When the official history of the Obama administration is written, I suspect that his time spent on holiday for the 2009/10 holiday season will be identified as the period when the American Mainstream Media (MSM) finally realized that they could no longer cover for Obama and his administration's spectacular shortcomings.
It will also be noted that this was the period where the U.S. Intelligence system, an incredibly Byzantine amalgam of hardware (lethal and nonlethal) , software , organizations and people, decided that it was in their own best interests to start a overt and covert campaign to denigrate Obama and his Chicago Thugocracy. If you don't think that is possible, I suggest you ask George W. Bush for his opinion on this subject.
From what I can gather, it was the elite, Ivy League, good old boy's club that inhabits the Intelligence bureaucracy that went after Bush, simply because they are, like their stooges in the MSM, very liberal and could not abide the black and white world of good vs. evil that G.W often painted the world.
Both the CIA and State Department are in the control of Ivy League, east coast elites, who just don't think they are better and smarter than everyone, but KNOW they are better and smarter than everyone. Their hated of Bush (and old fashioned American values like Patriotism) was instinctive and necessary in order to remain members of good standing with their Beltway Peers. But one thing Bush never did was blame intelligence professionals or whine about his fate. (Fault the Man all you want... and there are many faults to exploit... but he was stoic in the face of contemptuous, surreptitious and anonymous assault from the Leftwing Intelligence and State Department Elite)
Obama, on the other hand, was supposed to be their guy, embracing their own allegedly sophisticated view of the world which is of muted shades of gray. That is, until they, like all organizations, were shown not to be perfect. Believe me, while the CIA (Ivy League/Elite dominated!) hated Bush because they hated his worldview, they will now go after Obama for a much more base reason, he threatens their jobs and government pensions.
Let me be clear. There was no way for Obama to have really stopped the "Panty-bomber". He is the president, the big picture guy. It is not his job to put the Intel pieces together nor is his job to stop "panty-bombers". That job belongs to guys a lot further down the Totem pole.
What is Mr. Obama's job is to make sure that the attitude and the overall morale / posture of both overt (military) and Covert (CIA, etc) are set aggressively enough to make so people down the Totem pole are confident enough to take action without having to face charges and accusations later.
It is also Mr. Obama's job to have the backs of such people that reside on the "Tip of the Spear". So let's sit back and review Mr. Obama's actions to date:
1) Obama is surging troops to Afghanistan, but instead of getting better control of the situation, things have gotten dramatically worse. Why? Three Words: Rules of Engagement. Go search on "Afghanistan, ROE, Obama. What you will find after a little research is that the ROE for our troops have been dramatically curtailed by this administration and guess what, the enemy knows this (they get the Internet and TV just like we do) . The end result is a toxic brew of US Forces to afraid to act with an enemy knowing where and how far he can push the envelope. We have an administration that is more concerned with not accidentally killing innocents vice protecting our own from harm. Our people are now more afraid of criminal (!!!) prosecution if things go south vice letting the bad guys go free! Imagine these rules being in effect for the Allies in WWII. It is laughable.
2) Obama says his Intel team is a vast improvement on Bush's team. I'm sorry, but political correctness reigns supreme with these people. No profiling, but reaching out to terrorists in hopes of converting to our side is "ok"; A more "understanding" approach to the plight of the Muslim is the unwritten law. The result is the CIA is just as hamstrung as our military by this rush "not to judge", and were probably just as aware that Obama and his team would throw them out to the wolves when/if they made one mistake, or be responsible for an embarrassment that occurred on their watch. Obama confirmed their fears this week with his incredible "Point the finger to anybody but Me!" routine.
3) The international community has woken up to the fact that Obama is NOT a serious man. All Hat and No Cattle. For all of former President Bush's faults, deep inside he
a) Believed in America and
b) Could Wake up at 2:00 AM; Unhesitatingly order the Death of fellow Human Beings, even if meant fellow Americans might be killed while his orders are carried out; Then go to back to sleep.
A wartime commander must be willing to inflict as well as absorb casualties. This trait is essential to any wartime president. Lincoln had it, FDR (deep down, a cold-hearted bastard) had it in spades and guess what: George Bush had it. It is clear Obama lacks this one essential trait of a wartime president and we will all suffer because of this. Obama is a political bully at heart and bullies only attack easy targets. Now, the world is becoming aware of Obama's lack of steel in his spine (except for Russia's Putin, who has known it even before Obama was elected.)
It is going to be a dangerous three years till January 20th 2013.