Depends on what the Meaning of ‘Investigate’ is…


The Telegraph:
“WikiLeaks just threw some gasoline onto the conspiracy fire. On Wednesday night, they Tweeted: ‘Michael Hastings contacted WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him.'”

LA Times:
“The bureau responded in a statement: ‘At no time was journalist Michael Hastings ever under investigation by the FBI.'”

USA Today:
“Coroner’s Lt. Fred Corral says an autopsy was performed Wednesday and the 33-year-old Hastings was identified by matching fingerprints to prints the FBI had on file.

So I guess collecting vast treasure troves of data no longer indicates an “investigation.” I guess the FBI has been inflicted with that rampant national security STD (secretly transmitted disease) known as the “Clapper” and is presented in the form of “least untruthful manner” statements.

Heil Obama.

  1. Upsetting. I read about this over at the Rancid Honeytrap.

  2. Pogo Possum

    Lizard, while I don’t disagree that the FBI was (or wasn’t) investigating Hastings, the fact that the FBI had his fingerprints on file in no way proves they ever investigated him.

    Finger prints are submitted by federal, state and local agencies and collected in the FBI data system for a vast array of legitimate reasons. Anyone who has been in the military, worked in most government agencies or companies contracting with the federal government or applied for employment in a wide range of private industries including banking, financial, insurance, scientific and IT companies may have been fingerprinted. Applying for a Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permit or, in some states, obtaining a license to own a firearm also requires fingerprinting. I have friends who have had to submit their fingerprints to adopt a child. Some states even require lawyers to submit their fingerprints to be admitted to the state Bar.

    And of course, anyone who has been arrested has their fingerprints on file. That, I suspect, it why the FBI has Hasting’s fingerprints. Check out Ferelcat’s link: “The Weekly also reports that Hastings once described himself as ”a recovering drunk/addict/screw-up” and that in his first book, I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story, Hastings wrote that he crashed a car in a drunk driving accident when he was 19.”

    A self confessed drunk/addict/screw-up would have had multiple opportunities to be arrested and fingerprinted. While I don’t know if the FBI ever investigated Hastings, I am certain he would have been fingerprinted if he was arrested for his drunk driving accident.

    • lizard19

      this is actually JC’s post, Pogo.

      • Pogo Possum

        My apologies Lizard. I am so used to you doing all the heavy lifting on this site and almost single-handedly providing all the main commentary that I didn’t pay attention to JC’s name as author.

    • JC

      Legal doesn’t make it right, or make it constitutional. And I’m surprised that you’re ok with with the feds and the FBI collecting data from municipal or state misdemeanors. As usual conservatives are against big government, until they really reveal that they are for it when it comes to authoritarianism.

      But my essential point remains: at what point does the FBI — or any government agency for that matter — collecting data on American citizens become an “investigation”? Given what is being revealed to be the collection and collation of all criminal, intelligence, and seemingly innocent (i.e. fingerprints) data into the world’s largest data center. And couple that with the world’s largest and most sophisticated data analysis techniques, and all that data is subjected to analyses.

      In my college research days, we called data analyses “investigations”. As in, I’m “investigating” the statistical correlation between DUI’s and the existence of an FBI fingerprint. Or, I’m investigating the relationship between journalistic topics, and retirement patterns of government employees. Or maybe I’m just investigating the flow of information from known defense contractors to journalists that write about public affairs.

      At what point does FBI data collection and analysis become an “investigation?” WHen analyses rings a bell or sends up a red flag? When a FISA court authorizes a probe? WHen inadvertently gathered data triggers a data analysts, when combined with fingerprint, criminal and other records? When a grand jury suspects illegal activity? When a president or his generals wants revenge?

      Words no longer mean what they seem to mean, when it comes to the government or its agents. When the nation’s leading spook (James Clapper) can get away with perjuring himself in Congress by invoking statements of “least untruthful” content, then democracy becomes a facade behind which we slip into fascism and totalitarianism.

      And it is authoritarian acquiescence like yours that allows our country to sink into this quagmire.

      • Pogo Possum

        “authoritarian acquiescence like yours”


        And to think you were the guy giving me hell and accusing me of “political posturing” for criticizing the FBI for auditing and harassing non profit citizen groups.

        • Pogo Possum

          And since when does making statements of fact make someone guilty of “authoritarian acquiescence”?

          • JC

            Do you agree with the FBI’s data acquisition techniques and volume? It appeared so by your ho-hum approach to feds acquiring state and local crime data.

            If you have a problem with the federal government’s surveillance culture, by all means speak up and denounce it. MOst people no longer are looking at opposition or acceptance of it as a left-right, conservative liberal issue, but one of authoritarian vs. libertarian (at least on the civil liberties continuum).

            Where do you come down on “the balance between liberty and security”, PoPo?Or are you just playing possum on this one?

            • Pogo Possum

              Lots of vague open ended questions and statements from you as usual JC.

              Some of the FBI’s data acquisition techniques and volume i agree with. As I remember, that is how the Feds helped identify one of your environmental wannabe buddy terrorists years ago. I also strongly disagree with a number of the Feds data acquisition techniques, surveillance culture and harassment of private citizens. In fact I made a strong point of disagreeing with the FBI’s data collection and harassment of conservative non profit citizen groups which for some reason didn’t seem to bother you very much. So much for the “balance between liberty and security” mantra you spew.

              • JC

                As usual, you’ve got your stories mangled up.

                “environmental wannabe buddy terrorists”… don’t have a clue what you’re talking about here.

                And the “harassment of conservative non profit citizen groups”? You talking about the IRS scandal that just broke a while back?

                So what I hear from you is it’s ok for big government to target enviros and whoever it is that you don’t agree with, and not ok for them to do it for conservatives.

                Yep, that’s what authoritarians want. Big government to protect their backs, and leave their tools alone.

                What would you do to the surveillance state if you were in Congress? Roll it back for all? Tweak it to catch your political opponents, and leave your allies alone? Push it to the limits?

  3. Big Swede

    I was hoping the Palm tree he hit was OK.

  4. Pogo Possum

    From the picture, it looks like the tree survived just fine which will just help fuel the obligatory looney conspiracy theories already sprouting up.

    • Big Swede

      I guess I needed a sarc tag.

      • Pogo Possum

        No need for a snark tag Swede. I understood you. I was trying to use your comment to segue (rather clumsily in hindsight) into my point about conspiracy theorists elevating Hasting’s death into something it isn’t.

  5. lizard19

    the FBI doesn’t have much credibility after their performance in Boston and Florida, so if the FBI says there was no investigation, I don’t see any reason to believe them just on their say-so alone.

  6. I’d like to remember Michael Hastings as a great reporter who spoke truth to power without pulling punches. Here is a link to his last appearance on MSNBC. He takes the president to task on his drone speech. Refreshing for being the opposite of “least untruthful”.

  7. lizard19

    Journalist Hastings sent out mysterious email hours before death:

    Journalist Michael Hastings sent an e-mail to his friends and colleagues just hours before he died last week in which he said his “close friends and associates” were being interviewed by the FBI and that Hastings needed to “go off the radar for a bit.”

    KTLA-TV in Los Angeles reported Saturday that Hastings said in the email he was “onto a big story.” Hastings sent the email around 1 p.m. Monday June 17, 15 hours before he died in an early Tuesday morning car crash in Hollywood.

    but people like Pogo can say crap like this:

    “…conspiracy theorists elevating Hasting’s death into something it isn’t.”

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