The good news is that Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) is using Twitter. The bad news is that the Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee slipped up and Tweeted a few details about a Congressional delegation trip to Iraq that was supposed to be kept quiet until it was over, likely for security reasons.
Now, contrary to some of the overheated rhetoric being found online, this doesn’t qualify as a classified national security secret. In fact, Congressional Quarterly acknowledges that they knew about it before Hoekstra’ Tweets. So it really falls more into the category of unpublicized rather than super secret information.
Yet it was clearly a mistake. And Hoekstra should have known better. It does show one of the risks of immediate, direct, unfiltered communication through tools like Twitter. In the days of more structured communication, there would have been many check valves to stop this inadvertent public disclosure. Either Hoekstra’s staff or a reporter may well have stopped the broad dissemination of these facts.
No need to throw the baby out with the bathwater though. Ultimately, no real harm appears to have been done here, but it does offer up an important cautionary note for everyone on Twitter and similar services.
Just because you CAN Tweet anything does not mean you should.