Wednesday, January 08, 2003

I just watched a PBS show on the Venona project. It was a repeat from last year.

At the end, it is very careful to say that Venona does not vindicate Sen. McCarthy. It says: "Ironically, there is no evidence that Senator Joseph McCarthy, who smeared hundreds of innocent people as Soviet spies, ever heard of the Venona project. ... As far as we can tell, of all the people that McCarthy named as possible Soviet agents, only a tiny, tiny handful, perhaps two or three, are revealed in Venona."

I thought that the complaint against McCarthy was that he refused to reveal his list of suspects. Did he really accuse 100s of innocent people of being Soviet spies?

Here is someone who thinks that Venona vindicates McCarthy.

Gumma responds:
McCarthy never smeared even ONE innocent person as a Soviet spy or Communist. Not one! If you think there was one, name him!!

When he talked about lots of Communists, he was talking about State Dept lists to which he did not have access to the individual names. No one was smeared by this. There is plenty of proof that there were lots of Commies in the State Department.

He named lots of people who were real spies, such as the one in the Gubmet printing office who had accesss to printing our code books.

It is a total non sequitur to say that because McCarthy didn't know about Venona (nobody did!) or that the people he named were not also mentioned in Venona, that proves some defect in McCarthy.

A reader writes that he has personal knowledge of McCarthy falsely calling someone a communist on the floor of the Senate. I guess this will take some more research.

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