- Not that George W. Bush
needs much encouragement, but Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested to Attorney
General Alberto Gonzales a new target for the administration's domestic
operations -- Fifth Columnists, supposedly disloyal Americans who sympathize
and collaborate with the enemy.
- "The administration has not only
the right, but the duty, in my opinion, to pursue Fifth Column movements,"
Graham, R-S.C., told Gonzales during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings
on Feb. 6.
- "I stand by this President's ability,
inherent to being Commander in Chief, to find out about Fifth Column movements,
and I don't think you need a warrant to do that," Graham added, volunteering
to work with the administration to draft guidelines for how best to neutralize
this alleged threat.
- "Senator," a smiling Gonzales
responded, "the President already said we'd be happy to listen to
- In less paranoid times, Graham's comments
might be viewed by many Americans as a Republican trying to have it both
ways - ingratiating himself to an administration of his own party while
seeking some credit from Washington centrists for suggesting Congress should
have at least a tiny say in how Bush runs the War on Terror.
- But recent developments suggest that
the Bush administration may already be contemplating what to do with Americans
who are deemed insufficiently loyal or who disseminate information that
may be considered helpful to the enemy.
- Top U.S. officials have cited the need
to challenge news that undercuts Bush's actions as a key front in defeating
the terrorists, who are aided by "news informers" in the words
of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com
"Upside-Down Media" ]
Joseph Raymond McCarthy (November 14, 1908
May 2, 1957) was a Republican Senator from the state of Wisconsin from
1947 to 1957. McCarthy organized a destructive campaign through the establishment
of the "House Unamerican Activities Committee" through which
countless civilians, government workers and even members of the military
were brought before the committee to answer unsubstantiated charges of
involvement with Communism, usually based on hearsay or general paranoid
convictions held by the right-wing establishment. McCarthy employed tactics
* Guilt by association
* Publicizing accusations of political disloyalty or subversion with insufficient
regard to evidence
* The use of unfair investigatory or accusatory methods in order to suppress
Ultimately, McCarthy managed to destroy the lives and reputations of
scores of businessmen, actors,
writers, attorneys, military personnel and government workers by the sheer
weight of accusation alone at a time when Communism was hyped by the government
as "The Red Menace," even resulting in black-lists in
Hollywood and other industries where many could not find jobs, for fear
of being associated with "suspect Communists." This despite the
fact that Constitutionally, any citizen of the United States of America
had every legal right to be a member of a Communist party. McCarthyism
ended in shame, disgrace and hopefully a lesson learned about unbridled
abuse of powers and the use of the media to generate fear, especially for
a single political party currently in power.