posted by Edward Felker, P-B Washington Bureau
Freshman Rep. Tim Walz, D-Mankato, is due back in Washington this evening from his first trip to Iraq, his office said today. An announcement of a press event tomorrow from Walz's office confirmed that his trip with other lawmakers included time in Iraq and Germany.
Walz spoke with reporters Friday about his four days in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but would not outline the rest of the trip due to security restrictions. While some lawmakers arrange press calls when visiting Iraq, most congressional delegations do not publicize their itineraries until after they have left Iraq or Kuwait.
While Walz's office on Friday asked reporters not to speculate about his further stops, the Post-Bulletin did not do so based on two other factors. One, he gave no details whatsoever about his plans, and those could have been canceled at any time. Secondly, an intelligent observer can deduce that by not immediately coming home, and having traveled to Afghanistan to meet with American commanders and troops, Walz was on his way to Iraq.
At least one blog and KEYC-TV in Mankato this weekend said Walz was traveling to the Middle East, which to me indicates Iraq, but we and others confined our portrayals to the actual countries we knew he visited. It certainly says something about Iraq, five years since the U.S. invaded, that members of Congress cannot say they are going there until they leave.