Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Was Michael Hastings murdered?
A well-known journalist in Mexico says in an interview that it is time to tell the truth about the drug cartels, that they are making war on freedom of the press, and that he has some real dirt on them. A few days later he tells family and friends they are after him, and that he's going into hiding. A few hours later, he dies when his car explodes. Given this, we would not be considered at all unreasonable if we tentatively suspected that the cartels had indeed murdered him.
Change "Mexico" to the United States, and "drug cartels" to the federal national security apparatus -- and Obama a leader in the war on freedom of the press -- and that's the story of the death of Rolling Stone assistant editor Michael Hastings. (Remember? The guy whose interview and article got Gen. Stanley McChrystal fired?) So, why aren't we justified in tentatively suspecting that the federal government -- or some part of it, assassinated Hastings?
"Wait a minute," the careful reader says, how can you consider such a thing? The government of the United States is quite different from a Mexican drug gang." To which we at Unforeseen Contingencies respond "Well, we wish that's so...we hope so, but..."
The attorney general has explicitly, publicly affirmed that he and the president have the legal authority to order extra-judicial executions of American citizens. The president an his administration have broken all records in going after whistle-blowers, in spying on the American citizens, and in using government powers to intimidate and threaten Americans who oppose their regime. So why wouldn't they, or perhaps other elements of the security apparatus who so clearly see exposure as a threat, assassinate a threat? We know that Holder went after reporter James Rosen, going so far as to have him labeled a criminal conspirator in the secret warrants that he, Holder, denied knowing anything about (even though he signed them). We know that DoJ's "Fast and Furious" operation illegally turned weapons over to Mexican drug gangs, knowing this would result in deaths of innocents. We know that the IRS made war on conservative, libertarian, Tea Party, Christian, and other groups opposing the current regime, and that the IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman regularly met with the Whitehouse. We know that the NSA has been engaged in wholesale spying on the American people, and that when asked about it while testifying before Congress Intelligence Director James Clapper lied, denying its existence. (Now he apologizes for the "misunderstanding.") The federal government, or substantial elements of it, are utterly out of control and building an obvious police state.
But of course, it's utterly out of the question that they might do anything so violent as kill an opponent. Sure during an FBI interrogation an unarmed man was shot multiple times, including a shot to the back of the head, but that was self defense. Back of the head? Does anyone stop to think that if Todashev really was attacking an FBI agent, shooting him from behind would threaten the life of the agent supposedly being defended?
Why is it unthinkable that the people in the U.S. government might assassinate political opponents? We don't know what happened to Hastings (or Ibrahim Todashev, or Gary "suicide by shooting himself twice in the head" Webb), but is suspicion really so outlandish? This is not conspiracy stuff, spinning tales out of cobwebs. All of this is damned suspicious. I think Hastings was probably murdered. I don't know it for a fact, but it hardly strains credulity.
Of course, if one even considers such things for a second, one is a "conspiracy theorist." Gawker immediately went into action, mocking anyone who suggested this could be anything other than a tragic, mundane, run-of-the-mill car accident.
One commenter posted a stinging and well argued rebuttal. I concur, and reprint it below.