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  1. #1
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    Why were the U.S. hostages in Iran released upon Reagan's inauguration?

    Iranians were afraid of him.

    or

    Reagan promised to sell them weapons.

  2. #2
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    Re: Why were the U.S. hostages in Iran released upon Reagan's inauguration?

    Moved to the Formal Discussion thread.
    I will no longer be replying to any post from a Liberal going forward. I will continue, as normal, to discuss topics and engage in intellectual exchanges with non-leftist

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    Re: Why were the U.S. hostages in Iran released upon Reagan's inauguration?

    The evidence indicates primarily the latter. Also it was pretty clear that Iran was simply not willing to negotiate with Carter but could make a deal with Reagan and still save face.

    So its not exactly a 1:1 hostages for guns as the only motivation. But its well documented that we sold them arms despite the embargo in return for a promise that those we sold the weapons too would do all they could to get the hostages released, and the were successful in doing so.

    The other part of the scandal was the profits for the arms were diverted to the Contras. They couldn't tie the scandal to Reagan himself but Olliver North and others indited and some, (but not North) were convicted.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

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    Re: Why were the U.S. hostages in Iran released upon Reagan's inauguration?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    The evidence indicates primarily the latter. Also it was pretty clear that Iran was simply not willing to negotiate with Carter but could make a deal with Reagan and still save face.

    So its not exactly a 1:1 hostages for guns as the only motivation. But its well documented that we sold them arms despite the embargo in return for a promise that those we sold the weapons too would do all they could to get the hostages released, and the were successful in doing so.

    The other part of the scandal was the profits for the arms were diverted to the Contras. They couldn't tie the scandal to Reagan himself but Olliver North and others indited and some, (but not North) were convicted.
    In doing a bit of research online into the Iran/Contra affairs, I came across this time line, which has, in relevant part:

    • July 16, 1985 : McFarlane meets with Reagan and his Chief of Staff Regan while Reagan is in the hospital recovering from surgery. They discuss the possibility of selling arms to Iran via Israeli in order to get the release of the hostages and to open communications with Iran. The details of this visit are hazy, but McFarlane came away from it with the idea that the President had encouraged him to go forward with discussions with the Iranians and Israelis. (Iran)
    • August 1985 : Reagan approves the plan to allow Israeli to sell U.S.-made weapons to Iran. (Iran)
    • President Reagan signs into law legislation giving $14 million in humanitarian assistance directly to the contras. (Nicaragua)
    • August 20, 1985 : first load of missiles sent from Israeli to Iran. (Iran)
    • September 15, 1985 : American hostage Benjamin Weir released. Colonel Oliver North brought in to deal with logistics. (Iran)
    The arms deal you're declaring "the data indicates" was the reason the hostages were released immediately after Reagan's first inauguration didn't exist until four years later. It wasn't even discussed within the Administration itself until July 16, 1985, as the above chronology of the "Iran/Contra Affairs" shows, and wasn't implemented until August 20 of that same year. The hostages involved in the deal didn't even begin to be kidnapped until March of 1984, four years after Carter's defeat, with the kidnapping of William F. Buckley, CIA chief in Beirut, Lebanon, and continued sporadically until the arms deal of 1985 was struck.
    Last edited by cstamford; June 14th, 2013 at 10:38 PM. Reason: correction: from "the OP is concerned with" to "of 1985"

  5. #5
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    Re: Why were the U.S. hostages in Iran released upon Reagan's inauguration?

    "Fifty-two US Embassy personnel were taken prisoner when Iranian militants seized the US Embassy in Tehran in November 1979."

  6. #6
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    Re: Why were the U.S. hostages in Iran released upon Reagan's inauguration?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    "Fifty-two US Embassy personnel were taken prisoner when Iranian militants seized the US Embassy in Tehran in November 1979."
    What does this have to do with the OP?
    I will no longer be replying to any post from a Liberal going forward. I will continue, as normal, to discuss topics and engage in intellectual exchanges with non-leftist

  7. #7
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    Re: Why were the U.S. hostages in Iran released upon Reagan's inauguration?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    "Fifty-two US Embassy personnel were taken prisoner when Iranian militants seized the US Embassy in Tehran in November 1979."
    A helpful heads up:

    From the ODN rules under the heading "Plagiarism":

    "It is unacceptable for a poster to copy and paste material written by others without acknowledgment. If you wish to use another person's work in your post, make sure you clearly distinguish the quoted parts from the rest of your post (e.g using the quote/indent function), and provide a citation or link to the source you took it from."

    I'm not a moderator, so this is just one member to another on an fyi basis.

    Also, on another note: according to the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum online:

    On November 4, 1979, Iranian militants stormed the United States Embassy in Tehran and took approximately seventy Americans captive.
    As seems to be the case more often than not, the State Department and the Executive, even with ambiguous language to hide behind, can't seem to get their stories straight. From the website of the U.S Department of State Office of the Historian:

    On November 4, 1979, Iranian students seized the embassy and detained more than 50 Americans, ranging from the Chargé d’Affaires to the most junior members of the staff, as hostages.
    According to David Farber's Taken Hostage, briefly summarized and reviewed here:

    On November 4, 1979, Iranian militants stormed the United States Embassy in Tehran and took sixty-six Americans captive.

    A Feb. 11, 2009 AP article carried on CBS News online confirms the number originally taken:

    In the minds of many, terrorists struck their first blow against the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. But others look back exactly a quarter-century ago, on Nov. 4, 1979, when 66 Americans were taken hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Iran.

    Fifty-two of the hostages were held for the entire 444 days.

    Obviously I don't know the source you've used here, but it's wrong. Sixty-six hostages were taken Nov. 1979. Fourteen were released some time later, and fifty-two were held the entire 444 days.
    Last edited by cstamford; June 14th, 2013 at 11:43 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Why were the U.S. hostages in Iran released upon Reagan's inauguration?

    I was replying to the post immediately previous to mine by cstamford:


    "The hostages involved in the deal didn't even begin to be kidnapped until March of 1984, four years after Carter's defeat"


    It was a simple clarification that the original post was referring to the hostages taken in 1979, not four years later.


    The correct number of hostages was not my concern and the rest of the quote is common knowledge, the quotes were an unimportant afterthought but it came from wikipedia.

    ---------- Post added at 11:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:37 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    A helpful heads up:

    From the ODN rules under the heading "Plagiarism":

    "It is unacceptable for a poster to copy and paste material written by others without acknowledgment. If you wish to use another person's work in your post, make sure you clearly distinguish the quoted parts from the rest of your post (e.g using the quote/indent function), and provide a citation or link to the source you took it from."

    I'm not a moderator, so this is just one member to another on an fyi basis.

    Also, on another note: according to the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum online:

    As seems to be the case more often than not, the State Department and the Executive, even with ambiguous language to hide behind, can't seem to get their stories straight. From the website of the U.S Department of State Office of the Historian:


    According to David Farber's Taken Hostage, briefly summarized and reviewed here:


    A Feb. 11, 2009 AP article carried on CBS News online confirms the number originally taken:


    Obviously I don't know the source you've used here, but it's wrong. Sixty-six hostages were taken Nov. 1979. Fourteen were released some time later, and fifty-two were held the entire 444 days.

    The number of hostages is not on debate in this thread.

    Please stick to the reason and the timing of their release.

  9. #9
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    Re: Why were the U.S. hostages in Iran released upon Reagan's inauguration?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    I was replying to the post immediately previous to mine by cstamford:


    "The hostages involved in the deal didn't even begin to be kidnapped until March of 1984, four years after Carter's defeat"


    It was a simple clarification that the original post was referring to the hostages taken in 1979, not four years later.


    The correct number of hostages was not my concern and the rest of the quote is common knowledge, the quotes were an unimportant afterthought but it came from wikipedia.
    Fyi, to cite from wikipedia, it is required that you cite the actual page on which your source appears, not just "wikipedia". You seem to be having trouble with the concept here, which is that your readers must be able to read from your source, not just your quote of your source. This is to insure you have not taken your source out of context, and thereby distorted it's meaning. I can't do that from just "wikipedia".

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX
    The number of hostages is not on debate in this thread.

    Please stick to the reason and the timing of their release.
    Here's the deal. If you make a claim in a thread, then to strictly follow the ODN rules of debate, the claim has to be such it plays some pertinent part in the debate on the question posed by the thread's OP. Now if the number of the hostages taken Nov. , 1979 is not pertinent to the question posed in this thread, why then did you specify the number taken Nov. 1979? And if the number claimed by you wasn't an inappropriate digression from what is pertinent to the debate question in this thread according to the rules, then I have all I need to legitimately debate it with you in this thread.

    Either way you don't have any standing to tell me what I should or shouldn't do with regard to your erroneous claim 52 hostages were taken Nov. 1979. If you learn nothing else from this thread, learn that.

  10. #10
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    Re: Why were the U.S. hostages in Iran released upon Reagan's inauguration?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    Fyi, to cite from wikipedia, it is required that you cite the actual page on which your source appears, not just "wikipedia". You seem to be having trouble with the concept here, which is that your readers must be able to read from your source, not just your quote of your source. This is to insure you have not taken your source out of context, and thereby distorted it's meaning. I can't do that from just "wikipedia".



    Here's the deal. If you make a claim in a thread, then to strictly follow the ODN rules of debate, the claim has to be such it plays some pertinent part in the debate on the question posed by the thread's OP. Now if the number of the hostages taken Nov. , 1979 is not pertinent to the question posed in this thread, why then did you specify the number taken Nov. 1979? And if the number claimed by you wasn't an inappropriate digression from what is pertinent to the debate question in this thread according to the rules, then I have all I need to legitimately debate it with you in this thread.

    Either way you don't have any standing to tell me what I should or shouldn't do with regard to your erroneous claim 52 hostages were taken Nov. 1979. If you learn nothing else from this thread, learn that.

    There is no 'deal' between you and I.

    I stand corrected in that I should have added the source. Alas, I only looked up the information to check that the DATE was correct as there was confusion over which hostage situation we were talking about which is clear from the thread's title.

    So, going forward, it is common knowledge that there was a hostage situation in Iran in 1979. They were released during Reagan's inauguration. Why? I proposed two popular explanations, there may be more.

    Continue.

  11. #11
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    Re: Why were the U.S. hostages in Iran released upon Reagan's inauguration?

    Let's calm down please. No sense in derailing a fine discussion with hot tempters.

    As far as the number of hostages go, I see no reason as to why the exact number of the hostages is precisely relevant to the context of this discussion as presented in the OP. However, points like this can become relevant later in the thread depending on how the discussion progresses. Being that the OP originally brought up the exact number of hostages in post 5, it could be reasonably attacked by cstamford. I dont know why OP brought it up originally, but it does deserve some sort of response.

    Also, OP, you cant bring something up (number of hostages) and then when it is replied to or attacked claim that "It isnt relevant to the debate" If it wasnt relevant, you shouldnt have brought it up in the first place.

    That being said, let's calm down a few degrees and try to get back on topic.
    Last edited by Someguy; June 20th, 2013 at 05:58 AM.
    I will no longer be replying to any post from a Liberal going forward. I will continue, as normal, to discuss topics and engage in intellectual exchanges with non-leftist

  12. #12
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    Re: Why were the U.S. hostages in Iran released upon Reagan's inauguration?

    Thank you.

  13. #13
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    Re: Why were the U.S. hostages in Iran released upon Reagan's inauguration?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    So, going forward, it is common knowledge that there was a hostage situation in Iran in 1979. They were released during Reagan's inauguration. Why? I proposed two popular explanations, there may be more.

    Continue.
    If I'm to debate you I can't continue until you formulate an argument for whichever of your two alternatives given in your OP you'd care to defend. If it happens to agree with Sigfried's choice, then after presenting it in your next you can challenge the defeater for it I posted here that Sigfried never answered, to save time. But if you're position is the first alternative in your OP, then we have nothing to debate.

  14. #14
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    Re: Why were the U.S. hostages in Iran released upon Reagan's inauguration?

    You're welcome to present your evidence as to why the Iranians were afraid of Reagan.

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    Re: Why were the U.S. hostages in Iran released upon Reagan's inauguration?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    You're welcome to present your evidence as to why the Iranians were afraid of Reagan.
    The problem here is that you've constructed your debate question as a poll question, but with only two poll answers listed, neither of which are yes or no, and (according to our recent conversation) a potentially infinite number of unspecified answers allowed. This makes it the case the OP looks like a poll question with only two answers allowed, which then causes it to function very similar to a normal yes/no poll question or a normal debate question where a single proposition is presented and its truth value is then debated. But due to the fact it (according to you, it's author) allows for any proposition at all having even a loose affiliation to the relevant historical event being legitimately offered, it actually functions as a poll question with two answers given, and a potentially infinite number of them undisclosed; in effect simply asking, "What do you think about the release of the hostages by Iran when Reagan was inaugurated?" To me, this is an absurd design for a thread, which is one reason I initially chose not to interpret the design this way, instead opting to try and treat it as a yes/no poll question, or a normal debate question despite appearances.

    So, having now exhaustively explained why I'm doing what I'm doing, with the hope of avoiding misunderstanding, I intend to continue to treat the OP as either a yes/no poll question, or a normal debate question. I therefore have an argument for the Iranians releasing the hostages because they were "afraid" of Reagan's presidency on the table, in that I have on the table an argument against the Iranians releasing the hostages because of a guns for hostages deal in place at the time Reagan was inaugurated. Now, you and any other contributors to this thread can either operate on the same understanding of it I am, and challenge the argument I have on the table, or not, and ignore it. Either way is fine with me.

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    Re: Why were the U.S. hostages in Iran released upon Reagan's inauguration?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    The arms deal you're declaring "the data indicates" was the reason the hostages were released immediately after Reagan's first inauguration didn't exist until four years later. It wasn't even discussed within the Administration itself until July 16, 1985, as the above chronology of the "Iran/Contra Affairs" shows, and wasn't implemented until August 20 of that same year. The hostages involved in the deal didn't even begin to be kidnapped until March of 1984, four years after Carter's defeat, with the kidnapping of William F. Buckley, CIA chief in Beirut, Lebanon, and continued sporadically until the arms deal of 1985 was struck.
    Yep, got my wires crossed reading up on this and assumed stupidly that the two situations were one in the same. There is a conspiracy theory on the hostage release but it doesn't seem all that well supported. It still seems possible that Iran didn't want to complete the deal while Carter held office since they really really didn't like him, but its not clear that was the case. The official story seems to be that there was a delay in paying off the Iranians and it pushed the release until after Reagan was Inaugurated.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

  17. #17
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    Re: Why were the U.S. hostages in Iran released upon Reagan's inauguration?

    "I therefore have an argument for the Iranians releasing the hostages because they were "afraid" of Reagan's presidency on the table."

    I'd like to hear it.

    They released the hostages within five minutes of Reagan finishing his inauguration speech and later had little trouble getting the embargoed weapons and equipment that Carter refused to provide. Seems to me they weren't "afraid" at all...rather happy.

    ---------- Post added June 22nd, 2013 at 12:06 AM ---------- Previous post was June 21st, 2013 at 11:57 PM ----------

    "The official story seems to be that there was a delay in paying off the Iranians and it pushed the release until after Reagan was Inaugurated."

    You're saying there was an arms deal with the Iranians in 1979? With Carter? He protested so much against doing just that. That would be big news.

  18. #18
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    Re: Why were the U.S. hostages in Iran released upon Reagan's inauguration?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    [/COLOR]"The official story seems to be that there was a delay in paying off the Iranians and it pushed the release until after Reagan was Inaugurated."

    You're saying there was an arms deal with the Iranians in 1979? With Carter? He protested so much against doing just that. That would be big news.
    No, it was a cash deal, not an arms deal.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

  19. #19
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    Re: Why were the U.S. hostages in Iran released upon Reagan's inauguration?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Yep, got my wires crossed reading up on this and assumed stupidly that the two situations were one in the same. There is a conspiracy theory on the hostage release but it doesn't seem all that well supported. It still seems possible that Iran didn't want to complete the deal while Carter held office since they really really didn't like him, but its not clear that was the case. The official story seems to be that there was a delay in paying off the Iranians and it pushed the release until after Reagan was Inaugurated.
    Here's what my own research is turning up.

    According to this PBS article online:
    During their final hours in office, Carter and his senior staff work feverishly, and unsuccessfully, to finalize a deal with the Iranians. The hostages are released moments after Ronald Reagan officially takes over as president.
    Now that tells me there was indeed a deal in the works between the Administration and the Iranians, but that it was the Carter Administration's deal, not Reagan's, and that it wasn't successful. What it doesn't tell me is anything about Reagan and the Iranians circa Jan. 20,1981, or about the background to the hostage taking Nov. 1979 So I looked deeper.

    In another PBS article online:
    New Years Eve, 1977: President Carter toasted the Shah at a state dinner in Tehran, calling him "an island of stability" in the troubled Middle East....As opposition to his government mounted, he had allowed his secret police, SAVAK, to crack down on dissenters...The popular movement against the Shah grew until January 16, 1979, when he fled to Egypt. Two weeks later, thousands of Muslims cheered Khomeini's return to Iran after fourteen years in exile...Did the Carter administration "lose" Iran, as some have suggested? Gaddis Smith might have put it best: "President Carter inherited an impossible situation -- and he and his advisers made the worst of it."
    From the same article I learned that nine months before the takeover of the American embassy and the kidnapping of the 66 hostages, the US Ambassador to Iran had been held hostage for hours before being released on Komeini's orders. From the same article:
    "Having a crisis, where you have to stay in Washington and deal with this crisis all the time, and be a statesman, can work to your advantage -- rally around the president in a crisis," says political scientist Betty Glad. "What Carter didn't foresee is, this enormous investment means you have to have a resolution to the issue."
    It turns out that this whole "the Reagan campaign tried to negotiate with Iran for the hostages release in 1980" conspiracy theory hangs prmarily on the testimony of a single individual, Ari Ben-Menashe, a very colorful individual indeed. According to Robert Perry, ex-Newsweek journalist, editor of Consortium a very liberally skewed "investigative reporting" site since 1995 (1), and apparently a chief purveyor of this conspiracy theory, Ben-Menashe was arrested by the US authorities in 1989 (see this page, Perry; Arson Seen in Attack on Ex-Israeli Spy; Consortium News; Dec. 3, 2012), the last year of the Reagan Administration, on the charge of personal involvement in selling arms to Iran. During his trial (in which a jury acquitted him), and forever afterward he has claimed that he was simply helping the Reagan Administration sell the arms using Israel as a cutout to give Reagan political cover. More recently Ben-Menashe was called on again to give testimony under oath, as the star witness against Movement for Democratic Change president Morgan Tsvangirai at his treason trial, at the conclusion of which Tsvangirai was acquitted, and during which he filed a $3.1 million (US) law suit against Ben-Menashe in the Montreal Superior Court of Canada. I have no information at this time on the outcome of that personal tort trial.


    So it turns out there is no "smoking gun" evidence the Reagan Administration ever tried to undercut Carter's bid for an October Surprise release of the hostages. What we get instead is crap like this from politically invested sources (the reader might by this time like a little balance, so this is a link to a short history of these conspiracy theories, with another here). Hardly anyone ever mentions the official investigations done by both the Senate and House (both of which were at the time solidly controlled by Democrats; the Senate 58-42, the House 270-164), both of which concluded there was no evidence of any inappropriate contact between the Reagan campaign and the Komeini regime prior to Reagan's defeat of Carter (2). Furthermore, the sort of evidence these politically vested sources put so much stock in consists mainly in snippets of conversation and testimony, the most important the testimony from an individual who has since gained a reputation as a "notorious liar" in various places around the world and at various times. Finally, there is a great deal of evidence the Regan administration began an arms for hostages negotiation with Iran to gain their help in securing the release of American hostages being held in Lebanon circa 1983-85, as mentioned and cited in my earier (and much shorter!!) post replying to you, and that as a result some hostages were released.

    Therefore, of the two allowed alternatives in the OP, I believe we must consider the second the more probable: that the Iranians released the hostages at the conclusion of Reagan's inaugural speech, containing a dire warning for "...the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries", to begin to remove themselves from that list.

    -----------------------------------

    (1) "From Editor Robert Parry: We founded Consortiumnews.com in 1995 as the first investigative news magazine on the Internet. The site was meant to be a home for important, well-reported stories and a challenge to the inept but dominant mainstream news media of the day. As one of the reporters who helped expose the Iran-Contra scandal for the Associated Press in the mid-1980s, I was distressed by the silliness and propaganda that had come to pervade American journalism. I feared, too, that the decline of the U.S. press corps foreshadowed disasters that would come when journalists failed to alert the public about impending dangers.
    Also by 1995, documents were emerging that put the history of the 1980s in a new – and more troubling – light. Yet, there were fewer and fewer media outlets interested in that history.
    The memories of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were enveloped in warm-and-fuzzy myths that represented another kind of danger: false history that could lead to mistaken political judgments in the future."

    (2) "Over the past five years, the October Surprise has become the hottest conspiracy theory in Washington. From the beginning of 1991 through last year, the story was the subject of two PBS "Frontline" documentaries, four ABC "Nightline" shows, two books, more than 20 editorials and opinion pieces in the New York Times alone, three "Donahue" shows, and thousands of articles, columns and commentaries across the country.The sheer weight of the coverage, and the unanswered questions it raised, prompted Congress to investigate. In December 1991, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hired an outside counsel. In February 1992, the House of Representatives launched a much more comprehensive probe, appointing a task force of 13 members and 16 lawyers and investigators to examine the allegations. Last November, the Senate's limited investigation found no evidence of a conspiracy. Its findings were corroborated in mid-January, when the House task force released a phone book-sized report in which it concluded there was "no credible evidence" to support any of the principal allegations. In the words of one senior investigator, "The conspiracy was a hoax."
    Specifically, the task force concluded that:
    * Nearly all of the sources cited by proponents of the theory were "wholesale fabricators" or "impeached by documentary evidence."
    * None of the meetings in Paris, Madrid, New York or other locations at which Reagan campaign director William Casey - the linchpin of the theory - was alleged to have met with Iranians occurred.
    * None of the alleged Israeli or U.S. arms sales to Iran, supposedly promised by the Reagan campaign in return for delaying the release of the hostages, took place. The investigation found no evidence of a quid pro quo.
    Aside from debunking the conspiracy, the evidence amassed by the task force laid out in embarrassing detail how the October Surprise myth was created, sustained and enhanced almost entirely by the news media's uncritical acceptance of allegations made by less-than-credible sources."
    http://www.questia.com/library/1G1-1...tober-surprise


    ---------- Post added at 02:30 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:19 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    No, it was a cash deal, not an arms deal.
    And is there any evidence at all that the Carter or Reagan people ever made this theoretical cash payment after the hostages were released?
    Last edited by Squatch347; August 22nd, 2013 at 06:28 AM.

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  21. #20
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    Re: Why were the U.S. hostages in Iran released upon Reagan's inauguration?

    "As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it; we will not surrender for it—now or ever." from Reagan's first inaugural address, emphasis added.

    Hardly a "dire" warning.

    ---------- Post added at 08:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:11 PM ----------

    Much, much better.

 

 
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