May 192017
 

WikiLeaks Retweet of Fox News’s Seth Rich Story.

by Thomas L. Knapp…….

According to the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department, the nation’s capital reported 135 homicides last year. One of those homicides, the killing of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich on July 10, 2016, continues to make news ten months later.

Who killed Seth Rich, and why? We may never know for sure. On the other hand, a significant piece of the puzzle may have just fallen into place.

Fox News, citing a federal investigator as source, reports that Rich may well — as long rumored — have been the source of DNC emails published by WikiLeaks, less than two weeks after he was shot twice in the back during a robbery in which, curiously, nothing was apparently taken from him.

That email release, which revealed an internal DNC conspiracy to ensure the nomination of Hillary Clinton for president at the expense of her opponent, Bernie Sanders, wounded Clinton’s campaign and cost US Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz her position as DNC chair.

The federal source, as well as an investigator hired by the Rich family (former DC homicide detective Rod Wheeler), claims that Rich communicated with (now deceased) WikiLeaks director Gavin MacFadyen.

WikiLeaks founder/director Julian Assange, in line with the organization’s policy against outing sources, has resolutely declined to confirm or deny Rich as the DNC leaker. On the other hand, WikiLeaks did put up reward money for information leading to the arrest and conviction of his killer or killers — and retweeted, without comment, the Fox News story referenced above.

For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. In the case of Bill and Hillary Clinton, the right-wing conspiracy theory project of putting every fatal heart attack and accidental traffic death in America on a constantly updated, Internet-circulated “Clinton Body Count” list tends to make the rest of us cautious about just assuming skulduggery on the part of the Clintons and their associates in any given instance.

Still, it can’t be denied that Hillary Clinton has, as what her husband called his “co-president,” as a US Senator, and as US Secretary of State, proven herself to have both a sense of political entitlement and a distinctly murderous bent. If you doubt this, watch the CBS News video of her giggling “we came, we saw, he died” response to the killing of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Clinton’s publicly flaunted attitudes lend credibility to claims, admittedly listed as “unproven” (not necessarily “false”) by pro-Clinton site Snopes.com, that as Secretary of State she once seriously proposed the assassination of none other than Julian Assange: “Can’t we just drone this guy?”

Is it really that far-fetched to hypothesize that Clinton, or officials in her campaign or party — many of whom are accustomed to exercising power of life and death in when actually in office — would quail from likewise killing in pursuit of their political interests? The DNC leak (and therefore the DNC leaker) arguably cost Clinton more than the 80,000 votes or so by which she lost the 2016 presidential election.

As the straight news types like to say: Developing.

~~~~~~~~~~

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

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Thomas L. Knapp
Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.
 May 19, 2017  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #219, Thomas L. Knapp  Add comments

  45 Responses to “Seth Rich, the DNC, and WikiLeaks: The Plot Thickens”

  1. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! Mr. Knapp! And just when I thought there was hope for you yet! 😉

    You can’t believe everything you hear on Faux News:

    That’s report from CNN’s “Reliable Sources”.

    Your comments, please.

    Dickford

    • Ulp! Apparently the Blue Paper doesn’t like links. Oh, well…just check out the report on CNN, eh?

      http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/19/media/russian-embassy-seth-rich-inaccurate-fox-news-story/index.html?

      Dickford

      • Dickford,

        I very carefully pointed out where the story was reported, where it was sourced from, etc. and was careful to use the word “may” in considering its implications. This piece was published in its original venue about half a day before CNN “reported” that the story was “falling apart.”

        Of course, it still hasn’t “fallen apart.” Wheeler was not Fox’s primary source, he was allegedly a corroborating source. CNN has an equally anonymous source saying exactly the opposite of Fox’s. I consider CNN and Fox roughly equally reliable when they’re not revealing their sources. And both are pretty firm on sticking to their preferred narratives even long after those claims have been debunked.

        • Well, we believe what we believe I guess.

          You did note that the family has petitioned Faux News and Wheeler to “cease and desist”, eh? This is a bogus tale that has been relentlessly pushed by the Russians, among others.

          My opinion, of course.

          Dickford

          • Well, what I believe is that I don’t know who killed Seth Rich or why. But note the last word of the column: “Developing.” Kim Dotcom says he’ll be releasing evidence that Rich was the source on Tuesday. Whether or not it will be real evidence, I guess we’ll see.

            I do feel bad for the Rich family. But not bad enough to pretend that they have some kind of authority to demand that the truth not be sought because they might not like what that truth is. They certainly have the authority to tell Wheeler to not speak in their name without their permission, but that’s about it.

  2. Kim Dotcom, eh? Well now, there is a fellow with impeccable credentials. [sigh]

    Dickford

    • Feel free to cite anything about his credentials that you consider peccable.

      • Uh-uh! You cite anything about Mr. Dotcom that you consider credible.

        He is, after all…an international criminal, for all intents and purposes.

        Mr. Dotcom is totally worthless, IMO…so why bother?

        Dickford

        • Mr. Dotcom is credible from two angles:

          1) As a youth, he was a notorious hacker, and presumably employs a number of same. That’s a very useful skill set for getting at information.

          2) As an adult, he’s been a tech pioneer in the areas of encryption, file sharing, cloud storage, etc. Once again, a very useful skill set when the matter at hand is “who had information and transmitted that information to whom, and how?”

          Apart from his hacking career as a teenager, I’ve seen zero evidence that he’s a criminal of any kind. He ran a file storage/sharing service and the Recording Industry Association of America and Motion Picture Association of America used their lobbying/political clout to get the US government to launch a malicious prosecution against him. But being a good guy pursued by bad guys is not a crime.

          • Gee! You sound like his publicist! 😉

            I’m sure you’ve seen the Wikipedia link regarding Mr. Dotcom (aka Kim Schmitz):

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Dotcom

            A legend in his own time, he is.

            Dickford

          • Nope, not his publicist. I just follow politically motivated malicious prosecutions with interest. He’s not quite as sympathetic or heroic as, say, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden or Julian Assange, but certainly in their league.

  3. More than ten people a month are murdered in our nations capitol>>>??? What’s going on up there? It’s certainly gotta lotta cops. More than most cities per capita I bet. A lot of the murders must be politically motivated. If so, this government is even sicker than I thought.

    • Actually, DC has a chronic shortage of cops. Remember that the budget for DC is controlled by Congress…not local politicians.

      DC has usually shared one of the top spots as “murder capital”: For time immemorial, it seems. However, to equate this rate with “political murders” is illogical: After all, St. Louis, MO has a murder rate almost three times that of DC (per the UCR). How much of the government is located there?

      I trust the local authorities in DC to investigate and close this case. They are a competent lot. Let’s remember one thing: Cops cannot prevent murders…only the citizenry can.

      I remain dismayed that our nation’s capital is such a disgraceful place, on the whole. No, I’m talking about the city itself. However, the government has already spoken. [sigh]

      Dickford

      • I lived in St. Louis for 12 years (actually just outside the city proper and less than five miles from where Michael Brown was gunned down in Ferguson — I probably sold him ice cream when he was little, and once almost rented an apartment in his complex).

        Yes, St. Louis is a dangerous city. On one list, I saw it classified as the third most dangerous city in the world (Mogadishu came in right behind it). My wife drove right through homicide Ground Zero on her way to and from work every day and at least once a week had to detour around a shooting scene. I had a close armed encounter with the Horseshoe Posse (local chapter of the Bloods) once myself.

        Just for the record, St. Louis and environs are not exactly known for small government. The little town I lived in had more pages of city ordinances than it had citizens — including a regulation specifying the minimum and maximum number of holes per square inch in window screens.

        • Small world! 😉

          Most of my first wife’s siblings still live/work in the St. Louis environs. They share your observations.

          Prior to moving to the Keys almost 20 years ago, we lived and worked in the Chicago environs — pretty much the same deal: You either knew, or learned early on, which ‘hoods to avoid at all costs. It was an established fact, not just wild rumors. To be fair, it was not usual for blacks to attack whites in the ‘hoods…but blacks murdered each other with seeming wild abandon. Utterly flabbergasting!

          But…the political underbelly (like in St. Louis) did know how to control things so that you could make a living relatively unmolested/untouched. Ya’ just hadda know somebody…

          Dunno what it is exactly…but there are strong territorial leanings in cities like Milwaukee, Chicago and St. Louis. I suspect that it’s due partially to the German heritage of those cities. They derive great joy and comfort from their li’l fiefdoms…hence all those silly local regulations you speak of.

          Dickford

  4. “My investigation up to this point shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks.”

    – Rod Wheeler, former DC homicide investigator

    • Yeah, right. Mr. Wheeler is a former cop. If he had any information of value, has he shared that with the proper authorities? Hell, no! Anything to make a buck…

      Dickford

    • John, perhaps you already know, but Faux News has officially retracted the story and removed it from its website.

      Of course, that hasn’t muted that fool Hannity…but, it did remove a leg or two from his stool. 😉

      Dickford

  5. Dickford

    Homicide Investigator Wheeler shared and collaborated with local and federal investigators examining the murder of Seth Rich…Your assertion is incorrect…

    It was during his investigation that evidence was acquired bearing information that led him to determine: ” There was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks”.

    “Methinks thou doth protest too much”

    • No, John…your assertion that “homicide investigator Wheeler shared…with local and federal investigators” is not supported by any facts. Let’s start with the fact that no “federal investigators” are officially involved in the Seth Rich case and go from there, eh? It remains a local (DC) murder case. Period.

      Over my decades on the ‘net, I’ve had my fill of “former” this and “former” that: I can give you long lists of these garbage pickers…if I wanted to. I just don’t have the time to waste. Let’s go further. Let’s assume that Seth Rich DID have contact with WikiLeaks. Gee! Now what?

      Dickford

      • —–
        Let’s start with the fact that no “federal investigators” are officially involved in the Seth Rich case
        —–

        That’s not a fact. It’s an assertion the truth or falsehood of which you cannot possibly be privy to unless you’re pretty high up in the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Department of Justice.

        • Or…unless I have a “high up” contact in the DC police department.

          If there truly is a “federal investigation” underway…it must be truly hush-hush. but then, Wheeler couldn’t possibly be involved.

          Think about it.

          Dickford

          • I have thought about it.

            If there is a federal investigation, I would expect one of two answers:

            “No, there is no federal investigation” or some variant, possibly including “to my knowledge,” if they don’t want to reveal the existence of an investigation.

            “We don’t comment on ongoing investigations”: if they want to reveal the existence of an investigation without details.

            Or there might not be a federal investigation.

  6. Now we’re getting somewhere, Mr. Knapp! Let’s combine your formidable analytical skills with whatever legal/ethical resources are at hand, shall we?

    First…let’s tackle your “IF”:

    Let’s assume that your “FBI response scenario” is essentially correct (it is). Now, has anything been published vis-a-vis any response to this question by the FBI? If not, Mr. Wheeler’s BS just doesn’t stand up.

    Then, there’s the matter of jurisdiction. Upon what basis would the FBI be summoned (except possibly for forensics) in this crime? Do you recall the Chandra Levy case? Or, the celebrated Vince Foster suicide? For better or for worse, these agencies zealously protect their jurisdictions…as was demonstrated in both cases.

    Now, let’s carry this a bit further. Wheeler claims that he has knowledge of some internet exchange(s) between Rich and WikiLeaks. Can he prove that? And, even if he can…so what?

    Let’s face it: Wheeler is a BS artist tryin’ to make a buck.

    Dickford

    • Dickford,

      I don’t disagree with you concerning Wheeler.

      As to why the FBI would be summoned, the District of Columbia is federal jurisdiction. Everything that happens there is by definition a federal matter, and every crime committed there is by definition a federal crime. Its police force is allowed to handle most mundane matters. The FBI would presumably be “summoned” vis a vis any crime with possible national political implications.

      In short, I would be surprised if the FBI was NOT notified and conferred with after a DNC staffer was murdered in DC shortly before a crap ton of leaked DNC emails was published.

      Might the FBI have taken a cursory look at the Metro PD’s file, said “looks like a mugging to us, not interested?” Sure. Or the FBI might have opened its own file and begun its own investigation — without telling Metro PD, and without telling me, and without telling you. I have no strong opinion on which of those is the case.

      According to Fox News’s primary source, who is not Wheeler, they did begin their own investigation and they did discover contact between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks. I have no opinion on whether or not the primary source’s claim is accurate, either. Which is why I used the word “may” and then considered the implications of the affirmative (the implications of the negative not being especially interesting).

      As someone noted earlier this weekend — I can’t remember who or where at the moment, which is more believable:

      1) That a disgruntled employee would leak embarrassing information on his employer to the media; or

      2) That !!!THEM RUSSIANS!!! would take a sudden, unusual, indeed at least seemingly unprecedented, interest in the internal operations of an American political party to the extent of hacking its computers (leaving no evidence — at least that the public has been shown) and instead of using the information gleaned to maximum effect and in their usual ways, just dump it on an organization that they have historically hated (for good reason, after Wikileaks exposed the lavish presidential palaces Putin claims not to have, as well as corruption in Russia’s state energy monopolies)?

      • Ahem! Thomas…the District of Columbia is most definitely NOT a “federal jurisdiction”. Read up on the subject, eh?

        Yes, it appears to be confusing…but it really isn’t: The DC Metro cops have complete jurisdiction even over federal lands/buildings. And, to further clarify…the FBI is most definitely NOT a “federal police agency” in the traditional sense: It, most assuredly, does NOT routinely meddle in domestic community policing.

        Ya’ gotta understand this hierarchy. I’m tellin’ ya’. Yes, that is one of my “formers”. I know whereof I speak…

        Take care.

        Dickford

        • “The Congress shall have power …. To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States”

          Federal jurisdiction. Case closed.

          • Not in reality, Thomas.

            Yes, the federal government has always controlled legislation in DC. Yet…you pay your parking tickets at city hall. It is not a federal violation.

            I guess you don’t recall DC’s issues with guns? Among a great number of other things?

            Yes, Congress makes the laws…but, DC enforces -and- adjudicates them. Reality, my man.

            Dickford

          • And if I get a parking ticket at Yosemite, I pay it at the park office, not at Mitch McConnell’s place. DC is federal jurisdiction. That’s just a plain, irrefutable fact or reality.

      • Oh, yeah…I almost forgot. Them Russkies will take advantage of ANY opening they can exploit. There is ample evidence to suggest that they are behind the stoking of this discredited fairy tale.

        Ever check out RT? I have. It’s downright ludicrous. Although I am surprised at the likes of Larry King and Ed Schultz on their program schedule, I am not at all surprised by the presence of Sean Hannity and such. If you will recall, Hannity has openly bragged of his role and an “entertainer”, while eliminating himself as a “journalist”.

        D’ya wonder why I am such a cynic?

        Dickford

        • Yes, RT is state media. Sort of like WaPo or NYT except they don’t hide it.

          • Really? Can you point to any evidence that WaPo or NYT is “state-supported”?

            Dickford

          • Why would I need to point to evidence for something I didn’t claim? Just because they aren’t PAID regime stenographers that doesn’t mean they aren’t regime stenographers.

  7. Dickford

    We’ve recently witnessed as a Nation the implications involved when a “Top Secret” unsecured government server is hacked into. Stolen e-mails were gotten and given to individuals/entities not authorized to view them.

    Threats to National Security, along with compromised Operatives and their locations around the world were included in this breach. Loss of life and imprisonment were resultant from this hacking.

    The FBI and every Investigative branch of government in The US were tapped into to help stop the bleeding and plug the leak.

    The Democratic National Committee (DNC), as we all have come to find out, had some extremely sensitive information on its servers. Gotten into the wrong hands, Presidential candidates might rise or fall. Careers could be ruined, high-powered officials fired and some sent to prison. Politics is a high stakes game. And as we all know, it can be deadly

    Dickford, whatever side of the political equation you’re on, do you think for one minute that the FBI, along with any other investigative agency that can provide clarity to the powers that be; are not all over Seth Rich, his computer and e-mails?

    The Feds are not interested in solving the murder, they have other things on their mind. It might be in their best interest to provide a cover-up for this horrific crime.

    The Metropolitan Police Department is formally in charge of the murder investigation. The FBI is working behind the scene. Right now they are providing cyber expertise in examining Rich’s computer.

    Perhaps a disgruntled DNC staffer, having been made aware of the sabotaging of the Bernie Sanders’ Campaign by DNC officials, didn’t like what went down; you know the corruption, betrayal and character assignation, which was all a part of it.

    Just maybe, as some records indicate, this DNC staffer of conscience, after his concerns and complaints were ignored, decided to take matters into his own hands. Statements and reports have been uncovered identifying a problem that had occurred between the “DNC Staffer of Conscience” and a “DNC Official”, prior to the alleged release of the e-mails to Wikileaks.

    A Federal Investigator that I will not identify (Something Like The New York Times Does–An Unnamed Source) indicated that an FBI analysis of Rich’s computer showed he had transferred more than 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments to a person with ties to WikiLeaks. Furthermore it was reported: “An FBI forensic report of Rich’s computer — generated within 96 hours after Rich’s murder — showed he made contact with WikiLeaks through Gavin MacFadyen, a Director of Wikileaks.

    Any reasonable person knows, it does not “remain a local (DC) murder case. Period.”

    Why would you ever believe such baloney? You’re an invaluable contributor to “The Blue Paper”, with a brilliant mind and penetrating perspectives. Your intelligence is clearly evident and much appreciated.

    I will never become snarky or soiled because of politics. None of them Fools are worth it, nor are they that important. Period…

    Cases of Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDR) appear to be on the rise. It’s toxic and can be deadly. An inoculation is recommended. Come on up to our Theater as my guest, with anyone that you want to bring, for the Opening Show and Celebration; we’ve got plenty of Vaccine.

    Blessings & Respect

    • Thank you very much for your response, John. I appreciate it — especially the compliments -and- your generous invitation.

      However, the fact remains that I am skeptical of these conspiracy theories: I have pursued many of these idiocies to their ultimate demise…wasting a LOT of time in the endeavor. In my view, the “Seth Rich case” is quite likely destined for that same outcome. My experience, more than my education…speaks reams. I listen…

      You give me far more credit than I deserve, however…in suggesting that I might be affected by Trump Derangement Syndrome. Nothing could be further from the truth: So long as they keep dangerous toys out of the reach of that puerile asshole, I’m good! Like it or not, we have the President WE voted for…together with the Congress we voted for. I accept that…always have, through the travails suffered at the hands of JFK, LBJ, RMN, JC, RRR, GHWB, BJC, GWB, BHO and now DJT. Funny thing happened on the way to my current reality: The more things change, the more they remain the same. Social issues have fallen into and out of favor: Laws can be made…and they can be overturned. IOW, shit happens and then you die. It makes little difference in the overall WHO our “national leaders” of the moment happen to be…life goes on, pretty much as expected. The “heroes” in my life are the civil servants at all levels…largely unsung, who support my efforts to live comfortably and securely in my twilight years. I have already paid for that…and I’m satisfied with what I’m getting in return: My government at work…and it works remarkably well.

      To me, politics makes for grand theater on the teevee. Beats the hell out of current “entertainment” fare, it does! If ya’ thought that “Twin Peaks” was quirky,
      check into the latest on cable news, It wins hands down!

      Sorry…but I have richly earned my moniker on several internet forums…CSOB. Cynical Sarcastic Old Bastard.

      I can’t confer blessings…I am not so equipped. But, yes…I can happily confer respect.

      Dickford

      • Dickford,

        Well, as I pointed out, we have two conspiracy theories.

        One is that a disgruntled employee leaked embarrassing information on his employer.

        The other is that a world power inexplicably wasted its cyber warfare budget on a project that had a low likelihood of paying off at all and an even lower likelihood of paying off on a scale commensurate to risk.

        So far, no substantive evidence for either of those conspiracy theories has been revealed to the public in any way that can be confirmed, but Occam’s Razor says one of them is more likely than the other.

        • Okay. Which is which?

          That a disgruntled employee “leaked” info on their employer is certainly not new.

          As for an agency “wasting it’s budget” on some spurious exercise? I can only ask what else is new? Ever hear of the “war on drugs”? NASA?

          What does anything you’ve mentioned have to do with anything? Sorry to seem dense, but…WTF?

          Dickford

          • Dickford,

            You wrote:

            “I am skeptical of these conspiracy theories”

            There are two conspiracy theories. One involves Seth Rich leaking to WikiLeaks, and the other involves !THEM RUSSIANS! hacking the DNC and giving the material to WikiLeaks.

            No substantive evidence has been shown to the public to support either of those conspiracy theories, but a disgruntled employee requires a lot fewer and less tenuous assumptions than does !THEM RUSSIANS!.

  8. Dear Thomas,

    RE: No substantive evidence has been shown to the public.

    Right! But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. In either case, admittedly.

    That said, it is FAR easier to pinpoint Russian involvement in these cyber efforts than it is to prepare a case involving Seth Rich’s murder. Ask the NSA…together with the gaggle of “hackers” in this wide world. There’s your Occam’s Razor. 😉

    Things are different in Mr. Rich’s case, however. To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Rich’s computer has not even been examined. I could be mistaken on that point. There are other potential facets that haven’t been explored, as well. We simply don’t know enough to intelligently comment…

    Dickford

    • Dickford,

      Occam’s Razor says that if it was so easy to pinpoint Russian involvement, someone would have actually done so by now.

      • They have! Haven’t you been keeping up with the nooz? 😉

        Dickford

        • The only thing so far I’ve seen regarding the allegations about !THEM RUSSIANS! is “because we say so, trust us.” Coming from the people who told us all about Saddam’s WMD, that’s not “evidence.”

          • What??? You mean you don’t trust “them”??? Well, I do declare!!! 😉

            Fact is, I don’t either. But, I’ll give ’em more slack than our slick politicos.

            Frankly, I’m surprised that we’re “surprised” that the Russians interfered in our affairs: We perfected the art! And we’ve been using it for decades in countries foreign and friendly, far and near, for as long as I’ve been alive. I remember listening to Radio Free Europe back in the day…and wondering who they were talking about.

            Now comes “social media”…an enormous opportunity for social upheaval. Yes, we’re exploiting it as earnestly as any other political interest. We’d be stupid not to…

            That said, what concerns me most is the obvious collusion with high-level government officials. That is not supposed to happen.

            Dickford

          • It’s not just about not trusting them.

            It’s also about the fact that so far the publicly revealed evidence for the “!THEM RUSSIANS! hacked the DNC” claim is zero, zip, zilch, nada, bupkes.

            The “intelligence community assessment” on the matter consisted of 1) “We say so, trust us,” 2) a claim that the methods used in what may or may not have been the hack in question were “consistent with” Russian methods (they’re also consistent with everyone else’s methods), and a “technical annex” that listed a bunch of IPs “associated with Russian hackers” (and associated with every other kind of hacker as well — they’re Tor exit nodes that tell us nothing about who was on the other end).

            None of that is evidence.

  9. Thomas,

    RE: None of that is evidence.

    Depends on who you are and what you’re up to. The “intel community” has never seemed to bother much with “rules of evidence”. Witness the hundreds of people killed by drone-fired missiles in the middle of nowhere. Most of the time, they were merely “fingered” by others…as “suspects”. Good enough for government work, I guess.

    You can wait around for those outfits to provide palpable evidence if you want to. Pack a good lunch, eh?

    In the end, it doesn’t matter much what you or I think. It’s the American way. Get used to it.

    Dickford