But it turns out he was correct. Larry Sabato confirms it (from NRO):
Larry Sabato, the University of Virginia professor of politics, has seen 17 passages from Bergamini that resemble passages from Webb. “There are some passages that were lifted, that’s just obvious,” he says, while noting that perhaps Webb has some explanation for the similarity that hasn’t occurred to him. “It could have been taken care of with one line in the author’s note. Even in fiction you have to acknowledge an intellectual debt.”
The book in question is "The Emperor’s General".
The 1999 novel, a work of historical fiction, earned Webb a $1 million advance and $2 million for the film rights (according to Variety). Running the novel through a plagiarism detector available online makes it clear that it cribs dialogue and information from the late David Bergamini’s Japan’s Imperial Conspiracy, a popular history released in 1971. But Webb doesn’t credit Bergamini. You wouldn’t expect footnotes in a novel, but you would expect a reference to source material in an author’s note, in acknowledgments, or in suggestions for further reading. Bergamini doesn’t get a mention anywhere, in either the hardback or paperback versions of Webb’s book.
The article gives a few examples, here is one trivial one:
Bergamini translated Japanese documents for his book; many bits of dialogue taken from those documents would have been unavailable to Webb without Bergamini’s work. Sometimes it’s phrases that were lifted. So, for example, Bergamini refers (paperback, p. 200) to “a buccaneers’ enclave called Karak at the tip of the Korean peninsula.” Webb (paperback, p. 346) refers to “a pirate’s enclave called Karak at the tip of the Korean peninsula.”
Now, Webb is writing fiction, while the book he took the phrases and sentences and ideas from was, it appears, an historical reference. Still, I'm just a hack opinion writer, but when I take a sentence from the Washington Post, I put it in quotes and acknowledge the source.
It is revealing that Webb collecting millions for a book and didn't even acknowledge the extensive work done by someone who was instrumental in some of the passages of his book.
The point is that we know NOTHING about Webb, because the media has IGNORED HIS LIFE. If Webb was a republican, Allen's campaign wouldn't have had to bring up his writings about women, the Washington Post would have run front-page articles about it. The WP would have dug up people to say Webb was hard to work with, that he quit his secretary post after only 10 months.
They would have told us all his flip-flops, all his bizarre beliefs he has expressed over the years. They would have lambasted him for changing his mind about people, for holding a 20-year-grudge. They would have highlighted his temper, they would have ridiculed him for thinking some island in the pacific was important.
They most certainly would have printed all the salacious details of Webb's books. They would have wondered about his "strange love" for Scots, and would have given us profiles of the student he slept with while teaching at the academy. They would also have found every detail about the woman who claims Webb stalked her in the 90s.
But because the Washington Post hates Allen, because Webb is a democrat, they have given him a pass on everything. We have to put up with democrat activists claiming that in a roomful of people they were the ONLY ones to hear Allen use the n-word repeatedly and loudly, but we can't learn about Webb lying about taking the lead in getting billets for women, or for getting an African American on the memorial -- instead, we would have had women quoted complaining about Webb fighting a women's vietnam memorial. His words about how "few" of them served would have been hung around his neck, but he's the left's poster boy, the Washington Post's candidate.
Webb knows NOTHING about Virginia. He doesn't seem to care, and I wouldn't be surprised if he quits the Senate after a year or so. But we can't know about that, because the important thing is that some nut-case assaulted Allen supporters at a private event and had to be restrained (only the media turns it into an attack by Allen himself).