I’m not a conspiracist. For instance I believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone killed President John F. Kennedy, and that two planes piloted by al Qaeda terrorists took down the World Trade Center, no additional explosives required. If the Jews control the world then I’m converting; I’m a bigger Zionist than most Jews anyway. 12 years ago I set up this journal to fight conspiracy theories, naming it after Occam’s Razor which is to conspiracy theories what Raid is to cockroaches: it causes them to flip onto their backs, wave their legs and die.
But the death of reporter Michael Hastings is severely testing my beliefs.
Cars today are controlled by computers. You can access your car’s ECM, electronic control module – it’s computer, through your cars OBD2 port under the dash. I have a $20 Bluetooth module that plugs into the OBD2 port and connects to a program on my smartphone. It allows me to monitor engine performance and read check engine lights. This module has very limited abilities, but is it so difficult to imagine a government agent having one with more extensive capabilities?
An eyewitness saw Hastings’ car fly by him through a red light. Hastings’s Mercedes C250 was brand new and like all new cars has a computer that controls all aspects of the car’s engine performance. Is it possible it was hacked to accelerate after reaching a critical speed, say 35 mph? One of my car’s has a push button start/stop switch, as many of the latest models do. You don’t have to put a metal key into the steering column and turn it to start the engine. The Mercedes C250 can be purchased with an optional “Keyless Go” system – a fancy way of saying a start/stop switch. Did Hastings’ car have that option and did the hack include its disabling? Placed in such a situation, his car traveling at high speed perhaps with brakes and transmission also compromised, how likely is it that Michael Hastings would survive such a crash?
Here’s an example of car hacking so the above scenario is possible. As of today we have no evidence that Hastings was murdered by a hacked car, but we also don’t have much evidence supporting an accidental death beyond “his car was driving fast. He was in the car. The car wrecked and he’s dead.” Occam’s Razor comes into play only when competing theories have evidence backing them up; right now we don’t have much evidence at all and much of what there was has been burned up.
Today we have no evidence that his car was compromised and if it was that it was done by agents acting on orders of the federal government. But we are living in a new era, one where the government’s actions have caused even reasonable people to begin to consider ideas and theories that were once the purview of crackpots and paranoids. For years crackpots on the Left and Right have proposed theories of government surveillance, government coverups for failed adventures overseas and the targeting of conservatives for their beliefs, and now we are seeing these crackpots were right. I have a whole page of this blog dedicated to such government actions, and that doesn’t even include the Fast & Furious scandal whereby the feds armed the Mexican drug cartels for no explicit reason – other than to undermine the 2nd Amendment here at home. Think that conspiracy is a fantasy? Ask Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s family.
I find it ironic that 12 years after its founding, this journal finds itself espousing theories it was founded to fight. But to deny the possibilities of such conspiracies at a time when the government is blatantly conspiring against its citizens seems rather naive on my part. So while I continue to believe that Oswald acted alone at this point in time count me as one who believes that Michael Hastings’s death was not an accident and that the Federal Government is at war against anyone with the serious potential to threaten it.
UPDATE: Evidently I’m not the only one who believes Hastings’ car was hacked. The HuffPo ran an article with the exact same title as my piece. I’ll pretend that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Now there’s another theory to contribute to the paranoia: According to a prominent security analyst, technology exists that could’ve allowed someone to hack his car. Former U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism Richard Clarke told The Huffington Post that what is known about the single-vehicle crash is “consistent with a car cyber attack.”
Clarke said, “There is reason to believe that intelligence agencies for major powers”—including the United States—know how to remotely seize control of a car.
“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.”
“So if there were a cyber attack on the car—and I’m not saying there was,” Clarke added, “I think whoever did it would probably get away with it.”