Thursday, July 24, 2014

Major plagiarism scandal brewing as to Senator John Walsh

The New York Times presents the story of plagiarism by Walsh in a post
Senator’s Thesis Turns Out to Be Remix of Others’ Works, Uncited

The copying without attribution appears in a paper required for Mr. Walsh’s master’s degree from the United States Army War College in Carlisle, PA.

The Poshard concept of inadvertent plagiarism arises: “I didn’t do anything intentional here,” Walsh said, adding that he did not recall using the Carnegie and Harvard sources.

Sadly, the NYT recycles the canard about Biden: And Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. dropped his 1988 presidential bid when it was revealed that in campaign speeches he had used language similar to that of the British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock without attribution. Some of the time, Biden did mention Kinnock. The problem with Biden's story taken from Kinnock was that it was factually untrue as to Biden. Stating falsities is worse than unattributed copying, especially in speeches. Further, years earlier, Biden copied in law school. Did Biden drop out because of the Kinnock thing, or was that pretext for something else?

The NYT does raise a different issue about Walsh: the misrepresentation of "where" he went to school:

There has also been a discrepancy about where Mr. Walsh earned his undergraduate degree. He was listed in the biographical directory of Congress as having graduated in 1990 from the University at Albany, State University of New York, but actually earned his B.S. degree from what was then known as Regents College, an adult learning institute that issued degrees under the umbrella of the University of the State of New York.

Mr. Walsh changed the listing after the newspaper Roll Call ran an article about the matter, but he did not offer an explanation publicly.

The NYT post was by JONATHAN MARTIN .

An interesting related post
What a 12-Year-Old Has in Common With a Plagiarizing U.S. Senator

From one who was a victim of the Walsh plagiarism (Sean M. Lynn-Jones )

Honestly, I’m not outraged. Although I don’t condone plagiarism, I was surprised and mildly flattered that Sen. Walsh had decided to incorporate so much of my paper into his, albeit without citing me once. Even in 2007, my paper, “Why the United States Should Spread Democracy,” was out of date. I wrote it in 1998, when the Clinton administration was embracing the strategy of spreading democracy.

By 2007, U.S. interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan had, to put it mildly, given democracy promotion a bad name.

The paper needed significant revisions to address what had happened in those two countries, respond to criticisms, and cite the most recent literature. Nevertheless, it remained online and was often the most viewed publication on the Web site of Harvard’s Belfer Center. Ironically, Walsh’s appropriation, without citation, of sections of my paper ensures that it will enjoy a much wider readership than if he had properly footnoted it in his student work.



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