Victims of McCarthyism

Owen Lattimore under questioning

Owen Lattimore under questioning

Taken from www.jhu.edu/~jhumag/ 0900web/red.html

McCarthy's Victims

A few of the people on McCarthy's list were actually spies for the Soviet Union. However, many of the listed suspects were merely left-leaning public figures, liberal Democrats The list also included those who used to or never work for the State Department. Even being drunk or incompetent while working for the State Department could land a person on the list.

During hearings, McCarthy often asked extremely detailed questions involving what the person did 10 years ago. When the accused invoked the Fifth Amendment to protect themselves, McCarthy said this act is "the most positive proof obtainable that the witness is Communist."

 

Owen Lattimore

Born and raised in Shanghai, Owen Lattimore was the former editor for the Institute of Pacific Relations Journal. He was the United States government liaison to Chiang Kai-Shek before the Nationalists' defeat in their civil war with China. From 1938 to 1950, Lattimore was directed the Page School of International Relations a Johns Hopkins University.

Lattimore's outspokenness, liberal views and acquaintance with Chiang Kai-Shek made him an easy target for McCarthy's anti-Communist campaigns. In 1950, McCarthy accused Lattimore of being the number one spy for the Soviets. After facing 12 days of intense questioning by McCarthy and his committee, Lattimore was charged with seven counts of perjury. Even though these charges were dismissed three years later, Lattimore's reputation and credibility among people was destroyed. Even after his death in 1989, many still questioned his loyalty to his country.

Val Lorwin

Val Lorwin was a State Department employee who had served in the labor section. When Joe McCarthy first brandished his list of alleged Communists, Lorwin was number 54 on the list. At this time, Lorwin was working as a labor economist in Paris.

Lorwin landed on the government's radar when his old friend Harold Metz testified that Lorwin had shown him a red card for the Communist Party and had hosted some "strange-looking people" at his house. Metz had actually made a mistake. Lorwin was later cleared in 1952 by the Loyalty Board when he testified that the red card was for the Socialist Party and the "strange-looking people" were Socialists.

Despite this, Lorwin was still indicted before the State Department for perjury. It wasn't until two years later did the Assistant Attorney General dismissed these charges. By then, Lorwin's reputation was tainted and Lorwin even said he felt like "several years of my own and my wife's life" were taken away. He even wrote, "I was thankful that we have no children".

 

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