Earlier this week, the CIA made public hundreds of thousands of documents from Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound. The trove, obtained during the raid in which he was killed, contains extensive evidence of the depth of al-Qaeda’s relationship with Iran—which sheltered many of the organization’s operatives in its borders, supplied it with funds, and gave it operational support. With the publication of these documents, writes Michael Rubin, it is now clear why the Obama administration struggled so long to hide them from the public eye:
President Obama and his CIA heads . . . released only [those few documents that] upheld and affirmed Obama’s tenuous theories about Iran. Had the U.S. public known about the Iranian leadership’s outreach to, and association with, al-Qaeda, even Democratic congressmen might have been far less willing to tolerate the trust which Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry placed in their Iranian counterparts. . . .
Indeed, the refusal to declassify documents not out of fear that sources and methods might be exposed but rather to enable the White House and State Department to avoid calibrating their own policy goals to reality and in pursuit of Obama and Kerry’s goals appear to be both an abuse of classification and textbook politicization of intelligence.
It’s time to ask under oath and in public hearings what senior officials—including every former CIA director from the time bin Laden was killed—knew about the Iran-al-Qaeda partnership, when they knew it, and why they believed they needed to cover up that information.
To bury proof of an enemy’s culpability with a terrorist group purposefully, to leave that rogue regime with an industrial-scale nuclear program and enough centrifuges to build an arsenal, to provide billions of dollars in untraceable cash under the guise of sanctions relief and ransom payments, and to acquiesce with a nod and a wink in a no-inspections policy in the same military bases that sheltered al-Qaeda operatives is, to put it mildly, policy malpractice.