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Saturday, May 25, 2013
Jailed for Facebook comments, Marine sues
But in the United States? It happens here, too, apparently.
A lawsuit has been filed by officials with the Rutherford Institute on behalf of a Marine who was jailed and held for the comments he made on Facebook – comments that expressed a dissatisfaction with the present direction of the U.S. government.
His crime was posting controversial song lyrics and political views on Facebook, the institute reported.
In one of his postings, he cited the evil in the world.
“The United States was meant to lead the charge against injustice, but through our example not our force. People do not respond to having liberty and freedom forced on them,” he wrote.
He was released later when a judge stepped in and concluded the prosecution’s case against Raub was “so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy.”
The lawsuit asks for damages for Raub for the attack he endured. It was filed in U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va., and claims Raub’s seizure and detention were part of a plan executed by the Obama administration called “Operation Vigilant Eagle.”
That, the institute explains, was a federal program to do surveillance on military veterans who express views critical of the government.
Institute attorneys claim the attempt to label Raub as “mentally ill” and authorities’ efforts to involuntarily commit him into custody was intended to silence his criticism of the government.
However, they explain the strategy also violated Raub’s First and Fourth Amendment rights.
“Since coming to Raub’s defense, The Rutherford Institute has been contacted by military veterans across the country recounting similar incidents. In filing a civil suit against government officials, Rutherford Institute attorneys plan to take issue with the manner in which Virginia’s civil commitment statutes are being used to silence individuals engaged in lawfully exercising their free speech rights,” the organization said.
“Brandon Raub’s case exposed the seedy underbelly of a governmental system that is targeting military veterans for expressing their discontent over America’s rapid transition to a police state,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute.
“Brandon Raub is not the first veteran to be targeted for speaking out against the government.
Hopefully, by holding officials accountable, we can ensure that Brandon is the last to suffer in this way.”
It was last Aug, 16 when Chesterfield police, Secret Service and FBI agents arrived at Raub’s home and asked to talk with him about his Facebook posts.
“Like many Facebook users, Raub, a Marine who has served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, uses his Facebook page to post song lyrics and air his political opinions. Without providing any explanation, levying any charges against Raub or reading him his rights, law enforcement officials handcuffed Raub and transported him to police headquarters, then to John Randolph Medical Center, where he was held against his will,” the Institute reported.
“In a hearing on Aug. 20, government officials pointed to Raub’s Facebook posts as the reason for his incarceration. While Raub stated that the Facebook posts were being read out of context, a Special Justice ordered Raub be held up to 30 more days for psychological evaluation and treatment.”
When Circuit Court Judge Allan Sharrett, however, found out about the case, he ordered it dismissed and Raub released, because there was no evidence of a case.
In asking the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to acknowledge the harm done to Raub and to rectify the violation of his First, Fourth, Fifth and 14th Amendment rights, Institute attorneys are requesting that Raub be awarded damages.
The 14-page complaint describes Raub’s “baseless incarceration” and said it violated his free speech, due process and other rights.
The complaint claims the arrest was a “pretext” that was orchestrated to “silence Raub’s speech critical of the government by subjecting him to involuntary commitment.”
Get ready for a little déjà vu from Washington. The federal government hit the debt ceiling, now set at a whopping $16.8 trillion. Yes, again. It’s like the Bill Murray movie “Groundhog Day” -- only this time, unfortunately, no one is laughing.
Time and again, Congress bumps up against the debt ceiling amid talk of finally getting spending under control. Time and again, they raise the ceiling, but only after a sufficient dose of political theater. How’s this for a punch line -- the gross debt breaks down to more than $140,000 per American household. Still not laughing?
Small wonder that more serious-minded lawmakers are trying to escape the cycle. They don’t want to risk another credit downgrade, which happened for the first time ever in 2011, the last time both sides were playing political football with the issue. But avoiding another downgrade will require a lot less theater and a lot more action.
“The United States of America, the most creditworthy nation on Earth, ought to pay all its debt in a timely fashion,” said Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) of the House democratic leadership team. “Playing politically motivated games with the creditworthiness of the United States will only risk another downgrade.” Just so, and so it’s past time to get spending under control.
Some GOP lawmakers have other ideas, however. The latest proposed tactic: attract conservative support to yet another debt-limit increase by tying it to tax reform. GOP lawmakers have long argued for a thorough overhaul of the nation’s tax code, which is needlessly complex and weakens the economy by perverting incentives.
There’s no question that tax reform is a worthy goal. But this is no time to fall for the old “fake stick toss”. To agree to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for a vague promise to pass some kind of as-yet-undisclosed tax reform somewhere down the road -- with no assurances from the president that he would sign it -- would be a mistake.
Now, it would be a different story if the debt limit were to increase if and only if Congress had already passed a concrete tax reform proposal, one that actually instituted the kind of pro-growth tax reform our economy needs, and all that remained was for President Obama to drop his opposition and sign the bill into law. That might be an arrangement worth supporting if the tax reform was good enough.
But at this stage, Congress is just getting started. Not only has the bill not yet passed the House or Senate, there isn’t even a proposal on the table to evaluate.
It’s true, as economist J.D. Foster notes, that “tax reformers have good reason for optimism.” There is bipartisan interest in tax reform, and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and retiring Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) are working to find a way to harness that interest and get something accomplished.
President Obama has voiced support for tax reform as well. There seems to be broad agreement, at least in principle, on cutting the corporate income tax rate and making the tax code simpler, more transparent, and more conducive to economic growth.
“All good,” Foster writes in a recent blog post, “but there is as yet only the outlines of broad consensus, and much, much work left to do, a message given greater weight by the recent release of a 568-page tome on tax reform by the Joint Tax Committee.”
Enacting, not simply voting on, pro-growth tax reform can help, but the real fiscal problem lies on the spending side. Absent reform, spending on entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is set to rise sharply over the next few decades. And it’s all set to happen automatically. Ruinous debt is guaranteed unless action is taken to get spending under control.
That won’t happen if lawmakers keep kicking the can down the road. It’s time to focus on the steps necessary to bring the budget back into balance within 10 years. The House of Representatives, when it passed the Ryan budget in March, signaled its commitment to achieving a balanced budget within that time frame.
That can’t happen unless we do something different. As in “Groundhog Day,” we can’t break the cycle by repeating the cycle. It’s time for a game-changer: Only serious spending cuts followed by genuine tax reform can ensure that we don’t find ourselves doing this all over again. And again.
This radical appeasement of Obama's left flank is a surefire recipe for more Benghazis, more U.S.S. Coles and more innocent lives at risk.
A little more than three years ago, the White House assured Americans that it would not release Yemeni detainees back to their al-Qaida-infested land. In January 2010, international press outlets reported that at least a dozen former Guantanamo Bay prisoners had rejoined al-Qaida to fight in Yemen. Yemen was also the terror training ground of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the jihadist who attempted to bomb Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day in 2009.
Abdulmutallab reportedly told the FBI there were countless al-Qaida trainees like him in Yemen. The CIA knew of Abdulmutallab four months before his bombing attempt and was aware of him meeting with terrorists in Yemen a month before his arrest. British media also reported that counterterrorism and intelligence officers were "aware of several British nationals and British residents who had trained at camps in Yemen's 'ungoverned spaces.'"
From the very first days of Obama's presidency, Americans in Yemen have been endangered. In late January 2009, the U.S. Embassy in Yemen came under gunfire. American diplomatic staff had been warned of a pending attack. That same month, two former Yemeni Gitmo detainees, Said Ali al-Shihri and Abu Hareth Muhammad al-Awfi, released a video flipping America the bird.
They publicly recommitted to "aid the religion," "establish the rightly guided caliphate" and "fight against our enemies" after undergoing terrorism "rehab" in Saudi Arabia. Charlie Sheen's rehab worked better than that of the Sauds.
Military review panels indicated that al-Shihri had traveled to Afghanistan two weeks after the 9/11 attacks, trained and funded jihadists outside Kabul, and coordinated travel for al-Qaida before being captured and held at Gitmo. After his release by the Bush administration, intel officials say he was involved in the deadly bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Yemen's capital, Sana'a, in September 2008.
Al-Shihri has reportedly been killed in drone attacks at least three times and may or may not have met the same fate as fellow Yemeni jihad leader and drone strike victim Anwar al-Awlaki. But this much is clear: Embassy staffers in Yemen have targets on their back, Benghazi-style. The warning flags are crimson red.
Yemen also produced Jamal Ahmed Mohammad al-Badawi, the convicted mastermind of the U.S.S. Cole bombing that took the lives of 17 American sailors in October 2000. As I've reported previously on the Yemen jihad revolving door: Despite being sentenced to the death penalty, escaping twice from jail and being indicted in the U.S. on terrorism charges, the Yemeni government freed al-Badawi in 2007 in exchange for a promise that he renounce his old murdering ways.
Al-Badawi remains at large and is on the FBI Most Wanted fugitive terrorist list.
As he did with the families of the Benghazi victims, Obama had promised the families of the U.S.S. Cole bombing victims "swift justice." Instead, the administration initially dropped the death penalty case against a key Cole plotter being held at Gitmo -- former Persian Gulf Operations Chief for al-Qaida Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi Arabian national of Yemeni descent -- and has dragged its feet on reinstating and pursuing the trial for four long years.
Which side are Obama and his lawyers on, anyway? As I reported in "Culture of Corruption," Covington and Burling, the former private law firm of Close Gitmo crusader and Attorney General Eric Holder, has provided dozens of Yemeni Gitmo detainees hundreds of hours of pro bono legal representation and sob-story media relations campaigns.
While these bleeding-heart lawyers dismiss the perils of Gitmo recidivism, the numbers don't lie. I repeat: The office of the Director of National Intelligence reports that 27.9 percent of the 599 former detainees released from Guantanamo were either confirmed or suspected of later engaging in jihadist attacks. __One of those Gitmo recidivists still on the loose is Ansar al-Sharia leader Sufyan Ben Qumu a.k.a. Abu Sufian bin Qumu, the suspected plotter of the 9/11/12 Benghazi attack.
How much more American blood and treasure will this reckless, feckless game of jihadi catch-and-release cost?
Obama vs the Global War on Terror
By: Diane Sori
In case you patriots didn't know it the 'Global War on Terror' is over...al-Qaeda is on the "path to defeat" as it's but a "shell of its former self"...so said Barack HUSSEIN Obama in a major policy speech at the National Defense University in Washington.
In an effort to get the 'Trifecta of Scandals' off the front page for awhile (an effort that will NOT succeed by the way), Obama and his handlers have concocted this ridiculousness to play to the base, all while laying the groundwork to shift the blame for today's on-going terrorism to what Obama referd to as George W. Bush's boundless 'War on Terror'.
The "perpetual wartime footing" and "boundless War on Terror" that has permeated so much of American life since 9/11 should come to an end, Obama said...meaning as the 'anointed one'...our savior...he thinks if he says the 'War on Terror' is over that it's over.
NO...I don't think so.
As is a typical hallmark of Obamaspeak, when in trouble...and rest assured Obama is in BIG trouble...he pulls out the 'blame Bush' card...except that now more and more aren't buying it, including some of his very own sheeple.
And acts of terrorism continue...Beghazi...a British soldier barbarically hacked to death in broad daylight on the streets of London...Benghazi...two bombers blowing up participants and spectators at the Boston Marathon...Benghazi...two Coptic Christians beheaded in New Jersey...Benghazi...honor killings in Texas, New York, Missouri, and Arizona...Benghazi...underwear bombers on planes...
Benghazi...Fort Hood...Benghazi...Christian girls beheaded for simply going to school...Benghazi...need I go on.
Too many acts of terror...too many deaths...all with a common denominator...a denominator of muslims being muslims and doing what the qur'an commands them to do...kill the infidels...kill any and all they perceive as dishonoring islam...kill us.
NO...the 'War on Terror' (that should in reality be called the war on islam) is NOT yet over as he tried to claim, in fact, it continues on in full force even as Obama grossly underestimates the scope of the threats posed by al-Qaeda and its affiliate tentacles.
And underestimating that threat is a dangerous position to put our country in as our modern civilization continues to clash with those still living in the Dark Ages. And with Obama saying that our military and intelligence agencies will NOT wage a boundless war against a tactic (as he still refuses to say the so-called tactic is muslim terrorism) but will instead focus on a specific group of networks determined to destroy the US, that threat becomes even more dangerous for focusing on a specific group takes away from the dangers of the whole.
And pray tell what specific group, what specific network does he mean..the aforementioned al-Qaeda perhaps...so blatantly ignoring that al-Qaeda is a global network with branches throughout the world...just what doesn't Obama get about that.
Also mistakenly claiming that what remains of the al-Qaeda terrorist threat is nothing on the scale of the al-Qaeda threat that started with the 9/11 attack of almost 12 years ago, Obama instead claimed the threat of terrorism now comes from "less capable al-Qaeda affiliates, threats to diplomatic facilities and businesses abroad, and homegrown extremists."
You mean diplomatic facilities like Benghazi...
Hate to tell him but his very words themselves do describe a component of 'global terrorism'...Obama just refuses to accept that these attacks are global terrorism or that stealth jihad (whose goal is the imposition of islamic law...sharia law...over every region of the earth) is also in play, and that by refusing to say the words 'global terrorism' or 'muslim terrorists' means all roads will lead back to him when a terrorist attack does occur on US soil. And it's so easy to figure out why...Obama is in deliberate denial because he himself sides with the very people he says we are NOT at war with...his muslim brethren.
And so he droned on (sarcasm intended) claiming the current terrorists threats could be 'managed' by carefully targeted drone strikes overseas and with efforts to counter extremist ideology at home, and do NOT require the kind of broader war that Bush fought.
But...but...countering extremist threats would mean shutting down mosques here in the US for the mosques are where the 'homegrown terrorists' spring from...something our muslim-in-chief...ooops, I mean our president (gag) would NEVER do.
But...but...drone strikes overseas...what happens when a muslim terrorist strikes here on our soil...and rest assured they will do so again and again...will a drone strike now be permissible here in America...just wondering.
NO...terrorism cannot be 'managed'...it must be eliminated and eliminated by an all out collateral damage inducing campaign of shock and awe on a grand scale...for only collateral damage forces an enemy to surrender...and the sooner that's done the sooner terrorism will end.
Thankfully, even while Obama called for an end to the 'War on Terror' and outright change to how we fight terrorists (muslim terrorists whether he wants to say it or NOT) both here and abroad, he will face a major obstacle in doing that...staunch opposition from Republicans in Congress who have publicly stated they will try to block his wanted shutdown of GITMO (even some of his fellow Democrats are against moving muslim inmates to the US mainland), and will reject Obama's call to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force, the legal basis for much of the 'War on Terror' President Bush got passed after 9/11.