Michael Hastings was working on an expose on CIA director John Brennan at the time of his suspicious death, the wife of the Rolling Stone journalist said on Monday.
Elise Jordan, Michael’s late wife, corroborated reports from other sources that he was writing a story on an alleged government crackdown on investigative journalists.
Last month, a source sent San Diego 6 News an email from Fred Burton, the president of CIA contractor Straffor. The email claims that Brennan was leading the “witch hunts” against journalists.
Text of the email, which was posted on WikiLeaks, read: “Brennan is behind the witch hunts of investigative journalists learning information from inside the beltway sources.”
The CIA issued a comment to San Diego 6 News, confirming that Michael Hastings was writing about the CIA but denying that any journalists were being targeted.
“Without commenting on information disseminated by WikiLeaks, any suggestion that Director Brennan has ever attempted to infringe on constitutionally-protected press freedoms is offensive and baseless,” a CIA spokesperson responded.
Michael Hastings died in the early morning hours June 18 when his 2013 Mercedes C250 sped through Los Angeles streets and struck a tree, bursting into flames.
Conspiracy theorists believe the crash was no accident and that Hastings may have been targeted for digging a little too deeply.
Richard Clarke, a former State Department official and cybersecurity adviser to President George W. Bush, said the car crash had the markings of a cyberattack to gain control of the car’s on-board computer systems.
“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 air bag,” Clarke told The Huffington Post. “You can do some really highly destructive things now, through hacking a car, and it’s not that hard.”
Adding to the mystery is the fact that just before his death, Michael Hastings sent an email to some close friends saying he was working on a big story and would be going off the radar for a while.