GUANTANAMO BAY — As the courtroom cleared following the adjournment of Omar Khadr’s first day of pre-trial hearings, a Marine captain asked me if I could address “an internet rumor.” Uh, sure, I replied. She wanted to know: did I somehow find a way to tweet from inside the extremely-secure courtroom? Flashing before my eyes at that moment were what my public Twitter feed records as 6644 tweets over two years.
There is absolutely no communication with the outside world once you enter the courtroom here. The rules are so strict that I cannot describe what goes into ensuring that they are complied with without risking my presence here. So when yesterday morning I tweeted my intention to tweet the military commissions as I thought they were about to proceed — Col. Parrish, the judge, actually cancelled the morning hearing so everyone could read the brand-new commission Manual on rules of evidence and procedure — I did so from the comfort of the makeshift media operations center, where I prepared to watch the morning hearing on closed-circuit TV. I wasn’t part of the morning pool.
But when “older people” saw my tweet — and I don’t remember learning that @OPSECJTFGTMO Is Now Following Me On Twitter! — the Marine captain told me, they “didn’t know what I was talking about.” It was all good; no rule was broken; and I wasn’t in trouble. She laughed it off. I nervously pretended to laugh and wondered to myself if I could sneak in a quick calm-down beer before having to write.
For the record, everyone: I’m scheduled to be part of the pool this morning. I will not be tweeting, blogging, talking, morse-coding or telepathically communicating a thing while I am in that courthouse. Ever. If I tweet something about to the hearings while they proceed, it means I am watching them from the press center on closed-circuit television. Just saying.