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Censorship United States Your Rights Online

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

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 lightknight ( 213164 ) on Monday August 20, 2012 @08:34PM (#41062467) Homepage

    Indeed. Your lords and masters prefer it when you don't talk about anything freedom related; you're all slaves, you will never be free, why can't you accept that?

  • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Monday August 20, 2012 @08:56PM (#41062691) Homepage

    To be fair, "heads will roll" in the context of "We're going to fire the people responsible" and "heads will roll" in the context of "... off the end of this battleax I'm sharpening as it turns red with their blood" are two completely different kinds of posts. The former isn't so bad (bad for the people losing their jobs, but not grossly illegal in and of itself). The latter is scary and bears looking into. If the person turns out to not only have the know how (ex-marine) but also the mindset (conspiracy theorist far down the rabbit hole) to carry out his statements, then his statements should be taken as serious threats of violence.

  • by cryptizard ( 2629853 ) on Monday August 20, 2012 @08:58PM (#41062719)
    Reading comprehension my good man, try it some time. The 1969 case overturned the original case, but not all implications of it. Speech is still illegal if it passes the "Brandenburg test" which is if the speaker intends to cause imminent lawlessness. That is precisely the case when yelling fire in a theater, and the Wikipedia article even says this about the concurring opinion (written by justice Douglas): "Finally, Douglas dealt with the classic example of a man "falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic." In order to explain why someone could be legitimately prosecuted for this, Douglas called it an example in which "speech is brigaded with action." In the view of Douglas and Black, this was probably the only sort of case in which a person could be prosecuted for speech."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 20, 2012 @09:23PM (#41062983)
    If he takes out a few congresspeople, a couple of senators, and maybe a president, and a few thousand lawyers, I don't think they'd be missed at all. He is right. A revolution is coming. Our government grows more corrupt every year. When people get fed up that we live in a country run by money that only caters to major corporations at the expense of everyone else, it'll happen. It may or may not be violent and bloody. But the people at the top will most certainly meet a horrendous fall. They are correct to be scared. History has demonstrated this over and over again: no matter how good the intentions a governing body when it is first constructed, eventually absolute corruption occurs, and at that point it needs to be burned away to keep the body alive, much like you would cauterize a severe wound. And then, a newly formed, and temporarily corruption-free head will grow to take its place, until the people get complacent and lazy and look the other way. And then a few hundred years later, the story will repeat itself (up to a few thousand if the cancer is allowed to mature and turn into a brutal dictatorship).
  • by Penurious Penguin ( 2687307 ) on Monday August 20, 2012 @10:18PM (#41063459) 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.
  • by Penurious Penguin ( 2687307 ) on Monday August 20, 2012 @11:03PM (#41063807) Journal
    Not really, at least not from my own experience; though it would be funny. What I can assure you of, is that they can and have done the following:

    Me: Meditating in a holding cell (yes, I was in one, and later acquitted)
    Officer: "What the fuck are doing you STUPID FUCKING son of a bitch!" [not a question]
    Me: Cease posture, face wall and ignore.
    Officer: I'll crack your fucking skull open you piece of shit. Fucking kung fu asshole. WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU"RE DOING in MY CELL?"
    ME: Preparing for pain, but not terribly concerned. Remaining silent and compliant.

    You might be interested to learn that several years later -- it did take several years of not only threats, but physical assaults -- he was fired. But it took media attention and persistent effort from many people. Being an outspoken advocate of fairness, with good but often mistaken or resented intentions, I have encountered worse and suffered minor injuries from officers. An acquaintance who was a student at Ringling Art School was beaten by the same officer, for nothing more than uttering the word "corruption". It really is no joke that the distribution of law has grave discrepancies. It generally takes experience or a victimized loved-one to understand it. But there's always research, which offers a sore abundance of examples.
  • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Monday August 20, 2012 @11:55PM (#41064145)

    Admittedly, I only read TFS, not TFA, but TFS says that his wall was private. If that's true, maybe one of his friends turned him in.

    I guess an interesting test would be to create a small group of fake FB accounts (from different IPs), friend them all with each other, then start posting a bunch of crazy conspiracy stuff and threats to assassinate various political figures. For the "person" making the real threats, set their address to be one of your neighbors. Since no real people (only your fake sock poppets) can see any of this stuff, if you see a SWAT team show up at your neighbors' house, then we can surmise that Facebook does indeed allow the government to monitor private communications there.

  • 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 jimbolauski ( 882977 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @08:05AM (#41066463) Journal
    His quote that landed him a mental evaluation.

    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.'"

    His knowledge in weapons and demolition is not the worry, his repeated calls for violence coupled with the testimony of one of his friends who brought his behavior to light is the reason he is being evaluated. If Jared Loughner had posted his crazy rantings on facebook, called multiple time for violence, and his friends reported his strange and dangerous behavior to the authorities and nothing was done, the people that ignored it would and should be held accountable. The crazy tin foil shit has nothing to do with why he was detained the violent rants do. You infrastructure knowledge and any tinfoil hat ideas you might have will not put you on watch, when blowing up bridges becomes a recurring theme in your rants and people close to you start to think you are serious and report it you will get a visit from the authorities.

  • 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.

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