NY Times Accuses Democrat Senator of Plagiarism

 

walsh“Sooner or later, academic dishonesty will be discovered,” the Army War College warns in its student handbook. A graduate degree from the prestigious school indicates not only academic rigor, but harder to find attributes of honor and integrity.

Army War College grad Sen. John Walsh (D–Mont.) has used that reputation to promote his political career. But according to a piece in today’s New York Times, he appears to be guilty of plagiarism:

But one of the highest-profile credentials of Mr. Walsh’s 33-year military career appears to have been improperly attained. An examination of the final paper required for Mr. Walsh’s master’s degree from the United States Army War College indicates the senator appropriated at least a quarter of his thesis on American Middle East policy from other authors’ works, with no attribution.

Mr. Walsh completed the paper, what the War College calls a “strategy research project,” to earn his degree in 2007, when he was 46. The sources of the material he presents as his own include academic papers, policy journal essays and books that are almost all available online.

Most strikingly, each of the six recommendations Mr. Walsh laid out at the conclusion of his 14-page paper, titled “The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy,” is taken nearly word-for-word without attribution from a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace document on the same topic.

Montana’s governor appointed Walsh in February to replace retiring Senator Max Baucus. Democrats thought his military background would give him an advantage heading into the 2014 race. But according to Real Clear Politics, Walsh is badly trailing his Republican opponent Rep. Steve Daines.

Walsh is denying charges of plagiarism in rather weak terms:

In an interview outside his Capitol Hill office on Tuesday, after he was presented with multiple examples of identical passages from his paper and the Carnegie and Harvard essays, Mr. Walsh said he did not believe he had done anything wrong.

“I didn’t do anything intentional here,” he said, adding that he did not recall using the Carnegie and Harvard sources.

Asked directly if he had plagiarized, he responded: “I don’t believe I did, no.”

On Wednesday, a campaign aide for Mr. Walsh did not contest the plagiarism but suggested that it be viewed in the context of the senator’s long career. She said Mr. Walsh was going through a difficult period at the time he wrote the paper, noting that one of the members of his unit from Iraq had committed suicide in 2007, weeks before it was due.

The aide said Mr. Walsh, who served in Iraq from November 2004 to November 2005, “dealt with the experience of post-deployment,” but acknowledged he had not sought treatment.

Since the Democrats had no problem supporting a Senate candidate who pretended to be a Vietnam vet and one who pretended to be Native American, I doubt they will have any ethical qualms about plagiarism. The only complaint they’ll have is that he’s down in the polls.

There are 22 comments.

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  1. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Well, Biden demonstrates that a history of plagiarism is not a problem for a Democrat Vice President, so maybe Hillary will take notice.

    • #1
  2. Devereaux Inactive
    Devereaux
    @Devereaux

    Tsk, tsk. I believe the operative word was “DEMOCRAT” candidate for the senate. Such bad behavior doesn’t count for them

    • #2
  3. user_554634 Moderator
    user_554634
    @MikeRapkoch

    Even as this relatively early stage, the campaign between Walsh and Daines has been pretty nasty. It may ultimately come down to the lesser of two jerkos. I very much doubt that plagiarism will mean much in November.

    • #3
  4. Fake John Galt Coolidge
    Fake John Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Plagiarism for a Republican is a deal breaker, for a Democrat it is just a way to enhance ones resume.  To show that one is flexible of thought so to speak.   A couple more falsehoods like this could make Sen Walsh potential Presidential material.  

    • #4
  5. Roberto Member
    Roberto
    @Roberto

    Hmm… related news? Socialists Are Cheaters, Says New Study

    • #5
  6. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Don’t know about his reelection chances but his degree should be rescinded and a reduction in rank, the latter  which will reduce his pension.

    • #6
  7. Byron Horatio Inactive
    Byron Horatio
    @ByronHoratio

    To be fair, we have a saying at work that goes “There’s no such thing as plagiarism in the Army.”

    • #7
  8. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    They’re just getting out ahead of the story so it’s old news by November.

    • #8
  9. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Is anybody else concerned that the Army War College apparently requires only a 14 page paper for a master’s degree?

    • #9
  10. Roberto Member
    Roberto
    @Roberto

    Salvatore Padula:

    Is anybody else concerned that the Army War College apparently requires only a 14 page paper for a master’s degree?

     In this day and age the University of Wisconsin–Madison is giving  out grades based on ethnic  background. All higher education degrees should be considered suspect until proven otherwise I would say.  

    • #10
  11. George Savage Contributor
    George Savage
    @GeorgeSavage

    This shouldn’t be a problem for Walsh.  After all, unlike Blumenthal and Warren, he isn’t pretending to be anything:  Walsh is an authentic plagiarist.

    • #11
  12. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    Related, Mr. Walsh’s opponent Mr. Daines is now running a TV ad arguing that Walsh is bad for Medicare because he supports Obamacare, and that Walsh is against seniors because he said that privatizing social security should stay on the table.

    I used to think that Daines was closer to a Tea Party conservative – his slogan is “More Jobs, Less Government” – but it seems that he is more of a US Chamber of Commerce conservative.  He’ll be far better than Walsh, but why is he attacking from the left!

    • #12
  13. user_423975 Coolidge
    user_423975
    @BrandonShafer

    Salvatore Padula:

    Is anybody else concerned that the Army War College apparently requires only a 14 page paper for a master’s degree?

     My thoughts as well.

    • #13
  14. user_423975 Coolidge
    user_423975
    @BrandonShafer

    Brandon Shafer:

    Salvatore Padula:

    Is anybody else concerned that the Army War College apparently requires only a 14 page paper for a master’s degree?

    My thoughts as well.

     Also his degree was in 2007.  Why didn’t they run any plagiarism checks on the work at the time?  

    • #14
  15. otherdeanplace@yahoo.com Member
    otherdeanplace@yahoo.com
    @EustaceCScrubb

    On Wednesday, a campaign aide for Mr. Walsh did not contest the plagiarism but suggested that it be viewed in the context of the senator’s long career. She said Mr. Walsh was going through a difficult period at the time he wrote the paper, noting that one of the members of his unit from Iraq had committed suicide in 2007, weeks before it was due.

    Hey, cut the guy some slack. He made a bad decision while under stress. It’s not like there are any important decisions to be made under stress in the Senate.

    • #15
  16. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Brandon Shafer:

    Brandon Shafer:

    Salvatore Padula:

    Is anybody else concerned that the Army War College apparently requires only a 14 page paper for a master’s degree?

    My thoughts as well.

    Also his degree was in 2007. Why didn’t they run any plagiarism checks on the work at the time?

     I would recommend to anybody interested in the subject Rich Posner’s Little Book of Plagiarism.

    I once had a law school seminar class on corporate governance. We each had to submit our papers for review by the other members of the class. I was a bit surprised that one of my classmates plagiarized about four pages (just cut and paste) from an article about insider trading that I had previously had published. I had been sitting literally five feet from her in this class of ten students for three months and she didn’t realize I was the person she was plagiarizing.

    • #16
  17. Roberto Member
    Roberto
    @Roberto

    Salvatore Padula:

    Brandon Shafer:

    Brandon Shafer:

    Salvatore Padula:

    Is anybody else concerned that the Army War College apparently requires only a 14 page paper for a master’s degree?

    My thoughts as well.

    Also his degree was in 2007. Why didn’t they run any plagiarism checks on the work at the time?

    I would recommend to anybody interested in the subject Rich Posner’s Little Book of Plagiarism.

    I once had a law school seminar class on corporate governance. We each had to submit our papers for review by the other members of the class. I was a bit surprised that one of my classmates plagiarized about four pages (just cut and paste) from an article about insider trading that I had previously had published. I had been sitting literally five feet from her in this class of ten students for three months and she didn’t realize I was the person she was plagiarizing.

     How did she react upon the revelation? Actually better question, what consequences did she suffer, if any.

    • #17
  18. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Roberto:

    Salvatore Padula:

    How did she react upon the revelation? Actually better question, what consequences did she suffer, if any.
     

    It was only a few weeks before I graduated (she was a 2L), so I don’t know what the ultimate consequences were for her. I know she failed the class and was set to go before a disciplinary hearing. I didn’t get the opportunity to confront her in person. She had distributed her (or should I say “our”) paper electronically for review a few days before the in class discussion. Upon reading it, I just sent a link of the relevant portion of my previous article to the professor. The professor probably would have caught it anyway, since he was my faculty advisor when I was writing the plagiarized paper. He’s a great guy and pretty easygoing, but he was furious (I think as much by how ineptly the plagiarism was done as by the basic fact of it).  The plagiarist didn’t show up to class after that.

    • #18
  19. user_11047 Inactive
    user_11047
    @barbaralydick

    Does it count as plagiarism that O, without attribution, stole the “You didn’t build that” line from that other idiot who started it all?

    • #19
  20. Look Away Inactive
    Look Away
    @LookAway

    He doesn’t remember because in actuality he gave the assignment to his E-4 driver who has a semester at the UM.

    • #20
  21. user_554634 Moderator
    user_554634
    @MikeRapkoch

    Z in MT:

    Related, Mr. Walsh’s opponent Mr. Daines is now running a TV ad arguing that Walsh is bad for Medicare because he supports Obamacare, and that Walsh is against seniors because he said that privatizing social security should stay on the table.

    I used to think that Daines was closer to a Tea Party conservative – his slogan is “More Jobs, Less Government” – but it seems that he is more of a US Chamber of Commerce conservative. He’ll be far better than Walsh, but why is he attacking from the left!

     I’ve seen this ad too. I was really taken aback. I’m afraid the “More jobs, Less government” slogan is a bit of a sham and should be “more jobs, less government (unless i need more government to get elected.”

    • #21
  22. Devereaux Inactive
    Devereaux
    @Devereaux

    Salvatore Padula:

    Is anybody else concerned that the Army War College apparently requires only a 14 page paper for a master’s degree?

     Part of the “Reduction in Paperwork” in the government.  ;-)

    • #22

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