Ted Kennedy, Party Man

posted at 2:55 pm on February 28, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

No doubt Judicial Watch’s release of old FBI files on Ted Kennedy will get a lot of attention on his partying ways, but that might miss the larger point.   It took JW three tries to get the FBI to release its unredacted files on Kennedy from a 1961 trip to Chile, Colombia, and other Latin America nations, which the FBI fought on grounds of national security.  When the redactions were finally removed, however, it seems clear that the FBI acted to protect Kennedy’s reputation rather than American security:

  • “While Kennedy was in Santiago he made arrangements to ‘rent’ a brothel for an entire night. Kennedy allegedly invited one of the Embassy chauffeurs to participate in the night’s activities.”
  • “[I]n each country Kennedy insisted on interviewing ‘the angry young men’ of the country. He wanted to meet with communists and others who had left-wing views. …Ambassador Freeman, Bogota, said the first person whom Kennedy wanted to meet was Lauchlin Currie.” (The document subsequently identifies Currie as a person who “had been mentioned in Washington investigations of Soviet spy rings.”)
  • “[I]n Mexico Kennedy asked Ambassador Mann that certain left-wingers be invited to the Embassy residence where interviews could be held. Mann took the strong position that he would not invite such people and stated that if any such interviews were to be conducted, all arrangements should be made by Kennedy himself.”

The more newsworthy mention might be that of the brothel rental, given Kennedy’s reputation.  On another level, though, one has to wonder what Kennedy was doing on the trip in the first place.  At the time, he had worked as an assistant DA in Suffolk County for a grand total of nine months, having started in February 1961.  What part of an assistant DA’s job requires a tour of Latin America, let alone brothels and interviews with “angry young men” of the Left?

The demand to meet with Lauchlin Currie is by far the most intriguing part of the document, and likely what the FBI preferred to keep quiet.  Currie had already been suspected for years of being a spy for the Soviet Union.  The US revoked the passport of the Canadian-born economist and former adviser to FDR in 1954 due to suspicions over his activities.  The VENONA intercepts mention Currie nine times, information which would have been available to Kennedy’s brothers John and Bobby at the time.

This incident recalls the contact between Kennedy in the 1980s with Yuri Andropov in seeking to undermine the Reagan administration in order to boost his chances for a 1984 presidential run:

Picking his way through the Soviet archives that Boris Yeltsin had just thrown open, in 1991 Tim Sebastian, a reporter for the London Times, came across an arresting memorandum. Composed in 1983 by Victor Chebrikov, the top man at the KGB, the memorandum was addressed to Yuri Andropov, the top man in the entire USSR. The subject: Sen. Edward Kennedy.

“On 9-10 May of this year,” the May 14 memorandum explained, “Sen. Edward Kennedy’s close friend and trusted confidant [John] Tunney was in Moscow.” (Tunney was Kennedy’s law school roommate and a former Democratic senator from California.) “The senator charged Tunney to convey the following message, through confidential contacts, to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Y. Andropov.”

Kennedy’s message was simple. He proposed an unabashed quid pro quo. Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. “The only real potential threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations,” the memorandum stated. “These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign.”

If nothing else, this new file shows that Kennedy was at best a man with tremendously flawed judgment, and at worst, a malicious political opportunist willing to sell out anything for his own personal ambitions.  The brothel incident, by comparison, merely adds a little color to the legend, albeit shamelessly exploitative color.

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INC on February 28, 2011 at 5:57 PM

How sick is it that the FBI is willing to do the same all of these years later? It gives credence to all those crazy conspiracy rumors about LBJ and JFK. I am only half kidding.

Cindy Munford on February 28, 2011 at 6:06 PM

Geez, real fun scrolling down and seeing Uncle Ted again…thought I was safe now.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 28, 2011 at 6:06 PM

There’s not much here that we didn’t already know about The Slob. More interesting though, is the question of whether any US ‘journalists’ were with The Slob, knew about his whoremongering, and kept it quiet like good little liberals.

They did the same thing for the bumbling JFK, -I’m sure the two younger morons were given the same benefits.

slickwillie2001 on February 28, 2011 at 6:32 PM

someone at redstate quoted this:

“As Joe McCarthy once said, if liberals were merely stupid, the laws of probability would dictate that at least some of their decisions would serve America’s interests.” — Ann Coulter, 2011

r keller on February 28, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Arlinton National Cemetary! They buried this POS in Arlington! What a slap in the face for all the real heros there.

chicken thief on February 28, 2011 at 4:07 PM

And get this-he only served part of his hitch. He whined and his rich Daddy got him out of the Army after only 2 years.

But of course, his name isn’t Bush and he doesn’t have a R after his name, so who cares?

Del Dolemonte on February 28, 2011 at 6:38 PM

If I may borrow a sentiment from Samuel L. Jackson: I’m glad he’s dead and I hope he burns in hell.

SKYFOX on February 28, 2011 at 6:51 PM

slickwillie2001 on February 28, 2011 at 6:32 PM

I would think that would be a foregone conclusion, especially at the State level. The NY Times-owned Boston Glob, after all, covered up for not only his older brothers but also ran interference for Teddy’s Junior Senator from MA, the idiot gigolo who ran for President in 2004.

On the national media level I’m sure he had his fans as well, especially of the female persuasion. Although he couldn’t count on Baba Wawa-after all, she was having an affair with the other MA Senator back in the 1970s.

Del Dolemonte on February 28, 2011 at 6:54 PM

how he merited that over-the-top funeral that must have cost us taxpayers a bundle. What a creep….
chai on February 28, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Where would they have found a commode big enough to flush a turd of that size?

justltl on February 28, 2011 at 8:49 PM

INC on February 28, 2011 at 5:56 PM

I’m sure it wasn’t intentional, but that movement also empowered/financed Al Capone and any other ’20s mobster you can name. The law of unintended consequences is a b*tch!

Mini-14 on March 1, 2011 at 12:55 AM

Let us not forget Geo. Bush, who’s first act was to partner with this slime-dog Kennedy to sign the education bill. How does anyone see any difference in these politicians? Over the last 30 years, I myself have lost all respect for any elected official. What has happened to my country?

jarhead0311 on March 1, 2011 at 12:57 AM

Every executive order ever written on Classified National Security Information has the following instruction:

Sec. 1.7. Classification Prohibitions and Limitations. (a) In no case shall information be classified, continue to be maintained as classified, or fail
to be declassified in order to:
(1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;
(2) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;
(3) restrain competition; or
(4) prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of the national security.

Whoever in the FBI has been holding this up is in clear violation of the law and should be hung.

Not that I’ll be holding my breath.

Cricket624 on March 1, 2011 at 9:23 AM