Government Clampdown on Free Speech: Marine vs. Occupier
In mid-August, government and law enforcement officials went to former Marine Brandon Raub's door with no warrant. They questioned Raub about what they considered ominous Facebook postings, handcuffed him, and forced him to undergo a psych evaluation at a local hospital.
The 26-year-old North Chesterfield, Virginia man was taken into custody by FBI and Secret Service agents as well as Chesterfield police for posting anti-government messages on his private Facebook page.
Raub was released on August 23, but not before he was transferred to a veterans' hospital psychiatric unit 188 miles away from his home.
John W. Whitehead, a constitutional lawyer and executive director of the Virginia-based Rutherford Institute, dispatched two of the group's attorneys to represent Raub at a mental health hearing. Whitehead expressed concern that government officials were monitoring citizens' private Facebook accounts and targeting people with opposing views.
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[.] ...
The posts I read that supposedly were of concern were libertarian-type posts I see all the time[.] ...
Dee Rybiski, an FBI spokeswoman in Richmond, Virginia, said there was no Facebook intrusion.
"We received quite a few complaints about what were perceived as threatening posts," she said. "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."
Ms. Rybiski should have added, "Unless the person in question is in agreement with the current administration."
Raub's exercise of his First Amendment rights didn't come close to the violent Facebook postings of a 26-year-old Philadelphia man, Joshua Scott Albert.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the former restaurant worker launched a "Kill Mitt Romney" page earlier this month. Then, just days ago, Albert, the creator of a well-known site which criticized the restaurant industry, posted another incendiary page in support of two alleged cop-killers. The "I Support Chancier McFarland & Rafael Jones" page showed graphic "images of police officers, one headless and the other with no hands."
The U.S. Secret Service said it was aware of the "Kill Mitt Romney" post, but apparently Albert's direct threat against a presidential candidate didn't warrant an involuntary trip to a psych facility.
"We are aware of it and we are taking appropriate investigative steps," Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan told FoxNews.com.
Donovan said Albert could potentially face prosecution, if the page is deemed more than an ill-advised lark.
"People have a right to free speech, but we have to determine what their intent is," Donovan said.
There are reports that District Attorney Seth Williams is looking into the possibility of filing charges against you. Have you spoken with an attorney?
No. I know that I've done nothing illegal. I am completely conscious of that. I have not made any threats. I would not make any threats. And I genuinely don't want Mitt Romney to be assassinated. That page hasn't gone national, has it? No one else has reported on it, have they? ... I hope he gets elected so I have something to make fun of. And no, that's not me endorsing Mitt Romney.
So, again, I ask you. Why don't you just go away?
I enjoy the humor aspect of me being able to say all this. But in all honesty, I am living in a remote area in New England. I mean remote.
Why the double standard? Raub, a former Marine who served his country from 2005 to 2011, gets picked up at his home by various government personnel while the Secret Service protects Albert's right to free speech.
Could it be that Albert was involved with Occupy Philly? A December 6, 2011 article in the Philadelphia Weekly made mention of none other than Joshua Scott Albert. The then 25-year-old occupier described a confrontation with police at an early December Occupy protest.
The article makes it clear that videos obtained that evening suggested the occupiers were the ones responsible for any rough stuff.
Joshua Scott Albert, 25, says he was attacked twice by cops that night. Albert says a cop threw him up against the wall at the 7-11 near 18th and JFK. "I was on the ground and they hit me with their bikes," says Albert. "I preface this by saying since day one, I have not been friendly to the cops ... I've said some really harsh things to them, but they have a gun and badge."
Earlier this year, Albert was arrested for disorderly conduct after giving a cop the finger.
"They were going to arrest me until the crowd shouted, 'Let him go.'" He says he has a bruise on his shin.
"There was a barricade there [that] we took down," says Albert. "We started running. Sgt. Smith of Civil Affairs grabbed me by the neck, slammed me up against the news stand, and held me there for a good few seconds, taunting me."
It's pretty obvious with the tale of these two 26-year-olds which way the wind is blowing. Raub is hauled in for a mental health examination because he's not too keen on the current administration, while Albert gets a pass for his unabashed hatred of Romney and cops.
The Obama regime will just ignore Albert's little lark. Not so with Raub.
Remember this administration's support of the Occupy movement? Obama defended the protesters as exhibiting a "broad-based frustration" with the folks in the Republican Party and Congress.
Who can forget Obama's attorney general looking the other way when Black Panthers put a bounty on George Zimmerman's head? Or when Holder refused to prosecute the club-wielding thugs stationed at a polling booth in 2008?
Now a former Marine is shoved into a police car in violation of his constitutional rights while an Occupier with an arrest record and a bona fide threat against a presidential candidate is protected.
Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report.