This article appeared in the October 18, 2002 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
In Nazi Germany, one of the most feared institutions was the Gestapo, with its vast network of millions of informants, penetrated into every community, every workplace, every church and university. Under the control of Herman Goering, and ultimately, SS chief Heinrich Himmler, the Gestapo is the absolute epitome of evil, which sent millions to their death or enslavement.
In the United States, during the 1950s, the image of the Roy Cohn-steered drunken Sen. Joseph McCarthy, railing, on the floor of the U.S. Senate, about "lists" of hundreds of Communists, infiltrated into the State Department and other agencies of government, was the moral equivalent of Himmler and Goering’s Gestapo. McCarthyism’s body count may have been vastly smaller than that of the Nazi SS and Gestapo, but the catalogue of ruined and scarred lives spans several generations. McCarthyism is the ultimate proof that "it can happen here"—and it did.
The New McCarthyism
When President Bush nominated John Ashcroft as Attorney General in January 2001, Lyndon LaRouche warned that Ashcroft would seek the first opportunity to stage a "Reichstag fire" incident, to impose police-state measures on all Americans, in a replay of Hitler’s Spring 1933 seizure of dictatorial power in Germany. Despite sufficient votes to block his confirmation, the U.S. Senate confirmed Ashcroft, when Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) blocked a filibuster. Earlier this year, Attorney General Ashcroft proved LaRouche 100% right, when he attempted to establish a nationwide gestapo informant network, under the direct control of the Justice Department and the FBI, as part of the misnamed "Patriots Act," passed in haste by the U.S. Congress following 9/11. When the plans were made public, the outcry was so great that the program was scrapped.
But now, under private auspices, in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, and in furtherance of the Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntington declaration of civilizational war against the entire Islamic and Confucian culture of over 2 billion citizens of this planet, a new McCarthyism is running amok inside the United States.
Its leading proponents, as in the McCarthyism of the 1950s, are prominent figures in the political world. One is a serving U.S. Senator and recent Vice Presidential candidate—Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.). The other is the wife of the Vice President of the United States and a former head of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Dr. Lynne Cheney. Together, they founded an overtly McCarthyite agency, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), which, post-9/11, has launched a vicious campaign of slander and financial warfare against any academics who dare to challenge the "official" version of the attacks in New York and Washington. Like their inspiration, Joe McCarthy, they, too, have compiled a phony list of academics, charged with failing to toe the lying official line that Osama bin Laden was the author of the 9/11 attacks.
If you dare to oppose the Cheney-Lieberman war on Iraq and other manifestations of the neo-conservative brand of universal fascism, then you may soon find yourself in the cross-hairs of this gang of wanna-be Himmlers and Goerings. If you are an Arab-American student or professor, or a Middle East scholar, on the campus of an American university, invaded by this Gestapo, you may find yourself the victim of hooligan attacks by vigilante squadristi, or the target of a campaign to have your tenure revoked.
In one recent instance, Prof. Sami Al-Arian, of the University of Southern Florida in Tampa, was stripped of his tenured post and fired from the engineering faculty—after local prosecutors were visited by officials of the Israeli government, who presented a dossier, purporting that Dr. Al-Arian was a top Palestinian terrorist. He was charged, in the bogus dossier, of leading terrorist cells in Egypt—at a time when he was obtaining his post-graduate degree in Michigan—many thousands of miles away from Cairo, Alexandria, or Luxor.
ACTA has now spawned a veritable alphabet soup of allied agencies, targetting elected officials, academics, and university students with the same gestapo venom.
Among the agencies engaged in this coordinated witch-hunt are: Americans for Victory Over Terrorism (AVOT), which was launched, post-9/11, by ACTA founder William Bennett, along with James Woolsey, Frank Gaffney, William Barr, and money-bags Lawrence Kadish; Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum, led by Daniel Pipes, which has created an Internet website, which is recruiting an army of campus-based informants, charged with ratting out fellow students and teachers who dare to challenge the "morality" of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s "ethnic cleansing" campaign against the Palestinians; Committee for Accurate Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), a spawn of the right-wing Likudnik spy agency, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), which targets any U.S. media outlet that dares speak the truth about the events in the Middle East; honestreporting.com, a parallel organization to CAMERA, which is run directly from Israel by right-wing circles; and Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), headed by former Israeli military intelligence Col. Yigal Carmon and, until recently, by Meyrav Wurmser, which spits out selective inflammatory articles from the Arabic press, and circulates them to policymakers and media, to further the "Clash of Civilizations" attack on Islam.
Lyndon LaRouche, Democratic Party Presidential pre-candidate for the 2004 elections, has issued a warning about the Cheney-Lieberman gestapo. Some, he noted, will object to drawing a parallel to Hitler, Himmler, Goering, and McCarthy. However, the truth must be told, or else we will wake up in America one day, stripped of all our liberties. This kind of witch-hunt, LaRouche warned, is the first step toward tyranny. In the early 1930s, the Germans capitulated to the first steps, and look what they got. Now, people like Joe Lieberman, Lynne Cheney and William Bennett, are lending their names to the same effort. They are doing it again, LaRouche warned, but they do not yet have the power to make it stick. Now is the time to stop the witch-hunt—before it is too late!
’Not Patriotism, But Fascism’
Indeed, LaRouche has provided, once again, the dramatic statement of the truth. But he is, fortunately, not alone.
* On Dec. 20, 2001, the Hartford Advocate published a scathing editorial, headlined "Joe McCarthy Lieberman?" which read, in part: "When Republican Sen. Joseph McCarthy stood in front of Congress, Feb. 20, 1950, and for six hours rifled through old State Department dossiers claiming he had proof that 81 State Department employees were Communists, it guaranteed for all time that he would be remembered as an enemy of the time-honored American tradition of free speech and free association. Similarly Lieberman, who sits on the advisory board of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, which released a report that criticizes universities for evidence of anti-Americanism during the current war in Afghanistan, may be enhancing his chances of being remembered by posterity as the Censorship King."
A week earlier, responding to the same "list" of academics practicing "anti-Americanism," the San Jose Mercury News published an op-ed by Prof. Roberto J. Gonzalez of San Jose State University, headlined "Lynne Cheney-Joe Lieberman Group Puts Out a Blacklist." The professor charged that "an aggressive attack on freedom has been launched upon America’s college campuses. Its perpetrators seek the elimination of ideas and activities that place Sept. 11 in historical context, or critique the so-called war on terrorism." Citing the ACTA report, "Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America," Professor Gonzalez wrote: "Although the council’s stated objectives include the protection of academic freedom, the report resembles a blacklist. In a chilling use of doublespeak, it affirms the right of professors to speak out, yet condemns those who have attempted to give context to Sept. 11, encourage critical thinking, or share knowledge about other cultures. Faculty are accused of being ’short on patriotism’ for attempting to give students the analytical tools they need to become informed citizens."
Indeed, the ACTA report named 40 prominent academics and cited 117 purported "incidents" of "anti-Americanism. In one instance, ACTA attacked the president of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, for having circulated an open letter warning that "disparities and injustices" in American society can spawn hatred and violence.
Gonzalez concluded that "the report represents a kind of academic terrorism designed to strike fear into the other academics by making examples of respected professors.... This is not patriotism, but fascism.... The targetting of scholars who participate in civic debates might signal the emergence of a new McCarthyism directed at the academy. Before it escalates into a full-blown witch-hunt in the name of ’defending civilization,’ faculty, students, and citizens should speak out against these acts of academic terrorism."
On Dec. 14, 2001, the National Catholic Reporter editorialized against "A ’Defense’ That Civilization Can Do Without." "It is difficult," the editorial began, "to tell exactly what Lynne V. Cheney, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, and others who constitute the American Council of Trustees and Alumni are trying to accomplish with their project.... The title is as overblown as the sentiment that drives the effort: No one should ask questions of the American war effort." The editorial concluded with a stern warning: "It would be absurd, indeed, if this ’report’ were not indicative of a dangerous fervor stalking the country, a fervor intolerant of questions and dependent on ignorance of recent history."
On March 15, 2002, Jim Lobe warned, in the online publication Foreign Policy in Focus, that "The War on Dissent Widens." Lobe, who has written a series of well-researched exposés of the Paul Wolfowitz-Lewis Libby-Richard Perle neo-conservative cabal inside the Bush Administration, targetted the ACTA spawn, Americans for Victory Over Terrorism, which had published a full-page New York Times advertisement on March 10, attacking "radical Islam" and an amorphous "enemy within" which "promulgates their agenda of ’blame America first.’ " AVOT extended their blacklist beyond academe, naming a number of leading elected officials and prominent editorialists as enemies within. Among the targets: Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who dared to criticize President Bush for "going crazy" with the authority to go after terrorists; former President Jimmy Carter, who attacked G.W.’s "axis of evil" formula as "overly simplistic and counter-productive"; Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who accused the President of "cancelling, in effect, the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments"; American Prospect editor Robert Kuttner, for criticizing "Bush’s dismal domestic policies" and his "dubious notion of permanent war"; and Lewis Lapham, the respected editor of Harper’s magazine, who reminded his readers that, during the 1990s, the United States had engaged in terror tactics in the Balkans and in Iraq.
Lapham responded to the AVOT assault by denouncing Bennett as a "wrong-headed jingo" who launched AVOT as a "front organization for the hard neo-con right," which has gained tremendous power inside the Bush Pentagon and in the Office of Vice President Dick Cheney. "This is the war-monger crowd," he charged, noting that AVOT gurus Bennett and Gaffney were signators to an open letter to President Bush, issued within days of the 9/11 attack, demanding that the United States not only bomb Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda to oblivion, but also launch war on Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Authority.
At the Washington, D.C. press conference launching AVOT, Frank Gaffney, who was investigated in the 1980s as a suspected co-conspirator of Jonathan Jay Pollard, the American convicted of espionage for Israel, mustered up his best Joe McCarthy imitation, ranting to the small audience that any criticism of the Bush Administration’s conduct of the war could be "interpreted in such a way as to hurt national resolve ... [and] embolden the enemy." He urged, "We must pay special attention to friends like Saudi Arabia and Egypt whose ongoing use of media are creating problems for our allies"—an obvious reference to Israel. Weeks after the press conference, Ariel Sharon ordered the full-scale Israeli Defense Forces invasion of the West Bank, which, by the admission of Sharon’s spokesman Ra’anan Gissen, was explicitly modelled on the Nazi massacre of the Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto in the Spring of 1943.
In the crazed world of ACTA and AVOT, a criticism of Sharon’s Nazi actions is tantamount to treason against America.
In the early 1950s, while the citizens of the USSR and its allies were blockaded and threatened with nuclear annihilation and the people of the countries of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia were sabotaged, bombed, invaded, poisoned and assassinated while brutal dictators were installed to govern them [see Cold War], people within the U.S.A. were subjected to the terror of McCarthyism, a terror that also spread to the US’s allies.
Senator Joseph McCarthy gave his name to the wave of anti-communist witch-hunting which followed the end of the Second World War, mainly because of a 6 hour scaremongering speech to the Senate on 20 February 1950 which launched his career as a witchhunter. In this speech he claimed that a communist espionage ring with at least 80 active spies, had penetrated the State Department, the Office of War Information and the Board of Economic Warfare, going on to accuse the government of inaction. The House Unamerican Activities Committee was another powerful instrument of anti-Communist witch-hunting, most famous for its denunciation of many hundreds of Hoillywood figures as Communist spies and propagandists.
McCarthy accused the Truman government of being infiltrated by Communists who were undermining the US war effort in Korea, thus helping get General Eisenhower elected President in 1952, and it was only when Joseph McCarthy denounced Eisenhower himself in December 1954, that McCarthyism ran out of steam, though anti-communist witch-hunting in one form or another persists to this day.
McCarthyism drove hundreds of thousands of trade unionists, peace activists, communists and free-thinkers of no particular ideology at all into isolation and poverty. It destroyed the lives of those witch-hunted, and intimidated millions of others into “keeping their heads down” and their mouths shut.
The Cold War, in which the most powerful state the world had ever known waged an all-out war against the working class, using techniques ranging from the threat of thermonuclear extermination to assassination to bribery and corruption on a vast scale had a profound effect on politics during this period. Communism was fought for either with machine guns and Soviet support, or through ‘Mothers Clubs’ and other ‘front’ organisations where the participants pretended that they were not communists at all.
Very few of the Communists of the generation who had been subjected to McCarthyism were politically still active by the time of the upsurge of Student Protests and trade union militancy of the 1960s.
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