Quickie: Secret Trip, No Twits Allowed

Holy mother of goat! Someone taught them how to use Twitter without a “this is a secret trip” briefing!?

John M. Donnelly of CQ
reports that the
congressional trip to Iraq this weekend was supposed to be a secret. That was swell and all, news outlets reportedly knew of the trip but had been told the information was embargoed — until a member of the House Intelligence Committee broke the 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 Twitter.com readers—now know they’re there.”

From http://twitter.com/petehoekstra

Iraq! Issues! lLong term impact on containing Iran.. Need a coherent detainee strategy. Amb Crocker leaving after very successful tenure.
about 17 hours ago from TwitterBerry

Moved into green zone by helicopter Iraqi flag now over palace.Headed to new US embassy Appears calmer less chaotic than previous here.
11:56 PM Feb 5th from TwitterBerry

Just landed in Baghdad. I believe it may be first time I’ve had bb service in Iraq. 11 th trip here.
9:41 PM Feb 5th from TwitterBerry

Some 17 hours ago was when the last twit was posted. I imagine the next one would say:

Secrecy my foot. No briefing received. Had breakfast embassy cafeteria. Can’t say anything about food. Been told to shut up.

8:41 AM Feb 6th from TwitterBerry

Ah well, it’s a learning curve. Just make sure these folks get that briefing before the House Intelligence Committee starts having hearings.

Update: 2/11/2009 – The CQ update says the Pentagon is reviewing its communications with lawmakers traveling to war zones following a senior member’s disclosures about a delegation trip to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hoekstra Faces Heavy Criticism for Twittering Delegation’s Mideast Trip
“A spokesman for Hoekstra, Jamal Ware, said the congressman did nothing to harm the delegation’s security and was not part of any agreement restricting discussion of trip details. Ware declined to say whether anyone in Congress or at the Pentagon asked Hoekstra to keep the information quiet for security reasons.”