A top researcher was fired at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) when her real story was uncovered. UPI reports Sept. 12 that Elizabeth O'Bagy was a source Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator John McCain cited during congressional testimony over matters regarding Syria. The researcher fired apparently lied about her academic credentials.
O'Bagy was a senior analyst at the non-partisan think tank. She wrote about moderates leading the opposition against Syrian government and Kerry and McCain referenced her research while pushing Congress for intervention.
Kim Kagan, who is head of ISW, said she fired O'Bagy when she learned the researcher didn't finish her Ph.D.
O'Bagy has a masters degree from Georgetown University and was was enrolled in a Ph.D program. She didn't complete the degree and Kagan learned of her dishonesty while conducting "due diligence" following the media attention after she wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal that "failed to disclose O’Bagy’s ties to the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF), an advocacy group supporting the Syrian opposition and lobbying the U.S. government to intervene," the report said.
Kagan supports O'Bagy's research as "rock solid" despite the fact she terminated her.
"The research stands, unfortunately, it stands alone," Kagan said of O'Bagy.
When someone works in the U.S. government and is cited for their opinions and investigation into global matters, such as Syria, it's vital they clearly represent who they are. The researcher fired in this instance is arguably excellent at her work, but on the other hand people have to be who they say they are when used as authority sources.