By Gareth Porter
"......During a press conference in Jordan Tuesday, McCain brought up the charge that Iran was training al-Qaeda operatives and sending them to Iraq, then corrected himself after Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a Democrat from Connecticut, whispered in his ear. It was the fourth time in a little over three weeks, however, that McCain had made the same charge.
McCain's confusion has been widely characterized as demonstrating his inability to distinguish Sunni al-Qaeda from Shi'ite Mahdi Army. But more fundamentally, McCain's gaffes were a reflection of how thoroughly he had internalized a favorite theme of the Bush administration and neoconservatives – that Iran has tolerated and even covertly assisted al-Qaeda agents operating inside Iran.
Those administration charges have continued despite the repeated release of information by Iran and other countries about its arrest, detention and repatriation of al-Qaeda suspects.
That charge has been given credence by mainstream news media for years......."