SocraticGadfly: Sy Hersh, Seth Rich, Wikileaks and rejecting #RWNJ, #LWNJ and #EWNJ worlds

August 09, 2017

Sy Hersh, Seth Rich, Wikileaks and rejecting #RWNJ, #LWNJ and #EWNJ worlds

Sy Hersh
First, if you don't know your hashtags, this American Political Life has both right-wing nut jobs AND left-wing nut jobs. (That third "wing" gets revealed below.) An old leading light among LWNJs, Greg Palast, is quickly having his spot usurped by Caitlin Johnstone, who is now essentially lobbing conspiracy theory claims at Sy Hersh for his reveal last week about Seth Rich possibly selling DNC email leaks — or thefts (more in a minute on that) to Wikileaks.

OK, I'm making a mini-Tweetstorm into a blog post over the burning stupidity on this issue.

First, no, the DNC Leaks, even if they make relations with Russia worse, aren't leading to nuclear war, Caitlin. Smoke a fattie or whatever you need to do to get that out of your mind.

Update, Aug. 11, 2019: Remembering I'd done a blog post about this, as I just finished Hersh's new memoir, I didn't realize I had gone that far down the Seth Rich rabbit hole myself. I am firmly convinced now these emails were hacked by the Internet Research Agency, which has indirect (for plausible deniability, if nothing else, like Chinese Red Army "indirect" hackers) connections to the Russian government.

Second, on the surreptitiously taped conversation (which it surely was done surreptitiously) with Ed Butowsky, per transcripts of the whole schmeer, there's a key portion at the top, neglected by mouth-breathers left and right.

Sy specifically says he thinks Rich was NOT murdered, but rather that this was indeed nothing other than a crime gone bad. Elsewhere, he says that he is ONLY repeating what he has heard as rumor, the stuff on Seth Rich. ONLY as rumor.

Wingnuts won't admit it, but if Rich had been deliberately offed, his body would NOT be lying in a public street, wallet with ID in it still in his pants. Occam's Razor, folks.

But, wingnuts won't take a shave with it, hence in a follow-up email exchange, Hersh tells Butowsky, politely, to take a hike. As any good investigative journalist would do. A person of interest (Butowsky is surely not a source of any depth for Hersh on this) just burned him with that clandestine taping followed by public reveal. So, Hersh is burning him back. And, the RWNJ and LWNJ folks of conspiratizing can take a hike in my book along with Butowsky. And, Hersh's "real world" doesn't include those folks and neither does mine.

Third, Hersh is otherwise NOT making any big new reveal, other than Rich being fingered more specifically as the leaker.

At Consortium News last week, a group of retired intelligence vets stated very specifically, with corroborative evidence, that the DNC emails were NOT hacked online by out-of-country actors. Rather, they were directly downloaded from one computer to another, or to a thumb drive, at speeds too high for Internet-based downloading.

And now, The Nation has a long piece, overviewing the work behind that Consortium News piece and two others before it. It is, itself, a very important read. It very much undercuts the Guccifer 2.0 — or other "Putin Did It" official Russky meddling — lines of thought.

To go more in depth on the basic update, it turns out that VIPS, said retired intelligence group, was NOT unanimous in this stance and neither Consortium News nor The Nation reported this at the time. The Nation DID clean up Patrick Lawrence's mess, though he has spread it more at Consortium News, which I finally de-blogrolled.

The truth is that the VIPS majority went looking for their own "Curveball" and of course found him. From this, I learned that one of the top VIPS touters of the idea is a 9/11 falser and a JFK conspiracy theorist and CN's founder was a JFK conspiracy theorist. I apologize for going as far down this road as I did.

(I'm now digressing to the third hashtag, which is "Establishmentarian wing nut jobs." When a "movement skeptic" like Ed Brayton talks about the "Alex Jones conspiracy phone" in response to me posting the link — as best I can tell, without him reading — the hashtag is earned. That said, this another reason I moved beyond giving much credence on a variety of issues to "movement skepticism. [Ed posts to "public" on Effbook, so no confidences revealed.] It's also, as the recent death of Leo Lincourt kind of reminds me, time to do some cleanup on my friends list again. )

I want to briefly look at calendar issues. DNC and Crowdstrike announced a likely "Russian hack" in mid-June. Hersh, in the transcript above, says the last email from the Podesta string was late May.

So, lax as internal DNC security and Crowdstrike were (another reason to not let the servers be inspected by FBI), they discover "something" in early June. And, given they can't blame Bernie, like December 2015 (was Rich snooping then too), Russia is the easy "get."

But, they apparently don't know that it's a full-blown insider, assuming Rich was behind the July 5 pilfering mentioned at Consortium News. (Possibility No. 2: Crowdstrike knew full well itself from the early days it was an inside job and went into CYA mode.) Who died just a few days later, without being able to steal more, or leak more, if he planned to.

So, the only real questions left are "why"?

Assuming Rich did it, why? (We don't know it was him, but per that Consortium News piece, it seems the DNC had some "Snowden" inside — if not Rich, it was somebody else, or option 3 is that Rich was a middleman. Rich worked for the DNC since 2014; again, not saying he did it, but this is further evidence he was in position to do it.) Was it just for the money? Was it for some anti-Clinton reasons? If it was for the money, was he shot not in a robbery gone bad but a drug deal gone bad? I mean, the 4:20 a.m. time for the shooting is an eyebrow-raiser.

Yes, that's a bit of stretching, but still a much closer shave with Occam's Razor than the nut jobs do.

Rich's parents will never, ever talk. If they even know any more than we do, which they may not.

And, if my thoughts are right, I'm sure DC Metropolitan Police never did a toxicology report on Rich's body. Too late now.

That said, process server Shawn Lucas, who died a couple of months later, OD'ed on a mix of fentanyl, kratom and a muscle relaxant.

(Update: Anyway, Disobedient Media (ranking medium or more on bias of making news into opinion, on the right-wing side) building a story off wingnut America First Media Group insinuating that both Rich and Shawn Lewis were targets of Crowdstrike-funded hitmen sounds pretty conspiratorial.

Further undercutting conspiratorial ideas is that Lucas was not the only process server involved with giving the DNC July papers. Why wasn't Brandon Yoshimura, also with One Source Process, also killed? So sorry, Nash, but ... you probably should unpin that Tweet. You're risking coming off like ShirtLost DumbShit Zach Haller.)

By the same account, to another Twittter who called out both that story AND this blog post? I specifically said that I don't see this as guaranteed. At the same time, because drug dealers would have no nefarious intent beyond sending a signal to people copping out of payouts, it's not a conspiracy theory. And I need nobody who has self-appointed as the Twitter god of conspiracy theory debunking to claim that I'm peddling a conspiracy theory.)

Anyway, of course, there's no guarantee this is true. It's possible that this was an attempted robbery, which became a fatal shooting and aborted robbery in panic. But, it makes MUCH more sense than Johnstone's claims that somewhere behind this, Trump is trying to drag us into nuclear war, OR than various factionalized Trump Trainers' claims that this is some anti-MAGA fake news or whatever.

Oh, and our old frenemy Actual Flatticus was likely wrong that Rich was not the source.


Finally, per Johnstone's fear of nuclear war? It's legit, but has nothing to do with what Sy Hersh said about Seth Rich.

And, given her willingness to work with the alt-right, and by name, Mike Cernovich? Let's note that this memo by former NSC staffer Rich Higgins now blowing up the Net is filled with not just Steve Bannon versions of nationalism, but directly attacks social justice ideas AND plays with anti-Semitic tropes. And, it's linked to Cernovich. And, she's probably having an orgasm over it because it mentions "deep state."

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