"Você não tem senso de decência?" O senador Joseph McCarthy é questionado em audiência


Em um confronto dramático, Joseph Welch, advogado especial do Exército dos EUA, ataca o senador Joseph McCarthy durante audiências sobre se o comunismo se infiltrou nas forças armadas dos EUA. O ataque verbal de Welch marcou o fim do poder de McCarthy durante a histeria anticomunista do Red Scare na América.

O senador McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) experimentou uma ascensão meteórica à fama e poder no Senado dos EUA quando acusou em fevereiro de 1950 que "centenas" de "comunistas conhecidos" estavam no Departamento de Estado. Nos anos que se seguiram, McCarthy tornou-se o líder reconhecido do chamado Red Scare, uma época em que milhões de americanos se convenceram de que os comunistas haviam se infiltrado em todos os aspectos da vida americana. Atrás de audiências a portas fechadas, McCarthy intimidou, mentiu e manchou seu caminho até o poder, destruindo muitas carreiras e vidas no processo. Antes de 1953, o Partido Republicano tolerava suas travessuras porque seus ataques eram dirigidos contra a administração democrata de Harry S. Truman.

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Quando o republicano Dwight D. Eisenhower entrou na Casa Branca em 1953, no entanto, a imprudência e o comportamento cada vez mais errático de McCarthy tornaram-se inaceitáveis ​​e o senador viu sua influência diminuindo lentamente. Em um último esforço para revitalizar sua cruzada anticomunista, McCarthy cometeu um erro crucial. Ele acusou no início de 1954 que o Exército dos EUA era "brando" com o comunismo. Como presidente do Comitê de Operações Governamentais do Senado, McCarthy abriu audiências no Exército.

Joseph N. Welch, um advogado de fala mansa com sagacidade e inteligência incisivas, representou o Exército. Durante semanas de audiências, Welch atenuou todas as acusações de McCarthy. O senador, por sua vez, ficou cada vez mais furioso, berrando “ponto de ordem, ponto de ordem”, gritando com testemunhas e declarando que um general altamente condecorado era uma “desgraça” para seu uniforme.

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Em 9 de junho de 1954, McCarthy novamente ficou agitado com a destruição constante de Welch de cada um de seus argumentos e testemunhas. Em resposta, McCarthy acusou Frederick G. Fisher, um jovem associado do escritório de advocacia de Welch, membro de longa data de uma organização que era um "braço legal do Partido Comunista". Welch ficou pasmo. Enquanto lutava para manter a compostura, ele olhou para McCarthy e declarou: “Até este momento, senador, acho que nunca avaliei realmente sua crueldade ou imprudência”. Foi então a vez de McCarthy ficar atordoado e em silêncio, quando Welch perguntou: "Você não tem senso de decência, senhor, finalmente?"

A audiência de cidadãos e repórteres de jornais e televisão explodiu em aplausos violentos. Apenas uma semana depois, as audiências do Exército chegaram ao fim. McCarthy, exposto como um valentão imprudente, foi oficialmente condenado pelo Senado dos EUA por desacato contra seus colegas em dezembro de 1954. Durante os dois anos e meio seguintes, McCarthy mergulhou no alcoolismo. Ainda no cargo, ele morreu em 1957.


Repreensão de Joseph Welch ao senador McCarthy em uma audiência pública, 1954

O apoio às investigações do senador Joseph McCarthy sobre supostos comunistas fracassou com esta repreensão do conselheiro do Exército Joseph Welch: "Você não tem senso de decência, senhor?" Welch estava se opondo à acusação de McCarthy de que um dos funcionários de Welch tinha laços comunistas.

Registros do Senado dos EUA, Arquivos Nacionais e Administração de Registros, Washington, D.C.


Conteúdo

McCarthy ganhou destaque nacional em fevereiro de 1950, depois de fazer um discurso em Wheeling, West Virginia, no qual afirmou ter uma lista de 205 funcionários do Departamento de Estado que eram membros do Partido Comunista. [1] McCarthy afirmou que a lista foi fornecida e rejeitada pelo então Secretário de Estado Dean Acheson, dizendo que "o Departamento de Estado abriga um ninho de comunistas e simpatizantes comunistas que estão ajudando a moldar nossa política externa". [2] Em janeiro de 1953, McCarthy iniciou seu segundo mandato e o Partido Republicano retomou o controle do Senado com os republicanos em maioria. McCarthy foi nomeado presidente do Comitê de Operações Governamentais do Senado. [3] Este comitê incluiu o Subcomitê Permanente de Investigações, e o mandato deste subcomitê permitiu a McCarthy usá-lo para realizar suas investigações de comunistas no governo. [4] McCarthy nomeou Roy Cohn, de 26 anos, como conselheiro-chefe do subcomitê e o futuro procurador-geral Robert F. Kennedy como advogado assistente, ao mesmo tempo que reatribuiu Francis Flanagan para a posição ad hoc de conselheiro geral. [5]

Em 1953, o comitê de McCarthy iniciou investigações no Exército dos Estados Unidos, começando por investigar a suposta infiltração comunista no laboratório do Army Signal Corps em Fort Monmouth. [6] As investigações de McCarthy foram em grande parte infrutíferas, mas depois que o Exército acusou McCarthy e sua equipe de buscar tratamento especial para o soldado G. David Schine, consultor-chefe do Subcomitê Permanente de Investigações do Senado e amigo próximo de Cohn que havia sido convocado para o Exército como soldado raso no ano anterior, McCarthy alegou que a acusação foi feita de má-fé. [7]

O Senado decidiu que essas acusações conflitantes deveriam ser investigadas e a comissão apropriada para fazer isso era a Subcomissão Permanente de Investigações do Senado, geralmente presidida por McCarthy. Como McCarthy foi um dos alvos das audiências, o senador Karl Mundt (R-Dakota do Sul) foi relutantemente [8] nomeado para substituir McCarthy como presidente do subcomitê. John G. Adams era o Conselheiro do Exército. [9] Atuando como Conselheiro Especial estava Joseph Welch do escritório de advocacia Hale & amp Dorr de Boston (agora chamado de WilmerHale). [10] As audiências foram transmitidas nacionalmente nas novas redes ABC e DuMont, e em parte pela NBC. [11] Francis Newton Littlejohn, o diretor de notícias da ABC, tomou a decisão de cobrir as audiências ao vivo, martelo com martelo. [12] As audiências televisionadas duraram 36 dias e cerca de 80 milhões de pessoas assistiram a pelo menos parte das audiências. [13]

Edição de fotografia

Enquanto as audiências continuavam, uma fotografia de Schine foi apresentada e Joseph Welch acusou Cohn de adulterar a imagem para mostrar Schine a sós com o secretário do Exército Robert T. Stevens. [14] No banco das testemunhas, Cohn e Schine insistiram que a foto como prova (Schine e Stevens sozinho) foi solicitada por Stevens e que ninguém foi editado na fotografia. Welch então produziu uma tomada mais ampla de Stevens e Schine com o comandante da ala da Base Aérea McGuire, Coronel Jack Bradley, parado à direita de Schine. Uma quarta pessoa também retirada da foto (sua manga estava visível à direita de Bradley na fotografia de Welch) foi identificada como o assessor de McCarthy, Frank Carr. [15]

Edição de memo Hoover

Depois que a fotografia foi desacreditada, McCarthy produziu uma cópia de uma carta confidencial que alegou ser 26 de janeiro de 1951, um memorando escrito e enviado pelo Diretor do FBI J. Edgar Hoover, ao Major General Alexander R. Bolling, alertando a Inteligência do Exército sobre subversivos no Army Signal Corps. [16] McCarthy afirmou que a carta estava nos arquivos do Exército quando Stevens se tornou secretário em 1953, e que Stevens a ignorou intencionalmente. [17] Welch foi o primeiro a questionar a validade da carta, alegando que a "suposta cópia" de McCarthy não vinha dos arquivos do Exército. McCarthy afirmou que nunca recebeu nenhum documento do FBI, mas quando questionado no depoimento pelo advogado especial do Senado Ray Jenkins e interrogado por Welch, McCarthy, embora admitisse que o documento lhe foi entregue por um oficial de inteligência, recusou-se a identificar sua fonte.

Robert Collier, assistente de Ray Jenkins, leu uma carta do procurador-geral Herbert Brownell Jr., na qual afirmava que Hoover examinou o documento e que não escreveu nem ordenou a carta, e que nenhuma cópia desse tipo existia nos arquivos do FBI, tornando McCarthy's afirma sem mérito, e a carta espúria.

Homossexualidade Editar

Embora as audiências fossem principalmente sobre subversão do governo, ocasionalmente elas assumiam acusações de natureza mais tabu: uma parte das audiências avaliou o risco de segurança de homossexuais no governo. A questão permaneceu uma tendência ao longo das audiências. Um exemplo dessa tendência foi uma troca entre o senador McCarthy e Joseph Welch. Welch estava questionando o membro da equipe de McCarthy James Juliana sobre a foto não editada de Schine com Stevens e Bradley, perguntando a ele "Você acha que isso veio de um Pixie?" (um tipo de câmera popular na época), momento em que McCarthy pediu para reler a pergunta: [18]

McCarthy. Vai aconselhar [ou seja, Welch] para meu benefício, defina - acho que ele pode ser um especialista nisso - o que é uma fada?
Welch. sim. Devo dizer, senhor senador, que uma fada é parente próxima de uma fada. (Risos da câmara) Devo continuar, senhor? Eu te iluminei?
McCarthy. Como eu disse, acho que você pode ser uma autoridade no que é uma duende. [19]

Cohn, Schine e McCarthy Edit

Pelo menos uma parte das alegações do Exército estava correta. Roy Cohn tomou medidas para solicitar tratamento preferencial para Schine, indo até agora em pelo menos uma ocasião para assinar o nome de McCarthy sem seu conhecimento em um pedido para que Schine tivesse acesso aos Banhos dos Senadores, uma piscina e sauna reservadas exclusivamente para senadores . [20]

A relação exata entre Cohn, McCarthy e Schine permanece desconhecida. Cohn e Schine certamente eram próximos e, em vez de trabalhar nos escritórios do Senado, os dois alugaram um escritório nas proximidades e dividiram as contas. McCarthy comentou que Cohn era irracional em questões relacionadas com Schine. Não está claro se Schine já teve um relacionamento romântico ou sexual com Cohn, que era um homossexual enrustido. (Três anos depois das audiências, Schine se casou e teve seis filhos.) Alguns também sugeriram que McCarthy pode ter sido homossexual e possivelmente até mesmo estar envolvido com Schine ou Cohn. [21] [22] [23]

No que foi a troca mais dramática das audiências, McCarthy respondeu ao questionamento agressivo do advogado do Exército Joseph Welch. Em 9 de junho de 1954, dia 30 das audiências, Welch desafiou Cohn a entregar a lista de McCarthy de 130 subversivos em fábricas de defesa ao escritório do FBI e ao Departamento de Defesa "antes que o sol se ponha". [24] Em resposta ao desafio de Welch, McCarthy sugeriu que Welch deveria verificar Fred Fisher, um jovem advogado do próprio escritório de advocacia de Welch em Boston que Welch planejava ter em sua equipe para as audiências. [25] McCarthy então mencionou que Fisher já havia pertencido ao National Lawyers Guild (NLG), um grupo que o procurador-geral Brownell chamou de "o baluarte legal do Partido Comunista". [26]

Welch revelou que havia confirmado a ex-filiação de Fisher no National Lawyers Guild aproximadamente seis semanas antes do início das audiências. [27] Depois que Fisher admitiu ser membro do National Lawyers Guild, Welch decidiu mandar Fisher de volta para Boston. [28] Sua substituição por outro colega da equipe de Welch também foi coberta por O jornal New York Times. [29] [30] Welch então repreendeu McCarthy por seu ataque desnecessário a Fisher, dizendo "Até este momento, senador, acho que nunca avaliei realmente sua crueldade ou imprudência." [31] McCarthy, acusando Welch de obstruir a audiência e provocar Cohn, rejeitou a dissertação de Welch e casualmente retomou seu ataque a Fisher, momento em que Welch o interrompeu com raiva: [25]

Senador, não podemos abandonar isso? Sabemos que ele pertencia à Guilda dos Advogados. Não vamos assassinar mais esse rapaz, senador, você já fez o suficiente. Você não tem senso de decência, senhor? Finalmente, você não deixou nenhum senso de decência?

Welch se excluiu do restante das audiências com um tiro de despedida para McCarthy: [32] "Sr. McCarthy, não vou discutir isso mais com você. Você achou por bem trazer [o caso Fisher / NLG] para fora, e se há um Deus no céu, isso não fará nenhum bem a você nem à sua causa! Não vou discutir isso mais. Você, Sr. Presidente, pode, como quiser, chamar a próxima testemunha! " [33] Depois que Welch cedeu ao presidente Mundt para chamar a próxima testemunha, a galeria explodiu em aplausos. [34]

Perto do final das audiências, McCarthy e o senador Stuart Symington (D-Missouri) discutiram sobre o manuseio de arquivos secretos pela equipe de McCarthy. O diretor da equipe de McCarthy, Frank Carr, testemunhou que todos os que trabalhavam na equipe de McCarthy tinham acesso a arquivos confidenciais, independentemente de seu nível de autorização de segurança. Symington deu a entender que alguns membros da própria equipe de McCarthy podem ser subversivos e assinou um documento concordando em tomar posição nas audiências para revelar seus nomes em troca da assinatura de McCarthy no mesmo documento concordando com uma investigação de sua equipe. Mas McCarthy, depois de chamar Symington de "Sanctimonious Stu", recusou-se a assinar o acordo, alegando que continha declarações falsas, e chamou as acusações de "difamação infundada" contra seus homens. Ele então repreendeu Symington dizendo "Você não está enganando ninguém!" Mas Symington retaliou com uma observação profética de sua autoria: "Senador, o povo americano está olhando para você há seis semanas, você também não está enganando ninguém". [35]

Nas pesquisas Gallup de janeiro de 1954, o índice de aprovação de McCarthy era de 50%, com apenas 29% desaprovando. Em junho, ambas as porcentagens haviam mudado em 16%, com mais pessoas (34% aprovando, 45% desaprovando) agora rejeitando McCarthy e seus métodos. [36]

Depois de ouvir 32 testemunhas e dois milhões de palavras de depoimento, o comitê concluiu que o próprio McCarthy não havia exercido qualquer influência imprópria em nome de Schine, mas que Roy Cohn, o advogado-chefe de McCarthy, havia se envolvido em alguns "esforços indevidamente persistentes ou agressivos" por Schine. A conclusão também relatou um comportamento questionável por parte do Exército: que o secretário Stevens e o conselheiro do Exército John Adams "fizeram esforços para encerrar ou influenciar a investigação e as audiências em Fort Monmouth" e que Adams "fez esforços vigorosos e diligentes" para bloquear as intimações para membros do Comitê de Lealdade e Avaliação do Exército "por meio de apelo pessoal a certos membros do comitê [McCarthy]". Antes que os relatórios oficiais fossem divulgados, Cohn renunciou ao cargo de conselheiro-chefe de McCarthy, e o senador Ralph Flanders (R, Vermont) apresentou uma resolução de censura contra McCarthy no Senado. [37]

Apesar da absolvição de McCarthy da má conduta no caso Schine, as audiências Exército-McCarthy acabaram se tornando o principal catalisador na queda de McCarthy do poder político. Os resumos dos jornais diários eram cada vez mais desfavoráveis ​​para McCarthy, [38] [39] enquanto as audiências da televisão testemunhavam em primeira mão as táticas antiéticas do senador júnior de Wisconsin.

Em 2 de dezembro de 1954, o Senado votou 67–22 para censurar McCarthy, erradicando efetivamente sua influência, embora não o expulsasse do cargo. [40] McCarthy continuou a presidir o Subcomitê de Investigações até 3 de janeiro de 1955, o dia em que o 84º Congresso dos Estados Unidos foi inaugurado. O senador John L. McClellan (D-Arkansas) substituiu McCarthy como presidente.

Fred Fisher não foi afetado pelas acusações de McCarthy e se tornou sócio do prestigioso escritório de advocacia Hale & amp Dorr de Boston e organizou seu departamento de direito comercial. Ele também atuou como presidente da Ordem dos Advogados de Massachusetts e como presidente de muitos comitês das ordens dos advogados dos Estados Unidos e de Boston. [41]

Depois de sua censura, o senador McCarthy continuou sua oratória anticomunista, muitas vezes falando para uma câmara do Senado vazia ou quase vazia. Voltando-se cada vez mais para o álcool, McCarthy morreu de hepatite em 2 de maio de 1957, aos 48 anos. [42]


O ADVOGADO DO EXÉRCITO TERMINOU O REINO DE MEDO E PODER DE MCCARTHY EM 1954 COM ESTAS PALAVRAS: "VOCÊ NÃO TEM SENTIDO DE DECÊNCIA, SENHOR?"

No final da década de 1940 e em meados da década de 1950, o senador Joseph R. McCarthy, de Wisconsin, conduziu uma campanha infundada e divisiva de engano e desconfiança que abalou a nação em seu núcleo.

A questão veio à tona há 67 anos neste mês, quando McCarthy acusou o Exército dos Estados Unidos de ser infiltrado por comunistas e se deparou com um advogado que o derrubou em uma pilha de humilhação.

Advogado Joseph Welch (esquerda) e Senador Joseph McCarthy (direita)

O pano de fundo: o Congresso criou o Comitê de Atividades Não Americanas da Câmara (HUAC) em 1938 para investigar grupos comunistas e fascistas que se organizaram durante a Grande Depressão.

Após a Segunda Guerra Mundial, o HUAC obteve condenações contra o acusado de espionagem Alger Hiss em 1948, um ano depois de 10 escritores e diretores de Hollywood que se manifestaram contra as táticas do comitê foram para a prisão por desacato às acusações do Congresso. Eles foram proibidos de trabalhar em Hollywood novamente após seus lançamentos.

Enquanto isso, a Guerra Fria havia se intensificado com a Alemanha dividida em duas, incluindo a divisão da cidade de Berlim após a guerra. Os soviéticos impuseram o socialismo à Alemanha Oriental, enquanto os Aliados trouxeram a democracia para a Alemanha Ocidental e Berlim Ocidental. No sul da Ásia, os comunistas assumiram o controle da China, criando a República Popular da China.

Apoiadas pelos soviéticos, as forças norte-coreanas cruzaram o Paralelo 38 para invadir a Coreia do Sul em 1950, dando início à Guerra da Coreia. Os Estados Unidos apoiaram a Coreia do Sul. A China logo aderiu, apoiando a Coreia do Norte. As tensões da Guerra Fria de repente se tornaram mortais.

Senador McCarthy e seu assessor, Roy Cohn

McCarthy usou efetivamente a Guerra Fria para criar suspeitas de que os comunistas haviam se infiltrado em muitos elementos do governo americano, da política e da vida em geral. Certa vez, ele ergueu um documento com os nomes de 205 funcionários do Departamento de Estado que alegou serem membros do Partido Comunista.

Uma investigação subsequente não revelou tais evidências. Mesmo assim, McCarthy detinha tanto poder - por meio do medo e da intimidação - que o Congresso anulou o veto do presidente Truman ao Ato de Segurança Interna McCarran de 1950, que essencialmente deu ao governo a capacidade de impor sua vontade contra os chamados "subversivos".

Em 1953, McCarthy ganhou o controle do Comitê de Operações Governamentais, o que lhe deu uma mão ainda mais livre para vomitar suas distorções e vitríolos.

CBS Broadcast Journalist & # 8211 Edward R. Murrow

McCarthy, no entanto, não conseguiu controlar a imprensa livre especificamente, o repórter da CBS Edward R. Murrow, que desmascarou e desacreditou McCarthy e sua manipulação dos fatos.

Mesmo assim, foi necessário um enorme - não, faça aquele monumental - erro de jogo para derrubá-lo. Na verdade, McCarthy cometeu dois erros. Ele permitiu que as audiências em 1954 fossem televisionadas ao vivo. Toda a nação testemunhou seu comportamento, ouviu-o afirmar que comunistas haviam se infiltrado no Exército e ouviu enquanto ele gritava furiosamente com as testemunhas.

E durante essas audiências, McCarthy encontrou seu rival em Joseph Welch, um advogado especial calmo, mas assertivo, que representa o Exército. Em 9 de junho de 1954, Welch destruiu calmamente cada uma das acusações de McCarthy, frustrando o senador infinitamente.

McCarthy chamou um general altamente respeitado e condecorado de "desgraça" para o uniforme e, em seguida, acusou um dos associados de Welch de pertencer a um grupo que era o "braço legal do Partido Comunista".

Welch atingiu seu ponto de ruptura e pronunciou as palavras que, em essência, encerraram o reinado de terror de McCarthy.

& # 8220 Não tenha decência, senhor! & # 8221

“Até este momento, senador, acho que nunca avaliei realmente sua crueldade ou imprudência”, disse Welch. "Você não tem senso de decência, senhor?"

O público gritou e aplaudiu. Foi o início do fim para o valentão McCarthy, que logo seria censurado pelos mesmos senadores que, até então, não tiveram coragem de detê-lo.

Ele morreu em 1957. O HUAC tornou-se o Comitê de Segurança Interna em 1969, mas o Congresso o dissolveu completamente seis anos depois.


"No Sense of Decency" Welch v. McCarthy: A Smear Undone

Há cinquenta e cinco anos, em 9 de junho de 1954, em um dos momentos mais famosos da história da Guerra Fria, Joseph N. Welch, advogado que representa o Exército dos Estados Unidos, confrontou o senador Joseph McCarthy durante uma audiência pela televisão, com a pergunta memorável:

Você não tem senso de decência, senhor? Finalmente, você não deixou nenhum senso de decência? "

O momento dramático marcou uma virada na chamada Era McCarthy. Aconteceu durante uma das primeiras audiências do Senado transmitidas em rede nacional, conhecidas como audiências do Exército-McCarthy.

Em fevereiro de 1950, o senador Joseph McCarthy disse a um clube de mulheres em Wheeling, West Virginia, que tinha, "aqui na minha mão", uma lista de homens do Departamento de Estado nomeados como membros do Partido Comunista que faziam parte de um espião anel. Os números mudavam de dia para dia, e até McCarthy não tinha certeza de onde os havia conseguido. Nos dias seguintes, o vazio das "evidências" de McCarthy deveria ter encerrado sua carreira no Senado. Mas não foi assim que funcionou. Em 1950, a América estava mais do que pronta para acreditar no que o senador McCarthy tinha a dizer. Ele se tornou um dos homens mais poderosos e temidos de Washington enquanto a caça aos comunistas no governo e na mídia consumia o país.

Em 1954, McCarthy iniciou uma batalha que se voltou contra ele quando desafiou o Exército dos EUA a expulsar supostos comunistas do Pentágono. Com a ajuda de Roy Cohn, um jovem advogado que McCarthy havia despachado anteriormente para o exterior para erradicar os "livros comunistas" das bibliotecas da Administração Internacional de Informações dos EUA, McCarthy começou a atacar certos oficiais do exército como comunistas. Mais uma vez, ele cativou a imaginação do público com seus pupilos. Mas desta vez ele exagerou. O Exército era o território do presidente Eisenhower. Eisenhower e o exército começaram a revidar, primeiro investigando David Schine, o rico companheiro de Roy Cohn em sua viagem de purgação de livros, que, tendo posteriormente sido convocado para o exército, usou a influência de McCarthy para ganhar atribuições militares leves. Cohn negou os rumores de que ele e Schine eram algo mais do que amigos.

Durante os 36 dias de audiências do Exército-McCarthy na televisão, McCarthy se desfez. As audiências foram dissolvidas quando Joseph Welch, o respeitado advogado que representa o Exército, virou a mesa contra McCarthy e o encaminhou em público. Em março de 1954, o jornalista da CBS Edward R. Murrow produziu seu "Relatório sobre o senador Joseph McCarthy", prejudicando ainda mais McCarthy. (A batalha de Murrow com McCarthy é contada no filme Boa noite e boa sorte.) No final de 1954, McCarthy foi condenado por seus pares e seu apoio público diminuiu.

Sem o controle do Senado e do público, McCarthy despencou em uma espiral de bêbado. Ele morreu em maio de 1957 de problemas de saúde causados ​​pelo alcoolismo. Joseph Welch morreu em 1960. Roy Cohn morreu de complicações causadas pela AIDS em 1986.

Leia mais sobre a Guerra Fria e a era McCarthy em Não sei muito sobre história


& # 8220Finalmente, senhor, não deixou nenhum senso de decência? & # 8221

Joseph Nye Welch de Waltham, MA serviu como conselheiro-chefe do Exército dos Estados Unidos quando este foi atacado por Joseph McCarthy & # 8217s Subcomitê de Investigações do Senado por suposta infiltração de comunistas. Ele era filho de imigrantes ingleses, graduado pela Harvard Law School e sócio sênior do escritório de advocacia Hale and Dorr de Boston. Em 9 de junho de 1954, o 30º dia das audiências transmitidas pela televisão nacional, McCarthy acusou Fred Fisher, um advogado júnior do escritório de advocacia Welch & # 8217s, de se associar ao National Lawyers Guild (NLG), que o diretor do FBI J. Edgar Hoover acusou de ser uma organização de fachada comunista.

O medo americano do comunismo atingiu um nível histérico após a Segunda Guerra Mundial. Em 1947, o presidente Harry S. Truman assinou a Ordem Executiva 9835 dos Estados Unidos, segundo a qual milhões de funcionários federais foram interrogados por comitês de lealdade do governo sobre livros e revistas que liam, organizações às quais pertenciam e suas afiliações religiosas.

Em 1950, o senador de Wisconsin Joseph R. McCarthy lançou um ataque ao Secretário de Estado do presidente Truman, Dean Acheson, e foi citado (* não confirmado) como tendo dito: & # 8220O Departamento de Estado está infestado de comunistas. Tenho aqui em minhas mãos uma lista de 205 - uma lista de nomes que foram divulgados ao Secretário de Estado como membros do Partido Comunista e que, no entanto, ainda estão trabalhando e definindo políticas no Departamento de Estado.”

A essa altura, Truman passou a desprezar McCarthy e, em resposta a uma pergunta do repórter & # 8217s, respondeu: & # 8220 Acho que o maior patrimônio que o Kremlin possui é o senador McCarthy. & # 8221 Em abril de 1953, o presidente Eisenhower revogou a Ordem Executiva 9835, mas o senador McCarthy não tinha intenção de impedir sua & # 8220 caça às bruxas comunista. & # 8221

Em 9 de junho de 1954, o 30º dia das audiências do Exército-McCarthy perante uma audiência de televisão em todo o país, Joseph Welch atacou McCarthy com as seguintes palavras:

& # 8220Até este momento, senador, acho que nunca avaliei realmente sua crueldade ou sua imprudência. Fred Fisher é um jovem que estudou na Escola de Direito de Harvard, entrou em minha empresa e está iniciando o que parece ser uma carreira brilhante conosco. Nem sonhei que você pudesse ser tão imprudente e cruel a ponto de ferir aquele rapaz. É verdade que ele ainda está com Hale e Dorr. É verdade que ele continuará com Hale e Dorr. É, lamento dizer, igualmente verdade que temo que ele sempre terá uma cicatriz desnecessariamente infligida por você. Se estivesse em meu poder perdoá-lo por sua crueldade imprudente, eu o faria. Gosto de pensar que sou um cavalheiro, mas o seu perdão terá que vir de outra pessoa que não eu. & # 8221

Quando McCarthy tentou renovar seu ataque, Welch o interrompeu:

Senador, não podemos abandonar isso? Sabemos que ele pertencia à Guilda dos Advogados. Não vamos assassinar mais este rapaz, senador. Você fez o suficiente. Você não tem senso de decência, senhor? Finalmente, você não deixou nenhum senso de decência?

Quando McCarthy tentou fazer outra pergunta a Welch sobre Fisher, Welch interrompeu: & # 8220Mr. McCarthy, não vou discutir isso mais com você. Você se sentou a menos de dois metros de mim e poderia ter me perguntado sobre Fred Fisher. Você achou por bem trazer isso para fora. E se há um Deus no céu, isso não fará bem a você e nem à sua causa. Não vou discutir isso mais. Não vou fazer mais perguntas ao Sr. Cohn. Você, Sr. Presidente, pode, se desejar, chamar a próxima testemunha. & # 8221

O confronto entre McCarthy e Joseph Welch é creditado como um ponto de viragem neste triste período da história americana. Em 9 de março de 1954, o jornalista da CBS Edward R. Murrow expôs Joseph McCarthy com as seguintes palavras:

“Não vamos andar com medo um do outro. Não seremos levados pelo medo a uma era de irracionalidade, se cavarmos fundo em nossa história e nossa doutrina, e lembrarmos que não descendemos de homens temerosos - não de homens que temiam escrever, falar, se associar e se associar defender causas que eram, até o momento, impopulares.

& # 8220Este não é o momento para homens que se opõem aos métodos do senador McCarthy ficarem calados, ou para aqueles que aprovam. Podemos negar nossa herança e nossa história, mas não podemos fugir da responsabilidade pelo resultado. Não há como um cidadão de uma república abdicar de suas responsabilidades.

& # 8220Como nação, recebemos nossa herança completa em tenra idade. Nós nos proclamamos, como de fato somos, os defensores da liberdade, onde quer que ela continue a existir no mundo, mas não podemos defender a liberdade no exterior abandonando-a em casa. As ações do senador júnior de Wisconsin causaram alarme e consternação entre nossos aliados no exterior e deram considerável conforto aos nossos inimigos.

E de quem é a culpa? Não é realmente dele. Ele não criou essa situação de medo, ele apenas a explorou - e com bastante sucesso. Cassius estava certo. 'A culpa, querido Brutus, não está em nossas estrelas, mas em nós mesmos.' & # 8221

Em 2 de dezembro de 1954, o Senado dos EUA votou 65 a 22 para condenar o senador Joseph R. McCarthy por conduta imprópria de um senador. Ele destruiu a reputação e a carreira de muitos funcionários governamentais e civis inocentes, acusando-os de serem comunistas ou homossexuais.

& # 8220Duck and Cover & # 8221 exercício durante a Guerra Fria

O senador de Massachusetts John F. Kennedy, cuja campanha recebeu contribuições de McCarthy, estava no hospital no momento da votação. Questionado por Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. por que ele evitava criticar McCarthy, Kennedy respondeu: "Metade do meu povo em Massachusetts vê McCarthy como um herói. & # 8221 Eleanor Roosevelt escreveu que quando os repórteres perguntaram como ele teria votado, ele falhou para expressar uma opinião.

Nas eleições para o Congresso de novembro de 1954, os democratas recuperaram o controle do Senado. A liderança republicana retirou McCarthy da presidência do comitê e, sempre que McCarthy entrava em uma sala, qualquer outro senador presente iria embora. Joseph McCarthy permaneceu no Senado até sua morte em 1957, aos 48 anos de hepatite aguda exacerbada pelo alcoolismo. Joseph Nye Welch seguiu carreira de ator e foi indicado ao Globo de Ouro de Melhor Ator Coadjuvante por seu papel em Anatomia de um Assassinato. Ele morreu em 1960 de ataque cardíaco aos 70 anos.


"Você não tem senso de decência?" O senador Joseph McCarthy é questionado em audiência - HISTÓRIA

M c C arthy - W elch E xchange

& quotVocê não deixou o senso de decência? & quot

proferido em 9 de junho de 1954 durante as Audiências Army-McCarthy em Washington, D.C.

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[CERTIFICADA DE AUTENTICIDADE: Versão de texto abaixo transcrita diretamente do áudio] 1

Senador McCarthy: Sr. Presidente, tendo em vista o pedido do Sr. -

Senador Mundt: Você tem um ponto de ordem?

Senador McCarthy: Não exatamente, Sr. Presidente. Mas em vista do pedido do Sr. Welch de que a informação seja dada assim que soubermos de alguém que possa estar realizando algum trabalho para o Partido Comunista, acho que devemos dizer a ele que ele tem em seu escritório de advocacia um jovem chamado Fisher, a quem ele recomendou , aliás, para fazer o trabalho neste comitê, que foi, por vários anos, membro de uma organização que é nomeada, ah, anos e anos atrás, como o baluarte legal do Partido Comunista, uma organização que sempre salta em defesa de qualquer um que ouse expor os comunistas. Certamente suponho que o Sr. Welch não conhecia esse jovem na época em que ele recomendou como advogado assistente desta comissão. Mas ele sente terror e um grande desejo de saber onde está localizado alguém que possa estar servindo à causa comunista, Sr. Welch. E achei que deveríamos chamar sua atenção para o fato de que o seu Sr. Fisher, que ainda está em seu escritório de advocacia hoje, a quem você pediu para ver aqui o material secreto e classificado, é membro de uma organização, não nomeado por mim, mas nomeado por várias comissões, nomeado pelo Procurador-Geral, se bem me lembro. E pertencer a ele muito depois de ter sido exposto como o braço legal do Partido Comunista.

Senador McCarthy: Sabendo disso, Sr. Welch, eu apenas senti que tinha o dever de responder ao seu urgente solicitar que "antes do pôr do sol", quando soubermos de alguém servindo à causa comunista, avisemos a agência. Now, we're now letting you know that your man did belong to this organization for either three or four years, belonged to it long after he was out of law school. Now I have hesitated bringing that up, but I have been rather bored with your phony requests to Mr. Cohn here, that he, personally, get every Communist out of Government before sundown therefore we will give you the information about the young man in your own organization. Now, I'm not asking you at this time to explain why you tried to foist him on this committee that you did, the committee knows. Whether you knew that he was a member of that Communist organization or not, I don't know. I assume you did not, Mr. Welch, because I get the impression that while you are quite an actor, you play for a laugh, I don't think you have any conception of the danger of the Communist Party. I don't think you, yourself, would ever knowingly aid the Communist cause. I think you're unknowingly aiding it when you try to burlesque this hearing in which we're attempting to bring out the facts, however.

Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman.

Senator Mundt: The Chair should say that he has no recognition -- no -- no memory of Mr. Welch recommending either Mr. Fisher or anybody else as counsel for this committee.

Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman.

Senator Mundt: Mr. Welch.

Senator McCarthy: I refer to the record, then, Mr. Chairman -- the

Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman.

Senator McCarthy: -- the news story on that.

Mr. Welch: Under these circumstances, I must myself have something approaching a personal privilege.

Senator Mundt: You may have it, sir. It will not be taken out of your time.

Mr. Welch: Senator McCarthy, I did not know, Senator -- Senator, sometimes you say, "May I have your attention?" [McCarthy is consulting with an aide.]

Senator McCarthy: I'm listening. I didn't know.

Mr. Welch: May I have your attention?

Senator McCarthy: I -- I can listen with one ear and talk with [him].

Mr. Welch: Now, this time, sir --

Senator McCarthy: OK.

Mr. Welch: -- I want you to listen with both.

Senator McCarthy: All right, got it.

Mr. Welch: Senator McCarthy, I think until this moment --

Senator McCarthy: -- Good. Just -- just a minute. Let me ask -- Jim [Juliana], Jim, will you get the news story to the effect that this man belonged to the -- to this Communist front organization? Would you get the --

Mr. Welch: I will tell you that he belonged to it.

Senator McCarthy: -- will -- will you get the -- the citations, order the citations showing that this was the legal arm of the Communist Party, and the length of time that he belonged, and the fact that he was recommended by Mr. Welch. I think that should be in the record for Mr. Welch.

Senator Mundt: The Chair recognizes Mr. Welch.

Mr. Welch: You won't need anything in the record when I finish telling you this. Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty, or your recklessness. Fred Fisher is a young man who went to the Harvard Law School and came into my firm and is starting what looks to be a brilliant career with us. When I decided to work for this committee, I asked Jim St. Clair , who sits on my right, to be my first assistant. I said to Jim, "Pick somebody in the firm to work under you that you would like." He chose Fred Fisher, and they came down on an afternoon plane. That night, when we had taken a little stab at trying to see what the case is about, Fred Fisher and Jim St. Clair and I went to dinner together. I then said to these two young men, "Boys, I don't know anything about you except I've always liked you. But if there's anything funny in the life of either one of you that would hurt anybody in this case, you speak up quick."

Mr. Welch: And Fred Fisher said, "Mr. Welch, when I was in the law school, and for a period of months after, I belonged to the Lawyers' Guild ," (as you have suggested, Senator). He went on to say, "I am Secretary of the Young Republican's League in Newton with the son of [the] Massachusetts governor, and I have the respect and admiration of my community, and I'm sure I have the respect and admiration of the twenty-five lawyers or so in Hale & Dorr ." And I said, "Fred, I just don't think I'm going to ask you to work on the case. If I do, one of these days that will come out, and go over national television, and it will just hurt like the dickens." And so, Senator, I asked him to go back to Boston. Little did I dream you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad. It is true he is still with Hale & Dorr. It is true that he will continue to be with Hale & Dorr. It is, I regret to say, equally true that I fear he shall always bear a scar needlessly inflicted by you. If it were in my potência to forgive you for your reckless cruelty, I would do so. I like to think I'm a gentle man, but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me.

Senator McCarthy: Mr. Chairman?

Senator Mundt: [inaudible]

Senator McCarthy: May -- may I say that Mr. Welch talks about this being cruel and reckless. He was just baiting -- He has been baiting Mr. Cohn here for hours, requesting that Mr. Cohn, before sundown, get out of any department of the government anyone who is serving the Communist cause. Now, I just give this man's record and I want to say, Mr. Welch, that it has been labeled long before he became a member, as early as 1944 -- .

Senator McCarthy: Let -- let me finish.

Mr. Welch: -- may we not drop this?

Senator McCarthy: Let me finish.

Mr. Welch: We know he belonged to the Lawyers' Guild.

Senator McCarthy: No, let me finish --

Mr. Welch: And Mr. Cohn nods his head at me. I did you, I think, no personal injury, Mr. Cohn?

Mr. Cohn: No, sir.

Mr. Welch: I meant to do you no personal injury.

Mr. Welch: And if I did --

Mr. Welch: -- I beg your pardon. Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator.

Senator McCarthy: Let's, let's --

Mr. Welch: You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

Senator McCarthy: I know this hurts you, Mr. Welch.

Mr. Welch: I'll say it hurts!

Senator McCarthy: May I say, Mr. Chairman, as point of personal privilege, I'd like to finish this.

Mr. Welch: Senator, I think it hurts you, too, sir.

Senator McCarthy: I'd -- I'd like to finish this. I know Mr. Cohn would rather not have me go into this. I intend to, however. And Mr. -- Mr. Welch talks about any "sense of decency." It seems that Mr. Welch is pained so deeply, he thinks it's improper for me to give the record, the Communist front record, of the man whom he wanted to foist upon this committee. But it doesn't pain him at all -- there's no pain in his chest about the attempt to destroy the reputation and the -- take the jobs away from the young men who are working on my committee. And Mr. Welch, if -- if I have said anything here which is untrue, then tell me. I have heard you and everyone else talk so much about laying the truth upon the table. But when I heard the completely phony Mr. Welch -- I've been listening now for a long time -- he's saying, "Now, before sundown, you must get these people out of government." So that I just want you to have it very clear, very clear that you were not so serious about that when you tried to recommend this man for this committee. But the point is. -

Senator Mundt: The Chair would like to say, again, that --

Senator McCarthy: [inaudible crosstalk]

Senator Mundt: -- he doesn't believe that Mr. Welch recommended Mr. Fisher as counsel for this committee, because he has, through his office, all the recommendations which were made and does not recall any of them coming from Mr. Welch -- and that would include Mr. Fisher.

Senator McCarthy: Well, let me ask Mr. Welch. You -- you brought him down, did you not, to act as your assistant?

Mr. Welch: Mr. McCarthy, I will not discuss this further with you. You have sat within six feet of me and could ask -- could have asked me about Fred Fisher. You have seen fit to bring it out, and if there is a God in heaven, it will do neither you nor your cause any good. I will not discuss it further. I will not ask Mr. Cohn any more witnesses. You, Mr. Chairman, may, if you will, call the next witness.

1 Audio and Video obtained from the docudrama Point of Orde r. The audio/visual in that production is a selective representation of the entire series of exchanges germane to this episode. Consequently, auditors looking for a more complete rendition of the entire episode may wish to consult an different transcript.

Video Note: Audio enhanced video by Michael E. Eidenmuller for AmericanRhetoric.com

Audio Music Note: Mood priming music clip from the original motion picture soundtrack for Road to Perdition , track entitled " Road to Chicago ," composed by Thomas Newman.

Veja também: George Mason University's History Matters offers an apparently more complete transcript of the above episode (and see their source at page bottom).


We’re Never Going to Get Our “Have You No Sense of Decency, Sir?” Momento

President Trump’s critique of Khizr and Ghazala Khan back in 2016 was supposed to be it—our “Have you no sense of decency, sir?” moment. More recently, the last straw was supposed to be when Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to answer CNN’s Brian Karem after he asked whether she had any “empathy” for separated immigrant families. Then it was supposed to be FBI agent Peter Strzok “destroying” the House Judiciary and Oversight committees. Every day, we yearn for this kind of release—for an upright man to ride into town and deal the dragon a killing blow, to the general jubilation of the populace. But we’re not going to get that moment, and it’s not just because, as James Traub wrote in the Atlantic after the Strzok hearing, our present-day partisan split has rendered the GOP shameless. It’s also because that moment isn’t quite what we remember.

During the televised Army-McCarthy hearings in June 1954, Army counsel Joseph Welch famously asked that question of Sen. Joseph McCarthy after McCarthy brought up the details of a young lawyer’s past membership in a left-wing professional association accused of communism. We tend to recall the query as a narrative coup de grâce coming out of nowhere. But the “no sense of decency” line worked because most of McCarthy’s party, at that point, was finally done with him. The Army-McCarthy hearings were a product of President Eisenhower’s decision to try to curb McCarthy’s power. Bringing McCarthy down required the leveraging of moderate Republican distaste for McCarthy’s personality and methods, the novelty of the televised hearings, and a little bit of sexual panic. In the course of the proceedings, the senator’s enemies used Cold War homophobia—which McCarthy had gleefully amplified in his own crusades—against him, making insinuations about relationships between members of his staff. That’s a factor that makes Welch’s takedown, powerful though it was, look a little less righteous.

The end of McCarthy, which we remember as so satisfyingly final, did not actually mean the end of McCarthyism. Anti-Communist crusading began before McCarthy took it up, and it persisted in various forms, perpetrated by politicians of both parties, long after he was censured in December 1954 and died in 1957. And if you look at some of McCarthy’s other populist political tools—his twisting of the truth, his hatred for “elitist” intellectualism, his insider-outsider “true American” rhetoric—it becomes clear that we’ve still got plenty of McCarthyism with us today.

Historians have tried very hard to convince us that McCarthy’s witch hunting was not that much of an aberration and that we shouldn’t smash all of 20 th -century anti-communism into a McCarthyism box. The first Red Scare, after World War I, had culminated in Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer rounding up leftists and radicals and deporting some, all while McCarthy was still a kid on his parents’ farm in Wisconsin. By the time Sen. McCarthy gave his famous speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, in February 1950, claiming to have the names of hundreds of Communists working in the State Department, “the Second Red Scare was well under way,” historian David Oshinksy writes in his biography of the senator. “It had become the focal point for Republican attacks upon Democrats, conservative attacks upon liberals, and congressional assaults upon the Executive branch.” For most of his opponents in the establishment, McCarthy’s project was fine his style and methods were the problem. As historian Ellen Schrecker puts it in her book on McCarthyism, “in the eyes of many of the nation’s political elites, the Wisconsin senator was mau, but he wasn’t errado.”

In March 1950, a month after the Wheeling speech, the Senate established a Foreign Relations Subcommittee to follow up on McCarthy’s accusations about the State Department. Starting in December of that year, McCarthy worked with the Senate’s Internal Security Subcommittee, chaired by Sen. Pat McCarran of Nevada, a Democrat and anti-Communist who proved to be an ally. During these early years of McCarthy’s crusade, when Harry Truman was still in the White House, his Republican colleagues in the Senate were ambivalent about McCarthyism. “There was a good deal of silent opposition, centered largely in the party’s moderate Eastern wing,” Oshinsky writes. But a general feeling that the Cold War was going poorly in the wake of the Communist Party’s 1949 takeover in China, coupled with a real belief that the government was full of security risks, contributed to a certain degree of tolerance for McCarthy’s methods. Robert Taft of Ohio, the leading Republican in the Senate, was, as historian Heather Cox Richardson writes in her history of the Republican Party, “the one man who might have toned down McCarthy’s extremism.” Taft privately expressed distaste for McCarthy and preferred not to be associated with him in public, yet found his antics a useful tool in waging Taft’s own personal war against Truman’s State Department.

Only a few months after McCarthy’s Wheeling speech, freshman Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, a moderate Republican from Maine, gave a speech condemning McCarthy’s methods, which she called the “Declaration of Conscience.” This was the first public anti-McCarthy proclamation by a politician, one that could have been the “no sense of decency” moment but wasn’t—because the party wasn’t ready. Smith penned what we might now call an “epic takedown” of McCarthy without ever mentioning him by name. “The American people are sick and tired of being afraid to speak their minds lest they be politically smeared as ‘Communists’ or ‘Fascists’ by their opponents,” Smith wrote. “Freedom of speech is not what it used to be in America.”

McCarthy called Smith and the senators who co-sponsored her declaration “Snow White and the Six Dwarves”—a gendered insult to his colleagues’ power and self-determination that was typical of the way he spoke. Millard Tydings, the conservative Democrat who had publicly opposed McCarthy after his subcommittee found that the senator’s first accusations of the State Department were unsubstantiated, got called a “Commiecrat” and an “egg-sucking liberal” for his trouble. McCarthy accused the State Department of practicing “powder puff diplomacy” and said that “Communists and queers …

And his opponents found it difficult to stand against this onslaught. Smith’s co-sponsors, six moderate senators, drifted away one by one after her “Declaration of Conscience” (all except Wayne Morse of Oregon), and she eventually backed down from her opposition to McCarthy’s methods. Tydings lost his election in 1950, after McCarthy’s people smeared him by distributing a composite image suggesting he was an ally of American Communist Party leader Earl Browder.

Another missed chance at a “no sense of decency” moment came in 1951. Throughout the four years of his influence, the press struggled to cover McCarthy’s outlandish accusations without spreading them further. Five months after he took up the anti-Communist cause, McCarthy was famous, on the cover of Newsweek and Time, and all over the front pages of newspapers. Standards of objectivity and relevance demanded that outlets cover McCarthy, and reporters loved him “he was bizarre, unpredictable, entertaining, and always newsworthy,” Oshinsky writes.

But there were some early journalistic attempts to puncture his power. In October 1951, McCarthy was on the cover of Time with the cover line “Demagogue McCarthy.” Time-Life chairman Henry Luce—“a ferocious anti-Communist” himself, Oshinsky writes—hated McCarthy’s methods and thought that the time was ripe to attempt a takedown. McCarthy retaliated to the negative coverage by writing letters to corporations telling them that Time was “pro-Communist” and asking whether they wanted to do business with such a publication.

After Republicans took the White House in a landslide in 1952, McCarthy, who had campaigned with an uneasy Dwight Eisenhower, carried right on investigating government officials. You might assume that a switch from a Democratic to a Republican White House would drastically change McCarthy’s approach, since he had aligned himself against Truman and his State Department for so long. But McCarthy was in motion, and it seemed that he couldn’t be stopped. Eisenhower responded, at first, by doing nothing. “I had made up my mind how I was going to handle McCarthy,” he said in a later interview. “This was to ignore him. … I would give him no satisfaction. I’d never defend anything. I don’t care what he called me, or mentioned, or put in the papers. I’d just ignore him.” This was a matter of manners but also of strategy in 1953 the Senate was split 48–47 in favor of the Republicans, and the president couldn’t expect to be able to fight McCarthy without losing traction on his legislative goals.

In early 1953, McCarthy became the chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations—his most powerful post yet. In July 1953, his opposition began to see ways to weaken him. The senator’s research director, J.B. Matthews, published an article in the conservative periodical American Mercury titled “Reds and Our Churches.” “The largest single group supporting the Communist apparatus in the United States today is comprised of Protestant clergymen,” the article began at least 7,000 of them, Matthews wrote, were reds. McCarthy, it seems, didn’t know about the article in advance as historian Robert S. Ellwood writes, McCarthy “had always been careful to keep religion and religious figures out of his inquiries,” perhaps because, as a Catholic and thus a member of a minority religion still sometimes demonized in public life, he knew he was vulnerable in that area. The National Committee for an Effective Congress, a liberal group looking for a way to curb McCarthy, made sure copies of Matthews’ article made their way to the press. Democratic lawmakers rebelled against Matthews, and Eisenhower condemned him—the first time, Ellwood writes, that “Ike had so pointedly and publicly rebuked McCarthy and his works.”

In 1953, the events that would bring McCarthy down for real were set in motion. At the behest of Roy Cohn, McCarthy’s brilliant (and diabolical) young right-hand investigator, G. David Schine joined McCarthy’s staff. Schine was a handsome 25-year-old who had swept through life on gusts of family money. At Harvard, he displayed it ostentatiously. The Harvard Crimson wrote that Schine had “an exquisitely furnished room, a valet, a big black convertible equipped with a two-way phone–radio and a fabulous electric phonograph.” Cohn and Schine were inseparable, and the press noticed—beginning at least in April 1953, when they took a tour of Europe to visit libraries run by the International Information Administration and survey their collections for Communist-friendly material. The two men spent and shopped and roughhoused in hotel lobbies columnists who had criticized McCarthy in the past took the opportunity to depict the tour as a display of the kind of masculine intimacy that Americans in the 1950s wouldn’t accept.

In the summer of 1953, Schine was drafted. Cohn began calling the Army to get his friend special favors: an assignment that would keep him geographically close to Cohn, a better commission, freedom from undesirable duties like kitchen patrol. Somewhat contemporaneously, the McCarthy subcommittee turned its spotlight on the Army, looking for security weaknesses in its ranks. This conflict between McCarthy and the Army—an institution beloved by Eisenhower, and many Americans—was the occasion for the Army-McCarthy hearings, the perfect setting for Welch to deal his killing blow.

In March 1954, the Army released the Adams chronology, a list of instances when Cohn had intervened on Schine’s behalf. Two days before, Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly decided to run the famous “McCarthy episode” of their See It Now program, which they had readied and held for an opportune moment. In his book on McCarthyism and television, historian Thomas Doherty calls the close timing of the Adams chronology and the See It Now report “suspiciously coincidental,” pointing out that Murrow had connections everywhere and may have gotten tipped to the imminent release of the Army’s report. “Attacked from two directions,” Doherty writes, “McCarthy was caught in a cultural pincer movement: a media posse, led by Murrow, and a military brigade, orchestrated offstage by the Eisenhower administration.”

“A Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy” went live on March 9, 1954. The special juxtaposed quotes from McCarthy’s record, highlighting his hypocrisy and inconsistency, fact-checking his accusations, and including clips that showed him bullying and tormenting witnesses. Murrow ended the show with a rousing speech: “We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another.”

This Murrow special was a little teaser for the Army-McCarthy hearings of the following months. TV penetration went from a tenth of the population in 1949, when McCarthy first came into office, to two-thirds by the end of 1954. Previous hearings where McCarthy appeared got only intermittent TV coverage, but in the course of the almost two months of Army-McCarthy hearings, Heather Richardson writes, “up to twenty million people watched McCarthy bully, evade, attack, and lie.” Even without the cathartic “no sense of decency” line, the cumulative effect of seeing McCarthy in action, pugnaciously defending his investigators against the Army’s charges of corruption, seems to have changed people’s minds. By June 1954, McCarthy’s Gallup approval ratings had fallen to 34 percent, from their January level of 50 percent.

Was it just the bullying and aggression that turned people away, though? The televised hearings gave McCarthy’s critics another chance to imply that something was desligado about his relationships with his staff. “One of the most enduring images of that era is a photograph of McCarthy’s aide, Roy Cohn, whispering in the senator’s ear,” historian Andrea Friedman writes.
“In 1954, the pose was already iconic.” Friedman argues that what happened to McCarthy was a “sexual smearing” as well as a well-deserved political comeuppance. She points out that while McCarthy wove a fetishization of male “toughness” and anti-queerness into his anti-Communism, Cold War liberals were far from righteous, by today’s standards, when it came to the question of homophobia. Anti-McCarthy coverage of the Army-McCarthy hearings focused on the “triangle” of McCarthy, Cohn, and Schine. The way Cohn whispered into McCarthy’s ear made it seem that the senator was controlled by a mere boy—“irrationally tied to Cohn, inexplicably loyal to him, dependent upon and dominated by him,” as Friedman puts it.


The Army McCarthy Hearings

While McCarthy had been claiming Communist infiltration in the government, in 1954 the US Army accused McCarthy of asking for special favors for a former aide and friend. In true McCarthy style, McCarthy claimed the accusation was part of a plot to retaliate against him for investigating communism in the military.

A three-month series of hearings (“the Army-McCarthy hearings”) ensued. These hearings were broadcast live “gavel to gavel” on TV, a first for any Congressional hearing, with an estimated audience of twenty million Americans.

The moment that is most remembered is when McCarthy began badgering the Boston-based attorney Joseph Welch, who was acting as counsel for the army. Welch knew what McCarthy was going to do—bring up that a young associate in his law firm had been a member of the National Lawyers Guild while a student at Harvard Law School*. When McCarthy brought this up, Welch said, “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty, or your recklessness.

When McCarthy tried to raise the issue again, Welch said, with McCarthy repeatedly interrupting him,

Senator, may we not drop this? We know he belonged to the Lawyers’ Guild[….] Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

McCarthy, not knowing when to quit, tried to launch into the issue a third time, receiving yet another passionate retort from Welch. When Welch said “ Mr. McCarthy, I will not discuss this further with you […] I will not discuss it further. I will not ask, Mr. Cohn, any more witnesses. You, Mr. Chairman, may, if you will, call the next witness.” The gallery erupted in applause.

The line “have you no sense of decency” has come to be identified as the moment that ended McCarthy’s career once and for all.

It important to remember though, that while McCarthyism has become the term used to describe the climate of political repression during the Second Red Scare (and now political repression generally), McCarthyism did not begin nor end with McCarthy. The climate of political intimidation and fear was already in place, based on reckless claims that Communists had infiltrated the State Department and other government positions. McCarthy was merely tapping into these fears.


62 Years Ago Today, Sen. Joseph McCarthy Was Exposed for the Cowardly Scoundrel He Was

Today is the anniversary of the day in 1954 when attorney Joseph Welch confronted Sen. Joseph McCarthy in a Capitol Hill hearing room: “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

Four years ago, we did not foresee the rise of Donald Trump, but this Bill Moyers’ essay from then demonstrates that the ghost of McCarthyism has been slithering its way through right-wing politics for a long time. In 2012, it was Florida congressman Allen West hurling false accusations in bursts of fevered McCarthy-style demagoguery. Today it’s Trump, on an even larger national stage, and even more frightening.

We’ve talked at times about George Orwell’s classic novel 1984, and the amnesia that sets in when we flush events down the memory hole, leaving us at the mercy of only what we know today. Sometimes, though, the past comes back to haunt, like a ghost. It happened recently when we saw congressman Allen West of Florida on the news.

A Republican and Tea Party favorite, he was asked at a local gathering how many of his fellow members of Congress are “card-carrying Marxists or International Socialists.”

He replied, “I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party who are members of the Communist Party. It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”

By now, little of what Allen West says ever surprises. He has called President Obama “a low-level socialist agitator,” said anyone with an Obama bumper sticker on their car is “a threat to the gene pool” and told liberals like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to “get the hell out of the United States of America.” Apparently, he gets his talking points from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh or the discredited right-wing rocker Ted Nugent.

But this time, we shook our heads in disbelief: “78 to 81 Democrats… members of the Communist Party?” That’s the moment the memory hole opened up and a ghost slithered into the room. The specter stood there, watching the screen, a snickering smile on its stubbled face. Sure enough, it was the ghost of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the Wisconsin farm boy who grew up to become one of the most contemptible thugs in American politics.

Back in the early 1950s, the Cold War had begun and Americans were troubled by the Soviet Union’s rise as an atomic superpower. Looking for a campaign issue, McCarthy seized on fear and ignorance to announce his discovery of a conspiracy within: Communist subversives who had infiltrated the government.

In speech after speech, McCarthy would hold up a list of names of members of the Communist Party he said had burrowed their way into government agencies and colleges and universities. The number he claimed would vary from day to day and when pressed to make his list public, McCarthy would stall or claim he accidentally had thrown it away.

His failure to produce much proof to back his claims never gave him pause, as he employed lies and innuendo with swaggering bravado. McCarthy, wrote historian William Manchester, “realized that he had stumbled upon a brilliant demagogic technique… Others deplored treachery, McCarthy would speak of traitors.”

And so he did, in a fearsome, reckless crusade that terrorized Washington, destroyed lives, and made a shambles of due process.

Millions of Americans lapped it up, but in the end, Joe McCarthy would be done in by the medium that he had used so effectively to spread his poison: television. In 1954, legendary broadcaster Edward R. Murrow bravely exposed McCarthy’s tactics on the CBS program See It Now.

“This is no time for men who oppose Sen.McCarthy’s methods to keep silent,” Murrow declared. “We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities.”

Later that same year, for 36 days on live TV, during Senate hearings on charges McCarthy had made questioning the loyalty of the US Army, we saw the man raw, exposed for the lout and cowardly scoundrel he was. The climactic moment came as the Boston lawyer Joseph Welch, defending the Army, reacted with outrage when McCarthy accused Welch’s young associate Fred Fisher of Communism. “Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator,” Welch said as he shook his head in anger and sadness. “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency? … If there is a God in heaven it will do neither you nor your cause any good.”

McCarthy never recovered. His tactics had been opposed from the outset by a handful of courageous Republican senators. Now they pressed their case with renewed vigor. One of them, Sen. Ralph Flanders of Vermont, introduced a motion to censure Joseph McCarthy. When it eventually passed 67 to 22, McCarthy was finished. He soon disappeared from the front pages. Three years later, he was dead.

All of this came rushing back as congressman West summoned his foul spirits from the vast deep. The ghost stepped out of the past.

Like McCarthy, the more Allen West is challenged about his comments, the more he doubles down on them. Now he’s blaming the “corrupt liberal media” for stirring the pot against him — a trick for which McCarthy taught the master class. And the congressman’s latest fusillades continue to distort the beliefs and policies of those he smears — no surprise there, either.

To help him continue his fight for “the heart and soul” of America he’s asking his supporters for a contribution of $10 or more. There could even be a super PAC in this — with McCarthy’s ghost as its honorary chairman.

Plenty of kindred spirits are there to sign on. Like the author of the book The Grand Jihad, who wrote that whether Obama is Christian or not, “The faith to which Obama actually clings is neo-communism.” Or the blogger who claims Obama is running the country into the ground “by way of the same type of race-baiting and class warfare Communism cannot exist without,” and that his policies are “unbecoming to an American president.”

From there it’s only a short hop to the kind of column that popped up on the right wing website Newsmax hinting of a possible coup “as a last resort to resolve the ‘Obama problem.’” Military intervention, the author wrote, “is what Obama’s exponentially accelerating agenda for ‘fundamental change’ toward a Marxist state is inviting upon America.” The column was quickly withdrawn but not before the website Talking Points Memo exposed it.

So beware, congressman West, beware: In the flammable pool of toxic paranoia that passes these days as patriotism in America, a single careless match can light an inferno. You would serve your country well to withdraw your remarks and apologize for them. But if not, perhaps there are members of your own party, as possessed of conscience and as courageous as that handful of Republicans who took on Joseph McCarthy, who will now abandon fear and throw cold water on your incendiary remarks.


Have you no sense of decency?

Most Americans were not glued to their televisions yesterday watching the Alito confirmation hearings. But today a substantial portion of the electorate is aware that Judge Alito's wife Martha&mdashAnn Bomgardner was driven to tears, as Senator Lindsey Graham apologized to the nominee and his family for the hectoring and smearing he and they had endured.

It was one of those moments which encapsulate a complex drama, speaking to common (and noble) human emotions. Anyone who has ever stoically attempted to control the deep pain of seeing a loved one suffering or under stress knows that the merest expression of sympathy is enough to burst the dam, and let the cathartic tears flow.

All of us who love, who have watched our loved ones under duress, and who have received support understand Martha&mdashAnn Bomgardner, even if the subtleties of the theory of the unitary executive and stare decisis elude us.

The network news honchos, for all their liberal bias, know that 'If it bleeds it leads,' and in this case, 'If it cries, it flies.'

The Judiciary Committee Democrats have disgraced themselves.

The Associated Press, once esteemed for its even&mdashhanded reporting, put out a dispatch which implied that Senator Graham was the one who abused the judge, triggering the outburst. That the AP would attempt such a violation of common sense betrays the desperation of the media branch of the Democratic Party. It won't fly because it does not ring true to common experience.

The last time such an obvious disgrace took place in a Senate hearing was almost 52 years ago, in the Army&mdashMcCarthy hearings, when Joseph Welch, a Boston lawyer, gained immortality with his rebuke of Senator Joseph McCarty, for his abusive behavior toward a young lawyer, Fred Fisher. Fisher was working with Welch, and had once been a member of the Lawyers Guild, a leftist organization which McCarthy tarred as suspiciously communist.

Two of Welch's phrases have been figuratively engraved in marble, lending the neologism 'McCarthyism' its flavor of extreme, unreasonable, and mean persecution of people with guilt by association.

Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty, or your recklessness [. ]

You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

Half a century later, history has repeated itself, this time not with words, but with the moving sight of a wife reduced to tears by her husband's time on the witness table cross.

Senator Kennedy is, if anything, an even less sympathetic figure than Joseph McCarthy. While Kennedy's brother may have been a martyr struck down by an assassin, McCarthy never left a young woman to die in a submerged car. The way in which Senator Kennedy has lived his life disgraces whatever nobility might have adhered to him from his brother's end.

As I recently wrote, most Americans do not pay attention to politics most of the time, and form vague images of the two parties based on accumulated fragmentary inputs. Because of media bias, most of the time this process favors the Democrats.

Yesterday, even those unconcerned by politics paid attention because of the human drama. A new iconic incident has just entered our political tradition. Political affiliation is both an intellectual and an emotional matter. It requires a level of intellectualizing beyond the capacity of most of us to affiliate oneself with a repulsive waddling&mdashfat bully.

It took the GOP decades to recover from the damage inflicted by the lasting imagery of McCarthy the bully. Anti&mdashcommunism, fairly or not, became stigmatized for a generation.

It was anti&mdashracism fanaticism, the attempt to tar Judge Alito as a bigot, which was at the root of yesterday's drama. If anything, the average American today has more personal experience of being impugned as a racist than the 1950s American had of being impugned as a communist. Voters have far more to identify with in Alito than they ever did in the McCarthy hearings.

The only question now is how long it will take the Democrats to understand the disaster they have created for themselves.

Thomas Lifson is the editor and publisher of The American Thinker.

Most Americans were not glued to their televisions yesterday watching the Alito confirmation hearings. But today a substantial portion of the electorate is aware that Judge Alito's wife Martha&mdashAnn Bomgardner was driven to tears, as Senator Lindsey Graham apologized to the nominee and his family for the hectoring and smearing he and they had endured.

It was one of those moments which encapsulate a complex drama, speaking to common (and noble) human emotions. Anyone who has ever stoically attempted to control the deep pain of seeing a loved one suffering or under stress knows that the merest expression of sympathy is enough to burst the dam, and let the cathartic tears flow.

All of us who love, who have watched our loved ones under duress, and who have received support understand Martha&mdashAnn Bomgardner, even if the subtleties of the theory of the unitary executive and stare decisis elude us.

The network news honchos, for all their liberal bias, know that 'If it bleeds it leads,' and in this case, 'If it cries, it flies.'

The Judiciary Committee Democrats have disgraced themselves.

The Associated Press, once esteemed for its even&mdashhanded reporting, put out a dispatch which implied that Senator Graham was the one who abused the judge, triggering the outburst. That the AP would attempt such a violation of common sense betrays the desperation of the media branch of the Democratic Party. It won't fly because it does not ring true to common experience.

The last time such an obvious disgrace took place in a Senate hearing was almost 52 years ago, in the Army&mdashMcCarthy hearings, when Joseph Welch, a Boston lawyer, gained immortality with his rebuke of Senator Joseph McCarty, for his abusive behavior toward a young lawyer, Fred Fisher. Fisher was working with Welch, and had once been a member of the Lawyers Guild, a leftist organization which McCarthy tarred as suspiciously communist.

Two of Welch's phrases have been figuratively engraved in marble, lending the neologism 'McCarthyism' its flavor of extreme, unreasonable, and mean persecution of people with guilt by association.

Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty, or your recklessness [. ]

You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

Half a century later, history has repeated itself, this time not with words, but with the moving sight of a wife reduced to tears by her husband's time on the witness table cross.

Senator Kennedy is, if anything, an even less sympathetic figure than Joseph McCarthy. While Kennedy's brother may have been a martyr struck down by an assassin, McCarthy never left a young woman to die in a submerged car. The way in which Senator Kennedy has lived his life disgraces whatever nobility might have adhered to him from his brother's end.

As I recently wrote, most Americans do not pay attention to politics most of the time, and form vague images of the two parties based on accumulated fragmentary inputs. Because of media bias, most of the time this process favors the Democrats.

Yesterday, even those unconcerned by politics paid attention because of the human drama. A new iconic incident has just entered our political tradition. Political affiliation is both an intellectual and an emotional matter. It requires a level of intellectualizing beyond the capacity of most of us to affiliate oneself with a repulsive waddling&mdashfat bully.

It took the GOP decades to recover from the damage inflicted by the lasting imagery of McCarthy the bully. Anti&mdashcommunism, fairly or not, became stigmatized for a generation.

It was anti&mdashracism fanaticism, the attempt to tar Judge Alito as a bigot, which was at the root of yesterday's drama. If anything, the average American today has more personal experience of being impugned as a racist than the 1950s American had of being impugned as a communist. Voters have far more to identify with in Alito than they ever did in the McCarthy hearings.

The only question now is how long it will take the Democrats to understand the disaster they have created for themselves.


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