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More veterans being illegally detained for ‘thought crimes’

August 29, 2012
J. D. Heyes

There is a saying throughout the military that goes something like this: “We’re here to defend democracy, not practice it.” It’s sort of a tongue-in-cheek statement about the discipline and chain of command structure associated with military life, but in reality, the provisions of the U.S. Constitution do still apply to soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. And that is especially true once men and women put away their uniforms and return to civilian life.

But that’s not the case for veteran and former Marine Brandon Raub, 26, who has been “arrested, detained indefinitely in a psych ward and forced to undergo psychological evaluations based solely on the controversial nature of lines from song lyrics, political messages and virtual card games which he posted to his private Facebook page,” according to the Rutheford Institute, a non-profit, legal organization that has come to Raub’s defense. (Hat tip to Rep. Ron Paul’s website for picking up the story).

According to the institute, authorities with the Chesterfield County, Va., police nor the FBI have charged Raub with a crime after initially arresting him Aug. 16 and transporting him directly to John Randolph Medical Center, a behavioral health facility located in Hopewell, Va., just south of Richmond. There, the institute says, Raub is being “held against his will” over concerns that his “Facebook posts were controversial and ‘terrorist in nature.'”

In a hearing at the hospital (they couldn’t even transport Raub to a courthouse, apparently), authorities rejected out of hand Raub’s explanations that his posts were merely taken out of context, and sentenced him to 30 more days’ of confinement in a Veterans Administration psychiatric ward. Attorneys from the institute are “challenging Raub’s arrest and forcible detention, as well as the government’s overt Facebook surveillance and violation of Raub’s First Amendment rights,” said a statement.

“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,” said John W. Whitehead, Rutheford’s president.

And now… the rest of the story. …..
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