Synopses & Reviews
This book was never supposed to have been written. It is an account of a political mystery never intended to be solved, a tale of bold deception by a few powerful men who apparently calculated that political manipulation, if conducted on a sufficiently grand scale, would be essentially invisible and ultimately beyond the law.
October Surprise reconstructs the story of how the 1980 Reagan-Bush presidential campaign, intent on delaying the release of the fifty-two Americans held hostage in Tehran until after the election, made clandestine overtures to Iran and arranged illegal arms shipments through Israel. This effort, spearheaded by Republican campaign manager William Casey, not only prevented President Carter from reaping the political benefits of an early hostage release but also hobbled his ability to exercise the full powers of his elective office.
This book brings to light startling new information, including:
- The Reagan-Bush campaign's systematic penetration of the national security complex of the U.S. government, through which a network of former and current intelligence agents kept Casey not then in any government position informed of highly classified military movements, diplomatic initiatives, and policy decisions.
- The secret meetings that took place in Europe during the summer and fall of 1980, at which Casey hammered out the deal with the Iranians.
- Israel's shipment of arms to Iran during the last weeks of the presidential campiagn (in deliberate violation of the U.S. embargo) and the massive covert arms transactions between the two nations immediately after Reagan's inauguration.
- The connection between the Republicans' 1980 arms-for-hostages deal and the Iran-Contra Affair five years later.
The result of three years of research and hundreds of interviews, October Surprise
lays bare an elaborate network of political intrigue and treachery, subversive in its actions and chilling in its implications. It is a cautionary tale about the seductions of power and the fragility of our democratic system.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 239-270) and index.