Witch Hunts - but who's who?

Witch hunt is an emotive phrase in the US and it is possible that most treat it like a disease that has been largely eliminated. They had a vaccination in the mid fifties. The metaphor is not quite right though. It was not a vaccination, it was an epidemic, and it is still fresh in the minds of some who still govern the US today, over 50 years later. That is why there has been considerable opposition to the planned hearings in Washington, chaired by Peter King, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee on the "Radicalization" of American Muslims. I was astonished to find the number of web search results linking these hearings with the McCarthy hearings on Communism.

It caused me to take a look at those hearings of 50 years ago. And then I decided to give up because they run to many thousands of pages of transcript. They do, however, for all the hours of testimony and cross-examination, have a depressing leitmotiv:

Mr Glassman's reply to the last question was predictable: "I stand on the Fifth".
Glassman would just not take the bait. If Chairman King's hearings take place, I expect there to be similar un-enlightening babble.

Sometimes you arrive at a story from a place you never expected. This happened with me. I was not looking at Muslims or McCarthy, I simply did some searching around the word "denounce", with particular reference to the Huffington Post. It seems Huffpo have tried a similar style with people they don't like. In a story headed, "Haley Barbour won't denounce Confederate licence plate" Huffpo focuses on the subjects unwillingness to "denounce" something that is to us an obscure piece of American history. It is not the only story on that particular media platform which goes for the "so and so refuses to denounce" routine. This time it is Speaker John Boehner on the issue of President Obama and his right to US citizenship and also his religious faith. Boehner simply refused to comment on what are fairly absurd rumours.

When the host of NBC's "Meet the Press" asked Boehner whether he, as speaker of the House, had a responsibility to "stand up to that kind of ignorance," Boehner told David Gregory: "It's not my job to tell the American people what to think. Our job in Washington is to listen to the American people." (Huffpo)

Now, you can argue that anybody who refuses to answer a question like this has something to hide, but what you cannot argue is that the two instances, fifty years apart are in any way different. Nobody should be required to "denounce" anybody else or give a statement that may incriminate themselves.

You may ask yourself, who here is conducting a witch hunt. You might even ask me, but don't bother, I take the fifth.


Smoking Hot said...

When l looked at the article on the Huff and saw it was about Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, l recognised the name.

Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest III, was the first American General killed in WW2. He stayed at the controls of his burning bomber so his crew could bail out. The plane blew up before the General could bail out himself. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Yes there will be a witch hunt and it will use the time honoured method ... no evidence is necessary. Thought crime will suffice.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Smoking, I think they are upset about his grandfather.

Smoking Hot said...

Yes l know :) The man that is so revered in Tennessee that are monuments to him all over the State. He rose from the ranks and his military tactics were copied. They can't prove he was Grand Wizard but who needs proof nowadays? He also disbanded KKK.

That's the opening for the defence :) (Actually just playing devils advocate) but don't tell the righteous.