McCain Hires Discredited Syria Analyst

Thursday, 03 Oct 2013 10:30 AM

By Steve Emerson

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Usually when a person is exposed for padding her resume, it's difficult to land high-prestige jobs.
 
That's not the case for Elisabeth O'Bagy, hired last week by U.S. Sen. John McCain as a legislative assistant. O'Bagy, 26, became an influential analyst on policy toward Syria after publishing a column in The Wall Street Journal which advocated arming Syrian rebels fighting dictator Bashar Assad despite concerns about radical jihadists in their ranks.
 
It turns out O'Bagy lied about having a PhD. and worked as the Syrian Emergency Task Force's political director when the group helped arrange a secret trip to Syria for McCain to meet rebel leaders last May. Several task force officials have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and reports indicate that the Arizona Republican inadvertently met with terrorists on his trip.
 
Meanwhile, O'Bagy also vouched for Eric Harroun, an American who fought with Syrian rebels, in a sworn affidavit. Harroun was charged with providing material support to al-Qaida affiliated terrorists, but O'Bagy claimed Harroun fought with an independent group called the Al Aqsa Islamic Brigades, Fox News reported.
 
Harroun signed a sealed plea agreement to a lesser charge in Alexandria, Va. Sept. 19, sentenced to time served and released.
 
McCain chose to embrace O'Bagy despite her academic fraud and work with questionable forces in Syria's opposition.
 
"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 magazine.
 
Steven Emerson is executive director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism. Emerson was a correspondent for CNN and a senior editor at U.S. News and World Report. Read more reports from Steve Emerson — Click Here Now.
 
 

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