Saturday, February 07, 2009

What a Twit

From CQ:

Congressman Twitters an Iraq Security Breach
By John M. Donnelly, CQ Staff

A congressional trip to Iraq this weekend was supposed to be a secret.

But the cat’s out of the bag now, thanks to a member of the House Intelligence Committee who broke an embargo via Twitter.

A delegation led by House Minority Leader John A. Boehner , R-Ohio, arrived in Iraq earlier today, and because of Rep. Peter Hoekstra , R-Mich., the entire world — or at least readers—now know they’re there.

“Just landed in Baghdad,” messaged Hoekstra, a former chairman of the Intelligence panel and now the ranking member, who is routinely entrusted to keep some of the nation’s most closely guarded secrets.

Before the delegation left Washington, they were advised to keep the trip to themselves for security reasons. A few media outlets, including Congressional Quarterly, learned about it, but agreed not to disclose anything until the delegation had left Iraq.

Nobody expected, though, that a lawmaker with such an extensive national security background would be the first to break the silence. And in such a big way.

Not only did Hoekstra reveal the existence of the lawmakers’ trip, but included details about their itinerary in updates posted every few hours on his Twitter page, until he suddenly stopped, for some reason, on Friday morning.

Since it’s already a matter of public record, here are some of Hoekstra’s twitter dispatches, typos and all, delivered in just 140 characters or less:

“On the way to Andrews Air Force base.12 hour flight to mid east. Be back on Mon instead of tues. Votes mon. I’ll keep you posted,” he wrote on Feb. 4

In his last dispatch today, he wrote: “Moved into green zone by helicopter Iraqi flag now over palace. Headed to new US embassy Appears calmer less chaotic than previous here [sic].”

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