CNN’s Reliable Sources guest host John Avlon aired excerpts of a never-before-seen interview he and his wife conducted of now-deceased journalist Michael Hastings and his wife Elise Jordan last summer, in which Hastings spoke candidly about his career-making piece on General Stanley McChrystal, and the loss of his girlfriend in the Iraq War.
Hastings was killed in a car crash in Los Angeles last month, an event that has spawned numerous conspiracy theories. The interview was aired for the first time Sunday afternoon, with Jordan’s permission.
“I wish I’d had a few thousand more words, because then I would have really unloaded what I knew,” Hastings said of any potential regrets over the Rolling Stone article that ended up costing McChrystal his job, adding that he had no idea the furor his piece would cause. “I figured that it would be talked about on cable news for a couple hours. I think I brought a suit with me back to Afghanistan just in case there was any TV interest.”
“These personal relationships can have huge impact on major policy decisions,” he said. “Because of this tension, for months the Afghan policy was in total disarray…I did not realize the depth of the animosity, and how much anger there was at the White House, at him, for pushing the policy to escalate in Afghanistan in 2009. That’s where the anger came from: the White House did not want to escalate in Afghanistan. General McChrystal, they felt, boxed them in to that position.”
Hastings’s first book, I Lost My Love In Baghdad, was written about his then-girlfriend, who was killed during the Iraq War. “I was very fortunate to have fallen in love with an amazing woman,” Hastings said. “She was killed in a very horrible, horrific way in Iraq. We can have this intellectual conversation about Iraq, and I can throw these numbers out there, but at the end of the day nothing is going to tell me is going to change my mind as to how I feel deeply about that war.”
“The name of the book I wrote in her honor is I Lost My Love In Baghdad because I didn’t think I could love again. I feel very blessed and fortunate that Elise would have me. The fact that she was able to get past that—I feel pretty lucky.”
Watch the interview here, via CNN:
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