Can we please stop talking about "contacts", "ties", and "relationships" in the context of international affairs, foreign policy, and justifications for war? It's all very pot meets kettle.
Everyone has seen the picture of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Hussein on an official visit to Baghdad. There is no disputing the fact that this qualifies as a contact. Debating whether the US relationship with Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war qualifies as "collaborative" or merely "associative" is beside the point. Ditto for Iraq-al Qaeda. The US had even stronger ties to Iran only years before.
Books like George Crile's "Charlie Wilson's War" and Steve Coll's "Ghost Wars" offer up ample evidence of years-long, sustained relationships between the US and the mujahideen fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan.
"The Insider" starts with a scene in which a Hezbollah leader is interviewed for a segment on 60 Minutes. Does this qualify as "Ties" between Viacom and Hezbollah?