Speech delivered by Senator Joseph McCarthy before the Senate on June 14, 1951
How can we account for our present situation unless we believe that men high in this
Government are concerting to deliver us to disaster? This must be the product of a great
conspiracy, a conspiracy on a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in
the history of man. A conspiracy of infamy so black that, when it is finally exposed, its
principals shall be forever deserving of the maledictions of all honest men.
Who constitutes the highest circles of this conspiracy? About that we cannot be sure.
We are convinced that Dean Acheson, who steadfastly serves the interests of nations other
than his own, the friend of Alger Hiss, who supported him in his hour of retribution, who
contributed to his defense fund, must be high on the roster. The President? He is their
captive. I have wondered, as have you, why he did not dispense with so great a liability
as Acheson to his own and his party's interests. It is now clear to me. In the
relationship of master and man, did you ever hear of man firing master? Truman is a
satisfactory front. He is only dimly aware of what is going on.
I do not believe that Mr. Truman is a conscious party to the great conspiracy, although
it is being conducted in his name. I believe that if Mr. Truman bad the ability to
associate good Americans around him, be would have behaved as a good American in this most
dire of all our crises.
It is when we return to an examination of General Marshall's record since the spring of
1942 that we approach an explanation of the carefully planned retreat from victory, Let us
again review the Marshall record, as I have disclosed it from all the sources available
and all of them friendly. This grim and solitary man it was who, early in World War II,
determined to put his impress upon our global strategy, political and military.
It was Marshall, who, amid the din for a "second front now" from every voice
of Soviet inspiration, sought to compel the British to invade across the Channel in the
fall of 1942 upon penalty of our quitting the war in Europe.
It was Marshall who, after North Africa had been secured, took the strategic direction
of the war out of Roosevelt's hands and - who fought the British desire, shared by Mark
Clark, to advance from Italy into the eastern plains of Europe ahead of the Russians.
It was a Marshall-sponsored memorandum, advising appeasement of Russia In Europe and
the enticement of Russia into the far-eastern war, circulated at Quebec, which
foreshadowed our whole course at Tehran, at Yalta, and until now in the Far East.
It was Marshall who, at Tehran, made common cause with Stalin on the strategy of the
war in Europe and marched side by side with him thereafter.
It was Marshall who enjoined his chief of military mission in Moscow under no
circumstances to "irritate" the Russians by asking them questions about their
forces, their weapons, and their plans, while at the same time opening our schools,
factories, and gradually our secrets to them in this count.
It was Marshall who, as Hanson Baldwin asserts, himself referring only to the
"military authorities," prevented us having a corridor to Berlin. So it was with
the capture and occupation of Berlin and Prague ahead of the Russians.
It was Marshall who sent Deane to Moscow to collaborate with Harriman in drafting the
terms of the wholly unnecessary bribe paid to Stalin at Yalta. It was Marshall, with Hiss
at his elbow and doing the physical drafting of agreements at Yalta, who ignored the
contrary advice of his senior, Admiral Leahy, and of MacArtbur and Nimitz in regard to the
folly of a major land invasion of Japan; who submitted intelligence reports which
suppressed more truthful estimates in order to support his argument, and who finally
induced Roosevelt to bring Russia into the Japanese war with a bribe that reinstated
Russia in its pre-1904 imperialistic position in Manchuria-an act which, in effect, signed
the death warrant of the Republic of China.
It was Marshall, with Acheson and Vincent eagerly assisting, who created the China
policy which, destroying China, robbed us of a great and friendly ally, a buffer against
the Soviet imperialism with which we are now at war.
It was Marshall who, after long conferences with Acheson and Vincent, went to China to
execute the criminal folly of the disastrous Marshall mission.
It was Marshall who, upon returning from a diplomatic defeat for the United States at
Moscow, besought the reinstatement of forty millions in lend-lease for Russia.
It was Marshall who, for 2 years suppressed General Wedemeyer's report, which is a
direct and comprehensive repudiation of the Marshall policy.
It was Marshall who, disregarding Wedemeyer's advices on the urgent need for military
supplies, the likelihood of China's defeat without ammunition and equipment, and our
"moral obligation" to furnish them, proposed instead a relief bill bare of
It was the State Department under Marshall, with the wholehearted support of Michael
Lee and Remington in the Commerce Department, that sabotaged the $125,000,000 military-aid
bill to China in 194S.
It was Marshall who fixed the dividing line for Korea along the thirty-eighth parallel,
a line historically chosen by Russia to mark its sphere of interest in Korea.
It is Marshall's strategy for Korea which has turned that war into a pointless
slaughter, reversing the dictum of Von Clausewitz and every military theorist since him
that the object of a war is not merely to kill but to impose your will on the enemy.
It is Marshall-Acheson strategy for Europe to build the defense of Europe solely around
the Atlantic Pact nations, excluding the two great wells of anti-Communist manpower in
Western Germany and Spain and spurning the organized armies of Greece and Turkey-another
case of following the Lattimore advice of "let them fall but don't let it appear that
we pushed them."
It is Marshall who, advocating timidity as a policy so as not to annoy the forces of
Soviet imperialism in Asia, had admittedly put a brake on the preparations to fight,
rationalizing his reluctance on the ground that the people are fickle and if war does not
come, will hold him to account for excessive zeal.
What can be made of this unbroken series of decisions and acts contributing to the
strategy of defeat? They cannot be attributed to incompetence. If Marshall were merely
stupid, the laws of probability would dictate that part of his decisions would serve this
country's interest. If Marshall is innocent of guilty intention, how could he be trusted
to guide the defense of this country further? We have declined so precipitously in
relation to the Soviet Union in the last 6 years. How much swifter may be our fall into
disaster with Marshall at the helm? Where Will all this stop? That is not a rhetorical
question: Ours is not a rhetorical danger. Where next will Marshall carry us? It is
useless to suppose that his nominal superior will ask him to resign. He cannot even
dispense with Acheson.
What is the objective of the great conspiracy? I think it is clear from what has
occurred and is now occurring: to diminish the United States in world affairs, to weaken
us militarily, to confuse our spirit with talk of surrender in the Far East and to impair
our will to resist evil. To what end? To the end that we shall be contained, frustrated
and finally: fall victim to Soviet intrigue from within and Russian military might from
without. Is that farfetched? There have been many examples in history of rich and powerful
states which have been corrupted from within, enfeebled and deceived until they were
unable to resist aggression. . . .
It is the great crime of the Truman administration that it has refused to undertake the
job of ferreting the enemy from its ranks. I once puzzled over that refusal. The
President, I said, is a loyal American; why does he not lead in this enterprise? I think
that I know why he does not. The President is not master in his own house. Those who are
master there not only have a desire to protect the sappers and miners - they could not do
otherwise. They themselves are not free. They belong to a larger conspiracy, the
world-wide web of which has been spun from Moscow. It was Moscow, for example, which
decreed that the United States should execute its loyal friend, the Republic of China. The
executioners were that well-identified group headed by Acheson and George Catlett
How, if they would, can they, break these ties, how return to simple allegiance to
their native land? Can men sullied by their long and dreadful record afford us leadership
in the world struggle with the enemy? How can a man whose every important act for years
had contributed to the prosperity of the enemy reverse himself? The reasons for his past
actions are immaterial. Regardless of why he has done what be did, be has done it and the
momentum of that course bears him onward. . . .
The time has come to halt this tepid, milk-and-water acquiescence which a discredited
administration, ruled by disloyalty, sends down to us. The American may belong to an old
culture, he may be beset by enemies here and abroad, he may be distracted by the many
words of counsel that assail him by day and night, but he is nobody's fool. The time has
come for us to realize that the people who sent us here expect more than time-serving from
us. The American who has never known defeat in war, does not expect to be again sold down
the river in Asia. He does not want that kind of betrayal. He has had betrayal enough. He
has never failed to fight for his liberties since George Washington rode to Boston in 1775
to put himself at the head of a band of rebels unversed in war. He is fighting tonight,
fighting gloriously in a war on a distant American frontier made inglorious by the men he
can no longer trust at the head of our affairs.
The America that I know, and that other Senators know, this vast and teeming and
beautiful land, this hopeful society where the poor share the table of the rich as never
before in history, where men of all colors, of all faiths, are brothers as never before in
history, where great deeds have been done and great deeds are yet to do, that America
deserves to be led not to humiliation or defeat, but to victory.
The Congress of the United States is the people's last hope, a free and open forum of
the people's representatives. We felt the pulse of the people's response to the return of
MacArthur. We know what it meant. The people, no longer trusting their executive, turn to
us, asking that we reassert the constitutional prerogative of the Congress to declare the
policy for the United States.
The time has come to reassert that prerogative, to oversee the conduct of this war, to
declare that this body must have the final word on the disposition of Formosa and Korea.
They fell from the grasp of the Japanese empire through our military endeavors, pursuant
to a declaration of war made by the Congress of the United States on December 8, 1941. If
the Senate speaks, as is its right, the disposal of Korea and Formosa can be made only by
a treaty which must be ratified by this body. Should the administration dare to defy such
a declaration, the Congress has abundant recourses which I need not spell out.