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    Newt Gingrich Calls to Revive McCarthy-Era Panel to Hunt for Terrorists

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    Following the horrific Orlando gun massacre that shocked the United States and the world, former House Speaker and staunch neocon-Republican Newt Gingrich has proposed a revival of the infamous McCarthy-era House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) to hunt down terror suspects.

    The original HUAC was created in 1938 to detect and neutralize Nazis infiltrating the United States. The panel rooted out loosely-organized cabals with names like the Silver Shirts and the Bundists, underground fascist groups active in the country at the time.

    By 1940, according to historian Leo P. Ribuffo’s book The Old Christian Right, the committee’s purpose began to change. That year the members of the panel "acquiesced in the passage of the Smith Act," formally outlawing any attempt to overthrow the US government. The Smith Act was seen as a tool that "would be used to indict far right agitators."

    By the end of World War II the panel remained functional, but chose the then-prevalent fear of the Soviet Union and Communists as a justification for their continued utility. The committee launched a full-scale witch-hunt that resulted in the creation of a notorious blacklist of Hollywood notables, left-wing activists, artists, sports figures, musicians, writers, academics and those simply suspected of sympathizing with any cause not considered strictly patriotic. Lives were destroyed, millions of dollars were spent and hundreds of hours of testimony were recorded in a program that was later accused of “doing more damage to the [US] Constitution than the American Communist Party ever did.”

    At the end of the McCarthy era, named for the man who almost-singlehandedly spearheaded the proto-fascist inquisition in 1950s, the HUAC was denounced by ex-president Harry S. Truman, who called it “the most un-American thing in the country today.”

    The lessons of history have been lost on retiree Gingrich, who spoke of an upgraded HUAC while reaffirming his personal validity on the public stage at the Fox network on Monday.

    The former politician, who played a significant role in directing the Bush administration’s foreign policies, compared Nazim with Islamic extremism, and vowed that, if he could, he would strip the citizenship of any American who stated support for Daesh.

    “We originally created the House Un-American Activities Committee to go after Nazis,” he avowed. “We passed several laws in 1938 and 1939 to go after Nazis and we made it illegal to help the Nazis. We're going to presently have to go take the similar steps here.”

    This is not the first call from Republicans in recent years for a totalitarian response to the fears of violent religious extremism. Presidential hopeful Donald Trump, who is thought to be considering making use of Gingrich as a vice-president for the latter’s connections to Capitol Hill, has repeatedly called to get “tough, smart and vigilant” on terrorists.

    Trump has signaled for HUAC-style programs with his inflammatory remarks on Muslims, including a proposal to create a Muslim database and put all mosques in the US under enhanced surveillance.


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    terror, communism, Daesh, Republican Party (United States), Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, United States
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