Society

Conspiracy Theories Circulate the Web After NSA, CIA Reporter Michael Hastings Dies

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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The recent death of Michael Hastings has left many with more questions than answers. Hastings was reportedly in the middle of working on several stories on the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency.

The 33-year-old Buzzfeed and Rolling Stone reporter was probably best known for the cover story that led to the firing of U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

Reddit, Twitter and Facebook were awash in conspiracy theories Wednesday.

"Michael Hastings' final article was on Democrats & the NSA stories,” tweeted Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian, who broke the news of the NSA spying on internet data. In the tweet, he linked to Hastings’ last article on Buzzfeed called “Why Democrats Love To Spy On Americans.”

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The car crash took place in the Hancock Park neighborhood in Los Angeles on Tuesday at 4:15 am.

"I was just coming northbound on Highland and I seen a car, like, going really fast and all of a sudden I seen it jackknife," witness Luis Cortez told KTLA.

A Reddit thread called RIP Hastings speculates on how enemies of the young reporter could be responsible for his demise.

One commenter suggests “just mess up his brakes and fuel line. Car slides, crashes and catches fire.”

“Interesting conjecture. There's a reason this can be so ‘easily’ explained, ‘they’ kept it looking simple,” another commenter wrote.

“Perhaps the car was remotely controlled, made an extreme turn into a certain tree and a planted bomb exploded,” wrote another one.

Editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed, Ben Smith, eulogized Hastings.

"He knew that there are certain truths that nobody has an interest in speaking, ones that will make you both your subjects and their enemies uncomfortable," Smith said. "They're stories that don't get told because nobody in power has much of an interest in telling them.”

In his book, "The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan,” Hastings described a death threat he received from a McChrystal staffer.

"We'll hunt you down and kill you if we don't like what you write," the staffer allegedly told him.

"Well, I get death threats like that about once a year, so no worries,” Hastings responded.

"A warning to other journalists to not dig too deep," one Reddit user wrote. "Stick with the party line if you want a long, happy life."

Sources: Daily Mail, International Business Times