This article is Part 1 in a series of three articles investigating the Seth Rich murder. Hillary’s campaign was lax on cybersecurity, inviting cyberattacks, hacks and leaks. By conspiring with the DNC to make sure Sanders did not have a chance of winning, Hillary invited backlash from Sanders-supporters within the DNC. This series of articles explores the evidence that Seth Rich, a young, progressive operative hired to an IT position by the DNC, leaked to WikiLeaks thousands of John Podesta’s emails.
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 investigation of the Seth Rich murder begins with understanding the complex network of progressive data managers that were involved in the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential campaign.
“There was a culture of really bad security, weak security, among progressive data practitioners in the 2016 Democratic presidential campaign,” a trusted source from within the Sanders campaign told Infowars.com on deep background, under a promise of anonymity.
“There was some security at the DNC (Democratic National Committee) such that you had to have passwords and credentials to access certain data files,” he explained.
“But clearly it wasn’t sufficient to keep a determined hacker out. In a campaign everything is always rushed, a crisis, so until after there was a data breach, nobody prioritized data security. I never spent much of my time thinking about it.”
Starting in 2015, the DNC and the Clinton campaign experienced a series of computer hacks that appear to have originated from more than one attacker.
In addition, Seth Rich’s breach of data security was a leak, not an attack, in that Seth Rich reportedly stole emails off a DNC computer, whereas hackers were external agents attacking the DNC computer from the outside.
Sanders hires the “Garbage Man”
In August 2015, Bernie Sanders’ campaign hired Zack Exley, a George Soros-sponsored labor-union organizer and computer hacker to run his nationwide ground game.
Exley was dubbed by George W. Bush as “the garbage man” after hacking Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign website, tracing back to a “political satire” campaign website Exley had created in 1999, georgewbush.com, on which Exley had posted a hacked photograph of Bush, with a straw up his nose, inhaling white lines in an obvious parody designed to suggest Bush had a history of cocaine use.
Bush charged the mock website was produced by a “garbage man,” when he filed a Federal Election Commission complaint, threatening to sue Exley for using photographs hacked from Bush’s official campaign website.
After serving as the director of online communications and online organizing for the unsuccessful 2004 presidential campaign of Sens. John Kerry and John Edwards, Exley in 2015 co-founded the New Organizing Institute, NOI, as a think tank to produce computer-savvy field operatives for left-oriented Democratic Party political campaigns.
Serving with Exley on the advisory board of NOI was Nathaniel G. Pearlman, another leftist political operative.
In 1997, Pearlman founded NGP Software Inc., a computer-oriented company organized to provide political software identifying Democratic voters.
Pearlman also served as the chief technology officer for Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign.
Clinton hired Pearlman and his then-fledgling NGP Software in her first 1999 Senate election campaign to clean up campaign data on donors that had contributed some $30 million.
As chief technology officer for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, Pearlman supervised the campaign’s Internet technology director, Bryan Pagliano.
As I first reported for WND in March 2016, Pagliano’s résumé on Linkedin.com notes he worked for Clinton from 2006-2009.
In 2008, he “headed the design and build of the campaign headquarters’ data center and orchestrated the continuous movement of technical equipment and staff among nationwide field officers in response to ever-changing organizational needs.”
When Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign disbanded, Pagliano moved to working for her political action committee.
In March 2009, Bryan Pagliano installed Hillary’s private email server in the basement of the Clintons’ Chappaqua, NY home; Bill and Hillary Clinton personally paid Pagliano $5,000 for “computer services” prior to his becoming a State Department employee, according to a financial disclosure form Pagliano filed in April 2009.
The payment evidently was for establishing a private server for the Clintons in their home in Chappaqua, New York.
In May 2009, the State Department employed Pagliano as a special adviser.
The record shows Pagliano lied to the State Department to hide continued payments from the Clintons to maintain the Chappaqua e-mail server.
Even after he became a State Department employee, the Clintons continued paying Pagliano privately to maintain the server for Hillary Clinton.
Pagliano, however, neglected to list the outside income in the required financial disclosures he filed with the State Department each year until concluding his full-time employment in February 2013, coincident with Hillary Clinton’s departure as secretary of state.
Enter NGP VAN
In 2010, NGP (National Geographical and Political Software, supposedly not an acronym based on Pearlman’s initials), the voter data company created in 1997 by Pearlman in Washington, D.C., acquired with the Voice Activation Network, VAN, created by Mark Sullivan in 2001, to form NGP VAN.
According to the NGP VAN website, NGP VAN is the architect of the DNC “Vote Builder” database that developed originally for the Obama presidential campaign
NGP, still today headquartered in Washington, D.C., operates exclusively to manager donor contributions.
VAN, headquartered today in Somerville, Massachusetts, operates to manage voter databases.
More specifically, voter records are seeded into VAN from various sources, Catalyst, a progressive voter database company that maintains data on virtually every adult in the United States, from the Democratic National Party, and from each campaign using the VAN system.
It is important to understand the NGP VAN system during the 2016 presidential campaign was installed in the DNC.
So, even though the Clinton and Sanders campaign each had their own databases for donors and for prospective voters, both campaigns had to access the DNC to use the NGP VAN system to manage their donor and voter databases.
In December 2015, software technology expert Will Conway explained the DNC’s relationship to the NPG-VAN technology as follows:
NGP VAN has a contract with the Democratic National Committee in which their customers’ data is owned and retained by the DNC. In exchange, the DNC provides data to NGP VAN customers — those using NGP VAN get the data of every previous NGP VAN user and the DNC, which basically covers every Democrat to run for office in modern history.
Conway noted there is also the following problem:
… campaigns don’t actually own the relationships they build in the software. The Democratic National Committee does. The deal struck with the DNC ensures an incredible competitive advantage for NGP VAN: use our software, or be cut off from all Democrats’ data. Moreover, if you break our rules, we’ll kick you off the platform and cut you off from your own data.
Also note, the private email server Pagliano established for Clinton at the State Department involved email technology that was separate and distinct from the NGP VAN technology that both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns used to manage their donor and voter databases.
Ultimately, though the course of the 2016 campaign, Hillary’s personal email server was hacked, the NGP VAN system was hacked, the DNC was hacked, the Sanders campaign was hacked, and the Clinton campaign was hacked.
Seth Rich was reportedly a leaker, not a hacker, and his sole offense was to steal and leak documents out of the Clinton campaign.
As we shall see in the second article in this series, identifying and distinguishing each hacking incident that plagued the Democrats during the 2016 presidential campaign is critical in unraveling the mystery of Seth Rich’s murder.
The Democrats could have avoided all the hacking problems in 2016 had the progressives managing Democratic data been more diligent about cybersecurity issues.
But the Democrats could not prevent leaks from employees from within the DNC and the Clinton campaign who became disaffected with Hillary Clinton.
The leaks that plagued the DNC and Hillary’s campaign stemmed from internal conflicts of interest.
These conflicts developed when the Sanders campaign (and Sanders loyalists working in the DNC and even within Hillary’s campaign) realized the DNC under Debbie Wasserman Schultz was implementing a plan developed in conjunction with Clinton campaign top operatives to steal the Democratic Party nomination from Sanders by rigging the primary contests and subsequent delegate count in Clinton’s favor.
DNC hires Seth Rich
In March 2012, Rich came to Washington from his hometown Omaha, Nebraska, to work as a Research Data Associate for the Greenberg Quinlan, Rosner, a Democratic Party political operative organization that posed as an opinion research and public relations firm.
The background for Rich’s hire involved a meeting arranged by Democratic Party operative Amy Dacey (subsequently CEO of the DNC from January 2014 until August 2016), attended by John Podesta and Progressive Insurance billionaire Peter Lewis, on Sept. 27, 2007, in New York City at the Fifth Avenue offices of the Soros Fund Management, followed by dinner at the Fifth Avenue home of George Soros.
The purpose of the meeting was to develop a new voter mobilization contact methodology for the DNC – a purpose which ultimately became Seth Rich’s job at the DNC when he was hired there in June 2014 as the DNC’s Voter Expansion Data Director, where his job was to adapt the “Voter Builder” component of VAN such that a prospective voter could print out a map of their nearest polling location.
While reporting for WND, I investigated Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner in 2010.
Here is what I found:
1. Emanuel lived for five years rent-free in an apartment owned by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and her husband, Stanley Greenberg, whose consulting firm was a prime architect in BP’s efforts to recast itself as a “green” corporation and recipient of hundreds of thousands of dollars awarded through a committee chaired by Emanuel.
2. The Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (GQR) consulting “helped BP plan and evaluate its successful re-branding campaign, focusing the company’s branding on energy solutions, including the development of solar and other renewable energy sources,” according to a webpage that has since been removed from the GQR website.
3. Greenberg Quinlan Rosner’s research also contributed to a $200 million advertising campaign in which British Petroleum attempted to shorten its name to “BP” and redesign its corporate insignia to emphasize a “Beyond Petroleum” theme.
4. Critics have characterized the BP advertising campaign prompted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner research as “greenwashing,” a process in which corporations disingenuously portray their efforts as fitting into a politically correct, “green,” environment-oriented sensitivity to alternative energy.
5. Greenberg Quinlan Rosner is also tied heavily to the Democratic Party, as it created a sister political consulting company named “GCS,” an acronym based on the last names of the principals – Stanley Greenberg of GQR, James Carville, the long-term adviser of Bill Clinton, and Bob Schrum, the campaign manager for Sen. John Kerry’s unsuccessful 2004 presidential campaign.
Emanuel served as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which gave Greenberg polling contracts worth $239,996 in 2006 and $317,775 in 2008.
In 2011, GQR was hired by Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, a self-proclaimed communist who had accompanied then Sen. Barack and Michelle Obama in their 2006 tour of Kenya, setting the stage for Obama’s 2008 presidential run.
Odinga hired GQR to assist him in a planned second attempt to win the presidency in Kenya, after Obama had assisted him in becoming Kenyan prime minister in a complex power-sharing agreement Obama negotiated in 2008, after Odinga disputed the results of a presidential election he narrowly lost.
In 2013, while Rich was working for GQR, the firm’s research was central to creating a strategy that Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe implemented to beat GOP gubernatorial challenger Ken Cuccinelli.
McAuliffe championed “women’s rights” issues to appeal to unmarried women voters by running a series of controversial television ads designed to frame Cuccinelli as a right-wing zealot on contraception and abortion issues.
GQR’s research showing a Democrat running for election could beat a generic Republican candidate by winning two-thirds of the votes cast by unmarried women, provided the Democrat could brand the GOP opponent exactly as McAuliffe cast Cuccinelli during the Virginia 2013 gubernatorial contest – a prediction that turned out right as McAuliffe won the votes of unmarried women by 67 percent to 25 percent for Cuccinelli, while Cuccinelli beat McAuliffe among married women by a much narrower margin, 51 percent to 42 percent.
Brian Pagliano and Seth Rich: A case study in loyalty
Seth Rich shared much with Brian Pagliano – with both majoring in political science in college, neither were IT specialists – with Seth Rich graduating with a B.A. in political science from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, in 2011.
Like Pagliano, Rich was committed to progressive Democratic Party politics, as evidenced by Pagliano joining Pearlman, the father of NGP VAN software used exclusively in Democratic Party election campaigns, and by Seth Rich coming to Washington to work for GQR, an opinions research and public relations firm that works exclusively for Democrats, when it comes to election campaigns.
But while Pagliano was firmly committed to Hillary Clinton, Seth Rich joined the DNC, an organization he may have presumed (or wanted to make sure) would be equally fair to all Democratic Party presidential candidates, treating Bernie Sanders as fairly as Hillary Clinton, despite Hillary being the party’s presumed nominee from the moment the 2016 presidential campaign began.
Perhaps the most important point of comparison is that both Brian Pagliano and Seth Rich were implicated in breaches of email systems – for Pagliano, emails on Hillary’s private email server were hacked by the first Guccifer, the Romanian hacker currently in U.S. prison; for Rich, emails of Podesta and several other key members of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign were leaked, ultimately to be published on WikiLeaks.
Neither Pagliano nor Rich were involved in the hacking of Hillary Clinton voter data that demanded a breach of the VAN system – Pagliano never had access to the NGP VAN computer system, and Rich worked only indirectly with VAN, given that his job at the DNC was not IT manager, but a subordinate responsible to develop a way the Vote Builder system could print out poling locations for prospective Democratic voters.
The point is this: In 2016, Hillary Clinton’s cybersecurity was so notoriously lax that many hackers – both known and not yet disclosed – freely hacked Hillary Clinton’s private email server, the DNC email server, as well as the campaign files and voter databases of the DNC and its various operations during the campaign.
The first sub-point is this: Hillary Clinton and the DNC left themselves open to leaks from within once Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Donna Bazile at the DNC decided to throw the primary elections for Hillary – all email leaks in 2016 involved Hillary Clinton, not Bernie Sanders.
The second sub-point is this: No information of any importance was ever hacked or leaked out of the Bernie Sanders campaign – certainly no emails, no campaign files, and no voter data.
As we shall see in the second article in this series, the only way to distinguish who was hacking into Hillary’s emails, Hillary’s campaign files, and Hillary’s voter databases, or who was leaking from within Hillary’s campaign and/or from within the DNC can only be distinguished by the content of what they stole and made public, plus what we can conclude from what we know of the various methodologies the hackers/leakers utilized to get their hands on the goods.
Pagliano remained loyal to Hillary, refusing to provide evidence against her, even after he was granted immunity by the FBI.
Seth Rich remained loyal to his progressive ideals, finding himself at growing odds with Clinton as it became clear to him the DNC had rigged the primaries so Bernie Sanders would lose.
Editor’s Note: Imran Awan, Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s IT staffer who is under investigation for data breaches, had easy access to internal DNC emails. Schultz was caught on tape threatening the Chief of Capitol Police to return one of Awan’s laptops secured as evidence. Awan recently fled to Pakistan. If he had easy access, Rich would’ve as well, and Rich, a progressive idealist, had more motive to leak DNC emails, as the article above reveals.