As a young man, Edward M. Kennedy allegedly arranged to rent a brothel for the night in Santiago, Chile, according to material from his FBI file that was released today by a Washington-based conservative watchdog group.
Kennedy, during a 1961 visit to the South American country, "made arrangements to 'rent' a brothel for an entire night. Kennedy allegedly invited one of the Embassy chauffeurs to participate in the night's activities," according to a Dec. 28, 1961 memo released by the group Judicial Watch.
Judicial Watch said the document from Kennedy's file had previously been almost completely redacted, but the group said it had won release of a version with fewer redactions after battling with the Obama administration.
Kennedy was 29 in 1961, serving as an assistant district attorney in Suffolk County. His brother John had been elected president in 1960. Edward Kennedy would be elected to the Senate in a November 1962 special election and serve there until his death in 2009, becoming a liberal icon as decades went by. He sought the Democratic nomination for president in 1980.
Judicial Watch, the group that released the records, said it had a "tough fight" with the Obama administration to get the material released and the FBI's reluctance to release the file showed, "it, too, is not above politics."
The document, which appeared to be a memo between top FBI officials with the subject "Ted Kennedy" also said that Kennedy, who was on a tour of several Latin American countries, "insisted on interviewing the 'angry young men'" of each country.
"He wanted to meet with communists and others who had left-wing views," the memo said.
In Mexico, Kennedy asked that "certain left-wingers" be invited to the embassy, but the ambassador refused, according to the memo.
"Douglas Henderson, State official in Lima, confidentially advised that Kennedy had made similar requests in Peru. Henderson described Kennedy as a pompous and spoiled brat," the memo said.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.