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Writing on Foreign Policy's website, Walt recounted "Senator Joseph McCarthy's infamous witch-hunt against alleged communists". He continued: "After McCarthy had falsely accused a young army officer of being a communist agent, army counsel Joseph Welch...shot back: ‘At long last, Senator McCarthy, have you not a shred of decency?'"

Walt enlists this hackneyed tale of speaking-truth-to-power as a means of attacking Freeman's critics. But he can't stop hacking away at the facts to make them fit. For starters, he gets Welch's quote wrong (impressive, since it can be Googled in seconds). Moreover, the accusation wasn't that a young army officer was a communist agent, but that an associate of Welch's was a member of the National Lawyers' Guild, a communist front. Welch's complaint about McCarthy's lack of decency was a great show that successfully distracted from the relevant facts.

The irony is that Walt wants to do the same, only this time he's the one acting like McCarthy. Walt sees a "thunderous, co-ordinated assault" from the usual suspects: "Jonathan Chait of the New Republic, Michael Goldfarb at the Weekly Standard, Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, Gabriel Schoenfeld (writing on the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal), Jonah Goldberg of National Review, Marty Peretz on his New Republic blog and former AIPAC [American-Israel Public Affairs Comittee] official Steve Rosen (yes, the same guy who is now on trial for passing secret information to Israel)."

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