To the editor: In Mr. Adcock’s letter to the editor dated Jan.25, while writing about a secret letter Senator Ted Kennedy was said to have sent to the Soviets in 1983 to help U.S. Democrats defeat President Reagan in 1984, he referenced the website www.Truthorfiction.com as his factual verification. He indicated Democrats were being two-faced today. Following the suggestion in his letter, I Googled “Kennedy letter in 1983” and found a lot of information that was misrepresented as well as additional information about the website(s) used.
Looking through the list of sites on Google about this story, The Providence Journal (www.providencejournal.com) rated it “Mostly False” on their Truth-O-Meter in an article back in April of 2015. It says that the story first emerged in the early 1990s and was the basis for an article in the Times of London in 1992. What was outlined, was a memo written by the head of the KGB in 1983 sent to the Soviet Union’s top leader. The memo discussed Kennedy’s purported views on Soviet-American relations and a proposal to counter President Reagan’s disarmament proposal (which included a plan to station medium-range nuclear missiles in Western Europe). This information in his memo was based on information allegedly provided by an intermediary (John Tunney, former US Senator), NOT by Kennedy himself. There was no Kennedy letter. There was nothing about the upcoming election. It was about disarmament, which the entire world should be concerned about even today. Also, Mr. Adcocks’s referenced website is not listed as one of the top 10 fact and bias-checking sites recommended to students (and grown-ups) by the International Society for Technology in Education (www.itse.org).
In the 1992 Times of London article, Tunney said the information was baloney and was “preposterous and the memo was completely false.” Kennedy was trying to defuse a possible nuclear situation and at that time was not in sync with Reagan. However according to the article, Mr. Max Kampelman, Reagan’s own disarmament negotiator, suggested that the Raegan appreciated the back-channel efforts saying “I learned that the senator never acted or received information without informing appropriate U.S. agency or official.” In 1985 Reagan approved of the Kennedy plan.
Pressing on to other links, Politifact.com has an article in July 2017, about Fox News host Greg Gutfield’s claim in “Ted Kennedy’s Soviet Gamble,” where he said “if it worked, we would still have the USSR.” Gutfield also claimed Kennedy met with the KGB and his reporting was based on a 2009 Forbes article (pretty sure that’s an American magazine). Rush Limbaugh also trotted this story out in March, 2015. Maybe the other legitimate American news organizations decided to pass on such a sketchy fairytale?
My best explanation is that this letter is an attempt to drag out a dead horse and beat life back into it. Mr. Adcock is comparing a U.S. senator’s actions to minimize the threat of a nuclear war while working within U.S. channels to requesting help from a foreign government to find dirt on a formidable election foe while delaying congressionally approved military funds. That idea is laughable — if it weren’t so serious, and illegal. The impeachment is a process outlined in the Constitution and American laws, designed to rein in a President. It’s unclear what Mr. Adcock was referring to when he asked the media to “speak the truth about religion.”