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Thread: Kennedy Without Tears
08-30-09, 07:05 AM #1
Kennedy Without Tears
August 30, 2009
Kennedy Without Tears
By Andrew Sumereau
The vast outpouring of Obama worship flowing from screen and press this past year should surely produce a feeling of unease if not disgust to a people and a country that boast of having kicked out royalty to gain independence. The nauseating output of obsequiousness and sycophancy appalls the balanced mind. Who would guess that in a modern democratic country, as proudly cynical and ironic as that of 21st century America, in which "edgy" and "irreverent" are the ultimate terms of approbation, that hero worship of the most fatuous and juvenile variety would consume the masses?
And especially as cheer-led by a chattering class of supposedly sophisticated intellectuals. With tingling legs and breathless approval the left marvels at the historic ‹bermensch they have created. Have they at last abandoned all critical intelligence? Never before, it would seem, have we had a leader more intelligent, cool, resolute, and enlightened as the current political messiah. The appellation of a "Zen Presidency" described by the New York Times' Bob Herbert, is unfortunately, not a derisive joke. It is a heartfelt devotion.
But, alas, the sickness comes not just from the left. Books, magazines and videos of the type suitable for subjects like Elvis and Princess Diana, lavishly illustrated, lushly and turgidly written, and without a critical thought or idea, fly off the shelves. Who is buying this treacle? To many younger Americans it is a spectacle never seen before.
But it has happened before... And in many ways, the late senior Senator from Massachusetts was a victim of its worst manifestation.
In the aftermath of Dallas, there came a rush to canonize the dead President that no genuine saint could match. An avalanche of hagiographies, journals, notebooks, memoirs, magazines, movies, and (most of all) picture books flooded the land. Airports, ballparks, streets, and schools were re-named almost overnight. It was a great story, tragic in a Shakespearean manner, and it was told again and again. And, it is not to be denied, the hands of some very talented writers set to work. Manchester, Schlesinger, White, Reston, Sorenson, Wicker, Bradlee, and many lesser known, all willing and anxious to add prose poems to the plastic monuments.
The murder of Robert and the unhinging of the left in subsequent years added tragic force to the nostalgic idealization of a once better time and an authentic hero. No amount of historical reevaluation, it seems, can dispel the myth. Poll after poll shows Americans continue to regard a brief interlude of serial disasters as one of the glowing times in our history.
Edward M. Kennedy, the youngest of Joseph P. Kennedy's famous offspring, has been a hard-working Senator since the time of his brother's presidency - a very long time. Hardly a Daniel Webster, or a "lion of the Senate" as his obituaries will no doubt claim, he has been an effective leader for the left and a thorn in the side of Republicans. He has been especially good at blocking judicial appointees of high merit (Robert Bork), and working with moderate Republicans on pro-Statist legislation. He will however, no doubt, despite a long and solid political career, be remembered as a tragic disappointment.
Detractors and critics will focus on points curiously beyond the interest of intrepid reporters at CNN, Time, the New York Times and The Washington Post: the death of Mary Jo at Chappaquiddick, the fractured marriage, the pants-less outings on Good Friday with nephews and their companions, and other, shall we say, faux pas.
But the essential point should be made and can be made that Kennedy and his legacy have legitimate value for future generations, if only as a cautionary tale, that the promotion of politicians as demi-gods and national heroes is a dangerous and disastrous act. Infatuation (and in the case of JFK and Obama that is the precise word) with a politician invariably ends in degradation.
A victim of the cruel consequence of absurdly high expectations, Ted Kennedy, who knew the truth about his flawed brothers, and enjoyed a long and relatively healthy life, will undoubtedly be remembered not as a tragic saint, but perhaps, to many, sadly, as an inadequate mediocrity. Entering his latter days, it is pathetic to think he spent them maneuvering to get his Senate seat in friendly hands. As if eternity cares about legislative majorities and the minutia of universal suffrage democracy.
Perhaps the seemingly deathless mystique of the Kennedy phenomenon will go with him. His final act, coming during the ascendancy of another emperor-sans-clothes is a fitting, if pedestrian end to the forty-five years of nonsense known as Camelot.
08-30-09, 07:07 AM #2
August 30, 2009
Ted Kennedy - A life of debauchery
By Bob Weir
"Death makes angels of us all," wrote the author and poet, Jim Morrison. So it appears to be with the demise of the "Liberal lion of the Senate," Ted Kennedy. The man whose life reads like a manual for bad behavior is, in death, being lionized by those who continue to repudiate his myriad transgressions. What kind of a country are we if we willingly blind ourselves to evil because it masquerades as virtue?
For the past 40 years our country has, from time to time, been influenced by a man most notable for fleeing the scene of a negligent homicide and attempting to have someone else take the blame for him. Even with the entrenched power of the Kennedys in Massachusetts, they couldn't keep all the facts surrounding the drowning death of Mary Jo Kopechne from being publicized. God only knows what that poor woman went through as she waited in a watery grave, perhaps believing that the man who saved himself would come back to save her. If she expected a profile in courage from Ted Kennedy, she died disappointed.
When Kennedy drove off the Dyke Bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, his car landed upside down in 7 feet of water. Some ten hours later, when he had contrived a statement of the occurrence, the senator, who had been partying with the young woman and volunteered to drive her home, said he had been able to swim free of the vehicle, but wasn't able to save his passenger. Evidently, he also wasn't able to summon help from those who might have been able to save her life. In fact, he didn't even report the accident until conferring with friends and aides who assisted him with his statement.
During that time, which records indicate took about ten hours, Ms. Kopechne remained in the water. Two amateur fishermen, who came across the overturned car about 8 am, the following morning, called authorities, who immediately sent a diver to investigate. During testimony at the subsequent inquest, the diver said the woman's body was huddled into a spot where an air bubble must have formed. His interpretation was that she had survived in that bubble "for at least two hours down there." Furthermore, he concluded that, had he received a call soon after the accident, "there is a strong possibility that she would have been alive on removal from the submerged car."
Whenever I recall this tragic incident, what truly eats at me is the image of that woman huddled into a small space and struggling for each breath of life, while the coward who put her there was struggling to come up with an alibi to save his political future. How low on the evolutionary scale do you have to be to leave someone to drown in the dark, murky water, as you figure out an angle to free yourself of culpability?
The actions of Ted Kennedy that fateful night spoke volumes about the lack of courage and character in the man. The fact that he was continually reelected to his senate seat speaks volumes about the lack of character in the Massachusetts electorate. Rather than risk the loss of political power from a Kennedy, who could exert enough muscle to steer huge federal funds to the state, the voters evidently decided they could be bought, so they overlooked his pusillanimity as well as his misanthropy. Even the impact of that tragedy didn't stop this womanizing sot from continuing his life of debauchery.
There are those who say his senate career was fruitful for the country. I disagree on the grounds that a person who has demonstrated a complete absence of integrity is not capable of being productive in any commendable area of human endeavor. The fact remains that Ted Kennedy left a woman for dead as he ran away from the scene and didn't report it until he had no other option. Did he spend a minute thinking about the water rising to her mouth and choking off her oxygen?
If that had been your daughter, or my daughter, that he left to drown, how much torment and pain would we have suffered through the years as we watched this guy giving noble speeches for decades, and even having the temerity to run for president? All the contrived rhetoric since then about him having compassion for the little guy is nothing more than the liberal left in constant pursuit of a decent legacy for an unprincipled and pathetic excuse for a human being. Perhaps now, Mary Jo can rest in peace.
Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City Police Department. He is the executive editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas. Email Bob.
08-31-09, 08:19 AM #3
August 31, 2009
Kennedy and the KGB
By Paul Kengor
Shortly after the announcement of Ted Kennedy's death, I had already received several interview requests. I declined them, not wanting to be uncharitable to the man upon his death. Since then, I've seen the need to step up and provide some clarification.
The issue is a remarkable 1983 KGB document on Kennedy, which I published in my 2006 book, The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism (HarperCollins). The document is a May 14, 1983 memo from KGB head Victor Chebrikov to his boss, the odious Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov, designated with the highest classification. It concerns a confidential offer to the Soviet leadership by Senator Kennedy. The target: President Ronald Reagan. (A pdf file of the original Russian language document and an English translation is available here.)
With Kennedy's death, this stunning revelation is again making the rounds, especially after Rush Limbaugh flagged it in his "Stack of Stuff." I'm being inundated with emails, asking basically two questions: 1) is the document legitimate; and 2) what does it allege of Senator Kennedy?
First off, yes, the document is legitimate. If it were not, I would have never reported it. Over the years, from my book to radio and web interviews, I've provided specifics. Briefly summarized, here are the basics:
The document was first reported in a February 2, 1992 article in the London Times, titled, "Teddy, the KGB and the top secret file," by reporter Tim Sebastian. Russian President Boris Yeltsin had opened the Soviet archives. Sebastian discovered the document in the Central Committee archives specifically. When his article appeared in the Times, other on-site researchers dashed to the archives and grabbed their own copy. Those archives have been resealed.
The Times merely quoted the document and ran a tiny photo of its heading. Once I got ahold of it later, I published the entire text (English translation) in my book.
Importantly, when I published the document, Senator Kennedy's office didn't dispute its authenticity, instead ambiguously (and briefly) arguing with its "interpretation." This was clever. The senator's office didn't specify whether this interpretation problem was a matter of my personal misunderstanding of the document or the misunderstanding of the document's author, Chebrikov. Chebrikov couldn't be reached for comment; he was dead.
So, what was the offer?
The subject head, carried under the words, "Special Importance," read: "Regarding Senator Kennedy's request to the General Secretary of the Communist Party Y. V. Andropov." According to the memo, Senator Kennedy was "very troubled" by U.S.-Soviet relations, which Kennedy attributed not to the murderous tyrant running the USSR but to President Reagan. The problem was Reagan's "belligerence."
This was allegedly made worse by Reagan's stubbornness. "According to Kennedy," reported Chebrikov, "the current threat is due to the President's refusal to engage any modification to his politics." That refusal, said the memo, was exacerbated by Reagan's political success, which made the president surer of his course, and more obstinate -- and, worst of all, re-electable.
On that, the fourth and fifth paragraphs of Chebrikov's memo got to the thrust of Kennedy's offer: The senator was apparently clinging to hope that President Reagan's 1984 reelection bid could be thwarted. Of course, this seemed unlikely, given Reagan's undeniable popularity. So, where was the president vulnerable?
Alas, Kennedy had an answer, and suggestion, for his Soviet friends: In Chebrikov's words, "The only real threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations. These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign."
Therein, Chebrikov got to the heart of the U.S. senator's offer to the USSR's general secretary: "Kennedy believes that, given the state of current affairs, and in the interest of peace, it would be prudent and timely to undertake the following steps to counter the militaristic politics of Reagan."
Of these, step one would be for Andropov to invite the senator to Moscow for a personal meeting. Said Chebrikov: "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 would be better prepared and more convincing during appearances in the USA."
The second step, the KGB head informed Andropov, was a Kennedy strategy to help the Soviets "influence Americans." Chebrikov explained: "Kennedy believes that in order to influence Americans it would be important to organize in August-September of this year , televised interviews with Y. V. Andropov in the USA." The media savvy Massachusetts senator recommended to the Soviet dictator that he seek a "direct appeal" to the American people. And, on that, "Kennedy and his friends," explained Chebrikov, were willing to help, listing Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters (both listed by name in the memo) as good candidates for sit-down interviews with the dictator.
Kennedy concluded that the Soviets needed, in effect, some PR help, given that Reagan was good at "propaganda" (the word used in the memo). The senator wanted them to know he was more than eager to lend a hand.
Kennedy wanted the Soviets to saturate the American media during such a visit. Chebrikov said Kennedy could arrange interviews not only for the dictator but for "lower level Soviet officials, particularly from the military," who "would also have an opportunity to appeal directly to the American people about the peaceful intentions of the USSR."
This was apparently deemed crucial because of the dangerous threat posed not by Andropov's regime but -- in Kennedy's view -- by Ronald Reagan and his administration. It was up to the Kremlin folks to "root out the threat of nuclear war," "improve Soviet-American relations," and "define the safety for the world."
Quite contrary to the ludicrous assertions now being made about Ted Kennedy working jovially with Ronald Reagan, Kennedy, in truth, thought Reagan was a trigger-happy buffoon, and said so constantly, with vicious words of caricature and ridicule. The senator felt very differently about Yuri Andropov. As Chebrikov noted in his memo, "Kennedy is very impressed with the activities of Y. V. Andropov and other Soviet leaders."
Alas, the memo concluded with a discussion of Kennedy's own presidential prospects in 1984, and a note that Kennedy "underscored that he eagerly awaits a reply to his appeal."
What happened next? We will never know. None of the Kennedy admirers and court composers who serve as "journalists" bothered to ask, even with decades available to pose questions, beginning back in January 1992 when the highly reputable London Times broke the story.
In 2006, when my book was released, there was a virtual media blackout on coverage of the document, with the exception of conservative media: talk-radio, Rush Limbaugh, some websites, and mention on FoxNews by Brit Hume. Amazingly, I didn't even get calls from mainstream reporters seeking to shoot down the story. I had prepared in great detail to be grilled on national television, picturing the likes of Katie Couric needling me. I didn't need to worry.
I worked up a detailed op-ed on the document, where I even played devil's advocate by defending Kennedy, trying to get at his thinking, being as fair as possible. No major newspapers would touch it. The Boston Globe editors refused to acknowledge it or reply to my emails. The editor at the New York Times confessed to being "fascinated" by the piece but conceded that he wouldn't "be able to get it in."
One editor at a West Coast newspaper, a genuinely fair liberal, considered it carefully. We went back and forth. I was shocked to see that neither the editor nor his staff would do any investigating, not placing a single phone call to Kennedy's office. In the end, the editor rejected the piece, telling me: "I just can't believe Kennedy would do something that stupid."
Alas, here we are now, after Kennedy's death, and I'm reliving the same experience, as no one from the mainstream media has contacted me. Liberal reporters lionized Ted Kennedy in life and have begun the canonization process in death. They are liberal activists first, and journalists second.
Finally, a postscript for these liberal Democrat "journalists:" We know they don't care that Ted Kennedy did this to Ronald Reagan. Fine. Well, how about this? As the Mitrokhin Archives reveal, Senator Kennedy did something similar to President Jimmy Carter in 1980 -- his own political flesh and blood.
Does that story interest liberal reporters? No. I likewise noted that gem in 2006. I didn't get a single media inquiry.
It will be left to future generations to examine these truths. As for Senator Ted Kennedy's motivations for doing what he did with the Soviet leadership? Alas, now we can definitively say, he will never tell us. The liberal media protected him, all the way to the grave.
Paul Kengor is author of The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism (HarperPerennial, 2007) and professor of political science at Grove City College. His latest book is The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan's Top Hand (Ignatius Press, 2007).
08-31-09, 08:20 AM #4
August 31, 2009
The KGB, Kennedy, and Carter
By James Simpson
Edward Moore Kennedy, whose memory was endlessly praised in the mainstream media over the weekend, conspired with our Cold War enemy, the Soviet Union, against the interests of the United States Government. The effort was to thwart the national security goals being championed by the President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, as historian Paul Kengor reviews today on AT.
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. Mr. Romerstein is probably the foremost expert on subversive activities in the United States during the period in question.
According to KGB archives, Kennedy used lifelong friend and former fellow senator John Tunney (son of famed heavyweight boxer, Gene Tunney) as a go-between with the Soviet KGB. In 1978 Kennedy requested that the KGB establish a relationship with Tunney's firm, which they apparently had already done through one of their agents in France.
In another KGB report, Romerstein relates that:
March 5, 1980, John Tunney met with the KGB in Moscow on behalf of Sen. Kennedy. Tunney expressed Kennedy's opinion that "nonsense about 'the Soviet military threat' and Soviet ambitions for military expansion in the Persian Gulf . . . was being fueled by (President Jimmy) Carter, (National Security Advisor Zbigniew) Brzezinski, the Pentagon and the military industrial complex." Kennedy offered to speak out against President Carter on Afghanistan. Shortly thereafter he made public speeches opposing President Carter on this issue. (Emphasis mine.)
So Kennedy had been having conversations via an intermediary with the Soviets well before Reagan took office and even worked against his own party. But he had laid the groundwork for this treasonous activity even before this.
According to Romerstein:
Kennedy told the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1976 that "For the last 5 years I and others in the Senate have labored unsuccessfully to place some meaningful statutory restrictions on the so-called inherent power of the Executive to engage in surveillance."
When Congress discussed legislation to require a court warrant to wiretap enemy agents and terrorists, Kennedy and the ACLU began a campaign to raise the barriers as high as possible.
Kennedy introduced the concept in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Bill that required evidence that someone was providing classified information to a foreign intelligence service. Someone who "only" had a clandestine relationship with a foreign intelligence officer and carried out covert influence operations for a foreign power could not be wiretapped. (Emphasis mine.)
When we see the KGB reports we can understand why Kennedy would want this provision in the law. Kennedy was not a KGB agent. He also was not "a useful idiot" who was used by the KGB without understanding what he was doing. Kennedy was a collaborationist. He aided the KGB for his own political purposes.
It seems plain to me that Kennedy introduced The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) legislation to cover himself for his later seditious activities. Now here is the final kicker:
The restrictions that Kennedy successfully put in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act were so tight that when the FBI arrested Zacarias Moussaoui (the so-called 20th highjacker) in August 2001, they could not get permission to download his computer since FBI headquarters understood that they did not have enough evidence to get a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
After 9/11 when they did download his computer they found, among other interesting things, information on the air currents over New York. After 9/11 Kennedy and other demagogues in the Congress blamed the FBI and CIA for the intelligence failure. The slogan was "they didn't connect the dots."
It is worthwhile to reflect that while Republicans and Democrats alike lionize the fallen "Lion of the Senate," with their silence they implicitly condone potentially seditious activities that may have contributed to the loss of 2,998 American lives, the most costly single attack on American soil in U.S. history.
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