Over the last few days the internet has again filled with discussions that the murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich rather than Russia was the person who leaked the DNC emails to Wikileaks.
What has fuelled this latest wave of speculation is that on 15th May 2017 Rod Wheeler, a former homicide detective, claimed to Fox 5 DC that there is evidence that Seth Rich was in contact with Wikileaks. Wheeler’s claims have since been vigorously denied, including by Seth Rich’s family who strongly dispute and condemn what they call the conspiracy theories which have circulated about their son.
The fact has to be faced however that is what lending life to these stories is that Julian Assange and Wikileaks have at times said certain things, and have taken certain steps, which whether rightly or wrongly have been construed by many people as hints that Seth Rich was indeed the person who leaked the DNC emails to Wikileaks. For example Wikileaks has offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Seth Rich’s murderer.
Whilst I understand Wikileaks’ concerns to protect their sources, it seems to me that after having dropped what many people see as hints that Seth Rich was their source, it is now incumbent upon them to settle the issue once and for all by saying whether this was so or not.
Confirming that he was the source cannot now hurt Seth Rich, who is dead, but is overwhelmingly in the public interest given the way the origin of the leak of the DNC emails has become a political and international issue, setting the US against Russia and causing a political crisis in the US. It might also provide a much needed push to the investigation into his murder.
If Wikileaks is worried that identifying Seth Rich as the source of the DNC leak might compromise other people in the DNC who might have helped him carry out the leak, then all I can say is that the damage has already been done and Wikileaks and Julian Assange were in that case wrong to have dropped hints that he might have been the source.
The alternative is that Seth Rich was not the source which leaked the DNC emails and that the speculation that he was is wrong.
If so then it is even more necessary, and still more in the public interest, that Wikileaks confirm this, in order to bring this speculation to an end, and to give peace of mind to Seth Rich’s family.
The latest burst of speculation about Seth Rich following from Wheeler’s comments to Fox 5 DC makes this urgent, and Assange and Wikileaks should give priority to this issue.