But the Times account, by Helene Cooper, seems to go the furthest in helping to shore up the U.S. case, making the bizarre argument that the existence of U.S. allegations and the Treasury Department sanctions against individuals in the supposed network mean the case against Iran is solid:
The officials said the sanctions were nonetheless meaningful because they would serve to demonstrate that Iran was working with Al-Qaeda.
That’s like saying that the fact that the U.S. invaded Iraq to destroy its WMDs means Iraq must have WMDs.
When not providing justification in its own voice, the Times allows U.S. officials to anonymously push their argument further:
Indeed, one senior administration said the action sought to expose both “a key funding facilitation network for Al-Qaeda and a key aspect for Iranian support for international terrorism.”
“Our sense is this network is operating through Iranian territory with the knowledge and at least the acquiescence of Iranian authorities,” the official said in a conference call with reporters.
Of course, if Iranian officials were really allowing this to happen, U.S. officials would probably say so on the record.