Obama's Known of Al-Qaeda Ties with Iran for a Year, but Still No Action

According to a new investigative Associated Press article, President Barack Obama was informed of the close ties between Iran’s Islamist regime and al-Qaeda one year ago. Many of the terrorist group’s top leaders had taken refuge in Iran after the United States drove them out of Afghanistan in 2003, but only recently had the Iranians given them more freedom to operate in the country.

Six weeks ago, General David Petraeus -- head of the U.S. Central Command and one of the most respected men in the United States -- publicly revealed this information about the al-Qaeda links with Iran.

Iran, he said in congressional testimony, provides "a key facilitation hub, where facilitators connect al-Qaeda's senior leadership to regional affiliates." In other words, Tehran is letting al-Qaeda leaders travel freely back and forth to Pakistan and Afghanistan using its territory as a safe haven. The regime is allowing them to plan terrorist attacks aimed against U.S. targets. He also discussed Iranian help given to the Afghan Taliban and Shia Iraqi militia groups for a similar purpose.

Yet neither the White House nor the top levels of the State or Defense Departments repeated these charges or used them in building a campaign against Iran’s nuclear drive.

The plan to construct some apartments in Jerusalem became a major crisis in U.S. policy, with charges that by doing so Israel was endangering U.S. interests and even the lives of soldiers. Yet confirmed U.S. intelligence that Iran’s leadership is cooperating with al-Qaeda, Iraqi militias, and Afghan Islamists to kill Americans evoked no response at all. Remember, al-Qaeda has carried out many attacks on the United States and its citizens, most notably the September 11, 2001, assault on New York and Washington, D.C. Al-Qaeda is the only group in the world with which the United States considers itself to be at war. Knowing that Iran is giving aid and comfort to al-Qaeda is a pretty significant fact -- a game-changer.