from "RT News" [http://rt.com/usa/news/chesterfield-veteran-facebook-arrest-106/]:US police reportedly detained a Marine Corps veteran in a mental hospital over Facebook posts, triggering outrage in the online community. Brandon J. Raub claimed the FBI was concerned about his "calling for the arrest of government officials."
Raub, 26, is now being held in the John Randolph Behavioral Health psychiatric ward. In an online interview with local media, Raub’s mother reported that her son’s hearing is due to take place later on Monday. Raub claimed in a phone interview that he was brought to the ward against his will.
FBI and Secret Service officials said that Raub wasn’t arrested on specific charges, and declined to comment further, local newspaper the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. Police officials allege they were only tasked with transporting Raub, and had no hand in his being interred in a mental health institution.
Raub was confronted by FBI agents at his home on Thursday and taken away in handcuffs. He was then reportedly questioned over several incendiary Facebook posts he made. "They were concerned about me calling for the arrest of government officials," Raub said.
The Richmond FBI office said they had received a complaint about Raub’s “threatening posts."
The video of the detention emerged on YouTube and immediately went viral, earning 67,000 views in the handful of hours after the footage was posted.
“I talked to a Secret Service gentleman for 20, 30 minutes. 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 told local media in a phone interview.
Raub posted Facebook messages that suggested that the US government was behind the 9/11 attacks, and signed a petition to re-open the investigation into the terrorist act.
“If you are unaware of the great amount of evil perpetrated by the American Government I suggest you take … your head out of the sand. The day of reckoning is almost at hand,” he wrote on August 5. He authored a later post saying,“The Revolution is here. And I will lead it.”
A Facebook group supporting Raub has been created, and has over 3,000 members. Raub served in the US Marine Corps from 2005 to 2011, and was a combat engineer Sergeant in Iraq and Afghanistan.
2012-08-23 "Judge orders release of US Marine detained for Facebook posts" from "RT News" [http://rt.com/usa/news/judge-marine-facebook-raub-421/]:
On the basis that there was zero reason to detain a retired Marine and commit him to a medical facility for psychiatric evaluation, a Virginia judge has demanded that Brandon Raub be released from custody immediately.
Raub, 26, had his home visited one week earlier by FBI, Secret Service and local law enforcement agents who expressed concern over a series of Facebook posts he had made on his public social networking profile. They detained him without charge and admitted him to a local hospital for evaluation.
"The petition is so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy," reads a signed statement by Circuit Judge W. Allan Sharrett, which was provided to the Richmond Times-Dispatch Thursday afternoon.
Judge Sharrett adds that he was shocked to find that a magistrate did not include any grounds at all for holding Raub, who was placed in custody for a full week without any charges being pressed.
Earlier in the week, attorneys representing Raub from the Rutherford Institute attacked the mishandling of the case by suggesting that the entire ordeal was a war on their client’s constitutional rights.
“This is not how justice in America is supposed to work — with Americans being arrested for doing nothing more than exercising their First Amendment rights, forced to undergo psychological evaluations, detained against their will and isolated from their family, friends and attorneys. This is a scary new chapter in our history,” Rutherford Institute President John W. Whitehead says in a statement released on Tuesday this week. “Brandon Raub is no different from the majority of Americans who use their private Facebook pages to post a variety of content, ranging from song lyrics and political hyperbole to trash talking their neighbors, friends and government leaders.”
Days before he was detained, Raub had made a series of posts that reportedly worried the authorities. His most recent postings included critique of the investigation of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and other messages, such as, “The Revolution will come for me. Men will be at my door soon to pick me up to lead it” and “Sharpen up my axe; I'm here to sever heads.
“The bottom line is his freedom of speech has been violated,” Raub's mother, Cathleen Thomas, told the Associated Press after her son was detained. On Thursday, she told the Times-Dispatch that the entire ordeal has been “phenomenal” and that others could be considered because, “This could have happened to anyone.”
"This has never been about anything but freedom of speech…. We're going to continue to post on Facebook,” Thomas continued, adding that she considered her son a “true patriot.”
Raub served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and says he had been considering reenlisting before last week’s events.
2012-08-24 "Facebook-posting Marine veteran released from hospital" by Bill McKelway from "Richmond Times-Dispatch"
HOPEWELL, Va. --
The shifting fortunes of Marine veteran Brandon J. Raub moved in his favor Thursday after a Hopewell judge criticized his forced relocation to a veterans hospital in western Virginia for mental treatment and then ordered him released.
Raub's Chesterfield County family rushed to retrieve the nationally followed, Facebook-posting activist after the midday ruling.
Hopewell Circuit Judge W. Allan Sharrett found that a document ordering Raub's transfer this week from a Hopewell hospital to the Salem VA Medical Center was faulty and "so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy."
Raub, 26, was released from the Salem hospital shortly after 5 p.m.
The case raises anew concerns about Virginia's civil commitment proceedings for mentally ill people, proceedings that were overhauled after Virginia Tech mass murderer Seung-Hui Cho underwent a similar process that upon closer scrutiny was shown to be full of deficiencies and miscommunications between caregivers and the judicial system.
Raub's release follows a procedural error, the failure of a special justice to check off on a petition for involuntary admission to a hospital the elemental findings about Raub's mental condition. Sharrett likened the faulty order to an arrest warrant that lists no specific illegality.
The order was signed Monday by Special Justice W. Douglas Stokes, but the boxes on a form designating the nature of Raub's condition were not marked. Court files, however, show that Raub had undergone mental-health assessments shortly after being taken into custody Aug. 16 and was found to be mentally ill and a danger to others.
In addition, attorneys representing Raub on behalf of the Charlottesville-based Rutherford Institute argued that Raub was illegally detained last week because a Chesterfield magistrate failed to timely issue a temporary custody order to allow mental health experts an opportunity to assess Raub's mental state.
"Raub was the subject of an unlawful detention" and the involuntary commitment order "is based almost entirely on information and evaluations improperly obtained during that unlawful detention," lawyers Anthony F. Troy and Brian D. Fowler argued in court papers.
* * * * *
Raub's case has exploded across the Internet, and the North Chesterfield resident has become a symbol of those who allege tamping down of free speech by the government.
"This is a great victory for the First Amendment and the rule of law," John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, said Thursday after the decision. "Brandon Raub was arrested with no warning, targeted for doing nothing more than speaking out against the government, detained against his will, and isolated from his family, friends and attorneys."
In a scenario that seems to touch almost every facet of arguments about government interference with free speech advocates, Raub was taken into custody last week after being approached by FBI and Secret Service agents as well as Chesterfield police. On Monday, he was transferred to Salem, where the veterans hospital carries a reputation for treating stressed service members.
A video of Raub being detained and handcuffed outside his Bensley home Aug. 16 went viral on YouTube and other Internet sites. Radio talk shows celebrated his patriotic pleas on his Facebook page, and his theories of government conspiracies played to a wide audience.
The move 188 miles from his family and legal team, though, constituted a move to isolation, Troy argued.
Court documents made public Thursday, meanwhile, allege that authorities were alerted about Raub by his own friends who had grown concerned about his recent behavior.
Mental health assessment records of Raub describe him as delusional and paranoid in the days before he was transferred to Salem.
"Client believes that 9/11 was a conspiracy caused by the U.S.," states an assessment of Raub filled out by a Chesterfield County crisis intervention worker.
The worker saw Raub on Aug. 16 after he was picked up by Chesterfield police and transferred under an emergency custody order to John Randolph Medical Center in Hopewell.
"Client met with the FBI and Secret Service to explain recent posts on Facebook. Client's friends reported client to the FBI for posting extreme conspiracy theories and threats to President Bush. This counselor asked client about why the authorities were involved and he stated because they know I am on to something."
Court documents spell out multiple concerns about Raub's behavior and describe him as agitated and distracted.
Raub's family and Rutherford Institute advocates are arguing that Raub's right to free speech has been violated and that they intend to file a civil action against those who detained him and ordered him confined.
Raub's mother, Cathleen Thomas, said Thursday that she has no fears that he is a danger to anyone. Thomas, described in court documents as siding with Raub's beliefs about government conspiracies, described the turn of events Thursday as "phenomenal."
"This could have happened to anyone. We're not about allowing wrongs like this to take place," she said. "This has never been about anything but freedom of speech. … We're going to continue to post on Facebook."
Thomas said her son is a "true patriot" who gave up military benefits for a back injury so the money could go to another veteran.
* * * * *
Raub, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was taken into custody Sunday after the FBI had received inquiries from people concerned about the nature of postings Raub had made on his Facebook page, a FBI spokesperson said.
Facebook postings by Raub generally involved impassioned pleas for a return to American ideals of freedom and independence but also speak of betrayal by elected leaders.
"Your leaders are planning to merge the United States into a one-world banking system," he wrote. "They want to put computer chips in you … these men have evil hearts. They have tricked you into supporting corporate fascism. We gave them the keys to our country. We were not vigilant with our republic."
On Aug. 15, Raub posted that "the Revolution is here. And I will lead it."
Four days earlier, he had written: "I know many of you think I'm going crazy and are wondering just why I have been posting the things I have been posting. I don't have the energy to explain. Just know that a new beginning is coming."
On Aug. 4 he wrote, "I am standing against a great evil. I will do it all by myself if I have to."
Raub told the Richmond Times-Dispatch over the weekend that he served in the Marines from 2005 until 2011 and was a combat engineer sergeant. He said he operates a home-based silver numismatic-coin business.
On Thursday, outside the Hopewell Courthouse, Raub's younger brother Brett could hardly hold back his joy at Raub's imminent release.
His first act was to tweet a message to about 350 followers: "Brandon Raub is FREE."
And Kati Wood, Brandon Raub's girlfriend, her face marked with the words "Free Brandon Raub," summarized what had happened to a man she describes as "every woman's dream."
"He essentially was kidnapped," she said.