Like a live action Twitter feed, the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, for years, had been tasked with the responsibility of collecting and disseminating news and information from countries around the world to the various agents of the U.S. government. But by the late 70s, Central Intelligence Agency was having trouble keeping these employees, more compelled by journalistic drive than cloak-and-dagger caper, interested and on top of their games.
Memos found in the Central Intelligence Agency’s CREST database show the planning stages of the Agency’s annual Halloween party in 1980. If you were lucky enough to be guest list, then you were looking at an evening of cocktails, lively conversation, and of course, ferocious jelly-bean counting competition.
A formerly TOP SECRET memo to the CIA Director written by the Agency’s Office of Political Analysis shows that as early as August 1980, the Agency had concluded Iranian hardliners such as Ayatollah Khomeini were “determined to exploit the hostage issue to bring about President Carter’s defeat in the November elections.” While the document doesn’t prove the Reagan campaign intended to collude with Iran, it does document Iran’s motives and matches the October Surprise narrative outlined by former CIA officers.
Last year, to celebrate FOIA’s 50th birthday, we began collecting photos of Commanders-in-chief with cakes, with the goal of creating the most comprehensive archive of presidential pastry ever assembled. Today, we’re checking in to see if our efforts to free chief executive confections bore frosted fruit.