Most of Obama's words thus far suggest that he is staking a claim for the Moral High Ground. He has released the torture memos because he believes he is better than the Bush administration in this regard. He is releasing the pictures of "torture" prisoners for the very same reasons. When he was oversea he apologized for past US actions, because he nominally believe the US could have done better, and that under him we will. There are two things to consider here.
First is that if he thinks this will make the US safer or better he is wrong. Those who work toward our destruction do so not because of some reasoning, but some hatred. That we could have been better angers them. That we believe we could be better also angers them. There mere fact that we are different from what they want to be angers them, regardless of how good we are. Staking claim to the Moral High Ground may make things worse for us. It certainly not keeps us safer. Those that seek to compete against us will not treat us better, or help us further our goals. They compete against us because they think they can beat us. Given any opportunity to do so they will certainly try regardless of who has the Moral High Ground.
Second is that if he thinks he can claim the Moral High Ground he is also wrong. This sort of thinking seems rampant to those without practical experience in life, living by concepts they believe the world should operate by rather than the principles the world lives by. This is akin to a rich couple believing their wealth keeps their estate well maintained, rather than understanding that it is still the housekeepers and gardeners' labors over dirt. Or a hospital CEO proclaiming how many lives his hospital saves, without acknowledging it is the doctors and nurses work in soilage and pus. Or a general believing he won the battle rather than the soldiers killing and maiming. The difference between Obama's Moral High Ground and reality is the difference between Ideals and Practice.
At best, his stake for the Moral High Ground only shows his naïveté. What it clearly reveals is his hubris, not his humanity. And through it all, he has also demonstrated willingness to use politics to further himself.
I return to this topic after reviewing two recent events pertaining to the current Obama administration.
The first is his attempt to push through a health care reform package that he did not craft, that he doesn't know much about, and doesn't really care too much regarding the details other than it gets done and gets done quickly. Some commentators have suggested that he is trying to avoid the mistakes of Clinton's own attempt to reform health care, which was to too involved in its creation. To me it seems Obama have decided to allow others to craft the reform, and he would just be the catalyst to make it happen. This naturally allow him to take credit for its passage, should it pass, as well as distance himself from it, should it fail (and it should).
The second is his "allowance" of the Justice Department to investigate the CIA interrogation of captured terrorist (note it really just one terrorist that this is all about, the guy who helped planned the 911 attack Khalid Sheikh Mohammed). To me he is putting both attorney general Eric Holder out on the limb as the one person actually politically responsible for the investigation (though certainly another person as lead investigator actually will do the factual work) as well as as Leon Panetta as the current head of the CIA. This way he will appease the far left who have clamored for an investigation. The political fall out during the investigation will now be between the CIA and the Justice department with him as the overlord observer. Should the investigation finds something, Panetta will certainly be the fall guy within his own CIA for allowing the investigation. Should the investigation finds nothing, Holder will be left holding an empty bag and suffer the rantings of the unhinged left. Either way Obama is shirking actual responsibility for the investigation, or the even more responsible decision not to investigate at all.
Everything points to Obama being a very poor leader. He may be inspiring to his supporter but he doesn't take ownerships of his decisions, letting others fall away while he takes credit for their success or distance himself for their failure. A true leader lead by leading, not by being.