There are times when even I experience a moment of pure revelation, a moment that opens my eyes and whispers in my ears that everything I knew about a certain subject was Wrong. They aren't very often, but all the more profound for that.
Here is one of those times.
The staff of the US Embassy in Tehran, Iran was taken hostage and held for 444 days, not being released until the inauguration of Ronald Reagan in January 1981. The continued hostage situation was a major contributing factor in the defeat of the incumbent Carter Administration. These facts are not in dispute.
Which makes this report (hat tip to Crooks and Liars) a revelatory moment. It was bruited about that the Reagan Campaign had met representatives of the Iranian Government before the election and arranged to delay or even scotch the Carter Administration's negotiations over the hostages. Now, twelve years later a Congressional investigation failed to find any evidence of this.
Enter the Russians.
Two days before the Congressional committee released its findings a confidential report was sent to Washington by People's Deputy N. Kuznetsov. In the report it was revealed that Reagan's people (including Robert Gates, the current Secretary of Defense) had met with Iranian representatives in Madrid and Paris. The basis of the agreement was that, in exchange for the hostages, the US would supply Iran with parts and expertise to maintain its air force as well as giving Iran weapons through intermediaries such as Israel (which handled things through third parties).
Which shows that Reagan achieved his electoral victory on the basis of a deception, if not outright treachery. It really shouldn't surprise me based on the later Iran-Contra Scandal, but there it is.
So I get to rewrite my internal memory files.
And it takes a moment of revelation to do that.