So, this tidbit from Slate which I vaguely remember hearing before now that I've seen it again:
I am not one of those who uses the term "conspiracy theory" as an automatic sneer of dismissal. Conspiracies do occur. I spent a lot of my life at one point trying to show that William Casey of the Reagan-era CIA had made a private deal with the Iranian hostage-takers in 1979, inducing them to keep their prisoners until the Carter administration had been defeated, and I still firmly believe that something of the sort (which eventually culminated in the Iran-Contra underworld) was at least attempted. So do many senior members of both parties in Washington, with whom I am still in touch.
makes me very sad. I should probably try harder to disabuse myself of the notion that it was the end of the Carter administration which was the root of getting to the point we're at.