President’s Note: CCDBR Confronted a Real HUAC Witch Hunt. The One Trump Alleges Doesn’t Even Come Close.
Posted on July 27, 2017
Over fifty years ago, CCDBR was formed in part as a response to the continuation of threats to First Amendment rights represented by the House Committee on Un-American Activities (the notorious “HUAC”). Attempts to enforce patriotic orthodoxy and silence dissent continue to the present, though under different aegis and pretexts–for example the “war against terrorism.” Julie Garfield’s poignant recollection of the damage HUAC wrought is a reminder that the struggle for free expression is never won but must always confront fresh challenges and abuses of power.
We can only shudder to imagine the scenario of a wave of HUAC-style slander and Hoover-FBI repression brought “up to date” with the new architecture of surveillance and control. The “Red Scare” repression lacked the legal weaponry of the Patriot Act, material support of terrorism legislation, state secrecy claims upheld by courts, presidential endorsement of torture, and technology which jeopardizes the very concept of privacy.
You can read Julie Garfield’s reflection in The New York Times here.