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 , [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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