The United States is sailing in uncharted waters today as the intelligence-security community wages an all-but-declared rebellion against President Donald Trump.
Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein’s decision on Wednesday to appoint former FBI director Robert Mueller to serve as a special counsel charged with investigating allegations of “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump,” is the latest and so far most significant development in this grave saga.
Who are the people seeking to unseat Trump? This week we learned that the powers at play are deeply familiar. Trump’s nameless opponents are some of Israel’s greatest antagonists in the US security establishment.
This reality was exposed this week with intelligence leaks related to Trump’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. To understand what happened, let’s start with the facts that are undisputed about that meeting.
The main thing that is not in dispute is that during his meeting with Lavrov, Trump discussed Islamic State’s plan to blow up passenger flights with bombs hidden in laptop computers.
It’s hard to find fault with Trump’s actions. First of all, the ISIS plot has been public knowledge for several weeks.
Second, the Russians are enemies of ISIS. Moreover, Russia has a specific interest in diminishing ISIS’s capacity to harm civilian air traffic. In October 2015, ISIS terrorists in Egypt downed a Moscow-bound jetliner, killing all 254 people on board with a bomb smuggled on board in a soda can.
And now on to the issues that are in dispute.
Hours after the Trump-Lavrov meeting, The Washington Post reported that in sharing information about ISIS’s plans, Trump exposed intelligence sources and methods to Russia and in so doing, he imperiled ongoing intelligence operations carried out by a foreign government.
The next day, The New York Times reported that the sources and methods involved were Israeli. In sharing information about the ISIS plot with Lavrov, the media reported, Trump endangered Israel.
There are two problems with this narrative.
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