Talk:Joseph McCarthy

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This article is horrendously written. Truly. Would someone with some good sources tear it apart?--AmesG 23:03, 9 March 2007 (EST)

I'd take a look at it now, but I'm going to work soon. MountainDew 23:03, 9 March 2007 (EST)

It seems a shame to mention only the horrid propoganda about this true American hero. Maybe we can work out a compromise. ATB 12:30, 10 March 2007 (EST)

The latest version, although stripped down, is more respectful to this great man. ATB 14:07, 10 March 2007 (EST)

Although the wikipedia article continues to smear and blacken the name of this great American, I was able to use some of it as a base to flesh out this article to provide some more detail about the great Senator. I hope you like it. – Fʀɪɺøʟɛ ( тɐʟк¢ʘи†ʀ¡βs ) 21:23, 12 March 2007 (EDT)

Well... I hate to go against the grain but the only reason why he's notable is because of the bad things that he did do. And this is the new century, do we really need to keep acting like communism is still the big bad enemy? Last time I checked most communist countries fell out of power, sans China, and democracy still reigns over most of the world. And are the flowery words really needed? Of course it's heroic, what kind of a liberal fool are you to have to be told as such? --Ronnyreg 21:52, 12 March 2007 (EDT)

Go ahead and list the specific bad things that he did. Just don't put meaningless generalities, such as saying that he was "discredited". I put in the actual censure finding against him. Someone else put in how he exaggerated his war record. Do you have anything else to add? RSchlafly 22:29, 12 March 2007 (EDT)
Would mentioning that he never came forth with his evidence could as a "generality"? I mean he sure made a lot of accusations and ruined a lot of people without really doing anything but either calling them a communist or having them investigated. --Ronnyreg 22:38, 12 March 2007 (EDT)
Basically what happened, IMO, as one who has studied this period at length, the FBI & NSA kept Venona evidence a closely guarded secret for several reasons, so they needed evidence from other sources to go into a court of law. Now, if the FBI led McCarthy to a prime suspect, that would tip the KGB that the US had evidence to suspect such a one. And the Communist conspiracy, which in fact was found to exist based upon several US Government Reports from the 1960s on, was extremely large scale indeed. No fewer than 400 involved, most likely at least 800, and possibly as high as 1200. There were two CPUSA organizations, the "open party", and the "underground apparatus". In my view, the FBI gave McCarthy basically dead-end files.
Here an understanding of the relationship between Hoover & McCarthy is necessary. McCarthy was an ex-judge, and Hoover a cop. So the relationship was not unlike any routine law enforcement official going before a judge asking for a search warrant based upon the evidence in hand. But this was not a Court, and McCarthy was willing to use his Legislative Committee to more or less perform an Executive and quasi-Judicial function. The FBI didn't want to tip its hand regarding its real suspects, and the Communist Party membership was quite often an intimate family affair. So the FBI in many instances would hand McCarthy a file of, say, a brother-in-law to the real suspect. Now the person called before Committee may have been a member of the open party, and may have even known his family relative was involved in some questionable things, and the persons' FBI file may have had some dirt or embarrassing thing in it, so they were essentially being blackmailed -- rat out somebody you know, or all this junk in your file becomes public.
That's moreless my picture of how it worked. The question remains did McCarthy know he was getting bogus info from the FBI, and I would likewise say he did not. This infact explains the Army-McCarthy hearings, cause Army Signals Intelligence is who handled Venona, and I think at some point McCarthy realized the files from the FBI were dead end, and that info originated somewhere in the Army, so it appeared the Army was hiding something, which indeed they were, the Venona project. RobS 23:16, 12 March 2007 (EDT)
So how many innocent lives were ruined by McCarthy's false accusations? There are lots of articles that say that McCarthy did harm, but hardly any that specify the harm. If you can specify the harm, then go ahead. Just saying that he ruined people is worthless. RSchlafly 23:44, 12 March 2007 (EDT)

What do you mean by "ruined?" As far as I know, there is no point by point, alphabetical list of the names of people whose lives were badly affected by McCarthy's irresponsible accusations, but it's certain that careers were needlessly damaged, some of them ended. The people McCarthy injured include Reed Harris ( lost his job), Dr. Julius Hlavaty (long career in the NY public schools ended), and Raymond Kaplan (suicide). I don't know how many people were in Mr. Kaplan's family, but I'm pretty certain he had a wife and children, so their lives were undoubtedly pretty badly affected. And if I take a page from the entry here and credit to McCarthy people the HUAC investigated, the list of damaged lives expands dramatically. --PF Fox 03:08, 13 March 2007 (EDT)

I am looking for actual facts, not conclusory propaganda. Reed Harris resigned his government job. He was asked about writing an essay that favored Communists teaching in the schools. Raymond Kaplan was not accused of anything, and had not been called to testify. He was an engineer with knowledge of VOA transmitters not functioning properly, and he might have been called if he had lived. But how is McCarthy to blame? Are you saying that the Senate should not have been investigating the VOA transmitter failure? RSchlafly 12:54, 13 March 2007 (EDT)


AmesG has repeatedly removed the actual grounds for censuring McCarthy, leaving the reader the false impression that McCarthy was censured for his anti-communist investigations. In fact he was exonerated McCarthy on all substantive charges. McCarthy was censured for failing to cooperate with the subcommittee that was investigating him, and for insults to the committee that was trying to censure him. If there is some error in my description, then please address it here. RSchlafly 13:19, 13 March 2007 (EDT)

Here is the actual Senate resolution that passed. RSchlafly 13:25, 13 March 2007 (EDT)

Resolved, That the Senator from Wisconsin, Mr. McCarthy, failed to cooperate with the Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration in clearing up matters referred to that subcommittee which concerned his conduct as a Senator and affected the honor of the Senate and, instead, repeatedly abused the subcommittee and its members who were trying to carry out assigned duties, thereby obstructing the constitutional processes of the Senate, and that this conduct of the Senator from Wisconsin, Mr. McCarthy, is contrary to senatorial traditions and is hereby condemned.
Sec 2. The Senator from Wisconsin, Mr. McCarthy, in writing to the chairman of the Select Committee to Study Censure Charges (Mr. Watkins) after the Select Committee had issued its report and before the report was presented to the Senate charging three members of the Select Committee with "deliberate deception" and "fraud" for failure to disqualify themselves; in stating to the press on November 4, 1954, that the special Senate session that was to begin November 8, 1954, was a "lynch-party"; in repeatedly describing this special Senate session as a "lynch bee" in a nationwide television and radio show on November 7, 1954; in stating to the public press on November 13, 1954, that the chairman of the Select Committee (Mr. Watkins) was guilty of "the most unusual, most cowardly things I've ever heard of" and stating further: "I expected he would be afraid to answer the questions, but didn't think he'd be stupid enough to make a public statement"; and in characterizing the said committee as the "unwitting handmaiden," "involuntary agent" and "attorneys-in-fact" of the Communist Party and in charging that the said committee in writing its report "imitated Communist methods -- that it distorted, misrepresented, and omitted in its effort to manufacture a plausible rationalization" in support of its recommendations to the Senate, which characterizations and charges were contained in a statement released to the press and inserted in the Congressional Record of November 10, 1954, 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; and such conduct is hereby condemned.

Rschlafly-- Facts

What happened to Reed Harris, Dr. Julius Hlavaty, and Raymond Kaplan is not "conclusory propaganda, but fact. Reed Harris was not just questioned, but repeatedly attacked by McCarthy for opinions he'd expressed as a student twenty one years before in a book about the commecialization of college sports, KING FOOTBALL. The book had included a defense of the right of Communists to teach. Do you seriously consider the statement "Communists have the right to teach" so outrageous that it calls for someone to be forced to resign from their job? As for Raymond Kaplan, his rather lengthy and detailed suicide note makes it plain that it was being called to testify before McCarthy's committee that terrified him. ""You see, once the dogs are set on you everything you have done since the beginning of time is suspect," he wrote. "I have never done anything that I consider wrong but I can't take the pressure upon my shoulders any more." Given that Harris had been forced to resign for something he'd written more than two decades before, Kaplan's fear was not unfounded. And the VOA hearings were not just some sort of technical inquiry into why a transmitter malfunctioned. McCarthy's contention was that it was part of a dastardly Communist plot within the VOA, and his investigation included questioning witnesses about their church attendance and religious beliefs and purging VOA overseas libraries of such dangerously "subversive" authors as Dashiell Hammett and Theodore H. White. --PF Fox 13:33, 13 March 2007 (EDT)