Monthly Archives: May 2013

Imperial Overreach: America by Proxy?

via http://www.project-syndicate.org

(by ) PARIS – The demise of the Roman Empire resulted from a combination of strategic overreach and excessive delegation of security responsibilities to newcomers. Without making undue comparisons, the question for the United States today is whether it can remain the world’s leading power while delegating to others or to technological tools the task of protecting its global influence.

Drones and allies – non-human weapons and non-American soldiers – have become central to America’s military doctrine. Leading the world in technological prowess while leading it from behind in terms of combat forces on the ground, if not in the air, America’s shift of emphasis is impossible to ignore.

First there was the combined French and British action in Libya that led to the overthrow of Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi’s regime; then came French intervention in Mali, and now Israeli airstrikes in Syria. Each case is, of course, utterly different, but all have something in common: America has not been on the front line of intervention. Yet, without direct US military support or indirect (and in some cases implicit) political support, it is difficult to imagine that such risky operations would have been launched. Have the British, French, and even Israelis become armed extensions of the US in their respective spheres of influence?

If so, the contrast with the recent past could hardly be starker. In the aftermath of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, Americans simply could not envisage sharing their security responsibilities with others. At best, Europeans could be America’s “cleaning ladies,” to use the indelicate analogy coined at the time by some neo-conservative thinkers during George W. Bush’s first term in office.

But, even before September 2001, some US conservatives had expressed disdain toward their European allies. I still remember the warning uttered by a top US diplomat in Strasbourg in the early 1990’s, on the eve of the Balkan wars. “If we leave Europeans in charge of themselves, they will prove irresponsible, divisive, and suicidal, and then we will have to rescue them from themselves.” Today, Americans are only too happy to rely on the military competence and interventionist inclinations of some (in fact, very few) of their European friends.

It would be easy to interpret this shift as a response to the human and economic cost of America’s interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. The reality is more complex.

America’s newfound taste for delegating military responsibilities to others is not the result of a series of events, but the product of a long-term process driven by America’s simultaneous ambivalence toward the world and active engagement with it. Is it worth fighting for a world that cannot be saved, and that only invites murky, inconclusive entanglements?

From this perspective, America’s involvement in World War I and, even more so, in World War II, are exceptions to the rule. The US troops that landed on Normandy beaches in June 1944 were animated by a strong sense of mission. They knew that they were fighting evil in an environment that was historically and culturally familiar.

In Vietnam, US soldiers, many of them black, often did not understand why they were fighting. In Iraq, their equivalents were very often Latinos for whom integration into American society – including, for many, the promise of permanent residence or citizenship – was at least as important as toppling Saddam Hussein.

When a country engages in the world, its authority stems from its willingness and ability to take “personal” risks. Its authority is diminished when the perceived gap between the value of its population’s lives and the lives of its enemies is too wide.

In this respect, drone warfare reinforces the perverse nature of “asymmetrical wars.” In her recent book Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control, Medea Benjamin, a peace activist and shrewd observer of international relations, makes a crucial point: “While drones make it easier to kill some bad guys, they also make it easier to go to war.”

Likewise, delegating security to allies can have perverse psychological effects. This is particularly true in the Middle East. How can the US exert pressure on Israel to engage in serious negotiations with the Palestinians, or to refrain from attacking Iran, when it offers encouragement – if only through public silence – to Israeli military intervention in Syria? If America’s purpose is to deliver a message to Iran – “Beware, you could be the next target” – many will question its sincerity about restraining Israel.

For some, the US has moved from too much engagement under Bush to doing too little under Barack Obama. For others, Obama is merely pursuing Bush’s foreign policy through other means – drones instead of soldiers.

The reality is probably somewhere in between. But it is clearly not beneficial to the US, its allies, or global stability. Precisely because America remains indispensable to international security, one wishes that its leaders would act in a more discerning way. In international politics, as in education, there is no such thing as care by proxy. If responsibility is to be exercised effectively, it cannot be delegated to machines or other countries.

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U.S. Currently Fighting 74 Different Wars … That It Will Publicly Admit

via http://www.washingtonsblog.com

And Many More Covert Wars Without Congressional Oversight … Let Alone Public Knowledge

Fire Dog Lake’s Kevin Gosztola notes:

Linda J. Bilmes and Michael D. Intriligator, ask in a recent paper, “How many wars is the US fighting today?”

Today US military operations are involved in scores of countries across all the five continents. The US military is the world’s largest landlord, with significant military facilities in nations around the world, and with a significant presence in Bahrain, Djibouti,Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Kyrgyzstan, in addition to long-established bases in Germany, Japan, South Korea, Italy, and the UK.  Some of these are vast, such as the Al Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar, the forward headquarters of the United States Central Command, which has recently been expanded to accommodate up to 10,000 troops and 120 aircraft.

Citing a page at US Central Command’s (CENTCOM) website, they highlight the “areas of responsibility” publicly listed:

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) is active in 20 countries across the Middle Eastern region, and is actively ramping-up military training, counterterrorism programs, logistical support, and funding to the military in various nations. At this point, the US has some kind of military presence in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, U.A.E., Uzbekistan, and Yemen.

US Africa Command (AFRICOM), according to the paper, “supports military-to-military relationships with 54 African nations.”

[Gosztola points out that the U.S. military is also conducting operations of one kind or another in Syrian, Jordan, South Sudan, Kosovo, Libya, Yemen, the Congo, Uganda, Mali, Niger and other countries.]

Altogether, that makes 74 nations where the US is fighting or “helping” some force in some proxy struggle that has been deemed beneficial by the nation’s masters of war.

***

A Congressional Research Service (CRS) provides an accounting of all the publicly acknowledged deployments of US military forces

But those are just the public operations.

Gosztola notes that the covert operations are uncountable:

Beyond that, there are Special Operations forces in countries. Jeremy Scahill in Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, writes, “By mid-2010, the Obama administration had increased the presence of Special Operations forces from sixty countries to seventy-five countries.

***

Scahill also reports, based on his own “well-placed special operations sources”:

…[A]mong the countries where [Joint Special Operations Command] teams had been deployed under the Obama administration were: Iran, Georgia, Ukraine, Bolivia, Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru, Yemen, Pakistan (including in Baluchistan) and the Philippines. These teams also at times deployed in Turkey, Belgium, France and Spain. JSOC was also supporting US Drug Enforcement Agency operations in Colombia and Mexico

Since President Barack Obama has been willing to give the go ahead to operations that President George W. Bush would not have approved, operations have been much more aggressive and, presumably, JSOC has been able to fan out and work in way more countries than ever expected.

Global assassinations have been embraced by the current administration, opening the door to night raids, drone strikes, missile attacks where cluster bombs are used, etc. Each of these operations, as witnessed or experienced by the civilian populations of countries, potentially inflame and increase the number of areas in the world where there are conflict zones.

***

The world is literally a battlefield with conflicts being waged by the US (or with the “help” of the US). And, no country is off-limits to US military forces.

Of course, JSOC is not accountable to Congress … let alone the public:

JSOC operates outside the confines of the traditional military and even beyond what the CIA is able to do.

***

But it goes well beyond the war zones. In concert with the Executive’s new claims on extra-judicial assassinations via drone strikes, even if the target is an American citizen, JSOC goes around the world murdering suspects without the oversight of a judge or, god forbid, granting those unfortunate souls the right to defend themselves in court against secret, evidence-less government decrees about their guilt. As Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh said at a speaking event in 2009:

Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on.

***

There are legal restrictions on what the CIA can do in terms of covert operations. There has to be a finding, the president has to notify at least the “Gang of Eight” [leaders of the intelligence oversight committees] in Congress. JSOC doesn’t have to do any of that. There is very little accountability for their actions. What’s weird is that many in congress who’d be very sensitive to CIA operations almost treat JSOC as an entity that doesn’t have to submit to oversight. It’s almost like this is the president’s private army, we’ll let the president do what he needs to do.

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FLASHBACK TO OPERATION FAST AND FURIOUS

‘Fast and Furious’ Linked to Immunity Deal Between U.S. and Sinaloa Cartel, Trafficking Defendant Alleges in Court Papers

 

By Edwin Mora An alleged Mexican drug trafficker awaiting trial in a Chicago federal court claims that the notorious Sinaloa cartel received weapons from “Operation Fast and Furious” under an alleged immunity agreement that the U.S. government made with cartel leaders, in exchange for information on rival gangs.

The defendant in a trafficking case before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Vicente Jesus Zambada-Niebla, also claims the immunity deal allowed the criminal cartel to “continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs” into the United States.

He wants the U.S. government to provide documents relating to the botched gun running sting operation along the southwest border, arguing that it would benefit his defense.

Operation Fast and Furious, which began in September 2009, saw the Phoenix office of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives supervise the sale of guns to straw purchasers with the intent of tracing the guns to Mexican drug trafficking organizations and prosecuting their members. The ATF allowed about 2,000 guns to be sold in this manner.

The operation came under congressional scrutiny after it was linked to the December 2010 murder of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry at the hands of Mexican bandits.

An investigative report, spearheaded by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), found that most of the weapons provided to Mexican criminals under the operation were going to the Sinaloa cartel, arguably one of the world’s largest drug trafficking organizations.

In a court pleading filed last July, Zambada-Niebla made the claims about an immunity deal.

“Mr. Zambada-Niebla believes that the documentation that he requests will confirm that the weapons received by Sinaloa Cartel members and its leaders in Operation ‘Fast & Furious’ were provided under the agreement entered into between the United States government and [a Mexican lawyer] on behalf of the Sinaloa Cartel that is the subject of his defense …,” it said.

“Mr. Zambada-Niebla believes that the documentation will also provide evidence showing that the United States government has a policy and pattern of providing benefits, including immunity, to cartel leaders, including the Sinaloa Cartel and their members, who are willing to provide information against rival drug cartels.”

The defendant argued that he is protected from federal prosecution for trafficking drugs into the U.S. between 2004 and 2009 under an alleged immunity deal struck between the U.S. government and Sinaloa leaders.

According to court documents, Zambada-Niebla claims that the immunity deal provided the cartel’s leadership with “carte blanche to continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs into Chicago and the rest of the United States” in exchange for information on rival drug cartels.

U.S. prosecutors deny the existence of such an immunity deal between the U.S. government and the cartel.

Nevertheless, the U.S. government last September filed a motion to invoke the Classified Information Procedures Act, which is aimed at assuring that national security information stemming from criminal cases – such as details associated with CIA operations – are not leaked to the public during court proceedings.

In a court pleading filed in September, U.S. prosecutors claimed that Zambada-Niebla’s allegations about Fast and Furious have no merit.

“Defendant requests all information in the possession of the U.S. government related to an ATF investigation referred to as ‘Fast and Furious’…” it said. “Defendants request related to Fast and Furious … and other unrelated matters are gratuitous and wholly unrelated to any legitimate discovery issues in this case.”

Zambada-Niebla, who was arrested in Mexico in March 2009 and extradited to the U.S. eleven months later, is accused of smuggling tons of cocaine and heroin into the U.S.

He claims he was working on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, court documents show.

The defendant’s pleading highlighted a July 2011 letter sent by Issa and Grassley to Attorney General Eric Holder, “suggesting that multiple United States agencies were employing as informants members of Mexican drug organizations.”

“The evidence seems to indicate that the Justice Department not only allowed criminals to smuggle weapons, but that tax payers’ dollars in the form of informant payments, may have financed those engaging in such activities,” the pleading added.

 

 

 

also see ‘CIA behind Operation Fast and Furious’  via The Washington Times Thursday, August 11, 2011 (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/aug/11/was-cia-behind-operation-fast-and-furious/)…

“In congressional testimony, William Newell, former ATF special agent in charge of the Phoenix Field Division, testified that the Internal Revenue Service, Drug Enforcement Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement were “full partners” in Operation Fast and Furious. Mr. Newell’s list left out the most important player: the CIA. According to a CIA insider, the agency had a strong hand in creating, orchestrating and exploiting Operation Fast and Furious.

The CIA’s motive is clear enough: The U.S. government is afraid the Los Zetas drug cartel will mount a successful coup d’etat against the government of Felipe Calderon.”

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John Noveske, American Badass, Killed By Indians

Noveske

John Noveske is one of the most celebrated battle rifle manufacturers in America. His rifles, found at www.NoveskeRifleworks.com are widely recognized as some of the finest pieces of American-made hardware ever created.

Sadly, John Noveske was killed in a mysterious car crash just a few months ago, on January 4, 2013.

According to the Outdoor Wire, his car “traveled across the oncoming lane onto the dirt highway shoulder until it struck two large boulders. The vehicle rolled and Mr. Noveske was ejected.”

HIS LAST POST TO THE INTERNET SITE FACEBOOK,

Eric Harris age 17 (first on Zoloft then Luvox) and Dylan Klebold aged 18 (Columbine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado), killed 12 students and 1 teacher, and wounded 23 others, before killing themselves. Klebold’s medical records have never been made available to the public.

Jeff Weise, age 16, had been prescribed 60 mg/day of Prozac (three times the average starting dose for adults!) when he shot his grandfather, his grandfather’s girlfriend and many fellow students at Red Lake, Minnesota. He then shot himself. 10 dead, 12 wounded.

Cory Baadsgaard, age 16, Wahluke (Washington state) High School, was on Paxil (which caused him to have hallucinations) when he took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates hostage. He has no memory of the event.

Chris Fetters, age 13, killed his favorite aunt while taking Prozac.

Christopher Pittman, age 12, murdered both his grandparents while taking Zoloft.

Mathew Miller, age 13, hung himself in his bedroom closet after taking Zoloft for 6 days.

Kip Kinkel, age 15, (on Prozac and Ritalin) shot his parents while they slept then went to school and opened fire killing 2 classmates and injuring 22 shortly after beginning Prozac treatment.

Luke Woodham, age 16 (Prozac) killed his mother and then killed two students, wounding six others.

A boy in Pocatello, ID (Zoloft) in 1998 had a Zoloft-induced seizure that caused an armed stand off at his school.

Michael Carneal (Ritalin), age 14, opened fire on students at a high school prayer meeting in West Paducah, Kentucky. Three teenagers were killed, five others were wounded..

A young man in Huntsville, Alabama (Ritalin) went psychotic chopping up his parents with an ax and also killing one sibling and almost murdering another.

Andrew Golden, age 11, (Ritalin) and Mitchell Johnson, aged 14, (Ritalin) shot 15 people, killing four students, one teacher, and wounding 10 others.

TJ Solomon, age 15, (Ritalin) high school student in Conyers, Georgia opened fire on and wounded six of his class mates.

Rod Mathews, age 14, (Ritalin) beat a classmate to death with a bat.

James Wilson, age 19, (various psychiatric drugs) from Breenwood, South Carolina, took a .22 caliber revolver into an elementary school killing two young girls, and wounding seven other children and two teachers.

Elizabeth Bush, age 13, (Paxil) was responsible for a school shooting in Pennsylvania

Jason Hoffman (Effexor and Celexa) – school shooting in El Cajon, California

Jarred Viktor, age 15, (Paxil), after five days on Paxil he stabbed his grandmother 61 times.

Chris Shanahan, age 15 (Paxil) in Rigby, ID who out of the blue killed a woman.

Jeff Franklin (Prozac and Ritalin), Huntsville, AL, killed his parents as they came home from work using a sledge hammer, hatchet, butcher knife and mechanic’s file, then attacked his younger brothers and sister.

Neal Furrow (Prozac) in LA Jewish school shooting reported to have been court-ordered to be on Prozac along with several other medications.

Kevin Rider, age 14, was withdrawing from Prozac when he died from a gunshot wound to his head. Initially it was ruled a suicide, but two years later, the investigation into his death was opened as a possible homicide. The prime suspect, also age 14, had been taking Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressants.

Alex Kim, age 13, hung himself shortly after his Lexapro prescription had been doubled.

Diane Routhier was prescribed Welbutrin for gallstone problems. Six days later, after suffering many adverse effects of the drug, she shot herself.

Billy Willkomm, an accomplished wrestler and a University of Florida student, was prescribed Prozac at the age of 17. His family found him dead of suicide – hanging from a tall ladder at the family’s Gulf Shore Boulevard home in July 2002.

Kara Jaye Anne Fuller-Otter, age 12, was on Paxil when she hung herself from a hook in her closet. Kara’s parents said “…. the damn doctor wouldn’t take her off it and I asked him to when we went in on the second visit. I told him I thought she was having some sort of reaction to Paxil…”)

Gareth Christian, Vancouver, age 18, was on Paxil when he committed suicide in 2002,
(Gareth’s father could not accept his son’s death and killed himself.)

Julie Woodward, age 17, was on Zoloft when she hung herself in her family’s detached garage.

Matthew Miller was 13 when he saw a psychiatrist because he was having difficulty at school. The psychiatrist gave him samples of Zoloft. Seven days later his mother found him dead, hanging by a belt from a laundry hook in his closet.

Kurt Danysh, age 18, and on Prozac, killed his father with a shotgun. He is now behind prison bars, and writes letters, trying to warn the world that SSRI drugs can kill.

Woody ____, age 37, committed suicide while in his 5th week of taking Zoloft. Shortly before his death his physician suggested doubling the dose of the drug. He had seen his physician only for insomnia. He had never been depressed, nor did he have any history of any mental illness symptoms.

A boy from Houston, age 10, shot and killed his father after his Prozac dosage was increased.

Hammad Memon, age 15, shot and killed a fellow middle school student. He had been diagnosed with ADHD and depression and was taking Zoloft and “other drugs for the conditions.”

Matti Saari, a 22-year-old culinary student, shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself. Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine.

Steven Kazmierczak, age 27, shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amounts of Xanax in his system.

Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen, age 18, had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School – then he committed suicide.
Asa Coon from Cleveland, age 14, shot and wounded four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon was on Trazodone.

Jon Romano, age 16, on medication for depression, fired a shotgun at a teacher in his
New York high school.

Missing from list… 3 of 4 known to have taken these same meds….

What drugs was Jared Lee Loughner on, age 21…… killed 6 people and injuring 14 others in Tuscon, Az

What drugs was James Eagan Holmes on, age 24….. killed 12 people and injuring 59 others in Aurora Colorado

What drugs was Jacob Tyler Roberts on, age 22, killed 2 injured 1, Clackamas Or

What drugs was Adam Peter Lanza on, age 20, Killed 26 and wounded 2 in Newtown Ct
Roberts is the only one that I haven’t heard about being on drugs of some kind.

 

 

 

It all started on my parent’s wedding night when all the planets were aligned and magical doves came flying out from under the bed. Nine months later, massive earthquakes and horrendous volcanic eruptions split the world into seven continents and I was born.

My Father, John Noveske Sr., raised my brother and I to honor God, to understand fundamental American principles, and to use and respect firearms. As children, we had access to firearms at all times. Our dad trusted us, and we never let him down. At age 13, I was issued a rack grade M1 Garand with 88 rds per week from the DCM and began shooting High Power Rifle matches. This was my only sport growing up, and a private one. I soon realized I probably was not going to be an Astronaut, and decided the best place for me was in the Army.

After the Army, I thought hard about what to do for a living, and figured making rifles was the
best thing for me. A seemingly intangible dream was quickly realized when Chris Dichter, owner
of PAC-NOR Barreling in Brookings, Oregon, hired me and I began making rifle barrels.

The passion went into overdrive. I had a great time there and learned a lifetime of information. In the spring of 2001, I moved back to Grants Pass, Oregon, started my business in my Dad’s garage, fixed up our 80 year old house, married Lorina at a shotgun wedding, and she had our first baby shortly thereafter.

Things have been a whirlwind since then and much has changed, but the vision is the same. We are proud to have a part in these historic times making rifles and components for American Citizens, Law Enforcement, and Military.

Thanks to all for your support over the years. Please
enjoy our first catalog, and be sure to contact us with any questions you may have.
Thanks, John Noveske

PS: he always said that if he died in a freak accident he wanted “killed by Indians” on his tombstone (‘killed by Indians’ is a military slang term to denote being killed by another within ranks, i.e. black op assassination)

also see Psychiatric Drugs, Not A Lack Of Gun Control, Are The Common Denominator In Murderous Violence, Revealing the Link: Use of SSRIs (antidepressants) causing Rampage Shootings, Anti Depressent Drugs and “should have, could have”

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Operation Vigilant Eagle: Obama Targets Vets In War On Free Speech

Because of the nature of government to make average people into “terrorists” or enemies of the state for their point of view, I fear for my country, but mostly for my children. Government is terror, make up your own mind…

via http://www.freedomoutpost.com

OperationVigilantEagle_700x210

 

(by Obama’s war on our fundamental rights is devastating. The enemedia performs like state-run media and covers for this incredible rout. It is shocking. And in all of these grotesque anti-American maneuvers, Obama and his thugs are always using Orwellian language. ‘Operation Vigilant Eagle’ criminalizes free speech and targets our nation’s best — our vets.

Veterans are being singled out and arrested and labelled as mentally sick for criticizing Obama. Obama created this to stop criticism of him and his administration.

Operation Vigilant Eagle: Is This Really How We Honor Our Nation’s Veterans? OpEd News (thanks to Laura)

Despite the fact that the U.S. boasts more than 23 million veterans who have served in World War II through Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the plight of veterans today, while often overlooked, is common knowledge: impoverished, unemployed, lacking any decent health benefits, homeless, traumatized mentally and physically, struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide, marital stress.

Making matters worse, thanks to Operation Vigilant Eagle, a program launched by the Department of Homeland Security in 2009, military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are also being characterized as extremists and potential domestic terrorist threats because they may be “disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war.” As a result, these servicemen and women–many of whom are decorated–are finding themselves under surveillance, threatened with incarceration or involuntary commitment, or arrested, all for daring to voice their concerns about the alarming state of our union and the erosion of our freedoms.

“Jailed for Facebook comments, Marine suesWND.com

‘Case exposes government system that is targeting military veterans’

It happens in China routinely. It frequently happened in the old Soviet Union. Undoubtedly in North Korea, although generally there’s no one around to witness it. 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.

According to officials at Rutherford, the civil rights action names as defendants members of law enforcement and the government who were involved in last year’s episode where Marine veteran Brandon Raub, 27, was arrested by a swarm of FBI and Secret Service and forcibly detained in a psychiatric ward for a week.

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.

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