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July 24, 2014

Updates: ISIS/FGM Story Seems More Likely a Hoax;
John Walsh Immediately Plagiarizes It

Okay that's a joke but we have some updates on both stories.

A lot of pushback on the ISIS/FGM story, and I have no confidence in it any longer.

Aaron Blake rubbishes John Walsh's various silly defenses.

First he notes that while Walsh is claiming, in a "Fact Sheet" his campaign has released, to have just misplaced a couple of footnotes, that, itself, is a lie. I'll direct you to the link for that, because I don't want to use up fair-use on that.

This is more interesting:

A little further down the "fact sheet," Walsh's campaign says this:
While commanding the 1-163rd Infantry Battalion in Iraq in 2004 and 2005, Walsh survived hundreds of IED explosions while in a Humvee, he was targeted -- by name -- by Al Qaeda in Iraq, and his unit endured hundreds of rocket attacks.

If surviving "hundreds of IED explosions" sounds too good to be true, that's because it didn't happen. Walsh's campaign followed up with a correction (which they call a clarification), noting that he personally didn't survive all those IED attacks.

"He survived an attack in October 2005, while his unit endured hundreds of both IED and rocket attacks throughout the deployment," a Walsh spokeswoman said.

That's a pretty glaring factual error, especially for a "fact sheet."

So he survived on rocket attack. That is, of course, something noble in itself.

But it's certainly not hundreds of IED attacks.

Now he's plagiarizing his unit's IED survivals.

Another update: Earlier I translated a French/Palestinian reporter's recounting of being intimidated by Hamas.

Apparently the intimidation is complete.

If you click on the link now, it only reads:

Cet article, qui décrivait les tentatives d'intimidation à l'encontre du journaliste palestinien Radjaa Abou Dagga, correspondant de «Ouest France» et ancien collaborateur de «Libération», a été dépublié à sa demande.
This article, which described the attempts at intimidation against the Palestinian journalist Radjaa Abou Dagga, reporter from "France West" and former contributor to "La Liberation," has been removed at his request.

Thanks to David for pointing that last one out.

Update on Walsh: notropis offers this opinion:

The linked article still misses the most important point about the plagiarism: Had Walsh properly cited and footnoted the paper, it wouldn't have been accepted as a thesis paper. Theses must contain original analysis or conclusions. Walsh stole his whole "recommendations" section from another paper (the pink stuff that he didn't footnote at all - because he couldn't - because he couldn't admit that the recommendations were someone else's, even if he gave them credit.)

That sounds right to me. How can you say you've added to scholarship when your "key recommendations" are lifted wholesale from a previously-published paper?

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posted by Ace at 06:06 PM

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