[F]ingers had to be pointed at someone, and, for the most part they were conveniently targeted at a guy everyone hated already anyway, Hillary's senior adviser Phillippe Reines, who was nearly fired during the presidential campaign for making a tactless comment about John McCain's torture experience. He's also been agitating some in the State Department press corps by restricting their access.(I think the referenced comment about McCain is here.) Now, we talked about Reines last fall in connection with this story: "Hillary Clinton Aide Tells Reporter To 'Fuck Off' And 'Have A Good Life.'" And I'm surprised to see that the reporter is Michael Hastings, who died in a fiery single-car wreck on June 18th:
He had emailed a warning to colleagues on June 17 saying the "Feds" were interviewing his close friends and associates. He added: "I'm onto a big story, and need to go off the radat (sic) for a bit." BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith confirmed that he had received the email....In this light, you might want to read that Phillipe Reines/Michael Hastings email exchange again. Hastings was asking questions like "Why didn’t the State Department search the [Benghazi] consulate...?" and "What other potential valuable intelligence [besides Ambassador Stevens's diary] was left behind that could have been picked up by apparently anyone searching the grounds?" Reines became extremely defensive and abusive:
The circumstances and rumors surrounding the death led the FBI to issue a statement stating that Hastings was never under investigation.
I now understand why the official investigation by the Department of the Defense as reported by The Army Times The Washington Post concluded beyond a doubt that you’re an unmitigated asshole.ADDED: From 4 days ago: "Was Michael Hastings Murdered? Internet Conspiracy Theories Are Rife."
How’s that for a non-bullshit response?
Now that we’ve gotten that out of our systems, have a good day.
And by good day, I mean Fuck Off.
First, it's obvious that Hastings was working on a big story, though the exact subject is under debate. Considering the title of his email ["FBI Investigation, re:NSA"] and his last article on BuzzFeed, many (including the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald) think it may have been a piece on PRISM. The Huffington Post thinks he was writing about General Petraeus, while the Los Angeles Times stated that it was on a privacy lawsuit against the Department of Defense and the FBI. They are all big, government-related cases that many would prefer go unexamined.
Second, Hastings reached out to the legal team at Wikileaks for assistance, claiming that that FBI were investigating him. Wikileaks has also claimed that there is a "non-public complication" in Hastings' death, though they have not released more information.
Third, while is it ordinary protocol for police departments to issue a statement that there was no foul play (as the LAPD have done), the FBI hardly ever responds to media attention. However, in this case, they have made an exception. The FBI has released a statement denying that they were ever investigating Hastings, which is interesting considering that after years in his field, Hastings is well aware of what being investigated by the FBI looks like.
Fourth, the car accident itself was pretty bizarre. When the car hit the tree, the engine ejected and was later found over 100 feet away. That kind of ejection is pretty unusual, especially for a Mercedes, and it also meant that Hastings would have had to be driving close to 100 mph, which is much faster than that section of road permits.....