Remember John Walsh? No, not the anti-gun TV celebrity who turned a dead kid into fame and fortune, but the anti-gun appointed Senator from Montana, Dishonest John Walsh, who was going to save Big Sky for his party because of his “great military career?”
If the name rings a bell, maybe it’s because we covered the Thesis Thief back in July as part of an omnibus on military phonies in Congress, noted that political appointees sidetracked an investigation into his plagiarism later that month, and followed up with news of his withdrawal from the increasingly lopsided race. As we wrote that last time:
Walsh copied large portions of his Master’s paper at the Army War College from a variety of published, academic and think-tank works. He is expected to lose his USAWC degree of Master of Strategic Studies when an enquiry is complete. The exposure of Walsh’s plagiarism caused reporters to look at his checkered military record, and torpedoed a candidacy that was entirely dependent on the legend of Walsh as military leader.
(Walsh had been reprimanded for corruption and denied Federal recognition of his promotion to two-star general in the MT Army National Guard, forcing him to retire as a colonel).
Well, Dishonest John gets the last of his fifteen minutes of fame today, as the USAWC did indeed revoke his fraudulently-obtained degree and his status as a graduate.
The board of the Carlisle, Pennsylvania-based college 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’s report found the plagiarism “egregious.” A review of Walsh’s paper by the school’s director of communicative arts found little, if any, original language or research and that it was “primarily composed of verbatim liftings from other sources” presented as if they were Walsh’s own work.
“In short, the paper was plagiarized and … the plagiarism was intentional,” the review board said in its report.
Walsh didn’t do much fighting in his Army career, but he sure fought the inquiry board.
Walsh spoke to members of the review board by phone the day before it convened in August. He admitted that he plagiarized the paper, but he said it was a mistake. Walsh also said he was taking medication for PTSD and that one of the soldiers he commanded in Iraq in 2005 had committed suicide in March 2007.
The review board noted Walsh submitted several drafts of his paper, including before the suicide, and later submitted a version of the same paper for another class with the plagiarized passages intact.
The board said in its findings that other students have had similar or more serious issues during their time at the war college, but they were able to do the work “without resorting to plagiarism or other cheating.”
In other words, a REMF playing the PTSD card is probably in the wrong AO to get sympathy, with the officers of the War College.
He still didn’t give up, and had to be shot down again last week.
Walsh appealed the decision on Oct. 6. War College Commandant Major Gen. William Rapp rejected the appeal in a letter dated Friday.
But plagiarist, fraud, corrupt officer… whatever. He still has his friends in politics!
Former Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who appointed Walsh adjutant general, was among those who wrote a letter of support to the college’s review board. Schweitzer told The Associated Press on Friday that Walsh should be judged on “a lifetime of leadership” based on his three-decade rise through the National Guard and service in Iraq.
“That was the John Walsh I selected, not the John Walsh that was a literary scholar or a person who understood the nuances of grammar and putting things in quotations,” Schweitzer said.
Just for the record, Walsh didn’t choke on some arcane and minute peccadillo of the secret rules of graduate-level scholarship. He copied the whole goddamned thing without attribution, which gets you a zero anywhere from middle school on up, except maybe among politicians and unethical crooks — pardon the repetition. And then he put the bogus paper in again for another class.
A bitter Walsh made a statement to the Missoulian newspaper (of Missoula, MT, naturally) that he “disagree[d] with the findings made by the War College,” and he apologized for “the plagiarism in my 2007 paper,” which he seemed to think got there without agency on his part. (That is possible. Perhaps he assigned some underling to write his papers for him. Not at all rare among state AGs, who tend to be — like Walsh — political figures conditioned to life above the law).
Oddly enough, the caning of the Thesis Thief hasn’t shown up on the
Official Happy Talk Page USAWC In the News official page.