The Obama Administration's release of the torture memos, Senator Dodd's obscene comparison of the US interrogations of terrorists and the Holocaust and the media's ongoing demonization and exposure of personnel involved in forcefully interrogating captured Al Queda terrorists brings to mind McCarthyism. The real and original McCarthyism.
And by that I don't mean what is often inaccurately referred to as McCarthyism by liberals, namely Anti-Communism, something that occurred when the sleazy Senator from Wisconsin hijacked the genuine Anti-Communist efforts of people like Richard Nixon or Whittaker Chambers.... in order to promote himself and pursue his longstanding animus against the US Army. McCarthy's buffoonish antics then allowed liberals to delegitimize Anti-Communism as McCarthyism, a victory for American Leftists and for the USSR that was so spectacular that The Manchurian Candidate openly implied that McCarthy was a paid Soviet agent.
Before that however McCarthy became involved in the Malmedy Massacre trial, a case that carries strong similarities to the War on Terror today. The Malmedy Massacre involved the murder of hundreds of American POW's by the Waffen SS, who after the war were put on trial for their crimes. The Nazi prisoners however began claiming that they had been tortured by the American interrogators, with stories that became increasingly detached from reality.
Senator McCarthy however put on a full court press on behalf of the SS men sentenced to death. He repeatedly accused US interrogators of committing all sorts of atrocities against the convicted Nazis. He accused the US Army of engaging in a cover up, insulted US soldiers who had survived the massacre and demanded lie detector tests for several US Army officers. McCarthy compared the US military to the Gestapo and the Soviet Secret Police.
Very soon the Nazis became the victims, often inaccurately described as frightened teenagers, and the US interrogators became the criminals, "torturers" who were painted as monsters for working to bring the murderers of hundreds of US POW's to justice. Senators who supported the interrogations, became complicit in torture. The final picture, then as today, was of a monstrous and corrupt US military system illegally brutalizing the innocent.
McCarthy got his way. The death sentences were commuted and the majority of the defendants wound up walking away. Repeated investigations found nothing worse than various forms of confinement, isolation and hooding. And possibly the occasional guard who delivered an unsolicited but well earned punch. None of that mattered though. The moral axis was shifted. The bad guys became the victims, and the good guys became the bad guys. That was the lesson distilled from the headlines.
It's the same lesson meant to be distilled today. And that is the real McCarthyism. The scapegoating of US troops and interrogators fighting to protect and serve their country, by politicians who don't want them to be able to do it. Who think the very idea is evil.
McCarthy's passion for the Nazis who murdered US troops was fired by his sympathies for Nazism. Just as the outrage by the left against the waterboarding of Al Queda terrorists is motivated by their sympathies for Terrorists.
The sudden enthusiasm by MSNBC leftist talkers for waterboarding Hannity is yet another reminder that the left doesn't really believe waterboarding is wrong. They believe fighting against Muslim terrorists is wrong. It's not the tactic, it's never the tactic. The left isn't against torture, anymore than they are against war. The tactic isn't the issue, the target is.
The same press which cheered on Clinton's war on Yugoslavia on behalf of Muslim separatism, that included aiding and arming Muslim Jihadis who would later go on to kill Americans; suddenly joined the anti-war movement when Bush was bombing Muslim terrorists and their pet dictators. It isn't the tactic, it's the target.
The real McCarthyism, as practiced by the far right and the far left, is to smear US troops and interrogators, in order to protect murderers and terrorists. The same ugly tactics used by McCarthy at the Malmedy hearings have been revived, dusted off and can be seen on the Senate floor, on the editorial page of the New York Times and in the speeches of Barack Hussein Obama.
The Good Nazi of yesteryear has become the Good Terrorist of today. An innocent boy, a patriot fighting in defense of his homeland or a soldier wronged. And the men and women of the US Army as always remain the villains for fighting against their kind.
That form of ugly anti-Americanism is where the far left and the far right meet, and shake hands, over a pile of corpses. It is where Communism and Nazism and those who support them agree on one guiding principle, that Americans should not be able to defend themselves from their enemies.
Then as today.