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Michael Hastings’ Death … A Year Later … Anything New?

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posted on Jul, 28 2014 @ 04:11 AM
McChrystal and Team America got Michael Hastings

Yes that is speculation. My case is based on the background of McChrystal and many of his close associates. Most 4 star Generals who are commanders of a major theatre of war are from the "regular" army and have arrived at said position by being good at Military politics. Stanley McChrystal did come from West Point (class 1976) and had a father who was a General. McChrystal chose to enter Special Forces instead of the regular army. A fair amount of his close staff was Special Forces, Navy Seals, or intelligence. They were used to dealing with the elite of the military, and view themselves as elite.

I do not understand how Team America as McChrystal's staff referred to themselves, were so unprepared to handle MH. Much of the failure has to rest on Duncan Boothby, their non military press advisor who arranged for MH access. A review of MH article "Obama's War" in GQ would have made his view of the Afghanistan war clear. I do think they were desirous of a cover story in Rolling Stone. McChrystal presents himself as a Democrat, but he should have realized RS is a liberal mag with an adversarial history towards the military, plus Obama was not as supportive of his mission as the Bush administration had been. I think Team America had conceit and lacked political savvy.

Twice members of McChrystal's staff threatened to kill MH. Retired Colonel Jake McFerren, longtime West Point friend and confidant of SM, "We'll hunt you down and kill you if we don't like what you write, C (code for non disclosed team member who is also with most elite British commando unit) will hunt you down and kill you."
Yes he was drunk when he said it to MH face. After the story broke (June 22, 2010) Dave Silverman states he wants to "#ing kill that guy", referring to MH. He is told to "shut the # up, you've done enough damage" by a military official who works with Admiral Mullen.

On June 23rd Obama removed SM as commander in Afghanistan. In July 2010 SM retired. In October he became a lecturer at Yale. He reportedly earns $60,000 per speaking engagement. He has joined the board of directors of a few major corps and working with think tanks. SM has a consulting firm, the McChrystal Group, in Alexandria, VA. The CEO is Dave Silverman. The staff has several members of Team America on board. Even Duncan Boothby is doing press statements for them. Go to and go to Cross Leaders. This shows the pictures and background of much of the staff. Looks like a great team to fight a war.

Michael Hastings died on June 18, 2013. On June 18, 2010 Rolling Stone finalized the Runaway General and put it in PDF form. MH took a call from Duncan Boothby on June 18th. They talked for about 45 minutes about the article. DB tried to get MH to make changes to article. He tried to bribe MH with the promise of future access.
An article in the July 7, 2010 Navy Times leads me to believe SM & staff learned of damaging comments in MH article on 6/18/10. I am very suspicious.

edit on 28-7-2014 by barabajagal because: Correction

edit on 28-7-2014 by barabajagal because: Additional info

posted on Jul, 28 2014 @ 04:09 PM
a reply to: barabajagal
Thanks again, barabajagal

He (&/or his entourage) were certainly the first & foremost suspects.
Don’t know that there’s any/much reason to move them down the list just because other ‘worthy’ candidates popped to the surface immediately thereafter…

As others have noted, MH seemed to have an ability to move from the investigator/journalist’s side of the conversation…to sitting right beside…and on the same team with…those telling the story – such that they were convinced he was ‘one of them’, and would drop the guards they had so diligently prepared, in advance.

Right or wrong --- they felt comfortable with him.

What was divulged in the RS article was not information that he had to “pull” or “trick” from them…
He just told of their blatantly-open antics…

For whatever reason, I got the impression that – while elated that one of his pieces had resulted in such an uproar…he wasn’t necessarily pleased at ‘why’.
I believe I read somewhere that – he actually ‘liked’ McChrystal.

I suppose – what disgusts me most about McChrystal…is, when attempting to “gracefully” and “honorably” accept responsibility for the ‘guffaw’ – he instead, tried to allay blame on a punk reporter.

An honorable man would have said –
“Yep. That was me. Shouldn’t have said it (or laughed at it, or encouraged it…etc…)…under any scenario, if I wasn’t willing to accept responsibility.”

But – he didn’t. And, rather – now portrays himself as someone that can train people (corporations & such that can afford his services…and connections) to Win through Character.

I don’t know if he or “Team America” did it… He & They wouldn’t move much further down my ladder of respect…either way.
edit on 7/28/2014 by WanDash because: subtract an "a"

posted on Jul, 29 2014 @ 07:12 PM
I recently completed reading The Operators by MH. I enjoy his style of writing. Many criticize his style of self inclusion in many of his stories. I feel it was away of disclosing his biases. He did seem to genuinely enjoy his time with Team America. He had a lot in common with these men after spending many years in the Middle East. He openly wrestled with the delimma of access and disclosure. I do not think he was trying to bring McChrystal down. He never claimed McChrystal and his staff broke any laws. He was trying to show the reasons and personalities behind the policies. He showed the politics behind the scenes. The military plays politics and competes with the CIA, State Department, NSA, DEA, FBI, etc for funds and influence. Sometimes they collaborate, but often they have different agendas. The Executive Branch and Congress is all about politics and public perception. MH had his own opinions on these policies, expenditures, politics, etc. MH and his wife had major differences in opinion concerning policy in Afghanistan. MH thought the US was wasting blood and treasure. He wanted to end operations and withdrawal. EJ wrote articles supporting McChrystal and his policy of counter insurgency. She was very critical of Obama's firing of McChrystal. EJ is concerned about the treatment of women in these regions. MH felt it was futile to try a change the cultural values of these areas with intervention. It appears to me that the result of US intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan is the destruction of centralized power. Neither country exists in practice. We have created splintered territories controlled by war lords. IMO this was the desired result by the power elite from the beginning. They have created a situation of continued turmoil. They have privatized much public treasure and enriched themselves. Oil supplies are unstable and limited, thus created high prices. They can continue to sell arms to these splintered interests.

Your "ladder of respect" is similar to mine. I have little respect for anybody involved in the national defense, security, intelligence industries. I have sympathy for some lower level soldiers who have been coerced; but not respect. I have major disdain for elites who move from government positions of power into private sector positions where they exchange their knowledge and influence into personal wealth. Often these elites return to public service. IMO not many of them have the interests of the public in mind.

If McChrystal had not started a private enterprise with many of the same people he fought with, I would not have given much credence to their involvement into MH death. With the background of these men, their mindset of retribution for enemies, and the date of death, I would put the likely hood of INVOLVEMENT as VERY HIGH. I find the date very curious. Out of 365 day year, that is a slim random odds.

posted on Jul, 29 2014 @ 10:46 PM
Frontline on PBS has sold out. I just watched long commercial for the Military/Security industries. That piece of garbage on the history of Iraq since 2001 was so biased I am appalled. Sorry for the off topic rant.

Attacks on and coercion of journalist is so pervasive in our main stream media, and other sources, that it is difficult to form an opinion based on truth. On 7/17/14 NBC removed Ayman Mohyeldin from Gaza. He was one of their most veteran Mid East reporters. He had just witnessed an Israeli attack of children playing football (soccer) on the beach. He tweeted messages and sent photos, but was not allowed to tape the report for the evening news. NBC claimed he was removed for security reasons. He was replaced by Engle. Did NBC tell the truth? Was his life threatened by a government, institution, or person? Did they or sponsors not like his reporting?

Perhaps McChrystal and staff were not worried about MH article because they felt capable of controlling content. With all of the disclosures of government surveillance, I would assume that all of MH messages, calls, and entries on his lap top were being monitored.(security for top secret command movements?) MH style of writing was different from many journalist who shape a story over time. One week prior to the deadline with RS (end of May) for a rough draft of a story, all he had was 70 pages of hand written notes and 20 hours of taping. He went home to Vermont and wrote a 15,000 word draft in 48 hours that he sent to his editor Eric Bates. Did McChrystal have access to these drafts? I doubt it. Maybe MH encrypted them, or done them off line and used overnight shipping. From The Operators: "The draft expressed my conflicting feelings--I'd liked hanging out with McChrystal and his team, yet I hated the war. Everything that I'd seen and heard and knew about the war would not reflect well on them --they were an unchecked force, steamrolling the civilian leadership, flipping them the giant bird along the way. What they told me, I realized revealed the attitudes behind one of the most brazen assaults on civilian control of the military that the Pentagon's generals had ever attempted. Not that I didn't think all of their complaints were unjustified--if I were in their shoes, I'd probably be pissed if I thought that the civilians who gave the orders didn't actually appear to be committed to the war. On the other hand, McChrystal and other military officials had pushed Obama to get the mission they wanted. In Iraq, the generals could always blame Bush and Rumsfeld for starting the war--they just followed orders. Not so here: Though Obama had pushed fixing the war in Afghanistan during the campaign as a slap at Bush, he wouldn't have gotten much support if he had campaigned on tripling the size of the conflict. Obama resisted doing so, but the military leadership pushed hard and played dirty to get the war in Afghanistan they wanted. It shouldn't have come of a shock to McChrystal and his team that after getting politically jujitsued the White House would be less than enthusiastic.
Over the next three weeks, Eric and I went through two more drafts of the story. Under his guidance, the piece took shape. Eric had more than twenty-five years experience in reporting and editing investigative pieces, earning seven National Magazine awards, the industry's highest honor. I knew McChrystal's team wouldn't be happy with the way the story was shaping up."
Rolling Stone finished the story and put it in PDF. It was to be released in a week. The story began leaking over the weekend. I suspect RS was leaking it to select reporters trying to generate momentum. I suspect McChrystal's team had access to it immediately upon it being put in PDF. If not, Duncan Boothby had went over the story's contents with MH and had been told it would "probably going to cause you a headache for a few days".

edit on 30-7-2014 by barabajagal because: Added material

posted on Jul, 29 2014 @ 11:20 PM
a reply to: barabajagal
Seems like you could write your own essay on the topic.
I sincerely appreciate all the insight/s!

I guess I would expect that MH and EJ might differ politically/ideologically...
Interesting, though, how vehemently she defended (against the NY Times) the veracity of his rendition...of the McChrystal-&-Company accounts...
Essentially saying - I transcribed those tapes... You're calling ME a liar, too...if you say the story (RS article) isn't factual!

Keep 'em coming...if you're so inclined!!!

posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 01:22 AM
a reply to: WanDash

Yes I think there were major political/ideological differences. Thanks for reminding me about her claiming to have transcribed the tapes. I do not think she was living with MH while he wrote the "Runaway General." Evidently MH wrote The Operators the year they got married (2011) when they lived in Vermont. It was released in the spring of 2012 at about the time they moved to NYC. Thanks for putting up with my obsession.

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