Car Hacking Report Refuels Concerns About Michael Hastings Crash

The wreckage of the car crash that killed journalist Michael Hastings.

Those still wondering what really happened in gonzo journalist Michael Hastings’ fiery demise likely sat up straight during 60 Minutes’ recent piece on how hackers can hijack the controls of a car.

After Hastings died in a bizarre one-car crash along a straight Los Angeles street, former counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke noted the accident was “consistent with a car cyber attack” and that it was easy to hack cars. It seems he was right, as 60 Minutes demonstrated in a chilling fashion.

In the segment, a nervous Lesley Stahl smashed into safety cones on a driving course after two men using a laptop computer remotely commandeered her brakes. Former video game developer Dan Kaufman, who’s now working for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, set up the demonstration.

In trying to figure out what kinds of attacks enemies might be plotting on American soil, government agencies are learning the same techniques. To wrest the controls from Stahl, a hacker dialed in through the vehicle’s OnStar system to first busy up the computer, then planted code that allowed it to reprogram the control systems. Kaufman stood by giving driving orders to the hackers.

The demonstration underscored what Clarke, counterterrorism chief under both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, said after Hastings’ crash. “You can do some really highly destructive things now, through hacking a car, and it’s not that hard,” he said. “So if there were a cyber attack on the car—and I’m not saying there was—I think whoever did it would probably get away with it.” Clarke added that the LAPD was unlikely to have the tools necessary to detect such an attack, particularly after a fire.

No Crowbar Needed, Just an iPad

One thing is clear: Drivers are at risk.

In a stinging report released this week, Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Markey slammed car companies for their failure to protect car owners  from hackers and intrusive data collectors who might seize control of increasingly computerized vehicles. “Automakers haven’t done their part to protect us from cyber-attacks or privacy invasions,” he said.

Much of the report focuses on how car computers can be used to collect driving history, from where a car is parked to where it traveled. But it also reveals hackers’ ability to remotely turn, stop and accelerate cars. Markey’s report notes that car companies can now disable vehicles if owners fall behind on their payments. Burglars can exploit the same vulnerabilities.

But Markey doesn’t believe there have been other types of incidents in which hackers seize control of cars—yet.

Nonetheless, the 60 Minutes story and Markey’s investigation likely made drivers squirm the next time they climbed behind the wheel.

The report has also reignited suspicions that arose nearly two years ago after Hastings’ crash.

***

Hastings’ work as a thorn in the side of government and the 33-year-old journalist’s death in an unusual crash in June 2013 immediately triggered speculation. A witness reported seeing Hastings’ new silver Mercedes C250 coupe speeding down a Hollywood street before dawn when it bounced, slammed into a tree and burst into flames.

Shortly before Hastings’ death, he sent what was described as a “panicky” email to friends expressing concern that associates were being interviewed by “the Feds.” He also wrote that he was onto a big story and needed to “get off the radar for a bit.” His 2010 story for Rolling Stone in which Stanley McChrystal skewered the White House and its strategy in Afghanistan led to the general’s resignation.

The FBI denied Hastings was the target of any investigation, yet a Freedom of Information Act request later unearthed an FBI file on Hastings. Hastings also told a neighbor he thought someone had been tampering with his car. At the time of his death he was working on an article about CIA director John Brennan.

The Los Angeles Police Department concluded that the crash was an accident and did not involve foul play. The coroner’s report also declared Hastings’ death, ascribed to “massive blunt force trauma,” as accidental, and revealed that there were trace amounts of marijuana and amphetamine in his system, though neither was considered a factor in the crash. The report noted that Hastings’ family had been trying to convince him to go into detox.

Just an Accident?

Hastings’ widow, who hired a private investigator to examine all the evidence, at least publicly labeled the crash an accident. “You know, my gut here, was that it was just a really tragic accident,” Elise Jordan said in an interview two months after Hastings’ death.

Hastings’ brother Jonathan said that he feared his sibling was experiencing a “manic episode” before his death, which he suspected was linked to drugs. He had flown to LA to try to convince his brother to enter rehab; Hastings died the next day. “The government is out of control in a lot of ways, so I sympathize with people who want to turn Mike’s death into some kind of symbol,” he said. “I just think that his death happens to be a bad foundation to build that case on.”

But not everyone agrees. “I’m definitely suspicious about the crash,” Montana state Rep. Daniel Zolnikov told WhoWhatWhy. The Republican legislator has introduced a bill, which he says was inspired in part by Hastings’ work, to bar state government agencies from accessing servers to get reporters’ notes.

Like Markey, Zolnikov is also concerned about risks posed by increasingly high-tech cars, which he described as “computers without protections.”

If that’s the case, then the information superhighway and highways have merged dangerously.

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84 responses to “Car Hacking Report Refuels Concerns About Michael Hastings Crash”

  1. $105101241 says:

    Very interesting. …Same thing possible with airplanes/airliners?

  2. gerry d welder says:

    Mac Slavo February 14, 2015

    5 Prominent NYC Figures Die in Train Crash – 3 Were Top Investment Bankers

    “That’s a vice president and two managing directors for the big banks, with overlapping investment interests in defense contracting and technology.”
    Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2015/02/5-prominent-nyc-figures-die-train-crash-3-top-investment-bankers/#yDBAm3J8CzcsL2LO.99

    “Are bankers disappearing and dying to silence what they know?
    Is something else going on?”

    So did that woman stuck on the tracks have On-Star/ And were her doors, controls and brakes locked up?

  3. FiuToYou says:

    The US government has showed repeatedly, since 1938, that it’s leaders and those behind the scenes are capable of anything to get what they and their cronies want, to gain power and control and make huge profits with a small group of people benefitting and the general population paying the ultimate price. America is sick and there’s no remedy in sight. People really in the know either keep quiet or are eliminated somehow or someway. There’s is little chance of a single investigative journalist ever getting his or her ‘proof’ out to the people. The powers that be simply eliminate the problem in a myriad of ways. This is not ‘cinema’, this is real life and it’s a cancer that’s taking over America. You ‘DON’T MESS WITH MONET AND POWER AT THE TOP’!!!!

  4. colleen says:

    Don’t forget Danny Jowenko. He was.a controlled demolitions expert from Holland who was shown an unknown building’s collapse and he unhesitantly identified it as a controlled demolition. Then he was told it was Building 7. He was killed when leaving church on a clear day and his car collided with a tree. http://911blogger.com/news/2011-07-21/wtc7-expert-witness-danny-jowenko-dies-car-crash

    • Paul R. says:

      How about the FEMA photographer who came to NY the day before 911 and took pictures and is now wanted on drummed-up charges, hiding out in south America?

    • Charles Aulds says:

      It isn’t a “conspiracy theory” when one tells this truth: we don’t know what happened; we never will; but the official explanation is no better than any of the other theories tailored to fit the facts.

      WTC 7.

  5. Ward Damon Hubbard says:

    And as critical thinking American citizen become more, and more aware. What’s black and white and smells like skunk? We know the newer autos can be hacked, and the possibility of Michael Hastings being a victim of foul play becomes a fact. We ask ourselves “Why”? What was Michael Hastings working upon that cost him his life? And more importantly who was the responsible, for his murder? These are questions that will remain unanswered, and a source of speculation for years to come. Unless someone steps into the light with the evidence to shed the light.

    • A. Smith says:

      As I quote above from the article, it seems clear that Hastings was on to something of significant enough embarrassment or exposure of CIA’s Brennan that it got him killed.

    • Graham Strouse says:

      Probably manic-depression compounded by PTSD & drug-stimulated paranoia and sleep-deprivation.

  6. A. Smith says:

    “The FBI denied Hastings was the target of any investigation, yet a Freedom of Information Act request later unearthed an FBI file on Hastings.
    Hastings also told a neighbor he thought someone had been tampering
    with his car. At the time of his death he was working on an article
    about CIA director John Brennan.”

    This tells us what was afoot. Certainly eliminating a mere reporter was much easier for the CIA and FBI than what they did to JFK, MLK, and RFK, and they’re still getting away with it..

    • Jon says:

      You got it. In that regard, put “Project Unspeakable ” into a search engine and see what you find out.

  7. Joan Fahlgren says:

    Of course his wife and brother are downplaying the event, they don’t want the same thing to happen to them. When this happened I knew it was no accident. I had seen him on TV several times and he was so smart and so diligent at seeking the truth.

    • Macon Richardson says:

      Your position has been the same as mine. Thanks for noting it here.

    • Angela Monger says:

      If in fact his death was a murder, I’m pretty sure his family would definitely watch what they say. As crazy as this world is, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if someone wiped him out.

  8. Distraction Procedure says:

    It’s probably important to self-censor anything that might potentially draw unnecessary attention to one’s comments/opinions.

    Especially if you’re an individual that knows in a roundabout manner the ways in which government secrecy is treated like an extremely rare and priceless commodity and anyone that dares to “spill the beans” is likely to receive unwanted attention from paranoid government “hacks”.

  9. ICFubar says:

    W,W,W on the fact Hastings was working on a story involving Brennan? I must have been a sleep when the speculation of what Hastings was working on at the time of his death was discovered and revealed. If true this fact with others moves the thought pattern from “let’s not jump to conclusions” to the entertaining of logical speculation on perhaps the cause and reason for Hasting’s untimely death. My my….

    • therealamericro says:

      Brennan and *Barrett Lancaster Brown*’s malicious prosecution and false imprisonment.

      It seems his posthumous article on Brown published the day after his death was a primer for revelations far more sinister and explosive, conveniently exploded and incinerated along with him and the head on collision with a tree of pure coincidence.

    • ICFubar says:

      Thanks R.A. i’ll check it out

  10. Terry P. Rizzuti says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if that recent journalist’s death was by the same means — Can’t remember his first name, but Simon was his last.

    • Charles Martel says:

      I think the one armed moslem taxi driver that had his license suspended 9x had more to do with it than any computer.

    • paul_vincent_zecchino says:

      It was Bob Simon of CBS news, dead in a freak car accident in NYC. Mr. Simon, while covering the mid-east, was taken prisoner in Iraq during the first Gulf War. That’s where he reportedly turned his opinions around and saw the light about the left and its islamist pals.

  11. Michael, Sweden says:

    The CIA has murderers that kill off political leaders, on occasion even inside the US, but mostly foreign. These paid murderers go by the name Jackals. One of those (retired), his name is Gene “Chip” Tatum, rumoured to be dead but in fact now living in America after having spent nine years in Columbia.
    He states that the only reason he is alive, in contrast to a great number of his former colleagues, is because he has hidden sensitive information about his former bosses, which he has arranged to come out if he is murdered. Anyway, Mr. Tatum is very careful, when you listen to him, which he also states explicitly that never mention the names of any of the military officers involved in the clandestine work. He says that those military officers will kill you if their names become public in relation to this type of activity. If I understand Chip correctly, no matter what – doesn’t help to have hid sensitive information about those military personnel.
    In the case of Michael Hastings, his article in Rolling stone magazine about the “runaway general” crushes the career of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, and Hastings may very well have been murdered. This would correlate exactly to what Chip Tatum has said. With that article Hastings may have signed his own death sentence, because the military and the CIA, they are the real US government, and they kill people all around the world on a regular basis.

  12. Michael, Sweden says:

    I you look for example on a clip on Youtube where a crash test is made going 60 miles per hour and engaging only part of the front of the vehicle, a scenario not that different from Michael Hastings “accident”, there is no way in hell that the engine would come off a Mercedes and fly 100 feet. That is crazy.

    • There is some speed at which the inertia in the massive engine block would be sufficient to rip it from the motor mounts, and then there would be nothing more solid to stop it. How fast can that model of Mercedes go?

    • Michael, Sweden says:

      Hastings drove Mercedes-Benz 2013 C250 coupe. I could only find data on the 2011 model though, five stars in Euro NCAP. To make it in those test you need to invest billions of dollar.Not claiming any expertise but to make the US-regulation plus the EU-regulations, it is a very serious science nowadays, a high end car need to be at the top of the rating. I mean the whole integrity of Hastings car fails to such a massive degree that the whole freaking engine fly away 100 feet. Unheard of.

    • It must be just as unheard of as the idea that the average person wouldn’t get enough education in basic physics in the public fool system to be able to understand the feasibility of it happening.
      It is impossible to build anything light enough to be propelled by a engine small enough to move it that the frame could withstand the tearing torque of a collision with an immovable object.

    • Michael, Sweden says:

      Well, fine look at the test when they drive 64 miles per hour, the test crash the car so that the front only partially is involved, which is harder to construct a car for. Thus similar to a car that hit a tree. At 60 no hint at structural collapse. Even if you double the speed, I sincerely doubt that you can get the whole engine to launch and fly away a 100 feet. You are talking physics, but it should be physics that are related to this case, not to a rocket hitting for example something at the surface of the moon. Wake up.

    • If that car could only go 100 mph, it couldn’t get on the Autobahn.
      I’m not interested enough to know about the feasibility of the engine being thrown 100 feet to do the necessary calculations, but I’m sure that its full capabilities would exceed what the driver would have access to, and they would almost certainly be available to the system software, and thus, to the hacker that drove it into the tree.
      You’d have to know an awful lot about the entire vehicle to say it isn’t possible, IMO.

    • Michael, Sweden says:

      Again not claiming any expertise, but when an important journalist dies under clouded circumstances when he is working on his biggest scope ever I think it is well worth to discuss. Especially when his biggest scope ever involves the CIA.

    • I never am surprised by the ability of electrical engineers to hack anything digital, perhaps because I did things during my decade in broadcast engineering that amazed some of my untechnical fellow employees. Starting from a simple search for the Harris Corporation’s StingRay device, I quickly got buried in clicking through the Wikipedia articles on LTE and subsequent developments.
      For me, it breaks down to a total control that they have over all digital devices, with the concomitant lack of control held by the owner and user. Most people are apathetic about such things, possibly because of their ignorance of them, but my increasing understanding makes me want to avoid all Internet-connectable devices at the same time that my curiosity leads me down the continual rabbit holes. If the transhumanists persist in their ways, we may find that the matrix is more reality than science fiction.

    • Michael, Sweden says:

      Interesting, though I would be one of the “untechnical”, anyway in return in connection to what I wrote above about clouded circumstances I give this quote from a book by a former CIA-agent Al Martin:

      “As I am a middle-aged man, I have worked or been involved in illegal covert operation of government all my adult life. How many others in my age group can say they have personally known in their adult lifetimes almost 400 people who have died under clouded circumstances?”

      Source: The Conspirators: Confessions of an Iran-Contra Insider, p.201

    • Pretty much every person who has died in any of our “wars” since WW2 has done so under clouded circumstances where oath takers freely chose the route of treason over patriotism. Michael New is one of the few who didn’t.

    • Michael, Sweden says:

      You should read the book before passing judgment. Context is important. Over and out.

    • I’ll add it to my to-read list, at number 33.

    • Michael, Sweden says:

      Why would I care?

    • An entire thread is dedicated to the fact that you do.

    • Michael, Sweden says:

      I regret it, you are a peculiar individual

    • As were those who signed the Declaration of Independence.

    • danny j says:

      Right after this crash, Mercedes issued a statement saying that the fuel tanks on their autos could not possibly explode in any accident.

    • Graham Strouse says:

      If you were going to engineer an assassination by car accident would you really want to set up a scenario in which “unheard of” destruction is the consequence? Maybe a Russian mobster might pull off something like that. They’re sometimes into that kind of messaging. But your garden-variety assassin is likely going to choose something a little less Michael Bay-sequel. Hastings had psychiatric, impulse control, and trauma issues, and he was dealing with some drug problems. It’s a lot easier to work with that stuff.

    • archer says:

      You could be right, but modern cars have safety anchors of sorts that will make the hood buckle in a frontal and not go through the windshield, the motor mounts are designed to have the engine drop down in a severe impact instead of going through the firewall directly into the passenger compartment, but with a real high speed impact how well these measures would work is something I couldn’t say.

    • Since most of what is forward of the engine in a modern car is made either of plastic or of very thin stamped metal, there is no reason to think that a crumple zone is going to present much of a barrier to the largest mass of metal when the rest of the car comes to a sudden stop against whatever.

  13. bilejones says:

    “In trying to figure out what kinds of attacks enemies might be plotting
    on American soil, government agencies are learning the same techniques.”

    The “government agencies” are, of course, the “enemies on American soil”.

    • sherryl says:

      The citizens are destroying their own liberties, by trusting their government. Instead of being responsible for our own lives, we allow the government more and more control over the people.

  14. They make a big deal about concealing the make and model of the car and then identify the vector, OnStar.
    Then they wonder why computer security is so neglected?
    I’d like to see Memex turned loose on the treason networks in the US government.
    I think I’ll keep my 2003 vehicle, thank you, since it still has a physical linkage between the steering wheel and the front wheels.

    • sc3pilot says:

      All cars still must have physical linkage for steering and brakes.

    • Andrew Leer says:

      The new cars do not have a physical linkage for the brakes. There are things the can be done to prevent this from working both physical, mechanically, and electronically. And electronically is what we are referring too.

    • archer says:

      Steering on some high end cars can be electrical not hydraulic, this would require a sensor in the steering wheel to monitor it’s position much like the throttle pedal is monitored. ABS is almost universally standard and requires it’s own pump controlled electronically to allow brake fluid to be sent back to the brakes when the abs shuts down part of the flow to avoid wheel lock up, caddy introduced “stabilitrak” in the 90s which uses 3 sensors to keep the car going relatively straight if you are in a sudden avoidance maneuver, this uses the abs hardware to engage brakes according to the direction of the skid, trying to make the car maintain a straighter track. I would think a on star caddy could have it’s brakes engaged remotely, of course other manufacturers also use on star. I believe on some cars both brakes and steering can be remotely contolled. I forgot to mention that the three sensors are steering, inertia, and yaw all of which inputs go through one of the many computers on high end cars.

    • sc3pilot says:

      The only thing that changes between electric and hydraulic power steering is the source of force for the steering rack. Steering wheel position is not measured, but rather the force being exerted on it. The linkage from the wheel to the rack is still mechanical.

    • archer says:

      yes, are correct., unless the car is equipped with some type of accident avoidance.

    • gettafngrip says:

      What about the cars that park themselves?

    • archer says:

      On star equipped cars can be made to slow down, stop, etc. I used to work for a Caddy dealer, these commands have to come from a on star center, they can remotely unlock your doors if you leave your keys in your car. If your car is stolen it can be located via on star, this technology has been around since at least the ’90s. They can do a remote system check on your car if needed also, these cars are fully capable of being controlled remotely to a great extent, if your air bags are deployed on star will try to contact the owner and call the police and other responders, the hardware/software to do these things come straight from the factory, no add on is needed.

    • People should begin to realize that OnStar is a computer terminal with absolute control over everything in the car so equipped. The voice connection is just a cellphone whose microphone is on at all times, just like the Samsung televisions that everyone is having ignorant hissy fits over. If something is connected to the cellular network and/or the Internet, that connect is under those network’s total control. The only thing that can prevent their total control is disconnection.

    • danny j says:

      Were you a fan of “The Sopranos?”

      There was a little filler scene where some lowly “wise guy” sees Tony pull up in his new Escalade. He asks Tony how he likes his new Caddy, and Tony says “I like it fine once I ripped out that OnStar sh*t.”

      And the wise guy looks odd for a moment, then says, “Oh yeah. Didn’t think about that.”

  15. sc3pilot says:

    This is miserably awful FUD. What the media is not showing you is that taking over a car requires HOURS of physical access to the on-board computer, the installation of extra hardware and interfaces, and LOTS of technical know-how. It’s not like some terrorist with a smart phone can see you driving by and go “hey, I think I want you to crash.”

    They even say it is “trivially easy” when nothing could be further from the truth. Bald-faced lying by the media as usual.

    • Mike G says:

      I’d be interested to know how you know this. Everything I’ve read indicates that no physical interaction with the car is needed. Of course, Hastings was concerned that his car had been tampered with, and was seen looking underneath it and examining it not long before his death.

    • sc3pilot says:

      The article says plainly that they required access to the physical computer to install additional wireless interfaces so that they could hack into it.

    • JBS says:

      The article plainly says they used the OnStar system to gain remote access to ” busy up the computer” – probably a buffer overflow attack that allowed them to take control of the computer & plant the additional code that allows them to actually manipulate the hardware.

    • danny j says:

      There are many different ways to hack into an auto’s onboard computers. Originally, it required actually hooking to the auto’s BUS (like a mechanic does). Then, people figured out that a program could be added to a CD that would upload when the CD was played in the auto’s stereo. With the advent of OnStar and built-in cell phones, a hacker could insert malware from anywhere. And now, with internet connections on many autos, it can all be done online.

      Here’s the UC San Diego/U Washington studies on how they hacked a variety of autos:

      http://www.autosec.org/pubs/cars-usenixsec2011.pdf

      http://www.autosec.org/pubs/cars-oakland2010.pdf

  16. Patricia says:

    When I changed insurers, I was offered a discount on the premium if I would allow monitoring of my car’s activity. I said no way – ever. And I, too, will keep my old car as long as possible. I don’t have “OnStar” and I don’t want it or any other spying crap like it. As to Michael’s death – wouldn’t surprise me a bit if “Darpa Dan”‘s outfit might have had a hand in it on some level. I know – CIA is not supposed to do creepy stuff on American soil, or at least that’s how it used to be – but do we really believe that anymore?

    • Mudwoman says:

      Creepy stuff is standard practice. If you don’t know about “targeted individuals” it’s time to educate yourself.

  17. Piglet says:

    Michael Hastings got on the wrong side of the general who was, at one point, in command of the Joint Special Operations Command. According to its Wikipedia page, JSOC’s mission is to “ostensibly to identify and eliminate terror cells worldwide,” and they have been doing so much killing worldwide that their nickname should be Murder, Inc. Certainly killing Hastings was not beyond their abilities, and they had every reason to do it.

    Additionally, Hastings’ article annoyed the White House. Most have probably forgotten the meetings held each Tuesday where the next people to be assassinated are selected. Obama himself has bragged to his staff about being a “really good killer” although what he really excels at doing is sending others to do his dirty work. Certainly it’s not beyond him, either.

    If you think, “Oh no, our side would never do such things,” welcome to the real world.

    In the film “The Mechanic” Jason Statham plays an assassin, and in the beginning he states, “What I do requires a certain mindset. I do assignments; designated targets. Some jobs need to look like accidents. Others must cast suspicion on someone else. A select few need to send a clear message. Pulling a trigger is easy. The best jobs are the ones nobody even knows you were there.”

    When I see the film and hear those words, I think about Hastings’ death.

    • stevenaquinn says:

      That’s rich! You justify your accusations with evidence from a fictional movie.

    • Piglet says:

      JSOC’s not a film and neither was Murder, Inc. Nor are those Tuesday meetings in the White House. Killing one’s enemies is the way of the world and always has been, and “little people” who step out of their lanes get squashed. We the Sheeple are supposed to pretend it’s otherwise or, better yet, not even notice.

    • Dave O'Reilly says:

      Have people ever stopped and thought about what inspires people to make movies like that? Could it be that **** like that can actually happen and does?

    • WMC says:

      Many ‘Public Displays’ (Movies, etc) are made and published for very definite reasons. ‘Thought Crimes’ & ‘Pre-Crimes’ was presented in one form (a movie) before it was presented in another form. (Obama’s NDAA)
      *see ‘The NDAA and the Death of the Democratic State’

  18. Ron Leighton says:

    “In trying to figure out what kinds of attacks enemies might be plotting
    on American soil, government agencies are learning the same techniques.”

    That’s always the excuse, isn’t it? We’re just investigating how to do X horrible thing in case some “bad guy” tries to do X horrible thing.

  19. onetree says:

    People will replace their true feelings with a lot of very gentle and not necessarily true words when they feel threatened. All the talk of rehab probably doesn’t state things as they truly were. With possibly trace amounts of certain substances, he could have used detox, as everyone else could, but this is not evidence of a drug problem and isn’t necessarily relevant. It may, however, give an indication of how much stress and strain Michael Hastings was under.

    I haven’t watched 60 Minutes in years. Thanks WhoWhatWhy, I’m glad for the update telling us about this demonstration that we really already knew but didn’t have corroboration for.

  20. Beantoes says:

    Wow. Give me a ’72 Buick any day…

  21. GeorgeHewes says:

    This is why you should vote for Rand Paul, and why Hastings widow volunteered for him.

    • Dave O'Reilly says:

      Actually I don’t trust any of these a*******. There is no guy in shining armor that’s gonna save you.

  22. יסוד בן יעקב ליב says:

    anyone know where the car (aka smoking gun) is now? can not find the info anywhere,,,,thank you

  23. Harold Von Spuneridge says:

    USA Inc. murders hundreds of Americans a day: droned, ricined, car hacking. This is your “government.” Only a fool would deny it.

  24. hazeylee says:

    I don’t think we will ever know. Transparency is not the strong point these days.

  25. Karl May says:

    The real question is where are his notes on the research he did on CIA Director John Brennan, Obama’s “Right Hand” man, in charge of covert operations that make assassinations of this kind a routine option for this corrupt administration . . . dedicated to the destruction of the United States as we know it!

    • Dave O'Reilly says:

      Actually it could have been anybody that felt a need to keep something covered up. And no CIA director is anyone’s right hand man. They all keep secrets from presidents. A CIA director in fact can become a president’s enemy. I’d be interested in seeing what he had on Brennan.

  26. Lolana says:

    If I were related, I’d deny foul play too.

  27. Jerry Mander says:

    Eventually all automakers will cease producing vehicles that don’t have computerized control of steering, throttle and braking. Even if you disagree in principle to driving a semi-autonomous vehicle, insurance companies will make it so expensive that all but the 1% will be coerced into doing so.

    Humans have been ruled too dangerous to operate motor vehicles (a point I can’t argue with). The death toll from auto accidents will go down precipitously when the changeover is complete. But there will still be some, and all will be written of as having occured “under mysterious circumstances,” and it will be nearly impossible to determine fault.

  28. Paul Wilson says:

    Obviously the two parties motivated to find a perpetrator so they can avoid their own liability are:

    1) Insurance Carrier
    2) Auto Manufacturer

    These two have very deep pockets. Why have their reports not come out?

  29. Kaf0375 says:

    He had amphetamines and marijuana in his system. Speed makes you paranoid, and the two combined while driving, obviously, makes you impaired.

    • sherryl says:

      Traces of drugs: he was a target because he was a real journalist. Hastings had many friends who feared for his safety.

  30. Kaf0375 says:

    They feared his safety because of his drug and alcohol abuse. They encouraged him to go to rehab. That is documented.

    • RickSanchez1 says:

      Yes, it’s documented. It’s also documented that his widow and friends demanded an immediate investigation, then “softened” a few days later, then after a few more day said “it’s an accident – case closed”.

    • WMC says:

      The lady watching from her home, near to the tree, had a story to tell. I heard her trying to tell it. She’s likely been gone since then…. nevertheless, she said a lot.

  31. Eric Blust says:

    Obama wanted Hastings dead because he wanted to expose and fight Obamas forced talking points and other forms of Soviet Era propaganda.

  32. WMC says:

    This is an interesting comment! Do you have some way of substantiating your claim? Prove me a fool. I do not believe it’s true. Only a fool would not question such an assertion.

    • Civility Please says:

      The Pentagon Papers and the Church Commission. This stuff is public knowledge, you have an obligation to at least try to educate yourself. Those incidents are what led tot the current FISA court but it is clear that it no longer functions as intended. You should also educate yourself about the FBI’s spying on civil rights activists like Martin Luther King Jr and even popular entertainment celebrities like the Beatles. Don’t be so naive, it’s dangerous to the nation to be so uninformed, you have a responsibility to know what the truth is and act accordingly

    • WMC says:

      @CP: Your words supply little to explain how “hundreds of Americans a day” (okay, minimum 200) so that in one year (365X200=73,000) a minimum of seventy-three thousand ‘Americans’ are murdered by the US Government.

    • Civility Please says:

      Of course those numbers are absurd. I am only saying that denying that nefarious activities, including murder, are carried out against citizens by our government is unforgivably and dangerously delusional. If I misjudged you though, my apologies.

    • Charles Aulds says:

      I was a child in the Sixties, and barely escaped Vietnam. I still marvel that, at the age of 12, I knew that men of peace were being murdered by the US government, but none of the “adults” around me seemed to have a clue.

      Although, when Dick Cheney was in the White House, I asked my day in fury one day, “Do you really believe that Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated JFK?”

      My dad (a lifelong rightwing voter) thought for a moment and said, quietly, “Son … we will never know who shot JFK.”

      It was then that I realized; most people know what’s going on, but choose (out of some misguided kneejerk patriotic loyalty) to pretend otherwise. Buy into the comfortable lie. I refused. I moved my ass to Canada.

  33. Dave O'Reilly says:

    Not for nothing it could have been an accident and it could have been murder. You can’t rule either out. Considering the career he had and the enemies he had to have made, I have to look at the possibility that someone had him iced. It’s not like stuff like that has never happened before and apparently you can jack with these cars: which makes me think twice about cars becoming more computerized, not necessarily because someone wants to take you out but some punk jacking around and you happen to be the victim. I don’t think Hastings death is cleared up at all. Sometimes it takes a few decades before info comes out so that might happen in this case. A few decades from now it could come out that he was killed by someone.

    • WMC says:

      ‘NDAA’ someone.

    • Graham Strouse says:

      On the balance, it seems most likely this was an accident. He was bipolar (I’ve always preferred the term manic-depressive myself), an extreme risk-taker in an extremely high-risk profession. War reporters experience pretty much the same risks soldiers do, except they’re not usually trained or equipped to fight back when the sharp edges come their way. Speaking of, he lost his first fiancée, who was also a war reporter, just a few years years earlier when her convoy was ambushed. That’s some serious PTSD.

      He’d used a lot of drugs as a kid, went more or less straight-edge and was relapsing pretty badly.

      While it is true that cars don’t usually burst into flames, it does happen– happened to me once, actually. One moment I’m driving through rural Florida and the next moment I’m driving through rural Florida as ghostrider…except I’m in an ’86 Isuzu Impulse. I had plenty of time to grab my stuff and get out but man that was a helluva blaze. So…unlikely, but possible.

      Also, and I hope the tinfoil hat types keep this in mind, if someone really was out to kill him, there were much easier and less dramatic ways to do so than remotely turning his car into a Michael Bay prop. And if intelligence professionals were somehow involved, they would have gone that route. A 33-year-old reporter with a history of mental issues, trauma and drug use? Laced dope would have been easier, cheaper, and much less likely to draw suspicion. Unless, instead, say, Hastings owed money to an unstable meth dealer who happened to have a whiz kid buddy who knew how to hack cars, this strikes me as an unlikely assassination method. Chances are, his wife was right. He was a hard-charging, gifted reporter with trauma and impulse control issues. He may have only had trace amounts of weed and amphetamine in his body but how long had he been awake? What was his mental state like? His family was trying to get him to detox. Barring further evidence it probably was as Elise Jordan says it was, a tragic accident.