A later KGB report to the Soviet bosses revealed that on March 5, 1980, Tunney met with the KGB in Moscow on behalf of Senator Kennedy. Tunney expressed Kennedy's opinion that "nonsense about the military threat and Soviet ambitions for military expansion in the Persian Gulf....was being fueled by [President Jimmy] Carter, [National Security Advisor Zbignew] Brzezinski, the Pentagon, and the military industrial complex."
At that time, Carter was running for re-election, and Kennedy was challenging him in the Democrat primaries. That the Massachusetts senator would in effect carry his campaign to the secret police of a hostile foreign power is a back-stabbing scandal of considerable magnitude.
It is relevant (though by no means exculpatory on Kennedy's part) to note that this was at a time when Carter himself, after spending three years dismissing "the inordinate fear of communism," had (temporarily, at least) come to his senses because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. It seems Kennedy was sneaking behind the back of a sitting president and encouraging an enemy foreign power to undermine that president who — by the way — was of the senator's own political party.
Ted Kennedy -- KGB collaborator?
Ted Kennedy has acknowledged that Ronald Reagan "will be honored as the president who won the Cold War." But if a letter from the head of the KGB to Soviet leader Yuri Andropov is authentic and accurate, then Kennedy offered to work with the Soviets to undermine the very efforts by Reagan that brought us that victory.
The letter, dated May 14 1983, features in a new book by Paul Kengor called The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism discussed here by the Washington Times. In the letter, KGB head Viktor Chebrikov describes a message he received from Kennedy through Kennedy pal and former U.S. Senator John Tunney. According to Chebrikov, Kennedy (through Tunney) expressed concern with "Reagan's belligerence" and the fact that antipathy towards the Soviets will be an important issue in the 1984 presidential campaign. Kennedy stated that the peaceful intentions of the Soviets weren't being given their due by the president or the media. He therefore proposed a meeting with Soviet officials in which he would "arm" them with arguments "so they may be better prepared and more convincing during appearances in the USA." He also suggested that Andropov made himself available for interviews by media in the U.S.
In short, if the KGB man's account is accurate, Kennedy was working with the Soviets to undermine Reagan's hard line policies and influence the 1984 election. As Kengor puts it:
If the memo is in fact an accurate account of what transpired, it constitutes a remakable example of the lengths to which some on the political left, including a sitting U.S. senator, were willing to go to stop Ronald Reagan.
Raise your hand if you believe that Ted Kennedy and today's left-wing Democrats are above this sort of behavior when it comes to stopping President Bush.
JOHN adds: Kennedy wasn't the only one. As we've noted before, Soviet archives also indicate that Jimmy Carter and Tip O'Neill offered to collaborate with the Russians to undermine Reagan.