Syria 'expert' Elizabeth O'Bagy
During last week’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on possible military strikes against Syria, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) read from an “important op-ed by Dr. Elizabeth O’Bagy,” whom he described as a “Syria analyst at the Institute for the Study of War.” That group fired O'Bagy Wednesday after learning she had falsely claimed she holds a Ph.D.
One of the people advocating war in Syria, occasionally quoted by certain pro-Syria War kossacks, is Elizabeth O'Bagy. O'Bagy is your run-of-the-mill PNAF type. She writes op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. She's even been cited as a source by John McCain and John Kerry. She's a CNN and Fox News analyst. She's a junior member of the Washington neoconservative foreign policy establishment. If you've ever lived or done business in Washington, you've probably encountered people like her. If you could stand it.

She's the person who has been going around saying stuff like this:

O’Bagy wrote that “contrary to many media accounts, the war in Syria is not being waged entirely, or even predominantly, by dangerous Islamists and al Qaeda die-hards.” For McCain and Kerry, each advocating intervention, the op-ed served as a way to speak to concerns over the make-up of the forces fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad, and whether they're hostile to U.S. interests.
It's a patent falsehood. Even our own intelligence agencies say that the biggest and most effective "rebels" are various Saudi-financed jihadists and Al Qaeda. And that even the so-called "moderates" are anything but. Of course, she never disclosed that she was also political director for ... you guessed it, The Syrian Emergency Task Force which was the group that organized ... you guessed it ... John McCain's trip to Syria. The same trip that caused him to start beating the war drums for military intervention. The SETF is a bunch of Syrian-American yuppies looking to go take over the country ... as long as they don't have to do any of the fighting themselves.

And guess who finances the operation. Well, I'm still finding that out. But I suspect that when I explore the fact that the SETF's founder and executive director was a featured speaker at last year's Republican National Convention, I'm pretty sure what we have here is an Ahmed Chalabi-style get rich quick scheme being pushed by a bunch of Syrian-American elites and their neocon allies. After we've done all the dirty work in blood and treasure, they'll gladly come in as agents of "democracy."

How many times do we have to watch this movie, folks?

O'Bagy got fired for lying on her resume, claiming she had a PhD when she didn't. No doubt she's lying about, in John Kerry's words, her "enormous experience in Syria" as well. But that's just a small part of the story.

The bigger story here, for an enterprising reporter, is just who is behind the push to get America involved in the Syrian civil war. Who are the people operating behind the scenes, coddling and convincing important senators like McCain? Getting themselves and their allies speaking gigs in the media? Getting themselves quoted as foreign policy analysts? Getting meetings with important officials whom they've happened to have gone to Harvard with?

It is important to know because if we are going to be, yet again, duped into a stupid war by a bunch of well-connected elitists with their own secret agenda, then I'd like to know NOW rather than 10 years, 7,000 lives, 35,000 wounds, and $2 trillion later.

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