Several sections of a bestselling 2012 book 'authored' by renowned neurosurgeon and potential Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson were plagiarized from multiple sources, including an anti-socialism website, BuzzFeed has revealed.
Multiple passages totaling hundreds of words from Carson's America the Beautiful were lifted word-for-word from numerous sources, including the now-defunct website socialismsucks.net.
In trashing socialism, Carson copied entire paragraphs and passages from the site. For example:
Anytime you give to government the responsibility and authority to provide government-made jobs, old-age financial security, “free” health care, and “free” education and indoctrination of children, it will control the lives of the people who live under its jurisdiction, and individual liberty and freedom of choice are sacrificed.
Ironically, Carson writes in America the Beautiful about how he was caught plagiarizing in college and given a second chance to re-write a research paper:
"[My professor] pointed out that I had plagiarized and told me that the consequences for doing so normally included expulsion. I could see all of my dreams of becoming a doctor dashed by my stupidity," he wrote. "Even though I did not know the implications of plagiarism, I certainly should have known inherently that what I was doing was wrong. I had done it before without consequences and probably would have continued doing it if I had not been caught."
"Fortunately for me, the professor was very compassionate, realized that I was naïve, and gave me a chance to rewrite the paper," he added. "This raises another question: Is ignorance an acceptable excuse for unethical behavior?"
Carson certainly cannot claim ignorance this time around, as BuzzFeed has listed no fewer than a dozen examples in which he plagiarized sources ranging from press releases to CBS News.
Sealey Yates, a spokesperson for the world-renowned neurosurgeon, thanked BuzzFeed for revealing Carson's plagiarism.
“If it is determined that additional citations or attribution are required, the appropriate revisions will be made in subsequent printings,” Yates promised. “Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.”
It is uncertain what, if any, impact that the discovery of Carson's cheating will have on his presidential prospects. A darling of right-wing politicians and pundits, Carson recently took a major step toward running for the 2016 Republican nomination by forming a political action committee (PAC), One Nation, and selecting Houston businessman Terry Giles as his campaign chairman should he decide to run.
The revelation of Carson's literary theft comes less than a year after another conservative favorite, libertarian-leaning US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) was embroiled in his own plagiarism scandal after BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski reported that among other pilfering, an entire three-page section of his 2013 book, Government Bullies, was reprinted verbatim from a decade-old case study by the conservative Heritage Foundation.
Kaczynski reported last April that Paul himself has been the victim of Republican plagiarism, with no less than eight GOP candidates copying and pasting from the "issues" section on the Kentucky senator's website.