President Ronald Reagan secretly recorded some of his conversations with foreign leaders, discovered author William Doyle, who shared some of these never-heard tapes exclusively with The Post.
“Until now, taping was thought to have stopped in the Nixon era. I discovered that was not the case,” Doyle said.
The recordings from the White House Situation Room include Reagan trying to convince an intractable Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to hold off the pullout of Israeli troops from Lebanon in 1983 until Lebanese forces can replace them; the president discussing the release of Western hostages in the Middle East with Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, and a talk with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, the father of Syria’s current dictator and the original “Butcher of Damascus”- whom he kept waiting for over 13 minutes while he finished up a horseback ride at his California ranch.
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