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17R3W asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 10 years ago

October Surprise Evidence Surfaces. Non Youtube link for the elitists. Your thoughts?


October Surprise Evidence Surfaces

By Robert Parry

In November 1991, as Newsweek and The New Republic were ridiculing the idea that Ronald Reagan's campaign chief William Casey might have made a secret trip to meet Iranians in Madrid in 1980, a senior State Department official was informing George H.W. Bush's White House that Casey indeed had gone to Spain on a mysterious visit.

State Department legal adviser Edwin D. Williamson told associate White House counsel Chester Paul Beach Jr. that among the State Department "material potentially relevant to the October Surprise allegations [was] a cable from the Madrid embassy indicating that Bill Casey was in town, for purposes unknown," Beach noted in a "memorandum for record" dated Nov. 4, 1991.

In other words, as Newsweek and The New Republic were making the October Surprise story into a big joke in mid-November 1991, Bush's White House had information that contradicted the smug self-certainty of the two magazines. Not surprisingly, the White House made no effort to clarify the record.

I found Beach's memorandum among about 4,800 pages of documents identified by the George H.W. Bush presidential library as related to the so-called October Surprise controversy, the longstanding mystery of whether the Reagan-Bush campaign in 1980 contacted Iranians behind President Jimmy Carter's back, thus undermining his efforts to gain freedom for 52 American hostages.

Carter's failure to pull off an "October surprise" by winning release of the hostages was a key factor in Reagan's landslide victory in 1980. Reagan got another boost when the Iranians released the hostages immediately after he was sworn in on Jan. 20, 1981.

Though Reagan talked tough about Iran -- and his handlers suggested that fear of him was why the Iranians surrendered the hostages on Inauguration Day -- the reality was different. His administration soon was giving secret approval to Israel to ship U.S.-manufactured weaponry to Iran. It had the look of a payoff.

Reagan's politically risky move of secretly arming Iran was nearly exposed when one of the Israeli flights strayed into Soviet airspace in July 1981 and crashed. To cover the administration's tracks, misleading press guidance was issued, according to Assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East Nicholas Veliotes.

The U.S.-Israeli arms pipeline to Iran stayed secret from the American people until November 1986 when -- despite Reagan's long-running insistence that he would never trade arms with a terrorist state like Iran -- the operation was exposed. The scandal became known as the Iran-Contra Affair.

Yet even after the existence of the secret U.S.-Israeli arms pipeline was revealed, the Reagan-Bush administrations and congressional Republicans kept the investigative focus on the later chapter of the arms shipments, from 1985 to 1986, not the earlier phase that Veliotes and other insiders said could be traced back to Campaign 1980.

The reasons were obvious. While the secret arms sales to Iran in 1985-86 were legally questionable, any deal that predated Reagan's inauguration as president could be viewed as treasonous.

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I know full well about this. Reagan's campaign manager was a CIA agent, and they made a deal with Iranian terrorist not to release the hostages until after the election. They also stole a copy of Carter's campaign speech.

    Carter did not do a good job at all as President, but at least he tried to do some bit of good in his remaining days. The "Crisis of Confidence" speech as well as firing his entire cabinet. Unlike Obama who refuses to admit he is doing anything wrong.

    Reagan was in a bad way with some worse people.

  • 10 years ago

    Iran-Contra was no secret and was no surprise to me. What about all the weapons that Reagan sent to the mujahideen in Afghanistan when they were fighting the USSR? I believe there were a large number of Stinger missiles that were sent. Even when Bush sent troops over to Afghanistan after 9/11, I remember there was some concern about those missiles, what with all the air force jets and helicopters flying around. Where did they go? It's hard to imagine that they're still lying in a cave somewhere.

    Reagan was the biggest arms merchant in the world in his day. US weapons were sent to whoever wanted them, seemingly.

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