Updated: Jun 28
One of the most eye-brow-raising stories to come out in years was the admission last week by Ben Barnes, a young Washington operative, that he accompanied former Texas Governor John Connally Jr. on a tour of Middle Eastern countries in 1980 for the sole purpose of trying to convince authorities to continue holding the hostages in Iran until after the upcoming election. Jimmy Carter was president and Ronald Reagan was hot on his heels to win, but if the hostages were freed before the election, Carter might well have prevailed and gotten a second term.
Iran took 52 American diplomats and citizens captive in 1979 and held them for 444 days, an event that bedeviled the Carter presidency.
You see, John Connally Jr. wanted to become Secretary of State in a new Reagan administration and decided that he would pull out all the stops to ensure that the Americans remained imprisoned longer than they might have been so that he could have a shot at the job.
It's one of the most diabolical acts of greed in the history of our country. But in this case, karma prevailed - Connally didn't get the job.