Our coverage of Michael Hastings

Car Hacking Report Refuels Concerns About Michael Hastings Crash

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.

RadioWhoWhatWhy: Michael Hastings Mystery Death 2nd Anniversary—Late Journalist Muses on Presidential Races

Was reporter Michael Hastings a drug-addled nutcase who recklessly or even deliberately allowed his car to jump the pavement on a straightaway, before it hit a tree and exploded? That is the official explanation of what happened to the internationally celebrated journalist who brought down a general and was involved with all manner of controversial inquiries.

 

Does he sound unstable in this email he sent less than a day before his car seemed to go crazy, as if it had a mind of its own?

 

From: Michael Hastings

Date: Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Subject: FBI Investigation, re: NSA

To: View article …

What Was Hastings Working On?

hacker

At the time of his death in a mysterious one-car crash and explosion, journalist Michael Hastings was researching a story that threatened to expose powerful entities and government-connected figures. That story intersected with the work of two controversial government critics—the hacktivist Barrett Brown and the on-the-run surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Any probe into Hastings’s untimely death needs to take into account this complex but essential background.

But First, the Raw Facts

A little over 12 hours before his car was incinerated on an LA straightaway on June 18, 2013, Hastings sent out a short email View article …

Hastings’ Lessons From the Grave—Have We Learned Anything?

Two years ago this month, the young and ambitious investigative journalist Michael Hastings died in a mysterious, fiery car crash. Investigators and journalists have uncovered some startling revelations regarding the accident in the past two years, though the full truth of what really happened to Hastings could have been buried with him.

 

Hastings was known for challenging conventional wisdom and investigating authority at the highest levels. With a Polk Award-winning article in Rolling Stone, he brought down General Stanley McChrystal, commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force and US Forces-Afghanistan.

 

At the time of his death, Hastings had View article …

Video: Journalist Murdered?

Michael Krikorian, an essayist and former Los Angeles Times crime reporter, happened upon the scene a few hours after journalist Michael Hastings’s speeding car slammed into a palm tree and burst into a fireball.

Krikorian has seen his share of fatal car wrecks. But this one was different. As he put it, “This demands a closer examination.”

In accident-investigation parlance, it was a roadway departure–a non-intersection crash in which a vehicle leaves the traveled way for some reason.

But how and why did Hastings’s Mercedes depart the traveled View article …

COVID-19, paper test strip, kit

We Had the Tool to Prevent Lockdowns and Death

Testing is emerging as the key to stopping the COVID-19 pandemic. What’s clear is that the current testing scheme — which has people waiting on average 10 days or longer for test results — is not working. It runs counter to the primary reason for testing: to identify and localize any infection before it can spread through a community.

 

Suppose there was another way. A test with immediate results, that you could do at home every day. You’d have an immediate back-up method to double-check if you got a positive result. We could quickly isolate those View article …

Hastings Autopsy: Traces of Meth Found in Body, But Crash Caused Death

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Toxicology tests showed traces of amphetamine in journalist Michael Hastings’s body after his fatal car wreck in Los Angeles on June 18, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Department said Tuesday, though it said the drugs were “unlikely contributory to death.”

The coroner also released previously undisclosed details of the Los Angeles Police Department’s investigation, which showed that the journalist apparently had relapsed into narcotics abuse after years of sobriety. Two of Hastings’s siblings had arrived in California the day before the fatal wreck, the report said, and “the family was attempting View article …

Chrysler Recalls Hackable Jeeps, Press Still Not Questioning Cause of Hastings Death

Recently,  the Los Angeles Times  noted the landmark action taken taken by Fiat Chrysler to recall 1.4 million Jeep Cherokees, after tests showed the cars could be remotely hacked.

 

Researchers demonstrated a software vulnerability in the Jeep’s Uconnect dashboard computers. By hacking into a Jeep driven by a Wired  magazine writer, they were able to commandeer the dashboard functions as well as the steering, transmission, and brakes.

 

This suggests that people like former US counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke — and a handful of outfits including WhoWhatWhy  — were onto something in raising the possibility of foul play View article …

National Competitiveness, Rand Corporation

The End of American Competitiveness

America is not only losing its signature competitiveness in a rough-and-tumble world, but there is a chance that it will never recover, according to a new report from Rand Corporation.

Our guest on this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast is the author of that report, Michael Mazarr. Mazarr, a senior political scientist at Rand, previously worked for the US National War College, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  

 

To help us understand the admittedly nebulous concept of “national decline,” Mazarr breaks View article …

Exclusive— Hastings ‘Unauthorized Cremation’ Mega-Rumor False, Family Says

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According to a member of Michael Hastings’s family, a widely circulated story that the investigative journalist’s body was cremated by authorities without the family’s permission is flat-out untrue.

The story that the cremation was unauthorized — further stoking credible suspicions aroused by Hastings’s strange death in a fiery one-car crash, complete with a dramatic explosion — has raged across the Internet for weeks.

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 View article …

Rapid Antigen Test, App

Testing Is Broken, Contact Tracing Has Failed: There’s a Better Way

Rarely do we have guests back on this podcast after only three months. But then rarely are we in the midst of a global pandemic that is getting worse by the day. A coronavirus vaccine, the holy grail of this pandemic, is still months away. Labs doing the standard nasal swab PCR tests are once again overwhelmed and taking much longer to return results. All the while, people are dying.

 

According to Dr. Michael Mina, assistant professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s School of Public Health, there is a better way. A test that we View article …