Sunday, June 7, 2009

Joe McCarthy's Legacy

The most long-lasting legacy of the McCarthy Era wasn't the damage done to those who were unfairly tarnished as Communists. It was that Joe McCarthy's self-serving, thuggish, and bombastic attacks on imaginary Communist spies made our federal government much safer for the actual Communist spies:
A former U.S. State Department official and his wife have been arrested for spying for the Cuban government for nearly 30 years, the Justice Department said on Friday.

Walter Kendall Myers, 72, aided by his wife Gwendolyn Myers, 71, used his Top Secret security clearance to pass on classified information to the Cuban government and at one point met with Cuban leader Fidel Castro, according to court documents.

The two were charged with conspiracy to act as illegal agents of the Cuban government and to communicate classified information to Cuba, the Justice Department said. They were also charged with wire fraud and acting as illegal agents.
Mr. and Mrs. Myers weren't recruited by Castro's regime until the 70's, well after Joe McCarthy left this world. But his buffonery made it hard to credibily run effective counter-intelligence for decades.

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