Remember when Ted Kennedy asked the Russians to 'interfere'?

Liberals like Sen. Franken seeking to blame Hillary Clinton's election loss on alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election never answer just why Vladimir Putin would want Clinton, the successor to Barack Obama, to lose.  One would've thought the Russians would want her to win, hoping she, as president, would give them even more access to U.S. uranium supplies.

Still, liberals insist that people like former national security adviser Mike Flynn and current attorney general Jeff Sessions conspired with Russian officials to influence November's results.  In either case, it was not illegal for them to meet with the Russian ambassador and perfectly sensible for them to do so.  Just ask Missouri's Sen. Claire McCaskill, who "lied" about her meetings with Russians as well.

The fact is that, with the possible exception of Flynn and Sessions putting Russian dressing on their salads, their contacts with Russia has been overhyped.  Just how did they conspire with Russia?  Did Sessions or Flynn cancel Hillary's trip to Wisconsin?  Did they give the Russians John Podesta's  password, which was "password"?  Did Sessions or Flynn help them hack into the DNC computers?  The whole, shall we say it, witch hunt is just a bunch of...well, "Bolshoi."

If Sen. Schumer and House Minority Leader Pelosi want to investigate attempts to work with Moscow to influence a U.S. election, they should investigate Sen. Ted Kennedy's attempt to get the Russians to help him prevent the re-election of President Ronald Reagan in 1984.  As Peter Robinson wrote in Forbes in 2009, London Times reporter John Sebastian, poring in 1991 over Soviet archives Boris Yeltsin had made public, found a memorandum detailing another instance of Sen. Ted Kennedy going a bridge too far:

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."

Teddy Kennedy asked the Russians to meddle in the 1984 campaign for the purpose of defeating Ronald Reagan, the man who would go on to defeat the Soviet Union and win the Cold War.  The memorandum, which shows Kennedy's efforts to derail Reagan's attempt to build up our nuclear deterrent in Europe, received little or no attention until the publication of Paul Kengor's book, The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism, in 2006.

As the Daily Signal notes of Teddy Kennedy's perfidy:

Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy had "selfish political and ideological motives" when he made secret overtures to the Soviet Union's spy agency during the Cold War to thwart then-President Ronald Reagan's re-election, a Reagan biographer said in an interview with The Daily Signal.

When they came to light years later, Kennedy's secret contacts with the Russians through their KGB spy agency in the early 1980s didn't cause nearly the tizzy that Russia's alleged interference with this year's election has for President-elect Donald Trump among liberal activists and reporters. ...

In the 1980s, Kennedy was "terribly misguided" and "a fool" for seeing Reagan as a greater threat than either the leader of the Soviet Union or the head of its brutal secret police and  intelligence agency, political science professor and writer Paul Kengor told The Daily Signal. ...

The presidential hopeful's secret correspondence with the Soviet spy service was first reported Feb. 2, 1992, by the London Times in an article headlined "Teddy, the KGB and the Top Secret File." ...

In a letter addressed to then-Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov, dated May 14, 1983, KGB head Viktor Chebrikov explained that Kennedy was eager to "counter the militaristic policies" of Reagan, who defeated Carter as the Republican nominee, and to undermine his prospects for re-election in 1984[.] ...

Kennedy's history with the KGB, and the trips Tunney took to Moscow on his behalf, are documented in what are known as the Mitrokhin papers filed with the Cold War International History Project of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. ...

[W]hat is clear from history is that Russian agents have worked with "dupes" such as Kennedy and other "naïve" Americans to influence U.S. policy to serve their own ends, Kengor, a Grove City College political science professor, told The Daily Signal.

Well, well – Democrat Sen. Ted Kennedy was a "dupe" of the KGB.  But, unlike with the current feeding frenzy over a nonexistent conspiracy between the Trump administration and Putin's Russia, the media ignored the documented evidence.

Kengor talked about Kennedy's close working relationship with Moscow and the KGB, and the fact that American media wouldn't touch the story, in the American Thinker in 2009:

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."

When a Democrat senator demonstrably works with the Russians and the KGB to undermine a U.S. election, the lamestream media is silent.  But when a Republican senator meets with the Soviet ambassador in his office, the media paint it as Trump's Watergate.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor's Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

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