Liberal treachery from the cold war to the war on terrorism




НазваниеLiberal treachery from the cold war to the war on terrorism
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The "tough-minded individualist" - and Soviet spy - published hysterical diatribes against McCarthy. Without a fig leaf of evidence, Stone called McCarthy an anti-Semite and, for good measure, a fascist.21 It was standard Communist Party strategy to throw out baseless accu­sations of anti-Semitism and fascism. In his book Radical Son, David Horowitz explains that the [Communist] Party "played up the 'Jewish issue' whenever it could"22 in order to make comparisons with Nazi Germany seem plausible. Historian Ronald Radosh says, "The tarring of opponents with the 'fascist' brush was the favored course of attack used by American Communists and their supporters."23 As red-diaper babies, Horowitz and Radosh sat at Communists' dinner tables and heard them speak freely, never suspecting they would be ratted out.

In a shocking development, paid Soviet agent Stone did not like Whittaker Chambers's book Witness. Stone was outraged to discover that Chambers had been paid for the book. The fiend. Not only that, but Chambers had betrayed his friends - who happened to be spies against America.24 Chambers's heartless betrayal of his "friends" became the standard talking point of the "educated, progressive" people, as Lionel Trilling called them. They regarded Chambers "with loathing - the word is not too strong - as one who had resolved, for some perverse reason to destroy a former friend."25 It's all eerily familiar. What did ever happen to that book by the money-grubbing betrayer Linda Tripp?

Stone also brilliantly foreshadowed the Clinton flacks' "it's just about sex" riposte with his defense of Soviet spy Judith Coplon. When Coplon was caught in the act of handing top-secret government files to a KGB operative, she defended herself by saying it was just about sex. She purported to be having an affair with the KGB agent, and hap­pened to be carrying a sheaf of highly classified government surveil­lance documents when meeting him for a sexual tryst. By using her sex life as a defense, Coplon put the government to the charming task of proving she was not having an affair with the KGB agent. In making their case, the prosecution produced evidence that, just a week before, she had spent the weekend in a hotel room with another man.

Stone - a journalist so committed to honesty, he would turn down heaven to "keep things honest" - wrote of the government's case: "This is a dirty business. ... If FBI men can gather sex stories and salt them away in those files of theirs, 'fornication' can be said to obtain conviction in many kinds of cases." Less than one year before Venona was released, proving absolutely that both Stone and Coplon were Soviet spies, an article in the Washington Post praised Stone for mak­ing this excellent point.26

Right up until the Venona Project was declassified, proving the existence of a vast network of Soviet spies in America throughout the forties and fifties, the "Red Scare" industry was still going strong. Literally months before Venona was declassified, Griffin Fariello released an inadvertently hilarious book titled Red Scare: Memories of the American Inquisition.27 The book consisted of scores of "oral his­tories" describing "how it felt to live amid an ideology now labeled McCarthyism."28

Writer and former radical David Horowitz has as much claim to having witnessed the "Red Scare" as anyone. His parents were mem­bers of the Communist Party and consequently were fired from their jobs as New York City schoolteachers under the Feinberg Law, which prohibited teachers in New York State from advocating the overthrow of government by force, violence, or any unlawful means. For all the bellyaching, Horowitz says, fired Communists fared pretty well. He says: "What actually happened to my father and American Commu­nists in general bears little resemblance to these lurid images."29 In his parents' case, they went on to other, better jobs and had their pensions restored in full. The Communist Party's "morality play," Horowitz says, "has become a national myth."30

In order to appreciate how the myth of "McCarthyism" was con­cocted, consider how liberals portray events happening right before our eyes. Only those fresh in the struggle can see how the left's obfuscatory techniques operate. According to the guardians of the McCarthy myth, the most recent efflorescence of "McCarthyism" was the grim zealot Starr persecuting Bill Clinton for no reason whatsoever. A New York Magazine review of the anti-McCarthy documentary Point of Order expressly recommended the movie for "anyone of any age trying to understand the more obsessional and bizarre elements of Kenneth Starr's investigation of the president." According to the reviewer, David Denby, in ten years Starr's investigation of Clinton will appear as "peculiar" as McCarthy's investigations - "the paranoia, the irra­tionality, the bullying and toadying and righteousness."31 If people like Denby write the history, it will.

A Los Angeles Times reporter wrote an entire article about the amazing similarities between Starr and McCarthy, saying the "links between the anxiety of [the McCarthy] era and independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr's inquiry in our time are not so far-fetched."32 Ellen Schrecker, a leading McCarthy-phobe, said the Starr investigation was reminiscent of the McCarthy era because both were "a criminalization of activities, politics or sex, that are not illegal, and this is done through a governmental investigative process."33 Feminist Betty Friedan said that "sex is going to take the place of the Cold War."34 This is what liberals mean by "McCarthyism." People who assure us McCarthy presided over a reign of terror also describe Ken Starr's plodding, meticulous investigation as a reign of terror. And they say that when we're watching. Imagine what they'll say when the genera­tion that knows the truth is gone.

The image of McCarthy riding roughshod over civil liberties and terrifying small children is difficult to square with the fact that the public loved him. Even without the truth-monitor of the Internet and Fox News Channel, at the time, people could see McCarthy for them­selves. In the words of historian David Oshinsky, McCarthy's campaign was "alarmingly popular."35 The more he railed against Communists working for the government, the higher his approval ratings soared.

At the height of the left's counterattack against McCarthy, just months away from a Senate censure, Americans told pollsters they ap­proved of the job he was doing by 50 to 29 percent.36 Excluding those who had no opinion, his approval rating was 63 percent. Gallup polls from 1950 to 1954 - the entire run of McCarthy's anti-Communist crusade - showed that Catholics supported McCarthy by 56 to 29 per­cent; Protestants supported him by 45 to 36 percent. To the eternal annoyance and bewilderment of McCarthy assistant Roy Cohn, Jews opposed McCarthy by 82 to 3 percent.37 As Michael Paul Rogin writes in The Intellectuals and McCarthy, "This man, terribly dangerous in the eyes of sophisticated observers of American politics, had obtained the backing of millions of American people."38

Bobby Kennedy worked for McCarthy and held him in such high esteem that he asked McCarthy to be the godfather to his first child, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, born on the Fourth of July, 1951.39 This was seventeen months after McCarthy's famous Wheeling, West Vir­ginia, speech, well into McCarthy's "reign of terror." The very year of McCarthy's censure, John F. Kennedy fiercely defended McCarthy on Soviet territory: Cambridge, Massachusetts. In response to a speaker's lighthearted remark that, unlike the law school, Harvard College could be proud of never having produced either an Alger Hiss or a Joe McCarthy, Kennedy erupted: "How dare you couple the name of a great American patriot with that of a traitor?"40 Kennedy would sched­ule long-needed surgery in order to avoid having to vote on McCarthy's censure, a vote that was taken largely on partisan lines. Mortified by the Kennedy family's manifest admiration for McCarthy, liberals are always recalling some late-night conversation no one else heard, in which the Kennedys expressed their secret qualms about McCarthy. The facts speak for themselves.

That McCarthy was onto something is evident in the fact that almost everyone knows he was a wretched man, this country's rough equivalent of Stalin, arguably even as bad as Ken Starr. But almost no one knows if he was right. This is the follow-up question that's never asked. That's not the point.

Rather, liberals explained McCarthy was a drunk and a dema­gogue who played poker for money (shocking the consciences of sissy-boys in academia). But were Communist spies working for the U.S. government? Moreover, McCarthy's office may have pulled strings to get former staffer David Schine special privileges from the Army. But were Communist spies working for the U.S. government? McCarthy's staff attorney Roy Cohn was gay. But were Communist spies working for the U.S. government? McCarthy slightly embellished upon his World War II exploits (but not as much as liberals exaggerated his exaggera­tions). But were Communist spies working for the U.S. government? In addition, McCarthy may have said he had a list of 205 Communists in the State Department rather than 57, as he later claimed. But were Communist spies working for the U.S. government?

McCarthy was actually accused of "perjury" for denying he said he had the names of 205 Communists in the State Department in his Wheeling, West Virginia, speech. McCarthy plausibly insisted he had claimed to have the names of only 57 Communists. The 205 figure was an important number - but it referred to something else. Just a few years earlier, the Democratic Secretary of State James Byrnes had admitted that 205 identified security risks at the State Department were still on the job.41 No one seemed to know what had happened to those identified security risks, which was precisely McCarthy's point. He certainly didn't claim to have a list of their names. To the contrary, he was enraged that no one else did, either. The possibility that hundreds of security risks were still employed by the State Department did not interest the Democrats. They just wanted to know whether McCar­thy had claimed to have the names of 205 or 57 Communists at the State Department.

To put this controversy in perspective, less than one year before McCarthy's speech, Judith Coplon was arrested in the act of passing government intelligence files to a KGB agent. Only weeks before McCarthy's speech, Alger Hiss had been convicted of perjury for lying about being a Soviet spy. Stalinist spies were passing secret govern­ment files to Soviet agents, and the Treason Party sprang to action by vigorously investigating the precise words McCarthy had used in a speech to a women's Republican club in West Virginia. This from the "legally accurate" crowd. Bill Clinton denied under oath that he had engaged in sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, that Monica Lewin­sky had engaged in sexual relations with him, or even that he was ever alone with Monica Lewinsky. This is hailed as Clinton's courageous effort to "save the Constitution." But long, gaseous books have insis­tently asserted that McCarthy said he had the names of 205 Commu­nists rather than 57 Communists. By now, even normal people have conceded the point. Fine, if it means that much to you - okay, fine.

A congressional committee set to work investigating the pressing issue of whether McCarthy had said he had the names of 205 or 57 Communists. Of course, liberals could never manage to produce a tape of his alleged offense. But the committee did produce affidavits from two radio station administrators who a little too eagerly signed affi­davits contradicting McCarthy. Even the investigating committee found the affidavits unbelievable and in its report dismissed them as unreli­able. The investigators grudgingly concluded that McCarthy had prob­ably claimed to have the names of 57 Communists - just as he had always said. The final report of the committee then dropped the matter and devoted itself to printing several hundred pages of McCarthy's financial records. One will search history books in vain for any men­tion of the committee's conclusion as to McCarthy's capital offense of misspeaking. This part of the report mysteriously disappeared immediately after it was released and was instantly forgotten. All credible evidence on the subject supports McCarthy.42 But today, history books universally assert that McCarthy said 205, rather than 57 - and then indignantly accuse McCarthy of being sloppy with his facts.

In his initial charges McCarthy named only about a hundred loy­alty risks in government jobs - not necessarily spies or even members of the Communist Party, just people who shouldn't be working for the U.S. government. As we now know, he was erring on the low side. So far - and the review is not complete - decrypted Soviet cables have revealed well over three hundred Soviet spies working for the govern­ment in the forties and fifties. Hundreds of agents of an enemy foreign power were working for the U.S. government. But McCarthy was a brute for pointing it out.

The primary victim of outrageous persecution during the McCar­thy era was McCarthy. Liberals hid their traitorous conduct by making McCarthy the issue. They did to McCarthy everything they falsely accuse him of doing to them. The press didn't mind trafficking in innu­endo and smears when McCarthy was the target. Only when Commu­nist spies and sympathizers were exposed did it qualify as a "witch hunt." There was much liberal hilarity over the fact that McCarthy and two of his assistants, Roy Cohn and David Schine, were at one time all unmarried men. The liberal playwright Lillian Hellman giddily gay-baited them as "Bonnie, Bonnie, and Clyde." Hank Greenspun, publisher of the Las Vegas Sun, called McCarthy a "disreputable per­vert."43 McCarthy, who would soon be married, laughed off the taunts. In a final payback, the New York Times took the occasion of Roy Cohn's death to out him as a homosexual. The obituary referred to "widespread rumors" that Cohn was gay, and noted that one of the sec­ondary causes of his death was "underlying HTLV-3 infections." Many scientists, the Times reported, "believe the HTLV-3 virus is the cause of AIDS," which is "statistically most common among homosexual men."44 Cohn was unavailable for comment.

Senator William Benton issued a blast against McCarthy that was so scurrilous that Benton's own lawyer called it the most libelous document he had ever seen. Page after page of Benton's diatribe repeated unsubstantiated gossip and outright lies. Benton falsely accused McCarthy of bribe-taking. It called him "amoral" and said he was of "unsound mind." It denounced McCarthy for having an "admit­ted homosexual ex-Communist" on his payroll. It cited as hard fact the lies of a delusional nut who claimed to be an international spy working for McCarthy.45 In an egregious violation of McCarthy's privacy, Ben-ton's committee ordered the Washington postmaster to keep a record of every piece of mail sent to McCarthy's home and the homes of his top assistants.46

To get other senators' signatures on his report, Benton preyed on the alcoholism of two members of the subcommittee.47 Muckraking journalist Drew Pearson, the Larry Flynt of his day, threatened to expose one as an alcoholic unless he signed Benton's report.48 The other senator had to be plied with alcohol before putting his name on the report - a report he later dismissed as without legal authority.49

The press was whipped into a frenzy of hysteria over Benton's baseless charges. Media across the nation recklessly repeated large sections of the report. The New York Post ran a sensationalized seventeen-part series on the charges.50 Journalists began interviewing McCarthy's former neighbors, reporting such allegations as that he was a "bully" as a child. McCarthy sued one of the newspapers that printed the absurd charge that he had funded spies abroad. He won a public apology and $12,000 in damages.51
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