One of the stories I have let sail past me is the Wikileaks story. This issue strikes right at the heart of the sorts of cognitive dissonance we live with now. Which is to say one of, perhaps the biggest, disappointments with the Obama administration has nothing to do with increasing the deficit to stimulate the economy, or health care. That disappointment is the large scale continuation of business as usual in the executive branch. Now, the current Afghan surge is possibly part of that situation (that is sort of ambiguous), but the sorts of things revealed in the Wikileaks dump clearly is. Without having gone through them, I gather there have been secret talks where our middle eastern allies are pushing us to at least bomb Iran.
Glenn Greenwald has been covering this story, and delves into government and media reaction to the Wikileaks release. And to me, that is where things get interesting. The government is objecting to this theft of secret documents and the media is largely agreeing with them. Bill Keller admits to checking with the administration as it went to publish parts of the release, to make sure lives would not be endangered. So how is that different than Judith Miller publishing information about WMD's that she got from the (previous) administration without independent confirmation in the run-up to the Iraq war?
However, since this is the Obama administration, many people are caught between their automatic support for a Democratic administration and their desire to support whistle-blowers standing up to authority. Actually, I'll allow that any given person's support for Obama may be more nuanced than "automatic", but any one who steps back and tries to look at this situation dispassionately has to wonder why the Obama administration is acting so much like the Bush administration. Most nobody is stepping back. And that is a problem because it will have a further chilling efect on whistle blowers elsewhere in the government and in private industry.
The movie "Inside Job" also noted that many of Obama's top advisers, including Timothy Geitner and Lawrence Summers, have strong ties to banks and Wall Street (including sitting on boards). Now, I won't say that Obama's administration should have been a complete break with the past. But I think that an attempt at more balance, bringing in some people who were less inclined to place the financial industries' interests over the rest of the country, would have been a good thing. Increasingly, Obama is inhabiting the worst of all worlds. He is villainized by the right, excoriated by the Tea Party, and yet serves the interests of super rich and the military industrial complex. Can we get something, either Obama cutting his ties to industry and secrecy, or for the right to acknowledge Obama has done them a lot of good?