Obama's Compartmentalization Tactic Has a Shelf Life

Right now, the President’s compartmentalization tactic is working, but it has a shelf life.

Compartmentalization is a tactic to insulate the top level of an organization, be it one engaged in legal, nefarious or human intelligence gathering, from criticism, prosecution, or discovery, respectively.  

For example, in Chicago politics, compartmentalization has, for decades, successfully insulated its mayors from complicity in a variety of alleged questionable activities.  “I didn’t know about that,” is the verbal wall that signals compartmentalization.

Organized crime uses compartmentalization to shield its leaders from complicity and prosecution. The Mafia Don sends his orders down through Lieutenants, verbally and in private.  

Human intelligence gathering agencies use it to limit exposure to only one level above a compromised clandestine agent.   

The Obama administration has, so far, effectively used compartmentalization to shelter the President from criticism. For example:

The stimulus bill was framed as a product of a Democrat Congress, not the President. He preaches fiscal responsibility.

The bailout plan was packaged as a brainchild of “My Secretary of the Treasury,” not Obama. And when Obama does get close to it, it becomes a holdover from the previous administration. Not his fault.

In his current international apology tour, the President compartmentalizes himself from that for which he apologizes by saying it happened before his watch, or when he was too young to be complicit.

The move afoot to investigate and, perhaps, prosecute C.I.A. personnel in conjunction with the treatment of terrorist detainees is being promoted by Democrats in Congress, not by the President. He’s decided to let Attorney General Holder decide what to do. Obama preaches looking forward, not backward.

And, the recent Pirate hostage episode found the President mute until it ended.  Had it not ended well from the U.S. perspective, there was a ready-made cutout between Obama and the event.  He would have accepted intangible responsibility, but the MSM would have found a tangible scapegoat somewhere below the Oval Office level.

In the long run, though, compartmentalization has a shelf life. Somewhere over the horizon waits an event, national or international, that requires decisive action on the part of the POTUS, and him alone.  And Obama's compartmentalization tactic will expire.


Right now, the President’s compartmentalization tactic is working, but it has a shelf life.

Compartmentalization is a tactic to insulate the top level of an organization, be it one engaged in legal, nefarious or human intelligence gathering, from criticism, prosecution, or discovery, respectively.  

For example, in Chicago politics, compartmentalization has, for decades, successfully insulated its mayors from complicity in a variety of alleged questionable activities.  “I didn’t know about that,” is the verbal wall that signals compartmentalization.

Organized crime uses compartmentalization to shield its leaders from complicity and prosecution. The Mafia Don sends his orders down through Lieutenants, verbally and in private.  

Human intelligence gathering agencies use it to limit exposure to only one level above a compromised clandestine agent.   

The Obama administration has, so far, effectively used compartmentalization to shelter the President from criticism. For example:

The stimulus bill was framed as a product of a Democrat Congress, not the President. He preaches fiscal responsibility.

The bailout plan was packaged as a brainchild of “My Secretary of the Treasury,” not Obama. And when Obama does get close to it, it becomes a holdover from the previous administration. Not his fault.

In his current international apology tour, the President compartmentalizes himself from that for which he apologizes by saying it happened before his watch, or when he was too young to be complicit.

The move afoot to investigate and, perhaps, prosecute C.I.A. personnel in conjunction with the treatment of terrorist detainees is being promoted by Democrats in Congress, not by the President. He’s decided to let Attorney General Holder decide what to do. Obama preaches looking forward, not backward.

And, the recent Pirate hostage episode found the President mute until it ended.  Had it not ended well from the U.S. perspective, there was a ready-made cutout between Obama and the event.  He would have accepted intangible responsibility, but the MSM would have found a tangible scapegoat somewhere below the Oval Office level.

In the long run, though, compartmentalization has a shelf life. Somewhere over the horizon waits an event, national or international, that requires decisive action on the part of the POTUS, and him alone.  And Obama's compartmentalization tactic will expire.