The New Terrapin Gazette

Number 224

24 July, 2011


There is only one inborn erroneous notion … that we exist in order to be happy … So long as we persist in this inborn error … the world seems to us full of contradictions. For at every step, in great things and small, we are bound to experience that the world and life are certainly not arranged for the purpose of maintaining a happy existence…hence the countenances of almost all elderly persons wear the expression of … disappointment.


 

The Tiny Fuss That Should Be An Administration-Killing Scandal Moves Slowly Forward

The news media play it down because it is so dangerous to The One. The public remains largely uninformed (censorship, in order to be effective, need not be total). Here, from a news release provided by the National Rifle Association of America, is a report:

The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has announced that on Tuesday, July 26, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will convene another hearing as part of the ongoing investigation into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ “Operation Fast and Furious.” The committee called the program “a tragically flawed effort that is connected to deaths on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border.”

The hearing, “Operation Fast and Furious: The Other Side of the Border,” will feature the testimony of U.S. law enforcement officials who witnessed a different side of the controversial operation. These agents allegedly saw the steady stream of “Fast and Furious” guns recovered at crime scenes in Mexico and were given orders from superiors not to alert Mexican authorities.

This latest hearing comes amidst new allegations that the Justice Department sought to shift blame for “Fast and Furious” away from its political appointees.

A July 20 Washington Times article quoted the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), as saying, “Examining the accounts of witnesses who did not participate in Operation Fast and Furious, but were nonetheless disturbed as they watched it unfold is critical to understanding the scope of this flawed program. This testimony is especially important in light of the Justice Department’s willful efforts to withhold key evidence from investigators about what occurred, who knew and who authorized this reckless operation.”

The hearing will be streamed live at http://oversight.house.gov.

If you want to see the source of the above quote, call up the relevant NRA office on the internet and follow the directions, or send this newsletter a message requesting a copy of the communication from the NRA that contains the text.

 

A Provocative Book

Here is an abbreviated excerpt from Blacklisted by History by M. Stanton Evans, ISBN 978-1-4000-8106-6:

In the peacetime summer of 1946, …a State Department official named Samuel Klaus drafted a long confidential memo about the grave security problems that were plaguing the department. This 106-page report, dated August 3, contained some startling revelations. …

… one of the most revealing documents ever put together about Red infiltration of the US government was supplied to Congress. But thereafter, so far as the public record shows, the Klaus memo would mysteriously vanish.

In the National Archives of the United States there are at least two places where this report should be on offer. One is the legislative archive of the Tydings panel… This is reflected in the department’s letter of transmittal, which survives and is included in the sub-committee records. So the memo should also be in the files, but isn’t. The other place where this memo ought to be is in the papers of Sam Klaus, held in another section of the Archives. In the index to the Klaus papers, the document is listed, under its proper official heading. However, when the file was examined by this writer it turned out the report again was missing. In this case, at least, we know what happened to it. The file contained a notice where the memo had been, saying it was withdrawn from the Archives in March 1993 – not quite half a century after it was written. So this important document is twice over absent from the nation’s official records.

Unfortunately for researchers of such matters, this elusive memo is but one of many Cold War papers that have gone AWOL. Some two dozen other documents from the State Department relating to security issues were likewise supplied to Tydings and should be in the Archives also. In these cases handsomely embossed cover sheets, signed by Dean Acheson, Secretary of State in 1950, are still there in the folders. In every case as well, however, the material once enclosed has been stripped from the cover sheet, leaving small wads of paper beneath the staples that held the documents together.

Evans makes clear that anyone trying to establish the least significant fact about what McCarthy did, said or wrote faces huge lacunae in the government and private archives. So the staff of this newsletter asked a subscriber whether he had read this book, and, on learning that he had, demanded he submit some commentary on it. Thanks go to JY for his kind assistance.

The book Blacklisted By History is a well-documented expose of the destruction of Senator Joseph McCarthy by the Left and their media. So thorough was their calumny that the very name “McCarthy” has become a common epithet used to describe a “witch hunt”. The public lynching of Senator McCarthy is an object lesson for those who would oppose the Left, and accounts in no small part for the reluctance of the pusillanimous Republican politicians to stand up for themselves.

The technique, which was later codified by Saul Alinsky in his book Rules for Radicals (Rule # 13: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.), has served the Left well over the years because of their near-complete control of the media, and can be seen in their treatment of Judge Kenneth Starr, President George W. Bush, and in breathtaking intensity against Governor Sarah Palin.

This book is a must read for anybody who wishes to learn history instead of absorb propaganda. McCarthy was right.

Indeed he was, as the Venona documents were later to prove.

But a mystery remains. If McCarthy was half as vile and degenerate as his detractors claim, why would it be necessary to make it impossible for anyone to research his malice?

Could the removal of virtually all primary sources from the archives be the work of McCarthy’s allies and apologists? Hardly. They would have had to have access beyond anything available to those who, at the time, agreed with McCarthy — or defend him today. The cleansing of the records has all the earmarks of a campaign directed from high political positions.

This is a disputed and even murky period in US history, and all the more interesting for that. You can learn more about this book at this link.

The New Terrapin was curious about how the mainstream press responded — and consequently expected the public at large to respond — to a book that is favorable to McCarthy. All even slightly “wingnut” publications and websites were therefore excluded from this survey. The results suggest, to this newsletter at least, that the major media’s reviewers were primarily interested in one or more of the following tasks: (1) defending their own books and articles in which they characterized McCarthy and his activities; (2) reviewing not Evans’s work, but the character and behavior of McCarthy; (3) avoiding any mention of the fact that McCarthy was trying to publicize the work of others who had revealed the facts; (4) accusing McCarthy of making up at least most and probably all of his charges, and (5) trivializing the Venona documents and other evidence that showed how correct McCarthy’s sources were.

Some reviewers accuse Evans of conspiracist thinking, and they have a point. It’s blunt, though. Faced with the removal of documents from the records, and noting that the scale of that activity was all-encompassing, Evans correctly concludes that a conspiracy was at work. That should surprise no one who understands the context.

The environment in which McCarthy struggled included a variety of necessarily conspiracist mindsets, almost all of them not McCarthy’s. McCarthy was in that world, but not of it. Complex political organizations are always hard on such people.

When McCarthy concluded there were Communist sympathizers in positions of influence, and that there were many who shrugged them off as inconsequential, he exposed the rascals. As this newsletter has pointed out repeatedly, broadcasting dirty little secrets openly is unwelcome, even when the dissident restricts himself to the truth. (Recall the hoax of the half-human, half-ape creature; bruiting that about was considered very bad form indeed, and was strongly discouraged.)

Yes, McCarthy the eternal outsider was a drunk and a loudmouth. Were his charges therefore the confabulations of an alcoholic, in whole or in part? Were it not for Venona, it would be hard to tell. Certainly he must have been frustrated enough to lose his temper and judgment at times. When solid facts are brushed aside by contemptuous, stonewalling snobs, the reformer is very likely to wonder how far the genuine conspiracy reaches. The exasperated whistle-blower, provoked by the sneers and silence of his opponents, can overreach himself. He may make angry accusations without evidence.

McCarthy the messenger was never a member of the elitist establishment. To him, revealing what he found was not a betrayal of his class or clan; not revealing it probably never seriously occurred to him. And his message? The important parts of it are true, and all those original sources now missing from the archives suggest some real skulduggery. The reviewers cannot tolerate those facts.

Indeed, for virtually all “serious” reviewers, the core of Evans’s book is a cluster of betes noires, a subject that is not to be raised in politically correct company.

The fact that Evans was able to produce a scholarly book of over six hundred pages should have impressed the reviewers enough to compel them to deal with that scholarship. The journalists made no such attempt. For the most part, they simply dismiss the hard evidence in the book with a wave of the hand. So…

…the reviews are not satisfactory. Of course that judgment is subject to debate and correction.

Dead and almost forgotten, McCarthy still inspires blinding hate. If he had been just a cultural Neanderthal, no one would have had to purge all the archives, and Joe would not have his current status as a moral leper.

Here are several links to information on Venona. As with any information that is hotly argued over by Left and Right, collectivist and individualist, Communist and Capitalist, these sources will not always agree with your views, or with each other. Those trying to sort out the actual course of a politician’s actions in the past must realize they can never prove much of anything to everyone.

One, Two, Three, Four, Five.

 

Links

Oh, boy — this video will infuriate you “progressives,” but only because every word of it is true.

Obama claims you want to pay higher taxes. Oh, yes, he does, and here’s proof. If he were correct, those higher taxes would not have to be coercive, now would they? Of course not…voluntary taxes would work just fine. So, here it is again: how to raise your taxes. Got that? All right; now consider the implications. Obama knows taxes must be coercive, which is fine with him, because what “progressives” really want is control. They hate free markets, but not because they are more efficient, maximize employment, reduce poverty, reward enterprise and imagination, cull out crooks and maladaptive producers, meet a wider range of consumer needs and tend to self-regulating policies…”progressives” hate free markets because of that word “free”. The freedom of the individual is the enemy of “progressivism”. “Progressives” believe that individuals must be organized into authoritarian power blocs that first of all control their members. Obama the community organizer would tell you that, if he were candid. Yes, of course many “progressives” deny that they suffer from this coercive collectivist mindset. Wouldn’t you, if you were held in thrall to it? Refusing to see coercion as a violation of the rights of the individual is a psychological tactic, a state of denial that allows one to mistreat others without feeling guilt. All dictators block their own feelings of guilt, and the better they do that, the more evil they can do.

If you are wondering what happened to the talks between Boehner and Obama and why it happened, you can read this. Forgive the jaundiced outlook, please, but frankly, this is just about the most tiresome stuff since folk music.


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