The Cryptologic Coup, or How it May Just be the Case

The NSA describes the deciphering of the code behind the Zimmerman telegram as "clearly the greatest cryptologic coup of the First World War." I find the word coup to be an interesting choice of language, especially considering that in the previous page the NSA details how the British needed to keep secret their cryptographic office because it was spying on America -- an at-the-time neutral country -- and how such a revelation could have aroused American anger at the British, instead of at our intended enemy: the German Kaiser. President Wilson -- who had been re-elected under the slogan "He kept us out of the war!" -- obtained the Zimmerman Telegram from Room 40 (the British cryptographic office,) but would later claim that he got it from his own people.
How was Wilson able to claim to Congress and the American people that the Zimmerman telegram came from his own people and not from the British? Well, President Wilson set a precedent for creative reconstruction that the DEA uses to this day: "to support this story, the government retrieved from the office of Western Union the coded original from Ambassador von Bernstoff to the German embassy in Mexico. This was sent to London where, using keys provided by Room 40, an official of the United States embassy deciphered the message. This allowed President Wilson to state truthfully [emphasis mine] that he had obtained the Zimmerman telegram and its deciphered version from his own people, thus blunting the argument of many pacifists that the message was a fake supplied by Great Britain or France to inflame American opinion. The story was widely accepted in Congress."
Today we stand on the verge of another "War to End all Wars," and revelations by Snowden have shown that Director of National Intelligence Clapper lied to Congress. In his defense, Clapper stated: "I told the least untruth possible." It used to be the case that lying to Congress was an extremely serious offense, but as long as it's the least untruth, you're untouchable. And it may just be the case that what we believed was a constitutional Congress, is in fact a rubber-stamp parliament.
Does Israel have a Room 40? Yes, and in the same way that the NSA can spy on Europeans today, so can the Israelis spy on foreigners. And it may just be the case that our entry into another great war relies on evidence provided by a modern-day Room 40. I'm certain that Assad used chemical weapons. In fact, I was bold enough to write about it on Sunday, a day before Kerry announced it to the world.
Paraphrasing Noam Chomsky on the attacks of September the 11th: "it doesn't matter if Assad used chemical weapons." Assad is slated to win the Civil War should there be no Western intervention. Should Assad win his Civil War, then Israel will find itself surrounded by battle-hardened adversaries. Hezbollah alone was able to hit an Israeli ship, blow up tanks, and in the eyes of the Arab world, to win the 2006 war.
For the past two years, Hezbollah has gained even more expertise and capabilities, especially because of their participation on Assad's side. To Israeli planners, the bloody writing is on the proverbial wall: the Golan Heights will be retaken soon after Assad wins the civil war. That Syria takes only the Golan Heights is an optimistic scenario.
The Financial Times today reported that Israel feels alone. But in March, however, Obama told the Israelis: "Atem lo levad [You are not alone.]" If Israel is indeed not alone, then it may just be the case that the world stands on the verge of another World War.