October Surprise Series

The latest evidence of a history-changing Republican dirty trick in 1980 and its precursor in 1968. (For earlier articles about the October Surprise mystery, click here or go to “Archives” at the Home Page and click on “October Surprise X-Files.”)

Lost History of Iran’s 1981 Coup
The U.S. mainstream media avoids the word “coup” when a disfavored leader is ousted, but the silence around Iran’s 1981 coup also may have served Ronald Reagan’s political self-interest in keeping secret his own “coup,” as Mahmood Delkhasteh reflects.

Bush-41’s October Surprise Denials
“Deny everything,” British traitor Kim Philby said, explaining how the powerful can bluff past their crimes, a truism known to George H.W. Bush when he denied charges of his own near treason in the October Surprise case, writes Robert Parry. April 6, 2016. For an exclusive interview of Robert Parry discussing this article, click here. April 8, 2016.

When Israel/Neocons Favored Iran
The modern history of U.S.-Israeli-Iranian relations dates back 35 years to a time of political intrigue when Israel’s Likud leaders and the Reagan administration’s neocons secretly worked to arm Iran’s radical regime, an inconvenient truth given today’s anti-Iran hysteria, writes Robert Parry. July 28, 2015.

Failing to Hide Israel-Iran-Iraq Secrets
Many Americans think secret U.S. documents become public after, say, 30 years, but many are hidden indefinitely to conceal inconvenient truths that could enlighten public debate, as Robert Parry discovered in getting a redacted version of a “top secret” paper from 1981 that he had already found in unredacted form. May 11, 2015.

Saddam’s Green Light
An article from the first investigative series published at Consortiumnews in early 1996 revealed top-secret “talking points” used by Secretary of State Haig in 1981 to brief President Reagan about the Middle East, including an alleged U.S. “green light” for Iraq to invade Iran. Journalist Robert Parry found the document in old congressional files. Republished May 11, 2015.

The US-Israel-Iran Triangle’s Tangled History
Iran and world powers have gone into double-overtime in negotiations to ensure that Iran doesn’t build a nuclear bomb, but the shadow over the talks is darkened by decades of distrust and double-dealing, a dimly understood history of the U.S.-Israeli-Iranian triangle, reports Robert Parry. April 2, 2015.

LBJ’s ‘X’ File on Nixon’s ‘Treason’
The letter to Iran from 47 Republicans senators, seeking to kill President Obama’s talks on limiting Iran’s nuclear program, recalls other GOP sabotage of foreign policy by Democratic presidents, including Richard Nixon’s scheme to stop a Vietnam peace deal in 1968, as Robert Parry wrote in 2012. Republished March 13, 2015.

Ben Bradlee’s Not Such ‘A Good Life’ — Part 2
In recent years, the Washington Post’s emergence as a neocon propaganda sheet has struck some as a betrayal of the Post’s earlier reputation as a serious newspaper. But many of the paper’s current tendencies can be traced back to its iconic editor Ben Bradlee, writes James DiEugenio in Part 2 of this series. March 10, 2015.

How Roy Cohn Helped Rupert Murdoch
Through Fox News and a vast media empire, Rupert Murdoch wields enormous political clout in the United States, but his entrée into the world of Washington power came from the notorious McCarthyite Roy Cohn who opened the door into Ronald Reagan’s Oval Office, reports Robert Parry. January 28, 2015.

The Sorry Record of a Muslim-Basher
Jumping on the Muslim-bashing bandwagon, Fox News’ commentator Steven Emerson claimed Muslims have seized control of parts of London and all of Birmingham, terrorizing non-Muslims to flee, claims so absurd that even he was forced to back-track, reports Robert Parry. January 12, 2015.

An Insider’s View of Nixon’s ‘Treason’
A recently released oral history by one of President Nixon’s secretive operatives sheds new light on perhaps Nixon’s darkest crime, the sabotaging of Vietnam peace talks so he could win the 1968 election, writes Robert Parry. July 5, 2014.

Reagan-Bush Ties to Iran-Hostage Crisis
The Senate wants to block Iran’s new UN ambassador because he was linked to the Iran hostage crisis 35 years ago, but that standard would strip honors from Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, implicated in extending the hostage crisis to win the 1980 election, reports Robert Parry. April 9, 2014.

Firewall: Inside the Iran-Contra Cover-up
The death of Iran-Contra special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh on Wednesday at the age of 102 marked the passing of what is now rare in the American Establishment, a person who courageously fought for a truthful historical record, as Robert Parry explained in this 1997 review of Walsh’s memoir, Firewall. March 21, 2014.

The Best and Worst US Presidents
From the start of the Republic, some U.S. presidents favored government activism to address the nation’s problems, while others let the states do what they wanted and business tycoons have their way, a distinction that Robert Parry says can define the best and worst. February 18, 2014.

A Blind Eye to LBJ’s ‘X-File’
President Lyndon Johnson’s legacy is in the news whether his many domestic achievements should outweigh his disastrous escalation of the Vietnam War but no attention is being paid to evidence that LBJ might have ended the war if not for Richard Nixon’s sabotage, writes Robert Parry. April 11, 2014

Reagan-Bush Ties to Iran-Hostage Crisis
The Senate wants to block Iran’s new UN ambassador because he was linked to the Iran hostage crisis 35 years ago, but that standard would strip honors from Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, implicated in extending the hostage crisis to win the 1980 election, reports Robert Parry. April 9, 2014

Robert Strauss’s Watergate Secret
Robert Strauss, who died Wednesday, was a Democratic powerbroker who thrived in the age of Nixon, Reagan and Bush-41. But an enduring Watergate mystery is whether Strauss earned his GOP spurs by secretly helping the Republicans in the spy scandal, reports Robert Parry. March 20, 2014

Does Nixon’s ‘Treason’ Boost LBJ’s Legacy?
The Vietnam War has doomed President Lyndon Johnson to a lowly status among presidents, overshadowing his domestic successes. But LBJ’s ranking might change if the new evidence on Richard Nixon sabotaging LBJ’s Vietnam peace talks were factored in, writes Robert Parry. February 16, 2014

Robert Gates Double-Crosses Obama 
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is slamming President Obama in a new memoir, accusing him of lacking enthusiasm for the Afghan War. But perhaps Obama’s bigger mistake was trusting Gates, a Bush Family operative with a history of dirty dealing, writes Robert Parry. January 8, 2014

Judge Leon’s Dirty Climb to the Bench
Civil libertarians are cheering federal judge Richard Leon for his ruling against the NSA’s massive surveillance program and that’s all to the good but Leon’s route to the bench followed a twisted course of partisan investigations and one historic cover-up, Robert Parry reports. December 17, 2013

Almost Thwarting Nixon’s Dirtiest Trick 
In 1968, the public anger over the Vietnam War tempted GOP presidential nominee Richard Nixon to sabotage Democratic peace talks to seal his victory, a dirty trick that Saigon-based journalist Beverly Deepe nearly exposed before American voters went to the polls. November 22, 2013

Dangerous Addiction to Secrecy
After decades of mutual suspicions, the U.S. and Iranian governments appear headed toward face-to-face contacts. But mutual trust still awaits truth-telling about important facts that defined the relationship — and that may require breaking a dangerous addiction to secrecy, says Robert Parry. September 24, 2013.

A CIA Hand in an American ‘Coup’?
The U.S. government decries leaks, but the other side of the story is that key chapters of American history are hidden from the public for decades and maybe forever. The CIA has just admitted its 1953 Iran coup and may never acknowledge a role in ousting Jimmy Carter in 1980, Robert Parry reports. August 26, 2013

Scooping ‘the Boys’ of Vietnam Press
During her seven years covering the Vietnam War, Beverly Deepe Keever broke through the male-dominated world of war reporting and nearly changed history with her discovery that Richard Nixon’s 1968 campaign was sabotaging the Paris peace talks, notes Don North in his review of her memoir. July 30, 2013.

Cables Hold Clues to US-Iran Mysteries
Iran’s election of Hassan Rowhani as president has raised hopes for a deal, with Iran accepting tighter constraints on its nuclear program and the West rolling back sanctions. But there has been a long and often secret history of double-dealing between Iran and the U.S., Robert Parry reported in 2010. Republished June 21, 2013.

Second Thoughts on October Surprise
New evidence has shaken the confidence of former Rep. Lee Hamilton in his two-decade-old judgment clearing Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign of going behind President Carter’s back to frustrate his efforts to free 52 U.S. hostages in Iran, the so-called October Surprise case, Robert Parry reports. June 8, 2013

What a Real Cover-up Looks Like
Republicans won’t let go of their conspiracy theory about some nefarious “cover-up” in “talking points” for Ambassador Susan Rice’s TV interviews on the Benghazi attack. But they should at least have better skills for detecting a real cover-up, since they’ve had direct experience, as Robert Parry documents. May 21, 2013

Does Woodward Know Watergate?
Republicans are hyping the flap over Benghazi talking points by calling it “worse than Watergate,” a false narrative that Bob Woodward has helped along by ignoring new evidence connecting Richard Nixon’s sabotage of Vietnam War peace talks in 1968 to his political spying in 1971-72, writes Robert Parry. May 20, 2013

The Right’s ‘Scandal’ Funhouse Mirror
Official Washington is captivated by the image of Obama “scandals,” including Benghazi talking points and extra IRS questions posed to Tea Party groups, but journalists are peering into the Right’s funhouse mirror which for decades has made big scandals small and small scandals big, says Robert Parry. May 14, 2013.

Republican Hypocrisy on Benghazi
Official Washington is obsessing over the Benghazi “scandal,” proof that the Republicans and their right-wing media can make the smallest things big and the biggest things small. It is a disparity that has distorted how Americans understand their recent history, writes Robert Parry. May 10, 2013.

Another Ignored Russian Warning
One year after the Cold War ended, Russia tried to cooperate with a U.S. national security investigation into possible treason by senior American officials only to see the information ignored. Two decades later, Russians feel their warning about a Boston Marathon bomber was ignored again, Robert Parry reports. April 23, 2013.

What Happened to the US Press Corps?
As the U.S. observes the tenth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, a key question remains: Why was there almost no accountability for journalists and pundits who went along with George W. Bush’s deceptions. The answer can be found in the cover-ups of the Reagan-Bush-41 era, writes Robert Parry. March 18, 2013

The GOP Knows Power
Today’s Republican Party doesn’t believe in democracy, at least not when an election is decided by the votes of blacks, Hispanics, Asian-Americans and young urban whites comfortable with multiculturalism. Then, the outcome is deemed illegitimate and deserves obstruction, as Robert Parry explains. March 14, 2013

Rethinking Watergate/Iran-Contra
New evidence continues to accumulate showing how Official Washington got key elements of the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals wrong, especially how these two crimes of state originated in treacherous actions to secure the powers of the presidency, writes Robert Parry. March 9, 2013

‘October Surprise’ and ‘Argo’
Iran’s ex-President Bani-Sadr, in criticizing inaccurate history in “Argo,” says most Iranian officials wanted a quick end to the 1980 U.S.-Iranian hostage crisis, but Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign struck a deal with Ayatollah Khomeini to delay the hostages’ release, reports Robert Parry. March 7, 2013

The Short-Sighted History of ‘Argo’
The Oscar for Best Picture went to Ben Affleck’s Argo, an escape-thriller set in post-revolutionary Iran. It hyped the drama and edged into propaganda. But Americans would have learned a lot more if Affleck had chosen the CIA coup in 1953 or the Republican chicanery in 1980, says Robert Parry. February 25, 2013

Waking Up to Iran’s Real History
An Oscar frontrunner for best picture is “Argo,” depicting a little-known chapter of the U.S-Iran hostage standoff in 1979-81. Yet, while focusing on this story of six hostages escaping, “Argo” missed bigger dramas, before and after, as David Swanson explained. January 11, 2013

The L’Enfant Plaza Hotel Mystery
To understand why U.S. foreign policy is floundering in the Middle East, one must go back to the pivotal 1980 election when President Carter’s hopes for a second term hinged on getting Iran to release 52 U.S. hostages and Republicans went behind his back, writes Robert Parry. February 17, 2013

How Neocons Messed Up the Mideast
Newly available documents reveal how Ronald Reagan’s neocon aides cleared the way for Israeli arms sales to Iran in 1981, shortly after Iran freed 52 U.S. hostages whose captivity doomed Jimmy Carter’s reelection. The move also planted the seeds of the Iran-Contra scandal, reports Robert Parry. February 15, 2013

Richard Nixon’s Even-Darker Legacy 
Richard Nixon, who was born a century ago, cast a long shadow over U.S. politics, arguably reaching to the anything-goes tactics of today’s Republican Party. His admirers want to reverse history’s negative judgment but perhaps the Nixon centennial can finally allow for recognition of Nixon’s dirtiest trick, says Robert Parry. February 2, 2013

America’s War for Reality
The United States has been on a three-decade binge of unreality, imbibing delusions that began with Ronald Reagan and have continued through the Tea Party. The challenge now is for rational Americans to show they have the toughness and tenacity to fight for the real world — and to save it, writes Robert Parry. January 15, 2013

America’s Bloody Price for Power
“The Untold History of the United States” shakes up the traditional recounting of the last century, forcing Americans to rethink key assumptions, but director Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick have not written a people’s history, says Jim DiEugenio in part two of his review.

Who Bombed Ben-Menashe’s House?
Montreal police may hope to just nail the “torch,” the culprit who hurled a fire-bomb into the home of ex-Israeli spy Ari Ben-Menashe. But to solve the mystery, they may have to delve into Ben-Menashe’s complex intelligence ties, including his hostile relations with his old superiors in Israel, writes Robert Parry. December 8, 2012

Ben-Menashe Case Eyes Bomb Residue
The investigation of the firebombing of the upscale Montreal home of ex-Israeli intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe is looking at the possibility the accelerant was more sophisticated than available to common criminals, reports Robert Parry. December 5, 2012

Arson Seen in Attack on Ex-Israeli Spy
Suspected arson destroyed the Montreal home of ex-Israeli intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe, who says he escaped through a rear door. It’s unclear if the fire was an assassination attempt to finally silence a man who has angered the Israeli government, powerful Republicans and others, writes Robert Parry. December 3, 2012

How Israel Out-Foxed US Presidents
Just days after President Obama’s reelection, Israel launched a punishing bombing campaign against Palestinians in Gaza much as Israel did shortly after his election in 2008. Obama again is put in a tight spot, but other U.S. presidents faced similar challenges, as Morgan Strong reported in 2010. Republished November 19, 2012

The Death Toll of Watergate
Major gaps in the history of Watergate and Iran-Contra have let Republicans minimize those scandals by comparing them to the fabricated “scandal” over the Benghazi attacks. A fuller understanding of Watergate would reveal its links to Richard Nixon’s prolonging the Vietnam War, writes Robert Parry. November 17, 2012

The Price of Political Purity
War with Iran is on the Nov. 6 ballot with President Obama on the verge of a peace deal and Mitt Romney favoring confrontation. The choice is like 1968 when many on the Left distrusted President Johnson’s Vietnam peace promises and enabled Richard Nixon to extend the war four years, Robert Parry noted last June. Republished October 29, 2012

The October Surprise Mysteries
With hopes brightening that President Obama is close to a negotiated settlement of the Iran nuclear dispute, Mitt Romney’s campaign is eager to counter any positive news. The moment is reminiscent of past October Surprise moments, says Robert Parry in this article adapted from America’s Stolen Narrative. October 22, 2012

An Israeli October Surprise for Obama?
A pressing foreign policy question of the U.S. presidential race is whether Israel might exploit this politically delicate time to bomb Iran’s nuclear sites and force President Obama to join the attack or face defeat at the polls, a predicament with similarities to one President Carter faced in 1980, writes Robert Parry. August 18, 2012

Bohemian Grove & Reagan’s ‘Treason’
This weekend, Occupy protesters are targeting the Bohemian Grove in California, where well-connected rich men go on retreats several weekends each summer. The secrecy of the 1980 encampment became a factor in the cover-up of possible “treason” by Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, writes Robert Parry. July 13, 2012

Shamir’s October Surprise Admission
Two decades ago, ex-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir offered the stunning confirmation that “of course” an October Surprise plot had blocked President Jimmy Carter from gaining the release of 52 U.S. hostages in Iran, thus helping Ronald Reagan win the presidency in 1980, reports Robert Parry. July 3, 2012

Admissions on Nixon’s ‘Treason’
Definitive proof of a historical mystery is often elusive, even with archival documents and memoirs. Skeptics can always say some witness or some evidence isn’t perfect. But the case that Richard Nixon sabotaged the Vietnam peace talks in 1968 to win that pivotal election is clear, writes Robert Parry. June 14, 2012

The Dark Continuum of Watergate
The 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in has brought reflections on the scandal’s larger meaning, but Official Washington still misses the connection to perhaps Richard Nixon’s dirtiest trick, the torpedoing of Vietnam peace talks that could have ended the war four years earlier, Robert Parry reports. June 12, 2012

The Almost Scoop on Nixon’s ‘Treason’
At the end of Campaign 1968, as Richard Nixon feared his narrow lead could disappear if progress were made on Vietnam peace, a U.S. correspondent in Saigon got wind of a cabal between Nixon and South Vietnamese leaders to block peace talks and secure his victory. History was at a crossroads, writes Robert Parry. June 7, 2012

Obama Gets Tough, Finally
President Obama looks ready for a political fight, telling his supporters “Let’s go get ‘em. It’s game time.” But is the U.S. political/media system ready for a Democrat turning the tables on the Republicans in terms of toughness after decades of Republicans playing the bullies asks Robert Parry. May 7, 2012

How the Right’s Smear Machine Started
The Right’s attack machine, which these days questions President Obama’s birthplace and smears Georgetown student Sandra Fluke over contraceptives, arose in the wake of the Vietnam War and Watergate with young conservatives thinking they were the real victims, thus justifying whatever they did, reports Robert Parry. March 8, 2012

An Israeli October Surprise on Obama? 
President Obama is walking a political tightrope between constraining Iran’s nuclear program and restraining Israel’s war threats, while political critics are shaking the supports. But ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar says Obama’s predicament may be even trickier, with Israeli hardliners possibly eyeing an October surprise. March 7, 2012

Romney’s Made-up History on Iran
In facing down Iran as U.S. president, Mitt Romney says he would be guided by the experience of Ronald Reagan threatening Iran with a military strike if it didn’t free 52 Americans held hostage during Jimmy Carter’s presidency. But Romney’s historical precedent is a fantasy, writes Robert Parry. March 6, 2012

Profiting Off Nixon’s Vietnam ‘Treason’
The notion of Wall Street bankers meeting in private to discuss profiting off a plot to extend the Vietnam War and risk the lives of thousands of American soldiers may sound like a conspiracy movie script, but it is a tragic reality reflected in once secret White House documents, reports Robert Parry. March 4, 2012

LBJ’s ‘X’ File on Nixon’s ‘Treason’
In the dusty files of Lyndon Johnson’s presidential library in Austin, Texas, once secret documents and audiotapes tell a dark and tragic story of how Richard Nixon’s team secured the White House in 1968 by sabotaging peace talks that might have ended the Vietnam War four years earlier, Robert Parry reports. March 3, 2012

The Almost Vanunu
Two decades ago, the U.S. and Israeli governments reached around the world to silence an ex-Israeli intelligence officer who was exposing sensitive secrets. The goal was to discredit, if not capture, Ari Ben-Menashe much the way Israel went after nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, reports Marshall Wilson. February 1, 2012

Getting Rid of ‘Anti-Israel’ Presidents
Some staunch supporters of Israel believe that its interests are so compelling that they trump American self-governance, with one extremist suggesting the murder of President Obama. Others, however, appear to have joined in an earlier subversion of U.S. democracy, Robert Parry reports. January 21, 2012

Herding American’s to War with Iran
The murder of a fifth Iranian scientist on the streets of Tehran had all the earmarks of an Israeli-sponsored assassination. The killing also worsened tensions at a moment when the momentum toward war with Iran seems unstoppable, reports Robert Parry. January 12, 2012

Republican Tradition of Hostage-Taking
Since the days of Richard Nixon, Republicans have pursued an anything-goes brand of politics that often has the look of hostage-taking, with Democrats usually caving in. But, Robert Parry asks, has President Obama finally learned that the only way to stop bullying is to stand up to it? December 23, 2011

The Lost Opportunity of Iran-Contra
A quarter century ago with the breaking of the Iran-Contra scandal, the United States had a chance to step back from its march toward Empire and to demand accountability for White House crimes. But instead a powerful cover-up prevailed, reports Robert Parry. December 1, 2011

Who is Judge Richard Leon?
The appointment of federal judges is a key power of the U.S. president. It can reward partisan allies for past services and ensure favorable rulings in the future. Both factors were in play for District Judge Richard Leon who just struck down new cigarette warnings, writes Robert Parry. November 9, 2011

The GOP’s History of ‘Hostage-Taking’
For more than four decades, Democrats have tolerated Republican abuses, claiming accountability wouldn’t be “good for the country.” But this softness has only encouraged the kind of hardball behavior that has now taken the U.S. economy “hostage,” writes Robert Parry. November 6, 2011

Unmasking October Surprise Debunker
The fake “debunking” of the 1980 October Surprise case in the early 1990s was driven by a few “journalists,” including Steven Emerson, who has been identified in a recent report as a “misinformation expert” spreading anti-Muslim propaganda, reports Robert Parry. October 30, 2011

Taking a Bush Secret to the Grave
The National Archives has approved an appeal by journalist Robert Parry seeking release of a 30-year-old secret, the address where George H.W. Bush supposedly went on an October weekend in 1980, when several witnesses put Bush in Paris meeting with Iranians. But it turns out the “alibi witness” is now dead. September 27, 2011

Bush’s October Surprise File in Dispute
The enduring October Surprise mystery whether Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign sabotaged President Jimmy Carter’s efforts to free 52 American hostages in Iran has reached a possible turning point, whether details of George H.W. Bush’s activities on a key day will be released, reports Robert Parry. September 9, 2011

Keeping a Curious Bush Secret
One of the strange mysteries from the Reagan-Bush era is where did George H.W. Bush go on one Sunday in October 1980 when some witnesses placed him meeting with Iranians in Paris. More than three decades later, Bush’s supposed alibi remains a state secret, Robert Parry reports. August 12, 2011

October Surprise Evidence Surfaces
Among newly released archival records is the first U.S. documentary evidence that William Casey took a trip to Madrid possibly related to the 1980 October Surprise conspiracy. Doubts that Ronald Reagan’s campaign chief went to Madrid fueled a media frenzy in 1991 to debunk allegations of a secret GOP deal with Iran, says Robert Parry. July 14, 2011

Inside the October Surprise Cover-up
The George H.W. Bush Library in Texas has just released thousands of pages of documents on the October Surprise mystery, revealing how Bush’s inner circle handled allegations that the Reagan-Bush campaign in 1980 struck a treacherous deal with Iran. It was a textbook case of controlling the narrative, reports Robert Parry. July 12, 2011

Bachmann’s Aide Hides $10M Secret
When Rep. Michelle Bachmann landed Ed Rollins as her campaign manager, the move gave a shot of credibility to her presidential bid. Washington pundits adore Rollins and his blunt style, so much so that they have ignored the fact that he is still covering up an illegal $10 million suitcase full of cash from Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Robert Parry reports. July 10, 2011

Bob Gates’s ‘Business’ of Lying
As Defense Secretary Robert Gates prepares to retire in late June, he is routinely lauded as a “wise man” committed to telling it like it is, even making a frank comment this week about how “most governments lie to each other.” But Gates’s own record for honesty is a deeply checkered one, reports Robert Parry. June 17, 2011

Netanyahu Sets Limits for Obama
President Barack Obama got an Oval Office lecture from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about how far Obama may deviate from Israel’s positions on Mideast peace. This public rebuke raises questions about whether Netanyahu will now try to sink Obama’s reelection the way earlier Likud leaders undermined President Jimmy Carter, reports Robert Parry. May 21, 2011

Jimmy Carter’s October Surprise Doubts
Ex-President Jimmy Carter tells an interviewer that he isn’t sure what to believe about the longstanding suspicions that Republicans went behind his back in 1980 to stop him from freeing 52 American hostages in Iran, a failure that contributed to his political demise. But Robert Parry reports that there is a wealth of historical evidence. May 12, 2011

Twenty Years Ago, a Lost Opportunity
Two decades ago, the U.S. political/media system had a chance to get Ronald Reagan’s history right, but didn’t, says Robert Parry. April 15, 2011

Don’t Try These GOP Alibis at Home
When powerful Republicans are in a pinch, they can use crazy alibis that would make anyone else look guiltier, says Robert Parry. August 12, 2010

October Surprise Cover-up Unravels
Die-hard defenders of the October Surprise (1980) cover-up keep citing alibis that have long ago disintegrated, says Robert Parry. August 6, 2010

Accusation of October Surprise ‘Lying’
Attorney Lawrence Barcella accuses journalist Robert Parry of “lying” about the October Surprise case, and Parry responds. August 5, 2010

Rethinking Iran-Contra
The recent collapse of the long-running October Surprise cover-up shifts the history on the Iran-Contra scandal, writes Robert Parry. July 1, 2010

The CIA/Likud Sinking of Jimmy Carter
With the October Surprise cover-up in shambles, the evidence points to a CIA-Likud plot against President Carter, says Robert Parry. June 24, 2010

The Tricky October Surprise Report
A House task force deceived the American public in clearing Ronald Reagan of a treacherous scheme with Iran, reports Robert Parry. June 17, 2010

Key October Surprise Evidence Hidden
A Russian report on the 1980 October Surprise case was apparently kept from the chief congressional investigator, says Robert Parry. May 6, 2010

The October Surprise Crystal Balls
A sub-plot of the 1980 October Surprise mystery is how some Reaganites foresaw the U.S. hostage release, says Robert Parry. November 13, 2009

The Crazy October Surprise Debunking
To protect the Reagan-Bush-I legacy, Republicans and Democrats created absurd October Surprise alibis, reports Robert Parry. November 6, 2009

How Two Elections Changed America
Secret Republican operations around elections in 1968 and 1980 set the U.S. on today’s troubled course, says Robert Parry. November 4, 2009

23 comments for “October Surprise Series

  1. May 29, 2021 at 00:43

    It is rather curious that we never read anything related to “october surprise” coming from the Iranian government people.

  2. January 1, 2021 at 09:11

    A recently released oral history by one of President Nixon’s secretive operatives sheds new light on perhaps Nixon’s darkest crime, the sabotaging of Vietnam peace talks so he could win the 1968 election, writes Robert Parry..

  3. January 8, 2020 at 21:41

    It is rather curious that we never read anything related to “october surprise” coming from the Iranian government people.

    • TK
      June 24, 2020 at 23:08

      Actually, that’s not true. President Bani-Sadr later claimed that a deal had been made behind his back and without his knowledge by Khomeini. He was unable to provide proof, however, so his claims were dismissed. I have not read all the articles here but I’m sure Parry addressed this at some point.

  4. Jim Morris
    December 6, 2019 at 21:10

    Robert Parry’s consortium news had many articles on the Reagan /Bush secret negotiations to give Iran money and weapons to delay the release of hostages in Iran until after the november 1980 election. This was done supposedly to prevent President Carter from getting the good publicity of releasing the hostages. If they had been released before the election, Carter might hve been reelected instead of Reagan/Bush. Supposedly some felt Carter was not active enough in supporting power and global expansion of the US empire, so they put in Reagan/Bush. It may have been that Carter was not into expanding the wars and the drug deals.

  5. October 30, 2018 at 08:21

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  6. March 17, 2018 at 09:57

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  7. David Howard
    May 18, 2017 at 11:59

    TRUMP is a CHILD RAPIST — Donald Trump, polygraph test … soon.

  8. December 15, 2016 at 19:03

    Just discovered your site. It’s remarkable. I’ve long sought–dreamed about–the existence of this kind of journalism and eyes-wide-open tracking of the major players from Nixon to the present day. Wondering if you know about Michael Best’s effort to publish a massive archive of FOIA/CIA documents. It’s on patreon.com.
    Having just returned to the States from abroad, I am tapped out, but I will provide you with a drop in the bucket–and then more next year.

  9. May 9, 2016 at 23:52

    You’ve one of the better sites

  10. rongxi
    December 1, 2015 at 00:53

    some questions from a native born US cit, pat, and vet…

    1. in all your stories, why not link to those powerful TX leaders who nearly ‘pre-approve’ candidates for president..and the top echelons of core power?

    2. in my reports to langley, state dept, and pres years ago…from a decade in PRC… no american, newsmedia or the gov’t wants to recognize, talk about, and identify just what the hun communists do to their own people in every hamlet and metropolis…and their mindset towards the west while partnering with the ‘upper power brokers’.


  11. Richard Patten
    September 3, 2015 at 17:36

    Just read Robert Parry’s “…Stolen Narrative.” indicating GHW Bush’s involvement in all the sabotage conspiracies from Nixon on, but he left out GHW’s involvement in the JFK assassination. Why?

  12. J.L. Viens
    February 6, 2012 at 15:03

    It is rather curious that we never read anything related to “october surprise” coming from the Iranian government people. This would have been very interesting to have some feedback from these people. If there was any, I never found books or written material covering their part of the story.

    • LK
      February 15, 2012 at 08:46

      former elected president of Iran Bani Sadr wrote a book where he said he suspected that his ouster was due to his opposition to dealing with the Republicans concerning the October Surprise

      • Eliza
        February 20, 2012 at 22:33

        When Ahmadinejad was “elected,” there were some of the “hostages” who swore that he had been one of their captors — they had no doubts. This was “in the news” for a few days, as I remember, and then the whole issue just disappeared. I never heard any results of any genuine investigation, official or otherwise. The whole thing just “disappeared.” What’s with that? Still curious.

        • Niels Jespersen
          February 25, 2012 at 14:08

          The picture of the captor looking somewhat like Ahmadinejad was identified as belonging to somebody else.If you look at the picture more closely it is obvious that this person can not be Ahmadinejad – the nose is much thicker, etc etc.

          The reason why this issue disappeared was becuse it could not be used to defame Ahmadinejad – it was too obvious that the captor was not him.

    • Lk
      June 18, 2012 at 04:01

      Read the biography of deposed President Ban Sadr himself

  13. Thomas Chacko
    January 25, 2012 at 11:09

    Robert Parry has done, as always, a superb job of reporting. Naturally, no one in the mainstream media will bother to re-examine the October Surprise case, certainly not with the fevered intensity they applied to Whitewater or the Lewinsky scandal.

    In the early ’90s, Gary Sick – a former Naval officer and National Security deputy during the Carter Administration – tried to get the conversation going through op-ed articles and his book, “October Surprise.” PBS’ FRONTLINE put together a chilling documentary on the subject. Hardly anyone cared!

    Admittedly, however, I was not too shocked when I learned of William Casey’s involvement; most sleazy operations bore his imprint. Nor was I surprised about the role played by George H.W. Bush, and his subsequent lies concerning his whereabouts. (I didn’t think he went to Paris for the wine!)In a family that has thrived on deception, this was par for the course. Iran-Contra and the 2000 “election” further bear this out.

    Well, the end result feeds the fantasy that fear of Ronald Reagan got the hostages out. Suitable for those who wrestle with the complexities of talk-radio.

    Thank you, Robert Parry and family!

  14. Charles Norrie
    January 23, 2012 at 15:58

    I have read your site often, and much I like. Your Reagan interests and those of HW Bush interest me.

    I believe it can reasonably be demonstrated with proof from the public record, i.e. inferring from what people say or don’t say or the facts are, rather than what they blurt out that the bombing of PA103 was jointly carried out by the US’s CIA and Iran’s Pasdaran in accordance with an agreement made in Glion Switzerland between the two countries to give Iran its one and only one revenge according to the tenets of traditional Iranian justice called qesas, for the provably deliberate shooting down of IR655, the Iranian Airbus done by the US with two intentions. To get Bush into the White House an unattractive candidate in a dull year in a khaki election and shut down Reagan’s radical foreign policy which Bush, an old CIA hand (he had been DCI), detested.

  15. lady
    December 21, 2011 at 18:44

    in regard to the Iran Contra debaucle, there are many “contractors” still
    running contraband post-I-C era and making quite a business of it today.
    The War on Drugs has become a ligitimate government backed business. It’s the biggest ruse since the October Surprise. Retired Intel.
    Lady in Portland

    • Elliott T.
      August 18, 2021 at 22:46

      FYI drugs have a long history in the mid east. More to the point, two British Opium Wars against China; and read Rodney Stitch’s drugging of America, where he learned while flying in and out of Japan from Pan Am pilots that they were carrying cargo for the CIA containing drugs into the U.S. During Vietnam it escalated, using military aircraft to shuttle drugs into Travis AFB, in the body cavities of war dead. I’ve spoken with veterans, they openly said the CIA distributed heroin to army troops, for cash of course in ‘nam. ‘War on Drugs’? Yeah, right.

  16. J. Christensen
    October 30, 2011 at 19:36

    Even though my only sure income is “Social Security”, this has inspired me to make a donation to help assure such vital public information.
    Keep up the good work.

  17. Garby Francis Leon
    October 25, 2011 at 23:18

    This is an impressive series of reports – leading one day, I am sure, to one describing the ultimate resolution of the October Surprise scandal, a certainty given the persistence and professional attention to detail these pieces reflect. They are of historic importance, and I have not doubt whatsoever that future historians of our era will see them that way, honoring their author accordingly.

    PS – and we’re looking forward to more – whenever I see October Surprise in a consortiumnews email, I immediately hit the link and start reading..

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