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McCarthyism


  • Originally published 08/08/2013

    Jon Kiriakou: Obama's Abuse of the Espionage Act is Modern-Day McCarthyism

    John Kiriakou is a former CIA analyst and whistleblower. He worked for the agency from 1990 to 2004, including as chief of counterterrorist operations in Pakistan. In an interview in 2009, he became the first former government official to confirm the use of waterboarding against al-Qaida suspects. From 2009 to 2011, John was a senior investigator for the US Senate foreign relations committee. In 2012, he was charged with leaking classified information to journalists; he is currently serving a 30-month prison sentence in Loretto, Pennsylvania

  • Originally published 06/16/2013

    The Case for Sparing the Rosenbergs

    Credit: Wiki Commons.Sixty years ago this week, Ethel Rosenberg was strapped into the same electric chair that killed her husband Julius moments before. Her gruesome death ended the spy case that captured worldwide attention. Julius Rosenberg had been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit espionage, specifically passing atomic bomb secrets to the Soviets.FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had also ordered the arrest of Julius’ wife Ethel, hoping to use her as a “lever” to get Julius to name other spies. He never spoke. They both died instead.The grisly executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953 made their sons orphans and shocked the world. The Rosenbergs remain the only married couple executed for a federal crime and the only civilians killed for spying.

  • Originally published 03/07/2013

    Robert D. Parmet: Review of Robert M. Lichtman's "The Supreme Court and McCarthy-Era Repression: One Hundred Decisions" (Illinois, 2012)

    Robert D. Parmet is Professor of History at York College of the City University of New York.Irving Adler was one of 378 New York City teachers ousted for violating the state’s Feinberg Law (1949), which made past or present membership in the Communist Party sufficient ground for dismissing public school teachers.  Fifteen years after Adler’s removal, in Keyishian v. Board of Regents (1967), the United States Supreme Court declared that law unconstitutional, enabling his reinstatement and subsequent receipt of a pension. Ensnared in the Second Red Scare, a period dominated by the presence of Senator Joseph McCarthy and the fear his presence generated, Adler and other loyal Americans were injured in many ways.

  • Originally published 02/23/2013

    Anti-communist oaths persist despite court rulings

    It has been just shy of 50 years since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Washington state law barring members of the Communist Party from voting or holding public-sector jobs is unconstitutional.Evidently, that is not enough time to remove it from the books.Washington is one of a handful of states with similar laws still in existence despite their having been declared unconstitutional decades ago.With few exceptions - most notably Georgia, where an anti-communist oath was administered to incoming Dunwoody City Councilmembers as recently as last year - the laws are treated as part of a bygone era, not unlike state statutes prohibiting interracial marriage, the last of which was removed from Alabama's books in 2001 even though the Supreme Court ruled them unconstitutional in 1967.