Should Michigan congressman Peter Hoekstra, the ranking minority member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, have his security clearance taken away?
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.
Among other secrets, Hoekstra was asked to keep his own presence, as well as that of other representatives in Baghdad, a secret. To guard against little things like assassination. Now if Pete Hoekstra wants to get his own fool self assassinated, I suppose that's his business.
But it doesn't seem fair to the soldiers and security personnel who are supposed to guard him that he's broadcasting their movements to the entire world, now does it? If Al Qaeda and the like didn't follow Congressman Hoekstra's Twitter account before this weekend, it's a safe bet that they do now. Not to mention Russia, China, and Iran.
Here are some other insights Mr. Hoekstra shared over the weekend:
Headed home!Situation in Iraq improves significantly.Afghanistan poses challenges!Lots of stuff to talk about when I get home Monday late pm
Love twitter critics.Spelling mistakes. Sorry but riding in poor light, bouncing around,speed not accuracy. Lighten up. Its called twitter
Moved into green zone by helicopter Iraqi flag now over palace.Headed to new US embassy Appears calmer less chaotic than previous here.
All entries [sic]. Now I could take a cheap partisan shot at Mr. Hoekstra, reminding readers that in 2010 he'll be campaigning for promotion to chairman of the House Intelligence Committee on the grounds that Republicans appreciate the need for secrecy and security. But that wouldn't be fair, as I'm quite sure that there are Democrats every bit as loose-lipped as Hoekstra.
Still, perhaps it says a lot about how far things have come in Iraq, that a sensitive visit to what was once one of the most dangerous places on earth is now a fit subject for tweets, like a junket to Paris. So I'll suggest instead that both parties, and America, might be better served if Hoekstra and his like were moved to positions better suited to their talents, such as the House Select Committee on Naming Post Offices.