Robert Parry was one of the first reporters to uncover the Iran-Contra scandal and the original (1980) October Surprise -- the plot hatched by Wm. Casey (Reagan's campaign manager and CIA chief), George H.W. Bush and others to influence the election by making a deal with Iranian hostage-takers to hold them until after the election.
Parry is a seasoned investigative journalist who once worked for AP (where he and Brian Barger broke the Iran-Contra story) and then Newsweek, where he encountered resistance in tracking the scandal up the chain of command. After being forced out of Newsweek, he ended up producing a show on Iran-Contra for Frontline and then another on the October Surprise.
After the New Republic and Newsweek ran major hatchet jobs that backed Casey and Bush's flimsy alibis (i.e. that they could not have been in Paris for a meeting with the Iranians during the 1980 campaign because they were off at Bohemian Grove -- you know, that right wing antithesis of those Robert Bly retreats in the woods, where they get drunk and George Schultz reveals the tatoo on his ass, as they run around the fire naked, ghoulishly cackling cryptofascist chants with jack-o-lantern grins) ... but just about everyone but Parry dropped the case.
Years later, Parry went into a dusty storage space under one of the Congressional office buildings to look through the files of the closed Congressional investigation (careful not to copy too many pages in order to not attract too much attention from his minder) where he found a few smoking gun documents, including a Russian intelligence report that confirmed that Bush and Casey were in Paris during the final weeks of the campaign -- a vindication that would make a good spy novel scene.
Throughout the book there is a lot of lost history being recovered. And thankfully, the tone throughout the book is anything but conspiratorial, though it will be treated as such.
Also, underlying the thread of the story explores the question of whether there is a real difference between Kerry and Bush on foreign policy. After all, people say Kerry voted to authorize the war and the Patriot Act, has not come out and said he's against establishing 14 permanent bases in Iraq, and is a Sharon supporter and Free Trader.
All true, but apart from Kerry's nuanced explanation of his votes (which I've found is not enough for the tin-plated ears of my Nader-supporter friends) there is something else here: the historical trajectory of both men. Recall that while Bush was (according to Kitty Kelly) off snorting cocaine at Camp David while his daddy was President, Kerry was on Capital Hill leading an investigation into the Nicaraguan Contras’ ties to cocaine kingpins which, if Lee Hamilton had had any spine, might have resulted in nailing Bush Sr. (It must have made many cringe to learn that Hamilton was co-chair of the 9-11 commission).
And although people dismiss Kerry's record in Congress as unremarkable, in fact he has taken on and led a few of these politically difficult investigations, which have have been particularly embarassing for certain members of the Democratic establishment, such as the investigation into BCCI (the "Bank of Crooks and Commerce"), which could not have endeared him to Clark Clifford and friends. Let alone the radical right.
But “despite the attacks from the Washington Times and pressure from the Reagan-Bush administration to back off, Kerry’s contra-drug investigation eventually concluded that a number of contra units – both in Costa Rica and eventually concluded that a number of contra units – both in Costa Rice and Honduras – were implicated in the cocaine trade."