All Is Well. The State is Just and Wise.

Rebecca Hamilton is following this story:

Michael Hastings sent this email at 1 pm, Monday, June 17:

Hey [redacted] the Feds are interviewing my “close friends and associates.” Perhaps if the authorities arrive “BuzzFeed GQ,” er HQ, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues.

Also: I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the radat for a bit.

All the best, and hope to see you all soon.

Michael

He was dead by 4:30 AM the following morning in a spectacular fiery crash, burnt beyond recognition.

At present we know nothing except that the *totally* trustworthy FBI denies he was being investigated and that our President, who is the kindest, warmest bravest, most wonderful human being I have ever known in my life, has granted himself the power to secretly and unilaterally order the murder of American citizens he deems to be threats to national security–and that he has done so in the past.

What we do not know is whether the supine, in-bed-with-power, media will bestir itself to investigate Michael Hastings’ story or (literally) bury it.  Between Hastings, the State’s pursuit of Snowden, (and the hacking of CBS’ Benghazi reporter (who also covered Fast and Furious), and the DOJ’s attempts to manipulate and intimidate the press it will be a real test of the media’s courage to see if they actually try to follow up on any of this by, you know, doing their jobs or if they will opt for perks, access, and White House Press Corps Dinner Invites.

What’s fascinating is how willing media voices on *both* sides of the aisle are willing to prostitute themselves and run interference for the State on this.  A few days ago, we heard from various folks over at FOX reliably doing the double-dance step of pretending to wring their hands about NSA spying (since it makes Obama look bad) while also calling for Snowden to be killed.

Today, we see that Obama shills at MSNBC also do their own hypocrisy two-step by dropping all their fake dudgeon about Bush and the Patriot Act and willingly offering to castrate themselves to show they are good soldiers for the Lightbringer.  Glenn Greenwald reliably humiliates them, but that he needs to do it all demonstrates what a desperate pass our State-Run Media have come to as they cringe before the intimidation tactics of The One:

So it’s a real question as to how the media will cover all this stuff. We’ll see.

  • Stu

    To the musical stylings of C&C Music Factory….

    Things that make you go hmmm…

  • TheodoreSeeber

    “He was dead by 4:30 AM the following morning in a spectacular fiery crash, burnt beyond recognition.”

    Does anybody else find that a bit suspicious, given that e-mail about going off the radar? Exactly how sure are we that the incinerated pile of human ashes found in the car, was Michael?

    • Pavel Chichikov

      Elementary enough. Start by identifying the remains.

      • a thought, a real occurrence

        Pavel, thank you for being a voice for reason. While I have no opinion or known facts, it is worth pointing out that nothing leads a man more to despair than the realization that he has betrayed those who have treated him as a friend. Despair leads to evil actions such as suicide. Perhaps Hastings , who needs out prayers more than our unfounded speculations, was troubled by what, with reportial overzealousness, he did to those who trusted him in Afghanistan (and I realize there is little compassion in these parts for generals and their staff, but that has nothing to do with my point), and decided a life of histrionics and recklessness would help him forget the fact that his greatest achievement in life, in the minds of most, would be the fact that he ratted out people who treated him with respect, companionship, and kindness. “To sell your soul for the world is one thing, but to sell it for Wales or Rolling Stone?”

        • Pavel Chichikov

          I don’t know anything about this person, never read anything he wrote, don’t read Rolling Stone. The insinuations I’ve read here that he might have been murdered by a person or persons official strike me as lurid and without real evidence.

          • a thought, a real occurence

            Based on recent and non-recent historical experience, I doubt we will ever have certainty in this case (or in millions of other cases). If he died after a reckless and selfish indulgence in high speed travel in a populated area, he would likely be thankful for our prayers, and we should also pray that God protects others from being led into this selfishness, and pray that God inspires us to care for our suicidal brothers and sisters. If he died as a result of nefarious involvement, he would be thankful for our prayers, and we should pray that God leads malefactors from evil and protects their potential victims, and inspires us to stand against the malefactors pursuant to our station in life. If he died as a result of a mechanical failure, then a different set of prayers is called for.

        • antigon

          Perhaps Hastings…was troubled by what, with reportorial overzealousness, he did to those who trusted them in Afghanistan…

          By reporting, doing his job. Sheez.

    • Paulus Magnus

      A car fire will generally burn anyone beyond recognition, there’s nothing unusual about that. He has since been officially identified through dental records.

  • hotboogers

    He’s with Karen Silkwood now.

  • John Schaefer

    Mark, you certainly have a large conspiracy streak in you.

    One would certainly hope we, as a country, are NOT going to exterminate an American journalist on American soil. The set up to this certainly reads like a conspiratorial movie script, or Glen Beck novel.

    IF there is a story he was working on, which was something that would implicate a US government agency in some way, I’m sure it is out there somewhere. But, I wouldn’t expect someone in corporate media to uncover it. And, I would hope that we wouldn’t resort to that.

    • Ian Bibby

      I *don’t* have a conspiracy streak myself, and I certainly *hope* that our government doesn’t assassinate American journalists, but this case finally has me seriously suspicious. Frankly, I think it more likely than not that there is some form of foul play involved here at this point. The circumstances of his death just make no sense at all. His new Mercedes just jackknifed over the median strip and into a tree for no reason all of a sudden? And even weirder, his car just spontaneously combusts on contact like some sort of cheesy 80s action movie, sending his engine flying *40 yards*?! And all this happens to Mike Hastings of all people, right after sending that message?

      • Dave

        It’s worse than that. According to the eyewitness, the car was “exploding” before it even hit the tree. Of course, the eyewitness may be wrong, but he’s more likely not to be.

        • Pavel Chichikov

          What eyewitness, proven reliable and trustworthy?

        • Paulus Magnus

          You do realize that “eyewitness” testimony is incredibly unreliable, right?

          • Dave

            Yep, that’s why I said, “the eyewitness may be wrong, but he’s more likely not to be.”

            • Paulus Magnus

              Why is he more likely not to be wrong? If anything, he’s more likely *to* be wrong.

              • Dave

                Normally, I operate by believing people when they tell me what they saw, unless I have reason to believe that they are untrustworthy for some reason or biased. If eyewitnesses were THAT untrustworthy, such that they are more likely to be wrong than right, they wouldn’t be allowed to testify in court.

                • Pavel Chichikov

                  The Russians say: “He lies like an eyewitness.”

                  • Stu

                    They also steal Super Bowl rings. ;)

    • chezami

      Uh, no. I am allergic to conspiracy theories as a general rule. But come on. This is so incredibly suspicious it cries out for an investigation.

      • Dave

        The problem is that if it really is an assassination, the investigation itself will be compromised.

        • Imp the Vladaler

          That’s what they want you to think.

      • John Schaefer

        …and, he had a hook on his foot!

    • TheRealAaron

      Everyone seems to be missing the most disturbing part of this story. Whether Mr. Hastings’ death was an assassination or not, it doesn’t change the fact that the President has already claimed it would be legal if he had ordered it.

    • http://blog.goliard.us/ Blog Goliard

      “One would certainly hope we, as a country, are NOT going to exterminate an American journalist on American soil.”

      Most things are inconceivable because they will never happen.

      But a lot of other things are inconceivable only until they start happening.

      I again refer people to Watergate. President Nixon was driven from office because a majority of Americans were shocked and offended by his administration’s misbehavior…and they were shocked and offended precisely because the White House was revealed to have behaved in ways they would have previously (perhaps even up until the moment the Oval Office tapes were revealed) considered inconceivable.

      • John Schaefer

        It certainly should be investigated. BUT, let’s not get the hysteria machine all fired up just yet.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    I don’t give much credence to most conspiracy theories. But if you hear quacking and see feathers, there’s a good chance you’ve got a duck in the area.

    Is Mr. Hastings’ tragic death the result of a vast conspiracy? I don’t know.

    But the cirucmstances of his death are certainly worthy of a great deal of suspicion.

    I wouldn’t give Obama too much credit though. Please don’t mistake him for the man ultimately in charge.

  • Paulus Magnus

    Ah yes, because clearly when a speeding car traveling well in excess of the speed limit blows through a red light and proceeds to quite predictably crash, it’s obviously a government conspiracy. This is even bigger than you think! Last month, five teens were killed in a similar fiery crash in Newport Beach, just an hour south of Los Angeles, when an unlicensed driver drove 100+ mph in a 55mph zone before “losing control” of his vehicle. What did these high schoolers know and why did the government want them dead?!

    • chezami

      Yes. Because nobody has ever tampered with brakes or accelerators. And clearly, this man was was a teenager. Go back to sleep, Paulus. Do not look. Do not investigate. Nothing about this is suspicious at all. At. All.

      • Paulus Magnus

        There literally is nothing suspicious about this at all. I know this may be hard for you to believe, but some people are really terrible drivers and do remarkably stupid things like speed excessively and run red lights, sometimes even under the influence of mind altering substances or too much drink.

        • Stu

          Sure. Absolutely. More than likely the case.

          But not everyone in those situations is of this stature and with his last known words being so intriguing.

          Besides, if someone wanted to end his life wouldn’t it be best to make it appears somewhat typical.

          I think it simply was an accident. But I also think it should be followed-up strongly by folks in the media.

          • Dave

            I don’t think that a guy driving with his speedometer maxed out (at least according to the eyewitness) with apparently no attempt to slow down at all can be classified as an accident. Drugs or suicide, maybe. Mechanical failure, just barely possibly. But an accident?

            • Stu

              “Accident” as in unintentional.

            • Newp Ort

              Amazing this witness could see the speedometer.

              • Dave

                Funny…but I took it as meaning that he was going extremely fast. It was translated from Spanish, and maybe that’s some kind of catchphrase as far as I know.

          • antigon

            not everyone…brought about the fall of the Empire’s Afghani commander either. Talk about an enemy combantant!

        • http://blog.goliard.us/ Blog Goliard

          “There literally is nothing suspicious about this at all.”

          Joe Biden? Is that you?

        • chezami

          Of course! And we know all about his driving record because… look the other way! The state is just and wise. No point in even trying to check for foul play. Some guy in a combox says so!

          • Paulus Magnus

            I wasn’t making a specific claim about his previous driving record (merely pointing out this is hardly an unusual crash), but for the record he has admitted to driving drunk in the past and even crashing a car while drunk. It’s in his first book even.

          • John Schaefer

            It is YOUR combox, though. Give him credit for THAT!

          • John Schaefer

            …or, some guy with a blog!

      • Pavel Chichikov

        Unless you have some substantial Information to offer, Mark, you sound like you’re off the wall. .

        • chezami

          I’m off the wall by saying “This is very suspicious and should be investigated?” Cuz that is all I’m saying.

          • Pavel Chichikov

            What is is you’re suspicious of?

          • Newp Ort

            I’m with Pavel here. This is wingnut territory. I’m a bit shocked and disappointed to see you pushing this kind of conspiracy schlock.

            • chezami

              So merely noting “This looks damn fishy and the press should investigate it” is now wingnuttery? Merely the desire for information? Wow. You exhibit excellent docility. Let nothing trouble your slumber.

              • Newp Ort

                There’s nothing fishy. You really think anything about this suggests foul play? Maybe I held you in higher esteem than I should have, but really dude I thought you were way too smart for this.

                • Dave

                  If this isn’t fishy, I have to wonder exactly what it would take for something to be fishy.

  • http://blog.goliard.us/ Blog Goliard

    On a tangential note…what’s with this trend of YouTube videos with titles like this one (“Glenn Greenwald DESTROYS David Gregory”)? What, sharply disagreeing with people is “DESTROYING” them now? Sunday chat shows are now gladiatorial combat?

    What’s most amusing is seeing the same video pop up on Facebook twice. Once by a left-wing friend, under a title such as “David Plouffe DESTROYS Karl Rove”; and once by a right-wing friend, under a title such as “Karl Rove HUMILIATES David Plouffe”. Exact same video, containing no actual triumph either way.

    • chezami

      Yeah. That’s annoying.

    • Imp the Vladaler

      I don’t know if there’s a name for it, but apparently the 2013 Internet Stylebook now requires that articles be INSANE, TERRIFYING, MIND-BLOWING, etc. I’d like to blame Cracked for this, but I doubt they came up with it.

      • Dan F.

        one of those “Life imitates Cracked/The Onion/etc.” moments…

    • Newp Ort

      Could be worse. No one was “OWNED” or “PWNED”.

  • http://blog.goliard.us/ Blog Goliard

    On a less tangential note…one complicating factor in situations like this is that no one involved is trustworthy. Greenwald has been untrustworthy and dishonest in the past; Hastings too; and I’m certainly not inclined to trust Snowden any farther than I could throw him.

    There are no white knights here. But then, just because so many of Nixon’s enemies were vicious, and unprincipled, and liars, and hated him above all else for the things he had done right (in particular, the Left never forgave him for being right about Alger Hiss)…none of that meant that Watergate was untrue or trivial, or that he was in the right, or that he shouldn’t have resigned.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    There’s a whole universe of possible variables here, most of which are beyond our sight.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    Mark, if you have nothing but suspicion based on no actual knowledge of the circumstances except for inferences from what you have read in the press, what you have left is gossip.

    • Stu

      It’s not gossip. It’s simply some events that warrant pause for consideration.

      • John Schaefer

        Or, gossip.

      • Pavel Chichikov

        I don’t follow the connection between sentence one and sentence two.

        The event may warrant pause for consideration, but if the information content is effectively zero, there’s nothing left but chatter and innuendo.

        • Stu

          Who says it’s zero? How is recognizing that the events are suspicious and wanting it investigated “chatter and innuendo?”

          This isn’t gossip. It’s a current event that has some dangling ends.

          • Pavel Chichikov

            Drawing a conclusion of conspiracy and assassination based on no facts is gossip.

            • Stu

              What conclusions have been drawn?

              • Pavel Chichikov

                So you don’t subscribe to the idea that this accident must be an assassination?

                • Stu

                  I subscribe to the idea that given his last words and his standing as an investigative journalist that the timing of his death causes suspicion and should be investigated.

                  • Pavel Chichikov

                    Without conclusions or innuendo? Fine.

                    • Stu

                      And I am confident that is Mark’s take as well.

                    • Pavel Chichikov

                      Let Mark speak for himself.

                    • Stu

                      He is. And I do.

                      I offer that because I think it is actually you who are jumping to conclusions here.

                    • Pavel Chichikov

                      I have no conclusions to jump to.

                    • Stu

                      Oh, indeed you do.

                      You have assumed that anyone who would even remotely have questions about this case have themselves concluded that this is some manner of government conspiracy.

                    • Pavel Chichikov

                      I can state my own opinions. I don’t need your help.

                    • Joseph

                      I think you do need help… and that’s what Stu has so graciously given you. If you want to take that help and heap in on the fire, that’s your right. However, you’d be wise to cut out the double standard bit (that is, “Anyone who thinks this may have been an assassination, show me the evidence; for my part, I’m convinced that it absolutely could not have been anything other than an accident, and I have exactly the same amount of evidence as you conspiracy theorist kooks do… none, except, like you, the few stories written on it that contain scant details…”).

                      If you’re cool believing the same press that’s currently trying to eat its own to show its loyalty to the current government without question, good for you, seriously. It would save me a lot of processing power if I could do the same, so I do envy you a bit.

                    • Pavel Chichikov

                      I did not write the text in quotes above.

                      Best wishes.

                • Dave

                  I don’t think anyone thinks that it MUST be an assassination. At most, some people might think it is likely to be an assassination.

                  • Pavel Chichikov

                    If those people have actual knowledge of the circumstances and they remain suspicious, OK.

                    Anyone here have that sort of intimate knowledge of the circumstances? There are investigators who would like to hear from you. All others are just chatterboxes.

                • chezami

                  Of course not. Why would anybody assume it *must* be an assassination? But also, why would anybody assume it can’t possibly be one?

                  • Pavel Chichikov

                    That’s to be considered and possibly proven or eliminated on the basis of careful investigation, not what a story in the press suggests. You have no idea how much you *don’t* know.

          • Chesire11

            The fact that you are not privy to the the information and expertise at the disposal of the properly constituted authorities who have investigated the accident, and determined that it was just that – an accident – does not mean that there are “dangling ends.” It means that you don;t have all of the information, and cannot make an informed judgement.

            For some reason, a lot of people seem terribly intimidated by the prospect of having to concede “I don’t know” something.

            • Stu

              I would submit that the recognition of “dangling ends” is an admission of not knowing everything.

              But I didn’t realize the investigation was complete and that elements of the media had also thoroughly looked into this and found nothing of issue. Apparently you do have all of the information which I don’t. Thanks for sharing.

              Thanks for putting my mind at ease. I’m happy that this all worked out.

    • chezami

      No. What I have is suspicion and the conviction that this should be investigated.

      • Pavel Chichikov

        Suspicion of what? My problem with your suspicion is that you sound as if you’ve decided what it is you’re suspicious of without knowing the facts. A man died in a violent accident. Do you know any more than that?

      • Chesire11

        Authorities investigate crimes, not hypothetical criminal conjectures. If any evidence should arise indicating a strong likelihood that a crime took place, then an investigation would be appropriate. And no, being able to describe a scenario in which a collection of details in the public media could be consistent with a hypothetical criminal enterprise does not constitute evidence that a crime has occurred.

        The law properly operates on facts and evidence, not suspicion, conjecture, and innuendo.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    If he said he was on to another big story, what was it?

    • Dave

      LOL, that’s what some people may not have wanted us to find out.

      • Pavel Chichikov

        Which people?

        • Dave

          If I knew, I wouldn’t post it here! Maybe someone else has some record or knowledge of the story he was pursuing.

          Is your argument that it can’t be a conspiracy unless we know who the conspirators are?

          • Pavel Chichikov

            No.

    • Imp the Vladaler

      From what I hear, he was investigating sudden acceleration incidents in the Mercedes C250.

    • Stu

      That’s funny.

      • Pavel Chichikov

        What I mean is that if he was stepping on some big toes, whose toes were they?

        • Stu

          Yes, we would like to know that if it were the case now wouldn’t we. But one thing is for certain, Mr. Hastings won’t be telling you.

          • Pavel Chichikov

            Why would he tell me?

            • Stu

              Because you seem interested. You keep asking.

              • Pavel Chichikov

                I’m not that interested in this case. I’m a bit interested in the thought processes on display here.

        • Newp Ort

          Bigfoot’s?

          • Pavel Chichikov

            Maybe some gorilla.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    One thing that arouses my suspicion about the theories and innuendo here is that they sound like film scripts.

    • Stu

      So anything that could possibly be in a movie is automatically dismissed?

      • Pavel Chichikov

        Yes, of course, If I see China in a film I conclude that there is no such country.

        • Stu

          Well, I’m glad we established that “sounding like a film script” is a poor measure on whether or not something could happen in reality.

          • Pavel Chichikov

            I wasn’t trying to establish anything. I was trying to answer a silly question.

            • Stu

              A silly question to illuminate a silly premise.

              • Pavel Chichikov

                Suit yourself.

                • Stu

                  Hickey Freeman.

                  • Pavel Chichikov

                    Have no idea.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    If any of you really believe that the government kills people that annoy it, why do you post here?

    I’ve been in a country where that really happened, and still might. You guys don’t seem to know what you’re talking about.

    • Imp the Vladaler

      You also knew that Snowden was being tortured by the Chinese, wouldn’t be allowed to leave, etc. So there’s that.

      • Pavel Chichikov

        I never said that. Don’t tell lies.

        • Imp the Vladaler

          The great thing about this Disqus system is that it’s easy to find exactly what you wrote.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2013/06/glenn-greenwald-interviews-edward-snowden.html#comment-925480952

          • avalpert

            Um, that doesn’t say what you attributed to him…

            • Imp the Vladaler

              “the Chinese security services will know how to extract what he knows from him. He is at their mercy.”

              • avalpert

                Which is not at all the same thing as knowing he is being tortured. Saying they have the capability to do it isn’t the same thing as saying they are doing it right now.

    • oregon catholic

      Having read a number of your comments on this topic the thought that keeps popping into my mind is ‘he does protest too much’. Could it be that having had experience of a country in which this kind of behavior actually happened you are now afraid to admit to yourself you could have ended up in another one when you had thought you were safe?

      • Pavel Chichikov

        I don’t understand what you’re saying or implying.

        I’ve been in situations which scared the droppings out of me. They didn’t happen in the US. I haven’t been back to that other country in 20 years.

        I know very well what could have happened. Terror is a given. You live with it. Prayer helps, but it had better be desperate, and you had better mean it.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    If I lived in a country in which the government killed people for annoying it, and I thought I might be annoying it for suggesting that in a sensitive public case, I would probably shut the hell up, because the same thing could happen to me, whether or not I considered myself important or conspicuous.

    People elsewhere have been killed or given 25 year sentences at hard labor for telling jokes, much less for calling important people killers.The US is not such a country.

  • Irenist

    Two questions about this:
    1. What could he possibly have been investigating that would be more politically damaging than assassinating him in such a suspicious manner?
    2. If there is to be further investigation of this, who should conduct it? The LAPD?

    • Dave

      Good questions…

  • Pavel Chichikov

    Ciao.

  • Michaelus

    Why get excited about very far fetched possibilities when drone strikes, sodo-mania, the slaughter of Christians, the utterly wicked wealth gap etc. etc. are all undeniable truths – and one of which ought to make us take to the barricades?

  • Joe L.

    The problem with Greenwald’s statement is that we don’t know what Snowden did or didn’t do vis-a-vis espionage. He should be tried and the evidence should be examined. He may be either lionized or villified in the court of public opinion, but he needs to be prosecuted for revealing classified information, which is a crime and could result in grave injury to the national security of the United States of America.
    That said, David Gregory is an arrogant twit.


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