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A must read, quite excellent investigative journalism by Max Blumenthal @Mondoweiss. Article established for a fact what my suspicion has been from the outset.

Shady PR operatives, pro-Israel ties, anti-Castro money: Inside the Syrian opposition's DC spin machine

(Mondoweiss) - During the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Syria on September 3, Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator John McCain both cited a Wall Street Journal editorial by Elizabeth O'Bagy to support their assessment of the Syrian rebels as predominately "moderate," and potentially Western-friendly.

"She works with the Institute of War," Kerry said of O'Bagy. "She's fluent in Arabic and spent an enormous amount of time studying the opposition and studying Syria. She just published this the other day. Very interesting [Wall Street Journal] article, which I commend to you."

Kerry added, "I just don't agree that a majority are al-Qaida and the bad guys."

What Kerry and McCain neglected to mention was that O'Bagy had been recently hired as the political director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF), a little known outfit that functions as a lobbying arm of the Syrian opposition in Washington.

Until today, O'Bagy had failed to note her role as a paid Syrian opposition lobbyist in her Wall Street Journal byline and did not note the position in her official bio at the Institute for the Study of War. Only after a storm of criticism did the Wall Street Journal insert a note in O'Bagy's recent op-ed disclosing her paid position at SETF. O'Bagy was also compelled to amend her bio with a lengthy clarification about her work at SETF. But her work at the Institute for the Study of War should have been enough to set off alarm bells.

... the activist told me about meetings at WINEP and entreaties to AIPAC. He mentioned Radwan Ziadeh, director of the Syrian Center for Political & Strategic Studies, as a key emissary between SETF and pro-Israel lobbyists. Ziadeh appeared at the American Jewish Committee's 2011 Global Forum to make the case for Western intervention in Syria. Ziadeh was among the self-proclaimed "foreign policy experts" who signed an August 27 open letter to Obama calling for military intervention in Syria. Other "experts" lending their names to the letter included Karl Rove, Elliot Abrams, Governor Tim Pawlenty, and veteran anti-abortion activist Gary Bauer.

"Logrolling for war"

In its 2011 annual report [PDF], the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) detailed its close working relationship with Palantir Technologies, a private surveillance firm contracted by Bank of America in 2011 in an unsuccessful plot to dismantle Anonymous and sabotage Glenn Greenwald.

SETF Organizes McCain Trip into Syria

by Oui on Sun Sep 8th, 2013 at 05:23:29 PM EST
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Both McCain and Kerry quoted from O'Bagy's op-ed article. Kerry has worded all his statements on Syria very carefully, therefore all would have been vetted. Someone on his team let this pass? No, not really. This whole propaganda stunt is based on numerous lies and plain deceit. Had Obama not postponed the intented date to strike Syria, who would be talking about the lies going to war? The media would be filled with "shock and awe" Obama style. War is A Lie.

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed Draws Scrutiny Over Writer's Ties To Syrian Rebel Advocacy Group

(Huff Post) - Both Kerry and McCain noted O'Bagy's findings in addressing Congress' concerns over whether the Syrian rebels can be trusted.

McCain read part of O'Bagy's piece out loud during a Tuesday Senate hearing and asked Kerry if he agreed with the writer's findings. Kerry said he mostly did. "The fundamentals of Syria are secular and will stay that way," he told McCain. The following day, Kerry said it was a "very interesting article" and suggested members of Congress read it. (Reuters later challenged Kerry's assertions about the opposition).

Link to YouTube link on Kerry's allusion - here.

McCain and Kerry each mentioned O'Bagy's role with the Institute for the Study of War, a non-partisan think tank, in citing the column, but not her connection to the Syria support group.

When The Atlantic published an op-ed co-written by O'Bagy in June, "Why Arming the Rebels Isn't Enough," the magazine noted both her ties to the Institute for the Study of War and Syrian Emergency Task Force.

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised, the once quality paper The Wall Street Journalis now in the possession of Murdock and all is focused on supporting right-wing US policy (Israel included) and more anti-Obama editorial stance.

WSJ on Real Cause of Homelessness in America
WSJ on ObamaCare's Broken Promises
The MurdochStreet Journal, Not for Me, Thanks.

by Oui on Mon Sep 9th, 2013 at 01:10:30 AM EST
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A follow-up from my earlier post about John Kerry and his source Elizabeth O'Bagy, "expert" on Syria.

Another Blatant Lie by Kerry Unmasked

A must read, quite excellent investigative journalism by Max Blumenthal @Mondoweiss. Article established for a fact what my suspicion has been from the outset.

WoW!  Karma didn't take long on that one (per Politico):

    The Syria researcher whose Wall Street Journal op-piece was cited by Secretary of State John Kerry and Sen. John McCain during congressional hearings about the use of force has been fired from the Institute for the Study of War for lying about having a Ph.D., the group announced on 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," the institute said in a statement. "ISW has accordingly terminated Ms. O'Bagy's employment, effective immediately."

John Kerry needs to quote some more foreign organization lobbyists approvingly.

h/t by TarheelDem on Wed Sep 11th, 2013

Cross-posted from my diary @BooMan - World's Nr. 1 Despot Running Amok and Unchecked.

by Oui on Wed Sep 11th, 2013 at 04:31:57 PM EST
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