January 20 2021 — On January 20 1981, 20 minutes after Reagan concluded his inaugural address, the Islamic Republic of Iran announced the release of 52 Americans being held hostage in Iran since November 4 1979. Allegations that the Reagan administration negotiated a delay in the release of the hostages until after the 1980 presidential election have been numerous. Gary Sick, principal White House aide for Iran and the Persian Gulf on the Carter administration’s National Security Council, claimed in his book “October Surprise: America’s Hostages in Iran and the Election of Ronald Reagan” that CIA Director William Casey and possibly Vice President George H. W. Bush went to Paris to negotiate such a delay. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
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UPDATE (January 20 2021) — In 1991, freelance writer Danny Casolaro claimed to be almost ready to expose the alleged October surprise conspiracy, when he suddenly died a violent death in a hotel bathtub in Martinsburg, WVA.
The “Minerva Files”— released in February 2020 — mention at least five suspicious deaths: Boris Hagelin Jr., CIA/NSA employee Gary C. Durrell, and a German employee of Crypto AG, Werner Graf. But the files do not name an NSA whistleblower and a journalist.
“An NSA employee allegedly told a journalist about his involvement in manipulating the Crypto AG devices.
This NSA man and the journalist died the same year from non-natural cause.”
Intel Today believes that the two unnamed persons are NSA Alan D. Standorf and US journalist Danny Casolaro.
RELATED POST: Crypto AG — The Ghost of Danny Casolaro
On January 3 1991, Alan Standorf — a civilian employee of NSA at its Vint Hill, Virginia intercept facility — was found beaten to death in the backseat of his car in the parking lot at Reagan National Airport.
Alan Standorf was allegedly the person who provided Danny Casolaro copies of computer printouts from the PROMIS spying database system. The murder was never solved and the investigators assumed it was a street robbery that went bad. Seriously?
On August 10, 1991, US journalist Danny Casolaro was found dead in a bathtub in room 517 of the Sheraton Hotel in Martinsburg, West Virginia, his wrists slashed 10–12 times. The medical examiner ruled the death a suicide.
The suicide theory was so preposterous that even New York Times reporters and FBI agents had troubles swallowing it.
END of UPDATE
The timing gave rise to an allegation that representatives of Reagan’s presidential campaign had conspired with Iran to delay the release until after the election to thwart President Carter from pulling off an “October surprise“.
According to the allegation, the Reagan Administration rewarded Iran for its participation in the plot by supplying Iran with weapons via Israel and by unblocking Iranian government monetary assets in US banks.
After twelve years of mixed media attention, both houses of the US Congress held separate inquiries and concluded that the allegations lacked supporting documentation.
Nevertheless, several individuals—most notably former Iranian President Abolhassan Banisadr, former naval intelligence officer and U.S. National Security Council member Gary Sick, and former Reagan/Bush campaign staffer and White House analyst Barbara Honegger—have stood by the allegation.
The US Senate’s 1992 report concluded that “by any standard, the credible evidence now known falls far short of supporting the allegation of an agreement between the Reagan campaign and Iran to delay the release of the hostages.”
The House of Representatives’ 1993 report concluded “there is no credible evidence supporting any attempt by the Reagan presidential campaign—or persons associated with the campaign—to delay the release of the American hostages in Iran”.
Gary Sick was unable to prove his claims, including that, in the days before the presidential election with daily press pools surrounding him and a public travel schedule, vice presidential candidate George H. W. Bush secretly left the country and met with Iranian officials in France to discuss the fate of the hostages.
In 1991, freelance writer Danny Casolaro (among others) claimed to be almost ready to expose the alleged October surprise conspiracy, when he suddenly died a violent death in a hotel bathtub in Martinsburg, WVA, raising suspicions. He appeared to be traveling on leads for his investigation into the Inslaw Affair. His death was ruled a suicide.
While working for Reagan, Barbara Honegger claims to have discovered information that made her believe that George H. W. Bush and William Casey had conspired to assure that Iran would not free the U.S. hostages until Jimmy Carter had been defeated in the 1980 presidential election, and she alleges that arms sales to Iran were a part of that bargain.
In 1987, in the context of the Iran-Contra investigations, Honegger was reported as saying that shortly after 22 October 1980, when Iran abruptly changed the terms of its deal with Carter, a member of the Reagan campaign told her “We don’t have to worry about an October surprise. Dick (referring to Richard V. Allen ) cut a deal.”
The Election Story of the Decade — NYT
Gary Sick wrote an editorial for The New York Times and a book (October Surprise) on the subject.
Sick wrote that in October 1980 officials in Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign including future CIA Director, William Casey, made a secret deal with Influential Iranian clerics. [I recommend reading this story.]
“Sick’s credibility was boosted by the fact that he was a retired Naval Captain, served on Ford’s, Carter’s, and Reagan’s National Security Council, and held high positions with many prominent organizations; moreover, he had authored a book recently on US-Iran relations (All Fall Down).
Iran would delay the release of the American hostages until after the election and, in return for this, the United States would arrange for Israel to ship weapons to Iran.”
And of course, we know how that one turned out… It is called the “Iran-Contras Scandal”.
Iran Hostage Crisis: Release of 52 Hostages in 1981 (ABC News Report From 1/20/1981)
UPDATE (January 20 2020) — In February 2017, while explaining the ‘Logan Act’ and how it may apply to Michael Flynn’s discussion of sanctions with a Russian ambassador before taking office, Harvard’s Law Professor Alan Dershowitz made an astonishing statement regarding the 1980 US Presidential campaign.
Dershowitz suggested that if the ‘Logan Act’ had been applied in the past, Jimmy Carter and Jesse Jackson would share a jail cell. Then he stated the following:
“Ronald Reagan made a deal with the Iranians about the hostages release before he was elected…”
END of UPDATE
Iran hostage crisis — Wikipedia
On This Day — Tehran Frees US Hostages After 444 Days (January 20 1981)
On This Day — Tehran Releases 52 US Hostages After 444 Days (January 20 1981) 
40 Years Ago — Tehran Releases 52 US Hostages After 444 Days (January 20 1981)