Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Manley Panel Plagiarized, And Possibly Lied

*This story has been picked up by Mike Harris 580 CFRA and Maclean's*

The Manley Panel's Report came out today, I have just completed reading it as well as another interesting report, John Manely's contribution to a journal, Policy Options. In the October issue of that journal, John Manley wrote an entry on Afghanistan, this was before he was picked to head the 5 person panel appointed by Stephen Harper. In reading both, two passages struck me. They were not only similar, but bordering on exactly the same.

Why this troubles me is two points: the first, it seems quite perplexing how John Manley's opinion before he spent three months looking at facts and talking to witnesses can be so similar to his opinion after; the second point, is plagerism and how it affects the Panel. Now some may suggest this is not plagiarism, academically it is; but besides that fact, the references I give, by his use of old material in the forward of the report and imposing it on the work done by the Panel, it appears that he attributes conclusions he made seperately and previously, onto the Panel. (Update) The Blog Far And Wide has put forth another interesting facet, John Manley made Canada's presence contingent on NATO sending in reinforcements, and suggesting that NATO could go either way, yet it appears he would have had access to the knowledge such reinforcements were agreed upon several months ago.

Now a few commenters have suggested I am just suggesting self-plagiarism, I am not. I am clearly suggesting either the Panel came to the exact same position John Manley did three months ago, which would seem incredibly biased, or John Manly falsely cited work done by the Panel which did not do. For example look at the first reference I give.

I will put a paragraph of one on top of the other for comparison.

On page 4 of the Manley Report it states:

Whenever we asked Afghans what they thought ISAF or Canada should do, there was never any hesitation: “We want you to stay; we need you to stay.” Without the presence of the international security forces, they said, chaos would surely ensue.

Now compare that to what John Manley wrote three months ago, on page 12 in Policy Options:


Whenever we asked Afghans what they thought ISAF or Canada should do, they did not hesitate to say that we must stay. Without the presence of the international forces, chaos would surely ensue.
This plagiarism not only leaves me wondering why Manley would do this, but also wondering did the Panel ever ask Afghans what they thought ISAF or Canada should do? Or was that just something John Manley had done for his Journal article, and re-wrote almost word for word for the Report?

The similarity continues, as seen first in reference to the Panel's report:
The Panel learned early that we must be careful to define our expectations for success. Afghanistan is a deeply divided tribal society. It has been wracked by decades of war and is one of the poorest countries on Earth. There should be no thought that after five or even ten years of western military presence and aid, Afghanistan will resemble Europe or North America. But we came to the conviction that with patience, commitment, financial and other forms of assistance, there is a reasonable prospect that its people will be able to live
together in relative peace and security, while living standards slowly improve.
Compared to the Journal Article Manle written three months ago:

But in looking to the future, expectations must be reasonable. Afghanistan is a deeply divided tribal society, with divisions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims further complicating the mix. It has been racked by decades of war, and it remains the third-poorest country on earth. There should be no belief that after five or even ten years of Western military presence and aid, Afghanistan will resemble Kansas. With patience, commitment and some luck, it will resemble Afghanistan. But an Afghanistan in which people can live together in relative security.
So in the Report from the Manley Panel, John Manley, in plagiarizing his article, suggests that the Panel as a whole came to the same conclusion he did three months ago. Therefore we are faced with either the fact the Panel came to the same decision Manley did three months prior or the fact that Manley is falsifying the report.

Further more, from the Report:

Institutions that are respected need to be built and the Afghan National Army and Police need to be further recruited and trained.

Agricultural districts need to be reclaimed from land mines and poppy fields, so
that traditional crops can once again flourish where they have in the past.

Both the reality and the perception of corruption in the Government of
Afghanistan must be rooted out. They are undermining not only the hope for an
Afghan solution but also support for the Western forces sacrificing their lives to
help secure the situation.

Roads, bridges and electrification must be enhanced, so that ordinary Afghans
can see progress.

With all that needs to be done, no end date makes sense at this point.

Afghanistan presents an opportunity for Canada. For the first time in many years,
we have brought a level of commitment to an international problem that gives us
real weight and credibility. For once, our 3Ds (defense, diplomacy and
development assistance) are all pointed at the same problem, and officials from
three departments are beginning to work together.
Comparing it with the Journal Article:
Institutions that are respected will not be built overnight. Police and judges will need time to be trained, and the means to pay them must be established, but a functioning economy needs security in which to grow.

Afghanistan’s agricultural districts need to be reclaimed from land mines and poppy fields, so that traditional crops can once again flourish where they have in the past.

Punishing US and European agricultural subsidies must be rolled back if Afghanistan and other developing countries are ever to hope to grow produce (other than opium) for export. Both the reality and the perception of corruption in the Karzai administration must be rooted out. They are undermining not only the only hope for an Afghan solution but also support for the Western forces sacrificing their lives to help secure the situation. Roads, bridges and electrification must be enhanced, so that ordinary Afghans can see progress. We love to do what we call “capacity-building”, which is doubtless very important, but invisible to the average villager in an Afghan province.

For me, Afghanistan is an enormous opportunity for Canada. For the first time in many years, we have brought a level of commitment to an international problem that gives us real weight and credibility. For once, our 3Ds (defence, diplomacy and development assistance) are all pointed at the same problem, and officials from three departments are working together.

And lastly John Manley's and the Panel's conclusion:
Canadians don’t need any lessons in sacrifice. Our history is replete with examples of courage and fortitude in conflict against difficult odds when the cause was just and the determination to prevail was present.But our Panel concluded that the sacrifice of Canadian lives could only be justified if we and our allies and the Afghans share a coherent, comprehensive plan that can lead to success, and if our allies are willing to stand with us with the resources and commitment that are necessary to make success possible.

We like to talk about Canada’s role in the world. Well, we have a meaningful one in Afghanistan. As our report states, it should not be faint-hearted nor should it be open-ended. Above all, we must not abandon it prematurely.

Rather, we should use our hard-earned influence to ensure the job gets done and gets done properly.
Compare that to John Manley's conclusion three months ago, again prior to him being appointed to this Panel:
Canadians hear mainly about our military role and are hardpressed to put it into a broader context of either peacekeeping, development or humanitarianism. They should hear more about the important and meaningful contribution our development assistance is making and they should be proud of the increasingly effective nature of Canada’s diplomacy, spearheaded at a very senior level by Associate Deputy Minister David Mulroney and Ambassador Lalani.

We often seek to define Canada’s role in the world. Well, for whatever reason, we have one in Afghanistan. Let’s not abandon it too easily. But let’s use our hard-earned influence to make sure the job is done right.
In looking at the extraordinary duplication of Manley's personal opinion three months ago, to the now Panel's Report Forward, I find it difficult to differentiate what Manley had concluded three months prior to the report, to what the Panel actually concluded and if they are actually different.

46 comments:

Steve V said...

Great post! I saw Manley doing an interview for The National. It was very clear, this is a man who was deeply committed to this mission, his philosophical bias articulated quite passionately. Manley's views were pre-determined, and this exercise was mainly a way to support his position. The interview seemed very political, even though he stressed the independent character of the panel. The bottommline, Stephen Harper never chooses John Manley, without extensive vetting, and a knowledge that their views were the same. It's just completely out of character, for anyone to accept the rationale of Stephen Harper giving the unknown carte blanche.

Guy who sleeps with Scott Ross' mom said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
burlivespipe said...

Obviously Harper chose Manley because he'd read or heard about the article. Hearing his own words echoed through a former Liberal cabinet minister, Harper believed he had the perfect cover. But I think there's still sufficient words in the panel's report to supply a little of that Paille bounce-back and bite Harper on his fat highknee...

cyberwanderer said...

Good job. Since Harper appointed Manley, I suspected he must have pick him knowing they share the same position. What you just mentioned explained why Harper chose him.

You are right about plagiarism. Academically, it is like a class asking a student to write a report. Then he just copy an old report he did for another class before.

Anonymous said...

Wonder what Manley was being paid to do then, eh?

foottothefire said...

good blog, great journalism.
Others give Harper too much credit, the man really isn't that smart. Not to forget, Harper is the guy that gave the US the Lumber deal of the century (and 1 billion bucks) one day before the US lost its last available battle in US courts, which meant Canada should have won it all, without cost.

clh said...

Very interesting. And schools could use this as an example of self-plagiarism.

Ron said...

Excellent, diligent research!

Of course it is left to the rabid loonies on the blog-sphere to find it. Our (oh-so-left-wing-biased-mainstream) media is too busy salivating over the photo ops of Harper & Manley to actually do their jobs.

Scott Ross' step daddy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tom said...

Is that it??
You got any other amazing facts ??
If John Manley wants to reiterate his opinion three months old into the new panel report
HOW IS THAT PLAGERISM????
It his HIS intellectual property.
SCOTT CROSS
What a joke you are.
But i did like the step daddy and mommy jokes.
Mr. Manley stole his own opinion !!!!
How ludicrous Scott Lost !!!!

Evan Switzer said...

Good post. While I do not doubt that the bias existed, maybe you could also come to another conclusion. That Mr. Manley, after all his experience, time, and now research (and free of having to answer to an electorate) came to a conclusion that is perhaps the more unpolitical choice.
I do agree that the citation issues are something he slipped on. But I personally follow the mission very closely and read several articles daily about it.
Harpers not stupid in his decisions, but at the same time, maybe Manley is right.

Anonymous said...

Evan, but what I suggested citing the references, is that either Manley cited the Panel came to the same conclusion he did 3 months ago, or he plagerized and lied. For the Panel to come to that same decision, is pure bias.

jason bo green said...

You are right to question whether Manley was recruited for his position - fair enough issue for all of us to mull over. But plagerism? Or "self-plagerism"?? In attempting to be sensational, you're obscuring the bigger, primary point, which should stand all on its own. Too bad - now you've got people talking about a total non-issue ("self-plagerism") rather than something that deserves discussion. Wow, that's 'helpful' regarding our involvement in Afghanistan -- "did John Manley academically plagerize himself?"


By the way, I think you meant "plagiarized".

Anonymous said...

I think people are missing the point here - Harper picked Manley because of his prior writings - obviously.

This "copy" session cost taxpayers $1,400 per day for Manley alone - I don't know what it cost for the rest of the panel.

Another delay tactic by Harper and a VERY expensive one. He sure likes to waste money.

Do we have the laziest MSM in Canada or what?

Lynne

Anonymous said...

Jason did you read more then a paragraph? I illustrated Plagerism wasn't the main fault, it was imposing work he had done on the Panel to the extent we don't know what the Panel did and didn't do. In Manley writing that "We talked to Afghans...." was that the we of three months ago, or the "We" of the Panel? And if it was the Panel, how did they get the same response Manley got 3 months ago?

Highlander said...

Yes you can plagiarize yourself- the following has been taken from another website:


So let’s start with a definition—plagiarism is the use of someone else’s words or ideas as your own without giving appropriate credit or without the person’s consent to use his or her words or ideas without acknowledgment. This can be somewhat confusing, because at its core, plagiarism isn’t just about stealing someone else’s words or ideas, but also about claiming to have done work you actually haven’t. Thus, many professors, me included, would see using a paper or research you have done for one course in fulfillment of an assignment in another as plagiarism, even though you are the paper’s author. You can plagiarize yourself!

Anonymous said...

You're suggesting the other panelists are mindless? Their accomplishments suggest they are all strong-minded people that would not sit mute through the process. They openly agreed with the findings. Perhaps you should move on to the "9/11 inside job" theory.

Anonymous said...

He won't reply. These were the only talking points he got from the Liberal Party of Canada.

Any further support for his stupid theory would require individual thought.

Anonymous said...

It's not a theory, I don't come to any conclusions other then the possibilities derived from facts. "Either the Panel came to the exact same position John Manley did three months ago, which would seem incredibly biased, or John Manly falsely cited work done by the Panel which they did not do."

Dan said...

Interesting Scott. The most suspicious line is how the report talks about the Afghan's opinions, and using the exact same sentence.

wow.

wlm said...

Hi Scott Ross,

What you are setting out is quite shocking.

It appears this has all been an exercise in crass political manipulation of the public on Harper’s part – surprise, surprise!

Harper should be brought to task on this

Manley should be given an opportunity to explain, if, indeed, there is an explanation.

It would be very interesting to find out whether the remainder of the Panel raised this issue. Given the quality of the Panel it is difficult to see them letting this stand as it is, unless they were not made aware of the previous article. If that were the case the quality of their investigation may be seriously thrown into question.

Oh, great work, by the way - can’t wait till this goes mainstream!

James said...

I think you are chasing your own shadow here.

We all have preconceived ideas/opinions on various issues. Manley had his own thoughts on this matter 3 months ago. Through this panel, with your logic, he should have changed/corrected his position on the Afghan mission. Is it not possible for this Panel to come to the same conclusion Manley came to 3 months ago? In other words, maybe his opinion was correct all along.

Anonymous said...

James: I don't believe you read the examples I cited. It wasn't just the same conclusions, it was the same work. In the Journal he discusses talking to Afghans and them answering back, then in the report the Panel talked to Afghans and got the exact same answers. John Manley talks of work he did with the panel which he clearly copied from his previous article.

JWLchristian said...

Hello Scott Ross, this is a pretty serious accusation you've brought up here.... I think what it shows is that this report CANNOT be taken at face-value: it needs to be analyzed.

I honestly think that the findings of "The John Manley Report" on Afghanistan should be submitted to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and/or the House of Commons Committee on Foreign Affairs for further analysis.

From what i've read of this report and having glanced at its introduction, i'm unsure where to stand on it. At best, the report will help clarify the history of Afghanistan, corruption in the governance of both the former Taliban government AND the current government of Afghan President Karzi, with some clarification of where Canada should go!

At worst, this report is simply another attempt to use a former Liberal Foreign Affairs minister as a tool to play him against the current position of the Federal Liberals under Stephanie Dion.

Either way, only the combination of public scrutiny, Senate and House of Commons committee studies, a full debate in the House of Commons (and then the Senate) on this matter will even begin to do true justice to what Canada needs to do (or not do) to do what is in the best interests of Afghans, Canadians, and the world community.

In closing, the trouble of Afghanistan is part of the trouble of both globalization and the after-math of the Cold war: do we simply stay in Afghanistan until we deem it as stable (as the current Conservative and former Liberals said), respect the sovereignty of the current Afghan government by ending the combat mission in February 2009 and focus on reconstruction, aid, and development (as the current Liberals, and the 2nd choice position of the federal NDP and Bloc), or do we withdraw from Afghanistan altogether now or in 2009? (the 1st choice of both the Federal Bloc and NDP|)

Anonymous said...

JLW: The plagiarism and the possible false statements made by Manley in the forward aren't my only criticisms.
one of my biggest is something you ironically praised it for, you said, "At best, the report will help clarify the history of Afghanistan,..." This report only goes back to 1972. Any historian will tell you the real problems with Afghanistan go back to 1893 with the drawing of it's borders by the British.

Another criticism is John Manley interpreted NATO's original intention of going after terrorists to providing security till the government can stand on it's own.

Ron said...

"Any historian will tell you the real problems with Afghanistan go back to 1893 with the drawing of it's borders by the British. "

Sorry - 1893 is "recent history" for Afghanistan

The issues are rooted much earlier. Check out:

http://www.amazon.com/Tournament-Shadows-Great-Empire-Central/dp/158243106X

northwestern_lad said...

Scott, this post deserves a good tip of the hat from myself. Much respect for research well done.

Anonymous said...

Ron my comment of 1893 was suggesting that dividing the Pashtun tribe between two distinct governments was a mistake, as it's a tribe and does not recognize such central authority. Indeed some have suggested an individual state should have been created for the Pashtuns. I believe this would have prevented the present situation in Afghanistan.

Thank you Northwestern lad.

Anonymous said...

You keep saying that the choices are either that he plagiarized himself or the panel came to his biased conclusion...how about a third, that John Manley who, whether you like or not is a well respected international thinker (see his leadership with the international charity CARE) who was right three months ago, and the panelists came to the same conclusion, hence the similarities in the recommendation? As for the writing, yeah, that's funny, but if he liked how he phrased things three months ago and everyone agreed he was on the ball then, then why not use the same phrases?

Dana said...

Yet another anony-mouse says "...if he liked how he phrased things three months ago and everyone agreed he was on the ball then, then why not use the same phrases?"

To which "he" do you refer? Manley or Harper?

BTW The Scott Ross, I forwarded your post to Tom Walkom at The Star. His response? "thanks.saw the blog.telling.
tw"

Anonymous said...

here is another possibility: Policy Options is edited by Ian MacDonald, a well-known Mulroney crony and friend of Brodie. Maybe, the original Manley article was authored from inside the PMO and this whole thing was a PR exercise to make it seem like a bipartisan (non-partisan) report more palatable to the public. Is that a possibility?

Anonymous said...

Ron my comment of 1893 was suggesting that dividing the Pashtun tribe between two distinct governments was a mistake, as it's a tribe and does not recognize such central authority. Indeed some have suggested an individual state should have been created for the Pashtuns. I believe this would have prevented the present situation in Afghanistan.

With all do respect, people were using the same line of reasoning to avoid intervention in Rwanda, Darfur, Congo and a whole host of other African countries because “the white man” incorrectly drew lines on a map during the imperial age, which resulted in warring tribes being combined into single states and led to the resulting ethnic conflict, genocide and failed states. And all we could do was sit back and say “this is the fault of history”, lets just a shed a tear and then move on with our lives.

In a perfect world, all these ethnic groups should perhaps have their own countries, but, that’s just not the way things work. So we can sit back and let these groups duke it out for control of their respective countries and prey that internal conflict doesn’t spill over into neighboring countries and have repercussions out here in the west (like we did prior to 9/11) or we can make an effort to support newly elected and weak democratic countries and attempt to fan out Islamic extremism at the source, by doing such things as building new schools and allowing individuals to hopefully have a voice in their countries.

This is what makes Afghanistan different from Iraq. Can we bring a people and nation into the current world order when they never have been? If we fail at this task, then things will get a lot worse.

Anonymous said...

Anon: "And all we could do was sit back and say “this is the fault of history”, lets just a shed a tear and then move on with our lives." I'm not suggesting this is the fault of history, I'm saying History provided the factors for the current situation. I've said before on my blog, the only way NATO can achieve success is if Pakistan either closes its borders or we are allowed to go into Pakistan. Based on official Pakistan government statements, neither is possible.

Jason Bo Green said...

I said it was a worthwhile question to ask; I simply also said that making it about academic plagiarism was not a good idea - I still think that.

But whatever, what's done is done.

I don't find it very surprising if Manley's views haven't changed much in three months. I doubt yours or John McCain's or Dion's or Small Dead Animals' minds would change after 3 months investigating Afghanistan, either - as far as I can see, you're all pretty set in your ways.

As a writer, I constantly cut and paste stuff, and then maybe alter it slightly, later on. If I was happy with the idea and its expression then, why re-invent the wheel? Honestly Scott, it would never occur to me to comb through your blog and compare old writings if you were recruited to investigate Afghanistan. If you had the same position before but now have new experiences that re-enforce what you always thought, and what you wrote then expresses roughly what you feel now, I wouldn't ever possibly question that.

I agree without question that the four paragraphs you show here are nearly identical -- they're like a Draft One and a Draft Two. But four paragraphs inside an entire panel report? It just would seem like one of the writers was happy with how he put it earlier.

Followed your link to MacLean's, and honestly, that grabbed my attention way more - omitting those kind of details does beg a few questions, in my mind. But hey, they wouldn't have seen that glaring error if you hadn't posted this, so good job.

And heck, it must have been a shitload of reading - I can't help but admire that, at least.

Jason Bo Green said...

he only way NATO can achieve success is if Pakistan either closes its borders or we are allowed to go into Pakistan. Based on official Pakistan government statements, neither is possible.

Yeah, this seems to be accurate from what I can determine. It's sort of a mess and I don't have much to offer by way of a brilliant solution, I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

Jason, You Said, "But four paragraphs inside an entire panel report? It just would seem like one of the writers was happy with how he put it earlier." Two things. First, these four paragraphs were conclusions of the report, so that should make them pretty important. Second, these four paragraphs in the two circumstances describe two different groups. The First was Manley before he did lengthy research, the second was the whole Panel after they did extensive research. In one specific instance it's unsure how the Panel could ask the exact same question Manley did three months ago, and get the exact same answer.

Furthermore regardless of the fact Manley wrote for himself three months ago then applied the exact same writing on the Panel's conclusions, cutting and pasting isn't satisfactory when he was getting paid 1400 dollars a day.

In addition, I kindly resent your comment about the possibility of being stuck in my way. In the history of my blog I have admitted when I was wrong, and I even reversed my positions, such as mine on the Quebec Nation resolution (You can find it if you'll bother going through my archives.

Holly Stick said...

Well done, The Scott Ross, to catch the similarity in the writing. It's too bad some of the commenters here and elsewhere do not understand what intellectual integrity is. Michael Byers tried to explain some of the problem with what Manley has done on As It Happens tonight, where your blog was mentioned briefly.

http://www.cbc.ca/radioshows/AS_IT_HAPPENS/20080123.shtml

I think the next thing would be to talk to every panel member and ask them what they specifically contributed to the report, and if they contributed nothing, why not? Did they just casually agree that Manley would write something up? Or did the PMO write it?

I hear there is no mention of the detainees which Canadian troops have transferred to Afghan troops where they have been tortured, whether or not they were charged with any crime. Did the Manley panel not deal with this issue at all? Why not?

Jason Bo Green said...

You can kindly resent anything you wish, but I didn't say you were stuck on anything, I said that I wouldn't expect you or most politicos to change your minds after three months of research. Most people don't, even when they occasionally sometimes do (same goes for me as it does for you).

So John Manley was for the war before he was currently for the war: most people that I know who supported the war 6 or 12 months ago still do today, despite daily newsreading. Same with people who opposed the war a year or so ago. I just don't see his similar mindset today as evidence of falsifying or lying.

I wouldn't think that you were lying or falsifying anything if you went to Afghanistan and felt the same way you did three months ago, either.

Who knows, for all I know he sold his soul to the Devil when he was 14 and now its come due or something. I just don't have any suspicions aroused. Though as I said at the outset, it's a legitamet question to mull.

Anonymous said...

Holly:

Thanks for the link.

The Panel did briefly look at the detainee situation, but deverted it to government consideration. Here is the totality of the Panel's consideration of the topic (Found on pg 16 of the Report)

"Canadians have heard and expressed specific concerns about the handling by Afghan officials of prisoners turned over to them by Canadian soldiers. These concerns (shared in other ISAF countries) raise issues currently before Canadian courts. Two questions stand out. First, are detainees treated humanely, as required by treaties and other international law? And second, do ISAF countries retain obligations with regard to the safety and welfare of detainees after their transfer to Afghan custody? Our discussions with Canadian Forces officers in Afghanistan persuaded us that their procedures for handling and transferring detainees conform fully with international standards and with Canada’s own international legal obligations. However, the Panel did not have the opportunity to evaluate Afghan practices. As in other areas of governance, Canada and ISAF partners should continue working to enhance Afghan government capacity and performance in protecting the rights of detainees. The Afghan government must be held accountable for providing prisoners with due process and humane treatment. It must also be held to the terms of its formal agreements with the Canadian and other governments on detainee transfers."

BKalmak said...

First of all, great work Scott. It's refreshing to see some quality reporting on a blog.

To all those who have no respect for academic integrity: how can you possibly take this report seriously when many aspects are so similar over a time period (3 months) in which so much has changed in the outlook of the mission's success/failure? (Ex. Environics poll '2007 Survey of Afghans' published in October).

It appears as though we're following the Americans in going down the one-way street that Bush has paved for foreign relations in the 21st century. Manley's report boasts an eerie resemblence to the reiteration and lack of research put into American reports on strategy in Iraq. It's getting hard for me to say that I'm proud to be a Canadian.

Holly Stick said...

Thanks for that quotation about the detainees. Of course, we have just learned in the news that Canadian troops stopped transferring detainees a couple of months ago without telling Canadians about it. And there are other questions:
http://www.pogge.ca/archives/001766.shtml#comments

I wonder if the Manley panel was aware of this?

And pogge is also speculating that the purpose is to keep NATO in Afghanistan for the long term.
http://www.pogge.ca/archives/001767.shtml

I think myself that Harper has been trying to build himself up as a decisive leader, and the Manley report call for him to take action, gives him the chance to pretend to be such a leader.

L.J. Brooks said...

Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill! As previous commentators have mentioned plagiarism refers to taking someone else's work and claiming it as your own. Contrary to what clh said there is no such thing as "self-plagiarism." The fact that Manley used information from previous writing is meaningless.

Here’s what the experts say:

“ You need not acknowledge your own independent material- thoughts, compilations of facts, or experimental results, expressed in your words or formats-to avoid plagiarism. Such material includes observations from your experience .... as well as diagrams you construct from information you gather yourself. Though you generally should describe the basis for your conclusions so that readers can evaluate your thinking, you need not cite sources for them.”

Aaron, Jane E., McArthur, Murray., and Fowler, H. Ramsey. The Little, Brown Compact Handbook, Third Canadian Edition. Toronto: Pearson Education Canada Inc. Mar 1 2005. Page 557.

Anonymous said...

L.J. Brooks:
If you read my post you'll see the largest problem isn't plagiarism its the panel was predetermined.

Actually yes you can Plagiarize yourself, just ask any University student. In any academic work, and I take the Afghan Report to be as such considering the research done, experts consulted, evidence cited, arguments put forth, etc. copying yourself is plagiarism. You looked at the broad definition of plagiarism, not academic plagiarism.

Here's the definition from plagiarism.org: "By many academic standards, it is even possible to plagiarize from yourself, if you paraphrase or copy from work you published elsewhere without citation." Then from Wikipedia: "Within academia, plagiarism by students, professors, or researchers is considered academic dishonesty or academic fraud and offenders are subject to academic censure."
-scott

Joanne (True Blue) said...

FYI - John Manley was just on "the Agenda" addressing this very issue.

Steve Paikin mentioned your blog.

L.J. Brooks said...

Anonymous (Scott)

My apologizes for taking so long in responding to your reply. It looks like we agree to disagree. I'm going to stick with the definition from the Little, Brown Handbook (a recognized authority in writing essentials). Every definition of plagiarism I have heard of is that its taking "someone else's" work and trying to represent it as "their" own. Therefore "self-plagiarism" is an oxymoron.

I also disagree with your assessment that the Manley Report is an academic report - its not: It’s a policy document produced so that politicians, civil servants and the public can make informed decisions.

As for your assertion that the report was preordained I totally disagree with. There were five people on the board with loads of experience in the political/ business/ academic/news world and none of them are fools. To insinuate that they are a bunch of pushovers is insulting.

Well that finishes my rant for now. Ciao!

Cameron Willis said...

Of course the Report was pre-ordained, in its own special way. The panel was made up of five members, three of whom were both small and big C conservatives, who, despite their experience and knowledge, were undoubtably expected, because of their personal ideological presuppositions and the party line, to vote for the option on Afghanistan supported by the PM. Manley, as is clear from The Scott Ross's work, supported the same mission option supported by the PM, which remember, was one of four possibilities the panel was expected to arrive at. So, you have four members of a five member panel who, before going in, are personally and ideologically predisposed to agree to the Conservative Party's line on Afghanistan. That the Panel repeated nearly verbatim the same arguments and research done by Manley privately should be worrying, because it means they may not have actually done any independent research separate from Manley's own. It should also not be surprising; that the PMO selected a panel that would confirm its own opinions, rather than the truly bipartisan panel touted when this initially started, isn't really a revelation; it's pretty par for the course in this case. Even if the panel had ended up agreeing with the PMO's plan for Afghanistan, one would have expected in a more bipartisan or less hand-picked panel a reflection of differing opinions, perhaps seen through words that were not exactly the same as those written by a panel member long before he was chosen to help decide the fate of a frigging nation!