Louisiana Congressman Joseph Cao used TheHill.com’s Congress Blog to fire a parting shot across the bow of the Obama administration Friday, blasting Obama for what he termed a “pathetic” response to the ongoing Wikileaks revelations.
Entitled “Our national security should not depend on Assange,” Cao’s op-ed is by far the harshest criticism of the president since he took his congressional seat. It’s another example of the New Orleans Republican’s move to appease conservatives in advance of a possible run for Secretary of State in next year’s elections.
Cao’s main problem with the administration’s handling of the Wikileaks debacle is one of emphasis. He assails the administration for unleashing a torrent of condemnation of Wikileaks without taking steps to improve the security of the nation’s secrets.
Rather than pointing the finger of blame at a World Wide Web site based outside the U.S. for doing what it was set up to do—leak information to the international public—the administration would do better to acknowledge its own fault and failures in the matter. After all, WikiLeaks’ suspected source for the information was none other than a U.S. army intelligence analyst who allegedly pilfered the data from a U.S. army base with staggering ease by downloading it onto a memory stick.
Instead of complaining about new media operators who have found ways to exploit cracks in the system, the administration should be hard at work evaluating and assessing the weaknesses of our nation’s information security both at home and abroad; it should be focused on bringing in the resources and establishing procedures to protect the lives of those affected by the information leaked; it should be devising protocols for safe-guarding the nation’s online security and diplomatic resources.
Then comes a direct attack on Obama in the close of the entry – which can be taken as a response to the president’s having cut a TV spot for Cao’s opponent Cedric Richmond in the November elections. That spot was the only one the president appeared in during the recently-completed cycle, and it came as an especially tough blow to Cao after two years of the Congressman’s efforts to build a bridge to Obama. It’s hard not to see a little frustration coming out of Cao’s pen in retribution:
The principal role of the presidency is to protect the United States and the lives of its people—not to doodle with passing blame, which the administration has the tendency of doing. The integrity of our national security cannot and should not depend on the likes of guys like Julian Paul Assange to do the right thing.