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.
Clair George, the CIA officer who was placed in charge of briefing Congress on CIA’s activities, withheld information about the beginnings of the Iran-Contra affair, and was later convicted of lying to Congress. After an eight-month tenure that led to a nearly complete communications breakdown between the Agency and Congress, George was promoted to the third most senior position within the CIA.
As the FBI file show, the PROMIS case was not only far reaching, with ties to corruption, murder, and Iran-Contra, but purposely obstructed. While at least some allegations were confirmed by sources and documentation, others were blocked in their entirety - with critical evidence being lost and destroyed by both Congress and the FBI.
The PROMIS affair, once labelled ‘the scandal that wouldn’t die,’ lives on according to a recent FBI FOIA response. The affair centered around the government’s theft of the PROMIS software, a forerunner to the infamous PRISM, and the far-reaching fallout which allegedly included everything from fraud, to covert operations and surveillance, to Danny Casolaro’s mysterious death, and remains the subject of an investigation decades after the Department of Justice declared the matter officially closed.
A decade after Congresswoman Abzug had struggled with CIA Director George Bush over the destruction of evidence of CIA wrongdoing, the Agency’s Office of the Inspector General ignored the moratorium on destruction of relevant materials and destroyed several memos from the Iran-Contra investigation. When this was raised with the Agency’s Acting Director, it was played off as no big deal and the employees were praised for responding “remarkably well” to the investigation.