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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



Secret 'October Surprise' Files

By Robert Parry
September 21, 2006

Below are documents that I uncovered in late 1994 and early 1995 from files left behind by a House investigation into the so-called "October Surprise" mystery -- whether George H.W. Bush and other Republicans in 1980 negotiated with Iranian officials to delay the release of U.S. hostages then held by militants in Iran. The 444-day crisis destroyed President Jimmy Carter's hopes for reelection.

Along with the actual documents, you will find links to stories that explain the context and significance of the records, which have never been officially released to the American public. (For the background on my finding the records, go to "The Ladies Room Secrets"; for the fullest historical account of the October Surprise mystery, see my 2004 book, Secrecy & Privilege.)

The Russian 'October Surprise' Report: Click here for the text of the secret Russian report to the U.S. House of Representatives about the October Surprise controversy or click here for the full cable from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, including the embassy's preamble; for stories explaining the significance, go to "The Russian Report" (the first article ever posted at this Web site) or "Russia's Prime Minister & the October Surprise."

Richard Allen's Notes on George H.W. Bush's Phone Call: Click here for document; for stories on its significance, go to "Bush & a CIA Power Play" or "Richard Allen's Notes on Bush 'October Surprise' Call."

Charles Cogan's Secret Testimony: Click here for document; for stories on significance, go to "Follow the Money" or "David Rockefeller & the October Surprise Case."

FBI Notes on Aide to David Rockefeller: Click here for the text of the notes by FBI agent Harry Penich or click here for the actual handwritten notes; for stories on significance, go to "Follow the Money" or "David Rockefeller & the October Surprise Case."

Rockefeller & the Visitor Log: Click here for the Reagan-Bush visitor log documenting David Rockefeller's visit to William Casey; for stories on significance, go to "Follow the Money" or "David Rockefeller & the October Surprise Case."

The Bohemian Grove Photo: Click here for JPEG or click here for PDF of photo; for stories explaining its significance, go to "Where's Bill Casey?" or "The Bushes & the End of Reason."

Barcella's 'Trap Door' Memo: Click here for the memo; for a story on its significance, go to "A Lawyer & National Security Cover-ups."

Deleted Sections of House Report: Click here to see secret sections of the House task force report that were deleted from the public version, thus obscuring the role of neoconservative operative Michael Ledeen and others; for stories on significance, go to "Bush & a CIA Power Play" or "A Lawyer & National Security Cover-ups." 

Haig on Saddam's "Green Light": Click here to see Secretary of State Alexander Haig's "top secret" report to President Ronald Reagan on the alleged "green light" given to Iraq's Saddam Hussein to invade Iran in 1980; for stories on its significance, go to "Saddam's 'Green Light'" or "Missing U.S.-Iraq History."

For why this history is relevant again today, see "The Bushes & the Truth About Iran."

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at It's also available at, as is his 1999 book, Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth.'

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