‘Operation Vigilant Eagle’ Spies on Veterans Who Speak Too Freely

In 2009, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security began a program to monitor white supremacists and “militia/sovereign-citizen extremist groups” for terrorist activities.

Included among the suspected terrorists were Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

At the time it was revealed, the program called “Operation Vigilant Eagle” caused some controversy but was quickly forgotten and buried by the media.

For the DHS, Vigilant Eagle was the expression of the misdirected paranoia that exists at the agency’s highest levels, which since President Obama stepped into office have issued multiple reports about a supposed wave of terrorism by American conservatives of various stripes, from Tea Party members to off-duty cops.

At the time, Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security secretary and chief conspiracy theorist, told NBC that, “This is an assessment of things just to be wary of, not to infringe on constitutional rights, certainly not to malign our veterans.”

Tell it to Brandon Raub.

Last year, Raub was arrested by a small mob of FBI and Secret Service agents and held for a week at a psychiatric facility, all because the Marine vet likes to gripe in blogs and on Facebook about the federal government. (Who doesn’t?)

According to WorldNet  Daily, one sample of his posts reads, “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”

Ah, yes. You can feel the imminent danger.

He has filed a lawsuit against the federal government. Wonder if another visit to the psych ward is in order?

He was only released last time after a judge stepped in and admonished the agencies holding him that the case was “devoid of any factual allegations.”

Raub’s attorneys claim that the arrest and forcible commitment were an attempt by FBI and other officials with Operation Vigilant Eagle to silence Raub for his criticism of the government.

Documents about Operation Vigilant Eagle show the project idea was hatched in December 2008 as a joint operation of the FBI and Defense Department, as the Bush Administration was packing up and the Obama Administration was moving in, according to the Wall Street Journal.

By February 2009, just weeks after President Obama’s DHS opened shop, a project memo stated that the purpose of Vigilant Eagle was to “share information regarding Iraqi and Afghanistan war veterans whose involvement in white supremacy and/or militia sovereign citizen extremist groups poses a domestic terrorism threat.”

Supposedly, this assessment of a suddenly “growing threat” was based on confidential information, undercover sources and “publicly available” information — I’m betting the Huffington Post or Mother Jones, but the memo doesn’t specify.

Raub’s attorneys say they’ve been contacted by numerous other military veterans recounting similar stories.

After his arrest on August 16, Raub was ordered by a “Special Justice” to be held for 30 days for evaluation and “treatment.” The arresting officials specifically stated his Facebook postings were the reason for his arrest.

Fortunately, Circuit Court Judge Allan Sharrett heard about the case and intervened, throwing out the allegations by the feds.

If this is how we treat our veterans, our country has crossed the line and joined other countries like China and the Soviet Union that use tactical psychological “treatment” and detention to silence the opposition.

Thanks to the Obama Administration, the freedoms our brave veterans fought to protect are slipping away daily.