Connect the dots? Murdered DNC staffer may have been Wikileaks source of emails
At the intersection of conspiracy and coincidence is a fuzzy gray area where possibilities present themselves, but facts are few. That's what we have with the almost revelations from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who appeared on a Dutch TV show and set the internet on fire by suggesting that a murdered DNC staffer, 27-year-old Seth Rich, was at least one of the sources for the leaked emails.
Rich was murdered in early July, shot multiple times in the back as he was walking down the street. His wallet, watch, cell phone, and credit cards were not taken.
Here's Assange's cryptic reference to Rich being the source of the email leak:
Julian Assange: Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks. As a 27 year-old, works for the DNC, was shot in the back, murdered just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington.
Reporter: That was just a robbery, I believe. Wasn’t it?
Julian Assange: No. There’s no finding. So… I’m suggesting that our sources take risks.
Mentioning the Rich murder in connection with the email leak and "our sources take risks" is suggestive. But then today, Wikileaks is offering a $20,000 reward for information on Rich's murder.
WikiLeaks is offering the reward more than two weeks after the group published thousands of internal DNC emails on the eve of the party's national convention, which caused an uproar among supporters of Bernie Sanders and forced Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to step down.
The anti-secrecy organization has been accused of having an agenda against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who has long been a target of conspiracy theories related to the death of onetime White House aide Vince Foster.
Police in Washington have been tight-lipped about the Rich investigation but have suggested they believed the crime was a robbery.
Just last week, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said it was possible that Rich was killed in an attempted robbery. She spoke at an event with Rich’s mother, and both made a plea for tips that might help solve the case.
There have been 77 homicides in Washington in 2016, though Rich’s death is the only one recorded in the last year within 1,500 feet of where he was killed.
Fifty-one violent crimes have been recorded by D.C. police in that area in the last year, however, including 19 robberies with guns and 10 assaults with a dangerous weapon, according to the police crime map.
After Rich’s killing, neighbors told Fox 5 that violence in the area had recently spiked, especially in a nearby construction zone.
Taken together, the facts – all the facts – don't prove anything. Even if Rich was, indeed, the source of the email leak, his murder may still have been a robbery gone bad. With nothing taken from the victim, though, the idea that he was killed for some other reason cannot be entirely dismissed.
At present, the dots simply aren't connecting. But the fact that there are dots to begin with is extremely troubling, and those investigating the murder should follow the evidence wherever it leads.