John Walsh Plagiarized Because He’s Not an Academic and…PTSD
John Walsh’s campaign to retain the senate seat gifted to him by Governor Bullock has hit a major snag, and that snag is plagiarism:
Senator John Walsh of Montana took most of a 2007 final paper required for his master’s degree from the United States Army War College from other sources without proper attribution. Mr. Walsh copies an entire page nearly word-for-word from a Harvard paper, and each of his six conclusions is copied from a document from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace without attribution.
Rachel Maddow did a piece on this, associating Walsh’s new political problem with Biden’s plagiarism, which derailed his presidential bid, and Rand Paul’s serial plagiarist tendencies.
There is no question as to the plagiarism. Walsh is guilty. The question is, will Montana voters buy the reasoning that Walsh is not an academic, the plagiarism was unintentional and…PTSD:
Walsh, 53, an Iraq War veteran and former adjutant general of the Montana National Guard, told the Missoulian State Bureau Wednesday that he’d made an “unintentional mistake” on the paper and that “a few mistakes in a term paper should (not) define my career.”
“My record is defined by my leadership in the National Guard,” he said. “I excelled on the battlefield. I’m not necessarily an academic. The citations were not done correctly, and I take full responsibility for the paper that I wrote.”
Walsh also said that he “was going through a lot of things” when he attended the War College, such as trying to “reintegrate” himself back into his family, country and job after serving in Iraq. Walsh served 11 months in Iraq, returning in late 2005.
He told The Associated Press he was on medication and being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder when he wrote the paper almost two years after returning from Iraq. He said he is still taking antidepressant medication.
That last part should raise some eyebrows. Is Walsh clinically depressed? What kind of antidepressant medication is he still taking? Do voters have a right to know the mental health status of a candidate?
Walsh’s reasoning for committing this academic offense may have just created new problems for his campaign. Some bloggers are going to be very busy with damage control on this one.