Famous Quotes & Sayings

Michael Hastings Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 71 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Michael Hastings.

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Michael Hastings Quotes 586512

When my editors and I at 'Rolling Stone' came up with the idea to do a profile of General McChrystal, I simply just e-mailed General McChrystal's press staff, said we wanted to do a profile, and said if you could give us any time to hang out with the general, that would be great. — Michael Hastings

Michael Hastings Quotes 2262090

And there's this talk that we're asking soldiers to make the greatest sacrifice, but the reality is that civilians bear the burden of war more than the combatants. You're much more likely to get accidentally blown up or killed by a death squad than you are to die in a firefight. — Michael Hastings

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Whenever you're reporting, there's always something you can't say or write, but the questions, you always want to get as close to that line as possible. You want to ask the tough questions. — Michael Hastings

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You basically have to be willing to devote your life to journalism if you want to break in. Treat it like it's medical school or law school. — Michael Hastings

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I write for fun. I had written a kind of media satire, but I doubt it will see the light of day. It was just a personal project. — Michael Hastings

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The simple and terrifying reality, forbidden from discussion in America, was that despite spending $600 billion a year on the military, despite having the best fighting force the world had ever known, they were getting their asses kicked by illiterate peasants who made bombs out of manure and wood. — Michael Hastings

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During the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the military conducted only a handful of drone missions. — Michael Hastings

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The general's staff is a handpicked collection of killers, spies, geniuses, patriots, political operators and outright maniacs. There's a former head of British Special Forces, two Navy Seals, an Afghan Special Forces commando, a lawyer, two fighter pilots and at least two dozen combat veterans and counterinsurgency experts. They jokingly refer to themselves as Team America, taking the name from the South Park-esque sendup of military cluelessness, and they pride themselves on their can-do attitude and their disdain for authority. — Michael Hastings

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I have to admit that the empty prestige and the stupid glory - yes, the horrible rush, the deadly sense of importance that war brings to life - are hard illusions to shake off. Look at me, a war correspondent. — Michael Hastings

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The use of drones is rapidly transforming the way we go to war. On the battlefield, a squad leader can receive real-time data from a drone that enables him to view the landscape for miles in every direction, dramatically expanding the capabilities of what would normally have been a small and isolated unit. — Michael Hastings

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Andrew Warren was a rarity in the CIA's Clandestine Service - African-American, fluent in Arabic, and relatively young for an agent who'd already spent nearly a decade chasing terrorists in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq and Algeria, so deep undercover that few of his friends or family knew the nature of his work. — Michael Hastings

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If Bill O'Reilly is calling you a far-left critic, in my book, no matter what your political persuasion is, that's probably - that probably means you're doing a good job. — Michael Hastings

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I have a deep-seated skepticism about the morality of violence. Violence is almost always morally corrosive. — Michael Hastings

Michael Hastings Quotes 488639

The humanitarian argument is so selective I find it difficult to swallow. It's not even so much about the choice as to where we should get involved and where we shouldn't. — Michael Hastings

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General McChrystal wanted to be on the cover of 'Rolling Stone.' — Michael Hastings

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The first time I met President Obama was 2006 in Baghdad. He was the senator from Illinois; it was a month before he actually ended up declaring. He had to come to Baghdad to kind of check that box, and I was the correspondent for 'Newsweek' at the time. — Michael Hastings

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Whether or not Afghanistan would be a peaceful nation-state had we not gone into Iraq I doubt. Afghanistan is going to be Afghanistan, no matter how hard we try to make it something else. — Michael Hastings

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The minute you start arming people in these conflict zones, things don't go as expected. We also need to look at precedent before making these decisions. Instead of listening to Muammar Qaddafi's rhetoric, we should look at how he's behaved. The fact is he's been making concessions recently. He gave up his nuclear weapons. He allowed hundreds of Americans to evacuate Tripoli. Did he crack down on his people who revolted? Yes, but that's not so unusual. — Michael Hastings

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By the second sentence of a pitch, the entirety of the story should be explained. — Michael Hastings

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Clearly the American military has been a force for good for the United States. There's a reason we have a standing military. But there's something to be said for having a much smaller military because then we wouldn't be tempted to get involved in things we shouldn't be getting involved in. — Michael Hastings

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Afghanistan would have been difficult enough without Iraq. Iraq made it impossible. The argument that had we just focused on Afghanistan we'd now be okay is persuasive, but it omits the fact that we weren't supposed to get involved in nation-building in Afghanistan. — Michael Hastings

Michael Hastings Quotes 1273584

It's never a good thing to see a government agency talk in secret about the need to 'control protestors' - especially when that agency is charged with protecting the homeland against terrorists, not nonviolent demonstrators exercising their First Amendment rights to peaceable dissent. — Michael Hastings

Michael Hastings Quotes 2072909

As the CIA tried to find itself, the threat of international terrorism emanating from the Middle East, Africa, North Africa and Central and Southeast Asia grew with each strike: the first World Trade Center attack in 1993, the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and the 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole. — Michael Hastings

Michael Hastings Quotes 707107

I'm talking to people all of the time. So it hasn't really had a big impact. Access is never my main concern anyway. If you keep digging and making phone calls you can get stories and not have to rely on the good graces of the Pentagon spokesperson. I am not in his good graces. — Michael Hastings

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For me, when I go in to write a profile, and no ground rules are laid down, and I'm there to write an on-the-record profile and cover readings while in the room, then that means it's on the record. — Michael Hastings

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I went into journalism to do journalism, not advertising. — Michael Hastings

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An information operations team was sent to Afghanistan to conduct various psychological operations on the Afghans and Taliban. The team was then asked not to focus on the Taliban but on manipulating senators into giving more funds and troops [to the war]. — Michael Hastings

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If feels good to live after death. It feels good to not be dead. It feels so good to find myself alive and flying home. The music plays in my ears and I float further and further away from war. Fucking Baghdad. — Michael Hastings

Michael Hastings Quotes 186494

Despite failing to get bin Laden, the U.S. government and media portrayed the early Afghanistan war as a great victory. — Michael Hastings

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Look at the violence in Pakistan and the presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan: the more troops we put in the more violent Pakistan becomes. — Michael Hastings

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I think it's very difficult to make people care about natives in another country. — Michael Hastings

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When writing for a mass audience, put a fact in every sentence. — Michael Hastings

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Usually when reporting on powerful public figures, the press advisor and I would have had a conversation that established what journalists call 'ground rules,' placing restrictions on what can and cannot be reported. — Michael Hastings

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Her name has been released to the press. Her photograph is released, too. I want to talk to the press about it. I don't want Andi to be a one-day story. I don't want her to be just a headline on the wires. — Michael Hastings

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As for the like of Hillary Clinton, I - you know, I've covered Secretary of State Clinton before. I covered her during her campaign. And she's a very likable and charismatic person once you get the chance to spend any time close to her. — Michael Hastings

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Inside the White House there were always extreme amounts of doubt about whether they should be escalating in Afghanistan. In fact, most of the president's advisers said, "This is probably not going to work." A lot of people in the military said, "This is probably not going to work." — Michael Hastings

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If someone tells you something is off the record, I don't print it. If they don't tell me something is off the record, then it's fair game. — Michael Hastings

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A new software is being developed so the psychological operations guys and the Pentagon's strategic communications guys - and we don't really know who's running it - but this is all totally out in the open. It's this new program that will allow them to have like ten fake Twitter accounts and ten Facebook accounts so you can pretend. — Michael Hastings

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Oh, don't let him pull that 'Pearl Harbor I'm going off to war' stuff on you. — Michael Hastings

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I welcome all interviews with 'Rolling Stone' magazine, and I'm sure people will talk to me in the future. — Michael Hastings

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I think when war becomes your life, I think it's very difficult to have the proper perspective to be able to create a fully balanced policy. — Michael Hastings

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After a decade of war you have this Pentagon-military apparatus run amok using resources that they shouldn't be to try to manipulate U.S. public opinion. — Michael Hastings

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The night before I began my career as a presidential campaign reporter, in September 2007, I finished Theodore White's 'The Making of the President,' the classic account of the 1960 race, which opened up a new era of campaign reporting. — Michael Hastings

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Despite the absurdity and the silliness and the triviality of the entire campaign experience, there is also something, as non-cynical as this sounds, kind of uplifting and strange about watching democracy unfold. — Michael Hastings

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I had a recurring fantasy in which I took (Rudy Giuliani) out during a press conference (it was nonlethal, just something that put him out of commission for a year or so), saving America from the horror of a President Giuliani. If that sounds like I had some trouble being 'objective,' I did. — Michael Hastings

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I want to be the greatest investigative reporter of my generation. — Michael Hastings

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If the thumbnail version of the Iraq war was that Bush lied about WMD, the thumbnail version of Obama's war in Afghanistan is that the generals pushed him into a war he didn't want to fight. — Michael Hastings

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Gore Vidal, Glenn Greenwald, Noam Chomsky, all these guys talk about how the United States became a national security state after World War II. I agree with that thesis. Essentially there's this bipartisan foreign policy elite who've been calling the shots for the last few decades and they're clearly still in control regardless of how clownish or absurd or stupid they demonstrate themselves to be. There's no shaking their orthodoxy. — Michael Hastings

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Obama's drone program, in fact, amounts to the largest unmanned aerial offensive ever conducted in military history: never have so few killed so many by remote control. — Michael Hastings

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The fact is, psychiatric help is not widely available to CIA agents - and as in the military, there is a stigma attached to admitting post-traumatic stress. — Michael Hastings

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It was either write or die for me. — Michael Hastings

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The genius of David Petraeus has always been his masterful manipulation of the media. — Michael Hastings

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The guys on the ground are the guys I care about. I've had the most satisfaction telling their stories. But when you're in combat with somebody, yes, a bond does grow. — Michael Hastings

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General David Petraeus was so successful at getting on covers of magazines, having journalists fall in love with him, that in fact he was able to use that power to go around the normal chain of command. — Michael Hastings

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There is not much of a bureaucratic leap, if history is any guide, between a seemingly benign call for 'continuous situational awareness' and the onset of a covert and illegal campaign of domestic surveillance. — Michael Hastings

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Things weren't permanent, things could always fall apart, never get too comfortable, and even those you trust, those you trust as authority figures and role models, are liable to show themselves as illusions. — Michael Hastings

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My younger brother is a decorated combat veteran and was a platoon leader in Iraq. — Michael Hastings

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To General McChrystal, those men on his team are his family. You know, these guys, they would do anything. They would die for each other. — Michael Hastings

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When interviewing for a job, tell the editor how you love to report. How your passion is gathering information. Do not mention how you want to be a writer, use the word 'prose,' or that deep down you have a sinking suspicion you are the next Norman Mailer. — Michael Hastings

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But the frightening aspect is that it's part of a larger effort from the Pentagon to tear down the wall between public affairs and propaganda, and essentially say there is no difference between information operations, public affairs and psychological operations. It's all one and the same. They have a new name for that too, it's called Information Engagement. — Michael Hastings

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I'm glad you're the one I get to leave the parties with. — Michael Hastings

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I grew up reading Holocaust literature at the beach, Gulag literature on winter holidays, Vietnam memoirs on spring break. — Michael Hastings

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Janet Malcolm had famously described journalism as the art of seduction and betrayal. Any reporter who didn't see journalism as "morally indefensible" was either "too stupid" or "too full of himself," she wrote. I disagreed. Without shutting the door on the possibility that I was both stupid and full of myself, I'd never bought into the seduction and betrayal conceit. At most, journalism - particularly when writing about media-hungry public figures - was like the seduction of a prostitute. The relationship was transactional. They weren't talking to me because they liked me or because I impressed them; they were talking to me because they wanted the cover of Rolling Stone. — Michael Hastings

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In campaign reporting more than any other kind of press coverage, reporters aren't just covering a story, they're a part of it - influencing outcomes, setting expectations, framing candidates - and despite what they tell themselves, it's impossible to both be a part of the action and report on it objectively. — Michael Hastings

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I thought Gen. McChrystal was unfireable, that his position was secure. — Michael Hastings

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The idea of aerial military surveillance dates back to the Civil War, when both the Union and the Confederacy used hot-air balloons to spy on the other side, tracking troop movements and helping to direct artillery fire. — Michael Hastings

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I've been in this business now for almost ten years. I've done a lot of stories. I have a pretty good track record. — Michael Hastings

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In late 2009, I returned to Baghdad after a lengthy absence. I was living alone, in the Hamra Hotel, the twice bombed-out de facto international news bureau. — Michael Hastings

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The way the Pentagon and its defenders have pushed back against this story is to say: "They weren't doing psychological operations, they were doing information operations and public affairs. They were just helping us spin senators like we normally do." — Michael Hastings

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Obama's people will all often complain about how trivial and silly the media is, but there's no president who's probably benefited from this sort of trivialness or superficial nature as President Obama. — Michael Hastings

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What the fuck? Didn't you tell him you had a boyfriend?" "I did. He asked if I loved you." "Who is this guy? What's he do?" "He's an accountant in Boston." "An accountant? Jesus Christ, didn't you tell him you're dating a fucking war correspondent? — Michael Hastings