The message from Julian Assange could not have been clearer – Seth Rich was the whistleblower behind the internal DNC leak that led to the recent Wikileaks email dump, and he was murdered by the ruling party in retribution.
Unlike some players in the 2016 election season, Assange is articulate and doesn’t leave room for misinterpretation or twisting of his words. He communicates as though using a stylus, the sharp pointed steel pencil used by ancient Romans – for writing and stabbing.
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Speaking on Dutch news program Nieuwsuur yesterday, Assange offered $20,000 for information leading to a conviction in the Seth Rich murder investigation, and said the July 10 murder of Rich in northwest Washington was an example of the risk leakers undertake.
“Our whistleblowers often take very significant efforts to bring us material and often at very significant risks.”
When asked by host Eelco Bosch if he was alleging Seth Rich was an assassinated whistleblower, Assange said, “I am suggesting that our sources take risks and they become concerned to see things occurring like that.“
When the interviewer interjected that the murder may have been a robbery, Assange pushed back.
“No,” he said. “There’s no finding. So… I’m suggesting that our sources take risks.”
ANNOUNCE: WikiLeaks has decided to issue a US$20k reward for information leading to conviction for the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 9, 2016
When pressed as to whether Rich was, in fact, the leaker, Assange stated that WikiLeaks does not reveal its sources.
Julian Assange helped set up the Courage Foundation for Edward Snowden, a trust to provide legal assistance and guidance to whistleblowers and truthtellers at risk. By offering this $20,000 reward for information in Seth Rich’s unsolved murder, Assange seems to be encouraging justice for a slain whistleblower.
Seth Rich’s parents have asked for the “theorizing” around their son’s death to stop. However this is unlikely to occur considering how politicized Rich’s life was, and the suspicious circumstances of his death.
Rich, 27, who worked for the DNC as a data analyst on voting issues, was shot and killed in Washington D.C. in the early hours of July 10, 2016, and his murder remains unsolved and without leads. “Police have found little information to explain his death,” said The New York Daily News.
“Police said they have no suspects, witnesses or motive, though they are looking at whether Rich could have been slain in an attempted robbery,” The Washington Post wrote on July 11.
However reports Rich was robbed have been widely dismissed, as the killer or killers did not take his wallet, phone or other valuables.
Rich’s mother told NBC Channel 4 in Washington D.C. that her son’s “hands were bruised, his knees are bruised, his face is bruised, and yet he had two shots to his back, and yet they never took anything.”