Viral email written by U.S. Army captain Jeffrey S. Porter claims Barack Obama shunned rank-and-file soldiers during his July 2008 visit to military installations in Afghanistan.
Description: Forwarded email
Circulating since: July 23, 2008
Email text contributed by S.M.C., July 23, 2008:
Subject: An Army Captain's view of Hussein Obama's Visit
Subject: Obama's Visit
As you know I am not a very political person. I just wanted to pass along that Senator Obama came to Bagram Afghanistan for about an hour on his visit to "The War Zone". I wanted to share with you what happened. He got off the plane and got into a bullet proof vehicle, got to the area to meet with the Major General (2 Star) who is the commander here at Bagram. As the Soldiers where lined up to shake his hand he blew them off and didn't say a word as he went into the conference room to meet the General. As he finished, the vehicles took him to the ClamShell (pretty much a big top tent that military personnel can play basketball or work out in with weights) so he could take his publicity pictures playing basketball. He again shunned the opportunity to talk to Soldiers to thank them for their service. So really he was just here to make a showing for the American's back home that he is their candidate for President. I think that if you are going to make an effort to come all the way over here you would thank those that are providing the freedom that they are providing for you.
I swear we got more thanks from the NBA Basketball Players or the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders than from one of the Senators, who wants to be the President of the United States. I just don't understand how anyone would want him to be our Commander-and-Chief. It was almost that he was scared to be around those that provide the freedom for him and our great country. If this is blunt and to the point I am sorry but I wanted you all to know what kind of caliber of person he really is. What you see in the news is all fake.
CPT Jeffrey S. Porter
Analysis: The comments above are not only factually incorrect, but inappropriate for uniformed Army personnel, according to a statement by Bagram Airfield spokesman Lt. Col. Rumi Nielson-Green.
Barack Obama did pay a visit to the Bagram air base on July 20, 2008, but neither went to the "Clamshell" nor played basketball, Nielson-Green told NY Daily News reporter James Meek in a story published July 24. He said Obama took time out to greet home-state troops, shaking hands with them and posing for pictures
News photos of the candidate's visits to Iraq and Afghanistan show that he interacted with rank-and-file American troops while in both countries.
Update: Obama-Bashing G.I. Retracts Claim - NY Daily News "Mouth of the Potomac" blog, 25 July 2008
Sources and further reading:
Army Officials Refute Claim of Barack Obama Snub in Afghanistan
NY Daily News, 24 July 2008
Obama Asserts His Americanness
CBS News, 20 July 2008
Obama Visits Iraq as Part of World Tour
USA Today. 20 July 2008
Obama's Visit Renews Focus on Afghanistan
NY Times, 20 July 2008
Last updated: 07/24/08