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Excerpt from Michael Hastings’ Book “The Operators” Re: Death Threats

In LEAKSOURCE ORIGINAL NEWS, Michael Hastings on June 20, 2013 at 11:57 PM

Michael Hastings - The Operators

Michael Hastings ~ The Operators (Nov. 2012)
Chapter 11: Totally Shit-Faced

A man I’ll call C. was sitting against the wall in The Duke’s Bar, a cushy hotel watering hole with dark lighting and oak panels on the ground floor of the Westminster. The younger members of the team—Dave, Khosh, and Casey—were crushed in the booth around him.

C. was a member of the SAS, the most elite British commando unit, and if I used his real name, I could possibly put his life at risk. He was on leave from Afghanistan, and he’d taken the train from London to Paris to hang out with McChrystal’s team. C., in his early thirties, was a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. He was flying back to Kabul on Monday.

C., I’m told, is a crazy motherfucker. He liked to drive around Kabul in a Toyota Land Cruiser. He kept a nine-millimeter pistol in the driver’s side door compartment, an MP5 submachine gun resting on the driver’s side seat, a LAW rocket launcher in the backseat, and a machine gun mounted in the trunk.

C. was in the middle of a story: One of his Afghan soldiers had gotten fucked up in a gunfight, badly burned. He needed to get medical help, so he drove the soldier, who was screaming occasionally when not passed out, to a base where Italian doctors were on staff. The Italians refused to treat the patient—he was an Afghan, and they needed some kind of permission first, and it appeared that permission would take hours to get. C. told them to fuck off and tried the next clinic, run by French military doctors. “The fucking frogs told us the same thing,” C. said.

C. was getting really pissed off. His Afghan soldier was getting closer to death. He drove him to another NATO base. The guards phoned up a doctor. C. talked to the doctor—she seemed like a nice lady, he said.Five minutes later, an American man showed up. Where is the doctor? C. asked him. “I’m the doctor,” the man said. “What can I do to help?” He had a really high-pitched voice.

“The guy was a fucking poof,” C. said. “I swear to God I was expecting to see a girl.” The American doctor treated the Afghan soldier and saved his life. “That American was a good fucking guy,” C. recalled.

The team jumped back into a conversation about last night’s drama—McChrystal’s dinner with the French minister. Khosh, the Afghan aide-de-camp, had gotten snubbed. The American military attaché in Paris, a colonel, realized that he didn’t have a seat at the table when McChrystal and his entourage arrived to dine with the minister. Rather than bringing this up to McChrystal or the staff, the American attaché pulled Khosh aside and told him he was taking his seat at the table. He made Khosh wait outside for the entire meal.

This incensed the team.

“Where the fuck was that attaché’s last posting? Hawaii, then Paris? I mean, what the fuck?” said Dave.“It’s fine,” Khosh said diplomatically.

“It’s not fucking fine,” Dave said. The move, Dave explained, went against all fairness. It showed that these guys in Paris didn’t get it—they were completely disconnected from the war. The point of having Khosh at the dinner was to show that the Afghans were in the fight, that they weren’t just worthless shitbags who had to be prodded along by Americans and Europeans. The Afghans were part of the team, too. Khosh’s presence was meant to provide a “good visual” for the French government, as Dave put it, representing the importance of actually getting the people who live in the country you’re fighting in to fight for you. Stealing Khosh’s seat at the last minute undercut the message the team wanted to send.

There was an eagerness to tell McChrystal about it. He’d set the attaché straight.

“That guy is going to get fucking chewed out. I can’t wait to see that happen at the airport. His fucking career is over,” Dave said. Casey agreed.

C. stared at me. He had intense and hungry eyes, like a coyote on the hunt for a puppy. He had heard I was doing a profile of McChrystal. Unprompted, he decided to give me his input on him. The general, he said, was a living legend in the Special Operations community, a giant leap above the office-bound dipshits who usually had four stars on their shoulders. McChrystal had what C. considered to be the most important attribute for a leader: respect from men like himself.

“The fucking lads love Stan McChrystal,” he told me. “You’d be out in Somewhere, Iraq, and someone would take a knee beside you, and a corporal would be like, ‘Who the fuck is that?’ And it’s fucking Stan McChrystal.

”McChrystal and the other top staff officers came into the bar. It was McChrystal’s thirty-third wedding anniversary. What had originally been planned as a dinner for McChrystal and his wife had now ballooned to include part of his senior staff going out for dinner with the two of them. The younger members of the staff would eat separately at another restaurant. They invited me to join them.

We left the hotel and walked a few blocks. We peeled off at an overpriced tourist restaurant and headed up to the second floor. We ate. Wine was served. I didn’t drink.

Midway through the dinner, Dave turned to me.

“Mike, you have to fucking come to Berlin with us, man,” he told me. Berlin was the next stop on the NATO tour.

“Ah, shit, I’d love to, but I can’t. I have to be back in DC. I’m supposed to interview Holbrooke.”

“You can fucking interview him anytime, that’s fucking easy. He loves publicity. Come on. Come to Berlin.” Dave looked to Duncan. “Duncan?”

Duncan smiled.“This is beginning to sound like fucking Almost Famous,” I said. “I’m getting kidnapped.

”The movie, directed by Cameron Crowe, was loosely based on his experience as a Rolling Stone reporter. His assignment was to write a story about a rock band. His one-day story turned into a lengthy road trip on tour with the band. (“Rock stars have kidnapped my son!” his mother cried.) Crowe befriended the band members, then wrote an extremely revealing story. (“Oh, the enemy. A rock writer,” one band member warned in the film.) The band got pissed off about what he’d written, and denied everything that happened. (“I am a golden god.”) At the end of the movie, the lead guitarist had an epiphany. He saw the error of his ways and showed up at the reporter’s doorstep, apologetic, and believing that the truth should ultimately prevail. Credits rolled. I’d enjoyed the movie, but my experience as a reporter had led me to believe that there wasn’t always a happy ending if you wrote about people with brutal honesty.

“You have to fucking come, man,” Dave said.

I didn’t want to stay with them. My editor, Eric Bates, had warned me about falling into the access trap. By becoming so indebted to them for the access they’d given me, I’d lose my objectivity. I’d e-mailed Eric back: If I start getting Stockholm syndrome, I’m sure we can knock it out of me. I could already start to feel the pull. I was starting to like them, and they seemed to like me. They were cool. They had a reckless, who-gives-a-fuck attitude. I was getting inside the bubble—an imaginary barrier that popped up around the inner sanctums of the most powerful institutions to keep reality at bay. I’d seen the bubble in White Houses, on the campaign trail, inside embassies, at the highest levels of large corporations. The bubble had a reality-distorting effect on those inside it, while perversely convincing those within the bubble that their view of reality was the absolute truth. (“Establishment reporters undoubtedly know a lot of things I don’t,” legendary outsider journalist I. F. Stone once observed. “But a lot of what they know isn’t true.”) The bubble compensated for its false impressions by giving bubble dwellers feelings of prestige from their proximity to power. The bubble was incredibly seductive, the ultimate expression of insiderness. If I succumbed to the logic of the bubble, I could lose the desire to write with a critical eye.

After dinner, the gang headed to Kitty O’Shea’s Irish pub, right around the corner from the hotel. Kitty O’Shea’s was a touristy-looking bar, not exactly the hippest spot in Paris.

Drinking began in earnest.

Around ten thirty P.M., I ran into Duncan outside. He hung up his cell phone. The McChrystals, the Flynns, and the rest were on their way over, he told me. They’d finished up the anniversary dinner.

By midnight, the team was totally shit-faced.

Except for me.

“Why aren’t you drinking?” Jake asked me. It was the third time he’d asked me that. Each time, he tried to push a beer on me while I was talking to him and McChrystal.

“I haven’t really drank in ten years,” I said. “Last time I got drunk, I ended up in a county jail with only boxers on, a navy blue blazer, a pair of Nike sneakers, and a restraining order against me. I was in there for, like, four days. My father said: A good scare is worth more than good advice. So I stopped drinking.”

“Shit. That stopped you?” Jake said. “That’s where we started!”

Jake and McChrystal and I laughed. There was a bit of the awkward moment. I had overshared.

Casey broke the silence. He pulled McChrystal aside. He started to drunkenly apologize for fucking up the index cards—he was sorry he didn’t get the right font size.

The team took over half the bar. They locked arms in a big circle and started giving toasts. They toasted to Afghanistan. They toasted to one another. They toasted to Big Stan. They toasted to Rolling Stone. They started singing songs.

“On the cover of the Rolling Stone,” Flynn and his brother Charlie belted out, singing the lyrics to the hit song performed by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show. “On the COOOOVER of the Rolling Stone!”

In honor of Khosh, they started to do an Afghan wedding dance. The Flynns and C. added their Irish heritage to it. The bar quieted as C. started singing an old Irish ballad. I couldn’t make out the words; it just sounded sad. Lost love, ghosts, and famine.

“ERRRRRyyyyyEEEEoooooHHH…” C. howled.

The Flynns made up their own song. The words were unintelligible, but the chorus was clear: “AFGHANISTAN!” they yelled. “AFGHANISTAN!”

I was standing outside the circle.

Dave came up to me. “You’re not going to fuck us, are you?”

I answered what I always answer: “I’m going to write a story; some of the stuff you’ll like, some of the stuff you probably won’t like.”

Jake McFerren

Jake came up to me. “We’ll hunt you down and kill you if we don’t like what you write,” he said. “C. will hunt you down and kill you.”

I looked at Jake. He had what I’d heard people in the military call retired colonel syndrome. A certain inferiority complex and bitterness about not rising to the rank of general.

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

I wasn’t that disturbed by the claim. Whenever I’d been reporting around groups of dudes whose job it was to kill people, one of them would usually mention that they were going to kill me. I went outside to have a cigarette. Duncan joined me.

“How’s things, old chap?”

“Pretty good; this is really cool. By the way, Jake just threatened to kill me.”

Duncan’s face dropped. “What?”

“No, no worries, dude, I took it as a joke, and it’s not the first time.”

“He should not have said that,” Duncan said. “That’s not how to deal with the press.”

“You warned me; you said he was a dick.”

I could tell Duncan was pissed off by the development.

Back inside the bar, the toasts were still going on. McChrystal was standing outside the circle.

“It’s a great group of guys you’ve got. I mean, the team is very impressive,” I said.“

You see, they don’t care about Afghanistan,” he said.

I waited. They don’t care about Afghanistan? I didn’t think that was what he wanted to say, exactly, though it was true. It could be Iraq or Fiji or Canada. The country didn’t matter. The mission mattered.

“No, let me take that back. They care about Afghanistan. It’s each other. That’s what it’s about. All these men,” he told me, “I’d die for them. And they’d die for me.”

Jake staggered up to us.

“This is a dangerous man,” he said, pointing to me. “Watch what you say to him.”

McChrystal took his advice. Our conversation ended.

At two A.M., we exited the bar. Casey took care of the bill—about three hundred euros’ worth of whiskey and beer, he said. Mike Flynn came out the door, still singing what sounded like “Suspicious Minds.” McChrystal tripped over the curb, nearly face-planting in the street. The manager of the bar ran out behind us, telling us to be quiet and not to wake the neighbors. The boozy foot patrol continued down the street, back into the Westminster lobby.

Jake wobbled up the stairs in the lobby, a glass of beer he’d taken from the bar still in his hand. Charlie collapsed in a chair in the lobby, checking his BlackBerry.

“That’s dangerous to do while drunk, sir,” I said to him.

“C. is coming back down,” he said.

“Are you guys still going out?” I asked. He nodded yes.

Casey grabbed my arm and pulled me aside.

“Mike,” he said. “You have to understand. I’d do anything for General McChrystal. We’d do anything for him. You’re privileged to be here.”

I agreed.“

Remember the end of Saving Private Ryan?” Casey asked. “Remember what Tom Hanks said to Matt Damon?”

“Yeah, yeah,” I said.

“What Tom Hanks said to Private Ryan. He saved his life. He said ‘Earn it.’ ” Casey paused. “With your story. Earn it.”

I started to walk back to my hotel. Before falling asleep, I typed up what happened that night, down to the last detail.

The team woke at seven A.M. the next day. McChrystal allegedly got his seven miles of running in. The staff went up the Eiffel Tower. The generals were worried that other tourists in the elevator car could smell the beer on them.

LEAKED: Bush Family Contact List & Rockefeller Offices Telephone Directory

In Archive, Bush, Guccifer, Hacking, NWO, Rockefeller on June 20, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Guccifer

Bush Family

BUSH FAMILY CONTACT LIST

*Cryptome received a visit from the Secret Service after posting this, and ended up having to remove it from their site. It is being re-posted on LeakSource, and will not be removed, ever.

Bush1 Bush2 Bush3 Bush4 Bush5 Bush6 Bush7 Bush8 Bush9 Bush10 Bush11

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

David Rockefeller

ROCKEFELLER OFFICES TELEPHONE DIRECTORY

Rockefeller1 Rockefeller2 Rockefeller3 Rockefeller4 Rockefeller5 Rockefeller6 Rockefeller7 Rockefeller8 Rockefeller9

TWA Flight 800: Crash Investigators Break Silence on Proof of External Detonation (Missile) and FBI Cover-Up

In Archive, FBI, TWA 800 on June 20, 2013 at 6:11 AM

TWA Flight 800

EPIX presents the World Premiere Original Documentary, TWA FLIGHT 800, a thought-provoking ninety-minute documentary about the ill-fated Trans World Airline Flight 800 to Paris, France, which exploded on July 17, 1996 just 12 minutes after takeoff from JFK International Airport, killing all 230 people on board.  The special features six former members of the official crash investigation breaking their silence to refute the officially proposed cause of the jetliner’s demise and reveal how the investigation was systematically undermined.

TWA FLIGHT 800 is written, directed, and produced by Emmy Award-winning journalist Kristina Borjesson.  Co-producer, Dr. Tom Stalcup, PhD, Physics, who for 16 years, was determined to delve deeper into the original investigation to seek truth and closure for the family members of the victims of this tragedy, led the film’s investigation. The documentary features interviews with key members of the original TWA 800 investigation team.

INVESTIGATORS:

Hank Hughes, ­ Senior Accident Investigator, National Transportation Safety Board (laid out the matrix for the reconstruction of the entire aircraft and was chairman of the Airplane Interior Documentation Group that reconstructed TWA 800s interior).

Bob Young, ­ Senior Accident Investigator, TWA  (top TWA investigator who oversaw TWA team members on virtually all the investigative groups associated with the crash and was himself a member of the Eyewitness Group).

Jim Speer, ­ Accident Investigator for Airline Pilots Association (sifted through much of the physical evidence in hangar and found first explosives residue on right wing part).

Rocky Miller, ­ Accident Investigator for Flight Attendants Union (worked in hangar with Hank Hughes and also worked on Splatter Group).

Dr. Charles Wetli, ­ Chief Medical Examiner, TWA 800, in charge of crash victim autopsies and identification.

Col. Dennis Shanahan, M.D., ­ Sr. Medical Forensics Medical Consultant, TWA 800 Investigation, correlated injuries to plane damage.

Highly Imaginative Conspiracy Theories ?

In LEAKSOURCE ORIGINAL NEWS on June 20, 2013 at 2:42 AM

June 20th 2013

WikiLeaks says journalist Michael Hastings, 33, killed in a fiery crash early Tuesday morning after his Mercedes plowed into a tree near the corners of Melrose and Highland Avenues, had contacted the organization hours earlier to say he was the subject of an FBI investigation.

The tweet, issued Wednesday to WikiLeaks’ 1.9 million followers, reads, “Michael Hastings contacted WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him.

The journalism community has poured forth with expressions of shock and deep sadness since news of Hastings’ sudden and dramatic death rippled across social media Tuesday.

Hastings has certainly been in contact with WikiLeaks before. In 2012 he wrote a profile of Julian Assange for Rolling Stone in which he asked tough questions – but the overall tone is sympathetic. Hastings appeared willing to accept that the US government might have targeted Assange in an effort to discredit him; the interview also highlights the failure of mainstream media outlets to expose mistakes made by the US military and generally permits Assange to push his side of the story. Hastings’ empathy for WikiLeaks ties together the deceased journalist, Julian Assange and (through Assange) the leaker Bradley Manning. You can throw Edward Snowden into that mix because he, too, is an admirer of WikiLeaks. And Hastings’ last article was about the evils of the NSA – which ended with the tantalising line, “Perhaps more information will soon be forthcoming.” Glenn Greenwald Tweeted a link to the piece after Hastings’ death. Of such connections are conspiracy theories made. In the minds of the highly imaginative, that is.

An excerpt from Michael Hastings’ book, ” The Operator’s” ( Nov. 2012) reveals death threats made against Hastings and the fact that he was aware of the risk involved in his particularly truthful style of writing.

Maybe Edward Snowden provided a greater service to the world than even libertarians first realized when he disclosed the massive National Security Agency spying crime wave.

First came revelations of the US spying on its own citizens. Then came news of the US hacking and spying on China.

Now comes an exposé from The Guardian that, according to Snowden’s leaks, “British eavesdropping agency GCHQ repeatedly hacked into foreign diplomats’ phones and emails” and the Russians claim “The U.S. and British special services tapped (then President Dmitry) Medvedev’s phone at the 2009 G-20 summit” held in London.

So none of this is really about security; it’s about power. It’s about the ruling class within each country maintaining its authoritarian control over their own populations while jockeying for dominance over one other.

The same old protection racket sold to us as “security.”  The dead give-away is that the higher up the corporatist-statist food chain one climbs the more hysterical and vitriolic the condemnation of Snowden becomes.

Former VP and neocon Dick Cheney, the American poster child for warmongering statist authoritarianism, flatly called Snowden a traitor for revealing the ruling clique’s power maneuvers and even pushed the idea that he’s a spy for China.

“I’m deeply suspicious obviously because he went to China,” Cheney said on Fox News Sunday. “That’s not a place you ordinarily want to go if you’re interested in freedom and liberty and so forth.”

It’s a desperately sad commentary when a truth-teller considers his life and wellbeing to be safer in a repressive communist nation like China than in a repressive surveillance state like America which can now only laughably be called “The land of the free.”

The attack line against whistleblowers Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden – that they should have gone through “proper channels” – ignores that those oversight channels have been badly corrupted over the past several decades. That has left Americans dependent on out-of-channel leaks, says ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.

A major problem in the United States is not there are too many whistleblowers … there are too few. Where were the whistleblowers when the Central Intelligence Agency was operating secret prisons; conducting torture and abuse; and kidnapping individuals off the streets in Europe and the Middle East and turning them over to foreign intelligence agencies that conducted torture and abuse?

Where were the whistleblowers when the National Security Agency violated the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution against “unreasonable searches and seizures” and conducted widespread warrantless eavesdropping? Where were the whistleblowers when the State Department permitted the use of a consulate to serve as a cover for an inadequately protected intelligence platform in Benghazi?

Where were the whistleblowers when the Pentagon was building secret facilities in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula in order to conduct military strikes in countries where the United States was not at war?

President Barack Obama, a Harvard-trained lawyer and former professor of constitutional law, has made it particularly difficult for whistleblowers and has displayed a stunning disregard for the balance of power and the need for oversight of foreign policy decision-making. He has pursued more leak investigations than all previous presidents combined since the passage of the Espionage Act in 1919.

The most outrageous pursuit of a whistleblower was conducted against Thomas Drake, who determined that NSA eavesdroppers were squandering hundreds of millions of dollars on failed programs while ignoring privacy issues. Drake took his issues to the IG at NSA, the IG at the Pentagon, and to the congressional intelligence committees. (I am aware of individuals who have contacted congressional staffers with issues that required congressional scrutiny, but were warned that they would not receive a friendly reception from key members of the committee.)

After failing in these efforts, Drake turned to a reporter from the Baltimore Sun. As a result, Drake faced ten felony charges involving mishandling of classified information and obstruction of justice, which a judge wisely dismissed.

The case of Bradley Manning also demonstrates the mindset of the Obama administration and the mainstream media. Although Manning has entered a plea of guilty to charges that would give him a 20-year prison sentence, the government is pursuing a charge of aiding the enemy, which would mean a life sentence. The government has also ignored the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a “speedy and public trial,” with Manning’s trial beginning on June 3, nearly three years after his arrest.

The military handling of Manning, particularly its imposition of unconscionable solitary confinement, has amounted to abuse and is in violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishment.” The scant coverage of the trial in the press is another example of the marginalization of a whistleblower.

The absence of checks and balances in the national security system over the past ten years has virtually assured the abuse of power that has taken place. In general, Congress has acquiesced in the questionable actions of both the Bush and Obama administrations since 2001, permitting foreign policy to be the sole preserve of the Executive Branch and not the shared responsibility of the President and the Congress.

Congressional intelligence committees have become advocates for the intelligence community, particularly the CIA, instead of rigorous watchdogs. Similarly, the Armed Services committees have been advocates for the Pentagon and have not monitored the abuses of weapon’s acquisitions programs.

In addition to the failure of Congress and the courts to provide necessary regulation and oversight of the national security process, the mainstream media has been complacent about its watchdog role regarding secret agencies in a democratic arena. The media require the efforts of contrarians and whistleblowers in order to penetrate the secrecy of the policy and intelligence communities, but typically ignore the reprisals taken against whistleblowers.

As a result of the imbalance in the process of foreign policy decision-making, we have come full circle from President Woodrow Wilson, who wanted to make the “world safe for democracy,” to Presidents George W. Bush and Obama, who find the world too dangerous to honoring constitutional democracy.

The excesses of the Vietnam War; Watergate; Iran-Contra; and the Global War on Terror have contributed to the creation of a dangerous national security state and a culture of secrecy. Whistleblowers can help all of us decide whether the ends justify the means regarding these excesses.

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