Earlier this week, 47 Republican senators published an open letter informing the leaders of Iran that any nuclear deal with the United States that failed to be approved by the Senate would likely expire in 2017, once President Barack Obama’s term ended. You can read the full letter here.
The letter enraged progressives, who immediately began accusing the senators of treason for having the audacity to publish basic constitutional facts about how treaties work. Here is but a small sampling of the response from the outrage brigade:
Has anyone ever seen anything like that letter from Senate Repubs to Iran? How is that not treason? I'm really asking.
— Adam McKay (@GhostPanther) March 10, 2015
— Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) March 9, 2015
To Cotton-sticking Senate GOP: If Ds had done under a Republican POTUS what you did today, you would have been the first to cry "treason!"
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) March 9, 2015
For many liberals this morning, the word treason is defined as not giving Obama his way
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) March 10, 2015
If these progressives want to know what actual treason looks like, they should consult liberal lion Ted Kennedy, who not only allegedly sent secret messages to the Soviets in the midst of the cold war, he also begged them to intervene in a U.S. presidential election in order to unseat President Ronald Reagan. That’s no exaggeration.
According to Soviet documents unearthed in the early 1990’s, Kennedy literally asked the Soviets, avowed enemies of the U.S., to intervene on behalf of the Democratic party in the 1984 elections. Kennedy’s communist communique was so secret that it was not discovered until 1991, eight years after Kennedy had initiated his Soviet gambit:
Picking his way through the Soviet archives that Boris Yeltsin had just thrown open, in 1991 Tim Sebastian, a reporter for the London Times, came across an arresting memorandum. 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.”
Kennedy made Andropov a couple of specific offers.
First he offered to visit Moscow. “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.
Then he offered to make it possible for Andropov to sit down for a few interviews 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.
You can read the full KGB memo detailing Kennedy’s secret letter and request for electoral intervention here.