SOMEONE IN THE REAGAN CAMP approached the Iranian hostage takers in 1980 about not making a deal with President Carter until after the US elections of that year. Why wasn’t this story followed by the media and others for years except for a few people? And you know what they called us, right? Conspiracy theorists.
The name most often circulated as the go-between was William J. Casey, then chairman of Reagan’s campaign. He was later made director of the CIA, presumably—at least to us conspiracy theorists—as a reward for the above service.
History needs to know that the “October Surprise” of 1980 happened.
In an article for The New York Times, Peter Baker noted that “Carter’s camp has long suspected that Casey or someone else in Reagan’s orbit sought to secretly torpedo efforts to liberate the hostages before the election, and books have been written on what came to be called the October surprise.”
Well, surprise surprise! Someone else—possibly an eye-bloody-witness—has come forth and posited another man as the Reagan deal-maker: former Democratic Governor of Texas John Connally!
Hostages held in Iran
On November 4, 1979, the crisis began when militant Iranian students, outraged that the U.S. government had allowed the ousted shah of Iran to travel to New York City for medical treatment, seized the U.S. embassy in Teheran.
President Jimmy Carter was unable to diplomatically resolve the crisis. The former shah died of cancer in Egypt, but the crisis continued. In November 1980, Carter lost the presidential election to Republican Ronald Reagan.
Soon after, successful negotiations began between the United States and Iran. On the day of Reagan’s inauguration, the US freed almost $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets, and the hostages were released after 444 days. (History)
Ben never has lied to me
Peter Baker is the chief White House correspondent for The New York Times. In his article “A 4‑Decade Secret: One Man’s Story of Sabotaging Carter’s Reelection” (March 20, 2023), he addresses the recent admission of Ben Barnes concerning his trek through several Middle Eastern nations in late 1980. at the time:
“Barnes is no shady foreign arms dealer with questionable credibility. He was once one of the most prominent figures in Texas, the youngest speaker of the Texas House of Representatives and later lieutenant governor.
He was such an influential figure that he helped a young George W. Bush get into the Texas Air National Guard rather than be exposed to the draft and sent to Vietnam. Lyndon B. Johnson predicted that Barnes would become president someday.”
To bolster his story, Barnes named four living people whom he said he had confided his story to over the years. According to Baker, “All four of [the living people Barnes had confided in] confirmed in recent days that Barnes shared the story with them years ago.”
That’s “years ago.”
Why wasn’t this story followed for years?
One of the people that Barnes confided in was Tom Johnson. A former aide to Lyndon Johnson (no relation), Johnson eventually became the publisher of The Los Angeles Times. From 1977–1990, Johnson was in charge of one of the largest and most influential newspapers in the United States.
Johnson followed this by becoming the president of CNN from 1990–2001. Cable News Network was the first television channel to provide 24-hour news coverage and the first all-news television channel.
So, this means that one of the biggest movers and shakers in American media knew about Connally’s treasonous trip “years ago” and did nothing about it. And both the Times and CNN are generally considered to be “liberal” by the rest of the mainstream/corporate media.
Even for the sake of appearance, Johnson didn’t even bother to assign some ineffectual cub reporter from the paper or the station to do a little digging into what was potentially one of the most damaging stories in modern American politics!
This is doubly curious as Johnson told Baker, “As far as I know, Ben never has lied to me.”
To read Peter Baker’s article, click here.
A reasonable observation
The first comment posted on Peter Baker’s article is from “Mark” and reads, “With Reagan announcing the release of the hostages during his inauguration, the release had to have been negotiated while Carter was still President but delayed enough to not help [Carter] during the election.”
That observation sounds plausible for it to be possible for the President-elect to have known about the hostages’ release before the sitting President knew.
And every journalist, editor, and publisher in any media involved in reporting the news—in fact, everybody with a three-figure IQ paying attention to these events—should have noticed that then.
But only a few of us did and you know what they called us, right . . .
FEATURED IMAGE: The image at the top of this page was cropped from this photo of Ben Barnes, now 82 years old. This photo was taken by Christopher Lee for The New York Times and was used in Baker’s article. There is this caption: “ ‘History needs to know that this happened,’ Ben Barnes now says of his trip to the Middle East in 1980.”
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Mystically liberal Virgo enjoys long walks alone in the city at night in the rain with an umbrella and a flask of 10-year-old Laphroaig who strives to live by the maxim, “It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble; it’s what you know that just ain’t so.
I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn, and a college dropout (twice!). Occupationally, I have been a bartender, jewelry engraver, bouncer, landscape artist, and FEMA crew chief following the Great Flood of ’72 (and that was a job that I should never, ever have left).
I am also the final author of the original O’Sullivan Woodside price guides for record collectors and the original author of the Goldmine price guides for record collectors. As such, I was often referred to as the Price Guide Guru, and—as everyone should know—it behooves one to heed the words of a guru. (Unless, of course, you’re the Beatles.)