If President Donald Trump blew Israel’s cover as the source of a vital nugget of intelligence about an ISIS plot against the West in order to impress the Russians, the president who does not know what it is to know something unwittingly face-planted into a thicket of bushes that could trip up his intentions down the line. Several years ago, a senior National Security Agency official told me that Israel “has Syria absolutely wired.
It was not until Attorney General John Ashcroft was hospitalized with pancreatitis in early 2004 that his deputy, James Comey, first learned the extent of the Bush administration’s surveillance programs. Reluctantly, the White House had agreed to "read him in." What Comey found out — about both the government’s warrantless domestic telephone interceptions and the bulk collection of data processed on American servers — stunned him.
Fresh takes in the Trump administration have the tendency to quickly curdle, especially as the extraordinary becomes the new ordinary and the media struggles to find the language to communicate to the American people the gravity and consequence of each decision made by President Trump. To counter this effect, we can look for patterns. When deployed correctly, cold, hard, indisputable patterns can be very telling.