A “Canary Trap” is a term invented by Tom Clancy in his novel Patriot Games to describe an effort to catch a person leaking information by giving a story, or different versions of a story, to a few suspected targets. If it leaks you know who did it based on who was given that story. Game of Thrones fans will recognize it as the technique brilliantly used by Tyrion Lannister to expose the member of the Privy Council betraying him to his sister. Tyrion gave different information to Varys, Littlefinger, and Pycelle. It was Pycelle who was betraying him.
President Trump is in a rage over leaks within his administration. He raged against them in Thursday’s press conference and that morning tweeted a threat to catch those responsible.
The very next day the Associated Press released a story claiming that Trump was planning to activate 100,000 members of the National Guard to act as immigration agents in the round up of illegal aliens.
The White House quickly denied the claim, and the AP also reported that denial.
However, AP even after this continued to support its claim in subsequent tweets.
The AP claimed to have a draft memo of the plan which it has published. The draft suggests it would have come from John Kelly, the head of Homeland Security.
I can’t help but to wonder if the alleged draft memo is a “Canary Trap” by the administration to catch those responsible for leaks in the administration. Various versions of the “draft” memo could have been created with subtle differences, each given to different people, so that when it leaked to the media the source would be known.
Just speculation on my part, but something interesting to think about.