It is remarkable that a stern warning about the scale of the threat posed to the United States by Syria's civil war has gone practically unnoticed. Is U.S. President Barack Obama's administration stumbling toward the abyss?

Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that, according to the CIA's deputy director, Michael Morell, "Syria's volatile mix of al-Qaida extremism and civil war now poses the greatest threat to U.S. national security" — indeed, "probably the most important issue in the world today."

By contrast, Morell described the Iranian regime's "merging of ... nuclear ambitions with its desire to be a hegemonic power in the Middle East" as a mere "cause for concern." Morell, who is preparing to step down from the CIA soon, has little reason to dissemble.