By Dan Gifford
2 Sep 20090
As Gloucester in Henry VI beguiled like the mournful crocodile, so the
political praises and tears for the late Democratic Senator from
Taxachusets mouthed by his enemies have diminished and signaled the time
Teddy Kennedy was a cheat, a proven liar, a shameless demagogue and a
probable murderer. Those character traits were well known. But did you
know he was a security risk dropped from the US Army intelligence school
and a genuine traitor who offered Cold War US nuclear arms negotiation
secrets to the Soviet Union if it would help the Democrats beat Ronald
Reagan and further his own presidential ambitions?
That’s why my blood went to full boil a couple of days before he died
when I glanced at the TV in a rural Bates motel — been staying in a lot
of those lately while traveling — and saw Harvard law professor Alan
Dershowitz laud the youngest Camelotian as the greatest Senator and
humanitarian of all time from the deck of Geraldo Rivera’s berthed yacht
in Martha’s Vineyard. Dershowitz went on to tell the FOX mustachioed-one
how he had rushed to Teddy’s aid with expert legal skills “in his hour of
need” after Kennedy had left his date, Mary Jo Kopechne, to die in a
Chappaquiddick Island tidal pond during the summer of 1969. Dershowitz’
considerable skills aside, the fact that full media attention was diverted
from Kennedy by the coming Moon landing and walk to take place two days later
probably helped the Kennedy fixers regroup and save his political hide.
I don’t say that based on the accounts of others. I saw the Kennedy fixers do
their work personally during the summer of 1969 while working at WSAR radio in
Fall River, a town about 30 miles from the demi isle de riche crime scene on
Martha’s Vineyard. To save space, I’m going to assume everyone reading this knows
the Chappaquiddick narrative by heart — click here if you don’t — since it is so
well known and what implausible parts of Kennedy’s story the fixers needed to fix.
To say Kennedy's fixers succeeded is an understatement.
While America’s eyeballs and attention were diverted to Neil Armstrong’s
step onto the Moon, the fixers hustled the five remaining unmarried
women from that initial gathering of six married men away from
investigators and reporters and then started throwing the weight of the
Kennedy political machine around.
Despite the testimony of the diver that pulled Mary Joe Kopechne’s body
from Kennedy’s car that it appeared to him she died of asphyxiation
while gasping for oxygen in an air pocket, the local coroner refused to
perform an autopsy, ruled her death an accidental drowning and released
her corpse for burial in another state. Later attempts to exhume
Kopechne’s remains for autopsy were successfully fought by the Kopechne
family which had received about $150,000 dollars from Kennedy that we
The official inquest into Kopechne’s death was done in secret one year
after the incident on orders from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
Was Kopechne’s death really a tragic accident? Was it a murder? Did
Kennedy have a motive to kill her? We’ll never know for sure now, but
based on what I and WSAR News Director Mike Cabral learned at the time
about Kennedy goon threats, payoffs and political favor swapping, put me
down as a believer that Kopechne was pregnant with a child of Teddy’s
she did not want to abort and that he had to do something drastic to
make that situation go away for the sake of his political career and
that was all that mattered. It’s all that ever mattered, which is why
Ted Kennedy was willing to engage in treason for political gain.
In a stunning Forbes article, Peter Robinson, a research fellow at
Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, quotes from a Soviet memorandum
discovered by London Times reporter Tim Sebastian. The note was written
by Victor Chebrikov, the top man at the KGB, and was addressed to Yuri
Andropov, the top man in the entire USSR. The subject: Sen. Edward Kennedy.
“On 9-10 May of this year, Sen. Edward Kennedy’s close friend and
trusted confidant [John] Tunney [Kennedy’s law school roommate and a
former Democratic senator from California] was in Moscow. 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."
Bad as that is, Kennedy’s actions prior to approaching Andropov indicate
Teddy knew he was engaging in treason writes James Simpson:
What is not generally known is that Kennedy collaborated with the
Soviets well before Reagan was elected, and had a direct hand in
crafting the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. As a result of his
efforts — which appear in retrospect to have been crafted to prevent
detection of his seditious activities — the FBI was prevented from
accessing critical intelligence that could have warned of 9-11. This
story has been brought to light in an article, Treason and Ted Kennedy:
The Story the Media Won’t Tell by Herb Romerstein, a veteran
investigator for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Kennedy made Andropov a couple of specific offers. First, he offered to
visit Moscow notes Robinson:
The main purpose of the meeting, according to the senator, would be
to arm Soviet officials with explanations regarding problems of nuclear
disarmament so they may be better prepared and more convincing during
appearances in the USA.
Kennedy would help the Soviets deal with Reagan by telling them how
to brush up their propaganda.
Kennedy then offered to grease the skids for Andropov to be favorably
interviewed on American television:
A direct appeal … to the American people will, without a doubt,
attract a great deal of attention and interest in the country. … If the
proposal is recognized as worthy, then Kennedy and his friends will
bring about suitable steps to have representatives of the largest
television companies in the USA contact Y.V. Andropov for an invitation
to Moscow for the interviews. … The senator underlined the importance
that this initiative should be seen as coming from the American side.
Kennedy would make certain the networks gave Andropov air time–and that
they rigged the arrangement to look like honest journalism.
“Tunney remarked that the senator wants to run for president in
1988,” the memorandum continued. “Kennedy does not discount that during
the 1984 campaign, the Democratic Party may officially turn to him to
lead the fight against the Republicans and elect their candidate president.”
Is the word treason ringing in your head too? How about the phrase
“honest journalism?” But Robinson notes more:
In 1992, Tim Sebastian published a story about the memorandum in
the London Times. Here in the U.S., Sebastian’s story received no
attention. In his 2006 book, The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of
Communism, historian Paul Kengor reprinted the memorandum in full. “The
media,” Kengor says, “ignored the revelation.”
Teddy Kennedy offered to collude with America’s arch enemy and our media
ignored the revelation? Can’t claim a Moon walk diversion for slacking
Does that make you wonder how many other treasonous Washington Teddys
our constitutionally protected Fourth Estate may be ignoring?
Dan Gifford is a national Emmy-winning,
Oscar-nominated film producer and former
reporter for CNN, The MacNeil Lehrer
News Hour and ABC News.