Step Away From The BlackBerry, Sir…

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A couple of weeks ago, I marveled at the fact that Congressman Pete Hoekstra was twittering from inside what was supposed to be a private session with President Obama. Now, CQ Politics tells us:

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 Twitter.com 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.

I wonder: Does Osama bin Laden have a Twitter account?

(As the spouse of a State Department reporter, I know first-hand–and appreciate–that these trips are supposed to be kept under wraps. On more than one occasion when Mr. Swamp has traveled with the Secretary, I learned of the fact that he was in Baghdad only after she (and he) arrived there safely.)

UPDATE: Commenter Jay Ackroyd informs us that “Osama” does indeed have a Twitter account. His most recent updates:

GETOSAMA… Get Osama… XBox? English not good. Cave boring without XBox. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id… 4:26 PM Dec 24th, 2008 from web

Hung over from drinking bad Pakistani… uh I mean Afghani… uh… “cave in an undisclosed location”-i liquor 11:34 AM Dec 14th, 2008 from web

154 people are following me on Twitter — far more than from the American army! 10:57 PM Nov 20th, 2008 from web

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