LEAKED LETTER: Maui County Officials Direct FEMA to Supervise and Enforce Media Blackout on Posting Wildfire Images and Videos

902d SFS provides security for FEMA emergency aid in Texas, Feb. 20, 2021(Photo: Brian J. Valencia)

Actions by officials on Maui have contributed to an air of suspicion about handling the Lahaina fire that killed over 100 and left around 1000 people unaccounted for, including many children.

In a shocking development, a leaked letter has revealed that Maui County Officials have instructed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to oversee and enforce a media blackout on the distribution of images and videos related to the recent Maui wildfire disaster.

The decision has sparked controversy and raised questions about transparency and the public’s right to information during a crisis.

An individual who wishes to remain anonymous has shared an email from FEMA with Anthony Cabassa, Host of ‘Informed Daily’ on YouTube. The email was sent to a nonprofit organization that is headed to Maui to help with disaster relief efforts.

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The content of the email is directed at those on the ground, urging them to STOP posting any images or videos of the disaster immediately. Justin Angel Knighten, Director of the Office of External Affairs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, wrote the email.

The email reads:

Out of respect for those who perished, we were asked by Maui County officials to pause on posting on social media and elsewhere new imagery of damage/disaster/debris starting now. They are asking for a full stop on disaster imagery going forward. At this time, we have not been asked to take any photos or video down. Our team on the ground is coordinating with the County for further guidance to ensure we remain fully aligned. Cultural sensitivity is of the utmost importance in all our response and recovery activities to this disaster.

Cabassa expressed concern in his writings, citing that the source found this directive to be “weird,” especially given the timing of its arrival when President Biden was scheduled to visit the island.

In a social media post, he wrote, “FEMA has instructed them – at the order of local Maui Govt. to ‘pause on posting’ to their socials or elsewhere.”

Cabassa added,”This letter gives me the same undertone of watching Nick Sortor upon arriving in Maui, and having a group of people follow him around when was trying to investigate the events in Maui.”

The Gateway Pundit previously reported that a bizarre and scary incident took place during the broadcast of Steve Bannon’s War Room Saturday morning when independent reporter Nick Sortor was confronted live on air by a crazed leftist stalker during a remote report from Maui.

Sorter was standing in the parking lot of the hotel he was staying at when a man dressed in black and wearing a cap, whose eyes were bulging in anger behind wire-rimmed glasses, approached Sortor from his back and started addressing him by name. This was at 5:45 a.m. local time. The man accused Sortor of taking resources from fire relief victims just by being there to report. Sortor noted he was 45 minutes away from the fire scene at Lahaina.

“This dude showed up to my hotel, which is 45 mins from Lahaina, at literally 5:45 am to stalk me. He had NO idea I was about to do a live shot this morning. I’m just dumbfounded,” Sortor said.

Read more below:

Reporter Nick Sortor Confronted by Crazed Leftist Stalker During Live Report from Maui on War Room (Video)

Also, a licensed drone operator in Maui says his drone was grounded and he was visited by “government officials” because he flew his drone over the suspected origin site of the massive fire that ravaged Lahaina, Mau.

The claim by Lahaina resident Davin Phelps was reported on X-Twitter by Fox & Friends Weekends co-host Will Cain. Cain owns property on Maui and was one of the first to report from Maui on the fires.

Cain posted, “I don’t want to feed ridiculous conspiracies but all I can do is tell you the truth. I just spoke to a videographer from Lahaina. Davin Phelps. He’s a licensed drone pilot. He’s been flying over Lahaina for the past week. And he has stunning and haunting images of Lahaina…Davin says he was hired by an attorney to fly his drone over the suspected area where the fire started. There is a no fly zone over Lahaina. But as you can see from the footage that hasn’t stopped him from getting images of Lahaina Town. But it was a different experience at the fires origin…Apparently licensed drone pilots fly through an app coordinated with the FAA. That app can deny you permission to fly and remotely ground your drone. It’s very rare. But when Phelps got to the suspected fire origin area he was denied flight and grounded. Then he says two government officials (he doesn’t remember what agency) quickly visited him, asking for his license, and ran him off the Lahaina Intermediate School parking lot where he attempted to launch. So why the secrecy in this area? Liability? Accountability? Why no clarity on the origins and cause of the fire?”

Read more below:

Maui Video Drone Pilot Says “Government Officials” Shut Down Drone During Flight Over Suspected Fire Origin Zone: Report

A Gateway Pundit reader sent in a tip (thank you) that an interactive satellite map APP comparing before and after photos of Lahaina has been taken down. The map was featured in a news article by Scooty Nickerson with the Bay Area News Group headlined: Interactive Maui wildfire map: Before and after images of Lahaina show scale of devastation

A message where the images once were reads: “At the request of responding organizations in Hawai’i and out of respect for the ongoing situation, the imagery and data in this app have been removed.” The before picture is still available by clicking the “close” button in the display.

The caption for the deleted imagery remains: “This application provides pre and post-event imagery of the August 2023 wildfire in Lahaina, Hawaii. Use the slider to tool to toggle between pre-event imagery and post-event imagery highlighting structure and landscape damage from the fire. Maxar imagery provided through their Open Data program taken after the wildfire in Hawaii in August 2023. Source: Maxar, August 9th, 2023. Imagery: https://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=eee0c69f4761496d82cfe5bdb4bbf242

Satellite Images of Maui Fire Taken Down “At the Request of Responding Organizations in Hawai’i”

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