This article is Part 3 in a series of three articles investigating the Seth Rich murder.
Part 1 developed the following: Hillary’s campaign, lax on cybersecurity and working with the DNC to make sure Sanders did not have a chance of winning invited multiple attacks from both hackers on the outside and from leakers on the inside.
Part 2 makes clear the multiple hacks and multiple leaks that plagued Hillary’s 2016 presidential campaign came from multiple sources.
This Part 3 makes the case that Seth Rich was the likely source of both the WikiLeaks DNC emails published starting on July 22, 2016, and of the “Podesta File” of emails that WikiLeaks began publishing on Oct. 7, 2016.
The breakthrough in this series of articles is the attempt to apply intelligence analytical techniques to sort out the various known cybersecurity attacks on the Democrats during the 2016 presidential campaign to determine the rogue agent responsible for each separate known cybersecurity attack.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The purpose of this third and last article in the three-part series is to determine if Seth Rich is a likely suspect for having leaked to WikiLeaks the DNC emails that WikiLeaks emails published starting on July 22, 2016, and of the “Podesta File” of emails that WikiLeaks began publishing on Oct. 7, 2016.
The first hurdle is to determine if Seth Rich had a motive to harm Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The precipitating incident establishing Seth Rich’s motive demands an investigation of the December 2015 incident in which four IT specialists in Sanders’ campaign were proven to have breached the DNC voter database to transfer Clinton campaign proprietary voter data to their Sanders’ campaign computers.
Seth Rich: Motive
On Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015, NGP VAN, the software system operated by the DNC that provided donor data (NGP based in Washington) and voter data (VAN based in Somerville, Massachusetts) released a software modification that contained a bug that dropped a firewall, opening a window of approximately 40 minutes, during which IT specialists in Bernie Sanders’ campaign were allowed to view and copy voter data proprietary from Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
A DNC email released by WikiLeaks made clear Amy Dacey, Communications Director for the Clinton Campaign, had concluded the data breach was serious.
“As a result of this analysis, NGP VAN found that campaign staff on the Sanders campaign, including the campaign’s national data director, had accessed proprietary information about which voters were being targeted by the Clinton campaign – and in so doing violated their agreements with the DNC,” Dacey found.
“These staffers [in the Sanders campaign] then saved this information in their personal folders on the system, and over the course of the next day, we learned that at least one staffer appeared to have generated reports and exported them from the system,” Dacey charged.
The New York Times in reporting on the data breach quoted an unnamed Clinton staffer who compared the data breach to “the opposing general getting your battle plans,” in that the DNC through the VAN system provides all Democratic presidential campaigns with Democratic voters’ names, phone numbers, and addresses, along with managing proprietary data each Democratic campaign maintains in the VAN system protected by firewalls from view by competing Democratic campaigns.
On Dec. 18, 2015, a Twitter user “Iowa Starting Line” posted the log-book data from NPG VAN documenting by name four Sanders campaign staffers, including Sanders’ National Data Director Josh Uretsky, who accessed various Clinton campaign data files that were saved by the Sanders campaign staffers into their own computers, appearing to steal the data from the Clinton campaign.
The log book entries show the files the Sanders campaign took from Clinton’s proprietary VAN voter data was potentially useful tactical information, with lifted files identified, for instance, “Turnout 60+” from folder “Ranged Targets,” and “Turnout 40-60” and “Not Sanders,” both also from folder “Ranged Targets.”
The log book entries showed four Sanders IT specialists spent two hours in the data without notifying NPG VAN of the firewall being down, calling up information from about a dozen states, downloading data that included a “turnout” variable showing on a scale of 1 to 100 how likely a person is to vote, with the goal of establishing a high “Priority” score to someone the campaign should make an effort to contact and persuade.
David Atkins, a campaign consultant and county official in the California Democratic Party, told Politfact.com the information would give the Sanders campaign a view of how the Clinton campaign was targeting voters, as well as a view of polling data indicating how well Clinton was doing in various states.
When the breach became known, a huge controversy developed in which the DNC cut off Sanders from DNC proprietary data in the NPG VAN system, forcing Sanders to sue the DNC.
The matter was resolved acrimoniously but quickly, in a midnight settlement on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, that allowed Sanders to regain access to VAN, both for the shared DNC historical Democratic voters.
On Dec. 18, 2015, as the settlement was being reached, Sanders fired Uretsky, who maintains even today his intervention into the Clinton campaign proprietary database was aimed only at doing his job, being diligent to document the seriousness of the breach, so NPG VAN could make sure they never again installed a patch that compromised a firewall.
Because of this incident, there is evidence to suggest Seth Rich, a Bernie supporter, felt Amy Dacey, his boss on the voter mobilization campaign, used the incident to embarrass the Sanders campaign.
Bernie supporters HATED Hillary during the 2016 campaign:
Infowars.com has established by interviews with various DNC and Sanders campaign staff that Seth Rich felt Dacey, a staunch Clinton loyalist and spirited Sanders critic, had overreacted, blaming Uretsky for purloined data instead of accepting responsibility that a glitch in a NGP VAN patch had opened a firewall that allowed the Sanders campaign to view the proprietary Clinton voter database.
In the DNC organizational chart, Seth Rich reported to Technology Director Andrew Brown, the person Sanders identified as having recommended he hire Uretsky as the national data director for the Sanders campaign.
In the aftermath of the incident, Sanders went so far as to charge the breach of the Clinton voter data may have been a “false flag” attack staged by the DNC and carried off by a “plant,” namely Uretsky, who Sanders hired on the recommendation of Andrew Brown, the DNC’s National Data Director, and Bryan Whitaker, the former COO of NGP VAN.
“I mean here we are being attacked for the behavior of an individual [Uretsky], which we ultimately fired,” Sanders said. “We agree he acted improperly, but it’s just amazing to me that this … individual that actually caused this trouble in our campaign was recommended by these guys. It’s not as if we conjured this guy Josh from thin air.”
Sanders insisted his campaign had not hacked the DNC’s NGP VAN system, but had taken advantage of a computer glitch, yet the result was the Sanders campaign was being attacked by both the DNC and by NGP VAN.
But as the incident resolved, Sanders loyalists seethed that NGP VAN provided the Clinton campaign audit of the data breach that the Clinton team made sure was released to the media, while the Sanders’ team was kept in the dark.
“It’s easy to speculate how Seth Rich could have become disgruntled after witnessing the DNC attempt to sabotage the Sanders campaign. As such, it’s not a stretch to imagine that Rich – a guy with access to sensitive emails and technical skills, did in fact communicate with WikiLeaks in order to expose and root out the DNC’s misdeeds,” a poster identified as “ZeroPointNow” posted on the ZeroHedge.com blog on May 19, 2017.