Trick Or Treason: The October Surprise Mystery

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Sheridan Square Press, 1993 - Iran Hostage Crisis, 1979-1981 - 350 pages
It is the most controversial mystery of the Reagan-Bush era: Did the Republican Party, desperate in 1980 to reclaim the White House, interfere with President Carter's frantic efforts to free the 52 American hostages held in Tehran and thwart an "October Surprise"? Was there a Republican-Iranian deal that bordered on treason? Or was this stunning allegation a bizarre trick played by a loose-knit band of arms brokers and intelligence operatives? For much of the 1980s, suspicions of Republican wrongdoing bubbled beneath the surface, only bursting into public view after the Iran-contra scandal exposed the secret policies and subterranean levels of Reagan-Bush operations. Almost ten years after the events, the Public Broadcasting System's Frontline documentary program asked award-winning investigative reporter Robert Parry to examine the accusations. Parry had been the first reporter to expose Oliver North's Iran-contra operations and had broken many of that scandal's chief stories. Over the next two and a half years, Parry pursued leads in a world-wide odyssey for an elusive - and sometimes dangerous - truth. From Washington to Tehran, from Paris to Jerusalem, from London to Tunis, it was a journey into a wilderness of mirrors where few could be trusted and nothing was as it seemed. The investigation was hampered, too, by a relentless assault from the White House and its powerful allies, who feared the story could destroy the legitimacy of 12 years of Republican rule. In the end, Parry the pursuer became Parry the pursued. But beyond the political mystery, this book lays bare an era during which deception evolved into a high art form and the nation's traditional constitutional safeguardswere no match for the lies. And finally, it is up to you to judge: Was the October Surprise story a trick played on the media and the American public? Or was it treason committed at the highest levels of the U.S. political system, a historic perversion of American democracy?

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About the author (1993)

Robert Earle Parry was born in Hartford, Connecticut on June 24, 1949. He received a bachelor's degree in English from Colby College in 1971. He worked briefly for his father's newspaper before joining The Associated Press in 1974. He won the George Polk Award for national reporting in 1984 for his article concerning the Central Intelligence Agency providing an assassination manual to the right-wing insurgents who were seeking to overthrow the socialist government in Nicaragua. He worked at Newsweek from 1987 to 1990 and later worked on documentaries for the PBS series Frontline. In 1995, he established the Consortium for Independent Journalism. He received the I. F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence in 2015 and the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in 2017. He wrote several books including Trick or Treason and Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush. He died from pancreatic cancer on January 27, 2018 at the age of 68.

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