A few days ago, VTDigger’s Jasper Craven reported that an anonymous someone had been doing a whole lot of editing to Peter Galbraith’s Wikipedia page. The person known as “Devotedamerican” made dozens of edits to Galbraith’s entry between 2008 and 2011, all adding material favorable to Galbraith or removing unfavorable information. During that period, Galbraith actively considered a run for governor before deciding to run for state senate in 2010.
Devotedamerican has been silent since 2011. But now, Galbraith has a new WikiFriend, “Westerncivil.” It’s a cognomen strikingly similar in content and structure to “Devotedamerican.”
Westerncivil began editing Galbraith’s entry in the fall of 2014, but was only occasionally active until June 10, when Westerncivil made eleven separate edits to Galbraith’s page in a single day.
Craven’s article revealing Devotedamerican was posted on June 9.
Coincidence? Ehh, not buying it.
And Westerncivil has never edited anything else on Wikipedia.
Also, just as Devotedamerican was criticized by fellow WikiEditors for excessive deletions, Westerncivil has been upbraided by a core Wikipedia editor named McMatter:
Please do not add or change content, as you did to Peter W. Galbraith, without verifying it by citing a reliable source. Please review the guidelines at Wikipedia:Citing sources and take this opportunity to add references to the article. Please refrain from removing sourced information and using misleading edit summaries to avoid detection.
I’m sure that, if asked, Galbraith will deny that he is Westerncivil, just as he denied being Devotedamerican. But if it’s not Galbraith, it’s someone who pays very close attention to Vermont news and is obsessively protective of Galbraith’s reputation.
And if we know anything about Peter Galbraith, it’s that he is a very prideful (some would say narcissistic) man who reacts harshly to criticism from any source.
Which is why I see this as a story worth pursuing. It’s a measure of a man who wants to be governor but may well be temperamentally unsuited for the job. Given his record, he’ll have to prove he can Work Well With Others to earn my vote.
And now, a bit more evidence that Devotedamerican is actually Peter Galbraith. Here is one of Devotedamerican’s Wikipedia additions, dated June 18, 2008.
“In 1995, he was the co-mediator and principal architect of the Erdut Agreemnt that ended the war in Croatia by providing for the peaceful reintegration of Serb-held Eastern Slavonia.”
And here is an almost identical passage from the bio section of Galbraith’s gubernatorial campaign website.
“He was principal architect of the 1995 Erdut Agreement that ended the war in Croatia by providing for peaceful reintegration of Serb-held Eastern Slavonia into Croatia.”
And here’s another example. First, Devotedamerican, March 5, 2008.
“In 1987, he uncovered Saddam Hussein’s systematic destruction of Kurdish villages and a year later wrote “The Prevention of Genocide Act of 1988” which would have imposed comprehensive sanctions on Iraq because of the gassing of the Kurds.”
And again, from his current campaign website:
“In 1987, Peter uncovered Saddam Hussein’s systematic destruction of Kurdish villages. A year later Peter wrote (and got the US Senate to pass) the “Prevention of Genocide Act of 1988” to impose comprehensive sanctions on Iraq because of the gassing of the Kurds.”
There are only two explanations for this remarkable congruence, and neither of them is “coincidence.” Either the man behind Devotedamerican also wrote Galbraith’s campaign bio, or his campaign is cribbing his official biography off Wikipedia. Which would be a stunningly lazy and perilous thing to do.
Yeah, Peter Galbraith is Devotedamerican. All signs point to him as the brains behind Westerncivil as well.