“In this case, there was a brigade commander of a very specific brigade in Syria who kidnapped these Lebanese people,” O’Bagy explained. “However he was essentially eventually [sic] he had done so much to anger the more moderate groups within his own brigade that they ended up replacing him with a more moderate and well respected commander. When we brought Senator John McCain in, he had met with this new leader of this more moderate force that had pushed out this other group that was led by the former leader, who in every way were bad guys. They were kidnappers and looters… They were pushed out and the more moderates tried to control their behavior.”
O’Bagy insisted that none of the commanders used the name of one of the alleged kidnappers, but she did not know if he might have been using a nom de guerre.
McCain didn’t ask the rebels about their views.
O’Bagy said Senator McCain spoke to General Idris as one “military man to military man, almost as if it was one commander to another.”
O’Bagy came away impressed with the senator.
“To be frank, I was never a big McCain supporter because I was very much against the Iraq War,” says O’Bagy, who was registered as a Democrat in Utah. “I was like adamantly against the Iraq War and so I was a little bit reluctant to work so closely with him but he’s really, I think, been a true advocate for the Syrian people and has been great to work with at least in terms of Syria.”