Syrian Emergency Task Force staff got smaller again

Ever since Senator John McCain cited Elizabeth O’Bagy at a Senate hearing on September 3rd as an expert on Syria, a group O’Bagy works for (though she claimed she’s not paid by them) has been losing staff. As of September 7th, there were four people on the Washington, D.C. staff. It’s now down to two – and O’Bagy is one who’s still there, though she has been fired from the organization that supposedly did write her paychecks.

Cassie Chesley: Out at SETF?

Cassie Chesley: Out at SETF?

The Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) is a group that lobbies Congress for aid to the Syrian rebels. While there’s been quite a bit of activity on the group’s website over the last week, much of it appears to involve deleting information. Multiple links to different pages are now all directed to the group’s homepage.

As of September 7th, there were four members of the Washington, D.C. staff. Today, that number is down to two – Executive Director Mouaz Moustafa and O’Bagy, the group’s political director:

Syrian Emergency Task Force: And then there were two...

Syrian Emergency Task Force: And then there were two…

As of September 10th, Cassie Chesley was listed as SETF’s Media and Communications Director:

Syrian Emergency Task Force when there were three...

Syrian Emergency Task Force when there were three…

Sometime between September 7th and September 10th, Ahmad Soliman’s name was removed from the SETF Staff page. As we wrote here, Soliman is an Egyptian with ties to Muslim Brotherhood groups in the U.S., which makes his departure more than just mildly fishy:

Syrian Emergency Task Force Staff before rough waters...

Syrian Emergency Task Force Staff before rough waters…

As for Chesley, like Soliman, there doesn’t appear to be any announcement on the SETF website about why she is no longer with the group. In a post by Calvin Dark that appeared on the Foreign Policy Association website in May of this year, Chesley is identified as the Chair of the Coalition for a Democratic Syria (CDS) Public Relations Committee.

The CDS website appears to be largely inactive at this time and does not currently list Chesley as being a member of the group but her email address can be found on the “contact us” page:

Chesley email at the CDS website.

Chesley email at the CDS website.

The Board members on the CDS website include many of the names that appear on the SETF website, like Moustafa and Yahya Basha, former President of the American Muslim Council (AMC), which was founded by convicted terrorist, Abdurahman Alamoudi. The CDS appears to be an umbrella organization for several groups, including SETF and amazingly, Syrian Christians for Democracy. That’s interesting because Christians in Syria are being terrorized by the rebels:

CDS Board

CDS Board

Chesley has also been active on the CDS Facebook page. A quick perusal shows an intense lobbying effort and propaganda campaign to get the U.S. Congress to actively support the rebels.

It is noteworthy that the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) allegedly fired O’Bagy for misrepresenting herself as having a Ph.D. and not because of what’s been going on at the SETF. Yet, O’Bagy is still at the SETF while two of her cohorts at SETF have mysteriously vanished.


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