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Army-McCarthy hearing

Senator Joseph R. McCarthy's career was effectively ended with his censure in the senate. He had been characterized as pugnacious, loud-mouthed, scare-head publicity, desperate gambler, vituperative smear, half truths, wild charges. During the Army-McCarthy Hearings McCarthy suggested the communist label on Fred Fisher, a member of Army attorney Joseph Welch's law firm, for belonging to the Lawyer's Guild during his law school days. This exchange ensued:

Welch:  Senator McCarthy, I think until this moment --

McCarthy:  -- this man belongs to the -- this Communist front organization --

Welch:  I will tell you that he belonged to it.  Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty, or your recklessness.  Fred Fisher is a young man who went to the Harvard Law School and came into my firm and is starting what looks to be a brilliant career with us.  Fred Fisher told me he belonged to the Lawyer's Guild as you suggested.  He went on to say that he is Secretary of the Young Republican's League in Newton with the son of the Massachusetts governor.  And I said, "Fred, I just don't think I'm going to ask you to work on this case.  If I do, one of these days that will come out, and go over national television, and it will just hurt like the dickens".  Little did I dream you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad.  It is, I regret to say, equally true that I fear he shall always bear a scar needlessly inflicted by you.  If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty, I would do so.  I like to think I'm a gentle man, but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me.

McCarthy:  Mr. Chairman -- Mr.Welch talks about -- He was just baiting --

Welch:  Senator, may we not drop this? We know he belonged to the Lawyer's Guild. Let us not assassinate this lad further.

McCarthy:  Let's, let's --

Welch:  You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you no sense of decency?