Nothing to see here. Michael Hastings just drove his car into a palm tree in L.A. this morning. At 4:25 AM. His body was burned beyond recognition. (Beyond recognition????) Just a coincidence, given the headlines this week, I'm sure. What stories was he working on? Nothing to see here. If only his call records and emails existed somewhere, we might have a clue as to whether foul play was involved. Then again, those palm trees jump out of nowhere sometimes. Move along, move along.
Update: Hasting's pseudonym on Gawker was K. Eric Walters. His last Gawker post was in 2005.
Update: Below is a video of Michael Hastings from a month ago, May 20th, on The Young Turks.
At the very beginning of the clip, Hastings says,
"The Obama administration has clearly declared war on the press. It has declared war on investigative journalists and our sources.... I think the only recourse to this kind of behavior by the government is to say back to the government, 'We declare war on you.' And from this point forward, we should no longer as a media as a whole cooperate in any manner with the government in terms of when we're doing national security stories."
Update, 6/19/2013, 6:40 PM:
I wrote the first paragraph to this post within about the first 60 seconds after I heard the news, not really knowing where it would lead. Is this tinfoil hat, false flag, etc. time? Who knows. But here's what's coming out of the grapevine that is social media.
WikiLeaks tweeted just about half an hour ago that Michael Hastings contacted their lawyer "Jennifer Robinson a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him." But beyond that, they're keeping mum, at least for now.
Here's a picture of the engine that was dropped?/thrown? from the car about 40+ yards from the final location car from the LoudLabs news video.
Update, 9:40 PM: Various anonymous commenters around the web have said that the Mercedes engine is designed to fall out of the car in the case of an accident. Is that likely in this case? What would the car have had to hit on its way to the tree to cause the engine to fall out?
Update, 6/22/2013: "Subject: FBI investigation, re:NSA"
Local LA news station KTLA received an exclusive copy of an email sent by Michael Hastings Monday afternoon in which he stated that the "Feds" were interviewing his "close friends and associates." The email was blind-copied by Hastings to US Staff Sgt. Joseph Biggs, who in turn provided the email to KTLA. Perhaps those close friends and associates who were being questioned will come forward soon and reveal why the FBI was questioning them.
Update, 6/22/2013, 7:00 PM: The public editor for elitist ass-kisser, aka, the New York Times offers a weak apology for not recognizing Michael Hastings' "adversarial spirit."
Update, 6/26/2013, 4:00 PM: Richard Clarke told The Huffington Post yesterday that Michael Hastings' car crash is "consistent with a car cyber attack." Clarke, the former U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism and author of the book Cyber War, said,
"I'm not a conspiracy guy. In fact, I've spent most of my life knocking down conspiracy theories. But my rule has always been you don't knock down a conspiracy theory until you can prove it [wrong]. And in the case of Michael Hastings, what evidence is available publicly is consistent with a car cyber attack. And the problem with that is you can't prove it."
Clarke said the Los Angeles Police Department likely wouldn't have the expertise to trace such an attack. "I think you'd probably need the very best of the U.S. government intelligence or law enforcement officials to discover it."
Update, 6/27/2013: Sgt. Joseph Biggs says Michael Hastings drove like a "grandma"
Sgt. Joseph Biggs, the friend of Michael Hastings who previously shared the email in which Hastings wrote that he was being investigated by the FBI, told Fox News that it was out of character for Hastings to be driving as fast and recklessly as it seemed he was doing the night of his fatal car crash. In addition, Sgt. Biggs expressed skepticism at the idea that the crash was truly an accident. In the Fox News video, Sgt. Biggs said,
“His friends and family that know him, everyone says he drives like a grandma, so that right there doesn’t seem like something he would be doing,.. there’s no way that he’d be acting erratic like that and driving out of control,” said Biggs, adding that “things don’t add up, there’s a lot of questions that need to be answered.”
A good question that a reporter or two could ask is whether Hastings had many speeding tickets or fender-benders on his driving record. Also, where was he coming from and where was he headed at the time of the crash?
Also, Michael Hastings' wife Elise Jordan took to Twitter to say that Hastings was not working on a story about Jill Kelly.