Montana Democratic Sen. John Walsh is in deep water after revelations surfaced that he copied the work of others for his U.S. Army War College thesis without proper attribution — a practice otherwise known as plagiarism.
The New York Times reports that the former National Guard general’s thesis contained at least a quarter of work that was not attributed to the original authors.
Additionally, all six of the recommendations he places at the conclusion of his paper were lifted entirely from another article published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The Times points out that the entirety of one recommendation was exactly the same as it was printed in the original source. He did not cite the article at all in his thesis.
Walsh also extensively copied material from a paper published by a Harvard research institute without citing or footnoting it. Both papers are easily accessible through the internet.
Walsh’s paper, entitled “The Case for Democracy as a Long Term Strategy,” dealt with America’s Middle East policy and was conducted as a “strategy research project.”
Walsh responded to The Times’ accusations with assertions that he did nothing intentionally wrong.
“I didn’t do anything intentional here,” he told The Times, adding that he did not believe he had plagiarized anything in this case.
A Senate aide further clarified that Walsh was going through a difficult time while at the War College and did not deny that he may have plagiarized his work.
Walsh is a veteran of the Iraq War, where he received a Bronze Star for his service, and formerly served as the head of the Montana National Guard. He stepped down from that position after being elected as the state’s lieutenant governor, before being appointed to the U.S. Senate by Gov. Steve Bullock in February after Max Baucus resigned to serve as Obama’s ambassador to China.
His War College degree was used to support his competency to serve as the head of the Montana National Guard, which in turn boosted his resume when he ran for office. The War College manual explicitly warns against plagiarism and demands its students to not engage in it.