01 December 2006

December 2 In History


Those who watch Keith Olbermann take on President Bush have heard him say, "Have you no decency, sir? Below is the context for that remark and why today following yesterday is a very odd conjunction of historical dates.

Yesterday, December 1, was AIDs Day around the world to encourage support, awareness and understanding for all those with this disease.

If you have not seen it yet, get a copy of Angels in America. One of the major themes is the death of Roy Cohn from AIDs. So what does that have to do with today?

December 2, 1954: McCarthy condemned by Senate

The U.S. Senate votes 65 to 22 to condemn Senator Joseph R. McCarthy for conduct unbecoming of a senator. The condemnation, which was equivalent to a censure, related to McCarthy's controversial investigation of suspected communists in the U.S. government, military, and civilian society.

What is known as "McCarthyism" began on February 9, 1950, when McCarthy, a relatively obscure Republican senator from Wisconsin, announced during a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, that he had in his possession a list of 205 communists who had infiltrated the U.S. State Department.

Towards the end of the hearings wherein McCarthy was unable to produce names from the lists he so famously waved there was a memorable exchange as follows:

On June 9, 1954, the 30th day of the hearings, McCarthy accused Fred Fisher, one of the junior attorneys at Welch's firm, of association (while in college) with the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), a group which the U.S. Attorney General at the time was seeking to designate as a Communist front organization (see Army-McCarthy hearings). Welch wrote off Fisher's association with the NLG as a youthful indiscretion and famously rebuked: "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" When McCarthy tried to continue his attack, Welch cut him off and demanded the chairman "call the next witness." At that point the gallery erupted in applause.

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In 1952 Joseph McCarthy appointed Roy Cohn as the chief counsel to the Government Committee on Operations of the Senate. Cohn had been recommended by Edgar Hoover, who had been impressed by his involvement in the prosecution of the Rosenburgs. Soon after Cohn was appointed, he recruited his best friend, David Schine, to become his chief consultant.

For some time opponents of McCarthy had been accumulating evidence concerning his homosexual relationships. Rumours began to circulate that Cohn and David Schine were having a sexual relationship. Although well-known by political journalists, it did not become public until Hank Greenspun published an article in the Las Vagas Sun in 25th October, 1952.

Joseph McCarthy considered a libel suit against Greenspun but decided against it when he was told by his lawyers that if the case went ahead he would have to take the witness stand and answer questions about his sexuality. In an attempt to stop the rumours circulating, McCarthy married his secretary, Jeannie Kerr. Later the couple adopted a five-week old girl from the New York Foundling Home.

In October, 1953, McCarthy began investigating communist infiltration into the military. Attempts were made by McCarthy to discredit Robert Stevens, the Secretary of the Army. The president, Dwight Eisenhower, was furious and now realised that it was time to bring an end to McCarthy's activities.

The United States Army retaliated by passing information about Joseph McCarthy to journalists known to be opposed to him. This included the news that Cohn had abused congressional privilege by trying to prevent David Schine from being drafted. When that failed, it was claimed that Cohn tried to pressure the Army to grant Schine special privileges. The well-known newspaper columnist, Drew Pearson, published the story on 15th December, 1953.

The televised hearings of the Senate hearings exposed the tactics of Cohn and Joseph McCarthy. Leading politicians in both parties, had been embarrassed by McCarthy's performance and on 2nd December, 1954, a censure motion condemned his conduct by 67 votes to 22. Cohn was forced to resign but he managed to join a New York law firm and over the years represented an impressive list of high-profile clients.

In the 1980s Cohn's luck ran out. Disbarred from practicing law in New York State on grounds of unethical and unprofessional conduct, he contracted AIDs. Roy Cohn died on 2nd August, 1986.

14 comments:

colorado bob said...

Very nice .... Nice piece of work . Mind if I Re-Print it at TYKO ?

What edition of IE do you have ? It isn't 7 is it ?

Jamie said...

Reprint all you like.

I have Windows XP not sure which IE browser

colorado bob said...

When " Mac " made that Wheeling speech, he was speaking to the Republican Women's Club of Wheeling. He waved a sheet of paper around as he made the charges ....... It didn't have any names on it.

Jamie said...

At one point he had a list (without any identifying information) that he had received of possible "security" risks. Every single one of those people proved to be without merit usually cases of mistaken identity, but he kept throwing about the "list".

And you wonder why people are afraid of the government keeping a list for 40 years of people who don't travel in exactly the manner they prefer.

colorado bob said...

How about Dumbarton Castle in the background

Jamie said...

If you are going to use a castle, you might as well use the most famous one:

Eilen Donan

Eilen Donan Castle

Jamie said...

If you want a castle that would be in the same area as the Gordon Clan, try
Dunnottar

Dunnottar

This is a grey shades drawing that may serve your purposes better.

Jamie said...

I really liked the yellow background instead of the white. The stripe on the left was too much. It competed with the top banner. Can I have the Huntly Castle I emailed to you on the right hand panel?

Did you notice that McCarthy was another nominee for the floating fatheads?

Jamie said...

Thank you for all the work. It's perfect other than the castle bit. I really like the yellow background, Gordon Banner and the sliding blog. You've done really well.

Jamie said...

Well ... Kiddo I'm outa gas ... I've been working on more advanced imaging since about 6:30 and I'm learning the tool kit as I go . This Castle shot is nothing more than pretty Floating Fat Heads as far as the skill level goes. But it ain't ugly. I'll leave it here until tomorrow. I can change that color in the banner, Just have to make a new one, but that's a snap to make compared to what I've been triyng to do. I've altered this one some more, the castle is over to the right more. It loads real pretty. See you tomorrow.

C.B.

Jamie said...

CBob,

The castle isn't there at all. It may be lower than I'm able to see in my window. It isn't important at all.

The page is just beautiful and I love the way it flows. You did a wonderful job. Just give me that yellow tomorrow and then go commit acts of genius on someone else.

Thank you.

Jamie said...

Jamie >>>>> BINGO Huntly in the Mist

Hey if I wasn't doing this for you I'd just be setting up another site to do it for my self..... It's a learning assignment. Fighting brain rot till the bitter end !

I want you to upgrade your Browser, IE is stone age stuff try Firefox there's a link on my site at the bottom of the piano keys { Link N' Logs } Or see about going to IE 7.

AlanBoss said...

Jamie,

I was going to ask you if you were aware that there seems to be a Scottish castle stuck in the middle of your blog.

But, evidently, you already know.

:-)

Jamie said...

When I went to bed, I didn't have a castle. During the night one has appeared. It's enough to make you believe in Brigadoon. :-)

I like it a lot, but will now have to bold all my postings to be legible over the darker shading.

Thank you CBob.