McCarthy and His Friends

The unconvincing rehabilitation of Tail Gunner Joe


Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies, by M. Stanton Evans, New York: Crown Forum, 672 pages, $29.95

Here is a précis of what is now known, based on evidence revealed since the fall of the Berlin Wall, about what is broadly referred to as the McCarthy Era. State Department official Alger Hiss, whose espionage case actually predated the rise of Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.), was indeed a Soviet spy. Apostates from communism Whittaker Chambers and Elizabeth Bentley, who exposed significant breaches of national security to the FBI, were neither fantasists nor fabulists; both accurately recounted the names of government employees subsidized by the Soviet Union. Julius Rosenberg, one half of the ne plus ultra case of Cold War martyrdom, was indeed guilty of espionage. The American effort to develop an atomic bomb was thick with Russian spies, another of whom, a heretofore unknown American named George Koval, was revealed only last November when he was posthumously honored at a champagne reception by Russian President Vladimir Putin. America's Communist Party, frequently defended as an indigenous political movement wholly independent of Moscow, took both direction and rubles from every Soviet leader dating back to Lenin.

These revelations have led some historians and cultural commentators to wonder if perhaps Joseph McCarthy, the red-baiting Republican senator from Wisconsin who was both architect and demolisher of his eponymous era, was more right than wrong. In 1996 the liberal journalist Nicholas von Hoffman, writing in The Washington Post, asked if, after years of hand wringing over his malign influence, McCarthy was in the end "right about the left." Based on disclosures from Soviet and American archives, von Hoffman concluded that "enough new information has come to light about the communists in the U.S. government that we may now say that point by point Joe McCarthy got it all wrong and yet was still closer to the truth than those who ridiculed him." In a foreword to the 1996 edition of his 1954 book McCarthy and His Enemies, the ur-text of McCarthy's defenders, William F. Buckley Jr. wrote with evident triumphalism that "a gradual and painful process of historical rectification" was under way, one that would in many respects vindicate the senator's crusade.

Twelve years later, the veteran conservative journalist M. Stanton Evans has selectively aggregated these revelations in an attempt at providing that vindication. In Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies, Evans, a columnist for Human Events and former director of the National Journalism Center, attempts to fulfill the mandate of his father, John Birch Society member Medford Evans, author of one of the first book-length McCarthy apologias, The Assassination of Joe McCarthy. "The restoration of McCarthy," the elder Evans wrote, "is a necessary part of the restoration of America." Since his father's restoration efforts were unsuccessful, it has fallen to Evans fils to enshrine the late senator in the pantheon of great Americans, arguing that McCarthy was wrongly maligned by the liberal establishment and largely right in his reading of the communist threat. He contends, quite rightly, that most of those who refer to the period "know little of McCarthy, and would be hard-pressed to back their view[s] with plausible specifics, or indeed with anything whatever." But it is unlikely that Evans' full-throated, frequently overzealous attempt to contextualize McCarthy's charges will convince anyone but Birch Society dead-enders.

Evans' stated purpose is to rescue McCarthy from the historians, to resurrect the "warrior" who has "vanished into the mists of fable and recycled error." While McCarthy's "straight-ahead, take-no-prisoners views and methods did lead him to make mistakes of facts and judgment," what matters, writes Evans, is whether the senator was "right or wrong about the cases." And as has been previously demonstrated by other revisionist historians, McCarthy was broadly correct; most of those accused were members of the Communist Party. But what does this add up to? Was the assemblage of New Deal liberals, fellow travelers, and communist agents that McCarthy tossed together "the product of a great conspiracy," as he famously bellowed on the Senate floor, "a conspiracy on a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man"? McCarthy's scattershot approach to the facts greatly damaged the cause of anti-communism and greatly emboldened, even legitimized, communism's apologists. It also raised serious civil liberties questions: Should you lose a government job merely for your political opinions? How far left could you drift and remain employed?

Evans' recapitulation of events begins plausibly enough, with an outline of what readers probably already know: The Soviet Union operated a sophisticated network of agents in the United States, many of whom—including Hiss, Julius Rosenberg, Justice Department employee Judith Coplon, and White House economist Lauchlin Currie—passed secrets to Moscow. But what of those specifically accused by McCarthy of being either security risks or agents of the Kremlin? Here Evans is on shakier ground.

Take his treatment of one of the better-known McCarthy cases. In 1950, the senator denounced the China scholar Owen Lattimore as Russia's "top spy" in the State Department, an influential "China hand" who deliberately "lost" that country to Mao's communists by seeking to undermine Washington's support for Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek. McCarthy's initial accusations, such as his risible claim that Lattimore acted as Alger Hiss' "boss," were demonstrably false, something McCarthy himself quickly realized, beating a hasty retreat from his wilder charges. It was a damaging concession, red meat to the growing ranks of McCarthy haters, but one which receives just a single sentence in Evans' narrative.

Evans does demonstrate that Lattimore was an "indefatigable shill for Moscow." There is little new here, though it is still a much needed corrective to the widely held view, successfully advanced by Lattimore himself, that he was in fact a generic New Deal liberal and an anti-communist. McCarthy grilled Lattimore on his previous writings, such as his view that Soviet forced collectivization "represent[ed] a kind of ownership more valuable to them than the old private ownership under which they were unable to own or even hire machines."

But was he a spy? To Evans, the existence of speculative FBI documents (his "FBI file contains numerous allegations that Lattimore was both a Communist…and an espionage agent"), none of which offers proof that he was engaged in spying for the Soviets, is enough to vindicate McCarthy's charges.

As careless as the charges against him were, it was at least conceivable that Owen Lattimore was involved in espionage. When McCarthy unleashed a furious 60,000-word philippic against Gen. George Marshall, the U.S. Army chief of staff during World War II and President Truman's secretary of defense, he ensured his own downfall, handing his opponents the material for his censure on a silver platter. In a rare concession, Evans judges the attack on Marshall a mistake, but even this judgment is milquetoasty and loaded with qualifiers. Evans provides almost no representative selections from McCarthy's speech about Marshall, thus insulating the reader from the true biliousness and absurdity of the senator's attack. If Evans had so chosen, readers would have seen a hero of World War II besmirched with contemptible claims of treason and with the bizarre suggestion that the Marshall Plan for the economic revitalization of Europe was inspired by U.S. Communist Party boss Earl Browder. To McCarthy, Marshall was responsible for every foreign policy blunder since Pearl Harbor; he was a man who made "common cause with Stalin on the strategy of the war in Europe and marched side by side with him thereafter."

Evans also partially concedes that McCarthy's bizarre attacks on New York Post Editor James Wechsler, a communist turned liberal anti-communist, were ill-conceived. In 1934, as a student at Columbia University, Wechsler joined the Young Communists League and left the party three years later, after an eye-opening trip to the Soviet Union. When Wechsler testified before McCarthy's Senate committee, the senator's deep paranoia was on prominent display. He suggested that Wechsler's well-documented hostility to Stalin was an elaborate ruse. As his quarry shifted in his chair, McCarthy speculated that Post editorials critical of his committee were planted by the Manchurian editor: "Perhaps the most effective way of [propagandizing for communism] would be to claim that we deserted the party and, if we got in control of the paper, use that paper to attack and smear anybody who actually was fighting Communism." Evans omits these fantasies from his account, again providing an imprecise picture of the often bizarre proceedings.

It is baffling that Evans' series of mini-concessions doesn't convince him that McCarthy deserves his reputation as a liability to anti-communism, especially taken together with other unflattering details found in the senator's vita. McCarthy lied about his time in the Marines, telling daring tales of action as a tail gunner even though his actual combat experience was minimal. Evans dismisses this prevarication in a sentence, arguing that McCarthy should be applauded for serving his country voluntarily since, as a Wisconsin judge, he was exempt from conscription. Early in his political career, McCarthy courted controversy when he stood up for members of the SS who were on trial for war crimes, accused of executing American soldiers at the French town of Malmédy; McCarthy argued that the accused had been mistreated by their American captors and that evidence was obtained by coercion. The charges, levied by SS men awaiting the hangman's noose, with no corroborating witnesses, were dubious. The deep conscientiousness that McCarthy displayed regarding the rights of fascists—he once wrote to a friend that the Nazi leaders on trial at Nuremberg were "so-called war criminals" whose "only crime was attempting to win the war"—was hard to discern in his dealings with American leftists accused of espionage. None of this troubles Evans, who cites the Malmédy case to demonstrate McCarthy's intellectual depth and compares him to those who blew the whistle on abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

But the most frustrating habit of Blacklisted by History is the subtle conflation of New Deal liberals, radical fellow travelers, and actual spies, a move that recalls McCarthy's own signature tactic. It is difficult to sympathize with most of those willingly duped by Soviet communism, all of whom were aware of the country's nonaggression pact with Nazi Germany, its purge trials in the 1930s, and its forced starvation of millions of Ukrainians. But there is a more interesting moral question that Evans might have considered, if only briefly. If the percentage of fellow travelers in and around government was much larger than the percentage in the general population (as it clearly was), what was the civil libertarian to do? How many front organizations, joined either with forethought or in ignorance, must one be affiliated with before qualifying as a security risk? And as in the case of James Wechsler, what is the statute of limitations on youthful flirtations with Marxism?

It's easy to dismiss the more partisan attacks on McCarthy by critics who contend, for example, that no one called before his committee was a party member. It is more difficult to ignore the objections of Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson (D-Wash.), the Cold War hawk who, in 1953, resigned from McCarthy's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and ridiculed the senator during his showdown with the Army the following year. Or Gen. Matthew Ridgeway, who in the 1970s said McCarthy's attack on George Marshall consisted of "scurrilous and indefensible remarks whose evil effects persist to this day."

And then there is the opinion of the former Soviet spy, accuser of Alger Hiss, and stalwart anti-communist Whittaker Chambers. Evans frequently refers to Chambers' testimony but is mum on his ultimate judgment of McCarthy. While Chambers prepped the senator in the early days of his anti-red campaign, he was soon disabused of his enthusiasm. When asked to provide a jacket blurb for Buckley's apologia for McCarthy, Chambers declined, responding that McCarthy's "inaccuracies and distortions, his tendency to sacrifice the greater objectivity for the momentary effect, will lead him and [the anti-communist cause] into trouble."

In the book's last chapter, Evans concedes that "McCarthy made his share of errors, some contributing to his downfall." The book is peppered with small caveats like this one, but Evans never seriously considers the significant and convincing body of evidence assembled by McCarthy's critics.

A book can be radically wrong in its conclusions and devilishly selective in its presentation of evidence yet still be useful. Blacklisted by History sketches the fellow-traveling milieu of postwar Washington, populated by eggheads who, for reasons both idealistic and sinister, were attracted to the Sovietophilic fringes of the left. But since it does not set this scene in a broader context, present McCarthy in his own words, carefully distinguish between those sympathetic to left-wing causes and those paid to do Stalin's bidding, or consider the effect of McCarthy's very un-American assault on civil liberties, it is not a book to be read in isolation.

As in the case of Hiss and the Rosenbergs, consensus is often wrong. But no matter how hard M. Stanton Evans might try, Joe McCarthy will never be rehabilitated as an American hero. And despite the ominous warnings of Evans' father, America is a better place for it.

Michael C. Moynihan is an associate editor of Reason.

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  1. Maybe it’s true. Maybe he WAS misrepresented by history; it’s happened plenty of times.

  2. In the end, McCarthy may have helped Soviet espionage more than hindered it by encouraging Americans in general, and federal law enforcement in particular to look in the wrong places. The sort of suspicion and hysteria he provoked does little to root out effective professionals. Popular history has a way of misjudging individuals. Simon Weisenthal made himeself famous as a “Nazi Hunter”, yet the agent who actually hunted Eichman down said he played no part.

    In more than 40 years of “Nazi hunting,” Wiesenthal’s role in locating and capturing Adolf Eichmann is often considered his greatest achievement. He was kidnapped by Israeli agents in Argentina in May 1960 and hanged in Jerusalem after a trial that received worldwide media attention.)

    But Isser Harel, the Israeli official who headed the team that seized Eichmann, has declared unequivocally that Wiesenthal had “absolutely nothing” to do with the capture. Harel is a former head of both the Mossad and Shin Bet, Israel’s foreign and domestic security agencies.

    Wiesenthal not only “had no role whatsoever” in the apprehension, said Harel, but in fact he endangered the entire Eichmann operation. In a 278-page manuscript, Harel carefully refuted every claim by Wiesenthal about his supposed role in identifying and capturing Eichmann. Claims by Wiesenthal and his many friends about his supposedly crucial role in capturing the former SS officer, said Harel, have no foundation in fact. Many specific assertions and incidents described in two books by Wiesenthal, said the Israeli official, are “complete fabrications.”34

    “Wiesenthal’s reports and statements at that period prove beyond any doubt that he had no notion of Eichmann’s whereabouts,” said Harel.

    Characterizing Wiesenthal as a rank opportunist, Harel summed up: “All the information supplied by Wiesenthal before and in anticipation of the [Eichmann] operation was utterly worthless and sometimes even misleading and of negative value

    One of Wiesenthal’s most spectacular cases involved a Polish-born Chicago man named Frank Walus. In a letter dated December 10, 1974, he charged that Walus “delivered Jews to the Gestapo” in Czestochowa and Kielce in Poland during the war. This letter prompted a US government investigation and legal action. The Washington Post dealt with the case in a 1981 article entitled “The Nazi Who Never Was: How a witch hunt by judge, press and investigators branded an innocent man a war criminal.” The lengthy piece, which was copyrighted by the American Bar Association, reported:

    In January 1977, the United States government accused a Chicagoan named Frank Walus of having committed atrocities in Poland during World War II.

    In the following years, this retired factory worker went into debt in order to raise more than $60,000 to defend himself. He sat in a courtroom while eleven Jewish survivors of the Nazi occupation of Poland testified that they saw him murder children, an old woman, a young woman, a hunchback and others …

    Overwhelming evidence shows that Walus was not a Nazi War criminal, that he was not even in Poland during World War II.

    We can live without opportunists such as Weisenthal and McCarthy

  3. Maybe it’s true. Maybe he WAS misrepresented by history; it’s happened plenty of times.

    Yeah. I get so tired of everybody ragging on Mussolini. He was a patriot and has been misrepresented by historians for decades.
    And don’t get me started on all of the dirt piled on Benedict Arnold’s reputation.

  4. consider the plot of the manchirian candidate….
    consider that mccarthy seems not too have been to bright, like angela lansburys husband
    mccarthy’s eminence grise…. obviously, roy cohn
    a paranoid and repressed closeted homosxual homophobe
    the kgb were good at sex black mail
    they got roy, roy got joe, communism became noble
    much more likely conspiracy than most

  5. Evans’ stated purpose is to rescue McCarthy from the historians, to resurrect the “warrior” who has “vanished into the mists of fable and recycled error.”

    The purpose of the Evans is to flip out and resurect the “warrior” who has “vanished into the mists of fable and recyled error.”

  6. I just finished reading and grading 30 lab reports that were, in spots, headache-inducingly incoherent.

    I come on here for a bit of relaxation and what do I get? W. E. White’s post. My students should thank Mr White, he made them appear literate in comparison.

  7. Are those the lyrics to a post-punk song or something?

  8. I think White was being funny.

  9. Mr. Moynihan has carefully and thoughtfully reviewed Evans book, but he criticizes a strawman of his own making. Evans does point out McCarthy made mistakes and was unfair to many; nonetheless the reputation he eventually acquired is mostly undeserved and inaccurate. Evans is merely trying to correct that.

  10. And as in the case of James Wechsler, what is the statute of limitations on youthful flirtations with Marxism?

    Funny, nobody ever ask what the statute of limitations is on a youthful flirtation with Fascism. For some reason, we think that believing Hitler might have been on to something is a sign of deep personal corruption regardless of the individuals age at the time but that believing that Stalin or Mao walked on water is just youthful hijinks. Its almost like we expect everyone to go though phase were we fall in love with despotic leftist.

    Personally, I think that once a person turns their back on individualism and democracy, especially when they’re young and idealistic, then you can never really trust them again.

    McCarthy was a putz but his critics are seldom any better. It’s very common to hear arguments of the form, “McCarthy was a demagogue therefore there was never any significant communist threat.” People make this argument without irony even though the two facts have nothing to do with one another.

  11. I read the book, expecting (based on the hype) to find McCarthy rehabilitated, somehow.

    After about halfway through the book I decided I was not going to be convinced.

    Still, it raises some interesting questions. Was it illegal to be a communist? No. Was the US party illegal? No. Were there people in the governmant who, presumably, swore to uphold the US Constitution, etc., nevertheless acted against the interests of this country? Yes there were. And did the Roosevelt and Truman administrations (and the Republican administrations that preceded them) do anything about the bad actors? It’s not clear to me that they did much before McCarthy held their feet to the fire. I guess what Joe’s sorry case demonstrates is that ends do not always justify means.

  12. the reputation he eventually acquired is mostly undeserved and inaccurate. Evans is merely trying to correct that.

    Err, what part of self serving, asshole, lying bully do you think is “undeserved and inaccurate”?

  13. Err, what part of self serving, asshole, lying bully do you think is “undeserved and inaccurate”?

    Or doesn’t apply to nearly everyone holding office in D.C., then or now?

  14. we think that believing Hitler might have been on to something is a sign of deep personal corruption regardless of the individuals age at the time but that believing that Stalin or Mao walked on water is just youthful hijinks….

    Bingo. You know who else is rabid about that (besides me, that is)?

    Charles Alan Kors of F.I.R.E.

  15. Dang it, I always get his name backwards, it’s Alan Charles Kors.

    “The West accepts an epochal, monstrous, unforgivable double standard. We rehearse the crimes of Nazism almost daily, we teach them to our children as ultimate historical and moral lessons, and we bear witness to every victim. We are, with so few exceptions, almost silent on the crimes of Communism. So the bodies lie among us, unnoticed, everywhere.”

  16. Personally, I think that once a person turns their back on individualism and democracy, especially when they’re young and idealistic, then you can never really trust them again.

    I couldn’t disagree more. I’m thinking of Orwell and Hayek as examples of why I disagree.

  17. Joe McCarthy:Communism::Al Sharpton:Racism

  18. I’m studying for the SATs | February 14, 2008, 7:32pm | #

    Joe McCarthy:Communism::Al Sharpton:Racism

    You should do well.

  19. Jesus, aspendougy er, Douglas Westerman is making the rounds again, spamming the board with racist garbage. Oh he tries to hide it, copies stuff that on the surface at least might not sound offensive or raise any alarm, but when you look where the information is coming from you realize the real motivation here. I knew I remembered catching him cut-and-paste plagiarizing drivel on here before as well…

    In case you’re curious, the spam he vomited all over the board up there is coppied word-for-word from a website with the slogan “Our Race is Our Nation” (isn’t that a slogan of the Aryan Nation?).

    So not only is Dougy a racist loon, but he’s a lying plagiarist as well.

  20. Joe McCarthy : anti-communists :: Alger Hiss : leftists

    There were serious people working to ferret out communist espionage, like the FBI, just as there were decent people who were unfairly maligned by accusations of communism.

    If you are defending Joe McCarthy or Alger Hiss, you aren’t trying to make a serious point about anti-communism or civil liberties during a Red Scare; you’re wanking away over a symbol just for the hell of starting a fight (at best) and actively shilling for Red Scares as useful political tools or communism, at worst.

  21. Politics aside, I don’t believe for a minute that Joe McCarthy was interested in anything other than the advancement of Joe McCarthy.

  22. Years ago I read a book called The Crucial Decade: 1945 to 1955. There was a lot about McCarthy in it, including an exchange between the junior Senator from Wisconsin and some guy from the Pentagon, who was being raked over the coals at a Senate hearing for the failure of some new weapons system. McCarthy saw Red when the guy blamed an equipment failure on a “gremlin” (popular military slang in those days), and demanded that the guy explain himself. The answer (I’m paraphrasing) was, “A gremlin is a mythological creature, like a fairy. You know what a fairy is, don’t you, Senator?” And that shut McCarthy up completely. He changed the subject and soon let the guy go.
    I thought, what an odd thing to say at a Senate hearing, and what an odd anecdote to include in your book. It’s almost as if the military guy and the author were trying to tell us something that polite people did not discuss openly in the 1950s.
    So, just asking… was McCarthy gay?

  23. Xboy:

    according to Wikipedia, McCarthy’s chief counsel, Roy Cohn was

  24. Bobby Kennedy worked for McCarthy, and McCarthy helped John get elected to the senate.

  25. History’s Memory Hole has long ago absorbed this, but in the spring of 1968 I often heard the line:
    After all these years RFK has finally come out against McCarthy, and it’s the wrong one!

  26. The problem of dealing with the era is that if you haven’t read the CIA revelations posted online- you pretty much only have books like this one and what you’ve been taught to go by.

    The CIA broke its charter at its inception when they realized the list of names was from one of the heads of the KGB- and had first been turned into the FBI, White House, Army, OSS and finally CIA- who all did nothing to stop spies in our government.

    You see, no libertarian, no leftist, no conservative EVER ASKED WHERE THE LIST OF NAMES CAME FROM. Most thought they were made up out of thin air.

    When Dulles conspired to feed Joe a fake name to shake him up, and then set up not only the attack to bring him down but twisted our own reality the agency was involved in black ops forbidden by its charter.

    We still have no idea how to deal with spies within. Atomic secrets sold to Turkey under Clinton have been covered up by Bush. Those secrets were sold to North Korea, Pakistan, etc. How long did it take the agencies to bust FBI renegade Hanson? Months.

    For 10 years John Grombach tried to warn the government FDR had opened all the doors to Stalin. While they were our allies this was considered cute- but after the banning of elections in central Europe and the start of the Korean war, the gross negligence would have ended the Democratic Party if it had become known. And CIA.

    The CIA, after it posted the true story and declassified it, tried to reclassify it. Lawsuits stopped them.

    McCarthy was a true hero. He was also the first whistle blower on big government. He paid a heavy price. But he was correct.

    Click on my name for the untold in the mass media confession of CIA on mcCarthy, and my speech on what CIA and KGB files revealed.

    After all these years, we now know the truth.

  27. Here is how my speech ends:

    What warnings do we draw from this?

    1. The CIA since it’s inception has meddled in our political affairs.

    2. Intel agencies still refuse to share information with each other and have a way of dealing with subversion within that is sloppy, slow and well, stupid.

    3. Government agencies can bring down elected officials by using a spin instead of the courts or elections. This is a very serious threat to our Democracy. Far more than Joe ever was.

    4. The FBI clearly failed at stopping communist spies. As did OSS. CIA. The White House. And they destroyed a man rather than admit the truth.


    If I were in the White House, the CIA and FBI would no longer be invited to my morning meetings. And if they refused to share Intel or set up an appartus for dealing with spies within I’d dismantle the groups. Just as Truman did to OSS when he discovered how infiltrated it was.

    We have discovered a true hero, who tried for ten years to get spies thrown out of our government. Grombach. Odd that the McCarthy Era crumbles when we examine McCarren
    (see link at top of site) who actually did the things Joe is accused of, and McCarthy himself ceases to loom large over the period.

    Joe McCarthy was a whistleblower who believed the public could stop the problem. He was neither evil, wrong or anything more than a guy who discovered the problems and tried to tell us. We killed the messenger. The message, is still sadly, very real.

    Next a nasty holdover from that period is that Americans have been told for 50 years that searching for spy cells is a witch hunt. Al Qaeda knows this. They adopted the Stalin model. They have cells here, which none of us know how to look for. Second the Soviets hid Weapons of Mass destruction here- I believe the Al Qaeda has done the same. We had better learn from the mistakes of our government during that period to understand what to do now.

    Finally the people that spied, that dreamed of nukes destroying us, that supported the Stalin trials, the banning of free elections, over 50 million killed are not heroes. Anymore than someone who supports Hitler would be a hero. They are not victims. Of the 56 in hearings with McCarthy, the vast majority were spies. Grombachs lists were from KGB sources at the time. They should know. So we can’t go on making these people heroes. It is the wrong message.

    I am sadly convinced the mistakes made then have continued. If we can’t face what really happened, they will continue still. It’s still all about covering your ass.

  28. And don’t get me started on all of the dirt piled on Benedict Arnold’s reputation.

    You mean, Benedict Arnold, the British hero?

    (Guess it sorta depends which side your ancestors were on.)


  29. “#3 … This is a very serious threat to our Democracy. Far more than Joe ever was.”

    When I first read this I thought he was talking about our joe.

  30. It is unfortunate that Tailgunner Joe is blamed for all the actions of Democrats like Nevaden McCarran of the time. Loyalty oaths, immigration policies (now being used against people from the Mideast), even the Hollywood 10 (he never even attended those hearings, or the one before that targetted over 300 people but has been dropped from history).

    I use the term MATRIX when I speak to young people, but the creation of our reality by “spin” is a scary concept.

    When I spoke at the Navy War College on the CIA Vs Joe McCarthy (the CIA calls it that online in their declassified article- they DO NOT use terms like “witch hunt”, “red scare”, etc.),I was met with shock. When I gave the speech to leftists, former Communists and present day socialists I got a standing ovation. People came up and said I finally explained what happened to them.

    What webs our masters weave…….

  31. Michael Moynihan wrote:

    “Early in his political career, McCarthy courted controversy when he stood up for members of the SS who were on trial for war crimes, accused of executing American soldiers at the French town of Malm?dy; McCarthy argued that the accused had been mistreated by their American captors and that evidence was obtained by coercion.”

    Malmedy is in Belgium, not France. Otherwise, the article was on target.

  32. In the early 50’s there were only about 20 people who WEREN’T communists. Can you tell Im reading Doherty’s book?

  33. Joe McCarthy:Communism::Al Sharpton:Racism

    McCarthy was a Communist?

  34. I think this is among the better reviews of the book.

    One of the sections, however, I wish to object to. No one rushes to forgive those who abandon democratic thought for fascist or other far right thinking, even if they come around. We are not generally afraid to point out that such sympathies reflect troubling personality traits and deep individual flaws. Such a person is forever compromised. However, leftwing and even communist sympathizers, members and activists are readily forgiven their “indiscretions.” Communist and socialist action is written off as “idealism,” as though the action is only problematic in its utopianism.

  35. Good point KDog. When Stalin signed the peace pact with Hitler, and the Communist Parties around the world began praising the move, came out against going to war with Hitler, and hailed his “new form of socialism” that period has been written out of the history books. Instead, to bolster the false claims against McCarthy, we are constantly told the red spies were attacked because they were “premature anti-fascists”.

    The press does the same to this day with Castro.Take a look:

    At 3 am in the morning Cuba announced that Castro had stepped down as leader of Cuba. This seemed like an odd time to announce both this act and a quickly devised election. Could it be that Castro is dead? What is Castro’s story anyway? Read this article for facts no Western publications will print when the announcement of his death is finally made. (When was the last time the press mentioned Castro’s plot to bomb department stores in NYC – and blame the Russians, thus starting a nuclear war?).

    After you read the above article, I’m guessing you wonder how on earth all this information has been lost. Hint: It’s deliberate. CNN sends email to anchors and reporters encouraging them to mention the “good” things about Castro.

    (You can find the live links by clicking on my name). There are loads of books, plays, news articles and movies that whitewash Castro- that does not mean they are true.

    Just as we realize when we read the CIA confessions on destroying McCarthy, all those critics are wrong.

    Michael Moynihan in his above article on Joe finds it difficult to drop the previous McCarthy CIA spins- it is time to drop what we were indoctrinated with and look at the CIA’s own confession. I place military and military Intel history above popular history any day of the week.

    The upside of this is that when our reality is created for us (ala Castro), the tricks just won’t work anymore.

    Interesting note- after trying to re-classify the Cold war info the CIA was forced to back off. The decision to release the Family Jewels CIA files was based on the CIA confession about McCarthy sitting on its website for four years without the press, academic world or entertainment world doing anything with the info.

    I’ll take military Intel history over propaganda any day of the week. So should you.

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  40. Mr. Moynihan,

    You write, “While Chambers prepped the senator in the early days of his anti-red campaign, he was soon disabused of his enthusiasm…” As a family member, I am unaware that this ever occurred: what is your source, please?

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