Step away from the Blackberry

STEP AWAY FROM THE BLACKBERRY…. Republicans appear anxious to demonstrate their new-found affinity for technology, web apps, and gizmos. A recent debate between candidates for RNC chair featured an argument over who had more friends on Facebook. It’s all rather silly, but the minority party wants to demonstrate their ability to embrace new mediums.

Once in a while, this goes a little too far.

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.

Remember, Hoekstra chaired the Intelligence Committee. He deals with classified information on a daily basis, and has received extensive instructions on how to keep national security secrets under wraps.

And yet, Hoekstra, who was told not to talk about this trip, not only shared its existence on Twitter, but “included details about their itinerary in updates posted every few hours on his Twitter page.”