The New York Times reports that Montana U.S. senator, Democrat John Walsh, “plagiarized large portions of his final paper submitted for his 2007 master’s degree at the U.S. Army War College…..” Walsh’s military credentials were heralded as a large part of his appeal in Montana when he was appointed to his Senate seat in February.
Walsh himself is quick to rely on his military credential on the campaign trail. How quickly that’s changed.
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.
Walsh is facing off against Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., in yet one more Senate race seen as key to the Republicans capturing a majority in the upper chamber. Now, it seems as though Walsh is blaming the transgression on the suicide of a comrade.
I’m not sure any sense of a military honor code allows for such an exception. In fact, he may be making matters worse for himself.
The Times writes: “Most strikingly, each of the six recommendations Mr. Walsh laid out at the conclusion of his 14-page paper … is taken nearly word-for-word without attribution from a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace document on the same topic.”
When the Times asked Walsh if he plagiarized the thesis, he responded, “I don’t believe I did, no.”
More: “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.”