Let's say you're the President, and you ran a campaign that, aside from a lot of ridiculous slogans, was in part based on a promise to run the most transparent administration ever. Let's say that you even went so far as to claim that your administration would protect whistleblowers more than any other administration has.
What if, under your watch, an ATF whistleblower came forward with the news that the ATF had just screwed up, and in an operation designed to ensnare illegal guns and gunrunners who were taking these weapons across the US-Mexican border to arm Mexican drug gangs, had just let the guns and the bad guys slip away right under their noses? The answer is that you would fire someone...but who to fire? Well, if you are Obama, do you fire the head of the ATF - the guy in charge of the agency that just made you look bad? Of course not. You fire the whistleblower. And then you hope that no one remembers what you promised a couple of years ago. Although, I would be willing to bet that these guys have taken notice and exception.
But we really shouldn't be surprised that this President forgets what he said in the past when it's politically expedient to do the opposite today.