Soros-backed ‘rank amateurs’ forge RT contributor’s signature under anti-Russia declaration
RT columnist Bryan MacDonald, a Moscow professor, and the mysterious “Bumfrey McDoogle from the School of Hard Knox” are just some of the people that appeared on an anti-Kremlin petition by the increasingly gaffe-prone European Values think tank.
The distinctly named ‘Prague Declaration’ addresses “the democratic West” and proposes “seven urgent steps” to be taken “to stop Russian aggression.” The paper, intended for “Western leaders such as EU High Representative Federica Mogherini,” is said to have been endorsed by “more than 100 European and American security experts and parliamentarians from 22 countries.”
However, a closer look at the signatories reveal some odd exceptions among Moscow’s traditional adversaries, such as exiled businessman Bill Browder and former NSA analyst John Schindler.
One such name is MacDonald, who is described incorrectly as a “former RT correspondent” and earnestly as a “foot soldier in the fight against Putin.”
“I am offended,” MacDonald told RT with a smile. “I mean I certainly don’t wanna be in the same company with the likes of Bill Browder, or Yevhen Fedchenko, who recently said that all Russian journalists were embedded with the security apparatus. I definitely don’t want to be associated with James Kirchick, a neocon who wants perpetual war. I absolutely don’t want to be associated with Molly McKew, who used to lobby for Mikhail Saakashvili. And definitely I don’t want any connection with John Schindler, who is a former NSA spook, who I think frankly is quite mad in his coverage of Russia.”
As well as MacDonald and McDoogle, the list featured Moscow State University lecturer and regular RT analyst Mark Sleboda, who is listed as working for the non-existent Center for Conservative Studies.
Whether the names, now deleted, appeared as a result of administrative error, mischief, or just a plain desire to claim the authority of RT’s contributors is unclear, but their appearance raises serious questions about the credibility of the other listed signatories.
“They must have had a real list and the joke list and just merged the two together,” MacDonald said. “I mean, come on, a ‘foot soldier in the fight against Putin’?! That is kind of stuff teenagers come up with, they are not credible.”
“So I think this is really outrageous, but I won’t engage with these people… I could send a request and ask a clarification, but you are talking about rank amateurs here. You are talking about people whom I just have no respect for, and I just don’t want to have dealings with, to be honest,” MacDonald said.
I want to congratulate @MarkSleboda1 and @27khv on seeing the light and joining the likes of Bumfrey McDoogle. The School of Hard Knox hires only the best. https://t.co/c1aHeJuVoYpic.twitter.com/0yeKJ65ljs— Kevin Rothrock (@KevinRothrock) November 10, 2017
Considering that the ‘Prague Declaration’ has gained little currency even within the Western media and establishment, it might have been easy to ignore had the think tank, which receives 25 percent of its funding from George Soros, not been mired in another error-strewn RT-related controversy.
Last month, it released a blacklist of 2,327 RT guests it labeled “useful idiots” whom it accused of “complicity with the Russian propaganda machine.” The list not only included apolitical guests such as actor Harrison Ford and musician Will.I.Am, but people like Boris Johnson and Larry David, who have never spoken to RT at all.
The list, which has evoked easy parallels with McCarthyism, prompted comebacks from several RT regulars.