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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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June 19, 2013 - 9:46 am

Journalist Michael Hastings was killed early Tuesday morning in a bizarre car incident in Los Angeles. Hastings, 33, was best known for writing the Rolling Stone story that ended in Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s resignation as head of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Hastings’ final story, “Why Democrats Love to Spy on Americans,” was a searing take on the NSA snooping scandal, which Hastings described as “North Korea-esque.” Hastings pulled no punches as he linked the NSA scandal to the Department of Justice’s spying on reporters and the IRS abuse scandal. Hastings built a case that the same Democrats who turned Bush-era anti-terrorism techniques into wedge issues that helped them capture Congress and the White House in 2006 and 2008 were now defending much worse and more widespread spying on American citizens by the Obama administration.

As Hastings detailed likely short-term fallout as the NSA leak is investigated, he wrote:

[J]udging by the DOJ’s and FBI’s recent history, it would seem that any new leak case would involve obtaining the phone records of reporters at the Guardian, the Washington Post, employees at various agencies who would have had access to the leaked material, as well as politicians and staffers in Congress—records, we now can safely posit, they already have unchecked and full access to.

In short: any so-called credible DOJ/FBI leak investigation, by its very nature, would have to involve the Obama administration invasively using the very surveillance and data techniques it is attempting to hide in order to snoop on a few Democratic Senators and more media outlets, including one based overseas.

At the end of the story, Hastings mentions by name several Americans who have come under questionable government scrutiny in the Obama years. Several are household names, but some are not.

Hastings died in a fatal single-car crash at 4:25 on Tuesday morning. A witness said his car “suddenly jackknifed” before crossing the median and hitting a tree, causing a ferocious explosion that reportedly threw the engine block of the brand new Mercedes Hastings was driving 30 or 40 yards from the car. Mercedes engine blocks typically weigh between 290 and 540 pounds. It would take tremendous speed or force to throw one nearly half the length of a football field.

“It sounded like a bomb went off in the middle of the night,” another witness told the TV station. “The house shook, my windows were rattling.”

Hastings’ body was burned “beyond recognition,” according to reports.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Top Rated Comments   
Wait, he hit a tree (hard) and the engine and tranny were thrown 30-40 yards? If he hit it head-on, why didn't the engine end up in the front seat (or back seat). If he hit side-on, why did the engine go anywhere? And do cars really explode in an accident? I thought that was only in cop shows. Don't want to be fitted for a tinfoil hat, but...
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, yes. Tinfoil-hat thinking is now viable, which really says something.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Normally I'd deride any suspicion about the accident. But after the IRS-Tea Party scandal, I can't anymore. There's been too much of the Chicago Way these past few years.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (120)
All Comments   (120)
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I would not f'ing doubt it if a drone took him out. Why should we believe anything the media says? Take George Zimmerman for example. Audio edited to make him sound racist. Cuts and blood on his head and face photoshopped to make it appear he was unscathed. A high resolution mug shot washed through a fax machine and presented to the country to hide his massive swelled broken nose. We are living with a ruthless president surrounded by ruthless people who hide in the the shadows and a media more than willing to help him achieve his goals. If Obama wins the House & Senate in 2014, we will see much, much worse. The mask will be removed, because there will be no more need for it. If the immigration bill passes, they will have all the votes needed to secure there Dictatorship, and America as we knew it will be over.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Brand new Mercedes ?! Utterly destroyed by a "dip or bump"? Loss of control, exploded? The force to fling the engine 20 - 40 feet is small compared to the force of tearing thru the attachment points and body. How do you hit a tree so that the engine is torn loose? Has that EVER happened?
And gas tank explosions are pretty rare. To get an explosion you have to have air mixed with fuel. If you just tear the tank open it would be more of a large burst of flame - no bang, not something I'd describe as an explosion.
Maybe Mercedes could be persuaded to investigate this slander of their cars. I'd trust them more than our government at this point. Breitbarts death was fishy, this is more like obviously foul until proven otherwise
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
As a Mechanic, I have to wonder about tampering with the anti-lock brake system and throttle control. Both are electronic systems on modern cars that could be set up for remote control - a good fire would help destroy evidence. Paranoia can be caused by dealing with freaks who will obviously do ANYTHING to get power and profit their supporters.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just a note on the accident: The Hispanic witness interviewed in the video said the car hit a bump or dip. He even makes an up and down gesture, interrupted by a sudden stop, with his hand. That could easily explain both the drivetrain being ripped from the bottom of the vehicle and even sparks from the impact igniting gasoline dripping from a ruptured gas tank.
The two witnesses at the red light that Hastings blasted through (in the other video from the same source) said they were stopped (meaning the light was red). According to the cops, his approximate rate of speed through the light was 50-60 mph.
I also found nothing new in his editorial (it wasn't reporting) that wasn't covered either equally or more extensively in both conservative and even liberal sites.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Too many "journalists" repeat the McChrystal article by Hastings as somehow important, while his most recent article related hear gives a lot more to think about regarding this crash.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
When they say it jackknifed, it sounds like happens when you get hit with a PIT maneuver: watch cops or some such and see how it works.

As have said elsewhere, car accidents are the way to go. It was early morning so you could be in and out before anyone noticed. All you have to do is wait until the right moment, and there is no cost to that.

When done intentionally you either want to send a message or no. Using explosives send a message, a pure accident is just that and is passed by.

Occam's razor should be used judiciously.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Could someone explain how a car can jackknife?
I've seen plenty of jackknifed tractor-trailers but I'm not so familiar with two section passenger cars that are capable of such a feat.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mister Jim

Yeah, I had the same thoughts!
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
i was a policeman for over 31 years and i investigated a lot of accidents. i never saw an accident where an engine of a car was 30-40 yards from a car. rarely do cars explode. this sounds very suspicious.
if i was the officer investigating this i wouldn't chalk it off as a car that went out of control.
i sounds like there was some type of an explosive device that blew up this car. if the police do their jobs correctly they will have the lab officers go through the remains of the car with a fine tooth comb.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Remember, the bystander claiming the engine was thrown 30-40 yards (actually he said 50-60) might be, well, gravely mistaken.

But you are right in that if it was actually thrown that far from the car it would make me start thinking murder rather than accident.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
"i was a policeman for over 31 years" Sure you were...." rarely do cars explode. this sounds very suspicious"

Here let me Google that for you:
www.daalaw.com/blog/2013/04/car-crash-in-south-la-ends-in-flames
www1.whdh.com/.../barnestable-car-crash-car-up-in-flames
www.wpxi.com/news/news/local/car-bursts-flames-after-crash
www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2013/04/car_accident...
us.topnewstoday.org/us/article/4776096
www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2013/05/28/5-killed-when-car-crashes-into...

Spend 30 seconds doing some research, and when you get your drivers license little boy, please obey the speed limits. The life you save may be someone worth more than you.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not a single one of those links was still active. Try again.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, 1 of the 6 links was not a dead (miss-direction?)
The us.topnewstoday shows a Subaru with the engine still in the frame.
Root was making a point, we must pity him ;-)
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sounds like political assassination to me. Exploding Mercedes indeed! Your tax dollars at work.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
From the description it almost sounds as though either a bomb had been planted within the vehicle or that it was hit with a missile. One would need more forensic information to say for certain, but when last I looked Mercedes were better built than that.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Look up 'Boston Brakes,' folks.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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