HISTORY: Reagan’s secret Iran mission to beat Jimmy Carter finally confirmed by participant
After four decades, it’s been confirmed that pro-Reagan operatives tried to sabotage President Jimmy Carter’s re-election during the Iran hostage crisis.
“Don’t release the hostages before the election”, longtime Republican operative, Ben Barnes recalled. “Mr. Reagan will win and give you a better deal.”
Presidential hopeful Ronald Reagan moved in the background and attempted to stall the release in what was coined the “October Surprise.”
Barnes traveled throughout the Middle East in 1980, allegedly to convince Iran to withhold releasing the hostages until after the election.
The messaging worked because the country didn’t release the hostages until the day Carter passed the presidential torch to Reagan in January 1981.
A decade later, in April 1991, a Carter administration national security aide went into detail about the October Surprise and the concerns of Reagan’s team that it would help then-President Jimmy Carter in the upcoming election.
Foreign interference in U.S. elections reached a fever pitch in 2016. The do-whatever-it-takes mentality of the Republican party goes back decades.
Not unlike the posturing and pandering to the base today, the actions of Ronald Reagan and his team set the stage for using the lives of American citizens for political gain.
William J. Casey, chairman of Reagan’s campaign, reportedly briefed staff on the strategy using the blueprint left by former Texas governor, John Connally Jr.
“Mr. Casey was alleged to have met with representatives of Iran in July and August 1980 in Madrid leading to a deal supposedly finalized in Paris in October in which a future Reagan Administration would ship arms to Tehran through Israel in exchange for the hostages being held until after the election,” The New York Times wrote.
Projection and deflection are the names of the GOP game. The subversive tactics used by today’s Republican party were rubber-stamped and sealed going back decades.
Jimmy Carter may not have been the greatest president ever, but he was most certainly a great man. History is telling the tale of conservative go-to President, Ronald Reagan, and it’s now revealing his true character.
Original reporting by Peter Baker at The New York Times.
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