Michael Hastings was a case that convinced me conspiracy theories of government spying were indeed unfolding in front of us. They were not obscure people involved in backroom deals or projects, but right out in public view for all of us to witness. I write many blogs about things that have been going on from cold war era US to present day. My awakening as to what is really going in the world started in the 1990’s, and now seems to be jumping into hyperspeed. With the release of the Vault 7 documents from Wikileaks, it reminded me of this man and his story.
Michael Hastings started as a free-lance journalist, first with Newsweek, on to Buzzfeed and won a George Polk award for an article in Rolling Stone titled “The Runaway General”. It was the profile of General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of NATO’s ISAF in the Afghanistan war. The expose resulted in McChrystal resigning from his post. It painted President Obama as being bullied into giving McChrystal exactly what he wanted. President Obama, with no military experience, was painted like a deer in headlights around military operations…. The article outlined the COIN strategy of dealing with Afghanistan, “COIN calls for sending huge numbers of ground troops to not only destroy the enemy, but to live among the civilian population and slowly rebuild, or build from scratch, another nation’s government – a process that even its staunchest advocates admit requires years, if not decades, to achieve.” (1) There was bad blood between the Obama administration and Stanley McChrystal, but Hastings was surprised when his article resulted in the resigning of McChrystal.
Hastings who was embedded with a military unit in Afghanistan in 2008, was one of the most outspoken critics of the Obama administration, and its interference on US journalism. He referred to the restrictions on the freedom of the press by the Obama as a “war” on journalism… (2) His time there resulted in good friendships and the loss of his girl friend, Andrea Parhamovich in a bombing attack. One of his friends was Staff Sgt Briggs, to whom he sent a final email to on June 18, 2013. There is another blog coming about some of the people Michael Hastings was friends with or had contact with, Sgt. Briggs is one of them.
Hastings also followed the story on the corruption regarding Dawood Hospital in Kabul. Michael was quoted as saying, “This was a hospital that was started in 2005 in Kabul and funded almost completely by the United States. And about a year ago, the Wall Street Journal did an original story about how a lot of these patients who were at—these Afghan patients at the hospital were dying, essentially, from starvation, from simple infections that should be treated very easily but instead they were—actually became mortal wounds. There were allegations that, to get treatment, you had to bribe the hospital officials.” (3) Hastings said that General Caldwell was so busy letting social media know how well he was doing, that his reputation was his focus, while the hospital patients of Dawood Hospital died of starvation….
In 2013, Hastings was investigating John Brennan director of the CIA. Immediately prior to his death, Hastings had published a strong critique of the Obama administration titled “Why Democrats Love to Spy on Americans,” which exposed the party’s hypocrisy regarding some of the civil liberty overreaches they had criticized under Bush but embraced under Obama. (4) He was investigating counter-terrorism for the Obama administration, Tuesday Drone Strikes, and the surveillance of American citizens. Interestingly, he died 2 weeks after Edward Snowden flew to Hong Kong.
A few hours before Hastings’ death he sent an email to friends and colleagues that the FBI was interviewing ‘friends and associates’. “[It] may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues.” He added, “I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the radar [sic] for a bit.” (5)
There is footage of what happened to Michael Hastings car that night. June 18, 2013. In the video his car is seen driving down an LA Expressway extremely fast, veering off to the left and into a palm tree. Here is what we know for sure:
- There was a witness to the driving, a worker at a business located near the site of the crash –told San Diego News 6 that the car was traveling extremely fast and that explosions could be heard coming from within the vehicle shortly before the crash. (6)
- He contacted Wikileaks attorney Jennifer Robinson and told her FBI was investigating him.
- The palm tree he was to have hit showed minimal evidence though the kinetic energy was very strong.
- The expressway was a 4-lane rd. It had a large median dividing traffic. Some reports eluded to a curve in the road, there was none. It was a straight rd. The car made a 60% turn into a palm tree. Also, there were no skid marks and it hit no fire hydrant.
- The engine was 150-200 feet from the car in the wrong direction, blown out the back. Just so you know the engine in that model of Mercedes Benz is under the front hood.
- The burning on the 3 points of the car, trunk area (a massive eruption), carriage was completely decimated and destroyed roof all resembled that of explosion points. The San Diego station 6, CW states some members of law enforcement revealed it’s highly unusual for such a hot burning fire, since gasoline generally doesn’t burn that hot. Reviewing video footage from the scene, the intensity of the fire resembles a “thermite” burn. (7)
- According to the San Diego News three weeks after the crash the autopsy was still pending. His body was cremated and delivered to his family in an urn…. Though there was charring on his body, it was listed as partial and moderate. So, more testing could have been done. He was sober 5 years, so drinking was not the issue.
Was this an accident or an assassination? A new term was thrown around about Hastings death, “Boston Brakes”. This is a technique in which “computer driven cars or ‘drive by wire’ cars, like this Mercedes Benz, can be manipulated remotely to simulate an out of control accident. Gordon Duff of Wayback Machines wrote an article for Veterans Today in 2010, which he states, “I am told this game started with the CIA back in Boston, not with planes but cars. Car wrecks were mechanically staged using the “Boston Brakes” method, not always fatal but always a good way of communicating to someone your displeasure.” (8) One of the signs, no skid marks….
With the Vault 7 documents from Wikileaks, more is revealed about the CIA’s hacking capabilities against those who it fears, and every American…. This includes their ability to hijack cars remotely. Richard Clark told the Huffington Post, “It is relatively easy to hack your way into the control system of a car. You can cause acceleration when the driver doesn’t want acceleration, throw on the brakes when the driver doesn’t want the brakes on, and launch the air bag. You can do some really highly destructive things now, through hacking a car, and it’s not that hard. The problem with [car cyber attacks] is you can’t prove it” (9)
- Hastings, Michael, The Runaway General, Rolling Stone, http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-runaway-general-20100622
- Was Michael Hastings a Victim of CIA Hacking Tools? http://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/57094/intelligence/michael-hastings-crash-cia.html
- Congressional Probe Reveals Cover-Up of “Auschwitz-Like” Conditions at U.S.-Funded Afghan Hospital, Democracy Now, https://www.democracynow.org/2012/8/1/congressional_probe_reveals_cover_up_of
- Was Michael Hastings Targeted by the CIA? Wikileaks Reveals Agency’s Covert Carjacking Ability, http://www.mintpressnews.com/michael-hastings-targeted-cia-wikileaks-reveals-agencys-covert-carjacking-ability/225738/
- Stork, Christian, What Was Hastings Working On? http://whowhatwhy.org/2013/08/07/connections-between-michael-hastings-edward-snowden-and-barrett-brown-the-war-with-the-security-state/
- Dvorak, Kimberly, Details of Reporter Hastings Death Remain Elusive, San Diego 6 the CW, https://web.archive.org/web/20130713071933/http://www.sandiego6.com/story/details-of-reporter-hastings-death-remain-elusive-20130708
- Duff, Gordon, “Boston Brakes” Assassination Technique Becomes Big “Problem Solver”, https://web.archive.org/web/20130624144555/http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/07/25/gordon-duff-boston-brakes-no-skidmarks-in-the-sky/
- Ibid, Security Affairs.co