The journalist who died in a mysterious car explosion a few years ago was about to expose former CIA Director John Brennan, according to his wife.
Michael Hastings was killed in a dramatic and fiery car crash in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles on June 18, 2013. Eyewitnesses described seeing his speeding Mercedes coup emitting sparks and flames before it drove head-on into a nearby palm tree and exploded. Hastings’ body was so severely burned it was beyond recognition.
Earlier that day, Hastings had sent an email to his editor at the website Buzzfeed alerting him that ‘the Feds are interviewing my “close friends and associates.” Perhaps if the authorities arrive “BuzzFeed GQ,” er HQ, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues.’
He added that ‘Also: I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the radat for a bit.’
Hours later, Hastings was dead.
The big story he was working now appears to be about spy chief Brennan, who has been described in secret emails from the President of CIA contractor Stratfor, Fred Burton – and released by Wikileaks -as being on a ‘witch hunt’ of investigative journalists.
Hastings’ wife, Elise Jordan, revealed on Piers Morgan’s show on CNN earlier this month that the story Hastings was working on at the time of his death was about Brennan. The CIA confirmed Jordan’s claim to San Diego 6 News, which says that when they brought the information – as well as a leaked email from Stratfor – to Brennan’s spokesperson, he responded ‘with lightning speed.’
Reporter Kimberly Dvorak says she received two emails from the CIA spokesman, one acknowledging that Hastings was working on a story about the CIA, and another stating that ‘without commenting on information disseminated by WikiLeaks, any suggestion that Director Brennan has ever attempted to infringe on constitutionally-protected press freedoms is offensive and baseless.’
Jordan says the article about Brennan will appear in an upcoming issue of Rolling Stone magazine.
Conspiracy theorists have jumped all over Hastings’ death because he has a proven history of bringing down powerful people (his Rolling Stone article about General Stanley McChrystal effectively ended the general’s career) and a collection of secret sources within the highest levels of government.
The cryptic emails aside, skeptics have asked where was Hastings going at 4:25 a.m., when witnesses say he was speeding AWAY from his house? Why would he be going so fast on a residential street (authorities say he was traveling ‘at top speed’ when he hit the tree, although that, too, has been questioned).
Those suspicious of a coverup in Hastings’ death even question the intensity of the fire that seemed to instantly engulf Hastings’ car after it hit the tree. Some have even suggested that a device was installed in Hastings’ car that allowed someone outside of the vehicle to control it’s speed and direction – although, those claims have been widely rejected as baseless, as there’s no known evidence to suggest that anyone but Hastings was in control of the vehicle, or that such a device even exists.
Adding to the suspicion is the fact that several government agencies – both local and federal – have been slow to turn over public records about the crash, despite hundreds of Freedom of Information Act requests from journalists across the country.
When asked if she subscribes to any of the conspiracy theories about her husband’s untimely death, Jordan says ‘the LAPD still has an active investigation…my gut here is that it was just a really tragic accident and I’m very unlucky and the world is very unlucky.’