REAGAN'S 1980 +quot;OCTOBER SURPRISE+quot; - ARMS FOR HOSTAGES In October 1980, nothing wo
REAGAN'S 1980 "OCTOBER SURPRISE" -- ARMS FOR HOSTAGES
In October 1980, nothing worried the Reagan campaign as much as
the possibility that the 52 hostages held by Iran might come home.
A "paramilitary wing" created by Reagan's campaign staff to prevent
such a possibility was largely unreported in 1987.
The revelations report that then campaign manager William J.
Casey headed an "October surprise" team engaging the services of both
retired and active military personnel.
During the course of the 1980 campaign, campaign leaders Richard
Allen, Edwin Meese, and Casey became concerned, almost to the point of
paranoia (according to journalists Jack Germond and Jules Witcover)
that Carter would get the hostages released thereby stealing away
Reagan's election momentum and assuring Carter of re-election.
Following is a brief overview of the reported activities of
Reagan's "October 1980 surprise" team:
Various reports reveal that Casey's "paramilitary wing"
monitored U.S. military movements for the Reagan campaign, met with
representatives of the Bani-Sadr government of Iran, and covertly
obtained President Carter's debate briefing materials prior to the
These revelations alone carry enormous constitutional
implications -- private citizens soliciting military and intelligence
assistance in monitoring U.S. government operations, private citizens
meeting with foreign dignitaries in possible state negotiations, and
private citizens clandestinely obtaining property of the United States
President -- and yet they were not followed up by the major media once
discovered and revealed in small, non-mass media publications.
Even more disturbing is the issue of Iranian arms shipments.
Documents confirm that within its first month, the Reagan
administration gave a green light to Israel to resume its arms
shipments to the Iranian government.
These revelations support former Iranian President Bani-Sadr's
assertion that the arms supply contract Iran signed with Israel in
March 1981, less than two months after Reagan's inauguration, was the
payoff for delaying the release of the American hostages until after
the November 4, 1980 election.
The hostages remained in captivity until January 20, 1981, the
day Reagan took the oath of office, and they left Teheran minutes
after he became president.
A conspiracy between a presidential candidate and a hostile
foreign power against an incumbent president would seem to be without
precedent in American history. At the very least, it would seem that
the documented charges revealed by a few journalists last year
deserved to be investigated for the benefit of the American public by
the U.S. media.
SOURCES: L.A. WEEKLY, 7/10/87, "Reagan's 1980 Hostage Deal," by
Barbara Honegger with Jim Naureckas, pp 12, 14, 16; THE NATION,
6/20/87 (p 842), 7/4/87 (p 7), 8/1/87 (p 80), 10/24/87 (p 440),
11/21/87 (p 582), "Minority Report," all by Christopher Hitchens; S.F.
EXAMINER, 7/12/87, "October Surprise," by Warren Hinckle, p A-13.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank