Institute for the Study of War fires Elizabeth O’Bagy

Politico and PJ Media report that the Institute for the Study of War fired Elizabeth O’Bagy, their senior analyst and resident expert on Syria.  According to ISW, Dr. O’Bagy lied on her application and does not possess a doctorate degree, nor did she disclose her connections to the Syrian Emergency Task Force (stories here and here).  Let’s hope ISW reviews their hiring procedures and institutes a more thorough vetting process, since it took me less than five minutes to figure out her connection to this Syrian rebel advocacy group. One can hope John McCain and John Kerry pause to reflect that this young woman might be aligned with a foreign entity and that the way this played out makes them willing dupes.  Nah, never happen with those egotistical windbags. The other big takeaway from this from my purely contrarian nature concerns our national intelligence gathering and analysis.  One can only pause to wonder what official intelligence on the disposition of the Syrian rebel forces crossed the desks of Kerry and McCain, if they felt this dubious young lady’s reporting carried more weight.  We pay a fortune on intelligence gathering, but do we focus enough on the human intelligence and analytical components to sift through our vast stores of information and actually piece together an accurate and timely intelligence product?


Filed under Foreign Policy, Military, Politics

9 responses to “Institute for the Study of War fires Elizabeth O’Bagy

  1. Justin

    According to ISW, Dr. O’Bagy lied on her application and does not possess a doctorate degree


    Wonder how ISW came to check her job app?

    More troubling perhaps, I wonder if that was the first check?

    Wonder if FOX is gonna be reporting this?

    So many questions …

  2. Justin

    Just in case it gets deleted from:…

    Anonymous September 12, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    On September 10, 2013 at 4:21 AM I left this comment:

    We wouldn’t have gotten into this clusterf**k without (to what degree we individually can assign) the fine offices of General McCain & Admiral Graham on the flagship USS Elizabeth O’Bagy DDG.

    Now comes this:

    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.

    O’Bagy (it should be noted) was all over the WSJ & FOX – as well as “apparently” providing the map of chem-sites both the White House and Congressional Research Service provided to the public.

    “I’m sure” (sarc) FOX’ll be the first TV media giant to put these newest developments on a morning show.

    [Big H/T to Diplomad Reader ‘libertybelle’]


    Anonymous September 12, 2013 at 7:25 AM

    Preface to the above comment came from a Diplomad thread September 3, 2013 at 10:03 AM:

    I found it odd that GEN Jack Keane repeated almost verbatim the points that Institute for the Study of War senior analyst, Elizabeth O’Bagy, presented in a recent WSJ article and also on Fox news. Glanced through ISW and found out that GEN Keane is the “Chairman of ISW’s board” and instrumental in its founding. Then I came across a Syrian Emergency Task Force group and lo’ and behold Ms. Bagy is listed as the “political director” or this resistance movement.



    Hope this doesn’t attract a whole pot of “shrill” LibertyBelle. Might want to keep ‘moderation’ turned up to high.

    • Justin, If you only knew the trouble I have gotten into expressing my opinion online…….. maybe, someday I’ll give you the condensed version. The names I have posted under online – long ago on the excite message boards, on Ralph Peters NY Post column (which got removed when I “critiqued” the McChrystal plan) and on National Review, I use “mhere”, on PJMedia and a couple other places I use “susanholly”, here and on Diplomad’s site I use libertybelle. Trouble should be my middle name, lol. I might need a team of lawyers jut to keep me out of trouble,;-) I really just hoped someone might check into this young woman – had no intention of causing a big stir. Oh well, people with fancy degrees and positions should have vetted this woman before taking her “research” as factual. I am just a homemaker, who went back to work after my kids were grown. I work in an ordinary blue collar job, in a small town and I like to cook, do needlework, garden and read a lot, so if I could figure this out – with their 6-figure jobs they sure as heck should have.

      • Justin

        Well. Please don’t try to dig outta me the lawfirm I have to keep on standby.

        Between the two of us we’re probably keeping a lot of lawyer’s kids in shoes. I figure while he might not sue me – some of my recent comments will likely be as popular as a fart in an elevator. Glad there’s that “print-screen doohickey” I can tap after I comment.

        But you’re absolutely correct – our media is almost as bad as our pols when it comes to vetting. And History. And context.

        But. As I suggested earlier – one of these days you might find yourself having stepped in a pile as heapingstinky as I have – don’t spin, just get to the bottom of it.

        The folks with the 6-figure jobs aren’t really to be blamed (in most cases) they’ve got staff. It’s the Editors. We are our own editors.

        Still. I enjoy the heck out of, not all, but a lot of balloon busting. Even when I know nobody will recognize the sound just heard was a balloon burst. Or care. Hard to hear over the sound of spin.

  3. Able

    It seems to be the norm now that those placed in ostensibly ‘unbiased’ positions, to judge/act/manage in formulating policy/rules/laws be selected from ‘favoured’, and patently partisan, usually minority, groups.

    A minor example here would be the selection of ASH representatives to examine/propose action on policy regarding smoking (with predictable results). Global warming anyone?

    There? Well, everything from Supreme Court nominees to who gets to attend colleges (work in the beaurocracy or … conduct/mediate presidential debates).

    Oh, it was always thus (expecting anyone to be truly unbiased is naive) but what happened to honesty, honour and fairness – the attempt to at least act impartiallly? (Here it is a standing joke that it is irrelevant which ‘Party’ is in government as the civil service all represents one [left] side and thus enables one side and hinders the other – enacting only ‘their sides’ legislation).

  4. Justin

    Well … it looks like the old quote “I’d rather be right than President” should (for our times be rewritten as) ‘[I’d] rather be Right than have a President along my ideological leanings. Gives [me] comfort to have what [I] consider a halfwit in the Office so [my] low information blog commenting appears more intelligent than it would otherwise.’

    Of course it’s early LibertyBelle, but I’ve a friend who’s recorded every Sean Hannity FOX TV show over the past five years (at least) – I went over to his place and watched Hannity’s shows from McCain’s trip to Syria, then, watched each one while this current imbroglio (after O’Bagy was brought to my attention) was ongoing.

    Tonight’s (12 September 2013) installment and if Hannity is to be any sort of Prognosticator of Presidential Campaigning in 2016 … well, I think I’ll be betting against him.

    Much is made by some folks decrying their ideological opponents as “low information voters” when it might do them some good to look in the mirror.

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