WikiLeaks: Michael Hastings Said He Was Being Investigated By FBI Hours Before His Death

by
Owen Poindexter
Many tributes and speculation about foul play have followed the tragic death of Michael Hastings.
Michael Hastings, a 33 year-old journalist who covered the Afghanistan war, the CIA and the Defense Department, among other topics, died after 4a.m. on Tuesday when his car sped head first into a tree on an empty road in L.A. Hastings was best known for the story that took down Gen. Stanley McChrystal by exposing his lack of respect for everyone above him in the chain of command, most notably President Obama. He worked for Buzzfeed, and was investigating the CIA at the time of his death. Tributes and simple mourning have cropped up across the media since this morning. Many are speculating about foul play, and WikiLeaks' latest revelation (below) will only add fuel to that fire.

Buzzfeed's Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith wrote this moving tribute, celebrating Hastings' talent, his approach, and even the disagreements that he and Smith had:

"Michael Hastings was really only interested in writing stories someone didn’t want him to write — often his subjects; occasionally his editor. While there is no template for a great reporter, he was one for reasons that were intrinsic to who he was: ambitious, skeptical of power and conventional wisdom, and incredibly brave. And he was warm and honest in a way that left him many unlikely friends among people you’d expect to hate him."
 

The Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi didn't know Hastings well, but he knew Hastings' work, and he wrote a sort of meditation from one news guy to another:

"I didn't know Michael Hastings very well, but one thing about him was always obvious – he was born to be in the news business, he loved it, he was made for it. He wrote about Iraq and Afghanistan as places he had always been destined to visit. By that I mean not those countries particularly, but those places as global hot spots, the trouble zones, the places where the news happened. "I am finally here," is how he described reaching Baghdad, and that was the lead-in to the school assembly story. Most people would describe Baghdad as a place one finally leaves. But Hastings, his whole life, he wanted to go to those places, he ached to do this job. He wanted to be one of those people who 'knew.'"
 

Hastings' ten tips for becoming a journalist is making the rounds today. They are worth a look and speak to who he was, and how he approached his craft. Especially this one:
 
"9) Mainly you really have to love writing and reporting. Like it's more important to you than anything else in your life--family, friends, social life, whatever."
As one would expect from an out-of-nowhere death with few witnesses of a prominent journalist looking into the CIA, some suspect foul play.

Reddit's RIP Michael Hasting's page has many people speculating about how such a crash might have been manufactured. Twitter, unsurprisingly, is rife with speculation:

And lastly, this ominous note from WikiLeaks:

 

 

 

Carbonated.TV