National Affairs: A Few Scars

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The end of the McCarthy-Army hear ings finally seemed at hand. What damage or good had they caused? The original charges and countercharges had become all but secondary issues, and, with the testimony largely in, they could easily be disposed of: CJ Did Senator McCarthy and his chief counsel, Roy Cohn, try to get favored treatment for Private David Schine? Despite McCarthy's denials (see above), most TV-viewers would agree that they did. They would also agree that for a sickeningly long time, Army Secretary Stevens went out of his way to accommodate McCarthy and Cohn.

Did the Army try to stop McCarthy's investigation of security risks at Fort Monmouth? Clearly, it did; both Stevens and Army Counselor John Adams admitted that they were anxious to get that "type" of hearing called off, because McCarthy's investigations and extravagant charges were demoralizing the Army.

t| Did the Army use Schine as a "hostage"? Not proved; once he was in service, the Army never threatened to abuse or discriminate against him, instead treated him with kid gloves.

C| Did the Army try to "blackmail" McCarthy out of his investigations by publishing its report on the Schine case?

Not proved.

But the real effect of the hearings cut a hundred ways from these detailed charges.

Politically, it damaged the Republican Party's prestige across the U.S. Reason: both the "good guys" and the "bad guys" were Republicans. Secretary Stevens, as the Administration's chief warrior, won sympathy as an earnest, long-suffering gentleman, but lost respect, perhaps irrevocably, when he told to what lengths he had gone to accommodate McCarthy, Cohn and Schine. Counselor Adams, the genial fixer, emerged as a sly fighter, but one whom Roy Cohn thought he could outwit—and nearly did.

On the congressional side of the argument, the face of the G.O.P.—as TV saw it—was a sad face indeed. Its composite features: genial Chairman Mundt, the "tormented mushroom"; Illinois' orating Everett Dirksen ("Old Bear Grease"); Idaho's Henry Dworshak, who didn't know when he was being insulted; Michigan's well-meaning but generally ineffective Potter; and, of course, McCarthy.

If the Republicans were hurt, the Democrats were probably helped. They made the most of their tactical position wherein they had nothing to lose by demanding all the facts. During lunch-hour recesses, John McClellan, the old Arkansas buzzard, whispered and joked on the Senate floor with the coach, Democratic Leader Lyndon Johnson.

Back at the hearings, he called the signals for his two committee colleagues, Washington's Henry ("Scoop") Jackson and Missouri's Stuart Symington. Occasionally, Jackson got out of hand by worrying a point to death; Symington was caught with his monitored telephone calls showing, and probably gained nothing from his wrangling with McCarthy. But John McClellan saw to it that the net Democratic effect was to the good.

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