Our policy is “leading us toward a Communist
state with as dreadful certainty as though the leaders of the Kremlin themselves were charting our course.”
Gen. Douglas MacArthur in 1952
Click on this text to watch The Iron Curtain's Enduring Darkness...
WHO WAS JOSEPH McCARTHY AND WHY HAVE WE BEEN TRAINED TO HATE HIM?
MIKE KING - TOMATO BUBBLE
The short answer is because he was on to the Commie Jews and tried to expose them for what they
"This must be the product of a great conspiracy, a conspiracy on
a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man."
Who was Joseph McCarthy, and why is he, without question, hands-down -- the most
widely and most viciously vilified personage in American history? The official version of history -- written by
academic operatives serving the same ruling class which McCarthy sought to expose – teaches us that the
Wisconsin Senator was a nasty bullying brute who dirtied the reputations of anyone who disagreed with
him politically. As the story goes, if one was a “liberal,” the demagogue McCarthy slandered
him as a “communist” and, just like that, an innocent man, or woman, was ruined.
McCarthy’s mole-hunting came
to be known as “McCarthyism” – a derogatory term still used today to describe political
slanderers. More than sixty years after his crusade against “Red”
traitors was stopped in its tracks, American school children, who learn very little about history (real
or fake), will surely learn about the “evil” Joe McCarthy. Here is a typical excerpt
– one of thousands -- of the type of commie crap that has been fed, and continues to be fed, to generations
History Channel: “Senator McCarthy spent almost five years trying in vain to expose communists and other left-wing “loyalty
risks” in the U.S. government. In the hyper-suspicious atmosphere of the Cold War, insinuations
of disloyalty were enough to convince many Americans that their government was packed with traitors
and spies. McCarthy’s accusations were so intimidating that few people dared to speak out against
All of these factors combined to create an atmosphere of fear and dread. (1)
Feel the hatred from Establishment
biographer and “ex-Communist,” Richard H. Rovere, who described McCarthy
destructive force” -- “a chronic opportunist -- “a fertile innovator, a first-rate organizer and galvanizer
of mobs, a skilled manipulator of public opinion, and something like a genius at that essential American
vulgarian” -- “a man with an almost aesthetic preference for untruth” -- he “made
sages of screwballs and accused wise men of being fools” -- “the first American ever to be
actively hated and feared by foreigners in large numbers.”
could not comprehend true outrage, true indignation, true anything” --- “The
haters rallied around him.” (2)
Many Fake Historians have collected their
fair share of shekels for dumping on Joe McCarthy.
If you think about it logically and deductively, the sheer scope and intensity of the unremitting
attacks against a man who died way back in 1957 can only mean one of two things. Either:
A: Joe McCarthy was an evil
scumbag of such gross proportions that the wickedness of his deeds cannot and should not ever be forgotten
by lovers of liberty and decency --- or
B: Joe McCarthy’s dauntless
crusade against treason in high places rattled the Reds and the Globalist ruling class above them
to such an extent that “they” want to make sure no one ever dares to attempt to expose the
self-perpetuating “powers that be” ever again.
As you may have already deduced by the title
of this book, your McCarthy-loving investigative historian here believes knows that the latter case
represents the true history. Yours truly does not believe in dishonestly hiding behind the veil of
fake neutrality when presenting a historical case.
The history of Joe McCarthy is a story that absolutely must be corrected not merely for the sake
of academic scholarship, but more importantly, because the very same “conspiracy so immense”
that ultimately destroyed McCarthy is still alive and well today – and more dangerous than ever.
This is the true story of Senator Joseph
McCarthy – “Saint” Joseph of Wisconsin. Hallowed be his unjustly dirtied name.
Blah blah blah -- Blah
blah blah --- Blah
Joe McCarthy (Joseph Raymond McCarthy, November 14, 1908 – May
2, 1957) was a two-term Republican United States Senator from Wisconsin. He dominated the anti-communist movement in the United States, 1950–54, until his career receded after censure by the Senate. "McCarthyism"
is the aggressive exposure of Communist influences in America and the people who protect them.
Beginning in 1950, McCarthy became the most visible public figure to object to Communist infiltration of the United States government. A 1954 Gallup poll found that Joe McCarthy was the fourth on its list of most admired men. He is now considered
an American hero by many, though liberals still seek to tarnish his name.
He was noted for claiming that there were large numbers of Communists and Soviet spies and sympathizers, engaged in a conspiracy to undermine the United States, inside the federal government. He was proven
correct by government documents and inquiry, including decrypted Venona files.
McCarthy lost support in 1953 when he started
attacking the U.S. Army and suggesting that Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower was protecting subversives. Eisenhower signaled Republicans to stop his attacks on the Army. Although McCarthy had strong
support among Catholics, such as Joe Kennedy, in 1954 the Senate censured him on charges of attacking fellow Senators; this caused his influence to collapse abruptly.
The term "McCarthyism" was coined in 1950 in reference to McCarthy's aggressive attempts to ferret out suspects, occasionally in the absence
Joseph McCarthy was born to a poor Irish Catholic
farm family in Appleton, Wisconsin. A hyperactive, extroverted youth, he dropped out of school after eighth grade to start
his own poultry business. After the chickens all died, he enrolled in the local public high school. Thanks to enormous
energy and a retentive mind, he finished his coursework in less than a year at age 20. After two undergraduate years at
Marquette University, a leading Jesuit school in Milwaukee, McCarthy entered Marquette Law School, acquiring the rudiments of the profession that he soon used to knit together a
statewide network among Irish and German Catholics. McCarthy was a practicing Catholic his entire life, but rarely referred
to religion or ethnicity in his speeches. He actively supported President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Young Democrats, but did not join Irish organizations.
in his 1936 race for district attorney, McCarthy displayed remarkable campaign abilities and an astonishing memory for faces.
He had the energy and determination to meet every voter in person, exuding charm and a concern for the voter as an individual.
The same tactics paid off in 1939, when he was successful in a nonpartisan contest for a regional judgeship.
The youngest judge in state history, he worked long hours to clear up a large backlog. He administered justice promptly
and with a combination of legal knowledge and good sense. He was still a Democrat, but that party was very weak statewide
at the time.
Joseph McCarthy in the U.S. Marine Corps
In 1942 McCarthy, volunteered for the Marines (as a judge he was draft exempt), becoming an intelligence officer in an aviation unit heavily engaged in combat in the
South Pacific. Although assigned a desk job McCarthy flew numerous combat missions as a tail gunner—he exaggerated
the number to qualify for a Distinguished Flying Cross.
During his 30 months
of military service, McCarthy's record was unanimously praised by his commanding officers and Admiral Chester Nimitz, commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet. Admiral Nimitz issued the following citation regarding the service of Captain
“ || For meritorious and efficient performance
of duty as an observer and rear gunner of a dive bomber attached to a Marine scout bombing squadron operating in the Solomon Islands area from September 1 to December 31, 1943. He participated in a large number of combat missions, and in addition to his
regular duties, acted as aerial photographer. He obtained excellent photographs of enemy gun positions, despite intense
anti-aircraft fire, thereby gaining valuable information which contributed materially to the success of subsequent strikes
in the area. Although suffering from a severe leg injury, he refused to be hospitalized and continued to carry out his duties
as Intelligence Officer in a highly efficient manner. His courageous devotion to duty was in keeping with the highest traditions
of the naval service. || ” |
Elected to Senate, 1946
McCarthy had his name entered in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in 1944, opposing
a well-entrenched incumbent Republican, Alexander Wiley. The absentee war hero ran a strong second, making a name for himself
statewide and making himself available for the 1946 Senate contest.
suddenly changed parties was never explained, but prospects for ambitious Wisconsin politicians were dim inside the poorly
organized Democratic party, for most New Dealers supported the state’s Progressive party. During the war, however, that party collapsed, torn apart between its New Deal domestic liberalism, and its intensely isolationist opposition to Roosevelt’s foreign policy. Increasingly out
of touch with Wisconsin, its leader Robert LaFollette Jr. looked to his family’s past glories and made the blunder of trying for reelection to the Senate in 1946 as a Republican.
"Tail Gunner Joe," as his posters called him, endlessly crisscrossed
Wisconsin while LaFollette remained in Washington, offered an alternative in the Republican primary to old guard Republicans
who had opposed the Lafollettes for a half century. McCarthy brilliantly captured the frustrations citizens felt about
massive strikes, unstable economy, price controls, severe shortages of housing and meat, and the growing threat of from
the far left in the CIO. He nipped LaFollette in the primary. The slogan “Had Enough?—Vote Republican” gave the Republicans
a landslide all across the North, electing a new junior senator from Wisconsin.
In Washington, McCarthy was a mainstream conservative in domestic policy, and, like many veterans, was an internationalist
in foreign affairs, supporting the Marshall Plan and NATO. His speeches rarely mentioned domestic Communism or flaming issues like the Alger Hiss espionage case, but that suddenly changed in early 1950 when his vivid anti-Communist rhetoric drew national attention. "The issue between the Republicans and Democrats is clearly drawn. It has been deliberately
drawn by those who have been in charge of twenty years of treason.” Alleging there were many card-carrying Communists
in U. S. President Harry S. Truman’s State Department, McCarthy forced a Senate investigation led by Millard Tydings, Democrat of Maryland. McCarthy named numerous suspect diplomats but failed to convince the three Democrats on the panel; they concluded his
allegations were “a fraud and a hoax,” while the two Republicans dissented. McCarthy retaliated by campaigning
against Tydings, who was defeated for reelection in November 1950. What the senator himself called McCarthyism was a factor
in key races across the country; all his candidates won and his stock soared. A few weeks later American forces were crushed
by the Chinese in Korea, and in spring 1951 Truman tried to shift the blame by firing General Douglas MacArthur.
Catholics and Kennedys
The great majority of Catholics
were anti-Communist, but they were also loyal Democrats, so to enlarge his base McCarthy, a Republican, needed an alliance
with anti-Communist Catholics. The Catholic bishops and the Catholic press was "among McCarthy's most fervid supporters."
A major connection was with the powerful Kennedy family, which had very high visibility among all Catholics in the Northeast. Well before he became famous McCarthy became closely associated with Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.. He was a frequent guest at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port and at one point dated Joe's daughter Patricia. After
McCarthy became nationally prominent, Kennedy was a vocal supporter and helped build McCarthy's popularity among Catholics.
Kennedy contributed cash and encouraged his friends to give money. Some historians have argued that in the Senate race of
1952, Joe Kennedy and McCarthy made a deal that McCarthy would not make campaign speeches for the Republican ticket in Massachusetts, and in return, Congressman and future U.S. President John F. Kennedy would not give anti-McCarthy speeches. In 1953 McCarthy hired Robert Kennedy as a senior staff member. When the Senate voted to censure McCarthy in 1954, Senator Kennedy was in the hospital and never
indicated then or later how he would vote; he told associates he could not vote against McCarthy because of the family ties.
In 1950, McCarthy discussed his upcoming 1952 campaign with three fellow Catholics (Father
Edmund A. Walsh and Charles H. Kraus of Georgetown University and Washington attorney Wiliam A. Roberts). Kraus had recommended Father Walsh's recent books dealing with Communism
to McCarthy, and was hoping to interest McCarthy in the problems of Communism in the world. McCarthy's reputation among
the voters was not good at that time, due to various ethical and tax violation problems, and he needed an issue that would
help improve his chances of re-election. He latched enthusiastically onto the idea of attacking Communists in the government.
Subsequently, McCarthy called Willard Edwards of the Chicago Tribune asking for assistance with a speech on Communism. Edwards sent some materials, including a copy of a letter written
on July 26, 1946, by James F. Byrnes, Secretary of State under Truman. This letter was the central support for McCarthy's subsequent claims to have a list
of Communists in the government.
- "Pursuant to
Executive Order, approximately 4,000 employees have been transferred... Of those 4,000 employees, the case histories of
approximately 3,000 have been subjected to a preliminary examination, as a result of which a recommendation against permanent
employment has been made in 284 cases by the screening committee... Of the 79 actually separated from the service, 26 were
aliens and therefore under "political disability" with respect to employment in the peacetime operations of the
Department. I assume that factor alone could be considered the principal basis for their separation."
This document was repeatedly cited by McCarthy as the basis for his accusations;
unfortunately, there was no list at that time.
McCarthy now became one of the dominant
leaders in American politics, with strong support among both Republicans and Catholic Democrats, as he alleged that Truman’s
top people had betrayed America. He singled out Secretary of State Dean Acheson and Secretary of Defense George Marshall. Liberals were aghast; Truman had picked General Marshall to head the State and Defense departments precisely because
he thought the elderly statesman would always be above criticism, no matter that China turned from a staunch ally to a bitter
enemy on his watch. McCarthy’s blistering attacks on Marshall as “part of a conspiracy so immense, an infamy
so black, as to dwarf any in the history of man” fueled the belief he was a wild-man, a pathological liar who overstepped
the bounds of political discourse.
With Dwight D. Eisenhower crusading against “Korea, Communism and Corruption” in 1952, Republican victory was assured. As a senior member
of the majority party McCarthy for the first time became a committee chairman, with control of staffing and agenda. He
used his Government Operations Committee to open highly publicized hearings in 1953-54 alleging disloyalty in the State
Department, the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the U.S. Information Agency, and finally the Army. His furious attacks on the Army led to the televised “Army-McCarthy”
hearings in spring 1954, which exposed his bullying tactics to a national audience. As McCarthy’s poll rating plunged,
his enemies finally pulled together to introduce a censure resolution focused on charging McCarthy with contempt for the
federal government, and especially for his fellow senators.
charges that over-educated liberals tolerated Communism at home and abroad had stung the liberals. He alleged that they
had corruptly sold out the national interest to protect their upper class privileges, and were so idealistic about world
affairs that they radically underestimated the threat posed by Soviet dictator Stalin, his spies, and the worldwide Communist movement. Instead of refuting the allegations, Liberals tried one of two approaches.
Some became intensely anti-Communist and claimed they were more effective than McCarthy and the Republicans in eliminating
Communism in the unions and Democratic party, and in containing the Stalinist menace in Europe. The other approach was
to counterattack, to charge that “McCarthyism” never found a single spy but hurt innocent people in hunting for
nonexistent witches; thus it represented an evil betrayal of American values. In an appeal to upscale conservatives and
liberal intellectuals, critics ignored the Communist infiltration of labor unions and liberal causes and focused on stereotyping
anticommunists as ill-mannered ignorant troglodytes, oblivious to American traditions of free speech and free association.
McCarthy’s exaggerations and false charges encouraged opponents to stress the second approach, but it escalated the
controversy to a pitch of hatreds and fears unprecedented since the days of Reconstruction.
McCarthy’s superb sense
of timing and his media instincts kept his partisan attacks on the front page every day; his willingness to do battle in
the hustings with Democratic opponents across the country strengthened his base in the Republican party. His religion and
ethnicity, refreshed with highly visible friendships with leading Irish Catholics, especially the Kennedy family, bolstered
his standing among Democrats. According to Gallup, McCarthy’s popularity crested in January 1954, when he was endorsed
by all voters 50-29 (with 21 having no opinion). His core support came from Republicans and Catholics who had not attended
McCarthy, however, failed to create any sort of grass roots organization.
He had no organizational skills; he did not effectively use his talented staffers (such as Robert Kennedy). He was a loner who lurched from issue to issue, misled by the enormous media publicity into believing that a one-man
crusade was possible in an increasingly well-educated complex society honeycombed with local, regional and national organizations.
By operating within the Republican party apparatus he lost the opportunity to create an independent grass roots political
crusade in the style of Teddy Roosevelt, Huey Long, or Ross Perot. He never launched his own magazine or radio show or formed alliances with publishers who agreed with him.
McCarthy’s strained relations with Senate colleagues created a trapdoor. It was sprung after many Republicans
realized that he had shifted the attack away from the Democrats. What use was his slogan “20 Years of Treason”
once Eisenhower was in office? McCarthy’s answer was “21 Years of Treason!” Eisenhower’s supporters
could no longer tolerate such a loose cannon, and as McCarthy unwisely shifted his attacks to Eisenhower’s beloved
Army, his cause was doomed. While many Americans distrusted Ivy League, striped pants diplomats, soldiers were held in high regard; McCarthy’s charges of subversion were flimsy (one Communist
dentist had been automatically promoted); he sabotaged his own reputation by finagling favors for an aide who had been drafted.
The televised hearings proved fatal to an ill-prepared bully. After the Democrats regained control of Congress in the 1954
elections, the censure motion carried, 67-22. McCarthy’s appeal, so widespread yet superficial, evaporated overnight
and the Senator faded into the shadows.
The term "McCarthyism"
McCarthy is permanently associated with the use of the word "McCarthyism" (a
word which he did not coin, but of which he did make use according to a sense more aligned with his actual philosophy) to
mean an aggressive attack on Communists who had infiltrated America and on the liberals who protected them—an attack,
however, without regard for due process. Although the left was unable to make heroes of the people who supported and sometimes
were controlled by Stalin, they did make heroes of opponents of McCarthy, painting him as the internal menace to American
values that was far worse than Communist subversion. Schrecker (1998) sees McCarthyism as anti-Communist political repression
of the early Cold War, and explores its mechanisms through, and what she considers the exaggerated public fears on which
it depended. During the 1940s-1950s, McCarthyism took on a variety of forms with an array of agendas, interested parties,
and modes of operating. Despite its widespread and popular character, it started with the federal government and was driven
by a network of dedicated anti-Communist crusaders such as J. Edgar Hoover, director of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). McCarthyism's repression both responded to and helped create widespread fears of a significant threat to national
Margaret Chase Smith, Republican senator from Maine, gained a national reputation as one of the earliest critics McCarthyism with a Senate speech on June 1, 1950, called "the
Declaration of Conscience." It was an attempt by Smith to address the excesses of McCarthyism, and was widely hailed
as a call to reason by McCarthy's opponents. Smith gave a critique of the American political process and political institutions
in the responses to dissent on the left and the right. Smith, like other McCarthy critics, sought to bring a level of civility
to political protest and dissent. She and many others who objected to the tactics of McCarthy actually believed in the underlying
tenets of his anti-Communist crusade. Their responses to his excesses reflected a desire to narrow the scope of acceptable
Impact on government
argues McCarthy's campaign
“ || |
had a lasting impact on the conduct of
U.S. foreign relations, particularly among professional diplomatic institutions like the State Department and its Foreign Service personnel, and McCarthyism did not disappear with the senator's censure in 1954. The 'ism' in a broad sense was a set of
ideas not only about internal subversion but also about the outside world, including a simplistic, isolationist anti-communism
and a deep suspicion about social reform movements abroad. It stood in open opposition to a more complex, even accommodating,
view of communism. Instead of ending the hunt for subversives begun under Truman, Eisenhower made the search systematic,
universal, and more broadly defined. McCarthyist Scott McLeod took over security and personnel functions of the State Department
and became one of the most famous and despised men in the executive branch. McLeod brought McCarthyist methods and assumptions
to bear in ridding the department of what he defined as security risks. Oral history sources provide key evidence for the
destructive atmosphere within the department in these years, and they shed valuable light on McLeod's impact on the foreign
affairs bureaucracy. In the short term, the Foreign Service declined in morale, prestige, and influence. By 1954, professionally
trained diplomacy, with nuanced, internationalist views lost ground to more simplistic, strictly anticommunist views. During
Eisenhower's second term, the Foreign Service and the more moderate approach experienced a resurgence but still faced opposition
from hard-liners who survived the McCarthy years. The Latin American branch of the department embodied the changes in
professional diplomacy towards one region of the world. Within the division were the institutionalized tensions of the Eisenhower
administration, between career diplomats and political appointees, conservative and moderate anti-communists, and trained
diplomats and other specialists. The U.S. embassy in Cuba showed this internal conflict in a microcosm, as the administration's
response to Latin American revolution evolved after 1954. McCarthyism accompanied Eisenhower into office, and its effects
continued into his last foreign policy crisis and beyond."
| ” |
In California McCarthyism began before the Senator was famous. In 1946 in the Los Angeles schools two teachers from Canoga Park High School were called before the Tenney Senate Investigating Committee on charges
of communistic teaching. The two teachers were exonerated of all charges, but a campaign to rid the LA district of dissident
teachers was effectively launched. The target of the campaign was a group of teachers who belonged to the Los Angeles Federation
of Teachers (LAFT), formerly known as Union Local 430 and chartered under the American Federation of Teachers, until 1948,
when the AFT revoked the charter. By 1954, Los Angeles teachers were required to take five loyalty oaths, although not one
teacher was ever charged with or convicted of subversion. In 1953, the Los Angeles City School Board announced that 304 teachers
were to be investigated because of alleged Communist affiliations. The Dilworth Oath, made law in 1953, required teachers
to answer questions posed to them by the Investigating Committees. Teachers who refused to answer the Committee questions
by claiming their Fifth Amendment rights could then be fired by the Board for insubordination.
Media and popular culture
Historians have debated the degree to which McCarthyism permeated the American mood and popular culture. Anti-Communist
liberals at the time said it played to isolationism (especially strong in McCarthy's Wisconsin) by diverting attention away
from the real threat, Stalin's Soviet Union as an external power. The Left said that they had a First Amendment right to
their beliefs and that McCarthyism had a chilling effect. Dussere (2003) shows that comic strip artist Walt Kelly in "Pogo"
parodied McCarthyism and promoted leftist politics as old-fashioned American common sense, representing a time when concerns
about art and politics with respect to popular culture were in the forefront.
FBI targeted retired film comedian Charlie Chaplin because of his status as a cultural icon and as part of its broader investigation of Hollywood. Some of Chaplin's films
were considered "Communist propaganda," but because Chaplin was a British citizen and was not a member of the
Communist Party, he was not among those investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947. Nevertheless, he was vulnerable to protests by the American Legion and other patriotic groups because of both
his sexual and political unorthodoxy. Although countersubversives succeeded in driving Chaplin out of the U.S., they failed
to build a consensus that Chaplin was a threat to the nation. Chaplin's story testifies to both the power of the countersubversive
campaign at mid-century and to some of its limitations.
Strout (1999) looks at The Christian Science Monitor during the McCarthy era (1950-1954); it was a highly influential newspaper at home and abroad. Strout asks: (1) Was the Monitor
a consistent critic of McCarthy? (2) How did the coverage compare to other elite and popular press newspapers? (3) How did
the pressures associated with McCarthyism effect individuals at the Monitor and its news product? An extensive
review of editorials and news articles suggests that it was thorough and fair in reporting, yet outspoken and responsible
in editorial criticism. Mary Baker Eddy's original 1907 statement that, "The purpose of the Monitor is to injure no man, but to bless all mankind,"
was referred to repeatedly in interoffice correspondence during the McCarthy era. The Monitor did not attack McCarthy
personally as other papers did; rather, its criticism centered on the actions of the senator and the negative effects they
were having at home and abroad. The Monitor served as a voice of moderation, yet at the same time, remained a persistent
critic of McCarthy's tactics. Individuals were affected by the pressures of McCarthyism. For instance, veteran Washington
correspondent Richard L. Strout was suspended from covering McCarthy for eight to 12 months after being mentioned in McCarthy's
book, McCarthyism: The Fight for America.
I have in my hand...
FBI Master Chart of distribution in 1945-46 of investigative reports to the White House, Attorney General, and
employing agencies of Communist agents in the Federal government.
It was McCarthy's charges of Communist,
security, and loyalty risk infiltration of the State Department that shot him into prominence in 1950. At a Lincoln Day
speech, on February 9, 1950, before the Republican Women's Club of Wheeling, West Virginia, at the Colonnade Room of Wheeling's McClure Hotel, he stated:
| “ || |
have in my hand 57 cases of individuals who would appear to be either card-carrying members or certainly loyal to the Communist
Party, but who nevertheless are still helping to shape our foreign policy.
| ” |
a list of 57 security risks and publicly named John S. Service, Gustavo Duran, Mary Jane Keeney, Harlow Shapley, and H. Julian Wadleigh as being on the list. These names came from the "Lee List" of unresolved State Department security cases
compiled by the earlier investigators for the House Appropriation Committee in 1947. Robert E. Lee was the committee’s
lead investigator and supervised preparation of the list.
In a six-hour speech on
the Senate floor on February 20, 1950 in which McCarthy was constantly interrupted by hostile senators; four of whom —
Scott Lucas (61 times), Brien McMahon (27 times), Garrett Withers (22 times), and Herbert Lehman (13 times) — interrupted
him a total of 123 times, McCarthy raised the issue of some eighty individuals who had worked in the State Department, or wartime agencies such as the Office of War Information (OWI) and the Board of Economic Warfare (BEW).
McCarthy sought to avoid naming names publicly when possible,
using numbered cases instead of names in public session. He preferred to name his suspects only in executive session, in
order to protect those who might have been erroneously identified by the FBI, State Department Security, Army counterintelligence,
etc. "[I]t would be improper to make the names public until the appropriate Senate committee can meet in executive
session and get them," explained McCarthy. "If we should label one man a Communist when he is not a Communist I
think it would be too bad."
But when McCarthy began reading his
numbered cases to the Senate, the Democrat Majority Leader, Illinois Senator Scott Lucas, interrupted, "I want him to name those Communists." In response to McCarthy's desire not
to name names publicly in order to protect the innocent, Lucas bizarrely referred to the fact that statements in Congress
are privileged against defamation suits, saying, "if those people are not Communists the senator will be protected."
(This was hardly germane: McCarthy's expressed concern was not about protecting himself, but protecting suspects
who might be innocent.) McCarthy responded:
| “ || |
The Senator from
Illinois demanded, loudly, that I furnish all the names. I told him at that time that so far as I was concerned, I thought
that would be improper; that I did not have all the information about these individuals ... I have enough to convince me
that either they are members of the Communist Party or they have given great aid to the Communists: I may be wrong. That
is why I said that unless the Senate demanded that I do so, I would not submit this publicly, but I would submit it to any
committee — and would let the committee go over these in executive session. It is possible that some of these persons
will get a clean bill of health...
Democratic Senator William Benton of Connecticut introduced a bill to eject McCarthy from the Senate. His first charge was that at Wheeling, McCarthy had said that he had
a list of 205 names, rather than 57 names. The Senate (then under Democrat control) sent staff investigators to Wheeling
to try to substantiate Benton's charges. The investigation found no evidence to support Benton's charge. According to one
The newly unearthed evidence demolished Senator Benton’s
charges in all their material respects and thoroughly proved Senator McCarthy’s account of the facts to be truthful.
| ” |
Senate Democrats quietly buried the 44-page staff memo summarizing these findings, but the charge that McCarthy
had said “205” was likewise dropped. Thus the Congressional Record to this day records that McCarthy
said "57," not "205." Nevertheless, many on the left continue to promote Benton's discredited claim as
gospel. Benton made this allegation only about McCarthy's speech in Wheeling, West Virginia and not in the other cities
where he made the speech. The 205 number actually came in another part of his speech; on February 20, 1950, in a speech
made on the floor of the Senate, McCarthy officially clarified the issue:
| “ || I have before me a letter which was reproduced in the Congressional Record on August 1,
1946, at page A4892. It is a letter from James F. Byrnes, former Secretary of State. It deals with the screening of the first
group, of about 3,000. There were a great number of subsequent screenings. This was the beginning. |
letter deals with the first group of 3,000 which was screened. The President—and I think wisely so—set up a board
to screen the employees who were coming to the State Department from the various war agencies of the War Department. There
were thousands of unusual characters in some of those war agencies. Former Secretary Byrnes in his letter, which is reproduced
in the Congressional Record, says this:
Pursuant to Executive order,
approximately 4,000 employees have been transferred to the Department of State from various war agencies such as the OSS [Office of Strategic Services], FEA [Foreign Economic Administration], OWI [Office of War Information], OIAA [Office of Inter-American Affairs], and so forth. Of these 4,000 employees, the case histories of approximately 3,000
have been subjected to a preliminary examination, as a result of which a recommendation against permanent employment has
been made in 285 cases by the screening committee to which you refer in your letter.
In other words, former Secretary Byrnes said that 285 of those men are unsafe risks. He goes on to say that of this
number only 79 have been removed. Of the 57 I mentioned some are from this group of 205, and some are from subsequent groups
which have been screened but not discharged. I might say in that connection that the investigative agency of the State
Department has done an excellent job. The files show that they went into great detail in labeling Communists as such. The
only trouble is that after the investigative agency had properly labeled these men as Communists the State Department refused
to discharge them. I shall give detailed cases.
| ” |
McCarthy was able to characterize
President Truman and the Democratic Party as soft on or even in league with the Communists. McCarthy's allegations were
rejected by Truman who was unaware of Venona project decrypts which corroborated Elizabeth Bentley's debriefing after her defection from the Communists.
According to Gallup, McCarthy’s
popularity crested in January 1954, when he was endorsed by all voters 50-29 (with 21 having no opinion). His core support
came from Republicans and Catholics who had not attended college. On March 9, 1954, CBS broadcasted Edward R. Murrow's See It Now TV documentary attacking McCarthy.
1995, when the Venona transcripts were declassified, further detailed information was revealed about Soviet espionage in the United States.
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was among only a handful of people in the U.S. Government who was aware of the Venona project, and there is no indication
whatsoever Hoover shared Venona information with McCarthy. In fact, Hoover may have actually fed McCarthy disinformation, or dead end files, in an effort to put pressure on relatives, friends, or close associates of real Venona suspects by
threatening to reveal embarrassing information about them in a public forum if they failed to cooperate and reveal what
they might have known about someone's else’s activities and associations. And there is no indication McCarthy might
have known he was being used by Hoover in this way.
On February 7, 1950, three days
before McCarthy's acclaimed Wheeling, West Virginia speech, Hoover testified before House Appropriations Committee that
counterespionage requires "an objective different from the handling of criminal cases. It is more important to ascertain his contacts,
his objectives, his sources of information and his methods of communication" as "arrest and public disclosure
are steps to be taken only as a matter of last resort." He concluded that "we can be secure only when we have a
full knowledge of the operations of an espionage network, because then we are in a position to render their efforts ineffective."
McCarthy is said to have made the claim, "I have here in my hand a list of 205—a list of names that were
made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party." The famous "List", as it has
come to be known, has always engendered much controversy. The figure of 205 appears to have come from an oral briefing McCarthy
had with Hoover regarding espionage suspects the FBI was then investigating. The FBI had discovered on its own five Soviet
agents operating in the United States during World War II; defector Elizabeth Bentley further added another 81 known identities
of espionage agents; Venona materials had provided the balance, and by the time a full accounting of true name identities
was compiled in an FBI memo in 1957, one more subject had been added to the number, now totaling 206.
Much confusion has always surrounded the subject. While the closely guarded FBI/Venona information of identified
espionage agents uses the number of 206, McCarthy in his Wheeling speech only referred to Communist Party membership and
other security risks, and not espionage activity. Being a security risk as a Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) member does not necessarily entail or imply that a person was or is actively involved in espionage activity. Venona
materials indicated a very large number of espionage agents remained unidentified by the FBI. When McCarthy was questioned
on the number, he referred to the Lee List of security risks, by which it appears Hoover was attempting to match unidentified
code names to known security risks. Hoover kept the identities of persons known to be involved in espionage activity from
Venona evidence secret. Hoover in the very early days of the FBI's joint investigation with the Army Signals Intelligence Service in May 1946 did precisely the same deception with a confidant of President Truman using Venona decryptions. Hoover reported that a reliable source revealed “an enormous Soviet espionage ring in
Washington.” Of some fourteen names, Soviet agents Alger Hiss and Nathan Gregory Silvermaster were listed well down the list. The name at the top was “Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson” and included others beyond reproach, thus discrediting the Hiss and Silvermaster accusations, which actually were
on target. Hence the Truman White House always suspected Hoover and the FBI of playing partisan political games with accusations
of various administration members’ complicity in Soviet espionage.
project specifically references at least 349 pseudonyms in the United States—including citizens, immigrants, and permanent
residents—who cooperated in various ways with Soviet intelligence agencies, however not all were ever identified.
In public hearings before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) conducted by McCarthy, 83 persons pled the Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination. An additional 9 persons
refused to testify on constitutional grounds in private hearings, and their names were not made public. Of the 83 persons
pleading the Fifth Amendment, several have been identified by NSA and FBI as agents of the Soviet Union in the Venona project involved in espionage. Several prominent examples are:
Venona transcripts confirm the Senate Civil Liberties Subcommittee, chaired by former Senator
Robert LaFollette, Jr., whom McCarthy defeated for election in 1946, had at least four staff members working on behalf of
the KGB. Chief Counsel of the Committee John Abt; Charles Kramer, who served on three other Congressional Committees; Allen Rosenberg, who also served on the National Labor Relations Board, Board of Economic Warfare (BEW), the Foreign Economic Administration (FEA) and later argued cases before the United States Supreme Court; and Charles Flato, who served on the BEW and FEA, all were CPUSA members and associated with the Comintern.
While the underlying premise of Communists in the government was true, many of
McCarthy's targets were not complicit in espionage. Recent scholarship has established of 159 persons investigated between
1950 and 1952, there is substantial evidence nine had assisted Soviet espionage using evidence from Venona or other sources.
Of the remainder, while not being directly complicit in espionage, many were considered security risks.
Known security/loyalty risks
In June 1947, a Senate Appropriations subcommittee addressed a secret memorandum to Secretary
of State George Marshall, calling to his attention a condition that developed and was continuing in the State Department.
The memo stated that
“ || |
it was evident there was a deliberate,
calculated program being carried out not only to protect communist personnel in high places, but to reduce security and
intelligence protection to a nullity. On file in the department is a copy of a preliminary report of the FBI on Soviet espionage
activities in the United States which involved a large number of State Department employees, some in high official positions.
| ” |
Robert E. Lee was the committee’s lead investigator and supervised preparation of
the list. The Lee list, also using numbers rather than names, was published in the proceeding of the subcommittee.
The memorandum listed the names of nine State Department officials and said that they were "only a few of the
hundreds now employed in varying capacities who are protected and allowed to remain despite the fact that their presence
is an obvious hazard to national security." Ten persons were removed from the list by June 24. But from 1947 until
McCarthy's Wheeling speech in February 1950, the State Department did not fire one person as a loyalty or security risk.
In other branches of the government, however, more than 300 persons were discharged for loyalty reasons alone during the
period from 1947 to 1951.
Most but not all of Senator McCarthy’s numbered
cases were drawn from the “Lee List” or “108 list” of unresolved Department of State security cases
compiled by Lee for the House Appropriations Committee in 1947. The Tydings subcommittee also obtained this list. In addition
to some of the person involved in espionage identified in the Venona project listed above, there are other security and loyalty risks identified correctly by Senator McCarthy included in the following
- Robert Warren Barnett & Mrs. Robert Warren Barnett, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #48 and #49 respectively and both are on Lee list as #59;
- Esther Brunauer, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #47 and Lee list #55;
- Stephen Brunauer, U.S. Navy, chemist in the explosive research division;
- Gertrude Cameron, Information and Editorial Specialist in the U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #55 and Lee list #65;
Nelson Chipchin, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's list #23;
- Oliver Edmund Clubb, U.S. State Department;
- John Paton Davies, U.S. State Department, Policy Planning Committee;
- Gustavo Duran, U.S. State Department, assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State in charge of Latin American Affairs, and Chief of
the Cultural Activities Section of the Department of Social Affairs of the United Nations;
- Arpad Erdos, U.S. State Department;
- Herbert Fierst, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's case #1 and Lee list #51;
- John Tipton Fishburn, U.S. State
Department; Lee list #106;
- Theodore Geiger, U.S. State Department;
- Stella Gordon, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #40 and Lee
- Stanley Graze, U.S. State Department intelligence; McCarthy's Case #8 and Lee list #8, brother of Gerald Graze, confirmed in KGB Archives;
Ruth Marcia Harrison, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #7 and Lee list #4;
- Myron Victor Hunt, U.S. State
Department; McCarthy's Case #65 and Lee list #79;
- Philip Jessup, U.S. State Department, Assistant Director for the Naval School of Military Government and Administration at Columbia University
in New York, Delegate to the U.N. in a number of different capacities, Ambassador-at-large, and Chairman of the Institute
of Pacific Relations Research Advisory Committee; McCarthy's Case #15;
- Dorothy Kenyon, New York City Municipal Court Judge, U.S. State Department appointee as American Delegate to the United Nations Commission
on the Status of Women;
- Leon Hirsch Keyserling, President Harry Truman's Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers;
- Mary Dublin Keyserling, U.S. Department of Commerce;
- Esther Less Kopelewich, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case
- Owen Lattimore, Board member of the communist-dominated Institute of Pacific Relations (I.P.R) and editor the I.P.R.’s journal Pacific Affairs;
- Paul A. Lifantieff-Lee, U.S. Naval Department; McCarthy's Case #56 and Lee list #66;
- Val R. Lorwin, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #54 and Lee list #64;
- Daniel F. Margolies, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #41 and Lee list #46;
- Peveril Meigs, U.S. State Department; Department of the Army; McCarthy's Case #3 and Lee list #2;
- Ella M. Montague, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #34 and Lee list #32;
- Philleo Nash, Presidential Advisor, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman administrations;
- Olga V. Osnatch, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #81 and Lee list #78;
- Edward Posniak, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case Number 77;
- Philip Raine, U.S. State Department, Regional Specialist; McCarthy's Case #52 and Lee list #62;
- Robert Ross, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #32 and Lee list #30;
- Sylvia Schimmel, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #50 and Lee list #60;
- Frederick Schumann, contracted by U.S. State Department as lecturer; Professor at Williams College; not on Lee list;
- John S. Service, U.S. State Department;
- Harlow Shapley, U.S. State Department appointee to UNESCO, Chairman of the National Council of Arts, Sciences, and Professions;
William T. Stone, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #46 and Lee list #54;
- Frances M. Tuchser, U.S. State
Department; McCarthy's Case #6 and Lee list #6;
- John Carter Vincent, U.S. State Department; McCarthy's Case #2 and Lee list #52;
- David Zablodowsky, U.S. State Department & Director of the United Nations Publishing Division. McCarthy's Case #103;
Attacks on McCarthy
One of the
most prominent attacks on Senator McCarthy was an episode of the TV documentary series See It Now, hosted by Edward R. Murrow, which was broadcast on March 9, 1954. By the time Murrow produced his "See It Now" assault on Senator McCarthy
in 1954, the senator had been under almost constant vicious attack for four years. According to McCarthy biographer Arthur
Herman, Murrow and his staff had spent two months carefully editing film clips to portray McCarthy in the worst possible
light. There were no clips showing McCarthy in a professional manner. Despite Murrow's claims, this "was not a report
at all but instead a full-scale assault, employing exactly the same techniques of 'partial truth and innuendo' that critics
accused McCarthy of using." The episode consisted largely of clips of McCarthy in the most unflattering context, including
"belching and picking his nose".
In these clips, McCarthy accuses the
Democratic Party of "twenty years of treason" because of the Democratic Party's concessions to the Soviet Union at the Yalta conference and Potsdam conference, describes the American Civil Liberties Union as "listed as 'a front for, and doing the work of,' the Communist Party," and berates General Zwicker for Zwicker's
claim that he would protect any other general who promotes Communists within the military. Murrow also portrays a Pentagon
coding room employee, Annie Lee Moss as an innocent victim of McCarthy even though it was later established that the FBI had warned the Army and the Civil Service
Commission about her Communist Party connection.
However, even some McCarthy critics were outraged by this one-sided
presentation. Consistent McCarthy critic, John Cogley of Commonweal, "sharply attacked Murrow and his producers for their distorted summary and selected use of video clips."
Cogley commented that a different selection of footage could have easily portrayed McCarthy in an extremely positive light
and then further warned against the misuse of television in this fashion. He and another McCarthy critic from the Saturday
Review agreed that it "was not a proud moment for television journalism".
counter the negative publicity, McCarthy appeared on See It Now on April 6, 1954, and presented his case in order
to clarify the misconceptions that Murrow had televised. McCarthy countered that his committee, "has forced out of
government, and out of important defense plants, Communists engaged in the Soviet conspiracy." McCarthy went on to
say, "For example, 238 witnesses were examined [in] public session; 367 witnesses examined [in] executive session; 84
witnesses refused to testify as to Communist activities on the ground that, if they told the truth, they might go to jail;
twenty-four witnesses with Communist backgrounds have been discharged from jobs [in] which they were handling secret, top-secret,
confidential material, individuals who were exposed before our committee." McCarthy also exposed Murrow's left-wing
background and previous associations with Communist organizations.
The Murrow report,
together with the televised Army-McCarthy hearings of the same year, and four years of consistent anti-McCarthy media reporting
were the major causes of a nationwide popular opinion backlash against McCarthy. However, well-known broadcaster Eric Sevareid
said the Murrow assault "came very late in the day.... The youngsters read back, and they think only one person in
broadcasting and the press stood up to McCarthy, and this has made a lot of people feel very upset, including me, because
that program came awfully late."
Even Murrow discounted his role in the decline
of Senator McCarthy's popularity. Murrow stated, "My God, I didn't do anything. (Times columnist) Scotty Reston
and lot of guys have been writing like this, saying the same things, for months, for years. We're bringing up the rear."
Nevertheless, despite the deceptive nature of the See It Now program and the late date in which it appears,
anti-McCarthy historians have credited and celebrated Murrow as playing a major role in damaging Senator McCarthy's campaign
to remove security risks from the U.S. government.
Senate opposition to McCarthy
While over the previous few years, Senator McCarthy had withstood countless biased and
unsubstantiated attacks by Liberals, Communists, etc., who sought to prevent him from damaging their causes any further; the organized and co-ordinated effort between
the two groups to remove McCarthy from his Chairmanship and officially condemn him began in March 1954.
On March 9, 1954 a fellow conservative and anti-communist Republican Senator, Ralph E. Flanders of Vermont, gave a speech criticizing what he felt was Senator McCarthy’s "misdirection of our efforts at fighting communism”
and his role in “the loss of respect for us in the world at large.” Flanders felt the nation should pay more
attention looking outwards at the “alarming world-wide advance of Communist power” that would leave the United
States and Canada as “the last remnants of the free world.” Eisenhower Administration cabinet officials told Flanders to “lay off,” while President Eisenhower sent Flanders a brief note of appreciation
for his speech, but did not otherwise confer with him or explicitly support him. In a June 1, 1954 speech, Flanders emphasized
how the Soviet Union was winning military successes in Asia without risking its own resources or men, and said this nation
was witnessing "another example of economy of effort...in the conquest of this country for communism." He added,
"One of the characteristic elements of communist and fascist tyranny is at hand as citizens are set to spy upon each
other." Flanders told the Senate that McCarthy's "anti-Communism so completely parallels that of Adolf Hitler as to strike fear into the hearts of any defenseless minority"; he accused McCarthy of spreading "division and
confusion" and saying, "Were the Junior Senator from Wisconsin in the pay of the Communists he could not have
done a better job for them."
On June 11, 1954 Flanders introduced a resolution
charging McCarthy “with unbecoming conduct" and calling for his removal from his committee chairmanship. Upon
the advice of Senators John Sherman Cooper and J. William Fulbright and legal assistance from the National Committee for an Effective Congress, a liberal organization, he modified his resolution to “bring it in line with previous actions of censure.”
After introducing his censure motion, Flanders had no active role in the ensuing Watkins Committee hearings. Flanders bore
McCarthy no personal animosity and reported that McCarthy accepted his invitation to join him at lunch after the hearings
had taken place.
McCarthy was accused of 46 different counts of allegedly improper conduct and another special committee was set up, under
the chairmanship of Senator Arthur Watkins, to study and evaluate the charges. This was to be the fifth investigation of Senator McCarthy in five years. This committee
opened hearings on August 31, 1954. After two months of hearings and deliberations, the Watkins Committee recommended that
McCarthy be censured on only two of the original 46 counts. The committee exonerated McCarthy on all substantive charges.
On November 8, 1954, a special session of the Senate convened to debate the two charges. The charges to be debated
and voted on were: 1) That Senator McCarthy had "failed to cooperate" in 1952 with the Senate Subcommitee on Privileges
and Elections that was looking into certain aspects of his private and political life in connection with a resolution for
his expulsion from the Senate; and 2) That in conducting a senatorial inquiry, Senator McCarthy had "intemperately abused"
General Ralph Zwicker.
The Zwicker count was dropped by the full Senate on the
grounds that McCarthy's conduct was arguably "induced" by Zwicker's own behavior. Many senators felt that the
Army had shown contempt for committee chairman McCarthy by disregarding his letter of February 1, 1954 and honorably discharging
Irving Peress the next day. So, for this reason, the Senate concluded that McCarthy's conduct toward Zwicker on February
18 was justified.
Therefore, the Zwicker count was dropped at the last minute and
was replaced with this substitute charge: 2) That Senator McCarthy, by characterizing the Watkins Committee as the "unwitting
handmaiden" of the Communist Party and by describing the special Senate session as a "lynch party" and a
"lynch bee," had "acted contrary to senatorial ethics and tended to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute,
to obstruct the constitutional processes of the Senate, and to impair its dignity."
On December 2, 1954, even though more than a dozen senators told McCarthy that they did not want to vote against
him but had to do so because of the enormous pressure being put on them by the Eisenhower Administration and by leaders of both political parties, the Senate voted to "condemn" Senator Joseph McCarthy on both counts
by a vote of 67 to 22. The Democrats voted unanimously in favor of condemnation and the Republicans split evenly.
The resolution condemning Senator
McCarthy has been criticized as a ridiculous attempt to silence the strongest voice in the Senate investigating security
and loyalty risks in the U.S. government. When examined closely, the two counts used in condemning McCarthy were hopelessly
In analyzing the first count, "failure to cooperate with the Subcommittee
on Privileges and Elections", the fact is that the subcommittee never subpoenaed McCarthy, but only "invited"
him to testify. One senator and two staff members resigned from the subcommittee because of its dishonesty towards McCarthy.
In its final report dated January 2, 1953, the subcommittee, stated that the matters under consideration "have become
moot by reason of the 1952 election." Up until this moment in U.S. history, no senator had ever been punished for something
that had happened in a previous Congress or for declining an "invitation" to testify. Therefore, the first count
was a complete fraud and nothing more than a trumped up charge in order to damage Senator McCarthy.
The second count was even more flawed than the first. McCarthy was condemned for opinions he had expressed outside
the Senate when he criticized the Watkins Committee and the special Senate session. In an editorial by David Lawrence in
the June 7, 1957 issue of U.S. News & World Report, other senators had accused McCarthy of lying under oath,
accepting influence money, engaging in election fraud, making libelous and false statements, practicing blackmail, doing
the work of the communists for them, and engaging in a questionable "personal relationship" with Roy Cohn and David Schine. However, these other Senators were not censured for acting "contrary to senatorial ethics"
or for impairing the "dignity" of the Senate. Only Senator McCarthy would be held responsible for his words.
The flag-draped coffin containing the body of Senator McCarthy is carried up the steps of the U.S. Capitol for
funeral services in the Senate chamber after an earlier service at St. Matthew's Cathedral, May 6, 1957. Photograph courtesy
of The Post-Crescent
Senator McCarthy's power and clout to continue the search for Communists in positions of power in America was severely
curtailed. After the Republicans lost control of the Senate in 1954, McCarthy, now a member of the minority Party, had to
depend on public speeches to continue his campaign of warning the American people to the danger of Communism. He did this
in a number of important addresses during those two and a half years.
1957, McCarthy and his wife, Jean, adopted a baby girl and named her, Tierney. Unfortunately, several months later, McCarthy
died of acute hepatitis, likely brought on by his lifelong struggle with alcoholism, in Bethesda Naval Hospital on May 2, 1957, at the age of 48.
McCarthy was given a state funeral attended by 70 senators. McCarthy was the first
senator in 17 years to have funeral services in the Senate chamber. Thousands of people viewed the body in Washington D.C.
and it is estimated more than 30,000 people from Wisconsin filed through St. Mary's Church in the senator's hometown of Appleton,
Wisconsin, where the clergy performed a Solemn Pontifical Requiem before more than 100 priests and 2,000 others. Three senators,
George Malone, William E. Jenner, and Herman Welker, had flown from Washington D.C. to Appleton on the plane carrying McCarthy's
casket. Robert Kennedy attended the funeral in Wisconsin. McCarthy was buried in St. Mary's Parish Cemetery in Appleton and was survived by his
wife, Jean, and their adopted daughter, Tierney.
Retrospective views on McCarthy
- In her popular book, Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War
on Terrorism, Ann Coulter said of McCarthy:
half century later, when the only people who call themselves Communists are harmless cranks, it is difficult to grasp the
importance of McCarthy's crusade. But there's a reason 'Communist' now sounds about as threatening as 'monarchist' -- and
it's not because of intrepid New York Times editorials denouncing McCarthy and praising Harvard educated Soviet
spies. McCarthy made it a disgrace to be a Communist. Domestic Communism could never recover."
When Ann Coulter asked Fox News’ Bill O'Reilly to identify a McCarthy-tormented innocent, O'Reilly responded with Dalton Trumbo, one of House Un-American Activities Committee's (HUAC) “Hollywood Ten”, not realizing HUAC investigated CPUSA infiltration in Hollywood and called “the Hollywood Ten” of writers, directors and producers
to testify in 1947. McCarthy did not start his crusade against Communism until 1950.
- In 1953-54, McCarthy had been investigating lax security in the top secret facility at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey. He was attacked by liberals and Communists on the grounds that there were no security problems at Ft. Monmouth. Years later, in addressing the reason why the U.S.
Army's top-secret operations at Fort Monmouth were quietly moved to Arizona, Senator Barry Goldwater, in his 1979 book With no apologies: The personal and political memoirs of United States Senator Barry M. Goldwater,
Hayden, who in January 1955 became chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee of the United States Senate, told me
privately Monmouth had been moved because he and other members of the majority Democratic Party were convinced security
at Monmouth had been penetrated. They didn't want to admit that McCarthy was right in his accusations. Their only alternative
was to move the installation from New Jersey to a new location in Arizona."
Even though McCarthy's investigations proved that his suspicions were right, for many
years afterward and continuing to this day, liberals have spread the falsehood that McCarthy had found nothing at Fort Monmouth.
- Before the 1989 release of Carl Bernstein's book, Loyalties: A Son's Memoir, Albert Bernstein, Carl's father, expressed dismay at the revelations that the
book would make regarding Communist infiltration of the U.S. government and other sectors of American society. Albert Bernstein
going to prove [Sen. Joseph] McCarthy was right, because all he was saying is that the system was loaded with Communists.
And he was right. ... I'm worried about the kind of book you're going to write and about cleaning up McCarthy. The problem
is that everybody said he was a liar; you're saying he was right. ... I agree that the Party was a force in the country."
Both Albert Bernstein and Sylvia Bernstein, Carl's mother,
had both been Communists since the 1940s. Albert Bernstein was a Union activist, while Sylvia Bernstein was a secretary
for the War Department in the 1930s and, during the Clinton Administration, volunteered in the White House, answering letters that were addressed to Hillary Clinton. During the 1950s, Sylvia Bernstein invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid revealing her party ties to Congress but worked
openly in assisting convicted spies Julius Rosenberg and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed in 1953 for espionage.
It should be pointed
out how many people followed McCarthy on his crusade, and that many pro-Americans still do. The majority of the sources
that discredited Senator McCarthy originated from a large assault by the liberal media that managed to sway the majority
of Americans against him at that time. While many Americans – liberals and conservatives – use McCarthy's name
in a negative connotation, such references are unfair to McCarthy.
liberals were merely stupid, the laws of probability would dictate that at least some of their decisions would serve America's
Buckley, William F. McCarthy and His Enemies (1954), a major statement by a young conservative
- Crosby, S.J., Donald F. God, Church and Flag: Senator Joseph R. McCarthy
and the Catholic Church, 1950-1957 (1978). online edition
- Fried, Richard M. Nightmare in Red: The McCarthy
Era in Perspective 1990 online edition
- Griffith, Robert. The Politics
of Fear: Joseph R. McCarthy and the Senate 1987 online edition
- Herman, Arthur Joseph McCarthy: Reexamining the Life
and Legacy of America’s Most Hated Senator (2000). excerpt and text search, very favorable to McCarthy
- Latham, Earl Communist
Controversy in Washington: From the New Deal to McCarthy. (1969).
- O'Brien, Michael. McCarthy and McCarthyism in Wisconsin. (1981)
- Oshinsky, David M. A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy (1983), standard biography excerpt and text search
- Reeves, Thomas C. The Life and Times of Joe McCarthy:
A Biography (1982), standard biography by a leading conservative scholar
- Klehr, Harvey, John Earl Hayes and Fridrikh Igorevich Firsov. The Secret World
of American Communism (1995) excerpt and text search
- Klehr, Harvey, and Ronald Radosh. The Amerasia Spy
Case: Prelude to McCarthyism (1996), suggests that Soviet spying in the postwar United States was extensive and that
in the case of the arrest of the editors of the Amerasia magazine, and others, in 1945, naive liberals in the Justice
and State departments blocked efforts to bring the spy ring to justice. excerpt and text search
- Lipset, Seymour Martin, and Earl Raab. The Politics
of Unreason: Right Wing Extremism in America, 1790-1970 (1970) (Chap. 6 "The 1950's: McCarthyism") online edition
- Morgan, Ted. Reds: McCarthyism in Twentieth-Century
America. 2003. 685 pp. excerpt and text search
- O'Reilly, Kenneth. Hoover and the Un-Americans: The
FBI, HUAC, and the Red Menace 1983
- Ottanelli, Fraser
M. The Communist Party of the United States: From the Depression to World War II 1991 excerpt and text search
- Rausch, Scott Alan. "McCarthyism and Eisenhower's
State Department, 1953-1961." PhD dissertation U. of Washington 2000. 231 pp. DAI 2000 61(6A): 2438-A. DA9976046
- Schrecker, Ellen. "McCarthyism: Political Repression
and the Fear of Communism." Social Research 2004 71(4): 1041-1086. Issn: 0037-783x Fulltext: in Ebsco; summarizes
her books on the subject
- Schrecker, Ellen. Many Are
the Crimes: McCarthyism in America (1998) excerpt and text search
- Schrecker, Ellen. The Age of McCarthyism: A Brief
History with Documents. (2d ed. 2002). 308 pp. excerpt and text search
- Tanenhaus, Sam. Whittaker Chambers: A Biography
(1998) excerpt and text search
- Theoharis, Athan. Chasing Spies: How the FBI Failed
in Counterintelligence but Promoted the Politics of McCarthyism in the Cold War Years. (2002). 307 pp. excerpt and text search
- Weinstein, Allen, and Vassiliev, Alexander. The Haunted
Wood: Soviet Espionage in America: The Stalin Era (1999) excerpt and text search
- Doherty, Thomas. Cold War, Cool
Media: Television, McCarthyism, and American Culture (2003) excerpt and text search
- Dussere, Erik. "Subversion in the Swamp: Pogo and
the Folk in the McCarthy Era." Journal of American Culture2003 26(1): 134-141. Issn: 1542-7331 Fulltext: in
- Murphy, Brenda. Congressional Theatre: Dramatizing
McCarthyism on Stage, Film, and Television. (1999). 310 pp. excerpt and text search
- Sbardellati, John and Shaw, Tony. "Booting a Tramp:
Charlie Chaplin, the FBI, and the Construction of the Subversive Image in Red Scare America." Pacific Historical
Review 2003 72(4): 495-530. Issn: 0030-8684 in JSTOR
- Strout, Lawrence N. Covering McCarthyism: How the
Christian Science Monitor Handled Joseph R. McCarthy, 1950-1954. 1999. 171 pp. online edition
- Joe McCarthy. Major Speeches and
Debates of Senator Joe McCarthy Delivered in the United States Senate, 1950-1951 U. S. Government Printing Office, 1953
- Joe McCarthy. McCarthyism: The Fight for America
1952 online edition
- Fried, ed. Albert. McCarthyism: The Great American
Red Scare: a Documentary History 1997 online edition
- Schrecker, Ellen W. "Archival Sources for the Study
of McCarthyism," The Journal of American History, Vol. 75, No. 1 (Jun., 1988), pp. 197–208 at JSTOR
The Kennedy Family Supported Joe McCarthy
liberals and Democrats, the Kennedy Dynasty is like American royalty. Though today’s
descendants of the original Kennedy clan are generally as leftist as Karl Marx ever was; the Patriarch,
Joseph Kennedy, hated Communists and also disliked what he once referred to as “those Jews
around Roosevelt.” During his tumultuous time as U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, Papa Kennedy
fought with the State Department, as well as FDR. Actually, the only reason FDR had even appointed Kennedy
was to win and maintain the Irish-Catholic vote.
Kennedy was dead-set against the Globalists' drive to World War 2 in general, and U.S. involvement
in particular. During the build-up years to the war, Ambassador Kennedy, on his own, directly communicated
with the German ambassador to Great Britain for the purpose of arranging a meeting with Hitler himself.
When FDR and the Reds at State learned of this, Kennedy was kept "out of the loop" for future policy discussions.
Kennedy resigned in disgust in October, 1940, but not before
making further unauthorized attempts to end the war which had started in September of 1939 when Poland
– openly prodded on by the Globalist warmonger faction of Britain and France, and secretly by
FDR -- picked a fight against Germany. (True story -- Refer to “The Bad War,” by yours
During the war, Joseph Kennedy’s eldest son, Joe
Kennedy Jr. was killed in a mysterious plane explosion while on a “secret mission.”
Another son, future President John F. Kennedy, was very nearly killed in another strange
incident. And in 1948, another child of Kennedy’s, daughter Kathleen was killed in a small plane
crash in Europe. Were these three strange events part of a “message” being sent to the Kennedy Patriarch who
had such high ambitions for his sons? These Globalist bastards were, and still are, are indeed
capable of anything.
1. Joe Kennedy (l) with Hitler’s Foreign Minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop.
Papa Joe tried to prevent the war and the Globalists never forgave him for it. // 2.
Son Joe Jr. was killed in a strange “accident” --- and son JFK barely survived an equally
Fast forward to December 1952
-- Joseph Kennedy asked fellow Irish-Catholic and family friend Joseph McCarthy to take on his son, Robert,
as assistant counsel of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, on
which McCarthy served and would later chair. Bobby resigned in July 1953 due to conflicts with
Roy Cohn. But in February 1954, he rejoined the Senate committee staff as chief counsel for the Democratic
minority in February 1954. For his work on the McCarthy committee, Kennedy was included in a list of
Ten Outstanding Young Men of 1954, created by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce. Papa Joe had arranged the nomination.
Like Papa Joe and Bobby, John F Kennedy also liked McCarthy and hated the elitist Anglo and Jewish Reds in the State
Department. Before anyone had even heard of Joe McCarthy, young JFK had already aligned himself with
the anti-Communists who blamed the Truman State Department for the loss of China -- declaring on the
House floor in January 1949:
"The responsibility for the failure of our foreign policy in the Far East
rests squarely with the White House and the Department of State." (1)
There had been other personal bonds between JFK and McCarthy by the time McCarthy was to reach the peak of his influence
and popularity in 1952 and 1953. McCarthy was a frequent guest at the now-legendary Kennedy compound
in Hyannis, MA. He had also dated two Kennedy sisters, first Eunice and then Pat. McCarthy was even
invited to Eunice's wedding reception, and presented her with a silver cigarette case inscribed,
"To Eunice and Bob from one who lost."
Despite RFK’s falling out with Roy Cohn, he would maintain
a personal loyalty to McCarthy -- making him Godfather of his first child, Kathleen in 1951.
1 & 2. McCarthy with Robert F Kennedy 3. Former Maryland Attorney General
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is McCarthy’s Godchild.
In 1955, even after the Senator's
unjust fall into disgrace, Bobby displayed his loyalty to McCarthy at a dinner meeting described by the
Kennedy Clan court-historian, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr:
"Still his Irish conception of loyalty turned him
against some he felt had treated McCarthy unfairly. In January 1955, Edward R. Murrow
[who had issued a famous anti-McCarthy telecast the previous year] spoke at the banquet honoring those,
Kennedy among them, who had been selected by the Junior Chamber of Commerce as the Ten Outstanding Young Men
of 1954. Kennedy grimly walked out." (3)
JFK's affection for McCarthy had led him to make a similar
gesture in 1954. At a Harvard Spree Club dinner, when a speaker had likened McCarthy to the convicted
Soviet spy Alger Hiss, JFK rose to his feet and declared:
"How dare you couple the name
of a great American patriot with that of a traitor!" and
walked out. (4)
The incident has never been denied by anyone who was present that evening, and is accepted
by JFK biographers and "official historians" alike.
JFK likewise considered McCarthy a supporter.
So much so that in 1952, when he took on Henry Cabot Lodge for one of Massachusetts’ Senate seats,
McCarthy privately supported JFK by “standing down.” Because he already had an intense dislike
of Lodge and had such a good rapport with the Kennedys, the decision was easy for him. Lodge would be
the only Republican Senate candidate that McCarthy made no active attempt to campaign for.
In 1954, when the Senate voted
to censure McCarthy; JFK would be the only Democratic Senator not to publicly declare support
for the censure of McCarthy. He would not even be present for the humiliating vote, having conveniently
scheduled a surgery for that day. It was not until 1956 that JFK would issue a vague public statement supporting
McCarthy's censure, and that was only because his political future dictated it.
JFK's late, mild, and certainly
insincere conversion to anti-McCarthyism did not impress the far left crazies of the Democrat Party.
Eleanor Roosevelt, the beloved bigmouth hag of the Communists and their libtard dupes,
openly confronted JFK at the 1956 Democratic Convention for not having taken a stand against McCarthy
– which may have been the reason why he was not selected for the Vice Presidential spot that year.
The Communists and their
unseen Globalist bosses hated the "Hitler lover" Joe Kennedy, and never really liked his sons
either -- facts which should be closely considered when analyzing the respective “lone gunman”
assassinations of President JFK (1963), and destined-to-be-President RFK (1968), as well as the strange
plane "accident" which killed destined-to-be-President JFK Jr. (1999) --- but we digress.
There can be no historical doubt. The Kennedy Family loved Joe McCarthy, believed in
what he was trying to do, and openly supported his investigation until later events and political realities forced
them to tone down their open "McCarthyism" and “get with the program.”
The Kennedy Family supported
Destruction of Joe McCarthy
Joseph McCarthy: His efforts to expose and remove Communists from the U.S. government caused forces
far wider than Communism itself to viciously attack and destroy him.
There are profound lessons for us today in the saga of this misled hero.
by Scott Speidel, Florida State University
“Average Americans can do very little
insofar as digging Communist espionage agents out of our government is concerned. They must depend upon those of us whom
they send down here to man the watch-towers of the nation. The thing that I think we must remember is that this is a war,
which a brutalitarian force has won to a greater extent than any brutalitarian force has won a war in the history of the
“You can talk about Communism as though it’s something
ten thousand miles away. Let me say it’s right here with us now. Unless we make sure that there is no infiltration
of our government, then just as certain as you sit there, in the period of our lives you will see a Red world.
“Anyone who has followed the Communist conspiracy, even remotely, and can add two and two, will tell
you that there is no remote possibility of this war which we are in today — and it’s a war, a war which we’ve
been losing — no remote possibility of this ending except by victory or by death for this civilization.”
* * *
THOSE WORDS were spoken 40 years ago by U.S. Senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy, Republican of Wisconsin, a man who
since has been demonized unjustly. Since McCarthy’s time the subversion of our nation has proceeded steadily, and
his warning to us resonates more and more clearly as truth, now that death for this civilization is in view.
Joseph McCarthy’s fame as an anti-Communist began with
a speech he delivered on February 9, 1950, to the Republican Women’s Club in Wheeling, West Virginia, in which he
said that there were at least 57 known Communists in the U.S. State Department, and that the State Department knew they
was credible, because President Harry Truman’s Secretary of State at the time, Dean Acheson, was well known as a man
sympathetic to Communism and Communists. As far back as the 1930s Acheson had worked as a lawyer on behalf of Stalin’s
regime, prior to the diplomatic recognition of the Soviet Union by the United States, and recently he had ignored reports
about the Communist Party connections of his protege at the State Department, Alger Hiss. Acheson also had been the chief
U.S. advisor at the Yalta Conference, in February 1945, which consigned eastern Europe to Communist rule, and he presided
over the drafting of the United Nations Charter. In the State Department Acheson fostered the careers of Communists and
stifled the careers of anti-Communists.
Furthermore, as Ohio’s Republican
Senator Robert Taft said at the time, “Pro-Communist policies of the State Department fully justify Joe McCarthy in
his demand for an investigation.”
Scale of Subversion
Franklin Delano Roosevelt ("FDR")
Communist infiltration of the U.S. government had occurred on a grand scale during the reign of Franklin Roosevelt.
Congressman Martin Dies, Democrat of Texas and chairman of the House Committee on Un-American Activities from its inception
in 1938 until 1945, had warned Roosevelt in 1940 that there were thousands of Communists and pro-Communists on the government
payroll, but FDR refused to take action, saying:
do not believe in Communism any more than you do, but there is nothing wrong with the Communists in this country. Several
of the best friends I have are Communists. . . .
“I do not regard the Communists as any present or future threat to our country; in fact, I look upon
Russia as our strongest ally in the years to come. As I told you when you began your investigation, you should confine yourself
to Nazis and Fascists. While I do not believe in Communism, Russia is far better off and the world is safer under Communism
than under the Czars.”
Under the circumstances, McCarthy’s
charge that there were 57 known Communists in the State Department seems very modest.
A Maverick for the Truth
McCarthy had been a maverick from the beginning. In 1949 he had dared champion the cause of German prisoners of
war held in connection with the alleged “Malmédy massacre.” In truth, what had happened near the Belgian
town of Malmédy in December 1944 was unclear at the time, part of what U.S. General Thomas T. Handy, who in 1949 was
the commander in chief of U.S. forces in Europe, called “a confused, mobile, and desperate combat action.” It
is known now that a number of American soldiers who had surrendered there to the Germans were shortly thereafter killed
in cross fire when their captors, who were marching them to a rear area, were engaged by other U.S. units. When their bodies
were found by U.S. forces afterward with their hands tied behind their backs, however, it appeared that they might have
been deliberately killed.
After the war, Germans who had taken part in the fighting
at Malmédy were turned over to U.S. Army Colonel A.H. Rosenfeld and his Jewish underlings for “interrogation.”
The prisoners were arbitrarily reduced to civilian status so that they would not be protected by the Geneva Convention,
and brutal torture was used to extract confessions. When 18-year-old prisoner Arvid Freimuth hanged himself after repeated
beatings rather than sign a “confession,” the prosecutors were permitted to use as “evidence” the
unsigned statement which they themselves had contrived.
McCarthy dared to speak
against this officially sanctioned lynching, when almost no one else had the courage to do so. By fearlessly championing
the underdogs, the defeated and vilified Germans, and speaking out against the actual atrocities committed by self-righteous
aliens in American uniform, the Senator demonstrated the rare moral courage that later propelled him into the forefront
of the struggle against Communism.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator
Raymond Baldwin, Republican of Connecticut, was assigned to investigate the charges of torture, but whitewashed them instead.
On July 26, 1949, Senator McCarthy withdrew in disgust from the hearings and announced in a speech on the Senate floor that
two members of the Committee, Senator Baldwin and Senator Estes Kefauver, Democrat of Tennessee, had law partners among
the Army interrogators they were supposedly investigating. This was in several ways a preview of things to come.
The Jews showed instant hostility toward anyone who interfered with their campaign of vengeance against
the conquered Germans, and so they began turning their big guns in the media against McCarthy: a December 1949 poll of news
correspondents covering the United States Senate already had reporters branding McCarthy “the worst Senator”
— a high honor indeed.
James Forrestal: a patriot who fought subversion, and who died under mysterious circumstances.
When McCarthy had arrived in Washington as a freshman Senator in 1946,
he had been invited to lunch by Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal. McCarthy writes:
“Before meeting Jim Forrestal I thought we were losing to international Communism because of incompetence
and stupidity on the part of our planners. I mentioned that to Forrestal. I shall forever remember his answer. He said,
‘McCarthy, consistency has never been a mark of stupidity. If they were merely stupid they would occasionally make
a mistake in our favor.’ This phrase struck me so forcefully that I have often used it since.”
Considering the destructive policies that thrived in Washington, McCarthy concluded that to fight Communism
effectively it was not enough to denounce Communism in general; anyone — even a Communist — could claim to oppose
Communism. The Senator decided that it was necessary to identify those responsible for treasonous policies and then accuse
them on the basis of what they actually had done, not on the basis of the ideas to which they paid lip service.
A special investigating subcommittee chaired by Senator Millard Tydings, Democrat of Maryland, was set
up purportedly to investigate McCarthy’s claim that Communists and pro-Communists were being harbored in the State
Department. In reality, as Tydings himself admitted, the purpose was to silence McCarthy. Tydings boasted, “Let me
have McCarthy for three days in public hearings, and he will never show his face in the Senate again.” Tydings’
effort to discredit the upstart patriot would be heavily aided by the major media.
of the reporters present at the hearings was Elmer Davis, a prominent radio commentator who had been head of the Office of
War Information (OWI). McCarthy noted:
“Many of the [principals
in the] cases I was about to present had once been employees in the OWI under Davis and then had moved into the State Department.
As I glanced at Davis I recalled that Stanislaw Mikolajczyk, one of the anti-Communist leaders of Poland, had warned the
State Department, while Davis was head of the OWI, that OWI broadcasts were ‘following the Communist line consistently,’
and that the broadcasts ‘might well have emanated from Moscow itself.’ There could be no doubt how Davis would
report the story. . . .
“At one of the other tables I saw [left-wing, muckraking
columnist] Drew Pearson’s men. I could not help but remember that Pearson had employed a member of the Communist Party,
Andrew Older, to write Pearson’s stories on the House Committee on Un-American Activities and that another one of
Pearson’s limited staff was David Karr, who had previously worked for the Communist Party’s official publication,
the Daily Worker. No doubt about how Pearson would cover the story. . . .
I waited for the chairman to open the hearing I, of course, knew the left-wing elements of the press would twist and distort
the story to protect every Communist whom I exposed, but frankly I had no conception of how far the dishonest news coverage
In the case of Owen Lattimore, the testimony of McCarthy’s
chief witness, ex-Communist Louis Budenz, was widely misrepresented. Lattimore was a scholar on Far Eastern affairs employed
by the State Department as a consultant; he had advised the State Department that Chinese Communist leader Mao Tse-Tung
was merely “a liberal agrarian reformer” at a time when Washington was still unsure how to react to Mao’s
efforts to overthrow the Chinese government. In McCarthy’s words:
. . . testified that . . . [Lattimore], who had been employed by the government, consulted for years by State Department
officials on Far Eastern policy, and looked to by newspapermen and magazine editors for news on Far Eastern trends, had
been a member of the Communist Party.”
Some of them Honest
Joseph R. McCarthy, who earned the nickname "Tail-gunner Joe," shown here during his military
Many newspapers and wire services so twisted
Budenz’s testimony about Lattimore, however, that it was not clear to most Americans that Lattimore had indeed been
identified positively as a Communist.
One honest reporter, Dave McConnell of the
New York Herald Tribune, wrote in the May 16, 1950, edition of his now defunct paper that “you have to use
a sieve to strain out the bias in the McCarthy stories published in many papers.”
“Tail-gunner Joe,” as McCarthy was nicknamed by the press, was seen by many as a national hero. A Gallup
poll taken May 21, 1950, showed that among the general public he had four supporters for every three detractors. In a later
Gallup poll, taken in January 1954, 50 per cent. of the public viewed him favorably, and 29 per cent. viewed him unfavorably.
McCarthy was the one man in Washington, D.C., who bucked the bipartisan pressure to be polite to America’s enemies
and to “get along by going along.” He was the one man who took anti-Communism seriously and was willing to do
something about it.
An issue of The American Mercury magazine. Young people who haven't studied literature may never have
heard of it, but it was once one of the most well-known periodicals in the United States. Founded by the brilliant and iconoclastic
H.L. Mencken in the 1920s, it remained a thorn in the side of pious frauds and political hacks until its last issue in 1980,
featuring the work of writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Revilo Oliver, and Karl Hess. According to its publisher,
J.B. Matthews, its circulation was purposely suppressed by Jewish magazine distributors who refused to carry it for political
At the time conservative writer Harold Lord
Varney wrote in the American Mercury:
“McCarthy is where
he is today because he satisfies the deep national hunger for an affirmative man. In a Washington of vacillating, irresolute,
pressure-group-cowed politicians, he stands out in sharp relief as a man sure of himself. His unshaken self-confidence is
shown by the opponents he has tackled: they have been Marshall, Acheson, Tydings, Conant — men in the full tide of
their authority. And he has never lost a major Washington fight. . . .
sometimes gets too far out in front of public opinion, but so far public opinion has always followed him. . . .
“Because McCarthy has been willing to act as the shock absorber of the main stream of pro-Communist
abuse, the careers of all [other] anti-Communists have been made easier. . .
“One far-reaching consequence of [McCarthy’s fight] has been its impact upon the American world of ideas.
The climate of American public discussion has been amazingly cleared since McCarthy began to fight. . . . The long grip
on the nation’s communications media exercised by the literary Reds and Pinkos has been broken. . . .”
This is all very different, of course, from today’s popular conception, which was molded by the controlled
media. Little is said of McCarthy’s popularity, which even Eisenhower dared not challenge directly. Instead, we are
led to believe that McCarthy was a brutal tyrant who somehow managed to run roughshod over everyone’s civil liberties
and give the entire country a very bad case of claustrophobia for several years, all of this as chairman of a Senate subcommittee.
Joseph McCarthy speaks on KFAB. According to professor Revilo Oliver, a CIA officer told McCarthy
in 1950 "Senator, you said there were 57 known Communists in the State Department. If you had access to the files of
my agency, you would know that there is absolute proof that there are ten times that many. But Senator, you do not realize
the magnitude and the power of the conspiracy you are attacking. They will destroy you -- they will destroy you utterly."
Make no mistake about it, McCarthy did cause considerable discomfort
to some people: to the alien subversives and traitors whose ultimate goal was and still is the New World Order. It was these people who, in their effort to silence McCarthy, ironically characterized him as an enemy of free speech. The First Amendment,
of course, had been drafted precisely to protect men like McCarthy, who dared to identify treason in high places.
There were undoubtedly, however, some sincere, patriotic Americans who agreed with McCarthy’s aim
of removing Communists from government, but who found his method, with all of its sensationalism and public-relations gimmickry,
distasteful. McCarthy’s method was, as he himself explained, a last resort:
have followed the method of publicly exposing the truth about men who, because of incompetence or treason, were betraying
this nation. Another method would be to take the evidence to the President and ask him to discharge those who were serving
the Communist cause. A third method would be to give the facts to the proper Senate committee which had the power to hire
investigators and subpoena witnesses and records. The second and third methods . . . were tried without success. . . . The
only method left to me was to present the truth to the American people. This I did.”
People who criticized McCarthy’s public accusations merely as being in poor taste clearly did not appreciate
the gravity of the situation and the necessity for taking action. Also it should be noted that McCarthy had not wanted to
read his original list of 57 subversives publicly, but the Tydings Committee required it of him. According to the Congressional
Record of Feb 20, 1950, p. 2049, McCarthy protested on the Senate floor:
think . . . it would be improper to make the names public until the appropriate Senate Committee can meet in executive session
and get them. . . . It might leave a wrong impression.”
wrong impression” was exactly what the Tydings Committee wished to promote. In other words, contrary to the reputation
for “recklessness” that was applied to him, McCarthy exercised his First Amendment right with great care.
Republicans Without Honor
Like some resurrected Paul Revere or latter-day Cicero, it was he who sounded the alarm, who let the American
people know that their government had been subverted by alien interests; and it was the shadow government of “globalists”
who wished to silence him, so that their power and their pernicious influence would remain hidden from the American people.
International Communism and international finance — the twin thrusts of Jewish power — were
both ill-served by the attention McCarthy drew to the issues of loyalty and subversion.
Dwight David Eisenhower
1952 elections the Republicans captured both houses of Congress and the Presidency, largely due to McCarthy’s influence.
McCarthy became chairman of the Senate’s Government Operations Committee and its Subcommittee on Investigations. The
new President, however, was a pet of the New World Order clique, and he would succeed where Truman had failed in discrediting
In the discrediting of McCarthy, there is no doubt that there was a conspiracy
at work. We know this because men who were privy to the conspiracy later wrote books about it. The activities of the conspirators
were, of course, necessarily subtle; Eisenhower himself studiously avoided even mentioning McCarthy’s name in public,
and the media coverage was almost unbelievably biased. Thus, for the general public, the arrangements which brought down
McCarthy were a mystery, though in essence they were very simple: McCarthy was maneuvered into an awkward position, the
major media portrayed him as unfavorably as possible, and his colleagues deserted him.
The Destruction of Joe McCarthy, part 2
Roy Cohn and David Schine: agents of destruction given huge publicity by the media as "McCarthy's Men"
Fear of “Anti-Semitism”
Provides an Opening
REPUTATION was destroyed chiefly by the feud that two staffers on his Subcommittee on Investigations, Roy Cohn and G. David
Schine, conducted against the United States Army, contrary to McCarthy’s wishes.
Under pressure from influential Jewish columnist George Sokolsky and the Jewish president of the
Hearst Corporation, Richard Berlin, both purported anti-Communists, McCarthy announced on January 2, 1953, that 26-year-old
Roy Cohn would be the chief counsel of the Investigations Subcommittee. Cohn, the son of New York Supreme Court Judge Albert
Cohn, had been well served by his Jewish connections in the past, having been hired as an assistant U.S. attorney immediately
after passing the New York bar examination. Cohn himself later admitted that he was hired by McCarthy primarily because
he was a Jew:
“There was a growing slander abroad in the land . . . that McCarthy was a Jew-hater . . . and he wanted to
deflect it. I was the obvious answer, and the alternative — [Robert Kennedy,] the son of the well-known, well-documented
anti-Semite Joseph P. Kennedy, the former pro-Hitler ambassador to the Court of St. James — was the last person McCarthy
needed to head his committee.”
It probably need not
be stressed that the Jews themselves were the source of this “slander” that McCarthy felt obliged to counter.
Thus, McCarthy was stuck with Cohn; privately he expressed the fear that if Cohn resigned
for any reason the charge of “anti-Semitism” immediately would be raised against him again.
Furthermore, with most of the news media already solidly against him, McCarthy was desperate
for some favorable press coverage. Illinois Republican Senator Everett Dirksen commented, “Cohn was put on the Committee
by the Hearst press, and Joe doesn’t dare lose that support.”
Roy Cohn: His initial fame came from his fateful association with McCarthy; later in life he became
known as a spectacularly unethical New York attorney and homosexual habitué of Manhattan's Studio 54 discotheque.
Cohn, who died of AIDS in 1986, was a homosexual, and rumor of the perversion became widespread after Cohn had brought another young Jew, G. David
Schine, onto McCarthy’s staff. According to Cohn himself in his autobiography, Cohn and Schine were then rumored to
be “Jack and Jill.” This rumor was undoubtedly a great embarrassment to McCarthy, since the controlled media
had not yet succeeded in making homosexuality fashionable, and homosexuals were among the security risks to be investigated.
At Cohn’s insistence, Schine was accepted as an unpaid “chief consultant”
on Communism. Schine’s credentials for this position were that he had authored a pamphlet, Definition of Communism,
which his wealthy parents had allowed him to distribute in their hotel chain. This pamphlet gave incorrect dates for the
Russian Revolution and the founding of the Communist Party, confused Marx with Lenin, Stalin with Trotsky, and Kerensky
with Prince Lvov, and got Lenin’s name wrong. The Jewish millionaire-playboy was thus highly qualified, in Cohn’s
view, to be a consultant.
Influential Washington Post columnist Drew Pearson broadcasts via Washington DC's WMAL radio: a self-styled
muckraker, many on Capitol Hill feared his scandal-mongering column.
McCarthy hoped that he could save himself from accusations of “anti-Semitism” with Roy Cohn, and if
necessary, with Dave Schine. But the day McCarthy accepted these two Jews as his assistants was the day his downfall really
As the son of a Jewish multi-millionaire, Schine had
avoided the draft for the Korean War by getting himself classified 4-F. As soon as he became a staff member of McCarthy’s
committee, however, at the instigation of left-wing journalist Drew Pearson the Army reclassified Schine 1-A and drafted
him. Thus, the stage was set for Roy Cohn to involve McCarthy in a dispute with the United States Army.
Army-McCarthy Hearings: Dragged Against His Will
It is clear that McCarthy was dragged into this
dispute against his will. Army lawyer John Adams relates:
McCarthy spoke out quite freely about his irritation over Schine. He told me that the individual is of absolutely no help
to the committee, was interested in nothing but the photographers and getting his picture in the papers, and that things
had reached the point where he was a complete pest. McCarthy stated to me quite emphatically that he was anxious to see
this individual drafted, and . . . he hoped . . . we would send him as far away as possible ‘to get him out of [his]
hair.” . . . “Send him wherever you can, as far away as possible. Korea is too close.'”
Cohn raised hell with the Army, first threatening revenge for the drafting of Schine,
then agitating for special treatment for his putative boyfriend. John Adams stated in a January 21, 1954, meeting in Attorney
General Herbert Brownell’s office that demands for the names of Army loyalty-board members usually were preceded by
flare-ups over the reassignment of Schine. McCarthy was not happy about this behavior, and he privately complained that
Cohn was indeed carrying out a vendetta against the Army on account of Schine.
McCarthy had instructed Adams on December 17, 1953, that, having learned the extent of the interference Cohn and
Schine were causing for the commanding general of Fort Dix, he wished the Army to discontinue all special treatment for
Schine. Subsequently, the alleged anti-Communist Jew, columnist George Sokolsky, contacted Adams repeatedly, continuing
to urge special treatment for Schine. On February 12, 1954, Sokolsky went so far as to tell Adams that he, Sokolsky, would
“get them to drop all this stuff they are planning for the Army [i.e., McCarthy’s investigation of Communist
subversion in the Army],” if a special assignment were arranged for Schine. It seemed that Sokolsky was more concerned
about the comfort and convenience of one fellow Jew than about the national security of the United States — or he
was deliberately exacerbating the animosity between the Army and McCarthy.
Meanwhile, in late January 1954 a story in the New York Post featured Fort Dix recruits complaining that
Schine lived among them like a visiting dignitary — and Joseph McCarthy was taking the blame.
Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens said that he was wary about “discriminating
against” Schine, because Schine was a Jew. Likewise, McCarthy said that he was afraid to fire Cohn, “because
[I] might be accused of being anti-Semitic.” Here we have the Secretary of the Army and the chairman of a Senate committee,
both paralyzed by fear of being called “anti-Semitic,” allowing 26-year-old Roy Cohn and the utterly inconsequential
G. David Schine to walk all over them.
It was not only the
fact that McCarthy had felt the wrath of the Jews when he had spoken out against the barbarous treatment of German prisoners
five years earlier that made him wary of offending them again. His investigations into Communist subversion were turning
up a vastly disproportionate number of Jewish Communists, and he was afraid that the Jews would believe he was hunting Jews
rather than Communists.
By using the threat of investigation
as a weapon to coerce the Army into giving special treatment to his friend Schine, Cohn had tainted the legitimacy of McCarthy’s
patriotic work. Cohn was creating exactly the impression of reckless disregard for fairness and propriety that McCarthy
had wished to avoid.
McCarthy had apparently hoped that the
alleged anti-Communist Jews with whom he dealt were what they claimed to be. With their involvement, however, all his efforts
met with grief. If the Senator had taken account of Jewish traits — especially their bent for deception, which goes
far beyond anything encountered in the Gentile world — then perhaps he would have braved the charges of “anti-Semitism”
rather than tolerate Jews on his staff.
"Conservative" columnist George Sokolsky
The anti-Communist credentials of Jewish columnist George Sokolsky, for example, who had recommended Roy Cohn, were
invented rather late in life. In 1917, at the age of 24, Sokolsky had gone to Russia with a large number of other Jews,
filled with ardor for the prospect of world Communism and hoping to lend a hand to the Bolsheviks in fastening the Communist
yoke on the Russians. For a while he edited the English-language Communist newspaper Daily News in Petrograd; then
he left for China to practice his journalistic skills on behalf of the revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen, who was working
to set up a Communist government in China and was receiving aid from the Soviets. In 1931, claiming disillusionment with
the methods of Bolshevism, he returned to the United States, where he used different methods.
As a right-wing columnist for the Hearst newspapers, Sokolsky was well-placed to accomplish
much for the Jewish obsession with the New World Order by misdirecting the anti-Communist movement into blind alleys, false
hopes, and confusion — and away from the truth. Considering these facts, are we justified in believing his claim that
he had completely changed his ideals and in the 1950s was fervently against what he had been fervently for earlier in Russia
and China? A clue may be provided by Sokolsky’s 1935 book, We Jews, in which he lamented the fact that Jews
are not even more cohesive than they are. Certainly, no race-conscious Jew could have genuinely supported McCarthy’s
efforts to root Communists out of positions of influence in American life, since he would have understood that exposing Communism
meant exposing Jews.
Similarly, Roy Cohn, who called Sokolsky
his “rabbi,” was another member of the far left who claimed a miraculous conversion: as late as 1949 he was
openly calling anti-Communism a “witch-hunt” and said that Alger Hiss was a victim of a “right-wing conspiracy.”
Given the legendary cohesiveness of the Jewish people and the Jewishness of Communism, one is justified in viewing these
overnight conversions with suspicion.
There is more than
Roy Cohn’s youthful attachment to leftist causes to make us suspicious of his motives: his father Albert Cohn had been
the first judge appointed by Franklin Roosevelt after the latter became governor of New York. Thus, the Cohns were firmly
attached to the very clique that had fostered what McCarthy called “twenty years of treason.”
It looks very much as if McCarthy, who wished so much to avoid crossing the Jews, allowed
himself to be swindled in the age-old game of Good Jew/Bad Jew.
Ike and McCarthy
The man whom Eisenhower had appointed Secretary of the Army, Robert Stevens, head of the J.P. Stevens
textiles business, was staunchly anti-Communist, having witnessed the pernicious influence of Communists in exacerbating
labor disputes. Stevens was even distrustful of New Deal supporters. He was thus appointed not as a member of the New World
Order clique around Ike, but merely as a valuable (if misguided) Republican booster. Stevens had apparently taken Eisenhower’s
anti-Communist campaign rhetoric at face value.
office in February 1953, Stevens requested a briefing on the Army’s Loyalty and Security Program: “The presentation
should set forth what steps are to be taken to prevent disloyal and subversive persons from infiltrating the Army, and what
steps have been taken to discover and remove such persons who may have found their way into the Army Establishment.”
So concerned was Stevens about combatting subversion that he asked advice from J. Edgar Hoover, director of the Federal
Bureau of Investigation. Finally, when Stevens heard that McCarthy was concerned about security risks in the Army, he rushed
a telegram to him, offering his assistance in the investigation.
staff announced on September 10, 1953, that there was very serious evidence of espionage at Fort Monmouth. The evidence was
an extract of a report from J. Edgar Hoover to the head of Army Intelligence. The document mentioned 35 Fort Monmouth employees
as security risks, most of them Jews of Russian origin who had been in contact with the atom-bomb spies, Julius and Ethel
Rosenberg. Stevens instructed the commanding general at Fort Monmouth: “Cooperate! See to it that they interview anyone
they wish to.”
During the investigation at Fort Monmouth,
however, attention was diverted to nearby Camp Kilmer. This was the case of the Jewish Communist Irving Peress. Peress,
an Army dentist who was proved to be not only a member but an organizer of Communist groups, had sworn a false oath upon
receiving his officer’s commission. Worse, when the matter was exposed Peress was promoted and later given an honorable
discharge, thus escaping the jeopardy of a court-martial. The Peress case was a tremendous embarrassment to the Army, because
it showed that security in the Army was a mere formality which was easily circumvented.
McCarthy’s confidential informant on the Peress case was General Ralph Zwicker. A hearing
in New York City was arranged, and General Zwicker was called to testify as to the identity of the Pentagon official who
had ordered Peress’ honorable discharge. On the very morning of the hearing, however, Zwicker received an order from
John Adams not to reveal the official’s name. McCarthy did all he could to persuade Zwicker to talk in spite of the
order, but he failed.
Thereafter the press made a great fuss
over McCarthy’s rough treatment of Zwicker and the “insult to the uniform.” It was alleged that McCarthy
had without cause accused Zwicker of shielding subversives.
Stevens decided not to allow General Zwicker or other Army officers to testify further. Says William Ewald, a Department
of Defense official at the time: “A cheer went up: from anti-McCarthyites within the Administration itself, from editorial
writers far and wide, from liberals coast to coast.” Especially noteworthy was a telephone call to Stevens from Marshall
Plan administrator Paul Hoffman in California — at whose residence Eisenhower was then vacationing. This congratulation
was inferred to represent the attitude of that champion McCarthy-hater, President Ike.
Anna M. Rosenberg: she pushed for racial integration of the U.S. military.
Eisenhower’s friend Hoffman was married to Anna Rosenberg, who had been Truman’s Jewish Assistant Secretary
of Defense in 1950 and had been diligent in promoting liberal programs in the Army and the other armed services. She, more
than anyone else, had forced full racial integration on the services.
Unlike Ike, however, Secretary Stevens was not an implacable foe of McCarthy and anti-Communism. Although he thought
Roy Cohn was awful, he said he saw McCarthy as a “reasonable” man. In a conference with the majority members
of McCarthy’s subcommittee, an agreement was reached and Stevens signed a document that stated this accord. The anti-McCarthy
interpretation of this event has been that Secretary Stevens did not understand what he was doing. More likely, Stevens
did not understand what Eisenhower was doing. Nor did the American people understand!
Stevens said of the media’s explosively hostile reaction to his reconciliation with McCarthy,
“I think I have been absolutely crucified. . . .” Furthermore, he showed naiveté by saying that he thought
the press had “misunderstood” the agreement.
decided to have Secretary Stevens “admit an administrative error” and renege on the agreement. A repudiation
of Stevens’ agreement with McCarthy was composed, and Stevens was made to read it publicly.
Meanwhile, President Eisenhower’s staff, without Stevens’ knowledge, had instructed
Stevens’ subordinate John Adams to compile a written record of Cohn’s and Schine’s behavior. Adams, a holdover
from the Truman administration, apparently was considered more politically reliable than the conservative Stevens.
On March 8, 1954, when Secretary Stevens was asked about the record of improper pressure
by Cohn and Schine (which John Adams had leaked to the press a few days earlier) he said, “I personally think that
anything in that line would prove to be very much exaggerated. . . . I am the Secretary, and I have had some talks with
the committee and the chairman . . . and by and large as far as the treatment of me is concerned, I have no personal complaints
. . . .”
On March 10, although Stevens had not even
been aware of the Schine chronology two days earlier, he was pressured into approving a version heavily “revised”
by Defense Department attorney Struve Hensel. It was called the “Stevens-Adams chronology,” although Stevens
had only just learned of it. Under pressure, the Secretary of the Army was now lending his name to a document that he had
said would be “very much exaggerated.”
The Army-McCarthy Hearings Commence
In late April 1954 the Army-McCarthy hearings began. The Army had accused McCarthy and Roy Cohn
of using improper pressure, evidence of this being the so-called “Stevens-Adams chronology.” McCarthy counter-charged
that the Army was trying to discredit his committee and stop its investigation of the Army.
An anti-McCarthy cartoon, one of many by Jewish Washington Post cartoonist "Herblock," portraying
McCarthy as an ugly, lying, monster-like figure. (Click on the image for a larger version.) In reality, and as found in
the hearings, McCarthy's charges were true, and his evidence was not doctored. But the media simply declared otherwise.
During the hearings Stevens was the Army’s “star witness.”
He “stonewalled” the subcommittee, giving vague, unresponsive, and often self-contradictory testimony. It became
clear to McCarthy that Stevens was acting under orders from Eisenhower’s staff. The Army’s case, however, already
had been blown sky-high, and McCarthy essentially vindicated, when Senator Everett Dirksen, a member of the McCarthy Subcommittee,
testified that the Army’s counsel John Adams and Eisenhower’s administrative assistant Gerald Morgan had approached
him on January 22, 1954, seeking to stifle part of McCarthy’s investigation of the Army. Dirksen testified that Adams
had mentioned the Army’s file on Cohn and Schine, dropping a “hint” that these files might be very damaging
if they were “issued and ventilated on the front pages” of newspapers.
At this point, John Adams, not wishing to be the lone scapegoat for Eisenhower, and, furthermore,
living under the possibility of a prosecution for perjury, revealed that he had been told to compile the chronology on Cohn
and Schine by members of Eisenhower’s staff in a secret meeting in the Attorney General’s office the day before
The White House was now clearly implicated
in a conspiracy to shield subversion in the government. On May 17 Eisenhower, in an obvious attempt to prevent his own role
from being investigated further, issued what became known as the “iron curtain” order. Eisenhower claimed that
it was a Constitutional principle that the President could forbid his subordinates from revealing any information to the
On May 27, after several more days of vague, unresponsive,
and sometimes conflicting testimony from Stevens, McCarthy responded in exasperation to Eisenhower’s gag order: “The
oath which every person in this government takes, to protect and defend the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic,
that oath towers far above any presidential security directive.” He urged federal employees to come forward with any
information they might have about corruption and subversion in government.
The next day Eisenhower had his press secretary convey to the media a statement that likened McCarthy to Hitler:
a comparison that was not meant to flatter McCarthy. Edward R. Murrow and other media figures took their cue and began echoing
McCarthy, however, was expressing essentially the
same idea which Theodore Roosevelt had expressed half a century earlier, when the latter said:
“It is patriotic to support [the President] insofar as he efficiently serves the
country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to
stand by the country. . . . In any event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth–whether about the President or anyone
And of course, the truth was exactly what Ike
feared. Was this not the Eisenhower who had carried out Operation Keelhaul after the Second World War, in which anti-Communist
Russians, Hungarians, and others were forcibly repatriated to a certain death under Communism? Was this not the Eisenhower
who deliberately starved to death over a million German prisoners of war? And was this not the same Eisenhower who later
sent paratroopers into Little Rock to enforce racial integration with bayonets?
Regardless of the legal result, biased media coverage made the Army-McCarthy hearings a propaganda victory for the
pro-Communists. Army counsel Joseph Welch, through hyperbole and histrionics, managed to convince a large portion of the
public that a few peripheral issues he raised during the hearings were serious embarrassments to McCarthy.
The Army-McCarthy hearings: Welch, left; McCarthy, right
Welch, the Television Cameras, and the End
Attorney Joseph Welch: Though he had little of substance to say, his carefully-crafted media image
and accomplished TV histrionics sealed McCarthy's fate.
example, Welch insisted for the television cameras that part of an FBI report listing subversives at Fort Monmouth was “a
carbon copy of precisely nothing” and “a perfect phoney,” even though FBI Director Hoover said that he
had written it. Similarly, Welch dramatically accused McCarthy of introducing a “doctored” photograph into evidence:
it was a quite genuine photograph, which merely had been cropped and enlarged for the sake of clarity. The media played
up Welch’s accusations and ignored McCarthy’s explanations.
Welch was much more an actor than a lawyer: later, in 1959, he starred in a major Hollywood production, Anatomy
of a Murder, alongside Jimmy Stewart and Lee Remick. In any event, during the Army-McCarthy hearings the Senate hearing
room was his stage, and he played his role to the hilt. When McCarthy pointed out that a member of Welch’s own law
firm, Fred Fischer, had been a member of the National Lawyers’ Guild, an organization cited as a Communist front by
the Attorney General, Welch waxed maudlin and sobbed the famous line, “Have you no sense of decency at long last?”
Later, outside the hearing room, Welch wept again for the benefit of the news photographers. (Welch’s goading of McCarthy
and tearful denouement may have been planned in advance; see Appendix below. — Ed.)
Joseph Welch also found more legitimate venues for his acting talent.
As reported by the media, Welch was a man of great humanity who was shocked that McCarthy would be so ignoble as
to attempt to ruin Fischer’s career with his accusation, while McCarthy was a heel for even raising the matter. The
fact that McCarthy’s charge was perfectly accurate seemed to make no difference at all to the media.
And so it was with other episodes in the hearings. One contemporary observer, Harold Varney,
noted in the American Mercury:
the anti-McCarthy press was not honest enough to admit publicly that the Senator had been vindicated. The smearers continued
to parrot the smears, just as if the disproof were not before the country.”
The masters of the controlled media were determined to “get” McCarthy, and they did.
They had not directed as much hatred on any public figure since Adolf Hitler.
By September many of his supporters in the Congress, ever sensitive to the direction of the political wind, had
thrown in the towel. McCarthy’s Senate colleagues stripped him of his committee chair in November. On December 2,
1954, the Senate voted 67-22 to condemn him for “conduct contrary to Senatorial traditions.” The condemnation
permanently ended his effectiveness as a legislator.
* * *
Additions and annotations
by Kevin Alfred Strom; originally published in 1994; American Dissident Voices broadcast series title “Joe
McCarthy: Tragic hero.”
The Set Up: Welch
that Welch set up McCarthy through his breaking of a pre-hearing agreement and threatening to expose Cohn and Schine as homosexuals. According to
writer Brian Burns:
The quote, “Have you
no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” was asked of the notorious Senator Joe
McCarthy by Attorney Joseph Welch at the climactic moment of the Army-McCarthy Hearings, a 55-day spectacle that riveted
the attention of the nation in the spring of 1954.
A grandfatherly, bespectacled
man with a fondness for neckties, Walpole’s Welch was the lead counsel for the Army during the hearings, which aired
live on the ABC and DuMont networks.
Welch’s memorable excoriation of McCarthy
came as the bullet point of a tearful and impassioned speech in which he blasted McCarthy for his “cruelty and recklessness.”
It was a moment that would forever alter the lives of both men….
an attorney at the Boston law firm of Hale and Dorr, was hired to represent the Army….
The penultimate confrontation with the Wisconsin senator came on June 9, while Welch was needling Cohn in cross
examination about the contention that there were 130 known Communists working in Army labs throughout the country.
After stewing for a while in the background, McCarthy finally interjects after Welch playfully asks Cohn
why he doesn’t just have the FBI get all of the Communists out of the Army by sundown.
McCarthy tells Welch that one of his co-workers at Hale and Dorr, “a young man named Fischer,” had belonged
for three or four years to the National Lawyers Guild, an organization that was named “years and years” ago
as the legal bulwark of the Communist party.
Since Welch was so interested in ferreting
out Communists, he should be made aware of the fact that Fischer was a member of his own firm, McCarthy said. Welch’s
response was brutally effective.
Welch: ‘Until this moment,
Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Fred Fischer is a young man who went to the Harvard
Law School and came into my firm and is starting what looks to be a brilliant career with us. When I decided to work for
this committee, I asked Jim St. Clair, who sits on my right, to be my first assistant. I said to Jim, “Pick somebody
in the firm to work under you that you would like.” He chose Fred Fischer, and they came down on an afternoon plane.
That night, when we had taken a little stab at trying to see what the case was about, Fred Fisher and Jim St. Clair and
I went to dinner together. I then said to these two young men, “Boys, I don’t know anything about you, except
I’ve always liked you, but if there’s anything funny in the life of either one of you that would hurt anybody
in this case, you speak up quick.”
‘And Fred Fisher said, “Mr.
Welch, when I was in the law school, and for a period of months after, I belonged to the Lawyers Guild,” as you have
‘He went on to say, “I am Secretary of the Young
Republican’s League in Newton with the son of [the] Massachusetts governor, and I have the respect and admiration
of my community, and I’m sure I have the respect and admiration of the twenty-five lawyers or so in Hale & Dorr.”
‘And I said, “Fred I just don’t think I’m going to ask you to work on the case.
If I do, one of these days that will come out, and go over national television and it will just hurt like the dickens.”
And so, Senator, I asked him to go back to Boston.
Little did I dream you could
be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad…It is, I regret to say, equally true that I fear he shall
always bear a scar needlessly inflicted by you. If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty, I would
‘I like to think I’m a gentle man, but your forgiveness will
have to come from someone other than me.’
Chairman, may I say that Mr. Welch talks about this being cruel and reckless. He was just baiting; he has been baiting Mr.
Cohn here for hours, requesting that Mr. Cohn before sundown get out of any department of the government anyone who is serving
the Communist cause. Now, I just give this man’s record and I want to say, Mr. Welch, that it had been labeled long
before he became a member, as early as 1944.’
may we not drop this? We know he belonged to the Lawyers Guild. And Mr. Cohn nods his head at me. I did you, I think, no
personal injury, Mr. Cohn?’
Cohn: ‘No, sir.’
Welch: ‘I meant to do you no personal injury, and if I did, I beg your pardon. Let us not assassinate
this lad further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense
Welch’s stirring condemnation was the beginning of the
end for McCarthy, who would be censured by the Senate later that year.
his censure McCarthy returned home to Wisconsin, where he died of complications from alcoholism in 1957. He was only 48.
Welch, on the other hand, found himself a national celebrity. His exposure of McCarthy’s bluster
earned him high praise from the media and various civic organizations and his stirring speech secured him a permanent place
in the annals of history.
…While there is little question of the effectiveness
of Welch’s condemnation, recent evidence has suggested that it may not have been as spontaneous as it seemed to those
who watched it unfold live on the air.
A number of historians now believe that
McCarthy may have blundered his way into a carefully planned trap.
One of the strongest
advocates of this theory is Nicholas von Hoffman, who describes the encounter from Cohn’s perspective in Citizen
Cohn (The Life and Times of Roy Cohn. Doubleday). Von Hoffman writes that despite the animosity between the two parties,
Welch and McCarthy agreed before the trial that several areas would be off limits.
agreed that he would not mention Cohn’s avoidance of the draft during World War II. In return, McCarthy’s camp
agreed that they would not bring up Fischer’s membership in the Lawyer’s Guild.
Von Hoffman and several other sources suggest that the agreement also extended to Cohn’s sexual orientation.
Though he denied it to his dying day, Cohn was widely known as a homosexual, especially to the Washington insiders that
packed the hearing room each day.
According to several sources, it is possible that
Welch had intentionally provoked McCarthy earlier in his cross examination by showing Cohn a picture that had been doctored
by the McCarthy camp prior to being submitted as evidence.
After Cohn offers no
explanation for how the altered picture came to be, Welch playfully asks him if it might have been created by a pixie. McCarthy
angrily jumps in.
McCarthy: ‘Will the counsel for my benefit
define — I think he might be an expert on that — what a pixie is?’
‘Yes, I should say, Senator, that a pixie is a close relative of a fairy. Shall I proceed, sir? Have I enlightened you?’
At this point, according to sources, the room erupted in laughter. It was a dig at Cohn’s expense,
but it wasn’t a direct violation of the agreement, a subtle point that may have been lost on McCarthy.
Von Hoffman quotes from Michael Straight, who wrote about the moment in the New Republic.
“As law the comment was improper; as humor it was unjust; as drama it was beyond anything that the
theatre could conceive or reproduce.”
Was this dig, and Welch’s
subsequent needling about getting all the Communists out by sundown, designed to lure McCarthy into making a foolish attack
There seems to be some legitimacy to this argument, especially when
one considers the way that McCarthy later reacts.
Chairman, may I say that Mr. Welch talks about this being cruel and reckless. He was just baiting; he has been baiting Mr.
Cohn here for hours…’
Cohn, a talented if unscrupulous lawyer in his
own right, is smart enough not to respond to Welch’s thrust and later tries to dissuade McCarthy from pursuing his
inquiry into Fischer, though it is to no avail.
may we not drop this? We know he belonged to the Lawyers Guild. And Mr. Cohn nods his head at me. I did you, I think, no
personal injury, Mr. Cohn?’
Cohn: ‘No, sir.’
Yet McCarthy insists on pursuing the issue, sealing his own fate at the hands of Welch’s eloquence.
Without asking Welch himself, it’s difficult to know how much of his speech was real and how much
was part of a carefully designed plan. This anecdote recounted by von Hoffman seems to suggest that it was a bit of both.
“Welch had tears in his eyes as he delivered the last line; they were rolling down his cheeks as
he left the center area; he passed a young reporter named John Newhouse who had been late and had to accept standing room
by the door. As Welch went by, tears still coursing, he looked at Newhouse and winked.”