lunes, julio 14, 2014

The October Surprise was real

Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero
July 11 2014

In January 1992 I published my first journalistic article ever. Published in Puerto Rico’s Claridad weekly newspaper, it was titled “The October Surprise”. In it I affirmed that the 1980 Reagan-Bush campaign bargained secretly with Iranian radicals for the postponement of the liberation of 52 Americans that they were holding hostage. These hostages were employees of the US embassy in Iran’s capital city of Teheran, which had been stormed by militants loyal to the Ayatollah Khomeini in November 1979. This secret deal, known as the October Surprise, frustrated the attempts of US president Jimmy Carter to obtain the hostages’ release in time for the elections in November. This failure cost Carter his reelection, and swept Republican candidate Ronald Reagan into the presidency. Polls carried out before the election showed that the hostage issue was of top importance in the minds of the American electorate.

The Republican campaign’s main negotiators in this deal were George H. W. Bush, vicepresidential candidate and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director, and William Casey, the campaign’s director and veteran spook who spied for the Office of Strategic Services during World War Two. Once elected, president Reagan appointed Casey to direct the CIA.


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