Award-winning war reporter Michael Hastings died recently in a car crash. He was said to have been driving his Lexus over 100 mph at Melrose and Highland in Los Angeles. The car exploded into flames and it took DNA to make the identification.
Hastings’ family and others aren’t buying the story. The 33 year old was an inarguable success at his work; one award-winning story resulted in the firing of Stanley MacChrystal, then the commanding general in Afghanistan. Another forced General David Petraeus, the successor, to retire. Hastings was not favored by the U.S. government.
Friends and family said he was a very unlikely suicide and crashing a car at such speeds in a major intersection in a major city seems an unlikely way to go about killing oneself. Shortly before the crash, Hastings had tweeted that he was being investigated by the FBI and that he was working on a really big story.
His body was burned beyond recognition; other than the DNA identification, little has been published about the details of his death. That has fueled the tinfoil hat crowd; there’s no doubt Hastings had offended some powerful people as well as the American government. And the accumulating silence from local and Federal governments doesn’t reduce the conspiracy theorists’ interest in the case. The FBI has denied that it was investigating Hastings.
Do I believe Hastings was assassinated? Not particularly; neither do I believe that he wasn’t. I don’t know; I wasn’t there. Just as I don’t know whether Zimmerman was justified in shooting Martin; I wasn’t there, either. But in the case of Hastings, there are things that suggest that possibility and there seem no things that suggest suicide or that he was just joyriding at such speeds in a normally very busy metropolitan intersection. And I would love to know more about the “big story’ he was working on when he died. That seems unlikely, now.
There’s another story just out: it’s about car software. Seems that the software in your car’s little computer (they all have them now) can be hacked . A couple of software security experts took a reporter on a drive to show off the way it works.
They’d already hacked a Toyota Prius and a Ford Escort. And as the impressed reporter wrote of it: they could, remotely blow the horn, blink the lights, disable the steering and floor the accelerator, using a cell phone or an IPad. Hmnnn… Per the story, Toyota denied that it was possible; Ford said they’d fix it.
These are the sort of facts that make it so difficult to discard and discredit the conspiracy folk. Add to that, our elected President’s attorney has said in court that the Prez claims the right to kill anybody he decides is a threat and does so regularly, using drones. He also decides what a threat consists of, all without oversight. If the U.s. Prez takes that position in open court, should we suppose that nobody else does, perhaps more privately?
So, we know that the Mafia has been assassinating the opposition and threats it perceives for a long time. We know too, that the President offs those he chooses as well. And we know his spooks snoop on not just suspects, but everybody and lie about it until they’re outed by a whistleblower who’s had to go to Russia to escape some very grim retribution. If he’s in fact, escaped it.
We know one more thing, too. Slate reports for us: The Amash Amendment to limit NSA snooping on non-suspect Americans went down in the Republican-controlled House. A majority of Democrats voted for it; a majority of Republicans voted against it. So the NSA is still reading your mail and collecting your affairs without a warrant,, thanks to the GOP.
Seems that both parties want us…or anyway, some of us… to believe they’re in our corner, protecting us from the other guys. But it looks like they’re really together on boosting government power, just handing off to the other party when it works better. Which to me, means they’re both for themselves, not for us. And maybe those conspiracy theorists aren’t as far out as our politicians want us to think? Hmnn… know any good suppliers of tinfoil hats?