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Utah soldier: E-mail about Obama had errors

Published July 26, 2008 12:59 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Utah National Guard officer who wrote a letter to family members describing Barack Obama's visit to troops in Afghanistan in unflattering terms now says some of the information he put out was incorrect - but not before the message went viral, circulating in thousands of e-mails and dozens of blogs.

Capt. Jeffrey Porter, of the 142nd Military Intelligence Battalion, wrote in his e-mail that Obama "blew off" soldiers waiting to greet him when he arrived at Bagram Air Base.

But the Military Times newspaper reported on Friday that Porter is now asking those who received a copy of the e-mail to delete it and is asking bloggers who posted his letter to take it down from their sites.

"Some of the information that was put out in my e-mail was wrong," Porter wrote, according to the Times, which is published by Gannett. "This e-mail was meant only for my family."

The Obama campaign reacted quickly to the e-mail, posting on its Web site photos, videos and media accounts of Obama meeting with U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Utah Guard spokesman Hank McIntire said soldiers need to make sure they "separate their private views with what they say when they're in uniform."

"When you send out an e-mail, you just never know where it's going to end up," he said. "It's becoming more and more difficult to have a privately held opinion, so you have to be doubly careful what you say and who you say it to."

McIntire said he did not expect Porter to face any disciplinary measures, noting that the captain appears contrite for having sent an e-mail with inaccurate information.

mlaplante@sltrib.com