In Parry's self-image, he must be one of the few journalists with the guts, public-spiritedness, and tenacity to unlock official secrets. The reporter castigated his kowtowing colleagues, as he perceives them, in Fooling America
and here picks up the idle spear of investigation and chucks it at a favorite target theory: that Republicans connived with Iranian mullahs to delay release of imprisoned American diplomats, thus denying President Carter an election-eve boost. So Parry received a commission from the Frontline
PBS program to ask two questions about July and October 1980: Where was Bill Casey, and where was George Bush? This book is the raw material for the ensuing documentary, which aired in 1991. Parry answers neither question definitively, but he questions their alibis (that Casey was at a history seminar and Bush on a golf course), makes great hay of omissions in their personal records, and finds to his satisfaction that each could have skittered off to secret meetings. Parry himself went around the globe, heavily skeptical of those with something to tell him about the "surprise." A musty mystery with many angles and cold leads, this should revivify the interest of patrons who took in, or were taken in by, Gary Sick's October Surprise
. Gilbert Taylor
From the Author
As an investigative reporter for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s, Robert Parry uncovered Oliver North's Nicaraguan contra aid network, the CIA's contra "assassination manual," the Oval Office role in covering up the Iran-contra scandal and other abuses of government power. For his work on the CIA and Central America, Parry won the George Polk Award for National Reporting in 1984.