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The truth is revealed of what was suspected in 1980!
“One Man’s Story of Sabotaging Carter’s Re-election”

Ben Barnes
Credit: Christopher Lee for The New York Times.
Behind the effort to persuade Iran to keep holding onto 52 American, by Peter Baker.
  • Editor’s note: In light of President Carter being in the twilight of his life, this is an especially pertinent story for him and for American history.

An Untold Story Behind Jimmy Carter’s Presidential Defeat

A Four-Decade Secret: One Man’s Story of Sabotaging Carter’s Re-election

Excerpt from The New York Times [accessible text]:

It has been more than four decades, but Ben Barnes said he remembers it vividly. His longtime political mentor invited him on a mission to the Middle East. What Barnes said he did not realize until later was the real purpose of the mission: to sabotage the reelection campaign of the president of the United States.

It was 1980, and Jimmy Carter was in the White House, bedeviled by a hostage crisis in Iran that had paralyzed his presidency and hampered his effort to win a second term. Carter’s best chance for victory was to free the 52 Americans held captive before Election Day. That was something that Barnes said his mentor was determined to prevent.

His mentor was John Connally Jr., a titan of U.S. politics and former Texas governor who had served three presidents and just lost his own bid for the White House. A former Democrat, Connally had sought the Republican nomination in 1980 only to be swamped by former Gov. Ronald Reagan of California. Now Connally resolved to help Reagan beat Carter and in the process, Barnes said, make his own case for becoming secretary of state or defense in a new administration.

What happened next, Barnes has largely kept secret for nearly 43 years. Connally, he said, took him to one Middle Eastern capital after another that summer, meeting with a host of regional leaders to deliver a blunt message to be passed to Iran: Don’t release the hostages before the election. Reagan will win and give you a better deal.

Then, shortly after returning home, Barnes said, Connally reported to William J. Casey, the chairman of Reagan’s campaign and later director of the CIA, briefing him about the trip in an airport lounge.

Carter’s camp has long suspected that Casey or someone else in Reagan’s orbit sought to secretly torpedo efforts to liberate the hostages before the election, and books have been written on what came to be called the October surprise. But congressional investigations debunked previous theories of what happened.

Posted by Steve on April 2, 2023 at 12:01 am | Permalink

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