John Tunney

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Template:TOCnestleft John Tunney

Backing up Tunney

American pilots have been flying arms to Angola in Cl3O Hercules cargo planes, U.S. Sen. John Tunney said January 6 1976. Tunney (D-Calif.) said his source is an American eyewitness who was in Africa in recent weeks. Tunney said the source, who requested anonymity, also was eyewitness to an incident in which a helicopter carrying executives of an American aerospace company came under fire. "I consider my source extremely reliable. He was an eyewitness. American pilots are flying them," Tunney told a news conference. Questioned later, the senator said he did not know whether the pilots were civilian or military. Tunney said the Cl3os were making four or five flights daily from Zaire to Angola carrying arms at the time his source was in Africa several weeks ago. He said he didn't know if the planes are still flying. Who is paying? "I don't know who owns the Cl3os. We don't know the number of American aircrtift. One might ask who is paying for those aircraft. Is it a CIA operation? "Those are facts we don't have. We would like to have them. The only people who can answer these questions are the President and secretary of state," said Tunney, a candidate for re-election this year. He said the source is not a government employe but "a person of substance, a person who is a credible witness" who was in both Zaire and Angola recently.

Tunney, who has led the congressional battle to cut off U.S. aid to Angola, said he was sending an urgent letter to every member of the House of Representatives to confirm Senate action in cutting such aid. U.S. Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) in a separate appearance in Sacramento, confirmed Tunney's account in general terms. "There was a movement of weapons in there. Whatever Tunney says is accurate," Church said. [1]

KGB go-between

In both 1980 and 1983, Tunney served as a liaison between Ted Kennedy and the KGB during two trips to Moscow. In both cases, Tunney relayed to the Communist leadership that Kennedy felt that the Soviets were being misunderstood and were being unfairly cast in a negative light by President Carter in 1980 and President Reagan in 1983, and that Soviet leadership needed to take a more active role in convincing the American public that they were a benign force for peace in the world (Kennedy volunteered to assist the Soviets in this effort). [2]



  1. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 168, Issue 52, 7 January 1976]
  2. [Robinson, Peter. "Ted Kennedy's Soviet Gambit". Retrieved 23 April 2018.]