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Imperial Bush
A closer look at the Bush record -- from the war in Iraq to the war on the environment

2004 Campaign
Will Americans take the exit ramp off the Bush presidency in November?

Behind Colin Powell's Legend
Colin Powell's sterling reputation in Washington hides his life-long role as water-carrier for conservative ideologues.

The 2000 Campaign
Recounting the controversial presidential campaign

Media Crisis
Is the national media a danger to democracy?

The Clinton Scandals
The story behind President Clinton's impeachment

Nazi Echo
Pinochet & Other Characters

The Dark Side of Rev. Moon
Rev. Sun Myung Moon and American politics

Contra Crack
Contra drug stories uncovered

Lost History
How the American historical record has been tainted by lies and cover-ups

The October Surprise "X-Files"
The 1980 October Surprise scandal exposed

From free trade to the Kosovo crisis

Other Investigative Stories


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Russian Report on 1980 'October Surprise' Case

This document -- a "confidential" cable from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow -- is a translation of a report sent on Jan. 11, 1993, from the national security committee of the Russian legislature to a U.S. House task force that was then investigating the so-called "October Surprise" controversy.

That case centered on allegations that, during the summer and fall of 1980, the Reagan-Bush campaign conducted secret negotiations with Iran's Islamic fundamentalist government, which was holding 52 Americans hostage. The lingering crisis sapped President Jimmy Carter's political strength and cleared the way for Ronald Reagan's historic victory. The hostages were freed immediately after Reagan became President.

The Russian assistance was requested on Oct. 21, 1992, by the House task force chairman, Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind. The Russian report asserted that the allegations of secret Republican negotiations with Iran were true. But the Russian report was never released by the task force, whose public findings reached the opposite conclusion.

Reporter Robert Parry found the Russian report among files belonging to the House task force in December 1994 and made these copies on a copier in a Capitol Hill storage room. For easier reading, we have typed out the contents of the Russian report, without the Embassy's coding and introduction, in a separate file. The actual cable is below -- or view as a higher resolution PDF file.

[For the latest and most detailed account of the "October Surprise" mystery, see Robert Parry's book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq. For the original story about this remarkable document, see's "The Russian Report."]

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