WH national-security official fired for leaking inside info on Twitter

posted at 10:41 am on October 23, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Call this a tale of two very different leaks in the White House. Late yesterday, the Daily Beast’s Josh Rogin reported that a national-security official in the Obama administration had been abruptly fired after discovering that he’d been tweeting pseudonymously for more than two years. Jofi Joseph turned out to be the mysterious NatSecWonk, which has criticized the White House on numerous occasions and leaked sensitive information:

Jofi Joseph, a director in the non-proliferation section of the National Security Staff at the White House, has been surreptitiously tweeting under the moniker @natsecwonk, a Twitter feed famous inside Washington policy circles since it began in February, 2011 until it was shut down last week. Two administration officials confirmed that the mystery tweeter was Joseph, who has also worked at the State Department and on Capitol Hill for Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Joe Biden. Until recently, he was part of the administration’s team working on negotiations with Iran.

During his time tweeting under the @natsecwonk name, Joseph openly criticized the policies of his White House bosses and often insulted their intellect and appearance. At different times, he insulted or criticized several top White House and State Department officials, including former National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, Secretary of State John Kerry, and many many others.

The Daily Beast saved a long record of @natsecwonk’s tweets prior to the shutting down of his Twitter feed.

“I’m a fan of Obama, but his continuing reliance and dependence upon a vacuous cipher like Valerie Jarrett concerns me,” he once tweeted.

“Was Huma Abedin wearing beer goggles the night she met Anthony Wiener? Almost as bad a pairing as Samantha Powers and Cass Sunstein ….,” he tweeted on another occasion, insulting a top Clinton aide, a then Congressman, and two White House senior officials in one tweet.

Looks like the “vacuous wonk” won in this case. Joseph also spent considerable time ripping Republicans, including my good friend John Noonan (by going after his weight? Weak, dude), but the newsmaking tweets were the barbs aimed internally.  Rogin notes that the identity of NatSecWonk surprised many in the foreign-policy community, because Joseph wasn’t just a low-level clerk.  He had been a fairly significant figure in the Obama administration, demonstrated by his new assignment on Iran, plus his wife Carolyn Leddy “is a well-respected professional staffer on the Republican side of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,” according to Rogin.

That’s what happens when leaks make the White House look bad.  But just as with any other administration, this White House has no trouble leaking information to make itself look good.  Freedom Watch filed a FOIA request to determine just how much cooperation the White House gave New York Times reporter David Sanger for his work on his reporting on Stuxnet, and the answer is — a lot.  Patrick Howley at the Daily Caller notes that the Stuxnet story played a lot better for Barack Obama:

White House and State Department officials cooperated extensively on background with a New York Times journalist during the period that he broke confidential national security information in a series of leaks that prompted outrage from lawmakers, according to unearthed 2011 and 2012 emails.

The nonprofit organization Freedom Watch, which obtained the internal State Department emails through a Freedom of Information Act request, believes that the Obama administration carried out the leaks to bolster a tough image for itself on Iran.

Then-Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Michael Hammer and other State Department employees arranged background interviews between New York Times chief Washington correspondent David Sanger and State Department officials between December 2011 and March 2012 for Sanger’s 2012 book “Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power.”

Sanger’s book included leaks of confidential national security information, including details of the computer worm Stuxnet that was used in a cyberattack against Iran. Sanger linked the worm to a U.S.-Israeli intelligence operation called “Operation Olympic Games” in a June 2012 New York Times article.

White House officials, including then-National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, began cooperating with Sanger before December 12, 2011.

“Yes, WH is cooperating, he has spent time with Donilon, others. They know he is looking to meet up with HRC and support,” Hammer wrote to his colleague Phillippe Reines in a December 12, 2011 email with the subject line “RE: Sanger.”

Something tells me that heads won’t be rolling for these self-serving leaks.  Congress may look into whether the White House exposed classified material in an attempt to make Obama look tough on Iran as the 2012 elections approached, but don’t expect much to come from it.  They have enough to investigate as it is now.


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“I’m a fan of Obama, but his continuing reliance and dependence upon a vacuous cipher like Valerie Jarrett concerns me,” he once tweeted.

That, and that alone, got him fired.

NotCoach on October 23, 2013 at 10:43 AM

But Edward Snowden is a “traitor”?
Look inside your own insular loop, ØbozØ.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on October 23, 2013 at 10:44 AM

They have enough to investigate as it is now.

Quit piling on!

BacaDog on October 23, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Ripping on Valeie Jarret, he is lucky he just got fired. I suspect the IRS is soon going to be straight up in his business.

Johnnyreb on October 23, 2013 at 10:46 AM

The guy could have used the Constitution for rolling paper and Obama wouldn’t have gotten rid of him, but criticize Obama and you’re gone.

Dongemaharu on October 23, 2013 at 10:51 AM

So apparently the only way to get fired from the obama administration is to criticize valerie jarrett.

HumpBot Salvation on October 23, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Congress may look into whether the White House exposed classified material in an attempt to make Obama look tough on Iran as the 2012 elections approached, but don’t expect much to come from it. They have enough to investigate as it is now.

Fixed for accuracy.

HumpBot Salvation on October 23, 2013 at 10:54 AM

“I’m a fan of Obama, but his continuing reliance and dependence upon a vacuous cipher like Valerie Jarrett concerns me,” he once tweeted.

That, and that alone, got him fired.

NotCoach on October 23, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Yep, in fact he’s lucky he wasn’t Fosterized.

slickwillie2001 on October 23, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Some guy tweeting insults… You’re FIRED!

Sec of HHS blowing hundreds of millions of dollars ona piece of crap system that will take hundreds of million more to fix… You’re AWESOME!

mankai on October 23, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Some guy tweeting insults… You’re FIRED!

Sec of HHS blowing hundreds of millions of dollars ona piece of crap system that will take hundreds of million more to fix… You’re AWESOME!

mankai on October 23, 2013 at 11:05 AM

That seems to be the secret. Keep kissing Obama’s ring and you’re safe.

Bitter Clinger on October 23, 2013 at 11:07 AM

I’d be surprised if he doesn’t die by suicide from multiple gunshot wounds.

Murphy9 on October 23, 2013 at 11:09 AM

It took them TWO YEARS to find out who he was? Ooof.

rcpjr on October 23, 2013 at 11:14 AM

I’d be surprised if he doesn’t die by suicide from multiple gunshot wounds.

Murphy9 on October 23, 2013 at 11:09 AM

And then they’ll resurrect BillyJeff’s favorite pathologist to cover it up.
♫♪ Ron Brown’s body lies a molderin’ in the grave … ♫♪
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on October 23, 2013 at 11:15 AM

I’d be surprised if he doesn’t die by suicide from multiple gunshot wounds.

Murphy9 on October 23, 2013 at 11:09 AM

In the back.

mankai on October 23, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Murphy9 on October 23, 2013 at 11:09 AM

I can already see Jay Clowney stating in the daily press lecture”
“We’re uncertain as to why Joseph shot himself in both knees, both arms, and then two behind the ear, but we be investigating this over the coming decades”.

HomeoftheBrave on October 23, 2013 at 11:17 AM

WH national-security official fired for leaking inside info on Twitter

What “inside information”? There is no inside information in the story or anywhere on the web. Just the jabs.

Unless the supposed insider information that was an actual threat to our security are posted by the administration that headline needs to be amended to say he was fired for his tweets criticizing Obama.

If it were a real threat he would be charged with something not just fired for having an opinion in his private life. Who fired him? How much was the investigation to find the anonymous twitter user? Who authorized the investigation?

This is a real story & a look in to the uber-Nixonian presidency we have in Valerie Jarrett.

batterup on October 23, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Why is Biden still around…wait a minute, is he still around, I haven’t seen him lately.

right2bright on October 23, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Since we’re talking about ‘leaks’, I wonder who leaked this???

https://data.healthcare.gov/dataset/QHP-Individual-Medical-Landscape/ba45-xusy

All of the Navigator and pricing data is only a bogus email away…

H/T: JWF via AoS HQ

CPT. Charles on October 23, 2013 at 11:26 AM

“So when will someone do us the favor of getting rid of Sarah Palin and the rest of her white trash family? What utter useless garbage …. ,” he tweeted last October.

Joseph also spent considerable time ripping Republicans, including my good friend John Noonan (by going after his weight? Weak, dude),

Death threat vs. Weight taunting?

portlandon on October 23, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Did JugEars read about the firing in the paper?

pain train on October 23, 2013 at 11:33 AM

One makes fun of Obama’s other squeeze and out one goes!

albill on October 23, 2013 at 11:33 AM

The administration’s latest, ‘Look Squirrel…’ moment to deflect attention from the EpicClusterFark.

Athos on October 23, 2013 at 11:56 AM

How did they find out is was him?!?

NSA!?!?!?

KMC1 on October 23, 2013 at 12:13 PM

But nobody got fired for Benghazi.

myiq2xu on October 23, 2013 at 12:18 PM

….he’s going to be hit by a car!

KOOLAID2 on October 23, 2013 at 12:20 PM

The Republican wife was probably the breaking point, I bet they are worried sick what he said to her.

Cindy Munford on October 23, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Ripping on Valeie Jarret, he is lucky he just got fired. I suspect the IRS is soon going to be straight up in his business.

Johnnyreb on October 23, 2013 at 10:46 AM

That, or Vince Fostered…

Big John on October 23, 2013 at 1:02 PM

The Obama administration has leaked like a sieve from Day 1. They have intentionally leaked classified info when they thought it would be a positive for Obama and have aggressively gone after anyone who has leaked negative items that put him in a bad light. His respect for classified information falls second only to his lack of respect for the U.S. Constitution and our Rule of Law.

easyt65 on October 23, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Fox News should hire him.

slickwillie2001 on October 23, 2013 at 3:12 PM

“I’m a fan of Obama, but his continuing reliance and dependence upon a vacuous cipher like Valerie Jarrett concerns me,” he once tweeted.

:)

Schadenfreude on October 23, 2013 at 5:54 PM