The author of this tale is unknown. It was published, among other places, on the groaners listserv.
A Babylonian general was declared a traitor for leading a revolt. He escaped the night before he was to be executed and hid in an old Babylonian ziggurat, or temple, where he expected to find some of his associates. Not finding them, he began to burn the papers they had left and was immediately recaptured.
Moral of the story: The searchin’ general has determined that smoking ziggurats are hazardous to your stealth.