McCarthyism – No Longer a Dirty Word

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"McCarthyism"
might no longer be a dirty word.

It's
a word that has been used in the pejorative sense ever since U.S.
Senator Joe McCarthy waged his "witch-hunt" on suspected
Communist sympathizers and spies in the 1950s. It took on a negative
connotation because McCarthy was seen as a red-baiter who engaged
in fear-mongering and making baseless accusations.

It
turns out, however, that McCarthy did not engage in any "witch-hunt"
at all. The evidence now demonstrates that the communist threat
was actually far greater than even McCarthy himself anticipated.
Moreover, recent disclosures reveal that most of McCarthy's accusations
were far from "baseless" — they were dead-on.

McCarthy
has been rehabilitated.

I
now wonder what my former left-wing colleagues in academia have
to say. I'll never forget how they reveled in demonizing McCarthyism.
They always referred to it as if it was this great dark force –
and as if they had been its primary victims. Their outrage over
their supposed victimization always implied that McCarthyism was
somehow just lurking around the corner. Everyone was supposed to
fill up with total dread. Thank goodness, therefore, that the world
had the left-wing academics to fight the oppressive right-wing oligarchy.
Without them, McCarthyism would surely return.

I
always couldn't help wondering whether my left-wing colleagues were
suffering from a serious form of brain damage – or whether they
were schizoid or delusional. The discrepancy between the energy
they put into denouncing, and fearing, McCarthyism and what McCarthyism
actually entailed, was pretty profound. In the context of the communist
witch-hunts that liquidated millions of people in the 20th century,
what was McCarthyism? But my colleagues never stopped prostituting
their favourite line: "Yes, there was Stalin, but hey, we had
McCarthy." Right.

If
McCarthy had never existed, my Marxist colleagues would have had
to invent him.

The
Venona Project files have now made things a little uncomfortable
for the radical academics who built their professional careers on
agonizing over the dark ghost of McCarthyism.

The
Venona transcripts are thousands of Soviet intelligence messages
that were intercepted and decoded over four decades by the FBI and
the NSA (National Security Agency). Released over the past few years,
these files prove that there was a large-scale Communist penetration
of the U.S. government, and that Communist spies passed on valuable
information to the KGB.

The
deciphered Venona cables confirm that the American Communist Party
successfully established secret caucuses in government agencies
throughout the 1930's and 1940's. They prove that 349 Americans
had covert ties to Soviet intelligence — much as McCarthy had charged.
They also indicate that Alger Hiss, who was accused in 1949 of spying
for the Soviets, did leak material — even though he denied his guilt.
On top of this, the number 349 is clearly a low estimate, because
out of 25,000 intercepted telegrams, only 2,900 were decoded.

Many
of the spies detected in Venona were investigated for espionage
in the early 1950s, and were brought before the House Un-American
Activities Committee. Although the U.S. government had accumulated
enough evidence through Venona to charge these spies, many of them
were never prosecuted, because the government could not expose its
success in cracking the Soviet codes. The names of the spies therefore
remained a secret until now. Thus, while McCarthy's critics attacked
him for his "baseless" accusations, we now know that the
U.S. Senator was right in making most of them – but he was hung
out to dry.

McCarthy,
therefore, had every legitimate reason to ask the famous question:
"Are you or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?"
That's because the American Communist Party was doing severe damage
to U.S. security interests, and it was financed and run entirely
by Moscow — something that McCarthy's critics denied for decades.

So
I wonder: what do the left-wing academics have to say now? We don't
know, because their silence about the Venona files is deafening.
But a serious question remains: if they so vehemently disapproved,
and were so scared, of McCarthyism, then what exactly were the ingredients
of their lives that led them to this disposition?

The
bottom line is that, if McCarthy had engaged in the same behaviour
against the Nazis, and their sympathizers, statues of him would
be prominent in many of our cities today. Because of political correctness,
however, there will be no statues of McCarthy in the near future.
But at least we now know that accusing someone of "McCarthyism"
is no longer necessarily a putdown.

It
might even be a compliment.

July
20, 2001

Jamie
Glazov [send him mail] is
a columnist for Frontpage
Magazine
.

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