“The CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.”
WikiLeaks — Vault 7
March 13 2017. — WikiLeaks’ revelations that the CIA was attempting to remotely hack vehicles have reignited a conspiracy theory: Did the Agency assassinate journalist Michael Hastings? Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today
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Michael Mahon Hastings (January 28, 1980 – June 18, 2013) was an American journalist, author, contributing editor to Rolling Stone and reporter for BuzzFeed.
“Hastings rose to prominence with his coverage of the Iraq War for Newsweek in the 2000s. Hastings received the George Polk Award for ‘The Runaway General’ (2010), a Rolling Stone profile of General Stanley McChrystal, commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in the Afghanistan war.
The article documented the widespread contempt for civilian government officials by the general and his staff and ultimately resulted in McChrystal’s resignation.” [Wikipedia]
Hastings died in an automobile crash on June 18 2013 in Los Angeles, California (around 4:25 am). At the time of his death, Hastings was working on a profile of CIA Director John Brennan.
Hours after crash, WikiLeaks tweeted:
“Michael Hastings contacted WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him.”
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Last 24 Hours
A few hours prior to his death, Hastings sent an email to a few colleagues and friends, warning that he was onto a “big story”. He also told them that he was under investigation.
Here is the email he sent at around 1pm on Monday June 17 2013.
The Feds are interviewing my ‘close friends and associates’. May be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices.
I’m onto a big story and need to go off the radar for a bit. All the best, and hope to see you soon.
Former U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism Richard A. Clarke said that what is known about the crash is “consistent with a car cyber attack“.
“There is reason to believe that intelligence agencies for major powers — including the United States — know how to remotely seize control of a car.”
“What has been revealed as a result of some research at universities is that it’s relatively easy to hack your way into the control system of a car, and to do such things as cause acceleration when the driver doesn’t want acceleration, to throw on the brakes when the driver doesn’t want the brakes on, to launch an airbag.”
“You can do some really highly destructive things now, through hacking a car, and it’s not that hard. So if there were a cyber attack on the car — and I’m not saying there was — I think whoever did it would probably get away with it.”
FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller denied that Michael Hastings was investigated by the Bureau:
“At no time was journalist Michael Hastings under investigation by the FBI.”
The FBI file on Michael Hastings were released to the public on September 24 2013 after investigative journalist Jason Leopold and MIT doctoral candidate Ryan Shapiro filed a joint suit in July 2013 against the FBI for ignoring their FOIA requests for the file.
The FBI file on Michael Hastings and its attachments (totaling 21 pages) show that the FBI’s Washington field office had opened a file on Hastings in June 2012 to store “unclassified media articles” and “memorialize controversial reporting by Rolling Stone magazine on June 7, 2012.”
The attorney who filed the FOIA lawsuit, Jeff Light, suggested that it was uncommon for the FBI to open such files on reporters.
Hours Before His Death Michael Hastings Contacted WikiLeaks
WikiLeaks ‘Vault 7’ dump reignites conspiracy theories surrounding death of Michael Hastings — News.com
Michael Hastings (journalist) — Wikipedia
Vault 7: CIA Hacking Tools Revealed — WikiLeaks
One Year Ago — “WikiLeaks: ‘Vault 7’ dump reignites debate about deadly car crash of Michael Hastings”
Two Years Ago — “WikiLeaks Vault 7 dump reignites debate about deadly car crash of Michael Hastings”
“WikiLeaks’ revelations that the CIA was attempting to remotely hack vehicles have reignited a conspiracy theory: Did the Agency assassinate journalist Michael Hastings?”
. . .
After looking into the case in detail back in 2013, I doubt the CIA was involved (although it was technically possible to hack his car). Among other things, his wife hired an investigator and his brother had flown out to see him the day before his death because of issues he was having. To see my argument, take a look at the 2013 Feral Firefighter blog post “What Burns Faster, Memories or Flames?” (I haven’t updated it recently, but make sure to take a look at my Q&A with his brother in the Appendixes E & F).