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article imageWikileaks: CIA's Brennan on 'witch hunt' when Hastings was killed

By Ralph Lopez     Dec 26, 2014 in World
A 2010 email released by Wikileaks from a top-level CIA contractor asserts that CIA Director John Brennan, the subject of a story by now deceased journalist Michael Hastings, was on a "witch hunt" against "investigative journalists" perceived as hostile.
Hastings, a reporter for the Rolling Stone who ruffled many feathers in his career, was killed in an unusual high-speed car accident in which the vehicle exploded on impact with a tree, and perhaps before. Hastings' wife confirmed to San Diego 6 News Television, soon after the uncharacteristic high-speed automobile crash, that Hastings' next "big story," as he called it, was to be on Brennan.
The email, written by Stratfor President Fred Burton and reported by San Diego 6, reads:
Brennan is behind the witch hunts of investigative journalists learning information from inside the beltway sources.
Note -- There is specific tasker from the WH to go after anyone printing materials negative to the Obama agenda (oh my.) Even the FBI is shocked. The Wonder Boys must be in meltdown mode...
The story on Brennan was never published.
Stratfor was once called "The Shadow CIA" by Barron's. In 2012 WikiLeaks began publishing “The Global Intelligence Files,” over five million e-mails from the Texas-based company.
The email has never been disavowed by Stratfor. When San Diego 6 reporter Kim Dvorak asked the CIA for comment on the email in the context of the Hastings' death, in an August, 2013 report, a CIA spokesman responded:
“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.”
Michael Hasting was killed on June 18, 2013, when the new Mercedes C250 SUV he had just leased hit a tree after running numerous red lights at over 100 mph in Los Angeles. A surveillance video at a pizza shop captured a fiery, violent explosion, which is uncharacteristic of high-speed impacts. Generations of advances in safety design have made accidents exhibiting these characteristics unheard of.
Typically, high speed impacts, even in past generations of automobiles, are characterized by a violent, horrific-sounding crunching of metal and glass, but no gas explosion. Fire can follow, but ignition usually takes place after the initial impact, as fuel vapors heat up and come into contact with hot surfaces. According to the National Fire Protection Association, only 3% of cars catch on fire as the result of crash impacts, and impact explosions are not a statistical category.
The pizza shop video shows a fireball which explodes outward for hundreds of feet in all directions and immediately lights up the night sky. Skeptics of the official LAPD conclusion, that no foul play was involved, cite a witness who said that "It sounded like a bomb going off in the middle of the night."
Witnesses also reported the car was already on fire before it hit the tree.
Hastings crash video taken from pizza shop surveillance camera
Hours before he died, Hastings sent out a series of frantic emails to friends and colleagues, indicating that be believed he was being investigated by the FBI and sounding "panicked," according to his friend Sgt. Joe Biggs, whom he had met in Afghanistan.
In an in-depth interview with San Diego 6 reporter Kim Dvorak, and Hastings friend Sgt. Biggs, Biggs tells RT interviewer Abby Martin that he had received an email indicating that police had been present at Hastings' house that day, and that Hastings had been seen looking underneath his car. The San Diego journalist Kim Dvorak expresses her belief, after extensive investigation, that the Hastings crash was not a simple one-car accident, and may have involved foul play. She notes the police are withholding evidence such as the "black box" onboard the vehicle, which would have recorded all electronic events involving the car's controls.
San Diego 6 report
After Hastings' death, his notes on the Brennan story were suppressed, according to, and in any event the Rolling Stone never published the story despite pledges to do so.
After at first saying that “At no time was Michael Hastings, or anything related to his work as a journalist, ever under investigation by the FBI,” the FBI subsequently revised its statement to: “At no time was journalist Michael Hastings ever under investigation by the FBI.” Freedom of Information Act requests from reporters revealed that the FBI had indeed cataloged some of Hastings' articles, and discussed him in heavily redacted documents.
Brennan was architect of CIA "Disposition Matrix" capture/kill list
CIA Director Brennan made news during his confirmation hearings in early 2013, when he was nominated for the position by Obama. Of particular concern to some senators was Brennan's role in creating the “Disposition Matrix,” an Obama administration project started in 2010, described by government officials as a "next-generation capture/kill list."
Brennan also served under the George W. Bush administration, first as chief-of-staff to CIA Director George Tenet, then as deputy executive director of the CIA.
Of the “Disposition Matrix” run by the executive branch National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC,) and heavily shaped by Brennan in his role as Obama National Security Advisor, Glenn Greenwald for the UK Guardian wrote:
What has been created here - permanently institutionalized - is a highly secretive executive branch agency that simultaneously engages in two functions: (1) it collects and analyzes massive amounts of surveillance data about all Americans without any judicial review let alone search warrants, and (2) creates and implements a "matrix" that determines the "disposition" of suspects, up to and including execution, without a whiff of due process or oversight.
Before his Senate confirmation vote for CIA Director, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul mounted a filibuster against Brennan's confirmation, saying:
“No one politician should be allowed to judge the guilt, to charge an individual, to judge the guilt of an individual and to execute an individual. It goes against everything that we fundamentally believe in our country."
Brennan was eventually confirmed by a vote of 63-34.
RT interview of San Diego 6 reporter Kim Dvorak and Hastings friend Sgt. Joe Biggs
Similar concerns moved Oregon Senator Ron Wyden to write a letter to Brennan asking him to clarify if he believed the extrajudicial assassination system, deemed unconstitutional by civil libertarians, applied to American citizens on American soil. Brennan wrote back that he believed it did not. This did not assuage the concerns of many on this issue, however, since the Obama administration gave a different answer when US Attorney General Eric Holder refused to rule out the assassination of American citizens within the United States.
Brennan has become controversial on other issues. Right-leaning sources accuse Brennan of being behind the US policy of running arms to Al Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels.
In an unusual public comment on the case, former Bush national counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke told the Huffington Post:
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...
After denying he was a "conspiracy guy," the former top US counter-terrorism official went on to say: the case of Michael Hastings, what evidence is available publicly is consistent with a car cyber attack.
Typical high-speed crash
More about michael hastings, John Brennan, Cia, disposition matrix
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