Michael Hastings, 'Rolling Stone' Contributor, Dead at 33
The bold journalist died in a car accident in Los Angeles
Michael Hastings, the fearless journalist whose reporting brought down the career of General Stanley McChrystal, has died in a car accident in Los Angeles, Rolling Stone has learned. He was 33.
Hastings' unvarnished 2010 profile of McChrystal in the pages of Rolling Stone, "The Runaway General," captured the then-supreme commander of the U.S.-led war effort in Afghanistan openly mocking his civilian commanders in the White House. The maelstrom sparked by its publication concluded with President Obama recalling McChrystal to Washington and the general resigning his post. "The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be met by – set by a commanding general," Obama said, announcing McChrystal's departure. "It undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system."
Hastings' hallmark as reporter was his refusal to cozy up to power. While other embedded reporters were charmed by McChrystal's bad-boy bravado and might have excused his insubordination as a joke, Hastings was determined to expose the recklessness of a man leading what Hastings believed to be a reckless war. "Runaway General" was a finalist for a National Magazine Award, won the 2010 Polk award for magazine reporting, and was the basis for Hastings' book, The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan.
For Hastings, there was no romance to America's misbegotten wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He had felt the horror of war first-hand: While covering the Iraq war for Newsweek in early 2007, his then-fianceé, an aide worker, was killed in a Baghdad car bombing. Hastings memorialized that relationship in his first book, I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story.
A contributing editor to Rolling Stone, Hastings leaves behind a remarkable legacy of reporting, including an exposé of America's drone war, an exclusive interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at his hideout in the English countryside, an investigation into the Army's illicit use of "psychological operations" to influence sitting Senators and a profile of Taliban captive Bowe Bergdahl, "America's Last Prisoner of War."
"Great reporters exude a certain kind of electricity," says Rolling Stone managing editor Will Dana, "the sense that there are stories burning inside them, and that there's no higher calling or greater way to live life than to be always relentlessly trying to find and tell those stories. I'm sad that I'll never get to publish all the great stories that he was going to write, and sad that he won't be stopping by my office for any more short visits which would stretch for two or three completely engrossing hours. He will be missed."
Hard-charging, unabashedly opinionated, Hastings was original and at times abrasive. He had little patience for flacks and spinmeisters and will be remembered for his enthusiastic breaches of the conventions of access journalism. In a memorable exchange with Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines in the aftermath of the Benghazi attacks, Hastings' aggressive line of questioning angered Reines. "Why do you bother to ask questions you've already decided you know the answers to?" Reines asked. "Why don't you give answers that aren't bullshit for a change?" Hastings replied.
In addition to his work as a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, Hastings also reported for BuzzFeed. He leaves behind his wife, the writer Elise Jordan.
Matt Farwell is a veteran of the Afghanistan war who worked as a co-reporter with Hastings on some of his recent pieces. He sent this eulogy to Rolling Stone: "My friend Michael Hastings died last night in a car crash in Los Angeles. Writing this feels almost ghoulish: I still haven't processed the fact that he's gone. Today we all feel that loss: whether we're friends of Michael's, or family, or colleagues or readers, the world has gotten a bit smaller. As a journalist, he specialized in speaking truth to power and laying it all out there. He was irascible in his reporting and sometimes/often/always infuriating in his writing: he lit a bright lamp for those who wanted to follow his example.
"Michael was no stranger to trying to make sense this kind of tragedy nor was he unfamiliar the emptiness felt in the wake of a senseless, random death. After all, he'd already learned about it the only way he ever deemed acceptable for a non hack: first-hand. In the course of his reporting he figured this lesson out again and again in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the United States, and part of his passion stemmed from a desire to make everyone else wake the fuck up and realize the value of the life we're living.
"He did: He always sought out the hard stories, pushed for the truth, let it all hang out on the page. Looking back on the past ten years is tough for anyone, but looking back on Michael's past ten years and you begin to understand how passionate and dedicated to this work he was, a passion that was only equaled by his dedication to his family and friends, and how much more he lived in thirty-three years than most people live in a lifetime. That's part of what makes this all so tough: exiting, he leaves us all with little more than questions and a blank sheet of paper. Maybe that's challenge to continue to use it to write the truth. I hope we can live up to that. He was a great friend and I will miss him terribly."
Journalist Michael Hastings, best known for a Rolling Stone feature that led to the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, died early Tuesday in a car crash in Los Angeles, his employer said.
Neither the Los Angeles Police Department nor coroner's officials could immediately confirm whether Hastings was the victim of a single-car crash that occurred about 4:25 a.m. in the 600 block of North Highland Avenue. Police officials said it was the only vehicle fatality reported Tuesday morning in the city of Los Angeles.
The vehicle crossed a median, struck a tree and burst into flames in the Hancock Park area, LAPD Officer Christopher No said. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
Coroner's officials said they could not immediately identify the victim, saying the body was burned beyond recognition. Without identification or next of kin, neither the LAPD nor the coroner's department could officially identify the body found in the vehicle.
But in a statement released Tuesday afternoon, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith confirmed that Hastings died earlier in an L.A. car crash, saying his team was "shocked and devastated by the news."
"Michael was a great, fearless journalist with an incredible instinct for the story and a gift for finding ways to make his readers care about anything he covered, from wars to politicians," Smith said. "He wrote stories that would otherwise have gone unwritten, and without him there are great stories that will go untold."
Hastings, who covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is perhaps best known for his Rolling Stone profile of McChrystal. Hastings also worked for GQ and Newsweek and wrote a book about his fiance, who was killed in Iraq in 2007.
A witness described the accident to KTLA News: “I was just coming northbound on Highland and I seen a car, like, going really fast and all of a sudden I seen it jackknife,” Luis Cortez said. “I just seen parts fly everywhere, and I slammed on my brakes and stopped and tried to call 911."
He was a hard driving, type A personality who liked to take risks. These things happen.
"accident" my Aunt Fanny. Not in a f***ing million years. The only question is who got to him. Not that we'll ever be allowed to know.
Of course these things happen. They just do.
Oh god, the tin-hat conspiracy freaks are going to really go to town on this one.
I pity Hastings' family having to put up with that shit while they are grieving his loss.
So what was he working on? His wife or some editor somewhere must know.
On the other hand, a single car crash like that is often a matter of driver suicide. I knew 2 people who were depressed & that was the way they chose to end it.
He was a thoroughly unpleasant man. He was supercilious every single time he appeared on an MSNBC talking head panel... I grew to hate the guy when his smug face erupted on screen.
I thought it was an accident, but now I'm not so sure. The police should investigate r13.
Your rental car is ready, Mr. Snowden.
I hate tin hat conspiracies, but General McChrystal has been revealed to be a creepy guy who probably hates with a passion his loss of power - remember he even outsmarted Obama by using the media, and got more troops.
That being said, now that I have seen the picture, that is not a fender bender - that is total destruction. Somebody got to him.
He was a drunk/druggie in recovery.
No? Sure. Sober people are out driving around LA at high speed at 4:30am all the time.
Single-car, single-occupant accident at 4:23 in the morning, high speed down Highland.
Even I can see how suspicious this is.
Chalk me up for conspiracy.
r11, then perhaps they should stay off the internet for a while.
I'm not a tin-hat, but it's entirely possible he was murdered. It's not the first time TPTB have gone after an opponent (Karen Silkwood, Danny Casolaro).
The first thing I thought of was the recent Wired article about the dark implications of technology taking over our cars and household systems.
Excellent point, R20. It is the far-reaching, futuristic, almost impossible to image possibilities of Prism and tech-controlled cars and appliances that the masses fail to consider. But they're too fucked up on pharma and reality TV to care.
r7, Foster was not murdered, he committed suicide.
Allegedly, he shot himself at a Georgetown residence used by TPTB in the Clinton White House for parties and assignations.
The only conspiracy was the moving and disposal of the body to avoid scrutiny of the house and its occupants/owners.
If there were a conspiracy to silence him, the conspirators wouldn't have to tamper with his car, which could have caused huge unnecessary collateral damage. They could just make him disappear.
There are dozens and dozens of journalists whose reports have made U.S. government officials and power brokers look far worse than McCrystal, and who are all still walking around.
r23, the level of technological monitoring and remote control makes it possible to avoid collateral damage.
I'm not saying I necessarily believe it happened, but it's not impossible. He could have simply had a severe drug/alcohol relapse or became suicidal (or both).
Car accident my ass. He was droned.
I'm going with "both," R24.
[quote]So what was he working on? His wife or some editor somewhere must know.
Well? If he was murdered, seems more likely that it would be to prevent him from disclosing something in the future, rather than just taking revenge for damage he already did in the past.
R23, how do you know he didn't have new info?
But what might he have been onto NOW, R23? It could have been related to something else altogether.
He was driving a new Mercedes and people in nearby houses said it was like a bomb went off (houses shaking, windows rattling). The car's charred engine block flew about 50 yards from the car.
It's pretty fucked up that he made it through reporting in Iraq (where his girlfriend at the time was killed) and Afghanistan, only to die on Highland Ave., a perfectly straight stretch of road that's very quiet at 4:30am.
At that hour, he could've been headed to the airport for all any of us know.
Yes, sure, he was droned—right in the immediate wake of a massive controversy about drone warfare and hysteria about the government potentially droning private citizens.
When he could quietly be abducted from his bed at 4am and disappeared.
That was boring, R14. He was a cunt, plain and simple - the only people who loved him were other libertarian jerks.
That wreck looks like it got hit by a Hellfire missile.
That means a drone flew over and blasted him to bits!
[quote]When he could quietly be abducted from his bed at 4am and disappeared.
Because no one would've noticed that.
You understand that would've been MORE conspicuous.
Yes, the car was hit by a drone and allowed to sit in place at the crash site until well after daybreak, where it was photographed by police (note tripod in linked photo) and multiple news agencies.
This is why people loathe you.
You don't give a flying fuck about America or - god forbid - Americans.
You only care about yourselves and EVERYTHING is about you. Everything. Always.
You are selfish, myopic and stupid, all the while imagining that you have "important inside info" that "the masses" have no idea exists because they're so shockingly stupid while you girls are such fucking geniuses. You wouldn't know the truth, or even the truthiness, if it jumped up and bit your tits.
It would be funny if you weren't such sub-standard citizens. You're bad for the country.
I hate to be like the tin hats but this is very suspicious. Just very odd.
Don't look at us.
A drunken idiot kills himself in his car after a night out and that's suspicious? Ok.
Yes, something is up but we may never find out what it is.
It would be suspicious if the accident happened at 7:30 in the morning when he was driving to work.
If someone crashes their car going down Highland at 4:30 in the morning, the first question should always be "Alcohol, drugs, or both?"
It won't matter, though, because the tinhats will insist that the CIA doctored the coroner's toxicology report.
R38, how the hell do you know? You don't know shit. You don't know why he was even out, you don't even know that he was drinking, so what makes you any better than a "tinhat"?
He had a history of drug and/or alcohol abuse problems, didn't he?
It doesn't take a tin-hat (or a rocket scientist) to figure out why he might have a car accident at 4 in the morning.
[quote]"I'm sad that he won't be stopping by my office for any more short visits which would stretch for two or three completely engrossing hours. He will be missed."
God, I hate people who chat endlessly for hours on end during work hours. Three fucking hours?? My god. I would hate to their coworker.
There were witness who saw him speeding, then jackknife, not mention of ANY car chasing him.
I'm sorry. Who is R35 talking to?
Yes, but what was on his iPod?
Maybe the cars were invisible. You don't know what kind of James Bond shit the government has.
Let me tell you a little something about journalists. A good percentage of them are drunks or addicts. They live very erratic lives which seems to pair up well with mind-enhancing substances and nervous system depressants. Alcoholism is considered a badge of honor by some. They work long hours and sometimes do crazy things in the course of doing their jobs. This gives them the idea that they can party as hard as they work. Also, so many journalists of a certain age have styled themselves in the Hunter S. Thompson fashion. Add in the whole "I'm a creative genius" attitude and you've got a particular group of people living on the edge of destruction.
This dude was 33 with a brand new Mercedes. He had an open road in front of him and very little traffic. He was probably an adrenaline junkie and may have been drinking. If nothing else, he was very likely tired. Throw in the arrogant journalist attitude and this tragedy is much more understandable.
Also, do not dismiss the possibility of depression and suicidal behavior. I knew three journalists who killed themselves, each in very dramatic ways.
So... someone powerful wants to take out a well-known journalist to silence him, and they do so in the most basic, obvious and public manner possible?
No, I don't think so.
How can a journalist afford a brand new Mercedes?
R50, he had written a couple of books as well.
How the hell does a single car jackknife?
What is jackknife?
In L.A the Medical examiner is there to make murder look like an "accident." May Michael Hastings and Jaqueline Montalvo rest in peace.
Murdered, I'm sure. No need to be the type to believe in conspiracy theories. I never believed in them until I learned that L.A has a racket in place. If you threaten the rackets, you will end up dead, and it won't be very hard to make it look like an accident. Once the Sheriff's department and medical examiners is on board, and they are --not too hard to silence those too gutsy.
I wonder who he knew or blew to start off so successfully out of NYU?
Maybe he was related to a big shot? I'm a professor and most students who graduate can't even find an entry-level job in journalism over the last decade.
Please don't check the brake lines. Thanks.
Men in Black
My god, in that inferno, there must be NOTHING left of the body. R.I.P. Just awful!
I hope he was killed instantly from the impact and not from the fire.
I'm sorry, but this guy sounds like a textbook sociopath. The death from reckless driving should not come as a surprise.
R60, with all due respect, if you're drawing that conclusion based on posts in this thread, you had clearly never heard of him before, so you aren't terribly well read. How valid can your opinion be?
There goes another expensive Mercedes.
What a waste of a perfectly good car.
R48, some of us journalists are actually sane human beings who have families and mortgages and don't do anything more self-destructive than go to the office every day.
But otherwise, I get your point. In particular, there is a young, hotshot kind of journalist who think he's (because it's almost always a he) a star if he risks his life in war zones and makes a name for himself. The more macho the better.
Pretty much, if there's a Rolling Stone byline on the resume, this is the kind of journalist I'm talking about.
Hastings is really dedicated to the life of a peripatetic poor journalist.
Good riddance to a hypocrite in his Mercedes!
R61 I drew that conclusion from his obituary.
[quote]Hard-charging, unabashedly opinionated, Hastings was original and at times abrasive. He had little patience for flacks and spinmeisters and will be remembered for his enthusiastic breaches of the conventions of access journalism.
Sociopath, sociopath, sociopath!
He had a hot ass, but he couldn't live forever.
How the hell did this kid get his break in the first place?
Didn't even graduate PBK or summa cum laude.
Yeah, this sounds suspicious to me. A one car accident that burns the car nearly beyond recognition?
Color me suspicious....
The video showed a Miller Lite bottle lying in the grass amongst the wreckage. One would have thought a well-traveled journalist would have had better taste in beer.
I've witnessed a speeding car hit a tree and I've seen numerous wrecks in the aftermath - never saw burn marks like that on any of them.
[quote]He had an open road in front of him and very little traffic.
Open road? Highland @ Melrose?
You know what's MUCH worse then tin hats? The people who think there are NO conspiracies, and that nothing clandestine ever happens. Biggest morons on the planet.
Interesting. The extreme intensity of the fire that consumed him sounds a lot like the crash that killed Katherine Smith in 2002 (look her up).
As far as an "investigation" into this? Please.
This is the LAPD--the paramilitary organ which (abetted by the BHPD) made believe that a bicyclist was responsible for the drive-by execution of Ronnie Cohen.
They've recovered his last text message!
"U want 20 or 30 chicken nuggets"
[quote]The video showed a Miller Lite bottle lying in the grass amongst the wreckage. One would have thought a well-traveled journalist would have had better taste in beer.
Only those of us who actually believe a beer bottle would have survived that collision and holocaust.
Those are the touches where they go too far.
Pat Tillman wanted to blow the whistle on McChrystal too.
R76, how do you know that? I don't doubt it, I'm just curious.
The government and the media have a history of lying to us about deaths in fiery explosions:
TWA flight 800 crash not due to gas tank explosion, says former investigators
Wow...this is too weird. I have seen him a number of times on Chris Hayes and Morning Joe and he has come across as very engaged and confident in his opinion. At the same time he seemed controlled and intelligent. About a month ago he was on the new Up With Steve Karnacki and he seemed like he was totally amped. Loud, combative, overtalking everyone and while I was watching I immediately flashed to every crystal meth head I knew in SF. You could smell the sweat. Sad what happened though. I liked him.
[quote] How the hell did this kid get his break in the first place?
Maybe a relative. Matt Taibbi's father Mike Taibbi has been a tv journalist in NYC for decades, so that's how Matt got his start. Maybe this guy also has a relative in the biz.
[quote] A one car accident that burns the car nearly beyond recognition?
[quote] Color me suspicious....
Happens all the time where I live
R75 is right. Everything's destroyed but that one beer bottle that was thrown from the wreckage and landed intact. Uh huh. They went too far in staging the scene.
Nobody says the beer bottle was in the car - it was on the grass and the news camera videotaped it as part of their taping of the area.
Here's a comment at the Youtube site about the Spanish speaking male who spoke with the camera guy partially in English and is later seen speaking to a Latino looking policeman - you can kind of hear him speaking in Spanish to the police man.
"The witness in the video said he was flying down highland at about 100mph and when the car crossed melrose, it bounced and he lost control. It exploded when he hit the tree head on and the engine was thrown forward on impact. People fly down that street all the time especially when there's no traffic. There's a dip before and after melrose where the streets intersect."
r81, what color is "suspicious"? Is it similar to "green-with-envy" or a "brown study"?
[quote]The witness in the video said he was flying down highland at about 100mph and when the car crossed melrose, it bounced and he lost control. It exploded when he hit the tree head on and the engine was thrown forward on impact. People fly down that street all the time especially when there's no traffic. There's a dip before and after melrose where the streets intersect."
Ah yes, that dip of death. That does make this whole thing more believable. I have a low car and I suspect I damaged my car's shock absorbers while driving at about 35 mph early one weekend morning.
R84 it's somewhere between "grape" and "aubergine."
Always take Fountain.
What a bunch of morons saying they would just making him disappear in the middle of the night. That was the whole POINT of not faking WMD in Iraq: to show the people they had no power, and the military masters could get them anywhere anytime and without a real investigation. That would be the entire point of droning him.
To create a CHILLING effect on everyone else.
That said, tampering with the car is more likely.
As for people being out at 4:30 a.m., most people who are out at 4:30 a.m. are not drunks but average people doing average things. I find it interesting that dataloungers wouldn't know that.
Shades of Ronni Chassen. Does the Bevery Hills police chief have an alibi?
[quote]The chassis most likely bottomed out and caused sparks when metal scrapped at that dip in the road. The engine/trans combo looks like it ended up a few hundred feet past were the car was so 100mph seems about right. The large fire looks like it was caused by an electric fuel pump that was still operating with the severed fuel line.
[quote]large fire looks like it was caused by an electric fuel pump that was still operating...
Gotta love German craftsmanship.
Thank you, Ms. Fleming at R88, you call me when the shuttle lands.
"most people who are out at 4:30 a.m. are not drunks"
Was the gushing water spout discussed? Did he run over a hydrant?
I can't believe how much water pressure the resident with the garden hose has.
He ran a red light moments before the crash. Video at link.
He burnt up to a black crispy critter. There is more footage on Utube including a closeup of his blackened head.
Yeah! His blowed up good! His head blowed up real good!
How surreal that neither he nor his former fiancee made it past the age of 35. I honestly think that he suffered PTSD, the same variety that afflicts servicemembers, but he refused to get it treated. Usually, people with PTSD are prone to risky behaviors because they're apathetic toward life or their fear of death lessens over time. Maybe he was drunk or high; however the one thing that's almost for certain is that he was driving recklessly.
He wasn't a great journalist, but he was a good one...a passionate one (a less aggressive version of Jeremy Scahill). I feel like I saw him on Real Time with Bill Maher less than 2 months ago. May he rest in peace.
(Here we go. And notice how the author here tries to tie in his "boldness" with reporting into the car accident.)
[bold]Is Wikileaks Trying to Start a Michael Hastings FBI Death Conspiracy?[/bold]
On the same day that Julian Assange desperately inserted his organization into Edward Snowden's quest for asylum, Wikileaks announced on Twitter last night that the late great journalist Michael Hastings had been in touch with a member of Assange's legal team before he died, apparently seeking help in an FBI investigation into Hastings. The world's most notorious leaking organization, notoriously losing steam and a grip on the public consciousness, has now found a backdoor into two of the biggest stories of the current news cycle — and a look at the tenuous connections show that Wikileaks may just be trying to take advantage of the public interest.
The tweet cites an attorney who's something of a human-rights watchdog and a protector of investigative journalists — not just a representative of Assange and his lengthy legal fight:
[quote]Michael Hastings contacted WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him. — WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) June 19, 2013
Hastings apparently died in a car accident on Tuesday; police have determined that speed was factor but told LA Weekly that it would take weeks to get results from toxicology tests — and that they still haven't officially ID'd the body. [bold]And Hastings was certainly a no-holds-barred investigator who had no fear[/bold] in looking into the highest rankings of power, be it the intelligence community and the White House in his recent writing for Buzzfeed, or the famous profile that brought down Gen. Stanley McChrystal in his contributions to Rolling Stone. Which is where Assange comes in: Hastings interviewed him for a semi-sympathetic Assange profile in Rolling Stone in 2012. But that's just a profile, on a classic Rolling Stone political figure by one of the magazine's main political writers. That doesn't mean one call to one human-rights lawyer who happens to work for Assange one day before a man happened to die in a car accident is some sort of conspiracy. There's been plenty of human-rights and intelligence news to investigate lately, and sources are sources, and people make phone calls.
But then again, Wikileaks is Wikileaks. And now they're getting desperate.
Earlier on Wednesday, Assange had told reporters — on a conference call to celebrate his one year in asylum, obviously — that the Wikileaks legal team was in contact with Snowden and that they were involved in his mad dash to Iceland. The main journalist at the heart of Snowden's big NSA reveal, Glenn Greenwald, threw some ice on this development, telling Buzzfeed's Rosie Gray, "I'm not aware that WikiLeaks has any substantive involvement at all with Snowden, though I know they've previously offered to help."
Could a Wikileaks lawyer have called Snowden just a few hours before he vanished, saying the U.S. was investigating them, too? It's about as possible as sending out an ill-timed tweet for attention.
The raw video linked upthread tells the tale.
That car was not traveling "100 mph" as reported, judging by its condition, post-impact. Exactly where is the evidence of a massive, high-speed impact, as is being reported? And without the horrific impact, why the huge fire?
This was a Mercedes (not a Pinto)--and if a legitimate investigation were to folllow, it might just indicate that Hastings was dead before his "accident" occured.
He must have been on to some truly revealing dirt for some entity to murder him so conspicuously and damn the consequences.
I actually worry more about Jeremy Scahill - he's far more critical of the military complex (Blackwater).
It takes a brave person to go after some really scary and evil people who couldn't give a shit that you're American. They'd sooner see thousands of Americans die if it meant they'd profit. Only a moron would think that they wouldn't kill Americans just as easily as others if it meant more power and profit.
Oh, please. That car was speeding through that intersection. It wasn't a police cam that caught it but a news cameraman's dash-cam as he was parked in a gas station doing some work. The reporter says he didn't even look up or see the car going through the light. He's one of the cameramen who go around the city getting raw footage to feed to news stations.
When the cameraman got the report of the crash on his police scanner he realized he was nearby and drove over to the accident - this was about 4 minutes after the car went through the red light.
It was possible that the car sped up after going through the red light. In any event there was at least one witness who said he was going very fast and "jack knifed" and obviously lost control and hit a tree head on. The interview is on tape by the cameraman at the scene before the emergency vehicles arrive.
There's an LA writer/researcher posting at Youtube who says he lives in the area and they have complained about Hastings driving like a maniac through the area on previous occasions. Hastings may have been back on drugs and/or alcohol.
Or he may have been silenced by the government that spies on us and lies to us and has taken upon itself the right to kill us for nebulously-defined reasons of "national security," R112.
Either possibility is entirely plausible.
. It wasn't a police cam that caught it but a news cameraman's dash-cam as he was parked in a gas station doing some work. The reporter says he didn't even look up or see the car going through the light. He's one of the cameramen who go around the city getting raw footage to feed to news stations.
Wait it wasn't a cop car?
If this wasn't a total set up, I could buy that Hastings was high. That's a no brainer.
I can but that stations send cameramen out at night to get random b-roll footage of intersections— but um, at why at these odd hours ? Why in the middle of the night? WHAT TIME was this camera man just sitting there at this intersection? And if he wasn't looking up — how did he know he even had this on tape?
What does the old guy with the hose think he's achieving? Water on an oil fire only makes it bigger.
The fire department was very slow on the scene and that fire did not look like a gasoline fire.
Just because he was going fast doesn't mean he caused it.
I think it's pretty sad when our government is so untrustworthy that we end up questioning everything that happens, wondering about what is true.
I voted for Obama twice and would do it again but the fact is, our government has been broken for decades...we need a new government and we need to fire all generals. Probably half of congress should be in prison. We have a horrible government.
"I voted for Obama twice and would do it again"
Why? the popular vote doesn't count, honey. Voting is useless. How old are you? You should know that.
The car speeding in R108's videa was not a Mercedes but a light colored Nissan. At 0:44 you see a fire on the roof of a building near the scene, suggesting drone attack. Also the scene when the cop arrives looks different from the other video. There was a tow truck there, etc.
r116, I don't think the authorities respond quickly to anything in that neighborhood.
If this was some kind of cover up- it was either really bad or intentional misdirection somehow— they did it in a manner that made everyone want to stop and look at it.
I mean, blowing up the car with so much force that the engine was down the street?
Also- giving that body was unidentifiable, whose to say this journalist's body? Maybe he went into witness protection? Maybe he faked his own death?
Interesting comment on Reddit:
Watching the raw footage from LoudLabs puts to rest any "conjecture". This is the most obvious hit I've ever seen. Get to the part near the end where they show the engine 100 feet BEFORE the tree, the debris field LEADING UP TO THE CRASH, the hood of the car popped open like a jack-in-the-box, the clean engine and transmission sheared out of the vehicle, the Mexican who saw the car bouncing up and down on the road before the crash, and, most telling in my opinion, the white sheet placed over the hood area so the public can't easily see that the entire front end of the car was blown up. It is physically impossible for this type of damage and debris to occur from hitting a tree.
The fact that Hastings called WikiLeaks lawyer at 2:30 in the morning before the crash to say the FBI was after him is just icing on the cake. This is not a conspiracy theory, this is a sober assessment of the facts that lead to a single plausible conclusion.
Watch the vid, and I defy you to disagree:
Stanley MacChrystal. Is he a Pre-meditated murderer?!
Oh Reddit. Can we not go there. They're a bunch of amateur hacks.
I can't fault his point about the engine, however. I just don't know why whomever delivered this "hit" made it so obvious. The FBI would have myriads of ways to make people go away without blowing up their car in a heavily populated residential area.
[quote]I just don't know why whomever delivered this "hit"
My favorite "grammar" oh, dear: who v. whom.
It's "whoever." "Whoever" is the subject of the clause "whoever delivered this 'hit.'" "Whomever" is not the object of anything.
What R114 said.
Strange things happen frequently that we can't out figure what happened.
[quote]It is physically impossible for this type of damage and debris to occur from hitting a tree
How many high speed crashes has this commenter seen?
I want to know how the Reddit commmenter came to this conclusion.
[quote]This is not a conspiracy theory, this is a sober assessment of the facts that lead to a single plausible conclusion.
I meant to reference R112, not R114.
A single car crash which caused the car to burst into flames. While I will give the govt props for trying to wait long enough to make it seem like an accident, I am appalled by how obvious this is.
They've given themselves permission to assassinate American citizens without charge or trial because we are in an undeclared permanent "war" with unknown groups. We should question every death. Because pretty much every death in America from cancer to a heart attack to an accident could be a murder by our military.
As far as you tin hat screamers go just remember, Vice President Cheney on national television told everyone that a shadow government exists and is in operation. So you think he was kidding?
At that point not to question things is beyond stupid and leaves you unprepared and vulnerable. Question everything, no harm done if you are wrong. Question nothing and you could end up in some horrible circumstances.
And another. How many deaths will have to occur before you idiots wake up. And the deaths of the biology PhDs around 9.11 was never even investigated. They had worked on the genetic sequencing code for HIV, probably proving it was manmade.
If you want to dismiss this as a stupid conspiracy theory go back to R108's video and look at the fireball on a roof of a store at 0:44 in the video. Explain how that reconciles to a car speeding into a tree.
And now the FBI is admitting domestic drone use. Looks like an attempt at intimidating Congress.
For all we know, James Gandolfini could have been murdered because some drug-addicted twink at Booz Allen decided he didn't like his portrayal of the mafia on t.v.
Our military-intelligence complex is that much out of control.
[quote]... and that fire did not look like a gasoline fire
Really? Your credentials, please.
[quote]The car speeding in [R108]'s videa was not a Mercedes but a light colored Nissan.
How were you able to identify the model of a car traveling at high speed, at night, a couple hundred feet away from the camera. Please describe the distinguishing features that led you to classify the car as a Nissan.
[quote] At 0:44 you see a fire on the roof of a building near the scene, suggesting drone attack.
A fire on the roof? Looks more like lighting that doesn't flicker affixed to the face of the building. Occam's Razor, buddy. Commercial buildings have lighting...
The best part about occasions like this is observing the grasping theorists glom on to scant bits of nothing to explain the voices in their heads.
BTW, has Reddit been able to identify the Boston bombers yet?
Good lord I hate conspiracy nuts.
I have no opinion about this - but why the white tarp over the hood?
That is odd
The engine was 100 ft beyond the car crash - it was not Before the car crash. You aren't properly orienting yourself if you viewed the videos.
The car hit a fire hyrdrant before it hit the tree. It either sheered off the top of the hydrant or knocked the top off - maybe the while hydrant - can't really tell.
There is no bomb-like or explosive damage to the car. The front is smashed and mangled to smithereens as if it hit a, well, a tree - but the passenger compartment looks intact - but, of course, on fire. That Mercedes was well built. Hell, even the engine looks really clean & in decent condition - just not attached to the car. A front tire is not blown out or damaged except that it is also detached from the car and angled. Not sure how that could all happen if there had been a real bomb explosion rather than the car just going up in flames upon impact. A witness tells the news guy that it "exploded upon impact." Not before. Who know what she really means.
[quote] And if he wasn't looking up — how did he know he even had this on tape?
He didn't know. After the event his editor or whoever at this job told him to gather all the video. Here for people too lazy to actually read at the site - by:
"Published on Jun 19, 2013
After reviewing yesterday's feeds and reading all the comments about the Michael Hastings crash we thought it would be a good idea for our photographer to get all his raw footage together including the dash-cam footage and put it aside. He mentioned to us in our meeting that he was close to the story because he was working a lead on the Justin Bieber crash on Sunset Blvd.
The lead turned out to be nothing and he then drove to the intersection of Santa Monica & Vista to do some computer work before heading in for the night. When leaving that intersection he said that he noticed he'd made a mistake on what he was working on. (K-9 Deployed YouTube Feed) He then pulled into the gas station at Highland & Santa Monica Blvd to fix the problem. All of our work vehicles are equipped with dash-cams. Out of pure luck......his dash-cam caught a Mercedes Benz at a high rate of speed run the red light travelling south on Highland. Melrose is just a few blocks away and impact took place just seconds after.
He said he did not see the car run the red light. When leaving the parking lot he headed east on Santa Monica Blvd. 30 seconds after leaving the gas station parking lot, the "call" hits the radios. It was a total of 4 minutes from the time the car was caught on dash-cam to when he saw the flames and shortly after arrived on scene and asks about the driver to the homeowner with the water hose."
There are two videos at Youtube by the camera guys outfit, LAnewsLOUDLABS. I am posting both links to the videos - first posted link here is short and the next post I'll post a link to the longer 5 min video.
[quote]BTW, has Reddit been able to identify the Boston bombers yet?
Have the Mainstream Media found Saddam Hussein's vast arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, the one we embarked upon a ruinously expensive war to defend ourselves from?
Here's the second, longer video of the news group's camera man.
While I believe that he was murdered, the light flare at 0:44 in r108's video is not a drone or even fire of any sort. It's the light flare from an very large old-fashioned street lamp in front of the building at 755 N Highland. The driver of the car the dash cam is mounted on had been going west on Waring Avenue, and turned left (South) onto Highland from Waring, which placed him one block north of the intersection of Melrose and Highland.
If you look at 755 N Highland on street view on Google maps you can see the fancy street-lamp. It's very bright at night, and very large, and the glare and reflection from it as seen from a moving car might look like fire.
Which is not to say there wasn't a drone attack on Hastings, but it isn't related to the light flare at 0:44 in r108's video.
I do not believe he was murdered. I believe there was something fishy about Ronnie Chasen's murder, but not this.
[quote]I believe there was something fishy about Ronnie Chasen
Cut her some slack, she was old.
No wheel damage=drone
She was shot Myron.
She was shot five times in a moving car allegedly by a petty thief on a bicycle who didn't have any firearms experience.
[quote] No wheel damage
That's not quite true. There's wheel damage just not bomb or explosives type damage to the driver's side front wheel. It's obviously been in a collision.
So are these drones flown by little green men and are they invisible to the human eye?
All you conspiracy theorists are nuts. There's only one explanation for this. He was supposed to die in the car bomb with his fiance years ago but he somehow escaped. Now the world or cosmos was out of whack and Death came for him to set it right again. You can't cheat Death.
An obvious hit and a warning to all other investigative journalists.
How does one lay low or stay under the radar while driving 100 mph in L.A.?
One doesn't, R154. One's computerized car can be made to drive 100mph even as one slams on its non-responsive brakes and discovers to one's horror that today's cars can be driven remotely.
It's too big for a light flare.
[quote]discovers to one's horror that today's cars can be driven remotely.
Please click on the link at R99 and watch the first few minutes as a security expert describes in detail just how easy this is right now.
Today, you don't need to assassinate someone with a drone (though you'd use one to monitor the vehicle in real time). Just have one of your drone "pilots" at Quantico remotely drive the vehicle at breakneck speeds through L.A, running red lights all the way. The driver wouldn't even have time to dial anyone in the middle of the emergency.
The perfect crime.
I am so glad I bought stock in Reynolds Aluminum. More things like this and I will be able to retire at 40.
R158=elderly dolt who can't understand the country he thought he as living in is a mere theatrical presentation.
The key element they always want to know is "WHO" what sort of American could assassinate another. And now we know. Somebody like Snowden, who had apparently no qualifications for the job he was doing.
Further to R157, two important areas for crash investigators to look at: 1. whether the airbags deployed in the crash or if had been tampered with and 2, was the driver's seatbelt functional?
Everyone's a CSI.
R159 = Drama queen.
R158 is an ignorant person who has no understanding of what our government has become...maybe it has always been the same? Probably.
It's been so long since Diana's "accident" that Prince Philip needed one more trophy on his mantel.
Have any of his colleagues suggested that the accident wasn't an accident?
r165. He was involved with wikileaks. Is it surprising he was being investigated?
This is too messy for Gov work. They know how to make people go away without making a scene like this.
This reeks of some kind of mafia-style hit more than anything else. Maybe he screwed over a contact.
Sorry, but our esteemed leaders often arrange car crashes, IMO.
r171,. Can you cites some examples? I just want to compare it.
Such as the pioneer of a safe verifiable e-voting system, killed in a mysterious truck crash in Nashville.
Such as the guy who fixed the 2004 election for Karl Rove, killed in a single plane accident.
What, exactly, is suspicious of that flight crash, r175?
What was his name, r173?
As a recovering drunk myself. -one word relapse. Much uglier & more common than any of your truly insane conspiracy theories. Amazing to me that the same folks who would laugh at the beliefs of fundies.....believe this shite.
One fatality? Amateur.
Another look at the wreck, and anyone can see this is NOT a normal accident.
The IOActive researcher, a man named Barnaby Jack, was so worried about the implications of his work that he intentionally obscured many of the details in his presentation. As a further precaution, he asked the attendees not to take any pictures—a tough request in a crowd full of smartphones and laptops.
Jack’s work concerned pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (I.C.D.’s). More than three million American heart patients carry around these small, computerized devices, which monitor their heartbeat and deliver jolts of electricity to stabilize it when needed. To check and adjust these devices, many doctors use wand-like wireless programmers that they wave a few inches above patients’ chests—a straightforward and seemingly safe procedure. But now, with a custom-built transmitter, Jack had discovered how to signal an I.C.D. from 30 feet away. It reacted as if the signal were in fact coming from the manufacturer’s official I.C.D. programmer. Instructed by the counterfeit signal, the I.C.D. suddenly spat out 830 volts—an instantly lethal zap. Had the device been connected to an actual human heart, the fatal episode would likely have been blamed on a malfunction.
Let’s face it: Barnaby Jack is a man who is quite literally looking for trouble. This is a guy who had demonstrated the year before how he could wirelessly direct an implantable insulin pump to deliver a lethal dose. The year before that, he hacked an ATM to make it spray out bills like a slot machine. But trouble-making is what he’s paid to do at IOActive, and in that role he has developed a particular respect for the looming power of smartphones. Terrorists have already used cell phones to kill people in the crudest possible way: detonating explosives in Iraq and Afghanistan. But smartphones bring a new elegance to the endeavor and will bring new possibilities for mayhem into the most mundane areas of life.
Got that? A very skilled hacker working with remote control devices to kill. What about the firm he was working for, IOActive?
Damn...from that video, it looks like maybe he was trying to go Back to the Future?
That's why it's suspicious.
He never tried to brake.
The government can hack new cars.
Reporters investigating his death have been threatened.
He was cremated against the wishes of his family.
The leading expert hacker died two days ago at 35.
How anyone can NOT see these things as suspicious (considering the spying and murdering by drone our government conducts every day) is just proof that government schools destroy critical thinking, and libertarians are the only people that actually have a framework for understanding how evil our government really is.
R186, it would be nice if you could post the links to your incredulous claims.
If you knew how to properly use "incredulous" I would.
Neither his family nor his colleagues ever believed in a conspiracy. However, thanks to the usual nutters, the "theories" will live on.
After 14 years of sobriety, journalist Michael Hastings had returned to drugs and had traces of amphetamine and marijuana in his system when he drove his car into a tree hours after he was seen passed out in his home, according to an autopsy report released Tuesday.
Coroner's investigators said the drugs likely did not contribute to the June crash, which they classified as an accident. But their use by the 33-year-old Hastings, coupled with family accounts to investigators, shed new light on the death of the award-winning journalist whose reporting led to the resignation of a top American general.
The autopsy report came two months after Hastings' death on a deserted Los Angeles street fueled conspiracy theories and prompted the FBI to release an unusual statement that it had not been investigating him.
Investigators said the crash occurred a day after Hastings returned from New York, where his wife was living at the time, and hours before a brother was due to join another family member in urging Hastings to go to detox. Family members told investigators that Hastings had been using the hallucinogenic DMT recently, though the drug was not detected in a blood test after the crash.
The names of family members who spoke to investigators were redacted in the report.
The report said a family member had last seen Hastings passed out at home about three hours before the crash. The person said Hastings had been smoking marijuana the night before the crash.
Investigators said Hastings was found after the crash with a medicinal marijuana identity card in his wallet, and that the drug apparently was used to ease post-traumatic stress disorder after his assignments in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Hastings died instantly of massive blunt force trauma when he apparently lost control of his 2013 silver Mercedes while traveling at high speed and hit a tree in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles. The crash occurred at about 4:20 a.m. and was caught on at least one video camera that showed Hastings driving rapidly through a red light.
Family members told investigators that Hastings had been "sober" for 14 years but started to use drugs again over the past month. He had moved a couple months ago from New York to California and continued his work as a writer for BuzzFeed.
Toxicology results showed small amounts of amphetamine in his blood, which indicated he had possibly taken methamphetamine many hours before his death. Traces of marijuana were also present, indicating he'd taken it hours earlier.
The report also noted that Hastings had hit a pole while driving several years ago and was possibly misusing Ritalin at the time. He was later institutionalized for rehabilitative care.
A family member told investigators Hastings didn't have a history of suicide attempts but believed he was invincible and could jump off a balcony and be fine.
Hastings won a 2010 George Polk Award for his Rolling Stone magazine cover story "The Runaway General," which led to the resignation of U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal as U.S. commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan.
[quote]He was cremated against the wishes of his family.
I believe he was cremated at the scene...
Two simple questions I have yet to see answered (they may be in the coroner's report but that hasn't been published):
1. did the airbags deploy?
2: were the seatbelts functional?
Perhaps the enormous fire, which some people (including Mercedes) have labelled "unusual" to say the least, destroyed any useful forensic evidence?
Those crash (and fire) investigators often reconstruct these kind of events in amazing detail. There has never been any timeline given for his movements around the time of the crash. Why was he on the road at that hour anyway? Had he spoken to anyone?
It seems like they're trying to imply it was suicide now. Hmmm...
The coroner actually identified his body through [italic]fingerprints[/italic]. I, too, would have thought he'd be so incinerated that this isn't possible. Or maybe his carbonized form retained the ridges and whorls of his fingerprints?
"Neither his family nor his colleagues ever believed in a conspiracy."
Obvious disinformation, implying knowledge the writer certainly doesn't have because the writer could not list any of Michael Hastings' friends or family.
They have so little respect for our intelligence they don't even try to hide what they're doing any more. Our democracy was lost years ago and only some serious Egypt style action will bring it back.
Mad or made mad, Michael Hastings was clearly spooked. LA Weekly reports:
Hastings was intensely interested in government surveillance of journalists. In May, the story broke about the Department of Justice obtaining the phone records of Associated Press reporters. A couple weeks later, Edward Snowden's revelations about the National Security Agency's massive surveillance program became public. Hastings was convinced he was a target.
His behavior grew increasingly erratic. Helicopters often circle over the hills, but Hastings believed there were more of them around whenever he was at home, keeping an eye on him. He came to believe his Mercedes was being tampered with. "Nothing I could say could console him," [his neighbor] Thigpen says.
One night in June, he came to Thigpen's apartment after midnight and urgently asked to borrow her Volvo. He said he was afraid to drive his own car. She declined, telling him her car was having mechanical problems.
"He was scared, and he wanted to leave town," she says.
The next day, around 11:15 a.m., she got a call from her landlord, who told her Hastings had died early that morning. His car had crashed into a palm tree at 75 mph and exploded in a ball of fire.