A. Addressing the Ohio County Women's Republican Club on February 9, 1950, Senator McCarthy first quoted from Marx, Lenin, and Stalin their stated goal of world conquest and said that "today we are engaged in a final, all-out battle between communistic atheism and Christianity." He blamed the fall of China and other countries to the Communists in the previous six years on "the traitorous actions" of the State Department's "bright young men," and he mentioned specifically John S. Service, Gustavo Duran, Mary Jane Kenny (it should have been Keeney), Julian Wadleigh, Dr. Harlow Shapley, Alger Hiss, and Dean Acheson. The part of the speech that catapulted McCarthy from relative obscurity into the national spotlight contained these words: I have in my hand 57 cases of individuals who would appear to be either card-carrying members or certainly loyal to the Communist Party, but who nevertheless are still helping to shape our foreign policy. Wasn't it reported that McCarthy used the number 205 in his Wheeling speech, lowered it to 57 later, and then raised it again to 81?
A. No, there were others who were equally disturbed. For instance, on January 30, 1949, one year before McCarthy's Wheeling speech, a young Congressman from Massachusetts deplored "the disasters befalling China and the United States" and declared that "it is of the utmost importance that we search out and spotlight those who must bear the responsibility for our present predicament." The Congressman placed a major part of the blame on "a sick Roosevelt," General George Marshall, and "our diplomats and their advisors, the Lattimores and the Fairbanks," and he concluded: "This is the tragic story of China whose freedom we once fought to preserve. What our young men had saved, our diplomats and our President have frittered away." The Congressman's name was John F. Kennedy.
McCarthy’s charges caused a furor. In response, the Senate appointed a committee under the direction of Senator Millard Tydings, Democrat of Maryland, who opened hearings on March 8, 1950. Though McCarthy had hired investigators of his own, all the names he eventually supplied to the committee were of people previously examined. McCarthy failed to name a single current State Department employee. On July 17, 1950, the Tydings committee issued a report that found no grounds for McCarthy’s charges. McCarthy, however, refused to back down, issuing further accusations of communist influence on the government. These charges received extensive media attention, making McCarthy the most famous political figure in the nation after President Harry Truman. He was also one of the most criticized. McCarthy’s enemies began a smear campaign against him, spreading lies that have permeated his biographies ever since.
Now, a sample of an investigation. The witness was Reed Harris, for many years a civil servant in the State Department, directing the Information Service. Harris was accused of helping the Communistic cause by curtailing some broadcasts to Israel. Senator McCarthy summoned him and questioned him about a book he had written in 1932.
As a senator, McCarthy’s voting record was generally conservative, although he did not follow the Republican Party line. The main accomplishments of his first years came with his successful fight for housing legislation and his work to ease sugar rationing. The biggest national issue at the time was the suspicion of communist infiltration of the United States government following a series of investigations and espionage trials. McCarthy engaged this issue on February 9, 1950, in a speech before a Republican women’s group in Wheeling, West Virginia. In his address, McCarthy charged that U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson knew of 205 communists in the State Department. Later, McCarthy claimed to have the names of 57 State Department communists, and called for an investigation.
Carl Hayden, who in January 1955 became chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee of the United States Senate, told me privately Monmouth had been moved because he and other members of the majority Democratic Party were convinced security at Monmouth had been penetrated. They didn't want to admit that McCarthy was right in his accusations. Their only alternative was to move the installation from New Jersey to a new location in Arizona.
Yes, virtually all of those suspended were eventually restored to duty at Fort Monmouth and anti-McCarthyites have cited this as proof that McCarthy had failed once again to substantiate his allegations. But vindication of McCarthy came later, when the Army's top-secret operations at Fort Monmouth were quietly moved to Arizona. In his 1979 book , Senator Barry Goldwater explained the reason for the move:
During 1953 and 1954, the McCarthy Committee, acting on reports of Communist infiltration from civilian employees, Army officers, and enlisted personnel, heard 71 witnesses at executive sessions and 41 at open hearings. The Army responded by suspending or discharging 35 persons as security risks, but when these cases reached the Army Loyalty and Screening Board at the Pentagon, all but two of the suspected security risks were reinstated and given back pay. McCarthy demanded the names of the 20 civilians on the review board and, when he threatened to subpoena them, the Eisenhower Administration, at a meeting in Attorney General Herbert Brownell's office on January 21, 1954, began plotting to stop McCarthy's investigations once and for all.
A. The Army Signal Corps installation at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, was one of the nation's most vital security posts since the three research centers housed there were engaged in developing defensive devices designed to protect America from an atomic attack. Julius Rosenberg, who was executed in 1953 for selling U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, worked as an inspector at Fort Monmouth from 1940 to 1945 and maintained his Signal Corps contacts for at least another two years after that. From 1949 to 1953, the FBI had been warning the Army about security risks at Fort Monmouth, but the Army paid little or no attention to the reports of subversion until the McCarthy investigation began in 1953.
At the time McCarthy's investigations were halted early in 1954, his probers had accumulated evidence involving an additional 155 defense workers, but he was never able to question those individuals under oath. On January 12, 1959, Congressman Gordon Scherer, a member of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, said that he knew of a minimum of 2,000 "potential espionage agents and saboteurs" working in the nation's defense plants. But there have been no congressional investigations in this vital area since Senator McCarthy was stymied in 1954.
A. His name was Irving Peress and here is some background information. In December 1953, an Army general alerted Senator McCarthy to the incredible story of this New York dentist who was drafted into the Army as a captain in October 1952; who refused a month later to answer questions on a Defense Department form about membership in subversive organizations; who was recommended for dismissal by the Surgeon General of the Army in April 1953; but who requested and received a promotion to major the following October. Roy Cohn gave the facts on Peress to Army Counsel John G. Adams in December 1953, and Adams promised to do something about it. When still no action had been taken on Peress a month later, McCarthy subpoenaed him before the committee on January 30, 1954. Peress took the Fifth Amendment 20 times when asked about his membership in the Communist Party, his attendance at a Communist training school, and his efforts to recruit military personnel into the party. Two days later, McCarthy sent a letter to Army Secretary Robert Stevens by special messenger, reviewing the testimony of Peress and requesting that he be courtmartialed and that the Army find out who promoted Peress, knowing that he was a Communist. On that same day, February 1st, Peress asked for an honorable separation from the Army, which he promptly received the next day from his commanding officer at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, Brigadier General Ralph W. Zwicker. McCarthy took the next logical step and summoned General Zwicker to a closed session of the committee on February 18th. There was no reason at that time for McCarthy to suppose that Zwicker would be anything but a frank and cooperative witness. In separate conversations with two McCarthy staff members, on January 22nd and February 13th, Zwicker had said that he was familiar with Peress' Communist connections and that he was opposed to giving him an honorable discharge, but that he was ordered to do so by someone at the Pentagon. When he appeared before McCarthy, however, Zwicker was evasive, hostile, and uncooperative. He changed his story three times when asked if he had known at the time he signed the discharge that Peress had refused to answer questions before the McCarthy Committee. McCarthy became increasingly exasperated and, when Zwicker, in response to a hypothetical question, said that he would not remove from the military a general who originated the order for the honorable discharge of a Communist major, knowing that he was a Communist, McCarthy told Zwicker that he was not fit to wear the uniform of a general. So McCarthy really did "abuse" Zwicker and impugn his patriotism as the critics have charged?
A. During its probe of 13 defense plants whose contracts with the government ran into hundreds of millions of dollars a year, the McCarthy Committee heard 101 witnesses, two of whom -- William H. Teto and Herman E. Thomas -- provided the committee with information about the Red spy network and the efforts of the Communists to set up cells in the plants. The committee's exposures led to the dismissal of 32 persons and the tightening of security regulations at the plants. The president of General Electric, for example, issued a policy statement expressing concern about "the possible danger to the safety and security of company property and personnel whenever a General Electric employee admits he is a Communist or when he asserts before a competent investigating government body that he might incriminate himself by giving truthful answers concerning his Communist affiliations or his possible espionage or sabotage activities."