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Michael Hastings

Begins Iraq War coverage


In the summer of 2005, Hastings arrives in Baghdad to serve as a war correspondent for Newsweek for a year and a half. He becomes interested in writing stories as an embedded journalist:

I started covering war in 2005 in Baghdad, and what I realized was that there’s this whole embed culture among the troops, but that there also existed one among the generals; the ones who are actually running the war. So I put in an embed request to run with General Casey and they were like, what are you talking about?

At one point, he spends three weeks embedded with a unit in the heat of summer, and is later threatened with bodily harm. Bureau Chief Scott Johnson remembers:

…his ire was never directed toward the grunts with whom he spent so much time. Instead he sought to portray their experiences in what he knew was the larger context of a failed war.