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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.”
Which is why Walsh exaggerated his war record by saying he survived “hundreds of IED attacks” when he actually survived only one, and why he then blamed the whole thing on his war buddy committing suicide.
Is anything not about John Walsh?
Probably not, when you think about it.
But perhaps Walsh’s worst offense, especially if you are a Dimocrat, is that—when all of these previous excuses didn’t pan out—he plagiarized Joe Biden’s excuse for plagiarizing his own college paper.
You guessed it. Walsh is now falling back on the old I-was-just-stupid excuse. (This, obviously, from the Dorothy Kearns Goodwin School of Liberal Plagiarization Etiquette)
When Biden plagiarized his 1969 law school paper, he claimed to have made some incorrect citations because he didn’t know the proper usage of a footnote. Much ado about… something we all learned in 8th grade.
But on the upside, John Walsh could be vice president some day… Right?
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