Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh has given two radically different accounts of how much he knows about the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich last year, and he owes the whole world a full clarification.

On Tuesday NPR released an exclusive report titled “Behind Fox News’ Baseless Seth Rich Story: The Untold Tale”. The centerpiece of the viral article is a legal complaint against Fox by one of its commentators, which contains among other things a very interesting quote by Hersh that the notoriously pro-establishment NPR conveniently omitted from its report. Luckily for us, the complaint is now publicly available, and the quote can be read by all:

55. During his conversation with Butowsky, Mr. Hersh claimed that he had received information from an “FBI report.” Mr. Hersh had not seen the report himself, but explained: “I have somebody on the inside who will go and read a file for me. And I know this person is unbelievably accurate and careful. He’s a very high level guy.”

56. According to Mr. Hersh, his source told him that the FBI report states that, shortly after Seth Rich’s murder, the D.C. police obtained a warrant to search his home. When they arrived at the home, the D.C. police found Seth Rich’s computer, but were unable to access it.The computer was then provided to the D.C. police Cyber Unit, who also were unable to access the computer. At that point, the D.C. police contacted the Cyber Unit at the FBI’s Washington D.C. field office. Again, according to the supposed FBI report, the Washington D.C. field office was able to get into the computer and found that in “late spring early summer [2016], [Seth Rich][made] contact with Wikileaks.” “They found what he had done. He had submitted a series of documents, of emails. Some juicy emails from the DNC.” Mr. Hersh told Butowsky that Seth Rich “offered a sample [to WikiLeaks][,] an extensive sample, you know I’m sure dozens, of emails, and said I want money.”


NPR mentioned these massive allegations only briefly and in the abstract, without quoting any of it for mainstream American consumption. What it did do, however, is provide a quote of Hersh denying the whole thing when asked for comment:

In an interview this week, Hersh sounded unconvinced.

“I hear gossip,” Hersh tells NPR on Monday. “[Butowsky] took two and two and made 45 out of it.”

So there you go. Neither the plaintiff Rod Wheeler nor Ed Butowsky (the Republican surrogate named in the lawsuit) have the most sterling reputations at this point, and Sy Hersh himself denies the whole thing. It’d make perfect sense to dismiss this wacky conspiracy theory entirely, right?

You’d think so, but no. Big League Politics has released audio of Hersh saying exactly what he’s alleged to have said in the lawsuit, and completely contradicting the denial that he shared with NPR.

The voice in the above clip is unmistakably Hersh’s. Here’s another clip of him speaking for comparison:

WikiLeaks then made things even more interesting by sharing the audio about its alleged source on Twitter:

The clip is definitely worth listening to in its entirety if you haven’t already. Hersh is heard telling Butowsky that he had a high-level insider read him an FBI file confirming that Seth Rich was known to have been in contact with WikiLeaks prior to his death, which is not even a tiny bit remotely the same as having “heard rumors”. Hersh’s statements in the audio recording and his statement to NPR cannot both be true.

Big League Politics followed up with another release that as of this writing is not getting nearly as much attention as it should, reporting on an email exchange in which Butowsky pleads with Hersh to go public with his knowledge of the Seth Rich case. At first Hersh, apparently unaware that he’d been recorded, told Butowsky he was misremembering their earlier conversation that they’d had about Rich. When confronted with hard facts about the way he was changing his story, Hersh reportedly replied, “I’m not going to comment about that stuff, I mean, come on, I live in the real world.”

“I’m not going to comment about that stuff, I mean, come on, I live in the real world.”

Which is of course not a valid reason to remain silent at all. The increasingly porous allegation that Russia meddled in the 2016 election has been used by pundits and politicians to manufacture support for what can only be called a new cold war, and our species barely escaped extinction on more than one occasion in the first one. If Hersh has any information at all indicating that the WikiLeaks releases last year came not from Russian hackers but from a leaker on the inside, he is morally obligated to volunteer all the information that he has. Even the slightest possibility that his information could help halt America’s collision course with Russia by killing public support for new cold war escalations makes his remaining silent absolutely inexcusable.

If Hersh knows something about Seth Rich, he needs to volunteer that information. If Hersh was lying to Butowsky in the audio recording, he needs to volunteer that information. If the audio recording was somehow faked, he needs to volunteer that information. Either way, this urgently needs to be clarified, because the consequences of the answers to these questions are far, far more important than Seymour Hersh.

Maybe Hersh wants to remain silent because sharing what he knows would hurt his reputation. Reducing the likelihood of nuclear war is more important than Sy Hersh’s reputation.

Maybe Hersh wants to remain silent because he fears for his personal safety if he reveals what he knows. Reducing the likelihood of nuclear war is more important than Sy Hersh’s personal safety.

Maybe Hersh wants to remain silent because he might compromise his source by revealing what he knows. Reducing the likelihood of nuclear war is more important than his source being compromised.

Maybe Hersh wants to remain silent because he doesn’t want to upset Seth Rich’s family. Reducing the likelihood of nuclear war is more important than one family’s feelings.

This is bigger than any of us. Sometimes you’ve got to lean into the base and take one for the team.

“You know it’s easy to joke about this, except that we’re at maybe the most dangerous moment in US-Russian relations in my lifetime, and maybe ever. And the reason is that we’re in a new cold war, by whatever name. We have three cold war fronts that are fraught with the possibility of hot war, in the Baltic region where NATO is carrying out an unprecedented military buildup on Russia’s border, in Ukraine where there is a civil and proxy war between Russia and the west, and of course in Syria, where Russian aircraft and American warplanes are flying in the same territory. Anything could happen.”
~ Leading US-Russian relations authority Stephen Cohen

The people driving these senseless new cold war escalations are manufacturing public support using the Russian hacking narrative because they need that public support. You can’t drag a nation full of 320 million heavily-armed civilians into a new cold war without their consent, and if getting the truth out to them prevents that consent from being rendered, it could without exaggeration save the life of every single organism on this planet.

On the off chance that this article ever makes it before your eyes, Mr. Hersh, let me ask you the following: imagine you look out the window in a month, a year, five years, and see a mushroom cloud growing on the horizon. Will you have any regrets? Will you be able to tell yourself you did everything possible to prevent this? Will you feel glad that you protected your reputation or your safety or whatever by remaining silent, or would you wish you’d done a bit more?

— — —

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  1. Using the most unbiased, rational approach possible, this much is known: 1. The official narrative regarding this case, that being that Rich was the victim of a “botched robbery” is completely unsupported by, and in fact, contrary to, the evidence. There is not a shred of evidence that suggests that this murder was a botched robbery, and the lack of anything being taken from Rich suggests, nay screams, that robbery absolutely was not the motive. 2. The evidence gathering (taking Rich’s computer), strongly suggests that the police do not believe that this was a random street crime, but they believe that the motive could be found on his computer. 3. Being an *unsolved* murder, in which robbery clearly was not the motive, leaves all other options open. The evidence more strongly supports that this murder was related to Rich’s contact with Wikileaks, which would also be a more sensible theory than a “botched robbery”, and which is the only logical reason why authorities took the computer. 4. Anyone calling the the idea of a *hit* “baseless”, or a “debunked conspiracy theory” is immediately suspect as being either entirely ignorant of the facts, or purposely trying to steer the narrative away from the facts.

    1. Hello,

      It appears that “that Seth Rich was known to have been in contact with WikiLeaks prior to his death, . . . ”

      However, if the murder was ‘politically inspired’ would ‘they’ leave behind valuable items? This would indicate that it was not a a random street crime?

      Unless it was done pour encourager les autres?

  2. Can anyone explain why the authorities were so intent upon breaking into Seth Rich’s computer? If I, or any one of us average folks were to be killed in a supposed robbery attempt, would our computers end up in the hands of FBI cyber security experts?

    1. Per the Hersh recording, they wanted to look at his computer to see if he had received any recent threats from anyone, if there was anything suspicious that would help them solve the crime, etc.

      This seems perfectly reasonable to me.

      1. So, it is standard procedure in any homicide case to seize the deceased computer and have FBI cyber experts attempt to crack into it?

        I don’t think so.

        It makes sense and is reasonable only in a case where the authorities suspect there may be much more afoot than just a botched robbery.

  3. Three other major pieces of intrigue you didn’t mention:

    1. In the aftermath of the Imran Awan arrest, Rod Wheeler issued a cryptic tweet urging people to “connect the dots.” It sure seems like he was implying Awan was involved in Rich’s murder.

    2. The police report said Rich was conscious and responsive when they arrived.

    3. There was a credible-sounding post on 4chan where the author said he was a resident physician at the hospital where Rich was taken. He said the wounds seemed minor and not life-threatening. He then said Rich’s room was placed under guard and the staff wasn’t allowed to check on him.

    My gut feeling tells me Wheeler is being blackmailed, bribed, threatened or otherwise coerced into acting as a DNC patsy and filing this case.

  4. Do I interpret this correctly that you think that without belief that Russian hacking of DNC had occurred, the escalations of provocations towards nuclear engagement would not be occurring?

    Because I do not.

  5. Throwing this on Hersh’s shoulders vaunts them as too broad. The Aug. 2nd edition of Democracy Now contained a longish segment, “Explosive Lawsuit: White House & Fox Peddled Seth Rich Conspiracies to Distract from Russia Probe,” that reveled in a legal maneuver likely to be deemed spurious, the details of which were laboriously and disingenuously rehearsed to the effect that Russia is true, Rich is false. Hersh was not even mentioned in this disinformation, notable because it came from a minor media outlet of the left, no less. God Knows what the mainstream was up to.

    Seymour could ride down K Street naked on a horse, and media outlets from the Corporatist to the Mundane would spin, spin, spin Russia, Russia, Russia. It is Madness. Bless you for seeking sanity. Calling down lightning on the likes of Maddow, or even Goodman, however, seems more appropriate than thunder about passersby like Hersh.

    The threat of nuclear war also seems amiss as a primary reason to cease Russophobia. It invites the speculation that Russia may have meddled in “our election” but protesting that meddle is too dangerous to pursue. In fact, Clinton lost on her own merits, and agents in support of her — as well as powerful outsiders like China and Israel — “meddled”, meaning engaged in underhanded dealings to influence the election, to a far greater degree than anything Russia was even capable of, much less accused of or proven to have done. David Brock’s Correct the Record alone is enough to put the entirety of Mrs. Clinton’s coterie in the dock for untoward interference.

    And blaming Russians, and demonizing Putin is morally reprehensible without the threat of nuclear war. Shills like Colbert and almost all of congress act as though they’d don hoods and proceed with Vladimir’s lynching if geography permitted. They deserve scorn. You and I are not privy to Hersh’s muses, whom he has earned the right to be left alone with.

    1. Many outlets that are traditionally thought to be progressive or at least liberal are all in on building consensus for many of the same narratives as the corporate media and the DNC. PBS, NPR, Mother Jones, Democracy Now, TYT and many others are often hard to distinguish from the corporate media, especially on stories that involve electoral politics. Thus, you heard Democracy Now! parroting NPR’s Russia!, Russia!, Russia! story on the Rod Wheeler lawsuit story.

      I’ll actually grant them that the lawsuit and many of the quotes I’ve read and heard from it lend themselves to such a narrative. That’s why I suspect that Wheeler was pressured into bringing the lawsuit and framing it to fit so congruously with the Russia! Russia! Russia! nonsense. It made it so easy to reach the conclusion that the Seth Rich “conspiracy theories” had been disproven that it stinks to high heaven. There’s a guy on YouTube calling himself the “Rational National” who I’d just subscribed to who started a video by stating that we now know that there’s nothing more to the Seth Rich story. I immediately unsubscribed from his channel.

      As for Caitlin’s assertion that Hersh has to answer for being on both sides of this, I’d agree. But I’d say that it’s secondary to Wheeler having to answer for the same thing. And I’d add that my best educated guess is that both have been coerced by some sort of threats, blackmail or bribes.

      1. This video where Wheeler explains himself pretty thoroughly just popped up in my YouTube video feed:


        He says the suit is about the local Fox5DC reporter misleading him. She told him there would just be a tease of an upcoming national FNC story rather than a full story airing on the local newscast. He also says his statement was edited to sound like he had seen email evidence that he had only heard about. There’s no affirmation of the Russia narrative. Far from it. It’s strongly implied that there was a coverup at DCPD. It’s also strongly implied that Seth Rich’s brother wanted Wheeler to nix a Seth Rich Wikileaks link. And it’s flat out stated multiple times that the brother told Wheeler not to look into emails.

  6. It is time for all of us to ask whether our comfort, our personal safety, even our lives are too much to risk to help avoid all-out nuclear war. Such a war will impinge on the comfort, safety, and lives of all of us.

  7. A number of things are missing from your in this article. The recording you promote is obviously and carelessly edited on at least 2 occasions that I picked up with just one hearing. Next, the voice of Butowsky is not on the tape an interesting fact, that leads one to question whether this was ever actually a conversation with Butowsky or simply a recording he was given, and I find it difficult to believe that that someone of Hersh’s stature would be so loose with his opinions and information with a character like Butowsky, who is not known for his discretion. The brief “quote” from Hersh regarding Butowsky misinterpreting him is again something I would want to see and hear Hersh confirm rather than just taking NPR at face value. Additionally I would note that one cannot be too incredulous today about tape recordings, thanks to Adobe VoCo software, which does for audio what PhotoShop does for photos. It would also not be difficult to find a New Yorker who could do a decent impersonation. Having said that I do think this was Hersh, but again, I am just not in anyway convinced that he was talking to Butowsky. To call Hersh irresponsible in holding back information, is itself irresponsible, since you have no idea what he is working on and to what extent he requires further confirmation/information. I have read that he himself is working on a book which will fully expose the Russiagate nonsense, and leaking this conversation will only do damage to his credibility – and since he is one of the few journalists with any integrity left, it would be a calamity of desperate proportion if his sources were compromised or refused anything further to do with him. Your piece is only adding to a dangerous alt-media cacophony which does little to help independent journalism. You should know better.

  8. The activities of the Awan Brothers in Congress, Debby Wasserman Schultz and about 30 Congress men and women whose computers were commandeered by these BROTHERS should give any logical thinking human the bird’s-eye view of how elected officials at the Capitol Hill are being controlled by some very powerful unelected powerful entities (the Deep State) who are in charge of a shadow government operating outside the US government!

    As long as elected officials are under the control of these powerful unelected elites, we cannot pretend that this is a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

    Until the American electorates demand to know about who is in charge of making decisions affected their daily lives, the shadow government will continue hiding behind the shady election scams being pulled every election circle! The question must be: Who are actually in charge, the elected Congress and POTUS ? or the unelected elites (congressional Legislative Assistants and cabinet appointees)?
    Congress always vote on bills they neither read nor understand! Here is the proof and this congresswoman was not defending American voters:


    Th DNC and GOP elites are using the voters they have managed to marginalize as human shield for their deceptive activities!

  9. And the unraveling continues. Here we are over a year after Seth Rich’s death and the story is still unfolding. As the DNC continues to implode, I’m sure more knots will loosen and further truths will be revealed.

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