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

False-300x198

 

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 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.

In light of this simple, clarifying statement, it’s worth asking: How do blatantly counter-factual rumors and untruths get traction in the cybersphere?

Often, as in this case, they start with legitimate suspicions: just before his death Hastings told associates he was working on a blockbuster story involving the “NSA.” Building on these suspicions, a reporter makes an ambiguous statement that sounds like a shocking revelation — but is actually the result of a leap of faith, an unwarranted assumption by the reporter…which turns out to be incorrect.

Here is a local television reporter for a commercial station in San Diego, Kim Dvorak:

 “A close family friend did confirm that Michael’s body was sent home in an urn, meaning he was cremated and it wasn’t the request of the family….in fact the family wanted Michael’s body to go home.”

Soon, the story was everywhere—including on almost all of the websites that generate heavy traffic by catering to those who hunger for a steady diet of stories hostile to the government, no matter their veracity.

***

When we contacted Dvorak by email to ask where she got the “unauthorized cremation” claim, she replied:

 I will not be sharing sources for privacy reasons. I will point you to Elise Jordan’s CNN interview where she had plenty of opportunities to deny details reported on San Diego 6 (we are affiliated with CNN).

The problem with this disingenuous reply is that Elise Jordan (Hastings’s widow) was not asked about the cremation by the program’s host, Piers Morgan. The short interview segment did not include discussion of any details of the crash or aftermath, beyond Jordan’s statement that she accepted the crash as an accident and that her husband was always working on multiple intriguing stories at any one time. While this assertion may well be premature, it is not so surprising given the sort of pressures on family members to demonstrate restraint in such circumstances. (From several sources, WhoWhatWhy understands that the family and friends remain curious, like the public, and open to further information that may shed light on the incident.)

Meanwhile, another person Dvorak interviewed fits the description she used in her original report, of “a close family friend.”  That’s Joe Biggs, a retired staff sergeant who was close with Hastings and who did in fact speak to her about the cremation.

In a telephone interview, Biggs told us that he was the source of Dvorak’s reporting, but not her mis-reporting. “That lady asked me about being at the memorial service. I said it was the first one I’ve been at without a body. I meant we didn’t have closure….I said that if I were killed, I would never want to be cremated. Somehow all this got mixed up… She took that to be that the body is missing and family didn’t know where it is. Then this whole thing spun out of control.

“I saw the video of her on the news talking about it… That made me sick to my stomach… I finally got hold of her, and she said she’d retract it, and I don’t know if she did.” (She has not.)

Biggs said that as soon as he saw Dvorak’s report, he contacted everyone he could think of to tell them that his comments had been badly distorted to create the appearance he was alleging a conspiracy.

Matt Farwell, who often worked with Hastings as his writing partner and who is finishing Hastings’s final story for Rolling Stone, is furious with Dvorak, whom he called “a fucking disgrace—and that’s on the record.” Farwell says he fired off an angry email to Dvorak, decrying her reports.

As for the crash itself, he agrees it should be investigated.

“It’s being looked at closely— and unless it’s good solid stuff like the video and [the WhoWhatWhy] piece from the guy whose girlfriend has the pizzeria; unless it’s good solid shoe leather journalism—it’s not helping anyone. It makes the LAPD and the feds go into closed-off mode and makes people not want to say anything.”

***

Many people have taken Dvorak’s work seriously simply because they were pleased to see a “mainstream” local television station carrying the kind of conspiracy-tinged reports she has done.

Indeed, Dvorak has become something of a cult hero on the Internet. As one popular post on Reddit puts it: “Kimberly Dvorak is essentially the only journalist doing work on the ground with the Michael Hastings death. We ***NEED*** to support her. This is her twitter. Spread this far and wide.”

It’s not at all clear Dvorak deserves the title of “journalist.” Her twitter page identifies her not as a television reporter but as “Examiner National Homeland Security Correspondent”—a reference to the Examiner network of conservative-oriented websites. Most of her work has been essays with an editorial tone for conservative or right-wing sites, marked by a clear animus toward the Obama administration, and by alarmist content about “illegal aliens” and other perceived threats.

***

The larger lesson here is one about the state of news today. The media/online world seems increasingly divided between those who are too quick to accept official claims—and those whose default posture is that everything is a plot to cover up the truth. It’s hard to find real journalists—whose work can be trusted because they approach a story with an open mind, a commitment to digging out the facts, and a willingness to report whatever they find.

There are enough truly troubling things about the Michael Hastings story not to have legitimate inquiries sidetracked by a red herring. As Matt Farwell pointed out, instead of advancing a real investigation, such shoddy “reporting” has the exact opposite effect.

 

 

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  • gogetem1

    From what I’ve been able to gather, that’s 2 major screwups for this Dvorak “reporter”. The first was reporting that the car engine was found behind the crash scene and not in front of it as you would expect it to be. And now we have this.

    • Frank von Winkhorst

      Nice diversion. Check out the following quote from said reporter:

      “A University professor told San Diego 6 News that calculating the speed of Hastings car follows a simple mathematic equation. By using the video and the distance traveled (195 feet) as well as the seconds that lapsed prior to the explosion – the car was traveling roughly 35 mph.”

      This kind of real reporting, unlike the nonsense coming from Russ Baker, is why she is being pilloried by folks like you. She has her teeth in these bastards and all Russ Baker can do is parrot some unknown “family member” with an Uzi stuck up their posterior.

      • gogetem1

        No, its not a diversion. How can I credible reporter get a basic fact that the engine was in front of the crash scene and not behind it, so wrong? Isn’t this a legitimate question for this reporter?

        • Frank von Winkhorst

          What’s the difference if the car was doing 35 mph? This is a straw man. It has no relevance.

          The tree had no damage. The car was doing 35 mph. There was an explosion before it got to the tree. That’s a bomb, pure and simple.

          So, yeah, it’s a diversion. And I’m calling B.S.

  • harris

    thank you for keeping this story alive

    • beijingyank

      This story can’t go away. When the terrorists inside the Beltway begin murdering journalists it’s just a matter of time before violence visits you, your family or friends. Guaranteed.

  • http://erichs-blog.blogspot.com/ erichwwk

    Russ; I generally like your reporting,read most all your columns, having read “Family of Secret”, and listened to a number of your interviews. I agree strongly that we should concentrate on what is verifiable. That said, this article is rather thin, ignoring such issues, seeming to concentrate on ad hominen attacks. At the least, the spat re Biggs and Dvorak seems to me a he said she said, resolvable issue.

    http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/more-bs-from-joe-biggs-on-hastings/

    • Eric_Saunders

      But the ‘evidence’ for the initial rumor is far thinner.

      • Frank von Winkhorst

        It’s irrelevant. It’s a diversion. And Russ Baker is propagating this diversion and pretending it has something to do with investigative reporting. If he were really doing investigative reporting, he’d be looking under his car for bombs too. Clearly, John Brennan isn’t afraid of him.

  • GuyMontag425

    “… another person Dvorak interviewed fits the description she used in her original report, of “a close family friend.” That’s Joe Biggs”

    For more discussion about SSG Biggs & the cremations issue, etc, see the blog post, http://cherispeak.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/ssg-biggs-has-hastings-friend-turned-family-foe/

  • GuyMontag425

    Part II: “It’s not at all clear Dvorak deserves the title of “journalist. … instead of advancing a real investigation, such shoddy “reporting” has the exact opposite effect.”

    Yesterday, Dvorak reported (http://www.sandiego6.com/story/cia-director-brennan-confirmed-as-reporter-michael-hastings-next-target-20130812) that Hasting’s car was supposedly only traveling at 35 mph. I commented that it appeared her calculations used wrong assumptions and that it appeared the car was traveling at least 80 mph:

    Michael Krikoirian, who watched the original tape wrote (see piece at WhoWhatWhy & krikorianwrites.com): “I have heard and read a wide range of guessed speeds, up to as much as 130 mph. I think it’s safe to say the car was doing at least 80.”

    “Slamhead” did the math a few weeks ago and came up with a car speed of 80 to 160 mph: Google earth gives a distance of 235 feet from the camera to the impact site. Reviewing the video it looks as if he covered that distance in approximately 1 – 2 seconds [I think just about 2 seconds].

    Rate x Time = Distance, X x 2sec = 235 feet, 235ft/2sec = 117.50 ft/sec, 117.50 x 3600 = 423,000 ft/hour, 423,000/ 5280 feet in a mile gives and estimated speed of 80.11 MPH. At one second his speed would be 160 MPH.

    Doing the math with 195 feet (vs 235) leads to a slower speed from 66 to 132 mph. However, 35 mph would mean the car took 3.8 seconds to travel from the camera until impact!! Dvorak & the professor are using the time the last “explosion” is seen instead of the “explosion” at the time of impact! Watch the video again (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gtRGIcUW_Q) and judge for yourself.

    It’s worth noting Krikorian He wrote, “At about 195 feet from the camera, the car jumps the curb of the center median, heading toward a palm tree 56 feet away.” This would give a total distance of 251 feet, not the 195 feet Dvorak used in her math.

  • GuyMontag425

    Part I: “It’s not at all clear Dvorak deserves the title of “journalist. … instead of advancing a real investigation, such shoddy “reporting” has the exact opposite effect.”

    In her first piece on July 8th, http://www.sandiego6.com/story/details-of-reporter-hastings-death-remain-elusive-20130708. Dvorak said (in the video, at 2:00) the engine and drive train were behind the car crash.

    But in fact they were 200 feet to the south, on the corner of Highland and Clinton, IN FRONT of the car. (See: http://metabunk.org/threads/debunked-michael-hastings-crash-engine-found-north-of-crash-going-south.1964/ for pictures and diagrams showing this).

    Despite clear evidence to the contrary, yesterday she still wrote the following in her Brennan piece yesterday: “The pre explosion could possibly explain the flash of light on the video that preceded the appearance of the car in the video … It also provides an explanation for the location of the engine and drive train at more than 100 feet from the tree impact area.”

    • Frank von Winkhorst

      It was 100 feet away. Front, back, sideways, what’s the difference? The car was traveling at 35 mph. That’s a bomb.

  • thorax232

    This is some damn fine reporting. Thank you Russ for doin’ it proper.

    • Frank von Winkhorst

      You’re kidding right?

  • Pingback: Hastings ‘Unauthorized Cremation’ Mega-Rumor False, Family Says | Thought FTW

  • GuyMontag425

    “Matt Farwell … is furious with Dvorak, whom he called “a fucking disgrace … unless it’s good solid stuff like the video and [the WhoWhatWhy] piece from the guy [Michael Krikorian] … unless it’s good solid shoe leather journalism—it’s not helping anyone.”

    Amen. I’ve commented on the car crash a bit over the last two months and I share Farwell’s disgust with the shoddy reporting out there. I hope to finally write my take on the crash later this week (so far I’ve just got some pictures, notes, and many links in Appendix H & G of my latest post at the Feral Firefighter blog:

    “MORE “LIES BORNE OUT BY FACTS, IF NOT THE TRUTH” — The New York Time’s Disingenuous Obituary of Michael Hastings & Their Whitewash of Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s Role in “Le’Affair Rolling Stan” & “The Pat Tillman Story”

    This 120-page post (just revised) begins with a tribute to Andi, Michael, and Elise. Overshadowed by the car crash controversy, Jordan also spoke about the obituary in her recent Piers Morgan interview:

    “It was absolutely ridiculous and totally classless. … If the obituary writer had bothered to go back and read the report, she would see what she put out there actually was factually inaccurate, I still feel very strongly that we should have a retraction, but clearly the NYT management can’t step up to the plate and admit they made a mistake.”

    • Frank von Winkhorst

      Perhaps you should explain to us why Ms. Dvorak managed to find someone capable of determining the speed of the car from the video and you, Russ Baker, and all the other stooges on this site haven’t managed to do that. Calling names is a classic method of discrediting unpleasant facts. But when you take the 35 mph speed of the car and the engine propeled 100 feet away, you only come up with one explanation. A really big bomb.

  • Pingback: Hastings rumor of Hastings ‘Unauthorized Cremation’ Mega-Rumor Being False, False | The Internet Chronicle

  • Associated Blogs

    Sloppy reporting guys. You’re using an unattributed source to refute a prior story. Can’t do it. That’s like fighting rumor with rumor. Name your source, or say why you can’t name it. Being critical of Dvorak is not enough. You have to attribute your source info as you did with Biggs, but not with the family member you refer to. If family and friends are changing their stories there’s a story there too. You’re clouding issues by engaging in reporting this way. Sorry, like your other stuff, but not too impressed with this one.

    • Russ

      Well, AB is certainly not the AP when it comes to journalism rules. It’s perfectly ok to decide to accept a quote from an unnamed source we trust, especially when that source is entirely consistent with the other, named– and more central– source. And Biggs pretty much sets the record straight.

      Since we’ve been a leader in seeking insight into Michael Hastings’s death, we’ve earned the right to report the truth on this, without catering to the audience’s own mindset or preferences.

      • Russ

        We heard it from a source who declined to be identified because the family is generally not granting interviews and does not wish to invite a deluge. Or the likely acrimony of those who inevitably would cast aspersions. (But then that’s probably obvious)

        • Eric_Saunders

          Yes, Acrimony… like what we see from the people trolling this story…

        • Frank von Winkhorst

          What’s obvious is that the source of all of this purported “misinformation” managed to find someone with the academic wherewithal to compute the speed of the car. Which you did not. So who’s the reporter?

      • KGB

        Erm.. the role you claim as an investigative journalist is to help us poor people understand what’s going on, not treat us like children or condescend because we might actually have a disagreeable opinion about the machinations of the World around us.

        If you can’t name a *primary* source, then say why or say nothing otherwise you might as well just write the same type of junk you accuse the media of doing – “a source close to the White House today said DHS sources reported unofficially the Dept. has stopped 100,000 terrorts attacks this month, including several involving plastic safety scissors“.

      • Frank von Winkhorst

        A leader? Did you bother to actually compute the speed of the car from the video? Ms. Dvorak managed to do that, and they came up with 35 mph. Now that’s real reporting. This is nonsense.

  • notthere56

    The first thing that occurs to me, as it should to competent journalists (I am not one, just a citizen paying attention), is that the family may be in mortal fear of further reprisal/violence. It cannot be taken as a given that there is no reason for the family to be extremely fearful of saying something that angers the very people we suspect of having assassinated Hastings.

  • SO

    I’m glad to see something relevant on this point. If Biggs was the original source, and he says he was misinterpreted, then there is no original source for saying that the body was cremated against the family’s wishes. Reasonable people should accept this as fact, unless something else comes up to challenge it.

  • Strawman411

    “The larger lesson here is one about the state of news today. The
    media/online world seems increasingly divided between those who are too
    quick to accept official claims—and those whose default posture is that
    everything is a plot to cover up the truth.”

    Let’s have an Amen on that.

    “Inquiry is fatal to certainty.”
    ~Will Durant, historian (1885-1981)

  • odessa

    This article makes me sick, truly sick. Especially your condenscending “tut-tut” tone, directed against those who, in knee-jerk fashion you suggest, always want to think the worst of their government. You pinch your nose in disgust – like a New Yorker editor who’s disgusted to find an ill-placed semi-colon – and mock the ridiculousness of your average citizen who was thoughtless enough to entertain the plausibility of the Dvorak story.
    Bad reporters undoubtedly exist on all sides of the political aisle. But let’s be clear: If only half of what you report in Family of Secrets is true, then Americans would be foolish and irrational not to approach stories like the Hastings’ death with a huge degree of skepticism of the official narrative and to be receptive to reports like Dvorak’s. Your suggestion that irresponsible and unjustified accusations against officialdom only cause it to “clam up” and withhold information is absolutely absurd. For decades LA officialdom has clammed up very nicely of its own volition, thank you very much, the RFK assassination coverup being perhaps the most notorious example.
    But what most disgusts me about this article is your utterly naive conception of responsible journalism in the current political climate/context. We live in extreme times. You yourself set off many alarmist bells in Family of Secrets. A secret government exists, you say, and it has hijacked our demoracy. You speak of dark times in your bookstore colloquies. We are, in a certain sense, in a war against shadowy forces, trying to preserve our democracy and our liberty as best we can. And yet, at times what most seems to gall you is that the people on the right side of the fight mess up on some details of the massive assault against everything they hold dear.
    You should by all means call attention to error, but please don’t preen about your evenhandedness and about how you are refusing to “pander” to the conspiracy theorists. Judging from your publications, you yourself are a conspiracy theorist. Deal with it.

    • Carine Clary

      I thought “calling attention to error” was kinda the whole point of good journalism – that and having pretty rigorous standards about the facts that you decide to put out there – and if you do a proper job, it won’t be “conspiracy theory,” it’ll be fact.

      • odessa

        Agreed: Good journalism should seek to uncover error wherever it exists and by whomever it is propagated. So it is mighty fine journalism for Russ to publish a story alerting us to the falsity of the Dvorak story. But he adopts a “plague on both your houses” attitude toward those who reflexively believe official narratives and those who disbelieve them. Given the history of the last 50 years, there is no intellectual or moral equivalence between these two sets of people. The latter group is responding far more to the evidence than the former group. Do people too readily believe the worst about their government? Probably. Do some by this point exhibit signs of paranoia? Arguably. But there are very good, evidence-based reasons for their distrust, and people shouldn’t be made to feel as though they are just another self-promoting faction, just another interest-group that needs to be held at bay.

        • Carine Clary

          “he adopts a “plague on both your houses” attitude toward those who reflexively believe official narratives and those who disbelieve them.”

          The reason I read this website is because it questions both official & unofficial narratives, either of which can be equally true or equally false. You can have a hunch about how things really went down, but you really have to remain agnostic (especially in this case) till all the technical facts are confirmed.

        • Eric_Saunders

          Yes, a plague on both houses: the sheeple who believe all official pronouncements and the undiscerning rejecters of every detail of official accounts. The latter actually decrease the credibility of critics of the various stories, official.

        • sprockethawk

          “Given the history of the last 50 years, there is no intellectual or moral equivalence between these two sets of people.”

          I largely agree.

          Beginning with the JFK assassination on through to his brother’s and MLK’s murders through to Malcolm X and Viet-Tonkin and Watergate and Iran/Contra and the Church Hearings through to Bush-Reagan-Clinton-Bush, and all the Cold War circus sadism in between, the gulf between Left and Right has been deeply riven, with the end result being the consolidation of esoteric, non-democratic powers. The net winner, then, is the fascistic Right, who control and produce the official narrative.

          But you chide Baker for the “plague on both your houses” moralizing, although it seems to me the Montague-Capulet reference is apt, not from the POV of the masses, who are generally conditioned by false narratives from childhood onward and are continuously stoked with fear of this and desire for that, but from the POV of Left/Right factionalism. In so as “the battle” has so far been little more than an intellectual exercise, a Hegelian psychodrama between faux-masters and faux-slaves, there IS a moral equivalence.

          The Constitution and its all-important Bill of Rights was fabricated out of such factionalism, a war for narrative control that was even then, and certainly remained thereafter, the domain of the elite, the Montagues and Capulets, but not really the great unwashed in-between.

          We seem to be heading into a post-political space, into a new synthesis, where control of the narrative is no longer even relevant, what with the apparent unstoppable depletion of resources and the emergence of multiverses, into a world Synthesis (Internet-based activities) without the hope of the Geist pay-off.

          It’s important to uncover ‘what really happened’ to Hastings, et. al., because every narrative requires reactivity to move forward and develop, the arcs and sparks of the welder’s craft, but there is no visible didactic ending here, no return to “democracy”; it’s all existentialism and phenomenology food stamps up ahead.

        • odessa

          Wow, very nicely phrased. I’m a bit pedestrian and retro….I still believe in “the good fight.” I do think the so-called (and -blasphemed !) “conspiracists” get it right much more often than their counterparts, the coincidentalists. Given that track record, I object to Russ sounding as though he takes so much pleasure from debunking them.

        • sprockethawk

          Thanks, Odessa, for your reply. Like you, I, too, am pedestrian, but look both ways twice before I try to cross the current stream of consciousness. And I beleive in fighting the good fight, too, fighting as if I were the wrongest person on earth, knowing the bleak alternative is I’m right. With Time magazine journalists (one assumes the dickhead is not alone) calling for the head of fellow journalist Glenn Grenwald, and the latter’s partner being held down by British gargoyles at the airport, it’s sure looking like the Hastings inferno was less of a ‘coincidence’ and more of a ‘delete and close up’ in the tightly woven narrative. O’ well, guess we gotta soldier on and keep the head down until the shockin awe show is over.Brrr, back to karma rations.

      • Frank von Winkhorst

        When does parroting an anonymous family member who may or may not have had an Uzi shoved up their posterior constitute good journalism? And, just for the record, the fact that this anonymous person claims that the family weren’t forced to have the body cremated doesn’t mean the story was in error. It just means that there is another version being flogged by some unknown person.

  • OCCUPY FEARRINGTON

    Usually the FBI is the proactive clean-up detail, directing the cover-up, threatening witnesses, telling them to forget what they saw. Cases in point, the Franklin Cover-Up in Omaha, the threatening letters to Martin Luther King to commit suicide, the handling of Oswald.

    • http://www.911Blogger.com/ Orangutan.

      There was also a witness to the RFK killing that was pressured to recant or change her story. They talk about it in the great documentary series “Evidence of Revision” available on YouTube. Long live Investigative Journalism!!

      • sgtdoom

        That entire RFK assassination was so obviously contrived and filled with holes the size of the Grand Canyon! So many witnesses described a “mystery witness” or “mystery woman” hanging around Sirhan that evening for some hours prior, their description was of an olive-skinned, brunette with a slight foreign accent, late 20s or early 30s in age. So the police bring forward a young petite blonde, college age, who was supposed to have been a full leg cast that day!

        Curiously enough, her aunt and uncle both worked in the same classified area of Lockheed as did the part-time security guard, Thane Cesar, who was standing at the originating point of the kill shots. (The info on aunt and uncle gleaned from their obituaries.)

        That petite blonde, whose name was Valerie Schulte, had a father who worked at Technicolor Corporation, on a classified contract with Lockheed on film processing from the spy planes and spy satellites. Three connections to Lockheed, which at that time had a contract with the CIA’s MK ULTRA program, said info surfacing during the Church Committee congressional investigations in the 1970s.

        • OCCUPY FEARRINGTON

          The documentary RFK MUST DIE has a film at the scene identifying 3–4 CIA operators in attendance at RFK’s last speech. Why were they there? And, of course, that hotel has been torn down.

        • sgtdoom

          That was later proven incorrect, or mistaken identity, and Shane O’Sullivan inferred that he was misled, or really more of a psy op played against him to misdirect him away from something he was getting closer to (I suspect perhaps it was the background connections to Lockheed and that “mystery witness,” Valerie Schulte).
          Whatever people were involved in the RFK murder were new faces, for obvious reasons.

  • bks67

    Russ,

    As someone not afraid to ask hard questions, it would be nice if you asked the family (or Farwell) the obvious question everyone wants an answer to:

    “Do you have any reason to believe that alcohol or any other intoxicants were a factor in this crash?”

    It’s been reported widely that Hastings was sober. Could someone close to him please either confirm or deny this? If we knew that Hastings had returned to drinking/narcotics at some recent point before the crash, it would cast the incident in a different light even though it would not establish anything for certain about his condition that evening. A great deal of what is being called “unsupported speculation” hinges on the fact that Hastings was believed to be sober.

    It’s not a privacy issue any longer. He’s dead. It’s a matter of considerable importance to the public record of this event. Please ask it, or report it if you have answers.

    • Frank von Winkhorst

      Great diversion! The problem is that there’s very little evidence that a “crash” had anything to do with this. Someone earlier reported that they took a look at the tree that was supposedly hit and there was no damage whatsoever, no dent, no burn marks, nothing. I realize palm trees are pretty resilient, but really: no damage at all? Sounds like one of them magic palm trees made in the same obscure factory where they make magic bullets and meltable steel beams.

      • Frank von Winkhorst

        And now we learn from an analysis of the video that the car was doing an astounding 35 mph.

        Let’s face it folks. Elements of our government just bombed a reporter’s car because he was about to break a story about who was running the witchhunt against reporters.

        Oh, but we have more important things to worry about, like whether some anonymous family member claims the body was cremated without persuasion from the government.

  • OCCUPY FEARRINGTON

    Those are hard questions about Hastings. Others include: did the fire destroy his papers, his computer, his phone? Did the FBI or some other operatives visit his home and confiscate evidence? Was the family or friends told to shut up?

    • Frank von Winkhorst

      Reminds me of Dorothy Kilgallen, who had a convenient heart attack the day before her piece on the JFK assassination was due to appear. No one has ever seen hide nor hair of that story either. And that, it seems to me, is the tipoff. It doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to understand that in the normal course of events, someone’s death would not automatically lead to the disappearance of their literary work, unless that was the whole point of their death.

  • sgtdoom

    Great reporting, but let’s leave the cremation alone for now, and just chalk it up to typical CorporateMedia trash reportage!

    More importantly, there’s an extremely common thread running through the work, and death, of Aaron Swartz, the recent death of journalist Michael Hastings, and the concentrated witch hunt against WikiLeaks people and Julian Assange.

    It appears to all be about the control of the Internet.

    Swartz had made strategic inroads against the ongoing
    movement by the government, as represented through its privatized intelligence community and the NSA, to control the Internet.

    Michael Hastings, the former Rolling
    Stone
    journalist who wrote the articles on Gen. McChrystal, leading to his firing by President Obama, was supposed to be working on a story about the NSA, and appeared to have interacted with Barrett Brown, who had been concerned with the subject of cybersecurity firms working for the
    government. This involved data mining those hacked (by Anonymous) HBGary emails, which mentioned Endgame Systems. Some interesting members on the board of
    directors at Endgame: Chris Darby, also president of the CIA’s venture firm, In-Q-Tel; Lt. Gen. Ken Minihan, former director of the DIA, and Chris Rouland, who had been a vice president at Lehman Brothers.

    Swartz, WikiLeaks’ Assange, and what Michael Hastings was
    evidently working on concerned the potential absolute control over the Internet by the NSA, the privatized intel establishment, and the giant telecoms, AT&T among them. (Interesting to
    note that it was Jay Rockefeller who led the successful drive in the US Senate to grant legal immunity from criminal prosecution to the telecoms for their actions involving warrantless wiretapping.

    AT&T loves Jay Rockefeller and AT&T has traditionally been a
    Rockefeller company [originally owned by Morgan and Vanderbilt, it was traded to Rockefeller sometime in the 1900s so Morgan could purchase Carnegie's steel companies].)

    And Lawrence Lessig attends the recent Bilderberger conference (normally run by David Rockefeller) for the first time after Swartz’s death, along with the usual Carl Bildt,
    longtime member, and other new attendees from those government cybersecurity and private intel firms of Palantir and Stratfor.

    For some background on Michael Hastings and his peculiar
    death (an auto accident in his Mercedes, involving multiple explosions and fire) and some of those connections mentioned:

    http://whowhatwhy.com/2013/08/07/connections-between-michael-hastings-edward-snowden-and-barrett-brown-the-war-with-the-security-state/

    And an interesting Guardian article on recently FOIA-released data on the persecution of Aaron Swartz:

    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/aug/13/us-government-aaron-swartz-releases-file

    Hacking auto computers:

    http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/vehicles/class/features/class-C/bodystyle-CPE/vehicle-technology

    From the site above: Michael Hastings’ Mercedes came with MBRACE2 technology incorporating computer-controlled acceleration and braking.

    http://lazytechguys.com/news/business/researchers-gain-access-to-car-remotely-by-hacking-the-internal-computer/

    Researchers Gain Access to Car Remotely by Hacking the
    Internal Computer

    Researchers from U.C. San Diego and the University of
    Washington successfully hacked into a car remotely and gained control of it’s vital functions. With the increasing
    addition of services like OnStar, Sync and Mbrace coming from companies like GM, Ford and Mercedes, these researchers wanted to see how high tech criminals in the future could break into vehicles.

    They used a cellular channel that is used for connection to
    the security call center, and installed software giving them remote control over the vehicle. The commands would
    control the car’s electronic control unit or the cars brain and gave them control over the locks and the brakes. Also, it allows for them to remotely track a vehicle as well as eavesdropping on the cabin.

    http://www.hubberts-arms.org/breaking-news/journalist-michael-hastings-turns-mercedes-a-c250-into-a-bomb/15/

    In the comments section of the above-mentioned web site:

    An eyewitness at the scene, Jose, employed at nearby
    business ALSCO Inc said, the car was traveling very fast and he heard a couple explosions shortly before the car crashed. In fact, the explosion was so intense that it took the LA County assistant corner, Ed Winter, two days to identify the burned-beyond recognition body of Hastings. Officials confirm that
    an autopsy has been performed, but the cause of death is pending.

    Furthermore,

    http://rt.com/usa/michael-hastings-cyber-car-218/

    A former cybersecurity advisor to President George W. Bush
    says a sophisticated computer hack could have been the cause of the automobile accident that claimed the life of journalist Michael Hastings last week in Los Angeles.

    Richard Clarke, a State Department official-turned-special
    advisor to several United States presidents, said the early morning auto crash last Tuesday was “consistent with a car cyberattack,” raising new questions about the death of the award-winning journalist.

    And,

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21929266.500-25-gadget-lets-ha%E2%80%8Bckers-seize-control-of-a-car.html

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/how-to/computer-security/how-vulnerable-is-your-car-to-cyber-attack

    http://www.examiner.com/article/information-regarding-michael-hastings-death-remain-elusive

    The 2013 Mercedes Hastings drove that fateful night in June
    is equipped with MBRACE (emergency call system), SOS telephone and the Voice Control System. It is similar to the ONSTAR program, and can directly link the driver to a representative in case of emergencies. The Mercedes manual reads: “Information about electronic data acquisition in the vehicle (Including notice pursuant to California Code § 9951). If your vehicle is equipped with MBRACE, data is transmitted in the event of an accident.”

    • ChristianStork

      Sgt, your broad analysis seems spot on the money. The central thread linking most (if not all) of these cases is control of the Internet. It will undoubtedly be the defining battle of this generation, I believe.

      Without commenting on the various connections you document here, I will say that Richard Clarke’s input on the crash of MH is not as startling as many would believe. I contacted the author of the original HuffPo article in which Clarke was quoted as saying that, who told me OTR that he had been in touch with Clarke about an entirely different bit of business, and just inserted the Hastings question in there because it was in the news. Clarke responded in kind and it was put into the HP piece on Hastings as such. It was not the case of a prominent insider seeing the crash on television and “having to get the word out” (not that you imply as much in your above list, but many on the Internet have taken Clarke’s insider status and statements as evidence that a car hack was not only possible but likely). Rather, it seems to just have been a convenient quote at the time, and Clarke runs a cybersecurity firm so hyping the threat of cyberattacks is in his material self-interest.

      All of this isn’t to say that a car-hack wasn’t possibly at play in MH’s death—anyone privy to the world of hacking knows that such actions are very real and can be done. I’m just saying that that prominent quote, as of this moment, seems to have been the result of convenience for the reporter and source rather than a startling admission from an insider who was distraught after seeing the crash.

      As such an engaged and insightful member of our community, I figure you are entitled to that knowledge :)

      • sprockethawk

        Good follow-up, Christian, and analysis. Insertion journalism can be as unhelpful as Dvorak-like conspiracy-stirring based on mis-truths. In the case, of Richard Clarke and his self-serving cyber interests (an excellent point), one should also remember that he appears to be the first Washington insider to have promoted the idea that Stuxnet was the work of the US and Israel–statements, which, at the time, were otherwise prosecutable leaks. Here is the article from Smithsonian magazine where he talks about the cyberwars in general and Stuxnet in partiular:

        http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/Richard-Clarke-on-Who-Was-Behind-the-Stuxnet-Attack.html

      • sgtdoom

        I appreciate your passing on that info on Clarke, but he was primarily included for the sake of the status quo worshippers, personally speaking, I never pay attention to professional stooges like Clarke or George Tenet. I did think it novel that he would make such a comment, given his always saying things which promote his business/financial interests.

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  • planckbrandt

    Conspiracy theories have played a major role in history. The cases are well documented. The theories are indeed planted or promoted to cloud over the real story. Who knows who this Dvorak person or her bosses really are. There have been known to be spies and operatives deliberately planting things in populations targeted for destabilization. The Tsar’s secret police did it using religious publishers targeting gullible religious conservative audiences. The royalist papers did it too in Germany. We know what kinds of conspiracy theories they planted. The simple truth is the US population has obviously been targeted for destabilization. Disinformation, misdirection, and “reflexive control” using constant crisis and “foreign attack” are all the tactics they use to do it. They need to mislead the people here about the big crimes. Hence, the industry that grew up around the 1960s assassinations. And, there are no laws to stop it, nor constitutional rights against it. Obviously.

    • Frank von Winkhorst

      Nobody’s planting “conspiracy theories,” which is a CIA constructed buzz word. “Conspiracy theories” arise because of real conspiracies. The only fake “conspiracy theories” are planted by those who wish to cover up their own conspiracies, for example, the fake theories about anti-Castro Cubans and the Mafia planning the Kennedy assassination, one of which was actually transmitted by this website.

  • jknovelli

    Great commentary from all. Appreciate what Russ is trying to do here, but it’s his head on the chopping block and not ours. Russ is only human and I think he has good intentions. However, like any vulnerable person, he clearly has been spooked by something and has most likely been told to back off. If Michael Hastings can be made to have an fatal accident, than so can Russ and he knows it. Not trying to pass judgment here, I’m just saying that guys like Russ are going up against some very powerful people and if they find that someone is trying to reveal their dirty little secrets by bringing a pen to a sword fight, they’re going to run them through.
    These are some very scary people who are not accountable to the laws that govern this nation.

    • Russ

      Thanks for the concern, but actually this story is just plain and simple journalism–checking out a claim that lacked any basis. If we checked and it was true, we would have said so.

      • Frank von Winkhorst

        Dorothy Kilgallen was just doing straight journalism on the Kennedy assassination when she had her convenient heart attack. I hope you have copies of your work stashed with a number of friends, because that’s the first thing to disappear after these “accidents.”

  • SO

    Lost in the letdown caused by dispelling this apparent rumor, perhaps, is the significance of the family wanting a cremation. “The Family,” it seems to me, must mean Hastings’ wife, Elise Jordan. Apparently, she requested a cremation. Of course, she is a living person with lawyers, so one must be careful in expressing the possible significance of this fact. Cremation is not an unusual choice, but in this case it shows a trust for the authorities that they will produce honest results, since the original evidence, the body, is destroyed. If this is considered in light of other facts in this case, it suggests some unseemly possibilities.

    • SO

      do not generally recommend the Alex Jones channel as a source of facts, but this interview with a witness to Hastings crash aftermath, apparently the wife of the guy with the hose, sounds very credible to me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx3jrSU0DdU&list=LLlJa7YtqPMhP-pwlQWCnyUQ&feature=mh_lolz , even with the “lolz” at the end of the web address. This witness says that she saw the body removed and that only the head was burned. Presumably, the LAPD police report and the coroner’s report, will confirm this observation. Of course, now the whole body is burned, so if they don’t confirm the witness observation, we’ll just have to decide who we want to believe.

      • SO

        In my view, the head alone being burned, is extremely important. because it suggests that the source of the flames visible in the driver’s area in the LOUDLABS video, did not come from under the car, as one would expect in an innocent fire. If the source of the flames were elevated, it could burn just the head and create such a draft that lower portions of the body would not be burned, in my amateur opinion. The rectangular dent visible in the driver’s door, in my opinion, suggests that a firebomb exploded inside the door. Some have suggested that this it was caused by an intrusion bar, but the Mercedes diagrams I can find suggest that the bar is not located in the position of the dent, and I also don’t see why an intrusion bar would make such a dent even if it was right there, unless it had been pushed out by an explosion. Anyway, the body being cremated now means that we must trust the official reports to explain these issues with no recourse to independent confirmation. If “the family” did not also request that the car be melted down, there may be some hope of that being examined by an independent investigator, I suppose. But, if things are as I suspect, they will have a plan to deal with that.

        • gogetem1

          After seeing that raging inferno of a fire, I don’t know how it would be possible for a body not to be entirely burned after that.

        • SO

          Fire creates draft. It stays relatively cool updraft.

        • Frank von Winkhorst

          So if there was a “raging inferno,” why was the palm tree untouched? Can’t have it both ways, fellow.

  • SO

    We should also consider the biographies here. Michael Hastings, fresh out of journalism school, goes to work for Newsweek Magazine, and spends 6 years in their employ, 2002-2008. Then, he makes the move that made him famous, his field trip with Stanley McChrystal. Five years later, his car explodes in a fireball seen by investigative journalists all over the country. And his wife, Elise Jordan, who spent time at Yale, btw, according to her Wikipedia entry, “…served as a director for communications in the National Security Council from 2008-09. She worked in the White House Office of Presidential Speechwriting, at the U.S. Embassy, Baghdad and for the Commanding General’s Strategic Advisory Group at the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, as well as speechwriter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.” The ISAF Commander at the time, btw, was a guy named Stanley McChrystal. Yep. The same Stanley McChrystal her future husband rode with on the bus. One might be excused for thinking that Mr. & Mrs. Hastings were actually insiders themselves.

  • Joe Boyer

    How convenient that the story changes.. and suddenly the family doesn’t want anyone to investigate any further.

    • SO

      If you find Biggs credible, then the widow’s turnaround is truly amazing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zm5E10EhSp0

      • SO

        One interesting thing Biggs says in this interview, while talking about Hastings’ reaction to combat in Afghanistan, was that Hastings was addicted to the adrenaline rush. If you want his crash to be an accident, 80 mph through red lights in LA might get the adrenaline flowing.

        • KGB

          Contextualise that… the rush came from getting the job done not thrill seeking‘. Doubly so because he is reported to have normally driven “like a grandma”.

        • SO

          I think Biggs is saying it came from the thrill of battle. But I don’t really think anybody with any brains would run red lights in LA at 80 mph, and Hastings did have brains. That would be more dangerous than hunkering down in Afghanistan, even suicidal.

        • Frank von Winkhorst

          35 mph. He really did drive like a little old lady:

          http://www.sandiego6.com/story/cia-director-brennan-confirmed-as-reporter-michael-hastings-next-target-20130812

          It’s called “reporting.”

        • Frank von Winkhorst

          It occurs to me that Hastings’ alleged behavior is entirely consistent with his fear of the parties he was investigating. Even someone joyriding doesn’t normally run redlights. But if he feared for his life, he might very well do so in order to get away from his potential murderers. Even if Hastings’ crash was an “accident,” if it resulted from trying to escape from the interested parties and they were engaged in committing a felony, it’s murder in the first degree.

        • Frank von Winkhorst

          Update:

          It now seems that Hastings was only traveling at 35 mph:

          http://www.sandiego6.com/story/cia-director-brennan-confirmed-as-reporter-michael-hastings-next-target-20130812

          And yet the engine was 100 feet away. Sounds like a bomb to me, laddies and gentlewomen.

          I realize that Ol’ Russo isn’t a mathematician or anything, but this kind of simple algebraic manipulation would, it seems to me, be within his grasp or, at the very least, of someone with a mathematical bent of mind available to such a wonderful “investigative reporter.”

          Whatever her flaws, it looks like Ms. Dvorak is doing a much better job at getting at the facts than someone whose main concern seems to be with quashing statements that don’t agree with the official scenario. Added to the propagation of the Mafia/Anti-Castro Cuban, CIA fallback story of the JFK assassination, I am beginning to sense a pattern here.

        • KGB

          That would seem a reasonable conclusion but for the fact that so far nothing seems to indicate he was being pursued or trying to escape some unseen/unnoticed (by witnesses) assailant. This sits entirely well with national media who, for all intents and purposes, say he was simply (paraphrasing) “speeding and lost control of the car before hitting a tree and bursting into flames”. So to them, no felony, no murder, no need to bother with the story beyond the initial reporting of it :/

      • Frank von Winkhorst

        “I interview a lot of people who end up dead.”
        –Alex Jones

        If that’s not proof of what’s going on, I don’t know what is.

        • isnamthere

          OMG! Alex Jones is a murderer! I heard it here first! Thanks Franks.

        • beijingyank

          “I interview a lot of people who end up dead.”
          –Alex Jones
          Jones said that to Biggs…another example of Jones speaking before engaging brain. It had to have put Biggs off balance. Biggs is the hero here.
          I believe he vets the story about the cremation without family permission.

          Biggs is real. The source mentioned to contradict the story is crap. I’m tired and I have had enough of this kind of hit piece, hired gun, propaganda disguised as responsible journalism.

          This is followed by a character assassination of Michael. This is a clear tip off and neon lit sign of foul play.

          The terrorists are inside the wire. It’s called the Beltway. Time for the Patriots to rally and “protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign, and domestic.”

      • gogetem1

        I don’t find either Biggs or Jordan to be credible. For all I know, they are colluding.

        • SO

          I agree on Jordan, and I’m not certain of Biggs. I’m not even certain of Michael Hastings. Maybe he’s in Saudi Arabia and some John Doe is in the urn. But, I think Hastings really was murdered and that Biggs is for real. That makes the most sense to me.

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  • Daughter of Liberty

    The comments here are great. Regarding Kimberly Dvorak: Russ, you may be right she has made some mistakes. If so, I hope she corrects them, but the gist of her reporting has helped keep the story alive. The silence of the MSM is deafening. Compare the reporting and pitiful investigation into the death of Michael Hastings to the uproar and government investigations into the phony scandal of the rodeo clown.

    Unfortunately, your story does not provide irrefutable evidence that Dvorak was wrong. It just points that way. Why didn’t you dialogue with her rather than labeling her reply as “disingenuous” and then cast further aspersions on her reputation by making vague references to her affiliations and political leanings?

    Now, Russ, would you check into Danny Casalaro? He supposedly stabbed himself 12 times sitting on the toilet in 1991. He was an investigative journalist who was doing a story on the Justice Department’s theft of the Inslaw software.

    Author Ken Thomas wrote, “Casolaro’s investigation began with his inquiry into the case of Inslaw, from whom the U.S. Justice Department stole a software package called PROMIS

    and sold it to governments and financial institutions around the world, after modifying it to provide a back door by which they would track the movement of money and other assets everywhere.”

    PROMIS software seems to be the prototype of software that Snowden discusses in his revelations.

    The day before he died, Casalaro told a friend he was going to interview someone who would help him bring home the “head of the Octopus” his nickname for the program. Right.

    Danny’s death was ruled a suicide. LAPD said that there was no evidence of foul play in the Michael Hastings case. You can’t trust the authorities. You are the 4th Estate and watchdog of our FIrst Amendment. The family has to protect itself.

    Keep digging, keep reporting, and check your glovebox.

  • sistercarrie

    This is interesting.
    BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief ignored May 2012 email about possible Hastings probe
    http://ronbryn.blogspot.ca/2013/08/buzzfeed-editor-in-chief-ignored-may.html

    • SO

      That’s interesting. At some point a few days ago it occurred to me that BuzzFeed might be the place to go for the Hastings crash, so I went. It looked absolutely mainstream commercial to me, replete with silly celebrity crap, and precious little on the Hastings crash, so I came running back here. They must have paid Hastings well. I don’t see why else he would work for that.

      • SO

        They did run the Piers Morgan interview with the grieving widow, in it’s entirety. I saw an edited version elsewhere that removed the A-Rod question and the book plug. I don’t think CNN has even pit it on YouTube. But, unlike on their other videos I looked at, the interview video did not allow comments. They don’t seem to be terribly interested in covering…or UNcovering, the Hastings crash.

        • sistercarrie

          No , they don’t.

        • SO

          From the Wiki, “BuzzFeed is a website that combines a technology platform for detecting viral content with an editorial selection process to provide a snapshot of “the viral web in realtime”. ”

          Perhaps they didn’t pay him anything. It seems to me that silliness is the sites raison d’etre.

        • SO

          Actually, there’s something very NSA about BuzzFeed. It spies on the web, presumably employing “meta data” to filter what is to be analyzed and then presented for inspection to the authorities, the viewers. I bet it’s a great psyop tool, a kind of instant polling of the unwashed masses.

  • SO

    I’m subscribed to the LOUDLABS YouTube channel, so when he comments somewhere, it appears on my YouTube page. Yesterday he responded to a question on the unedited dashcam video,

    “pochitamexicana 1 month ago

    I think that this loudlabs news where part of the cover up !!!

    LAnewsLOUDLABS 1 day ago

    you never know!!!!”

    But he didn’t respond to some questions I left there for him. And on some channel who had his video up, he yesterday left the comment,

    “LAnewsLOUDLABS 1 day ago
    thief

    SO 20 hours ago

    and what are YOU?

    LAnewsLOUDLABS 20 hours ago

    The cameraman that shot this footage

    SO 18 hours ago

    Were you following that bus down Santa Monica, Scott?”

    He chose not answer that question.

  • d b

    Russ,
    Very good article and an important point.

  • Bbethany7

    A redundant cremation. He was already toast.

  • Ricarrdo estavans

    Secret rogue government agents have murdered plenty of so called trouble makers. The US government is one of the biggest crime families in the world.

  • sprockethawk

    Thanks for this frank and honest revelation, Russ. You are absolutely right about the counterproductivity of conspiracy -stirring. It gets very confusing, indeed, when the extremes of Left and Right wield similar looking clubs toward administrative policy, but for seriously different agendas. I had wondered myself about the cremation, as, until now, there had been no critical appraisal of Dvorak’s assertions, but I have learned to trust no journalism that is not balanced in its reporting and which does not include primary documents and/or primary sources. Thanks for the healthy dose of integrity.

  • Pete Thottam

    Thanks for the article, Russ.

  • JakeLee

    Hey Russ, why not investigate the wife for ties to “the company”. It would explain a lot when it comes to back peddling on facts/lies. You know how they like to have their hand in all the cookie jars.

    • SO

      That’s the kind of investigating that would get Baker killed, or even worse, sued.

    • beijingyank

      Elise Jordan was on Bush’s National Security Council and is/was a member of the CFR. She wrote speeches for the: “But there was nobody in our government, and I don’t think [in] the prior government, that could envision flying airplanes into buildings on such a massive scale,” bs artist, Condoleezza Rice.

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  • IJustWantTruth

    Why can’t we focus on the last article hastings was planning?

    • Frank von Winkhorst

      Because, like the article Dorothy Kilgallen was about to publish the day after her convenient heart attack, it has already been destroyed by the powers that be.

  • daddysteve

    What “family member” ?

    • Russ

      We can’t name a person if they specifically agree to talk to us on the condition they will not be named.

  • Michael Calder

    Part of CIA craft is to discredit the messenger especially when the message is correct. The cremation part of Kim Dvorak’s article was but a small part of the much more important whole. I was at the site of the crash and walked Highland Blvd. There were no skid marks. There were chalk marks made by LAPD indicating the vehicle after crossing Melrose drifted from right to center to left as it approached the center divider. No skid marks means either Michael did not attempt to step on the brakes or he did and the breaks did not work. There are no other choices. I inspected the tree. No damage. No indentations, no pieces missing, no deep cuts, nothing broken. It looked like the tree next to it. How does a tree struck by a vehicle traveling at 100 mph for a quarter or even half a mile not receive any damage. It doesn’t. Which means the car exploded while in the street and came to a halt next to the tree. Where was Michael coming from at 4 a.m.? Who was the last person to meet with him and what did they discuss? Where is a single bartender in Los Angeles to come forward and tell about serving Michael a drink. Why is his last 24 hours not accounted for and why is the wife not curious? My study of the JFK and RFK murders showed me CIA always places a deep cover agent next to a target. When the decision to”pull the plug” occurs, the agent in place is there for damage control and actually assisting in the murder. Will Matt Farwell answer any of these questions./ Look at Elise Jordan as strongly as you do the brave San Diego reporter.

    • Frank von Winkhorst

      No no no! It’s a magic palm tree. They make them in the same small Tibetan factory where they make magic bullets.

      • Frank von Winkhorst

        Update:

        “A University professor told San Diego 6 News that calculating the
        speed of Hastings car follows a simple mathematic equation. By using
        the video and the distance traveled (195 feet) as well as the seconds
        that lapsed prior to the explosion – the car was traveling roughly 35
        mph.”

        That’s from here: http://www.sandiego6.com/story/cia-director-brennan-confirmed-as-reporter-michael-hastings-next-target-20130812

        35 m/h? Why, I didn’t even know that a Mercedes could travel at that astronomical speed. ;-) Now maybe some of the idiots who are worried about whether Hastings had been drinking will stifle themselves.

      • SO

        Everybody ignores the first thing the car hit, the fire hydrant and water pipes, or whatever exactly that was. I’d like to see a “before” picture. Perhaps much of the car’s inertia was dissipated when it hit that stuff.

      • IJustWantTruth

        we need some photographic evidence to back up these claims.

      • qcubed

        IT is HERESAY. If I told you I was present at Jesus’s resurrection you would probably believe me.

    • IJustWantTruth

      Did you take any photographs of the area? Can you link to them if so?

      At the time, he was traveling away from his house. He might have been on his way to catch a plane or something like that.

      • qcubed

        No he didn’t. He is a troll, likely paid to post this junk on sites like this.

        • Michael Calder

          I’m a graduate of UC Berkeley and author of JFK vs.CIA and personal acquaintance of Russ Baker.

        • qcubed

          So you are qualified to say this was assassination? Doubtful.

      • Michael Calder

        There is an good article with photos in the current laweekly.com His neighbor told the weekly that Michael thought his mercedes was being tampered with and the night of the crash he asked to borrow her car as he was afraid to drive his car. He crashed four hours later.

    • qcubed

      Oh yea? Well I was in the car and saw him punch the accelerator and scream Allah Akbar…..before detonating his backpack.

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  • same ass

    Is it wrong to point the journalist credibility finger at WhoWhatWhy Mr. Baker? Michael Krikorian’s entire crash analysis article is based on a video. Your readers are provided a shaky, unclear, obstructed, 23 second clip of the Pizzeria Mozza surveillance video.
    A clear, extended version of this video will answer many questions, dispel multiple rumors, and prevent suspicions from raging across the Internet forever.
    Produce the original surveillance video, from the moment Hastings car passes by Mozza, through the rescue crew putting out the fire. Until this key footage is provided, you shouldn’t be pointing the credibility finger at anybody but yourself.

  • edwardrynearson

    perhaps this is what they call “a poison pill”

    • SO

      The most prominent news reporting which questions the accidental nature of Hastings’ presumed death revealed as a house of cards resting on a journalistic lie, a poison pill? Clever, aren’t they? Now, the LAPD report ought to put to rest any excuse for further questioning by real journalists, giving them more time to check under their cars.

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  • reverb256

    This sounds about as sincere as Manning’s forced apology.

  • Anonymous

    I would like to know who this unseen close “family member” of Michael Hastings is aside from Joe Biggs and his widow Elise Jordans who looks more like a deep cover cia agent than a heart broken widow.

    • SO

      According to the recently released medical report, two of Hastings’ brothers were in LA on the day he died. At least one of them has made comments about thinking it was just an accident, elsewhere reported in the news. It’s probably one of these brothers. This is the “Mosaic Effect” in action, folks.

  • qcubed

    So many conspiracy theorists….get a job people.

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  • SO

    Do we really know that this rumor is false? Isn’t Russ Baker the source? Maybe the rumor is true, after all.

  • Marko

    From the looks of things he was cremated inside that car, which makes one wonder how a Mercedes explodes upon impact with a tree or was there a gas pump next to the tree?

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  • buddy

    And why isnt the lapd releasing the report? What a nation of gullable fools we live in.

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