Tag Archives | Michael Hastings

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey Investigating Car Hacking

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 6.12.56 AMSenator Ed Markey is trying to determine the extent to which modern cars are vulnerable to attacks by hackers.

Imagine someone setting off an airbag in a car by tricking the sensors into believing it had come to a sudden stop. Or driving a car into oncoming traffic. Or just stealing location data.

“I write to request information regarding your company’s protections against the threat of cyberattacks or unwarranted invasions of privacy related to the integration of wireless, navigation and other technologies into and with automobiles,” wrote Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass, in a letter to Daniel Akerson, CEO of General Motors, earlier in December. Markey sent similar letters to 19 other major car manufacturers, asking about the defenses car electronics contain against these intrusions.

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Who Killed Michael Hastings?

MichaelHastingsBenjamin Wallace asks if Michael Hastings, the young war correspondent whose car exploded in Los Angeles one night, “couldn’t possibly have died accidentally, could he?” at New York Magazine:

At the end of his life, Michael Hastings, like many of the progressive journalists he counted among his friends, felt besieged by an overreaching government. Hastings was living in Los Angeles, and at a Beverly Hills theater in April, he took part in a panel discussion about the documentary War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and the National Security State. Interviewed in May on The Young Turks, a talk show on Current TV, Hastings railed against the Obama administration, which “has clearly declared war on the press”; the only recourse, he said, was for the press to respond: “We declare war on you.” On May 31, he dashed off an urgent tweet: “first they came for manning. Then Assange. Then fox.

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Michael Hastings Feared That Someone Had Tampered With His Car

indexFrom Salon:

War correspondent Michael Hastings, who died in a car crash in April, had reportedly become concerned that his car had been tampered with in the days leading up to his death, and asked friend Jordanna Thigpen to borrow hers, according to new profile in the LA Weekly.

From the report:

Helicopters often circle over the hills, but Hastings believed there were more of them around whenever he was at home, keeping an eye on him. He came to believe his Mercedes was being tampered with. “Nothing I could say could console him,” Thigpen says.

One night in June, he came to Thigpen’s apartment after midnight and urgently asked to borrow her Volvo. He said he was afraid to drive his own car. She declined, telling him her car was having mechanical problems.

“He was scared, and he wanted to leave town,” she says.

The next day, around 11:15 a.m., she got a call from her landlord, who told her Hastings had died early that morning.

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Hastings Family Member Says ‘Unauthorized Cremation’ Story Untrue

MichaelHastingsWhoWhatWhy’s Russ Baker has done some sleuthing into the story that the body of the late Michael Hastings was cremated without the permission of his family. His conclusion is that this isn’t true.

WhoWhatWhy:

A recent count showed 475,000 results for “Hastings cremated” and 357,000 for “Hastings cremation.” The top results all reported that the family did not want the cremation. The clear implication was that this was proof of a cover-up – that “the authorities” had rushed to dispose of the body in a way that would make further inquiries, such as an autopsy, impossible.

But a family member told WhoWhatWhy, “It was our wish to have Michael’s remains cremated.” In fact, this family member said the cremation came about at the family’s specific request—and only after an autopsy and toxicology tests, whose results are pending.

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CIA Director Was Michael Hastings’ Next Target

Hastings-carcrashBefore dying in what many people consider an incredibly suspicious car “accident”, Michael Hastings had CIA Director John Brennan in his sights.

Via San Diego 6:

This week Elise Jordan, wife of famed journalist Michael Hastings, who recently died under suspicious circumstances, corroborated this reporter’s sources that CIA Director, John Brennan was Hastings next exposé project.

Last month a source provided San Diego 6 News with an alarming email hacked from super secret CIA contractor Stratfor’s President Fred Burton. The email (link here) was posted on WikiLeaks and alleged that then Obama counter-terrorism Czar Brennan, was in charge of the government’s continued crackdown or witch-hunt on investigative journalists.

After providing the Stratfor email to the CIA for comment, the spymaster’s spokesperson responded in lightning speed. Two emails were received; one acknowledging Hastings was working on a CIA story and the other said, “Without commenting on information disseminated by WikiLeaks, any suggestion that Director Brennan has ever attempted to infringe on constitutionally-protected press freedoms is offensive and baseless.”

The emails also prompted a phone from CIA media spokesman Todd Ebitz.

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Video Released Of Michael Hastings’ Mysterious Car Crash

It’s hard to figure whether this adds to or takes away from conspiracy theories concerning the dramatic and puzzling tragedy. Via LAist:

The grainy video comes from a surveillance camera outside Pizzeria Mozza on Highland Avenue and Melrose not far from the crash site. Michael Krikorian, a writer and the boyfriend of Mozza’s owner Nancy Silverton, turned the video over to LAPD not long after the crash but he only released the video publicly yesterday.

It’s clear from the video that Hastings’ Mercedes-Benz coupe was going incredibly fast. It’s hard to tell, but it look like his brake lights flicker shortly before the crash. The car bursts into flames almost instantly. The engine was found 200 feet from the scene of the crash.

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Relatives Of Michael Hastings Hire Private Investigator After His Remains Were Cremated Without Permission

Further fuel for conspiracy theories? San Diego 6 News reports that the body of journalist Michael Hastings, who died last month in a fiery car crash in Los Angeles, was cremated against his family’s wishes, destroying any evidence (of sobriety, of drug or alcohol use, or otherwise) in his body at the time of death, as the circumstances of the accident that killed him remain unclear:

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WikiLeaks Says Michael Hastings Contacted It Just before His Death. Are They Implying He Was Murdered?

michael_hastings_a_pTim Stanley writes at the Telegraph:

WikiLeaks just threw some gasoline onto the conspiracy fire. On Wednesday night, they Tweeted: “Michael Hastings contacted WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him.”

What exactly are they trying to say?

Michael Hastings was a much admired freelance journalist who covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and helped to bring down General Stanley McChrystal. He was tragically killed this week in a car crash in Los Angeles, after his car hit a tree. Hastings is believed to have been alone in the vehicle.

Hastings has certainly been in contact with WikiLeaks before. In 2012 he wrote a profile of Julian Assange for Rolling Stone in which he asked tough questions – but the overall tone is sympathetic. Hastings appeared willing to accept that the US government might have targeted Assange in an effort to discredit him; the interview also highlights the failure of mainstream media outlets to expose mistakes made by the US military and generally permits Assange to push his side of the story.

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Conspiracy Theories Surrounding Journalist Michael Hastings’s Death Grow

michael hastingsAcclaimed reporter Michael Hastings died tragically when his car crashed and burst into flames over a week ago. The mysterious accident has already led to talk of the conspiracy theory variety, as Hastings had been investigating stories related to the CIA and NSA prior to his death. Now WikiLeaks has revealed that Hastings contacted them hours before he died, and KTLA Los Angeles adds that on that day Hastings sent a mass email to associates saying that he was being investigated by the “Feds”, was “onto a big story”, would be going “off the radar for a bit”:

The crash that killed journalist Michael Hastings was ruled an accident by police, but conspiracy theories continued to circulate on Friday. Hastings, 33, was killed in a fiery solo-vehicle crash in Hancock Park early Tuesday morning.

He was best known for a 2010 Rolling Stone article that led to the resignation of Gen.

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Witness to Michael Hastings Car Crash Shares His Story

The Young Turks has an interview with the sole witness to journalist Michael Hastings’ fatal car crash. Hastings had told associates that he was working on a huge story before he died and in a mass email said that the feds were questioning his friends. Should we start a pool on how long it’ll be before Mr. Rubalcava suffers a motor-vehicular “accident” of his own?

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