The researcher fired this week is the very same 26-year-old U.S. researcher that Secretary of State John Kerry and Sen. John McCain cited during last week’s congressional hearings regarding the use of military force against the Syrian government. The researcher has now been fired after it has been discovered that she was lying about having a PhD, reported Reuters on Sept 11, 2013.
The news about the fired researcher, Elizabeth O'Bagy, came to light on Wednesday when Elizabeth O’Bagy was fired by the Institute for the Study of War.
“The Institute for the Study of War has learned and confirmed that, contrary to her representations, Ms. Elizabeth O’Bagy does not in fact have a Ph.D. degree from Georgetown University,” said the Institute for the Study of War in a statement. “ISW has accordingly terminated Ms. O’Bagy’s employment, effective immediately.”
Before being fired, researcher Elizabeth O’Bagy had written a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece which had formed the basis for the Obama administration’s claim regarding its need to go to war against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Both Secretary of State John Kerry and Sen. John McCain used the researcher as a "reliable" source.
As it turns out, Elizabeth O’Bagy did not only misrepresent herself about having a PhD, she also misrepresented herself in her connections with Syria.
The fired researcher is in fact affiliated with the Syrian Emergency Task Force, which supports Syrian rebel groups and which subcontracts with the U.S. and British governments to provide aid to the Syrian opposition against Assad.
While Sen. John McCain might be able to claim that he was unaware of the fired researcher’s academic credential, he cannot claim that he was not aware of Elizabeth O’Bagy’s affiliation with the Syrian Emergency Task Force.
“Last May, O'Bagy and others at the Syrian Emergency Task Force organized a short trip by McCain into Syria to meet with General Salim Idriss, commander of the Free Syrian Army.”