West Michigan Republican Representative Pete Hoekstra’s use of Twitter during a recent trip to Iraq has led to a review of government policy according to an article in Congressional Quarterly.
Congressional Quarterly reports:
“A Defense Department spokesman, Navy Cdr. Darryn James, said Tuesday the Pentagon’s policy is to withhold itineraries until congressional delegations reach their destinations inside war zones. The House sergeant at arms and House Armed Services Committee echoed that concern in separate statements Tuesday.
And James said Hoekstra’s actions have led Defense Department officials to review how they communicate those restrictions to lawmakers, who now have access to mobile communications devices linked to global networks.”
The information Hoekstra disclosed was not classified, however, several aides interview in the Congressional Quarterly article said that legislators are routinely told not to disclose details of where they are traveling overseas.
As we reported on Tuesday, Hoekstra has downplayed the controversy. Later that day, he released a document titled “Democrats Claim Disclosing Travel is a Safety Risk–Except when they Do It” that shows several instances when Democratic legislatures have issued statements while in Iraq. However, Hoekstra’s updates via Twitter–which disclosed the approximate location of his delegation–were considerably more specific than the examples he shared with the media.