The Taming of Tail Gunner Joe, Part One



Undoubtedly there will be many readers too young to remember all the specific details concerning American Senator Joseph McCarthy, nick-named “Tail-gunner Joe,” which he acquired as a result of his years of service as an airman during the Second World War, and although he is long since gone, he is by no means forgotten. 


Below are a few vital highlights from the man’s life:


“A farmer’s son from Wisconsin, McCarthy qualified in law at Marquette University in 1935 and became a lawyer, later serving as a circuit judge (1940-42).  Service in the marine corps earned him the rank of captain and a DFC and in 1946 he was elected a Republican senator.  He first hit the headlines in 1950 with a speech in which he claimed to know of 205 Communists or Communist sympathizers working for the State Department…..McCarthy’s strident campaign attracted popular support and leading Democrats, including the secretary of state, Dean Acheson and defense secretary George Marshall, became targets for McCarthy.   He received endorsement from Eisenhower during the latter’s 1952 presidential campaign but the following year, after his appointment to the Senate’s permanent subcommittee on investigations. ….”McCarthyism” became widespread:  subversive literature was banned and many innocent people were vilified.  The climax came in May and June 1954 when, in televised hearings, McCarthy cross-examined US army personnel following further unfounded allegations.  The true nature of his “demagoguery” was exposed to the nation and in December he was censured by a Senate committee.  The McCarthy witchhunts were over.”[1] 


Here is another succinct view of McCarthy and his career:


“The story of McCarthy begins, perhaps, on March 22, 1947, when President Harry S. Truman issued executive Order #9835, establishing a federal loyalty program that forbade the employment of loyalty risks.   This action was followed on June 10, 1947, by a memorandum sent to the Secretary of State George C. Marshall by the Senate Committee on Appropriations.  The memo read, in part, as follows:


On file in the Department is a copy of a preliminary report of the FBI on Soviet Espionage activities in the United States which involves a large number of State Department employees, some in high official positions……”There is a deliberate, calculated program carried out, not only to protect Communist personnel in high places, but to reduce security and intelligence to a nullity.    Should this case break before the State Department acts, it will be a national disgrace.”[2] 



The author of this book points out that this information led McCarthy to criticize George C. Marshall, which further prompted Truman to soften his position on security risks.  The author continues:


“Later, just after Thanksgiving, 1949, three men came to Senator McCarthy’s office and…showed the Senator a 100 page summary of Communist subversion in the U.S., including serious penetration of the State Department.  The report, which had been prepared under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover, had already been supplied to the White House., the Secretary of State, and heads of other federal departments concerned…….Senator McCarthy read the reports and was so shocked by what it revealed that he committed himself to do something about it.


And so began the McCarthy saga.  It was but a few months later, on Feb.9,1950, that Senator McCarthy “did something about it.”  He gave a speech to the Ohio Country Women’s Republican Club of  Wheeling, West Virginia, in which he said:  “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.” [3]


McCarthy’s sensational charges began appearing in newspapers across the country.


The author of the above mentioned book then makes it abundantly clear that McCarthy, far from indulging in an infamous ‘witchhunt’, as the media lapdogs portrayed it, was actually the victim of an organized smear campaign.  At the time McCarthy, with Government, media, and the Communist Party poised against him, made a startling prediction:


“….on September 23, 1950,…McCarthy charged, (In referring to Roosevelt and Stalin at Yalta):


Here was signed the death warrant of the young men who were dying today in the hills of Korea.  Here was signed the death warrant of the young men who will die tomorrow in the jungles of Indochina (Vietnam).”[4]  


Senator McCarthy was clearly becoming a threat and embarrassment to those special interest groups intent upon promoting an internationalist agendas. As is invariably the case, the smear campaign began with seemingly innocuous whispers and asides such as:


“I like what he is doing, but I object to his methods.”  Or:  “He is smearing individuals with guilt by association.”  McCarthy knew that these smear jobs against him were inaccurate, and he wrote about them in his book, published in 1952:  “Whenever I ask those who object to my methods to name the “objectionable methods,” again I hear parroted back to me the Communist Daily Worker stock phrase:  “irresponsible charges” and “smearing innocent people.”  But as often as I have asked for the name of a single innocent person who has been “smeared” or “irresponsibly charged,” nothing but silence answers.”[5]


In reference to the unusual circumstances surrounding the Senator’s descent into infamy and obscurity and premature death and the individual responsible for it, the author of ‘The Unseen Hand’ writes:


“The charges against McCarthy came to a head on July 30, 1954, when Senator Ralph Flanders introduced a resolution condemning Senator McCarthy for “conduct unbecoming a member.”  It contained 46 different counts, and a committee was appointed to investigate the charges.  After hearings, it recommended that McCarthy be censured, not on the 46 counts, but on only two.  The charges produced by Flanders, however, were not written by him nor members of his staff:  “What is generally not known is that the speech made by Senator Flanders in introducing the resolution, as well as the resolution itself, were written for him by the National Committee for an Effective Congress, which was created by …Arthur Goldsmith.   (It is revealing that the Arthur Goldsmith who created the organization which wrote the charges against McCarthy was the same Arthur Goldsmith who had the ability to make decisions for the Communist Party, who revealed that it was the wealthy Goldsmith who had this incredible power.”[6] 


To this interesting information should be added the further comments by journalist Douglas Reed:


“In 1954 the new President allowed it to be known that he looked with disfavour on Senator McCarthy’s “methods” and thus implicity gave his nod to the censure motion (The American Jewish Committee also imperiously demanded that the senate approve it), which then carried.”[7] 


Now, WHY, people might be tempted to ask, would the American Jewish Committee attempt to get involved in the move to censure McCarthy?  The answer is really quite simple and rather obvious and may be pin-pointed to the year 1949.  That is the year McCarthy undertook to investigate charges of brutality and torture applied in extracting confessions from accused German defendants in the Malmedy Case.  As it turned out, the names of those interrogators responsible for the unrestricted use of torture in order to extract ‘confessions’ invariably were identified as American Jews.  We need not discuss the details of the case in this presentation, but these points will perhaps be addressed in a future essay.   What is important to note for our purposes now, is that is was this singular event which  incurred for McCarthy the enmity of tens of thousands of Jews living both within and outside of the United States.


As McCarthy expanded his crusade to not only  uncover security risks in the United States Government and State Department, but also Communists and their sympathizers in the fields of mass communication, entertainment, and other occupations, one fact was becoming uncomfortably clear—many of the names of those who fell under suspicion  suggested that these were persons of Jewish ancestry or faith.  Under such circumstances, unavoidable as they were, the smear campaign against McCarthy began in earnest.   In a rather hopelessly futile attempt to offset these negative images spoon fed daily to the American public by the media,  McCarthy accepted the services of a young, rather aggressive Jewish prosecutor named Roy Cohn, in the hope that this collaboration would procure an abatement in respect to the slanderous personal attacks then being launched against him by his detractors.  In what appeared to be a masterful tactic, McCarthy had decided upon not only a Jew, but a man who also had happened to be the junior prosecutor in the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg case.  In and of itself, the strategy seemed prima facie clever and a sure bet, but, unknown to McCarthy, his new aide de camp, Roy Cohn, was a confirmed homosexual.  And because of this major factor, the new alliance was doomed to failure. 


In fact, while serving as McCarthy’s assistant, Cohn had taken a “shine” to a new amour—whose name was David Schine.   To McCarthy’s ultimate humiliation, Cohn couldn’t resist telephoning Shine up to five times a day after Shine had been inducted into the Armed Forces.  Charges, counter-charges, resentments and accusations of favouritism abounded unashamedly concerning Shine’s alleged “special treatment” whilst serving as a member of the United States armed forces.


In point of fact, Senator Joseph McCarthy was smeared, vilified, ultimately condemned, and, according to some authors, murdered as a result of the interest he had taken in exposing treason and espionage within the United States, and that the lies and fabrications of his self-proclaimed enemies were the sole basis for destroying a man’s rather brilliant and distinguished career.  To this day, “McCarthyism” is referred to by the jaded left as demagoguery and deceit with all the trappings of a modern day witch-hunt and modern “inquisition.”  At least this is the way the McCarthy hearings have been presented to the public ever since the Senator’s fall from grace by boot-licking journalists and so-called ‘historians.”  And why?  Because those who fell under suspicion were in most cases identifiable as Jews.  Now, granting that Jews had every reason to be concerned about this development, especially after the Rosenberg scandal,  the rancour which was reserved for McCarthy had actually crystallized on the day he decided to investigate the Malmedy Case., but as for the subsequent labels and buzz-words:  “witch-hunt,” and “modern day inquisition,” these remain simply absurd self-serving empty catch-phrases with no basis in reality.  If we were to look for an event which DOES fit this description, we need only have peered across the Atlantic to discover the following in regard to Allied Occupation Policies in Germany, circa 1945 to the present:


According to Michael Elkins, author of “Forged in Fury”—


Within the American zone of occupation alone, ….proscribed categories were ultimately found to include 13,199,800 persons.  The International War Crimes Tribunal at Nuremberg judged three major Nazi organizations as “criminal”, subjecting all persons who were members on or after September 1, 1939 (The actual date was 1933) to automatic arrest and imprisonment:  the Nazi Party (Note:  This designation encompassed ALL Party members, whatever rank-),; the Gestapo and Security Police (all echelons except clerks, stenographers, janitors); all members of the SS without exception. “Voluntary and knowledgeable” membership in these organizations was sufficient for automatic imprisonment for terms ranging from 5 to 10 years, plus additional punishment for other crimes, individually proven. “[8] 


Elkins further points out:


Of the 13 million registrants, 3,441,800 were—after further investigation—found to be “chargeable,” and by the end of May 1949, 3,432,500 of these were listed as “chargeable cases completed…The great majority of them-2,477,300, more than 72 percent, were amnestied without trial.   Of the remaining 955,200 who were brought to trial, a further 314,600 were amnestied in the course of the trials, and 18,300 were “exonerated.”


Of these, 75% (462,700) were fined, and/or made ineligible to hold public office or subjected to other employment restrictions; 30,500 were sentenced to “special labour without imprisonment,” which meant-for those physically capable-reconstruction work in the West German cities while living at their homes (NOTE:  What homes?  Germany was to all extents thoroughly demolished in 1945); 9600 were “assigned to labour camps,” for varying terms of up to 5 years; 25,900 had parts of their property-defined as “illegally acquired”—confiscated….This left 93,000 “major offenders” who were sentenced to terms of imprisonment or in labour camps up to 10 years.”[9]  


And these figures only applied to the American zone.  Note that even for those who were eventually amnestied, all were required to undergo periods of harassment and hounding by the authorities. Elkins asserts that by 1949 only 300 individuals were still serving their sentences, but I find this statement incredible.  The author offers no proof for this contention.  And of those Germans who lived in the other zones of occupation?  The author states:


“There were no comprehensive official statistics for the British zone, but the available evidence indicates that the British followed the American example….Overall statistics are lacking from the French Zone also….The Soviet Union has released no statistics.   Authorities on the subject estimate that between 100,000 and 250,000 Germans were shot or imprisoned in the closing months of the war and during the first 2 years of occupation.”[10]  (Other authorities place these figures much, much higher).



In the book “America’s Germany-An Account of the Occupation,” by Julian Bach, we are provided with more detailed examples of how these policies were actually implemented and to what degree.  The author wrote that only 3 cities in Germany were unaffected by the destruction caused by the war.  He refers to Germany’s cities as the world’s “vastest ruins.”   


Seen within this context, the hypocrisy of these people becomes laughable to the point of actual embarrassment.



[1] Dictionary of 20th Century World Biography, p.380.

[2] The Unseen Hand, pp. 308-309.

[3] Ibid, 309-310.

[4] Ibid, p. 311.

[5] Ibid, p. 312.

[6] Ibid, p. 313.

[7] (The Controversy of Zion, p.387).

[8] Page 273.

[9] Ibid, Elkins, pp. On pages 281-2.

[10] Ibid, Elkins, pp. 282,283.