Danny Glover Latest Target of New McCarthyism

"'Lethal Weapon' actor Danny Glover is the latest celebrity facing an icy brand of national pride that puts the pinch on public figures who question American foreign policy. A threatened boycott seeks to force telecommunications company MCI to dump Glover as its pitchman because of views he expressed about Cuba and against the Iraq war. Similar frostiness extended to the Dixie Chicks, and actors Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon... Glover said this chill comes from right-wing factions that he denounced as self-appointed thought police. 'It's basically this rabid nationalism that has its own kind of potential of being maniacal, in some sense. As we march down and wave the flags, we must be sure of what we're waving them for,' Glover said in an interview. 'The whole idea is to crush any kind of dissent,' he said. 'Something is happening now that is very dark and very sinister in this country, and for us to not admit it is happening is, in some ways, for us to be blind.'"

Shedding More Light on McCarthyism

North Jersey Media Group writes: "The newly released documents reveal that McCarthy used closed-door hearings to gauge the tenacity of his nearly 500 witnesses. Witnesses that stood up to him were not called back to a public hearing. He wanted people he could intimidate. He particularly reveled in witnesses who sought protection under the Fifth Amendment. In 2003, the rise of a McCarthy may seem a quirk of history. He ended his life in disgrace. His primary stooge in intimidation, Roy Cohn, also has not been treated well by history. When wars are played out, bomb by bomb, on television, how could a McCarthy and his legacy of secret hearings exist today? But they do and Americans should recognize the telltale signs of a darkening democracy. In the months preceding the military invasion of Iraq, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft questioned the patriotism of opponents of the Bush administration. Increasingly, the public process of democracy is being shrouded in secrecy."

Transcripts of Joe McCarthy's Secret Hearings are Finally Made Public

Reuters reports: "Fifty years after Sen. Joseph McCarthy's scorched earth investigation into supposed communist infiltration of America's most sensitive institutions, transcripts released on Monday from his secret hearings add more tarnish to his place in history. The 5,000 pages show no smoking guns, no uncovered spies, no verification of the conspiracy theories on which he built his political career. No one McCarthy summoned ever went to jail... But his probes ruined lives and destroyed careers and livelihoods, with his unproven hints of communist taint... Yet McCarthy remains a polarizing figure, and still has his champions on the right." Hearing transcripts can be viewed online at: http://www.senate.gov/~gov_affairs/psi.htm