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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 fustakrakich (1673220) on Monday August 20, 2012 @08:32PM (#41062439) Journal

    He should know that.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 20, 2012 @08:41PM (#41062547)

      Specifically, anyone with access to view a facebook page can 'report' it, and Facebook employees have training about which content is against the AUP or plainly illegal, and what needs to be forwarded there. If you report a clear terrorist threat on someone's private page that you have access to, clearly you would expect the staff to forward it to the FBI. This guy may have been a bit nutty, but someone still hit the report button, and I guess they acted on it. Can't say I disagree with the system in this case.

    • by oakgrove (845019) on Monday August 20, 2012 @09:07PM (#41062817)
      The funny thing is I've heard worse conspiracy "war is coming" crap in my Sunday school class. I guess that's product of established organized religion so it's perfectly acceptable. Funny how that works.
    • by rahvin112 (446269)

      Everyone should know that. I believe it's clear at this point that Facebook sells wholesale access to everything they have (including all the "deleted" stuff). I bet they have a price list that includes wholesale direct access to everything in their datebase and they sell this access for a pretty penny to governments and market research companies.

      Nothing on Facebook is private, it's even in their TOS that you grant them rights to use anything you give them anyway they want.

    • by bigjocker (113512) *

      That's beside the point. Here you have a trained killer threatening to severe heads with an axe. I don't know if it's a crime per se, but it's something the government would be held liable if they don't investigate. The truth is that there are a lot of nutjobs, but when you have trained person threatening to use such training to attack the government it would be irresponsible not to act.

      Facebook is forced by law to monitor and report on such activities. This is non news.

      • by arth1 (260657) on Monday August 20, 2012 @11:16PM (#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 Artifakt (700173) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @05:53AM (#41065749)

        Here you have a trained killer threatening to severe heads with an axe.

        I'm a former Armored Cav officer. I've been a range instructor and supervisor, and trained some of the instructors who are still active right now teaching soldiers how to use 50 cal. machine guns, grenade and rocket launchers, and even main battle tanks. I've taught courses in how to make improvised high explosives from common kitchen supplies, in amounts sufficient to lead an organized insurrection (and I still have all my fingers). So, I'd like to go on record as saying, If I ever threaten anyone with an axe, it's a metaphor or something. If I was at all serious, I'd be talking weapons that can literally do a thousand or more times that damage from literally 45 to 60,000 times that range (i.e. MLRS). Hell, If I was at all serious, I wouldn't be talking - that's called operational security, and is also a concept to which this marine was probably exposed. (And incidentally, it's sever, not severe http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sever [reference.com] ).
                  Yes, investigate. The situation justifies reasonable care. I'd consider a 24 hour detention for evaluation to be just possibly reasonable, or a properly warrented search to see if this former marine has a weapons collection, and what kind. Maybe even those should be reserved as options following up a quick law enforcement interview. And, yes, the government has the mandate to check into thretening sounding statments and see if there's serious intent connected to them, and can put a person to at least some inconvenience following up. Most jurisdictions have some standard of just how inconvienienced the former marine can be before he he has a valid complaint of government overreaction. However, I'd have to figure that any time a well trained soldier, airman, marine, or whatever is talking about archaic weaponry such as axes, the chances is they are actually less serious than some civilian nutcase who thinks an axe is some sort of really elite weapon that might easily get them past modern arm bearing security guards and such. I don't think the Marines are suddenly teaching people that axes beat assault rifles and sub-machine guns - at least I hope not.

        • by tbannist (230135) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @08:56AM (#41066777)

          I would think they were more concerned that he might walk into a DMV or similar low-security government office and start hacking up the people as a signal to "start the revolution". Some of the stuff he posted to his Facebook page appears seriously disturbed. Not only does he claim that the government perpetrated 9/11 and that Obama is a communist (pretty standard crazy conspiracy stuff), he accuses "world leaders" of preforming ritual sacrifices of children and claims that the Bushes "have a secret Castle in Colorado where they have been raping and sacrificing children for many years". That's pretty specific and insane.

          From a casual inspection of his Facebook scroll, he looks seriously crazy. Combining the crazy, the delusions of grandeur, and the threats, I can certainly see why he needed a psychiatric evaluation. He seems to be spiralling into madness.

      • by dywolf (2673597)

        All men are equal before the court in the eyes of the law. "Special training" or not, you cannot be held to a different standard in a court of law just because of your background, and cases have been overturned on such grounds. Movies like ConAir not withstanding.

        Also, having been a marine these past 12 years, I dont recall ever recieving special training in the usage of axes, or the severing of heads.

  • by alen (225700) on Monday August 20, 2012 @08:33PM (#41062449)

    and you can't threaten people and say a lot of other things

    free speech is about speaking normal grievances against the government and using the political process to change them

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      False analogy. The owner of the theatre has the right to limit your speech. Free speech only protects you (theoretically) against governmental repercussions.

    • by c0lo (1497653) on Monday August 20, 2012 @09:33PM (#41063073)

      and you can't threaten people and say a lot of other things

      You reckon? Maybe this [wikipedia.org] is coming from a time the US justice was still fully sane, but...

      The U.S. Supreme Court reversed Brandenburg's conviction, holding that government cannot constitutionally punish abstract advocacy of force or law violation.
      ...
      The three distinct elements of this test (intent, imminence, and likelihood)...
      ...
      As of 2011, the Brandenburg test is still the standard used for evaluating attempts to punish inflammatory speech, and it has not been seriously challenged since it was laid down in 1969.

      Or did lately any post on FB become a concrete action?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is a mentally unstable trained killer making death threats. Next.

  • Congratulations (Score:4, Insightful)

    by darkharlequin (1923) on Monday August 20, 2012 @08:36PM (#41062489) Homepage Journal
    You have now just validated what this paranoid individual has been saying to his mentally unstable friends. Good job!
  • by hawks5999 (588198) on Monday August 20, 2012 @08:38PM (#41062515)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 20, 2012 @08:39PM (#41062529)

    I'm extremely pro-privacy but even this is ridiculous. I don't care who you are or who your friends might be - if one of them starts talking some crazy conspiracy, murderous shit and he's an ex-marine (and probably either has or has access to several weapons), please please please seriously call the police about it.

  • Crazy Talk (Score:2, Funny)

    by mark_elf (2009518)

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

    Don't want an extended psych evaluation? Don't threaten people on the internet.

  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Monday August 20, 2012 @08:43PM (#41062569)
    They didn't just get him for exercising free speech, they got him for revealing government secrets.
  • How many thousands and thousands fulminated and vituperated in the most horrible manner against Bush?

    How many were thrown in jail?

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday August 20, 2012 @10:34PM (#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).

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

    by Cl1mh4224rd (265427) on Monday August 20, 2012 @09:01PM (#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 Unkyjar (1148699)

      I have a feeling it was this particular FB account that got their attention. His wall is free for anyone to peruse:

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

    • by Penurious Penguin (2687307) on Monday August 20, 2012 @10:18PM (#41063459) Homepage Journal
      For example, I've never made anything remotely close to a threat or in any way indicated foul plots or intentions. I have merely ridiculed that which seems so flagrantly absurd that without a voice of contrast, blindness would prevail. Yet their attentions have surely been captured:
      http://eccentricintelligenceagency.info/wp-content/uploads/visitors1.png [eccentrici...gency.info] [image]
      http://eccentricintelligenceagency.info/wp-content/uploads/visitors2.png [eccentrici...gency.info] [image] | This visitor showed up hours before my youtube account was terminated with no prior warnings or violations - Just terminated, period. Then they nixed my Google (gmail, webmaster, etc.) account shortly after.

      That's a slim example of the "attention" I've had at my own website. Some are bots, and some are not, but between fusion-centers [wikipedia.org] and other profilers, a lot more has their attention than one would (or should) reasonably expect. The new security bureaucracy is Big Business and there just aren't enough angry brown people with bombs to justify the affronts to our liberties otherwise. Where the enemy is not, the enemy will be created. Just look at all the post 9-11 terror plots "foiled" by the FBI; they've been primarily cultivated from sub-stupid imbeciles hand-picked from the pinnacles of ineptitude.

      We need security. People will continue going berserk. There are dangers. But it is NOT security we're getting. They ( Authoritaria) behave as if their sole passion is to protect society and make people cozy and safe, yet they think not twice before scooping human fodder for strange wars, , employing sock puppets, defiling education, tainting the media [wikipedia.org], feeding horrendous penal institutions, and severely tampering with things like foreign nations and our own economy.

      It's just fine to have faith in government. But hold their feet to the fire and scrutinize the hell out of them, lest faith become dogma. It would appear -- in recent handling of transparency -- that government currently has a strong preference for the latter.
  • Whether the Facebook page is private or not is irrelevant, his friends reported him to the authorities and easily could have shown them the Facebook page.

    I'm not sure I see anything in this story that makes me worry about civil liberties, it's just an unusual news story.

  • that any threats such as this discharged marine made will be forwarded to the appropriate authorities. That's right, the Government doesn't have to spy or even pay for the information as Facebook gives the heads up to the government anytime this happens. Simply put, if you want to rant in private, then god damn well do it in private and not on the fucking internets.

  • by tibman (623933) on Monday August 20, 2012 @09:21PM (#41062965) Homepage

    Not as big a deal as you'd think. Even years after being out of the US Army, i get phone calls asking about my mental well-being. They seem to take good care of their own, as if the government still feels possessive or responsible for an in-active veteran. It's terrible if a civilian goes batshit insane and kills people. If a Marine goes batshit insane it becomes an event that books are written about.

  • Facebook *does* monitor "private" communications (probably with automated keyword searching and the like) and will proactively contact law enforcement if it's deemed appropriate... The following story broke locally about a week ago -- http://www.cjob.com/news/winnipeg/story.aspx?ID=1757654 [cjob.com] (tl;dr - Local PD got a call from FB about the sexual assault of a 13 year old by a 25 yo.)

    It is entirely possible that something similar happened here, no matter how private his postings were.
  • by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex@ p ... r e trograde.com> on Monday August 20, 2012 @09:22PM (#41062975)

    ~/terrorist/fucked up|scary/gi

    Home of the brave... It's time to give back your land to the actual Braves you took them from, or change the damn anthem: "Land of the Paranoid, and the Home of the Terrified"

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      There are nowadays many countries with special laws on how to deal with "terrorists".

      A "normal criminal" can be held without charge for a few days, a "terrorist" can be held without charge (well, they're called terrorist which should be a charge in itself) for weeks or more.

      A "normal criminal" has all kinds of rights, a "terrorist" loses many of those rights, just for being suspected of terrorism.

      This man did something the government didn't like, which they possibly don't have a specific law for or just don

  • by bmo (77928) on Monday August 20, 2012 @09:40PM (#41063141)

    FB bots already troll for illegal content and if something is spotted, it's forwarded to "the man."

    There was something about this here not too long ago, but I can't be arsed to look it up.

    1. Don't be stupid and post potentially illegal/threatening stuff to your FB page, whether you think it's private or not. It's not. Read your privacy policy. Act as if FB is some weird version of usenet and you'll be fine. Also, if you are bent on revolution, no revolution ever really got started by doing the organizing in public. At least not at first.

    Thus sayeth the FB privacy policy:

    We may also share information when we have a good faith belief it is necessary to prevent fraud or other illegal activity, to prevent imminent bodily harm, or to protect ourselves and you from people violating our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. This may include sharing information with other companies, lawyers, courts or other government entities.

    https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=+322194465300 [facebook.com]

    2. See 1. And if you still don't understand it, keep reading 1 until you do.

    --
    BMO

     

  • Mental health issue (Score:5, Informative)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Monday August 20, 2012 @10:05PM (#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.
  • And... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday August 20, 2012 @10:09PM (#41063381)

    And if they did nothing, and the guy wound up shooting up a movie theater, people would be crying "Why did no one do anything? The signs were CLEAR!"

    Crazy people. WTF ya gonna do with 'em?

    Maybe law enforcement here will amaze us all and actually get the guy some help.

    Oh, *nearly* typed that with a straight face!

  • by jklovanc (1603149) on Monday August 20, 2012 @11:19PM (#41063917)

    You pick the headline you prefer;

    Ex-Marine Forcibly Held for Psychiatric Evaluation

    or

    Officials Knew of Ex-Marine's Mental Instability Before Killing Spree and Did Nothing

    Personally, I prefer the former. At worst a sane ex-marine goes through a few days of evaluation and is released. At best an ex-marine spiralling down into a psychotic episode gets the help he needs and recovers.

  • by AntiBasic (83586) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @03:45AM (#41065247)

    They told me if I voted for McCain, the government would be perusing facebook posts and throwing those they don't like in mental institutions... and they were right!

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