INVESTIGATIONS: The Battle of the Files

Across the committee table in the Senate's marble-columned caucus room, Wisconsin's pugnacious Senator Joe McCarthy glared defiantly at his tormentors. On the witness table in front of him lay the case histories with which he promised to prove his charge that the State Department was infested with card-carrying Communists and their friends. But for two days he had been too busy fending off the heckling questions of Democratic committeemen to spread out his evidence.

Republicans sat back out of the line of fire as the Democrats bored in. Ex-Marine McCarthy might turn...