Fifty years from now, everyone will agree that Duke lacrosse players gang-raped a stripper, tea partiers shouted the N-word at a black congressman and Karl Rove committed treason by revealing the identity of CIA “spy” Valerie Plame.

Liberals tell whopping lies, and most conservatives can’t be bothered to learn history.

In the last few days, we’ve heard both George Will and Charles Krauthammer, otherwise intelligent people, repeating bogus Democratic talking points about how Joe McCarthy allegedly smeared innocents with false allegations.

These two, and many lesser lights, have invoked the standard liberal calumnies against McCarthy in order to ridicule Sen. Harry Reid for making a Birther-like accusation against Mitt Romney, saying that the “word is out” that Romney didn’t pay taxes for a decade.

This, it is claimed, is comparable to Sen. Joe McCarthy’s “famous speech” in 1950, in which he allegedly said he had a list of 205 communists at the State Department — but then he never produced that list!

No, the idea that McCarthy threw out unsubstantiated charges and switched numbers, from 57 to 205, were the wild-eyed allegations of McCarthy haters, which, on closer examination, turned out to be completely false, just like the accusations against the Duke lacrosse players, the tea partiers and Rove.

It was proved false at the time — not just decades later, when McCarthy was vindicated with a whoop with the release of Soviet archives and cables.

This week, I was hoping to write about my smash best-seller Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America — just released in paperback! — but now I guess I’ll have to recap parts of my smash best-seller Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism.

McCarthy explained that he had said he had the names of 57 communists or communist sympathizers working in the State Department who needed to be investigated. Separately, he cited a 1946 letter from former Secretary of State James Byrnes to Congress stating that there were 205 known security risks still working there.

His point, misconstrued by Democrats at the time and since, was not to accuse specific individuals, but rather to indict the Democrats for turning a blind eye to ridiculous security risks in important government jobs, even after Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Alger Hiss. (Sorry, Nation magazine, they’re still guilty.)

McCarthy gave his Wheeling, W.Va., speech two weeks after Secretary of State Dean Acheson had defended celebrity communist spy Hiss on Jan. 25, 1950 — the day of Hiss’ criminal conviction for denying under oath that he was a Soviet spy.

Even after Whittaker Chambers had produced documents proving that Hiss was working for the Soviet Union while advising President Roosevelt, the Democrats were still defending a traitor. Chambers said of Acheson’s disgusting defense of Hiss, “You will look in vain in history for anything comparable to it.”

As Democrats always do when they are caught red-handed, they obsessed on some small, technical error of a Republican.

They claimed that McCarthy had said in his Wheeling speech that he had the names of 205 card-carrying members of the Communist Party — not 57. (Having only 57 communists in the State Department was apparently considered a great success for a Democratic administration.)

In fact, McCarthy had mentioned the 205 number only in citing Byrne’s letter to Congress a few years earlier saying that was the number of known security risks still employed at the State Department.

As Soviet spies were honeycombed throughout the government, influencing U.S. policy to the benefit of the Soviet Union, the Democratic-controlled Senate convened panels to determine exactly what Joe McCarthy had said to a meeting of Republican women in West Virginia. To wit: Had he said he had the names of 57 security risks at the State Department, or 205?

After dedicating months of investigation to this crucial question — with Senate investigators actually flying to West Virginia to interview everyone who attended the speech — it turned out McCarthy was right.

The Senate committee that was determined to censure McCarthy ended up having to drop the matter of McCarthy’s Wheeling speech entirely. A fact-filled memo detailing the committee’s findings concluded that McCarthy had said he had the names of 57 security risks, not 205.

The truth about McCarthy’s Wheeling speech, including the committee’s memo finding that McCarthy was telling the truth, and a newspaper article reprinting the speech before it became a object of obsession by Democrats, is given in M. Stanton Evans’ monumental book, Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies.

Moreover, contrary to the nonsense about McCarthy not being able to name the 57 specific individuals, the very day he got back to Washington, he gave a six-hour speech on the Senate floor, providing details about each one of the 57 problematic State Department employees, chapter and verse. He did not “name names” because that was not his point.

As McCarthy said, some State Department employees with communist associations might be innocent. His point was: The Democrats were still refusing to take Soviet espionage seriously by investigating these preposterous risks on the government payroll.

Far from recklessly smearing people, McCarthy described each employee as a “case” and cited evidence, such as their being identified as Soviet spies in FBI reports, by fellow spies and by the State Department itself. He reported their connections to known agents, attendance at “Youth International” meetings in Russia and repeated contacts with known Soviet espionage groups.

These were not baseless charges. And as we now know, they were absolutely true.

Sensible people knew it at the time, but the disgorging of Soviet archives as well as Soviet cables decrypted by the top-secret Venona project proved beyond a doubt that McCarthy was right about the individuals he named. None of them should have been allowed anywhere near a government office.

The claims of Will and Krauthammer are as true as liberal slanders about Duke lacrosse players raping a stripper, tea partiers calling a black congressman the N-word and Karl Rove outing a CIA agent. Even at the time, liberals had to back down from their lies about McCarthy saying he had a list of “205” communists. But liberals write the history and conservatives don’t read.

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