Democratic Senator John Walsh of Montana has announced that the U.S. Army War College has revoked his master’s degree after an investigation concluded that he plagiarized his master’s thesis. An academic review board at the college began investigating in August when a New York Times story showed how heavily the Senator’s 2007 paper “borrowed” from other sources. Although the college completed its investigation in only a day, the appeals process drug it out and it did not conclude until Friday.
The extent of the plagiarism was explained by the Inquisitr after the Times story broke. At that time, Senator John Walsh announced he would not run for re-election. Walsh is an appointee to fill the seat of Senator Max Backus, who was appointed as U.S. Ambassador to China by the president. Montana’s governor has not announced whether or not he will recall the Senator. The Democratic Party of Montana has chosen Amanda Curtis to be their candidate for the seat in November.
“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 to the Associated Press.
“In short, the paper was plagiarized and.. the plagiarism was intentional.”
John Walsh’s office released a short statement saying that the senator accepts the college’s decision, though he disagrees with the findings. This despite his open admission to plagiarism in his statement.
“I apologize to Montanans for the plagiarism in my 2007 paper, and I am prepared to live with its consequences. I may not be a scholar, but I am proud to have been a soldier..”
Before the review board convened to give findings on the short investigation into Walsh’s paper, the senator called to speak with them. He admitted to the plagiarism, the minutes of that meeting show, and said it was a mistake. John claimed he had been taking medication for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and that a soldier he had commanded in 2005 had committed suicide during the time John Walsh was compiling the thesis in 2007.
The board, however, noted that drafts of the paper submitted before the suicide contained the same plagiarisms as the ones submitted afterwards. The board also noted that other students with similar or more serious issues during their time in the War College and did not resort to cheating.
John Walsh served in the National Guard for 33 years, becoming the adjutant general for the Montana Guard before leaving to embark on a career in politics. Walsh was a Colonel at the time he plagiarized his thesis paper.