July 17, 2010

"Bellesiles’s piece reads as if it were a short story (perhaps inspired by a real case) with himself playing the part of the sensitive, caring professor."

Layering suspicions of narcissism on top of suspicions of lying.


dhagood said...

i'd like to say i was surprised to read this, but after the 'arming america' fiasco... still, you'd think he might have learned a lesson or two.

wv: derides. heh

GMay said...

How this guy landed a similar, though lesser job after his last shennanigans is beyond me.

Given their similar methods, I'm surprised the NYT hasn't hired him.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Narcissism" and "lying":

Two of the most common tags on my blog.

It's all about the negative effects of NewAge, you know.

And the military is no exception: "Be All That You Can Be."

AKA "reaching your full potential."

Same shit.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

No way of knowing whether the commenter actually is a military history professor, but his comments stand even if he isn't. History is a fable to Belleisles, complete with a moral at the end. Belleisles' generation of historians were taught that history can never be objective and all facts are debatable, therefore all "facts" are valid as long as they support the correct agenda. They've gone from mistakenly interpreting events because of their personal filters to fabricating events wholesale. See Howard Zinn.

Cedarford said...

Looks like this Bellesiles is a serial fabulist.
It is unlikely the Chronicle of Higher Education fact-checked the guy.

1. Time period this was supposed to have happened in (Sept-Dec2009) showed no hispanic immigrant from CT killed in Iraq by a snipers headshot.
2. Bellesiles may have overlooked this, but websites carry detailed reports of casualties. No hispanic named person from ANY state appears to match Bellesiles tale. No wounding by sniper fire then being left in Iraq for several weeks to linger then die of brain injury.
3. You have to understand that from what MD's posting about this Bellesiles story said, that you do NOT leave a likely lethal or life-threatening head wound case in Iraq or Afghanistan for weeks. Facilities are good, but you just don't have specialized neurologist staff and advanced brain trauma diagnostic and treatment equipment available stateside or in Landsruhe Germany.
You also don't leave flat-liners and those with predicted terminal outcome in combat zone because the military wants family to be able to bid goodbye and be involved in termination of life support decisions.

This won't be a hard one to fact-check. One class, one student is the basis of Bellesiles story. Locate the "hispanic immigrant" from the student roster if Bellesiles insists all his facts are truthful.

JAL said...

I've been following other sites which have been covering this.

This is an example of TrueRomance summer women's magazine fiction. Only on the left, in the Not Arming America world of this guy, it's a deep (real deep) self referential adulation of the clear insighted liberated-from- making-war-lefty which makes us sing together and weep for the victimized Javiers and Ernestos, whatever their denominations and color might be if they even exist somewhere besides Bellesiles' fertile but narrow brain.

You might guess he pisses me off.

It's time for the left to grow up.

Stop using. People, that is.

And start by practicing working on your BS detectors.

JAL said...

BigGovernment.com blew this story last week.

Others (go back and read the previous Volokh and Big Government -- and someone else ... can't remember now --) They have all checked the records.

Heck *I* checked the records including manner of death for all soldiers for 2 years, figuring the Hispanic touch was artistic fabulation.

This guy is supposed to be a researcher and he doesn't understand a P/T semi-retired housewife can fact check him these days?

Some people think they are so special they forget others can be smart too.

And I am pretty sure the guy writing is a mil history prof, or some kind of prof.

Only they would write something like "What’s more, his research paper is “amazing,” so that all us academics, who by June are ready to stab our own eyes out after spending 9 months trying to teach disinterested students who IM right through class, will like him all the more!" Right Professor Althouse?

JAL said...

The guy writing the critique of MB, that is.

Revenant said...

This guy is supposed to be a researcher and he doesn't understand a P/T semi-retired housewife can fact check him these days?

In my experience, most of the vehemently anti-war folks have a weak grasp of how many casualties there have actually been. Most assume our troops are dying in droves, even now. The reality is that a grand total of 40 Americans died in Iraq during the five months Bellesiles was teaching military history at CCSU.

My suspicion is that either Bellesiles assumed his story would be impossible to check amid the "chaos of war", or he got conned by one of his students. I favor the first explanation, given Bellesiles' track record to date.

Cedarford said...

This does seem to be a matter that can be cleared up, one way or the other.

1. A call to Chronicle of Higher Education. Was this story fact-checked? Yes or no.
2. If no, will the Chronicle support the attorneys and academics who vetted Bellesiles other work in checking this out with the cognizant Faculty at Central Connecticut State University?
a. We want to, or have the History Dept Chair, interview Bellesiles about the fact-checking he did in context of his employment and publication work there. Did he contact the military in determining what happened? Who did he talk to, specifically?
b. We want to, or have the History Department Chair, interview "Joe the TA" to see if what he knows comports in full with the details of the story.
c. We wish to, or have the History Department Chair, interview "Ernesto". Keep his name confidential, but determine if depictions of him and his "fallen brother", and civil war "don't ask don't tell" paper are indeed factual.

*******This is the sort of tale an investigator or cop delights in because the book will be closed one way or the other, with ease. Expect a "Final Determination" to be made soon. And I think the publisher of Bellesiles next big book would be strongly prudent to not publish until the facts of this tale shake out. (And to also sit down together and ask out loud - just how well have WE fact-checked Dr. Bellesiles new book???)

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reader_iam said...

This boggles the mind, given Bellesiles' history. How could he possibly think no one would notice, that no one would check, again given his history? I don't like cheap, nonprofessional pop psychoanalysis as a rule and try very hard not to indulge in it, but--assuming he did fabricate, as accused--it's really, really difficult not to speculate that he must be some sort of pathological, compulsive liar, a pathological risk-taker, or something. I mean, this just defies understanding otherwise, at least for me. Apart from the dishonesty (which I don't intend to minimize), it seems to go totally against his own self-interest!

I wish Trey (tmink) were around to put in his two cents. I realize (or at least think) his specialty is troubled kids, but he always seems to have good insights to contribute in topics involving messed up psyches.

John Lynch said...

Why not save the time and just ignore Bellesile's completely? He's a fraud.

Big Mike said...

I concur that the story is easy to fact-check. And should have been. Nor is there any possibility that someone with a severe head wound would be left in theater instead of being evacuated. Bellesiles should do more research before he writes his fiction, and there was no excuse for the Chronicle of Higher Education to fail to fact-check the story before it was published, given Bellesiles's previous history of made-up "facts."

It's my understanding that the editor of CHE has since been shamed into belated fact-checking.

Cedarford said...

John Lynch said...
Why not save the time and just ignore Bellesile's completely? He's a fraud
1. Because he is still in the business of getting paid by taxpayers and parents of students to purvey what he says is true, in teaching employment.

2. Because he is still being published in a prestigious university "communications organ" purporting what he writes about war and noble immigrants and "don't ask don't tell" is all true. That fellow academics are informed the Army leaves headwound cases to die in Iraq.

3. Because this story, if fabulist, bears on the credibility of his upcoming book that 1877 was an orgy of violence by white people against oppressed minorities...sure to be required reading in many Leftist-run classrooms...Making Bellesiles more money, while students, parents, and taxpayers cough up the obligatory bucks to purchase it.

John Lynch said...

But that's just recycling Howard Zinn.. so who cares? Let the guy be in his far left cocoon. He made up a lot of stuff to get there.

JAL said...

1. A call to Chronicle of Higher Education. Was this story fact-checked? Yes or no.

I believe Jim Lindgren (V.C.) managed to contact (a bit of a delay on the editor's answering, IIRC) the editor -- or someone. That was ... mmm ... 2 days ago?

I think it is he who did a nice algorithm on solving the problem Bellesiles has created with his narrative on teaching military history during a war. (Like it's never been done before? Or with such feeling?)

Some of the options are not great, though he has (to me) gone out of his way to come up with benign possibilities.

JAL said...

John Lynch -- Bellesiles is a fraud.

People deserve to give informed consent before they give money and cred to have frauds teaching (and collecting money) in our our schools.

Why not leave all the plagarists uncovered over the past few years in place in the legacy media? Ward Churchill?

Delusions and / or lies should not be shrugged off.

It's about accountability and responsibility..

Penny said...

In a world where "truth" has become stranger than "fiction", why would our antenna even go up over such a story?

Face it, folks, the "smell test" doesn't work quite the way it once did.

Additionally, do we really expect organizations to hire enough fact checkers to eliminate all cons? That seems to be heading them down the failed path the government consistently takes in hiring ever more people to review the work of other people....And we know how that story always ends! MORE REGULATION! And never enough watchdogs.

Something here is badly broken.

KCFleming said...

And an army of Davids shall slay them.

lucid said...

Just goes to show that you can be a known liar and get away with publishing more lies as long as you are saying something liberals like.

Penny said...

"And an army of Davids shall slay them."

Let's wish for a more proportional response, Pogo.

Slaying, even by slingshot, seems a bit overdone for the crime of fabrication.

Perhaps we could form an a capella choral group to sing "Liar Liar Pants on Fire" in the public square? ;)

reader_iam said...

Can people sing a capella anymore? I thought it was all about the Auto-Tune today (blech!!!!).

JAL said...

Penny -- no one is saying anyone should HIRE fact checkers.

EDITORS have a responsibility for that which they are editors of... you know ... meet the mission stateent standards or whatever.

Editors should have an eye and ear for what they are looking at. Her radar should have pinged.

But then, McMillan -- or whoever -- might have been on the same page as Bellesiles and thought everything he wrote fit her world view ... so hey. Never occurred to her that a significant liar might be playing with fire. Again. While plying his trade -- lies and misinformation.

Tomorrow is Monday. It will be a week since she acknowledged Lindgren's request.

5, 4, 3, 2, .....

Mitch H. said...

Lingren's semi-anonymous military history professor shows some pretty obnoxious attitudes towards his own students-in-uniform, who clearly are more inclined to call him on his bullshit than the sheep-like civilians. But he prefers to present it as neanderthals and "chairborne rangers" "bullying" the rest of the class.