But the Iranian hostage crisis worked to the bank's advantage because the U.S. government "" as retaliation for the hostage-taking "" froze those accounts. If the crisis were resolved quickly and the money suddenly unfrozen, Chase Manhattan's financial viability would have been put in doubt.
After Reagan and Bush took office-- and the Chase accounts remained frozen--Reed was appointed ambassador to Morocco, which led him to visit Casey at CIA headquarters, as Cogan lingered at the door to Casey's office.
"Joseph Reed said, " we' and then the verb [and then] something about Carter's October Surprise," Cogan testified in a "secret" deposition. "The implication was we did something about Carter's October Surprise."
The pattern of the task force's selective judgments began to grate on some of the Democratic congressmen assigned to the investigation.
Though the October Surprise allegations supposedly were a myth, the information developed by the task force staff was kept under tight secrecy. Congressmen were only allowed to review the evidence in a secure room under guard.
For instance, Barcella's deputy, Michael Zeldin, was a personal friend of Steven Emerson, a writer with close ties to Israel's Likud--whose leaders allegedly played a key role in the October Surprise maneuverings and stood to be exposed as having helped unseat an American President (Carter).
Emerson had written an influential October Surprise debunking article for The New Republic based on a Casey alibi that turned out to be false. Still, House investigators told me that Emerson frequently visited the task force's offices and advised Zeldin and others how to read the October Surprise evidence.
On Jan. 3, 1993, Congressman Mervyn Dymally, a California Democrat and task force member who was retiring from Congress, submitted a dissent to the impending task force report, complaining about selective handling of evidence to clear the Reagan-Bush campaign.
In reviewing the task force report, Dymally's staff aide, Marwan Burgan, had spotted some of the report's absurd alibis, including the claim that because someone wrote down Casey's home phone number on one day that proved Casey was home, or that because a plane flew from San Francisco directly to London on another important date that Casey must have been onboard.
Sources who saw Dymally's dissent said it argued that "just because phones ring and planes fly doesn't mean that someone is there to answer the phone or is on the plane." But Dymally's reasonable observations were fiercely opposed by Barcella, who enlisted task force chairman, Lee Hamilton, to pressure Dymally into withdrawing the dissent.
The next day, Hamilton, who was becoming chairman of the House International Affairs Committee, fired the staff of the Africa subcommittee that Dymally had headed. The firings were billed as routine, and Hamilton told me that "the two things came along at the same time, but they were not connected in my mind."
Hamilton said his warning to Dymally referred to a toughly worded response that Hamilton would have fired off at Dymally if the dissent had stood. However, hoping to salvage his staff's jobs, Dymally agreed to withdraw the dissent.