Over the last week-and-a-half I’ve gotten an overwhelming number of inquiries relating to the death of Senator Ted Kennedy. Why me? Because of my report back in 2006 of Kennedy’s confidential offer to Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov. That offer was evident in a fascinating May 14, 1983 memo written by KGB head Victor Chebrikov to Andropov, simply titled, “Regarding Senator Kennedy’s request to the General Secretary of the Communist Party Y. V. Andropov.” I published the document in its entirety in my book, The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism.
When Senator Kennedy passed away, I got requests immediately, via phone calls and emails. I declined them because I didn’t want to seem uncharitable or speak ill of the man upon his death, given that the KGB memo is not exactly flattering.
Within only hours of that personal decision, my position became increasingly untenable as Rush Limbaugh addressed the subject at great length. Ultimately, once the funeral had passed, I published a piece in American Thinker laying out the specifics, and even posting the document (in Russian and English). I’ve now been doing roughly five radio interviews per day on the subject, not to mention responding to numerous other forms of inquiry.
I will not revisit the entire saga here, as readers can look elsewhere. But there is one telling thing about the whole incident that has been missed, and which showed up with intriguing historical irony just this week. Let me explain:
The most striking aspect of the KGB memo, not to mention Senator Kennedy’s many public statements and writings at the time—see, to cite just two examples, his March 24, 1983 Senate floor speech and March 1984 piece for Rolling Stone—was the late senator’s lack of faith and trust in President Ronald Reagan in contrast to his amazing faith and trust in Premier Yuri Andropov. This was evident in the memo, where the KGB head underscored that Kennedy was “very impressed” with Andropov—as opposed to Reagan, whose “militaristic politics” and “belligerence,” Kennedy judged, were the culprits for the increasingly tense Cold War.
Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College, executive director of The Center for Vision & Values, and author of the book, “The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor.” His other books include "The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism" and "Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century."