Friday, April 11, 2014

Colorado Springs Gazette Story on Bentley Rayburn Plagiarism

NOREEN: Stop the general before he steals again
BARRY NOREEN • Colorado Springs Gazette Updated: December 1, 2009 at 12:00 am • Published: December 1, 2009
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Patterning one’s work after someone else’s is one thing and plagiarism is another.
According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to plagiarize is
• To steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own
• To use (another’s production) without crediting the source
• To commit literary theft
• To present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.
Notice the attribution there? That’s how authors give credit to other sources. If they don’t provide the attribution they could be accused of plagiarism.
Theft is a violation of Commandment No. 8.
Which brings us to Maj. Gen. Bentley Rayburn, the retired Air Force general who twice ran unsuccessfully for the Fifth Congressional District seat and who failed in his quest to be hired as Falcon School District 49 superintendent.
In November, Rayburn was on a slate of speakers for Newsapalooza, a collection of conservative pundits put together by KVOR radio. About 300 people paid  $10 apiece to hear, presumably, the speakers’ original thoughts.
Rayburn critiqued President Obama’s foreign policy performance. Rayburn discussed Iraq, Afghanistan, American “exceptionalism,” North Korea and Pakistan. The speech presented a neo-conservative’s view, and considering the audience, that was appropriate.
Except for the fact that Rayburn largely stole the speech (including that line about "exceptionalism"). It was given originally by John Bolton, who served as United Nations ambassador in the George. W. Bush administration. Bolton’s speech was delivered in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 11, then adapted for the Hillsdale College web site.
There are many remarkable  similarities between Bolton’s speech and Rayburn’s. You can judge for yourself by perusing a line-by-line comparison on my blog today, but here is a small taste.
From Bolton: “the Obama administration is pursuing a policy that can accurately be described as neo-isolationist — a policy characterized by an unwillingness to be assertive in the world. ... This policy traces back in the Democratic party to George McGovern.”
From Rayburn: That leads to an unwillingness perhaps to be assertive in the world...You could draw parallels to the McGovern time.”
Here's another one. From Bolton: "More broadly, the Obama administration believes that its predecessor didn’t negotiate enough on issues like the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The president has said repeatedly—starting with his
Inaugural Address—that the United States must hold out its hand to countries like North Korea..."
And again, Rayburn: "In his inaugural address Obama expressed a wiliingness to hold his hand out to North Korea."
In a dramatic understatement Monday, Rayburn acknowledged: “I took something from a number of speeches I had read.” He acknowledged that Bolton “had some good things to say.”
Asked if he ever credited Bolton, Rayburn replied: “I don’t believe I did.”
You didn’t, Gen. Rayburn. We have the audio.
In his campaigns Rayburn has touted his leadership. With such a casual attitude about someone else’s intellectual property, imagine the leadership Rayburn could have provided for students as the superintendent in D-49.
General, consider yourself dismissed.


  1. So, his biggest sin, is quoting some stuff without including credit? Um.... can you find something more worthy next time like a sex scandal, or a Chinese / Nevada land grab ?

  2. Plagiarism is a deliberate act. Writers often will research a number of references to help them see how others have dealt with the subject. All of your references are very thin in substance and hardly to the level of plagiarism.

  3. Bentley apologized for this, saying that he was rushed and failed to put the thoughts in his own words. This is a mistake, not a deliberate act demonstrating a failure of character. (
    I've corresponded with General Rayburn. He holds Tea Party beliefs about the Constitution and has strong ethics and beliefs. I support him 100%.