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Wednesday, August 20, 2014, 6:04 a.m.
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Senator calls 'Cuba Twitter' a cockamamie idea

By The Associated Press

This article was published April 8, 2014 at 10:19 a.m.

WASHINGTON — A key U.S. senator is demanding to know who came up with the idea to launch a secret "Cuba Twitter" social network system.

Speaking at a Senate subcommittee hearing Tuesday, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont called the project "cockamamie."

Rajiv Shah, the top official at U.S. Agency for International Development, said the Twitter-like project was first designed during 2007 and 2008 when George W. Bush was in his second term as president.

Leahy has been extremely critical of the Cuba Twitter network since last week when an Associated Press investigation revealed USAID oversaw the creation of the text message-based service, dubbed ZunZuneo.

Leahy told Shah, quoting, "This one from the get-go had no possibility of working."

Leahy is chairman of the Senate panel that oversees USAID's budget.

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