MIA Facts Site

The Plan to Clear Garwood:  An Assault on Those Who Served Honorably

Summary.  As of this writing -- February 14, 1999 -- two activities are underway revolving around former USMC PFC Robert Garwood, the only American to have been convicted of collaborating with the enemy in Vietnam.  This article is long and confusing.  I may edit it one day, but, until then, thanks for reading it and for tolerating my poor writing.

First, there is a continuing effort to rewrite history and eventually to overturn Garwood's conviction .  

Second, there is a vicious attack building on a small group of former US POWs who testified against Garwood in his court-martial.  In 1998, former (fired) Sixty Minutes producer Monika Jensen-Stevenson published a book entitled Spite House.  This book is part of the attempt to rehabilitate Garwood.  Based on the claims of a former USMC lieutenant colonel, Tom  McKenney, Spite House attempts to prove that Garwood was innocent, framed by a spiteful government.  The book is total trash.  The author:  totally disregarded the accounts of  US POWs who knew Garwood; made no attempt to review the trial transcript; and, essentially did nothing but accept at face-value McKenney's and Garwood's falsehoods.  Passages in Spite House are slanderous toward US POWs held with Garwood and one of them has now (January 1999) filed a libel suit against Monika Jensen and her publisher.  The MIA activists have commenced a maddog attack on this man and on the other POWs held with Garwood. 

Ross Perot has hired an individual to "look into" Garwood's conviction.   My concern -- and this should be the concern of every other veteran who served honorably in Vietnam -- is that with Perot's money and connections, with Senator Bob Smith's position, and with former Congressman Billy Hendon's scheming, enough noise will be made to generate sympathy for Garwood and possibly have his case re-opened.  There is already talk of a movie based on Spite House.

Update: The libel and slander suit against Monika Jensen and her publisher has been settled (December 16, 1999).  Jensen has admitted to the libel and slander and, under the terms of the settlement:
(1) Jensen and her publishers will pay a sum of money to Dr. Kushner, and,
(2) Jensen will publish in the New York Times and in Dr. Kushner's hometown newspaper a statement admitting that she is guilty of libel and slander and that Garwood was her sole source.
Read more here.

Background

The facts of the Garwood case are simple.  Garwood was a Marine PFC in Vietnam.   He disappeared from his unit in September 1965.  Soon afterward, leaflets turned up bearing his signature and a "fellow soldiers appeal" from Garwood, urging other US servicemen to stop fighting against the VC and PAVN.  Later, other Americans who had been held prisoner reported their contact with Garwood.  He had clearly "gone over" to the enemy.  Garwood struck another American who was a POW at the time.  Garwood was a snitch for the PAVN; he would talk with US POWs then tell the PAVN what the POWs had said, frequently resulting in extreme punishment for the Americans whom he had betrayed.  Garwood was seen by US POWs carrying a weapon and PAVN gear, operating with PAVN units.  US personnel in I Corps reported, from time to time, observing a Caucasian operating with PAVN troops and many of them picked out Garwood's photo as the man they had seen.   When US POWs were released in 1973, Garwood chose to remain behind.  He worked as a member of the staff of the prison camp complex NW of Hanoi where tens of thousands of former South Vietnamese military officers were incarcerated after the Communist takeover of South Vietnam.

When Garwood returned to the US in 1979, he was tried by court-martial and convicted of collaboration and of mistreating a US POW.  His conviction was appealed all the way through the military appellate system then through the civilian courts to the US Supreme Court who, by refusing to hear the case, let stand his conviction.

In 1993, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communication and Intelligence (ASD/C3I) requested a review of the official record dealing with Garwood.   The review was completed in June 1993 and the full text of the report to the ASD/C3I is reproduced on this site.  You may read the report starting with Section I by following this link.  The ASD/C3I report is reproduced in five sections.  There is a sixth section in which I describe Garwood's bogus claims to have seen US POWs in Vietnam after 1973.

The Billy Hendon Connection

There is, across the country, a vocal group of people loosely known as "MIA activists."  Their fundamental claim is that US POWs were abandoned in Vietnam at the end of the war, the US government knew of this abandonment and tried to cover it up, and the cover up and abandonment continues.  Principal actors in this movement are former Congressman William "Billy" Hendon and Senator Bob Smith.  Smith and Hendon were junior Congressmen together in the early 1980s during which time they attempted to prove their claims by referring to various "live sightings" of Americans and other intelligence reporting.  Space in this article does not permit a full layout of the Hendon - Smith cabal but these articles provide the details:

bulletHendon
bulletSenator Smith's Cowboy
bulletSmith and Garwood, 1993
bulletSenator Smith Debates Reality

Hendon Needs to Rehabilitate Garwood

Immediately upon his return in 1979, Garwood was debriefed on several occasions and asked if he had encountered any other Americans.  Garwood responded that he had no knowledge of US POWs in Vietnam and he had not seen another American since 1969
( the date when he traveled from South Vietnam to North Vietnam ).  For the past decade ( this article is being written in early 1999 ), we have seen a concerted effort to clean up Bobby Garwood.  Bob Smith has become a champion of Garwood, trying to convince anyone who will listen of the raw deal Garwood received.  The book Spite House by Monika Jensen-Stevenson is an attempt to whitewash Garwood, even to the point of completely leaving out the evidence presented against him at his court-martial.  This attempted resurrection of Garwood is not accidental -- it is all part of a bigger plan by Hendon to help his case, to prove the the US government is duplicitous, etc., etc.  And, the hell of it is, Hendon may eventually succeed.  

Hendon and Smith have been trying to rehabilitate Garwood since at least 1983 - 84.   When Garwood was debriefed upon his return to the US in 1979, he stated on numerous occasions that he had no knowledge of US POWs in Vietnam after 1973.  However, after a series of meetings with Hendon,  possibly including Smith, in 1983 - 84, Garwood gave an interview to a Wall Street Journal reporter in which he described several instances in which he claimed to have seen  US POWs -- or people he believed to be US POWs -- in Vietnam after 1973.  His reports are all bogus.  What is interesting about Garwood's claims, though, is that they resemble reports that Hendon insisted were true.  Clearly, Hendon was trying to set things up so that Garwood would appear to be corroborating his (Hendon's) favorite stories.  The charade fell apart when Garwood, after dodging for seven years, was finally interviewed by the Defense Intelligence Agency.  His stories fell apart.

While I can never prove this, I believe that Hendon and Garwood collaborated on Garwood's claims.  In the first place, I do know that   Garwood and Hendon spent some time together in 1983 - 84.  If you have read the previous article on Hendon, you know that this time coincides with the period that Hendon was a "consultant" in the Pentagon POW-MIA office.  More important, though, is the fact that Hendon needed Garwood.  Why?  Simple.  In spite of all his efforts, Hendon was not able to convince anyone ( except Bob Smith and a few other fringe elements ) that there were US POWs still in Southeast Asia.  Every single report he cited, every "source" he surfaced turned out to have nothing to do with abandoned US POWs.  Hendon needed a reliable source.  Garwood provides that source for them, but, there is one inconvenient problem:  Garwood was not a POW. Garwood was a willing, active collaborator who was given a fair trial and was convicted of his crimes.  So, if Hendon could get Garwood's conviction overturned, and if Garwood would provide irrefutable details of live-sightings, their relationship would be mutually beneficial to the max.

Another instance of Hendon and Smith collaborating to make Garwood smell like a rose came in the famous Smith-Garwood trip to Hanoi in 1993.  Check it out through this link

In typical Hendon fashion, though, he does not need to have Garwood's conviction overturned.  All he needs to do is keep the pot stirred.  Hendon once described to DIA analysts his method of operation. Hendon bragged that he could make the American public believe anything he wished it to believe on the POW/MIA issue, or any other issue.  He explained that he only needed to make it controversial to oppose him, because, in Hendon's words, people in uniform and public servants "don't have the balls" to confront him out of fear that the controversy will harm their careers. Thus, said Hendon, he can make the most reckless and outrageous charges, knowing that he will not be called into question.  And, when people see Billy and others like him   going unchallenged, the audience   assumes that the critics are  correct.  This is what Hendon, Garwood, and Smith are up to -- they figure if they can keep up a steady drip-drip-drip of propaganda about Garwood, they can rewrite history.    I have no intention of letting them go unchallenged, thus, the MIA Facts Site.

Spite House

The Book

In 1998, former (fired) CBS Sixty Minutes producer Monika Jensen-Stevenson published her book on Garwood, Spite House.  The book was based on interviews with Garwood and with a retired USMC LTC, Tom McKenney.  McKenney claims to have participated in missions trying to hunt down Garwood.  Now, after a religious conversion, McKenney meets Garwood and recognizes him for what he is:  an all-American boy who set up by his own government.  (Spit !)

The McKenney-Jensen thesis is that the US government was embarrassed by Garwood's return because his presence proved that US POWs remained in captivity after 1973.  To cover the fact, the Marine Corps prosecuted Garwood, complete with cooked-up evidence, lying witnesses, and all sorts of other shenanigans.

In preparing the book Jensen interviewed other Americans who were POWs and observed Garwood's collaboration but she did not use their accounts.  There is no indication that she ever attempted to obtain the trial transcripts; never interviewed any of the Marine prosecutors; never did anything but take Garwood and McKenney at their word.

The Libel and Slander

Several US POWs were held at one or more camps established in I Corps.  Garwood was in this area until approximately 1969 when he went to North Vietnam.  These US POWs saw and, to some extent, interacted with Garwood. 

bulletThey observed him coming and going in and out of the camps with PAVN units.   Garwood was carrying an AK-47, with ammunition magazines, and was wearing PAVN web gear.
bulletGarwood came to talk with the POWs on many occasions.  He urged them to cooperate with their captors.  When they complained to Garwood about their treatment, he "ratted" to the PAVN and , in some cases, the US POWs were beaten because of what Garwood told the PAVN.

In Spite House, Garwood is presented as the hero and these US POWs are portrayed as cowards, whiners, and collaborators.  The most egregious of the lies in Spite House are those directed against an individual who, at the time, was an Army physician and POW.  As a physician, this man was bound by his Hippocratic oath to render all possible care to those in need.  Garwood claims that the doctor::

bulletHoarded medical supplies that he obtained from the PAVN and did not use the supplies to treat his US comrades;
bulletInformed on Garwood to camp authorities; and,
bulletPerformed unnecessary surgery on Garwood, causing him great pain and suffering.

For a physician to have done any of these would have been a violation of his Hippocratic oath and these charges -- all of them completely false -- are slanderous and libelous of the physician.  For this reason, in January 1999, he filed suit against Monika Jensen and her publisher .

The facts are completely different from the falsehoods in Spite House.  I recommend that folks read Zalin Grant's book, The Survivors, for the facts about life in the camps where Garwood was collaborating.  What really happened was that   the physician, with no medical supplies or equipment to speak of, no sanitation, no assistance, and himself suffering from malnutrition, diarrhea, and other diseases, did whatever he could to try to treat US POWs as well as ARVN POWs in the camp.   Garwood, meanwhile, was carrying a weapon, operating with PAVN against US forces, living with the PAVN, and snitching on the US POWs.  

This physician and former POW has not been one of those professional veterans or professional victims that we are plagued with.  He has not made speeches or written a book about his experiences.  He quietly served in the Army, left the service, and has maintained a private practice, continuing the healing arts. 

Garwood, meanwhile, has never held a steady job.  In 1986, Ross Perot -- then on the Board of Directors of General Motors -- intervened to get Garwood a job with a GM dealership in North Carolina.  Garwood lasted less than two weeks; he just quit coming to work.  Garwood has shacked up with numerous women, one of them MIA activist Donna Long and the other a "sister" of MIA SGT James Ray.   He has drifted around, being used by Hendon and Smith, appearing at the occasional MIA rally, always playing the part of the victim.

The Attack Begins

Within days of the filing of the libel suit, the following e-mail message was flashed to MIA activists:

QUOTE

To: "A.S. Warinner" <Storrs2@webtv.net>,
>        "Al.Santoli@mail.house.gov" <Al.Santoli@mail.house.gov>,
>        Al Tookolo <htookolo@iquest.net>, Bernie Newson
<bernie@samart.co.th>,
>        BOB NECCI AII for POW/MIAs <aiipowmiai@aol.com>,
>        Chip Beck <BeckChip@aol.com>, Daniel M Carr
<danang@compuserve.com>,
>        Daniel Adamscheck <webmaster@dansweb.com>,
>        Dave Murray <xdave43@injersey.com>,
>        "eagleflt@freewwweb.com" <eagleflt@freewwweb.com>,
>        Floyd Kitchen <K6846@aol.com>,
>        "Gerald/Carol A. McCullar" <cmcculla@juno.com>,
>        Greasy Belcher <greasy@kih.net>, Gunny Fallon <gfallon@nji.com>,
>        Jim Rhodes <rhodesfamilia@juno.com>,
>        Judee/Jerry Strott <judee22@worldnet.att.net>,
>        Kevin Kister <kevin@albanyonline.net>,
>        Lillian Roberts <lroberts@mail.icongrp.com>,
>        Linda Gurganus <cconstr104@aol.com>,
>        "LYNN O'SHEA" <PGGK94A@PRODIGY.COM>,
>        "MarkSauter@classic.msn.com" <MarkSauter@classic.msn.com>,
>        Mike Van Atta <theinsider@uswest.net>,
>        "P.O.W . NETWORK" <pownet@asde.com>, "Pat P." <Flacksrus@aol.com>,
>        PERRY MYERS <perry@fidnet.com>,
>        "PowMiaNetwork@StateNH.com" <PowMiaNetwork@StateNH.com>,
>        Randy Holke <CAMO_1@hotmail.com>, Rich Teague <vnpowmia@gte.net>,
>        Richard <rsmith@corp.unihealth.org>, Robert White
<rwhite@airnet.net>,
>        ROGER HALL <rhall8715@aol.com>, Rod Utech
<RodCUtech@compuserve.com>,
>        "rollingthunderchapter1pa@yahoo.com"
><rollingthunderchapter1pa@yahoo.com>,
>        RON/PAM PETERSEN <rpetersen@ameritech.net>,
>        S Barnett <Sharbarred@aol.com>, Steve Golding <steveg@nyct.net>,
>        SUE PAQUIN <suzanneusa@aol.com>,
>        TASK FORCE OMEGA <tfoinc@starlink.com>,
>        Ted Guy <tedguy@lakeozarks.net>,
>        Tina Thomas <ladyfreedom@ameritech.net>, Vic Leahy
<cleahy@erols.com>,
>        Walt Handy <whandy@dreamscape.com>
>Subject: [Fwd: Monika Jensen-Stevenson/What to Do]
>Content-Type: multipart/mixed;
boundary="------------D221BE437C1C88D414D8A987"
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>
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>  (SMTPD32-4.06) id ADB16FE0080; Tue, 09 Feb 1999 16:58:57 CST6CDT
>Received: (from tommckenney@juno.com)
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EST
>To: kellij@harborside.com, terr@harenet.net, ladyjen@powmiaff.com,
>        JKING1216@aol.com, scretaro@ntslink.net, greasy@kih.net,
>        xdave43@injersey.com
>Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 16:58:07 -0600
>Subject: Monika and What to Do
>Message-ID: <19990209.165808.-1017901.0.tommckenney@juno.com>
>X-Mailer: Juno 2.0.11
>X-Juno-Line-Breaks: 0,2,14,24,37,42-45
>X-Juno-Att: 0
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>From: Tom C McKenney <tommckenney@juno.com>
>
>Friends,
>   I have been out of touch for 10 days (even the computer in my Ky
>office was down while I was there).  Thanks for being willing to help.
>   Ex-Capt Kushner's threats and demands appear to be an effort by
>"them", ie the Govt power structure ( John McCain, John Kerry, Kissinger
>& Co--I name these, although the real power people are much bigger than
>these 3), to kill and discredit the truth told in "Spite House."
>Hell--they already killed the hardback, but are now after the paperback.
>But why?  Same reason "they" murdered "Kiss the Boys Goodbye": they fear
>the truth that live POWs were left behind.  In the case of "Spite House"
>it is that they are really after Bobby Garwood .  Why?  Same reason: his
>detailed knowledge of other American POWs he saw there after '73, and his
>readiness to tell it.  Unlike Frank Anton, who kept his mouth shut to
>protect his career (he admits this in his book), Bobby has tried to tell
>since he escaped Hanoi in '79.
>  But "Spite House" has been out almost 2 years--so why would "they"
>attack it now?  I believe the reason is that they know that we (Artie
>Muller, Danny Belcher, Paul Gloria and I) are launching an effort to have
>Bobby's rigged conviction reversed--Mark Smith and I will tell this to
>the world at Rolling Thunder in May.  A second reason, I believe, is that
>there is a major movie being made about Bobby and me based on "Spite
>House"; if they can discredit the book, it could kill the movie and keep
>this truth from the general public.  It is significant that Kushner lives
>in Fla, yet his law firm defending his injured pride is a large, powerful
>DC firm with ties to the USG.  Hmmmm?
>  But what can you do?  Two things: call or write Monika to encourage
>her; and give me any ugly truth about Kushner and his numerous failures
>to live up to a soldier's code as a POW. It will help to demonstrate a
>pattern of his cooperation with the enemy. This is the guy who made many,
>many broadcasts for Radio Hanoi, and who (with his pal Frank Anton)
>refused to obey Col.Ted Guy when in the Plantation.  We need ammo.    What
>we most need right now is a copy of the Garwood court martial record,
>which Monika says will cost $800.00 (which she doesn't have), if she can
>access it; the part we most need is the testimony of Kushner, including
>cross-examination.  Bobby's copy went to the Army's JAG School, where it
>has "disappeared."  We also need a magazine story about Kushner's
>wife(Valerie)'s trip to Hanoi with Jane Fonda.  Mark says it was either
>"Life" or "Look", and it was in 1972.
>   Well, this is a long answer to a short question, but it needs
>explanation.   Pass it around.  It appears that they are now coming after
>me, for telling you these things, and for having said them on the radio.
>They have the deck stacked, but we have the truth, and we don't leave our
>wounded behind.
>   Thanks for caring.
>Semper fi,
>Tom McKenney

END QUOTE

So there you have it folks.  The heroes -- Frank Anton, Hal Kushner -- are now to be made the villains.  McKenney's message is such crap.  Court records "disappearing."  Trips to Hanoi.  Plot by the "power structure."  Note in this message the claim that Mark Smith -- now there's a reliable source -- will speak to the Rolling Thunder rally in DC to lay out the "truth."  What Smith would know about Kushner, Anton, and Garwood is beyond me.  He was in a completely different part of Vietnam from them but look for him to make up a whopper.

Speaking of whoppers, the preceding message is one big whopper.  Disappearing court martial records, failure to live up to the "soldier's code," making broadcasts -- none of which happened.

In the coming weeks, be prepared to witness vicious attacks on anyone who dares tell the truth, especially on Kushner and Anton.  Lies will become truth and these men, who wanted only to get on with their lives -- and did  fine job of it -- will be vilified, all in an attempt to wash clean Garwood's crimes against his country.

The Summary

As I re-read this article, I realize that it wanders around all over the landscape.   Let me sumamrize here.  Maybe one day I'll come back and edit it into a recognizable work.

bulletBilly Hendon and Bob Smith need a reliable source to "prove" that US POWs were abandoned in SEAsia.  They have tried everything they can, since the early 1980s, and nothing has worked.
bulletGarwood was captured in 1965 and returned to the US in 1979.  Garwood   could provide the source they need -- an abandoned US POW -- except for the fact that he was not an abandoned POW, he was a collaborator who willingly stayed behind.
bulletHendon sets about trying to rehabilitate Garwood.  If not overturn his conviction, them convince a few true believers that Garwood is an abandoned POW.
bulletDuring his "consultancy" in the Pentagon, Hendon has access to "live sighting" reports that he will later use in his efforts to prove that US POWs were abandoned in SEAsia.
bulletHendon meets with Garwood, 83-84, and Garwood produces his "live sightings" in which he claims to have seen US POWs as late as 1977.
bulletSome of Garwood's "live sightings" bear remarkable resemblance to certain of the reports that Hendon stole from the Pentagon.
bulletBill Paul, writer for the Wall Street Journal and frequent visitor with Hendon, writes 1984 WSJ article recounting Garwood's claims.
bulletMade for TV movie, "The Last P.O.W.? The Bobby Garwood Story," starring Ralph Macchio (Karate Kid),   airs in 1993.  Former POWs who knew Garwood denounced the movie as being trash.
bulletJuly 1993, Smith, Hendon, and Garwood return to Vietnam where they "find" the spot where Garwood saw US POWs in 1977.  The whole caper is phony.
bulletMarch 1997, Monika Jensen-Stevenson publishes Spite House.   Paperback is released in September 1998.
bulletJanuary 1998, Dr. F. H. Kushner files libel and slander suit against Spite House author and publisher and the attack on him begins.

I can hardly wait for the next episode.

So, Why Do I Care?

I bear no grudge against Garwood; however, the facts as I understand them show clearly that Garwood acted voluntarily, enthusiastically, and dishonorably to bring harm to American POWs in the MR5 (B1 Front) POW camp and that  Garwood bore arms against American soldiers serving in (at least) Quang Nam, Quang Tin, and Quang Ngai Provinces. 

I believe efforts to overturn Garwood's conviction dishonor every American serviceman who survived or died in captivity in Southeast Asia, and dishonor all who have served our nation's cause honorably throughout our nation's history. 

I will not be surprised to learn that Senator Bob Smith (R, NH) is standing in the shadows promoting the effort to clear Garwood.  He has long been a defender of Garwood.  Why?  Consider the following.

bulletSmith has voted with the most conservative wing of the Republican Party since he was elected to Congress.  He has worked closely with the "Religious Right" to further their agenda.
bulletIn January 1999 Smith announced that he was forming an exploratory committee for a Presidential bid. 
bulletWith the moderate and centrist wings of the Republican Party turning away from the close alliance with the Religious Right, Smith probably sees himself as the beneficiary of the votes and support available from the religious fundamentalists.  
bulletRemember, Pat Robertson of the Christian Coalition has had various MIA activists on his 700 Club, extolling the cover-up-and-conspiracy claims.
bulletIn the short term, support for efforts to overturn Garwood's conviction would give Smith more credibility with a small army of MIA activists who are willing to devote a lot of time and energy free of charge to publicize and promote political candidates and fund raising efforts among a segment of the
conservative community. 
bulletIn the long term, if successful, Smith might envision Garwood going on the speaking circuit promoting the false notion that we left men behind in captivity at the end of the war, and promoting Sen. Smith as the champion of efforts to rescue those phantom POWs.   More free publicity.  As retired LTC Jack Bailey, retired LTC Bo Gritz, former Congressman Hendon,  etc., have demonstrated, the POW/MIA issue offers lucrative fund raising opportunities to persons who are willing to exploit the issue.

So, folks, there you have it and it ain't pretty. 

Epilogue

In the early 1950s, the American people, through the new medium of television, were treated to the witch-hunts of Senator Joseph McCarthy.  Anyone who questioned McCarthy became the worst of all possible villains -- a Communist.   McCarthy trashed innocent people for some time until he took on Army lawyer Joseph Welch.

The background is that an associate of McCarthy's was drafted.   McCarthy tried to pressure the Army to let the man out and the Army resisted.   McCarthy responded by accusing various senior Army civilian and uniformed officials of being Communists or of harboring Communists in the ranks.  McCarthy then tried to accuse a former WWII hero, General Ralph Zwicker, of communist wrong-doing. McCarthy stated on national television that Zwicker was not fit to wear a United State’s Army uniform. The nation watched as McCarthy blew up in fury and told Zwicker he did not have the brains of a five year old child.

Joseph Welch, who had been completely calm until this moment, took center stage.  Welch's defense of Zwicker demolished McCarthy's position.  McCarthy completely lost control of himself . He jumped out of his seat and said that one of Welch’s employee, a young attorney named Fred Fisher, was a communist. Welch, almost in tears at this unwarranted attack on a young associate, delivered his famous rebuke of McCarthy:

    MR. WELCH - Senator McCarthy I think until this moment--
     SENATOR MCCARTHY - Just a minute.  Let me ask, Jim -- will you get the
news story to the effect that this man belongs to this Communist front
organization.
     MR. WELCH - I will tell you that he belonged to it.
     SENATOR MCCARTHY - Will you get the citations -- order the citations
showing that this was the legal arm of the Communist party and the length of
time that he belonged and the fact that he was recommended by Mr. Welch?
I think that should be in the record.
     MR. WELCH - Senator, you won't need anything in the record when I
finish telling you this.  Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really
gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.
     Fred Fisher is a young man who went to the Harvard Law School and came
into my firm and is starting what looks to be a brilliant career with us.
When I decided to work for this committee I asked Jim St. Clair, who sits
on my right, to be my first assistant.  I said to Jim: "Pick somebody in
the firm to work under you that you would like."
     He chose Fred Fisher and they came down on an afternoon plane.   That
night when we had taken a little stab at trying to see what the case was
about, Fred Fisher and Jim St. Clair and I went to dinner together.
     I then said to these two young men: "Boys, I don't know anything about
you except I've always liked you, but if there's anything funny in the life
of either one of you that would hurt anybody in this case, you speak up
quick."
     And Fred Fisher said: "Mr. Welch, when I was in the law school and for
a period of months after I belonged to the Lawyer's Guild" as you have
suggested, Senator.
     He went on to say, "I am the secretary of the Young Republicans' League
with the son of the Massachusetts Governor and I have the respect and
admiration of my community and I'm sure I have the respect and admiration of
the twenty-five lawyers or so in Hale & Dorr [Mr. Welch's law firm.]"
     And I said, "Fred, I just don't think I'm going to ask you to work on
the case.  If I do, one of these days that will come out and go over
national television and it will hurt like the dickens."
     So, Senator, I asked him to go back to Boston.  Little did I dream
you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad.  It
is true he is still with Hale & Dorr.  It is true that he will continue to
be with Hale & Dorr.
     It is, I regret to say, equally true that I fear he shall always bear
a scar, needlessly inflicted by you.  If it were in my power to forgive you
for your reckless cruelty, I would do so.  I like to think I'm a gentle man,
but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me.
     SENATOR MCCARTHY - May I say that Mr. Welch talks about this being
cruel and reckless.  He was just baiting -- he has been baiting Mr. Cohn
here for hours, requesting that Mr. Cohn before sundown get out of any
department of the Government anyone who was serving the Communist cause.
     Now, I just give this man's record, and I want to say, Mr. Welch, that
it has been labeled long before he became a member as early as 1944.
     MR. WELCH - Senator, may we not drop this?  We know he belonged to the
Lawyer's Guild.
     SENATOR MCCARTHY - Let me finish this.
     MR. WELCH - And Mr. Cohn nods his head at me.  I did you, I think, no
personal injury, Mr. Cohn.
     MR. COHN - No, sir.
     MR. WELCH - I meant to do you no personal injury and if I did, I beg
your pardon.  Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator.  You've done
enough.  Have you no sense of decency, sir?  At long last, have you left no
sense of decency?

   
McCarthy then raved for some time further but he was an empty madman.

Today the issue is not non-existent Communists in the Army or the State Department.   Instead, the issue is non-existent US POWs, abandoned by their government at the end of the Vietnam War.  But the tactics are still the same.  Bully, threaten, manufacture dirt.   The MIA activists seek to destroy anyone who gets in their way by heaping calumny and bile on them.  And we could ask the same question:   "Have you no sense of decency, sir?" 

You know the answer to that one.