What happened next Mr. Barnes has largely kept secret for nearly 43 years. Mr. Connally, he said, took him to one Middle Eastern capital after another that summer, meeting with a host of regional leaders to deliver a blunt message to be passed to Iran: Donít release the hostages before the election. Mr. Reagan will win and give you a better deal.
Then shortly after returning home, Mr. Barnes said, Mr. Connally reported to William J. Casey, the chairman of Mr. Reaganís campaign and later director of the Central Intelligence Agency, briefing him about the trip in an airport lounge.
Mr. Carterís camp has long suspected that Mr. Casey or someone else in Mr. Reaganís orbit sought to secretly torpedo efforts to liberate the hostages before the election, and books have been written on what came to be called the October surprise. But congressional investigations debunked previous theories of what happened.