration has done much the same thing in going after Occupy protesters.

    Basically, when it comes to civil liberties, neither the Bush nor the Obama administration have much if any regard for them, and both had the full support of their respective parties' congressional delegation. If you want to support civil liberties, you should support organizations like the ACLU and vote for a candidate that actually supports civil liberties, like Gary Johnson (L) or Jill Stein (G).

  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday August 20, 2012 @10:03PM (#41063805) Journal

    Once you're in the military, you're never really out until you turn 60.
    You graduate down a slope of Reserve statuses
    Ready Reserve, Standby Reserve, and the Retired Reserve [wikipedia.org]

    Really getting out of the military is harder than leaving the Church of Scientology.

  • by arth1 (260657) on Monday August 20, 2012 @10:16PM (#41063895) Homepage Journal

    That's beside the point. Here you have a trained killer threatening to severe heads with an axe.

    Threatening?

    "Sharpen up my axe and I am back, I'm here to sever heads"
    -- Swollen Member, "Bring Me Down"

    Song lyrics to also avoid posting on Facebook;:

    "Run to the bedroom in the suitcase on the left
    You'll find my favorite axe
    Don't look so frightened
    This is just a passing phase, one of my bad days"

    "We are the small axe
    Sharpened to cut you down,
    Ready to cut you down."

    "Me and my axe will leave your neck a bloody fountain

    Everybody, everybody, everybody run
    Murdering, murdering, murdering fun
    Swing swing swing, chop chop chop,
    swing swing swing, chop chop chop

    My axe is my buddy, we right the planet's wrongs
    Me and my axe leave bigots dead on richie lawns"

    Not to mention http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oai-6GpkSkc [youtube.com]

  • by cryptizard (2629853) on Monday August 20, 2012 @10:21PM (#41063939) Homepage
    What the fuck man its like you don't even read the Wikipedia articles that you cite yourself. Italian Hall disaster [wikipedia.org] in 1913, 73 dead. Give it up, you are wrong about the legal facts of the situation and your opinions are misguided to say the least.

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