What's disturbing is why President Bush won't note any of this when he speaks at the UN today.
Douglas Farah outlines the connection here.
The Bush administration squandered the opportunity to make the point that this is not a free speech issue as Ahmadinejad claims, but a terrorism-related issue. Iran is harboring senior al Qaeda leaders, has trained with al Qaeda and maintains at best an ambiguous relationship with al Qaeda in Iraq.Also at Counterterrorism Blog.
And, while I am a strong advocate of freedom of expression here and abroad, would it not be an interesting experiment to let demagogues like Ahmadinejad and others speak to university groups here on the condition that they allow a reciprocal speech on one of their country’s premier university campuses?
It need not be a U.S. official, but perhaps a dissident, a Nobel laureate, or any number of options, but force the closed societies to give something in exchange for their willingness to use the freedoms offered here.
The evidence of Iran’s support for al Qaeda, lacking in the Iraq case, is clear in public testimony from al Qaeda defectors long before 9-11 as well as testimony of Iranian officials in European court cases and intelligence dossiers both in the United States and Europe.
The collaboration is also amply noted by the 9/11 Commission, which found that eight to 10 of the hijackers traveled to Iran in the year before 9/11. That speaks to how safe the al Qaeda operatives felt moving there as they planned their spectacular attacks, when no any security breach would have been lethal.
This is not to argue in favor of military action against Iran, only to point out that, as many in the U.S. intelligence community said before the misadventures in Iraq, the real danger to the United States and the stability of the Middle East was Iran, not Iraq.