The Department of Justice allegedly raided a researcher who reports information about Area 51 on his self-run website — raising larger concerns, again, that the feds are abusing their power under President Joe Biden.
On Thursday, Nevada reporter George Knapp tweeted, “FBI agents came down hard on the operator of a popular website devoted to all things Area 51–its programs, lore, and legacy. More than a dozen agents served a no-knock warrant on the Rachel, NV home of Joerg Arnu, owner of http://dreamlandresort.com.”
FBI agents came down hard on the operator of a popular website devoted to all things Area 51–its programs, lore, and legacy. More than a dozen agents served a no-knock warrant on the Rachel, NV home of Joerg Arnu, owner of https://t.co/CbZNzU6rLW…(more)
— George Knapp (@g_knapp) November 11, 2022
As the link shows, DreamLandResort is a website that has been run since 1999 by Arnu. The site features enormous data and information from over the years relating to all things Area 51.
Assuming Arnu did not steal any of that information or trespass on federal property to obtain the photos, it does not seem like what he does is illegal based on precedent. It seems like he simply runs an investigative news site that focuses on Area 51.
Here’s how Arnu describes his work:
Monitoring Area 51 since 1999: Take an inside look at Area 51, a.k.a. Dreamland, the world’s most famous secret Air Base. For 20 years and counting Dreamland Resort has been the most comprehensive source for information on Area 51, Black Projects, the Nellis Ranges, TTR and the ET Highway. The webmaster is a 25-year Area 51 Research veteran and a resident of Rachel, NV, right outside the gates of Area 51.
So, in other words, he is just sort of an oddball, citizen journalist — which is no crime.
The site also features a message board.
On November 5, Arnu posted to that platform, “It has been brought to my attention that there is concern about some of the material on this site. I do not believe that collecting or publishing that material is against the law.”
He then followed up and posted new information, essentially claiming that federal agents ransacked his two homes while leaving his life in disarray for reasons unknown.
“Each location saw at least 15-20 agents rummaging through our homes and about 8 vehicles. Needless to say it was a spectacle for curious neighbors, both in Rachel and in Vegas,” Arnu explained. “In the process I lost ALL my data, medical files, financial and tax records, passwords, everything.”
The Area 51 researcher said he was notifying his fans of this action because he wanted to “avoid any more speculation.”
“And secondly I am concerned that overzealous government agents may use bogus charges against me to ‘send a message,’” he alleged. “Putting the truth out there can not hurt.”
If he was given the illegal photos or published stolen materials, that still wouldn’t be against the law. Regardless, he chose to remove the questionable information.
2) They seized all computers, files, phones, photos. At the same time, another team of a dozen or more agents stormed into Arnu’s Las Vegas home, seized all digital devices and files, held his girlfriend at gunpoint. (more)
— George Knapp (@g_knapp) November 11, 2022
Knapp also added that Arnu is completely unaware of what prompted the action.
“The warrants were served one week ago,” Knapp tweeted. “Arnu noted on his site that he does not know the reason for the raid or whether specific images of the secret base posted online may have initiated such a vigorous action by federal law enforcement. We are gathering more info.”
This is now — at least — the fifth journalist raided by Biden’s FBI for reasons that remain unclear.
Arnu’s beat may not be typical, but his work appears normal as far as the process of journalism goes.
Simply because Arnu isn’t a member of the mainstream press, does not mean he should not be granted freedoms protected by the First Amendment.
The DOJ even recently tightened those protections by announcing new regulations that prohibit the “Compulsory legal process” — which can be taken to mean a raid — “for the purpose of obtaining information from or records of a member of the news media acting within the scope of newsgathering,” except in very narrow circumstances.
The updated regulations for what “newsgathering” means should be read in full:
“Newsgathering” is the process by which a member ofthe news media collects, pursues, or obtains information or records for purposes of producing content intended for public dissemination.
(A) Newsgathering includes the mere receipt, possession, or publication by a member of the news media of government information, including classified information, as well as establishing a means of receiving such information, including from an anonymous or confidential source.
In other words, based on the information at hand, Arnu didn’t commit a crime — unless he was somehow working with foreign terrorists, per the law.
Yet, he has not been charged with anything.
The justification for the raid remains a mystery.
The murkiness is damaging the little trust in government that people still have — especially the FBI.
Americans deserve answers from our government about why this alleged raid supposedly took place.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.