Warren ThrockmortonÂ PhDÂ
Let me cut to the chase. In May 1983, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) directed friend and fellow Senator John Tunney to meet with the Soviet KGBÂ with a tantalizing message. Tunney was to tell the KGB to alert Soviet Communist Party General Secretary Yuri Andropov that Kennedy believed then President Ronald ReaganÂ was aÂ threat, possibly aÂ military one, to the SovietÂ Union. Because of his worry over Reagan’s intentions, he offered to Andropov, through Tunney, to coordinate American media with the aim of undermining President Reagan with the electorate.Â In short, an American Senator collaborated with our arch foe in the Cold War to undermine a sitting President.
So says a new book by Grove City College political science professor Paul Kengor.
In the new book, The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism, Dr. Kengor points to a recently discovered memo dated May 14, 1983 from Viktor Chebrikov, the head of the KGB to General SecretaryÂ Andropov. Chebrikov informed Andropov of Kennedy’s offer, made via Senator Tunney, to form a partnership to undermine Reagan foreign policy and the President’s re-election efforts. Kennedy proposed that Andropov would make a direct appeal to the American public via television interviews that would be set up in cooperation with the major networks. Kennedy’s plan never materialized due to the sudden death of Andropov and the ascendance of Mikhail Gorbachev.
Warren Throckmorton, PhD is Associate Professor of Psychology and Fellow for Psychology and Public Policy at Grove City College (PA). He maintains an active blog at www.wthrockmorton.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.