There have been a number of heartfelt stories on the death of this award winning investigative journalist Michael Hastings, as well there should be. Still something is lacking.
I had read his book “The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan” early this year. This book and his June 22, 2010 Rolling Stone article “The Runaway General” both profile General Stanley McChrystal and his inner circle.
I too am shocked at Michale Hastings death in a story that says “[he] …died early Tuesday in an explosive one-car crash in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles…A witness, … named Jose, says he saw Hastings’ car moving at an extraordinarily fast speed coming down Highland from Santa Monica Blvd., which would mean the car was traveling south. According to Jose’s description, the vehicle may have gone out of control while crossing Melrose Ave.” (The Daily Caller)
What troubles me about the stories on his tragic death is that they are routine, for a not very routine reporter.
No investigative journalism has gone into this story. Why was Hastings speeding, does he have a record of reckless driving? Was he drinking? Did he have an argument with someone earlier in the day, who was the last person to see him? What was his state of mind? Was he suffering from PTSD?
Michale Hasting took down a Commanding General and his inner circle with his exposes, these men were at the heart of a counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan. They are trained killers, propagandists and true believers in their way or the highway. Hastings reported in his book that it was hinted that if the story went sour on McChrystal (and it did) they might have to kill him. Hastings confronted this threat directly and was satisfied & let it go.
But now that this incredibly brave journalist has died in a “runaway out of control, hit a tree and exploding into a fiery blaze car accident” no one is questioning the possibility of a hit?
Hastings deserves at least a better explanation of the circumstances that led to his early demise.
Read his book “The Operators” and his “The Runaway General” Rolling Stone article as well as his other contributions