“Neo-McCarthyism” Versus A Communist Chinese World Order [Addended]

1943: “Captain Joseph R. McCarthy, a Marine intelligence officer, interviewing pilots who have just returned from raids on Japanese installations in the Solomon Islands” 

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“Time after time I have heard people launch into a violent attack on McCarthy, and when I questioned them, I found that they had only the haziest and most inaccurate notions of what the Senator had really said and really done.” [1952, William M. McGovern, Professor of Political Science, Northwestern University, and Anthropologist, and real-life inspiration for Indiana Jones]

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Cross-posted at Pajamas Media

Jung Chang and Jon Halliday open their definitive 2011 biography of founding Communist Chinese dictator Mao Tse-tung (“Mao: The Unknown Story”) with a dispassionate accounting of the horrific human toll wrought by implementing Marxism-Leninism—Communism—in China:

Mao Tse-tung, who for decades held absolute power over one-fourth of the world’s population, was responsible for well over 70 million deaths in peacetime, more than any other 20th century leader.

A decade beforehand, Donald Trump’s 2000 “The America We Deserve”, provided the best summary explication of the pro-freedom,  staunchly anti-Communist ideology which animates his foreign policy considerations. As has remained his wont, Trump was especially gimlet-eyed about the danger of recalcitrant Communism in an already powerful China.

I break rank with many business colleagues and foreign policy gurus…in my unwillingness to shrug off the mistreatment of China’s citizens by their own government. My reason is simple: These oppressive policies make it clear that China’s current government has contempt for our way of life. It fears freedom because it knows its survival depends on oppression. It does not respect individual rights. It is still, at heart, a collectivist society. As such it is a destabilizing force in the world, and should be viewed that way.

Trump’s commonsensical concerns, as expressed in 2000, have been updated, validated, and amplified by an FBI counterintelligence report, just presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, December 12, 2018, and the scholarship of Mandarin-fluent China expert, Dr. Michael Pillsbury.

Re-capitulating the yawning ideological gap between the U.S. and Communist China that was once accepted common knowledge, the 12/12/2018 FBI report noted,

It is impossible to overstate the differences between the American and Chinese systems. China is an authoritarian, one-party state where the Chinese Communist Party reigns supreme. At the Chinese Communist Party’s direction, the Chinese government dominates every facet of Chinese life, through actions such as central economic planning, Internet and media censorship, and leveraging intrusive technologies.

And this FBI report minced no words about Communist China’s current predatory economic practices—often rooted in frank espionage—to accomplish its goal of re-making the world order in a totalitarian Communist image:

The Chinese government is attempting to acquire or steal, not only the plans and intentions of the United States government, but also the ideas and innovations of the very people that make our economy so incredibly successful. The Chinese government understands a core lesson of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union: economic strength is the foundation of national power. The competition between the United States and China will be greatly influenced, if not ultimately decided, on the strength of our economies…They also aim to rewrite the rules to shape the world in their image, and they have already made progress on this front. The rules they write seek to guarantee the dominance of their businesses and root Chinese national power in the very fabric of an international system…This is not simply a competition between businesses and industries but also between governments and the ways in which they govern their societies. Make no mistake: the Chinese government is proposing itself as an alternative model for the world, one without a democratic system of government…

The One Hundred Year Marathon,” Dr. Pillsbury’s 2016 opus, argues that Chinese autocrat Deng Xiaoping, who became “paramount leader” in 1978, permitted subtle variation from totalitarian Marxism-Leninism, accommodating “market forces,” only to make technological, especially military advances, all serving “Socialism with Chinese characteristics.”  Overt Communist-Socialist ideologues aside, Pillsbury balks at the uninformed gullibility of “a credulous community of international bankers, academics, and think tank experts,” who

…believe that Mao’s command system has given way to an embrace of free enterprise and a trade policy abiding by international rules…China has gotten away with this message that it aspires to be more and more like the West

Pillsbury’s analysis rivets on his study in their original Mandarin of two critical works of contemporary Chinese geo-political and military strategy, Liu Mingfu’s “The China Dream,” and Zhao Tingyang’s, “The (Tianxia) Under-Heaven System: The Philosophy of The World Institution”. Chinese People’s Liberation Army colonel Liu Mingfu, Pillsbury observes,

alludes to the importance of studying American weaknesses, and preparing to hit the Americans once the West becomes wise to China’s true game plan. Liu also hints at the existence of an official Marathon strategy among the Chinese leadership, praising Mao Zedong because “he dared to craft a grand plan to surpass America [i.e., by 2049, on the 100th anniversary of the Communist takeover of China], stating that beating the United States would be China’s greatest contribution to humanity.” As the Wall Street Journal revealed in 2013, The China Dream is featured in the “recommended reading” section of all state-controlled bookstores.

Zhao Tingyang, melding traditional, and modern Communist Chinese authoritarianism, envisions a global system under Chinese dominance, subduing “inferior” civilizations from the “barbarian wilderness”—such as the U.S. Not surprisingly, as Pillsbury notes, this totalitarian system, “values order over freedom,” and “elite (i.e., a euphemism for Communist ideologue) governance over democracy.”  Questioned directly by Pillsbury in July, 2012, about how refusal to submit to this Communist Chinese world order would be met, Zhao Tingyang replied candidly: employing superior military might.

Socialist (here; here) ex-Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (though he once took umbrage at the Socialist label) is clearly being promoted as the establishment mouthpiece for a rejection of current Trump administration China policies—“unduly” influenced by Trump’s own longstanding visceral anti-Communism, and Dr. Pillsbury’s current sober alarm—deemed too “adversarial” toward our era’s primary locus of hegemonic Communist power. From his recently ensconced perch as inaugural president of the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI), Rudd delivered an updated address (text; video with Q & A) Wednesday, December 5, 2018 on China, and U.S.-China relations. Rudd largely re-affirmed views he has articulated since taking the helm of the ASPI in 2015: grudging recognition of China as a “one-party, (Marxist)-Leninist,” “state capitalist,” authoritarian polity, intolerant of political freedom, while denying that Communist China has any global hegemonic aspirations, consistent with the Communist religion of immoralism. Moreover, China policy savant Rudd has of late actually argued that potential conflict between the global Communist power and the U.S. might somehow be averted by the two nations reaching an accord on the very dubious science of climate change, for what he termed “hothouse earth.” During a September 13, 2018 address at the Asia Society of Northern California, Rudd remarked, wistfully,

[L]et us hope that this last remaining ballast in the relationship can be salvaged for the future of us all. The planet demands nothing less… [I]t may be that continuing climate cooperation between China and the United States becomes the remaining ballast in the bilateral relationship for the foreseeable future. 

Lest one assume Rudd’s mindset is mere muddle, or cognitive dissonance, he revealed his true malign, anti-anti-Communist colors, at the conclusion of the December 5, 2018 speech, and in the subsequent question and answer period.  Piously invoking the most crude and ahistorical caricatures of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, and the rather measured 1950s U.S. public response to the Communist conspiracy—movement Communist, fellow traveler, and “liberal” hypocrite hysteria notwithstanding (see the 1950s observations of Ralph de Toledano, and Max Eastman, cited below)—Rudd maintained:

…[I] am concerned about the rise of “Neo-McCarthyism” in a debate which conflates concerns about the actions of the Chinese party and state on the one hand, with the actions and attitudes of Chinese Americans on the other…So as we advance this hard debate on this country’s future with China, let us learn from the events of the last Cold War, Joe McCarthy and his committee on un-American activities. This debate requires full candor. Not a show trial. We are all better than that.

Remaining bereft of essential facts, Rudd took greater license when he persisted on this ignorant and defamatory track in a follow-up question and answer with a Xinhua reporter:

[Xinhua reporter]: You mentioned the possibility of a ‘new’ McCarthyism in the United States. Where could it emerge from? From the White House, from the Congress, form the Cabinet level, from the academy, or just from the local level?

[Rudd (born, 9/21/1957)]: On the question of McCarthyism, I am quite passionate on this question, because not just am I a student of history, and seen what happened in the (19)50s in this country, when Joe McCarthy ran riot (died, 5/2/1957, ~4-months before Rudd was born) and when you had a period where anyone who had once been in a room with a Communist, was automatically the subject to a series of frankly open persecutions judicially sanctioned in this country.…[W]e should be able to entertain a debate therefore in this country and in mine about our own national security interest, domestic and external, without inviting the demons of racism and ideological “witch trials” into the public court.

The House—note the key word “House”—Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), what Rudd referred to as “Joe McCarthy and his committee on un-American activities” —was a Congressional, not a Senatorial committee, founded and originally headed by Texas Congressman Martin Dies, per a Congressional resolution passed May 26, 1938 (p. 60). Self-proclaimed “student of history” Mr. Rudd could have gleaned such basic factual information, and avoided his embarrassing declaration of counterfactual nonsense, by a quick Wikipedia perusal. In an instance where even this source is reliable, it states, appropriately, that Senator McCarthy “had no direct involvement with this House committee. McCarthy was the chairman of the Government Operations Committee and its Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the U.S. Senate, not the House.”  [See also here, and related screenshot, below]

Tragically, Rudd’s factually bereft fulmination on Senator McCarthy, and “McCarthyism,” is pathognomonic of almost seven decades of similarly warped appraisals. In stark contrast, the late M. Stanton Evans’, 2007 “Blacklisted By History,” is a balanced, meticulous distillation of more than 50 years of painstaking archival research, which produced the definitive scholarly treatment of Senator McCarthy’s career, and surrounding atmospherics. Already by April, 1960, Evans’ richly sourced rebuttal (Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI) April 8, 1960; p. 10) of an editorial based upon the fact devoid “reportage” of a lecture he gave to conservative students at the University of Wisconsin, on March 27, 1960, demonstrated how “academic” and media anti-McCarthyites engaged in “anti-intellectualism,” and were “the true enemies of the mind.” This continuum of historical injustice—“blacklisting” using Evans’ apt metaphor—has by design relegated to oblivion a host of carefully documented ripostes to foundational McCarthy smears, and calumnies, published between the critical years of 1950 to1954.

Perhaps the most cogent, and certainly the most immediate, and comprehensive rebuttal of the vicious misrepresentations of McCarthy’s first 6-year term (1946-1952), was written by the Senator himself. Published in 1952, it was entitled, “McCarthyism—The Fight For America.” True to the subtitle, “Documented answers to questions posed by friend and foe,” McCarthy’s 111 pp., 314 footnote monograph, was organized around specific queries, and the Senator’s responses, in very clear, granular detail.  One of McCarthy’s particularly insightful understandings was the Communist Party [CP] origins (domestic, CPUSA, with ultimate Soviet orchestration)—indeed coopting—of the term “McCarthyism” itself, beginning with the March, 1950 plenary session of the CPUSA, and repeated in print, April, and May, of 1950 with these pronouncements from the CPUSA directive organ, Daily Worker (p. 85):

Communists are keenly aware of the damage the McCarthy crowd is doing…I [then CPUSA national secretary, Gus Hall] urge all Communist Party members, and all anti-fascists to yield second place to none in the fight against the fascist poison of McCarthyism.

Ex-CPUSA member, and former editor of the Daily Worker, Louis Budenz, elaborated in a 1954 oped (“Moscow Orders McCarthy Destroyed, Dupes Many Into Frenzy Against ‘McCarthyism’,” Delaware County Daily Times, November 5, 1954, p. 26), how the Communist movement not only generated, but then via its “transmission belt,” spread the anti-McCarthy smear campaign into mainstream media and political circles, for the ultimate purpose of squelching all investigation of Communist subversive activities.

At a special meeting of the Red national committee in March,1950, Communist leader Gus Hall ordered McCarthy’s political liquidation…During the three years from 1950 to 1953 I pored over hundreds of copies of the Daily Worker which fanned the official flames of the assault on McCarthy. From my experiences in the conspiracy, I realized in 1950 that the Reds’ organized hysteria against McCarthy and McCarthyism would soon pass easily into non-Communist opinion-forming organs. In a comparatively short time after Gus Hall’s order, what the Communists ordered to be said about McCarthy was being repeated by outstanding public figures, certain leading newspapers, and television and radio commentators…Moscow officially threw fuel on the flames. In October 1952, Joseph Stalin gave an important directive to his agents in non-Communist countries. He called upon the Communists of the “bourgeois” nations to raise higher the banner of “bourgeois civil liberties.” This call was dutifully published here in Political Affairs, the official Communist theoretical organ, and hailed  as a “momentous” declaration.

Notwithstanding the obvious “arrogance and insincerity” of this late 1952 personal directive from Stalin, Budenz further chronicled its contemporary (early to mid-1950s) sinister impact, which has lingered on through the present era.

Most unfortunately, very few Americans bothered to examine it [Stalin’s directive] at all, and this was true of most of our national leaders. The effect of this call was even greater frenzy against “McCarthyism” in the Communist press, and consequently among the friends and puppets of the Communists. They all followed the order to attack McCarthy in the name of “civil liberties.” By June 1953, Political Affairs could feature an article of directives for Stalinites here entitled, “The Anatomy of McCarthyism.” The official Red line pictured McCarthy as “an unscrupulous demagogue and adventurer.” The comrades were instructed in this article that the attack on “McCarthyism” was not for the purpose of destroying the Wisconsin senator alone, but for killing off all Congressional investigations and every other effort to curb the Communist conspiracy. The article directed that “the main fire in the struggle for democratic liberties be directed against McCarthyism.” By June 1953 the Daily Worker could also feature an editorial entitled, “Our Crusade Hits Home.” In this editorial the Red organ proudly announced that it was the “initiator” of the campaign against “McCarthyism.” The editorial called a long roll of those who had followed the Communist lead, including some “conservative organizations.”

McCarthy’s seminal (or “infamous”) Wheeling, West Virginia speech from February, 1950 [read verbatim into the Congressional record on 2/20/1950, and defended, precisely, from smears pp. 7-10, by the Senator] addressed another primal canard besmirching his legacy, as sneeringly articulated by journalist George Reedy. “Thoughtfulsocialist reporter Reedy, who covered Senator McCarthy for United Press International, and later became President Lyndon Johnson’s press secretary, asserted “Joe (McCarthy) didn’t know Karl Marx from Groucho”—a quip Reedy ignorantly misappropriated from the early 1950s “definition” of so-called “Stomach Communists” in Tito-era Communist Yugoslovia. Contra Reedy’s journalistically lazy, and gratuitously insulting smear, McCarthy—a “quick study”—not only examined Communism with requisite attention, his February, 1950 Wheeling speech, widely scrutinized by the media, articulated the amoral essence of the Communist creed, dubbing it, “the religion of immoralism.”

The great difference between our western Christian world and the atheistic Communist world is not political ladies and gentlemen, it is moral. There are other differences of course, but those could be reconciled. For instance, the Marxian idea of confiscating the land and factories and running the entire economy as a single enterprise is momentous. Likewise, Lenin’s invention of the one-party police state as a way to make Marx’s idea work is hardly less momentous. Stalin’s resolute putting across of these two ideas, of course, did much to divide the world. With only these differences, however, the East and the West could most certainly still live in peace. The real basic difference, however, lies in the religion of immoralism—invented by Marx, preached feverishly by Lenin, and carried to unimaginable extremes by Stalin. This religion of immoralism, if the Red half of the world wins—and well it may—this religion of immoralism will more deeply wound and damage mankind than any conceivable economic or political system. Karl Marx dismissed God as a hoax and Lenin and Stalin have added in clear-cut, unmistakable language their resolve that no nation, no people who believe in God, can exist side by side with their communistic state. Karl Marx, for example, expelled people from his Communist Party for mentioning such things as justice, humanity, or morality. He called this soulful ravings and sloppy sentimentality.

Three years later, ex-Communist propagandist, philosopher, and poet, Max Eastman (in his eponymous, June, 1953 “The Religion of Immoralism”) conveyed identical understandings, albeit with a greater eloquence one would anticipate given Eastman’s background.

The Communist’s believe in man not as an independent power, but as a constituent part of the super humanly ordained movement of the universe. That dialectic movement is their God, and it is that God who exempts them from the laws of morality. The difference between Christianity and Communism is between a religion which teaches personal salvation through sympathy and loving-kindness and a religion which teaches social salvation through bringing the morals of war into the peacetime relations of men. Marx was so sure that the world was going to be redeemed by its own dialectic evolution that he would not permit his disciples to invoke the guidance of moral ideals. He really meant it when he said the workers have ‘no ideal to realize,’ they have only to participate in the contemporary struggle. He expelled people from his Communist Party for mentioning programmatically such things as ‘love,’ ‘justice,’ ‘humanity,’ even ‘morality’ itself. ‘Soulful ravings,’ ‘sloppy sentimentality,’ he called such expressions, and purged the astonished authors as though they had committed the most dastardly crimes.”

Eastman, in two 1954 letters to his colleague, writer Floyd Dell—a lifelong Socialist, and a propagandist for FDR’s Works Progress Administration—defended McCarthy, denounced the hysterical hypocrisy of American “liberals,” and praised the sober absence of hysteria in the overall American public’s reaction to the global Communist onslaught, including its domestic manifestations.

[From Eastman to Dell, March 6, 1954]: McCarthy after all is operating within the laws and constitutional framework of the country…I think that Communism as it has developed is both worse at home and more dangerous abroad than Hitlerism was. That perhaps is the main thing that separates me from some of these liberals who think that, “McCarthyism is a worse danger than Communism.”

[From Eastman to Dell, September 16, 1954]: I think the idea that he [McCarthy] is a “menace” or that he has done any more to harm the prestige or reputation of innocent people than any thorough-going congressional investigation inevitably does, is a myth. I further think that the reason why this myth flourishes so hysterically among the “liberals” is that many were implicated in the selling out of the world to totalitarian Communism, and instead of coming out and saying so and stating in what way they have changed their minds, they are trying to pretend that the attempt of congressional investigators to root Communists out of the government is an assault on all liberal opinion. To my mind the pretense of [“celebrated” anti-McCarthy commentator] Elmer Davis and others that it requires courage to stand against McCarthy is the silliest, most outrageous hoax that ever got into the best-seller column. It takes courage, I know from personal experience, to express a sane and un-hysterical judgment either about McCarthy, or about congressional investigations of Communism in general. Communism is winning the world and simple people of common sense are aware of it. That they are not being or saying extreme or unbalanced things about it—that there is not an item of hysteria in this country, facing such a danger—is to my mind astonishing. It shows how much more mature politically we are than we were in the times of the first world war and after.

Apart from the iconoclastic ex-radical Max Eastman, a number of other conservatives and libertarians (some of whom were also ex-Communists, or ex-fellow travelers) proffered compelling defenses of Senator McCarthy during the early to mid-1950s. These incisive contemporaneous rebuttals of anti-McCarthy smears have been effectively relegated to non-existence by not only establishment statists, but mainstream “conservatives” as well. A prominent example of this genre of pro-McCarthy ripostes was the letter composed and signed by 26 public intellectuals, and distributed to daily newspapers across the U.S., in April, 1953. Essentially, the letter condemned the media for ignoring McCarthy’s lucid 1952 self-defense, “McCarthyism—The Fight For America,” while gushingly embracing and promoting Owen Lattimore’s 1950 anti-McCarthy smear screed, “Ordeal By Slander.” This letter’s text, followed by the names of the 26 signatories, is reproduced, verbatim, below, as it appeared in the Pampa Daily News (Pampa, Texas), April 17, 1953, p.4:

To the Editor: Some of our colleagues, in newspapers, magazines, on the radio and TV, have enjoyed a virtually unchallenged forum of loose-talk on the subject of McCarthyism. We feel that they owe their readers, their listeners, and their consciences an accounting. What do they, or, if the shoe fits, what do you mean by the charge that the aims of the Wisconsin Senator are fine but his methods wrong? What methods have his critics used to remove traitors and subversives and security risks from Government? Did they assist in the struggle — and it was a struggle — to rid government of John Stewart Service, Edward Posniak, William T. Stone, Esther Brunauer and others too numerous to mention? McCarthy did. He fought and fought hard. Sometimes singlehandedly. And he got smeared, not only by the Communists — v/ho could be expected to honor Lenin’s injunction to “write in a language which sows among the masses hate, revulsion, scorn and the like, toward those who disagree with us” — but also by anti- anti-Communists and many genuine anti-Communists. How adequate is the substantiation of the charge that McCarthy has attacked and injured innocent people? Are McCarthy’s specific charges weighed before concluding, as with Owen Lattimore, that McCarthy is wrong? Owen Lattimore’s early denials of any attachment to the Communist line were given the widest coverage. His double-talking book attacking McCarthy was given the widest circulation, and the most extravagant and uncritical support. Now McCarthy has answered his critics in a 50-cent book called “McCarthyism, the Fight for America.” How many reviews has it had? The answer—hardly any -— is a blight on a profession supposedly objective and courageous. Yet in this book, McCarthy forthrightly discusses every significant charge made against him, affirms his charges, clears the air, and records more documented facts on the issue of McCarthyism than his fact-shy critics even hint exist. It deserves a reading. It deserves wide public notice. Why listen to Lattimore and not McCarthy? The answer; for a Communist, is easy. McCarthy has become one of his most formidable enemies. If McCarthy wins his fight to rid government of security risks, the cause of Communism will suffer a severe set-back. Let every honest American read McCarthy’s case before condemning him out of hand. Let us think twice before giving wider currency to the charges that “McCarthyism is more dangerous than Communism” — a statement that might one day serve as the epitaph of our civilization. 

Ward Bond, William F. Buckley Jr., Oliver Carlson, John Chamberlain, John B. Chappie, Frank Chodorov, Charles Coburn, Kenneth Colegrove, Frank Conniff, George Creel, Ralph de Toledano, Devin Garrity, Frank Hanighen, Karl Hess, Robert Hurleigh, Suzanne LaFollette, Victor Lasky, Fulton Lewis Jr., William Loeb, Eugene Lyons, Adolph Menjou, Max J. Merritt, Felix Morely, J. C. Phillips, Henry Regnery, and Morrie Ryskind.

One of the 26 co-authors of this April, 1953 letter defending McCarthy was Ralph de Toledano. A journalist, writer, and poet of Sephardic Jewish descent, de Toledano was “recruited” in May/June 1953 to rebut charges against Senator McCarthy by John Oakes of the New York Times editorial board. Columnist  Westbrook Pegler provided a tongue-in-cheek account of how the affair began a year later in an oped entitled, “Grace And Iphigene Argue Over McCarthy,” [The Indianapolis Star, May 18, 1954, p. 14]:

Mrs. Archibald Roosevelt, hereinafter called Grace and Mrs. Arthur Hays Sulzberger, hereinafter called Iphigene have been carrying on an argument about that which the Daily Worker was first to call “McCarthyism.” Grace seems to me to have done herself a job on Iphigene, but I must say both sides use the needle with consummate sweetness…Iphigene…asked John Oakes “of the editorial staff” to give her some [anti-McCarthy] details. She enclosed a copy of the memo…Grace replied that inasmuch as Iphigene went to a professional…she took her case to Ralph de Toledano, the eminent Red-baiter.

Levity aside, I share Pegler’s 1954 conclusion that Grace did “a job on Iphigene.” More precisely, it was de Toledano’s point by point evisceration of Timesman Oakes 15-point “memorandum” which did “the job.” Recently, I obtained both John B. Oakes’ May 12, 1953 letter/“memorandum,” and de Toledano’s June 8, 1953 itemized responses. To my understanding this exchange, has never before been published in its entirety. Comparing in full, below, these two 1953 letters, I believe, reveals not only the flimsy, counterfactual nature of the anti-McCarthy smears promoted by major liberal establishment media, such as the New York Times, but how an assiduous conservative journalist like de Toledano marshalled hard documentary evidence to thoroughly rebut them. And de Toledano concluded his rebuttal of Oakes with an excoriation of the statist Left media whose truth still applies at present:

more harm is done to the country, vis-à-vis the rest of the world, by the articles in The New York Times Sunday magazine which picture Americans as cringing in fear from a Fascist knout [scourge-like multiple whip] than anything which goes on in Senate committees. Europeans judge America by what they read. And when a respected American newspaper tells them that America lives one degree left of a storm trooper state, it has more effect than the entire output of the Communist press apparatus.

MEMORANDUM

TO: Mrs. Sulzberger

FROM: John B. Oakes

DATE: May 12, 1953

The Dear Iphigene:

Although I do not recall that McCarthy has ever been indicted, you certainly are right in saying that he hasn’t the “spiritual or moral” qualifications for what he is ostensibly trying to do.

In answering Mrs. Roosevelt, you might enumerate some of these points:

  1. McCarthy’s activities as a Wisconsin judge were such that the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that he had committed “an abuse of judicial power” and had acted in a “highly improper” manner in a specific case.
  1. His successful campaign for Senator in 1946 was held by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to have been “in violation of the terms of the Constitution and laws of the State of Wisconsin” and in violation of “his oath as a Circuit Judge and as an attorney-at-law.”
  1. Incidentally, McCarthy defeated LaFollette for the Republican nomination prior to that election by 5000 votes, some of which undoubtedly came from the Communists who were determined to defeat LaFollette. At this time there was an important Communist element in the Wisconsin C.I.O. [Congress of Industrial Organizations, trade union]
  1. McCarthy allowed his war record to be fantastically magnified, obviously for personal and political motives. This point should particularly enrage a Roosevelt.
  1. While a Senator and member of the Banking and Currency committee, the Joint Housing committee, and the Senate Investigations committee, McCarthy admittedly received $10,000 from the Lustron Corporation for supposedly writing a brochure on housing. At the time, Lustron was the recipient of an R.F.C. [Reconstruction Finance Corporation] loan and was to a large degree under jurisdiction of the varied committees of which McCarthy was a member.
  1. For years McCarthy was in constant difficulties with the Wisconsin State Tax Commission concerning his state income tax.
  1. The Senate subcommittee investigating McCarthy raised the question of whether funds supplied to him to fight communism were diverted to his own use, including the extensive stock speculation from which he profited.
  1. McCarthy had close relations in Washington with Russell Arundel, reportedly a sugar lobbyist and Pepsi-Cola bottler, who endorsed a $20,000 note of McCarthy’s in 1947.
  1. The Senate subcommittee investigating McCarthy thought his transactions with the Appleton (Wis.) State Bank were suspicious enough to raise a serious question as to whether or not any of any of them “involved violations of tax and banking laws.”
  1. The same committee also queried whether his campaign activities violated “Federal and State Corrupt Practices acts.”
  1. McCarthy has repeatedly made wild and irresponsible charges which he has been unable to substantiate, starting from his very first famous speech of February 9, 1950, stating that he had in his hand a list of 205 names of Communists “still working” and shaping policy in the State Department.
  1. He also called [Owen] Lattimore “the top Soviet espionage agent in the United States,” and whatever anyone may think of Lattimore, not even John T. Flynn in his recent book could produce any evidence to substantiate that particular charge. Of course, McCarthy never has either, and he has repeatedly used his Congressional immunity to protect himself. His attacks on Jessup and Marshall, among many others, are of the same type. [For clarification: Flynn’s meticulously documented 1953, “The Lattimore Story,” does in fact note, however, the Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security under Democratic Senator Pat McCarran, concluded beginning about 1930, Lattimore was “a conscious, articulate instrument of the Soviet conspiracy.” Moreover, Flynn himself concluded, “…based on an array of testimony and exhibits from scores of witnesses so clear and definitive that there can be no question in any fair mind that Lattimore and his confederates in the IPR (Institute of Pacific Relations) and the State Department were responsible for our defeat in China and the victory of Russia.”]
  1. McCarthy’s investigation of the Voice of America has uncoverd no Communists but has made our whole propaganda service look so ridiculous in European eyes that all the jamming and counter-propaganda of the Russians could not do nearly the damage to the U.S. that McCarthy has succeeded in doing. If he had been really interested in improving the Voice, he would have conducted the same kind of inquiry as the Fulbright-Hickenlooper committee; instead, he has only been interested in wild accusations of communism and –of course—in headlines.
  1. He is a menace to freedom of the press and, therefore, to freedom of speech and all our other freedoms. He has attempted to get advertisers to boycott newspapers (Milwaukee Journal) and magazines (Time), which have attacked him. The Wechsler case is the first, but probably not the last, of his efforts directly to intimidate editors who oppose hi,.
  1. Finally, if all else fails, I think you should remind Mrs. Roosevelt that McCarthy started in political life as a Democrat!

For details and substantiation of most of the statements made above, I think you should urge Mrs. Roosevelt to read these publications:

  • “The McCarthy Record,” put out last year by the Wisconsin Citizens’ Committee on McCarthy’s Record (409 North Frances Street, Madison, Wisconsin), price $1. I am sure a letter to the editor of the pamphlet, Morris H. Rubin of Madison, Wisconsin, would produce a copy.
  • The Senate subcommittee report of the investigation into McCarthy. An exact reprint of this government document is available through Americans for Democratic Action. It should be noted that McCarthy consistently refused to appear before the subcommittee, thus showing once again his contempt for decent and orderly procedure.

If you need any more materials, I would be very glad to supply it. Just give me a ring.

J.B.O.

**

TO: Mrs. Roosevelt

FROM: Ralph de Toledano

RE: The Oakes memo on McCarthy

June 8, 1954

I have read with some astonishment the Oakes memo on Senator McCarthy. I can only presume that Mr. Oakes has gotten all of his “information” from the two sources he cites. A good newspaperman, even if he is only dashing off a memo for publisher’s wife, tries to get at primary sources. I am also shocked by a lack of forthrightness in one representing so pious a publication as The New York Times. This is represented in the very first sentence of the memo in which Mr. Oakes writes that he does “not recall that McCarthy has ever been indicted.” This leaves the impression that perhaps, after all, McCarthy was indicted. Mr. Oakes does “not recall” because an indictment is a matter of public record—and there is no record anywhere that McCarthy was indicted. I wonder what The New York Times would say editorially if Senator McCarthy said in a speech that he did not recall that, let us say, Dean Acheson [Truman administration Secretary of State, 1949-1953] has been indicted. This would be labeled “smear,” and “McCarthyism.” If Mr. Oakes did not recall, he could have very easily consulted the morgue of The New York Times which is, reportedly, an excellent one. He preferred not to recall, even though he was asked specifically to verify or disprove a charge which Mrs. Sulzberger “recalled.” The double standard prevails.

The points Mr. Oakes enumerates, I shall answer one by one and in his order.

  1. A judge, as The New York Times would be the first to point out in any other context, acts according to his own lights. That is precisely why we have courts of appeal. And the higher courts often find that a judge of the lower courts often has acted in a “highly improper manner,” or abused his official and judicial power. Such phrases in appeals decisions are commonplace. Only if there is evidence of venality do they assume significance. It may be noted here that during the first Hiss trial, Judge Samuel Kaufman repeatedly acted in a highly improper manner and abused his judicial power by bullying government witnesses and misrepresenting past testimony. The New York Times did not clamor for his removal. Quite the contrary is true. The double standard again.
  1. This is a case of half-truth adding up to whole falsehood. The clear implication in the Oakes memo is that there was something fraudulent about McCarthy’s “campaign for Senator in 1956”—that is, vote fraud, expenditures in excess of what state law allowed, improper campaign methods, etc. The Wisconsin Supreme Court was ruling on one point: the fact that McCarthy did not resign his judgeship while he was running for Senate.
  1. Communists voted in large numbers for Franklin D. Roosevelt, Herbert Lehman, Fiorello LaGuardia, etc. To his day, a good many Communists add to the daily circulation of The New York Times. Let Mr. Oakes draw what conclusions he will from this.
  1. The war record of one Dwight D. Eisenhower was, from a Democratic viewpoint “fundamentally magnified,” for the “personal and political” gain of incumbent President. Since Mr. Oakes brings up the question of Senator McCarthy’s war record, however, it may be pertinent to quote a few knowledgeable people on the subject.

“As an observer and rear gunner of a dive bomber…he participated in a large number of combat missions…He obtained excellent photographs of enemy gun positions, despite intense anti-aircraft fire…Although suffering from a severe leg injury, he refused to be hospitalized and continued to carry out his duties…His courageous devotion to duty was in keeping with the highest traditions of the naval service.”—Admiral Nimitz

The Commanding Officer of Marine Bombing Squadron 235 repeats substantially the same language in his recommendation for a citation of Captain Joseph R. McCarthy, USMCR. So, too, does Maj. Gen Field Harris of the Marine Corps.

Maj. Gen. H.R. Harmon, the Commander Aircraft, Solomon Islands, wrote: “This officer has shown marked qualities of leadership, cooperative spirit, and loyalty. His initiative, good judgment, determination and diligence have made him an unusually useful member of the section…Deserves to be classified as excellent.”

It may be noted here that the Marine Corps is notoriously stingy in meting out praise.

  1. Oakes says that Senator McCarthy “supposedly” wrote a brochure on housing. The implication is that the pamphlet was not written and that $10,000 was paid out as a kind of bribe. The facts are that the pamphlet was written, based on material gathered by research experts in the (Democratic) Federal government; that it happens to be a good job o discussing pre-fab housing; that in using the Federal government to do his research McCarthy did what every member of Congress is entitled to do and often does; that the pamphlet was first submitted to Life magazine and other publications; that McCarthy had no hand in getting an RFC loan for Lustron (that was strictly done by some of Mr. Truman’s cronies); that despite all the digging done by the Truman Administration, the Gillette subcommittee, Drew Pearson, and The New York Times, no indication or shred of evidence has been adduced to show that Senator McCarthy ever did any favors for Lustron.
  1. Oakes writes casually of McCarthy’s difficulties with the Wisconsin income tax people. Here again we deal in implications. Is it to be supposed that the citizen who differs with the tax bureau is somehow a moral leper? Much has been made of McCarthy’s “difficulties” and it is true that he has often argued with the Wisconsin State Tax Commission. The one case which former Senator Benton cited as a horrendous example of McCarthy dishonesty demonstrates clearly what these “difficulties” were. There can be no argument about this since Benton thoughtfully supplied photostats of the disputed return. (I have a copy, should my word be doubted.) In 1944, McCarthy was still in the Marine Corps. He filed a return, left blank except for his name and a military address, to which he added a note:

“During the entire year of 1943 I was serving in the armed forces of the United States, during which I spent no time in Wisconsin. I had no property in the state and received no income from within the State (having waived collection of my salary as Circuit Judge). Therefore, I assume it is unnecessary under the present laws to file a return. If you do not so understand the law I shall be glad to file a return.”

It took the Wisconsin State Tax Commission until 1946 to get around to McCarthy’s 1943 return. They insisted his income was taxable. He objected, but finally paid. This is precisely what any citizen would have done in a similar case.

  1. The Senate subcommittee investigating McCarthy and Benton asked a good many rhetorical questions. It proved nothing, because there was nothing to be proved. Under Mr. Oakes’s code of law and ethics, presumably asking a question becomes evidence of guilt. On the other hand, when the same committee found that Benton had pocketed $600 from a constituent for whom he had done a favor—money received long after Benton’s election but “explained” as a campaign contribution—the moral sensibilities of Mr. Oakes were seemingly unaffected. As a matter of personal observation, McCarthy spent considerably more in his campaign against Communists in government than he received.
  1. “Close relations” has a strange sound coming from one who inveighs against “guilt by association.” And Mr. Acheson did more than endorse a $20,000 note for Alger Hiss [established to be a Soviet military intelligence spy]—he endorsed his integrity and loyalty in the days when Hiss was a rising State Department official. The collateral on that endorsement was the security of the nation. But, of course, Acheson is a great and good man.
  1. Again a question of half truth. McCarthy borrowed money from the Appleton bank. Any violations of tax and banking laws were violations by the bank, not by McCarthy—if, indeed such laws were violated. A subcommittee of the United States Senate, with the books of the bank available (as they were) could have easily determined whether any laws were violated. Instead, it raised serious “questions.” They proved nothing, they said little, but they served a clear political purpose. Oakes can quote those questions with a judicious air and the uninformed are impressed.
  1. Not the Pure Food and Drug Act, too?
  1. Certainly a newspaperman should know better than this—particularly since the answer to the second part of this appeared in The New York Times. But to recapitulate, when Benton made his charges against McCarthy, the most serious of all concerned this “205” or “57” matter. Benton claimed that at Wheeling on 9 February 1950, McCarthy had used the figure “205” whereas under oath he had stated that his Wheeling figure was “57.” Benton charged perjury. (Oddly enough, the State Department release “answering” McCarthy’s Wheeling speech uses the figure “57.” The release was issued before the 205-57 controversy began.) The Gillette subcommittee sent an investigator down to Wheeling. The investigator discovered that: the purported text of the Wheeling speech was, in fact, not used by McCarthy; two affidavits attesting that the text was genuine were written by the State Department itself; one of the signers completely repudiated his affidavit, the other seriously qualified it; some dozen witnesses who had been present offered to testify before the subcommittee that McCarthyhad said 57 and not 205; the tape recording which former Senator Millard Tydings claimed on the Senate floor he could produce was non-existent (Tydings later admitted this under oath); there was, actually, no text of the speech since McCarthy had spoken contemporaneously; a reporter who covered the Wheeling speech said that no text was used, that McCarthy had told him to disregard a draft of a speech which the reporter had in his possession. The investigator returned to Washington and was reprimanded by the committee staff. He was sent back wit the chief investigator, but the results were the same. The investigator was then taken off the McCarthy case. Subsequently, another investigator resigned, stating that the subcommittee staff had systematically refused to give consideration to any evidence which did not support the anti-McCarthy accusations. Mr. Oakes should read The New York Times more carefully.

As to “wild and irresponsible charges which he was unable to substantiate.” The record here is very clear. McCarthy was asked by the Tydings subcommittee to submit the names of Communists and bad security and bad security risks then or previously in the Federal government (see the Senate resolution setting up the subcommittee). He gave the Tydings subcommittee 81 names and sufficient corroboration to warrant the investigation which the subcommittee had been directed to make. The Tydings subcommittee majority refused to call all but a few of the witnesses requested by the Republican minority. In flagrant disregard of its mandate, it refused for example to call Theodore Geiger, then a top assistant to Paul Hoffman in the ECA [Economic Cooperation Administration], or to call witnesses who had known him directly in the Communist Party. Geiger was one of McCarthy’s “wild and irresponsible” and unsubstantiated” cases. [Geiger, in 1954 confessed to the FBI, and in 1956, via his lawyer, to McCarthy himself, his involvement with the Communist movement, through 1940.] The Tydings subcommittee gave all those listed by McCarthy a clean bill of health. Who are some of those tortured innocents?

Esther and Stephen Brunauer. As a result of McCarthy’s charges the Navy made a further investigation of Stephen Brunauer, then engaged in top secret work. Brunauer resigned from the Navy rather than face questioning. His wife was dropped as a security risk from the State Department.

John Stuart Service of Amerasia fame. The President’s Loyalty Review Board investigated and he was suspended from the State Department because there was “reasonable doubt” of his loyalty. Among the evidence against him was the transcript of a conversation which he held with Philip Jaffe, the Communist agent and convicted purloiner of secret government documents—a conversation read into the Tydings subcommittee record in which Service told Jaffe to be very careful with the secret military information he had given him.

There are over a dozen other cases of people on McCarthy’s list of 81 who were subsequently discharged, forced to resign, or quietly dropped—as well as others who quit when loyalty boards re-opened their cases. If Mrs. Sulzberger wishes to have the names and documentation, I’d be glad to supply it. Perhaps she can give it to a deserving New York Times writer as material for an article.

McCarthy’s basic charge was that there were Communists and bad security risks known to the government in Federal service—and that the State Department was doing nothing to root them out. This was angrily denied. But in 1951, at a meeting of the President’s Loyalty Review Board, the same statements were made and documented by people appointed by Mr. Truman to supervise the loyalty programs, all reputable citizens. These members were particularly bitter about Secretary Acheson and had warned him. Substantial portions of those minutes, which the Loyalty Review Board conceded were accurately quoted, were published in U.S. News and World Report. Did Mr. Oakes read them? And should he have not called them to the attention of Mrs. Sulzberger?

  1. Yes, McCarthy did call Lattimore a “top Soviet espionage agent.” Mr. Oakes can play with the word “top.” But as to the rest of the charge, the significant potion of it, he misinforms Mrs. Sulzberger when he says there is no documentation. The Senate Internal Security subcommittee, whose hearings are conceded to be a model of legislative investigation by all except the wildeyed critics of all such investigation, devoted 5712 pages to this and related matters. In its conclusions, which Mr. Oakes conveniently overlooks, the subcommittee says: “Owen Lattimore was, from some time beginning in the 1930s, a conscious, articulate instrument of the Soviet conspiracy.” The report and conclusions of the subcommittee by the Democratic and Republican members. It was unanimously accepted by the Senate Judiciary Committee. It can, by no stretch of the imagination, be considered a Democratic or Republican document.

McCarthy’s attacks on Jessup and Marshall were not of the same type. He called neither man a Soviet agent or a traitor. Mr. Oakes had better do his homework. [McCarthy’s assessment of Marshall merits reading and is available from the 1951 Congressional record on pp. 215-309; See also Washington reporter Walter Trohan’s March, 1951 “The Tragedy of George Marshall”, and a balanced critique of McCarthy’s assessment by M. Stanton Evans, pp. 411-424.]

  1. Since McCarthy’s investigation of the Voice of America is not completed {for an objective overview of the completed hearings, see Evans, pp. 460-465]—and since McCarthy’s Committee has offered no report or conclusions, Mr. Oakes’s assertion seems rather odd. He also misrepresents the scope and aims of that investigation which were to determine whether there were Communists, whether there were inefficient and incompetent people manning the Voice, and whether there was mismanagement. In case Mr. Oakes does not know it, the function of the Senate Permanent Investigations subcommittee (the McCarthy Committee, so-called) is to maintain a perpetual and unremitting check on the executive branch. It is not supposed to wait for a Hiss case before it moves. Unfortunately for Mr. Oakes, I have read the volumes so far published of testimony on the Voice of America. Fantastic waste and mismanagement has been uncovered. There has been serious testimony concerning Communist and pro-Communist infiltration—testimony which the subcommittee has not yet weighed. Most of this testimony did not appear in the New York Times—but certainly the printed transcript (see 457-901) is a more accurate reflection of what happened than the hurried account of an antagonistic reporter.

Mr. Oakes says in a wildly accusatory manner that Senator McCarthy is only “interested in wild accusations…and—of course—in headlines.” Will he supply you with some of those accusations?

  1. Without any substantiation whatsoever, Mr. Oakes says that McCarthy is a menace to freedom of the press and therefore “to all our other freedoms.” He cites the Wechsler case as an example. I can conclude from that only this: Arthur Krock, the outgoing Washington Bureau chief of The New York Times, must be a McCarthyite and a fool. He does not believe the Wechsler matter was a case of freedom of the press. Neither do many other newspaper editors. Wechsler did not take the hearing at which he was questioned seriously enough to be, let us use a polite formulation, utterly candid in his answers. He was not intimidated, was given a forum to spout his ideas, and returned to New York in a self-made and tawdry cloak of martyrdom. He has not ceased his attacks on McCarthy nor to give currency to demonstrable untruths about the Senator. [for a balanced appraisal of Wechsler’s testimony, see 477]

The press has freedom of choice and opinion. By an extension of this freedom, it now claims the right to misrepresent. But those who abuse the freedom by misrepresenting can hardly enter the court of opinion with clean hands. Nor can they claim by virtue of their status as men of the press, they assume an immunity which sets them above ordinary mortals. Before Mr. Oakes shouts freedom of the press, he might well do a little soul searching on first principles.

McCarthy’s actions against Time magazine have a history. A cover story was written. Certain statements about McCarthy in that cover story ran directly counter to all the material in Time’s own files. McCarthy made the material in those files public and asked Time to retract. Time never did, nor did it ever offer even the slightest indication that contradictory material existed in its files. In point of fact, the statements (anti-McCarthy of course) were pure fabrications. McCarthy’s only recourse was to carry his case to those whose money made Time possible—the advertisers. Obviously Mr. Oakes would take that right of appeal away from McCarthy. As to the Milwaukee Journal, I can supply you with a number of clippings from that paper which, like Time and the New York Post, fabricate and suppress in order to belabor Senator McCarthy.

  1. I do not know what this point is supposed to prove. I find it insulting and would not be surprised if it were so intended.
  1. This ends the answer to Mr. Oakes’s memorandum. I would suggest that in the future your discussion with Mrs. Sulzberger could be more fruitful if Mr. Oakes returned to primary sources and put aside the two campaign documents which were his mainstay in briefing her.

I might add, as a personal observation—that even if the most extravagant charge were true—more harm is done to the country, vis-à-vis the rest of the world, by the articles in The New York Times Sunday magazine which picture Americans as cringing in fear from a Fascist knout [scourge-like multiple whip]—(Justice Douglas’s “blank silence of fear” opus, for example)—than anything which goes on in Senate committees. Europeans judge America by what they read. And when a respected American newspaper tells them that America lives one degree left of a storm trooper state, it has more effect than the entire output of the Communist press apparatus

**

Sixty-one years after de Toledano wrote this devastating rebuttal letter, nonpareil McCarthy scholar, M. Stanton Evans  coalesced his own six decades of painstaking research into a remarkably powerful, and succinct, confirmatory update (“‘McCarthyism’ by the numbers”, Human Events, Wednesday Jan 29, 2014). As Evans averred, now voluminousinformation available for those who care to view it,” debunked the incessantly regurgitated myth that “McCarthy never spotted a single Communist or Soviet agent, or – per one variation — came up with only a handful of valid cases.” The cumulative data Evans reviewed included

…sizable tranches of McCarthy’s papers, and those of his opponents; reams of formerly confidential data from the FBI; thousands of pages of hearing transcripts and archives of his and other committees of Congress; intercepted Soviet communications and revelations from Cold War defectors

Carefully evaluating these data, Evans observed,

…and matching them up with McCarthy’s cases, the main thing to be noted is a recurring pattern of verificationTime and again, we see the suspects named by McCarthy and/or his committee – treated at the time as hapless victims – revealed in official records as what McCarthy and company said they were – except, in the typical instance, a good deal more so.

Evans tabulated his findings, pertaining to 50 such “McCarthy case examples,” and that table is included below, along with a brief explanation of their case validation. But as Evans explained more fully, even this table gives short shrift to what his uniquely dogged research reveals, in particular, about subversive influence operations that grotesquely altered U.S. policy.

He [McCarthy] in fact tracked down a small army of such people, and the roster given here is merely a sampling of the flagrant suspects who attracted his attention. This is most obviously so of the Fifth Amendment pleaders. Our table of 50 includes 18 McCarthy cases who refused to answer questions concerning Red connections, but these were only a fraction of the total who claimed the privilege. All told, an astonishing 100 plus McCarthy suspects would plead the Fifth before his committee (the bulk of these in the Fort Monmouth/ defense-supply probe that triggered the Army-McCarthy hearings.) Also, contra the standard image, McCarthy and his staffers in the usual instance did not allege that his suspects were Communists or Soviet agents – though in some famous cases (Owen Lattimore, Annie Lee Moss) this did happen – for the simple reason that the probers didn’t then know the total story.  More typically, they wielded dossiers concerning adverse security findings, membership in pro-Red groups, and so on – thereby understating the scope and nature of the problem. Thus such named McCarthy suspects as Solomon Adler, T.A. Bisson, Lauchlin Currie, Mary Jane Keeney and many others were not  then explicitly  IDed as Soviet assets, though in fact they were. McCarthy knew enough to spot them as bad actors — in many cases knew a lot– but didn’t know what we know today. Add the fact that, in case after significant case, McCarthy suspects were linked in ever-widening circles to a host of other operatives of like nature. Such as Adler, Currie, Keeney or the egregious pro-Soviet apparatchik Robert Miller were all parts of  much larger networks, each with multiple contacts in the government, press corps, and outside groups of shadowy purpose. All told, the McCarthy cases linked together in such fashion amounted to several hundred people, constituting a massive security danger to the nation.  However, numbers per se were not the central issue. By far the most important thing about his suspects was their positioning in the governmental structure, and other posts of influence, where they could shape American policy or opinion in favor of the Communist interest.

Conclusion

Tarring Senator Joseph R. McCarthy’s honest and courageous efforts to confront Communist subversion, and its destructive effects on U.S. policy, and indeed the nature of our free society, remains an ahistorical blight. Past as prologue, raising the chimerical specter of “Neo-McCarthyism” as the U.S. barely starts to confront a hostile and predatory Communist China, would be a catastrophic, perhaps lethal act of self-destruction.

Addendum:

For a landmark update on the pervasive ignorance of the direct nexus between the early 1950s Communist movement and the charge of “McCarthyism” amongst the current generation of conservative talking heads, and politicians, see Diana West’s October 7, 2018 blog,

open letter to Brent Bozell, Tucker Carlson, Sen. John Cornyn, Jerome Corsi, Joseph diGenova, Sen. Lindsay Graham, Hugh Hewitt, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Bill O’Reilly, President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and all other conservatives who still decry “McCarthyism”…

 

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism " (Prometheus, November, 2008) You can contact Dr. Bostom at @andrewbostom.org

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