- “U.S. Ties Iran to Deadly Attack,” July 2, 2007, by Michael R. Gordon

- “U.S. Says Iran Helped Iraqis Kill Five G.I.s,” July 3, 2007, by John F. Burns and Michael R. Gordon

- “U.S. Says Iran-Supplied Bomb Kills More Troops,” August 8, 2007, by Michael R. Gordon

- “Hezbollah Trains Iraqis in Iran, Officials Say,” May 5, 2008, by Michael R. Gordon

Now fast forward two years, and we arrive at the article about the WikiLeaks document dump and Iran’s involvement in Iraq:

- “Leaked Report Detail Iran’s Aid for Iraqi Militias,” October 22, 2010, by Michael R. Gordon and Andrew W. Lehren

You might be forgiven for seeing a consistent pattern emerging here. And when you look at the two-year-long string of articles about Iran and Iraq listed above, with all those accounts from often unnamed U.S. officials, and then the WikiLeaks documents that bear out these anonymous accounts with more detailed anonymous accounts, you wonder if Gordon is not defending his own record when he wrote last month that:

During the administration of President George W. Bush, critics charged that the White House had exaggerated Iran’s role to deflect criticism of its handling of the war and build support for a tough policy toward Iran, including the possibility of military action.

Given that last clause, and in light of what happened in 2002 and 2003, you might even wonder if Gordon is reading the WikiLeaks documents cautiously enough and seeking out dissent. The least, it seems, we readers can do—maybe must do—is show some caution of our own in accepting these claims about Iran.

Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist who blogs about U.S.-Iran relations at www.LobeLog.com.