This is one of the crimes of the century. Here was a patriot trying to root out communists infiltrators which did go on to take over academia, the Democrat party, and the media and our own CIA discredited him through one of their covert operations.
I’m not sure yet whether they destroyed him out of hubris, because he had the gall to investigate some of their assets, or because they themselves had been coopted by the communists. I strongly suspect it was the second seeing where we are today.
Operation Mockingbird: How the CIA killed Senator Joe McCarthy’s reputation
Part of the Directorate for Plans
In August 1952, the Office of Policy Coordination which dealt with covert-action such as paramilitary or psychological influence operations, and the Office of Special Operations which dealt with espionage and counter-espionage were merged under the Deputy Director for Plans (DDP). Frank Wisner became head of this new organization and Richard Helms became his chief of operations. Mockingbird was now the responsibility of the DDP.
J. Edgar Hoover became jealous of the CIA's growing power. Institutionally, the organizations were also very different with the CIA holding a more politically diverse albeit Machiavellian group in contrast to the more bureaucratically hide-bound and conservative FBI. This was reflected in Hoover's description of the OPC as "Wisner's gang of weirdos". Hoover subsequently began carrying out investigations into their past. It did not take him long to discover that some of them had been active in left-wing politics in the 1930s. This information was passed to Joseph McCarthy who started making attacks on members of the OPC. Hoover also gave McCarthy details of an affair that Frank Wisner had with Princess Caradja in Romania during the war. Hoover claimed that Caradja was a Soviet agent.
Joseph McCarthy also began accusing other senior members of the CIA as being security risks. McCarthy claimed that the CIA was a "sinkhole of communists", and claimed he intended to root out a hundred of them. One of his first targets was Cord Meyer, who was still working for Operation Mockingbird. In August 1953, Richard Helms, Wisner's deputy at the OPC, told Meyer that Joseph McCarthy had accused him of being a communist. The Federal Bureau of Investigation added credibility to the accusation by announcing it was unwilling to give Meyer "security clearance". However, the FBI refused to explain what evidence they had against Meyer. Allen W. Dulles and Frank Wisner both came to his defense and refused to permit an FBI interrogation of Meyer.
Joseph McCarthy did not realize what he was taking on. Contrary to statutory and legal limitations, once the network in authority in the CIA saw its interests threatened, Wisner was directed to unleashed Mockingbird on McCarthy. Drew Pearson, Joe Alsop, Jack Anderson, Walter Lippmann and Ed Murrow all engaged in intensely negative coverage of McCarthy, whose political reputation was permanently damaged by the press coverage orchestrated by Wisner.