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McCain Hires Disgraced “Moderate Syrian Rebels” Analyst Who Faked PhD

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On September 29, 2013 @ 10:14 am In The Point | 14 Comments

Well you have to give McCain credit. He doesn’t back down. Even when he really, really should.

Having quoted Elizabeth O’Bagy, a twenty something terrorism expert who faked a PhD, was employed by a Syrian lobbying group and falsely claimed that most Syrian rebels were moderates, he’s now hiring her after everyone else fired her.

Sen. John McCain has hired Elizabeth O’Bagy, the Syria analyst in Washington who was fired for padding her credentials, The Cable has learned. She begins work Monday as a legislative assistant in McCain’s office.

O’Bagy was a young but well-respected advisor at the Institute for the Study of War and had emerged quickly as an important voice among those arguing in favor of intervention in Syria. McCain and others had cited her work publicly before her nascent reputation collapsed when it was discovered that her claims to having a combined master’s/Ph.D. were false and that in fact she had not yet defended her thesis.

“Elizabeth is a talented researcher, and I have been very impressed by her knowledge and analysis in multiple briefings over the last year,” McCain told The Cable in a statement. “I look forward to her joining my office.” McCain’s office said there would be no further comment on the matter.

So McCain is not even trying for legitimacy anymore. He’s just relentlessly doubling down on intervention in Syria and on O’Bagy even though there is no rational reason for bringing her on board.

Admitting that he relied on her once was bad enough, but he’s turning an admitted liar into his on staff researcher.

O’Bagy was just a front that the Syrian Emergency Task Force, a Syrian lobby associated with Islamists, was using to sell their invasion. Even they dropped her after the PhD thing came out.

O’Bagy, who is 26, was abruptly shown the door a week later, after it was confirmed that she had padded her academic credentials with a Ph.D. from Georgetown University. She also failed to disclose in her op-ed that she was part of a pro-Syrian rebel political group, the Syrian Emergency Task Force.

O’Bagy claimed that she was a contractor for the task force, not an employee, and didn’t participate in any of the group’s lobbying efforts. But she acknowledged helping the group set up a meeting between McCain and commanders with the Free Syrian Army.

McCain seems bent on making Obama look good on Syria by being twice as obsessed with a new war.


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