US Ready to Ignore WikiLeaks Hacker Revelation and Punish Russia Anyway

© Photo : YouTube/BNO NewsSeth Rich
Seth Rich - Sputnik International
Trying to pigeonhole Moscow into the role of leading bad guy in the Democratic National Committee leak scandal, US officials have confirmed that they are considering sanctions against Russia for the hack, despite WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange's recent hints that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich may have been a source of the leak.

A video link up with Julian Assange, journalist, founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, at the session, End of the Monopoly: The Open Information Age, held as part of the New Era of Journalism: Farewell to Mainstream international media forum at the Rossiya Segodnya International Multimedia Press Center - Sputnik International
Assange Hints DNC Staffer Rich Killed for Being Source in Mass Email Leak
On Tuesday, WikiLeaks offered a $20,000 reward for any leads on Rich's murder. The 27-year-old staffer was shot and killed while jogging a block from his home in Washington, DC on July 10. Local police first claimed that the murder appeared to have been an attempted robbery gone bad, but Rich's family soon confirmed that nothing had been stolen, the attackers leaving behind his wallet, watch and phone.

WikiLeaks' decision to offer a reward for leads to the staffer's killing has sparked speculation that Rich may have been the source of a leak of nearly 20,000 pages of hacked emails released last month which showed the DNC's collusion with the Clinton campaign against opponent Bernie Sanders.

The emails, published ahead of the Democratic Party's convention, where Clinton was chosen as the party's nominee for president, demonstrated bias in Clinton's favor from the party establishment, and revealed everything from agreements to funnel money into Clinton's campaign while the primary was still going on, all the way up to bigoted and openly anti-Semitic recommendations from local officials to Clinton's campaign based on Sanders' Jewish heritage.

U.S. House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington April 23, 2015 - Sputnik International
Top US Democrat Sure 'It is the Russians' Behind ‘Broad’ Cyberattack
In the fallout to the revelations, the Clinton campaign chose a strategy of shooting the messenger, looking to take the sting off the allegations by playing the 'Russian card', accusing Russian intelligence, the Russian government and Russian President Vladimir Putin of personal involvement in the hack. The Democratic Party's accusations have been described as an eerie 21st century repeat of McCarthyism.

Now, the US government appears to have gotten involved directly. According to the Wall Street Journal, officials are actively considering new economic sanctions against Russia over the DNC email leak. Sources speaking to the newspaper said that officials have yet to reach a decision on exactly how to proceed, explaining that sanctions against Russia would require publically accusing Moscow, and exposing the alleged hackers' links to Russia.

If Washington moves ahead, it will signal direct involvement by the Obama administration in a case whose details remain shrouded in the shadows of a possible conspiracy. Inquisitive minds have already begun asking why, if Russia is responsible, WikiLeaks, the actual source of the leaks themselves, has offered the $20,000 bounty for information about Rich's murder.

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