May 08, 2003
Straight from the horse's mouth. Transcripts from the Executive Sessions of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations - aka the McCarthy hearings - are now available. These executive sessions were chaired by Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wisc., from 1953-54, and have been under seal for the last 50 years. The five-volume set is now available and searchable online, and the material will also be distributed to federal depository libraries in both print and microfiche.
The transcripts include testimony from witnesses such as Aaron Copland, Langston Hughes, and the historian Herbert Aptheker, as well as government employees, labor organizers and army officers. Apparently McCarthy used these executive sessions in part to weed out those witnesses who wouldn't buckle under his questioning. Those witnesses who had more trouble articulating themselves, who were more easily overwhelmed, were called back for the public hearings. ["Auditioning for Senator McCarthy", NYTimes op-ed, 5/7/03]