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Senator John Walsh received the final verdict on the status of his Masters Diploma from his alma mater, the U.S. Army and War College. The War College formally announced that Walsh’s master’s degree has been revoked. This action was pending an investigation into allegations made by the New York Times which stated that the senator plagiarized his graduate thesis paper. Walsh was scheduled to run for re-election in August, but had to drop his bid once
the allegations surfaced.
John Walsh became a senator when Democrat Max Baucus retired earlier this year. According to Huffington Post, Walsh tried to dismiss the allegations several times, but as evidence leaked to the media Walsh provided additional information to the college and media about the accusations of the thesis paper, which was written in 2007. ABC News published details of the investigation.
On Oct. 6, John Walsh stated that at the time, he did not know how to properly put together a graduate-level thesis paper. Rather than asking for help, Walsh admitted that he resorted to plagiarism. He states that he was unorganized and his process for providing proper attribution was flawed. He adds that in hindsight he can appreciate how his actions exposed him. According to ABC News, Walsh borrowed heavily from several sources and did not provide adequate attributions.
Walsh says that he will accept the War College’s ruling with great humility and respect. He also apologized for his actions to the college and the state of Montana which he represents. In his statements with MSNBC, Walsh stated that his academic struggles do not exempt him from accepting responsiblity for his actions and that he has agreed to accept the consequences of the college’s decision.
Senator John Walsh is not the only politician to be faced with accusations of plagiarism this year. The Washington Post reported on five politicians who have faced scrutiny in the media this year concerning plagiarism. Included in the list are politicians Tom Wolf and Rand Paul.
Tom Wolf ran for governor in Pennsylvania and it was observed that exact copies of energy reports were included within his renewable energy policy. Due to the allegations of plagiarism, Wolf fired the consultant who was tasked with writing for the politician. Despite allegations of the offense, Wolf was able to win in the primary race.
Rand Paul was also accused of plagiarism for delivering speeches and
a publishing a book alleged to be plagiarized. Washington Post reported that Paul brushed off the allegations and blamed the situation on his “haters.” Paul has since moved on, but as reported by ABC News these accusations could resurface in the 2016 elections.
John Walsh has recently been in the local Montana media making appearances and speaking on non-related issues. After Walsh removed himself from the race, Amanda Curtis, a rising democrat was added to the ballot to replace Senator Walsh for the senate seat. Having served less that 12 months, Walsh’s term will end in 2015. Senator John Walsh of Montana openly apologized for extensive plagiarism and seeks to accept the consequences of his action as he now has missed an opportunity to continue his career as senator.
By Carolette Wright