Michael Hastings, the 33-year old investigative reporter whose reporting from Afghanistan for Rolling Stone magazine ended the career of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the supreme commander in the American-led war in Afghanistan, after McChrystal shared his candid criticism of the Obama administration, died in fiery, single car crash in Hollywood early Tuesday morning.
LA Weekly reports that Hastings, who has reported extensively on the CIA, was believed to be working on a new story for Buzzfeed about the CIA when his late model Mercedes inexplicably crossed the median, smashed into a tree and burst into flames. If you look at the YouTube video below, you will notice at about the 5:00 mark an image of what appears to be the car's engine much further down the street from where Hasting's car impacted a tree, which seems highly out of place.
Hastings' death is remarkably similar to the death of lobbyist Ashley Turton, a Washington lobbyist whose car inexplicably crashed in the garage at her home, burst into flames and burned her alive. Investigators speculated that Turton, who was said to be under the influence of alcohol, was believed to have lost consciousness when her low speed collision led to the fiery explosion of her late model BMW. Turton was a former Hill staffer for U.S. Rep. Rose DeLauro, who was married to White House staffer Dan Turton. Her employer, Progress Energy, was in the midst of a major merger with Duke Energy at the time of her death.
Interestingly, the person who uploaded the video to YouTube from an obscure source, LoudLabs News, makes the point of showing a Miller Lite beer bottle laying in the median a short distance from Hastings' car. The person taking the video footage seems anxious to put words in the mouths of possible witnesses as to how the crash occurred. LoudLab News was founded by a man named Scott Pacheco in 2012. The videographer arrived at the crash scene well before emergency responders.
UPDATE: The last piece Hastings wrote was titled, "Why Democrats Love To Spy on Americans":
Glenn Greenwald’s exposure of the NSA’s massive domestic spy program has revealed the entire caste of current Democratic leaders as a gang of civil liberty opportunists, whose true passion, it seems, was in trolling George W. Bush for eight years on matters of national security.
“Everyone should just calm down,” Senator Harry Reid said yesterday, inhaling slowly.
That’s right: don’t panic.
The very topic of Democratic two-facedness on civil liberties is one of the most important issues that Greenwald has covered. Many of those Dems — including the sitting President Barack Obama, Senator Carl Levin, and Sec. State John Kerry — have now become the stewards and enhancers of programs that appear to dwarf any of the spying scandals that broke during the Bush years, the very same scandals they used as wedge issues to win elections in the Congressional elections 2006 and the presidential primary of 2007-2008 . . .
The state of affairs, in other words, is so grave that two sitting Senators went as close as they could to violating their unconstitutional security oaths in order to warn the country of information that otherwise would not have been declassified until April of 2038, according to the Verizon court order obtained by Greenwald.
Now, we’re about to see if the Obama administration’s version of the national security state will begin to eat itself.
Unsurprisingly, the White House has dug in, calling their North Korea-esque tools “essential” to stop terrorism, and loathe to give up the political edge they’ve seized for Democrats on national security issues under Obama’s leadership. The AP spying scandal — which the administration attempted to downplay at the time, even appointing Eric Holder to lead his own investigation into himself —was one of the unexpected consequences of one of two leak investigations that Obama ordered during the 2012 campaign . . .
In short: any so-called credible DOJ/FBI leak investigation, by its very nature, would have to involve the Obama administration invasively using the very surveillance and data techniques it is attempting to hide in order to snoop on a few Democratic Senators and more media outlets, including one based overseas.
Outside of Washington, D.C., the frustration that Wyden and Udall have felt has been exponentially magnified. Transparency supporters, whistleblowers, and investigative reporters, especially those writers who have aggressively pursued the connections between the corporate defense industry and federal and local authorities involved in domestic surveillance, have been viciously attacked by the Obama administration and its allies in the FBI and DOJ . . .
The attitude the Obama administration has toward Manning is revealing. What do they think of him? “Fuck Bradely Manning,” as one White House official put it to me last year during the campaign.
Screw Manning? Lol, screw us.
Perhaps more information will soon be forthcoming.Former NSA employee Wayne Madsen adds:
Witness says pieces of car flying off car before it burst into flames. Engine found 50 yards from the wreckage. Accident? And the LAPD has such an "excellent" track record in investigating high visibility deaths. Hastings's first book, I Lost My Love in Baghdad, was about his relationship with a woman who worked for Air America. The late author Phil Marshall was associated with people who worked for Air America. Oh, it's all just a big coincidence.
A local TV news report quotes witnesses as saying they heard what sounded like a bomb exploding before the crash. Movie producer Gary Grossman, an area resident on the scene, said he couldn't have "written a scene like this for a movie." Gee, I wonder why the NSA's surveillance didn't prevent this terrorist attack?