My reaction to the revelation that Democrat senator John Walsh, a retired brigadier general and one-time adjutant general (head) of Montana’s National Guard, had plagiarized much of his master’s thesis at the Army’s Command and General Staff War College was similar to that of most veterans. I felt a queasy disgust, not so much at the offense but at his attempt to blame it on PTSD. For an officer of his seniority and long military experience to try to weasel out of an embarrassing exposure of his lack of professional and academic ethics by falsely claiming the stress of battle made him do it, is a huge disservice to all those warriors who, due to their combat experiences, truly are dealing with the very real debilities of post-traumatic stress disorder. My assessment as an old former infantry NCO is that this guy isn’t much of a leader. Reading comments around the internet from soldiers who served under him reinforces that belief.
Those of us who try to stay attuned to developments in the veteran community are keenly aware that PTSD is all too often the first defense thrown up by those phony veterans claiming military service and valorous awards for service and deeds never rendered, once they are exposed, or it is part of their original scam to milk public sympathy. These frauds, most who have never served and the rest actual veterans foolishly trying to add some macho glamour to their military record, are such a prevalent phenomenonin America today that they’ve earned their very own federal criminal statute, the Stolen Valor Act of 2013.
That a United States Senator throws in with that legion of losers as soon as his own Stolen Valor is exposed says a lot about his lack of devotion to the troops he actually led in combat, some of whom no doubt are suffering the real effects of PTSD. Why don’t you just steal their wheelchairs and prosthetic limbs while you’re usurping their emotional wounds for your phony defense, Senator? And yes, I know, you’re trying to backtrack now but your first defensive instinct is what is so telling.
Now, while Democrats are rallying ‘round another of their tarnished war heroes, we hear that the Army Command and General Staff College is opening an investigation of your possible cheating. That became much more interesting to me when I read an excerpt from a Google Book edited by Douglas Higgins, titled Military Culture and Education: Current Intersections of Academic and Military Cultures which contains this very interesting observation regarding the very real seriousness of the offense of plagiarism in a military academic setting.
Academic misconduct is also covered by the UCMJ. Plagiarism is significantly less prevalent among CGSC students. When plagiarism is suspected, however, the procedures involved are significantly more serious than in a civilian setting. If a written assignment aroused my curiosity at the university — or even the seminary, I would call a student in for an informal discussion. At CGSC faculty are required to have an active-duty officer of greater rank than the student involved present to read the student their legal rights under article 15-6 of the UCMJ prior to that conversation. Depending on the circumstances and severity, an investigative board may be formed and — theoretically at least — a student could face the “long course”: confinement in the Disciplinary Barracks, or military prison, at Fort Leavenworth. Here plagiarism is literally a crime. (Emphasis mine.)
Perhaps the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which has jumped to the senator’s defense, should pause for a moment and consider that last sentence from the above quote:
Here plagiarism is literally a crime.
That might also give some pause to his former running mate and now Montana governor, Steve Bullock, who has been staunchly supportive of a man he perhaps doesn’t know quite as well as he thought. The Dems attempts to whitewash a possible military crime by one of their own is typical.
And this is for you, John Walsh: you are now numbered among those who have Stolen Valor. You knowingly allowed the Army to confer upon you a master’s degree that you had not honestly earned. If the successful completion of that course contributed to your promotion to brigadier general then that rank was falsely attainedand your promotion should be rescinded. And because you benefitted financially by the higher pay grade of your fraudulently achieved rank, you have brought yourself under the jurisdiction of the Stolen Valor Act of 2013, which makes it a crime for a person to fraudulently claim having received any of a series of particular military decorations with the intention of obtaining money, property, or other tangible benefit from convincing someone that he or she rightfully did receive that award. If a court should deem your master’s degree from the War College to be an award or decoration, enhancing promotion, you could be prosecuted.
Or, because you’re a Democrat and now have demonstrably phony military credentials, your party might now be looking at you as future presidential material like Jean Fraud Kerry.
Crossposted at American Thinker
Category: Veterans Issues