Claims are that the government is arresting people for anti-Obama comments on the Internet
I picked this story up from Robert C. Laity’s Facebook page, that Obama had a Marine arrested for anti-Obama comments on Facebook. I found many similar stories all over the Internet. The FBI program cited in these stories (Operation Vigilant Eagle) exists to identify and prevent violent attacks from white supremacists and militia/sovereign-citizen extremist groups.
It is true that a former Marine named Brandon Raub was committed in 2012 (yeah, three years ago) after local law enforcement believed that he was a threat to himself and others, after he posted violent threats on Facebook
John Whitehead, writing at The Rutherford Institute (the source for many of the Internet copycat stories), said: “In the four years since the start of Operation Vigilant Eagle, the government has steadily ramped up its campaign to ‘silence’ dissidents, especially those with military backgrounds.” He was able to cite only one instance, the Raub case, in support of the “steadily ramped up” claim. (PS: He mentions Hitler.)
Whitehead and many of the conspiracist articles quote “journalist” Anthony Martin who describes a mental health diagnosis called “oppositional defiance disorder” (ODD) in a way that makes it sound like political dissent1. The actual condition is called “oppositional defiant disorder” and it applies to children and teens with (according to the Mayo clinic), a “persistent pattern of anger, irritability, arguing, defiance towards [parents] and other authority figures.” The original Anthony Martin article appeared at Examiner.com in 2012.
- Moderation Coup – Snopes.com
- John Whitehead: Operation Vigilant Eagle: Is This Really How We Honor Our Nation’s Veterans? – The Rutherford Institute
- Government Now Arresting Individuals For Anti-Obama Social Media Posts – Jasper and Sardine
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder – WebMD
- A Useful Idiot: My New “Oppositional Defiant Disorder” Support Group – YouTube
- Dan Hecox: F*** them!!!! #obama is a piece of shit! I’ll put that sack of crap tyrant down all I want to! – Facebook
- Paul Joseph Watson: Alert: DHS Rounding Up Veterans, Throwing Them in Mental Institutions (2012) – InfoWars
1“denotes that the person exhibits ‘symptoms’ such as the questioning of authority, the refusal to follow directions, stubbornness, the unwillingness to go along with the crowd, and the practice of disobeying or ignoring orders. Persons may also receive such a label if they are considered free thinkers, nonconformists, or individuals who are suspicious of large, centralized government… At one time the accepted protocol among mental health professionals was to reserve the diagnosis of oppositional defiance disorder for children or adolescents who exhibited uncontrollable defiance toward their parents and teachers.”