Did John McCain let the Cat out of the O’Bagy?

By Ben Barrack

Elizabeth O’Bagy is listed as a Political Director for the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) in the group’s Washington, D.C. office. SETF lobbies Congress on behalf of the Syrian rebels. During a Senate hearing this week, Senator John McCain, perhaps the most vocal supporter of the Syrian rebels in Congress, pointed to an op-ed by the twenty-six year-old O’Bagy that appeared in the Wall Street Journal on August 30th. He then asked Secretary of State John Kerry, who agrees with him, if O’Bagy’s assertions were correct:

Two days later, on September 5th, O’Bagy appeared on Your World with Neil Cavuto and was politely called out by the Fox News Host for not disclosing an obvious conflict of interest. When asked how she knows which rebels to support, O’Bagy says,

“I would hope that our intelligence agencies have been closely following this.”

Pay attention at the 4:10 mark. Cavuto concedes to O’Bagy that she may know more about the region than he does but he then points to his own life experience, which far exceeds that of O’Bagy’s, and explains why history is a good teacher. Cavuto is visibly annoyed shortly thereafter when O’Bagy basically tells him that these “old paradigms” don’t apply to this conflict.

Via Fox News:

Is O’Bagy’s protestation about working for the SETF a distinction without a difference? Check out SETF’s About Us page and decide for yourself:


“…I don’t represent the Syrian Emergency Task Force. I am not one of their employees, nor do I lobby on their behalf.” – Elizabeth O’Bagy on Your World, September 5, 2013.

O’Bagy didn’t just pen an opinion piece that McCain cited as evidence to bolster his case during a Senate hearing. She also joined McCain on the Senator’s trip to Syria this past May. Check out the caption under this photo; O’Bagy is credited with taking it on behalf of the SETF, via the UK Telegraph:


The other individuals in this photo are worth noting as well. The man in the white shirt, whose back is to the camera, is Mouaz Moustafa. He is the Executive Director of the SETF. The Daily Caller’s Jamie Weinstein reported back in July that McCain referred to Moustafa as a “patriot” and sang his praises. All indications are that Moustafa is an extremely effective lobbyist for the rebels.

Also in July, we wrote that Moustafa was a participant at the increasingly significant U.S.-Islamic World Forum (US-IWF) that took place in Doha, Qatar, a strongly pro-Muslim Brotherhood region, this past June.

McCain didn’t just travel to Syria with two members of the SETF; there was a third. Her name is Razan Shalab AlSham, Field Director of SETF. She is pictured in this photo with McCain in Syria, via Blouin News:

(L to R): John McCain, FSA General Salim Idris, and Razan Shalab AlSham

(L to R): John McCain, FSA General Salim Idris, and Razan Shalab AlSham

Consider that McCain was in Syria with three members of the SETF this past May. The SETF’s Board of Trustees includes a man named Dr. Yahya Basha, who once headed the American Muslim Council (AMC), which was founded by Abdulrahman Alamoudi, who was convicted on charges related to financing terrorism and is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence. The AMC, which is now defunct, has referred to Hamas as being made up of “freedom fighters”.

Speaking of Freedom fighters, McCain called the Syrian rebels just that on August 27th during his interview with Cavuto:

There are two other individuals in the photo with McCain who should be considered persons of interest. Again, keep in mind that O’Bagy, Moustafa, and AlSham were all present when these photos were taken. All three have maintained that they support “moderate rebels”. With that as a backdrop, check out this video from Syria News. It produces some compelling evidence and testimony that at least two of the men McCain posed with in Syria were involved in the kidnapping of 13 Lebanese hostages.

Bolstering the case made in that video is that McCain’s staff said the Senator did not “knowingly” meet with kidnappers and that if he did, it would be “regrettable”.

Let’s go back to O’Bagy for a moment. In the SETF Press Release that announces her addition as a Political Director, it says she “gained a Master’s in Arab Studies from Georgetown University”.

Georgetown University is under the very strong influence of Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. From the University’s website:

In December 2005, the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (CMCU) received a $20 million dollar gift from HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, an internationally renowned businessman and global investor, to support and expand the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. The Center was renamed the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU). This endowed fund was the second largest single gift in Georgetown University history.

The Director of the ACMCU is none other than Professor John Esposito, a renowned Muslim Brotherhood apologist. Here he is in a faculty photo (wearing yellow jacket, second from right):

ACMCU Faculty Photo: John Esposito, 2nd from right.

ACMCU Faculty Photo: John Esposito, 2nd from right.

Incidentally, Esposito joined SETF’s Moustafa at the US-IWF this past June:

Esposito as a US-IWF Participant.

Esposito as a US-IWF Participant.

How does this all involve O’Bagy? Remember, she earned a “Master’s in Arab Studies” from this University. In order to get her degree, O’Bagy likely had to complete seven of these courses…

Choose seven of these courses to get Masters in Arabic Studies at Georgetown University.

Choose seven of these courses to get Masters in Arabic Studies at Georgetown University.

…and five of these courses:

Choose five of these courses to get Masters in Arabic Studies at Georgetown University.

Choose five of these courses to get Masters in Arabic Studies at Georgetown University.

Guess who’s listed as faculty for the Department of Arabic and Islamic studies. Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s guy at the University – John Esposito.

Finally, when it comes to the dynamics of the situation in Syria, let’s take a look at the players. There are essentially three nations who are most invested – Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran (aside from Syria). The Obama administration has clearly aligned with Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia: Schizophrenic fan of the Muslim Brotherhood that often takes an opposing side when the group is no longer useful or causes more harm than good. A recent example can be seen in Saudi Arabia’s recent support for the Egyptian military over the ousted Muslim Brotherhood regime, led by Mohammed Mursi. Saudi support for Syria’s rebels has more to do with weakening Iran, the Royal family’s arch nemesis. In fact, if there’s a country these nations hate more than Israel, it’s each other. Bashar Al-Assad is an agent of Iran and the Saudi’s want him replaced. Its support for the removal of Saddam Hussein in Iraq was followed by that country being all but annexed by Iran. Saudi interest in the Syrian rebels is more about addition by subtraction and weakening Iran.

Turkey: Turkey’s support for the Syrian rebels is about furthering the goal of resurrecting the Ottoman Empire via the Muslim Brotherhood. This began with the Arab Spring. Save for the setback in Egypt this past July, the plan for Brotherhood dominance in the region was going according to plan, save for leaders like Libya’s Gadhafi and Syria’s Assad taking much longer than expected or desired. Turkey has largely sat back and watched the Obama administration do its bidding, without having to lift a finger. Had Egypt remained under the control of the Brotherhood, Syria and Jordan would have been the last two nations to fall before a new phase in Turkey’s plans could begin. With Mursi’s overthrow in Egypt came a greater sense of urgency to remove Assad in Syria.

Iran: Since the Arab Spring, the balance of power in the region has tilted in favor of the Turks and the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood. Save for gaining much more influence in Iraq after U.S. troops left in 2011, the Sunnis have been racking up the wins, save for Egypt a couple of months ago. Assad has long been an arm and close ally to Iran. Losing Syria to the Sunnis would be a major blow to Iran and they will fight tooth and nail to prevent it. In fact, the longer Saudi Arabia is shown to be involved in actively funding and supporting the Brotherhood rebels, the greater enemies Iran and the Saudis will become.

When you look at O’Bagy and why she is working on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, look no further than the brainwashing that took place during her time at Georgetown University.

The real question is: Why has John McCain decided to sell out his country?


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