Democratic lobbyist Ben Barnes claims that John Connally urged Iran not to release American hostages until after the 1980 election. At War on the Rocks, William Inboden and Joseph Ledford identify six holes in this conspiracy theory.
- At least five Arab governments knew about Connally’s scheme for over four decades but none of their officials has ever breathed a word of it.
- Although those five Middle Eastern governments knew about Connally’s entreaty, the entire U.S. diplomatic and intelligence apparatus in the Middle East did not know about it, even though Connally interacted with embassy staff in multiple countries and the Carter administration followed his whereabouts.
- Connally, a Republican, knowingly made these entreaties in the presence of Barnes, a lifelong Democrat with close friends serving on the Carter campaign and within the senior ranks of the Carter administration, and yet trusted that Barnes would not breathe a word of it to his Democratic colleagues.
- While Connally’s trip was supposedly of the utmost importance to the Reagan campaign and of intense personal interest to campaign manager Bill Casey, somehow Connally and Barnes waited an entire month after their return from the region to brief Casey on their trip.
- The Islamic Republic of Iran, a sworn enemy of the United States, refused to leak, reveal, or otherwise disclose these entreaties from Connally, despite both the power of such revelations to humiliate and possibly destroy the Reagan presidency, and the willingness of Iranian leaders to divulge Reagan’s arms-for-hostages gambit in the Iran-Contra scandal six years later.
- In addition to investigating Iran-Contra, the House and Senate spent thousands of hours reviewing millions of pages of documents, subpoenaing and interviewing hundreds of witnesses with even the remotest possible connection to the allegations, and somehow had never encountered information about a two-week trip by the former Texas governor, secretary of the Treasury, and presidential candidate, as the supposed real architect of the plot.