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Media see WikiLeaks cables as security porn. They don't get it. Nor does Obama.

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Senator John McCain has demanded that Manning’s superiors be investigated and disciplined, but most politicos have focused on Assange, demanding he be tried for treason, hunted down, and possibly even killed. But what of the U.S. government? Should there not be consequences for a failure of this kind? Is there no chain of command in the military, and does every private first class have access to some of the most confidential musings of our national leaders? Who was Manning’s supervisor when the leak happened? Where was the internal monitoring system keeping track of unusual downloads? Is this Private alone responsible for the WikiLeaks scandal?

These are serious questions, yet they are a matter of apparent indifference to the Obama administration, which has focused attention almost exclusively on adjusting its skirts while doing the international walk of shame. Security procedures have beeen tweaked and hatches are reportedly being battened down, but heads are not rolling. Apparently, it’s enough that we close the barn door and hope that no other horses get away.

Perceptions at home and abroad

Overseas, this lack of command and control within the US government is an object of concern for our allies and a source of conspiracy theorizing among our enemies. Friends view the scandal as just the latest sign of American weakness, of a piece with a president whose policies appear less and less consequential in addressing the threats we face. They question the reliability and seriousness of their putative ally in Washington. Perversely, enemies like Iran are persuaded still of American might, and cannot conceive that incompetence is at the root of the largest leak in decades, if not ever.

And what of the perception at home? The State Department cables WikiLeaks published reveal an Obama administration that:

• Worries North Korea is transferring missiles to Iran, but ignores the misbehavior of the former and seeks rapprochement with the latter nonetheless.

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