The Return of McCarthyism

Editor’s note: This video was removed from the Internet Tuesday by the person who created it without explanation. We have not found another version available for embed. However the video can be viewed at this link.

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3 Responses for “The Return of McCarthyism”

  1. What a great video, I love it, thanks. Reminds me of Jon Stewart’s comparative mashups. The Right’s use of propaganda, fear-mongering, and war-mongering is rather obvious; how do we do it on the Left?

    For example, Obama’s DOD, DOJ, NSA, and CIA all have people in key positions who were involved in our turn toward torture: how are they now packaging and spinning Bush-era policies?

    Marcy Wheeler at emptywheel is hosting a very interesting discussion of this right now.


    As can be discerned, there is quite a difference in the quality and seriousness of policy proposals. The Obama Administration has done nothing but put the proverbial lipstick on the existing baked pig.

    Now why, lo after all these months, would the Administration suddenly announce their “new policy” at this instant? One reason certainly might be the fact that oral argument on plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment in the absolutely critical state secrets case of al-Haramain v. Obama are scheduled for this morning in front of Judge Vaughn Walker in the Northern District of California.

    Here’s my working thesis: McCarthy’s method may have been an early version of efforts by American social scientists to replicate the ungodly success of Nazi “influence ops,” as the Pentagon calls them today. The Chicago Boys are the best example.


    So, this plan was cooked up—it was between the head of USAID’s Chile office and the head of the University of Chicago’s Economics Department—to try to change the debate in Latin America, starting in Chile, because that’s where developmentalism had gained its deepest roots. And the idea was to bring a group of Chilean students to the University of Chicago to study under a group of economists who were considered so extreme that they were on the margins of the discussion in the United States, which, of course, at the time, in the 1950s, was fully in the grips of Keynesianism. But the idea was that there would be—this would be a battle to the—a counterbalance to the emergence of left-wing ideas in Latin America, that they would go home and counterbalance the pink economists.

    And so, the Chicago Boys were born. And it was considered a success, and the Ford Foundation got in on the funding. And hundreds and hundreds of Latin American students, on full scholarships, came to the University of Chicago in the 1950s and ’60s to study here to try to engage in what Juan Gabriel Valdes, Chile’s foreign minister after the dictatorship finally ended, described as a project of deliberate ideological transfer, taking these extreme-right ideas, that were seen as marginal even in the United States, and transplanting them to Latin America. That was his phrase—that is his phrase.

    What other plans have been cooked up in the meantime? How are cruise-missile liberals selling us war?

    I seriously think, post-WWII, the APA helped the military weaponize rhetoric, converting public space into battle space. We know that the Pentagon targeted the American public with “battlefield psy-ops,” according to attorney Scott Horton ( We know that Bush-era officials are still hard at work, propagandizing us.

    But what does liberal propaganda look like?



    RACHEL MADDOW: You said in a speech in Geneva last week that we are running the risk of replicating the Soviet experience in Afghanistan. I was desperately hoping you would be able to come on this show tonight so that you can tell us what makes you say that.

    BRZEZINSKI: Well, I shouldn‘t be smiling, actually. It‘s a sad state of affairs. You know, the Soviets went into Afghanistan and within the first year, most Afghans were against them. And they stayed for about 10 years and they lost.

    iN 1998, ZB bragged about luring the Soviets into the “Afghan trap,” but Maddow let him get away with murder, never asking “Mika’s dad” (as Maddow calls ZB, referring to his daughter, Maddow’s MSNBC colleague) to account for his role in creating the blowback we call 9/11/2001.

    As the video (above) shows, the new McCarthyites are using false accusations, lies of commission; by failing to question “Mika’s dad,” Maddow helped spread a false narrative, a lie of omission. MSNBC infamously fired Phil Donahue in the lie-fueled run up to the Iraq invasion because it didn’t want to be associated with his skepticism. Is that what keeps Maddow “on the reservation?”


    > Zbigniew Brzezinski:

    > How Jimmy Carter and I Started the Mujahideen
    > Interview of Zbigniew Brzezinski Le Nouvel Observateur (France), Jan 15-21, 1998, p. 76*
    > Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs [“From the Shadows”], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?
    > Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.
    > Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?
    > Brzezinski: It isn’t quite that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.
    > Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?
    > Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

    “Mika’s dad” is largely responsible for the destruction of Afghanistan by an unnecessary war, during which we funded Osama bin Laden and the mujahideen we now claim are our mortal enemies. Our abandonment of the Afghans after the Soviets withdrew did not go unnoticed. All that is highly relevant to assessing ZB’s analysis, yet Maddow reveals it not.

    Rachel Maddow: propagandist by omission. Is she reluctant? Unwitting? Knowing?

    I’d really like to see some hard-hitting questions addressed to ZB, but will Maddow dare such an affront to “Mika’s dad?” I doubt it.

  2. beornborg says:

    If you want to relink your embed you can get the code at

  3. thanks so much for the link!

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