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McCarthy Vindicated at Last

By    |   Tuesday, 18 December 2007 02:18 PM EST

In May 1957, after the death of Sen. Joe McCarthy, J. Edgar Hoover told former State Department official Harris Houston, widely known among intelligence agents as the leading expert on Communist infiltration of the federal government, that it would be another 50 years before the American people appreciated what Joe McCarthy had done for them.

Well those 50 years have passed, and if Stan Evans, an old fellow Cold War warrior and friend, has anything to say about it, the real story of Joseph Raymond McCarthy and what he did for his nation will finally be known.

In his new book "Blacklisted by History, The Untold Story of Senator Joseph McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies," M. Stanton Evans provides a meticulously documented examination of Joe's attempts to alert the American people to the extent of Communist infiltration of the federal government and other American institutions.

Case by case, Evans reveals the unimpeachable evidence that all of the so-called victims of McCarthy's crusade against Communist subversion — every single one of them — really were Communists and agents of a hostile foreign power: the Soviet Union. Evan's long decades of dogged research should at last put at rest the vicious slanders that plagued Joe McCarthy in his Senate career and followed him into the grave.

Hoover's prediction should at last be proven accurate.

But it hasn't and it won't because old myths die hard, especially when they are exposed as false and indict those who cling to them — in this case the pro-Marxist liberals in and out of the media who see Joe and his fervent anti-Communism as a vampire sees a crucifix, with unmitigated horror.

Since they cannot dispute the accuracy of Evan's research and revelations, Joe's present day critics resort to replaying a lot of the old anti-McCarthy charges, most of them verifiably false.

A case in point is a generally even-handed story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by one Craig Gilbert, who wasn't around back in the 1950s when Joe McCarthy was fighting his wars.

Gilbert admits that Evans' book "is the most detailed effort yet to defend the two-term Wisconsin senator, not only on big questions such as the scope and danger of Communist infiltration, but on the individual charges and claims he made against government officials and employees."

Yet he questions the possibility that Joe can be rehabilitated no matter how strong the evidence that he was right on target, noting that his "full-throated defense of McCarthy can be a hard sell."

And well it can be, given the near immortality of the get-Joe McCarthy movement that had its roots in the dark basement of number 3, Dzherzinsky Square in Moscow — headquarters of the KGB where the phrase McCarthyism was created, introduced in the U.S. by the Soviet's domestic Communist Daily Worker newspaper and then picked up by the left wing media and their liberal allies for use against anti-communists, thereby doing exactly what the Soviets expected them to do.

As I once wrote to my friend the late Jude Wanniski "I refuse to simply close the books on the so-called McCarthy era because the excesses of the far-left against anti-Communists were forerunners of the excesses of the liberals of the present day. They smeared their foes, lied about them, and created a whole slew of myths that remain current to this day."

In his story Gilbert picks up one of the left's favorite pejorative names for McCarthy: "Evans is not the first to try to retrieve "Tailgunner Joe" from the rogue's gallery of American politics," he writes, employing a term meant to defame Joe's war record.

Joe was a United States Marine and once you grasp the significance of that you can begin to understand what he was all about; that when he left the Corps to become a United States senator he did not cease to be a Marine, he fought in a different battle and he fought like the Marine he was — never retreating from a cause he knew was the right one. Once a Marine, always a Marine.

His enemies then and now, few of whom ever wore a uniform, denied that he had ever seen combat in the face of the fact that he voluntarily flew 12 combat missions as a tail gunner, taking enemy fire and returning it even though he was a ground-based intelligence officer not supposed to fly combat missions. He was admired and beloved by his fellow Marines, not a single one of whom ever stepped forward to deny his heroism in combat.

As I wrote to Jude Wanniski in 1999, "The viciousness directed at conservatives and anti-Communists by the left during the ’40s and ’50s is displayed today against pro-lifers, religious conservatives and all others opposed to the socialist agenda that liberals seek to impose on America. And the socialism that they espouse is every bit as coercive as the Soviet Communist system with which they could find no wrong in the days of Joe McCarthy. Communism, after all, was described simply as 'socialism in a hurry.'

"The heirs of the people who could tolerate Stalin's murderous regime which slew people by the millions are the people who find it easy to tolerate the horror of partial birth abortion — and the sale of the body parts of the tiny victims of this holocaust. And they employ the same smear tactics and lies against pro-lifers that their forerunners used against McCarthy, Hoover and their fellow anti-Communists."

Then there's the matter of the source of many of Joe's accusations, as Evans point out, accusations proved by release of the so-called Venona Intercepts of Soviet cable traffic whose code was broken back in the mid-40s and remained top secret until recently.

These intercepted cables proved that there were over 350 Americans spying for the Soviets, and enabled investigators to identify about half of them. Joe McCarthy had access to the information contained in the top secret Venona intercepts, access given him by J. Edgar Hoover and others concerned with the extent of Soviet espionage and penetration, but he could not defend himself against charges of recklessly accusing people of being Soviet agents by revealing the source of his information without alerting the Soviets that some of their most important secrets were known to U.S. Intelligence.

It's time the American people know what J. Edgar Hoover knew about Joe McCarthy. Thanks Stan for telling them.

Phil Brennan is a veteran journalist and World War II Marine who writes for He is editor and publisher of Wednesday on the Web ( and was Washington columnist for National Review magazine in the 1960s.

He also served as a staff aide for the House Republican Policy Committee and helped handle the Washington public relations operation for the Alaska Statehood Committee which won statehood for Alaska. He is also a trustee of the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a member of the Association For Intelligence Officers.

He can be reached at [email protected].

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In May 1957, after the death of Sen. Joe McCarthy,J. Edgar Hoover told former State Department official Harris Houston, widely known among intelligence agents as the leading expert on Communist infiltration of the federal government, that it would be another 50 years before...
Tuesday, 18 December 2007 02:18 PM
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