Author Topic: The October Surprise  (Read 2319 times)


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The October Surprise
« on: February 16, 2017, 06:12:21 pm »
From: indri!!leah!bingvaxu!sunybcs!ugkesslr
Date: Thu May  4 11:48:48 PDT 1989

Since the subject was brought up, I'd thought I'd pull up the article
I have about the whole Iran/Bush/Reagan/Ollie/Hoffman affair. I hope you
find it interesting.

The important facts to note are:

   1. The first arms to Iran were sent in the first three months of
the Reagan administration. Did Ollie get that whole deal together
that fast? NO! The deal was made before the election - not to release
the hostages until Regan was in office and we'll ship you all the arms
you want.

   2. The Iranians were negotiating for arms up until a point before the
election and then stopped.

The article that follows expresses the facts much better than I can. Check
it out and tell me what you think.


(This is excerpted:)

Please excuse the intrusion, but I believe this is too important to
confine it to the Poli-Sci list.  I'll keep it short.
You may not have heard of it, but there is a MAJOR political scandal
attempting to vent itself in this country, and it has to do with George
Bush.  Although bits and pieces have surfaced in the NY Times,
Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and other major papers, by and large
it's been too hot for the mainstream press to handle, and too scary for
congress to address openly.  There have been a few brave individuals and
media organizations willing to piece together the facts and air them,
however.  I have transcribed excerpts from several sources into a short
(8 page) paper, which could serve as an introduction to the scandal.
I will mail a copy to anyone who requests it.
Get the facts before you do something at the polls that you might regret.
Thanks for your time.
Edunet: [email protected]

                      The October Surprise
An abridged transcript of a radio documentary program by "The Other
Americas Radio" and broadcast on public radio stations across the nation.
Supplemented by information presented in the documentary movie "COVERUP,
Behind the Iran Contra Affair," currently showing at independent movie
theaters across the nation, and "An Election Held Hostage," from the
October 1988 issue of Playboy.  Editorial elaboration is in []'s.
[ed. This program does not purport to prove the allegations presented in
it, that is for a court of law.  What it does do is make a compelling case
for furthur investigation.]
Narrator:  November 1979: 52 americans were taken hostage in Iran.  The
american public was held in suspense while the Carter administration worked
to bring the hostages home, first in the failed 'Desert 1' rescue attempt,
and then through negotiations with the revolutionary Iranian government.
In October of 1980 an agreement was reached to unfreeze Iran's monetary
assets for the safe return of the hostages.  For some reason, the hostages
were not released until January 20, 1981, the day Ronald Reagan was
inaugurated as president.  In the dawn of the Reagan era, many, in
momentary blindness, neglected to seriously question the implications of
such an event.  It is now charged that in the few months before the 1980
presidential election, the tremors of a covert action against America, by
americans, was shaking the nation.
Narrator:  In this special program we will examine the allegations that
members of the Reagan/Bush campaign cut a secret deal with the
revolutionary government in Iran before the 1980 election.  We will also
explore what may have been the deliberate failure of President Carter's
'Desert 1' hostage rescue mission.
Narrator: Barbara Honegger was a researcher and policy analyst with the
Reagan/Bush campaign in 1980.  Subsequently she spent two years in the
white house as a policy advisor to President Reagan.  Honegger's
investigation into this issue has revealed a disturbing story of treason,
blackmail, and sabotage.
Honegger:  The very possibility that Carter could bring the hostages home
was close to certain to wreck a Reagan bid for the presidency.  So the
Reagan campaign took phenomenal secret measures to ensure that the Carter
white house was not successful.  Reagan's 1980 campaign manager, William
Casey, was knowledgable, before the fact, of the upcoming Carter Desert 1
rescue attempt of April, 1980.  Now that is a phenomenal fact, because many
of even the highest level officers in Carter's own CIA were kept in the
dark about that very operation.
Narrator: Historian and author Donald Fried suggests links between the
Reagan campaign and the failed rescue operation.
Fried: Precisely the people in the intelligence community commissioned to
develop some kind of rescue for the hostages, were clearly those elements
of CIA who were close to Bush and Casey, and demonstrably hostile to Carter.
Narrator: Was the CIA loyal to President Carter, or to candidate Reagan?
Johnathan Marshall is an investigative journalist and co-author, along with
Professor Peter Scott of UC at Berkeley, of the book "The Iran Contra
Connection".  Like Fried, Marshall views with suspicion some circumstances
surrounding Carter's rescue attempt.
Marshall: Brian Copeland, who had had some CIA connections in the past, ran
in the Washington Star, a hypothetical hostage rescue piece, how he would
do it, and it is so remarkably close to the actual mission, and came only a
few days before the mission took place, that there is legitimate room to at
least question whether it was some kind of leak that came out in the form of
fiction to protect him from charges of sabotaging it. He printed a scenario
for a rescue in the desert, and that story was broadcast on radio Iraq & Iran,
and it was certainly heard in Iran. So the administration's most closely
guarded secret was in effect foreshadowed by this published scenario.
Narrator: Several years after leaving the white house, Barbara Honegger's
research showed some startling links between the players of the 1980
hostage rescue operation, and the main players in the Iran-Contra scandal.
Honegger:  ... and then of course we have Richard Secord, Oliver North and
Albert Hakim.  Richard Secord was one of the chief planners for the so-
called failed Desert 1 rescue attempt, North was involved in that rescue
attempt, in the mother ship, which was on the Turkish border awaiting the
cue from Secord to fly in and rescue the hostages, and Albert Hakim was in
charge of the ground operations of the rescue attempt, in particular,
obtaining the trucks and other vehicles which were going to be needed.
Hakim skipped town, left Tehran 24 hours before the rescue was to take
place, and the reason for that, as detailed in my research documentation,
was that Secord, North and Hakim had no intention of seeing Desert 1 carry
through, and so sabotaged the operation.
Narrator:  The hostage rescue team consisted of 8 helicopters, 6 C130
transport planes and 93 delta force commandos.  But delta force never made
it to Tehran.  Only 5 of the 8 helicopters reached the site of Desert 1 in
operable condition.  According to General Samuel Wilson, who investigated
the many failures of the rescue mission, the pentagon's review panel found
negligence on a level surprising even to those hardened to military
incompetence.  This is only one of many strange facts surrounding the
rescue mission.  Honegger takes us back to Tehran during the rescue
Honegger: There were a number of interesting incidences which occurred in
Tehran that night. The 53'rd hostage, Cynthia Dwyer, who was in Iran and who
had not yet been taken hostage, told Reverend Moore, an american minister who
was there and interviewing her at the time by phone, that the CIA had
sabotaged the rescue attempt. She told him that immediately after the
so-called aborted failure. And we also know from Rev. Moore that a Mullah who
was at a prayer meeting heard a siren that went off in Tehran that night, and
stood up and said, 'God is great, God is good, your helicopters have just
crashed in the desert.' There are a number of other reasons and independent
sources we have for a sabotage, but it was definitely sabotage and there was
advance, multiple failure planning.
Narrator: The failed rescue mission left 8 men dead and 3 helicopters in
the desert filled with classified documents which fell into the Iranian's
Narrator: The possibility of Carter's success in bringing the 52 hostages
home sent tremors through the Reagan/Bush campaign headquarters.  Honegger
was working for the campaign at the time:
Honegger: Richard Wirthland, who was the campaign's pollster, had
determined that an 'october surprise', which was a successful attempt by
Carter to release the hostages and bring them home before the election,
would be the death knell to a Reagan/Bush presidency.  That was determined
by Reagan and Bush's pollster in march of 1980, which, not coincidentally,
was one month before the sabotaged Desert 1 rescue mission.
Marshall: The Reagan people were extremely concerned about what they termed
'The October Surprise', and Reagan's campaign manager, William Casey, later
to become the head of the CIA, was running what he termed an 'intelligence
operation' against the Carter camp.  This first came out when David
Stockman revealed that Reagan had prepared for his TV debates with Carter
using a stolen briefing book.  We know now that the espionage operation was
much broader than just stealing briefing books.  It included former
military officers, CIA people, FBI agents and the like, who tapped into the
Carter camp, into the intelligence bureaucracy, to find out whether this
october surprise would actually happen, because if it did, it would have
cost Reagan the election.
Narrator: Was the CIA loyal to Carter, or to Casey?  In the wake of the
Watergate scandal and the findings of CIA abuses by the Church committee in
the mid '70s, Carter's new CIA chief, Stansfield Turner, removed around 600
people from their jobs in covert operations.  This made for a very
demoralised intelligence network.  Congressional investigations have since
revealed that active duty CIA officers were working with the Reagan/Bush
campaign.  Peter Scott, co-author of "The Iran Contra Connection:"
Scott: When all these covert operators were fired in the 1970's, they
didn't just start opening restaraunts or working in bookstores.  They were
people who were very skilled in covert manipulation of political
processes, and they essentially ganged up to find and elect a candidate who
would put them back in the covert operations business, and Reagan and Bush
were only too eager to be that kind of candidate.
[ From the Playboy article:
Shortly after the Shah was deposed, Carter chewed out the CIA for
misinterpreting the unrest in Iran.  He chastised the Director of CIA,
Stansfield Turner, and reorganized or fired much of the Middle East
division.  Relations between the white house and CIA grew increasingly
hostile.  "There was no doubt that the CIA was more Republican and didn't
like Democrats," says admiral Turner.  "And I'm certain that many hoped a
Republican would return to the white house."
"The Carter administration had made a serious mistake," noted Charlie
Beckwith, the colonel in charge of the Desert 1 rescue team.  "A lot of the
old whores -- guys with lots of street sense and experience -- left the
agency." (and went to work for the Reagan campaign, the article alleges) ]
Narrator: In october of 1980, Casey decided to create the october surprise
working group.
Honegger: Richard Allen was head of the october surprise working group.  It
met every morning to try to come up with ways to try to prevent Carter from
bringing the hostages home.  We do know from published accounts, in the
Knight Ridder papers across the country, that Richard Allen met with Robert
McFarlane and an alleged emmissary from Khomeni's regime in Washington in
early october of 1980 to discuss a deal to delay the release of the
hostages until after the 1980 election.  There is no question that that
meeting happened, Allen and McFarlane have acknowledged that it did.
Narrator:  McFarlane told reporters that the Iranian that approached him
was referred to the Reagan/Bush campaign, but was later judged to be a
fraud and dismissed.  According to Allen, allegations of a secret deal are
absolute baloney.
Honegger:  Allen and McFarlane deny that any deal was cut, but the bulk of
the evidence shows that that's not the case.  For instance, Allen, in late
november of 1986 on the Mcneil-Leherer news hour, referred to a deal
between Reagan and Iran.  He was being interviewed at the time, and he was
referring to the very first day that Reagan was president.  Allen recalled
for the audience that he had told Reagan that there was a 53'rd hostage,
Cynthia Dwyer, who had not been released, and Reagan responded, 'You get
the Iranians on the phone for me, and I'm going to tell them that our deal
is off unless she is released.'  Well, you would have expected the
interviewer to have jumped up and said, 'Just a minute, sir, what deal was
that?'  Now the reason that that had to have been, in my studied opinion, a
deal between Reagan and Khomeni, made before Reagan was president, is
because at the time that Reagan made that phone call to the Iranians, all
of Carter's deals with Khomeni had been consumated.  So, when Reagan
referred to a deal with the Iranians, he had to have been referring to a
separate deal.
Narrator: Because Iran's arsenal was comprised of US supplied weapons, they
were dependent on US spare parts and ammunition to fight their war with
Iraq.  On October 22, during lengthy negotiations between the Carter white
house and Iran, the Iranian's persistent demand for US weapons was suddenly
dropped.  The Iranians no longer linked the release of the hostages to
obtaining military spare parts from the US.  Iran's president at the time,
Bani-Sadr, explains why, although facing war with Iraq, Iranian negotiators
no longer demanded these essential military supplies:
(voice of Bani-Sadr, translator over-dubbed:)  It is now very clear that
there were two separate agreements, one the official agreement with Carter
in Algeria, the other, a secret agreement with another party, which, it is
now apparent, was Reagan.  They made a deal with Reagan that the hostages
should not be released until after Reagan became president.  So, then in
return, Reagan would give them arms.  We have published documents which
show that US arms were shipped, via Israel, in March, about 2 months after
Reagan became president.
Narrator:  During this interview in Paris, the former Iranian president
gave copies of the weapons contracts to the Other Americas Radio.  Bani-
Sadr then went on to charge, that former CIA men, including Casey and
Gorbanifar, had collaborated in engineering this treasonous deal.
Narrator:  Shortly after being deposed, while in exile in Paris, the former
president of Iran said he received military intelligence reports which
noted that George Bush and Richard Allen were among those who had met with
Iranian representatives at the hotel Raphael in Paris, to finalize the deal.
Honegger: One of the founders of Hezbollah, the pro-Iran terrorist
organization which has blown up our marine barracks, and also our emassies
in Kuwait and Beruit, sent a representative to the paris meeting before the
1980 election, to meet with Richard Allen [Reagan's first national security
advisor], George Bush, Donald Gregg [at the time, Carter's CIA liaison,
later to become Bush's national security advisor, a position he still
holds], [Manucher Gorbanifar and Albert Hakim, who were and are active in
the CIA and international arms trade, and who were central figures in the
Iran Contra investigation, were also present] and other officials of the
CIA to cut the secret deal with the Reagan campaign to delay the release of
our hostages in exchange for arms, which began being shipped to Iran in
[COVERUP claims that this meeting was originally arranged between Iran and
representatives of the Carter administration.  It seems that Iran, after
suffering heavy losses in it's war with Iraq, was anxious to get it's hands
on military spare parts and ammunition, and was proposing a hostage release
in exchange. Officially, Donald Gregg was there in his capacity as a
representative of the Carter white house, but in fact his loyalties lay
with his former CIA boss, George Bush.  Thus, instead of arranging for a
pre-election hostage release, they arranged that the hostages not be
released until after Reagan was in the white house.  Carter has kept silent
on this issue, although he was recently confronted by Larry King on his talk
show, and acknowledged that he did have reports during the campaign that
there was a deal between the Iranians and the Reagan campaign.]
[The authors of the Playboy article wrote former President Carter regarding
these allegations.  The text of Carter's reply follows:
"We have had reports since late summer of 1980 about Reagan campaign
officials dealing with Iranians concerning delayed release of the american
hostages.  I chose to ignore the reports.  Later, as you know, former
Iranian president Bani-Sadr gave several interviews stating that such
an agreement was made involving Bud McFarlane, George Bush and perhaps Bill
Casey.  By this time, the elections were over and the results could not be
changed.  I have never tried to obtain any evidence about these allegations
but have trusted that investigations and historical records would someday
let the truth be known." ]
Narrator: Bani-Sadr said this meeting took place sometime during the last
two weeks of October 1980.  We checked the New York Times computer, Nexus,
which revealed no mention of any public appearances by George Bush from
October 21 to the 27, just one week before the 1980 election.  Barbara
Honegger recalls an incident that occurred during the same time period of
October 21 to 27, when she was working at the Reagan Campaign headquarters
in Arlington, Virginia:
Honegger: In late october, as part of my job on the writing staff of the
national campaign headquarters, I was required every night to cover the
news.  I went in to the operations center, which was the nerve center, the
communications center for the Reagan campaign, to cover the 11 oclock news.
As I did so, I was amazed to see a complete 180 degree shift in the mood,
from what it had been over the previous week or two.  Because of the worry
about the october surprise, the mood had been one of anxiety and tension,
and suddenly there was a party atmosphere.  I walked up to a woman who
worked for the man who was in charge of the operations center, and asked
what was going on, and she said "Oh, haven't you heard?  We don't have to
worry about the october surprise.  Dick cut a deal."  She was standing next
to a heavy set gentleman whom I didn't recognize, and I said "Dick?  You
mean Dick Allen?"  and she then got jabbed in the ribs by the man and just
said, "Let it go .. Dick cut a deal."
Narrator:  A deal with Khomeni?  Investigative journalist John Marshall
shares some doubt:
Marshall:  There is one logical problem that has to be addressed.  It
doesn't rule the theory out, but to have made a bargain with the Iranians,
to delay the hostage release until after the election, would have given the
Iranians on a silver platter the biggest blackmail card imaginable.  If we
think of the arms for hostages deal, that alone caused one of the biggest
scandals in recent american history.  That at least was for what you might
call a good cause: to release the hostages early.  To delay the release of
hostages for domestic political gain, in return for arms, would have led to
not only to impeachment, but the drawing and quartering of everyone
Honegger:  In fact we do know, that the Khomeni regime, and Hezbollah in
particular, has been blackmailing the Reagan administration ever since
1981.  We know from Oliver North's own notes, that profits from the Iranian
arms sale were going to Hezbollah right from the beginning.  Millions of
dollars worth of profits, and because American hostages were not released
as a result of those payments, it is clear that in fact those were hush
money payments, because Hezbollah and the Iranians have been blackmailing
the Reagan administration, because of what they know about the treasonous
1980 deal.
Narrator:  Mansur Rafizadeh is a former chief of Savak, the Shah of Iran's
secret police.  He was also a covert agent for the CIA, and was in
communication with factions in both the US and Iranian governments during
the hostage crisis:
Raf: The CIA asked me to get in touch with a powerful source inside of
Iran, so I took the liberty, before consulting with the CIA, I demand,
american government wants the hostages to be released, that's the first
step.  The answer came back in a few days.  You are wrong.  American
government doesn't want the hostages to be released, or possibly there's a
government inside of the government, or they're lying to us, or they're
lying to you.  That's not the demand.  What else do they want?
Narrator:  George Bush had been director of the CIA during the Ford
administration, and still had many friends in the agency.  Former Savak
chief Rafizadeh told The Other Americas Radio that secret negotiations
between Khomeni and CIA elements loyal to the Reagan Bush campaign had
arranged a deal to keep the hostages in Iran until Reagan was in the white
Raf: ....and after the election was done, Khomeni was going to release the
hostages. Why Khomeni was going to release the hostages, because he doesn't
understand the system of government, he thinks Reagan is in the white house
tonight, he's going to put Carter and his family in jail tomorrow morning,
and, here we go. But as soon as they told him, no no, still Carter is
president, then, the deal was made to release the hostages exactly, the
moment Ronald Reagan was president.  (questioner: Did this have anything to
do with promises the Reagan campaign had made?)  It was promised for the
arms.  At the time the deal was that the hostages would be released as soon
as Reagan is in the office, and then they will ship them arms.
(questioner: And who made that agreement?)  CIA.  And we learned about that
agreement also, ahead of time.  General Louasi learned that they are going
to send arms to Khomeni, the deal is made, he told me that.  I believe
that, as much involvement as William Casey had, and Richard Allen had,
George Bush has too.  George Bush is intelligent, he's smart, he knows the
business.  (questioner: he was apparently very popular in the CIA ..) Yes,
he was very popular in CIA, so I don't believe George Bush was not involved
in it, no he was involved.  The other thing, Khomeni did all the damage to
Carter, he didn't do any bad thing to Reagan.  He released the hostages the
moment Reagan was president.  The hostages were sitting in a plane, there's
a documentary film from CBS or NBC, anyone can watch it, the guards were
standing by with a radio.  The moment Ronald Reagan was president, they
signaled the plane, they took off.  Why they didn't send them 2 days
before?  Why they didn't wait to the next day to do it?  And after, the
shipment of arms starts from Tel-Aviv.  (questioner: and this is in 1981?)
1981, we are talking, not 1985.  And if anyone is going to tell me that the
government of Israel shipped arms to Iran without the knowledge or
permission of the american government, I don't believe it.
Narrator:  On July 18, 1981, an Argentine cargo plane crashed on the
Turkish-Soviet border.  It was loaded with weapons in transit from Israel
to Iran.  High level Israeli officials have said that the Reagan
administration knew and approved of the arms dealings the crash exposed.
The cargo of spare parts and ammunition were all american made.  From
reports in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, we know of two
separate groups of shipments in 1981.  The first, as we have already heard,
was shipped through Israel, with authorization from Reagan administration
officials.  The second group of arms was shipped by an Iranian born arms
merchant, Cyrus Hashemi.  Hashemi had worked for the CIA, beginning in
1975.  He died suddenly of a rare form of acute leukemia in 1986.
Congressional investigators noted that the CIA has chemical injections and
sprays that can cause such symptoms.  One informant said he was told by US
customs officials that Hashemi had been 'bumped off' by government agents.
Honegger:  Cyrus Hashemi was murdered by government agents because of his
knowledge of the 1981 links.  And Mr. Hashemi, before he was murdered,
which was in July 1986 in London England, Hashemi had told collegues and
associates that the original 1981 shipments were part of necessary
arrangements and deals to accomplish the delay of the release of the
original 52 hostages.
Narrator:  Is it a coincidence that other key witnesses to this entire
affair have died under similarly questionable circumstances?  The scandal
may be bigger than anyone imagines.  The alleged deal to prevent Carter's
re-election in 1980 may be at the root of the contragate scandal.
According to an Athens newspaper account of tapes made of Robert McFarlane,
the US had shipped 1.3 billion dollars worth of military equipment to Iran
by 1986, and a total 5 billion dollars worth was promised.  As we have
heard from former US operative and Savak agent Rafizadeh, these shipments
began in 1981, when there were no more US hostages left in Iran.
Raf:  They are making remarks all the time that we will disclose the secret
tapes, the secret information.  And I believe that the Reagan
administration is blackmailed by Khomeni, because they have so much dirt
going on between them.
Narrator:  Congressman John Conyers has wondered why the Reagan
administration approved weapons shipments to Iran in early 1981. Conyers is
probing contacts between Iran and the 1980 Reagan-Bush campaign.  The
charge leveled in this program of unlawful activity by Richard Allen,
George Bush and others, is one of treason.  It requires further
Honegger: These individuals have had an arrogant contempt for the will of
the american people as expressed through the congress of the US and the
laws of the US.  I know, having been in this white house, and from my
research since, that this contempt for the rule of law in this country,
comes because these people have an erroneous belief that they are serving a
higher law.  [COVERUP states that this "higher law" is the fight against
Peter Scott:  I think the real issue was that both the administration and
most of the people in the congressional committees were frightened that the
real scandals, the contra-drug scandal, for instance, would really threaten
any future conduct of covert operations that had been handled in the past,
and so they were trying, very deliberately, to limit the damage, this was
damage control, look only at the Iran arms sales, and the diversion to the
Honegger:  The bottom line is that the Iran Contra committee, and the Walsh
investigation, because their mandates only took them back to 1984, were in
and of themselves a coverup. ]
[ COVERUP claims that even this scandal is really just the tip of the iceberg.
Oliver North testified during the senate hearings that Casey wanted an 'Off
the shelf, self financing, independent covert operations capability' outside
the checks and balances of executive and congressional oversight, for the
purpose of fighting world communism. This independent entity has existed for
some time, it is claimed, finances itself by international arms and drug
running, and has it's own cold war agenda and business interests. Many of the
key players, such as Hakim, Gorbanifar and Secord, have strong ties to the US
and international intelligence communities, which greatly facilitates their
smuggling operations, enabling them to bypass airport customs with ease. The
well publicised contacts between contra gun runners and the underworld
probably facilitates the internal distribution and sale of drugs in the US.
The international arms trade and international drug trade amounts to hundreds
of billions of dollars annually. These people are in a unique position to ease
the passage of contraband across international borders, and the few tens of
millions they skim off the top is easily borne by the market. The real price
is paid in the steady erosion of our constitution. ]
Narrator:  The October Surprise was produced by Eric Schwartz,
Carolyn Soular, and Dale Lewis of The Other Americas Radio.  The Other
Americas Radio is a non profit, independent broadcast group based in Santa
Barbara California.  For a free catalog of our taped programs please write
          The Other Americas Radio
          P.O Box 85
          Santa Barbara, CA  93102
[ COVERUP was produced by The Empowerment Project, a non profit group based
in California ]
[ "An Election Held Hostage", by Abbie Hoffman and Johnathan Silvers, was
published in the October 1988 issue of Playboy ]
[ Also see the PBS special, "The Secret Government," hosted by Bill
Moyers, which explores the "Off the shelf, self financing, independent
covert operations" entity mentioned by North, and traces it back to
its cold war beginnings.  This movie won an Emmy for best documentary
film. It's quite chilling.  ]