Dem Senator Caught Plagiarizing Thesis, Claims PTSD
Quote:Senator says he had PTSD when he wrote thesis

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AP 7/24/2014 12:13:27 AM

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Sen. John Walsh of Montana said Wednesday his failure to attribute conclusions and verbatim passages lifted from other scholars' work in his thesis to earn a master's degree from the U.S. Army War College was an unintentional mistake caused in part by post-traumatic stress disorder.

The apparent plagiarism first reported by The New York Times was the second potentially damaging issue raised this year involving the Democrat's 33-year military career, which has been a cornerstone of his campaign to keep the seat he was appointed to in February when Max Baucus resigned to become U.S. ambassador to China.

National Democrats said Wednesday they remained "100 percent behind Sen. Walsh" in his campaign against Republican Rep. Steve Daines.

Walsh told The Associated Press when he wrote the thesis, he had PTSD from his service in Iraq, was on medication and was dealing with the stress of a fellow veteran's recent suicide.

"I don't want to blame my mistake on PTSD, but I do want to say it may have been a factor," the senator said. "My head was not in a place very conducive to a classroom and an academic environment."

Walsh submitted his thesis, titled "The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy," to earn his Master of Strategic Studies degree in 2007, nearly two years after he returned from Iraq and about a year before he became Montana's adjutant general overseeing the state's National Guard and Department of Military Affairs.

The paper includes a series of unattributed passages taken from the writings of other scholars.

The first page borrows heavily from a 2003 Foreign Affairs piece written by Thomas Carothers, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and a 2009 book by Natan Sharansky with Ron Dermer called "The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror."

Sharansky is a former Soviet dissident and chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Dermer is the Israeli ambassador to the United States.

All six of the recommendations that Walsh listed at the end of his paper are taken nearly word-for-word without attribution from a Carnegie paper written by Carothers and three other scholars at the institute.

One section is nearly identical to about 600 words from a 1998 paper by Sean Lynn-Jones, a scholar at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, a research institute at Harvard. Carothers and a Dermer spokesman declined to comment.

Lynn-Jones said Walsh appears to have received a degree on the basis of work that was not entirely his own, and that anyone seeking credit for an academic degree "needs to acknowledge where the material is coming from."

"Maybe he unintentionally didn't cite my work, but it's up to the Army War College to determine whether this is acceptable by their standards or not," Lynn-Jones said.

An after-hours call to the Carlisle, Pennsylvania, school rang unanswered Wednesday.

Walsh declined to answer repeated questions about whether he believed he earned the degree if the thesis' conclusions were not his own.

"I know about war strategy and defense because of firsthand experience leading a battalion and the Montana National Guard," he said.

The senator said when he wrote the paper, he was seeing two doctors and taking medication to deal with nightmares, anxiety and sleeplessness. He said he has since worked through those issues with his doctors and family, though he still takes antidepressant medication.

Justin Barasky, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said the committee stands behind Walsh.

"John Walsh is a decorated war hero, and it's disgusting that Steve Daines and Washington Republicans are going to try denigrate John's distinguished service after multiple polls show him gaining," Barasky said.

Daines spokeswoman Alee Lockman said she had just seen the Times' report and had no immediate comment.

Even before the plagiarism revelations, top Democratic strategists saw Walsh's campaign as an uphill pull, never counting on it as key to holding their Senate majority.

Republicans need to gain six net seats this fall to control the Senate. South Dakota, West Virginia and Montana are seen as likely GOP pickups, and Republicans have several opportunities to grab the other three contests they need. Top on their lists are incumbent Democrats running in states President Barack Obama lost in 2012: Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and Alaska.

Walsh is the only senator who served in the Iraq war. He capped his long career in the Montana National Guard as the state's adjutant general before becoming lieutenant governor to Gov. Steve Bullock, who appointed him to the Senate seat.

Walsh's military record was first questioned in January when records revealed the Army reprimanded him in 2010 for pressuring guardsmen to join a private association for which he was seeking a leadership role.

Walsh was adjutant general at the time and wanted to become vice chairman of the National Guard Association of the United States. In the reprimand, Army Vice Chief of Staff Peter Chiarelli said he questioned Walsh's ability to lead.

Political scientist David Parker of Montana State University said Walsh's thesis combined with the reprimand raise questions about the senator's integrity.

"If this were it, in isolation, I don't think it would be a big deal," Parker said. "But now we've got two issues of honor and competency."
What the hell are the good folks in Montana doing voting Democrat? They work there and pay taxes. They aren't on the public teat. I love that state, at least I did before they put in speed limits.
Jimmy Fallon Wrote:• The New York Times reports Montana Sen. John Walsh plagiarized at least 25 percent of his master's degree thesis. Walsh denied it and said, "I am not a crook, and ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. Mission accomplished."
(07-26-2014, 07:55 AM)WilliamW Wrote:
Jimmy Fallon Wrote:• The New York Times reports Montana Sen. John Walsh plagiarized at least 25 percent of his master's degree thesis. Walsh denied it and said, "I am not a crook, and ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. Mission accomplished."
Well said William!
When you've become a national laughingstock you have to do the honorable thing. Somebody should round up 15 people to explain that to George Gollin.

Quote:Walsh drops out of U.S. Senate race
12 hours ago • By CHARLES S. JOHNSON Gazette State Bureau

HELENA — Sen. John Walsh said Thursday he is pulling out of the Senate race because his campaign was distracted by the controversy over allegations that he plagiarized a U.S. Army War College research paper.

Walsh, a Democrat, said he decided to drop out of the race after canceling campaign events this week so he and his family could gather in his Helena home to decide his political future.

Walsh will serve out the rest of his Senate term, which ends in early January 2015.

The New York Times reported July 23 that Walsh had plagiarized large portions of the research paper in 2007.

The plagiarism charge has dominated Montana news since then. Editorials in the state’s largest daily newspapers had called on Walsh to drop out of the race because of the plagiarism.

“I am ending my campaign so that I can focus on fulfilling the responsibility entrusted to me as your U.S. senator,” Walsh said in a statement to supporters. “You deserve someone who will always fight for Montana, and I will.”

The Montana Democratic Party now will choose a replacement for Walsh to appear on the Nov. 4 ballot, along with Republican Rep. Steve Daines and Libertarian Roger Roots.

The party must select a new Senate candidate at a nominating convention by Aug. 20. (See related story.)

Walsh drove from Helena to Billings on Thursday to personally tell his staff of his decision before it was released publicly.

“I am proud that with your support, we held our opponent (Daines) accountable for his hurtful record to privatize Medicare, to deny women the freedom to make their own health decisions and to sell off our public lands,” Walsh said in the statement. “I know how important it is to continue the fight for these Montana values, and it is time for us all to return to the real issues of this election.”

Daines had held a large lead in polls, but Walsh had narrowed the gap in the days before the New York Times story broke.

“I think it is a decision that in a lot of ways people were expecting, in the sense he was off the trail for a long period of time,” said David Parker, a political science professor at Montana State University. “It would have been hard, given the recent editorials and the recent polls to continue as a viable candidate.”

Parker said the plagiarism charges drew national attention and would have made it hard for Walsh to raise the funds to be competitive against Daines.

“I think at the end of the day, that was the kill shot,” Parker said.

Walsh drew praise from top Montana Democrats after his announcement, and they said how much they respected him and the difficult decision he made to drop out.

“John has dedicated his life to serving the people of Montana and our country,” fellow Democratic Sen. Jon Tester said. “From his 33-year career of military service to his work in the U.S. Senate, John Walsh has courageously devoted himself to our state and our nation, and we all owe him thinks for his service.”

Gov. Steve Bullock, who tapped Walsh to be his running mate as lieutenant governor in 2012 and appointed him to the Senate in February to replace Sen. Max Baucus, said:

“No man should be judged based on his best or his worst days, yet rather over a lifetime … . It’s unfortunate that we live in an era where more money and time is spent trying to find the flaws a candidate may have than weighing what good they can do.”

Daines, meanwhile, said he respected Walsh’s decision and remained focused on working for the people of Montana and fighting for more jobs, less government.”

Walsh, 53, was named as the state’s adjutant general by then-Gov. Brian Schweitzer in 2008. He resigned in 2012 when Bullock selected him as his running mate for lieutenant governor. The Bullock-Walsh team won the election by a narrow margin.

He was enjoying his job as lieutenant governor until Montana politics was turned upside down when longtime Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., made a surprise announcement in April 2013 that he wouldn’t seek re-election.

Schweitzer expressed interest in running for the Senate seat and cleared out the Democratic field. However, in mid-July, Schweitzer decided not to run,

Walsh jumped into the Senate race in October 2013.

Then in another surprise announcement, President Barack Obama in December appointed Baucus to be U.S. ambassador to China. That created an opening in the Senate to serve out the remainder of Baucus’ term.

On Feb. 7, Bullock appointed Walsh to the Senate vacancy. Walsh went on to win a three-way primary for the Democratic Senate nomination in June.

In his statement, Walsh went on to say: “I am grateful for the opportunity to have met countless people in the course of this campaign who have offered support — who know what’s at stake for the future of our great nation. That is why public service is so important to me, and why I look forward to continuing to fight for Montana in the U.S. Senate.

“Nothing is more important to me than serving the people of Montana. It’s been my privilege for more than 30 years, defending both our state and nation.”

In the Senate, Walsh was the only Iraq combat veteran and was a leading critic in the Senate of re-engaging in Iraq.

He introduced the Suicide Prevention for America’s Veterans Act, a bill that drew bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House.

Walsh had another bill to create an independent Commission on Care to examine the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in response to reports of delayed and inadequate care at the VA. Obama signed the bill into law Thursday.
Quote:Army War College revokes Sen. John Walsh's degree after plagiarism finding
Published October 11, 2014
Associated Press

[Image: john-walsh-cropped-internal.jpg?ve=1&tl=1]Jan. 26, 2014: U.S. Sen. John Walsh speaks to reporters in Helena, Mont. (AP)

The U.S. Army War College revoked Democratic Sen. John Walsh's master's degree after an investigation completed Friday concluded he plagiarized a research paper required to graduate, a college spokeswoman said.

The Carlisle, Pennsylvania, college assigned an academic review board to the probe in August after The New York Times published a story showing Walsh borrowed heavily from other sources for the paper he wrote in 2007.

Walsh was pursuing a Master of Strategic Studies degree at age 47, a year before he became Montana's adjutant general overseeing the state National Guard.

The board took less than a day to hear the case and make its findings Aug. 22, but the process of appeal and review wasn't completed until Friday.

"The board found that then Colonel John Walsh did commit the offense of plagiarism and thus his Master's Degree and status as graduate of the U.S. Army War College should be revoked," War College spokeswoman Carol Kerr said in a statement.

The review board made its conclusions less than 20 minutes after closing its August hearing, according to the report released by Walsh's office. Possible extenuating circumstances submitted by Walsh of post-traumatic stress disorder and a fellow soldier's suicide were not enough to support any other recommendation.

"It should also be noted that other students ... have had similar or more serious personal and psychological issues during their year at USAWC, and they have been able to successfully complete course requirements without resorting to plagiarism or other cheating," the review board's report said.

Walsh's office released a statement saying the senator disagrees with the findings but accepts the college's decision.

"I apologize to all Montanans for the plagiarism in my 2007 paper, and I am prepared to live with its consequences," Walsh said in the statement. "I may not be a scholar, but I am proud to have been a soldier who has served Montana and this great nation for 33 years in uniform."

His spokeswoman said he was not available for further comment.

Walsh dropped out of the Nov. 4 Senate race after the plagiarism. He was appointed to his Senate seat in February when Max Baucus resigned to become ambassador to China.

In August, Montana Democrats chose state lawmaker Amanda Curtis to replace Wash as their candidate.
Republicans need a net gain of six seats in November to take Senate control, and Montana is a prime target to pick up a seat that's been in Democratic hands for more than a century.

The Senate race was seen as a tough one for Democrats even with the incumbent Walsh in the running. Now Daines is expected to have a bigger advantage going against a newcomer who doesn't have his name recognition or $1.7 million campaign bank account.

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