From today’s New York Times:
“A senior White House official who was helping negotiate nuclear issues with Iran has been fired after being unmasked as the acidic voice behind a Twitter account known for its insults of public figures at the White House and on Capitol Hill, a government official said on Tuesday.
Jofi Joseph was director of nuclear non-proliferation on the White House National Security Council staff, but for more than two years sent hundreds of anonymous and abrasive tweets using the handle @NatSecWonk.
He was fired last week after he was caught, the official said.”
Mr Joseph deserves to be fired for the abuse of his responsibilities as a senior player in the President’s National Security team, since he had privy to sensitive information, which he could have easily released under this false identity. This is as bad as someone creating a separate email account to avoid scrutiny by those who are responsible for system operations (SYSOP).
Those of you who have followed and read my commentaries know that I am certainly not a fan generally of President Obama. But, as President, he, as well as any other person who had held or will hold the office, is entitled to discuss his ideas regarding any issue with his advisors without fear of having those discussions leaked via email, Twitter, Facebook or any other social network or other medium. It is the President who, under our Constitution, is responsible to advise the Congress and the people of policies which may be forthcoming and not some subordinate.
For those who will take the position that Mr Joseph’s right to freedom of speech may have been violated, the Constitution does not protect those who falsely shout “Fire!” in a crowded movie theatre without consequence. Essentially, this is what Mr Joseph did by criticizing his superiors and the President in his role. He should have resigned had he disagreed with the President’s policies and wanted to criticize him, as I do.
And to hide behind a false identification so he would not be discovered, well to me, that is the coward’s way of conduct. He should be ashamed of himself, which I am sure, he won’t be. This man, though, will be sought out by many groups for his contacts and celebrity, which is really the current agenda of today’s media.
My advice to those who think this is a great thing to do, remember that the leopard doesn’t change his spots. He can’t be trusted to do right by you if he didn’t do right by the President.