by Matthew Vadum
The late Seth Rich, not Russia, may have leaked the internal DNC documents.
The young Democratic National Committee official rumored to have leaked DNC documents to WikiLeaks and who was murdered in the nation’s capital last year was, just as previously claimed, in touch with Julian Assange’s document-dumping hacktivist group, media reports confirm.
This raises the possibility that Russia had nothing to do with the attacks on the DNC’s computer servers – assuming those actually took place. And if Russia didn’t hack the DNC, then the left-wing conspiracy theory that Russian President Vladimir Putin launched cyber-attacks on the DNC to help Donald Trump win the election – and that Trump knowingly colluded with the Russians in those attacks – is undermined.
Despite the mass media hysteria, there is still no publicly available evidence the Trump campaign somehow worked with Russia to affect the election result. Sources in newspaper articles are never identified. There is not a scintilla of proof of improper conduct. All we have is the alleged say-so of faceless CIA spooks like Evan McMullin whose motives are questionable.
Retired Washington homicide detective Rod Wheeler made the explosive claim that the late DNC staffer Seth C. Rich was in contact with WikiLeaks yesterday to Fox News.
On Sean Hannity’s TV show Wheeler said the unidentified federal investigator who gave him the information "came across [as] very credible. When you look at that, with the totality of everything else that I found in this case, it’s very consistent for a person with my experience to begin to think, 'Well, perhaps there were [sic] some email communication between Seth and WikiLeaks.'"
The same investigator spoke to Fox and explained that the FBI examined Rich’s laptop computer within 96 hours of his death. The FBI concluded that Rich had been in contact with WikiLeaks official Gavin MacFadyen, an American journalist living in London who died of lung cancer on Oct. 22, 2016.
The investigator, who asked not to be identified, confirmed the MacFadyen connection to Rich, telling Fox “I have seen and read the emails between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks.” The FBI has the emails but the stalled murder investigation remains with Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department, he said. “The revelation is consistent with the findings of Wheeler, whose private investigation firm was hired by a third party on behalf of Rich’s family to probe the case,” Fox reports.
“My investigation up to this point shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks,” said Wheeler. “I do believe that the answers to who murdered Seth Rich sits on his computer on a shelf at the D.C. police or FBI headquarters.”
The federal gumshoe told Fox that Rich transferred 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments between DNC leaders, dated from January 2015 through late May 2016, to MacFadyen before May 21 last year. On July 22 last year, 12 days after Rich’s death, WikiLeaks published internal DNC emails that seemed to indicate senior party officials colluded to prevent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont from securing the Democratic presidential nomination.
The emails revealed, among other things, that DNC officials threatened to out Sanders as an atheist to hurt his candidacy in believer-rich Kentucky and West Virginia. One problem: Sanders, unlike most of his fellow Marxists, isn’t an atheist. He is a Jew who has made statements indicating he is religious and spiritual and that these things are important to him.
Outrage over the DNC rigging the primaries on behalf of eventual nominee Hillary Clinton cost DNC chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz her job.
Rich’s family, D.C. police, the DNC, an anonymous former federal law enforcement official, and a current FBI official deny Wheeler’s claims. Rich’s laptop “never contained any e-mails related to WikiLeaks, and the FBI never had it,” the former official told NBC News. The current FBI official told NBC Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) never gave Rich’s computer to the FBI.
Of Wheeler’s claims, DNC flak Xochitl Hinojosa said, "We know of no evidence that supports these allegations. We are continuing to cooperate with investigators and have no further comment.”
Rich was 27 when he was shot twice in the back by a person or persons unknown near his Washington, D.C. home at 4:20 in the morning on July 10, 2016. Apparently there was a struggle but his wallet, credit cards, cellphone, and wristwatch were not stolen. Even though the evidence doesn’t suggest he was robbed, the MPD has characterized the unsolved case as a botched robbery, reportedly because Rich’s Bloomingdale neighborhood had recently seen several muggings.
Rich had been active in Democratic Party politics since high school and graduated from Omaha, Nebraska-based Creighton University in 2011 with a degree in political science and history. At the time of his death, he served as the DNC’s Deputy Director-Data-for-Voter Protection/Expansion.
The police won’t say if Rich was able to identify his attackers or offer any information before he died in a hospital. A surveillance video reportedly shows Rich being followed by two men, but police refuse to make it public.
After the murder, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange made the claim that he had been working with Rich and seemingly implied he was killed because he was the source of the hacked DNC emails. At least $150,000 in rewards have been offered for information in the case. WikiLeaks is offering $20,000. The MPD is offering $25,000. Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman, who has worked with the Rich family, is also offering a reward. Fox News and other media outlets report Burkman’s reward is $130,000 but Washingtonian magazine gives the figure as $105,000.
Although the received wisdom in Washington is that Russia, absolutely, positively, hacked the DNC and gave WikiLeaks the DNC documents, Assange has long insisted neither the Russian government nor any “state party” handed his group those documents.
The question of who or what hacked into the DNC’s servers – if there were cyber-attacks at all – isn’t as clear-cut or settled as the mainstream media suggests.
Hacker “Guccifer 2.0” claimed credit for the attacks on DNC servers.
A private cyber-security firm hired by the DNC claimed Russia was the culprit. But the Central Intelligence Agency reportedly now has the ability to mimic foreign intelligence agencies’ hack attacks by leaving electronic “fingerprints” creating the false impression of a foreign intrusion into computer networks.
According to WikiLeaks, “[t]he CIA's Remote Devices Branch's UMBRAGE group collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques 'stolen' from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation.”
With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the "fingerprints" of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from. UMBRAGE components cover keyloggers, password collection, webcam capture, data destruction, persistence, privilege escalation, stealth, anti-virus (PSP) avoidance and survey techniques.Come to think of it, the DNC’s certainty that it was hacked by Russia and only by Russia has always seemed a bit suspect.
James Bamford, a columnist at the left-wing magazine Foreign Policy, raised concerns about the claim last August.
Bamford noted that “leaked top-secret National Security Agency documents show that the Obama administration has long been involved in major bugging operations against the election campaigns -- and the presidents -- of even its closest allies.”
The U.S. is “by far, the world’s most aggressive nation when it comes to cyberspying and cyberwarfare,” he wrote. The NSA “has been eavesdropping on foreign cities, politicians, elections and entire countries since it first turned on its receivers in 1952. Just as other countries, including Russia, attempt to do to the United States.”
But “[w]hat is new is a country leaking the intercepts back to the public of the target nation through a middleperson.”
There is a strange irony in this. Russia, if it is actually involved in the hacking of the computers of the Democratic National Committee, could be attempting to influence a U.S. election by leaking to the American public the falsehoods of its leaders. This is a tactic Washington used against the Soviet Union and other countries during the Cold War.And the fact that the DNC refused to allow the FBI to examine its servers after Democrats claimed Russia hacked into them during the election cycle is especially suspicious. This does not seem like something the DNC would do if it really wanted justice to be done.
Could this refusal to let the world’s most respected law enforcement agency examine its servers be part of some kind of cover-up?
Perhaps the DNC wasn't hacked by Russia at all and Democrat officials know it.
Maybe the Russian hacking claim was intended to generate sympathy for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Maybe it was intended to distract from Clinton’s own suspicious dealings with Russia. Maybe Democrats made the claim with the intention of associating Donald Trump with it.
Who really knows?
We do know that Hillary Clinton is capable of terrible things. Quite apart from the path of destruction she cut from Libya to points east, Clinton personally authorized illegal dirty tricks operations against Trump’s campaign, as was shown in undercover video shot last year by James O’Keefe’s group, Project Veritas Action Fund.
The idea was to concoct evidence that Trump supporters were crazy, knuckle-dragging thugs in order to discredit the billionaire businessman’s campaign for president. Many left-wingers already call Trump a fascist or a Nazi. Generating melees at Trump rallies would reinforce that false narrative.
The Clinton campaign “is fully in it,” veteran left-wing strategist and convicted felon Robert Creamer confirmed on hidden camera. “Hillary knows through the chain of command what’s going on.” In another clip, Creamer is shown saying in a telephone call, “I spend most of my time overseeing the Trump events around the country. I mean, that’s what I do for the Clinton campaign, uh, so that’s interesting as well.”
Creamer reportedly visited the Obama White House 342 times, including 47 meetings with Obama personally so it is not hard to believe Obama was fully in it, as well.
Perhaps the Russian cyber-conspiracy theory was the Clinton campaign’s Plan A and paying operatives to create YouTube-worthy outbreaks of violence at Trump rallies was Plan B.
At a White House press briefing March 20 a reporter asked press secretary Sean Spicer if President Trump was “under the impression that the Clinton campaign had inappropriate contact with Russia during the election.”
But I think there is a serious question. I mean, it's not -- they're very clear about the concerns that they have, as well as all of the leadership in the Democratic Party, and yet when it came to hacks and leaks out of the DNC -- and they're quick to jump to the conclusion about who did it, and yet they wouldn’t allow the FBI to investigate it -- there's a whole second set of concerns here in terms of what was Hillary Clinton's role.Of course Clinton herself is no stranger to Internet or Russia-related intrigues. She established a hacker-friendly network of private email servers while she headed the State Department and stole tens of thousands of government emails and then lied about it repeatedly.
I mean, if you look at the Obama administration and the Clintons' involvement with Russia in terms of donations the Clintons [i.e. their foundation] received from Russia and entities, the idea that they sold off a tremendous amount of the uranium to the Russian government, and yet where was the concern for that?That is an excellent question.
It was the Obama administration in 2009 that talked about a reset with Russia and a desire to reset relationships. It was Hillary Clinton who signed off on the deal that gave a Russian company one-fifth of the U.S. uranium supply. Where is the questioning about that? What did they get?
Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."
Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.