RAY McGOVERN: Rich’s Ghost Haunts the Courts

UPDATED: It is verboten to utter his name, but a lawsuit and possible declassification of NSA documents could get to the bottom of the Seth Rich controversy, says Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

As if it weren’t enough of a downer for Russiagate true believers that no Trump-Russia collusion was found, federal judges are now demanding proof that Russia hacked into the DNC in the first place.

It is shaping up to be a significant challenge to the main premise of the shaky syllogism that ends with “Russia did it.”

If you’re new to this website, grab onto something, as the following may come as something of a shock. Not only has there never been any credible evidence to support the claim of Russian cyber interference, there has always been a simple alternative explanation that involves no “hacking” at all — by Russia or anyone else.

As most Consortium News habitués are aware, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (which includes two former NSA technical directors), working with independent forensic investigators, concluded two years ago that what “everyone knows to be Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee” actually involved an insider with physical access to DNC computers copying the emails onto an external storage device — such as a thumb drive. In other words, it was a leak, not a hack.

VIPS based its conclusion on the principles of physics applied to metadata and other empirical information susceptible of forensic analysis.

But if a leak, not a hack, who was the DNC insider-leaker? In the absence of hard evidence, VIPS refuses “best-guess”-type “assessments” — the kind favored by the “handpicked analysts” who drafted the evidence-impoverished, so-called Intelligence Community Assessment of Jan. 6, 2017.

Dulles: Wielded “conspiracy theorist” as a weapon.

Conspiracy Theorists

Simply letting the name “Seth Rich” pass your lips can condemn you to the leper colony built by the Washington Establishment for “conspiracy theorists,” (the term regularly applied to someone determined to seek tangible evidence, and who is open to alternatives to “Russia-did-it.”)

Rich was a young DNC employee who was murdered on a street in Washington, DC, on July 10, 2016. Many, including me, suspect that Rich played some role in the leaking of DNC emails to WikiLeaks. There is considerable circumstantial evidence that this may have been the case. Those who voice such suspicions, however, are, ipso facto, branded “conspiracy theorists.”

That epithet has a sordid history in the annals of U.S. intelligence. Legendary CIA Director Allen Dulles used the “brand-them-conspiracy-theorists” ploy following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy when many objected — understandably — to letting him pretty much run the Warren Commission, even though the CIA was suspected of having played a role in the murder. The “conspiracy theorist” tactic worked like a charm then, and now. Well, up until just now.

Rich Hovers Above the Courts

U.S. Courts apply far tougher standards to evidence than do the intelligence community and the pundits who loll around lazily, feeding from the intelligence PR trough. This (hardly surprising) reality was underscored when a Dallas financial adviser named Ed Butowsky sued National Public Radio and others for defaming him about the role he played in controversial stories relating to Rich.On August 7, NPR suffered a setback, when U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant affirmed a lower court decision to allow Butowsky’s defamation lawsuit to proceed.

Judge Mazzant ruled that NPR had stated as “verifiable statements of fact” information that could not be verified, and that the plaintiff had been, in effect, accused of being engaged in wrongdoing without persuasive sourcing language.

Isikoff: Russians started it. (Wikipedia)

Imagine! — “persuasive sourcing” required to separate fact from opinion and axes to grind! An interesting precedent to apply to the ins and outs of Russiagate. In the courts, at least, this is now beginning to happen. And NPR and others in similarly vulnerable positions are scurrying around for allies. The day after Judge Mazzant’s decision, NPR enlisted help from discredited Yahoo! News pundit Michael Isikoff (author, with David Corn, of the fiction-posing-as-fact novel Russian Roulette). NPR gave Isikoff 37 minutes on its popular Fresh Air program to spin his yarn about how the Seth Rich story got started. You guessed it; the Russians started it. No, we are not making this up.

It is far from clear that Isikoff can be much help to NPR in the libel case against it. Isikoff’s own writings on Russiagate are notably lacking in “verifiable statements of fact” — information that cannot be verified. Watch, for example, his recent interview with Consortium News Editor Joe Lauria on CN Live!

Isikoff admitted to Lauria that he never saw the classified Russian intelligence document reportedly indicating that three days after Rich’s murder the Russian SVR foreign intelligence service planted a story about Rich having been the leaker and was killed for it. This Russian intelligence “bulletin,” as Isikoff called it, was supposedly placed on a bizarre website that Isikoff admitted was an unlikely place for Russia to spread disinformation. He acknowledged that he only took the word of the former prosecutor in the Rich case about the existence of this classified Russian document.

In any case, The Washington Post, had already debunked Isikoff’s claim (which later in his article he switched to being only “purported”) by pointing out that Americans had already tweeted the theory of Rich’s murder days before the alleged Russian intervention.

Persuasive Sourcing’ & Discovery??

Butowsky’s libel lawsuit can now proceed to discovery, which will include demands for documents and depositions that are likely to shed light on whatever role Rich may have played in leaking to WikiLeaks. If the government obstructs or tries to slow-roll the case, we shall have to wait and see, for example, if the court will acquiesce to the familiar government objection that information regarding Rich’s murder must be withheld as a state secret? Hmmm. What would that tell us?

Butowsky: Suit could reveal critical information. (Flickr)

During discovery in a separate court case, the government was unable to produce a final forensic report on the “hacking” of the Democratic National Committee. The DNC-hired cyber firm, CrowdStrike, failed to complete such a report, and that was apparently okay with then FBI Director James Comey, who did not require one.

The incomplete, redacted, draft, second-hand “forensics” that Comey settled for from CrowdStrike does not qualify as credible evidence — much less “persuasive sourcing” to support the claim that the Russians “hacked” into the DNC. Moreover, CrowdStrike has a dubious reputation for professionalism and a well known anti-Russia bias.

The thorny question of “persuasive sourcing,” came up even more starkly on July 1, when federal Judge Dabney Friedrich ordered Robert Mueller to stop pretending he had proof that the Russian government was behind the Internet Research Agency’s supposed attempt to interfere via social media in the 2016 election. Middle school-level arithmetic can prove the case that the IRA’s use of social media to support Trump is ludicrous on its face.

Russia-gate Rubble

As journalist Patrick Lawrence put it recently: “Three years after the narrative we call Russiagate was framed and incessantly promoted, it crumbles into rubble as we speak.” Falling syllogism! Step nimbly to one side.

The “conspiracy theorist” epithet is not likely to much longer block attention to the role, if any, played by Rich — the more so since some players who say they were directly involved with Rich are coming forward.

In a long interview with Lauria a few months ago in New Zealand aired this month on CN Live!, Kim Dotcom provided a wealth of detail, based on what he described as first-hand knowledge, regarding how Democratic National Committee documents were leaked to WikiLeaks in 2016.

The major takeaway: the evidence presented by Dotcom about Seth Rich can be verified or disproven if President Trump summons the courage to order the director of NSA to dig out the relevant data, including the conversations Dotcom says he had with Rich and Rich may have had with WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. Dotcom said he put Rich in touch with a middleman to transfer the DNC files to WikiLeaks. Sadly, Trump has flinched more than once rather than confront the Deep State — and this time there are a bunch of very well connected, senior Deep State practitioners who could face prosecution.

Another sign that Rich’s story is likely to draw new focus is the virulent character assassination indulged in by former investigative journalist James Risen.

Not Risen to the Challenge

Risen: Called Binney a “conspiracy theorist.” (Flickr)

On August 5, in an interview on The Hill’s “Rising,” Risen chose to call former NSA Technical Director Bill Binney — you guessed it — a “conspiracy theorist” on Russia-gate, with no demurral, much less pushback, from the hosts.

The having-done-good-work-in-the-past-and-now-not-so-much Risen can be considered a paradigm for what has happened to so many Kool-Aid drinking journalists. Jim’s transition from investigative journalist to stenographer is, nonetheless unsettling. Contributing causes? It appears that the traditional sources within the intelligence agencies, whom Risen was able to cultivate discreetly in the past, are too fearful now to even talk to him, lest they get caught by one or two of the myriad surveillance systems in play.

Those at the top of the relevant agencies, however, are only too happy to provide grist. Journalists have to make a living, after all. Topic A, of course, is Russian “interference” in the 2016 election. And, of course, “There can be little doubt” the Russians did it.

“Big Jim” Risen, as he is known, jumped on the bandwagon as soon as he joined The Intercept, with a fulsome article on February 17, 2018 titled Is Donald Trump a Traitor?” Here’s an excerpt:

“The evidence that Russia intervened in the election to help Trump win is already compelling, and it grows stronger by the day.

“There can be little doubt now that Russian intelligence officials were behind an effort to hack the DNC’s computers and steal emails and other information from aides to Hillary Clinton as a means of damaging her presidential campaign. … Russian intelligence also used fake social media accounts and other tools to create a global echo chamber both for stories about the emails and for anti-Clinton lies dressed up to look like news.

“To their disgrace, editors and reporters at American news organizations greatly enhanced the Russian echo chamber, eagerly writing stories about Clinton and the Democratic Party based on the emails, while showing almost no interest during the presidential campaign in exactly how those emails came to be disclosed and distributed.” (sic)

Poor Jim. He shows himself just as susceptible as virtually all of his fellow corporate journalists to the epidemic-scale HWHW virus (Hillary Would Have Won) that set in during Nov. 2016 and for which the truth seems to be no cure. From his perch at The Intercept, Risen will continue to try to shape the issues. Russiagaters major ally, of course, is the corporate media which has most Americans pretty much under their thumb.

Incidentally, neither The New York Times, The Washington Post, nor The Wall Street Journal has printed or posted a word about Judge Mazzant’s ruling on the Butowsky suit.

Mark Twain is said to have warned, “How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again!” After three years of “Russia-Russia-Russia” in the corporate — and even in some “progressive” — media, this conditioning will not be easy to reverse.

Here’s how one astute observer with a sense of humor described the situation last week, in a comment under one of my recent pieces on Consortium News:

“… One can write the most thought-out and well documented academic-like essays, articles and reports and the true believers in Russiagate will dismiss it all with a mere flick of their wrist. The mockery and scorn directed towards those of us who knew the score from day one won’t relent. They could die and go to heaven and ask god what really happened during the 2016 election. God would reply to them in no uncertain terms that Putin and the Russians had absolutely nothing to do with anything in ‘16, and they’d all throw up their hands and say, ‘aha! So, God’s in on this too!’ It’s the great lie that won’t die.” 

I’m not so sure. It is likely to be a while though before this is over. 

In the meantime, here are six pieces of circumstantial evidence suggesting that Rich may have indeed leaked the DNC emails to WikiLeaks:

  • Butowsky said Rich’s parents told him they know their son leaked the emails. Parents deny it.
  • Butowsky said Ellen Ratner told him and others that Assange told her Rich was the leaker. Video emerges of Ratner saying Assange told her a Democratic insider leaked the emails but she didn’t name Rich. She now denies it was Rich.
  • Kim Dotcom, a leading expert on the internet, says the metadata shows it was a leak, not a hack, and that he communicated with Rich and put him in touch with a middleman to transfer the emails to WikiLeaks. Dotcom also says he communicated with Rich’s parents who said they knew their son was the leaker.
  • The NSA said in a FOIA request from Butowsky’s lawyer that they have 15 documents regarding conversations Rich had with one of several people named in the request, which include the possibility Rich communicated with Assange and/or Kim Dotcom.
  • Investigative journalist Sy Hersh, in audio interview with Butowsky, says he has a source in FBI who had seen the report of Rich’s computer proving he had sent emails to WikiLeaks. When Butowsky made this secretly recorded interview public Hersh’s sources dried up and he then tried to deny what he’d told Butowsky.
  • WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange strongly suggested in a Dutch TV interview that Rich was the source of the DNC emails. WikiLeaks also offered a $20,000 reward leading to information about Seth’s killers.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. Ray was a CIA analyst for 27 years; in retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

111 comments for “RAY McGOVERN: Rich’s Ghost Haunts the Courts

  1. Robert Mayer
    August 21, 2019 at 16:03

    Tnx Ray, CN… Rich’s death cause 2speculate…
    3 states votecount in question… Wi now blue
    Mi, Pa unk. In Ca vote count certify Ofc Sec State… Politival Party which SECRETLY counts votes in above mentioned US states (& ofc Title unk)… What IS KNOWN: Red Party pass Red Voter Act of 2005(4?) virtually capturing hackable vote mach tec4 their party… Why blame Rusk when Red Party has HISTORY of: vote scam & irreg. Tnx4 readin’.

  2. August 18, 2019 at 14:59

    Addendum to my last reply: This is the link at YouTube of the interview with Julian Assange where he implies that the DNC documents leaker was Seth Rich. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp7FkLBRpKg

  3. August 18, 2019 at 14:52

    I think it is extremely important that we all remember that Julian Assange did everything he could during an interview (mentioned by a poster above as well) to imply that it was Seth Rich who took the DNC documents and made the effort to pass those documents to Wikileaks. He takes his oath to protect sources very seriously, therefore, he did everything BUT say it was Seth Rich. When asked by the interviewer if it was Seth, Julian responded by saying something along the lines of, “‘sources take very serious risks when passing information to Wikileaks and often risk paying a great price.” (This was after Seth had been murdered). Julian also reminded the audience that Wikileaks offered a reward for information pertaining to Seth’s murder. This interview is an extremely important piece of evidence and I’m almost certain that the main reason Julian is being held in the U.K. now is not because of his relationship with Manning, but because of his knowledge about who the DNC documents leaker really is.

    We can’t forget about Julian and we can’t forget about Seth Rich. The release of those documents was crucial to the ‘waking’ of many Americans with respect to our political system.

  4. August 16, 2019 at 18:13

    Excellent article from Ray per usual. However: “When Butowsky made this secretly recorded interview public Hersh’s sources dried up and he then tried to deny what he’d told Butowsky.” Sy Hersh? I’ve never known Sy to deny anything he’s ever said. Please explain. Sy stands with the best of reporters, always.

    • Marko
      August 17, 2019 at 00:00

      Sy Hersh is happy to go public with scandalous information when he has the cover of an establishment outlet. If he can’t get a sensitive story published by a reputable outlet , you’ll never hear about it. In this case , Butowsky spilled the beans on what Hersh thought was a private conversation and Sy freaked , then started dissembling and , ultimately , clamming up. The text you quoted describes the situation accurately.

      Sy Hersh has an admiral record of speaking truth to power , but always when it’s been approved by an editor. Don’t hold him up to be some kind of god , because he’s not. He’s a live human who wants to stay that way.

  5. robert e williamson jr
    August 16, 2019 at 12:17

    RAY McGovern, One last addendum to my rant about CIA’s major *&^%- ups that have went unchallenged by the courts.

    FYI This is a very interesting piece short and to the point.


    I propose that Lewis Strauss and Edward Teller got rid of Oppenheimer not because of his background but because he would have had a conniption fit if he had known the Seaborg, Strauss and a long list of others intended to let Zalmon Shapiro secret HEU away from his programs and to the Israelis.

    You will note this article addresses CIA’s use of it’s bull shit sources and methods.

    Until the worthless US courts put a stop to and stop cajoling CIA officials to curry favor or stave off black mail threats, which ever it is, I will believe what I want to believe, the facts that they, the courts and CIA withhold for NO GOOD REASON , I will believe what the facts tend to support.

    The US Atomic Energy Commission was disband because it was the best way to cover up their evil and treacherous past.

    This was an inside job and CIA’s JJ Angelton would have made sure he knew about this.

    The CIA currently has one foot on a banana peel and the other in a pile of Doggie doo doo, time for Paybacks on of the most arrogant collections in individuals in the planet.

  6. Jason Epstein
    August 15, 2019 at 19:25

    You didnt say what the judge was referring to that was without verifiable sources. Very very important. Please edit.

    Very important additional fact:

    “The NSA said in a FOIA request from Butowsky’s lawyer that they have 15 documents regarding conversations Rich had with one of several people named in the request, which include the possibility Rich communicated with Assange and/or Kim Dotcom”

    The NSA said that two laws were implicated in these documents – espionage and national security. NSA cited the statutes.

    • L. Vincent Anderson
      August 15, 2019 at 21:56

      You need to read the thread before demanding ‘edit’ etc. Here is pertinent part, RE stonewalling the FOIA with secret rationales claimed to be ‘properly classified’ etc.:

      August 13, 2019 at 13:34

      Ray, particularly interesting to me is your link to an NSA statement refusing to grant Ty Clevenger (working with Butowsky) FOIA information:

      “The documents are classified because their disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave or serious damage to the national security. Because the information is currently and properly classified, it is exempt from disclosure pursuant to the first exemption of the FOIA (5 U.S.C. Section 552 (b) (1)).”

      (from your link at)


      • L. Vincent Anderson
        August 16, 2019 at 13:46

        final footnote: In addition to the 552 (b) ‘exemptions’ there are ALSO (c) EXCLUSIONS:

        Little might you, the requester, know or suspect, but in such a case as on ongoing criminal investigation, the USG need not even mention same; i.e., you may never know that they have such a reason for (silently!) denying the request. Luckily, you would have the right to ask, and/or appeal such a denial. (Explained about halfway down the wiki article.) So, good luck!

  7. robert e williamson jr
    August 15, 2019 at 17:52

    “Oh what a web we weave . . . . .”

    Lets make American Great Again and let Madeleine Albright waterboard Hillary so we can get to the truth here.

  8. August 15, 2019 at 12:30

    Seth Rich Story- Full Recap and New Witness Account https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQwcVcSMpE8

  9. Janet Masleid
    August 14, 2019 at 20:33

    What has Ed Snowden said on all of this? I would be interested in his perspective.

    I’m sure there are plenty of freedom loving billionaires who wouldn’t mind going up against our very reasonable SoS Pompeo and the freedom loving Surveillance State to host the Snowden Files and employ a staff to disseminate the material. (I’m sure it would be a stress free undertaking).

    Sounds like Go Fund Me time for Greenwald critics. It is apparently assumed that GG is an evil, non-caring shill for the deep state and has ultimate control over The Intercept and we know how much *our government appreciates whistleblowers* and everyone connected to them…. Now Don’t We?

    Let us hope that Glenn’s and fellow South American journos’ hard work pays off and Brazil is set free from the far right fascism that has been unleashed so exquisitely. I’m sure the United States has had nothing whatsoever to do with this.

    Snowden, Glenn is doing good work right now.. but I think you know that.

    Here’s to Greenwald NOT being falsely imprisoned AS LULA WAS. Godspeed, Glenn.

  10. Nick
    August 14, 2019 at 18:58

    The Wolfowitz Doctrine is something else people forget about. All this post-Cold War ‘Russia is the enemy’ garbage can be directly traced to this doctrine. It reads, in part, “Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”
    We need to dominate all other countries, and if they don’t like it, we’ll just accuse them of things we are guilty of in order to maintain dominance.

  11. Em Sos
    August 14, 2019 at 18:16

    Seth Rich has not even had sufficient time to transmogrify into a ghost.
    We’re still awaiting the declassification of NSA documents to identify the killers in all the acknowledged past assassinations, solely within the US, going back only as far as 1963.
    Let’s assiduously, and faithfully, keep on falsely hoping that the judicial branch of government will set the country on a new course of change, for the better.

  12. August 14, 2019 at 13:53

    Everyone knows Hillary Clinton rigged the 2016 Democratic primary.


    ^ This ^ is exactly why many people – including yours truly – refused to vote for her. It was in the NYTimes, CNN, Huffington Post, etc so why did so many people not listen and instead believe in this Russia-gate pseudo-religion, which apparently will not die as it is now too big to fail?

    • David White
      August 14, 2019 at 18:37

      He was very surprised that he was dead when he returned to work the next day
      Never heard anything after that–I wonder if the DR. is still alive–It was a fairly long artical

      • Janet Masleid
        August 14, 2019 at 19:55

        David, that ‘doctor entry’ was an unsubstantiated anonymous post. It was interesting, of course.
        Hospital, along with Police personal camera video, might have lent clarity to the situation but has never been forthcoming to my knowledge.

      • robert e williamson jr
        August 16, 2019 at 11:48

        David could be so kind as to let the rest of us in on your source for this information?

  13. Seer
    August 14, 2019 at 12:34

    If it looks like a duck and talks like a duck, then, for SURE, it’s a RUSSIAN!

    Need to start calling folks like Risen “Friends with Epstein!”

    Ocam’s Razor tells us how the information was “set free.” This brings up one question that totally gets missed: WHAT ABOUT THE ACTUAL CONTENT of that information- what about the crimes that it fingers?

    • Janet Masleid
      August 14, 2019 at 19:58

      Do you mean the actual purpose of all of it: “Government By Blackmail” ?

  14. Dwight
    August 14, 2019 at 11:25

    Tom Kath, I think your argument, that refuting the faith is the first priority because determining actual truth is often impossible, is most important when it comes to justification for use of military force. Chemical weapons in Syria, for example. The truth comes out slowly, long after the missiles fly. Informed, sincere citizens are skeptical in real time, but are too few to matter when it matters. And somehow, the cycle starts from zero again, despite widespread understanding before Libya and Syria that the Iraq war WMD justification was an intentional fraud. We need a civic culture that demands proof, not claims, from government officials and their stenographers.

  15. Andrés
    August 14, 2019 at 06:48

    For the sake of argument, suppose the Russians were involved. So what? All they did was show that Hillary stole the 2016 primary from Bernie.

  16. Meremark
    August 14, 2019 at 01:13

    What beats the central deciders of facts/intelligence/truth with controled distribution and delivery, is the global internet web. Where homegrown facts are. If not a democracy of knowledge it seems fairly close … reserving the right to revise and extend my remarks as applies by Creative Commons, aka poetic, license.

    The ‘grand, singular’ strategy for intel.community perpetuation, (if Dulles had one, and I think he tried to, in a word ‘intimidation’ (bluff your holdings) practiced in historic classicist ‘class struggles,’ – he was big for ‘historic’ esotera in his designs, which he categorized as ‘mind control,’ isn’t that intimidation? a vulcan mind meld?), has worked for 80some years, more or less, having voting taxpayers accept ideas are Top Secret ‘they’ (conspheorists?) wouldn’t understand. couldn’t understand. shouldn’t understand for perpetuating the sake of the facts maker.

    Their master plan had one flaw in it. The thing that saves wethe people from monolithic oppression.

    They didn’t count on the internet web.

    We make our own news, votes and taxes.

    Doing whatever, each minute of life partaking in the internet is one minute not being fed by old media.
    The old media Dulles knew and designed for and grew by. They sustain in information drought, surfeit.

    The internet is information flood, plethora, (yes, biblical) and they drown under it, wethe people find islands, circulate notes in a bottle and
    share peace.

  17. Tim Jones
    August 14, 2019 at 00:21

    In this ongoing Greek Tragedy, I like this statement,

    “In fact, we’re all in the same boat. Some of us are still permitted on deck, where we’re dancing to the tunes of their orchestral arrangements, while the ship of state goes down.”

    But I still have hope, “….nothing but blue skies from now on.”

  18. Meremark
    August 14, 2019 at 00:21

    Maybe it’s a Risen double. A substitute, ringer, doppleganger.

    Something in your phasing just popped that in mind.

    Ditto your ecperience, I read it, it was out of character, it mixes in the Greenwald stew, I thought what’s going on here.

    On Seth Rich, it’s obvious reading the circumstantials to me, he’s it. Raises the question who played the Jack Ruby role? Whoever it is is dead or rotting in jail.

    And to end on a wiggy, maybe a conspheory and maybe not: I say the TV first lady is a second. The stunt double is 10 lbs light and wider eyes (not sunglassed as often as melany’s habit) and there’s some. . . thing… attitudinal? je ne sais qua… just, just not a verve, nary a beau geste…
    Anyway, close, but not the real thing.
    … um, maybe medicated. Got her mind right.

  19. MrK
    August 14, 2019 at 00:13

    Correction: $113,645.77, not $113,645.11.

  20. robert e williamson jr
    August 14, 2019 at 00:12

    Ray I’m living proof that there is no rest for the wicked. Endure Sir! Enjoy!

    The most obvious thing I can come up with here is the possibility that Seth’s family has been threatened or other wise compromised and must stay silent. However, I feel some other factor may be at work as well. This creep who got a free pass for wholesale sexual abuse has ,by his death created a focus of interest on the difference between truth and justice and then monetary justice, criminal proceedings as opposed to civil proceedings. Which in the annals of law reveals a conflict of interest for the courts who are bond to dispense truth and justice and the American Way.

    But I digress.

    I think most interesting is the fact that after the Warren Commission investigation, which CIA thwarted for all intents and purposes, CIA successfully again wore down their opposition, the Church Committee, using their congressional contacts in a politically coercive manner that should never have been allowed (proof congress had lost control of it’s mandate to oversee CIA) (SEE Loch K Johnson’s Season of Inquiry Revisited )

    The CIA & it’s family of U.S. intelligence agencies had once again lost their heads and found themselves in such a”FIX” as it did trying to fend off inquiry into the Zalmon Shaprio – NUMEC controversy. A problem so vexing to all involved that one of the largest Agencies to be created after WWII was abolished and stories hidden. Really hidden! Everyone involved intelligence agencies, FBI US Atomic Energy Commission Heros et al needed a pass. And Nixon was in the barrel.

    I’m a football fan. Dedicated to the study of defenses in a purely grain distilled liquid environment. My take the best offense is a great defense. The offense knows where their are going, the defense has to figure our where and stop them. I think I know where all this B.S. in D.C. is leading.

    It is time to ply CIA and congress with petitions to reveal what it known to the government about the NUMEC case. Petitions, article, phone calls tweets twitters, e-mails, russian e-mail not allowed, cat calls WTFE.

    I know , I know, but why do it? Because the first two times it’s shame on us, now is the time we should know we need to stick up for ourselves.

    CIA and all 17 security agencies have them selves caught again in debacle of lies. See the story of Hillary and Wasserman-Schultz , DNC, Russian ran 2016 election. You want to talk about stepping to a pile of doggie doo doo!

    NUMEC isn’t like the JFK problem CIA has although it may well be the reason CIA has a JFK problem to begin with. The NUMEC information is available to public through open sourcing, publicly available data.

    Ever read Hyman Rickover’s The Rickover Affect, Nation Security Archives, GWU.edu on NUMEC, Grant Smith’s book “Divert” or Charles A Keller’s notes.?

    The true nature of the histories of all the events I have mentioned here, save one, is supported, I believe by the preponderance of evidence currently available in the public domain and merits review of all case law and the related evidence available for each one. . FULL STOP!

    Why is this critical? Because these events prove our government failed those who it is supposed to protect from all threats and they did not, they failed U.S. citizens. In failing they have became threat themselves because the deny the truth and fight for continued control.

    Pretty problematic for a free society.

    The only case not clear to the public currently is this DNC – Russia Gate boondoggle. And it really needs to be settled now.

    I say it’s time for a blitz! Time to put maximum pressure on Billy Barr and his GOP picked court of jesters (SCOTUS) in center ring of the circus in D.C. AND a totally worthless congress.

    You know better than I, it is not a conspiracy until the evidence backs up the allegations. Can’t prove allegations while the “perp” and his lawyers, DOJ, is withholding evidence. But as time passes and technology tears his concealing clothing away his guilt is left naked to the world, there for all to see and brother they see it. . Can you see it Ray, I do! What about you Congress?

    What a mess.

  21. MrK
    August 14, 2019 at 00:11

    Then, there are the very suspiciously times payments from the DNC to Crowdstrike.

    07/10/2016 Seth Rich murder
    07/11/2016 $98,849.84
    08/02/2016 Shawn Lucas dies
    08/03/2016 $113,645.11

    These are 2 of only 5 payments made in 2 years. The other 3 payments are much smaller.

    05/05/2016 1,426.50
    05/05/2016 7,650.00
    08/03/2016 4,275.00

    What are the random odds that these large payments are made from the DNC to Crowdstrike, exactly one day after the deaths of Seth Rich and Shawn Lucas?


    More evidence here:

  22. Em Sos
    August 13, 2019 at 19:57

    Okay! A commenter above doesn’t approve of deflecting attention from Seth Rich:
    What insider information might Jeffrey Epstein have leaked about the elite owners of the country, had his trial actually been permitted to reach the courts?
    Play with dirt, you get dirty. By now too many wanted him out of the way. So, Epstein obligingly, and voluntarily, did them a favor. He committed suicide???
    Only a comedian of the caliber of George Carlin could have hilariously pulled off a joke like this.

    Julian Assange is still a sketch in the writing, but he’s in the same boat!
    In fact, we’re all in the same boat. Some of us are still permitted on deck, where we’re dancing to the tunes of their orchestral arrangements, while the ship of state goes down.
    Democracy does not discriminate between those “few (attempting) to bringing light into this dark mess” – Litchfield comment, and those who’ve always resorted to lying and defrauding their way to participation in the cavort with the dregs in the swamp.
    It always revolves around protecting the narrow private structures of ownership power, over “the aggregate of people living together in a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing attitudes, interests and goals – dictionary definition of community, by which definition the Nation-state of America is no longer even a close facsimile!

    • Bob James
      August 14, 2019 at 09:53

      One of the hosts of “Edge of Wonder”, Rob, feels that the cabal was allowed to kill Epstein to accelerate the prosecutions of Epstein’s collaborators. Which would definitely be in the interest of serving justice. The sooner trials of the host of traitors begins, the better.

  23. L. Vincent Anderson
    August 13, 2019 at 19:28

    Great work continued, Ray; and thanks Joe for trying to keep everybody on track. May I suggest that anybody who tries to bring “Jeffrey Epstein” into this discussion be automatically blocked, as they have either serious concentration or self-aggrandizement issues. Time is too short for every individual reader to get into such head cases.

    • hetro
      August 13, 2019 at 19:44

      Ah, you might have the problem you state here yourself . . . serious concentration or self-aggrandizement issues. CN tends to want to explore what’s going on without a suddenly self-imposing boss of the forum showing up to tell us how to respond. I could put it more explicitly but I won’t.

      • L. Vincent Anderson
        August 13, 2019 at 22:24

        Your earlier NSA/FOIA/Clevenger remarks showed some real concentration. This, not so much, though Lucy would have charged 5 cents!

  24. Janet Zampieri
    August 13, 2019 at 19:21

    Here’s an excerpt from Caitlin Johnstone’s recent article entitled Everyone’s A Conspiracy Theorist, Whether They Know It Or Not”:

    “The problem has never been with the actual term “conspiracy theory”; the problem has been with its deliberate and completely meaningless use as a pejorative. The best way to address this would be a populist move to de-stigmatize the label by taking ownership of it. Last month Cornell University professor Dave Callum tweeted, “I am a ‘conspiracy theorist’. I believe men and women of wealth and power conspire. If you don’t think so, then you are what is called ‘an idiot’. If you believe stuff but fear the label, you are what is called ‘a coward’.” This is what we all must do. The debate must be forcibly moved from the absurd question of whether or not conspiracies are a thing to the important question of which conspiracy theories are valid and to what degree.”

  25. August 13, 2019 at 19:07

    We heard very early on from Craig Murray, that the “info” had been leaked–months before the DNC decided to blame Russia. US citizens are just stupid.

    • Dot L.
      August 13, 2019 at 19:45

      Didn’t HRC blame Bernie during that time?

  26. Marko
    August 13, 2019 at 18:45

    The consensus seems to be that Guccifer 2.0 was a “throw” , an attempt , and a very clumsy one at that , to attach Russian fingerprints to the leaks/hacks. It is the clumsiness of this effort that makes me question whether it was a product of professionals like Crowdstrike or intel community agents friendly to HRC.

    What if the Guccifer 2.0 “throw” was the product of Seth Rich and other insiders that were involved in the leaks ? They would have known that an investigation was ongoing , and would not want to be identified as the source of the leaks , so would have a clear motive for throwing investigators off the track. They would also know that the DNC and other Dems would welcome the “Russia Excuse” as a way to distract attention from the leaks themselves. This scenario would help explain the lack of professionalism shown in leaving the Russian fingerprints.

    The other thing that I think people may have missed surrounds the question about how Corsi knew in advance that Podesta would be “next in the tank” after the DNC leaks. He claimed to have “figured it out” , by divine revelation , apparently , while sitting behind his laptop on an airplane. In fact , multiple attachments to Podesta emails were published on DCLeaks several months before the Wikileaks release of the Podesta dump. It’s not hard to imagine that Corsi was tipped off by a Dem insider that received one or more of the emails with said attachments , giving him the insight that Podesta’s emails had been breached and would likely be released. To admit to this would mean throwing his insider source under the bus , so he invented the “divine intervention” excuse.

    • hetro
      August 13, 2019 at 19:56

      I had assumed it was that arm of the intelligence community governing the entire operation, by which I mean the Russia-gate narrative/brainwashing. This point is additional now to the Binney theory as this “clumsiness” affect also indicates local put-on work. It has occurred to me they could be getting over-confident on the levels of stupidity they are allowing, understandable given how gullible the public now is.

  27. Babyl-on
    August 13, 2019 at 17:57

    I think Greenwald is responsible for this and worse. He capitalized on the Snowden archive and made millions while not publishing thousands of documents. He basically sold the archive to Pierre Omidyar who has berried it. Greenwald has walked away with fame and millions while Snowden is isolated in Russia.

    • Litchfield
      August 13, 2019 at 19:51

      This is my understanding of what occurred.
      It is a big black mark against Greenwald, The Intercept, and anyone now associated with them.
      Which is a shame, because Greenwald did great work, and continues to do some good work. But now one is never sure whose side he is actually on. Maybe just his own and his partner’s. Wtih the political transformation in Brazil, I expect that Greenwald is severely restircted in what he can safely write about.

      But, there is no excuse for the Snowden caper.
      When is someone going to interview Greenwald and challenge him on this?
      Perhaps that would be a good assignment for the exemplary Whitney Webb, when she is finished with the Jewish mafia-Epstein story. Ooops mentioned Epstein! According to an earlier commenter, I should now be turned to water like the wicked witch of the North!!! Well, I refuse to follow those orders! Epstein! Epstein! So there.

    • MA
      August 14, 2019 at 23:00

      did I miss the berries joke?

  28. Drew Hunkins
    August 13, 2019 at 17:11

    Hey Ray,

    Thanks for using my comment.

    Keep up all the terrific work that you do.

  29. August 13, 2019 at 15:37

    Let us not forget Shawn Lucas, another young life cut short in eerie coincidence with the DNC shenannigans (he was the young man that brazenly documented the delivery of the DNC Fraud Lawsuit on behalf of Jampac.us)

    • geeyp
      August 13, 2019 at 17:19

      Thank you Michael for the reminder of Shawn Lucas, who is not mentioned enough. His strange death and the timing of it is stunning. I recall watching almost in real time the photographer whose name escapes me waiting for Shawn to arrive to serve the DNC with the papers. Shawn had a heck of a time getting someone at the DNC to accept them. A few days later it seems like, Shawn Lucas was dead, Elvis style, alone in his apartment. This next is sarcasm: you wonder why people say that Clinton has a kill list.

    • geeyp
      August 13, 2019 at 17:49

      There are an inordinate amount of investigations going on in this country at any given time. Some I agree with, some just a waste of taxpayer’s money. A real investigation into the very, mysterious death of Shawn Lucas is one that should have happened from the start.

  30. Marshalldoc
    August 13, 2019 at 15:22

    One wonders whether Risen’s transformation from journalist to stenographer wasn’t some kind of deal cut to avoid indictment under the Espionage Act regarding his involvement with Jeffrey Sterling; i.e.; ‘Become our propaganda flack or face prosecution”.

  31. robjira
    August 13, 2019 at 15:17

    Excellent article; re: Jim Risen, I suspect he was given to believe in no uncertain terms that he got off easy with the disclosure of the CIA’s failure inside Iran (q.v. State of War). Who knows; someone could also have reminded him of what happened to Gary Webb…
    Many thanks again, Ray and CN.

  32. Brett Pavel
    August 13, 2019 at 14:27

    I think many folks believe as I do that it is much more plausible that Seth Rich was the source that provided the emails to WikiLeaks than the Russians. Without any hard evidence for either scenario anyone with half a brain would come to the same likely conclusion. Sadly the propaganda machine grinds on.

  33. August 13, 2019 at 14:12

    Risen’s position is telling.

    ” eagerly writing stories about Clinton and the Democratic Party based on the emails, while showing almost no interest during the presidential campaign in exactly how those emails came to be disclosed and distributed”

    So the truth is less important than who reveals it. Risen and others did an admirable job of doing just that, focusing on the source rather than the veracity and substance of the emails. In the main, most the media was successful in doing what Risen suggests should have been done. Indicative of the who debacle.

    Can’t get off my mind Lawrence’s juxtaposition of 1.3 billion spent of the 2016 presidential election and the 100 thousand spent by the Russian “agent”, some of which was spent after the election.

    I remember a Senate hearing where Senators were apoplectic about interference with the Facebook stuff allegedly spent by the Russians. The whole thing is nuts. Reminds me of the Senate when Villepin questioned going to war with Iraq, the Senate cafeteria change French fries to American fries.

    I guess it is reasonable to be hopeful about the post mortem on Russian collusion and that it may change some minds.

    • hamstak
      August 13, 2019 at 15:29

      A minor correction — French fries were renamed “Freedom Fries”.

      Too many Freedom Fries results in Freedom Molecules.

      • August 13, 2019 at 18:23

        Hamstak, thank you.


      • anti_republocrat
        August 13, 2019 at 20:18

        Creator of “Freedom Fries,” Rep. Walter Jones apologized profusely for supporting the Iraq War while Bush was still in office and was a consistent anti-war vote ever after.

      • Zhu
        August 14, 2019 at 05:46

        Minor point: Art Ney, of Zanesville, OH, responsible for “frredim fries”, went to jail for corruption in office, a year or two later. All this from memiry, so I won’t go to the stake over the truth of every jot orctittle.

    • Abby
      August 13, 2019 at 20:34

      The thing about Hillary’s and the DNC emails that people say the media went on and on about is that they never discussed the contents of them. They went from learning about them to blaming it on Russia, but no one talked about how they rigged the primary against Bernie.

      Two people involved in Hillary’s campaign were the ones who decided to blame it on Russia to keep people from focusing on their content and it worked. I’m still dumbfounded that millions of people believe that Russia interfered with the election even though there has been no evidence released that shows how it happened. Many of those people used to question what the intelligence agencies told them, but this time they just took Brennan’s word for it because they wanted to believe that the only way Hillary could have lost was because of outside interference. SMDH.

  34. adi
    August 13, 2019 at 13:43


  35. hetro
    August 13, 2019 at 13:34

    Ray, particularly interesting to me is your link to an NSA statement refusing to grant Ty Clevenger (working with Butowsky) FOIA information:

    “The documents are classified because their disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave or serious damage to the national security. Because the information is currently and properly classified, it is exempt from disclosure pursuant to the first exemption of the FOIA (5 U.S.C. Section 552 (b) (1)).”

    (from your link at)


    Since the FOIA is legislation that gives citizens the right to access information from the federal government, and is expressly designed to keep citizens informed about what the government is doing, I hope I can escape the “conspiracy theory” branding by asking a question.

    To the NSA:

    How is it that Seth Rich’s communications with Kim Dot Com etc is “classified” and “could cause exceptionally grave or serious damage to the national security”?

    How is national security threatened here, and with investigation of Seth Rich’s murder? Why?

    If I may, the boiler-plate national security claim you state is itself suspect following the NSA’s representative (Clapper) on January 6 2017 declaring only “moderate” confidence in the “assessment” that Trump colluded with the Russians.

    This “moderate,” has been assessed by William Binney recently at CN Live as questionable, plus indicative that the NSA does NOT have “persuasive sourcing” on its conclusions.

    The other intelligence representatives ranked the assessment at “high.”

    Why the discrepancy?

    My problem as a citizen is the (as yet) official failure to answer numerous questions on the conspiracy theory of “Russia-gate,” which has been widely promoted by “Russia-gate” media.

    Is “national security” at risk? Or “government corruption” at risk?

    Does “exceptionally grave or serious damage” more accurately apply to NSA credibility?

    Please clarify. (You could guest at CN possibly.)

    Thank you.

    And thanks again, Ray, for keeping your eye on what’s coming out of the courts and maintaining your sense of humor at the same time!

  36. Brian
    August 13, 2019 at 13:22

    Good story Ray. I’m sure you’re aware of the conversation Mr. Butowsky claims he had with the Rich parents. According to him (on video), he told them that their son was the leaker of the DNC emails, because he didn’t know if they knew that or not. Their response was, “yes we know that both of our sons were involved with it, we thought you had [new] information”. Also according to Mr. Butowsky, the information was sold to WikiLeaks by the Rich brothers, if true, providing even more motive for reprisal, by TPTB. I also wish luck to Mr. Butowsky in court, he seems to be honest, but at this point who really knows.

    • Litchfield
      August 13, 2019 at 20:01

      Hmm, didn’t know this aspect with the Rich brother.

      Involvement of Seth Rich’s brother might explain the parents’ wanting to put the kybosh on any further investigation of Seth Rich’s murder: to protect the other son.

  37. David G
    August 13, 2019 at 12:50

    “Many, including me, suspect that Rich played some role in the leaking of DNC emails to WikiLeaks. There is considerable circumstantial evidence that this may have been the case.”

    If Ray McGovern could direct me to a presentation of that evidence I’d be appreciative. I honestly don’t know what it is.

    • Joe Lauria
      August 13, 2019 at 15:20


      1. Butowsky said Rich parents told him they know their son leaked the emails. Parents deny it.
      2. Butowsky said Ellen Ratner told him and others that Assange told her Rich was the leaker. Video emerges of Ratner saying Assange told her a Democratic insider leaked the emails but she didn’t name Rich. She now denies it was Rich.
      3. Kim Dotcom, a leading expert on the internet, says the metadata shows it was a leak, not a hack, and that he communicated with Rich and put him in touch with a middleman to transfer the emails to WikiLeaks. Dotcom also says he communicated with Rich’s parents who said they knew their son was the leaker.
      4. The NSA said in a FOIA request from Butowsky’s lawyer that they have 15 documents regarding conversations Rich had with one of several people named in the request, which include the possibility Rich communicated with Assange and/or Kim Dotcom.
      5. Sy Hersh in audio interview with Butowsky says he has a source in FBI who had seen the report of Rich’s computer proving he had sent emails to WikiLeaks. When Butowsky made this secretly recorded interview public Hersh’s sources dried up and he then tried to deny what he’d told Butowsky.

      • Joe Lauria
        August 13, 2019 at 15:45

        Article has now been updated with an addendum to include these five pieces of circumstantial evidence.

      • Emily
        August 14, 2019 at 01:34

        Mr. Lauria,
        Will you have Mr. Butowsky back on again to update us all on his cases?

        I’d love for you to have him back on for another very personal reason. Very few people know who I am, I’m just a regular woman, but I was also a victim of Russiagate. I don’t want to explain why or how, but I only recently learned that the person who victimized me also dealt with Mr. Butowsky. (My only familiarity with Ed before was that he was the guy who had Cass drop the Hersh tape the night of August 1, 2017.)

        This was incredibly hard for me to hear about, to get personal a bit, and I wish I could know more about Ed’s interaction with this man because I hope it can help me better understand what I went through; I sought and received therapy and medical care over this. Except I won’t name him and Ed had many tormenters; I’m not sure what to say.

        I forgave this man and had found peace until I heard Ed…

        I heard Ed on another show talk about how he’d been forgotten. He’s not alone. There’s a lot of us nobodies out here, people nobody even knows exist, who have suffered. And of course there’s Julian.

  38. August 13, 2019 at 12:46

    I well remember the press coverage during the election. Almost every article praising Clinton and condemming Trump. The overwhelming conclusion that for Hillary the election was a slam dunk. The coverage on CNN, BBC, MSNBC, every newspaper, the conclusion? Numerically Trump could not possibly win. if the Russians had any input into this it certainly was not very effective and it was invisible. Someone has to publish a review of the press coverage during the election, showing the number of news stories favoring Clinton and those favoring Trump. Never mind that go back to the positive stories covering Clinton and non stories covering Sanders. According to the news in every major outlet during that election campaigne, it was a coronation for Clinton. Every one else involved in the election campaigne were either trashed or ignored. And election night showed it, with all of the anchors on every major news outlet with egg all over their faces. They plotted to have Clinton shown into the Whitehouse by trying to kill her opposition and they failed dismally.

  39. August 13, 2019 at 12:46

    When the world is filled with lies, it’s hard to find the truth.

  40. tom pappalardo
    August 13, 2019 at 12:24

    I believe the Epstein Affair will now elevate all so called conspiracy theories into the realm of serious consideration if these theories have some decent evidence to back them up. Seth Rich’s murder should top this list.

  41. Dwight Spencer
    August 13, 2019 at 11:57

    Outstanding article. By the way, I have been long wanting to become a member of The Intercept but that will only happen the day after James Risen has been fired.

  42. August 13, 2019 at 11:45

    The government and its media mouthpieces lost credibility and trust. Both sides of its mouth – FoxNews and MSNBC – are full of lies. No one in their right mind believes any of it is real any longer. I have no idea if we’ll ever pin the tail on the donkeys responsible for this, be it Seth Rich, John Brennan, and who knows who else – but by now we all know it wasn’t Russians.


  43. Deniz
    August 13, 2019 at 11:22

    I find that the media cover up operations of a blatantly obvious crime by our ruling class useful in confirming which news agencies/PsyOps I don’t ever need to bother to read.

    Jeffrey Epstein Conspiracies and the Mysterious Deaths of the Rich and Ruined
    -The New Yorker

    Jeffrey Epstein: How conspiracy theories spread after financier’s death
    -BBC News

    Conspiracy Theories Erupt After Jeffrey Epstein’s Death
    -Daily Beast

    Epstein death brings birth of mainstream conspiracy theories

    Jeffrey Epstein’s death is a perfect storm for conspiracy theories
    -Yahoo News

  44. Skip Scott
    August 13, 2019 at 11:15

    Opening the CN site with the Chrome browser, this article shows there are 2 comments. Using Safari, this article shows there are 18 comments on the opening CN page. However, when I click on the article itself, it shows 2 comments. Can someone explain this to me?

    • Lois Gagnon
      August 13, 2019 at 14:11

      I don’t know what’s up with commenting. I submitted a comment on the Green New Deal article and it didn’t show up. Maybe because it includes a link? All I know is it used to be much easier to comment here.

    • Jimsanta
      August 13, 2019 at 22:51

      I opened it with Chrome and it shows that there are 69 comments as of 8/13 at 10:50 PM ET. I’ve seen strange indications in the past, but today I’m reading all 69 comments with no problem, no mystery.

  45. August 13, 2019 at 11:08

    Excellent to a fault.

  46. August 13, 2019 at 10:53

    I accept all your general characterizations of the Wikileaks material.

    But I don’t know, the Seth Rich case was not even decently investigated by the DC police, a force, like everything else in DC, under the thumbs of major national political figures since the Constitution provides no effective self-rule in the city-state.

    And to my mind, it represents a smaller example of the immense establishment corruption we’ve just seen with the “suicide” of Jeffrey Epstein, something I cannot believe possible.

    If you want to understand why I say that, I’ve just posted some important observations.


    I can’t even imagine the establishment permitting anyone to get anywhere near the truth on Seth Rich or Jeffrey Epstein.

    And I’m not a “conspiracy-oriented” kind of person, just a realist who has read a lot of history and biography over my many years.

    • Litchfield
      August 13, 2019 at 13:02

      I have read your comments and I agree with your take.
      Epstein is not the type to wallow in a sense of guilt or remorse. The highest and mightiest on the planet knew what he was into, and that’s mainly why they befriended him. They were/are all into the same types of activities. fun fun fun.

      The only reason one can imagine that he might off himself is the realization that even if he wanted to jerk off, someone would be watching!! That might be a reason to end it all.

      But not possible to be done in the MCC. If anyone accepts the idea that he could have killed him self in there, it is equally plausible that he was actually spirited away and is still alive. Both are equally implausible/plausible.

      • Willow
        August 13, 2019 at 14:48

        If it is true that Epstein was “intelligence,” as Jim Acosta has stated on the record why Epistein was previously given a light sentence via plea bargain, than “intelligence” had the most to lose if their involvement , methods, handlers etc., were exposed in Epstein’s upcoming trial. Now that he’s dead, only alleged abusers will be revealed but not the intelligence aspect.

      • Litchfield
        August 13, 2019 at 23:08

        YOu may be right, but if they can get their hands on Maxwell, you may be wrong.
        That is, if there is anyone at the DOJ who wants to get to bottom of what was really going on with Epstein.
        Julie Brown, of the Miami Herald, and others, keep saying that the most important thing is justice for the young women.
        Of course that is important. But it is also jsut as important, perhaps more so, to understand the outlines and structure and PURPOSE of the web in which they were ensnared. Because we are ALL victims of that web and it puposes.
        And, is public curiosity really going to wane as to what the heck the weird features of the Epstein island mean?
        The odd temple, the mazes, the obvious signs of underground structures, etc.

        What is going to happen with that island and it infrastructure? Will it be dismantled, or retained in “service”?

        I am going to Amazing Polly for more answers.

  47. Skip Scott
    August 13, 2019 at 10:45

    Once again the comment section is messed up. Using Safari, the opening CN page says this article has 16 comments. Then I click on the link, and it only has 2 comments. I commented a couple hours ago, and it has yet to show up. I love the articles on this site, and the many intelligent commenters. I wish some more time were spent, and maybe a qualified individual employed, to restore the comment section to the way it worked a couple years ago. The endless glitches are getting tiresome.

    • rgl
      August 13, 2019 at 13:03

      ‘glitches’ you say … ok, we can go with that …

    • August 13, 2019 at 14:12

      It seems that the comments are only updated every few hours. I agree–it isn’t as good a system as it used to be. Doesn’t facilitate discussion among commenters. Maybe they want it that way.

    • hetro
      August 13, 2019 at 14:53

      Is the moderating function overwhelmed? I now know that posting a comment that immediately disappears does NOT mean my comment is lost. No need to post it again. Sometimes I get the “waiting moderation” comment, but not usually. A comment may not show up for many hours, even several days. Also comments that seem like spam or offensive trolling (insults toward commenters) do get through at times–the why on these matters unclear. I recommend CN host a discussion on this concern, airing out problems and getting up discussion on how to improve. Sorry to say IMV discussion quality at CN has declined.

  48. Zhu
    August 13, 2019 at 10:23

    People cling to their conspiracy fantasies. “It’s true becausrcit feels good”!

  49. bjd
    August 13, 2019 at 10:04

    “Conspiracy theorist” these days carries the same esteem as “anti-semite”.

  50. August 13, 2019 at 10:02

    NPR – where you can get your daily dose of the latest CIA sponsored completely fact-free propaganda punctuated with tasteful jazz or classical music interludes provided in order to convince you that you’re “not like” the unwashed masses over at FOX News who are getting their daily dose of CIA sponsored completely fact-free propaganda delivered with short skirts and jingoistic bluster. Of course the rest of the MSM are simply variations on this theme. American capitalism – “we’ll tell you what to think” – you choose your preferred delivery system!

    • AnneR
      August 13, 2019 at 14:11

      Yes. NPR is as fact based and unbiased as the BBC World Service – ho ho.

      Russo-Sino-Irano phobia on display on both and the Epstein business barely got a mention. And while the HK demos/protests are heavily reported every single time in a nice, sympathetic manner (the protests are always “for democracy” of course), without any condemnation or mention at all of the protestors violent actions, the Gilets Jaunes protests and demos are *only ever* mentioned if fingers can be pointed at some destruction acts by them. Not a word about the French riot police’s truly, really existing brutal violence toward the demonstrators nor the serious injuries they caused. Ditto the behavior of the IDF toward Palestinians – silence unless a Palestinian resists physically and an Israeli might get hurt. But the French aren’t one of the quartet of vilified countries. And definitely not Israel.

  51. Scott
    August 13, 2019 at 09:32

    Perhaps “Russia-Gate” will one day be as true as the “Civil War was fought to end slavery”. The war of secession had nothing to do with slavery but 99% of the population is convinced it did. Perhaps the majority of Americans simply prefer to believe that Hillary was cheated out of the Oval Office by Republican/Russian collusion. How could it possibly be that the people did not want Hillary to be President? Even though Obama would not allow her to be his Vice President.

  52. AnneR
    August 13, 2019 at 09:22

    Thank you once again Mr McGovern for another excellent overview of this ongoing “Russia Did It” saga.

    As I have written in comments before – I don’t see any of it ending soon. Those friends of my late husband still post these “memes” – frequently cartoons or numbered lists – depicting the Strumpet as a puppet of – guess who? – Mr Putin.

    Ever since the abomination HRC and her organ the DNC began this abysmal threnody, Russia is now blamed for *everything* that the US-UK-FR ruling elites do not like. I’m sure that we “conspiracy theorists” will all be viewed as having been taken over by some Russian mind virus or something, when we are not accused of being Strumpet apologists.

    The other thing I cannot wrap my mind round is how HRC-DNC have managed to sanctify, purify the FBI, CIA et al in the minds of all those Dem supporters, including or perhaps most particularly the so-called highly, well educated ones. Mind-boggling.

  53. torture this
    August 13, 2019 at 09:18

    Risen went from hero to zero but at least he kept his cowardly, fat ass out of jail.

  54. John Kirsch
    August 13, 2019 at 08:52

    The “official story” on Russiagate is as dubious and fact challenged as the “official story” on the assassination of President Kennedy, and the believers in the official story on Russia are every bit as belligerently obtuse as the supporters of the “Oswald did it” theory.

  55. Skip Scott
    August 13, 2019 at 08:31

    I think the Deep State has too much invested in RussiaGate to allow the truth to ever be revealed. If the courts were truly independent, maybe we’d stand a chance. Butowsky has a lot of guts, and I wish him all the luck in the world. I hope he has good body guards.

  56. Bob Van Noy
    August 13, 2019 at 08:11

    Oh, thank you Ray McGovern! You pointed to exactly the right target when you identified Alan Dulles, the Great Assembler Of Fiction, as the source of or agony.

    I remember being deeply moved by the accounting by David Talbot of David Lifton’s confrontation with Alan Dulles’ obfuscation way back in 1965 (where Mr. Dulles probably first developed the Conspiracy Theorist comeback) as a milestone in America’s story of deep Treason. It is most fitting that you bring that up in this essay because we may be presented with one more opportunity to get our National Story corrected. Thank you Ray McGovern…

    • Nick
      August 13, 2019 at 14:39

      Not many people seem to know that this is Allen Dulles’s world and we all just live in it. For people who aren’t aware of the doings of Allen and his brother, John Foster, I highly recommend the book ‘The Brothers’ by Stephen Kinzer. It illuminates the founding of the CIA, and all the awful things they did under Allen’s leadership. Too much power in one agency.

      • Bob Van Noy
        August 13, 2019 at 16:48

        So true Nick, many thanks. David Lifton was a grad student at the time who had gone to a Mark Lane lecture, was inspired, and purchaced a set (26 Volumes) of the Warren Report, read it and considered the report flawed. Ironically Lifton was the first person to publicly confront Alan Dulles with the impossibility of the head shot being from the rear and thus a conspiracy.
        Dulles was incensed and humiliated, possibly the only time that ever happened to him…

  57. mike k
    August 13, 2019 at 07:37

    Well there it goes again. My comment was not published.

  58. mike k
    August 13, 2019 at 07:35

    The US government is so deep in lies, that if they said they had proof that the sun would rise tomorrow, I would have to check it out for accuracy. The US has lost all credibility and trustworthiness. Donald Trump is the ideal spokesman for this failed state of Amerika.

    • druid
      August 13, 2019 at 13:50

      His outspokenness is just obvious and loud. Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc., all LIARS, just of different sorts!

  59. ML
    August 13, 2019 at 06:58

    Drew Hunkins, you have been quoted by the wonderful Ray McGovern here, so let’s all raise a toast to you, Drew. Congratulations ! Perhaps you ought to submit a piece on how family and friendly relations have fallen apart since this sham with centipede legs got let loose on the populace. Well done Ray and well done Drew, you “astute observer” you! :))

    • Miss V
      August 13, 2019 at 12:56

      What Is a family these days? I find ignorant mental midgets in mine and have dropped them like hot potatoes. With family like that you need friends, cause family turns into enemies. My family is DEAD to me! Call me unstable, as my family did cause I REFUSE to support IGNORANCE, but at least I have Scruples and the brains to read between the lines. Long live Ray McGovern. We supporters would be great family members!

    • Drew Hunkins
      August 13, 2019 at 17:12

      Hah! Thanks for the kind words ML.

      In solidarity,

      Drew Hunkins
      Madison, WI

  60. Marc Shulman
    August 13, 2019 at 06:43

    My own guess is that Rich discovered the identity of the leaker, confronted him/her, and was shot in the back as he (Rich) walked away. The usual hypotheses — robbery gone wrong, or Rich as the leaker make no sense. What kind of a robber shoots his victim in the back and then does not take the wallet? And if a DNC staffer had discovered Rich to be the leaker, the staffer would have proceeded to reveal that info and disgrace the leaker. Which brings me back to my guess: Rich is the staffer who discovered the leaker’s identity and was killed to prevent him from revealing that info.

  61. nom de pleb
    August 13, 2019 at 03:12

    It’s funny that Ray mentioned that particular article by Risen “Is Donald Trump a Traitor?” as that was the precise article where Risen lost me. I was in complete disbelief that he had written such garbage. I felt compelled to leave a comment asking Risen to “blink twice if he was being held against his will.” Up to that point I thought his writing to be nothing short of brilliant. Now it’s banal and shamefully pedestrian. Might as well be reading the Times. Given his past work, what a shame.

    Great article Ray. Really enjoy your writing.

  62. Ramon Z
    August 13, 2019 at 02:34

    Ray, keep up the good work. The main problem stemming from this and other stories, MH17, Douma, is when you start to see the holes in reports of official international bodies you begin to be very sceptical about anything that you can’t actually verify yourself, the best you can do is follow individual journalists over a lengthy period of time and see who rings true. I was red/blue (whichever) when I watched endless footage from the Ukraine at the time of the transition. What I was watching bore no resemblance to what was being reported. After that you start pulling at lose ends and soon everything is hanging in rags.
    I was shocked watching the latest episode of CN News (podcast please) to learn that Julian A. was not the first person to release the full content of the Afghan War Logs but the ghastly Luke Harding of the equally Ghastly Guardian News paper. An that was a story I thought I had pretty good handle on.
    It’s like living in a house infested with termites, you don’t know what’s about to collapse next.

    • Seamus Padraig
      August 13, 2019 at 13:53

      “The main problem stemming from this and other stories, MH17, Douma, is when you start to see the holes in reports of official international bodies you begin to be very sceptical about anything that you can’t actually verify yourself, the best you can do is follow individual journalists over a lengthy period of time and see who rings true.”

      That’s MY policy now, too!

  63. Tom Kath
    August 13, 2019 at 00:09

    The credibility, and thereby the power, of the intelligence agencies, is the overriding issue. By controlling all “known” information about any individual, they are able to make anything credible.
    The examples of impossible things being “proven”to have happened, rely on this blind faith in the benevolence of these agencies. JFK, MLK, Rich, Epstein, and no doubt many more.
    Extremely dangerous beasts to attack, expose, or discredit, especially by any individual. The truth cannot protect you if they can control the truth.
    I therefore recommend you forget about the truth, and concentrate on the faith.

    • Paolo
      August 13, 2019 at 04:08

      If the NSA really does collect all the data it is rumored to, methinks anyone who has some role in politics, media and thereabouts can easily be blackmailed and therefore keeps his eyes wide shut and his mouth closed.

    • geeyp
      August 13, 2019 at 04:09

      Tom Kath – Thank you for this. As I sometimes find myself twisting and turning with sheer exasperation and frustration over the path taken here in this country, I find the only way to settle myself is allowing the thought that faith is what it will take to survive the sheer madness of all this. It comes down to that, since I cannot control everything. And I am certainly not writing of faith in any intelligence agency. No way can i trust them.

    • August 13, 2019 at 12:16

      Tom Kath,

      Re. your last sentence:

      “I therefore recommend you forget about the truth, and concentrate on the faith.”

      I assume this sentence written in jest. Please be clearer about that in future. Many are so fragile and shaken at this point, that the smallest ambiguity holds the potential to render us so depressed that we lose hope and leave the struggle. We cannot risk that among our readers.

      My “faith” includes belief that, truly, THE TRUTH SHALL SET US FREE. I may not live long enough to see it happen (this month I celebrate four score years on this planet). But while I’m still around — past the age of “statutory senility,” but still compis mentis … I reckon I’ll try to stay in the fight.

      More important, I also believe — still — that there are enough of us. I like to fall back on Annie Dillard’s “There is only us; there never has been any other.” The key, of course, is to spread as much truth around as we can. And that’s why I feel so blessed to be welcome on these pages.



      • Litchfield
        August 13, 2019 at 12:39

        Dear Ray,
        After reading this piece, but before I saw your post, I found myself thinking: “Please, God, don’t let anything happen to Ray McGovern. He is the one of the few bringing light into this dark mess–and he does it with humor, too!” (And I don’t really believe in God . . .)

        Do not leave us anytime soon!
        This is one of your best contributions yet, four score be damned!

      • Tom Kath
        August 13, 2019 at 20:05

        Thank you Ray. Like you, I even agree that we are a GROWING number, although still very much a minority, and so should be careful not to let one of us be “wasted”. – Especially such a competent and persuasive writer as yourself.
        I was actually toying with the phrase “who controls the narrative controls the world”. The suggestion was that we could discredit WHO people believe more effectively than WHAT they believe.

    • robert e williamson jr
      August 16, 2019 at 13:05

      Tom you are flat wrong! By constantly whining about their precious sources and methods they manage to conceal the truth because the DOJ colludes with them and stymies justice.

  64. Marko
    August 12, 2019 at 23:57

    You can follow the progress of the Butowsky lawsuit and the FOIA requests regarding Seth Rich’s communications at Lawflog.com , run by attorney Ty Clevenger , who’s also on twitter @Ty_Clevenger.

    BTW , his latest tweet (8/10) reads :

    I am NOT suicidal.
    I am NOT suicidal.
    I am NOT suicidal.
    I am NOT suicidal.
    I am NOT suicidal…

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