McCain Hires Disgraced Syria ‘Expert’ Elizabeth O’Bagy

John Glaser, September 27, 2013

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People involved in politics almost invariably engage in confirmation bias. It’s easy to welcome ideas that bolster what you already believe, than to deal with facts and evidence that seem to puncture your own opinions.

If there are two seasoned politicians in Washington, surely they are John Kerry and John McCain. So we’d expect them to be confirmation bias professionals. And that’s exactly what they were doing when they were citing Elizabeth O’Bagy, an alleged “expert” at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), to elucidate the make-up of the Syrian rebels.

O’Bagy is now disgraced, after it was revealed that her opinions on the rebels are not exactly objective since she was part of a pro-Syrian rebel lobbying group and often did not disclose this fact to people seeking her counsel on how awesome the rebels were. She was even further discredited when it was revealed she lied about having a PhD. She was subsequently fired from ISW.

I kind of assumed Kerry and McCain would have been at least a little embarrassed that they cited O’Bagy favorably. It was bad enough their confirmation bias was displayed for the world to see.

But I was giving McCain too much credit apparently. Not only is he not embarrassed, he is hiring O’Bagy.

Foreign Policy:

Sen. John McCain has hired Elizabeth O’Bagy, the Syria analyst in Washington who was fired for padding her credentials, The Cable has learned. She begins work Monday as a legislative assistant in McCain’s office.

…”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 in a statement. “I look forward to her joining my office.” McCain’s office said there would be no further comment on the matter.

Despite the pull of confirmation bias, normal human tendencies should have engendered some shame on the part of both O’Bagy and McCain.

McCain? Shame? Who was I kidding.




24 Responses to “McCain Hires Disgraced Syria ‘Expert’ Elizabeth O’Bagy”

  1. McCain is terminally myopic and trapped within the confines of his own warmongering belligerence. He knows what's best for everyone, that would be merciless war, and he'll tell you exactly that. However McCain will "respect" your right to your opinion even if he thinks your opinion is meaningless and wrong. That's how he termed my 'opinion' and emailed me back to let me know. McCain needs to be removed from office. For no other reason than the man is a threat to global security.

  2. What do you expect from him, this is a guy who almost sunk his own carrier the USS Forestal during the Vietnam War.

  3. Don, not only is McCain terminally myopic, he is a loose cannon on deck. He is wretchedly, pathetically ignorant. Worse, his allegiance is to Israel, not to the U.S. I will eschew euphemisms here and call a spade a spade. McCain has mental problems and is a traitor to the country he is supposed to serve.

  4. Like those "experts" on Iraq whom were hired by CIA to come up with all and everything they could come up with so USG (Bush Regime) could invade Iraq. Although McCain is truly a laughable politician who plays poker during sessions where humans life are at stake, taking photos with Saudis barbarians and UAE mercenaries which makes him a discredited and unwanted politician, but in the other hand he deserves such personality, there are non then these disgraced people as Elizabeth O' Baggy would want to work for McCain.

  5. Close AIPACcongress & WHOPEX ASAP

  6. whoever's sleeping with her, has some serious clout to move her from one neocon/zionist bunker to another.

  7. Well, if O'Bagy had any chance of rebuilding her reputation, that chance is gone now.

  8. I heard she listed Sarah Palin as a character reference, and McCain was impressed.

  9. McCain should have been arrested and Charged with Aiding Terrorists with his little stunt of going into a foreign Country without permission and contacting persons who are members of a known and proscribed Terrorist organization!

  10. What does a person expect from a liar and a fraud himself. He touts his record as a tortured POW.
    He was not..He was a collaborator with the NVA. He walked around the prison yard in Hanoi with pressed uniforms, ate his meals with the NVA officer in charge of the prison. He made numerous tapes that played 24/7 expounding that we were war criminals, baby killers etc.
    Remember, also, that it was he that convinced the US government NOT to look for POW'S and MIA's since they did not exist.
    He is a traitor and should be imprisoned.
    Dr Bob

  11. Not to mention that he continues to refuse to investigate the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty.

  12. [...] http://antiwar.com/blog/2013/09/27/mccain-hires-disgraced-syria-expert-elizabeth-obagy/ [...]

  13. McCainiac is a menace both to the US and to the rest of the world. Both he and his gasbag clone Lindsey Graham should be locked up as dangerous, bloodthirsty, israel-first sociopaths.

  14. The only time in his life(POW) where he told the truth,and it was under duress!

  15. O'Bagy's 'research' is in question to-day as most of the 'moderate' rebel groups she supported announced, yesterday, that they were making alliance with the more radical AQ-based groups.

    They are the same groups visited and praised by McCain.

    There is nothing to benefit America in the Syrian debacle.

  16. I think that might hamper her chances with 'the chief'. Palin caused him to lose an erection. ;-)

  17. Mad-dog McCain needs to be arrested for his treason against the American people. He knowingly promotes false testimony for war in the Middle East for a foreign power, Israel.

  18. He’s hiring her to control and keep an eye on her… otherwise, she might start ”talking”. She’s a known liar and probably a blackmailer.

  19. Probably he doesn't want POWs to be found out of fear that they'll tell McCain's shameful record.

  20. She was following his orders. They just made it public now.

  21. Obama's Head-Chopping Cannibals In Syria & The Evil Siamese Twin Growing On John McCain's Jaw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CppX7qvbWPs

  22. The guy is an idiot but he did not cause the USS Forestal fire. We don't need to invent fairytales just because he likes them.

  23. McCain has a thing for discredited, unqualified women.

  24. Don, not only is McCain terminally myopic, he is a loose cannon on deck. He is wretchedly, pathetically ignorant. Worse, his allegiance is to Israel, not to the U.S. I will eschew euphemisms here and call a spade a spade. McCain has mental problems and is a traitor to the country he is supposed to serve.