Predictably, Sarah Palin calls Obama out for not doing something about Wikileaks sooner. It’s a good question; why hasn’t he?
There are those who believe that it’s because Obama is so intent on sabotaging the United States and its standing in the world that he’s secretly happy about the embarrassment of the latest Wikileaks dump. But those people ignore the fact that it’s the Obama administration itself that is most revealed, and most damaged, in its ability to use diplomacy and communicate with its allies. As Heather Hurlburt points out in the New Republic, the lack of protective secrecy will have a chilling effect on what she calls “progressive” foreign policy: i.e. Obama’s reliance on and faith in diplomacy.
It is telling that it’s only now that the Obama administration seems to care about Wikileaks. When the dump was just about the military, his objections were ho-hum. Now they seem to have a little more bite, because it’s getting personal—especially for Hillary Clinton.
Whether or not anything will come of threats by Holder to “investigate” whether Assange has violated the espionage or any other act (no doubt he’s shaking in his shoes in Sweden or Switzerland or Iceland, thinking about a nice warm vacation in Ecuador) remains to be seen.
One of the hallmarks of the Obama administration so far has been a curious lead-footedness, a slowness to react to breaking events. I’m not sure whether it is due to Obama’s personal indecisiveness, or some problem with his chain of command, or his desire to placate all sides by not taking a stand until the last possible moment, or all of the above, or some other factor. But this slowness has been quite noticeable in many arenas, and is part of the perception of weakness and hesitancy that Obama and company have engendered.
I doubt very much whether Julian Assange feels Obama and Holder to be any sort of threat at all to his safety. And my guess is also that, even though the recent dump was widely telegraphed by Assange in advance, Obama had trouble believing it would actually happen to him. After all, he’s the good guy—he’s not Bush; he’s Obama, the one who means well, the one who keeps apologizing for America abroad and who wants to end American exceptionalism.
Nothing in Obama’s previous life has prepared him for anything but worldwide adulation and approval from the likes of someone like Assange. When Robert Gibbs remarked that it’s an understatement to say that Obama was “not pleased” by the most recent Wikileaks disclosures, one can be fairly sure he’s telling the truth. Not pleased, and surprisingly surprised.