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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sen. John Walsh (D-MT) Issues Fact Sheet To Defend Plagiarism -->It Exaggerates His Service Record

Sen. John Walsh's  (D-MT) troubles are increasing. To explain yesterday's news that he plagiarized his masters thesis at the U.S. Army War College on Thursday afternoon, his campaign sent out a "fact sheet" laying out its side of things.

Aaron Blake of the Washington Post fact checked his fact sheet and it had some problems, including exaggerating his service record.
This is the main argument from the Walsh campaign. When confronted with the allegations by the Times, Walsh said he didn't do anything wrong (“I don’t believe I did [plagiarize], no”). Now his team is kinda, sorta admitting he did something wrong, but saying it was "unintentional" and just a few missing citations.

Except that Walsh doesn't have a citation problem; he has a plagiarism problem.
In other words it wasn't that he forgot a few footnotes, he fully copied 1/4 of the paper including the key recommendations which is the critical thinking.  Even if he had cited the other papers he cut and pasted from it his paper it would have been considered academic cheating.

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.
While it wasn't as bad as Richard Blumenthal's lying about serving in Vietnam, hundreds of IED attacks vs verses one is a major difference. If this lie was on it's own it might not be a big deal, but coming after yesterday's news it reveals a trend of lying and cheating.
The next sentence:
Senator Walsh told the Associated Press on Wednesday that he was dealing with the consequences of the difficult circumstances he faced in Iraq, but he did not suggest that these circumstances were an excuse for incorrect citations in a research paper.
Specifically, Walsh told AP he was being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder after returning from Iraq and dealing with the suicide of someone he served with. Previously, the campaign mentioned the suicide but claimed (apparently in error) that he had not undergone treatment for PTSD.

Now his campaign says these things, which were brought up with multiple reporters, weren't intended as excuses. But if these minor details are apropos of nothing, why did they feel the need to mention them? Again, a big suspension of disbelief is required.
Excellent point, the non excuse was definitely mentioned to provide an excuse.
It’s telling that this story emerges as polls show this race tightening – including one poll released the day this story was published that finds Senator Walsh down by only 4 points.

This is a pretty standard strategy: Suggest the opposition research was intended to stop your surging campaign. Dirty, desperate tricks! But the poll that the Walsh campaign cites here was conducted by Gravis Marketing, an automated pollster whose methodology is only slightly better than its grasp of the English language and punctuation. Samples here and here. ("In the horserace question between the two candidates the Republican challenger Nan Hayworth lead with 44% of the vote followed by Congressman Sean Maloney at 40% of the vote and 16% were undecided.")
Besides even if it was released as part of opposition research--the campaign doesn't suggest the report is false. So in the end, does it really matter who released the's true. He did cheat and he dishonored his service.

So You Want Proof Hamas Uses Civilians As Human Shields? Here Are Ten Examples.

Since Israel's Operation Protective Edge began over three weeks ago, the mainstream media has been highlighting the civilian casualties in Gaza. In most cases, even if they report the Hamas use of human shields they report them as "Israeli allegations," as opposed to facts. One example is the report by NBC's Ayman Mohyeldin embedded above.

So to help Mr.  Mohyeldin and those like him below are ten examples of Hamas using civilians as human shields. If these arent convincing, let me know because there are a lot more.

1) This particular example comes from the U.N. it was the second time they got caught:

2) On July 15th Washington Post correspondent William Booth, reporting from Gaza, wrote:
At the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, crowds gathered to throw shoes and eggs at the Palestinian Authority’s health minister, who represents the crumbling “unity government” in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The minister was turned away before he reached the hospital, which has become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices.
3) The IDF found Grad rocket launchers next to a school:

4) A July 17th article in The Washington Post written by William Booth, Sudarsan Raghavan and Ruth Eglash​ reported:
During the lull, a group of men at a mosque in northern Gaza said they had returned to clean up the green glass from windows shattered in the previous day’s bombardment. But they could be seen moving small rockets into the mosque.

5) The video below is from Hamas TV and says in part:
Answering the occupation's calls will merely aid it in carrying out its plans to weaken the [Palestinian] home front and to destroy property and homes as soon as you leave them. We call on all our people who have left their homes to return to them immediately.

6) Wall Street Journal Correspondent Nick Casey tweeted the following (since removed, seemingly because it did not please his Hamas hosts):

7) The entrance for this Hamas terror Tunnel was found in a Gaza house:

8) Another example from Hamas TV in the video below:
The people oppose the Israeli fighter planes with their bodies alone... I think this method has proven effective against the occupation. It also reflects the nature of our heroic and brave people, and we, the [Hamas] movement, call on our people to adopt this method in order to protect the Palestinian homes.

9) There are also reports of Hamas using reporters as human shields. For example, the Japanese daily Mainichi’s correspondent in Gaza reported on Monday:
Hamas criticizes that “Israel massacres civilians”. On the other hand, it tries to use evacuating civilians and journalists by stopping them and turning them into “human shields”, counteracting thoroughly with its guerrilla tactics…

Hamas’s “Human Shield” strategy is also aimed at foreign journalists…During the current battle, Hamas’s checkpoint was bombarded, and there was temporary checkpoint at another location. To some 20 journalists who wished to leave, Hamas staff member suddenly told, “Israel closed the checkpoint… However, when I called IDF personnel at the checkpoint, he said that “We haven’t got attacked and we are open as usual…” While were discussing what to do, the same Hamas staff member shouted, “in 5 minutes Israel seems to conduct an airstrike on here. Return immediately to Gaza!” All the journalists returned to Gaza by car. But we remembered that Hamas, during the conflict with Israel in November 2012, also closed checkpoints to block outflow.

10) How about this video of Hamas Shooting at the IDF from a hospital?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Israel Hater & U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay Claims Israel Committed War Crimes

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay charged Israel with possibly committing war crimes during a meeting in Geneva Wednesday morning. While the media is reporting the claim, it is ignoring Ms. Pillay's history of advocacy of hatred toward Israel during her UN tenure.

NBC News as well as other media outlets reported Wednesday:
Israel may have committed war crimes by killing civilians and shelling houses and hospitals during its two-week-old offensive in the Gaza Strip, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said on Wednesday. Pillay, opening an emergency debate at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, also condemned the indiscriminate firing of rockets and mortars by Palestinian militants into Israel.

Citing cases Israeli air strikes and shelling hitting houses and hospitals in the coastal enclave, she said: "These are just a few examples where there seems to be a strong possibility that international humanitarian law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes.
In addition ignoring the fact that Ms. Pillay's assertion is totally wrong; as tragic as civilian deaths are, collateral damage because of one's enemies using their civilians as human shields is not a war crime, what the media is ignoring is the High Commissioner's record as an anti-Israel advocate. As reported by the NY Daily News when she was promoted to her latest office in 2011:
Pillay's enthusiasm for the Durban "anti-racism" agenda goes hand in hand with her single-minded pursuit of the demonization of Israel throughout her tenure. In January 2009, Pillay called for the creation of what became the Goldstone inquiry. In August 2009, she issued a report that lauded Hamas for having "made public statements that it is committed to respect international human rights and humanitarian law." After Goldstone claimed that Israel had intentionally targeted civilians, Pillay said on Sept. 30, 2009, "I lend my full support to Justice Goldstone's report and its recommendations." Goldstone has since recanted the veracity of his slur; Pillay has not.

In July 2010, she made a rare appearance before the Security Council on "situations where the protection of civilians has been and remains of great concern" around the world - and made only two pleas to the council, both about Israel. Referring to Gaza, she said: "I urge the council . . . to ensure the lifting in full of the blockade" - which would stymie Israel's ability to limit the flow of arms to Hamas. And she made this plea: "I urge the Security Council to support the recommendations of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict" - that is, the Goldstone report.

After a visit this past February to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, she said this at her final Jerusalem news conference: "The clearest manifestation of institutional discrimination is the fact that during all my meetings with government and state officials, I do not believe I met a single Palestinian citizen of Israel." She could have easily determined that Israeli Arabs are members of Israel's parliament, in the diplomatic corps and on the Supreme Court. The discrimination that was apparently unclear to Pillay was the institutional charter of the Hamas government in Gaza, which calls for the annihilation of the Jewish citizens of Israel, and the Palestinian Authority's refusal to recognize the right of a Jewish state to exist at all.
In 2011, Ms. Pillay suggested the United States operation that resulted in the death of Usama Bin Laden should be investigated for violations of international law:
Admitting that taking bin Laden alive was "always going to be difficult," Pillay nevertheless signaled the United States needs to explain more about what happened in the compound.

"This was a complex operation and it would be helpful if we knew the precise facts surrounding his killing," Pillay said. "The United Nations has consistently emphasized that all counter-terrorism acts must respect international law."

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) : Did President Obama Just Launch an Economic Boycott of Israel?

Below is Senator Cruz's Full Statement

Did President Obama Just Launch an Economic Boycott of Israel?


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today questioned the Obama Administration’s decision to ban flights to Israel while, at the same time, announcing continuing aid that will be funneled to the terrorist organization, Hamas.

“Aiding Hamas while simultaneously isolating Israel does two things. One, it helps our enemy. Two, it hurts our ally,” said Sen. Cruz.

He added, “The facts suggest that President Obama has just used a federal regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott on Israel, in order to try to force our ally to comply with his foreign-policy demands.”

Sen. Cruz is asking the Obama Administration to answer five specific questions regarding the FAA’s decision to suspend flights to Israel.

Sen. Cruz’s full statement is below.

“Today, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it was extending its ban on flights by U.S. carriers into Israel. The rationale was that because one Hamas-launch rocket had landed in a field one mile from Ben Gurion International Airport, the ‘potentially hazardous security situation created by the armed conflict between Israel and Gaza’ necessitated this extreme action that has so far cancelled some 160 flights and left tens of thousands stranded.

“Obviously, no one wants to place civilian travelers in harm’s way, and the recent downing of Malaysian Airways flight 17 by pro-Russian militants in Ukraine is a stark reminder of the dangers posed by regional unrest. But security concerns in Israel are hardly breaking news, and given the exceptional challenge Israel faces, Ben Gurion has rightly earned the reputation as one of the safest airports in the world due to the aggressive security measures implemented by the Israeli government.

“Given that some 2,000 rockets have been fired into Israel over the last six weeks, many of them at Tel Aviv, it seems curious to choose yesterday at noon to announce a flight ban, especially as the Obama Administration had to be aware of the punitive nature of this action.

“Tourism is an $11 billion industry for Israel, which is in the middle of a summer high season already seriously diminished by the conflict initiated by Hamas. Group tours have been cancelling at a 30% rate. This FAA flight ban may well represent a crippling blow to a key economic sector through both security concerns and worries that additional bans will down more flights and strand more passengers. It hardly matters if or when the ban is lifted. At this point, the damage may already be done.

“Even given the remarkable resilience and prosperity of its economy, Israel has always been vulnerable to economic blackmail. In the 1970s, we saw the Arab League boycott, which tried to punish any financial institution that did business with Israel.

“Today we have similar noxious efforts by the Boycott, Divest, Sanction or ‘BDS’ movement, which seeks to punish Israel for the fact that the militant terrorist elements embraced by the Palestinian Authority make any peace deal an intolerable security risk to Israel at this time. But the Obama Administration has refused to robustly denounce this effort to undermine our ally.

“Instead, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a veiled threat last February when he encouraged boycotts of Israel and said that absent serious Israeli concessions at the negotiating table, Israel’s economic prosperity was ‘not sustainable’ and ‘illusory.’ Secretary Kerry unfortunately reprised this theme just this April, when he threatened that Israel risked becoming an ‘apartheid state’ if Israel did not submit to his chosen solution to the Israel-Palestinian crisis.

“Taken in the context of Secretary Kerry’s comments, yesterday’s action by the FAA raises some serious questions:

Was this decision a political decision driven by the White House?

If the FAA’s decision was based on airline safety, why was Israel singled out, when flights would be permitted into Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen?

What was the FAA’s ‘safety’ analysis that led to prohibiting flights to Israel, while still permitting flights to Ukraine—where a commercial airline flight was just shot down with a BUK missile?
What specific communications occurred between the FAA and the White House? And the State Department? Why were any such communications necessary, if this was purely about airline safety?

Was this a safety issue, or was it using a federal regulatory agency to punish Israel to try to force them to comply with Secretary Kerry’s demand that Israel stop their military effort to take out Hamas’s rocket capacity?

“When Secretary Kerry arrived in Cairo this week his first act was to announce $47 million in additional aid to Gaza, which is in effect $47 million for Hamas. In short order, this travel ban was announced by the FAA. Aiding Hamas while simultaneously isolating Israel does two things. One, it helps our enemy. Two, it hurts our ally.

“Until these serious questions are answered, the facts suggest that President Obama has just used a federal regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott on Israel, in order to try to force our ally to comply with his foreign-policy demands.

“If so, Congress should demand answers.”

EXPOSED: Senator John Walsh (D-MT) Plagiarized His Master's Thesis

In a controversial move this past February,  the retiring Max Baucus was appointed U.S. Ambassador to China, so that John Walsh could be appointed as a replacement and run to replace Baucus with the added advantage of being an incumbent. Now Walsh is being hit with another scandal. The NY Times is reporting An examination of the thesis paper required for Mr. Walsh’s master’s degree from the United States Army War College indicates the senator appropriated at least a quarter of his thesis on American Middle East policy from other authors’ works, with no attribution.

Walsh, has made his military service a main selling point for his campaign, as it should be for any veteran. The military's teachings of service, honor and responsibility is an ideal background for a legislator. But it seems that Walsh has dishonored his service by plagiarizing his master's thesis.
Most strikingly, each of the six recommendations Mr. Walsh laid out at the conclusion of his 14-page paper, titled “The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy,” is taken nearly word-for-word without attribution from a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace document on the same topic.

In his third recommendation, for example, Mr. Walsh writes: “Democracy promoters need to engage as much as possible in a dialogue with a wide cross section of influential elites: mainstream academics, journalists, moderate Islamists, and members of the professional associations who play a political role in some Arab countries, rather than only the narrow world of westernized democracy and human rights advocates.”

The same exact sentence appears on the sixth page of a 2002 Carnegie paper written by four scholars at the research institute. In all, Mr. Walsh’s recommendations section runs to more than 800 words, nearly all of it taken verbatim from the Carnegie paper, without any footnote or reference to it. In addition, significant portions of the language in Mr. Walsh’s paper can be found in a 1998 essay by a scholar at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, a research institute at Harvard.
Even worse than stealing the prose, the Times demonstrates how Walsh stole his critical thinking at the end of the paper from others. The Times provides a great interactive graphic outline which parts of the paper were stolen from others. But as a visual take a look at the screen shot below from the graphic, the areas highlighted in red were taken from other papers without attribution.

In an interview outside his Capitol Hill office on Tuesday, after he was presented with multiple examples of identical passages from his paper and the Carnegie and Harvard essays, Mr. Walsh said he did not believe he had done anything wrong.

“I didn’t do anything intentional here,” he said, adding that he did not recall using the Carnegie and Harvard sources.

But on Wednesday, a campaign aide for Mr. Walsh walked back the denial, she did not contest the plagiarism but said that it should be looked at in the context of his entire career.
She said Mr. Walsh was going through a difficult period at the time he wrote the paper, noting that one of the members of his unit from Iraq had committed suicide in 2007, weeks before it was due.
While I am sympathetic to Walsh's difficult period, beyond the plagiarizing Senator from Montana there are 16 other members of Congress who served in Iraq or Afghanistan, I am not aware of any others who cheated their way to a masters degree.

If you wish to read the full NY Times report CLICK HERE.