Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 09, 2019

Isikoff, Who First Peddled The Fake Steele Dossier, Invents New 'Russian Influence' Story

Michael Isikoff was the first reporter who peddled the fake Steele dossier about alleged Russian influence over Donald Trump. He later admitted that the claims therein were 'likely false'. Today Isikoff came up with a new fake story about 'Russian influence'.

Isikoff claims that the conspiracy theory, that Seth Rich, a DNC staffer, was killed because he stole the DNC emails which Wikileaks later published, was planted by Russia's foreign intelligence service.

Exclusive: The true origins of the Seth Rich conspiracy theory.

WASHINGTON — In the summer of 2016, Russian intelligence agents secretly planted a fake report claiming that Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was gunned down by a squad of assassins working for Hillary Clinton, giving rise to a notorious conspiracy theory that captivated conservative activists and was later promoted from inside President Trump’s White House, a Yahoo News investigation has found.

Russia’s foreign intelligence service, known as the SVR, first circulated a phony “bulletin” — disguised to read as a real intelligence report —about the alleged murder of the former DNC staffer on July 13, 2016, according to the U.S. federal prosecutor who was in charge of the Rich case. That was just three days after Rich, 27, was killed in what police believed was a botched robbery while walking home to his group house in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C., about 30 blocks north of the Capitol.

Isikoff points to the whacky website On July 13 2016 it published this:

A somber Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) report circulating in the Kremlin today says that a top American Democratic Party staffer preparing to testify against Hillary Clinton was assassinated this past Sunday during a secret meeting in Washington D.C. he believed he was having with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents, but who turned out, instead, to be a “hit team”—and who, in turn, were captured yesterday after a running gun battle with US federal police forces just blocks from the White House.

According to this report, SVR “electronic specialists” performing counter intelligence “missions/operations” noted on 7 July an “enormous/gigantic” increase of computer and telephonic traffic between the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters in Washington D.C. and the Clinton Foundation (CF) offices in New York City.

That report, says Isikoff, was planted by the SVR and was the first to make the connection between the murder of Seth Rich and his work at the Democrat National Councils (DNC).

Isikoff also quotes Deborah Sines, "the former assistant U.S. attorney in charge of the Rich case until her retirement last year":

In her efforts to better understand where the conspiracy theories were coming from, Sines used her security clearance to access copies of two SVR intelligence reports about Seth Rich that had been intercepted by U.S. intelligence officials. She later wrote a memo documenting the Russian role in fomenting the conspiracy theories that she sent to the Justice Department’s national security division, and personally briefed special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors on her findings.

It is doubtful that Mrs. Sines security clearance allows her to publicize what SVR intelligence reports, or phony SVR bulletins, U.S. intelligence services intercept and read.

The claim that 'Russia' started the Seth Rich conspiracy story via that whacky website can be easily debunked. That websites version, that Seth Rich was supposed to meat FBI agents, never gained credence. It was also not the first, as Isikoff claims.

Washington Post reporter Philip Bump finds that at least six U.S. persons publicly made claims that connected the Seth Rich murder to Hillary Clinton before the whacky website published its version. That is not astonishing at all. The idea of a 'Clinton body count' has been around for decades.

Isikoff also claims that 'Russian trolls' pushed the story:

At the same time, online trolls working in St. Petersburg, Russia, for the Internet Research Agency (IRA) — the same shadowy outfit that conducted the Russian social media operation during the 2016 election — aggressively boosted the conspiracy theories. IRA-created fake accounts, masquerading as those of American citizens or political groups, tweeted and retweeted more than 2,000 times about Rich, helping to keep the bogus claims about his death in the social media bloodstream, according to an analysis of a database of Russia troll accounts by Yahoo News.

But Philip Bump finds a different number:

A search of the Russian tweets conducted by The Post finds only 640 tweets mentioning “Seth Rich.” Most of those tweets came well after the election.

More than half of the IRA tweets on Seth Rich were sent in August 2017. They came after Fox News and Steve Bannon had publicly peddled the conspiracy theory.

The IRA is a commercial advertisement company. Its fictitious online personalities create web traffic to sell ads. That activity has nothing to do with the Russian government. In the criminal case against the IRA owner Concord a federal judge recently confirmed that there is no evidence that connects the IRA activity to the Russian government. The judge criticizes that the Mueller investigation made the claim:

In short, the Court concludes that the government violated Rule 57.7 by making or authorizing the release of public statements that linked the defendants’ alleged activities to the Russian government and provided an opinion about the defendants’ guilt and the evidence against them. The Court will therefore proceed to consider the appropriate response to that violation, beginning with the possibility of contempt.

That Seth Rich was wacked because he stole the DNC emails and transferred them to Wikileaks is a conspiracy theory. It is possible and even plausible, but there is no evidence to confirm it. Many people seem to believe it because it makes more sense than the competing conspiracy theory, that Russia hacked the DNC and handed the emails to Wikileaks. Isikoff's claim, that Russia planted the Rich conspiracy theory, has no sound base. That theory existed before anything 'Russian' mentioned it.

Philip Bump concludes:

It’s eternally tempting to suggest that out-there ideas like the Rich conspiracies were a function of nefarious external actors like Russian intelligence officials. That text from Bannon, though, underlines the more anodyne truth: It was politically useful for a number of people to hype the allegations at the expense of Rich’s reputation.

Posted by b on July 9, 2019 at 18:12 UTC | Permalink

« previous page | next page »

Who is Seth Rich – and was his death really connected to Hillary Clinton? (The Independent, May 2017):

The 27-year-old computer voting specialist was last seen alive July 10, 2017 (obvious error, should read 2016 — S) by the manager of a bar he frequented in the Columbia Heights neighbourhood in Washington DC.

It was a muggy night in the nation’s capital and Mr Rich had been venting that night to his bartender about the difficulties of balancing his 12-hour-a-day job with his love life.

After the bar closed around 1:45 am, the manager offered to call Mr Rich a cab to take him the mile-or-so to his house, but he refused and said he’d prefer to walk and was thinking about stopping by the nearby Wonderland Ballroom, according to police.

Some reports indicated that Mr Rich was highly intoxicated when he left the first bar, and it wasn’t later confirmed that he had actually stopped by the Wonderland Ballroom. What is evident, though, is that he chose to walk home through several dicey blocks in an area of town that was quickly gentrifying and seeing a surge in reports of crime.

Mr Rich was shot and killed around 4:20 am while on the phone with his girlfriend. What he did for the roughly two and a half hours between leaving that first bar and getting killed remains unclear.

According to this article, as of January 2017, there were anywhere from 187 to 748 CCTVs operated by the city. Plus all the private CCTVs. Why hasn't a single one captured Seth Rich walking by?

Posted by: S | Jul 10 2019 6:21 utc | 101

They must be starting to close in on that old hag, Hilary C.
Who is this Michael Isikoff?
Has he been playing with kiddies on Epstein's pedo island?
That the darkside has seemingly thrown Epstein under the bus (and cleaned out his DNC related Wikipedia info) points to fall-back panic, imo.
And the classic 'who?' misdirection rather than the far more legally relevant 'what?' is always the MSM agenda.

Posted by: imo | Jul 10 2019 6:30 utc | 102

@67 "We'll never know what prompted Yeltsin to elevate Putin as he's dead."
Hearsay, via my favorite Russian concubine, has it that Berezovsky sponsored him, thinking he could be easily controlled.
I joined BB's crime family in the late 1990s, about the same time as Litvinenko, if memory serves. Only a foreign corporate jet pilot, I have little insider information. But the entourage believed Vladimir Vladimirovich to have mental health issues, this being their only explanation for a man of honor and integrity.

Posted by: necromancer | Jul 10 2019 7:17 utc | 103

Jen 65, how are you, enjoy your posts however the info on the DNC emails and the dates are incorrect. According to wiki (as I always say CIA approved) has the main dates of release by DC leaks in June and July and Wikileaks on 22nd July 2016 just before Democrate party convention.

That Guccifer 2 did this is bullshit. He is CIA patsy! Look their is so many instances like first Hillary server which was hacked by the Chinese then DC leaks /Wikileaks and John Podesta emails and Guccifer 2 action which is false flag hack. Many people get these mixed up.

Posted by: col from Oz | Jul 10 2019 7:46 utc | 104

@Arioch (35). The verification by blockchain method of every single cryptocurrency transaction consumes huge quantities of electricity. Anyone can look it up, but the numbers are astonishingly high.

Posted by: Rob | Jul 9 2019 22:59 utc | 55

What is worse, is the absolute and eternal transparency as the essential requirement for this system to function.
If you somewhere in you hometown would by a coffee tin can in the vending machine going to work at morning, and you will pay in BitCoins, then me, in Beijing or Moscow, that very week or 20 years later digging your dirty laundry, will know it. And will have definite proof of it.

Many BitCoin cultists talk about privacy and being hidden from "banksters" supervision.
Well, they should equally eager then warn about blockchain's essential world-wide supervision but they do not...

P.S. pseudonimity is NOT anonymity

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 10 2019 8:53 utc | 105

Americunts are just dumb, $8500 of FB advertising vs $5 BILLION of TV advertising in a typical POTUS election?!!! The devils are so much into spinning and falsehood aka genocided redinjun was the bad guy and John Wayne was the hero,that they are unable to see simple truth like the above. Bwahahah the above argument should have stopped Russia nonsense dead but BOTH sides are unable to see it, they are all part of the great satan.

Posted by: Observer | Jul 10 2019 9:13 utc | 106

Russiagate is a huge distraction from interference/use of outside actors in US elections.

The Russian Internet Research Agency was one outlet, British Cambridge Analytica and Israeli Black Cube/Psy Group was another.

Above are all private enterprises with deep connections to their state, and the Trump campaign was backed by a lot of very rich people in the US, and as it turns out in other countries. Problem is most of them are US allies. I assume Saudi and UAE were involved on Trump's side, too.

It is obvious why they all backed Trump and Trump has delivered on all of it
- support for Brexit to avoid EU regulation
- return to the "containment" of Iran
- support for the war in Yemen
- support for the annexation of Golan and the West Bank
- an isolationist policy disrupting US global activities effectively taking them
out of international agreements

If Democrats think they can get their country back by blaming Russia they are illusional.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 10 2019 9:18 utc | 107

add to 114

The connection to Wikileaks is not via Russian Secret Service but via Cambridge Analytica (as is the connection to the Internet Research Agency)

Brittany Kaiser, a director at the firm until earlier this year, also claimed to have channelled cryptocurrency payments and donations to WikiLeaks. This information has been passed to congressional and parliamentary inquiries in the UK and US.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 10 2019 9:29 utc | 108

88 nice try, but your dissembling is far from persuasive. It’s not the file format, but the data transfer speed that indicates it was a local file transfer. The file format is just another corellating point.

Posted by: Roy G | Jul 10 2019 4:40 utc | 98

But you have to realize you DO NOT KNOW the transfer speed. For two reasons.

1. You do not have anything about the very transfer process itself. N-o-t-h-i-n-g. You have some data, created by no one knows who and no one knows where, which could reflect some consequences of the transfer process. But that is only "data". Which itself could be changed, intentionally or occasionally.

2. Even if that data represents the properties of some transfer process without tampering, then WHICH ONE of many processes was it? Do you say Seth Rich was given write-access to WikiLeaks WWW server and was downloading those files DIRECTLY from DNC servers to ? If you don't then you are saying there was not ONE TRANSFER but MANY chained transfers. And the said data, IF it can be trusted, reflects SOME of those transfers. But which one(s)??? Why should it be taken without doubt that it reflects the second transfer (Seth Rich copying files from servers to his very-small-size thumb drive) but does reflect NEITHER of any transfers, before or later?

For example, while that analysis, talking about low-level data structures of FAT, does not make difference between FAT12/FAT16, VFAT/FAT32 and exFAT - which are three very different beasts in this regard?

File times, file times, file times...
Let's for starters settle, Roy, when you speak about file time, WHICH ONE do you mean?

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 10 2019 9:52 utc | 109

88 nice try, but your dissembling is far from persuasive. It’s not the file format, but the data transfer speed that indicates it was a local file transfer. The file format is just another corellating point.

Posted by: Roy G | Jul 10 2019 4:40 utc | 98

But you have to realize you DO NOT KNOW the transfer speed. For two reasons.

1. You do not have anything about the very transfer process itself. N-o-t-h-i-n-g. You have some data, created by no one knows who and no one knows where, which could reflect some consequences of the transfer process. But that is only "data". Which itself could be changed, intentionally or occasionally.

2. Even if that data represents the properties of some transfer process without tampering, then WHICH ONE of many processes was it? Do you say Seth Rich was given write-access to WikiLeaks WWW server and was downloading those files DIRECTLY from DNC servers to ? If you don't then you are saying there was not ONE TRANSFER but MANY chained transfers. And the said data, IF it can be trusted, reflects SOME of those transfers. But which one(s)??? Why should it be taken without doubt that it reflects the second transfer (Seth Rich copying files from servers to his very-small-size thumb drive) but does reflect NEITHER of any transfers, before or later?

For example, while that analysis, talking about low-level data structures of FAT, does not make difference between FAT12/FAT16, VFAT/FAT32 and exFAT - which are three very different beasts in this regard?

File times, file times, file times...
Let's for starters settle, Roy, when you speak about file time, WHICH ONE do you mean?

https :// i.stack .imgur .com/0u7oX .jpg
https :// www .online-tech-tips .com/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/change-file-attributes .jpg

Links were sparsed to let MoA forum publish them

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 10 2019 9:54 utc | 110

The former UK diplomat Craig Murray is on record as having said that he received a device contained leaked DNC emails from an unidentified person to pass on to Wikileaks while he was in Washington in September 2016. Seth Rich died in July 2016.

The part about Craig Murray claiming to have received a device is not true. Nor that this (supposed) device was related to DNC emails. Craig Murray denies having ever told the Daily Mail this, and the Daily Mail actually provided no supporting direct quotations from Murray for this central claim that the article in question makes. Further, it is necessary to distinguish the Podesta leaker (whom Murray claims to have met after the emails were already with Wikileaks) from the DNC leaker, who may have been Seth Rich. See my post to Lee Stranahan's new discussion forum, titled "What Craig Murray has NOT said about the leaks, but many think that he has", here:

In another post there, I provide a compendium of sources where one can find what Craig Murray actually HAS said about the leaks, though haven't found time to do a proper write-up.

Posted by: Norumbega | Jul 10 2019 9:58 utc | 111

The example of VFAT32 (probably, maybe VFAT16) media.
All the file times have odd seconds, not even.

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 10 2019 10:41 utc | 112

While being entertained by all of the Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt in the discussion, one thing we can be absolutely certain of is that since Seth Rich was mentioned the CIA has joined us here at the bar.

Now, it could be that the CIA spends a great deal of time here at this particular bar anyway, and why not? They have the resources. Mention Seth Rich, though, and they cannot stay away. They like checking up on what people think of their operations, after all. It is the same as with any discussion about Boris Nemtsov or Random Guaido (after they get around to euthanizing him).

But what I am curious about is the post by Arioch @117. It is written in such a way as to imply that the poster is knowledgeable about things digital, but then follows with "Links were sparsed to let MoA forum publish them". Are we expected to believe that someone who understands the subtleties of filesystem design cannot grasp something so simplistic as formatting an HTML anchor tag? Very strange! That is the kind of contradiction one might expect from someone whose posts are constructed from a professionally prepared bullet list for the issue without understanding what those bulleted paragraphs actually mean... Which, by the way, is how many professional trolls operate.

I just thought that was odd.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 10 2019 11:13 utc | 113

It was not about formatting (though as i said it before entering HTML tags on mobile phone is not comfortable).
I also suggested back then a CSS rule to B that makes hyperlinks wrappable instead of unlimiting stretching page width, and maybe he applied it.

It was about anti-spam. When i posted my comment - i reloaded the page, and the comment was gone. It often happens here if the comment contain some stop-word (like G-r-e-e-c-e) or two amy links or links to unwanted sites.

Considering this being the case and my comment deleted by anti-spam, i repeated my comment, now with links cut in pieces, obvious for human readers and with "plausible deniability" for anti-spam robots.

Later the first comment re-appeared, maybe was manually resurrected by forum moderators, or maybe anti-spam robot let it pass after prolonged and more extensive testing, dunno.

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 10 2019 11:19 utc | 114

Agree with Jen@65 - the evidence presented for a USB transfer has never been connected to Seth Rich. I never bought into the idea that Mr. Rich was executed for political reasons because of the way he was killed. Two bullets in the back do not assure the victim's death - about 80% of handgun wounds are non-fatal. If the unfortunate man had been executed he would have had a bullet in his head and police would not have found him still breathing.

Another barfly brought up Imran Awan. As IT staffers he and his brothers would have had much greater server access privileges. What happened to them?

Posted by: Citizen621 | Jul 10 2019 11:31 utc | 115

Anyone not taking conspiracy theories seriously today, in these times of out of control government and corporate secrecy and power, just isn't using their mind. Of course, the mere existence of a conspiracy theory, even a plausible one, doesn't make it true. We surely don't know what happened to Seth Rich. Seems like he was whacked, tho.

Posted by: paul | Jul 10 2019 11:32 utc | 116

Bernie Ecclestone of F1 fame wishes that Putin would govern Europe.

Posted by: CarlD | Jul 9 2019 23:05 utc | 58

Bernie Sanders, now Bernie Ecclestone...
Those progressively more and more crazy unamerican undemocratic malicious influence agents...

This Bernie name is probably haunted. It definitely plays tricks with people's consciousness...

I am started to think "B" may stand for it too....

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 10 2019 11:45 utc | 117

Col from Oz @ 111: I am fine thanks, and have seen the information you linked to and Norumbega's comment @ 118.

What you both say does not suggest or confirm that Seth Rich was involved in leaking DNC documents. Until a definite chain of evidence can be established linking him to the leak/s, at this point I keep an open mind. It is still possible that he had no involvement at all and another person or a set of people could have been leaking the emails.

Suppose he is innocent, then the linking of the leakage with his name obviously serves a purpose by (a) letting the real leaker/s off the hook, and (b) focusing attention on a false narrative that distracts people away from something more serious, which among other things could include the fact that Hillary Clinton committed a grave crime by sending and receiving work emails (while US Secretary of State), many of which were in the public interest even though listed as "classified" through a private unsecured server.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 10 2019 11:53 utc | 118

@88 sunny runner burger

"Binney burnt up his credibility on this nonsense."

No he didn't, don't be dramatic.

That said, I have little to no problem agreeing w/ the points you're making.

Posted by: augold | Jul 10 2019 11:59 utc | 119

Arioch @various: I agree with you, any knowledeable Linux user can mount a drive raw and write any thing he wants on it, and there are various U*ix scripting languages and utilities that can be used to modify timestamps any way you like, I've done such things (but only for good of course).

Your two links:

Link #1
Link #2

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 10 2019 12:04 utc | 120

The (expected, maybe wrong) case with links was not their formatting, but their targets, their values. And anti-spam robot here.

Scripting is also available on Windows, as Windows Scripting Host (form Windows 98 I think) and as PowerShell (more recently).

Now, to people who said they enjoy reading Putin's speech I may suggest reading an interesting "geoenergetical" compilation.
It is in Russian, but one can use services like
Also, it has a lot of language errors, but that is sadly typical for the author.

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 10 2019 12:34 utc | 121


Alex Acosta claims he, as federal prosecutor in southern Florida, gave Epstein a sweetheart deal because
he, Alex Acosta, had been told to back off because Epstein belonged to an intelligence agency.

Posted by: librul | Jul 10 2019 12:45 utc | 122

Jen @127 sez: "...letting the real leaker/s off the hook..."

That too is an odd way to frame the narrative. Almost everyone who says they believe Seth Rich was the DNC leaker also believe that Rich was a hero for having leaked the emails. They believe he died a hero's death as a true patriot and they honor his memory.

Now, what kind of people think of the leaking of the DNC emails as a "crime" that Rich's posthumous reputation needs to be shielded from?

Some very strange comments here today.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 10 2019 12:51 utc | 123


I posted the link to that news yesterday, as #22 - but no one cared :-D

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 10 2019 12:54 utc | 124

> Now, what kind of people think of the leaking of the DNC emails as a "crime" that Rich's posthumous reputation needs to be shielded from?

Not Rich. Imagine there was one more leaker. Or another leaker. And his - not reputation, forget it - freedom and maybe life itself was threatened, if he would be revealed.

By framing Rich as scapegoat leaker this "search for rat" could be cancelled. Then real leaker would be safe. Because no one (from Team Clintons subordinates) will search for a leaker relentlessly, not that is was "settled" that the leaker was already found and punished.

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 10 2019 12:57 utc | 125

...NOW that is was "settled"....

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 10 2019 12:58 utc | 126

There is a big pushback by the Columbia Journalism Review today, written by Mathew Ingram, which sure looks to me like major damage control initiative, hammering into readers' brains the phrases "conspiracy theory," "bogus," "fake news," etc. etc. in connection with the murder of Seth Rich.

Apologies if someone else has mentioned this already. I haven't had time to read the whole thread there, but had already been mentally grossed out by the CJR Media feed this a.m. I mean, it is really LONG. They seem to be really going all out to nix any ideas a "normal" might have to dare to question the official story as to why Seth Rich was killed. Such a person would instantly be consigned to tinfoil-hat-dom, so DON'T GO THERE!!

Posted by: Really? | Jul 10 2019 13:05 utc | 127

Epstein was protected because he is a CIA asset. His criminal enterprise was a CIA op.

When young NYU dropout was hired to teach at the exclusive Dalton School despite his lack of a degree abd teaching experience, the president of the school was Donald Barr, the father of current Attorney General William Barr and a former OSS officer. William Barr's first job out of college was wuth the CIA. We're talking about a CIA family.

Posted by: lysias | Jul 10 2019 13:09 utc | 128

Citizen621 @125 suggests: "If the unfortunate man had been executed he would have had a bullet in his head..."

This assumes that the assassin was a professional.

"Another barfly brought up Imran Awan. As IT staffers he and his brothers would have had much greater server access privileges. What happened to them?"

Indeed. I rather doubt they were professional assassins, but I do not doubt that they were tasked with finding the leaker and recovering the data before Wikileaks got their hands on the whole trove.

Anyway, the Awan Bros seemed quite concerned with destroying data storage devices and bolting from the country after this incident, but who knows? Maybe they were just worried that people would find out they were looking at Internet porn on US government computers.

Hmm... I do wonder though if these matters could be related?

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 10 2019 13:09 utc | 129

@134 "They seem to be really going all out to nix any ideas a "normal" might have to dare to question the official story as to why Seth Rich was killed."

It's pretty breathtaking and really rather unique to see it in the news the past few days.. really feels like we are just one piece of this puzzle away from revealing something big.. I hope something gives.

Posted by: augold | Jul 10 2019 13:10 utc | 130

Young NYU dropout Epstein, that should have been.

Posted by: lysias | Jul 10 2019 13:13 utc | 131

If this article can be verified, NSA seems to have admitted, in reply to a Freedom of Information request in 2017, that 32 pages worth of communication of Seth Rich: . Elsewhere I've read, but can't find right now, that the the 32 pages were from 15 separate communications between Mr. Rich and Julian Assange. If so, Ruissiagate will be demolished entirely.

Posted by: Seward | Jul 10 2019 13:52 utc | 132

There are in fact sound reasons to suspect that Seth Rich did indeed participate in the leak of the DNC emails to Wikileaks, and that he had to be disposed of to prevent him from unmasking the bogus Guccifer 2.0/Russiagate narrative which pointed the finger at "the Russians".

Posted by: Mark McCarty | Jul 10 2019 14:05 utc | 133

lol at the WhatDoesItMean? website... recent story titled "Former FBI Director Comey Linked To Nuclear Material Plot To Assassinate Jeffrey Epstein"

Posted by: underlabourer | Jul 10 2019 14:17 utc | 134

I hope Assange decides to tell us who the DNC leaker was before he dies. He tweeted a strong suggestion that it was indeed Seth Rich, but of course there is no proof of that at this time. I was watching a MSM channel one time and when some one brought up Seth Rich the host said "well that was determined to be a robbery wasn't it, we don't want to repeat conspiracy theories". Its funny because nothing was stolen from Rich, not his wallet, money or phone, and there are no suspects, yet its definitely a robbery not a targeted killing because why? Because that motive supports the Russian hacked line, no other reason. Seymour Hersh accurately described the whole Russiagate hoax in his recorded phone call years ago: it was made up and orchestrated by Brennan, and Rich was most likely the leaker but there is no proof of that.

Posted by: Jason | Jul 10 2019 14:21 utc | 135

The strength of any argument that either Clinton or the Russians killed Seth Rich depends on 1)the evidence that Seth Rich was responsible for the leaks, which in my opinion is circumstantially strong 2)the evidence that killing Rich served anybody's purpose, which in my opinion is quite weak, especially since it is not even clear that those emails had a tenth the effect of the hysteria over Clinton's email server and 3)the strength of the evidence that someone else, a robber or someone else did. And as far as I know practically no one even discusses that.

In discussing how the election was an anti-democratic farce, everyone should focus on the electoral college, on the extraordinary free publicity given to Trump, on the extraordinary publicity given to fake news against Clinton, email servers, Benghazi, Clinton Cash, even Lolita Express and Juanita Broaddrick. And when it comes to computer interference, first attention should be given to Cambridge Analytica. In regards to the latter, yes, the gerrymandering and the vote suppression are actually important. Even if the allegations against the Russians were true, there is very little evidence they made any discernible difference. That is why screaming about Russians is a swindler's job. Screaming about screaming about Russians (as in Russians said Seth Rich was murdered) is second-order swindling. Or maybe meta-swindling, which shouldn't even be a thing.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 10 2019 14:29 utc | 136

> the extraordinary publicity given to fake news against Clinton, email servers, Benghazi, Clinton Cash, even Lolita Express and Juanita Broaddrick

There was extraordinary publicity?

You mean, mrs. Clinton is sentenced and spends next hundred of years behind some bars?
If not, that should mean there was NOT ENOUGH publicity, there was extraordinary little of publicity on those topics.

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 10 2019 14:45 utc | 137

The Seth Rich conspiracy: all this undue focus on "how" and not enough on "what", and "why"

"What" was shown through the Mossad limited hangout called Wikileaks the corruption of the DNC to include aspects of pedophilia(nothing new).

"Why" to benefit the other side of the fake duopoly known as Republicans.

"Why" because the Anglo-Zionist had an even more compromised candidate playing in the show, more so than Hillary Clinton, and even dumber than her.

Leading up to the election the 'right' was so riled up from the Wikileaks revelations remember Trump 'loves Wikileaks' they put that stooge in office.

The 'Fake news' meme was generated shortly after the election to gaslight everybody.

Then Trump exposing himself as the zionist puppet that he is, shortly after the Qanon psyop came along to keep all the Trump fanbase inline and that he is valiantly fighting the deep state nonsense.

Trump, Putin, Netanyahu are all owned by the same crime family, and we live in a world that is more 1984ish that most don't want to fathom. At one level Oceania,Eurasia,and Eastasia seem to be at odds with each other and then at higher levels are actually cooperating all the while keeping their populations under control through their fake wars in the 'disputed lands'.

Posted by: O | Jul 10 2019 15:14 utc | 138

Kissinger advises Trump, Putin and Xi Jinping.

Posted by: O | Jul 10 2019 15:27 utc | 139

i guess it is that time of the day again..

Posted by: james | Jul 10 2019 15:34 utc | 140

steven t johnson @136 sez "...extraordinary publicity given to fake news against Clinton, email servers, Benghazi, Clinton Cash, even Lolita Express and Juanita Broaddrick."

These are not real issues? I don't know anything about Juanita Broaddrick, but the act of dismissing the other issues by the corporate mass media was the fake news, not whether they happened or their significance.

Maybe you missed it, but Epstein is in jail right now for the "Lolita Express", which we now know for a fact that Bill Clinton hitched rides on. Fake news? Or perhaps worthy of a little more attention than the crappy mass media showed it earlier?

As for Clinton's caginess with email servers, perhaps years of angst and blown smoke could have been avoided if neutral professionals in the FBI (if such even exist anymore) had examined the ones that the Russians didn't really hack.

What is extraordinary about the crappy mass media's coverage of the incidents in Benghazi was their utter disinterest in the existence of a consulate that never renewed passports or did anything else consular, and the massive presence of CIA right next door. The fact that the festivities in Benghazi in which America's version of James Bond was snuffed were organized by the CIA death squads who were supposed to be providing security should have rated some attention by the crappy mass media as well, don't you think? Which maybe should have led to questions of why the CIA had a mercenary army of murderous lowlife scum in Libya in the first place, right? Maybe if the crappy McMedia pursued the issue of why the State Department didn't provide security they would have uncovered the fact that it isn't the State Department's job to provide security at covert CIA field offices, which would lead to more questions that the corporate mass McMedia is squeamish about asking.

Yes, the media's handling of those stories was certainly extraordinary, but in their dismissiveness rather than their incisiveness.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 10 2019 15:36 utc | 141

I don't know anything about Juanita Broaddrick,
Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 10 2019 15:36 utc | 141

Juanita Broaddrick has been claiming that Bill Clinton raped her repeatedly for a long, long time. Even way back when Billy boy was governor of Arkansas but the media just didn't want to hear it. Billy boy was to important to the CIA and Bush crime family for their operations in Mena Arkansas.

Posted by: O | Jul 10 2019 15:42 utc | 142

james @ 140

15:27 utc?

Posted by: spudski | Jul 10 2019 16:01 utc | 143


Here is the headline of the CJR story:
"Getting to the bottom of the Seth Rich conspiracy theory"

I find really weird the asusmptoin that the conspiracy theory is not made into the mystery to be solved. Where in tarnation did THAT come from?

And not: What really happened to Seth Rich? What is in the NSA emails? Etc.

This CJR thing is such obvious massive misdirection and deliberate false framing that it is laughable. Obviously the CJR folks don't seem to give a s--- about Seth Rich and his life and death. They are using the Seth Rich incident to reinforce the whole "conspiracy theory" meme.

I am very disappointed to see b in his post follow this false lead and label the SEth Rich mystery or hypotheses as to what really happened conspiracy theory. IMO that phrase should have no use nor application on a serious policy site except as an object of analysis, that is, its application in the MSM as a rhetorical weapon to sideline genuine inquiry and investigation.

Posted by: Really? | Jul 10 2019 16:11 utc | 144

one up from that spudski..

Posted by: james | Jul 10 2019 16:16 utc | 145

For you james and the other thinkpol flying monkeys(you know who you are)

Posted by: O | Jul 10 2019 16:21 utc | 146

Those who claim knowledge of, some valid indications, of DNC e-mails being an insider leak, co. Seth Rich:

Ed Butowsky, interview.

Rod Wheeler (detective, on Fox news)

Sy Hersh, partial audio recording

> Many reasons to believe he was the leaker and murdered for it (see Assange heavy hints as well.)

Craig M. is left out because he doesn’t know (imho) - he is interpreting clues from Assange.

Ed’s story is that Seth + Aaron sold the DNC e-mails to Wikileaks, and that the parents knew all about it. (WL does not pay?)

The bros acting together is far more credible, and fits with Aaron’s very strange behavior after the ‘death’ .. (Seth’s funeral, afaik, was closed casket, and only a few pix. of the event taken from outside exist.)

Following along tryin to make sense of the confusion, Seth (with Aaron) was the leaker, and what happened was: Seth was suspected (how why for what unknown) thus monitored… and he was killed abruptly in a panic because he had a another thumb drive (leak) on him, with possibly much more damaging stuff.

A robbery gone ‘right’ (they got the thumb drive, which had to be done immediately in any circumstance..) but had repercussions as he was shot, and panic ensued at the hospital, etc.

Assange caginess is then explained because one leaker is still alive.

Who knows. Many different scenarios can be fleshed out.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 10 2019 16:25 utc | 147


Screaming about RTussians screaming SEth Rich was murdered is second-hand misdirection.

I don't know whether any Russians actually screamed that Rich was murdered. It looks more likely that this Russian screaming story was part of the misdirection away from "local" speculations that emanated from local observers. Tarring with Russkies did it, whether hacking or "screaming," is all too obvious now. It ain't washin' no more.

furthermore, of course it is relevant to continue to scream about Rich. He lost his life. Until there is a serious investigation as to why, and the perps are found, the screaming must continue.

Posted by: Really? | Jul 10 2019 16:26 utc | 148

b, hope you don't mind me reposting, from the previous thread, this follow-up on my view of the shape of things to come, in the event that it may be of help to some now, and many of you in due course. Thanks for the platform.

Trump is, roughly speaking, the inverted -- and in more than one way -- shitshow-style Gorbachev. This was obvious from the beginning; the peasant Gorby transitioned international socialism to national capitalism, roughly speaking, and the elitist Trump is transitioning international capitalism to national socialism.

Believe it or not, his shitshow is American perestroika, the ruptured NATO wake he is leaving is glastnost.

As with Gorbs and all reformers, Trump will oversee the transition, the scary climax, and then take his leave at the beginning of the hard, new dawning of the national socialist hangover, whence the Samoan warrior princess will demand that man restore character to its rightful place, over personality, LOL.

FWIW to the BRI junkies, I expect Andrew Yang to be her Veep. He is a national socialist/capitalist cross, and a perfect fit. His stated priority is to restore a constructive relationship with China.

Marianne Williamson, BTW, is the third national socialist, but she is just a plant, there to provide a critical mass, and provide the stage with an exigesis of the cast of characters, like a one-woman chorus in an Aristophanes play, thanks to the Management's bright young interns hard at work in the literary dep't.

Posted by: reante | Jul 10 2019 15:06 utc | 160

Posted by: reante | Jul 10 2019 16:28 utc | 149

As usual, MSM publishes any garbage to de-bunk some conspiracy theory and impress on the plebs that they must believe their Masters and never, ever, think for themselves.

An outside, far-off, scapegoat had, has, to be blamed. Russia was the obvious choice.

Mafia-type fights, murders, disgusting corruption, fraud, lies, etc. in the USA can't be acknolwedged or investigated... Cue in .. Russia Russia Russia!

An inside enemy target is not possible in the US because it would spark consequent ‘unrest’ - civil mayhem - even pockets, eruptions, of civil war, which would be first against instituted authorities (Gvmt., FEMA, Police, etc.) - it would cost and disrupt, the time is not right - US oligarchs aren't there yet.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 10 2019 16:37 utc | 150

"Sorry to say this but there is nothing in that VIPS memorandum published at the Consortium News website that demonstrates a chain of evidence leading to Seth Rich."

Not sure why "Sorry to say." Anyone who follows the story at Consortium knows this. The point of the VIPS memorandum is the "hack vs. download" issue.

Posted by: Really? | Jul 10 2019 16:55 utc | 151

There are many good points made in this discussion, as often are on MoA.
I just want to share two things here:
- my conviction that we can know the truth, if we are prepared to put in the sustained effort that it requires, that is, if we are prepared to DO, to ACT, not just talk
and (share)
- this important text which I believe will be of interest to all (of you). I warmly recommend you read it when you have the time.

Posted by: JB | Jul 10 2019 16:58 utc | 152


Latest Tulsi Gabbard Declaration:

"As president I’ll end the failed war on drugs, legalize marijuana, end cash bail, and ban private prisons and bring about real criminal justice reform. I’ll crack down on the overreaching intel agencies and big tech monopolies who threaten our civil liberties and free speech."

Add that to genuine election/voting reform and the ending of Regime Change Wars so the monies wasted there can be spent on public interest projects, and she has a platform that will be hard to beat.

And that's why I commented as I did late yesterday; not that I don't want Rich's murder to go unresolved, but because the Russiagate hoax is now meddling in the 2020 election cycle and must be buried.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 10 2019 17:00 utc | 153

Posted by: necromancer | Jul 10 2019 7:17 utc | 103

This is how the New York Times describes it:

Just last summer, Mr. Yeltsin's chances of controlling his succession looked weak. Beset by a wave of international scandals -- including reports that members of his family had accepted kickbacks from a Swiss construction company -- the Kremlin was losing the initiative to a powerful new political alliance, which united behind former Prime Minister Yevgeny M. Primakov and Mayor Yuri M. Luzhkov of Moscow.

Days after Islamic rebels from the breakaway region of Chechnya staged an armed invasion of a neighboring Russian region, Mr. Yeltsin seized the movement to pick his sixth prime minister and heir apparent, Mr. Putin, who was then a member of the Kremlin administration and head of Russia's domestic intelligence service.

That move, followed by a full-scale war against the Chechen rebels now moving into its fourth month, dramatically altered Russia's political landscape. In August, Mr. Putin was a political nonentity, with no party, no popular support and the backing of a deeply distrusted president.

Four months later, as his popularity ratings top 50 percent, Mr. Putin is Russia's latest rising star, hailed at home as the architect of an uncompromising war that many Russians have welcomed as a belated, if brutal attempt to restore the battered authority of the Russian state.

Mr. Putin, who came to politics in the mid-1980's through the St. Petersburg branch of Russia's liberal democratic movement, showed in parliamentary elections on Dec. 19 that his personal popularity could be translated into political pull.

The surprisingly strong showing of two pro-government parties, both brand-new creations concocted by Kremlin strategists and blessed by Mr. Putin, broke the eight-year-long stalemate in Parliament, dominated until now by a Communist-led anti-Yeltsin opposition.

It seems Yelzin sold Putin to Bill Clinton by claiming Russian communists would take back Crimea :-))

And I suppose, Tony Blair and Bill Clinton did all they could to make Putin win.

Why did Yelzin choose Putin? He was part of the extended family and he was backed by the Secret Service.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 10 2019 17:20 utc | 154

encourage all to call out the more appalling lies, obfuscation and misdirection provided by those that want us to believe there are no moral and principled leaders of humanity in our world today. by: psychohistorian @ 51

<= yes.. for once I can agree with you Mr. psychohistorian.. Putin would be my candidate for President of the world.
His mind works the system for the benefit of those it is suppose to serve.. He seems a good person.. as a person,, and also seems to be able to enjoy his private life.. ...

Seward @132 <=those 32 yet to be released documents will change the propaganda.. no doubt..

Mr. steven T Johnson @136 I see you mention the Cambrige Analytica.. all starts operates and ends there.. it is the city of London, the bankers bank for bankers .. the tool to manipulate society are manufactured there and in Switzerland.

also I agree with you all eyes should focus on the electoral college if corruption can be found there, the popular vote count will not matter, It is only necessary to corrupt the electoral college to swing or throw an election.. for the vote of the EC it is the only vote that appoints an Article II president to command..
but a question for you <=how or who has the authority to audit the EC?

Posted by: snake | Jul 10 2019 17:26 utc | 155

@Arioch #79
IRA is an advertiser as well as a recipient of advertising money.
As I wrote earlier, they use click bait to aggregate people to where they can be monetized. This means putting up paid posts or even ads. Internet advertising math means that it is very possible to calculate the different CPM rates modified by "stickiness" (number of rants posted, repeat visits etc) to determine whether a given meme is profitable.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 10 2019 17:39 utc | 156

@necromancer #103
Interesting speculation - although if true, Berezofsky made literally the worst decision of all time. Not only was Putin not controllable - he and his group were responsible for pushing Berezofsky out of Russia and renationalizing much of Berezofsky's assets.
It is this that makes the theory less credible to me. Was Berezofsky really that stupid?

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 10 2019 17:42 utc | 157

@Citizen621 #115
Last I heard, the Awans were arrested and charged with fraud.
They aren't a credible source of leaks either; the Awans made a lot of money hosting offsite DNC servers. I don't see them suddenly stabbing their multi-million dollar patrons in the back. A hack of these servers (and their poor security), on the other hand, is very possible.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 10 2019 17:46 utc | 158

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 10 2019 17:00 utc | 153

Well said! I'm tempted to donate money for Tulsi's campaign. However, I sincere don't believe she got any chances. Most Americans love to kill! Regardless, the left, middle or right. You have a warmonger or mad dog in the WH now.

I might donate, maybe later?

Posted by: jc | Jul 10 2019 17:49 utc | 159

somebody @154--

Putin has admitted to being a Primakov fan, then there's his association with Sobchak. As we now know, the Chechen War was similar to the ongoing one in Syria, financed via CIA using its al-Qaeda terror troops. IMO, and more importantly in that of Russians, the level of severity Putin employed in Chechnya was proper. IMO, his last term in office will be the most crucial for Russia's future as the current government plan cannot fail--failure not being an option are his words describing the stakes as he illustrated well in his speech yesterday.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 10 2019 17:54 utc | 160

IMO Seth Rich's death is more likely to be psyop-termination than botched robbery or agency murder.

> anyone that's politically aware knows of Sanders as Hillary's sheepdog - no need to put their career at risk over it;

> Well before the election Kissinger (FP guru to Hillary and McCain) had called for restoring America's historical power/prestige (MAGA) to meet the challenge from Russia and China - and Trump was the MAGA candidate;

> If Sanders had become President, any favoritism toward Israel would've met with resistance - Sanders could not have done for Israel what Trump has done (or what Hillary would've done) - at least not without howls of anger and disgust (generating unwanted publicity and public scrutiny);

> Russian collusion allegations against Trump set the stage for neo-McCarthyism and smearing Assange/Wikileaks as a Russian agent - Seth Rich's "leak" contributed to this;

> Deep State/Intel Agencies have many ways to deal with whistle-blowers - killing Westerners (especially if connected to the Jewish community) is fraught with risk and thus seems very unlikely.

> Seth Rich's family have been much too willing to dismiss "conspiracy theories" about the death of their son and not nearly as vocal as one might expect;

> With hindsight, we can see that Seth Rich's acquisition of DNC emails was in the same time frame as the June 9th Trump Tower meeting - a meeting that is key to the 'Russia collusion' conspiracy theory;

> The West has shown a willingness to engage in high profile deception. Examples: Skripals; White helmets; "moderate rebels"; "Russia meddled".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 10 2019 17:58 utc | 161

@steven t johnson #136
Yes, Trump got lots of free publicity - but that's an outcome of who he is and what he does.
This is the same profit motive as works with the IRA clickbait model.
However much free publicity Trump got, however, it isn't clear that this free publicity plus $646.6M was greater than the $1191M spent by the HRC campaign link.
Yes, Trump got lots of exposure. Was it worth more than $544M+? Particularly given the very strong approval HRC was receiving from almost the entire MSM - news anchors, talk shows, Hollywood stars, etc.
Personally, I don't think so. I discount my anecdotal experience as I don't watch any TV and live in a very blue state, but it is clear that Trump's messaging resonated a lot stronger than the HRC's, particularly after the deplorables comment. Certainly the little I did see - CNN in a bar during election night - the news anchors looks of incomprehension and mourning were very clear indications of severe cognitive dissonance over a strongly held, disproven belief.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 10 2019 17:59 utc | 162

jc @159--

It's not the amount of the donation that matters most at this point; rather, it's the number of individual donations that matters to gain continuing access to the DNC's debate regime. 130,000 unique donors are needed to get into the 3rd debate; as of the latest count published yesterday, she has 96,403. Obviously, it's super critical she be on the debate stage as her proposals are not just popular but so completely different from the remaining D-Party candidates.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 10 2019 18:04 utc | 163

snake @155--

Joint Congressional Session has that duty as explained at link.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 10 2019 18:10 utc | 164

A rather strange comment from the former DNC interim chair:

DNC's Donna Brazile Dedicated Her Book to 'Patriot' Seth Rich, Whose Death Made Her Fear for Her Own Life

Rich appears elsewhere in Brazile's book, as the Post reported earlier in the weekend. She wrote that Rich's murder haunted her and that she'd installed surveillance cameras at her home and would keep the blinds in her office window closed so she could not be seen by snipers, according to the Post.

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Jul 10 2019 18:19 utc | 165

William Gruff@141 went sleazy. Re "Lolita Express," it is not a fact that was the name of the plane and its acknowledged purpose. Gruff and O seem to want to buy into Pizzagate and QAnon and such, but yes, this is exactly what the fake news was about creating. Gruff is simply refusing to acknowledge the tremendous amount of deception fostered by the fake news. The real news was Acosta, but that's Trump and that's why it took years for Acosta to surface...but even now it's being played as fake news aimed at Democratic Party. And the Gruffs have no problem with that. So much for genuine indignation as opposed to partisan animus.

As for email servers, the snide remark about no neutral (much less honest,) FBI techs proves that nothing Clinton could have done would have prevented half-wit insinuations of treason because of a common practice used by others. All those hours and hours of coverage were fake news meant to pretend a misdemeanor was high treason. To compound the folly, it is really hard to actually show that government secrecy is so beneficial to the people, even on the rare occasions it has been successful.

As for Benghazi, all the good questions are disingenuous. The Benghazi coverage was about Clinton somehow being a traitor, and had absolutely zero to do with the real question. Everyone who thought about those questions should have concluded Clinton lied to cover for the CIA, then got hung out to dry. That alone by the way disproves all nitwit theories about "the" CIA favoring Clinton!

Gruff skips over Clinton Cash. Unlike Trumpian emoluments, the cash doesn't go straight into Clinton pockets. Indeed, it is far more likely that Clinton Foundation money goes into charity than any money in Trump Foundation coffers. There is of course also the refusal of the mass media to publicize Trump's shady career, instead spending enormous amounts of time marveling at how Trump was winning, winning, winning, i.e., bandwagoning him.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 10 2019 18:26 utc | 166

@24 KC

The most famous case I decided to zero in on was the Chanda Levy murder. That because of some superficial similarities between the victims include:

1. Both rather young and making their way in the political world. Chanda as intern, Seth as employee of the DNC (with duties including voter rolls we gather)

2. Both reasonably well-educated

3. Both come from Jewish background

4. Both killed under mysterious circumstances. Chanda first disappeared then remains found in a park. Seth skilled supposedly in a "botched robbery" where nothing was taken.

5. Both have families that are not residing in DC

6. Both cases effectively declared shut despite numerous holes and questions

I did not find another case in DC with these kind of similarities and chose to concentrate at first on these two. Of course, I have a lengthy list of differences between the two also, but my main interest was the comparison of the families' reactions. Chanda's parents never ceased looking for her and seeking justice once she was found dead. Even today, they are not entirely silent and not entirely content that the actual killer was found (indeed some strange details surfaced about the would-be killer, who, mind you, absconded to mexico and continued to maintain his innocence). OTOH, Seth's families first stepped up to the plate, giving an interview or two and even hired a private detective (Wheeler), then, after the Fox disclosures clamped down and have hardly been heard since. other than asking for "consideration" in "respecting their privacy". Has any regular family, which the Rich family seems to be, ever shown such indifference to the truth of their son's death and to bringing the killers to justice?

It is the families stunning different reactions that I found so stunning. regular middle-class families like chanda's and seth's do not just go quietly into the night. They tend to scream from rooftops, seeking publicity as one way of helping uncover their children's fate and find peace only in knowing who the killer(s) were. They pressure law enforcement to not abandon investigations, not letting the cases go "cold". But in Seth Rich's case, that's exactly what his family (the strange behavior of the brother included) did just that. Moving on, they called it.

Statistical probability of such seeming indifference,especially in the case of a "normal" middle class family with perfectly normal concern and aspirations for their children - taken away in the prime of life - can be put at well under 20% (in my analysis I gave it a conservative 10-15% probability to account for some possible things we don't know about).

I similarly found the apparent lack of interest in Sean Lucas' death perplexing. Indeed, it's pretty amazing how quickly the "official story" there (suicide, was it?) was simply adopted despite glaring holes and questions.

I further drew a comparison to one other high profile case where the family (soouse, parents) first showed great interest in pursuing the "truth" then suddenly backed down and "moved on" to pretend it was open and shut case. That was the case of Michael Hastings' "strange "accident". Again, the probabilty that both family and friends/colleagues would be so indifferent to seeking the truth had to be put at under 20%.

When we do statistical comparisons it's very important to try and distinguish commonalities and differences.

the cases I just mentioned constituted one item out of 12 different elements, where the likelihood of them transpiring as they did if the deaths were assumed to be as commonplace as we were told, had to be put quite low.

In my analysis I did account for subtractions using the usual joint probability expressions, and gave each probability a very generous "error bar". In the end, anyway one tries to do the calculations, the probability that Seth Rich's murder was due to a "botched robbery" was well under 5%, whereas the probability it was an "assassination" (ie, an intended murder planned by some "state" or other "official" agents) was above 50%. the ration between the two probabilities even under the most conservative assumptions was over 100.

As I said, eventually I'll publish the analysis somewhere relatively safe, then share.

Posted by: Merlin2 | Jul 10 2019 19:10 utc | 167

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 10 2019 17:54 utc | 160

Sorry, I could find this documentary only with German translation, English only as trailer.

Putin's witnesses is film material from a Russian state television guy filming Putin during his "campaign", and the Jelzin family.

I would suggest your idea that only US/CIA use certain methods when confronting local independence movements which don't fit their geopolitical agenda, is slightly naive and this is an understatement.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 10 2019 19:14 utc | 168

steven t johnson @166 sez: "Gruff is simply refusing to acknowledge the tremendous amount of deception fostered by the fake news."

On the contrary, I am very much aware of how extensive false narrative spinning is in the corporate mass media. QAnon is minuscule in the larger scheme of things and just a sideshow.

As for the "But everybody else was doing it!" excuse for Clinton's deliberate efforts to obfuscate what should be official records, it is simply not true.

"Clinton lied to cover for the CIA, then got hung out to dry."

But of course. Someone has to jump on the grenade, after all. That said, the CIA's Mighty Wurlitzer went into overdrive distracting the public from the real issues related to Benghazi and cushioning the impact of the uproar on the individual that the CIA intended to be the future President.

I skipped over Clinton cash because quarter million dollar speaking engagements were obvious down payments for services Clinton was to render once in office. I didn't think anything needed to be said about that.

As for the support Trump received from the mass McMedia, that was entirely prior to the general election in November of 2016. In fact, that media support died out rapidly after the Republican primaries when what the establishment thought to be the real competition for Clinton was shut out. Like it or not, that was actually to support Clinton's bid for President as it was evident she couldn't beat the other Republican contenders and was thought she could easily beat Trump. The mass McMedia's task after the primaries was to make sure the race looked somewhat competitive so people wouldn't view it as the farce that it was.

If you somehow are still maintaining the illusion that the mass McMedia has been handling Trump with kid gloves since the 2016 election until now, and you've somehow already purged memory of the disgusting Russiagate hysteria from your mind, then your case of Trump Derangement Syndrome is terminal.

Finally, if the poster thinks that just because I don't foul my fundoshi at the mere mention of the president's name or fall to the floor, holding my breath and kicking my heels at the sight of a picture of him, that somehow means I am a Trump supporter, then that is further evidence of the worst form of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 10 2019 19:15 utc | 169

O seem to want to buy into Pizzagate and QAnon
Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 10 2019 18:26 utc | 166

Go reread my post at 138 and work on your reading comprehension. Pizzagate was misconstrued on purpose so that the "Fake News" meme could find space to operate in. Child trafficking and ritual sacrifice of children has been an ongoing thing for centuries. Pedo politicians and clergy have been operating as networks in all governments for a very long time.

Posted by: O | Jul 10 2019 19:21 utc | 170

steve johnson and william gruff.. you both make many good comments, along with a number of posters here.. thanks to all for that and for b allowing for most all of it too...personally i don't believe there are any quick and easy answers to the questions, but i continue to believe secrecy and keeping info hidden is an important part of the agenda, which is why i believe the intel agencies have a lot to be held accountable for here..

@157 c1ue... paul klebnikov wrote a book called 'godfather of the kremlin'..
i have the book, but have yet to read it.. i believe the idea postulated by @103 necromancer is coming out of the work klebnikov and others did on this.. check out the wiki page for a quick overview on klebnikov and his work..

Posted by: james | Jul 10 2019 20:51 utc | 171

And now this about the Seth Rich murder from--Eric Holder--yes, that Eric Holder:

"All you corrupt, mean spirited, hurtful, politically motivated people need to apologize to the Rich family. Now."

And then he links to the Isikoff Yahoo News story. Thread comments aren't very friendly as one might guess.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 10 2019 21:25 utc | 172

According to Aaron Mate, the Mueller Report makes a disclaimer that a leak cannot be ruled out.
So, after years of claiming that Mueller would "prove" that it was a hack, the report quietly admits that it might have been a leak. And, of course, we all know who it was that leaked the info, Seth Rich.
I'm guessing that this is why Michael Isikoff put out this piece of disinformation at this time.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jul 10 2019 23:09 utc | 173

@james #171
I believe necromancer was passing on first hand information from a second hand source. Klebnikov's books in question were published after Putin was already in power as Russia's premier by Yeltsin (started August 1999 vs. book published 2000).
Again, not saying that necromancer's information is wrong - simply that if it were true, Berezofsky made a huge mistake given subsequent events.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 10 2019 23:21 utc | 174

@somebody #154
There is no evidence that I am aware of where the US - a lame duck Clinton or Blair - was helping Putin win election.
This is in stark contrast to the 1996 election for which all manner of machinations and outright monetary and expertise assistance was given, and very possibly more.
I'd also note that the timing is really suspect. Putin wasn't a senior part of Yeltsin's administration until literally 3 months before Yeltsin's resignation prior to the 2000 election. The article you linked to makes it sound more like Yeltsin trying to sell Putin - but doesn't say why Yeltsin chose him to start with.
It was, however, very clear that Yeltsin was toast. Besides the ongoing looting, Yeltsin's passively permitting the devolution of Kosovo from Serbia was hugely unpopular.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 10 2019 23:32 utc | 175

Guardian: Trump labor secretary who cut Epstein deal plans to slash funds for sex trafficking victims

Alexander Acosta, the US labor secretary under fire for having granted Jeffrey Epstein immunity from federal prosecution in 2008, after the billionaire was investigated for having run a child sex trafficking ring, is proposing 80% funding cuts for the government agency that combats child sex trafficking..

Acosta’s plan to slash funding of a critical federal agency in the fight against the sexual exploitation of children is contained in his financial plans for the Department of Labor for fiscal year 2020. In it, he proposes decimating the resources of a section of his own department known as the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB).

Posted by: Zack | Jul 11 2019 0:19 utc | 176

@175 c1ue

I have seen the observation made somewhere that even Yeltsin himself was towards the end trying to fool the west into the measure of his own degradation, and that he was in a very personal way trying to stonewall the ultimate destruction of Russia. In short, he was a ruined man but in the end trying with his last energy to do something for his country.

I have no collateral for this, but human nature shows the possibility only too well. We are all often conflicted in our loyalties, and wear different hats for our different allegiances.

My thought has always been that the most disciplined and honorable part of the USSR and Russia was its security apparatus. During the fall of Russia, it was the last thing standing that could still even think coherently. I always surmised that what remained of this apparatus told Yeltsin what to do next, and put forth its very best man, Putin, to try to hold the dyke from crumbling. What followed became history.

We have a very low opinion of intelligence services, as we should, since the western agencies are far gone beyond mere corruption, and deeply down the slope of utter degradation. But I don't think this is true of all nations, and I don't think this is traditionally the cultural stamp of most such services throughout history.

The intelligence service is supposed to be a cultural elite, which is why we see it drawn from the hallowed educational institutions in each country. As John Le Carre put it once, it was supposed to be the guardian of the mental health of the country. Its officers are taught secrets and realistic ways of regarding the forces at play in the world. Certainly this was true of the USSR, and of Putin's service, which he headed, after the breakup of the union. Putin has spoken in some of the documentaries about him, of the brotherhood that was inculcated in his service, and the honor. Forgive that I don't have links or clips or ready data to hand.

But the overall picture of the last honorable institution in a disintegrating civilization putting forth its last and best energy to save its country, is in fact the way I see Putin, Russia and its security apparatus - with Yeltsin part of that specific family in the end, above all other seductions.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 11 2019 1:45 utc | 177

"That Seth Rich was wacked (sic) is....a conspiracy theory."

False. It is a hypothesis. There is no such thing as a "conspiracy theory". It is a made-up term to discredit hypotheses that might be dangerously amenable to bring proved.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayastha | Jul 11 2019 1:56 utc | 178

@174 c1ue / @177 grieved... it is true the book came out in 2000, but of course it is a book on boris berezovsky and in the book it articulates many views on berezovsky including his role in putin taking over from kovalev as head of the fbs thanks berezovsky, not chubais being responsible for the change.. berezovsky had his own reasons for replacing kovalev.. - he goes into it in the book... i have yet to read it, and aside from thinking much of the ideas on berezovskys role in supporting putin play an important role, i do believe the author of this book who was mysteriously murdered for what he appears to have said in it, is reflected in @103 necromancer's comments on this too..

Posted by: james | Jul 11 2019 2:15 utc | 179

I hate having to say it but I think it is unethical for Binney not to point any of this out, he at least should be sure to know, he should have spoken up and he didn't. Binney burnt up his credibility on this nonsense. [because data can be reformatted, time stamps edited etc.]

[*throws off clown mask in disgust* :P ]
Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jul 10 2019 1:33 utc | 81

That undermines all "theories" based digital evidence that ultimately is no better than hearsay. The only way you could get more "proofy" proof is by expert examination of the physical medium of computer logs etc. because it is hard to tamper with files without making some traces in the magnetic media. That Muller decided to make weighty accusation on evidence no better than hearsay was a gross dereliction to his ostensible duty.

At the very least, Binney scenario is consistent. It is predicated on perpetrator who is not sophisticated enough to erase traces in the form of timestamps and the file format but with the access to the relevant computer with administrator privileges. According to Wikipedia on Seth Ritch, he had administrator status but otherwise he did not have particular expertise.

OTOH, the alternative scenario is that a hacker was sophisticated enough to tamper with access logs but reckless enough to live the Cyrilic code of Феликс Дзержинский. AND gainfully employed by a major intelligence agency. The seems much less consistent.

Concerning the murder, it is strange to me. For a robbery, it was botched, as nothing was stolen. As an assassination, it was botched as well: "Police said they heard gunshots while patrolling the area. Rich, who was 27 years old, was found conscious and breathing at the scene. But a little more than an hour later, he succumbed to his injuries at an area hospital, according to officials." There was a scuffle, allegedly legs of TWO assailants we recorded on a security camera. That seems like an altercation with everybody on the scene drunk or stoned.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 11 2019 2:17 utc | 180

@179 james

Guess I'll have to read that book - many thanks!

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 11 2019 2:24 utc | 181

@grieved.. what little i have read backs up your comments @177.. i am sorry i neglected to mention that as well..

@180 piotr.. thanks for backing binney.. i see very little mileage in treating binney as some type of 3rd rate character here..

Posted by: james | Jul 11 2019 2:28 utc | 182

Biswapriya Purkayastha @178--

Bravo!! for pointing out the difference between theory and hypothesis as I do from time-to-time but failed to in this case!!

Grieved @177--

Agreed, although KGB took quite some time to evolve beyond its founders. The Tsar's Okhrana never seemed to be very sophisticated, although the Tsar's diplomatic service was reportedly good at spy craft. IMO, the time to begin writing a bio on Putin is now so it's ready to publish during his final year in office.

james @179--Thanks for that and your earlier mention of Berezovsky's book, which I'll need to investigate when I find time!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 11 2019 3:00 utc | 183

It irritates me that people who do not know the meaning of the word "conspiracy" speak so boldly about "conspiracy theories." A conspiracy involves two or more people secretly planning an illegal act. The claim that a network of intelligence agencies and crime bosses – rather than lone gunman Lee Harvy Oswald – orchestrated the assassination of JFK is indeed a conspiracy theory. The claim that a group of al-Qaeda people including bin Laden secretly coordinated attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on 11 September 2001 is also a conspiracy theory. The claim that Seth Rich stole data from the DNC computers is not a conspiracy theory because this claim in itself does not propose that Seth Rich secretly conferred with others before performing his action. On the other hand, the claim that Russian intelligence in cooperation with Wikileaks arranged the seizure and subsequent transfer of the DNC documents is a bonafide conspiracy theory.
It behoves those of us who are critical of the main stream narrative to be more rigorous than the stenographers in our choice of words.

Posted by: Roger Milbrandt | Jul 11 2019 3:05 utc | 184

conspiracy theory, verses hypothesis...

in fairness to b - i think his main language is german... i think you folks are splitting hairs myself, but i have never been strong on correct use of grammar, so far be it for me to decide... here is b's quote -

"That Seth Rich was wacked because he stole the DNC emails and transferred them to Wikileaks is a conspiracy theory. It is possible and even plausible, but there is no evidence to confirm it. Many people seem to believe it because it makes more sense than the competing conspiracy theory, that Russia hacked the DNC and handed the emails to Wikileaks."

okay, b didn't say hypothesis..the conspiracy theory term has gotten a bad rap, especially since 9-11... how about coincidence theory? how are you grammar police/hard asses with that word??

Posted by: james | Jul 11 2019 3:52 utc | 185

Agreed, but nobody ever accused BB of high IQ. He was merely ruthless. Lacked work ethic. We spent summer, Thursday - Sunday, at his estate outside Malaga, Spain. This at a time when he was Yeltsin's deputy chief of internal security, whatever that is. Yeltsin too enjoyed a lot of free time, according to the British bodyguards of his granddaughters, whom I often flew to their English school.
VVP would have known to conceal his rather inconvenient integrity, not to mention his desire to repair his destroyed country.
No surprise that BB's coroner recorded open verdict.

Posted by: necromancer | Jul 11 2019 3:54 utc | 186

james @185--

My comment wasn't aimed at b; it was at the improper users of the term theory, which happens all to often in English. The best words to use are hypothesis, hunch, inkling, idea, sense, and so forth, IMO.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 11 2019 4:21 utc | 187

Thanks, guys, for the term "hypothesis".

[It's much more than splitting hairs, my good friend james - it's a hugely useful term]

This is the counter to the poison-pill term that the CIA created with its "conspiracy theory" bad-mouthing. I have been trying to get around this term, but had not come across this answer - which is simply what existed before its expunging - until now.

It's a testament to the awesome pervasiveness of the cold war propaganda we have all lived through that even we use this term. It was designed by the CIA to derail any working hypothesis employed by anyone seeking after the truth of any matter. It was a kind of pre-emptive meme that worked to curtail all serious investigation into what was not clear.

One labeling of this derogatory term "conspiracy theory" was enough to close all avenues of inquiry.

How amazingly powerful is this?


I am always awed by the subtlety of the devious tricks that are employed to forestall the oppressed from seeing the devices of the oppressors. And yet we live in an age when we see that, when confronted with a new situation or current events, the oppressor is astonishingly inept.

The only reason can be that we are seeing the "glory" of an earlier generation of manipulators - who also held the great advantage of being unknown and largely unsuspected - contrasted against the incapacity of the current generation to create new ways to fool us.

And so we know they have lost, and we can win, if we will advance and claim the world as ours and not theirs.


Conservatism raises its head, not yet killed, still in pursuit of its perfect sovereignty. And we restore a piece of our language to what it was before the psy-operatives go hold of it. Memory returns.

I remember now, that a working hypothesis is what the investigator holds as a possibility, to be increasingly supported or increasingly devalued, in the quest itself for the facts.

And this quest is the undying thing.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 11 2019 4:42 utc | 188

@karlof1 and grieved.. thanks guys... sometimes i shot first and think about it later and sometimes i am flat out wrong too and usually happy to admit it too.. i appreciate both of your ongoing commentary.. the phrase "conspiracy theory" has definitely been politicized for good propaganda purposes, so i agree folks are better off using the term hypothesis.. cheers james

Posted by: james | Jul 11 2019 5:22 utc | 189

> Trump is, roughly speaking, the inverted -- and in more than one way -- shitshow-style Gorbachev.

Posted by: reante | Jul 10 2019 16:28 utc | 149

I can only repeat, too, that some American ex-USSR immigrants were saying USA is inside totally like rotting late USSR, almost indistinguishably, and will follow the same trajectory with a dozen or two years delay, since early 2000-s

> Interesting speculation - although if true, Berezofsky made literally the worst decision of all time. Not only was Putin not controllable

Posted by: necromancer | Jul 10 2019 7:17 utc | 103
Posted by: c1ue | Jul 10 2019 17:42 utc | 157

This has to be taken wit ha grain of salt.
Being a Jew Berezovsky probably inherited the famous chutzpah, at least he publicly said he supports that old idea that "any publicity is good, except for necrology", he said something like "it is ok to be hated if that makes you be feared", etc.
So, there is a strong suspect, that he was mostly huffing and puffing and was shouting out much more power and influence than he really had. Like spamming advertisement. That indeed made him a go-to man for many and thus increased his influence, self-fulfilling advertisement. Still, while his influence was huge, it might be less than he promoted himself.

In particular, about Putin, he most probably was one of me-too crowd suggesting Putin, but whether he was the "golden chip" turning things, or whether he was merely jumping to bandwagon to already designed next king - that is very unclear.

That being said, there still is a mystery of VERY ill-advised Chechen invasion into Russia.
Before it Chechnya was hugely privileged place: they were flip-flopping their independence. When they need to take money form Russian budget for post-war reconstruction, they were Russian region. When they were asked to report how those money were spent, they were independent. When Chechens were roaming across Russia - they were citizens, when they were asked for crimes - they fled to Chechnya and - independence.
It was a very privileged one-way state of affairs, that Chechnya clawed and carved during the First Chechen War, and loosing such a state was never wise.

This contributed to the state of affairs all around Russia. In late 1990-s most small business was controlled or owned by Chechens, and by extension by nationalistic Chechen mafia. Them being very tribes-organized, it was really hard to draw a line between mafia and extended families. On specific Chechen could be outside and even generally against banditism, but if a relative form extended family, from a clan, needed help - there could be little ground to refuse. Chechen mafia blossomed. It is not that there was no competing mafias, but only Chechen one had almost total immunity from police. Chechen bosses then cared only about money. They hired local accountants, for example, and when accountants asked for "source documents" for making quarterly taxation reports - they were given few chaotic paper sheets and told to stop bothering, they were hired to solve problems not to stir them, make it without documents or make documents yourself but do not bother Chechen owners of the place. And if that once was burst, then those were filthy locals who cheated upon their Chechen victims. Rather grim time.

Why did I diverted from Berezovski? I did not. Berezovski worked in symbiosis with that Chechen mafia. One may consider them his "force wing" and him their "legal/PR" wing. And their rocket-fast rises and even faster downfalls coincided too.

Chechen invasion into Russia is hard to explain rationally. The First Chechen War had a clear message (if maybe a pretend one): if Russia can break away from USSR, why can not Chechnya from Russia? Are we pro-independence or against? since many and maybe most of people were sold on "jail of nations" idea then, this argument was strong. I personally was pro-Chechen then. There still were many arguments against the Second war, but the argument of consistency and justness was no more valid.

So, why did Chechen invaded? Among many possible explanations, including internal rifts between Chechen clans and Saudi-Wahhabi forces, between Chechen ruling elites (status quo moderates) and wannabe elites (anti status quo radicals), Western intelligence agencies and what not, there is a hypothesis that Berezovski pulled his strings in that very Chechen mafia to add Putin talking points for the election campaign. This hypothesis can not be proved and many laugh it off as yet another part of Berezovski's myth about omnipotent himself, though.

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 11 2019 9:11 utc | 190

Re "conspiracy theory" as a term....

1) perhaps we should not avoid this term - we can, but MSM and prof-politicians would not. Perhaps we should try to embrace it and use it more and more and more and re-spin it. Like "queers" did. Like blacks call themselves "niggas". Dilute the intended "chilling" vibes of the term by pro-active use it with vaster contexts and different senses. If anyone had a nickname stuck in school, he should understand it is but impossible to "unstuck it", but one could try to "own" it and thus stop it from being derogatory. The word renames, but the meaning of it gradually morphs.

2) there is a mirror terms, "coincidence theory", about "proper" MSM and politicians working hard to fail to notice or outright dismiss obvious connections and links. Maybe we could use that term more, to characterize articles and presstitutes who work to destroy analytical thinking and insist on post-modernism worldview where everything is chaotic and unrelated.

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 11 2019 9:23 utc | 191

Seth Rich's family have been much too willing to dismiss "conspiracy theories" about the death of their son and not nearly as vocal as one might expect Jack R. at 161

Because -see my previous posts, you maybe remember - they know what happened re. the e-mail leak (Seth was involved in some way, but not as the heroic patriot "I support Bernie and the world has to know ..etc.” - which actually made no sense. Plus, the ‘berniebro’ org has denied he was a member.)

What they don’t know is who killed him. (If he died.)

They filed suit against Fox news and Rod Wheeler, but that didn’t work, the judge threw it out. (>> .. they filed against the peddlers of ‘consp theories’ for causing emotional distress or some such argument.)

This is just a clip, total weirdness. (First interview of Rich family.) Obviously planned, scripted speech, to put forth crucial points - and Mrs. holds a Panda (in longer version she hugs manipulates etc.— huh why? Pandas..?), the Richs are crazed Disney fans (see background), and Aaron (whom they always try and cut out of this int. mostly by zooming in) is repressing his grins. Imho there was a teleprompter. Watch Aaron’s eyes.

> tobin paz @165. Brazile was spooked because she had (has) only partial info, and Seth was an accredited (if lowly) insider. (Imho, put that in caps.) She was not a part of what went on. Note she also dedicated her book to her beloved Pomerian doggie who is called Chip Joshua Marvin Brazile.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 11 2019 14:55 utc | 192

Yet another theory?:
"How Russian Hackers Amplified the Seth Rich Conspiracy Until it Reached Donald Trump and the CIA"

Posted by: Keith McClary | Jul 11 2019 15:24 utc | 193

Noirette @192: huh why? Pandas..?

I read somewhere that Seth had a love of Pandas. So the family associates pandas with Seth.

Hugging Pandas is supposed to convey their love for their son/brother. But their apparent eagerness to make a public display of love and devotion is inconsistent and strange given their subsequent meekness in seeking justice for Seth.

Many people have expressed their belief that the family's actions are bullsh!t. The Rich family's lawsuit against Fox has conveniently allowed Mainstream Media to avoid further investigation.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 11 2019 16:54 utc | 194

I prefer "supposition" or "conjecture" to "hypothesis" for political/policy matters.

Hypothesis is generally thought of as a theory that can be tested. In political matters, it's difficult to 'test' correctness of an opinion/theory. And the opinions/theories are based on historical facts, not natural processes.

A conjecture is an opinion or judgement based on incomplete information.
A "supposition" is a better term for weak conjectures so that it's clear that it lacks foundation, while a 'conjecture' is essentially informed opinion (has a strong basis).

Although they call it "political science", its not the 'science' part that we are discussing.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 11 2019 17:14 utc | 195

@Grieved #177
No person is all good or all bad - it is possible that what you say about Yeltsin is true.
Even if it is, however, it is unquestionable that Yeltsin was an active helper in the looting of Russia; that he allowed foreigners to interfere with Russian sovereignty including massive machinations in 1996; and that he and his family benefited to an enormous degree.
As for intelligence services: My understanding of Le Carre and his books is quite different than yours. What I see from Le Carre's relatively few public statements and the subtexts behind what he wrote about is that the intelligence agencies primarily are playing in a shadow world of their own devising; that the work they do is largely irrelevant and that the systems on both sides are utterly corrupt in the service of a few.
For example - this Smiley quote (To Karla):

See, we are not so very different, you and I. We're both merely looking for the weaknessess in each other's systems. Don't you think it's time you've acknowledged that there's as little worth in your side as there is in mine?

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 11 2019 19:37 utc | 196

@James #179
Klebnikov's books appear to talk about the specifics on how Berezofsky attained oligarch status. These tactics always include all manner of corruption, theft, etc in the vein of Balzac: "Behind every great fortune there is a crime"
People who do that tend to not live very long.
As for Berezofsky being the one who pushed Putin into being the head of the FSB - well, that reinforces even more just how big a mistake Berezofsky made, if true.
I would note, however, that Putin was a member of the Russian foreign intelligence long before the collapse of the Soviet Union (1975-1991, serving in East Germany if I recall); was very much part of a strong political group (the Sobchak/St. Petersburg) and had public election experience. This, in and of itself, would have given him strong credentials irregardless of who his sponsors may have been.
I would also note that Putin doesn't have a history of stabbing friends and sponsors in the back. If anything, he has been accused of being far too forgiving.
Lastly, the different veins aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. Berezofsky may have believed he made Putin, but it doesn't mean Putin's past foreign intel experience and political experience weren't a major factor, nor does it mean his Sobchak/St. Petersburg backing wasn't also important.
The end-state of Berezofsky is also very possibly due to his erroneous belief that his "sponsorship" of Putin meant he controlled the man.
From my view, there is very much a strong vein of national pride in Russia. Whatever the faults of Putin, it is abundantly clear he has built up Russia from its nadir post-1991. Yes, oil prices helped but it is also clear that Putin reasserted sovereign control over Russian national resources, regardless of who technically owns them, and it is this reason why the West hates him so much.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 11 2019 19:49 utc | 197

@Arioch #190
I have seen some documentation regarding purported oligarch, including Berezofsky, connections to organized crime in Russia. Not at all clear on the accuracy, but it wouldn't surprise me at all that they exist since so much of the privatization shenanigans involved actual violence: theft, extortion, kidnapping and murder.
As for the Chechnya situation - agreed, definitely some oddness there, although Chechnya is apparently once again a great economic place due to Russian subsidies flowing in. Not so clear about the legal immunity though.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 11 2019 19:56 utc | 198

Everyone knows the Isikoff is a stenographer for the CIA. Little he says can be taken as anything remotely resembling the truth.

As for Seymour Hersh, according to the audio tape that was released, he got the information about Seth Rich from the Fox News report. *However*, he also explicitly said that there was a report from someone in a Federal agency that *he knew* - or at least implied that he knew - that the FBI was sitting on a report from a forensic examination of Rich's computer that Rich had been in contact with Wikileaks and that Wikileaks had access to his Dropbox account.

Since then, Hersh has completely distanced himself from that conversation. He would obviously have motivations to do so, since the audio tape has a number of damaging effects on his business. It can conceivably mean that he burned his source, which would threaten his access to all his other Federal sources. It also exposed publicly that he was working on the story, which might have compromised his ability to get it published or continue his investigation.

It also could put him directly under threat, because he was essentially accusing the FBI of directly conspiring against Trump for the benefit of Clinton - which we know they did. But revealing proof of that in the form of an FBI report potentially exonerating Wikileaks and Russia would mean every FBI official who was aware of that report would go down for treason. What would the FBI do against Hersh if that were the case?

This isn't like claiming various facts from his usual "multiple sources say" articles. Producing an FBI report like that would likely mean the FBI goes down. Hersh would likely be assassinated before they would allow that to happen.

Of course, it's also possible that there never was a Seth Rich connection. But the notion that Wikileaks posted its reward just to "muddy the waters" over who was the source doesn't make sense. Wikileaks has never had to do that before - why would it start now if Rich was not the source? And Wikileaks certainly wouldn't do that just to help Trump win.

The Washington Post article cited says that Wikileaks only got the emails after Seth Rich was killed. That's nonsense. The Guccifer 2.0 emails were after. The original Wikileaks emails were from May, 2016. Rich was killed on July 10. So that idea makes no sense. There are a lot of reasons to believe the Guccifer emails aren't even related to the original email leak.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 11 2019 21:20 utc | 199

@197 c1ue.. i agree with all that you say and the way you frame it for the most part.. thanks.. do you ever read paul robinsons irrussianality? you might enjoy it, if you are unfamiliar with it... it is a canuck prof who specializes in russian history.. cheers

Posted by: james | Jul 11 2019 22:06 utc | 200

« previous page | next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.