Gareth Porter’s latest is worth a read. Three former senior intelligence officers say that the Treasury Department’s claim last July that Iran had a “secret deal with Al-Qaeda allowing it to funnel funds and operatives through its territory” is just so much hype. The claim has “never been backed up by any evidence that would justify such a term” says Paul Pillar and in fact documents from the Bin Laden raid say that Al Qaeda arranged the kidnapping of an Iranian diplomat to force the release of AQ detainees Treasury says is the main sign of co-operation.
In one of the documents taken from the Abbottabad compound and published by West Point’s Counter-Terrorism Center last week, a senior Al Qaeda official wrote, “We believe that our efforts, which included escalating a political and media campaign, the threats we made, the kidnapping of their friend the commercial counselor in the Iranian Consulate in Peshawar, and other reasons that scared them based on what they saw (we are capable of), to be among the reasons that led them to expedite (the release of these prisoners).”
"Release our detainees or this guy and some more we'll kidnap will die" does not constitute a secret deal.
So, hyping the facts to make the case of perfidious Persiians or simply hyping to get some budget clout? Probably a bit of both.
"The counterterrorism types are like used car salesmen," a former official told Gareth. "They are always overselling something. They have to show that they are doing important work."