In the street of the blind, the one eyed man is the guiding light
– Genesis Rabbah (300-500 CE)
Last week Yediot Ahronot reported, now confirmed by Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post, that Israel’s Intelligence Community has itself been warned to be careful sharing and transferring information and intelligence with the White House during the next Administration. Now the Sunday Times of London and The Guardian are reporting that our British allies are very, very concerned:
A British intelligence source with extensive transatlantic experience said US spies had labelled Trump and his advisers’ links to the Kremlin problematic. “Until we have established whether Trump and senior members of his team can be trusted, we’re going to hold back,” the source told the Times. “Putting it bluntly, we can’t risk betraying sources and methods to the Russians.”
The concern is that any information and intelligence shared after the transition will wind up with the Russians and the Russians would likely provide it to the Iranians (and the unspoken bit here for the Israelis is the Iranians would share it with the Syrians and Hezbullah). That this information quickly leaked from the Israelis is not an accident or a coincidence. It was intended to leak in order to provide the same message our allies and partners: that anything shared with the incoming Administration’s White House team may wind up with Russia. Through the Israeli leak the US’s other allies, partners, and clients have now been warned. This includes the other four members of the Five Eyes Intelligence alliance, the rest of our NATO allies, and other allies and partners. They have all been put on notice that the US Intelligence Community thinks that the incoming President, Vice President, their strategy, policy, and communication advisors, the incoming National Security Advisor and his deputies, and the rest of the incoming White House team cannot be trusted with classified information.
This means that the US will have its ability to see and hear seriously restricted starting next Friday. We won’t be blind, as we’ll still have our own capability, but our vision will be significantly dimmed and our hearing significantly dulled. This will make managing and mitigating the foreign, defense, and national security problem sets that we are currently facing, let along the ability to anticipate future ones, much more difficult. And this includes the ongoing Russian active measures, influence, and cyber operations directed at us, at our allies, and at our partners.
We are off the looking glass and through the map.