The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The ‘David Jewberg’ Hoax

Posted on | April 4, 2018 | Comments Off on The ‘David Jewberg’ Hoax


Oleksiy Kuzmenko has a fascinating report at Bellingcat about how Dan Rapoport created an online persona, “David Jewberg,” who claimed to be an Army lieutenant-colonel, a Pentagon “senior analyst” specializing in Russia policy. “Jewberg” amassed a substantial following on Facebook and was interviewed via email by a Ukrainian reporter:

Although “Jewberg” has often been quoted as being a Pentagon insider by Ukrainian and Russian media, he is evidently a fake composite character and “the U.S. Department of Defense and State Department have disavowed [his existence], stating that they have never employed a person by this name,” Bellingcat writes. . . .
“Jewberg” is best known for running a popular Facebook page used to post anti-Kremlin, anti-Trump sentiments in the Russian language. Jewberg also posted photos and identification cards in an attempt to attest that he was real, although all such evidence actually featured the photograph of a Texan man named Steve Farro — a college friend of Rapoport’s.

In 2013, Rapoport was fined nearly $70,000 by the Security and Exchange Commission for violations regarding his solicitation of U.S. investors in Russian companies. “Rapoport also claimed on numerous occasions to have worked for Romney and Jeb Bush presidential campaigns,” according to Kuzmenko. The “Jewberg” persona was promoted by various people associated with the Free Russia Foundation, an anti-Putin group. Rapoport relocated to Ukraine in 2016, Kuzmenko reports, but the “Jewberg” hoax — which involved the posting of fake military identification — could expose Rapoport to charges of impersonating a federal employee in violation of 18 U.S.C § 912.

Doveryai, no proveryai — “Trust, but verify,” as Reagan said.



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