May 9, 2013 | 54 comments
March 28, 2013 | 89 comments
January 22, 2013 | 6 comments
October 5, 2012 | 23 comments
August 17, 2012 | 30 comments
What the FBI missed — and it deserves greater media attention, given how it was designed to undermine two presidencies.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s self-serving, secret correspondence with Soviet agents during the height of the Cold War included proposals for collaborative efforts designed to undermine official U.S. policy set by Democratic and Republican administrations, KGB documents show.
With the media now reporting on the late senator’s just released Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) file, now is an opportune time for a more expansive investigation into Kennedy’s KGB contacts. The agency took a keen interest in a 1961 “fact-finding” trip the Massachusetts Democrat took to Mexico and other parts of Latin America where he may have had contact with communist agents, according to the file.
However, the 2,352 pages of FBI files that cover a period ranging from 1961 to 1985 only tell a small part of the story and do not mention Kennedy’s overtures to Soviet officials. These did not become known outside of Moscow until several years after Cold War tensions receded.
Kennedy’s long history with the KGB is well documented, but underreported. It remains available through the writings of the now deceased Vasiliy Mitrokhin, who defected to Britain from the Soviet Union in 1992, and a separate 1983 memo addressed to then General Secretary Yuri Andropov. Kennedy’s actions occurred at the expense of presidential authority and in violation of federal law, according to academics and scholars who are familiar with the documents.
The Mitrokhin papers highlight a meeting that took place at the behest of Kennedy between former Sen. John Tunney (D-Calif.) and KGB agents in Moscow on March 5, 1980. The information exchanged during this encounter is included as part of a report Mitrokhin filed with the Cold War International History Project of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C. The former KGB man continued to work with British intelligence until the time of his death.
Noted Cold War author and researcher Herbert Romerstein has described Mitrokhin as a “highly credible source” with vast knowledge of the now-closed KGB archives. Romerstein, who headed up the U.S. government’s Office to Counter Soviet Disinformation and Active Measures during the 1980s, has explained in previous interviews that Mitrokhin made meticulous copies of KGB files by hand prior to his defection.
The KGB files Mitrokhin retrieved indicate that Kennedy fixed the blame for heightened international tensions on the Carter White House, not on the Kremlin. It is important to note that Kennedy was challenging incumbent Carter for the Democratic nomination for president at that time.
Tunney told his KGB counterparts that Kennedy was impressed by the foreign policy statements made by General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev. Kennedy saw in Brezhnev a leader who was firmly committed to the policy of “détente,” the report said.
Moreover, Kennedy also blamed the Carter Administration for assuming an overly belligerent posture toward the Soviet Union after the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan, according to the papers.
“The atmosphere of tension and hostility towards the whole Soviet people was being fuelled by Carter,” Kennedy argued, as well as by some key advisors, the Pentagon and the U.S. military industrial complex, Mitrokhin wrote.
KENNEDY ALSO OFFERED TO WORK in close concert with high level Soviet officials to sabotage President Ronald Reagan’s re-election efforts and to orchestrate favorable American press coverage for Andropov and Soviet military officials, according to the 1983 KGB document.
Kennedy offered to have “representatives of the largest television companies in the U.S. contact Y.V. Andropov for an invitation to Moscow for the interview,” KGB head Viktor Chebrikov explained in a letter to the general secretary dated May 14, 1983, the file shows. The idea here would be for the Soviet leader to make an end run around Reagan and make a direct appeal to the American people.
The KGB letter to Andropov first came to light in a Feb. 2, 1992 report published in the London Times entitled “Teddy, the KGB and the Top Secret File.” Paul Kengor, a Grove City College political science professor, included the document in his 2006 book: The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and The Fall of Communism.
Kennedy suggested that Walter Cronkite, Barbara Walters and Elton Raul, the president of the board of directors for ABC, be considered for the interviews with Andropov in Moscow. He also asked the KGB to consider having “lower level Soviet officials, particularly the military” take part in television interviews inside the U.S. where they could convey peaceful intentions.
Tunney, the former senator, once again served as an intermediary traveling to Moscow in 1983 to relay Kennedy’s intentions. In the interest of world peace and improved American-Soviet relations, the Massachusetts Democrat offered specific proposals built around a public relations effort designed to “counter the militaristic politics of Reagan and his campaign to psychologically burden the American people,” Chebrikov wrote.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?