Reporter Michael Hastings Consulted With WikiLeaks Lawyer, Complained About FBI Surveillance, Prior to Deadly Fiery Crash (+videos)

Hastings CrashBy Questions persist following the death of Michael Hastings Tuesday, after reports that the award-winning journalist told WikiLeaks the government was watching him.

WikiLeaks tweeted a message to their millions of followers Wednesday stating that the 33-year-old author and war correspondent had contacted the organization’s lawyer to say he was being watched by the FBI.

“Michael Hastings was a journalist who definitely gave the government trouble, the Pentagon trouble, so if they were surveilling him it wouldn’t be that surprising,” said friend and fellow journalist Cenk Uygur. Read more from this story HERE.


Photo Credit: wikileaks

Photo Credit: wikileaks

WikiLeaks says Michael Hastings contacted it just before his death. Are they implying he was murdered?

By Tim Stanley. WikiLeaks just threw some gasoline onto the conspiracy fire. On Wednesday night, they Tweeted: “Michael Hastings contacted WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him.”

What exactly are they trying to say?

Michael Hastings was a much admired freelance journalist who covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and helped to bring down General Stanley McChrystal. He was tragically killed this week in a car crash in Los Angeles, after his car hit a tree. Hastings is believed to have been alone in the vehicle. Read more from this story HERE.


Photo Credit: D Dipasupil/Getty Images

Photo Credit: D Dipasupil/Getty Images

Michael Hastings: my friend and his enemies

My friend Michael Hastings died in Los Angeles on Tuesday. His death leaves a journalistic void, and not just the one created by the loss of a fearless reporter. Michael’s untimely death at 33 deprives Washington journalists and national security professionals of one of their favorite people to sneer at, condescend to, and ignorantly deride.

It occurred to me last night, as I stared into the drink I drank to toast my friend’s memory, that I spent more time defending Michael to colleagues, military officers, bureaucrats, tweeps and random people than I did actually talking to him in person.

You might think Michael’s track record needs no defending. He wrote an immortal Rolling Stone article that exposed a caustic military contempt for the Obama administration and which led within days to the resignation of the Afghanistan war’s commanding general, Stanley McChrystal. The coterie of national security journalists around Washington began to fear that there would be a before- and after-Hastings period in journalistic-military relations. Yet, a bit more than a month after the piece, I was in Afghanistan on an embed with the US military, without any evident post-Hastings professional reprisal.

I heard a lot about Hastings while in Afghanistan. Very little of it was from the soldiers and air force personnel I was with. Nearly all of it was from fellow journalists, and none of it was positive. How could Hastings publish off-the-record jibes made by officers who were trying to be welcoming to him, the complaints went; what kind of arrogance led him to want to make a name for himself like this? What was his problem with McChrystal, anyway? Didn’t he know McChrystal was trying to rein in the war?

As Michael would spend the rest of his life explaining – I can’t believe I’m writing those words – he didn’t publish anything that was explicitly off-the-record; but neither did he stop observing the boorish behavior of McChrystal’s senior aides while the beers flowed. There’s a reasonable professional journalistic debate to be had about what to do with material uttered by sources when they’re drunk. But I found few people were interested in chewing over that question. They simply wanted to feel superior to Hastings. Read more from this story HERE.