ANALYSIS – Following Joe Biden’s new rule restricting feds from investigating or arresting journalists and the ongoing outcry against FBI agents using ‘storm-trooper’ SWAT-style raids against peaceful American pro-life activists, the Bureau goes and does it again.
Most recently, Joerg Arnu, owner of www.Dreamlandresort.com, a popular Area 51 website issued a statement after heavily armed federal agents reportedly raided his homes at gunpoint several weeks ago.
Dreamlandresort.com was founded in 1999 and has long hosted information about the restricted military base widely known as Area 51, but also called Homey Airport or Groom Lake.
The extremely well-guarded Area 51 is classified as a ‘Military Operating Area’ by the Pentagon, but for most in the military, it’s simply known as the Nevada Test and Training Range, part of Edwards Air Force Base.
“The base itself is fairly small, but the restricted area around it is over 90,000 acres — partly to prevent prying eyes and partly because they need to test classified aircraft,” Benjamin Radford, a writer on the subject, told Space.com earlier.
The raid of Arnu’s Nevada home, conducted jointly between the FBI and U.S. Air Force, was first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
In his statement on Nov. 3, Arnu said that an FBI search warrant was executed and his “laptops, phones, backup drives, camera gear and my drone were seized.”
Arnu told Business Insider (BI) that he had “not been charged with a crime,” adding that since the Nov. 3 search, he has “not heard from the FBI agent in charge at all, despite numerous attempts to reach him to discuss the damages and return of my items.”
In response to an inquiry from BI, Lt. Col. Bryon McGarry, with the U.S. Air Force stated minimally that: “Nellis Air Force Base is aware of the joint-AFOSI (Department of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations), FBI investigation involving Mr. Arnu.”
However, as non-informative as the Air Force was, the FBI declined to comment at all.
The Epoch Times reported further on the seemingly outrageous incident:
Elaborating to news outlets, Arnu said that some 15 to 20 federal agents arrived at his home in “full riot gear.” He said the search pertained to photos that were posted on his website.
“The doors were broken open and I in [sic] Rachel and my girlfriend in our Las Vegas home were detained and treated in the most disrespectful way,” he told Insider. “My girlfriend was led out into the street barefoot and only in her underwear in full view of our neighbors; I was led outside, handcuffed and only in t-shirt and sweats in sub-freezing temperatures.”
Arnu added: “I am not sharing anything on my web site that cannot be found on dozens of other web sites and news outlet publications. Considering how this went down I have no intention of removing any more material unless ordered to do so by a federal judge.”
In his interview with Insider and Fox News, Arnu said he will now pursue legal action against the federal government.
“The federal government has the right to harass and traumatize random citizens that are not accused of any crime,” Arnu told Fox on Saturday. “Kick in their doors, manhandle them and take whatever they want from them. Said citizens have no rights whatsoever to reimbursement of their damages, return of their property or compensation for the trauma they were subjected to.”
Arnu added to Fox that “this is America … land of the free.” But now, it’s “not so much from where I am standing right now. Everyone should know about this injustice. It could be your door that is kicked in next!”
The seizure of Arnu’s aerial video drone may hint at a potential motive for the raid, as there are signs all around the military installation warning that photography in the area is prohibited and that drones cannot be flown in its vicinity.
However, if that is the case, then the FBI and AF-OSI should tell Mr. Arnu this and make a public statement to that effect.
Either way, the storm-trooper-type armed raid used against a well-known, elderly amateur journalist is outrageous and just the latest example of the FBI’s increasingly heavy-handed tactics being employed against peaceful American citizens.
Add this to the long list of FBI abuses the new, GOP-led Congress must investigate in 2023.
Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Great America News Desk.