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October 26, 2004
Did Kerry Plagiarize Parts Of "The New War"?

The New York Sun reports in its second blockbuster of the day that John Kerry plagiarized at least 11 passages in his 1997 book, The New War that he has used as a campaign reference for his presidential bid, as well as in other campaign materials:

An academic researcher has found 11 passages in Senator Kerry's published writings that appear to have been taken from other works without attribution, though experts disagree about whether the copying should be considered plagiarism.

Six of the passages come from Mr. Kerry's 1997 book, "The New War: The Web of Crime That Threatens America's National Security." All bear some similarity to news accounts that preceded publication of the book.

The Sun's Josh Gerstein lists several suspicious passages from both Kerry's 1997 book and the Kerry/Edwards campaign book, "Our Plan for America: Stronger at Home and Respected in the World," which presumably was written at their behest by staffers. In the latter, this pairing caught the eye of a graduate student who declined to be indentified, saying only that he had no political affiliations:

"In many states, individual farmers and ranchers lease their property to wind power companies and receive an annual payment for having wind turbines on their property. With the right leadership, this could become a 'cash crop' for many other farmers and ranchers from around the country and stabilize rural economies," they wrote.

An Energy Department fact sheet published in January 2003 reads, "In many states, individual farmers and ranchers lease their property to wind power companies and receive an annual payment for having one or more wind turbines on their property. This could become a predictable 'cash crop' for many other farmers and ranchers across the country, and help to boost farm and ranching incomes and stabilize rural economies."

Of course, quoting passages from government fact sheets is perfectly permissible, as is doing the same from any other published source -- as long as you attribute the work. In Kerry's case, however, both books appear to have lifted whole paragraphs and arguments straight out of outside sources that never were acknowledged or footnoted, a practice that would get one expelled at Yale and most other reputable colleges. It represents at best an intellectal laziness that belies his image of a supposedly superior intellect, and at worst underscores a fundamental dishonesty that has erupted numerous times on the campaign trail, with Cambodian Christmases, magic hats, and phony meetings with the "entire UN Security Council".

When Senator Joe Biden -- a rabid Kerry partisan -- lifted parts of Neil Kinnock's speeches for his own without attribution, the Delaware Democrat's presidential ambitions quickly headed for oblivion. Too bad today's Democrats have neither the intellectual toughness nor the moral character to hold Kerry to account for his dishonesty.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 26, 2004 12:07 PM

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» Possible Kerry Plagiarism from Tempus Fugit |
The New York Sun really knows how to dig up dirt. In the second major news story of the last 24 hours that delivers a blow to Kerry, the Sun reports that 11 passages in Kerry's 1997 book "The New War" are paraphrased versions of passages in other work... [Read More]

Tracked on October 26, 2004 9:31 PM

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