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James Comey and Joe McCarthy

Former FBI Director and Curent Twitter Warrior invoked the shade of Senator Joseph McCarthy in the above tweet.  A few observations:

  1.  Joe McCarthy is known in popular parlance for inspiring a paranoia that was looking for “Reds under every bed.”  The whole McCarthy phenomenon was a good deal more complicated than that, but here is another tweet from Comey just a few days ago:  “Russia threat should unite us, not divide us: “It’s not about Republicans or Democrats. They’re coming after America, which I hope we all love equally… And they will be back, because we remain…that shining city on the hill, and they don’t like it. “ Me (Senate Intel 6/8/17).
  2. McCarthy had not an iota of power that was not granted to him by the people of Wisconsin at the ballot box.  Comey is a member in good standing of the Deep State and may well have been a part of a plot to subvert the Presidential election of 2016.
  3.  McCarthy, whatever his manifest failings, never conducted a criminal investigation of a high political figure where the fix was manifestly in and then lied about it to the American people.
  4. McCarthy, unlike Comey, never engaged in perjury before Congress.
  5. McCarthy, unlike Comey, occasionally showed signs of a sense of humor.
  6. Unlike McCarthy, it is unlikely he will still be recalled sixty years after his death.

When I first heard that Donald Trump was running for President I laughed, viewing him as something of a clown and completely unfitted for public office.  Part of me still feels that way.  However he pledged support for the pro-life cause and I reluctantly supported him.  One of the benefits of his upset win is that many officials and pundits, some of who I mistakenly supported, have revealed themselves as hysterical clowns, and worse, in regard to his election.  That a man like Comey, who increasingly acts deranged and who stands revealed as a conspiratorial kook and lick spittle to the prior administration, was once in charge of the FBI, speaks volumes about the ingrained corruption in our government.  If the election of Trump does nothing else, he has turned the rock over on characters like Comey, and that is a good thing indeed.

 

 

The declassified Venona decrypts have revealed to the public the full extent and depth of Soviet spying in America and proved that fears of Russian espionage networks at work in the highest reaches of the government were not fantasy but sober fact. Meanwhile, independent sources from iron curtain Hungary have confirmed Alger Hiss’s role as a Soviet spy, just as Russian sources (including his former KGB case officer) have finally definitively established that Julius Rosenberg was a central figure in the Soviet spy network (although the importance of the material he provided on the atomic bomb, and the degree of his wife Ethel’s involvement, is still under debate). Even the truth about Owen Lattimore, the most famous of McCarthy’s “victims,” has finally come out, thanks to a former Chinese espionage agent’s memoirs and declassified FBI files, which go a long way to vindicate McCarthy’s original charges. In retrospect, the cause McCarthy made his own — anticommunism — has proved to be more valid and durable than the basic assumptions of his anti-anti-Communist critics.

Arthur Herman, Joseph McCarthy:  Reexaming the Life and Legacy of America’s Most Hated Senator (1999)

 

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

14 Comments

  1. It’s kind of like the bank examiners showed up and discovered 10% of your loan portfolio is sour, you bought securities from a private mortgage conduit that are now in default, and you’ve got a negative book value. Comey, Mueller, and Rosenstein are all out of a stable of well-connected Republican lawyers. This fellow Christopher Wray is not, AFAIK, from the same social circles; he does, however, have a similar vibe.

    The Mueller investigation was a product of a common Washington maneuver. Comey leaks to the press, clueless Sessions recuses himself in response, the matter is dropped into Rosenstein’s lap, and he then delegates it to Mueller who is given what amounts to an unlimited book. Mueller, just by accident, hires about 15 lawyers and it turns out that a third of them are Democratic Party donors. I think I mentioned I had a buddy who was chairman of a suburban Democratic committee near Rochester. He doesn’t show up in that database, but Mueller’s staff does. I’ve two close relations who are bigoted dyed-in-the-melt Democrats (and one of whom is a federal employee). They dont’t show up in that database. Tossing 4 figure sums of money at Democratic candidates for office is something only a low-single-digit minority do, but they keep showing up again and again in these political cases. (The broad Eric Holder assigned to ‘investigate’ Lois Lerner was also a Democratic Party donor). Mueller’s going after Manafort’s business interests (something the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice could do, as could the U.S. Attorney’s offices where his places of business are located) and is undertaking the standard-issue special prosecutor’s maneuver of charging people with process crimes (see Glenn Reynolds on this point – that’s another thing that could be readily handled by the regular prosecutorial corps; how often do you hear of local DA’s charging people with process crimes?)

    Right now, if I’m to believe the newspapers, Wray and Rosenstein have been frantic to prevent the publication of a 4 page memo which is (supposedly) a summary of underlying documentation. What Fr. Paul O’Shaughnessy had to say about ‘sociologically corrupt’ organizations applies here: they may not have (proportionately) many more scoundrels in them than does a healthy organization, but the leadership of the organization’s priorities are not in disciplining the scoundrels but in protecting the organization from embarrassment.

  2. McCarthy, whatever his manifest failings, never conducted a criminal investigation of a high political figure where the fix was manifestly in and then lied about it to the American people.

    Just to point out that McCarthy came to public attention in 1950 by claiming he had a list of 205 Communists working in the State Department. What he actually had was a 3 year old letter from James Byrnes referring to a bloc of employees disciplined and terminated for various reasons. McCarthy did his share of lying and did serious injury to the Foreign Service. The reality – that there were about 150 Soviet agents in the Federal government and that they included four members of Roosevelt’s subcabinet – was bad enough.

  3. Under Senator Joe McCarthy the communists had to scurry like cockroaches in the light. Senator McCarthy may not have stopped the commies, but he sure slowed them down.

  4. Unlike McCarthy, it is unlikely he will still be recalled sixty years after his death.

    I don’t know about that one. Comey might be recalled, but not as favorably as McCarthy.

  5. McCarthy’s crime was not lying about his list of infiltrators. It was his zeal to defend America from communist infiltration/subversiontreason.

    Satire is most delicious when it’s true. From the Onion, FBI director warns that release of memo could undermine faith in the secret, unaccountable police state.

    Obama had his DOJ, FBI, and IRS. Hitler had his gestapo and SS.

  6. McCarthy’s crime was not lying about his list of infiltrators. It was his zeal to defend America from communist infiltration/subversiontreason.

    And the marginal value of his contribution was just what? His last act was the Army-McCarthy hearings. A promotion granted a dentist who had belonged to the American Labor Party merits a 36 day congressional inquiry? McCarthy’s chief of staff was one Roy Cohn. An aspect of McCarthy’s conflict with the Army was Cohn working the phones to the Army secretary’s office trying to wangle better postings for one David Schine, a McCarthy aide who’d enlisted in the service (as was the norm then; > of 2/3 of Schine’s cohort had a tour in the service and 2/3 of those who didn’t were excused after failing the physical or the psychological tests). The Army secretary’s office was contending the hearings were payback for refusing to accommodate Cohn while McCarthy was contending the Army was holding Schine hostage to squelch investigations.

  7. Comey might be recalled, but not as favorably as McCarthy.

    McCarthy died at the age of 47 of cirrhosis of the liver. The man was a mess six-ways-to-Sunday.

  8. McCarthy may have been a mess six-ways-to-Sunday. Comey may still be remembered less favorably. Difference being, McCarthy was generally right on what he became known for and was fighting to preserve our country. Comey, on the other hand, appears to be a traitor fighting to subvert our country.

  9. We will have to start a new dish to replace eggs Benedict: Eggs Comey.

    One egg sunny side up over toasted Russian rye bread.

  10. McCarthy was generally right on what he became known for and was fighting to preserve our country.

    He was fighting to keep his name in the papers. You all seem to think there were no efforts on the part of the FBI, the Truman Administration generally, the AFL and CIO, and non-dipso members of Congress to improve internal security. That isn’t true.

  11. If you read Mr.Comey’s “That was it” twitter-posturing about today’s Nunes memo, one thing which should be kept in mind is that Mr.Comey is a lawyer and one very careful with his words.

    At no point does he deny anything in the memo, or claim it is false or a mischaracterization or anything along those lines. Instead, he tries to downplay it, minimize it, and takes a position that his actions were in service of a (like his book title) “higher power”. His defense remains the assertion that he is justified to have bent the law.

    I hope Congress has the stomach to disabuse him of this notion, and soon.

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