Enemy of the People
Chicago Tribune Demands Truman’s Impeachment

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | February 18, 2020                     

“The American nation has never been in greater danger. It is led by a fool who is surrounded by knaves. Impeachment is the only remedy.”
U.S. President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972)

When, in the middle of the undeclared Korean War, Harry S. Truman fired General Douglas MacArthur on April 11, 1951, it set off a nationwide firestorm. As effigies of Truman burned in American towns, one of the largest circulated newspapers in the country reacted with a furious front page editorial calling for the impeachment, removal and imprisonment of the President.

In addition to The Chicago Daily Tribune, the same editorial ran simultaneously on the front page of The Washington Times-Herald, then DC’s highest selling newspaper. (Col. Robert McCormick, owner of The Chicago Tribune, bought it in July 1949). Meanwhile, other U.S. newspapers published their own front page editorial assaults on Truman.

The GOP’s efforts to have Truman and Dean Acheson removed obviously never materialized. No impeachment hearings ever commenced, and Truman, then in his second term, never ran for office again. In the long view of history, this national “menace” is now widely considered to have been a good President.

But this forgotten piece of political nostalgia remains a fascinating and ironic record, particularly in our current volatile age of hyper-partisanship, the so-called “Impeachment Hoax”, and the Tribune’s eerily familiar demand that “The Democrats must put country above party.”

Harry Truman editorial archive
Korean War media archive

The Chicago Daily Tribune

The Chicago Tribune — April 12, 1951

Impeach Truman
(An Editorial)

President Truman must be impeached and convicted. His hasty and vindictive removal of Gen. MacArthur is the culmination of a series of acts which have shown that he is unfit, morally and mentally, for his high office.

Mr. Truman can be impeached for usurping the power of congress when he ordered American troops to the Korean front without a declaration of war. He can be impeached, also, for surrounding himself with grafters and incompetents. Of the grafters alone, there is a verified list as long as your arm.

Rep. Martin, speaking for Republican leaders in congress who conferred on the MacArthur dismissal, said that impeachments were discussed. [Joseph William Martin, Jr.] He emphasized the plural. Mr. Truman’s mean and small mind is under the domination of more sinister ones. His latest action is a victory for the Lattimores and Services, [Owen Lattimore] for Acheson, [Sec. of State Dean Acheson] the friend and defender of the traitor, Hiss, [Alger Hiss] and for the British socialists, eager to sacrifice every principle to save their Hong Kong trade.

Every day that Mr. Truman remains in office menaces the safety of the United States and the lives of millions of its sons. The Democrats must put country above party.

Mr. Truman obviously acted with little more forethought than when he addressed a music critic in gutter language. [who critiqued his daughter Margaret’s performance] Personal spite moved him. He is spiteful because Gen. MacArthur’s recent statements have made clear to the nation Truman’s own folly and the moral bankruptcy of the United Nations.

Gen. MacArthur was fired because he said forcefully what the people of the United States are thinking. The nation is appalled. Not only will it support impeachment; it will demand it.

Except that they have been deprived of the leadership of the greatest soldier of this generation, the situation is not changed for the privates in the mud of Korea. Their officers are still tied by the directive of March 20, which Mr. Truman has now disclosed, forbidding advances in force beyond the 38th parallel. Stalin and his Chinese agents are given official assurance that they have sanctuary in North Korea from which to launch further attacks, while Mr. Truman’s leaders try to scare congress into drafting more men and sending more troops to Europe.

The stage is now set to sell out to the Communists. Foreign Minister Morrison of Great Britain [Herbert Morrison] greeted the news of Gen. MacArthur’s dismissal with the statement that the way is now open for discussing a cease-fire in Korea. The bribe is ready. His government announced officially that it favors the “eventual” return of Formosa to Red China. Anything to save the Hong Kong trade.

The American nation has never been in greater danger. It is led by a fool who is surrounded by knaves. Impeachment is the only remedy.

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Related links:

IMPEACH TRUMAN! | Lebanon Daily News, April 11, 1951

The Korean War: Military Double-Talk Written in Blood | Robert Ruark (May 3, 1951)

Truman Always Blames Another | Dorothy Thompson (Oct. 9, 1951)

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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