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Michael Hastings

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Michael Hastings (1980–2013) was a reporter for Buzzfeed and contributing editor for Rolling Stone, whose coverage included the CIA, NSA, United States Military, drones, and presidential politics, among other topics. His reporting of General Stanley McChrystal's lack of feelings of respect for Barack Obama got McChrystal fired by Obama. He also brought to light a document released by WikiLeaks's dump of Stratfor e-mails that they received from Anonymous. The document, authored by the Department of Homeland Security revealed that the DHS was spying on the Occupy movement nationally.

On June 7, 2013, just a few days after the initial leaking of the NSA/GCHQ surveillance programs, Michael Hastings published a condemnation of the Obama administration, the Department of Justice, and Congressional Dems for matching the Bush administration's contempt for the Constitution. Although it was rather blunt and sober, it was not entirely unlike other condemnations surrounding the issue, even in its bluntness and sobriety.

On June 17, Hastings declared that he believed he was being investigated by the FBI and also that he was onto a big story.[1]

Death[edit]

Early in the morning on June 18, 2013, the day after Hastings stated that he might be under FBI investigation, Hastings was killed in a reportedly suspicious car accident in Los Angeles. The LAPD and the coroner both declared that there was no evidence of foul play.

The timing and circumstances of his death aroused suspicions that he may have been killed by someone in the government, if not the government itself, considering his power as an investigative journalist (he did, through his reporting, get McChrystal fired, afterall). So far, no concrete evidence has corroborated these suspicions, so they can currently be understood as conspiracy theories.

The story continues[edit]

A few months later, in September, Al Jazeera discovered via FOIA request that Hastings was indeed correct in believing that he was under investigation by the FBI.[2] From reading what's not redacted in the document, it would appear that the FBI were either investigating him because they did not like his investigative reporting or because he came to prefer Pakistan to the United States as a place to live in the future (it goes without saying that neither possibility justifies the FBI's decision to spy on him). Oh, and big surprise, they were reading his e-mail.

Bibliography[edit]

  • I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story, published in 2008 by Scribner Book Company, about the death of his fiancée, Andrea Parhamovich
  • The Operators, published in 2012 by Plume, in which we learn that one of Gen. McChrystal's staffers threatened to kill Hastings

References[edit]