Uh oh: Democratic senator from Montana accused of plagiarism in Army War College assignment; Update: I had PTSD, says Walsh

posted at 4:41 pm on July 23, 2014 by Allahpundit

As any writer or academic will tell you, it’s the only crime worse than murder.

The bad news: He’s likely done as a senator. The good news: He’s now eligible to be vice president.

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.

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…

About a third of his paper consists of material either identical to or extremely similar to passages in other sources, such as the Carnegie or Harvard papers, and is presented without attribution. Another third is attributed to sources through footnotes, but uses other authors’ exact — or almost exact — language without quotation marks.

The senator included 96 footnotes in his paper, but many of them only illustrate this troubling pattern. In repeated instances, Mr. Walsh uses the language of others with no quotation marks, but footnotes the source from which the material came. In other cases, the passages appear in his paper with a word or two changed, but are otherwise identical to the authors’ language.

Follow the link up top for more evidence. Walsh says he doesn’t think he committed plagiarism and certainly didn’t do it intentionally, but that won’t hack it:

This isn’t the first time he’s been accused of lying about a credential. Martin notes in his NYT story that Walsh listed SUNY Albany as his undergrad alma mater in the congressional directory when in fact he had graduated from Regents College, an adult-learning school that’s part of the SUNY system. (That’s not the end of his scandals either.) The big question now: What does this mean for November’s midterm outlook?

The answer: It means … nothing. Or barely nothing. Walsh was appointed to the Senate five months ago to fill Max Baucus’s vacancy; it’s not impossible to win as a Democrat in Montana, as both Baucus and Jon Tester can tell you, but it’s difficult as a short-term incumbent in a political climate that’s trending GOP. The rosiest polls for Walsh right now have him trailing Republican Steve Daines by around seven points. The bleakest polls have him down 20 or more. (The RCP average has Daines by 12.5 points.) Walsh’s plagiarism is insurance that that lead will hold, but let’s face it, it was almost certainly going to hold anyway. And if you’re inside the Democratic brain trust and worried about the effect of one candidate’s scandal tarring the party in general, plagiarism’s about as easy as it gets to contain. It’s an idiosyncrasy specific to the individual, not an obvious corruption of normal political business like, say, bribe-taking would be. Frankly, I wonder how much non-academics will even care. It can be deployed by Daines if need be as evidence of his opponent’s character deficiency, but if Daines ends up in a situation where Walsh’s plagiarism scandal is the only thing standing between him and victory, then something’s gone badly, badly wrong this fall for the GOP. The race used to be a lay-up. Now it’s a slam dunk.

Exit question: The NYT says the paper with the (alleged) plagiarism in it was “the final paper required for Mr. Walsh’s master’s degree.” The headline describes it as a “thesis.” His master’s thesis was 14 pages long?

Update: He had PTSD, therefore he couldn’t … use quotation marks?

There’s no logic to that defense but it serves the purpose of shielding him from criticism. If you fault the guy for plagiarizing sources, you hate veterans. QED.


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hawkdriver on July 23, 2014 at 9:46 PM

Sorry, doesn’t make sense to me either, changed magic to voodoo? Weird.

Cindy Munford on July 23, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Lemmee see his college transcripts…

Galtian on July 23, 2014 at 9:54 PM

Sorry, doesn’t make sense to me either, changed magic to voodoo? Weird.

Cindy Munford on July 23, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Ah good, thought it was just me. You know. Because normally … verby’s good for unraveling at least one or two mysteries of the universe in a comment./

hawkdriver on July 23, 2014 at 9:57 PM

This is a Dem…therefore…resume enhancer.

yaedon on July 23, 2014 at 10:06 PM

I wonder how much combat this hero saw to get PTSD or is he just another PTSD scammer looking for a VA check?

Doomsday on July 23, 2014 at 10:06 PM

Am I the only who didn’t understand this?

hawkdriver on July 23, 2014 at 9:46 PM

I didn’t understand it twice as well as you did.

SpongePuppy on July 23, 2014 at 10:10 PM

(AP) – Montana senator says he was being treated for PTSD when he used unattributed work in thesis.

Cripes, even his excuse is plagiarism. Everybody says PTSD now as an excuse.

SpongePuppy on July 23, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Sorry, doesn’t make sense to me either, changed magic to voodoo? Weird.

Cindy Munford on July 23, 2014 at 9:52 PM

He also reduced the price by $1, but I think we’ve both spent too much time on it already.

corkie on July 23, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Lying cheating, politician!

Ah, I have to be plagiarizing, since this has been said before.

However, Walsh is a cheating, lying, douche in the grass! Cheater!

woodhull on July 23, 2014 at 10:35 PM

Global warming melted all the attributions. Or has it a hard drive crashing? Oh I know! It was a hard drive crashing because it got too hot because of global warming.

VorDaj on July 23, 2014 at 10:42 PM

Hiding behind PTSD?
There. Are. No. Words.

partsnlabor on July 23, 2014 at 10:46 PM

Global warming melted all the attributions. Or has it a hard drive crashing? Oh I know! It was a hard drive crashing because it got too hot because of global warming.

VorDaj on July 23, 2014 at 10:42 PM

The plagiarism was just a honest mistake brought on by PTSD and the Hard drive crashed due to Pre-PTSD brought on Global Warming deniers eating non free range organic chicken, Oh to hell with it, it was George Bush’s fault.

Wallythedog on July 23, 2014 at 11:03 PM

Can’t wait to vote for Daines in 104 days.

conservative hispanic on July 23, 2014 at 11:07 PM

There’s no logic to that defense but it serves the purpose of shielding him from criticism. If you fault the guy for plagiarizing sources, you hate veterans. QED.

The excuse makes him filthier.

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Sorry, doesn’t make sense to me either, changed magic to voodoo? Weird.

Cindy Munford on July 23, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Ah good, thought it was just me. You know. Because normally … verby’s good for unraveling at least one or two mysteries of the universe in a comment./

hawkdriver on July 23, 2014 at 9:57 PM

Plagiarism as a comment on plagiarism? I’d say it was clever, but I’m not convinced verbaluce could make the joke.

There Goes the Neighborhood on July 23, 2014 at 11:27 PM

Q: Mr. Walsh, Do you copy ?

A: Roger.

viking01 on July 23, 2014 at 11:40 PM

How many battalion commanders suffer from PTSD? My time in the Army leads me to believe Walsh would be a very rare case.

claudius on July 24, 2014 at 12:05 AM

Jul 23, 2014 at 11:27 pm There Goes the Neighborhood
Sorry, doesn’t make sense to me either, changed magic to voodoo? Weird.
Cindy Munford on July 23, 2014 at 9:52 PM
Ah good, thought it was just me. You know. Because normally … verby’s good for unraveling at least one or two mysteries of the universe in a comment./
hawkdriver on July 23, 2014 at 9:57 PM
Plagiarism as a comment on plagiarism? I’d say it was clever, but I’m not convinced verbaluce could make the joke.

Geez, guys. Yes, a joke.

verbaluce on July 24, 2014 at 12:46 AM

I know folks diagnosed with PTSD. I have the same diagnosis. Using it like this guy does makes him the jackwagon of all jackwagons, a crapweasely crapweasel of the most cowardly type.

He is a slacker, and a thief. A guy who thought he could skate by using the work of others and not be called to task because he’s an officer and a Senator.

Well, I don’t give a rat’s patoot what party he belongs to. Theft of IP is still theft, no matter how you and/or your enablers try and spin it.

I hope this haunts him for years to come because as bad as his theft is, his trying to pin this on PTSD just throws thousands of good people under the bus in order to help try and shield him from being responsible for his actions.

TKindred on July 24, 2014 at 12:47 AM

I don’t want to run down Regents College, but it was not a member of the State University of New York (SUNY) System. Regents College, now rebranded as Excelsior College, is part of the “University of the State of New York”, a state-chartered accreditation association.

Regents College is one of those “experiential equivalent” bullshit colleges. When I enlisted in the Navy in 1989 and subsequently attended the Defense Language Institute (DLI), I found out what was up with Regents College. It will grant credits for a variety of “equivalencies” including traditional residential college classes, service schools such as DLI, Advanced Placement examinations in high school, College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) subject tests. The GRE subject test was “worth” 21-30 credits in Regents’ evaluation.

I was always a smart and exceptionally well-read kid, so I decided to check out the CLEP and GRE subject tests while I was at DLI. What I found out was that CLEP and GRE exams are easy. So while at DLI, I faced a conundrum: Do I pay the few hundred bucks necessary to have Regents College cobble together my DLI transcripts, high school AP test results, CLEP tests, and GRE exams and grant me a bogus degree? In my case, I chose to attend extension courses from the University of Maryland, a more traditional extension college, based on wider social acceptance of Maryland as a “real” college.

Brendon Carr on July 24, 2014 at 1:01 AM

The headline describes it as a “thesis.” His master’s thesis was 14 pages long?

Ha! Welcome to the Army War College Allahpundit. Believe it or not, I think the requirement the last time my wife and I were there was around 12 pages, and unless you were a complete dunce, you were guaranteed a pass.

matthewbit07 on July 24, 2014 at 2:18 AM

Geez, guys. Yes, a joke.

verbaluce on July 24, 2014 at 12:46 AM

Then you need to make better jokes, dammit. You confused the entire board.

I know, I know. It’s hard to leave serious comments with your side falling apart like a cheap suit. But if you’re going to try to deflect the topic with humor, you have to develop some, you know, funny material.

HTHs

hawkdriver on July 24, 2014 at 6:17 AM

PTSD – the excuse of wimps, i.e. i’m a victim, vote for me!

Never going to work soldier wannabee, try this-

Vote for me, nobody reads that crap anyway!

Lonetown on July 24, 2014 at 6:43 AM

if he was actually being treated how could he have been on active duty with no restrictions?
IIRC, and I may be wrong, war college is active duty.

dmacleo on July 24, 2014 at 7:28 AM

Wow. We always laughed about it, but I never expected that level of voluntary confirmation.
 
All the “I know you spend hours” posts
 

In fairness to the rogerbee…nobody spends as much time putting together a comment… he spends hours working through his files…
 
verbaluce on April 17, 2013 at 3:54 PM

 

I know you worked hard on that…
 
verbaluce on July 14, 2014 at 12:59 PM

 

Not really. As I’m sure you’ve discovered with many, many other things in life, what is difficult for you isn’t necessarily difficult. It’s just you
 
rogerb on July 14, 2014 at 1:54 PM

 

I can only imagine how much time you’ve spent digging.
 
verbaluce on June 3, 2014 at 2:39 PM

 
make a LOT more sense now.

rogerb on July 24, 2014 at 8:08 AM

2 things.

1) Of course he’s not responsible by reason of PTSD. No democrat is every responsible or accountable for anything – see Obama, Barry.

2) We’ll see a last-minute substitution of candidates in the race as ordered by a Court. Because, of course, the left is not bound by the rule of law.

Nothing to see here folks. Just tyranny moving one step closer every day and the brownshirt leftists pushing it as hard as they can.

And verbulace and others think it is all funny. Verb – you would have cheered as Hitler rounded up the Jews. And I don’t mean that as hyperbole. People like you always rationalize tyranny for the greater good. You have no problem with it if it pushes a leftist agenda. Were you in Germany at the time, you would have been a full-on Nazi. And, if you tell me your Jewish, that doesn’t change the fact. You still would have been a full-on Nazi. Because a) Nazis were leftists and b) you, like all good leftists, have no use for rule of law or freedom, as those two things get in the way of leftism.

Monkeytoe on July 24, 2014 at 8:11 AM

He should have said he can’t remember and can’t get his files because the IRS has wiped his hard drive.

ajacksonian on July 24, 2014 at 8:18 AM

I don’t recall him claiming ptsd before even when he’s being investigated for mismanaging funds as the head of the state natl guard. Wait til the folks find out he went to school in NYS.

Kissmygrits on July 24, 2014 at 8:25 AM

verbaluce on July 24, 2014 at 12:46 AM

And very clever also, sorry I was too thick to pick up on it. I’m old and I worked 13 hours the previous day. Excuses, excuses.

Cindy Munford on July 24, 2014 at 8:55 AM

If Republican- then yes it’s a problem.

But remember who Democrats are- the lack of morality party.

You know and I know if Obama had been found walking down the road with the bloody head of a woman in one hand and a knife in the other, while shouting Allah Akbar, thirty-two percent of the democratic party would still vote for him, twenty percent would be convinced the Republicans had something to do with it!

So, this guy cheating on a paper that launched his career isn’t a big deal. The “I had PTSD” excuse does more damage I think. He had better been in combat, ducking incoming rounds before he starts throwing that around.

I had a buddy whose kid came back from Fallujah after 2004. He was a Marine, neck deep in the fighting. For six months after he got home, his dad found him sleeping on the floor of his bathroom, legs up on the door, so to warn him if anyone was trying to get in. Apparently, that is how they slept while clearing the city.

THAT is PTSD.

archer52 on July 24, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Actually, according to the AWC web site, you do – it’s a 1 year program for a “Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies”.

dentarthurdent on July 23, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Wow, I stand corrected on that. That explains how so many field-grade officers have “Masters Degrees” then – especially ones that I found couldn’t pour water out of a boot if the instructions were on the heel. And, no, I wouldn’t put that “Masters” on par with something from … does Holy Cross have a graduate program?

GWB on July 24, 2014 at 9:16 AM

verbaluce on July 24, 2014 at 12:46 AM

And very clever also, sorry I was too thick to pick up on it. I’m old and I worked 13 hours the previous day. Excuses, excuses.

Cindy Munford on July 24, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Well as they say, if you have to explain a joke…

But I see now that in error used ‘strike’ instead of ‘quote’ on that first bit. So that didn’t help.

verbaluce on July 24, 2014 at 9:48 AM

archer52 on July 24, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Clearing one’s house twice a night might also qualify. In any case using PTSD excuse for cheating is utter BULL! ok?

dogsoldier on July 24, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Plagiarism as a comment on plagiarism? I’d say it was clever, but I’m not convinced verbaluce could make the joke.

There Goes the Neighborhood on July 23, 2014 at 11:27 PM

Well I appreciate the benefit of the doubt(in spite of the dig at the end).

verbaluce on July 24, 2014 at 9:50 AM

rogerb on July 24, 2014 at 8:08 AM

Oh rogerb, you committed jokey rascal.
I guess that one stung…you saving it all this time and then making – as usual – an odd and forced connection.
I take it all back, ok?
I now realize it’s true what you say – that you don’t really put much effort at all into this.

verbaluce on July 24, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Wow. We always laughed about it, but I never expected that level of voluntary confirmation.

All the “I know you spend hours” posts

In fairness to the rogerbee…nobody spends as much time putting together a comment… he spends hours working through his files…

verbaluce on April 17, 2013 at 3:54 PM

I know you worked hard on that…

verbaluce on July 14, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Not really. As I’m sure you’ve discovered with many, many other things in life, what is difficult for you isn’t necessarily difficult. It’s just you…

rogerb on July 14, 2014 at 1:54 PM

I can only imagine how much time you’ve spent digging.

verbaluce on June 3, 2014 at 2:39 PM

make a LOT more sense now.

rogerb on July 24, 2014 at 8:08 AM

 
Oh rogerb, you committed jokey rascal.
I guess that one stung…you saving it all this time and then making – as usual – an odd and forced connection.
I take it all back, ok?
I now realize it’s true what you say – that you don’t really put much effort at all into this.
 
verbaluce on July 24, 2014 at 9:56 AM

 
Math jokes to follow.

rogerb on July 24, 2014 at 9:59 AM

When it comes to commie dems (yes, I know that is redundant), I think this explains the issue: http://reason.com/blog/2014/07/22/socialists-are-cheaters-says-new-study

earlgrey on July 24, 2014 at 10:08 AM

A D dream candidate! This will get the Dems out to vote, several times.

ha_tspc on July 24, 2014 at 10:11 AM

I’m wondering – who graded the final paper? And why isn’t their name being spread across the interwebs?
Was there a payoff made to accept the paper?
Was the professor lazy/busy and couldn’t around to reading the paper (doing his job)?
Is the professor also ignorant of plagiarism rules?
Or something else?
Lies can’t live without help.

Ricks Cafe on July 24, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Walsh says he had PTSD….now we finally know he’s Senate material –
he suffers from a mental disorder.

Another Drew on July 24, 2014 at 11:35 AM

First came Feminism. Then came plagiarism and all the rest of the rot.

chuckh on July 24, 2014 at 11:37 AM

So, he now claims PTSD, and says he still takes anti-depressants.
According to the lefties, that should make him ineligible to own a gun – so shouldn’t that also make him ineligible to be making major decisions for the entire country?

dentarthurdent on July 24, 2014 at 1:03 PM

The word here in MT is that if Walsh drops out of the race, Schweitzer is ready to jump in, even tho the race has already been certified by the Sec of State. Seems like that would be a bigger mess. Key to look for is if the money from all the dem orgs dries up. They won’t waste dough on a loser if they think a few more dollars will be a game changer in another race. Daines apparently is comfortably ahead for now. Does the War College want it’s degree back since their rules have been violated?

Kissmygrits on July 24, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Kissmygrits on July 24, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Thank you for sharing your local insight, Kissmygrits!

wren on July 24, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Democrats always find an excuse. He knew what he was doing when he did it. Will the left ever own up to their own messes?

Hope the Republicans take the seat.

MN J on July 24, 2014 at 11:07 PM

Once, after a 3-day Tijuana bender I lost the ability to use any punctuation for over a week. So yeah it can happen.

Catahoula on July 25, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Comment pages: 1 2