If you haven't heard of Brandon J. Raub yet - you will soon. His name is spreading like wildfire across the conservative blogosphere. He's the ex-Marine who was arrested two days ago for his Facebook posts.
That's what the headlines in all the major online media have declared. Conservatives understandably have become alarmed that a man, especially an ex-Marine could have been arrested for his alleged conservative rants on Facebook.
The first question I had after reading these stories was - what did he say in these posts exactly? Every news story I could find omitted this crucial information. They quoted his lawyer as saying it was nothing out of the ordinary. His lawyer also said he is a patriot and has been targeted for his conservative views.
However, knowing that lawyers sometimes lie when in defense of a client, I was suspicious. I still wanted to see what he posted. And that's when it occurred to me to go to the source! So I went to Facebook and happily discovered that his page was still there and it was open to the public - whether you're a friend or not. I wasn't. So this was good. And what I found was quite surprising. First, I saw a "Note" he had written last year in which he declared himself to be a 9/11 "truther". That was the first sign that I should dig deeper. You never know about the 9/11 "truthers". Some of them are wack jobs.
Imagine you were a law enforcement officer - charged with protecting the public. The context of your work today is a nation where there have been several mass shootings recently. The public is clamoring for you to do more to protect them. The public is demanding that you stop these shooters BEFORE they act. In almost every mass shooting case, we've seen signs the shooter was going to do something by looking at his online postings. Now you come across a guy, Brandon Raub, who has several postings that indicate he could potentially commit violent acts. What do you do? Do you wait and see? In the pas yes, that's what you would have done. But in today's political environment, a mass shooting that could have been stopped won't be looked on favorably by the public.
There's a fine line that law enforcement has to balance. But today they are apparently erring on the side of public safety. That may alarm some and it's something we all have to keep a careful eye on. But in this case, it appears they may have acted reasonably. Especially considering they haven't arrested him or put him in jail. He's currently being held for psychiatric evaluation, which I think you'll see in a minute is a reasonable step.
I've posted a screenshot of his entire Facebook page in out Documents section going back to July. But here are several of the disturbing quotes I found I'll highlight the words and phrases I think may have given law enforcement special cause for concern. Alone, no single comment may have been cause for alarm, but taken all together, they paint a disturbing picture.
(Caution: foul language used here)
December 24, 2011: F*** the New World Order. I'm bringing it down.
July 10: America my country, rise. Land of warriors. Rise and take your glory back.
July 24: I feel like I am standing at a great crossroads. As if a storm of destiny is about to pick me up and take me to fight a great battle. A battle I could have never imagined existed.
July 28: If you are my friend, you deserve to know the truth. This world is secretly run by a shadow organization of people who among other things enjoy raping children. Some of the leaders were involved with the bombing of the twin towers. It was a sacrifice and a complete inside job. Also the Bush's are very sick twisted problems. I believe they have a secret Castle in Colorado where they have been raping and sacrificing children for many years. Think I'm crazy? Think again.
July 29: Fortune favors the bold.
July 29: This is what I'm about to do. (followed by a video of Marines heroically slaying monsters)
July 30: We MUST rise up and take our country back
August 3: Posted a violent shoot 'em up Star Wars video
August 4: I am standing against a great evil. I will do it all by myself if I have to.
August 5: 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.
August 6: Let's Roll
August 6: I don't care how crazy it looks. Sometimes one man with courage can change the world. And it will be beautiful again.
August 7: "Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it..."
August 7: Do you know that world leaders sacrifice children in robes? (followed by a photo of two men and white robes surrounded by a chorus of other people)
August 9: This is the part where I tell the Federal Government to go F*** itself. This is the part where I tell Generals, training our young men to fight Americans, I am coming for you. The Veterans will be with me.
August 9: The Revolution is Upon Us.
August 10: I'm starting the Revolution. I'm done waiting.
August 10: The time for choosing has come. Will you continue to ignore the obvious lie of 911 or will you stand and fight for your people?
August 10: The time for being willfully blind has ended.
August 11: 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 begining is coming. (followed by a music video - whose lyrics contain, in part: "Your time is up, my time is now; you can't see me, my time is now..."
August 12: You deserve to know the truth. There has been an overwhelming amount of evil enacted and planned against you, your children, and your countrymen. It is great in scope. Your government evil. It is as simple as that. And the calvary is coming.
August 12: This is a picture of the government dropping Barium and Aluminum Powder from the air on American Citizens. (followed by a photo of alleged "chemtrails")
August 12: The people responsible for poisoning the American people from the sky will be held accountable. And there is going to be justice.
August 12: Do you know what the secret of the Marine Corps is? Tell people they are Heroes and they will act it out.
August 12: Do you know why the American people will win the civil war that is coming? Because we are Americans.
August 13: Sharpen up my axe; I'm here to sever heads.
August 13: You should understand that many of the things I have said here are for the world to see.
August 13: There are some men who struggle against destiny. And there are Some who Embrace it.
August 14: The Revolution will come for me. Men will be at my door soon to pick me up to lead it. ;)
August 15: The Revolution is here. And I will lead it.
Earlier today there was a post where he gave his home address and said he wanted everyone to know who he was and where he lived. I'm either just not seeing it now or it has been removed because of all the notoriety of his page.
None of those statements would mean much alone. But taken all together it's pretty typical of the types of things these mass killers leave behind on their Facebook pages for cops to find - after the fact. If he had done something - say gone into a government office and shot a bunch of people, in hindsight we would have said that his posts paint the picture of a man who saw reality as him against the world. He saw himself as the only one with the courage to do what needs to be done. He delusionally saw himself as a hero who would save millions by his act of courage and honor.
I have a feeling the cops just thought it was too risky not to bring him in for questioning. I know we all fear a day when the cops might bring us in for questioning and psychiatric analysis just because they might see our mainstream conservative views as a menace to the planned socialist utopia. But I don't think that day is quite here yet. I've been in thousands of online conversations with conservatives over the last few years and I've rarely run across anybody like this guy. And the one or two times I have - everyone else was worried about it.
A year or so ago we had some militia members join FreedomTorch. Once they started posting, many people contacted me to tell me they were worried about their militant talk. I agreed with them and kicked them off.
We must always keep a watchful eye on our government and the police who may be used to enforce its views. But after reading this guy's page - in this case I'd rather be safe than sorry. I think the police did the right thing. I'm glad they brought him in for further analysis.