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February 10, 2005

On the Trail of Churchill's Academic Fraud

Fraudulent Indian heritage, fraudulent military service, and now, of course, fraudulent "academic" writings.

University of Colorado officials reviewing Ward Churchill's writings and qualifications will find questions about his scholarship and accuracy dating back at least eight years.

"If he is going to get fired, it is going to be for making up data, and that's one thing you can't get away with in the academic community," said Thomas F. Brown, who holds a doctorate from Johns Hopkins and is an assistant professor of sociology at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.

Brown is one of two professors at different universities who have published or have sought to publish detailed critiques of Churchill's work. Others have questioned his work in interviews.

Summing up his other ventures in profitable fraud:

But today, Churchill's intellectual rigor is the third area to face scrutiny in the academic and political world since his views about the Sept. 11 attacks - he called some of the victims "little Eichmanns" - became widely known. His claims of Indian heritage, which remain unconfirmed by anyone other than Churchill, as well as the shifting tales of his military service, remain the source of public debate as Churchill battles calls for his resignation or dismissal.

Churchill, who has asserted at different times that he was of one-sixteenth Creek or three-sixteenths Cherokee ancestry, now refuses to discuss anything about his past or questions about his academic qualifications.

"None of those questions are relevant to anything," Churchill said Tuesday. "This is not an issue about me. This is an issue about what I said. I'm not going to turn it into the ... National Enquirer."

But while Churchill has been unable or unwilling to produce anyone who can testify to his claims of Indian ancestry, or his accounts of facing combat in Vietnam, he has many defenders of his academic record.

And who might those defenders be?

"I've read a fair amount of his work, and a lot of it is excellent, penetrating and of high scholarly quality," said Noam Chomsky, linguistics professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an anti-war activist.

Well knock me over with an eagle-feather.

I'd say that Ward Churchill (Indian name: "Great Resume Embroiderer") is in heap-big trouble.



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posted by Ace at 02:13 PM

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