Embattled Syria analyst Elizabeth O'Bagy now admits she was never enrolled in a Ph.D. program despite claims to the contrary as she rose -- and quickly fell -- as a prominent scholar whose writings were used to make the case for military intervention in Syria.
O'Bagy also has resigned from a Washington-based, pro-Syrian opposition group in the wake of the controversy.
The resignation and the admission, made in a statement to The Daily Beast, caps a remarkable turn of events for O'Bagy, who a little more than a week ago was traveling in rarified circles, as a frequently quoted analyst whose work was also cited on Capitol Hill. Both Secretary of State John Kerry and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., touted her analysis that the Syrian opposition was mostly moderate, as they pushed for a strike on the Assad regime.
Yet O'Bagy was fired last week from the Institute for the Study of War after the think tank alleged she lied about her education credentials. The institute claimed O'Bagy did not have a Ph.D. degree from Georgetown University as she had claimed.
O'Bagy reportedly countered that she had defended her dissertation, and was simply waiting for the university to confer the degree.
But in a statement to The Daily Beast, O'Bagy reportedly admitted she was never enrolled in that program. She apparently applied to a joint master's/Ph.D. program, but was not accepted. She was only in the master's program.