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29 April 2019


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Seth Rich's parents sued FOX over Zimmerman's report (which was later retracted) but the suit was dismissed in its entirety. Wheeler's suit against FOX, Butowsky and Zimmerman (who he claimed misquoted him about the Rich-Wikileaks link) was also dismissed mainly because of the other interview he gave to local FOX5 DC in which he also claimed a Rich-Wikileaks link.

I wonder what evidence Wheeler gathered on his own to make him initially suggest a link between Seth Rich and Wikileaks - and a DC coverup of his murder - only to eventually backpedal? Does anyone know? Zimmerman's [retracted] report said "multiple sources" linked Rich to Wikileaks.


Does anybody know where the video of Malia Zimmerman interviewing Rod Wheeler can be found. My memory is that Zimmerman said her own independent source confirmed that the FBI knew Seth Rich had contacted WikiLeaks. But after the controversy exploded the video disappeared from YouTube and the Internet.

Larry Johnson

I know who Malia talked to. She was right. The FBI knew Seth contacted Assange.


Are the actual court documents online? If so please provide a link. Also if you come across the video of the interview with Wheeler, please share it. By the way, you got a shoutout in NJ’s largest newspaper from Star Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine recently.
I enjoy your work.

Larry Johnson

The doc is on Pacer. It requires a subscription.


Thank you. I didn’t mean to make you do so much work. I really appreciate it.

English Outsider

Thank you for this and your previous work. So lucid that even an outsider can follow it.

What with this and a few other bits and pieces seems the swamp went a bit mad in 2016. Or is it always like this and the 2016 upheaval just left a few more loose threads hanging than normal?

Christian J Chuba

Regarding Sean Hannity, can't stand watching him because he has a knack for memorizing talking points and then robotically repeat them word for word. For example, he always refers to the Steele dossier as the 'dirty fake Russian dossier from Vladimir Putin'.

He's trying to make Trump sound like the victim of Russia which is clever but not honest. The only link to Russia is that one of Steele's alleged sources was Russian while others were likely Ukrainian. If he wants to attribute a conspiracy to it, definitely the DNC, elements in the U.K. govt HRC, and definitely Ukraine had a preference for HRC.

David Habakkuk


That is fascinating, and heartening. I was aware of the case that Butowsky had brought against CNN, the NYT and the lawyers for the Rich family, not of that he bought against David Folkenflik and his NPR colleagues.

If indeed as many of us suspected the FBI knew that Rich had contacted Assange, this leads one back naturally to some matters concerned with the timeline of the identification of the DNC leaks, and Rich’s role in them, which have been puzzling me.

In affairs like this, it is very easy to connect dots and form a pattern which looks plausible but turns out completely wrong. With the proviso that I may be doing precisely that, let me set out some dots and ways they might be fitted together.

1. It has long seemed to me that it would have been very much easier to identify materials coming in to Assange and WikiLeaks rather than materials coming out of the DNC. If in fact this was how the exfiltration was originally identified, then it would be quite likely that GCHQ and/or MI6 would have been centrally involved. (This of course does not mean that the NSA and employees of the CIA or indeed FBI were not also involved: a lot of people would have had strong reasons to collude, and indeed increasingly indeed have come to seem to have been living more or less in each other’s pockets);

2. Particularly as it seems likely that Rich wanted money, it would seem quite possible that negotiations with Assange started some time prior to the exfiltration of the material, which looks as though it happened in late May 2016;

3. If one assumes that Rich was aware of the intense surveillance on WikiLeaks, one would think it likely that he would have contacted Assange in a manner designed to ensure that his identity was protected, in so far as this was feasible. This could possibly have involved not making it known, at the outset, to Assange, although presumably it would have had to be revealed at some relatively early point. One would further tend to assume that it would have been a priority to set up channels of communication which, as far as could be managed, were secure. Doing so could have involved the use of intermediaries, and measures to disguise the identity of Rich.

4. Quite clearly, if indeed there was a serious effort to maintain secrecy, it was penetrated. But it would be possible that the penetration was gradual and piecemeal. At the outset, it might not even have been clear whether what was at issue was a leak or a hack. It would not be surprising if intense effort had gone into identifying past hacking attempts, unsuccessful and successful. And indeed, it would seem eminently possible that attempts were identified that could have been instigated by Russian intelligence agencies. These, however, would also have involved elaborate measures to conceal responsibility – not crude fabrications that would only take in ‘retards’, like the ‘Guccifer 2.0’ materials.

5. It would also be possible that Rich was not identified until very late in the day – indeed, his identification could even have followed the calling in of the laptops on June 10.

Such a reconstruction could account for the fact that both the claims by Alperovitch and the former GCHQ person Matt Tait, and the ‘Guccifer 2.0’ farrago, show every sign of having been concocted in panic haste, as also do the early memoranda in the dossier attributed to Steele. If those involved had not known what was actually going on until late in the day, that might have added to the difficulties of planning stories to cover it up. It might also help explain the bizarre inconsistencies and improbabilities in the claims about the investigation carried out by Alperovitch and CrowdStrike.

6. Of course, an alternative possibility is that Rich was either too naive to anticipate that he would be identified, or did not think it would matter. It would hardly have been so very surprising if he had not contemplated the possibility that the result of his involvement would be his murder, and part of the point of the negotiations about money could have been to ensure that he could afford to disregard any employment consequences.

Be all that may, it does seem to me that it would be helpful, in relation to fitting other events into a coherent timeline, to have some idea as to the earliest and latest dates at which the exfiltration could have been identified, and the earliest and latest dates at which Rich could have been identified as the figure responsible.


Since Craig Murray received in person the DNC and Podesta files from an "intermediary" in the woods adjoining American University in Washington D.C., establishing the date or dates of Murray's trip could help establish the timeframe proposed above.

"Murray said he retrieved the package from a source during a clandestine meeting in a wooded area near American University, in northwest D.C. He said the individual he met with was not the original person who obtained the information but an intermediary.’"



If Rich did the leak, that doesn't mean he was killed for it. They are separate events, each with their own possibilities.

I personally find it very hard to believe the Arkancide theory. But very easy to believe that the DNC leaks were from an annoyed Bernie supporter like Rich. After all, the content of the leaks showed that there really was a lot of finky poo going on at the DNC with the Clinton campaign to be unfair to Bernie.


The problem with the murder scene is that nothing appears to have been stolen. Nothing. So, perhaps it was a botched robbery? Again, why not at least grab the guy's wallet and watch before you run off after you just literally shot him.

Otherwise, it's just a random shooting at 4 am in DC. White guy in the wrong neighborhood? Gang initiation on the random white guy walking in the bad neighborhood? But, it wasn't that bad of a neighborhood, all things considered in DC.

Perhaps just a stray bullet meant for someone else? Perhaps a scorned lover no one knows about? Prostitution gone wrong?


The "Russia hacked the election" agitprop has made a lot of powerful people a lot of money and has saved a lot of powerful people from losing a lot of political influence.

A living eyewitness that could easily demolish this narrative might be thought to be an unacceptable risk....


One thing that's long frustrated me is the fact that the Daily Mail version of what Craig Murray has claimed is endlessly recycled (and even enhanced), while Craig Murray's interview with Scott Horton at around the same time, which contradicts a key claim that the Daily Mail article has him making, is continually overlooked. The late Robert Parry was one of the few that reported on the Scott Horton interview and its contents, which are extremely revealing, and by all that is right and just this interview should have received ten times the publicity of the DM article, rather than the other way around.

Notice that the claimed hand-off in the wooded area near American University is not actually supported by any direct quotation from Murray relevant to this point, and in the Scott Horton interview, Murray says that the (Podesta) materials were already safely with WiliLeaks at the time of the meeting (September 25, 2016), and (elsewhere) that the purpose of this meeting was "administrative" only.

Then the Mercouris report which you cite goes on to have Murray alleging having received both the DNC and Podesta leaks at this clandestine meeting. But that is not said in the article. Direct quotations in the article have Murray speaking of "leaks", plural, in a triplet of sentences which also have him speaking of "the source" (singular).

It is probably best to read that as "the source [in each case]": "Neither of the leaks came from the Russians. The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks not hacks." In contrast to the hand-off claim, these are given as direct quotations.

The Daily Mail article then quotes Murray on the motivations of the "leakers" (reporter's word): "disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders." (My own interpretation would be that the former applies to the Podesta source or "intermediary" whom Murray met personally, and the latter to the earlier, DNC leaker, about whom what Murray knows is rather more indirect.)

Mercouris goes on to write: "Craig Murray has not commented on this interview on his own blog, but there is no reason to doubt the Daily Mail is reporting his comments accurately." This may be true with regard to what the Daily Mail article actually QUOTES Murray as saying. But with regard with the central allegation that is endlessly repeated, there IS such a reason to doubt, namely that Murray has denied the key allegation that he was actually a courier for one of the leaks.

On April 15, I Tweeted the following in response to something someone else had Tweeted:

"Ex UK Diplomat Craig Murray claims that the DNC and Podesta files were from two different leakers, both Americans, and hints that the former were from a DNC insider and the latter from someone in intelligence or law enforcement. See his interview with Scott Horton, Dec 2016."

I was then surprised the next morning that Craig Murray had actually noticed this, and replied as follows: "Thank you Steven - that's the first tweet I've seen for years that actually understood what I said about the leaks."



You are right to separate the two issues. The significance of Assange's statements on Seth Rich (and Craig Murray's elaboration) is the implication that either Seth Rich was the DNC leaker or else there there would have been at least some rational basis for _suspecting_ that he had been the leaker.

If so, then it follows that the possibility that he was killed for this reason would need investigating. But it could also still be the case that Rich's killing was coincidental. However, in neither of Assange's two relevant statements does he claim or imply that he had any information supporting the theory that he was killed for leaking to WikiLeaks, apart from the bare implication that this is a possibility that must be be investigated.


1. There have been many botched robberies before. Perhaps there was a confrontation and the killer ran afterwards? After all you can "swing" for murder. It's not likely the typical holdup expects to kill, but rather to use the threat.

2. Ligurio: I get that concept. It's not a new brainstorm. Just a far fetched one. It's very easy to understand. But it's also a big bridge to go down that this in fact was what happened. I don't even assume that Hill and the DNC are that competent to run Arkancides.

P.s. That neighborhood is a bad neighborhood and there had been other armed robberies in the past. At least CONSIDER in your realm of possibilities that sometimes a tree is just a tree.


Interesting. A he-said-she-said story with a large cast of zero-credibility characters. I found two relevant Folkenflik articles. In the first it looks to me as though Folkenflik covered himself fairly adequately: "The following account reflects the verbatim quotes provided from the texts, emails, voicemails and recorded conversations cited in Wheeler's lawsuit, except as otherwise noted." If that one statement is true, then Folkenflik's article can be construed as mere reporting on a lawsuit in progress. The 1st amendment would seem to apply regardless of the honesty of Wheeler's filings. Wheeler's lawsuit was dismissed because he failed to establish defamation. No judgement was rendered as to truth or falsehood.

The second article is specifically a profile of Butowsky's involvement in the Seth Rich stories. The only possibly libelous part that I spot (I am not a lawyer.) is: "In a taped three-way conversation obtained by NPR, Zimmerman appears to acknowledge that Wheeler didn't say remarks attributed to him. For his part, Butowsky can be heard trying to reassure Wheeler: "One day you're going to win an award for having said those things you didn't say." Both exchanges are also cited in Wheeler's lawsuit. Butowsky tells NPR he doesn't believe he said that; it is the one captured statement that he has explicitly challenged." If they have the tape, I think they are clear.

Butowsky lost a number of wealth management clients during the time these lawsuits were going on, most notably Charles Schwab. Schwab gave no explanation for termination of the relationship. The timing led Butowsky to believe that the controversy caused the rupture. He filed a $100 million lawsuit against Schwab on the grounds that terminating the contract implied some sort of never-articulated wrongdoing on his part.






Thank you. That's extremely helpful. I was not aware of how mangled by the press Murray's actual words were. Do you chalk this up to incompetence, or do you believe that Murray's specification of two different domestic sources for DNC and Podesta needed to be obfuscated for some reason?


I am not convinced that Rich's death is related to the leaks. Obviously that would require a full investigation. All I mean to say is that proving that Rich was directly involved with the leaks could be seen to establish a possible motive for his murder *other* than the botched robbery account. You would have to reopen the investigation. I don't think that's an overly conspiratorial or paranoid view to take, no?

Mark A Skipper

And therefore, NPR is no longer worthy of any financial assistance by the American people and Congress should make this happen. It time Americans stopped spending their hard-earned tax dollars on Lying NPR!


I think the reasons are rather innocent.
(1) The Daily Mail article and it's most explosive point got a lot of initial publicity in other online outlets.
(2) Scott Horton's interview with Murray received little (although Parry did cover it and a few outlets noted Parry's report). One reason perhaps is that Horton did not begin to put his 4000+ interviews (available at ScottHorton.org and more recent ones at The Libertarian Institute otherwise) onto Youtube until about a year later.
(3) Murray, having if anything revealed more than he should have in the Horton interview, did not feel free to come out with more detail clarifying things.

I summarize my reading of the key points of what Murray has claimed in much greater detail in a comment I wrote under the article "VIPS: Mueller's Forensics Free Findings," Consortium News, March 13, 2019.

That comment also includes a summary of what some sources have claimed about Seth Rich, but this is superseded in a comment I later posted on Moon of Alabama (#48 under "CIA's Vault 7 files launched new case against Assange", April 13).

Since then I've come to realize that Publius Tacitus's statement reporting NSA's response to Butowski attorney Ty Clevenger's FOIA request is misleading. It doesn't say they have 32 pages specifically relating Seth Rich and Julian Assange. (But I can't find the link to the pdf of the NSA's response letter in quickly looking this morning.)

But Cevenger's lawflog.com site does have other information of interest, including the lawsuit filed on behalf of Butowski.

Larry Johnson's statement above, "I know who Malia talked to. She was right. The FBI knew Seth contacted Assange", may usefully be read alongside quotes from Bill Binney and also Publius Tacitus. See my referenced comments elsewhere.


Which terms carry greater negative connotation with the courts, ."player" linked with "manipulate" or "regime" attached to "oppress"?
As in, "Colonel SoAndSo's regime achieved the best results through oppressive means says the Colonel's critic."

This post article is exceptional/applicable on so many levels.
Thanks for posting it on the inner webs.

David Habakkuk


The letter is at http://lawflog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/2018.10.04-Letter-from-NSA.pdf .

Certainly, it does not say that the documents relate to communications between Rich and Assange. However, given the reasons given for the secrecy, it is a not unnatural inference that they do, although that does not mean that the communications involved were direct or the interception was by the NSA.

It has seemed appropriate in the light of what you and others have written to try to provide rather more context – I hope to provide some in a longer comment.

David Habakkuk


A couple of points.

First, it is critical that the ‘Arkancide’ theory and the ‘bungled robbery’ one do not exhaust the spectrum of possibilities, or indeed come close to doing so.

It is important to grasp that, since the retreat and collapse of Soviet power, we have been dealing with a kind of ‘politics of Lilliput’ which has progressively run out of control.

In a world where a ‘Gulliver’ appears to have overwhelming preponderant strength, it is commonly in the perceived interest of ‘Lilliputians’ to seek to manipulate this power in support of their own agendas, exploiting the fact that size and intelligence are not correlated. These agendas are, commonly, very different from those which a ‘realist’, and even more a constitutional republican, would think in the interests of the United States.

Sometimes, moreover, what is at issue is deliberately attempting to use the power of ‘Gulliver’ against him. This can be done by jabbing him in the toe with a small sharp implement, to cause him to lash out in self-destructive ways, or by whispering in his ear to achieve the same effect.

A common feature of a number of key ‘Lilliputians’ is that there is an inverse correlation between the – very great – skill they often display in manipulating ‘Gulliver’, and the shoddiness of the strategic thinking involved in the agendas in support of which they mobilise his power. Also relevant here is the fact that the ability to manipulate this power tends to generate a heady ‘hubris’, particularly in those whose background experience is largely of powerlessness.

This combination is reflected in two key groups, very important both in the American ‘Gulliver’ and its ‘sidekick’ on the other side of the Atlantic, who might be called the ‘Netanyahu Nitwits’and the ‘bin Salman Stooges.’ It is also very relevant with those who might be called the ‘Galician Gamblers’, whose central role in ‘Russiagate’ has been illuminated in a number of recent pieces in ‘The Hill’ by John Solomon.

(For the most recent of these, see https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/440730-how-the-obama-white-house-engaged-ukraine-to-give-russia-collusion .)

Also relevant here is a group which might be called the ‘Berezovsky Bagmen’.

I had thought that the primary influence here was on the UK. However, since it has become ever clearer that Christopher Steele, one of the late Berezovsky’s principal ‘useful idiots’ over here, has been in close contact with all kinds of people in your intelligence, foreign policy and law enforcement bureaucracies, and appears to have been taken with utmost seriousness by many of them, I have had to revise this judgement. The influence of the ghost of that appalling figure on your foreign policy is a much neglected subject.

Of course, all kinds of other players will also be trying to infiltrate the DNC and related organisations.

Ironically, the case in recent history where manipulative skill and sound strategic thinking may have been most effectively combined is when those who one might call the ‘Iranian Influencers’ used Ahmed Chalabi to exploit the stupidity of the ‘Netanyahu Nitwits’ to get ‘Gulliver’ to perceive their fellow ‘Lilliputian’ Saddam Hussein as an ‘existential threat.’

A result, of course, was the creation of the ‘Shia Crescent’ which it has been a principal objective of the ‘Netanyahu Nitwits’ and ‘bin Salman Stooges’ to disrupt ever since. And recent events have again demonstrated how successfully they can manipulate the American, and British, political systems.

This whole history actually illustrates several basic dynamics of the ‘politics of Lilliput.’ One is that manipulating ‘Gulliver’ commonly involves ‘deception’ and ‘false flag’ operations which may be initiated by ‘Lilliputians’, but which – irrespective of whether or not they were complicit in them – their collaborators in the United States and the United Kingdom have little alternative but to cover up.

Another is that the logic of strategic incompetence has led both to ‘pushback’ and strong pressures to escalate. Ironically, the ‘Netanyahu Nitwits’ are not being simply silly in seeing the ever increasing range and accuracy of Hizbullah missiles protected by the ‘Tabbouleh Line’ in southern Lebanon as an ‘existential threat’ to Israel – but then, it is nothing of the kind to the United States or United Kingdom. So fresh ‘deception operations’ become necessary.

Meanwhile, both the ‘Netanyahu Nitwits’ and the ‘Galician Gamblers’ are having to confront the implications of the radical misjudgement which made them take for granted that Russia had dwindled into such a ‘Lilliputian’ that it would never confront the power of ‘Gulliver.’ Precisely the fact that the gambles that Ukrainian nationalists thought secure have blown up in their faces gives them a strong incentive to ‘double down.’

As well as ‘pushback’ abroad, this history of incompetence has produced ‘backlash’ at home. Discontent over ‘neoconservative’ agendas finally came together with discontent over ‘neoliberal’ ones to produce the basic of the ‘populist revolt’ which Trump successfully harnessed. The skullduggery employed by the DNC to marginalise Sanders appears to have been what triggered Seth Rich’s decision to ‘blow the gaffe.’

Ironically, given that the Clintons are so widely hated, it could have been expected that a very large number of people would immediately jump to the conclusion that he had been ‘Arkancided’ once his murder was announced. That fact alone would suggest that, unless there was a pressing need to silence him to prevent further disclosures, the balance of risks for the Hillary camp would not obviously have been in favour of having him killed.

However, there are groups about whom we know for some of whose members the balance of risks could have led them to view drastic measures with equanimity. Moreover, there are other possible grounds as well as fear of a Trump victory.

For instance, it is clear from the final NSA response last October to the FOIA request submitted earlier by Ty Clevenger, who has acted for Ed Butowsky in the action against CNN, the New York Times, and the lawyers for the Rich family, that this request focused quite heavily on communications between Seth Rich and the Awans.

(See http://lawflog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/2018.10.04-Letter-from-NSA.pdf .)

That communications relating to financial transactions which Clevenger was looking for included ones involving the Awans may have been simply because the request was framed so as to cast the net wide, but there again, it may not have been. Particularly given the issue of links between that group and the intelligence services in Pakistan, it is not impossible to imagine scenarios in which figures in that country might have had an interest in silencing Rich – as well as figures in the U.S.

In the event, Clevenger’s request elicited the very interesting information that there were fifteen documents, containing thirty-two pages, corresponding to the categories listed by Clevenger. These documents were not to be disclosed, on the basis that they were classified ‘TOP SECRET’ and ‘SECRET’, because ‘their disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave or secret damage to our national security.’

In a recent interview with Ed Butowsky, William Binney interpreted this as indicating that ‘the NSA has records of communications between Seth Rich and Julian Assange.’ It does not on the face of seem that one can entirely rule out the possibility that these ultra-sensitive communications related to other matters, but it does not seem very likely, and if, for instance, they simply related to communications between Rich and the Awans, that would open up new cans of worms.

(For the interview, and background, see https://www.exopolitics.org/tag/william-binney/ .)

A critical point is that once you have a MSM which is prepared to accept disinformation in relation to matters like assassinations and matters to do with the WMD, you generate strong incentives for people to produce such disinformation. Indeed, all kinds of apparently implausible scenarios become possible. A good example is the assassination back in 2006 of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. It has been widely assumed, in the West, that it could be assumed that this was instigated by Putin.

However, one of those who was convicted has suggested that Berezovsky and the Chechen insurgent leader Akhmed Zakayev were among those who ordered the hit. Rather obviously, he could be doing so to ingratiate himself with the Russian security services.

(See https://en.crimerussia.com/contractkillings/ic-to-question-zakaev-from-london-in-politkovskaya-murder-case/ .)

My own view is that there are many more likely suspects than either Putin or Berezovsky. However, it remains the case that, precisely because so many in the West were prepared to take for granted that the former was responsible, the ‘cui bono’ argument points more to the latter. So although I do not think it very likely, I would not rule out the possibility that the Russian authorities are telling the truth.

The same argument could lead one to contemplate the possibility that Rich was murdered by an opponent of Hillary, not someone who wanted to see her elected. Again, this seems to me not very likely. The central point is rather that in intrigues of this kind, all kinds of bizarre scenarios are possible.

What does seem clear is that an accumulating mass of evidence suggests FBI complicity in a cover-up of what happened to Rich, in tandem with a thoroughly discreditable role of the leadership of that organisation in ‘Russiagate.’

A second point relates to Craig Murray. For what it is worth – and I would not ask anyone to place a great deal of reliance on my assessments of character – I think it wildly unlikely that he would lie to cover up for the Russian authorities.

It would not seem to me at all beyond the bounds of possibility that he would adjust the truth to, as it were, ‘put the hounds off the scent’ – particularly as his courage is not in doubt, and his high profile means that he is less vulnerable than others in this affair may be.

Apparent contradictions between his different accounts may very well be due to incompetent journalism, but they could reflect that concealing ‘sources and methods’ may be important for him, as for other ‘whistleblowers’ in this affair, including William Binney, and one can sometimes trip oneself up while doing so.

David Habakkuk

Pat and Larry,

I posted a couple of comments on Larry's piece, and it seems Typepad has put both the short and very long ones into spam.

A very interesting discussion.


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