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October 1, 2013 11:27 am

McCain Hires Discredited Syria Advocate

avatar by Steven Emerson

Senator John McCain questioning former Senator Chuck Hagel. Photo: Screenshot.

Usually when a person is exposed for padding her resume, it’s difficult to land high-prestige jobs.

That’s not the case for Elisabeth O’Bagy, hired last week by U.S. Sen. John McCain as a legislative assistant. O’Bagy, 26, became an influential analyst on policy toward Syria after publishing a column in theWall Street Journal that advocated arming Syrian rebels fighting dictator Bashar al-Assad despite concerns about radical jihadists in their ranks.

It turns out O’Bagy lied about having a PhD. and worked as the Syrian Emergency Task Force‘s political director when the group helped arrange a secret trip to Syria for McCain to meet rebel leaders last May. Several task force officials have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and reports indicate that the Arizona Republican inadvertently met with terrorists on his trip.

Meanwhile, O’Bagy also vouched for Eric Harroun, an American who fought with Syrian rebels, in a sworn affidavit. Harroun was charged with providing material support to al-Qaada affiliated terrorists, but O’Bagy claimed Harroun fought with an independent group called the Al Aqsa Islamic Brigades, Fox News reported.

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Harroun signed a sealed plea agreement to a lesser charge, and was sentenced to time served and released.

McCain chose to embrace O’Bagy despite her academic fraud and work with questionable forces in Syria’s opposition.

“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.

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