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Ted Kennedy's Vietnam Plot. FBI Memo raises a troubling episode in the late Senator's career.
American Thinker ^ | 03/11/2011 | Paul Kengor

Posted on 03/11/2011 7:22:24 AM PST by SeekAndFind

Last week at American Thinker (click here), I wrote on the latest declassified FBI files on Ted Kennedy. I looked at several intriguing claims, mainly based on Kennedy's July-August 1961 "familiarization tour" of Latin America. According to the file, Kennedy familiarized himself not only with the political/social life of the region -- reportedly attempting to "rent" an entire brothel -- but also with one of the most suspicious, notorious Cold War figures, Lauchlin Currie, FDR adviser and alleged Soviet agent.

One item I didn't note, but want to deal with here, is an eye-opening March 2, 1967 memo. Written by an FBI officer whose name is redacted, the memo considered whether Kennedy, then a young senator, was "plotting" with his brother, Robert, to bring to America 100 Vietnamese children burned and maimed by napalm. These children would be paraded around America. Not only would this gruesome spectacle undermine our troops and their mission, but would have the added effect of humiliating President Lyndon Johnson.

"These children are horribly burned as a result of our napalm bombing in Viet Nam," reads the document. The children might be "toured through the United States so the American people can see the horrible results of our bombing."

The claim came from a credible source, a woman who appears to have been a staff member on the Senate Subcommittee on Refugees and Escapees, which was chaired by Senator Edward Kennedy. The woman said that discussion on this within the subcommittee was being kept "very quiet."

The source, said the memo, "suspected but could not prove that the Kennedy brothers were plotting to use these children by touring them through the country for political purposes to embarrass President Johnson." She added that such a display could only be political, given that the children were so seriously injured that the only discussion by the committee should be "the question of special hospital care." These kids needed hospital rooms, not display cages.

The memo named a George L. Abrams, chief counsel and staff director of the subcommittee, as being present in Birmingham, Alabama to talk to "a group of medical doctors" to see whether they could help organize a group to bring the children to America.

Imagine that. The propaganda effect would have been devastating. Some readers will recall the tremendous impact of the 1972 photo of the young girl "Kim," a victim of a South Vietnamese napalm attack. These 100 Vietnamese children would have an effect far more traumatic than that one photo.

So, what happened next? Unfortunately, the FBI file provides no additional information.

Of course, this begs the question: Did Teddy and Bobby actually consider something this obscene? I'd like to say no, that the Kennedy boys would never do something so low. Yet, when you consider the question deeper, it seems plausible. Consider:

One of the more sordid aspects of Ted Kennedy's checkered life, lost between Chappaquiddick and other assorted moral-political outrages, was his public maligning of our troops in Vietnam.

In January 1968, Kennedy did a fact-finding trip to refugee camps in South Vietnam. According to one account, the senator discerned that "half of the 30 million dollars a year the United States has given South Vietnam for refugee relief was finding its way into the pockets of government officials and province chiefs." Kennedy complained of rampant corruption; the kind that was apparently absent -- or at least not mentioned -- among North Vietnamese officials.

Of the South Vietnamese who were refugees, reported Senator Kennedy, "the vast majority -- I would say over 80 percent -- claimed that they were either deposited in camps by the Americans or fled to camps in fear of American airplanes and artillery. Only a handful claimed they were driven from their homes by the Viet Cong."

Yes, at best, according to Kennedy, "only a handful" of South Vietnamese -- maybe a half-dozen or so -- were refugees because of anything done by North Vietnam's communists. Everything was Uncle Sam's fault.

Sadly, this was a Ted Kennedy practice throughout a nearly 50-year Senate career, as he was repeatedly re-elected by the people of Massachusetts.

Fast forward to the war in Iraq. In May 2004, Senator Kennedy said, "we now learn that Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management -- U.S. management." Kennedy dubbed Iraq a "quagmire," just like Vietnam. "Iraq is George Bush's Vietnam," he said, accusing President Bush of "lie after lie after lie."

The 1967 memo fits not only Kennedy's pattern against our troops, but also against our sitting presidents -- especially presidents who stood in the way of Ted and his kin advancing to the White House. Previously, in columns here and in books (click here and here), I've written about the May 1983 KGB memo where Kennedy's target was Ronald Reagan. When Kennedy reached out to Yuri Andropov to undermine President Reagan's "belligerent" defense policies, it was just as Reagan's re-election campaign was getting underway, with Kennedy a Democratic frontrunner. I've also reported (click here) that Kennedy tried the same against his own political flesh and blood, Jimmy Carter, when Carter was the Democratic incumbent in 1980 -- being challenged by, yes, Ted Kennedy.

Well, in 1967, the date of this memo, the Democrats again had an incumbent president eligible for re-election. The Democratic frontrunner to replace LBJ was again a Kennedy -- Bobby Kennedy.

In each case, the president in power, Democrat or Republican, standing between a Kennedy and the Oval Office, was seen as the aggressor.

Thus, when you consider all of this, that March 1967 memo about parading around burnt Vietnamese children doesn't seem out of character for Ted Kennedy.

Finally, Ted aside, consider Bobby Kennedy:

By 1967, Bobby was not only strenuously anti-war but despised Lyndon Johnson, whom he hated for multiple reasons. Among them was LBJ's escalation of a conflict that Bobby's older brother, JFK, began. Some were blaming JFK for a destructive war that was really LBJ's doing.

I would like to say that Bobby Kennedy had more character than Teddy Kennedy. Of course, that wouldn't be saying much.

So, did the Kennedy brothers consider hatching this plot? Can anyone out there confirm or reject the story? Are there any witnesses still living? Surely, there's someone, somewhere, perhaps in Birmingham, Alabama, who could shed some light?

And are there any Kennedy biographers or "journalists" willing to dare come forward with information or do some actual digging? If the story can be disproven, I'm sure they won't hesitate. If the story is accurate, I expect their usual response: dead silence.

Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College. His books include The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism and the newly released Dupes: How America's Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.




TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: fbi; kengor; tedkennedy; vietnam

1 posted on 03/11/2011 7:22:28 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Sounds like something he would do.


2 posted on 03/11/2011 7:26:09 AM PST by Col Frank Slade
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To: SeekAndFind

When will the people of Massachusetts be forced to pay reparations for the national disgrace that was Teddy Kennedy?


3 posted on 03/11/2011 7:27:09 AM PST by FourPeas
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To: Col Frank Slade

Rather odd, isn’t it, that Teddy Kennedy worked so hard ot undercut the war which his brother initiated and whose disastrous strategy was crafted by none other than the Kennedy’s Defense Secretary, the late (and very unlamented) Robert MacNamara.


4 posted on 03/11/2011 7:33:29 AM PST by laconic
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To: SeekAndFind

“reportedly attempting to “rent” an entire brothel” Attempted ??? The report said he not only did but invited his driver and other staffers to participate.


5 posted on 03/11/2011 7:37:33 AM PST by Walkingfeather
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To: SeekAndFind
Return
6 posted on 03/11/2011 7:38:05 AM PST by jnsun (The Left: the need to manipulate others because of nothing productive to offer.)
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To: SeekAndFind

What? A Kennedy who would plot against the USA??? Shocking! Just shocking I tell you!


7 posted on 03/11/2011 7:39:33 AM PST by Thermalseeker (The theft being perpetrated by Congress and the Fed makes Bernie Maddoff look like a pickpocket.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Troubling?? The lardbag was a Stalinist traitor, just like the rest of his “party”.


8 posted on 03/11/2011 7:41:31 AM PST by Hardraade (I want gigaton warheads now!!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Kennedy is suffering burns even now.


9 posted on 03/11/2011 7:42:22 AM PST by thethirddegree (Islam is a vile, barbaric, perverted, depraved,seditious cult invented by a murdering pedophile)
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To: SeekAndFind
The source, said the memo, "suspected but could not prove that the Kennedy brothers were plotting to use these children by touring them through the country for political purposes to embarrass President Johnson." ... And this was when the democrap party supposedly had some degree of morals! Think how far down the DNC has sunk since the era of Kennedys can do anything and get a pass! Think sinkEmperor clintoon, and barry the bastard illicit pres_ _ent.
10 posted on 03/11/2011 7:46:16 AM PST by MHGinTN (Some, believing they can't be deceived, it's nigh impossible to convince them when they're deceived.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Go ahead and bring the 100 children. Also bring the thousands of victims of VC atrocities. Raping and disembowling the daughters of SVN officials was modus operandi for the VC. Liberals always excuse the vast record of organized mass murder carried by the communists across the world. Just like they turn a blind eye to the atrocities of radical Islam.


11 posted on 03/11/2011 7:52:40 AM PST by Seruzawa (Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for good blaster kid.)
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To: Seruzawa
Altogether about 1 million people died in the aftermath of the North's takeover of the South.

This was a Democrat party organized and financed genocide ~ one of the biggest ones in modern history.

Teddy just wanted it to happen sooner!

I'm sure Shatan has his hands full with the Kennedys.

12 posted on 03/11/2011 8:02:50 AM PST by muawiyah (Make America Safe For Americans)
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To: SeekAndFind

Burn on Teddy,burn on.


13 posted on 03/11/2011 8:07:02 AM PST by Farmer Dean (stop worrying about what they want to do to you,start thinking about what you want to do to them)
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To: SeekAndFind

Ted Kennedy had many troubling moments for America in his life.


14 posted on 03/11/2011 8:07:44 AM PST by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: SeekAndFind

One event in ted kennedy’s life did more to raise the moral fiber of this country than any 100 who lived contemporaneously with him ... that was his death.


15 posted on 03/11/2011 8:10:54 AM PST by RobinOfKingston (An election is not a (national) suicide pact.)
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To: Seruzawa

***Also bring the thousands of victims of VC atrocities. Raping and disembowling the daughters of SVN officials was modus operandi for the VC.***

There is a photo of a SVN official shooting a VC dresses in civilian clothes in the head. This photo did much to turn the infantile American public against the war without knowing why the man was shot.

It seems this VC had just killed the entire family, including the children, of friends of the official (he was the children’s godfather), bu slitting their throats in a most viscious style.


16 posted on 03/11/2011 8:19:32 AM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Visit the TOMMY FRANKS MILITARY MUSEUM in HOBART, OK. I did, well worth it!)
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To: SeekAndFind

The father was a rum-runner during Prohibition and a Nazi sympathizer. John would bed anything in skirts. Bobby and Teddy were Communists.

Nice family - in Bizarro World.


17 posted on 03/11/2011 8:21:09 AM PST by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners)
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To: SeekAndFind

1988 VP Debate
Lloyd Bentson, “Senator , you’re no Jack Kennedy.”
Quayle, “You mean I’m not an adultering, fall-asleep-in-my PT boat dipstick who screwed up Cuba and Vietnam? Thanks!”


18 posted on 03/11/2011 8:22:53 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: SeekAndFind

The Kennedy’s were trash,totally created by media.


19 posted on 03/11/2011 8:27:49 AM PST by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: blueunicorn6

The only problem with that retort is that it was Quayle who first invoked/compared himself to JFK when the issue of his age/experience was questioned.


20 posted on 03/11/2011 8:37:29 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: laconic

Perhaps so.
I wonder if people give too much credit to the idea that JFK would not have escalated the war. He was fervently anti-communist, and perhaps not the liberal that many would have us believe today. Being made a martyr early on makes it easy to assign whatever one wishes to him. I could say that his experience as a combat vet would have led him to use whatever means necessary to defeat the enemy. It seems pretty clear that he had withdrawal on his mind, but if push came to shove, would he have fought with such self-defeating Rules of Engagement? But it would be conjecture as well (though probably someone might run with it with not a shred of evidentiary support... I could start a rumor).

Hmmm - Bobby particularly ticked off LBJ in 67...


21 posted on 03/11/2011 8:50:56 AM PST by Apogee
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To: SeekAndFind
And Teddy was among one of the FIRST big names to endorse Obama!

Ted Kennedy endorsing Obama


22 posted on 03/11/2011 9:00:34 AM PST by Eagle of Liberty (formally known as Kerretarded....I changed my name)
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To: NTHockey
His maternal grandfather was the mayor of Boston. MA
Congressman James M. Curley got tired of the commute to DC,
so he decided he wanted to be mayor, but "HoneyFitz" didn't
want to step aside, so Curley announces that he was going to give
a series of morality lectures on sex outside of marriage, including
adultery. This being before the Roaring 20s, HoneyFitz decided
that he didn't need the spotlight on his mistress and himself, so he
announced that he would not run again.
23 posted on 03/11/2011 9:01:46 AM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: blueunicorn6

I wish Quayle were that quick-witted. Despite the fact that he was totally railroaded by the media in terms of his intelligence, and despite the fact that he was probably more intelligent than 50% (at least) of the US Senate, he just wasn’t that quick-witted.

And you know why? Because he had the instincts of a RINO. He didn’t always vote like a RINO but he had the instincts of a RINO. The instinct to go-along to get-along that so typified the GHW Bush White House, and an instinct that is death to quick-wittedness.


24 posted on 03/11/2011 9:13:59 AM PST by samtheman
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To: SeekAndFind
I would like to say that Bobby Kennedy had more character than Teddy Kennedy

Ha!

Teddy had Mary Jo and Bobby had Marilyn Monroe.
Two Kennedys, Two DEAD women.

Monroe's autopsy was a joke. One HUGH cover-up.

25 posted on 03/11/2011 9:15:04 AM PST by Condor51 (Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Congressman. But I repeat myself. [Mark Twain])
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To: SeekAndFind

Lauchlin Currie, FDR adviser and alleged Soviet agent.
Friends of democrats is not a good list.The Kennedy’s had only one rule it’s all about us and power.


26 posted on 03/11/2011 9:23:00 AM PST by Vaduz
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To: SeekAndFind

Ted Kennedy did not find anything, ANYTHING, including anything treasonous, as beneath him, when it came to trying to obstruct political opponents, particularly Presidential political opponents, whether Republican or Democrat.

Let’s not forget he even sent an emissary to Russia, to meet with the Soviet leaders, seeking some way they could work together to try to politically hurt President Reagan.

Forgive me G-d for somewhere in Massachusetts lies a grave for a man for whom I cannot say R.I.P.


27 posted on 03/11/2011 9:47:24 AM PST by Wuli
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To: SeekAndFind

bttt


28 posted on 03/11/2011 11:18:36 AM PST by ADemocratNoMore (Jeepers, Freepers, where'd 'ya get those sleepers?. Pj people, exposing old media's lies.)
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