Trump's Homeland Security Pick Sheriff David Clarke Jr. Plagiarized His MA Thesis

"Standard procedure to any formal accusation of plagiarism is to pull the student's thesis, and perform an investigation into the validity of the claims."

By Eric Shorey

Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke has become yet another right-wing media personality more famous for his openly hateful statements and controversial stances than his actual skill or savvy. That hasn't stopped President Trump's team from appointing him as new assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security. Now, multiple reports about Sheriff Clarke's master's thesis say that the police official had plagarized his master's thesis.

CNN reports that entire sections of Clarke's 2013 thesis were ripped off wholesale from other sources. Clarke had completed the thesis, titled "Making U.S. security and privacy rights compatible," at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Throughout the paper, Clarke sites sources through footnotes but does not indicate which sections are directly lifted from their origins through quotation marks. Some sections were allegedly stolen verbatim.

Some of the sources plagarized include include a 2002 ACLU report on "The Government's Demand for New and Unnecessary Powers After September 11," a 2003 ACLU report suspicious of the vast overreach of the FBI's records-collection practices, a 2007 ACLU report on "fusion centers," and a 2011 ACLU report on secrecy laws.

The list goes on: Clarke had also borrowed language from the 9/11 Commission Report, a 2011 article in the Homeland Security Affairs journal, the Pew Research Center, a 2012 report by the Constitution Project, a 2003 report by the US General Accounting Office, a 2011 Brennan Center report, a 2013 Washington Post article about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Comparative Homeland Security: Global Lessons, a textbook by Nadav Morag, and Safe Cities Project.

The least surprising material copped for the report is likely from George W. Bush's book Decision Points.

The Naval Postgraduate School commented that the standard procedure these situations would be to launch a thorough investigation: 

"Like all academic institutions, the Naval Postgraduate School takes the integrity of our students' work very seriously, perhaps even more than our peers given the unique nature of our mission and student body," Lt. Cdr. Clint Phillips said. "Standard procedure to any formal accusation of plagiarism is to pull the student's thesis, and perform an investigation into the validity of the claims."

"The university's academic conduct code, and our procedures in checking for plagiarism at the time of thesis submission, and following graduation, can change from year to year. In this particular case, we would be unable to determine any violation until the full investigation is complete."

Clarke has come under fire for more serious negligances, including the extremely cruel treatment the incarcerated face in the Milwaukee jail he manages. Four prisoners, including one baby, have died since April under his reign. Similarly, Clarke has publicly made inflamatory statements about Black Lives Matter, characterizing them as a hate group. More recently, Clarke has come under fire for his idiosyncratic outfit and prominent display of military decoration. Turns out, those medals are not actually representative of very much at all.

Clarke's long list of other assorted atrocities has been detailed by Jezebel. You can read CNN's full breakdown of each instance of plagarism over here.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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