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Iran-Contra, October Surprise and Reagan's Wrongs

A look into the wrongdoings of the Reagan administration and campaign, including the October Surprise, Debategate, MCA Records, the Inslaw and Wedtech scandals and the Iran-Contra scandal, which has been called Reagan's unchecked abuse of Presidential power.

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Declassified CIA memo predicted the 1980 October Surprise

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.

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50 Cakes of FOIA, one year later

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.

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CIA worked with White House to kill probe into Noriega’s drug trafficking

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigations into CIA-linked illegal activities are often stymied - a process well documented in files discussing the GAO’s attempt to investigate General Noriega’s ties to drug trafficking, and what the Intelligence Community knew, and when. Documents previously leaked to the Washington Post have now been declassified, confirming the Post’s reporting and providing new details about how CIA blocked all of GAO’s audits touching on any subject which required oversight.

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Despite three separate instructions not to, the CIA still destroyed Iran-Contra evidence

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.

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Declassified CIA docs on Reagan’s “Star Wars” strategy show difficult balance between projecting power - and projecting too much power

Searching the CIA’s declassified document database for documents on the Cold War missile defense program nicknamed “Star Wars” shows that the Agency kept a close watch on public perception, but was wary of Soviets thinking that the program was too powerful - which might lead to an uptick in hostilities.

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Awaiting Acknowledgement

Kennedropov CIA

Emma Best sent this request to the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of America

Awaiting Acknowledgement

Kennedropov FBI

Emma Best sent this request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America