The last time a member of Congress made a reckless and baseless attack on a revered pillar of America’s security, it did not end well for him. Sen. Joseph McCarthy got away with smearing the State Department, which has never received the popular esteem it deserves, but when he took on the U.S. Army, accusing it of harboring a subversive dentist (really!), he went too far.
During the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings, Army counsel Joseph Welch delivered his famous rebuke — “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency? ” — and that was it. McCarthy was censured by the Senate and stripped of his committee chairmanship.
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