I am disturbed by your reporting, on April 26, in the article "Joint Chiefs Chairman Assails Iran’s Role in Iraq". In particular, you repeat, without comment, Admiral Mullen's claims that Iran is funding Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Taliban. While Iran funding Hezbollah is reasonable, both of them being Shi'a groups, the other two groups are Sunni - ideologically opposed to Iran's official view, held by 90% of its citizens.
In 1998, Iran mobilized an army to fight against the Taliban after the Taliban killed 10 of its diplomats, and thousands of Shi'a civilians. Iran was, at the time, and until the end of the Afghan civil war in 2001, funding the Northern Alliance, which was trying to oust the Taliban.
This is clearly an extraordinary claim, which demands extraordinary evidence. Despite this, you have simply reported Admiral Mullen's words without questioning them.
To report this without even mentioning this ideological divide is, at best, sloppy. At worst, you are continuing the tradition of the American media, recently covered in detail by this very paper, of accepting the words of administration spokesman (be they military analysts or admirals) without questioning, and functioning as an extension of the PR wing of the White House. As a citizen and a reader of the New York Times, I must say this is not acceptable. I demand better, both of you personally and of the Times.
David Stout responded.