US Marine veteran forcibly detained over Facebook post
A former US Marine has been forced to undergo a lengthy psychiatric evaluation after posting anti-government messages on his Facebook account.
26-year-old Brandon J. Raub has apparently been in custody since August 16th when FBI agents, Secret Service reps and Chesterfield County (Virgina) police first questioned the vet about "ominous posts" he penned depicting a future revolution.
"Sharpen my axe; I'm here to sever heads," Raub, who served tours as a combat engineer in Iraq and Afghanistan, reportedly wrote earlier this month.
According to the Associated Press, US law enforcement officials have detained Raub under a state law that allows emergency, temporary psychiatric commitments upon the recommendation of a mental health professional.
Raub is currently being held at John Randolph Medical Center in Hopewell for at least 30 days - even though he has not been charged with any crime.
"For government officials to not only arrest Brandon Raub for doing nothing more than exercising his First Amendment rights but to actually force him to undergo psychological evaluations and detain him against his will goes against every constitutional principle this country was founded upon," a representative from Rutherford Institute, a Charlottesville-based civil liberties group, told the AP.
"This should be a wake-up call to Americans that the police state is here. The posts I read that supposedly were of concern were libertarian-type posts I see all the time, so I don't know what supposedly triggered this. I see worse stuff."
Raub's mother, Cathleen Thomas, expressed similar sentiments, stating that her son was "concerned about all the wars we've experienced."
"We're seeing our government overstepping its bounds again and again on the Constitution... The bottom line is his freedom of speech has been violated. It was his patriotic right and duty to make those grievances known. I want the country to know who he is — that he's not crazy, he's a staunch patriot."
However, Dee Rybiski, an FBI spokeswoman in Richmond, denied that law enforcement officials were overstepping their bounds.
"We received quite a few complaints about what were perceived as threatening posts," she explained. "Given the circumstances with the things that have gone on in the country with some of these mass shootings, it would be horrible for law enforcement not to pay attention to complaints."