Concerning The Unlawful Detainment of Brandon Raub

I served with Brandon Raub stateside. I first met him in 2007, recently returned with one of our platoons which had deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. My oldest brother, Jed had also been a member of that platoon, and he introduced me to Brandon on one of our 2-week annual training exercises. My first impression of "Big Raub" was that he was a gentle person, who despite his mi
litary training and experiences in a combat zone, was at heart a very peaceful person, and my conversations with him following that only confirmed this.

Brandon deployed again in 2010, this time to Afghanistan. Brandon, and indeed among many of the Marines who returned from this deployment in 2011 there was a marked change. Some of these Marines I knew well, but most I knew by mostly by reputation, having had limited contact with them before their deployment. All I can say is this was a very different platoon from the one that had left. I'd like to take a few lines to explain how and why.

Combat Veterans of the Armed Forces are very different form of patriot than most Americans recognize or understand. Most of my generation of service members have seen and been an integral part our government's foreign policy over the course of 2 different, yet eerily similar administrations. Our experiences have awakened us to certain truths, and caused us to question much which other Americans accept as fact. We are not only eye-witnesses to the direct ramifications of our policies, but also increasingly aware of our own part in the destructive endeavors that our government undertakes. A once prevailing sense of pride in our military heritage and the honor of our calling has been replaced by a stark realization that we are not much more than glorified mercenaries, securing and protecting the interests of corporations and bankers. We swore an oath to protect the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, yet the people we were sent to fight and oppress presented no such threat to our nation or our Constitution. This starts as a feeling that starts to tickle in the back of your mind when you're pointing your gun at sheep-herders, then gradually begins to manifest itself in other forms.

First we begin to wonder why we're here. We begin wonder how what you are doing here could possibly be protecting people back home. Then we see the news reports back home, and realize that we are in the wrong war-zone. With a sick feeling in your stomach, you come to the realization that the real enemies of the Constitution, which we swore to protect, are back in the states wearing $2,000 suits and smiling on TV, and that what you are doing in that foreign field is only helping them with their evil agenda. This happened to me in Iraq during my deployment 2009, and this happened to quite a few of my comrades during their time in Afghanistan.

Today, the only peace protestors you will ever see taking to the streets are Veterans. That should say it all.

Brandon is a member of a ever-growing number of men and women who have served their country honorably, and have returned home to find that the land which they love dearly and would give their life gladly to protect has been sold out from under their feet. They have seen first-hand what it's like to live in oppression and apathy and ignorance, and they refuse to allow that to happen here in America. Today, veterans are the most active, vocal, and dedicated grassroots political movement in the U.S. and that keeps a lot of politicians awake at night because they know that they can't pull the wool over our eyes.

So they've decided that their best bet is to start putting black-bags over them instead.

An official 2009 DHS assessment entitled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment", speculates that returning Combat Veterans are among the most likely groups to be targeted for recruitment by "domestic terrorists". I can tell you that this is not true. Despite what you see on the television about PTSD and violent radicalism among veterans, we are among the most non-violent groups of people. We are most of us truly sick of violence, in every form.

The definition of terrorism is "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes."

It's sad, because we were told we were fighting against terrorists when joined the military. Then we were sent to far-off lands to be terrorists ourselves. We used violence and intimidation to change the political climate of sovereign nations, and wearing uniforms while we did it didn't make us any less of terrorists. So, we have already been a part of terrorist conspiracy before, and won't let ourselves be hoodwinked into it again.

If anything, acts like Brandon's abduction are closer to terrorism than anything you will see one of us participate in. He was violently removed from his home, and threatened in order to intimidate him, then coerced to remain in captivity without charges. This is a clear signal from our government to Veterans. Shut up or we'll snatch you out of your homes, say you're crazy, and detain you indefinitely. That seems a lot like terrorism to me.

There is nothing in Brandon's posts that could possibly be interpreted as a direct threat. He was exercising his 1st Amendment rights. Rights he swore to protect, and rights he has demonstrated a willingness to die defending. The only people who have anything to fear from people like Brandon are tyrants and and terrorists.

Telling the truth is a revolutionary act in a nation whose reality is based on lies. On August 14th, he posted videos and images relating to the attacks on 9/11 and then wrote: "The revolution will come for me. Men will be at my door soon to pick me up to lead it." The Revolution has already begun. On August 17th, men with badges and guns came and picked him up to lead it.

Sic Semper Tyrannis!