(From the September 1996 Conspiracy Nation Newsletter)
In 1980, fifty-two  American  hostages  were  being held by Iran.
The President at that  time  was  Jimmy  Carter.   He  was  being
challenged in his bid for re-election by the Reagan-Bush ticket. 
Though  Reagan-Bush  led  in the polls, they secretly feared that
Carter would stage what  was  called  an "October Surprise."  The
Republicans feared that if Carter were to bring about the release
of the American hostages in  late  October,  subsequent  national
euphoria would boost Carter in the polls and get him re-elected. 
So,   according   to   numerous   and   disparate  witnesses  and
investigators,   the   Reagan-Bush   faction   initiated   secret
negotiations with the Iranians.  The  deal reportedly was that if
the Iranians would ignore Carter  administration  overtures,  the
Republicans  would  give  the  Iranians  an  especially good deal
later, when Reagan-Bush came to power. 
Some may say, "Well,  Congress  looked into these allegations and
found nothing there."  But that is like saying that  the  Columbo
crime  family  looked  into  the  Genovese  mafia  and concluded,
"They're not such a bad bunch of guys."  Congress has also looked
into the strange  death  of  White  House  deputy counsel Vincent
Foster -- twice -- and concluded that  Foster  committed  suicide
right  where  his  body  was  found  in  Fort  Marcy Park.  So if
Congress is  so  infallible,  why  is  Special Prosecutor Kenneth
Starr now also  investigating  the  Foster  death?   And  why  do
two-thirds  of  Americans  not  believe  what  the Congress keeps
telling them, vis-a-vis Foster? 
Gary Sick served  on  the  National  Security Council staff under
Presidents Ford, Carter, and  Reagan.   Sick  was  the  principal
White  House  aide for Iran during the hostage crisis of 1979-81.
He  was  skeptical  at  first,  regarding  the  October  Surprise
allegations, yet gradually found that 
  A reality that I thought I  knew  well  turned  out  to  be
  little more than  a  facade.   I  had to utterly reevaluate
  whole constellations of  events,  even  those  that  I  had
  experienced personally...
  [Sick  had  thought  that]  The  events  of  1980  could be
  explained adequately without resort to what I considered to
  be a conspiracy theory...
  [Yet]  As time went on, seemingly inexplicable fragments of
  information  began to appear.  My experience was not unlike
  that of a medieval scholar discovering traces of  a  hidden
  text beneath the script on an old parchment.
Sick  is  cautious when he writes, in his book, October Surprise,
that "there is not  enough  evidence  at  this  point to launch a
prosecution," yet he obviously feels that  the  October  Surprise
story  is  grounded  in fact:  "If the evidence presented in this
book means what it seems to mean, we must conclude that in 1980 a
deception was inflicted on the  hostages, the government, and the
American people that has few if any  parallels  in  our  history.
That evidence is not easily dismissed." 
Not  so cautious as Sick has been Ari Ben-Menashe, who worked for
the Israeli intelligence agency,  the  Mossad, before he surfaced
to write a tell-all book, Profits  of  War  (1991).   Ben-Menashe
says  he  was  part  of  a  team  which worked with the French to
arrange secret meetings between  George  Bush, William Casey, and
the Iranians.  At one particular meeting in Paris, on October 19,
1980, a final agreement allegedly was concluded:  In exchange for
a $40 million bribe  and  future  arms  shipments,  the  Iranians
agreed  not  to  release  the American hostages until the January
1981 Presidential inauguration.  This,  in  fact, did happen; the
52 hostages were released on January 20, 1981. 
Barbara Honegger worked for  the  Reagan  administration  in  the
White House Office of Policy Development.  She worked there for 3
years before she became "the first resignation of conscience from
the  Reagan-Bush  Administration."   She held off from publishing
her book, October Surprise, until 1989, due to a sense of loyalty
she felt toward Ronald Reagan. 
Honegger points out that George  Bush  had been a Director of CIA
and, as such, had plenty of covert connections and know-how  with
which  to  implement  secret dealings between the Republicans and
Iran.  Many in CIA hated  Jimmy  Carter for downsizing the Agency
and were  eager  for  revenge.   Honegger,  like  Gary  Sick,  is
cautious;  throughout her book she refers to the October Surprise
story as "allegations."  Yet her evidence leads overwhelmingly to
the reality of the October Surprise conspiracy. 
For example, Honegger points to  the many witnesses who have gone
public concerning the affair.  While some  might  consider  these
CIA  contract  agents  to  be  shady characters and therefore not
sterling witnesses, she asks:  Why  didn't this body of witnesses
ever get to tell their stories to the  American  people?   Writes
Honegger:  "As an independent journalist, I believe profoundly in
the  right  of  the  American public to hear from all parties who
claim to  have  information  on  charges  as  serious  as that an
arms-for-hostage-delay deal  was  made  between  the  Reagan-Bush
campaign and Iran." 
So  why  didn't  we hear all sides of the story?  After all, in a
democracy it is supposed  that  the  public can think for itself,
and do  not  need  to  be  shielded  from  witnesses  which  some
self-appointed  authority  decides  are  "not credible."  By what
right do the few have such control over what the many are allowed
to hear? 
Rodney Stich, in his  classic  and  definitive book on government
corruption, Defrauding America (1-800-247-7389), suggests part of
the reason information is withheld, diminished, or twisted -- The
CIA's Media Wurlitzer. 
  The CIA has many media personnel on its  payroll  to  plant
  stories or discredit charges against the CIA.  It pays  out
  large sums of money for articles and books to be written on
  the CIA's behalf.  Its  control  over  the  media is like a
  Wurlitzer, orchestrating and  manipulating  all segments of
  the written or broadcast media.  It must be remembered that
  the CIA has iron-clad control over the establishment  media
  in   the   United   States,  and  spends  money  supporting
  journalists and the media.
In light of the July 1996  issue of this newsletter ("The Smiling
Pope"),  it  is  noteworthy  that  Ms.  Honegger  goes  into  the
Propaganda Due, or P-2, connection.  You'll recall that P-2 is  a
secret,  illegal Masonic lodge founded in Italy by Licio Gelli in
1966.  Honegger points  to  Alexander  Haig,  later to become the
Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan, as having  been  made  an
"honorary"  (non-Italian)  member of P-2 prior to 1980.  Honegger
further states that Licio  Gelli, finance wizard Michele Sindona,
Alexander  Haig,  and  CIA  Director  William  Casey  "were  also
reportedly members of the Vatican's military order,  the  Knights
of  Malta, whose initiates must take an oath of allegiance to the
Pope."  Furthermore, P-2 is linked to the Mafia, which also seems
to have  played  a  part  in  the  October  Surprise plot; writes
Honegger:  "A number of press reports,  taken  together,  suggest
that  there  may  have been a P-2 and Gambino Mafia connection to
the release of  the  fifty-two  American  hostages  from the U.S.
embassy in Tehran." 
(By the way, in light of the July issue of this newsletter,  "The
Smiling Pope," I recommend the movie, "The Godfather, Part 3.") 
Abol  Hassan  Bani-Sadr  was president of Iran during the hostage
crisis.  As of 1991, he  was  living  in exile, in Paris.  In his
book, My  Turn  To  Speak,  Bani-Sadr  corroborates  the  October
Surprise allegations. 
While  some  may  wonder why Iran would have negotiated with "the
Great Satan," i.e., the United  States,  it now appears that this
rhetoric served mainly to help unite a fractious Iran  against  a
common  enemy.  (Such techniques are used here in the U.S., where
the government uses the Big  Enemy  technique to rally support --
for example, Big Enemies such  as  Russia,  narcotics,  and  now,
increasingly,    supposed    omnipresent   terrorists.)    Writes
Bani-Sadr:  "The takeover of the  U.S. embassy was wholly in line
with  [Ayatollah]  Khomeini's  strategy  of  focusing   hostility
abroad."  Remember too that the U.S. had frozen Iranian funds and
had military spare parts desperately needed by the Iranians. 
Former-president  Bani-Sadr says he has proof of contacts between
Iran and the Reagan-Bush forces  as  early as the spring of 1980.
He claims that "the sole  purpose  of  [these  contacts]  was  to
handicap  Carter's  re-election  bid  by preventing the hostages'
release before the American elections in November 1980." 
The  late  Paul  D.   Wilcher   was  a  Washington  attorney  who
investigated the October Surprise charges.  In a 100-page  letter
addressed  to Attorney General Janet Reno and dated May 21, 1993,
Wilcher  offered  her  a  comprehensive  look  at  American "deep
politics."  (The term "deep politics," comes from Professor Peter
Dale Scott's penetrating look at the  assassination  of  John  F.
Kennedy,   Deep   Politics  and  the  Death  of  JFK.   Berkeley:
University of California Press,  1993.)  One section of Wilcher's
letter to Reno is entitled, "The  'October  Surprise'  Treason  &
Coup  D'Etat."   (My  thanks  to a subscriber for sending me this
disturbing document.)  Writes Wilcher: 
  My client  here  is  Gunther  Karl  Russbacher, a life-long
  covert operative  for  the  CIA  and  the  Office  of Naval
  Intelligence ("ONI") who has operated at the highest levels
  of both of these super-secret organizations over  the  past
  30 and 25 years, respectively.
  Because of his extremely high intelligence, his exceptional
  physical skills, his extensive training, his fluency  in  8
  languages, his proficiency as  one  of the CIA's top pilots
  and  marksmen,  and the fact that his father was one of the
  original founders (along  with  William  Casey, "Wild Bill"
  Donovan, and others)  of  the  Central Intelligence Agency,
  back in 1947, Gunther has always operated  at  the  highest
  levels of these "intelligence" organizations, and has  been
  entrusted with carrying out  some  of their most difficult,
  sensitive, and top secret covert operations.
  For the moment, however, I want to  focus  on  one  pivotal
  event in Gunther's career -- the fact that he was  the  CIA
  pilot who flew George Bush and others (listed below) to and
  from Paris on  this  "October  Surprise"  weekend, and then
  flew George Bush back  to  America  on the CIA's hypersonic
  spy  plane, the SR-71 -- to get him back home before anyone
  would notice that he was gone.
Russbacher says his passengers on the flight to Paris during  the
October  19,  1980  weekend, included George Bush, William Casey,
Donald Gregg (later to become  Ambassador to South Korea), Robert
Gates  (later  to  become  Director  of  CIA),  Robert  McFarlane
(President Reagan's  National  Security  Advisor),  Robert  Allen
(President  Reagan's first National Security advisor), Earl Brian
(of later INSLAW notoriety),  Jennifer Fitzgerald (reportedly one
of George Bush's  mistresses),  Congressman  Daniel  Rostenkowski
(a.k.a.   "Rosty,"  now in jail), Congressman Dan Burton, Senator
Robert Byrd, Senator John  Tower,  Senator  John Heinz, and other
prominent Members of Congress.
Wilcher's letter describes who got what:
  The gist of these negotiations (and deal) was that Bush and
  Casey delivered to  the  Iranians  $40  million in cash (it
  started  out  as  $62  million, but by the time many of the
  Americans had dipped their hands  into the till, only about
  $35 million was left to give to the Iranians), basically as
  bribe money, plus the promise of $5 billion more in illegal
  arms sales and spare parts... in exchange for the Iranians'
  agreement not to release  the 52 American hostages captured
  in Tehran on November 4th, 1979, until after  the  November
  4th, 1980,  U.S.  Presidential  election  --  in  order  to
  guarantee  the  humiliation  and  defeat  of then-President
  Jimmy  Carter,  and the victory of Ronald Reagan and George
  The important point to remember  about this flight, and all
  those who were  participating  in  it,  is  that the entire
  exercise  was  a  carefully  planned, and well executed CIA
  covert operation -- which  had  been ordered and sanctioned
  at  the  highest  levels  of  the  "Shadow  Government"  --
  specifically for the purpose of  taking back control of the
  federal  government from the Democrats, and returning it to
  the CIA and the "Shadow Government."
  In other words,  this  entire  operation  was  --  and  was
  specifically designed to be -- a treasonous coup d'etat, to
  take back  control  of  the  federal  government from Jimmy
  Carter and the Democrats...
Paul Wilcher,  by  the  way,  is  numbered  among  the  so-called
"Clinton  Body  Count"  --  persons connected to Bill Clinton who
have  died  mysteriously  and/or  violently.   The  story  of the
Clinton Body Count was first brought  to  light  by  Indianapolis
attorney  Linda  Thompson.  She described how the information was
first intimated to her, by a purported CIA agent, on the February
3rd, 1994 broadcast  of  Chuck  Harder's  "For  the People" radio
  CHUCK HARDER:  Now, Linda, you were talking [about]...  The
  Clinton Body Count.  You say 25 people that have surrounded
  Bill Clinton, with some type  of  a  personal  relationship
  with him.....
  LINDA THOMPSON: Uh-huh. [Affirmative]
  CHUCK    HARDER:    .....have   turned   up   dead   within
  approximately the last 12 months.
  CHUCK HARDER:  Can  you  name  them  "off  the  top of your
  head," to the best of your ability?
  CHUCK HARDER:  And who were they, and how  come,  and  that
  sort of thing.
  LINDA  THOMPSON:   C.  Victor  Raiser  was  Bill  Clinton's
  campaign  finance  chairman, and his son, who was also very
  active  in the campaign, Victor Raiser, Jr., were killed in
  a plane crash,  enroute  to  Alaska,  in  July of '92.  Now
  that's where the body count begins.  And it begins there...
  I almost didn't include them because I was going to  divide
  it  up into post-Presidency and pre-Presidency.  The fellow
  that  had  called  me and suggested that I do this was CIA.
  And he said, you  know,  "Do  a body count around Clinton."
  And I said, "What?!"  [He answered,] "Just do one.  Do  one
  before he became President  and  do  one  after  he  became
  President."  Because I would not have thought of this on my
  own.  I really...  It  would  never  have occurred to me to
  even think of doing this.
Besides Wilcher and Raiser, other names amongst the still-growing
Clinton Body  Count  are:   Paul  Tully,  DNC political director,
heart attack; Paula Gober, worked as  Clinton's  interpreter  for
the  hearing-impaired,  car crash; Jim Wilhite, friends with Mack
McLarty and Bill Clinton,  skiing  accident; Vincent Foster, Jr.,
deputy White House  counsel,  "suicide";  Luther  "Jerry"  Parks,
owner  of  a  security  service which supplied guards for Clinton
during  his  1992  presidential  campaign,  murdered  by multiple
gunshots; Jon Parnell Walker, RTC Senior Investigation Specialist
looking into  wrongdoing  at  Madison  Guaranty  S&L,  supposedly
jumped to his death while apartment hunting; Kathy Ferguson, wife
of  Danny Ferguson who said he brought sex-accuser Paula Jones to
Bill Clinton's hotel room  at  which  time  Clinton is alleged to
have sexually  harassed  Jones,  "suicide"  by  pistol;  Herschel
Friday,  a  member  of  C.  Victor  Raiser's  (see above) finance
committee,  plane  crash;   Ed   Willey,   manager  of  Clinton's
presidential campaign finance committee, supposedly shot  himself
on  November  30,  1993;  John A. Wilson, a Washington, D.C. city
councilman about to go  public  with information on Bill Clinton,
"suicide" by hanging; Ron Brown,  the  late  Commerce  Secretary,
killed in a suspicious plane crash.
The  list contains many more names than the above.  I may write a
more detailed account in  the  future.  Readers familiar with the
many violent and/or  mysterious  deaths  of  potential  witnesses
connected  to  the  JFK  assassination  will be familiar with the
pattern suggested by the  Clinton  Body  Count.  For now, add one
more name to the list of  suspicious  deaths  connected  to  Bill
Clinton:   Susann  Coleman.   As  documented in the book, Clinton
Confidential  (by  George  Carpozi),  Ms.  Coleman,  said  to  be
pregnant by Bill Clinton, died by "suicide" on February 15, 1977.
Writes Carpozi, "Coleman is purported to have put the muzzle of a
shotgun into her mouth and pulled the trigger." 
But how does October  Surprise  lead  to  the Clinton Body Count?
The October Surprise coup d'etat led to the  12-year  Reagan-Bush
Administration.  During that time,  the  illegal  Contra  war  in
Nicaragua  was  funded in part by CIA gun- and drug-smuggling via
Arkansas, condoned by then-Governor  Bill Clinton.  Bill Clinton,
according to Roger Morris, author of  Partners  in  Power,  is  a
long-time  CIA agent.  The Arkansas smuggling operation was under
the command of George Bush, himself  a former Director of CIA and
long-time agent  of  that  roach  hotel.   So  how  does  October
Surprise  lead  to the Clinton Body Count?  Well, as we all know,
roaches multiply.
Robert Parry has worked  for Associated Press, Newsweek magazine,
and the PBS program, "Frontline."  He has been  an  investigative
reporter for over 20 years.  Parry has continued to look into the
October  Surprise  story, has had a book published on the subject
(Trick or Treason),  and  recently  came  up  with some startling
information which he published on Internet. 
Following a Congressional task force report  which  debunked  the
October Surprise allegations (a report which, writes Parry, rests
on "an elaborate set of alibis"), Parry sought access to the task
force's  files.   He  obtained permission to examine unclassified
papers, stored in a Rayburn building sub-basement, in a converted
Ladies' washroom now used for storage.  To Parry's surprise, "Not
only did I find unclassified  notes  and documents about the task
force's work, but also 'secret' and even 'top secret'  papers..."
Parry's  study of these documents led him to believe, more firmly
than ever, that the October Surprise plot had indeed occured. 
Among the confidential  documents  that  Parry  lucked onto was a
six-page Russian report, sent in response to a query by Rep.  Lee
Hamilton  (D-Ind.)   According  to  Parry,  the  "Russian  report
stated,  as  fact,  that Casey, George Bush and other Republicans
had met secretly with Iranian officials in Europe during the 1980
presidential  campaign.   The   Russians   depicted  the  hostage
negotiations that year  as  a  two-way  competition  between  the
Carter  White House and the Reagan campaign to outbid one another
for Iran's cooperation  on  the  hostages.  The Russians asserted
that the Reagan team had disrupted Carter's hostage  negotiations
after all, the exact opposite of the task force conclusion." 
Still  don't  believe  the October Surprise machinations occured?
Tell that to former  Israeli  Prime  Minister Yitzhak Shamir who,
when asked in May of 1993 if there had been an October  Surprise,
responded,   "of   course,   it   was."    Tell  that  to  senior
representatives of Iran's current  government, who, writes Parry,
are "amused at how wrong the House task force  had  been."   Tell
that  to  veteran White House correspondent Sarah McClendon, who,
when I stated to her in  late  August of 1995, "So you agree with
the story of the 'October Surprise,'" responded: 
  Oh  definitely.  There definitely was.  And Bush has denied
  it  all  along.   And  people have seen him in Paris at the
  time  he  claims  he  wasn't there.  They saw him there and
  they know he went to  the  meeting.  And I definitely think
  the agreement was made there.
An  "October  Surprise"  has also come to have a generic meaning.
According to William Safire, writing in  the New York Times on or
about August 20,  1996,  "An  'October  Surprise,'  in  political
parlance,  is  the  making  of  big  news  to  affect  a November
election."  Safire points to two  events  which, he says, are "in
the pipeline" -- a possible indictment  of  Hillary  Clinton  for
perjury  and  obstruction  of  justice,  and  a possible punitive
strike against Iran  in  retaliation  for allegedly masterminding
the recent bomb attack  against  a  military  barracks  in  Saudi