It is available online here. Because the item is so short, we will simply reprint it here for the convenience of our readers:
Laurence Tribe PostscriptBy "guilty as charged," we assume The Weekly Standard is referencing the detailed analysis by Mr. Bottum of passage after passage of Professor Tribe's book obviously copied by someone straight out of Professor Abraham's book, with some minor rewording apparently reflecting an effort to obscure the plagiarism involved. To the best of our knowledge, neither Professor Tribe nor anyone else has defended as proper the copying of even one of the passages involved, or has tried to explain the similarities between the books as the result of anything but a process of copying straight from Professor Abraham's book. So in this respect, "guilty as charged" seems an apt observation.
We neglected to note last week that Harvard president Larry Summers and law school dean Elena Kagan finally released the official findings of their investigation into the plagiarism charges against their distinguished colleague Laurence Tribe, first aired in these pages by Joseph Bottum. Guilty as charged. For more, much more, on the nuances of their report, visit the "Harvard Plagiarism Archive" at authorskeptics.blogspot.com.
As Dean Velvel has suggested, and as we have asserted even more directly than he, we do not think Harvard has concluded Professor Tribe is "guilty as charged" of personally doing this copying from Professor Abraham's book.We think Harvard's finding that Professor Tribe was guilty only of "inadvertence" is tenable only on the view that Professor Tribe's defense was, "my ghostwriter did it."
The problem with this basis for finding Professor Tribe did not intentionally do anything wrong is that it dumbs down academic standards of integrity and honesty. As Dean Velvel has persuasively argued, Harvard's finding that no deliberate wrongdoing was involved therefore must mean (assuming much of the book was written for Professor Tribe by a ghostwriter, something he has not denied since the the Weekly Standard story, and which he could easily deny if it were not true) that Harvard's top officials see no deliberate wrongdoing in a professor making undisclosed use of students to write her or her books or articles. As Dean Velvel suggests, this, in turn, suggests that the Harvard officials who made this finding themselves have used ghostwriters in their own work.
Recently the Weekly Standard also had a brief mention of the Harvard Law School student parody of Professor Tribe which we blogged about here. We have some additional information about the parody and other topics which we will try to blog about later in May.