"President Obama blamed "the system" for failing to stop al Qaeda's Christmas Day bombing plot. The weakness with that excuse is that Mr. Obama fails to connect the dots between the systemic failure and his administration's year-long record of destroying the morale of the intelligence community. Mr. Obama has destroyed this sense of trust. On his watch, the intelligence community has suffered a year of body blows. He made great theater of signing an executive order closing the terrorist detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In April, the president authorized the release of the so-called "torture memos" on enhanced interrogation techniques used against detainees, and suggested that Congress establish a bipartisan review panel to look into the authorization of extraordinary interrogation methods. Mr. Obama said, "for those who carried out ... these operations within the four corners of legal opinions or guidance ... provided from the White House, I do not think it's appropriate for them to be prosecuted." He then authorized Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to begin an investigation, even though career prosecutors at the Justice Department already had examined the circumstances and found no CIA violations of law. Considering the Obama administration has made targeted killings by drones the centerpiece of its counterterrorism strategy, this charge seemed gratuitous and hypocritical. These and other events helped drive morale in the intelligence community to new lows. Mr. Obama's actions have created a climate that punishes risk-taking and ensures that dots go unconnected. CIA Director Leon Panetta warned last May, "If they start to use these issues as political clubs to beat each other up with, that's when we not only pay a price but this country pays a price." We now have intelligence agencies whose unofficial mottos are "stay in your lane," and "cover your rear." There is an old saying in intelligence circles: Big operation, big risk; small operation, small risk; no operation, no risk. The president's proposed "solution" to the failures of the intelligence system will reinforce a climate of mistrust in which it will be difficult to take the risks necessary to make the system work. And next time we may not be so lucky. EDITORIAL: Obama's havoc to the intel system - Washington Times No, President Obama isn't an empty suit... he's a chalk outline!