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“Highly Redacted” Documents Confirm Michael Hastings Under FBI Investigation

FBI maintains files to “memorialize controversial reporting”

Julie Wilson
Infowars.com
September 10, 2013

Despite the FBI’s denial they were investigating Michael Hastings, newly released “heavily redacted” documents on the journalist prove otherwise. Al-Jazeera and FOIA research specialist, Ryan Shapiro, acquired the documents after he and journalist Jason Leopold filed a lawsuit against the FBI for neglecting to respond to their FOIA requests within the required 20 work day period.
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Hastings suspiciously died when his Mercedes C250 Coupe reportedly crashed into a palm tree traveling 75 mph in Los Angeles last June. Just fifteen hours before his death, the 33-year old sent an email to a handful of close friends revealing he believed the FBI was after him for a story he was working on.

A few days after his death, WikiLeaks tweeted that Hastings contacted WikiLeaks’ lawyer Jennifer Robinson claiming the FBI was investigating him.

Prior to his death, Hastings was investigating CIA Director John Brennan and was set to release his report in Rolling Stone magazine in the following weeks. Infowars picked up a report from San Diego 6 News that cited a Stratfor email hacked by Wikileaks which described Brennan as being “behind the witch hunts of investigative journalists learning information from inside the beltway sources.”

The FBI’s investigation is so secret, even the title of the case file was withheld from the FOIA request. FBI documents reveal the agency considers Hastings’ work to be “highly sensitive.”

The FBI operated under exemptions when it redacted entire parts of the file, claiming it necessary to “protect national security.” The agency reportedly marked parts with “S” for secret and “Per Army” to conceal components of the file.

The documents also reveal the FBI opened a file that contained “unclassified media articles” in June 2012 in order to “memorialize controversial reporting by Rolling Stone magazine on June 7, 2012.”

Articles in the file included Hastings’ report entitled “America’s Last Prisoner of War,” a story about a 27-year old US soldier who was captured by the Taliban in 2009 while on deployment in Afghanistan. The soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, is still believed to be in captivity, according to Al-Jazeera.

The documents prompted a response from Rolling Stone’s managing editor, Will Dana, who admits he’s “concerned” and doesn’t understand the FBI’s interest in Hastings’ report.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said on June 21, “At no time was Michael Hastings under investigation by the FBI.” She stands by her statement claiming just because Hastings was referenced in an FBI file, does not mean he was the “subject” of an investigation.

A letter sent with the redacted documents said:

“A search of the FBI Headquarters electronic surveillance indices has been conducted, and no responsive record which indicates that Michael Hastings has ever been the target of electronic surveillance was located.”

Click here for the FBI’s redacted documents.

Police, Firefighters Ordered Not To Speak About Michael Hastings Crash

LAPD refuses to release police report to journalists

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
July 9, 2013

Police and firefighters in Los Angeles have been ordered not to speak to the media about the deadly crash involving Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings, fueling speculation that some form of cover-up could be underway.

San Diego 6 journalist Kimberly Dvorak says she was unable to obtain the police report concerning the crash despite the fact that the LAPD already ruled out “foul play” days after the incident.

A gag order has also been placed on cops and firefighters who both responded to and investigated the crash, which occurred in the early hours of June 18 in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

“When you go to the LA police department and you go to the fire department….they all said they couldn’t comment and some of them said they were told not to comment on this story,” said Dvorak.

The journalist added that she talked to “military personnel” who commented that the inferno which consumed Hastings’ Mercedes was an extremely hot fire that “is not something you normally see with a car like this,” and that Mercedes itself was waiting to hear from the LAPD but has not been contacted.

Dvorak also noted that the engine from Hastings’ vehicle was found 150 feet behind the car, contradicting testimony from two university physics professors who said that “the engine would go with the forward velocity of the (vehicle).”

HIghlighting the absence of skid marks on the road, Dvorak said she was inclined to surmise that the car either malfunctioned or “there was something on the car that allowed that to trigger and blow up,” noting that Mercedes denied their vehicle could have exploded in the manner seen in the incident that killed Hastings.

Dvorak also mentioned two separate academic studies out of the University of Washington and the University of California, San Diego which both detail how modern cars can easily be hacked and remote controlled, a premise also raised by former counter-terror czar Richard Clarke, who told the Huffington Post that the fatal crash of Hastings’ Mercedes C250 Coupe was “consistent with a car cyber attack.”

As we previously reported, questions surrounding Hastings’ untimely death have emerged primarily because the journalist was working on “the biggest story yet” about the CIA before he was killed.

The writer also sent out an email 15 hours before his car crash stating he was “onto a big story” and needed “to go off the rada[r] for a bit.”

According to colleagues, Hastings was “incredibly tense and very worried, and was concerned that the government was looking in on his material,” and also a “nervous wreck” in response to the surveillance of journalists revealed by the AP phone tapping scandal and the NSA PRISM scandal.

After Wikileaks reported that Hastings had contacted them a few hours before his death complaining that he was under FBI investigation, other friends confirmed that the journalist was “very paranoid” about the feds watching him.

Another close friend of Hastings, Staff Sergeant Joseph Biggs, told Fox News that Hastings “drove like a grandma” and that it was totally out of character for him to be speeding in the early hours of the morning.

Hastings had made numerous powerful enemies as a result of his exposure of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal in 2010, receiving several death threats in the process.

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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a host for Infowars Nightly News.

This article was posted: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 5:49 am

Evidence Indicates Michael Hastings Was Assassinated

Rolling Stone journalist made enemies in FBI, CIA

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
June 20, 2013

The revelation that Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings was working on a story about the CIA before his death and had contacted a Wikileaks lawyer about being under investigation by the FBI hours before his car exploded into flames has bolstered increasingly valid claims that the 33-year-old was assassinated.

Hastings died early Tuesday morning in Hollywood when his car allegedly hit a tree at high speed. The Los Angeles Coroner’s office has not yet been able to officially identify the body as Hastings because it is so badly burned.

Skeptics of the official narrative have highlighted eyewitness accounts which state that Hastings’ Mercedes “exploded”.

Images of the vehicle appear to show more damage to the rear, around the area of the fuel tank, than the front, leading to speculation that a car bomb which ignited the fuel could have been responsible for the incident.

“No matter how you slice this particular pie, a Mercedes is not just going to explode into flames without a little assistance,” writes freelance journalist Jim Stone. “Car fires in new cars happen for three main reasons — running the engine out of oil, or running the engine out of coolant, or after an absolutely huge car mangling accident, having the hot side of the battery short out against the frame before it reaches the fuse panel. And for all 3 of those normal reasons, which account for virtually all car fires in modern cars, the fire would have started in the engine compartment, progressed slowly, and scorched the hell out of the paint before ever reaching the gas tank. That clean paint is the be all tell all, Michael Hastings was murdered, and the rest is detail.”

Stone also questions why a white sheet has been draped over the vehicle in the image below.

The questions surrounding the precise nature of the “accident” that killed Hastings are given more weight by the fact that the journalist had made enemies within both the FBI and the CIA.

“Michael Hastings contacted WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him,” the official Wikileaks Twitter account announced yesterday.

Hastings “had the Central Intelligence Agency in his sights” and was set to release an article exposing the agency, according to L.A. Weekly.

The Obama administration and the Justice Department have openly claimed the authority to assassinate American citizens anywhere in the world if they are deemed a national security threat. A number of American citizens have already been killed as a result of this policy. Is it really that crazy to suggest that Michael Hastings was merely the latest victim of this doctrine?

The New York Daily News highlights the fact that Hastings had received multiple death threats before his demise.

Following his role in bringing down Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, Hastings was told by a McChrystal staffer, “We’ll hunt you down and kill you if we don’t like what you write.”

“Whenever I’d been reporting around groups of dudes whose job it was to kill people, one of them would usually mention that they were going to kill me,” said Hastings.

Hastings was renowned for being “only interested in writing stories someone didn’t want him to write — often his subjects,” according to Buzzflash editor Ben Smith, adding, “He knew that there are certain truths that nobody has an interest in speaking, ones that will make you both your subjects and their enemies uncomfortable. They’re stories that don’t get told because nobody in power has much of an interest in telling them.”

The fact that Hastings had made a plethora of enemies as a result of his hard-hitting investigative journalism has prompted a deluge of online comment speculating that the writer’s “car crash” was no accident.

“Hastings’ wreck might make sense on the freeway, but I doubt he’d be dumb enough to go 100 mph on Highland. He’s not some dumb college kid,” said one commenter on a local news site.

“A warning to other journalists to not dig too deep,” another Reddit user wrote. “Stick with the party line if you want a long, happy life.”

If this was an isolated incident then there wouldn’t be so many questions swirling about Hastings’ death. However, he’s certainly not the first individual to go up against the military-industrial complex and wind up in a coffin.

Other journalists who have proven to be a thorn in the side of the establishment have met the same fate, from Andrew Breitbart who was about to release damaging pre-election information about Barack Obama before he collapsed and died in strange circumstances, to Gary Webb, the Pullitzer prize-winning author who exposed the CIA’s involvement in the drug trade and subsequently committed “suicide” after apparently shooting himself in the head – twice.

More recently, Ibragim Todashev, friend of accused Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnev, was shot in the head six times by the FBI, who initially claimed Todashev was armed but later had to admit this was a lie. Speculation has raged that Todashev was assassinated because he had knowledge about the Boston bombings which the feds didn’t want to see the light of public scrutiny.

Despite his actions, the murder of Christopher Dorner, who was burned to death by LAPD officers while hiding inside a cabin, shows that authorities will not hesitate to resort to such methods.

It’s virtually inevitable that the true cause of Michael Hastings death will never be known and that the mainstream media will demonize anyone who questions the official narrative as a conspiracy theorist. Meanwhile, journalists and others who pose a threat to the military-industrial complex will continue to die in bizarre “accidents” that stink of foul play.

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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a host for Infowars Nightly News.

This article was posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 12:47 pm

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