>> The conspiracy theory began to catch on in April 1987. On the front page of the Miami Herald, Alfonso Chardy reported on a secret meeting in early October 1980 with Richard Allen and Laurence Silberman, then foreign policy advisers to Reagan, and Robert McFarlane, then an aide to Senator John Tower on the Senate Armed Services Committee. <<
Robert Parry: The Original October Surprise (3) Tuesday, 31 October 2006
Consortium News Editor's Note: Part 3 of our series about the "Original October Surprise" of 1980 addresses the troubling question of whether disgruntled CIA officers collaborated with their former boss, George H.W. Bush, to sabotage President Jimmy Carter's Iran-hostage negotiations - and thus changed the course of U.S. political history.
These ex-intelligence officers were so angry with Carter that they cast off their traditional cloak of non-partisanship and anonymity in 1979 and enlisted in the Republican drive to unseat the sitting President.
During Bush's bid for the Republican nomination, these veterans of CIA covert operations worked as his political foot soldiers. One joke about Bush's announcement of his candidacy on May 1, 1979, was that "half the audience was wearing raincoats."
Bill Colby, Bush's predecessor as CIA director, said Bush "had a flood of people from the CIA who joined his supporters. They were retirees devoted to him for what he had done" in defending the spy agency in 1976 when the CIA came under heavy criticism for spying on Americans and other abuses.
Reagan's foreign policy adviser Richard Allen described the group working on the Bush campaign as a "plane load of disgruntled former CIA" officers who were "playing cops and robbers."
All told, at least two dozen former CIA officials went to work for their former boss. Among them was the CIA's director of security, Robert Gambino, who joined the Bush campaign immediately after leaving the CIA where he oversaw security investigations of senior Carter officials and thus knew about potentially damaging personal information