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Syria researcher cited by McCain, Kerry fired for fabricating PhD

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CNN) — A lie about earning a Ph.D. cost a Syria expert her job as an analyst days after her op-ed in the Wall Street Journal was cited by Secretary of State John Kerry and Sen. John McCain in congressional hearings about possible U.S. military action in the war-torn country.

Elizabeth O’Bagy, who was an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, said she had earned a doctorate from Georgetown University when she had not, the organization announced Wednesday.

“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. ISW has accordingly terminated Ms. O’Bagy’s employment, effective immediately,” the institute posted in an online statement Wednesday.

Last week, both Kerry and McCain cited O’Bagy’s op-ed piece, which was published in the Wall Street Journal on August 30, titled “On the Front Lines of Syria’s Civil War.” Part of the debate over authorizing American military action is how many of the rebel groups are extremist and how many are moderate.

According to O’Bagy’s op-ed, extremists and moderates exercise control over distinct areas of the country, and checkpoints are often set up to define territory. Also, there are distinct areas where moderate rebels are in control and can keep weapons out of the hands of extremists, O’Bagy told CNN in an interview last week. Kerry and McCain agreed with O’Bagy that Syria is a secular state; McCain even called her op-ed “important.”

Initially, the Wall Street Journal only recognized O’Bagy as a “senior analyst” at the institute, but a clarification was later added, stating her affiliation with the Syrian Emergency Task Force, a non-profit organization based in Washington that advocates a free and democratic Syria.


Both US Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator John McCain  referenced an editorial she had written in the Wall Street  Journal during congressional hearings during which they argued in  favor of US military strikes against Syria. The 26-year-old 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.”


Written by voiceoftruthusa

September 13, 2013 at 5:07 pm

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