From Douglas Brinkley, ed. (2007), The Reagan Diaries (New York: Harper Collins: 9780060876005).
Fri Aug 23 1985: That was also the day I received a "secret" phone call from Bud Macfarlane. It seems a man high up in the Iranian govt. believes he can deliver all or part of the 7 Am. kidnap victims to Lebanon sometime in early Sept.... I had some decisions to make about a few points--but they were easy to make. Now we wait.
Fri Nov 22 1985: Back to the office for a brief NSC. Subject was our hostages in Beirut. We have an undercover thing going by way of an Iranian which could get them sprung momentarily.
Thur Dec 5 1985: NSC Briefing--probably Bud's last. Subject was our undercover effort to free our 5 hostages held by the terrorists in Lebanon. It is a complex undertaking with only a few of us in on it. I won't even write in the diary what we're up to.
Sat Dec 7 1985: I then had a meeting with Don R., Cap W. and Bud M., John P., Geo. Shultz and Mahan of CIA. This has to do with the complex plan which could return our 5 hostages and help some officials in Iran who want to turn that country from it's present course and on to a better relationship with us. It calls for Israel selling some weapons to Iran. As they are delivered in installments by air our hostages will be released. The weapons will go to moderate leaders in the army who are essential if there's to be a change to a more stable govt. We then sell Israel replacements for the delivered weapons None of this is a gift--the Iranians pay cash for the weapons--so does Israel.
Thur May 27 1986: Well let's start by saying we still don't know whether our hostages will be freed. Bud's call revealed that 2 of the Iranians who had involved us were on the phony side. However through them Bud was put in touch with a rep. from the PM's office.... [T]hey got back to the original price--sale of some weaponry--now we'll know possibly in the next 48 hours.
Sat Dec 6 1986: Radio script was on Iran. I admitted there were mistakes in the implementation of policy but not in the policy itself.