Nor have I heard much from the left on why what these senators did is anywhere near as bad as what, say, Ted Kennedy did back in the 80s when he secretly sent emissaries Moscow to stab Ronald Reagan in the back, or what any number of Democrats, including current Secretary of State John Kerry, did in the 80s when they went to Nicaragua to give aid and comfort the Sandinistas, or what Representative Jim McDermott and other Democrats did in 2002 when he went to Baghdad to undermine George W. Bush, or Nancy Pelosi's visit to Syria in 2007 for similar reasons.
When Democrats deliberately try to undermine the foreign policy of a Republican administration they're celebrated as heroic patriots, but when Republicans do something far less toxic the liberals in the media and congress want them all arrested. Geez, you'd think the GOP had used the IRS to punish their political enemies or something.
Anyway, Breitbart has a very good piece on all this plus a video clip of the author of the letter, Senator Tom Cotton, a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq, being grilled by the folks on MSNBC's Morning Joe program. Here's the heart of the Breitbart article wherein the writer, Ben Shapiro, names names:
Senators John Sparkman (D-AL) and George McGovern (D-SD). The two Senators visited Cuba and met with government actors there in 1975. They said that they did not act on behalf of the United States, so the State Department ignored their activity.Don't look for any of the above on MSNBC, however, or in the New York Times or Washington Post. It doesn't fit the narrative they want the American people to accept about how uniquely evil Republicans are.
Senator Teddy Kennedy (D-MA). In 1983, Teddy Kennedy sent emissaries to the Soviets to undermine Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy. According to a memo finally released in 1991 from head of the KGB Victor Chebrikov to then-Soviet leader Yuri Andropov: On 9-10 May of this year, Sen. Edward Kennedy’s close friend and trusted confidant [John] Tunney was in Moscow. 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.What was the message? That Teddy would help stifle Reagan’s anti-Soviet foreign policy if the Soviets would help Teddy run against Reagan in 1984. Kennedy offered to visit Moscow 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.” Then he said that he would set up interviews with Andropov in the United States. “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…Like other rational people, [Kennedy] is very troubled by the current state of Soviet-American relations,” the letter explained.The memo concluded:Tunney remarked that the senator wants to run for president in 1988. Kennedy does not discount that during the 1984 campaign, the Democratic Party may officially turn to him to lead the fight against the Republicans and elect their candidate president.House Speaker Jim Wright (D-TX). In 1984, 10 Democrats sent a letter to Daniel Ortega, the head of the military dictatorship in Nicaragua, praising Ortega for “taking steps to open up the political process in your country.” House Speaker Jim Wright signed the letter.
In 1987, Wright worked out a deal to bring Ortega to the United States to visit with lawmakers. As The New York Times reported:There were times when the White House seemed left out of the peace process, uninformed, irritated. ”We don’t have any idea what’s going on,” an Administration official said Thursday. And there was a bizarre atmosphere to the motion and commotion: the leftist Mr. Ortega, one of President Reagan’s arch enemies, heads a Government that the Administration has been trying to overthrow by helping to finance a war that has killed thousands of Nicaraguans on both sides. Yet he was freely moving around Washington, visiting Mr. Wright in his Capitol Hill office, arguing his case in Congress and at heavily covered televised news conferences. He criticized President Reagan; he recalled that the United States, whose troops intervened in Nicaragua several times between 1909 and 1933, had supported the Somoza family dictatorship which lasted for 43 years until the Sandinistas overthrew it in 1979.Ortega then sat next to Wright as he presented a “detailed cease-fire proposal.” The New York Times said, “Mr. Ortega seemed delighted to turn to Mr. Wright.” Senator John Kerry (D-MA). Kerry jumped into the pro-Sandanista pool himself in 1985, when he traveled to Nicaragua to negotiate with the regime. He wasn’t alone; Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) joined him. The Christian Science Monitor reported that the two senators “brought back word that Mr. Ortega would be willing to accept a cease-fire if Congress rejected aid to the rebels…That week the House initially voted down aid to the contras, and Mr. Ortega made an immediate trip to Moscow.” Kerry then shilled on behalf of the Ortega government:We are still trying to overthrow the politics of another country in contravention of international law, against the Organization of American States charter. We negotiated with North Vietnam. Why can we not negotiate with a country smaller than North Carolina and with half the population of Massachusetts? It’s beyond me. And the reason is that they just want to get rid of them [the Sandinistas], they want to throw them out, they don’t want to talk to them.Representatives Jim McDermott (D-WA), David Bonior (D-MI), and Mike Thompson (D-CA). In 2002, the three Congressmen visited Baghdad to play defense for Saddam Hussein’s regime. There, McDermott laid the groundwork for the Democratic Party’s later rip on President George W. Bush, stating, “the president of the United States will lie to the American people in order to get us into this war.” McDermott, along with his colleagues, suggested that the American administration give the Iraqi regime “due process” and “take the Iraqis on their face value.” Bonior said openly he was acting on behalf of the government:The purpose of our trip was to make it very clear, as I said in my opening statement, to the officials in Iraq how serious we–the United States is about going to war and that they will have war unless these inspections are allowed to go unconditionally and unfettered and open. And that was our point. And that was in the best interest of not only Iraq, but the American citizens and our troops. And that’s what we were emphasizing. That was our primary concern–that and looking at the humanitarian situation.Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). In 2002, Rockefeller told Fox News’ Chris Wallace, “I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq, that that was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11.” That would have given Saddam Hussein fourteen months in which to prepare for war. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). In April 2007, as the Bush administration pursued pressure against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went to visit him. There, according to The New York Times, the two “discussed a variety of Middle Eastern issues, including the situations in Iraq and Lebanon and the prospect of peace talks between Syria and Israel.” Pelosi was accompanied by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA), Tom Lantos (D-CA), Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), Nick J. Rahall II (D-WV), and Keith Ellison (D-MN). Zaid Haider, Damascus bureau chief for Al Safir, reportedly said, ‘There is a feeling now that change is going on in American policy – even if it’s being led by the opposition.”