If you had been watching Fox news in particular, and cable news in general, the last week of August into September, out of nowhere, this gal O’Bagy spun into our living rooms to tell America that Syria’s rebels are mostly moderate. It never added up. This very attractive woman was cruising about Syria and its rebel conclaves unmolested where macho testosterone laden newsmen feared to go. By now most know she has been discredited.
Elizabeth O’Bagy, known for her work at the Institute for the Study of War. She penned a piece for the Wall Street Journal that has become the basis for the idea that Syria’s rebels are more moderate than jihadist.
America’s Watchtower has more Here:
It turns out, if this story is true, that she was not fired for lying on her resume after all. While it is true that she does not have her PH.D,. the think tank knew this at the time they hired her so she could not possibly have been fired for misleading the group.
The Institute for the Study of War knew that controversial Syria analyst Elizabeth O’Bagy lacked a PhD long before it fired her, according to the group’s own website.
In fact, the neoconservative think tank knew she was in a joint Ph.D. program all along. The author bio from her March 2013 study of the Free Syrian Army says O’Bagy is “in a joint Master’s/PhD program in Arab Studies and Political Science at Georgetown University and is working on a dissertation on women’s militancy.”
But let me get to the purpose of my post before I lose you. Just what is the Institute for the Study of War? Unfortunately, much of their original information disappeared yesterday from their website. Thanking various military contractors for hosting dinners, and of course Liz Cheney’s name and picture are no longer prominently displayed.
And how does O’Bagy get paid?
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller earlier last week, O’Bagy explained how she got paid.
“Most of the contracts that I’ve been a part of through the Task Force have been through CSO, which is the Conflict and Stabilization Office[sic],” O’Bagy told The Daily Caller. O’Bagy was likely referring to the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, a State Department-funded organization. Read more: Daily Caller
Leadership and Funding
However, according to 2011 tax documents, directors included: Elizabeth Cheney, daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney and founder of the right-wing advocacy group Keep America Safe; William Kristol, editor of the neoconservative flagship magazine the Weekly Standard; Jack Keane, a retired four-star general who coauthored with Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute “Choosing Victory,” a 2007 study that served as a blueprint for the so-called “surge” in Iraq; Dennis Showalter, a military historian; Hal Hirsch; Bill Roberti; and Kim Kagan.
According to its 2011 Form 990, ISW had operating expenses of just under $1.9 million that year, up from $1.57 in 2010.
A non-exhaustive Right Web investigation of Form 990 U.S. tax records revealed nearly $700,000 in donations from charitable foundations during 2007-2009.
ISW has increasingly drawn support from military contractors with stakes in the issues that the institute studies. “According to ISW’s last annual report,” noted Consortium News in December 2012, “its original supporters were mostly right-wing foundations, such as the Smith-Richardson Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, but it now is backed by national security contractors, including major ones like Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and CACI, as well as lesser-known firms such as DynCorp International, which provides training for Afghan police, and Palantir, a technology company founded with the backing of the CIA’s venture-capital arm, In-Q-Tel. Palantir supplies software to U.S. military intelligence in Afghanistan.”
Donations included nearly $180,000 from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a premier neoconservative advocacy group, as well as $60,000 from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, a right-wing foundation that has funded other militarist outfits like the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and Daniel Pipes’ Middle East Forum, earning it a spot among the top funders of the anti-Islamic discourse in the United States according to a 2011 report by the Center for American Progress. The Marcus Foundation, which has also supported MEMRI, contributed another $250,000 to ISW during this period. (For a full list of Right Web’s findings, click here.)
But what about O’Bagy and the Syrian Emergency Task Force? Otherwise known as SETF? Check out PJ Media:
Here’s a jaw-dropper: O’Bagy criticized Israel for killing Hamas leader Ahmed al-Jabari last November. But enough about her.
The SETF’s executive director is one Mouaz Moustafa. This is Moustafa.
And look, here he is in Syria. That’s Sen. John McCain there in the middle, and a couple of Islamist kidnappers behind him.
Moustafa and O’Bagy arranged McCain’s trip to Syria through the Syrian Emergency Task Force.
You probably have guessed where this is going by now. Mr. Moustafa is a Palestinian Arab, and was involved in the Libya war before he turned up in Syria. He openly hates Israel. He opposed the overthrow of Mohammed Morsi in Egypt. He hearts Hamas. Connect that dot to O’Bagy’s take on the strike that killed Ahmed al-Jabari, above.
In short, the man behind the source for the notion that Syria’s rebellion is moderate is, himself, an Islamist among Islamists, according to FrontPage.
One member of the SETF’s Board of Trustees/Board of Directors, Dr. Jihad Qaddour, was also a trustee of the Muslim American Society, which is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood.
Another, Bassam Estwani, appears to have been the Imam of the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center, also known as Al-Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaki’s former mosque. The mosque was considered a front for Hamas and other “Islamic extremists” by the Treasury Department.
A third, Zaher Sahloul, appears to be the Chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Chicago, an organization with terrorist links which is involved in organizing a boycott of Israel.
“Syria’s rebels are moderates,” according to the disinformation very effectively spread by the Syrian Emergency Task Force.
Back to the ISW’S Corporate Council:
ISW’s Corporate Council members believe that an advanced understanding of military issues results in significantly better national security policy. They recognize the relevance, accuracy, and impact of ISW’s research and analysis, and provide support to ISW and its leadership.
For a list of their supporters here. Note the Military contractors.
Board of Directors
Elizabeth Cheney, Esq.
Founder, Keep America Safe
General Jack Keane,
(U.S. Army, Ret.)
Chairman of the
Board of Directors
Founder, Keane Advisors LLC
Dr. Kimberly Kagan
Founder and President,
Institute for the Study of
Dr. William Kristol
Founder and Editor,
The Weekly Standard
But it is this Kimberly Kagan that is the one to keep an eye on. More about Kagan tomorrow. Much more at Right Web
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The Institute for the Study of War advances an informed understanding of military affairs through reliable research, trusted analysis, and innovative education. We are committed to improving the nation’s ability to execute military operations and respond to emerging threats in order to achieve U.S. strategic objectives. ISW is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization.