An interesting piece in today’s WSJ (perhaps the only publication I read if you haven’t guessed) on Joe McCarthy.
The article criticizes the revisionist attempts at rewriting history such as those by Coulter. It is noteworthy that this article is written by a Conservative and not another liberal shill. The article notes:
Yet today, more and more conservative writers are trying to vindicate the late senator. Authors M. Stanton Evans and Ann Coulter, for example, have claimed that McCarthy was more right than wrong because he, along with dozens of other anticommunists, was correct that the government was riddled with spies.
The FBI agents who actually chased Soviet spies have a very different perspective.
Robert J. Lamphere, who participated in all the FBI’s major spy cases during the McCarthy period, was one. Lamphere also was the FBI liaison to the U.S. Army’s Signal Intelligence Service’s Venona program, which was intercepting secret Soviet communications. He used leads from the intercepts to work cases involving notorious espionage figures such as Klaus Fuchs, Harry Gold, David Greenglass, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg and Kim Philby.
Lamphere (who died in 2002), told me in an interview that agents who worked counterintelligence were appalled that FBI director J. Edgar Hoover initially supported McCarthy. True enough, the Venona intercepts revealed that hundreds more Soviet spies had operated in the government than was believed at the time.
“The problem was that McCarthy lied about his information and figures,” Lamphere said. “He made charges against people that weren’t true. McCarthyism harmed the counterintelligence effort against the Soviet threat because of the revulsion it caused.”
Read the entire article here.