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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In liberals' most lurid fantasies, McCarthy never authored such a libelous document. He never arranged for the postmaster to spy on the private mail of a fellow senator. He never threatened to expose a man's alcoholism. He was never compelled to pay damages for defaming some­one. And yet historians blithely dismiss the unparalleled assaults on McCarthy with such delusional remarks as "Joe was not the only one who could play rough."52 The "only one"? He may have been the only one who didn't. McCarthy came up with a few witty nicknames for his

colleagues and they acted as if he had burned their houses to the ground. He didn't libel them, spy on them, or gay-bait them. All that was done to him.

The Madison Capital Times, an anti-McCarthy newspaper, claimed McCarthy had monkeyed around with campaign funds and demanded a government investigation. After a five-year probe by the IRS, McCarthy received a rebate.b3 While overseeing coverage of McCarthy, the Washington bureau chief of the New York Times James (Scotty) Reston called McCarthy a "two-bit demagogue." The reporter Reston assigned to cover McCarthy was a former member of the Com­munist Party, or, for short, "a New York Times reporter." This would be like having a former member of Hamas cover Israel for the New York Times. When McCarthy mentioned the reporter's Communist ties, Reston is quoted as having said, "There was no evidence of bias in the reporter's work."54 There probably wasn't - compared to journalists like I. F. Stone.

Even McCarthy's exemplary war record was subject to much gleeful jeering. Exempt from the draft as a sitting judge, McCarthy vol­unteered for the Marines in 1942. He was too old to fly, and conse­quently was an intelligence officer. His principal function was to debrief fighter pilots after bombing runs - famously asking them, "What kind of hell did you give the Japs today?" He volunteered to fly about a dozen combat missions, in which he came under enemy fire and fired back. On rickety airplanes from the forties, thousands of miles from home, he took enemy fire from savage Oriental beasts and fired back as a tail gunner.55 He asked for and received a Distin­guished Flying Cross.

McCarthy was literally and inarguably a tail gunner, but the media sarcastically called him "Tailgunner Joe," indignant that not all of his runs came under enemy fire. This, from reporters who need smelling salts for a paper cut. Not only that, but McCarthy did not regularly pro­vide precise and detailed accounts of how he injured his leg during the war. McCarthy broke his leg in one of those atavistic hazing rituals popular with the military, but which the scribbling profession considers highly immature. McCarthy's minor embellishments of an estimable war record were infinitesimal compared to that of most politicians. And yet, to this day, reporters viciously attack McCarthy's war record as a total fraud. Ed Timms, of the Dallas Morning News, described exag­gerated boasts by politicians about their military service, saying, "There's even a name for it: 'Tailgunner Joe Syndrome.'" Timms said McCarthy's "lies" consisted of his claiming "combat experience as a tail-gunner aboard bombers during World War II, but he actually never saw action."56 Twelve combat missions. There's even a name for reporters who lie about McCarthy: "Ed Timms Syndrome."

True heroism - as Timms reminded readers - consists of not noticing an approaching Japanese destroyer soon enough to avoid hav­ing it sink your PT boat. Or, as Timms more vaguely summarized raw heroism, "John E Kennedy's PT boat experience."57 Even Kennedy understood the irony of the Kennedy publicity machine's turning a not particularly heroic moment into the equivalent of sinking three enemy ships. Asked how he became a war hero, Kennedy would reply, "They sank my boat."

McCarthy's embellishments were nothing compared to the delu­sional exaggerations of Democrats about their war records. Another act of mind-boggling courage was Lyndon Johnson's single flight through­out World War II - as an observer - for which he was awarded the Sil­ver Star, the third highest combat award. For the rest of his life, Johnson wore what historian David Halberstam called "the least deserved and most proudly displayed Silver Star in military history."58 As CNN has recently reported, the sole surviving member of the crew has always insisted that the plane never came under fire.59 Mysteri­ously, Johnson - the observer - was the only member of the crew to receive any sort of decoration for the thirteen-minute flight. And yet for the rest of his life Johnson wore his Silver Star, brandishing it for effect, and boasting that he flew on many missions. He even claimed the other members of the Air Force group were so admiring of him that they called him "Raider Johnson." In a 1962 recorded telephone con­versation with then-Speaker of the House John McCormick, Johnson says, "I know foreign aid is unpopular, but I didn't want to go to the Pacific in 'forty-one after Pearl Harbor, but I did. I didn't want to let those Japs shoot at me . . . but I did."60 It was all part of Johnson's roguish charm.

The mainstream media was also not much interested in Al Gore's lusty exaggerations of his war record. Throughout the years, Gore had repeatedly provided the media with vivid reminiscences of his combat experiences in Vietnam.61 The basic picture was that upon landing in Vietnam, young Al Gore ripped open his blouse and shouted, "Let the bullets hit me first!" In fact, Gore not only never saw combat in Viet­nam, but was assigned a bodyguard so that this senator's son would not come in harm's way.62 He was never shot at, and he never fired a shot in anger. Little Lord Fauntleroy's tour of duty in Vietnam consisted of a five-month vacation in the Orient with his own Man Friday bringing him mint juleps as he typed illiterate dispatches for the Stars and Stripes. Or, as Gore told Vanity Fair, "I took my turn regularly on the perimeter in these little firebases out in the boonies. Something would move, we'd fire first and ask questions later."

Unlike Johnson and Gore, McCarthy actually flew a dozen combat missions, taking enemy fire and firing back. But liberal elites were shocked to the core to discover that McCarthy might have added the slightest bit of color to his military exploits. Oshinsky said McCarthy's boasts were important because they showed a pattern of deception. Excellent point, patterns are important. The pattern is this: McCarthy engaged in the slightest embellishments of his military record and then journalists ferociously attacked him with outrageous lies about his admirable military service.63

The most vivid image people have of McCarthy is of the bow-tied attorney Joseph Welch rebuking him during the Army-McCarthy hear­ings: "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?" This is treated as comparable to Henry V's speech at Agincourt, only more inspiring. Leaving no doubt as to Welch's heroic status, reporters in the hearing room erupted in thunderous applause at the conclusion of Welch's emotional response to McCarthy.

The viewer can only imagine what horrible cruelty McCarthy had just inflicted on some hapless witness, prompting Welch's cri de couer. The Washington Post recently claimed that Welch was responding to the "vicious tactics" of "the Hill's most notorious scandalmonger, dis­torting the truth and wrecking reputations without remorse."64 Suspiciously, the details of the exchange are always a bit murky. It simply must be taken on faith that McCarthy, ruthless destroyer of reputations, had just engaged in some outrageous fiendishness. It must be accepted unquestioningly that Welch was David to McCarthy's Goliath. When­ever liberals become hysterical but refuse to give you any particulars, they are up to no good.

Delivering the standard liberal fairy tale of "How Joseph Welch Saved the World by Standing Up to McCarthy," a Chicago Sun-Times columnist explained that Welch delivered the "have you no decency" soliloquy during "televised hearings of [McCarthy's] investigation into phantom communists in the military."65 Before we continue: Communists working for the Army were assuredly not "phantoms." If liberals thought they were, they could have spared us their whining about exe­cuted Soviet spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg - two such phantoms. Rosenberg was an engineer with the Army Signal Corps. Incredibly, even after the Army discovered he was a Communist and dismissed him in 1944, Rosenberg continued to work on classified military proj­ects. He supervised a cell of other Soviet spies still working for the Army.66 The Army's incompetence at discovering the Rosenberg cell allowed the Soviet Union to build nuclear warheads pointed at United States soil for the next half a century. This is what liberals mean by "phantom communists in the military."

But more important, the Senate hearing was not, as the Sun-Times claimed, "McCarthy's investigation" into anything. It was an investiga­tion of Senator McCarthy. Indeed, this was the Senate's fourth investi­gation of McCarthy - to the delight of a virulently anti-McCarthy press.67 McCarthy was not the inquisitor; it was he who was on trial. Welch's speech at Agincourt (only better!) did not come in response to McCarthy's browbeating of a witness. It was just the opposite – Welch was in the process of browbeating one of McCarthy's assistants, Roy Cohn.

In this particular run at McCarthy, the Senate was probing whether McCarthy's committee had pressured the Army to grant special privi­leges to David Schine, a former staff member on the committee. Roy Cohn, a brilliant but deeply flawed individual, applied unseemly pres­sure on the Army to allow Schine to finish his work with the committee, or at least to be given generous weekend passes to do so. A closeted homosexual, Cohn apparently had a mad crush on Schine. McCarthy's troubles with the Army were entirely of Cohn's making. Still and all, it was surely one of the lamest acts of influence peddling in all of American history.

Among the facts generally omitted from the traditional telling of the Army-McCarthy hearings is that Schine was suddenly drafted in the midst of McCarthy's investigation of the Army's Communist infes­tation problems. Cohn thought Schine's draft was political payback. McCarthy disagreed, annoyed at the suggestion that anything could have deterred him from pursuing his investigation. He simply viewed the entire controversy as asinine. The watchdog press was not much interested in exploring the question of why the Army had drafted Schine, just as the press showed little interest in why Clinton's IRS audited Paula Jones.

In fact, the Army's motives may have been pure, but Schine's draft was absolutely political. It came about only as a result of the vigorous lobbying efforts of a ferociously anti-McCarthy journalist, Drew Pear­son.68 When Schine was first drafted, he received a deferment because of a slipped disc. His back had since healed, something the draft board would likely have overlooked, but for Pearson's frenetic letter-writing campaign to the Army demanding a review of Schine's deferment.

By all accounts, Schine was perfectly happy to be drafted and McCarthy showed no interest in relieving him of his duty. McCarthy humored Cohn, while quietly confiding in the secretary of the Army, Robert T. Stevens: "You can send [Schine] to Korea for all I care." He said, "Schine's a good boy, but there is nothing indispensable about him." McCarthy even laughed with Stevens about Cohn's machina­tions, saying Cohn "thinks David should be a general and work from the penthouse of the Waldorf."69 Despite enormous pressure to fire Cohn when details of his lobbying the Army came out, McCarthy refused. He was fiercely, perhaps suicidally, loyal to Cohn - whom McCarthy did see as indispensable.

In any event, as Soviet spies wormed their way into the govern­ment, the U.S. Senate decided to investigate the pressing matter of whether McCarthy's committee had pressured the Army to give Private David Schine a "fur-lined hood" or allow him to "often" ride in the cab of Army trucks. At one point, McCarthy said in exasperation, "Don't you think this is a little ridiculous? Is my committee being charged with pressuring the Army to give David Schine a furlined cap?"

Admittedly, McCarthy was not at his best during the Army-McCarthy hearings. He had been under relentless attacks from the press for four solid years. He began drinking more than usual during the hearings, often working in his office all night sipping straight vodka.70 Still, he was better than his adversaries. Confident that the media would portray them as eloquent and reasonable no matter what they did, the Democrats behaved like animals - sneering, interrupting, and catcalling McCarthy throughout the hearings. McCarthy could not finish a sentence without being interrupted by obstructionist Democrats. The incessant attacks would have tried Mother Teresa's patience. But McCarthy had grown accustomed to liberal scolds and responded with his usual humor.

Welch's "have you no decency" oration came at the conclusion of his two-hour harangue of Roy Cohn. The Washington Post has claimed Welch spoke with "eloquence and tenacity"71 in the sense of "sneering and whining." As attorney for the Army, Welch's technical, legal objec­tive was to demonstrate that McCarthy's committee was putting undue pressure on the Army. The method Welch chose to prove his case was to portray the members of McCarthy's committee as homosexuals and lunatics. This great hero to liberals viciously gay-baited McCarthy's staff, among whom Cohn was the only homosexual. It was all part of the famed Welch "eloquence."72

With staggering condescension, Welch sarcastically asked Cohn to give him the names of all Communists "loose today." He taunted Cohn relentlessly, with exaggerated horror: "Whenever you learn of one from now on, Mr. Cohn, I beg of you, will you tell somebody about them quick?" He squealed with mock alarm: "I don't want the sun to go down while they are still in there, if we can get them out." To gales of laughter from the press, Welch told Cohn, "You not only frighten me, you make me ashamed when there are so many in Massachusetts!" Again and again, in his patronizing singsong, Welch asked Cohn to "tell them tonight" about any Communists, so that FBI surveillance can begin "by sundown tomorrow night."

In the face of Welch's sarcasm, Cohn replied to every sneer with immense politeness, nearly siring him to death - "Yes, sir," "I will try, sir."

Absurdly, Welch asked Cohn, "Cannot the FBI put these hun­dred and thirty men under surveillance before sundown tomorrow?" This was a stupid question and Welch surely knew it. Soviet spies were under surveillance; they needed to be fired from their govern­ment jobs. The FBI once had Alger Hiss under surveillance, too, but that didn't stop President Roosevelt from receiving Hiss's counsel at Yalta. The FBI had had Harry Dexter White under surveillance, but that didn't stop President Truman from putting him in a top job at the IMF. Even after the Rosenberg case, the Army was still promoting witting agents of a totalitarian regime. The point was to remove secu­rity risks from their government jobs, not to keep them under lifelong FBI surveillance.

Cohn graciously explained this manifestly obvious point to Welch, saying, "Sir, if there is need for surveillance in the case of espi­onage or anything like that, I can well assure you that Mr. John Edgar Hoover and his men know a lot better than I... just who should be put under surveillance." McCarthy was more blunt with Welch. He interrupted Welch's jabberwocky to say, "Mr. Chairman, let's not be ridicu­lous. Mr. Welch knows, as I have told him a dozen times, that the FBI has all of this information. . . . The only thing we can do is to try and publicly expose these individuals and hope that they will be gotten rid of. And you know that, Mr. Welch."

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