2013 Favs: Michael Hastings’ Too Convenient Death

Michael Hastings was a journalist who had a penchant for writing the stories no one else would touch.

His reporting shook things up, exemplified by his stories on General Petraeus and General McChrystal. His latest piece, “Why Democrats Love to Spy on Americans,” promised to be another important contribution to Americans’ growing understanding of how our government is destroying our civil liberties through the combined use of bad laws and technology.

If Michael Hastings had died without mystery, in his bed from a diagnosed illness, his journalistic fame, along with widespread public interest in him, would probably have died along with him. But Michael Hastings died in a way that ensures his life, work and death will be a matter of public interest for a long time to come.

This administration, along with most members of Congress in both parties, are clearly implicated in the worst spying and civil liberties violation scandal in the history of this Republic. They have been monitoring the private conversations and emails of millions upon millions of innocent American citizens who not only have committed no crime, they are not under any sort of suspicion of committing a crime.

The legal basis for this activity is the badly misnamed “Patriot” Act. The excuse given for this is that without spying on virtually the entire American populace, the dimwits in Washington would be unable “to keep Americans safe.” According to our leaders, the only way to “keep Americans safe” is to put the entire country under surveillance.

The official reaction to leaks that let the American people know that their civil liberties are being trampled  by their government is to crank up the media machine in attacks against Edward Snowden, the man who made this public. The government is going at Mr Snowden with everything they have. This isn’t about “keeping Americans safe.” It’s about protecting their own selves.

Their rage at being exposed stems from one fact. These things needed to stay secret because it would get  them in trouble if it didn’t. All this blab about “security agreements” and “national security” boils down to one thing: They didn’t want the American people to know they were spying on them; not because we needed to be in the dark to “keep Americans safe” but because members of Congress and overreaching bureaucrats needed our ignorance to keep themselves safe.

The reason I’m going through this background is to explain why the untimely death of a journalist named Michael Hastings is suddenly such big news.

Michael Hastings had his finger in the spying-on-the-American-people pot, and he was evidently stirring it a bit. Given his reportorial skills, it seems possible that he might well have been jangling a few official nerves that were already raw. Just as it is imperative for the government to make an example of Edward Snowden because he let us know they were spying on us, they need, for the sake of keeping their jobs, for the story to stop stirring.


As I said, if Michael Hastings had died in his bed of a diagnosed disease, things would be different. However, he did not.

He died in a car crash into a tree that caused the car to blow up, tossing what looks in the video below like the car’s transmission about a block down the road. A few moments before the crash, he was spotted and recorded on a news video going through an intersection at high speed.

An eyewitness to the whole thing has come forward to describe what happened.

The scene is familiar to all of us. We’ve seen similar car crashes in movies and they weren’t accidents. They were assassinations. We know our government has tortured people. We also know our government lies to us and that they do it a lot.

Did Michael Hastings die in an accidental car crash caused by too much speed on a city street? Or, was he murdered?

I don’t know the answer to that question. None of the commenters who are speaking with such certainty on one side of this story or the other knows, either. They are just taking the position which will most benefit the political party they push.

What is certain is that a significant number of Americans think it’s possible that he was assassinated because of what he was writing. No matter the facts of Michael Hasting’s death, that extraordinary level of distrust in our government is a serious matter, all by itself.

The question, What do we need to “keep us safe” from all those faceless people we’ve been told “want to kill us” must be juxtaposed with the question, What do we need to keep us safe from the loss of all our freedoms.

We have lived over two hundred years in freedom. It has become almost impossible for Americans to imagine any other way to live. But the price of freedom is, and always has been, eternal vigilance. We need to remember that at least some of this eternal vigilance needs to be focused on the excesses of our own government.

I do not know what happened to Michael Hastings beyond the fact that he died in a horrible car crash. But I do know that our government is spying on all of us and that the entire Congress took part in giving shadowy agencies a blank check to do this.

What I do know is reason enough for concern.

Here are two videos I found about Michael Hastings’ death.

The first is from the LoudLabs News who spotted him speeding and followed him. The second is an interview with an eye witness to the crash. They’re the best, unbiased information I could find.

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

  • hotboogers

    Silkwood.

  • Heloise1

    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2013/06/23/hastings-sent-panicked-email-hours-before-crash/

    ————–

    Quote:Just hours before his death in a fiery crash in the early morning hours
    of Tuesday, Hastings sent an email to colleagues saying that the “feds”
    were investigating him and that he had to “go off the radar” for a
    while.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      That makes it sound like to me that the feds might not have been involved at all, except to spook him enough to fake his own death and go into hiding. Pretty damn easy to find a homeless guy of the same basic size, give him your car, and rig the gas pedal to floor it remotely.

      • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

        In old detective thrillers, it is. In real life, not so much.

  • ItWasAboutTime

    Do not underestimate that what was known was left behind unprotected nor
    unavailable for future disclosure. Those that do not seek attention are
    the best keepers of facts.

  • Fambly kittens

    It wasn’t a police car that followed him, it was a night-time news vehicle.

    • hamiltonr

      I corrected it Fambly. Thank you.

  • pagansister

    Never heard of him until this article.

    • saucetin

      What if that says more about your curiosity than it does about him?

      • pagansister

        What?

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    A year ago, Andrew Breitbart died in even more mysterious circumstances. I did not care much for the man – he was a self-righteous libertarian and a libertine – but he did, like Michael Hastings, have this habit of going for stories most journalists wouldn’t touch. Once is happenstance; twice is coincidence; but keep your eyes open, because three times means enemy action.

    • Sven2547

      A 43-year-old alcoholic died of a heart attack. It’s “mysterious” that he lasted that long to begin with.

      • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

        Absolutely. We don’t want the wrong kind of death to be considered, do we? After all, Breitbart was a loud right-winger. He probably deserved what he got. Nothing to wonder about. Everything’s all right.

  • Dave

    It seems pretty unlikely, from what we know of him, and from the fact that several hours before his death, he said that the Feds were investigating him and that he had to go into hiding, that he decided to kill himself. Also, according to the witness, the car was “exploding” before he even hit the tree.

    Your tax dollars at work…

  • James1225

    His car could have been tampered with to take away his control of the accelerator and brakes and it could have been packed with explosives. It would seem that evidence of this sabotage should be discoverable.

  • Steve Coombs

    Rolling stone will not be kind….anymore

  • roosterthegoat

    A grim report circulating in the Kremlin today prepared by the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) claims that award winning American journalist Michael Hastings was assassinated by a US military drone strike early this past Tuesday morning (PDT) while attempting to reach what he believed would be a safe haven at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles, California.

  • trudy cary

    Thank you for this article Rebecca. It is an important piece in my opinion. Hopefully full examination of the car will show if explosives were used. The day this happened I just had a weird feeling something was off. Let’s hope not!

  • Soldier

    They keep murdering US Citizens, our government is corrupt and has become Nazi Germany. They think were so fucking stupid and that this is just a Huge Coincidence. What was he going to Leak, and why did the government silence him?

  • Mark Jones

    And now we know why Edward Snowden is running for his life.

  • MCMagicPie

    Michael Snowden? I think you mean Edward Snowden

    (9th paragraph, 4th line)

    • hamiltonr

      Thanks!

  • Chuckie8

    Even if this case didn’t reek to high heaven from Day One, the press coverage itself would have convinced me this was murder. Establishment-condoned murder.

    The media will never, ever, EVER trick me into forgetting — or minimizing the importance of — the email he sent to friends 15 hours before his death, his assertions that he had to “go off the radar” because the FBI was investigating him, the FBI’s highly unusual denial that were doing so followed three months later by the revelation that they indeed were (and were continuing to do so post-mortem), his nervousness that evening that his car had been tampered with, the odd cirucmstances surrounding the crash site itself, or Richard Clarke’s matter-of-fact assertions that “car-hacking” was a likely possibility, OR that fact that nearly every news outlet immediately spun the August coroner’s report which said drugs played no role in Hastings’ crash to sound like the exact opposite.

    Even when these things are mentioned, it’s always to essentially dismissed them.

    And all the endless tales of “rehab” and “mental illness” and his brother’s personal issues with Michael, and Michael using the C-word during a drunken fight with another reporter, will NOT blur nor marginalize my memory of the above-mentioned points.

    As the old saying goes: “Don’t piss on my face and tell me it’s raining.”

    Sometimes, paranoia is just rational thought.

    • FW Ken

      Re-reading this post, I was struck by the obscurity into which the story has fallen. I had certainly forgotten it. If, as I think they did, the press overplayed the “gates” of the Clinton administration, and jumped on every thing Bush43, the pass they give to the Obama administration is frightening. Think : Benghazi.

      • Chuckie8

        But I’m not inclined to simplify it with assertions that “Obama did it.”

        It’s not about who’s president.
        Obama’s presidency has been largely hijacked anyway… When someone green like Obama comes in to fix the system, especially the way intel-military do business, that new prez is hit with a tsunami of opposition and coaxed into backing off with “secret” data about what greater security and terrorists threat will occur otherwise.
        Once he takes the bait, the MIC decides he’s “weak” and then asks for even GREATER intrusions on civil liberties than they’d already attained previously…
        And then there’s the understood, if unspoken, threat that the new prez’s domestic agenda will be sabotaged completely if he doesn’t leave the Pentagon, Intel and their insatiable contractors alone to do whatever the hell they want to.
        And that’s what this is about. Obama is just an emasculated cog — his recent speech about reining in the NSA’s abuses just a symptom of his awareness of his guilty-if-reluctant complicity.
        I’m not trying to “defend” Oabam per se; this is just how it all seems to work, and why nothing ever changes, all our “hope” notwithstanding.

  • GallopingGoat

    I’m sorry you didn’t mention the “Boston Brakes” (or “drive by wire”) assassination theory floated by counter-terrorism expert Richard Clarke. Hasting’s accident has all the hallmarks: no skid marks, despite a 60 degree turn; very high speedometer reading and a Mercedes (very easy to control this way). There are other factors, as well – 10 weeks for the toxicology reports to come out – I never read if they did – and the fact that his body was cremated against the will of his family, and that the car burned at a higher temperature than gasoline alone. Nothing is definitive, of course, but it certainly looks suspicious. We will never know, of course, as the police are satisfied this was an accident.

  • joeybot

    Isn’t that interesting that Paul Walker died the same way? I think the question is, what secrets was HE hiding and what was about to break, and why was he also assassinated?


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