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Secret’s out: CIA happily tweets away

– At long last, our national wait is over: the CIA joined Twitter.

One of the nation’s major spy organizations joined the social media game Friday, announcing its presence with a snarky tweet that will immediately be familiar to national security journalists who have spent years trying to get information from it.

“We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet,” it said, poking fun at its own secretive reputation. Or maybe that was trumpeting it. Take your pick.

The message was retweeted more than 63,000 times in the first hour and change after it was posted at 1:49 p.m.

The CIA said in a news release Friday that it also have launched a Facebook account, expanding beyond the presence it already had on photo-sharing site Flickr and video-sharing YouTube.

“By expanding to these platforms, CIA will be able to more directly engage with the public and provide information on CIA’s mission, history, and other developments,” CIA Director John Brennan said. “We have important insights to share, and we want to make sure that unclassified information about the agency is more accessible to the American public that we serve, consistent with our national security mission.”

The splashy first tweet certainly got attention, and already has vaulted the agency past many of its contemporaries on Twitter in terms of its reach and number of followers. But it doesn’t explain why it took the agency so long to wade into a popular arena in which it can shape its own narrative.

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